Thursday, May 28, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY:Songs Tiny Taught Us

Tiny Tim from his debut album God Bless Tiny Tim

Whatever you say about Herbert Boutros Khaury, better known as Tiny Tim, you have to admit that the man knew a lot about old popular songs, especially those from the the first three or four decades of the 20th  Century.

Below are a bunch of Tiny's songs as done by the original -- or at least much earlier -- artists. All but one of the following were on Tiny's first album, God Bless Tiny Tim.

Tiny loved these tunes and so do I.

"Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" was written by a couple of guys named Al (Sherman and Lewis) for the 1930 movie, The Big Pond, which starred Maurice Chevalier. Tint Tim was exposed, so to speak, to whole new generation when his version was used in the very first episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

But Maurice did a good job too.



I once saw Ozzie Nelson sing a version of "Out on the Old Front Porch" on some late-night talk show. I think it was on Joey Bishop' show. Maybe Harriet was there too, I don't remember. But this one goes way back to at least 1913 when Billy Murray did it as a duet with Ada Jones.

Tiny of course didn't do a duet. He sang all the parts himself, including the angry father.



Tiny did a pretty warped cover of  "On the Good Ship Lollipop" on his first appearance on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.  He also recorded it for his 1969 children's album For All My Little Friends. 

The original version, of course, was by America's little friend, Shirley Temple, who sang in in her 1934 movie Bright Eyes.



Tiny reached way far back for "Then I'd Be Satisfied with Life," 1903 to be exact. It was written by George M. Cohan, the same guy who wrote "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There," This version is by S.H. Dudley.

One major change Tiny made in his version.  Dudley wants "an heiress" for his wife. But Tiny wants Tuesday Weld!



And Tiny also did a little number called "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." Here is the original, as performed by Nick Lucas, the Crooning Troubadour, in the movie Gold Diggers of Broadway.

Tiny Tim's brief brush with fame even got Lucas a spot on The Tonight Show in 1969.




Here is my Wacky Wednesday post from a few months ago about the time Camper Van Beethoven played with Tiny Tim.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Bad TV Shows, Worse Theme Songs

Before you start watching the videos of the bad television themes below, indulge me in a couple of creative musical exercises:

1) Think of the melody to "House of the Rising Sun." Now think of someone singing the Gilligan's Island theme to that melody. (Hey, it works better than "Stairway to Heaven.")

2) Now imagine The Pogues singing the theme, Shane MacGowan slurring all the lyrics,  to The Brady Bunch.

I apologize if you can't get those out of your head all day.

The point is, I'm a fan of TV themes, even, in a weird way, the bad ones. I think about them way too much.

The Too Many Cooks video that swept the Internet late last year was a wonderful satire of cheesy boob-tube theme songs, especially from the late '70s and '80s. (If you're one of the last six Americans who hasn't seen or heard this CLICK HERE.)

But here a bunch of theme songs -- from shows that mostly were flops -- that still haunt my nightmares.

First, I give you My Mother the Car, a Jerry Van Dyke vehicle (pun intended) that ran on NBC from late 1965 through the spring of 1966.

Many years ago, George R.R. Martin (sorry for the gratuitous name-dropping)  made me laugh out loud when he said that that the funniest thing about My Mother the Car was that serious men with briefcases and expensive suits at NBC had to have had several intense meetings to develop this show.

The entire premise of this clunker is explained in the theme song.



Phyllis (1975-77) has the distinction of being the worst of the Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-offs. (Hey, I liked Lou Grant!) The opening theme actually was kind of clever. But still ... Phyllis.



The mid '60s hit series Batman had one of the coolest theme songs in TV history. Written by Neal Hefti, this instrumental was covered by The Ventures and even Iggy Pop, who did a live version. But that makes the theme song of Batman's far-less successful spin- off Batgirl even more deplorable. For one thing, they gave it lyrics -- lyrics like "Are you a chick who fell in from outer space? Or are you real with a tender warm embrace?" Holy crap on a cracker, Batman!



Besides Batgirl,  Batman's success, inspired other superhero shows on network TV. NBC's answer was a bad comedy called  Captain Nice. At least Batgirl was easier to look at than this mercifully short-lived series. And the theme song was nearly as terrible.



F Troop's stereotypical treatment of Native Americans would never fly today. Just ask Adam Sandler. Of course the only people dumber than the Hekawi tribe, for the most part, are the white soldiers at Fort Courage.

I have to admit, I kind of liked this show when I was a kid. It was better than My Mother the Car anyway. Still, the mock-heroic theme song from the first season is pretty clunky.



