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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Love of Country Music

Cullman,   AL

If you love country music as I do, you might have watched the Ken Burns series that ran on PBS the last two weeks.   8 nights, 16 total hours.   I didn't miss a minute.    As with all of Ken Burns projects it was excellent.

It got me to reminiscing and thinking how Country Music has affected my life.  As a child of the 50's and early 60's it was Rock and Roll.   I was in love with Ricky Nelson.  I would listen through the static to the local AM radio station out of Philadelphia to Joe Niagara and Hy Lit on WIBG.

Then the year I graduated High School in 1962 Ray Charles has a crossover hit.... I Can't Stop Loving You.   Wow!  I was hooked.    I bought the Album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.  On the album were great songs such as You Don't Know Me; Half as Much; Born to Lose; You Win Again and Hey, Good Lookin.

Then he came out with Modern Sounds Volume Two.  More great songs You are my Sunshine; Oh, Lonesome Me; Your Cheating Heart;  Take These Chains from my Heart; Making Believe.   WOW.  Now I was really hooked.

Forget Rock and Roll.   I found my niche. 

In the late 70s and early 80s Country stars would perform at a local movie theater that used to house Vaudeville.    There I saw Statler Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Pride, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Reed, Tom T. Hall, Don Williams, The Gatlin Brothers, Mel Tillis, Bill Anderson, Marty Robbins, George Jones, Tammy Wynette and I forget who else right now.

My daughter Amy knew all the songs of Tom T Hall and Johnny Cash.  I think she even has a CD of Tom T's  music that she would play for her daughters.

In 1980 my (at that time) husband and I worked for the same company.   We were sent to Missouri that summer to help open a new facility.   Missouri has fabulous county fairs.   We saw Crash Cradock (anybody remember him?) and Merle Haggard perform.

I went with a friend to see Crystal Gayle in the early 80s.

In the late 80s, being divorced,  on occasion I would go with girlfriends to a club that was known for country music.  OOPS.  Reminds me when I was not yet married the first time, I went to that club with my husband to be and another couple.   Kitty Wells was performing.    Back to the late 80s.  Tuesday night was singles night at the club.  Friends convinced me to go with them.   Well..... the rest is history.  Leonard was working in the area on a two week job for a company in Houston.  That was 1988.  He got out of New Jersey when we retired in 2010.

Through the years we learned many county line dances.  Len taught me to two-step.   He was dang good at it too.     Daughter Terri knows all the dances and has taught others.   She met her husband when he was playing in a country band.

Before retiring we occasionally saw more acts.   George Strait, George Jones, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Kathy Matea, Oak Ridge Boys, The Statlers.  Charlie Daniels, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash.    Probably saw more.

Then finally last January we went to a show at the Mother Church of Country Music.... The Ryman Auditorium.   John Conlee, Jeanne Seely, Vince Gill, Joe Diffee,  Ricky Skaggs, Crystal Gayle.

Bottom line...... The Ken Burns documentary bought back so many memories.   I remember when Hank Williams died.   I cried when Mary Robbins died.   I remember when Patsy Cline died.  The program dealing with her death left me with tears.  Then last night, the last show, dealt with the last years of Johnny Cash's life.  Again tears.  What a sad ending. 

Country Music has seen me through good times and bad.  It's brought joy and sadness.  My life has been enriched.  It runs deep in my being. 


  1. I'm not much into Country but I was surprised at how many young people are coming into it. I would rather they listen to country instead of that hatefull rap filth.

  2. I like anything but Rap and Opera but always appreciated Country for the Stories that it told.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the music.

    It's about time.

  3. I grew up with country music and it remains my favorite:)