Name dropping is very funny. We’ve all done it…even Brian Wilson, when performing Smile, liked to introduce God Only Knows by telling us, ‘Paul McCartney says this is his favourite song of all time.’ Mind you, who wouldn’t use that one if it fell in their lap?
Sometimes names come into conversations and you really have to find out why so many people are talking about someone. Richard Murdoch (my esteemed producer) and I returned from Nashville a few years ago saying to ourselves, we need to do some more digging about Jerry Reed, because every other conversation that week seemed to mention him. Similarly, from my earliest investigations into country, I have found people would always talk in hallowed terms about Mickey Newbury. When his name was mentioned it was as if a musical halo had appeared. Like Jimmy Webb and Tom T Hall or Boudleax and Felice Bryant there was something quite unique about Mr Newbury.
As a matter of course I did my own exploration as I only knew the most famous Mickey Newbury song which is always used to explain him….Elvis Presley‘s American Trilogy. I had never fully known what I felt about this anthem as it had been murdered so badly so many times in so many clubs in Scotland I felt I had to find a new way of listening. It was a pleasant surprise to hear Marty Stuart‘s drummer’s (Harry Stinson) brilliant re-interpretation one beautiful night at his late night Ryman show. To this end I went back and listened to Newbury’s own version of American Trilogy and found it as thrilling and poignant as Handsome Harry’s on that warm June evening in the Ryman.
I say all this because last week we heard news from Music City that Gretchen Peters has recorded an album of Mickey Newbury songs from which she has released the first cut. You can get a chance to hear ‘The Night You Wrote That Song‘ this Tuesday evening.
That may well be enough to tune in for but, believe me, there’s so much more. Live on this week’s Another Country we’ll tell you how to be in the audience for our C2C conversations. You can be at arms length from Luke Combs, Tanya Tucker, Tenille Townes, The Cadillac Three, Old Dominion, Old Crow Medicine Show, Runaway June and…… Darius Rucker! But only if you listen in.We’ll also have splendid new things from Willie Nelson, Lily Hiatt, Samantha Crain and Dan Auerbach’s latest addition to EasyEye Records, Marcus King. There’s so much to enjoy this week you’ll need to join us live. We’re on BBC Radio Scotland FM from five past eight this coming Tuesday evening