Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie celebrates an anniversary in country music..

Fifty-six years ago this week, Patsy Cline released the song she may be best known for, her performance of a beautiful ballad called “Crazy” by a little known songwriter named Willie Nelson.

Willie had written the song earlier that year — 1961 — as he worked as a journeyman singer-songwriter in Nashville. He originally intended the song for country singer Billy Walker, who turned it down because, he said, it was “a girl’s song.” Uh, bad move, Billy.

Anyway, the story goes that Willie was hanging out in a bar called Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge near the Grand Ole Opry and put his own rendition of “Crazy” on the jukebox. One night Patsy Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick, heard it and wanted it for Patsy. He and Willie proceeded to get drunk together, then Charlie drove home, and, while Willie hunkered down in the car, Charlie pitched it to Patsy.

“Crazy” became the No. 2 country hit that year, and, because of its genre-bending nature, it has been covered by various artists over the years, from Neil Young and Elvis Costello to Chaka Khan and Kenny Rogers.

Here’s Michelle and Doug’s take on this great American songbook standard from last night’s rehearsal. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a tune that’s been with us for more than 40 years.

If a band is around long enough, it has its own legends and legacies, treasures and heirlooms in the form of stories and especially songs. Among The Flood’s old gold is the Irish tune called “Star of the County Down,” which Joe Dobbs brought to us, oh gosh, more than 40 years ago.

Now, Joe had a special version of it, slower and more stately than it is usually rendered, and with a curious variation in the traditional melody. Back in the 1970s, Joe taught it to Roger Samples, and Rog taught it to Dave and Charlie, and over the decades the song — Joe’s version of it — has been learned and re-learned by new generations of Floodsters.

Well, of course, Joe and Roger are gone now, but “Star of the Country Down” is still very much with us, as evidenced here at last night’s rehearsal, when Doug, Paul, Randy and Charlie revisited the Joe Dobbs classic. Click to hear the tune.