Today’s Single Of The Day remembers one of Waylon Jenning’s many number one hits, “I Ain’t Living Long Like This”. It’s classic Waylon, featuring a hard-driving country-rock sound that Waylon did so well.
Waylon, along with Willie Nelson, were the leaders of the 1970’s outlaw movement. For those who don’t know about it, the outlaws, as they, along with some other acts like Johnny Paycheck and even Merle Haggard and Sammi Smith, weren’t so much about the content of their songs (something Luke Bryan apparently didn’t know, based on his recent comments), but rather their rebelling against the Nashville and country music establishments, and choosing to do things their own way.
“Ain’t Living Long Like This” was Waylon’s first RCA release of the 1980’s, debuting on the Country 40 in January. After a mellow 1979, where both of his number one hits were on the soft side, “Come With Me” and “Amanda”, He returned to his harder edged sound that helped make hits like “I’ve Always Been Crazy” and “I’m A Ramblin’ Man” staples.
After its debut in January, “I Ain’t Living Long Like This” began climbing the charts, eventually taking the number one position the first week in March, becoming his eleventh number one hit.
Join me for the World Famous Ultimate Twang Radio Show, Thursdays at 4p ET, on WSFM-LPFM/AshevilleFM. In Asheville, we’re at 103.3FM, and worldwide, on AshevilleFM’s website, or on ITunes and TuneIn. And if you can’t join us live, you can always listen to the archived version on the Ultimate Twang page on AshevilleFM, beginning Friday morning. It’s there to listen for a week.
Categories: Single Of The Day Tags: AshevilleFM, Country Music, I Ain't Living Long Like This, I'm A Ramblin' Man, I've Always Been Crazy, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, outlaw country, Sammi Smith, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Songwriters often try their hand at singing, or maybe it’s singers often get started with songwriting. Hmmm…well, either way, a large number of great songwriters have gone on to have considerable success as singers; people like Willie Nelson, Tom T. Hall, and Eddie Rabbitt are prime examples. However, many don’t experience the success behind the microphone that they do behind the pen. Sometimes, it’s easy to understand why; Harlan Howard, for example, had very limited vocal abilities, but as a songwriter, he was one of the greatest, in fact arguably better than probably 90% of those writing in Nashville, today. On the other hand, there are those whose lack of singing success is a bit of a head scratcher, such as Matraca Berg.
Matraca Berg is one of the best songwriters of the past thirty years, having written or co-written numerous big hits like “Faking Love” for T. G. Sheppard/Karen Brooks; “XXX’s and OOO’s” and “Wrong Side Of Memphis” for Trisha Yearwood; Reba’s classic “The Last One To Know”; and Deana Carter’s hit “Strawberry Wine”. She was even inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame well before her fiftieth birthday, even! But as a singer, for some reason she didn’t have the success that I, along with many others, think she should have.
A great alto voice that is strong, maybe just a bit bluesy. To try to compare her to someone, I really can’t think of anyone that has her style.
She is the voice behind today’s Single Of The Day, “Baby, Walk On”, a song she also co-wrote. “Baby, Walk On” was her first single release, after joining the RCA label. Recorded in early Spring, 1990, and released later in the Spring, the record debuted on the Country 40 in mid-July, but spent only three weeks, there, peaking at thirty-six.
The record is up tempo, leans towards country-pop, though a good bit of fiddle and steel are heard. I’ve always felt that this should have been at least a top 20 hit. It’s got good lyrics, a good hook, even Emmylou Harris assisting with the background vocals. Why it didn’t catch on more than it did? I don’t know. A very good record, though, that still deserving of spins.
Join me for The World Famous Ultimate Twang, every Thursday at 4p ET (3 Central, 2 Mountain, 1 Pacific) on WSFM-LPFM/AshevilleFM. We’re heard worldwide in several formats. Locally in Asheville, at 103.3FM, or worldwide on the AshevilleFM website, or on ITunes or TuneIn. And if you can’t join in for the live version, the archived version becomes available the next morning, where you can listen to it, anytime, over the next week. That is found on the Ultimate Twang page on the AshevilleFM website.
Categories: Single Of The Day Tags: AshevilleFM, Baby Walk On, Country Music, Deana Carter, Eddie Rabbitt, Emmylou Harris, Faking Love, Harlan Howard, Karen Brooks, Matraca Berg, RCA Records, Reba McEntire, songwriters, Strawberry Wine, T. G. Sheppard, The Last One To Know, Tom T. Hall, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Wrong Side Of Memphis, XXX's and OOO's
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable or in the CD player. Today’s Single Of The Day is one of eighty-three Country 40 appearances for the legendary Willie Nelson. “Good Times” actually charted twice, the first time in 1968, but fell short of the Country 40. The second time, it fared better, climbing as high as twenty-five in August, 1981.
When Willie Nelson became hot property, following “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”, RCA Records began reissuing his works, trying to take advantage of his success. And it worked, as between 1975 and 1981, ten singles from Willie’s RCA years were charting alongside his Columbia releases.
“Good Times”, in my opinion, was one of Willie’s more underrated singles, a ballad telling a life story that is looked back on, fondly.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where today’s Single Of The Day is a 1970’s cover of one of the most iconic records ever made. “Crazy”, the Willie Nelson composed song that Patsy Cline turned into an iconic part of country music, a record that surely has to rank as one of the ten greatest, ever. When a song enjoys that high of a status, it’s always at least slightly risky for someone to later, do a cover.
In late 1976, though, Linda Ronstadt did just that. Linda was enjoying steady success on both the country and the pop charts, often times releasing a single with a country sound on one side and a pop/rock sound on the flip. This case wasn’t different, as one side, “Someone To Lay Down Beside Me”, was pitched to Top 40 and Adult Contemporary stations, while “Crazy” was worked at country radio by Asylum Records. In this case, “Crazy” turned out to be the more successful side, as it’s flip failed to crack the Top 40, while peaking just inside the AC top 30. “Crazy”, on the other hand, caught the attention of country radio and it’s listeners, and became her fourth top ten hit, as it peaked at six in early 1977.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable. Today, we look back at one of the many hits of Willie Nelson, a single that was the second Lefty Frizzell hit that Willie would also score with.
The story of Willie Nelson is well known; his incredible songwriting talents, but also his years of struggle to become a singing star, that finally culminated with his breakthrough Red-Headed Stranger album, featuring his first number one single, “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”. One year later, Willie was back on top, this time with a remake of the Lefty Frizzell classic “If You’ve Got The Money, I’ve Got The Time”. Fast forward another two years, to August, 1977, and once again, Willie calls on a Lefty classic, this time “I Love You A Thousand Ways”. Taken from his Lefty Frizzell tribute album, To Lefty From Willie, the song, ironically, was Lefty’s second chart single, and second number one hit, as well as the flip side to his first of each, “If You’ve Got The Money, I’ve Got The Time”.
Willie’s version made it’s debut in August, climbing the charts to as high as nine, by early Fall. Performed in that standard Nelson style of that era, where his guitar is nearly as prominent as his voice. It was an amazing sound, so different than anything else on the radio. And if you listen close, you can tell the Frizzell influence on Willie, on this track.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.