Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stan Hitchcock: Country Music "Musicologist"

Stan Hitchcock
(Image from Hitchcock Country)

On December 22nd, I posted an entry on David Lynn Jones -- the multitalented songwriter, singer, and musician who has become somewhat of a hermit in recent years -- and in that post, I linked to a video on You Tube that has David Lynn playing and singing his song "When Times Were Good, and You Were Mine," accompanied on guitar by Stan Hitchcock.

In that blog entry, I wrote:
Meanwhile, I found a video at You Tube of Jones playing a piece with country musician Stan Hitchcock in the latter 1980s, I think, for Stan Hitchcock's Heart to Heart show on Country Music Television.
Well, I was wrong about the date, for Stan Hitchcock himself visited my blog and courteously corrected my errant speculation in the course of saying several complimentary things about David Lynn Jones:
Jeff, I've been in music professionally for 50 years in 2009 and David Lynn Jones is the single most talented artists/songwriters I've ever had the pleasure to sit across a guitar with. David and I became friends back in the 80's when I was running CMT and I had a show called "Stan Hitchcock's Heart to Heart". The particular cut you are offering, from You Tube, is from a Heart to Heart that David and I did in Branson, MO in 1994 and one of my very favorites. He's got so much music in him that somehow we need to get more of it out for the world to enjoy. Thanks for offering this clip of "Stan Hitchcock's Heart to Heart" and may your gypsy wanderings be good. From one Ozark Mountain boy to another, Best Wishes on the New Year.
Flattered that my little blog should receive such attention, I replied:
Stan, it's an honor for me to welcome you here in your visit to my little Hillbilly-Gypsy blog.

I never would have expected this, but thank you for dropping in and clarifying the date of the video: 1994. I happened to see David Lynn that year, I believe, in my brother John's church in Viola.

A year later, I got married to my wife Sun-Ae in an old church not far from David Lynn's Bexar place, and we played his "Nightingale Waltz" on a cassette during the wedding feast there in the church.

On the way back to Salem, my hometown, we stopped at 'The Alamo' to speak with David Lynn, who was a bit embarrassed when we told him that we'd played his song at our wedding.

Anyway, a Happy New Year to you, too, and thanks again for the visit.
David Lynn's embarrassment, by the way, might stem from the fact that "Nightingale Waltz" is a song about a failed relationship and therefore not particularly auspicious for the occasion of a wedding. I would post the lyrics, but I don't have them perfectly in my memory, my brother John has the cassette with him back in our Ozark hometown, and I can't find the lyrics anywhere online. If any of my readers has the lyrics to "Nightingale Waltz" (from David Lynn's 1994 album, Play by Ear), then feel free to post them in a comment.

At any rate, Stan Hitchcock read my response to his comment and left a reply:
Good to visit with you. You have an interesting site and life. I was raised on a farm around Pleasant Hope, Missouri and moved to Nashville in 1962. Ozark blood runs true and always pulls you back home.
It certainly does exert that pull. Much of my blog has been devoted to Ozark memories, so much so that my non-hillbilly readers might find some of these blog entries difficult to identify with.

Similarly, some people might not appreciate country music. My high school math teacher, Mr. Jim Scott, who grew up in Chicago but fell in love with the Ozarks, married into an Ozark family, and made the Ozarks his home, doesn't care for country music. I once asked him -- since he'd been something of a cowboy in his younger days -- if he ever listened to country music. "Not if I can help it," he replied. And that's okay, nobody's forced to like it (though it seems that Jim's cowboy buddies may have forced him to listen to it).