B.J. and The Bear was an NBC comedy about a truck driver and his chimpanzee. It debuted in 1979, a year after Clint Eastwood's Every Which Way But Loose, a comedy about a truck driver and his orangutan.  (It was not a rip-off. Chimps and orangutans are completely different animals.)

And yes, the theme song sucked. "New dreams and better scenes/ And best of all I don't pay property tax," the show's leading man, Greg Evigan sang.

I don't know, but I think even Grover Norquist would rather pay property tax than to be stuck in the cab of a truck with a damned chimpanzee day in and day out.

ANd the song loses even more points when you compare it with the theme of an earlier NBC truck-drivin' comedy Movin' On, -- which was written and sung by Merle Haggard.



All parents make mistakes, but I can proudly say that I never inflicted Lamb Chop's Play-Along (PBS, 1992-97) on either of my children. But I must admit, the theme song is a showcase for one of the pioneers of Caucasian hip-hop: Shari Lewis.



And I agree with this next one. Eight IS enough of these horrible tunes.

But may you spend your Wacky Wednesday like a bright and shiny new dime!




Monday, May 25, 2015

It's True: My Podcast Has Gone to the Dogs!


THE BIG ENCHILADA



Woof! This podcast has gone to the dogs. But that's not a bad thing. I've barked up the right tree searching for howlin' good rockin' tunes.

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Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Dog Eat Dog by Brass Liberation Orchestra)
Baby I'm Your Dog by Stomping Nick & His Blues Grenade
Duct Tape Love by HeWhoCannotBeNamed
Spider and Fly by Motobunny
Say You're Sorry by The Remains
J'vais M'en J'ter un Derrière by Tony Truant & The Fleshtones
Volare by The Drifting Mines

(Background Music: Bulldog by The Fireballs)
Underdog by The Dirtbombs
Heavy Honey by Left Lane Cruiser
That's Mighty Childish by The Mummies
The Headless Flowerpot Girl by Wild Billy Chyldish 
Total Destruction of Your Mind by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Bless You by The Devil Dogs

(Background Music: Dog Breath in the Year of The Plague by The Mothers of Invention)
Deputy Dog by The Great Gaylord & The Frigss
Motor Pyscho by Rattface
Bomb Squad by Gas Huffer
Saint Dee by The Bloodhounds
You Bring Me Down by Jonny Manak & The Depressives
Hound Dog by '68 Comeback
(Background Music: Taylor's Rock by Hound Dog Taylor)

Play it below


Sunday, May 24, 2015

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

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Sunday, May 24, 2015 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
Webcasting!
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)ksfr.org

Here's the playlist below; 

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres 

After the Rain by Mission of Burma

God is a Bullet by Concrete Blonde

Goo Goo Muck by The Cramps

Miniskirt Blues by Simon Stokes

Suicide in a Bottle by Evil Idols

Baby Doll by Horror Deluxe

Don't Slander Me by Roky Erikson

Spider and Fly by Motobunny

Milkshake 'n' Honey by Sleater-Kinney

Whammy Kiss by The B-52s


Inside Looking Out by Chesterfield Kings 

Time Will Tell by Handsome Jack

Take Me to Our Place by Jonny Manak & The Depressives

Mean and Evil by Juke Joint Pimps

Total Destruction to Your Mind by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires 

Oh Wendy, Let's Stay Out All Night by The A-Bones

Do the Get Down by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Designed to Kill by James Chance

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB DYLAN

Maggie's Farm by Bob Dylan

The Wicked Messenger by The Black Keys

Thunder on the Mountain by Bob Dylan

Don't Think Twice by Mike Ness

Dignity by Bob Dylan

Every Grain of Sand by Giant Sand

Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Reprise) by Bob Dylan & The Band


That Knucklehead Stuff by Chuck E. Weiss

Borracho Mark Lanegan

That Lucky Old Sun by Bob Dylan

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, May 22, 2015

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST


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Friday, May 22, 2015 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
Webcasting! 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist below:

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Vengeance Gonna Be My Name by Slackeye Slim

