I can’t remember where it was now; was it driving through Hillsboro or off Granny White somewhere or on the way out towards Lebanon but it was in Nashville. I was told by my friends that if I listened to WSM (somethings sound better on AM) I would hear more things that I liked. They weren’t wrong. Loretta, Hank Snow, George Jones – always George – then it came as a real surprise – Leapy Lee’s Little Arrows. The thing is I didn’t associate it with country music at all. It had been a hit here in 1968 and it was one of 5 records that were not by Herp Albert and the Tijuana Brass that were played at Tannadice.
Tannadice? OK the home of The Terrors – Dundee United. It was on these terraces where
I first remember Leapy getting heavy rotation. He shared the half-time spotlight with Blue
Mink and well…..Herp. The Spanish Flea was a big favourite.
Why do I share all this I hear you patiently ask. Last Friday my good buddy Mr Perkin Warbeck and myself headed up to Dundee to join in the celebrations of The Centenary of the greatest team in Scotland, Dundee United…did I just say Scotland? Heck – The World.
It was a great night – I enclose my photograph with John “Holty” Holt. (footballers always go for the whacky when it comes to nicknames. The night was hosted by esteemed BBC Scotland Legend (Sir) Brian Taylor…I’m sure that knighthood’s in the post somewhere Brian, and (Dame) Lorraine Kelly. I was there to do a wee turn after the pudding and the highlight of the night was hanging with Andy Rolland – one of our best full-backs ever. When I told Andy that I remembered the day he got called up to the Scottish League side
(he was the first United player to be given that honour) he told how he’d not wanted to go
as he would miss a club game for which he’s have been paid six times more.
If Leapy was playing then Andy was the guy nearest the wall at the foot of the terracing
sending in some scorching shots and crosses from the wing in the warm-up. We would be leaning on a leany barrier (the idea that they were there to prevent crushing never occurred to us) taking in Jerry Kerr’s column and being distracted by an advert for Rum called “The Abbot’s Choice.”
Where did I start? Leapy Lee on WSM – The Legend. There on the i65 or somewhere I was back at Tannadice. Music has the power to take you back and it’s that power and potency that makes us all chase the song, wait for hours for a show to start or stop the car
and turn back round and go another way.
There’s lots of the latter kind this week. We celebrate Bruce Springsteen’s birthday by playing you some great Americana covers of Jersey Devil songs. We can tell you – if you haven’t already guessed, who came top on the Americana Awards night and we also have a really lovely session from Richmond Fontaine. The song The Boyfriends is now firmly camped in my own top-ten songs of the year. I might get that list more coherently together and even get a chance to play it for you at some point.
John “Holty” Holt and a hanger-on.