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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Continuing the Theme of Music

I along with a lot of my family have different tastes in music.  May I flatter myself the one with the most eclectic tastes is I.  From my exposure from the late 60' up to high school graduation in 1972 we really had only two stations that were powerful enough to listen to.  One was WSIP in Paintsville which was 100% country and gospel and one out of Huntington, Wv,  I don't know if it exists still but then it was Key 100 with the top forth.  Heaven help anyone or anything that came between me and Casey Casum with his show.

We were a long way from the fights between  blacks and whites.  That was good for me as as all I knew was the name of the artist and whether I liked the song.  Every week I'd go buy the latest magazine (who's name I don't remember) with all the lyrics to every top 40 song.  I'd  learn them all every week...."Hit Parade" that was its name.  Still, this far on in life I remember so man song lyrics.  And I've embraced so many song  lyrics as I felt related to my self and my life.  I may get into them later but here are some of the county/bluegrass gospel songs that were popular Then.

This World is Not My Home

White Dove
Stanley Brothers

Mother used to sing this... I think.  I remember sking my grandfather what was a rank stranger.  He obviously did not know it as he told me it was someone you used to know but did not know now.  Now it is just people you have never known at all.

Man, I wish I could plan the banjos!

Will the Circle be Unbroken....

This one is one I find to be very PRENTOUS and HOLIER than THOU.  Still, I"ve always liked it.

Then there are the songs from my mother I can only remember parts of but still mean a lot to me.

My Dad always loved these songs.  He had all the Hee Haw Quartet albums and played the all the time he was not reading the bible.  I always got the feeling he was searching for a loophole.  But I  did get uses to and love the music.

No matter what you think about religion these guys are worth listening to for the harmonies.

George Jones.... Ole Possum had one of the best voices ever.

Ricky Skags  ( I went to high school with him *brag*)

I guess this is enough for the evening.  I'm sure more is on the way.  Being entirely nonreligious I still  love a good, ole, gospel song.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Random Music I Love

In my life there have always been two important things, books and music.  It is one of the great sadnesses in my life that I have zero musical ability.  As they say, I cannot carry a tune in a bucket.  Playing the radio pushes my musical ability to the extreme.  I have a great deal of respect and admiration for those who can bring music to the world for our enjoyment and perhaps a little edification should we choose to use it that way.

From as far back as I can recall I loved Science Fiction books and sad songs.  Despite growing up in rural Eastern Kentucky I was not a fan of country or bluegrass music.  Those loves came about later in life.  As a teen and young adult it was rock or nothing.  I'm happy to say today I enjoy many genres of music.  Take me from Ralph Stanley to Rod Stewart, from the Rolling Stones to Ricky Skaggs (I went to high school with he and Keith Whitley who's music I also love).  Even throw in a little Wagner and Stephen Foster.

There are some people who just do not understand my love of sad songs.  Heck I like happy songs, too but they are so fake.  Life is filled with sadness and travails and sad music is more true to life.  My life at least. 

But there are some songs that are not quite sad but still true.  Like this one from 1973.

Sometimes I wonder just how close I may have came to being like this one.

But growing up where and when I did one was exposed to a lot of country and bluegrass and I can tell you that bluegrass is built on sadness and tragedy.  So many songs about death, loss and a man killing a girlfriend.  Then my life was not the most cheerful so I guess something in the sadness called out to me and I responded to it.

Here is the very first song I can remember hearing and it was one my mother sang.  Performed by a group from Eastern Ky called Goose Creek Symphony.

We lived way back in the sticks where "they had to pump in the sunshine".  We listened to WSM on an old, battery radio.  My brother had climbed the apple tree to put the antenna (which was just a long wire) up high so we could pull it in.  It being in Nashville and the home station of the Grand Ole Opry.  Always listened to the Opry on Saturday nights hosted by Wayne Ramey.  I always remember that name.  He stopped being on the show and my grandfather said he had a growth inside him.  All I could picture was some kind of plant like corn or beans or something.

One of the big names in the Opry was the Stanley Brothers.  Carter passed away long ago but Ralph is still (barely) kicking.  Here is a song they sung that is still one of my very favorites.  Sad but hopeful lat the same time.

Anybody who knows me at all can tell you I'm not at all a religious person and they would be telling the truth yet I grew up with country and bluegrass gospel music and I do for a fact love it.

