Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tribute to 60's Country Music Legends: Henri Gann

Here's Henri Gann again, writing from California USA, as he remembers the country classics. According to him many of these great C/W singers are now gone.  He names each singer and song as he goes along.

Thank you Henri.

My Tribute to the Country Music Legends of the 60's

Singapore music in the 60's had its share of American Country Music as many of its hits also made it to the Pop Charts. The recent news on television about
Glen Campbell's wife reveals singer can no longer play guitar (March 20, 2017)
makes me pause to think of the Country Music Stars of yesteryear. And in doing so I found many of the country greats are no longer here with us. 

Whenever I hear about Glenn Campbell, I instantly hear the fine guitar rhythm of his song, "Gentle On My Mind" and his singing of "Rhinestone Cowboy", "Wichita Lineman" and " Galveston". Believe it or not, these were songs popularly requested in the 60s. 

In those days, Rediffusion and Radio Singapore were our primary source of music entertainment and teens either called or wrote in to the station to request songs they wanted to hear. There were hits like "Fraulein" by the late Bobby Helmes  ( 1997 ), "Gone" by the late Ferlin Husky ( 2011 ), "King of the Road" by the late Roger Miller ( 1992 ) and "A White Sport Coat and A Pink Carnation", " Don't Worry About Me" and "El Paso" by the late Marty Robbins ( 1982 ) ; and they all made  it to the weekly charts. 

In later years, it was the late Johnny Horton ( 1960 ) who made it to the most requested list of songs with his "North to Alaska", " The Battle of New Orleans" and " Sink the Bismark."

The other country songs I remember were mostly those from my brother's vast record collection. These were hits of Eddy Arnold ( 2008 ) " Welcome to My World" ; from the late Jim Reeves ( 1964 )  "He'll Have to Go" and the late Don Gibson's ( 2003 ) " Lonesome Me " and "Sea of Heartbreak"; and the late Tammy Wynette ( 1998 ) " Stand By Your Man"; Charley Pride " Kiss An Angel Good Morning " and the late Jack Greene's ( 2013 ).

Then: "There Goes My Everything"; from Leroy Van Dyke "Walk On By"  and by Bill Andersen "Still "; and the late Johnny Cash ( 2003 ) "Ring of Fire " and  Freddie Fender ( 2096 ), "Before The Next Teardrop Falls"; and, the late Skeeter Davis ( 2004 ) "The End of the World " and by Willie Nelson " Always On My Mind"; and finally the late Patsy Cline ( 1963 ) "I Fall to Pieces " and the King of all Country Stars the late George Jones ( 2013 ) " He Stopped Loving Her Today."

When I left Singapore for America, the country pieces that helped me adjust to life away from home were " Abilene" by the late George Hamilton IV ( 2014 ), "500 Miles Away from Home " and  "Detroit City" by Bobby Bare. The lyrics of "Detroit City" really hit home for me when I was homesick. 

Upon my first return to Singapore in 1980 which was about fifteen years after I had left home, my brother took us (the Trekkers) to Shangrila Hotel where Matthew and the Mandarins were performing. They played an impressive version of Johnny Horton's "North to Alaska" and Del Shannon's "Runaway" which brought back many fond memories of Singapore in the 60's.

Here's my Spotify list of the Country Music of Yesteryears that I like to share with you and my new discovery of Freddie Fender singing " Matilda" , a song the Trekkers played at the Town Convent Girls' School now known as CHIJMES. 
Publication and Images: Henri Gann.


Henri Gann said...

Thanks Andy ! Just Memories of the Great Classic Country Stars to share. Remember to listen to my Spotify music to get that old country music feeling of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

Henri Gann said...

Here's one to listen to if you are ever away from home on a new venture and feeling homesick :)
Detroit City
Bobby Bare
Last night I went to sleep in Detroit City
I dreamed about them cotton fields of home
I dreamed about my mother, dear old pappy, sister and brother
And I dreamed about the girl who's been waitin' for so long
I want to go home
I want to go home
Oh, how I want to go home
Home folks think I'm big in Detroit City
From the letters that I write they think I'm just fine, yes they do
But by day I make the cars and by night I make the bars
If only they could read between the lines
‘cause you know I rode a freight train north to Detroit City
And after all these years I find I've just been wastin' my time
You know what I'm gonna do?
I'm gonna take my foolish pride
Get it on a southbound freight and let it ride
I'm gonna… Full lyrics on Google Play Music

Ron Hoo said...

