Country Music

My interest in history wavers between yawning boredom to annoying sensory overload to preferring sticking needles under my fingernails. I am quite resistant to the monotonous prattling, needless to say! Now my husband is the polar opposite. He drinks in history like a parched man wandering in the desert for days that comes upon a spring of fresh water. I have learned more about presidents, political figures, wars, old comedians, old cookbooks, etc. I deeply respect his passion and admire his interests. Honestly, he has grown my appreciation and knowledge of history. A little over a year ago, my brother tells us about a man named Ken Burns and all the historical documentaries he has produced. My first thought, “Oh, please no, not more history programs!”  Now, with that all being said, I do read WWII memoirs and will watch a well-produced WWII documentary. So, my brother suggests we watch Ken Burn’s “The War.” It is excellent!! The perspective, the old photos and photography, the background music, and the narration are exceptional!! I found such favor in the experience that I wanted to watch more of his documentaries. We have watched Prohibition, The Dust Bowl, The Central Park Five, The Roosevelts, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, and The Mayo Clinic. And, here is the litmus test; I would indeed watch them over again without hesitation.

Over the weekend, we watched the first four parts of the series “Country Music.” Once again, Ken Burns has done a wonderful job digging out the roots of hillbilly music! It was a rush of memories so far. You see, I was weaned on country music, musicians like Johnny Cash, Lynn Anderson, Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Sonny James, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Charlie Pride, Charlie Rich, Glen Campbell, Mel Tillis, Ray Stevens, Ronnie Milsap, Anne Murray, Buck Owens, Porter Wagner, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Alabama, Randy Travis. Every Saturday morning my mother would head to the stereo console, stack the Kitty Wells records, and I learned “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels!” Help Me, Jesus! Many Saturdays she stacked a mixed variety of various artists listed above. At Christmas, she stacked the numerous country Christmas vinyl selections she owned for a frolicking day of holiday acoustics! I think the kitchen and car radios were super-glued to the local country music station as well and I was told “do not touch that dial!” I must admit, with my mind constantly assaulted with this musical genre, I could not help but find myself singing right along to every song.

My music tastes and listening eventually took its own path, but because of the exposure, much like my husband subjecting me to history, I took away an appreciation for some country music and even acquired a taste for a couple additional artists. Mostly, I am a ballad girl and never got in to the boot stompin’, line-dancing tempo. On rare occasion, I will fire up the country music playlist and sit a spell listening to the ballads of Wynnona Judd, The Statler Brothers, Alabama, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Ronnie Milsap, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, and Mark Wills, overcome with sentiment. When I was in high school, my brother surprised me and took me to see Alabama in concert. It was an awesome experience, particularly to see all the lit Bic lighters swaying in the darkness when they began singing, “There’s An Old Flame Burning…” Here’s a joke I heard many, many years ago:  If Kitty Wells had married Conway Twitty, her married name would have been Kitty Twitty! 🙂  Where’s that “Boooo” button! 🙂

I look forward to watching the next four segments of Ken Burns, Country Music. I am confident you would not regret catching a few of his documentaries. Check them out…

  • Future releases
  • College Behind Bars (November 2019
  • Ernest Hemingway (2020)
  • Stand-up Comedy (TBA)

Love you, mean it!

2 thoughts on “Country Music

  1. Yes, the husband loves history of most kinds as well as biographies of most kinds. But this post made me think back to watching the series and you put me back there again. Your writing is like journeying back through my life as well. Thanks for that

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