Monday, February 20, 2017

Jeremy Toombs writes

Some Say Some Days

are harder

I say a day is a day
busy or still
                between sun rises
do 10,000 things
do sit
all the same

bit shit
bit of shine
hang the washing on the line
Willie playing Blue Eyes

I sleep well for being tired
I wake well for having slept

a tooth hurts
sun slips down the street
                through autumn leaves
 Image result for willie blue eyes
 Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain 3-- Laur Iduc


  1. Fred Rose (who also wrote as "Floyd Jenkins") was a musician, songwriter, and music publishing executive. As a teenager in Chicago he worked in bars busking for tips and then worked in vaudeville. His first hit as a songwriter was performed by Sophie Tucker, one of the most popular of the vaudeville stars. For awhile he hosted a radio show in Nashville, Tennessee, but moved to New York and began co-writing with Ray Whitley, a singing cowboy in the movies who had written "Back In the Saddle Again." In 1942 Rose returned to Tennessee and, with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff, created the first Nashville-based music publishing company, Acuff-Rose Music. The firm was almost immediately successful, particularly with the enormous hits of client Hank Williams (many of which were written by Rose); Rose and Williams were two of the three charter inductees in the Country Music Hall of Fame when it opened in 1961. In 1947 Acuff recorded Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," which was subsequently recorded by many country singers including Williams in 1951, Ferlin Husky in 1959, and Conway Twitty in 1970. But it was Willie Nelson's 1975 treatment of the song that become the most iconic.

    In the twilight glow I see her
    Blue eyes crying in the rain
    When we kissed goodbye and parted
    I knew we'd never meet again

    Love is like a dying ember
    And only memories remain
    And through the ages I'll remember
    Blue eyes crying in the rain

    Some day when we meet up yonder
    We'll stroll hand in hand again
    In a land that knows no parting
    Blue eyes crying in the rain

  2. Nelson began writing songs at 7 and performing at 10, and led the Bohemian Polka band as a teenager in the 1940s. In 1954, while hosting "The Western Express" on KCNC in Fort Worth, Texas, he played Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith's "Tale of the Red Headed Stranger" (written for Perry Como by Edith Lindeman, the entertainment editor of Virginia's "Richmond Times-Dispatch," and Carl Stutz, a musician who worked as an accountant and high school mathematics teacher, but Como was unable to record it due to a publishing dispute) and sometimes sang the song himself. In 1958 he tried to sell some of his own songs to Larry Butler, the house band singer at the Esquire Ballroom in Houston, Texas; Butler declined but loaned him $50 to rent an apartment and gave him a job singing at the club; he also worked as a radio disc jockey and guitar instructor and wrote two unsuccessful singles for Pappy Daily's D Records. In 1960 he wrote "Night Life," but Daily did not think the song was country, so Nelson sold it to Paul Buskirk, his boss at the music school, in order to pay for the mastering of the song at Gold Star Studios. Daily threatened to sue Nelson if he pressed the song, since he was still under contract to D; Nelson and Buskirk then took the tape to Bill Holford's ACA Studios to master the recording as "Nite Life," which was released by Rx Records as by "Paul Buskirk and the Little Men featuring Hugh Nelson" (Willie's middle name). That year Ray Price bought the song but did not record it until 1963.

  3. After trying with other labels as a singer, Nelson concentrated on writing; his "Family Bible" (which he had also sold to Buskirk) became a hit for Claude Gray in 1960. Then Nelson moved to Nashville; Hank Cochran, a songwriter for Pamper Music (owned by Price and Hal Smith), persuaded his employers to use the money from a raise owed to Cochran to hire Nelson. With some help from a friend named Oliver English, Nelson wrote a jazz-pop ballad with country overtones and a complex melody entitled "Crazy" in early 1961 for Billy Walker, who turned it down but recorded Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away;" it only reached No. 23 on Billboard's country singles chart but helped establish Walker's national reputation. Roy Drusky, who the previous year had turned down "I Fall to Pieces" (written by Cochran and Harlan Howard), which became Patsy Cline's first number-one hit on the Country charts, also passed on "Crazy." Then Nelson pitched it to Charlie Dick at a bar in Nashville, who took the demo home for Cline, his wife; she disliked the way Nelson spoke the lyrics ahead of and behind the beat but agreed to record it her way; it spent 21 weeks on the music charts. Nelson's first hit as a songwriter, though, was "Hello Walls," recorded earlier the same year by Faron Young; it spent 23 weeks on the charts. As a sort of consolation prize, Walker recorded Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away," but it only reached No. 23 on Billboard's country singles chart. Joe Allison was hired by Liberty Records to create a country music department, and he signed Nelson to his first recording contract. His 1962 debut album "...And Then I Wrote" included all three his 1961 hits and "Touch Me," which reached number 7 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles; a duet with Shirley Collie also made it into the top 10 in 1962. Although as a performer he approached the top 20 once in a while, it would be another decade before he returned to the top 10. Then Nelson went to work for Monument Records and wrote "Pretty Paper," which became a hit for Roy Orbison in 1963. That year Price recorded "Night Life" and took it to No. 28; when Johnny Paycheck quit Price's band, the Cherokee Cowboys, Nelson was hired to play bass. In 1964 he signed with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1965.

  4. When Nelson refused to sign an early extension of his contract with RCA in 1972, the label decided not to release any further recordings by him, so he "retired" from the music busness and moved to Austin, Texas, where he began performing again for the hippies at the Armadillo World Headquarters. In 1973 he Atlantic's first country artist, at $25,000 per-year; his "Shotgun Willie" album, which included Doug Sahm, Waylon Jennings, and Jessi Colter, helped establish the outlaw country genre. He followed up with "Phases and Stages," one of the first concept albums in country music. These albums led to Columbia Records giving him complete creative control. At his wife's suggestion, he decided to make a new Western concept album based on "The Red Headed Stranger," consisting mostly of music written by others with a storyline and additional songs by Nelson. Engineer Phil York, an acquaintance of Nelson's harmonicist Mickey Raphael, offered Nelson a day of free recording at Autumn Sound Studios in Garland, Texas, to boost the studio's celebrity. After deciding to record there, Nelson and his band started to improvise on Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." Disliking the result, Nelson decided to strip down the instrumentation and ordered York to undo the equalization on the tracks already recorded. With sparse arrangements, mainly just Nelson's acoustic guitar accompanied by his sister on piano, with drums, mandolin, and Raphael on harmonica, the recording took five days and an additional day for mixing, costing only $4,000 in studio costs. (Altogether, the album only cost $20,000 to produce and promote.) It reached number one on the Billboard chart for Top Country Albums and stayed 43 weeks on the Top LPs & Tapes chart. "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" released in advance of the album, became Nelson's first number one hit as a singer and the third-best selling single of the year. Elvis Presley recorded it in February 1976, the last known song he sang before his death on August 16, 1977.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?