9/5/08

if that ain't country

Real country is heart and grit and sweat and illegal liquor in mason jars. Sinnin' on Saturday night and repenting on Sunday morning and, either way, having faith that you'll be forgiven in the sweet by and by. Country songs can tell a story or mourn a loss or just sound damn good picked out on a backporch while we all drink beers and stomp our feet.

Now, I'm not talking about that twang pop bullshit you see in videos on CMT these days. No frosted hair, booty bassline Trashville throwawauy crap. I'm talking about Johnny and June singing "Far Side Banks Of Jordan" and bringing tears to your eyes and raising goosebumps on your arms (And I'll be waiting on the far side banks of Jordan/I'll be waiting drawing pictures in the sand/And when I see you coming, I will rise up with a shout/And come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand.). And I mean Dolly and Merle and, hell, even sketchy fuckers like David Allen Coe have had their moments.

We here in Tallahassee are blessed enough to get the best of both the old and the new on a real radio station, the kind not programmed by test groups or DJed by computers. WGWD, 93.3 FM, Classic Country, turns 20 this month. You can even listen online if you ain't from here. They play everything from bluegrass to country gospel, and their DJs even still do some of the ads ("Now, when you get on down to Quincy, you need to go ahead and stop by that country buffet..."). It's the real deal, and that's in short supply.

(And in case you're curious, that photo is of Red Foley, Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl and Hank Williams, Sr. hitting Europe back in the day.)

15 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

You are right. Mr. Moon loves that station.
And I can't believe you quoted those lines from the Banks of Jordan song. I weep every time I hear it.
Nice one.

B.E. Earl said...

I ain't a country guy, but I love me some Johnny Cash and some Patsy Cline. Hell yeah.

downtown guy said...

Mama: It's one of my favorites. That and V89. I just can't take canned DJs usually.

BE: Two of the greats. Do you like Loretta Lynn?

Zil said...

The music is good, but those commercials read by the DJs are my favorite thing about that station.

downtown guy said...

There's a sort of artless art to it that always makes me happy.

B.E. Earl said...

I'm learning to appreciate Loretta Lynn because my girlfriend is a fan. I turned her on to Patsy and she turned me on to Loretta.

Fair trade.

tallycast said...

I like that WGWD has a library of local music. Every winter, I call the station and ask them to play something from the Doug Gauss Christmas album. Of course, Doug's only (so far) album is not a holiday disc, but I figure if I keep asking for it, maybe he'll record one.

My favorite on-air WGWD person is Trooper Jim, but my favorite program is the Sunday morning Gospel hour.

downtown guy said...

BE: Very fair indeed.

tallycast: My favorite way to listen to the Sunday gospel is riding back to my house from Lloyd in the late afternoon along Buck Lake road. Something about that drive and "Take Your Shoes Off Moses" just go together.

tallycast said...

By the way, it's not the Carter Family version, but you can download a free mp3 of the Far Side Banks of Jordan by the Michigan group, the Gardners, at http://www.ucalldatmusic.com/farlyrics.htm

downtown guy said...

Thanks! The Allison Krauss version is pretty good, too.

EDP said...

So you're saying you don't like Sugarland? :-)

downtown guy said...

Is that a band? Or a location? I could dig it if it was like a big island made of candy, maybe. For a little while.

TallyCast said...

It's a band but I didn't know they covered this tune. Here's the list of all the bands that Amazon carries who have covered this song:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_dmusic?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=far+side+banks+of+jordan&x=0&y=0

white rabbit said...

Okayyyyyyyyyy - I'm old enough to be impressed at the thought 'I'm listening live to this in London' :D

downtown guy said...

Without a doubt, one of the better uses of modern technology.