Stanley Brothers – Mountain Dew

Ok…we are veering WAY OFF the power-pop/rock path today! I was reading a biography of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll and it mentioned he would sing this song occasionally. So reading a bio of an American football coach led to this post…you just never know! To paraphrase Bugs Bunny…we are taking that proverbial left turn at Albuquerque.

I got really curious and looked the song up. It’s great…I’ve always liked these old folk songs and bluegrass music because I respect it so much. I’ve played bluegrass with a professional before and it is some of the hardest music I’ve tried to play. The time signatures are all over the place and if you haven’t played the music a lot… it can be tricky. It made me a better musician.

I like the music because it’s so rootsy and earthy. I don’t listen to it a lot but sometimes I will enjoy an hour or so of it. It reminds me of when my dad would go to work in the morning and sometimes he would have this music on.

Moonshine Still Plans, Build-it-Yourself

Good Ole’Mountain Dew!

This song is an  Appalachian folk song that Bascom Lamar Lunsford first wrote in 1928. Lunsford was an attorney, however, he is very fond of folk songs. He once represented a man in court because he was illegally making whiskey called Moonshine. This experience led him to write the song.  He ended up selling the song to Scotty Wiseman and Wiseman changed a few lyrics but remembered Lunsford…he kept the songwriting credit Wiseman – Lunsford.

These songs are special. They were not trying to write hits…they just wanted to tell stories through songs. Instead of newspapers in the backwoods of the Appalachians, you had these songs.

Many artists have covered the song through the years like Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Mother Maybelle Carter, Grandpa Jones, and more.

Willie Nelson released a version in 1981 that peaked at #23 in the Billboard Country Charts and #39 in Canada.

The lyrics never stay completely the same through the versions but it still works. We will return to our normal programming in the next post!

Mountain Dew

Down the road here from me there’s an old holler tree
Where you lay down a dollar or two
Go on round the bend come back again
There’s a jug full of that good ole mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

Now Mr. Roosevelt told ’em just how he felt
When he heard that the dry law ‘d gone through
If your liquors too red it’ll swell up your head
You better stick to that good ole mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

The preacher rode by with his head hasted high
Said his wife had been down with the flu
He thought that I o’rt to sell him a quart
Of my good ole mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

Well my uncle Snort he’s sawed off and short
He measures four feet two
But feels like a giant when you give him a pint
Of that good old mountain dew

Oh they call it that good ole mountain dew
And them that refuse it are few
I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew

Famous Rock Guitars Part 1

I love guitars…I own 12 of them. It’s something about them that draws me in. Each one has its own sound and vibe. My family made guitars in the 60’s and 70’s so I do remember as a small kid walking into the guitar shop smelling the wood and glue. Some guitars are just as famous as their former or current owners.

I will include 2 guitars per post…this week we have two famous guitars from two completely different artists.

Brian May’s “Red Special”

Brian May’s sound was as a big part of Queen as Mercury’s voice. Brian May designed and built the Red Special with his father, in 1963, using any parts they could find.  The neck of the guitar was fashioned from an 18th-century fireplace mantel, the inlays on the neck from a mother-of-pearl button. For the body, they used wood from an old oak table. Then the bricoleurs combined a bike saddlebag holder, a plastic knitting needle tip, and motorbike valve springs to create a tremolo arm.

Brian May: I remembered that at the time we finished the topcoat of varnish, my Dad had wanted to christen her as the Brian May Special, and I had poo-pooed the idea; now I realized that it wasn’t so uncool to give her a proper name. So one day in a radio interview, when someone asked me what I called the guitar, the words Red Special just tumbled out before I’d had time to think. 

Legendary Guitar: Brian May's Red SpecialBrian May of Queen, playing Red Special, the guitar he built himself as a  teenager. | Queen guitarist, Brian may, Queen band

The Red Special is not in a museum it’s with Brian and it’s still his number 1 guitar.

I have a couple of guitars that has some cracking in the finish but nothing I’ve had or seen compares with this one.

For more than 40 years Willie Nelson has been playing a Martin N-20 nylon-string acoustic guitar he named “Trigger,” after Roy Rogers’ horse. A classical guitar designed with no pick-guard, the famous relic has developed a gaping hole in the body.

Willie got this guitar in 1969 after a drunk stepped on his Baldwin guitar. The same year he bought Trigger his house caught fire and Willie braved the blaze to pull it out.

Willie Nelson has said….“When Trigger goes, I’ll quit.” 

Willie still plays this guitar…and yes it has a distinctive sound all its own.

Waylon Jennings – Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)

I love the Outlaws…

The song was written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons. Waylon Jennings was in Moman’s American Studios in Nashville recording Luckenbach, Texas when Willie Nelson happened to drop by for no particular reason.

Jennings saw him and asked him to sing with him on this. So Willie ended up adding his voice to the final verse, providing a couple of lyrical changes in the process.

