PR Hillbilly Salutes the Good Ole Boys

hillbillyWhat the hell. It’s Friday!

What makes you smile? I mean, aside from good red wine and a foot massage? For me, it’s hillbilly singers and the stories they tell. I love those good ole boys, and I live vicariously through them.

I hide my hillbilly roots well. I gave up chewing tobacco long ago. Ditto for squirrel huntin’ and cow tippin’. But somewhere under this PR veneer lies an Appalachian soul that’s part coal miner, part deer hunter, part whiskey sipper.

I know you don’t care about any of this, but it’s Friday. So lighten up. Have a drink. There’ll be time to get serious next week.

What exactly is hillbilly music? My definition includes country, western and bluegrass, plus any rock-n-roll song with adequate twang. Hillbilly lyrics are simple and clear, never deep, and never too philosophical. They tell stories most of us can understand.

Just for fun, I drew up a list of my favorite hillybilly tunes and linked each to a video. Every song on this list makes me smile — even the sad ones. So let’s count ’em down, shall we? You have my permission to spend the rest of your Friday with my good ole boys.

10.  Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (by Kris Kristofferson/Performed by Johnny Cash w/KK)

9.  Good Ole Boys Like Me, Don Williams

8. Lonesome LA Cowboy, New Riders of the Purple Sage

7. Yellow Rose Express, Michael Dinner

6. Six Days on the Road, Dave Dudley

5. The Fast One, J. D. Souther

4. Tennessee Stud,  (By Jimmy Driftwood/Performed by Doc Watson)

3. Sixteen Tons, Tennessee Ernie Ford

2. Dead Flowers, Rolling Stones

1. Misery and Gin, Merle Haggard


9 Responses to PR Hillbilly Salutes the Good Ole Boys

  1. Breeze says:

    Good calls on the tunes, Bill. I especially love “Sixteen Tons.” 🙂

    Some others for your consideration:

    Dwight Yoakam – “Guitars, Cadillacs”

    BR5-49 – “Even If It’s Wrong”

    Junior Brown – “Sugar Foot Rag”

    The Derailers – “Just One More Time”

    The Mavericks – “There Goes My Heart”

    Lucinda Williams – “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road”

    Steve Earle & The Dukes – “Copperhead Road”

  2. Breeze says:

    Just for good measure–and in case you’re a fan of stellar guitar playing–another Junior Brown clip; this time, his medley of some surf classics:

  3. mediatide says:

    This is an absolutely stupid topic. Only 10? Some of mine are listed on the lists already posted. I believe I turned you on to Michael Dinner and J.D. Souther.

    Here are 10 more in no special order (no links, no time):

    1. Eagles: “Lyin’ Eyes”

    2. Dan Fogelberg: “Outlaw”

    3. Johnny Rodriguez: “What’ll I Tell Virginia?”

    4. John Conlee: “Friday Night Blues”

    5. Larry Gatlin: “Takin’ Somebody with Me When I Fall”

    6. Jimmy Dean: “Big Bad John”

    7. Garth Brooks: “The Thunder Rolls”

    8. Steve Earle: “Guitar Town”

    9. Dan Seals & Marie Osmond: “Meet Me in Montana”

    10. Johnny Paycheck: “Colorado Kool-Aid”

    11. OOPS, Sorry. Over the limit. Plus, I don’t have all day. Partying and Central Michigan University graduation today!

  4. Stacy Wessels says:

    Must have an Eagles tune in there somewhere.

  5. Bill Sledzik says:

    OK, here’s my Next 10, but only b/c this is so much more fun that blogging about serious topics. No links to vids this time. Sorry.

    Stacy, I didn’t forget the Eagles this time. The band’s best country stuff came on Desperado, my favorite album from the boys. And Andy, I do owe you for Micheal Dinner and J. D. Souther. But tell me, is this the same Michael Dinner who was executive producer of “The Wonder Years”? It would seem so. Check the bio.

    11. Cumberland Blues, Grateful Dead
    12. Cattle Call, Eddie Arnold
    13. El Paso, Marty Robbins
    14. Lukenbach, Texas, Waylon Jennings
    15. Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. Dwight Yoakam
    16. Blue Sky, Allman Brothers
    17. Doolin’ Dalton/Desperado (Reprise), The Eagles
    18. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Hank Williams
    19. She Thinks I Still Care, George Jones
    20. Dark as a Dungeon, Merle Travis

  6. Breeze says:

    You’re right, Bill… this is fun!

    “One Piece At A Time” – Johnny Cash

    “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)” – Lyle Lovett

    “Sittin” And Thinkin” – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

    “Livingston Saturday Night” – Jimmy Buffett

    “My Baby Don’t Dance To Nothin’ But Ernest Tubb” – Junior Brown

    “King Of The Road” – Roger Miller

    “The Wino And I Know” – Jimmy Buffett

    “South Of Cincinnati” – Dwight Yoakam

    “Come Back” – The Derailers

    “Lifetime To Prove” – BR5-49

  7. Bill Sledzik says:

    Yeah, but if you think about these things too much, then you have to make changes. I’ve gone back and dropped “Old Hippie” from the list at No. 20 and replaced it with an Appalachian classic.

  8. mediatide says:

    I’ll pass on my next 10. Too much stuff to do. I was basing mine on the storytelling aspect of the song, which make you laugh/cry/think and really listen. There are other songs that have better melodies and might be more memorable (i.e. Mel McDaniel’s “Louisiana Saturday Night” or Brooks and Dunn’s “Neon Moon”).

  9. Breeze says:

    There are also instrumentals that, while lacking a story element, are nonetheless evocative in their own ways. The Flatt & Scruggs hit “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” is a perfect example.

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