I’m wearing long johns and a swimsuit coverup and just read chapter two of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book on mindfulness and stress reduction. I have a roast in the slow cooker, it’s six degrees outside (feels like -6) and I just walked to Tom Thumb for soy sauce and that sauce you can’t pronounce so I can make some beef jerky. I was gonna go to the gym, but guess what. Never mind. I’d rather stay in the house cooking and drying meat and listening to records, and I’m totally letting my dog sleep on quilts on the couch because fuck it. Record Roulette Rules, in case you missed them:

  • Pull record at random from shelves.
  • Listen to it front to back, even when it’s (oh hey, I like all of ’em I pulled today!).
  • Then do it over again.

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town – (Kenny Rogers &) The First Edition (1969)

Kenny Rogers LOL. God I love this band, and I love this song, no matter who’s singing it – Roger Miller, Janis Joplin, Waylon, Kris, etc. When I was younger, one of my friends was trying to convince me that Kenny Rogers was in this band called First Edition before he was Kenny Rogers of Dolly & Kenny and I was like “Whatever! That was Bobby Brown!” He just shook his head.

Chains / Another Saturday Night – Buddy Alan (Owens) (1975)

Okay, so this song (“Cowboy Convention”) isn’t on Buddy’s 1975 album, but on a collaboration he did with his dad’s sideman, Don Rich, five years earlier. But this video clip goes a long way in proving just how goofy Buddy is. Goofier (looking) than his dad? Not quite, though I imagine he might have had his dad beat while still in the throes of puberty not many years before. By the way, this song is very offensive, even when you try to convince yourself that it is not, as evidenced by the fact that it almost got my ass kicked at the Schooner a couple years ago. (Sorry. I was definitely in the wrong, there, and this song is definitely offensive.) Buddy’s ma is Bonnie Owens, who would act the part of singing partner and ex-wife to both Buck Owens and Merle Haggard before her death. Though both his parents have passed on, Buddy still performs occasionally at his dad’s Bakersfield nightclub, The Crystal Palace, fronting dad’s old band the Buckaroos. My husband and I traveled all the way to Bakersfield to see them two years ago almost to today’s date, only to find they’d been bumped to accommodate some touring yahoo whose name I don’t now remember. He didn’t impress us, but the chicken fried steak and daiquiris sure did.

bakersfield

Pistol Packin’ Mama Al Dexter (1961)

This album was released in 1961, though the title song was first recorded as a single during WWII, when it became the first Number One on the Juke Box Folk Records (later Hot Country Songs) Chart. Dexter is one of the first country artists to use the term “honky tonk” in a song (“Honky Tonk Blues”) and a pioneer in the sub-genre, having no doubt found inspiration while running his own club, the Round-Up, in Longview, Texas during the 1930s. And this song laid the way for many a Miranda Lambert/Carrie Underwood jilted lover song to follow. She kicked out my windshield, she hit me over the head./She cussed and cried, and said I lied and wished that I was dead./Lay that pistol down babe, lay that pistol down/Pistol Packin’ Mama, lay that pistol down./Drinkin’ beer in a cabaret, and dancing with a blonde/Until one night she shot out the light, Bang! That blonde was gone.

Folksy George Hamilton IV (1967)

George Hamilton IV looks like the nicest grandpa, and he’s one of those guys who’s looked like someone’s nice grandpa since he was young enough to be someone’s grandkid (ostensibly, that of George Hamilton I), if that makes sense. No? Shrug.

Burlap & Satin – Dolly Parton (1983)

 
Dolly: “For my upcoming album, I’d really like to cover that old Hank Locklin tune. I love that song.”
Producer: “I don’t know, Dolly, that’s a pretty old song. Don’t you think it’s a little dated?”
Dolly: “Oh honey. You just leave it to me! I’ll make it timeless.”

(Conversation that just happened between Dolly Parton and her producer in 1983, in my head.) This album also featured a song that was made into Dolly’s first ever music video. Also not dated. At all.