Best Of Grizzard - Country Music

  • Friday, January 20, 2023
  • Jerry Summers

Each day as I travel to and from the downtown area through my secret route of travel off the rarely used bike lanes, depressed sewer caps, and potholes, I listen for 15 minutes each way to the only “Classic Country” station to play the songs of Hank Williams, Sr., George Jones, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, etc. along with the remaining loyalists and traditionalists that remember the smog-filled atmosphere and safe streets of the Scenic City.

In his publication, “Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself” (1984-Peachtree Publishers) Lewis Grizzard, Jr.

(LG) expressed his opinion that this type of music told the story of America and its human emotions, especially in the South.

LG stated his lack of love for the change in the style of country songs and suggests that someone start a new brand of music called “Neo-County” or “Randy Rural,” and anybody who wanted to sing with flutes, oboes, loud guitars and sing lyrics you would be embarrassed for your mother to hear, could go off and listen to that.”

(His lament and criticism were actually an omen of things to come in the future.)

The preferences and recommendations that he made include:

1. George Jones singing more songs like “If drinking don’t kill me then her memory will;”

2. I want Kenny Rogers to never sing another song like Coward of the County;”

3. Alabama shouldn’t do any more truck driving songs and stick to ones like “Old Flame,” and “She’s a Lady, Down on Love;”

4. I never want to hear John Anderson sing Swingin’ again; and

5. More songs like “Don’t Come Home a Drinking with Lovin’ on Your Mind.”

He continues to give several more examples of classic lines in the country category:

1. “If fingerprints showed up on skin, wonder whose I’d find on you?”

2. “My wife just ran off with my best friend, and I miss him;”

3. “You’re the reason our children are ugly;”

4. “If you’re going to cheat on me, don’t cheat in our hometown;”

5. It’s not love, but it’s not bad;” and

6. And the immortal: “I gave her a ring and she gave me a finger.”

(These songs and eight divisions of “twang” music would apply equally to both sexes as to being either the perpetrator or wrongdoer or as to victims of said acts or relationships.)

In the 16-page chapter named “They Call It Blue-Eyed Soul” he addresses the subject from various angles including his delicate sensitivities being sometimes disturbed by some of the commercials he hears on WSM, clear channel Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday night and listening to the Grand Ole Opry when they promoted the sale of a laxative, Black Draught, and possibly the double meaning of the product White Rose Petroleum Jelly when they urged customers to “keep a jar in your car.”

In a non-scientific diversion into country music categories LG suggested that they should be divided into the following:

1. CHEATIN SONG: She Ran Off;

2. LOVIN’ AND FORGIVN’ SONGS: She Came Back;

3. HURTIN’ SONGS: The hussy ran off again;

4. DRINKIN SONGS: Nobody here to cook me anything to eat so I might as well get drunk;

5. TRUCKIN SONGS: She run off on a train. I think I’ll derail that sucker;

6. PRISON SONGS: They take derailing trains serious in Mississippi;

7. RODEO SONGS: Soon as she got out of the hospital after the train wreck, she took up with a bull rider;

8. NEVER-GIVE-UP HOPE SON: I wonder if her sister still lives in Tupelo.

Another interesting aspect of the Country Classic radio station is that one of their male announcers is always talking about the “twang” and using cliches to promote the Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia area local attractions.

His latest creative support of one of the historical venues available to the public without having to travel long distance in the high-priced gasoline era would be to encourage them to visit “Six Flags Over Lakeview” for good family fun.

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You can reach Jerry Summers at jsummers@summersfirm.com
Jerry Summers
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