Sunday, November 15, 2009

Don Gibson

Don Gibson I grew up with I Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles as a fact of life. Oh Lonesome Me entered my life when I heard Neil Young sing it on the radio in 1970, and Sea Of Heartbreak came about 8 years later, when I picked up a collection by The Searchers. And I discovered Sweet Dreams when I discovered Patsy Cline.

It is cool hearing the originals, by the man who wrote them. (I don’t have Gibson’s recording of Sweet Dreams – there’s a version on YouTube.)

It’s easy for me to tell you that I bought this Don Gibson collection at the Country Music Centre; you can’t prove I didn’t. Truth is I probably did. I can’t prove I didn’t. I’m fairly sure that I bought it new. It’s a cassette and it’s just called nothing more than Don Gibson. But the series is called "Lassoes ‘N Spurs"; it was a series that features various collections by various country artists. The cassette version had 8 tracks, the CD 10. I have the cassette, and I got 2 extra tracks somewhere, some collection of country songs on K-Tel maybe.

The 8 tracks contained 3 of his 4 top 40 hits, 5 of his 14 top 100 entries. Just One Time got me one more.

Don Gibson:

Oh Lonesome Me - I feel bad but I shouldn’t feel bad, I should be fine, I should go out and have fun. That’s the theme here. Maybe it’s a guy thing, a stigma about having bad feelings, no matter how appropriate they are. Be happy, at all costs. “I bet she’s not like me,” he sings, “she’s out and fancy free…” I first heard this song in a version by Neil Young; it was on his After The Gold Rush album, and it got some radio play because it was the flip side of Only Love Can Break Your Heart. He halved the tempo. There’s also a version by Loggins & Messina. This is from the spring of 1958.
Blue Blue Day – “I feel like running away.” I bet. His life is falling apart after all, and he is experiencing all kinds of emotions, all bad. From the summer of 1958.
Sea Of Heartbreak – On the surface (get it?) it’s just another song of sadness. But the sea idea speaks to us of drifting, of endlessness, of drowning. I learned this from a version by The Searchers. From the summer of 1961.
Good Morning, Dear – Reminiscence by detail.
I Can’t Stop Loving You – This is the flip side of Oh Lonesome Me, and it tells the tale of someone obsessing. It was hit in the spring of 1958, but it was Ray Charles who really put this song on the map, with his chart-topping, pattern-breaking version in 1962.
Lonesome Number One – Another great self-pity song. Every hates me. I wonder if Don Gibson ate worms. From the winter of 1961 / 1962, this was Gibson’s last top 100 single.
Solitary – A song about incarceration, fairly straightforward. Am I gonna let it get me? he asks, no not me, he says, after saying I wish I were struck down dead.
Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings – A Mickey Newbury song. All the contradictions here, familiar, forgotten. And how those feelings don’t just come to him, they don’t just bother him, they walk all over his mind.
Just One Time – Bargaining. From the spring of 1960.
Head Over Heels In Love With You – This is a love song, and it’s not a love lost song. But he is feeling blue even here. He always feeling blue…

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page