However, if you like country music, or wonder what all the hollerin' is about, then try a visit to Stan Hitchcock's website, which informs us:
This is the official site for Stan Hitchcock, a country "musicologist" noted for his hit recordings in the 60's, his syndicated television shows in the 70's and his three cable television networks from the 80's to present: CMT, Americana Television Network and currently BlueHighways TV. Stan has been both a participant and an observer of this music industry over a fifty year span; traveling with the greats, singing at the top, making stars on television and discovering new paths for the music makers and their art.
The man also has his own blog there and demonstrates a quirky sense of humor:
Well, we been having a drought in Tennessee for the past couple of years so my pasture on our Deshea Creek farm is not what it should be. Denise tends her flowers, and they been doing allright, getting watered and all, but my pasture’s bout gone. Been having to buy hay for my horses pretty early. I feed good quality grass hay in big old round bales, fresh cut by one of our neighbors, Troy Patterson. Well I hauled the first couple of bales and set them out in the horse pasture and figured that ought to last my three horses for awhile. Dang, bout a week later they were going through that hay like a whole herd of hungry horses were at it. Few days later it was almost gone. I couldn't believe it. Yeah, my three horses are pretty fat, but no way they could go through hay that fast. Well, I went to pick up some more hay and sit it out in the field, this time with four big round bales. About ten that night, with a full moon shining, I went outside to kinda check things out. Real quiet I walked up to the rail fence and looked out where I had put the bales in the horse pasture. Yep, there was my three horses with their heads in the hay alright, but it was them twenty or so deer forming a semi circle around the hay that were having a field day with my hay. Them dern horses had been inviting every deer in the county to come over and chow down with them. Well, I don’t begrudge the horses having friends over for a social evening, after all they’re just being neighborly and that's a good thing.
That's right -- it is a good thing, so be neighborly and drop in on Stan sometime for music and stories.

UPDATE: Stan Hitchcock has the original of his Heart to Heart video with David Lynn Jones singing "When Times Were Good, and You Were Mine" on the Blue Highways website with better quality in its sound and its image.

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At 8:10 PM, Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

usually you can find the lyrics to a song by googling "lyrics song title" but you are the only hit for that string!

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I tried various things, even looking for audio online . . . to no avail.

I guess that I'm unique.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

Jefferey:, here are the lyrics. Happy New Year.


I knew a young maiden that time had forgotten
She lived in a cottage in mayberry wood
I wrote her a song, she called the sun
She wanted to sing it but she never could

Oh she lay me down by the river and wash my hair in the cool waterfall
And all God’s children would come gather round us
and we would all dance to the nightingale waltz.

She planted her flowers in the shade of the window
I played my piano in Mayberry wood
She sewed me a jacket with everyday patches
I tried to wear it but I never could.


-Larry Saidman

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Larry, I thought that you might be able to supply them.

The lady referred to in the song was a woman from Germany -- if I recall rightly, from Europe, anyhow -- whom David Lynn met in Houston and was with for a while.

She had idealized, 'Romanticized' notions of life, love, everything -- in a sort of chivalric, courtly Mayberry, USA -- and the relationship just couldn't quite work.

She made him a patchwork coat, I think, but he couldn't wear it.

I may be wrong on some of the details, but perhaps my brother John will correct errant points.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:43 AM, Blogger Dev said...

There are some really great Branson shows to see if you are ever in the area.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dev Hoang, your 'blog' reads a bit like an advertisement for Brandon, Missouri.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:49 AM, Blogger Gay Clary said...

I just recently discovered David Lynn Jones (thanks to my brother-Randy) who caught an old clip of Heart to Heart on GAC, glad he did!! We've been burning up YouTube listening to "When Times Were Good and You Were Mine" awesome!!! I would like to purchase his CD if anyone can tell me where to find it.??? I also have another brother-Mark who writes some good songs-Wish I could get him some connections-Any help please contact me.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Gay Clary, you might do a search on this blog for "David Lynn Jones" and read those entries along with the comments to see if you can find any contacts.

As for purchasing CDs, have you tried Amazon? I know that they sell some . . . or have sold some in the past.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:13 AM, Blogger Rachel Suddarth said...

I just saw this post on my father in law. I am glad to see there are people out there that still appericate his wonderful music.

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks. There are such people, probably a lot of them. Thanks for visiting.

Jeffery Hodges

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