Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ferlin Husky

We’ve encountered this guy, as Jeanne Shepherd’s singing partner. Here is on his own.

Now this guy is real country. He had 41 country hits, including the aforesaid duets, and 4 pop hits, all early on in his career, and 3 of which are found on this album, called The Hits Of Ferlin Husky, which I picked up at Pyramid Records.

Ferlin Husky:

Wings Of A Dove – This basic song of religious devotion was a hit in the winter of 1961. The imagery of the dove suggests peace. That’s a good thing I guess.
Walkin’ And Hummin’ – A song of unrelenting, unapologetic, unmitigated self-pity. Hey no problem; we’ve all been there, right? This appears to have been the title track of a 1961 album.
I’ve Got A Woman’s Love – A man stands back and looks at his life, and how much his woman’s love and support means to him. A bit simplistic, but touching for all that.
Little Tom – One of those tearjerkers that Grand Ole Opry stars liked so much, this one about a kid from a broken, nay destroyed, family. A top 10 hit on the country charts in 1955.
Homesick – Don’t know where exactly he is, or why he can’t go home, but this is a good survey of the emotionally dysfunctional male (too sick to die, to proud to cry, can’s “swaller” what he eats) all brought home by the fiddle in true Grand Old Opry style.
Eli, Camel – It’s about the camel in the cigarette ad. Great. My kid had a friend called Eli, and he’d say I’m going to Eli’s house, and I’d say Eli the Camel with a hump upon his back? And he’d say, sure Dad. Besides that, though, I worked for an interesting guy named Eli once upon a time, but he was not, as far as I could tell, a camel.
Gone – Oh my, how sad. This paean to failed romance was his first pop hit, if you can call it pop, which you can, but that doesn’t actually make it pop, in the winter / spring of 1957.
Hank’s Song – A song the lyrics of which are composed almost entirely of titles of Hank Williams songs. Clever. I think it actually works, too.
The Waltz You Saved For Me – This song, which is from the winter of 1961 / 62 is not actually in waltz time, though it can fool you into thinking it is. I don’t know who it is singing with him, but she tones down the hillbilly feel of this considerably.
Before I Lose My Mind – This seems to be a common theme also; think Crazy by Patsy Cline, I’ll Go Crazy by James Brown etc.
Drunken Driver – Lest we think that the don’t-drink-and-drive campaign is recent. The story of a man who gets tanked, gets behind the wheel, and runs down his own kids. A real tear jerker.
I’ll Baby Sit With You – A bit playful, a bit perverted. This scandal sheet was a country hit in 1955.

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