Daddy Was a Preacher, Mama Was a Go-Go Girl by Southern Culture on the Skids

Hard Times by Jon Langford

Tulsa by Wayne Hancock

Trailer Mama by The Bottle Rockets

Big Ol' White Boys by Terry Allen

What Kinda Guy? by Steve Forbert

The Rubber Room by T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole


Hey Mama My Time Ain't Long / Snake Farm by Ray Wylie Hubbard 

Falling Off of the World by Chipper Thompson

Give Back the Key to My Heart by Uncle Tupelo

The Devil Ain't Lazy by Asleep At the Wheel with The Blind Boys of Alabama

Ditty Wah Ditty by Ry Cooder

Liquor and Whores by The Misery Jackals


Kansas Women by Two Ton Strap

Don't Give a Damn by Honky Tonk Hustlas

Ready to Run by Jimbo Mathus

The Hoover Farm Exorcism by The Imperial Rooster

The Road Goes On Forever by The Highwaymen

Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes by The Rizdales

I'll Be There (If Ever You Want Me) by John Fogerty

There's No Fool Like an Old Fool by Ray Price

The Genitalia of a Fool by Cornell Hurd with Justin Trevino

 

Legend in My Time by Don Walser

Train of Life by Merle Haggard

When Two Worlds Collide by Roger Miller

The Last Kind Words by David Johansen & The Harry Smiths

Geeshie by The Mekons

Dying Breed by Allison Moorer

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets


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TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Ray Wylie Hubbard's Bad-Ass Folkie Blues

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
May 22, 2015


Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Twitter feed (@raywylie) isn’t anywhere as essential as his music, but it’s often pretty entertaining. Early in May, after some ticket agency apparently had referred to him as a “country” singer, Hubbard tweeted, “i ain’t country..use ‘cool ol low down dead thumb groove badass folkie halfass blues poet with a young rockin band’ instead.”

That tweet could be read as a darn good self-evaluation of his latest record, The Ruffian’s Misfortune. Once again, Hubbard has given the world a swampy, blues-soaked collection of tunes in which, in his trademark Okie drawl, he tells stories of sin and salvation; gods and devils; women who light candles to the “Black Madonna;” undertakers who look like crows (“red-eyed and dressed in black”); and hot-wiring cars in Oklahoma.

And I wasn’t kidding about “essential.” Somehow in the last decade or so, Hubbard has clawed his way from being an interesting survivor of the early-’70s-Texas-cosmic-cowboy scene to one of the most important unsung songwriters in the music biz today. And I don’t say that lightly. Last time I reviewed one of Ray Wylie’s albums, I said, “Hubbard’s albums of the last 10 years are even more consistently brilliant than Tom Waits’ output since the turn of the century.”

That’s still true. And Ray Wylie is more prolific than Waits, too.

He’s using the same basic band he’s used on his last few albums, including his son Lucas Hubbard on guitar, George Reiff on bass, and Rick Richards on drums. Together they’ve crafted a distinctive sound, and, like Hubbard himself, they keep getting better.

Hubbard grabs you by the throat immediately in “All Loose Things,” the first song on The Ruffian’s Misfortune. Raw guitar chords explode over a harsh drum beat. Then Hubbard begins to sing, though he’s giving voice to a blackbird looking down on pitiful humans: “Storm is comin’, rain’s about. To fall/Ain’t no shelter ’round here for these children at all. ... Now the dirt is splatterin’ it’s turning into mud/Erasing all traces of broken bones and blood/All loose things end up being washed away.”

Hubbard with son Lucas at 2012 SXSW
Listening to Hubbard, you might start to get the feeling that, like some grizzled oracle, he’s gently imparting secrets of the universe. At the start of the song “Hey, Mama, My Time Ain’t Long,” he sings matter-of-factly, “Now children let me tell you about the songs a bluesman sings/Comes from a woman’s moans and the squeak of guitar strings/Some say it’s the devil jingling the coins in his pocket/I say it sounds more like a pistol when you cock it.”

Hubbard name-checks some of his rock ’n’ roll forbearers — the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top – in “Bad on Fords,” a song he co-wrote with country star Ronnie Dunn -- and previously recorded by Sammy Hagar.

He’s trying to convince some “pretty thing” to go on some crazy joyride from Abilene to L.A. “We’ll stop at The Sands in Vegas and bet it all on black 29,” he sings.

The song “Down by The River” is a frenzied tune that might remind you of James McMurtry’s “Choctaw Bingo.” Hubbard’s tune is about a bunch of El Paso kids crossing the Santa Fe Bridge into Juárez to “sip a little poison.” Violence lurks everywhere – gunfire, bloodstains, those crowlike undertakers burying bodies down by the river.
Sister Rosetta

He’s basically describing a real-life hell in that song. But in a later song, “Barefoot in Heaven,” Hubbard sings of the other place, “where there ain’t no end of days.” The groove is similar to some long-lost Pops Staples tune. But the lyrics speak of another gospel titan: “When I get to Heaven, all the preachers tell me, I get a halo, some wings and a harp/That’s well and good, but what I want to hear is Sister Rosetta Tharpe.”

