Turning Our Backs on Irony Man

Like many people well into middle age, I’ve felt increasingly out of sync with the modern world in recent years.  The things I value most seem to be less appreciated in the 21st century, while the values of the new century seem foreign to me. It’s impossible to tell what posterity will make of the … Continue reading Turning Our Backs on Irony Man

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The Shadow of Hank Williams

  For a man whose recording career lasted barely six years, Hank Williams casts an immense shadow.  I’m currently doing a show called Tennessee Walt’s Hanks a Lot!—and most of the audience members seem to come in assuming that it’s a show of Hank Williams songs.  When they learn that I’ll be doing songs not … Continue reading The Shadow of Hank Williams

If You’ve Got the Money: The Economics of the Bristol Sessions

The Bristol Sessions looms large in history for artistic reasons:  They launched the careers of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, whose music would define the parameters of country music for generations to come. However, the Sessions were not primarily an artistic exercise, but rather an economic one.  Ralph Peer wasn’t in Bristol looking for … Continue reading If You’ve Got the Money: The Economics of the Bristol Sessions