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Friday, June 1, 2012

Soul engine still running

It's hard to believe that this guy is still making records. But he's just put out a blues recording, almost all of it new, original material. And it's pretty good!

Comments (5)

I'm a little confused about the Buddy Holly part of Dion's website, because it's slightly different from the Waylon Jennings biography that I'm reading right now. Waylon said he gave his seat to the Big Bopper because the Big Bopper had a cold, and that when Buddy Holly found out about it, Buddy said to Waylon that he hoped the tour bus froze and Waylon Jennings' last words to Buddy Holly were, "I hope your plane crashes." Jennings said he struggled with that for a long time. Incidentally, there is a priceless picture of a young Waylon Jennings and Buddy Hall in a photo booth, that shows they were friends. It's a classic.

Dion writes:

"A national sensation, they toured extensively and were co-headliners on the 1959 Winter Dance Party, the tour that took the lives of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. Dion was, in fact, scheduled to fly in the fateful plane that went down. The headliners flipped a coin to see who was going to fly. The Big Bopper and Dion won the toss. Then he discovered that the flight would cost $36 -- the exact amount of rent his parents paid monthly. He said, “I couldn't bring myself to pay a full month's rent on a short flight. So I said, ‘Ritchie, you go.’ He accepted and took my seat. Only the four of us knew who was getting on that plane when we left the dressing room that night. Of those four, I was the only one who survived beyond February 3, 1959.”

I guess a certain myth-making would take hold. The detail about his parent's rent seems like one of those little things you add to make a story more convincing. I don't know exactly what to believe about that night, but I do know one thing: Jennings goes into details about earlier dates, and the promoters screwed the Buddy Holly tour big-time. How about a decent bus with a heater that works for the band?

And it all led to the Day the Music Died.

Your post peaked my interest. I love blues artists. Never heard of this CD so I went to Music Millennium to get a copy. I only buy all my music there. When I move to Clackamas County it is going to be a twenty five mile trip, but I will support them. Anyway, I put it in my car stereo and liked it. To be honest though, it is kind of generic blues fare. Yes Dion is talented, but somehow it just didn’t hit the guttural blues chord for me. It just seemed kind of bland. That explains why my wife likes it. We never agree on music. I am not really putting it down, it is worth the eleven bucks I paid for it, but I have heard better. Sure, I am an old curmudgeon. I miss the Friday Freeway Blues program on KMHD before OPB took over the station. You know the original blues artists - the real thing, and having a Blitz Shorty while listening to my favorite LP’s.

He's not going to make anybody throw out their Muddy Waters records, but hey -- he's still writing good songs and singing pretty well at age 72. Plus, he's not really a blues artist, and so he's stretching out his repertoire. Ya gotta like that. A lot of people his age are mailing it in at this point.

It's like I'd like to see Springsteen make a straight country and western album. It wouldn't be like listening to Waylon Jennings, but it would be well worth listening to.

Am I crazy or is Waylon Jennings awesome? Of course there are parts of the book that are brutal. Them country boys loved their pills, but to get a nice 10 page description of working with Chet Atkins, etc... is...well, invaluable.

I want to dwell on the cherished history of America and not think about the bankers anymore. My latest video flopped although it was put on a big site in India so that's hilarious.

Back to Waylon: He was getting screwed by the record companies, naturally, so he determined that RCA owed him 150,000 bucks. Their attitude was, "Come get it."

This ties in with your post about the refund check. Anyway, after the lawyers battled for a while, RCA offered to pay him half and he settled. That's when the RCA computer accidentally spit out 2 checks. Waylon and his accountant knew it was a mistake but they cashed both of them and when RCA called they said, "Come get it."

Waylon Jennings was a bad ass and he basically broke the stranglehold the Nashville establishment had on country western.

People like him, Chet Atkins and Doc Watson are the true legends of America. I'd rather read about them then derivatives any day. I'm like that one song, "I ain't going to study war no more."

Save the country.

I love Waylon. This record never lets me down:

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