Two of the songs here are named for Hubbard’s blues heroes. “Mr. Musselwhite’s Blues” tells the story of harmonica shaman Charlie Musselwhite and how he was born in Mississippi and moved to Chicago, where Little Walter himself bestowed a harp on him. Musselwhite even gets some advice for the lovelorn from Big Joe Williams. “Big Joe said, ‘I’ve seen that woman, and Charlie, you’re better off with the blues.”

Then there’s “Jessie Mae,” a slow groover about the late Ms. Hemphill. “Every time you sing, black angels dance,” Hubbard sings. Praising her guitar style, he notes Hemphill had that “dead thumb groove” he admires, “like hammerin’ nails/On the low E string.”

Undoubtedly there’s a little bit of Jessie Mae Hemphill in the singer with the “short dress, torn stockings” who is subject of “Chick Singer, Badass Rocking.” Hubbard probably sounds a little lecherous here, but even if that’s so, it’s far outweighed by the sheer admiration he has for this unnamed belter, carrying on a sacred American tradition at her midnight gig at some dive.

Hubbard wouldn’t look that great in a short skirt and torn stockings, but he’s carrying on a noble tradition himself.


Check out these videos:

Here's one with an authentic chick singer/badass rocker



And here's another song from The Ruffian's Misfortune, performed with the co-writer Jonathan Tyler.



And making his debut on The Stephen W. Terrell (Music) Blog, I give you Mr. Sammy Hagar




Correction: The earlier version of this incorrectly called my favorite James McMurtry song as "Cherokee Bingo." The real title is "Choctaw Bingo." Sorry, wrong tribe. It's been corrected in the text.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Did You Ever Hear That Coffin Sound?

Last week when eulogizing B.B. King, I included "See That My My Grave Is Kept Clean," the title song, sort of, from his final studio album. It's a song known by at least three names -- the one King used; "Two White Horses," and "One Kind Favor" -- which was the actual title of King's last album.

Blind Lemon Jefferson, a bluesman from Texas, recorded the song  in 1928, but I first heard it in the version by Canned Heat. The song, part of Heat's 1968 album Living the Blues, wasn't a huge hit. But it was the flip side of "Going Up The Country," which probably was their biggest hit. They played it on KVSF here in Santa Fe ever so often and I liked it right off.

But I didn't really get into it until the early '70s, when, as a college kid  I started making trips to Juarez, Mexico with my buddies. it was always on the jukebox at El Submarino nightclub, and I always played it several times as my friends an I sat there loading up on 35-cent margaritas. The crazy energy of the song -- not to mention the fatalistic, somewhat morbid lyrics with strange images of white horses coffin sounds and graves in need of cleaning -- seemed to capture the Juarez spirit of those happier times.

Blind Lemon died two years after recording "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." But the song is allive and well. Blind Lemon's version was included on Harry Smith's more-than-influential Anthology of Folk Music in 1952.

Even before then, it was recorded by a bunch of other blues artists including fellow Texan Lightnin' Hopkins, Furry Lewis and Mississippi Fred McDowell. And it keeps popping up in the realms of folk, rock, soul and the blues.

Here are some of the better versions of the song. Let's start with Mr. Jefferson's:



Bob Dylan, whose career owes a lot to Harry Smith's Anthology, was one of several folk revivalists who recorded it. His fiery version of  "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" was on his first album. (Notice on this one, the two white horses aren't just "in a line" as in most renditions of the song. In Dylan's, the white horses are "following me.")



Dylan's version inspired this electric rendition by The Dream Syndicate in 1988.



Lou Reed performed a growling, menacing take on the tune at a Harry Smith tribute concert in 2001.



Mavis Staples did it in the "Lightning in a Bottle" concert at Radio City Music Hall in 2003



Also in the early part of the century, folkie Geoff Muldaur (a former member of Jim Kweskin's Jug Band), recorded a haunting two-part saga in which he and some pals take literally Blind Lemon's odd request.



(Part II is on Spotify)



But still the best version of "One Kind Favor" is the version that brought the boogie to El Submarino. Viva Canned Heat!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Let There Be BBQ!


There was so much rain in Santa Fe last weekend, I hate to think how many would-be  BBQers were discouraged. So I'm going to try to work a little magic here and try to appease the rain gods with some great songs about barbecue.

The art of barbecue has been linked to American music since the early part of the last century.

In 1927 Louis Armstrong & The Hot Five recorded a tune called "Struttin' with some BBQ." But as the Onion A/V Club pointed out a couple of years ago, Satch's song probably wasn't about pork ribs. Cab Calloway's Jive Dictionary defines "barbecue" as "the girl friend, a beauty."

