Country music can be a hard place for women. Lyrics have women being drowned in rivers, abandoned as whores, or obsessed over as angels-in-the-flesh. In response to the systemic misogyny of popular country music, we give you this playlist that celebrates “putting the cunt back in country.”
You borrowed my favorite dress
I borrowed your best perfume
We’re looking good, I guess
We’ve turned every head in the room
But the best thing I’ve ever seen,
Is looking at you
And girl, I’d give anything
To be in your shoes
‘Cause I’d love to be out of your shoes tonight
To be the one turnin’ him on
When he turns out the light
Under your skin
Lyin’ with him
When he holds you tight
I’d love to be out of your shoes tonight
George Morgan, the father of country singer Lorrie Morgan, was well known in the 1950s and 1960s for blending the instrumentation of hillbilly music with the pop crooning not unlike that seen with Mel Torme and Bing Crosby. Morgan was a human jukebox of sorts. Able to sing most popular songs of all genres. Case and point: Waltzing By The Ohio.
George Morgan - Vocals
The Owen Bradley Singers - Backup Vocals
Floyd Robinson - Guitar
Randy Hughes - Guitar 2
Tony Lane - Steel Guitar
Marvin Hughes - Piano
William Killen - Bass
(Waltzing waltzing by the Ohio)
I was waltzing by the Ohio river of dreams With the girl of my dreams in my arms And the music beautiful music was the breeze through the trees As the moonlight played over her charms
She promised to always be faithful and true But we drifted apart now I’m lonesome and blue And another is waltzing by the river of dreams With the girl of my dreams in his arms
(I was waltzing by the Ohio river of dreams With the girl of my dreams in my arms And the music beautiful music was the breeze through the trees As the moonlight played over her charms)
She promised to always be faithful and true… (Waltzing waltzing by the Ohio)
On this day in music history: August 26, 1967 - “Ode To Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks, also peaking at #8 on the R&B singles chart on October 21, 1967. Written by Bobbie Gentry, it is the biggest hit for the Mississippi born singer, songwriter and musician born Roberta Lee Streeter. The cryptic story song about a young man committing suicide for unknown reasons is an immediate smash. Recorded at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood, CA in Studio C on July 10, 1967, the track is completed in less than an hour of studio time. Arranger Jimmie Haskell adds the songs crowning touch by overdubbing violins and cellos to the spare arrangement. The unedited version runs over seven minutes and it pared down to just over four minutes. Originally issued as the B-side to her debut single “Mississippi Delta”, DJ’s very quickly favor the flip side. Entering the Hot 100 at #71 on August 5, 1967 it rockets to the top of the chart just three weeks later. The song also propels Gentry’s album (also titled “Ode To Billie Joe”) to number one for five weeks (unseating The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”), and winning her two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968. In 1976, “Billie Joe” inspires a feature film titled “Ode To Billy Joe” based on the songs story line starring Robby Benson in the title role and is produced and directed by Max Baer, Jr. (“The Beverly Hillbillies”).
The song is also widely covered by numerous artists including Howard Roberts, Cal Tjader, Tammy Wynette, Frank Sinatra & Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Donaldson, Lorrie Morgan, and Sinead O'Connor among them. As Bobby Gentry’s original version is on the R&B singles chart, it is surpassed by a competing instrumental version by King Curtis, which peaks at #6 on October 28, 1967.
“Ode To Billie Joe” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert now join the ranks of other country couples who have called it quits over the years including George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Rodney Crowell & Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill & Janis Oliver (of Sweethearts of the Rodeo), and Lorrie Morgan & Sammy Kershaw