Dear Henri,
You are truly amazing with your knowledge about music, esp The Country and Western music. Your research and hard work must have cost you lots of money, time and patience. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
When I grew up in Singapore, I enjoyed listening to all these wonderful songs and music on the radio and Rediffusion. I did not even know nor seen images of all those great music stars, such as Glenn Campbell, Jim Reeves, Johny Cash, etc.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Ron,

It must have cost him a lot of money for 'research' if he had used his working hours but since he's retired he probably used his time when he had to take our his folks out and replaced it by oogling and googling.

It is a sacrifice, not for him but for his family.😀

Henri Gann said...

Hi Ron
A surprise to see you on Andys blog. You are an amazing person too having the same humor as when I last saw you over half a century ago. Yes, it has been that long ! Little did Andy know that his blog is where one find lost friends. For me its also a place to destress. I'll make it a point to try and see you next year in UK if I don't see you in Singapore before than. Thanks again Andy for a great blog.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Many band boys and girls have found their long lost friends through this blog Henri. A few living in Perth are now in touch with others here. Lately Canadian connections too, and not forgetting two from the U.K. and even a few from Indonesia.

One Malaysian and another Canadian friend managed to contact me too but most have asked for anonymity. And I am glad.

A few wanted personal connections and phone numbers but I could not agree to such a request.

I have found the most I think. And I am glad. I hope you are too.

Thank you all.

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks to the following for liking post
Peter Lim
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Mohammed Ali
Davychandavy Chan
James Seah
Leonard De Cotta
Ivor Lesslar
Ann Rowena Lim
Patrick Chng
John Cher
Linda de Mello

Henri Gann said...

Hi Henri,

Well written and accurate account of the music of the 60s which all of us grew up with Rediffusion and Radio Singapore.

Looking at all the songs you have singled out, amazingly they are my favourites and I still remember them and some of the lyrics. Funnily we can remember our favourite songs but time and again, we forget simple things.

Lawrence Koh

Henri Gann said...

Glenn Campbell released his final studio album "Adios" on June 9, 2017, 6 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The songs were recorded in 2013 following his "Goodbye" tour.
The album has my all time Glenn's favorite
Everybody's Talkin' , Funny How Time Slips Away with Willie Nelson and my George Jones favorite She Thinks I Still Care.

Henri Gann said...

Hi Andy...
Thought I share these with your blog readers.
I have to admit that the old country music had one of the most beautiful lyrics.
Here's 2 others that had helped me through my homesick years when I
first came to America :).

500 miles away from home - bobby bare.

" ...I'm 500 miles away from home
Teardrops fell on momma's note
When I read the things she wrote
She said we miss you son we love you come on home "

Abilene - george hamilton iv

" ...Abilene, Abilene,
Prettiest town I've ever seen
Women there don't treat you mean
In Abilene, my Abilene
I sit alone most every night
Watch those trains pull out of sight
Don't I wish they were carrying me
Back to Abilene, my Abilene "

Good listening on my Spotify playlist !

Henri Gann said...

A Tribute to Glenn Campbell on CBS News tonite...
"Glenn Campbell is Country Music first crossover star. He was a natural with the guitar even at age 4.
He was the most sought after guitarist in the 60s. In 1963 alone, he played as a session guitarist for almost 600 cuts with other artiste. He also played with the Beach Boys when Brian Wilson took time off for 6 months.
In 1967, his solo career took off with By the Time I Get to Phoenix. He also won 4 Grammys that year and hosted the Smothers Brothers Summer Replacement Show the next year: The Glenn Campbell Good Time Hour which ran for 4 years and made him a household name.
In 1975, he had his biggest hit ever with Rhinestone Cowboy.
In 2012, the year after he found out he had Alzheimer, Glenn Campbell did his farewell tour which was his last ride.
He was truly an extraordinary musician and singer."