Chips Moman used reverse psychology on Waylon to get him to record this song. Chips told him “here’s a song that you can’t cut because I’ve got it promised to someone else, but can I get your opinion on it?” It worked, Waylon took the bait and told Moman “I’m gonna cut that song.”|

Suddenly the tiny town of Luckenbach was besieged by network reporters and camera crews. Over one hundred city-limit signs have been stolen from the town since Jennings’ famous record was first released in 1977, and ironically neither Waylon nor the song’s writers Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons ever made their way to Luckenbach, Texas.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard Country Charts, #25 in the Billboard 100, and #1 in the Canadian Country Charts, and #46 in the Canadian RPM Charts in 1977.

Luckenbach Texas

Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas
With Waylon and Willie and the boys
This successful life we’re livin’
Got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys
Between Hank Williams’ pain songs and
Newbury’s train songs and “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain”
Out in Luckenbach, Texas, ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain

So baby, let’s sell your diamond ring
Buy some boots and faded jeans and go away
This coat and tie is choking me
In your high society, you cry all day
We’ve been so busy keepin’ up with the Jones
Four car garage and we’re still building on
Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love

Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas
With Waylon and Willie and the boys
This successful life we’re livin’ got us feudin’
Like the Hatfield and McCoys
Between Hank Williams’ pain songs and
Newbury’s train songs and “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain”
Out in Luckenbach, Texas, ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain

Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas
Willie and Waylon and the boys
This successful life we’re livin’s got us feudin’
Like the Hatfield and McCoys
Between Hank Williams’ pain songs
And Jerry Jeff’s train songs and “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain”
Out in Luckenbach, Texas, there ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain

 

The Equals – Baby Come Back

If you were wondering what Eddy Grant did before Electric Avenue…wonder no more. He was writing this song for the band he was in called The Equals.

The Equals were a pop/reggae/rock group that formed in North London, England in 1965. Eddy Grant, founded the group. Also in the original line-up were the twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon, as well as John Hall and Pat Lloyd. They were noted as being the first major interracial rock group in the UK and one of the few racially mixed bands of the era.

This song was originally released in 1966 as a B side. Throughout Europe DJ’s started to play this song and it charted in Germany. It was re-released in 1968 in the UK and it peaked at #1 and in the US it made it to #32.

In 1980, The Clash recorded a cover version of the Equals’ song “Police on My Back”. Willie Nelson also covered the song in 2006.

Baby Come Back would be their only charting song in America but in the UK they found success.

  • “I Get So Excited” / “The Skies Above” – (1968) (UK #44)
  • “Baby Come Back” / “Hold Me Closer” – (1968) (UK #1, IRL #2, NOR #4, U.S. #32)
  • “Laurel And Hardy” / “The Guy Who Made Her a Star” – (1968) (UK #35)
  • “Softly Softly” / “Lonely Rita” – (1968) (UK #48)
  • “Michael and The Slipper Tree” / “Honey Gum” – (1969) (UK #24)
  • “Viva Bobby Joe” / “I Can’t Let You Go” – (1969) (UK #6, IRL #3)
  • “Rub A Dub Dub” / “After the Lights Go Down Low” – (1969) (UK #34)
  • “Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys” / “Ain’t Got Nothing to Give You” – (1970) (UK #9)

 

 

From Songfacts

Originally, this was the B-side of The Equals’ “Hold Me Closer” single. That record did not capture much attention, but in early 1968 this was released as a single in Germany, where it rose to #1. After it subsequently topped the charts in Belgium and Holland the song was finally reissued in the UK, where it soared to #1.

The Equals were a pop group formed in England in 1965 by Derv Gordan (vocals), his twin brother Lincoln (guitar), Grant (guitar), John Hall (drums) and Pat Lloyd (guitar). They went on to have 12 more hits in Germany and two other UK Top 10 hits (“Viva Bobby Joe” and “Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys”) before legal problems with the record company made it impossible to release any more records.

Baby Come Back

Come back 
Baby, come back 
Baby, come back 
Baby, come back 

This is the first time [unintelligible] today 
That you have run away 
I’m asking you for the first time 
Love me [unintelligible] stay (all right) 

Hey (all right) 
Hey (all right!) 
Hey, yeah 
Come back 

Baby, come back 
Baby, come back 
Baby, come back 

There ain’t no use in you crying 
‘Cause I’m more hurt than you 
I shoulda not been out flirting 
But now my love is true 

Ooh (all right) 
Ooh (OK!) 
Ooh, yeah 
Come back 

Baby, come back 
Baby, come back 
Baby, come back 
Come back, baby, don’t you leave me 

Baby, baby, please don’t go 
Oh, won’t you give me a second chance 
Baby, I love you so (all right) 
Oh (oh, yeah) 

Oh (unintelligible) 
Oh, yeah 
Come back 
I said baby, come back 

I said baby, come back 
Oh won’t you please come back 
Oh won’t you please come back [Repeat until fade]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Equals