Sunday, March 26, 2006

Two Losses

You know, the first real memories I have are from when I was about 3-4. And some of those early memories are of music. We were living in San Gabriel and I can remember being crazy about Perry Como about that time. I loved "Hot Diggity" and "Catch a Falling Star". I loved "Stardust". Mother says I was partial to Bing Crosby. I do recall "Swing on a Star", so I suppose she's right, as much as I would like to deny it.

When we moved to Oak Hill, my music tastes broadened a little, thanks to my father taking a membership in a record club. We acquired a nice stereo system and a collection of country music. My new favorite singer was Marty Robbins, but we had a variety of country artists in our collection and I listened to them all. I can remember one of my favorite songs from way back then was "You Don't Know Me".

I don't know why or how I learned that the song was written by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker, but I know that I knew that fact at an early point in my life. I probably liked the fact that one of my favorite songs was written by another Cindy and I was always interested when I saw her name show up beside songs through the years. I've mentioned before that I read album notes and her name turns up quite frequently. She penned hits for almost everybody.

I was really sad to read of her death this week. She was a gifted songwriter, born and bred in Texas. I'll always be thankful especially for "You Don't Know Me", my 3rd favorite song of all time. (Right behind "Greensleeves" and "Unchained Melody".)

No sooner than I adjusted to that loss came the news of the passing of Buck Owens. For true honky tonkin' music, you can't do much better than ole Buck. We had one of his first albums with "My Heart Skips a Beat" and "Together Again" and some lesser known songs like "Ain't it Amazin' Gracie" and "Hello, Trouble". I bought that album again as soon as it was released on CD and it's always a good choice when you need a little bouncy, good humor music.

And for all that folks like to look down their noses and sneer about the "Hee Haw" years, I defy you to watch a rerun of that show and not laugh. Several times.

The lights of Music City Row have dimmed this week. Two of the brightest have gone out.

Cindy Walker was born July 20, 1918 in Mart, Texas. She was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997. She died March 23, 2006, at the age of 87.

Buck Owens was born August 12, 1929, in Sherman, Texas. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. He died March 24, 2006, at the age of 76.


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