08 February 2007

That Lucky Old Sun

One of the exquisite pleasures of parenthood is the license to inflict one's own eccentric taste and prejudices on one's long-suffering children, and there is no doubt whatsoever in the minds of my children that country music is the new rock & roll.

Question: What do you get if you play country music backwards?
Answer: You get your wife back, your job back, your car back, your kids back, your house back...

From the Rocky Mountains to the Grand Canyon is only about 5 cm in the map in the Dorling Kindersley Guide to Middle Class USA, so last summer we didn't feed any need to get up early and it was only at lunchtime, when we realised we'd driven just 1.5 mm, that we panicked.

I'll just say one thing: without Colorado Classic Country FM, Utah Ultimate Country FM, Arizona Amazin' Country FM, and Blake Sheldon singing Austin on all three, it would have felt like a very long twelve hours drive indeed.

When I was young, I was at the receiving end of similar parental enthusiasms (how is it we play these same roles from generation to generation?) and consequently I have always known that Frankie Laine was an all-time star, a forerunner of Elvis Presley and one of the first white men to eschew 1940s crooning style and sing with soul and passion. Standing too close to the mic.

Oh, my father liked him also.

Mind you I wasn't until I was grown up, and heard other people singing the songs that he sang, that I realised many of them were actually country music. He was 93 when he died this week.

... got nothin' to do / but roll around heaven all day

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