A Country Music Conversation, Day 13: “Just Some Girl” to “Linda On My Mind”

A Country Music Conversation: Introduction and Index

Previous Entry: Day 12: “I’m Tryin'” to “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Day 13 features tracks from Joy Lynn White, Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Brother Phelps, and Conway Twitty.

“Just Some Girl”
Joy Lynn White

Written by Phil Lee

Joy Lynn White’s been quiet since releasing her One More Time album a few years back, and that’s a shame. She has a unique and powerful voice, and she puts it to great use on “Just Some Girl,” a requiem for the women rendered invisible by a society that devalues and debases them.

Other Favorites: “True Confessions,” “I Doubt if it Does to You,” “Why Do I Feel So Good”

“The Key to Life”
Vince Gill

Written by Vince Gill

Speaking of requiems, Vince Gill’s tribute to his late father is, for my money, an even better memorial song than his signature classic, “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” I find the simplicity and personal details of “The Key to Life” incredibly moving, as he pays tribute to the man who set him on his life’s path by teaching him a few chords on the banjo.

Other Favorites: “When I Call Your Name,” “Look at Us,” “Worlds Apart”

“Kiss Goodbye”
Little Big Town

Written by Hillary Lindsey, Steve McEwan, and Gordie Sampson

A darn near perfect ballad from Little Big Town’s missing years, before “Pontoon” launched them into their current role as the genre’s leading vocal group. It’s not a new idea – loving someone means letting them go – but its presentation here is fresh and perceptive.

Other Favorites: “Little White Church,” “Better Man,” “Girl Crush”

“Let Go”
Brother Phelps

Written by Dickie Brown

The sibling Kentucky Headhunters veterans only had this one hit, but what a hit it was. “Let Go” still holds up today as a reflective empowerment anthem. “Let Go” is more quiet nudge than loud rallying cry, and I think that makes its message more effective.

Other Favorites: “Were You Really Livin’,” “Eagle Over Angel,” “Playin’ House”

“Linda On My Mind”
Conway Twitty

Written by Conway Twitty

Conway Twitty is one of the genre’s great voices. That’s a given. Less acknowledged is his talent as a songwriter. He wrote many of his best and best-loved songs, like “Hello Darlin’,” “You’ve Never Been This Far Before,” and my personal favorite, “Linda On My Mind.” It’s very difficult to write a sympathetic cheating song from the perspective of the one doing the cheating, and to be fair, it isn’t just the songwriting that makes it work here. Twitty being the one singing it does a lot of the heavy lifting.  I really should hate this guy for what he’s doing, but Twitty’s twin talents make it impossible to do so.

Other Favorites: “You’ve Never Been This Far Before,” “I’d Love to Lay You Down,” “Tight Fittin’ Jeans”

Up Next: Day 14: “The Long Goodbye” to “Love Hurts”

13 Comments

  1. I was never a Twitty fan unless he was singing with Loretta. I loved Feelins’, After The Fire Is Gone, & Louisiana Woman Mississippi Man.

    I’ve said before that I loved the Wayne Kirkpatrick produced years of LBT – Boondocks, Bring It On Home, A Little More You, and I’m With The Band

  2. Thanks for recognizing “Kiss Goodbye,” I agree it’s their best. Also, I’d add that I think The Reason Why is their best album.

  3. @ Dave:

    What is doubly a shame is that Joy is one of those artists that can’t really be put so neatly in a box. She seems to have as much in common with the California country-rock movement as she does with Nashville (if indeed not more so) (IMHO).

  4. It looks like I have a tie for my most played Vince cuts:

    I Still Believe in You
    Tryin’ to Get Over You
    Never Alone
    Maybe Tonight

  5. Now, I have come to appreciate Vince Gill late, but better late than never. There is almost no one I would rather listen to these days. His vocals and guitar skills are nearly peerless. His current album, Down to My Last Bad Habit is just stellar and chock-full of first class sets. I regret that I missed a tour he did a year or two ago with Lyle Lovett. While it swung my way, I sometimes learn about these things too late! And Vince is a Time Jumper, too!

    Separately, Little Big Town’s current single, Better Man, has revived my appreciation for them. Some of their recent pieces I have found less than enjoyable. Also, Conway Twitty provided some of my earliest appreciation for country, particularly when he was recording and performing duets with Loretta Lynn, particularly Lousiana Woman, Mississippi Man, in the early to mid 70s. (Incidentally, Alan Jackson and Martina McBride did a great version of that song in one of Alan’s albums. How could they not have?)

  6. Vince Gill: “I Can’t Keep You in Love with Me” w Terri Clark,”One More Last Chance”, “I Can’t Tell You Why” (Common Thread), “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away”, “When I Call Your Name”

    Conway Twitty – It’s Only Make Believe

  7. It’s Only Make Believe! I can still remember listening to that on the radio at night when doing homework in junior high! Thanks for reminding me of that.

  8. I read where Conway once said the way he wrote or picked songs was based on things he knew men wanted to say to women but didn’t know how to.

  9. I love Joy Lynn White and would love to hear a new album from her. One More Time was a terrific set, and she always picks some solid cover tunes that fit well with her voice.

    My most played from this group:
    – White: “Keep This Love.” Which surprised me when I looked at my play counts. I had assumed it would be “Cold Day in July” or “Girls With Apartments in Nashville.”
    – Vince Gill: “When I Call Your Name”
    – Little Big Town: “Sober,” by just a couple of plays over “Little White Church” and “Boondocks.” I’ve also given a ton of plays to their covers of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”
    – Brother Phelps: “Let Go.” And, in case the Kentucky Headhunters don’t appear later, “Dumas Walker” is my most-played track by them.
    – Conway Twitty: “Don’t Call Him a Cowboy.”

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