One of those great country titles that says it all upfront.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of those country titles that carries an entire song. The melody here lands just shy of memorable, and ditto to the story, which never takes its characters deeper than their charming first encounter at the jukebox. (Instead it does that annoying second-verse thing where it just rephrases the chorus and spells out a few obvious inferences the listener has already made.)
Though his career lasted about two years and ended tragically more than 50 years ago, Buddy Holly continues to impact and influence the music world. Part of it is his mystique: unlike many of his contemporaries, Holly never grew old, never had a scandal derail his career and never found himself wasting away on some oldies circuit. He’s the eternally young, energetic, slightly geeky-looking rock & roller with the hiccup in his voice and a Fender Stratocaster in his hands.
Mystique only goes so far, though. Holly left behind a strong collection of songs that have aged extremely well – mainly because they’re constantly being reinvented. His songs have been covered by hundreds of singers, across every music genre imaginable. Just this year alone, in commemoration of his 75th birthday, Buddy Holly tribute albums have featured both of the surviving Beatles, Lyle Lovett, Florence + The Machine, My Morning Jacket, Cee Lo Green and Justin Townes Earle.
Add to that mix Words of Love: Songs of Buddy Holly by Nashville’s Paul Burch. Much like the way Holly’s music has a timeless quality, Burch’s combination of classic country, blues and rock & roll has its roots in the 1950s and ’60s but never sounds dated. Beginning with 1998’s Pan-American Flash through 2009’s Still Your Man, Burch has released a series of critically acclaimed albums and recorded with luminaries such as Ralph Stanley and Mark Knopfler.
1996 | #28
In the years after the release of Shania’s runaway success of an album The Woman In Me, she largely focused her creative efforts on relentlessly positive upbeat pop-country material, rarely delivering sorrowful country ballads.
But in listening to the ballads included on The Woman In Me, it’s easy to wish that Shania had offered a few more such efforts in following years. Country heartbreak was not a style that she did often, but it was definitely something that she could do well.
He’s best known for his handful of big hits for RCA in the late fifties and early sixties, but Hank Locklin’s career stretched more than a decade in both directions.
A leg injury at the age of eight was the first significant event in his musical career, as he picked up the guitar during his recovery and its lingering effects later exempted him from service in World War II. While he didn’t finish high school, he did win a talent contest at the age of eighteen, which led to a spot on local radio stations in panhandle Florida and the surrounding states.
Over jaunty acoustic guitar strums, Shania Twain reflectively sings, “Am I dreamin’ or stupid? I think I’ve been hit by Cupid, but no one needs to know right now.”
While that first stanza reasonably acknowledges that something might be amiss, Twain matter-of-factly plows ahead to reveal all the plans that she’s been making regarding the future with the special someone that she’s found, which includes the intimate details of wedding plans, kids and even pets.
Their fraternal harmonies saturated stations across the radio dial in the fifties and early sixties, and today they’re best remembered as founders of both rock and country music as we know it.
Brothers Don and Phil Everly were born two years apart in the late thirties, and grew up listening to music that transitioned out of the depression and into the second world war. Their father, Ike, was a traveling musician and had his own radio show out of Shenandoah, Iowa.