Malcolm Gladwell Just Provided the Tipping Point to My Understanding of Country Music

Now I know the ingredients of a tear jerking country song.

I’ve lived in Nashville for almost 40 years, but I’ve learned more about country music in the past 40 minutes than I had in all those years.

The current episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History, is titled “King of Tears.” It centers on a talk Gladwell had in Nashville recently with legendary songwriter Bobby Braddock, now in his 70s. (Minor spoiler: He’s the person being referenced to in the title of the episode.

You may not know who Braddock is, but you’ll be tracking down all of the songs he wrote by the time the podcast episode ends.

While the short version of what Kings of Tears is about is this: Gladwell seeks and finds out, “What it is about some kinds of that makes us cry.”

I finally have an answer to those questions.

Just listen.

Here is a link to “King of Tears.”

(Sidenote: The Revisionist History website includes links to a couple of books Gladwell refers to in the episode and provides links to the various ways you can subscribe to future episodes.)

Places Willie Nelson has Sung About While on the Road Again

Willie Nelson has recorded songs about six of the eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) I’ve lived in.

Willie Nelson has recorded songs about six of the eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) I’ve lived in. Missing: Washington, DC and the small town I lived in until age five.

The following two graphics are via the Atlantic’s CityLab.com, which also provides a Spotify playlist that will allow you to hear  most of the citified songs Willie Nelson recorded while rambling around the country.

Click/tap either graphic to enlarge them:


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A Couple of Grammy Day Nashville Music Stories You May Not Know

First, from Nashville’s public radio station, WPLN-FM, a story about United Record Pressing, LLC, the largest vinyl record-pressing plant in the country. “(We) account for about 30 to 40 percent of all vinyl records out there in stores,” says Jay Millar, United’s head of marketing,

Quote:

“United manufactures up to 40,000 records a day. Demand is so high that if you’re not already a customer, they won’t even take your order — at least until a second plant opens later this year.

“So how does a record get made? It starts with the groove.”

(Continue reading on WPLN.org…)

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Review: The Nickel Creek reunion tour proves that absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder

Rather than having a reunion, the three musicians picked it up where they left off six years ago, with a little more nuance and appreciation for what they’ve done–and continue to do–together. And a lot more fun.

For the past 12 years, posts about music on this blog have been rare. And on those rare occasions, those posts have been almost 100% about the members of Nickel Creek. (The reason for why “just them” is buried in those posts, somewhere.)

This post is the next in that rare tradition.

Read more “Review: The Nickel Creek reunion tour proves that absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder”