Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘An Afternoon in the Country’

East Hampton Library, August 7, 2021 1.  “Night Train to Memphis” (Roy Acuff, 1942). Roy Acuff It’s impossible to say for sure who did what on this song, since it has three co-writers: Owen Bradley, Marvin Hughes and Beasley Smith.  However, Bradley and Hughes were both best known as musicians, while Beasley was a words-and-music … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘An Afternoon in the Country’

Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘Hanks a Lot”

Bethpage Public Library, July 28, 2021 “Honky Tonking”  (Hank Williams, 1947) Williams actually recorded and released this song twice in consecutive years, once for the low-budget, no-royalties Sterling Records in 1947 and again for the far more professional MGM Records in January 1948. Sterling didn’t have much distribution, so the MGM recording is the version … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘Hanks a Lot”

The Night that Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Porter Wagoner Came to Town

Is it a mystery if not many people care what the answer is? I say it’s a mystery if even one person cares—and, in this case, I’m that person. I didn’t initially recognize it as a mystery.  It started out looking like a song: “The Night Hank Williams Came to Town” (1987).  It’s a pretty … Continue reading The Night that Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Porter Wagoner Came to Town

‘Tennessee Walt: An Evening in ‘A Distant Country’: Program Notes

“Waiting for a Train” (Jimmie Rodgers, 1928). Rodgers is credited with writing this song, which he absolutely didn’t do—nearly all of his songs were written by other people or (if his name is on them) adapted from older blues songs or mountain ballads, and this is no exception.  It dates from no later than 19th-century … Continue reading ‘Tennessee Walt: An Evening in ‘A Distant Country’: Program Notes