Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday: Guilty Pleasures
I picked Old Country, particularly from the 60s and early 1970s. Much of this music crossed over to the pop charts because music wasn’t as niched as it is now. This gets into guilty pleasure territory because I have all of these songs on my iPod.
I’m not generally a country music fan, particularly of current country, because to me, it sounds like rock music with fiddles and a twang. Modern country may have the story-telling component that is one of the tell-tale signs of country music, but it sounds a lot like rock-n-roll with a fiddle and southern accents thrown in so it doesn’t sound like rock-n-roll.
The other issue I have is that there are people who still insist that country music is clean and they can listen to it in front of their kids. Either these people are still living in another era or they’ve never heard songs like Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off or Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy or Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On.
And the last issue is that when I lived in Wisconsin, I lived about 9 miles north of Oshkosh, which is home to the annual Country USA festival. There are many reasons why I loathed this time of year, but one big one is that it was impossible to get vacation days during that weekend because of all the people who wanted off to go camp out for three days, get drunk and listen to bad music. Some of us referred to the attendees as “no-toothers” and we had alternate names for the festival, from the relatively benign “Hickfest” to my personal favorite, “Crackerpalooza”, to one that my husband made up and nearly made me laugh out loud at work when I saw it in the email: “The [number] Annual National Man-Goat Love Convention.” If I’d laughed, then I’d have to explain why I was laughing and that my husband and I were emailing back and forth to each other during the day as if we were chatting. I can be forgiven for that particular day because it was Friday afternoon and nothing ever happens on Friday afternoons, especially during the weekend of Country USA when everyone else has the day off.
Ready? Let’s go.
1. Back Side of Dallas-Jeannie C. Reilly
Jeannie C. Reilly is most famous for the song Harper Valley PTA. I’d first heard this song as a cover by Hannah Hokes and then sought out the original. I actually kind of like it.
2. Galveston-Glen Campbell
I like this song for two reasons. The first is that it is a “mood song”; that is, it’s a song I listen to while writing because it invokes a specific mood, time and place. Second, I’ve been to Galveston, Texas and that was the place where I saw the ocean for the first time. Okay, technically,it’s the Gulf of Mexico, but the Gulf is part of the Atlantic Ocean. I remember hearing this on the radio a lot in the early 1970s, too.
3. Ring of Fire-Johnny Cash
I love Johnny Cash. I just do. And I love this song. ‘Nuff said.
4. The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA-Donna Fargo
I have early childhood memories of this song. There’s also the fact that I can recall a lot of old country music because my parents always watched the show Hee-Haw during the 1970s. If I had to describe this show to anyone born after 1980, I’d have to say it was Laugh-In for rednecks. (And if you don’t know what Laugh-In is, think You Can’t Do That on Television with rural southern stereotypes minus the green slime and the occasional break for music. )
This song amuses me because it’s obvious that the “happiest girl in the whole USA” got laid the night before and it was goooooood!
5. Help Me Make It Through The Night-Sammi Smith
This falls into the “mood song” category because when I need to invoke a particular mood while writing particular characters, I’ll pull this song out and listen to it because it invokes mood, and place and time.
I do remember this song from when I was little. I also have the White Stripes’ cover and the DP original on my iPod. This makes honorable mention because it used to get stuck in my head a lot over the years.
Next week on Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday: The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and the Tibetan Book of the Dead