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.
Spotify link to " The Country Music I Knew"
Publication and Images: Henri Gann.