I always enjoy our ‘special feature’ posts — you know, like Anatomy Of A Song and Fantastic Foursome — because they’re a change of pace from our usual stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with our regular posts, but I think it’s good to have a breath of fresh air once in a while. With that in mind, I thought I’d inaugurate a new feature, one that might at first resemble Anatomy Of A Song, but has an important difference.
I’ve been thinking about country music, and how I always dismissed it as twangy hillbilly stuff when I was young, but then gradually began to appreciate it in its many varieties (including the twangy kind). So I got to thinking, would it be possible for me to present an example of a classic song that could act as a catalyst and convert a few of those who have always shrugged off country music? Can I get them to respond to the cleverly constructed melodies, appreciate the often poignant poetry of the lyrics, and be wowed by the pure talent and artistry of the performers?
A good starting point might be Willie Nelson, who has not only been a much-loved performer for many years but also a songwriter for the ages. One of his earliest songs became a monster hit for country crooner Faron Young, but Willie’s own version is pretty darn good too. See what you think.