Google Doodle, Bluegrass Style

Today’s Google Doodle honors legendary banjo player and stylist Earl Scruggs. Here’s a short essay I posted when Earl Scruggs died. It contains a re-post of an earlier post (15 years ago) about the chance my son had to meet and chat with Scruggs. (My son was 14 at the time — and a fiddle and mandolin player.) I appreciate Google recalling this great artist.

 

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 ┬ámost of the┬ácitified songs Willie Nelson recorded while rambling around the country.

Click/tap either graphic to enlarge them:


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