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CR023/PH09 - Loneliness Surrounds: Virginia Wynette Pugh
Country music is full of rags-to-riches stories, like the one about how Virginia Wynette Pugh became Tammy Wynette. In a way, it's true. Even after becoming the most successful woman country singer at that point in history, the life she lived was hard and painful. But if you want to know what actually happened in that life then she's the last person you should ask.
CR022/PH08 - Dallas Frazier: Can't Get There From Here
Some of the best songs you've ever heard were written by Dallas Frazier. Don't recognize the name? Don't worry. You'll remember it forever after this episode, especially those of you who love Charley Pride, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Connie Smith, Charlie Rich, George Jones, The Oak Ridge Boys, Emmylou Harris, Gene Watson, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Bare, Stoney Edwards, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson...
You get the point. Here's the story.
CR021/PH07 - Pappy Daily, Gene Pitney and How George Jones Came to Be on Musicor
This whole story began with a pinball machine and jukebox mogul in Texas jumping over to the independent record business of the 1950s. When he hitched his wagon to a Singing Marine who became the Greatest Country Singer Ever, it served Pappy Daily well through the following decade. Then, out of nowhere, the ride suddenly ended. "What went wrong?" is the obvious question to ask, here, but it's not the right one. We need to talk about who went wrong. The answer nearly everyone's accepted for going on 40 years now is demonstrably untrue but we can only learn the truth through a deep dive on the country music record industry of the 1960s and by taking a look at how the careers of 2 international pop stars built a throne for The King of Broken Hearts.
CR020/PH06 - All to Pieces: George Jones, Phase II
In the early 1960s, George Jones had a huge hit record featuring such a phenomenal vocal performance it instantly turned him into a living legend. He didn't handle it well.
CR019/PH05 - Wandering Soul: George Jones, Starday Recording Artist
There are some personalities who would embrace being called The Greatest Country Singer Ever or, at least, settle into the role once it became clear the brand was eternal. George Jones did not have one of those personalities. The fame and fortune generated by his talent made him want to run away, so he spent decades running... toward something even worse than what he was trying to escape.
Was there ever a chance of this story playing out any differently? Probably not, no. But what in the hell even happened here? Our search for answers takes us back to Texas for one Singing Marine's perspective on what it was like when lightning started flashing and thunder started clashing as he took the country music world by storm.
CR018/PH04 - White Lightning
In North Carolina, way back in the hills, there's a centuries-old tradition of cooking illegal liquor. Whether you feel that's right or wrong, good or bad, may be determined by any number of factors but the objective truth is moonshine whiskey greatly impacted the course of United States culture on several occasions. Ever wonder why so many people will never trust the government or politicians? Press play. Ever wonder if the "moonshine" you can now buy in liquor stores is really moonshine? Press play. "White Lightning" was George Jones' first #1 country record, sure, but it's also the cork in a jug of profoundly strong history.
Bobbi Gentry episode
This is a brilliant meditation on fame and a loving exploration of an artist's work. Genius!
I love music. I am also an avid consumer of history and music pod casts. This is the best pod cast in any genre I have ever heard. I am literally an addict.
Please keep going. I would love to hear your take on the Outlaw Movement of the 70s. I think you have access to some pretty solid primary sources…
God’s speed, Amigo
Don from South Texas
The Louvin Brothers
I love your podcast. Very interesting artists in your selection. Particularly the Louvin Brothers. I cant seem to get enough details on their music and life. I am from central Louisiana and there are a couple brothers named the Whitstines who had remarkably similar voices and made it somewhat big, a couple appearances on the Grand Old Opry and a few record deals.
I would like to suggest doing a podcast on the life and music of Gary Stewart. I really enjoy listening.