Also in 1927, one of the first musicians to sing about smoked meat was an Atlanta bluesman named Robert Lincoln, a chef in a high-class BBQ joint who recorded under the name Barbecue Bob. His very first record, recorded in 1927 was called "Barbecue Blues."

But I prefer another Barbecue Bob song recorded in the same session, "It Won't Be Long Now," credited to Barbeque Bob and Laughing Charley (Charley Hicks, Bob's older brother.)

Jas Obrecht,  editor for Guitar Player magazine for 20 years and the founding editor of Pure Guitar magazine, writes that the song "began with a spoken dialog about Bob’s job as a barbecue chef; this was pure minstrel shuck-and-jive. This was also the first record to feature Charley’s signature laughter. It was an old shtick dating back at least to George W. Johnson’s 'Laughing Song' cylinders of the 1890s, but it was a good way to get Charlie’s name out there. Near the end of the song, the brothers sang a verse in unison."

"Shuck and jive" or not, I've always loved this dialogue, how Bob tries to explain his cooking technique ("I'm makin; it good and juicy. That's the way people like it these days, you know with gravy runnin' out") before the conversation turns to their women who have left them. ("Same dog that bit you must have snapped at me ...")

And thus, barbecue forever became intertwined with the blues, with the smoke blowing over into the fields of jazz, country, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll.

So here's a Spotify playlist of BBQ songs, beginning and ending with Barbecue Bob -- and a lot in between: Satch, ZZ Top, Mojo Nixon, Lucille Bogan, Pere Ubu and more.

So hear these songs, gods of rain, and let there be some sunshine, at least for the coming weekend.

And to you, the reader: If you get the chance to grill outside Saturday or Sunday, be sure to play this then.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST


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Sunday, May 17, 2015 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
Webcasting!
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)ksfr.org

Here's the playlist below

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres 


Daddy Rockin' Strong by The Dirtbombs

Heavy Honey by Left Lane Cruiser

Save the Planet by The Sonics

Amazons and Coyotes by Simon Stokes

She's the Bad One by The Rezillos

Funeral by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

The Crab-Grass Baby by Frank Zappa

You Don't Love Me Yet by Roky Erikson

The Strip Polka by The Andrews Sisters


Shake Me by Motobunny

Mo' Hair by The Hickoids

Old Folks Boogie by Jack Oblivian

Watching My Baby by The Reigning Sound

Die in the Summertime by Manic Street Preachers

Crackpot Baby by L7

Rock 'n' Roll Murder by Leaving Trains


B.B. King Tribute: All songs by B.B. King

Please Love Me

Paying the Cost to Be the Boss

Saturday Night Fish Fry

Old Time Religion

Early Every Morning

How Blue Can You Get?

Three O'Clock Blues with Bobby "Blue" Bland

When Love Comes to Town


Who Stole the Kishka by The Polkaholics

My Shadow by Jay Reatard

You're the Only One, Delores by Cub Koda

Little Rug Bug by NRBQ

To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey

Port of Amsterdam by David Bowie

Precious Lord by B.B. King


CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, May 15, 2015

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST


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Friday, May 15, 2015 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
Webcasting! 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist below:

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Angel Along the Tracks by The Dirt Daubers

Banana Pudding by Southern Culture on the Skids

Mr. Musselwhite's Blues by Ray Wylie Hubbard

Walk It By Myself by Blonde Boy Grunt & The Groans

A Box of Grass by Buck Jones

Rest of Our Lives by Mike Ness

Golden Grease by The Banditos


The Union Dues Blues by Chipper Thompson

Lookout Mountain by Bobby Bare

The Lonely Room by The Revelers

Oooeeoooeeooo by 6 String Drag

Dreaming Cowboy by Sally Timms

Reprimand by Joe West

Jam Bowl Liar by Homer & Jethro


The Kicked Me Out of the Band by Commander Cody 

Big Fake Boobs by The Beaumonts

Third Rate Romance by The Amazing Rhythm Aces

Shit Happens by The Lonesome Heroes

Mary Mack by Al Duvall

I Miss My Boyfriend by Folk Uke with Shooter Jennings

Half Broke Horse by Eilen Jewell

Honey You Had Me Fooled by The Defibulators

The Rubber Room by Porter Wagoner


Sam's Place by Buck Owens

Satan's  Jewled Crown by The Louvin Brothers

Perfect Stranger by Eleni Mandell

Man About Town by Tony Gilkyson

You've Never Been This Far Before by Freakwater

Old Rugged Cross by Jim Kweskin

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets


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Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list