The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great Philosophers of the 20th Century #3: Kitty Wells


"Still it's just another bedtime story . . . "

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

That's all very well and good...but will your lawyer talk to God?

swac

Ivan G. said...

"Bedtime Story" was a Tammy Wynette hit.

Tom Sutpen said...

Quite true, Ivan. But I've always preferred Kitty Wells' recording to Tammy's.

Anonymous said...

Nobody did mournful like Kitty...I Gave My Wedding Dress Away, I Heard the Jukebox Playing...all brilliant. Even now I don't think she realizes how great those records were and still are.

I got a handwritten note from her once, after doing a story on her. A class act all the way. Very modest, but she enjoyed talking about Owen Bradley and the days at Decca when it was home to people like Webb "the man" Pierce, Patsy Cline and Ernest Tubb. And of course how she and her husband Johnny gave a job to a young fiddler named Chester Atkins to perform on their radio show. I wonder whatever became of him?

Ivan G. said...

A thousand pardons, Tom...to be honest with you, I was completely unaware that Kitty had covered the song.

Tom Sutpen said...

Ahh, don't sweat it, Ivan. I heard the Kitty Wells recording almost by accident; most of what I've heard of hers is on the Bear Family "Queen of Country Music" box set (which I recommend to anyone reading this).

Btw, thanks tremendously for the recent plugs of this anemic blog in your far more substantial one.

Tom Sutpen said...

Stephen Cooke wrote:

Nobody did mournful like Kitty...I Gave My Wedding Dress Away, I Heard the Jukebox Playing...all brilliant. Even now I don't think she realizes how great those records were and still are.

*****
Excellent words of tribute, Stephen; both this and the Jim Reeves.