Sunday, July 28, 2013

Someone I’d never heard of

The Sunday-evening program “The Big Broadcast”,  NPR’s token sop to middle-aged white males,  tonight offered something unusual:   A country song, and not from the radio-drama 1940’s ff. fare  that forms the bulk of the show:  “The Ballad of Forty Dollars”, by Tom. T. Hall.

Here is an album version:


(1)  This is one more example (if more were needed) of why Rock&Roll is for adolescents;  Country, for adults.
(2)  I have spent the weekend  immersed in reading and thinking about German history and literature from the onset of the Great War  through Weimar.   Not at all in the mood for anything shallower than that.   Yet,  this song is surely as deep and as meaningful  as anything that Tucholsky  ever wrote.
(3)  It is depressing, to sample the effusions of some potentate or bigwig, which turn out to be worthless.  Yet such instances as this, more than compensate:  People you have never heard of, who are absolutely worth listening to. 
You mostly won’t find them on the vertical power-structure of television -- or, if so, buried in peripheral glitz -- but (if at all) horizontally, through friends-of-friends;  which is why I bother to post this, though I know  less  than do any one of you,  about this man.

[Update 29 July]  A couple of you were incredulous that I had never heard of this man.
This is probably connected with the fact that I have spent the past fifty years residing on a remote region of Saturn,
where reception is poor.

1 comment:

  1. Tom T. Hall could count Jimmy Carter as a fan.
    The album which has the above song also has several others with punchlines. Probably the reason he was not a great deal more popular is that his songs often have a bite -- a sort of mean edge to them.
    He also wrote this.