“The Days Of Sand and Shovels” had previously appeared on the country charts, in 1969 for Waylon Jennings, when it peaked at twenty.
Nat was a well known Nashville singer and songwriter, and while his hit list wasn’t as big as many of his contemporaries, he still managed twenty-five Country 40 singles, with four climbing into the top 10, including his biggest hit, “Sweet Thang”, in 1966. Most of his success came on the Paula and RCA Victor labels, but by 1976, he was on the MCA label, where his final two Country 40 singles originated from, including his final top 20 hit, “Sun Comin’ Up” and today’s Single Of The Day.
Debuting in August, 1978, “The Days Of Sand and Shovels” was reworked into a completely different arrangement than the Waylon original. Whereas the Waylon’s version was pure Nashville Sound, with it’s slower tempo and lush background, the Stuckey version was turned into an up tempo mixture of country, pop, and a touch of disco. It’s a really interesting contrast of rather somber lyrics that drips in sadness, mixed with an up tempo accompaniment that is almost danceable. But it works pretty well.
Join me for The World Famous Ultimate Twang, every Thursday at 4p ET, on WSFM-LPFM/AshevilleFM. In Asheville, you can listen at 103.3FM, or worldwide via the AshevilleFM website, ITunes, or TuneIn. And if you can’t join in for the live airing, you can listen to the archived version, beginning Friday morning on the Ultimate Twang page on AshevilleFM’s website.
Here’s a look at the music spun on the September 24, 2015 edition of the World Famous Ultimate Twang Radio Show. The show is live, every Thursday at 4p ET, on AshevilleFM/WSFM-LPFM, which is 103.3FM in Asheville, or on the AshevilleFM website. The archived version can be heard anytime over the following week on the Ultimate Twang page on AshevilleFM’s website.
Here’s this week’s list. Did we hit a favorite or two of yours?
|The Forester Sisters||I Fell In Love Again Last Night|
|Brenda Lee||Broken Trust|
|Johnny Cash||Daddy Sang Bass|
|Johnny Lee||Hey Bartender|
|Marty Robbins||Ain’t I The Lucky One|
|Marty Robbins||Just Married|
|The Hoosier Hot Shots||Connie’s Got Connections In Connecticut|
|Tennessee Ernie Ford||When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder|
|Paul Brandt||My Heart Has A History|
|George Jones||I Can’t Get There From Here|
|Tanya Tucker||You’ve Got Me To Hold On To|
|Webb Pierce||Blue Mood|
|Waylon Jennings||Rainy Day Woman|
|Loretta Lynn||The Pill|
|Emmylou Harris||If I Could Only Win Your Love|
|Ronnie McDowell||This Is A Holdup|
|Reba McEntire||I’m Gonna Take That Mountain|
|Clay Walker||Watch This|
|Albert Coleman’s Atlanta Pops||Just Hooked On Country, Part 4|
|Faith Hill||Take Me As I Am|
|McBride and The Ride||Sacred Ground|
|Mel Tillis||Good Woman Blues|
|Terri Gibbs||Some Days It Rains All Night Long|
|Wynn Stewart||Something Pretty|
|Hank Snow||Hello Love|
|Marilyn Sellars||One Day At A Time|
|Terri Clark||I Just Wanna Be Mad|
|Olivia Newton-John||Come On Over|
|Leroy Van Dyke||Walk On By|
|Faron Young||Wine Me Up|
|Merle Haggard||Okie From Muskogee|
|Merle Haggard||Street Singer|
|T. G. Sheppard||Fooled Around And Fell In Love|
|Floyd Cramer||Georgia On My Mind|
|Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan||Tennessee Bird Walk|
|Don Williams||Lord I Hope This Day Is Good|
|Unknown||Putt Putt For The Fun of It Jingle|
|Mickey Gilley||Tears Of The Lonely|
|Hal Ketchum||Heart’s Are Gonna Roll|
|Garth Brooks||It Don’t Matter To The Sun|
|Ty Herndon||Living In A Moment|
|Jerry Lee Lewis||Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano?|
|Louvin Brothers||Way Up On The Mountain|
|Rosanne Cash||It Hasn’t Happened Yet|
|Moe Bandy||Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life|
|Tim McGraw||She’s My Kind of Rain|
|Ray Price||San Antonio Rose|
|Unknown||Mayberry RFD Theme|
|Lynn Anderson||I’m Alright|
|Margo Smith||Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You|
|Larry Gatlin and Janie Fricke||From Time To Time (It Feels Like Love Again)|
Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio Tags: AshevilleFM, Faith Hill, Forester Sisters, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Hal Ketchum, Hank Snow, Johnny Lee, Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, Louvin Brothers, Marty Robbins, Moe Bandy, playlist, T. G. Sheppard, Tanya Tucker, Waylon Jennings, Webb Pierce
A look back at this past week's Ultimate Twang radio program, heard on Asheville Freemedia's WSFM-LP, 103.3FM in Asheville and at http://ashevillefm.org, worldwide
Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio Tags: Anne Murray, AshevilleFM, Brooks And Dunn, Buck Owens, Chet Atkins, Conway Twitty, Country Music, Don Gibson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, Sonny James, Tanya Tucker, Ultimate Twang, Waylon Jennings, WSFM
Greetings from Asheville, where the good music is always on the turntable, or in the CD player, and sometimes, even on the computer. After a couple of weeks’ worth of issues with the blog site, all systems now appear to be go, and we are back with a new Classic Album Review for you. It’s one of the classics of Country music history, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s first full album, together, Waylon & Willie. Released by RCA Victor Records in January 1978, the album was a huge success, spending eleven weeks on top of the country albums charts, while peaking at twelve on the pop side, and selling over two million copies. The album featured eleven tracks; five were duets, while the remaining six were solo efforts, split evenly between Waylon and Willie. Three hits are found on the album, along with two additional tracks that charted as B-side “tag-alongs”.
