14 July 2008

Full circle

OK so I have come full circle in my musical tastes. I now officially like (almost) everything. My recent guilty pleasure has been the hokey country love duets by Skeeter Davis and Bobby Bare.

They're full of banjo, slide guitar and corny lyrics. But there's something about these two that's just real. They had screwed up lives, and they came together with music, and then they sang about it.

I haven't seen Walk the Line, but from what I understand of Johnny Cash and June Carter's life, there are some similarities. And their best-known duet Jackson was also recorded by the duo (it wasn't written by Cash and Carter), two years later in 1970. I actually prefer the Cash-Carter version, but some of their other duets are brilliant; heart-felt and a little creepy.

For example, Your Husband, My Wife is about them being in love, but both having other partners and families. I can't think of many other songs that explore this impossibly difficult situation.

Then there's There Never Was A Time We Didn't Love, about a tragic, hard, poor, but happy marriage. It's totally corny, but so heart-felt I totally love it. If only we could have played it at our wedding. But people would really have thought we weird (even more so that Sigur Ros down the aisle).

The of course, there are the fantastic album covers...

Skeeter Davis
is a fascinating musician, born in a cabin in Kentucky in the 1930s, one of 7 children. She almost died in a car accident, and her singing partner did die, the dead girl's mother forcing Davis' sister to join the group.

She was a bit of a rebel in her own deep south Christian country music way. You can her influence on people like Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and more lately, Gillian Welch.

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