2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

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Green, green grass of home songwriter Curly Putman dies

Green, Green Grass of Home“, was written by Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr. and first recorded by singer Johnny Darrell.

It’s a country song originally made popular by Porter Wagoner in 1965, when it reached No. 4 on the country chart. (Wagoner is probably better known for promoting Dolly Parton’s career in her early days but that’s another story).

You probably know this song best by British singer Tom Jones who made it his second UK No. 1 fifty years ago in 1966 selling over a million copies. The story is he heard a recording of it by Jerry Lee Lewis, who had turned to country music, and it reminded him of getting off the train from London and arriving back in Pontypridd, Wales.

Pitman was a song plugger of country and western songs who one day decided he could write a better song than some of the stuff he was plugging.

And the melodramatic song is so well-structured you don’t realise until half-way through it that it’s a dream by a prisoner on death row on the eve of his execution.

The song has been recorded over 400 times by mainly country artists including: Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride, Frankie Laine,Merle Haggard, Hank Snow, and Kenny Rogers but also Elvis, Joan Baez, Nana Mouskouri, and Dean Martin.

Country songwriter Harlan Howard (probably best known for his song “Heartaches by the number”) once described country music as “three chords and the truth” and this song epitomises that sentiment.

Pullman said “everything I write is pretty sad.That’s what touches people” He thought “Green Grass” was the best song he ever wrote and after it was a hit for Tom Jones he could afford to give up his song-plugging job and write more songs.

These included Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde”, Tammy Wynette’s “My elusive dreams” -both of which gave them their first No. 1s, and the song voted the best ever country song “He stopped loving her” by George Jones, one of Wynette’s former husbands.

His success allowed him to buy a ranch near Nashville which inspired the Wing’s song “Junior’s farm” after Paul McCartney and his family stayed there for several weeks.

He died last month aged 85.

This is Pulman’s version of the song he wrote.

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Tennessee Waltz and memories of childhood………..

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

My earliest memories of hearing music in my childhood (mid late fifties) was my mother singing as she did all the household duties. Remember, for working class families the norm was for the mother to stay at home and look after the children and the man to be the “breadwinner.”

Whatever she was doing my mother would usually be singing, often popular songs from the 30s and 40s, many I came to recognise in my later years as “standards” and which were the “pop” music of the time.

rs-216463-Bonnie-Raitt__-Photo---Jason-Farrell.jpg Bonnie Rait

Two of the songs that made an indelible mark on me were Tennessee Waltz, written in 1946 and which became a million seller in 1950 for Patti Page. The other was Goodnight Irene, which was originally sung by the great bluesman Huddi Ledbetter, better know by his performing name of Ledbelly. It was subsequently recorded by The Weavers, with sanitised…

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“Hurt”………the greatest (and most moving) music video

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

If you ask any music fan “which is the greatest music video ever made?” you will get never ending argument but possibly some consensus that it MAY be “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (given that it cost nearly $1million to produce one could argue it should be).

Over the many years I have listened to music there is one video that stands head and shoulders above all others in my opinion, and that is “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. This is a rendition of the Trent Reznor song originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails and seems an unlikely vehicle for a “good old country and western singer.”

The song was originally issued on Cash’s album American 1V: The Man Comes Around and the album received high levels of both popular and critical acclaim.

It is fair to say that Reznor had some reservations about Cash singing his most famous song but when…

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Charlie Haden…………Bass Virtuoso Dies

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

The bassist Charlie Haden, who helped change the shape of jazz more than a half-century ago as a member of Ornette Coleman’s groundbreaking quartet and liberated the bass from its traditional rhythm section role, died on Friday in Los Angeles.He was 76.

9afc9411-3cb9-4428-801d-f56c8460ad1c-460x276 Haden turned to the double bass after losing his singing voice to polio as a teenager when he was performing with the Haden Family country band.

The onset of post-polio syndrome in late 2010 forced him to stop performing publicly, although he played at home to his favourite recordings as well as with visiting musician friends such as the guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Alan Broadbent.

During his career, Haden’s lyrical bass playing could be heard in a broad range of musical genres, ranging from jazz to country to world music. 51C67K0aRnL._AA160_ “I want to take people away from the ugliness and sadness around us every day and bring…

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