The album opens with the classic “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”. One of the signature songs of country music in the 1970’s, it’s in the opinion of many, that this is their top duet, and with good reason. Even though Ed Bruce wrote the song and even had a moderate hit a couple of years, earlier, there’s something about this version that seems to lack in all other versions, including Willie’s solo version. Their version is the cowboy image of that era. By far the highlight of this album.
“The Year 2003 Minus 25” is a Kris Kristofferson tune that isn’t as good as “Mamas…”, but is one of the album’s better album cuts. More of the Waylon-influenced sound, with a bit of country-rock coming through. Decent lyrical content, but a rather catchy melody.
Willie wrote “Pick Up The Tempo”, a song that comes off rather ordinary. I like it’s overall sound and it’s melody, but it’s lacking, lyrically, the second verse, in particular, sounding like it was crafted from a shortage of ideas.
“If You Can Touch Her At All” is a Willie Nelson solo effort, and was the third and final single from the album, reaching the top five in late Spring, 1978. An overall sound that is closer to a Waylon recording than Willie (it’s minus his trademark guitar), yet that does nothing negative for this track, a fine performance, featuring a some of the album’s best lyrics.
“Lookin’ For A Feeling” is a solo Waylon effort, that he also wrote. The up tempo piece is pure, vintage Waylon, mixing strong vocals, a great arrangement, and a solid composition. This was a “tag-along” chart entry, as the B-side to Waylon’s hit, “The Wurlitzer Prize”.
As a writer, Willie Nelson also contributed “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way”. Minimally arranged, which is exactly what this track needed. I think this is a great track! Strong lyrics, delivered as only Willie can. A great piece of music.
Side two opens with “I Can Get Off On You”, a track that not only do Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson team up on behind the mic, but also with the pen, as they co-wrote this track. a medium-up tempo track, it’s not overly strong, from a lyric sense, yet a rather catchy melody helps make up for that. This track was also a “tag-along” as the B-side to “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”.
“Don’t Cuss The Fiddle” is a decent, slightly novelty-ish piece about stealing each other’s songs.
Waylon is given the solo reins on “Gold Dust Woman”, a song that I admit had trouble holding my attention. Lyrically, just okay, but a decent melody and the overall feel is country, with just a small dabbling of rock.
Willie delivers a solid performance on the Shel Silverstein song “A Couple More Years”. One of the more interesting break-up songs you’ll hear. I rather like this one; featuring that laid-back style that Willie perfected like no one else.
The album comes to a very strong end with Waylon’s hit “The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You)”. Hitting number one in late 1977, this is nearly as good as “Mamas…”. Certainly near the top of Waylon’s best solo efforts. You can just hear the pain pouring out of this track in a truly haunting way. Folks, this is as good as it gets.
Still on the market, both in MP3 and CD format. Used copies are plentiful, as well, particularly vinyl. Pretty much all I saw were under $10, save for one copy that was pressed on gold vinyl. It was listed at $99. This album was also released on 8-track and cassette, as well. But, if you are looking at a used CD, be careful, because in it’s earliest days of CD release, it contained only nine of the eleven tracks.
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” gets my Standout Track nod, while the Hidden Gem goes to “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way”. “Gold Dust Woman” gets my Weakest Track nod, since it had trouble holding my attention.
Overall, the album is a good piece of work, yet, strictly from a music standpoint, it’s not as strong as one might have thought it would have been. The main reason is the songs, themselves, which vary in quality. While it’s impossible to expect eleven tracks at the level of “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”, there are tracks, here, that could have been easily replaced with stronger pieces, and would not have really been missed. That said, though, there is some good, very good, and down right great music, here, as well. This album is a classic, though, and deservedly so, as it sold over two million copies (a real achievement for a country LP, in those days), and was a refreshing change of pace from what could be heard on much of country radio in those days. I rate this one a 3.5 out of 5.
Categories: Classic Album Reviews Tags: 1978, classic country, country albums, Country Music, country oldies, If You Can Touch Her At All, Kris Kristofferson, Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, RCA Victor Records, Shel Silverstein, The Wurlitzer Prize, Waylon & Willie, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. We are digging into the Waylon Jennings stax for today’s Single Of The Day, pulling out one of his later hits from his time with MCA. Of course, Waylon’s greatest success had come during his time at RCA, with the string of big hits that came during the second half of the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Waylon’s association with RCA ended at the end of 1985, as he would join the MCA roster. While his success, there, wasn’t to the same level, he would still enjoy some hits, including six top tens, the second of which is today’s Single Of The Day.
“Will The Wolf Survive” was Waylon’s second single for MCA, as well as the title cut to his first album for the label. The song had been a 1984 single for the group, Los Lobos, having garnered some significant play on Rock stations for the group. Waylon’s version debuted in June, 1986, and would peak at five on the Country charts.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.