The Cold Hard Facts of Life

This is a great Bill Anderson song, and nobody could have cut it any better than Porter Wagoner, but after listening to it for years a few discrepancies have come to mind.

This is a great Bill Anderson song, and nobody could have cut it any better than Porter Wagoner, but after listening to it for years a few discrepancies have become apparent.

I got back in town a day before I’d planned to
I smiled and said I’ll sure surprise my wife
I don’t think I’ll phone I’ll just head on home
For I didn’t know the cold hard facts of life

I passed a little wine store on the corner

Stores that sell just wine, and not liquor, are pretty rare. They’ve been arguing about this in Nashville for years. Like, should grocery stores be allowed to sell wine?

I pictured pink champagne by candlelight
I stopped the car right then got out and hurried in

He’d already passed the wine store. If he stopped right then he‘d have had to walk back.

My mind not on the cold hard facts of life

A stranger stood there laughing by the counter
He said I’ll take two bottles of your best

A bottle of Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck has been known to go for $275,000. Seems like a lot of money to spend on a tramp.

Her husband’s out of town and there’s a party
He winked as if to say you know the rest
I left the store two steps behind the stranger

And speaking of two steps, Two Step Til Ya Puke

From there to my house his car stayed in sight

He must have run back to his car, since it was parked down the street.

But it wasn’t till he turned into my drive that I learned
I was witnessing the cold hard facts of life

I drove around the block till I was dizzy
Each time the noise came louder from within

Wow, she must have been a screamer.

And then I saw our bottle there beside me

“Our bottle”? Huh, he wasn’t gonna share it with this cheatin’ bitch now.

And I drank a fifth of courage and walked in

A fifth? He had a bottle of wine, which isn’t measured in fifths. Anyway, a fifth of any kind of booze could be fatal, especially if drunk in the short time span suggested here.

Lord you should’ve seen their frantic faces
They screamed and cried please put away that knife
I guess I’ll go to hell or I’ll rot here in this cell

This isn’t really a Boolean operator. He could do both, rot in the cell and go to Hell.

But who taught who the cold hard facts of life
Who taught who the cold hard facts of life

Just being picky, but it would be grammatically correct to say “who taught whom the cold hard facts…”

But, nonetheless, it’s a fine country song, and my beautiful wife and I like murder songs.

Faron Young

Does Faron sing has ass off, or what?

Does Faron sing has ass off, or what? Country singers make the big time for various and sundry reasons – talent, charisma, cosmetics, style, management, financing, good song choices, media bullshit and much more. Faron certainly had the talent, the voice, the charisma, and he got hold of some great songs to record and he had a certain mystique about him – like all those stories about how he got drunk somewhere or beat up George Jones in an alley or had an affair with some Hollywood actress… Well, hell, when you’re idolized by fans all over the country and you put out a bunch of hit records and you read about yourself in the papers weird things can happen.

I was with him a long time, and even coming onto the gig I knew he was a great singer, but I’ve been watching some of his old videos lately, like this one, and I’m still amazed at what he could do, and I’m glad I got to be a Country Deputy, even though he tried to beat me up a couple times and slopped whiskey on my steel guitar and even fired me a few times and, worst of all, used Buddy Emmons on his sessions at Step One while I was on the gig.

Heh, at one of those sessions Faron asked Rob Hajacos how long it’d been since he’d changed strings on his fiddle and Rob countered with “Oh, since about the last time you had a hit record, Sheriff”. Hell, if I woulda been on the session I coulda said something funny, too. Well, maybe… Subbing for the Big E ain’t no easy run.

Luckily I didn’t have to sign an NDA when I was on the gig. Hence my latest eBook, “The Beast From the Back of the Bus”, wherein the lead character is based on Faron. Get it. Since Faron went to that great honky tonk in the sky I don’t have a real gig any more.

Steel guitar fitness test

You know how sometimes a pick goes flying off your finger and lands on the floor in front of your guitar?

You know how sometimes a pick goes flying off your finger and lands on the floor in front of your guitar? If you have to get up and waddle around your guitar to get it instead of bending over your guitar to pick it up you may be out of shape. But if you’re just so damn cool that you can get one of the girls on the dance floor to get it for you, it might not make that much difference.

Who sang on “Fist City”?

Singers exist mainly to give steel guitar players a gig, right?

Singers exist mainly to give steel guitar players a gig, right? Heh, we might think that, and we have to keep it a secret, but there’s probably not a bunch of artists (singers) who read this blog anyway. (Like we’re not artists, too?)

Who sang on “Ride, Ride, Ride”? Umm, long blonde hair, daughter of another female country singer… Oh yeah, Lynn Anderson. I think she sang on “That’s a No No” too. But those are Lloyd Green records to me. “Once A Day” and “I’ll Come Runnin’” are Weldon Myrick records. I might have never really listened to “A Way To Survive” or “Night Life” if Buddy hadn’t been on them, although Price is one awesome vocalist. Charlie Pride? I identify him by “Live at Panther Hall “ with Lloyd Green, and also by Gene O’Neal, his road steel player, who used to call me to sub for him in Printers’ Alley. Buck Owens sucked me in because he had Moon, Brumley and Maness on his records, and Ernest Tubb’s band (Buddy and Buddy) was the main attraction there.

Not to diss singers, but most of them don’t give a rat’s ass about who’s in their band as long as they make the artist sound good and don’t play over their vocals. But then there are steel-friendly singers out there, and you’ll see some of them at steel guitar shows, or at the Midnight Jamboree. Guys like Darrell McCall, Johnny Bush, Justin Trevino… singers who appreciate stellar steel playing and aren’t averse to giving credit to the steel player.

Darrell always got Buddy when he could, and why should Johnny Bush feed, clothe and house a steel player from Texas when he could have Buddy for scale at the Midnight Jamboree?

Loretta sang on “Fist City” of course. And Pete Drake played steel.

Steel Guitar Players

One of the cool things about living in, or near, Nashville is that you get to hang out with great steel players.

With Weldon Myrick and Lynn OwsleyOne of the cool things about living in, or near, Nashville is that you get to hang out with great steel players. Lynn Owsley and Weldon Myrick, probably the two nicest guys who ever hit a lick, came out to my gig the other night. Lynn played, so we had two steel guitars, and Weldon sang with us. Beats driving to St. Louis or Dallas.

Playing bass

I play bass sometimes, and when I’m locked in with the drummer on a good shuffle it’s as good as music can get.

Cal Sharp bass playerI play bass sometimes, and when I’m locked in with the drummer on a good shuffle it’s as good as music can get. When you’re the bass player you’re free – FREE! – from the restrictions that make steel guitar playing so demanding. You know what some of them are – tuning issues, lack of mobility, no cool moves on stage, having to stare at the neck of your guitar all the time (you might miss some hot action on the dance floor), wondering what to play on “Johnny B. Goode”, answering stupid questions about the “keyboard” that you’re playing. And many more.

But a serious downside to being the bass player, like when you’re filling in for the regular bass player who’s in jail for back support because the band leader couldn’t find another bass player, or a steel player to sub for you, is that playing “A Way To Survive” with no steel is kind of a drag. Yes, it sucks. Almost takes away the will to live. Or even survive, although the extra pay (no steel player to share the money with) might catch you up on your overdue smart phone data bill.

I remember when I first heard Ray Price records back in high school in the 60’s when I’d go over to one of my buddy’s house and his Mom was doing housework with musical accompaniment – Ray Price. It was the 4/4 bass patterns that I noticed first, but that led directly to an appreciation of what Jimmy/Buddy was doing.

So, in summation, a shuffle needs steel guitar to make it worthwhile to even show up for the gig.