…but he can’t fill my shoes” — Jerry Lee Lewis
You’d think that, living in East Tennessee, I wouldn’t take country music for granted. But driving home from Knoxville tonight I picked up the classic show from WDVX, and I could have been 20 years old again. All these songs and voices so readily identifiable, the liking of which set me apart from my peers in high school…a precursor of sorts to the rest of my life, always being different. In any case, listening to the young voices of Jerry Lee, Loretta, Merle and Buck, Conway Twitty and Marty Robbins, George Jones and Little Jimmy Dickens…I was wishing I was on a dance floor, something I haven’t thought about in a long, long time.
When I was in late high school and early college, we used to play the bars at Matagorda Bay, down along Magnolia Beach and Indianola. If I hadn’t been playing, I’d have been too young to get in. And yet, it always fell to me to sing the country stuff…Fraulein, Cheatin’ Heart, Muddy Water, Pick Me Up on Your Way Down. Low ceilings and low lights, a walking bass, cigarette smoke and juke boxes and alcohol and lonely people…damn! It just don’t get no better than that.