Where’s Buddy?

Back in the old days during the DJ Convention you could see Buddy Emmons, Jimmy Day, Paul Franklin, and even me, at various places around Nashville jamming away. Lower Broad was a hot spot and there was no telling who you’d see picking at The Den, The Wheel, Tootsie’s, or just gamboling between every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway. The King of the Road motel, the Ramada Inn, Sho~Bud were among other places that hosted some of these steel guitar extravaganzas.

Buddy Emmons on the iPhoneBack in the old days during the DJ Convention in October you could see Buddy Emmons, Jimmy Day, Paul Franklin, and even me, at various places around Nashville jamming away. Lower Broad was a hot spot and there was no telling who you’d see picking at The Den, The Wheel, Tootsie’s, or just gamboling between “every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway”. The King of the Road motel, the Ramada Inn and Sho~Bud were among other places that hosted some of these steel guitar extravaganzas.

Some were advertised, like the Peavey Room, but most weren’t. So where was Buddy tonight? Hard to tell. You could ask around, or drive around, and if you got lucky you’d find him.

But what if there were Facebook and Twitter and Foursquare back then? How cool that would have been, to check your iPhone and find out what the hell was going on. Save a lot of gas and time.

Unfortunately, now that we have these modern conveniences there aren’t any spontaneous jams to go to. You have to go to a steel guitar show in Dallas or St. Louis or Knoxville, all well-advertised, orchestrated (!) and expensive, what with the travel time and hotel costs. Hell, I live in, or near, Nashville, and I ought to be able to see some good picking without having to drive for hours.

I’ve been working, or at least hanging out, on Broadway since the 70’s and I really can’t remember the last good jam session I saw down there. Maybe sometime in the early 80’s.

Well, the Den isn’t there anymore, Sho~Bud’s history and they don’t even have a DJ Convention these days. But all isn’t lost; I can sit in the comfort of my studio and dial up Buddy, Jimmy, Weldon, and even myself, on YouTube, crack open a brewski and have a good ol’ time. No gas expense, no DUI risk, no parking problems. But, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg notwithstanding, that ain’t as good as it used to be, is it?

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form. http://www.caligraphicsdesign.com/contact/

2 thoughts on “Where’s Buddy?”

  1. Communicating with modern technology has really been wonderful, but in some ways it has had a detrimental effect on our society. Remember the times when you reluctantly showed up some place and had a great time in spite of yourself? Today, it’s just too easy for people to say “no” and just stay home, hoping to catch the action on Youtube. If we had all these ways of staying in the loop back then (smart phones, computers, etc.), how many times would we have opted out? I’m hoping we get it all figured out someday so we can enjoy the best of both worlds.

    In the meantime, I’ve heard Buddy spends a bit of time on the computer–but he probably ain’t talking steel guitar….

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