Over Christmas and New Year, when we were all enjoying being inside on any given day, the Ross family endured that festive old chestnut, the central heating breakdown. I suppose if it’s going to happen it’s never going to be July, but when it’s been out for three weeks and (thankfully) power has been restored, you’ll forgive me for a little meteorological diversion.
One of the things you do when you have no heating is to check out how it’s all playing out for everyone else. The iPhone weather app (unreliable as it may be) is good for a quick glance at how the rest of the world is faring. I couldn’t help but notice that Music City, Tennessee was enduring a fairly cold winter. I’ve never been in Nashville between November and February so I’ve no way of knowing how cold it gets but people have told me a few stories. Over Christmas temperatures were regularly around -6 and I’d imagine there were one or two folk over there taking badly with, what is most of the year, a fairly benign climate.
The legendary Hank Williams car ride from Alabama to West Virginia over New Year 1953 took him from the relatively warmth of the southern state through to Chattanooga Tn. where the snow made Hank change his plans and try to get a flight to his destination. Alas, that flight got cancelled and 29 year old Hank Williams died in the rear seat of his Cadillac. It’s a dark and lonely story from the depths of the winter which always makes me think the south must look and feel a whole lot different in the months around the turn of the year.
This Tuesday we’ll welcome back a man who knows. Our Nashville correspondent Bill DeMain will be joining us to tell us how the holidays and the winter has been for him. I happen to know it’s not stopped Bill getting out and about and picking up all the best stories from our Country Capital. Here’s how the Mother Church of Country Music, The Ryman Auditorium looks when the snow is falling over Nashville.
We’ll also get a chance to play you some new names from 2018. Listen out for records by Ruby Boots, Tyler Childs and Ferris & Sylvester as well as the return of old friends Anderson East, Margo Price and Rodney Crowell. We’ll have some gorgeous harmonies, some fine pickers and some Americana blues and soul in our two hours on air.
By Tuesday evening there’s a very good chance that you will be listening somewhere with snow on the ground as it’s going to get cold in Scotland over the next 24 hours. So listen in to hear about how they do things in Twang Town when the weather gets cold and if it really is as wintry as they say it’s going to get, our selection of artists and songs will guaranteed to light a little fire in your heart.
It all starts at five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening. Join me if you can.