Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"High Ridin' Heroes"

David Lynn Jones
Hard Times on Easy Street
(Image from Amazon.com)

I once mentioned a bootleg CD of gospel music played and sung by David Lynn Jones that my brother Tim told me included a musician named Jerry Bone. Yesterday, I was thinking about that CD and decided to look for Jerry Bone on the internet. I found him at Oxford, Arkansas, only a bit over ten miles from my hometown . . . well, actually, I found him on MySpace. He has an interesting bio there in which, among other things, he recalls earlier days playing music with David Lynn Jones:

Not until I was in my later years and many musical chairs down the road did I get a glimpse of what the music chase was all about. A long time friend "David Lynn Jones" landed a major record deal with polygram records after he wrote a song called "Living In the Promise Land" which was a big hit for Willie Nelson in the early 80's and also recorded later by Joe Cocker.

Jones was at the liberty of choosing his band members for an extensive tour and I was fortunate to have been chosen for the job of playing bass. From 88 till mid 90's we were on the tail wind of every popular country artist and venue during that time frame. Concerts, CMT videos, etc, I felt blessed to have played on 3 of his cd's released on the "liberty" label under the command of Jimmy Bowen. Jones's music like any music is not for everyone but he was and still is a major influence and mentor. He is a master of his craft, and I believe someday his music will be like the Mona Lisa.

Those days were experiences and opportunities I would have never had if not for his friendship and expertise. One of the many highlights of that Jones experience was working with the late great Mick Ronson during the pre-production recordings of a Jones project called "Wood Wind and Stone". We were recording in Bexar Arkansas in an old converted commissary we called the Alamo. I have a picture Of Mick Picking ticks on a hot day of what seemed like endless sessions. A real gentleman and powerful talent in every respect. His passing was a great loss. I'll try and post the tick pic soon. I have to mention that Richie Albright our road manager and producer was an inspiring force in the Jones days.
I sent Bone an email to ask if he was in fact involved in that gospel CD, but I haven't heard anything from him yet. For more on some of those days that Bone recalls, see this article "Living in the promised land," by Angelia Roberts, written for the Batesville Daily Guard (March 16, 2005).

Meanwhile, here are the lyrics to a David Lynn Jones song -- from Hard Times on Easy Street -- that you can find sung on You Tube by a country musician who calls himself "Campfire Cowboy" and does a respectable enough job:
High Ridin' Heroes

David Lynn Jones

Daylight or midnight,
red eyes and that old hat,
whiskey-spent and busted flat,
and a credit to his faults.
He's a bad risk and a good friend,
small change and loose ends,
and he only regrets that he might've been
a little faster on the draw

Hey, those old high ridin' heroes,
they're anywhere the wind blows.
He's been to hell and Texas
and he knows how it feels
to be ridin' that hot streak,
drunk on some back street,
fallin' off the wagon,
and under the wheels.

Time was, when he was king.
Now the rodeo's just an old man's dream,
and the highs are few and far between,
and the lows get the rest.
But these old hard times ain't nothin' new.
Once you've done the best you can do,
You just tip your hat to the wider blue,
Ride off to the west.

Hey, those old high ridin' heroes,
they're anywhere the wind blows.
He's been to hell and Texas
and he knows how it feels
to be ridin' that hot streak,
drunk on some back street,
fallin' off the wagon,
and under the wheels.
Bone mentioned that from 1988 to the mid-90s, the Jones band did a lot of Country Music Television videos, so there must be a lot of Jones's music recorded and stored away somewhere but that hasn't made it onto You Tube. The one video recording that I'd earlier found there, "Bonnie Jean," has been removed. Only a nonvideo recording of "Bonnie Jean" remains.

A lot of things in these hard times have just gone "fallin' off the wagon, / and under the wheels."

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6 Comments:

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Lynn Jones is a talented singer and songwriter.
He has had some hit songs of his own, as also other singers have done well with a few of his songs.
He sang at my mother's funeral, and also, I believe, at my stepfather's funeral. Archie was also David's uncle.
The last article I read was in the local paper, the Areawide Media, a weekly printed in Salem, AR a few years ago. Included was a photo of David, and it appeared he had grown a beard, his hair was no longer neatly cut, and I wonder if he has had some issues. There are rumors of drug use, but I can't confirm. If so, it is a real pity, for he has a lot of talent. He has also had marital issues.
Hopefully things have improved for David.
Cran

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I think that we all wish for David Lynn Jones to return. From the grapevine, I hear that folks are encouraging him to make a comeback, but only time will tell.

And, yes, David Lynn did sing at Granpa Archie's funeral.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I woke up singing this song one day a few weeks back, totally out of the blue. I know I haven't heard it in over twenty years. What a talented artist, too talented for Nashville it seems. He kinda got over looked and passed over back when Mercury and Ploygram where shifting around back in the day. A true lost treasure.

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, thanks for the comment. I think that Jones will be making a comeback soon.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:33 PM, Blogger Mark Lyons said...

This song came out when i was young and riding rodeo all over Canada and the U.S.. I sang it then and i sing it now. I sang it then because it was and is a great tune, i sing it now because it remind's me of my life.
great music.

mark lyons

 
At 5:49 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

It is a great song, and the theme of growing older and losing one's edge till all that's left are memories fits more than just the rodeo life.

Thanks for the comment.

Jeffery Hodges

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