Various Greetings From Alabama
What dothese folks have in common? Nat King Cole. The Delmore Brothers. EmmylouHarris. W.C. Handy. Sonny James. Sam C. Phillips. Wilson Pickett. LionelRichie. Sun Ra. Toni Tenille.Dinah Washington. HankWilliams. Sure, they’ve all been involved in music, one way or another, andsome of them have made large contributions to our national heritage. But whatlinks them is even deeper. Answer in just a moment.
How aboutthese non-musicians: Helen Keller. Condoleezza Rice. Weary bus-passenger RosaParks. Actors Tallulah Bankhead and Jim Nabors. Novelist Harper Lee, author of'To Kill A Mockingbird.' Olympic runner Jesse Owens. Prize fighter Joe Louis.Hall of Fame baseball players Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.
The answer?Everyone on the list hails from the State of Alabama. And, needless to say, thelist could have been a lot longer.With the exception of jazz musician Sun Ra (who claimed to have been from theplanet Saturn), each one of these folks was proud of his or her heritage. AsAlabama license plates told us way back in 1955, Alabama is 'The Heart ofDixie.' As state nicknames go, that one isn’t bad. Alabama had previously triedfor 'The Cotton State' but just about every one of its neighbors had anobjection to that. Even earlier on, Alabama was known as 'The Lizard State.'None of its neighbors objected, but cooler heads prevailed.
Alabama andits native sons and daughters have played a major role in the development ofAmerican music and culture. If the aforementioned Ms. Parks hadn’t refused torelinquish her bus seat to a white man, Montgomery, Alabama might not havebecome a touchstone for the civil rights movement that blanketed the entiresouth and spread to the nation in the 1960s. In fact, try to imagine the pasthalf-century of American culture without the contributions of all the peoplelisted above. Just focus on Hank Williams and Sam Phillips (founder of SunRecords) and the face of American popular music and culture would be altogetherdifferent.
No one hasyet written a song about Alabama’s state flower, the lovely camellia, althoughthat flower has only been officially recognized since 1959 (a vintage laterthan many of the songs on this album). Before then, Alabama held the goldenrodas its state flower. Presumably a rash of allergic sneezing caused thelegislature to modify its selection. Likewise, the boll weevil doesn’t get anyattention on this CD, although the folks in Enterprise, Alabama erected astatue to the marauding insect in their town square, presumably acknowledginghis role in devastating their cotton crop and forcing the state to move to abroader agricultural base. Both Fats Domino and Brook Benton have enjoyed hitrecords about the boll weevil, but neither confined the insect to Alabama.
The songson this CD are a true musical smorgasbord. The achingly pure country harmony ofthe Louvin Brothers tells us about an Alabamathat may have all but disappeared in the past half century. That old-timecharm is also evident in Pee Wee King’s AlabamaMoon - a track that includes a lovely and unexpected 4-bar steel guitarsolo. Wilf Carter was from Nova Scotia, but that didn’t stop him from singingthe state’s praises (at breakneck tempo) on AlabamaSaturday Night. Likewise, Dick Curless, who grew up over a thousand milesnorth in Maine, uses his rich vocal style to tell us about his southern mama inOld Ramblin’ Alabama Me. Pop vocalistElla Mae Morse, who hailed from Texas, tells us all about Birmingham in a decidedly brassy big band style, while Bobby Baresings the poignant tale of Alabama Rose. Twoof the biggest hits on this collection are Red Foley’s Alabama Jubilee and Cowboy Copas’ Alabam, both of which crossed over the great divide and enjoyedsome pop as well as country music success.
Greetings From ... CD-Album-Series by Bear Family
Music about the US Staates re-released on CDs by Bear Family
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/bear-family/country-series/greetings-from/
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