I'm sure I'll continue with music as music and books are where my life has lain.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My First "Anthem" Song

I am a person who believes in music and there are many songs I've encountered over the years which seem to tell a part of my story though I know the song's writer and singer(s) have no clue who I am.  Still, the song has a special meaning to me.  Some would be pretty obvious and some are quite cryptic I think. 

This one, though is really the first.  It is not the first song I remember (That would be "Satisfied Mind") not the song I like best.  Just the first in line.

I think it speaks to the loneliness I felt as a child and young adult and the way people perceived me to be that had nothing at all to do with the way I really was.  This is also my first "funeral song".

This song would have come out when I was in the vicinity of fifteen or sixteen.  I can remember one day my dad and mother were both gone and it was grey, cold and rainy outside.  I was sick but I put on this 45 (old vinyl 45 rpm record) and listened to it and the "B" side over and over as the hours drug by.

The "B" side of this single is pretty good as well but really has no special meaning to me and seriously had no special meaning then other than as a song I liked.

Along about that time several rock legends were overdosing on drugs and ending their lives way too soon.  One of my very favorite song writers, Kris Kristofferson, came out with a single called, "Loving Her Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again".  The "B" side though was my favorite.  Just called "Epitaph(Black and Blue)".   I loved the song from the first time I heard it and have only recently discovered it was written to his good friend Janis Joplin after her death by drugs.  I think it is a beautiful song.  I played it one day for my mother and dad and my mother just did not "get it" but surprisingly enough my dad seemed to understand.

I'd love to link it but all I can find is a cover version that truly sucks.  The song was done with just a piano playing a bare bones melody.

Her close friends have gathered
Lord ain't it a shame
Grieving together
Sharing the blame
But when she was dying
Lord, we let her down,
There's no use crying
We can't help her now,
The party's all over
Drink up and go home
It's too late to love her
And leave hear alone.

Just say she was someone
Lord, so far from home
Who's life was so lonely
She died all alone
Who dreamed pretty dreams
That never came true
Lord, why was she born
So black and blue.

If  you ever find it by Kris and not some cover be sure to give it a listen.

Funeral Songs

Everyone who knows me knows I'm not at all a religious person.  So, when it comes to the end of my time I've always said I don't want someone who does not know me to stand over my corpse and "preach" me into heaven or hell either one.  I don't rightly believe in either one and I'm darned sure there is no preacher who knows no more than I who is going to decide it after I'm gone.

So, I've decided I do not want any kind of traditional funeral.  I just want anyone who might know me to stand up and say whatever they'd like, good or bad, about me and for a "preachin" I just want a CD of songs that have a unique meaning for me played.

I think this one is going to be there.
Many others of course.  :-)  but that one has to be there somewhere.  
Ok, I have had the hip surgery now.  January 3, 2013.  Don't ask me about the next couple of days.  :-)  Gooooood drugs.  :-)  It has been about five weeks now and I'm off the walker and just using my cane and forget it about half the time and just go waling where I need to.  Started working from home today.  With my doctor's caution I figure 2-3 weeks of this so I should be able to make it to the  office around March 1st.

So, some random thoughts after hip surgery.  DAMN! It is expensive. 

I think I've healed fairly well.  I got some "places" on my right leg and one got infected so I've been on two different antibiotics for twenty days.    The leg has cleared up, though it is not healed all the way and my incision has stopped draining so I hope that is going to be ok soon.  I'm sure my wife is tired of playing nurse as I need the dressing replaced on my hip at least twice a week and the band aids on my leg replaced every night.

My pain is substantial less  than before the surgery which is good.  Knee pain is about completely gone so I guess the doctor was correct in thinking the hip was causing the knee pain.  My formal physical therapy has been done for about two weeks now.  I'm just doing the exercises when I remember them (not very often I'm sad to say).

I need to start walking.  I do walk around the house but that is not enough.  Linda (my wife) is going to start getting out and walking around the house in the evenings.  I'm sure she is more than ready for me to be able to do everything for myself  I  know I am.   Though it is kind of nice to be waited on.  :-)

Today was my first day back to work (from home) and it felt pretty good to be doing something rather than watching cooking shows on TV and playing games on the PC.  I know it won't take long before I'm hating work again but today it was good.