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

The Present Day Composer #41


Harlan Howard (1927-2002), and one of his interpreters

2 comments :

Testify said...

One of my faves.

I remember a TV documentary which followed the great man.His daughter, kidding him, said "Just write another Excuse Me I Think I've Gotta Hard On" (punning on the title of the Buck Owen's hit "Excuse Me I Think I've Gotta Heartache"which Howard penned) Harlan shook his head and quietly said "Don't talk like a slut, honey" (or something similar)

Koch reissued an album called "Harlan Howard All Time Favorite Country Songwriter" which features the composer singing his compositions and its great.

Still anyone out there who runs a reissue label really ought to consider a compilation of the greatest performances of Howards greatest songs.

swac said...

Now I wonder if there are any photos of Willie Nelson and Patsy kicking around...