Monday, July 21, 2014

The Monday Blues Always Remind Me Of Hank Williams

As a writer-humorist, Mondays are either feast or famine. Some weekends produce startling news but with very little humor. By the same token, the reverse is also true. Today, I searched around my cluttered mind trying to hit on a subject that interested me and hopefully, would touch my readers, as well.

My thoughts turned to legendary country singer Hank Williams, who once wrote: "Today I passed you on the street and my heart fell at your feet. I can't help it if I'm still in love with you." Many believe the lyrics came from his heart and were directed at his wife Audrey.

The song, "I Can't Help It", became a hit and Hank went on to become one of the most recorded singer-songwriters in history.

Born September 17, 1923, Hank Williams was regarded as one of the most significant and influential country music musicians of all time, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

Several years of back pain, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse severely deteriorated Williams' health. He and wife Audrey divorced and he was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry, citing unreliability and frequent drunkenness.

Hank Williams with his son Hank Jr.
Hank Williams died in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 1953 at the age of 29 from heart failure exacerbated by pills and alcohol.

Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on twentieth-century popular music, majorly country music in general. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists, and have been hits in various genres including pop, gospel, and blues. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame.

I began singing Hank Williams songs in the early '50s. My interest in music was something I was born with and all of my family are musically inclined. Together with Brother Kirt,  this musical desire continued as we continually were drawn to the newest songs and more specifically, the Everly Brothers.

I was too young to completely understand Hank's life when he died, but memories of listening to him on the radio will be a pleasant memory forever.

On a sad note: Actor James Garner and Broadway star Elaine Stritch died over the weekend.

James Garner, who starred in the TV Western "Maverick" and films such as "The Rockford Files" and his Oscar-nominated "Murphy's Romance," was 86 years old.

I grew up watching "Maverick", but I think my fondest memory was when he costarred with Sally Field in Murphy's Romance. Rest in peace, Mr. Garner.

Elaine Stritch, was an actress and singer whose brassy, whiskey-soaked voice, acerbic wit and hard-won understanding of human frailty made her an indomitable show-business force on stage and screen.

Star of Broadway hits including "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" and "Show Boat, she was nominated for multiple Tony and Emmy Awards, winning three of the latter. She was 89. Rest in peace, Ms. Stritch.

The News As I See It: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faced off against his four challengers in a debate for Toronto mayor last week. His opponents were, of course, pretty critical of his performance, but Ford said, "Hey, my record slurs for itself."

According to a new report, 81 percent of people would cheat on their partner if there were no consequences. 19 percent of people were pretty sure this was a test.

The FCC wants to update the Emergency Alert System so that Obama can interrupt any TV program. I can see it now: "We interrupt this program to tell America that Obama had a bowl of matzo ball soup for lunch. This concludes today's presidential update."

There's currently a petition to split California into several states. Among the new states would be Botoxia, Pornsylvania and of course, the Commonwealth of Kardashiania.

Congressman Raul Labrador said that impeaching Obama is a good idea, but it will never pass. No one wants President Joe Biden. That's when Biden realized why Obama picked him as a running mate

This Date In History: 1861; Confederate forces won victory at Bull Run in the first major battle of the Civil War. 1873; The first train robbery west of the Mississippi was pulled off by Jesse James and his gang.

1925; In the "Monkey Trial," John T. Scopes was found guilty of violating Tennessee state law by teaching evolution. 1949; The U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1970; The Aswan High Dam was opened in Egypt. 1998; Astronaut Alan Shepard died. 2002; WorldCom filed for bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Picture Of The Day: Hank Williams wrote or co-wrote such hits as "Your Cheating Heart", "Jambalya", I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry", Cold Cold Heart", "Hey Good Looking", "I saw The Light", "Kaw-Liga", "Take These Chains From My Heart" and so many, many more.

His biggest hit was probably "Lovesick Blues" which he sang on The Grand Ole Opry to a standing ovation and subsequently seven encores, a record that has never been broken.

Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) My name is Jimmy but some of you know me by my street name, 9th avenue. 2) A liberal is just a conservative that hasn't been robbed and beaten yet. 3) The older I get, the less I trust farts. 4) My buddy told me that that his wife was driving him to drink. He's lucky, my ex-wife made me walk. 5) I'm still looking forward to the day I can illegally download groceries.....and that's five !

Today's HoroscopeCancer - July 21st: Destiny awaits you and is waiting with open arms to welcome you into the clubhouse of love. Everything will go perfectly and nothing is going to spoil it, until later on this month when there will be a terrible thunderstorm.

Birthdays: Jean Picard, astronomer 1620, Ernest Hemingway, American novelist and short-story writer 1899, Isaac Stern, violinist 1920, John Gardner, writer 1933, Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General 1938, Kenneth Starr, independent counsel 1946, Garry Trudeau, political cartoonist 1948, Robin Williams, comedian 1951.

The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar And Grill: An elderly man lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died and he went to the parish priest and asked if he would say a mass for his poor departed pet.

The priest replied, "I'm afraid not. We cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane."

The old man said, "I'll go right away Father. Do ya think $5000 is enough to donate to them for the service?" The priest exclaimed, "Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn't ya tell me the dog was Catholic?"

Two businessmen in Florida were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new store. As yet, the store wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set up. One said to the other, "I bet any minute now some senior citizen is going to walk by, put his face to the window, and ask what we're selling."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious senior citizen walked to the window, had a peek, and in a soft voice asked "What are you sellin' here?" One of the men replied sarcastically, "We're selling assholes." Without skipping a beat, the old timer said, "Looks like you're doing well. Only two left."

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: A young boy of five was going into hospital to have his tonsils removed. He told his playmate that he would be gone for awhile to have surgery.

On the day he was admitted, his mother asked the doctor if he could also circumcise him while he was asleep. The doctor agreed. The boy woke up and was very sore down there for several days.

After about a week, he got to see his playmate again. The playmate informed him that he was also going to have to have his tonsils out soon. He asked him to tell him about the surgery. The little boy replied, "All I can tell you is your tonsils ain't where you think they are!"

Third grade teacher Miss Crabtree said to little Sammy, "You're late again, Sammy, for the third time this month." Little Sammy said, "It's not my fault, Miss Crabtree. The reason I'm three hours late is because my Daddy sleeps naked."

Now Miss Crabtree had taught grammar school for thirty-some years. She asked little Sammy what he meant, despite her mounting fears. Little Sammy and trouble were old friends, but he always told the truth.

Sammy said, "Miss Crabtree, we have a coyote that's been coming to our ranch. The past few nights it killed and ate three hens and it also killed Mom's best milk goat!"

Little Sammy went on, "Last night, when Daddy heard a noise out in the chicken coop, he grabbed his shotgun and told Mom that th\he coyote was back and he was going to get him! He told all us kids to stay back!"

Sammy continued, "There he was, naked as a jaybird, no boots, no pants and no shirt! He crawled right up to the chicken coop and stuck that double barrel right through the window."

Little Sammy said, "As he stared into the dark coop with the coyote on his mind, our old hound dog, Zeke, snuck up behind Daddy. Then, old Zeke stuck his cold nose in the crack of Daddy's ass and we've been cleaning chickens since three o'clock this morning!"

That's it for today, my little bean sprouts. Remember, making fun of someone's age is like mocking them for getting hit by a train because you're standing a little further down the tracks.

More on Wednesday.

Stay Tuned !


jack69 said...

I tell you Hank & james were easy to like. It is really sad that Hank couldn't put ten more years in sober, no telling the records he would have set.
Anyway the green tea went again on the Catholic dog!
Good thoughts sent from the great state of Maine, we drove in today.
Take care,,,

Woody said...

Hank Williams was one of my favorites, nice article.