Commander Cody & His lost Planet Airmen in a rare Live performance of their hit Hot Rod Lincoln from 1974. Yet another inductee into our Country-Rock Hall of Fame and a worthy addition to the Classic Country Blog.
The band’s style mixed country, rock ‘n’ roll, Western swing, rockabilly, and jump blues together on a foundation of boogie-woogie piano. It was among the first country-rock bands to take its cues less from folk-rock and blugrass and more from barroom country of the Ernest Tubb and Ray Price style. A pioneer in incorporating Western swing into its music, the band became known for marathon live shows.
Well now you can’t get much more Country than Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse. I remember watching this bizarre cartoon and loving it when I was a kid in the early 60s. Upon closer inspection, it really does look strange. Mushmouse wears a vest and hillbilly hat and no pants and his girlfriend wears only a skirt. Now I know that clothing standards among anthropomorphic cartoon characters is optional and when worn certainly follows no standard and while the pantless thing mirrors Donal Duck, the topless look for the Mini-Mouse wannabe looks really, really strange. Hmmm. Maybe she worked at the local strip joint.
Perhaps the only known video of Jimmy Driftwood, author of Battle Of New Orleans and the Tennessee Stud. An American icon. I can hear as much Leadbelly in his playing as Country. Going back to the roots of American music.
Jimmy on his Dobro
A cautionary tune from Linden, New Jersey’s Regal Records’ short-lived subsid R.F.D. by Mr. Sunshine, Marijuana, The Devil’s Flower! R.F.D. started in 1951 and then shut down the same year to allow Regal to concentrate on their R&B roster. T’wasn’t often a Country artist ventured into Mary Jane songs.
If only Willie Nelson had heard this, imagine all the weed that could have been made into rope instead…
The Tennessee Rambers (Hartman’s Heart Breakers) were an American Country and Western swing band that originally consisted of Dick Hartman (1898–1962) on mandolin and vocals, Harry Blair on guitar and vocals, Kenneth Wolfe on fiddle, and Cecil Campbell on banjo and steel guitar. Hartman formed the band in 1928 to perform on Pittsburgh radio station KDKA. In 1934, the band moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, which remained their base for most of the band’s lifespan.
By the time the Tennessee Ramblers made their first recording for Bluebird Records in 1935, they had added bassist Fred Morris, fiddler Elmer Warren, and a novelty musician named Jack Gillette. The band performed in the 1936 motion picture Ride Ranger Ride and the 1937 film The Yodelin’ Kid from Pine Ridge, both starring Gene Autry. Although Hartman left the group in 1938, the band continued performing under the leadership of Gillette. They appeared in several films in the early 1940s, including Tex Ritter’s The Pioneers in 1941.
In 1949, Harry Blair retired, leaving Campbell as the last remaining original member. Campbell continued using the band’s name, however, until the 1980s.
Okay, so I’m a little slow. I’ve just discovered the Drive-By Truckers. Hilarious, serious, tragic and brilliant. I wish I’d written these songs. These guys are what Country Music should have evolved into, not those phony steroid drugstore cowboys and plastic Pop queen wannabes who’ve taken over the business.
This reminds that my cousins used to hunt Javelinas in the mountains north of Phoenix, Arizona. Nasty, dangerous animals, but tasty I’m told. You know you’re living in the country when the pigs come to visit. FYI, Javelinas are also known as skunk pigs. No wonder they’re so damn mean.
It’s true, I lived in the desert outside Phoenix, Arizona in Apache Junction in the 1970s without an air conditioner. I did have a Swamp Cooler, a.k.a. Evaporative Cooler. In fact, we didn’t even have a full roof unit like the one in the video, but rather a small, window unit that barely cooled one room. In my opinion, it acclimated you to the heat much better than AC.
You don’t get much Country-er than that.