This week: every country song tells a story and has a story behind it.
He Stopped Loving Her Today
by Devon Strolovitch and Ben Manilla (Studio 360, 2010)
He Stopped Loving Her Today, by George Jones is one of country music’s most famous tunes. It was chosen as the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year two years in a row. But this iconic tune barely made it to the recording studio. Here is the story of the song that almost wasn't.
by Stacey Abramson with Meagan Howell and David Isay (Weekend Edition, 1996)
In March of 1940, a young Woody Guthrie sat with folklorist Alan Lomax at the U.S. Department of the Interior studios for a series of oral history interviews for the Library of Congress archives. They offer a rare glimpse of Guthrie’s early music style and a frank account of his harrowing past.
by Sherre DeLys (ABC, 2009, excerpt)
In country western music, there are an awful lot of songs about love. And about heartbreak. And, of course, revenge. But there are also a surprising number of songs about Abilene. And we don’t mean Kansas.
From Sagebrush to Steppe
by Hal Cannon and Taki Telonidis (Weekend Edition, 2005)
When you think about country and folk music, you probably think of the southern or western United States, but one place you probably don’t think is: Mongolia. Nevertheless, in September of 2005 a group of American cowboy-musicians traveled to Mongolia to compare *notes* with the herder-musicians of the Mongolian steppe.
Gregory Warner Sings Johnny Cash in Afghanistan
featuring Gregory Warner
A few years ago our friend and colleague Gregory Warner traveled to Afghanistan as a reporter – not speaking the language he decided to bring his accordion as a means to connect with people through music. Then, one night, he got the chance to do just that.
This episode of Re:sound was produced by Katie Mingle.
Check out more stories from Studio 360's series on the National Recording Registry entrants.
Listen to more from Sound Portraits Productions.
See what else the Western Folklife Center is up to.
Watch a video of Gregory Warner playing his accordian in Afganistan here.
Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire," The Essential Johhny Cash (Sony, 2002)
Thurl Ravenscroft and Roberta Lee "You Wanna Talk about Texas," (more info here)
Chihei Hatakeyama, "Bonfire on the Field," Minima Moralia (Kranky, 2006)