When I'm alone in the car, my go to music channel is usually classical or Broadway or even light opera. Often times it's the blues or big band....even bluegrass. I always enjoy light rock from the 70's and 80's - Rod Stewart, The Eagles, Bob Seger, Eric Clapton.... but never do I listen to hard rock and very seldom do I land on a country station for very long.
So, as I flipped channels the other day, I hit upon some country stations and lingered on one playing classic country from the past century and a little bit forward. The uniqueness of her voice held my attention..... Gillian Welch singing "Elvis Presley Blues", written by Gillian and David Rawlings and released in 2001, goes something like this:
"I was thinking that night about Elvis....
Day that he died, day that he died.
I was thinking that night about Elvis...
Day that he died, day that he died."
A simple story about a country boy who combed his hair and took to the air, wearing a shirt made by his mother. A song about Elvis Presley who got his musical start pouring out his soul in words and body moves. In Gillian's words,
"He shook it like a chorus girl
He shook it like a Harlem queen
He shook it like a midnight rambler, baby
like you never seen.
Like you never seen."
Gillian sung on verse after verse, in her melodic style with partner Dave in the background. I listened intently to every word. It was not your ordinary song nor your ordinary songstress....not a song to dance to or be relaxed by. It was a song that with every word, drew me in. It was a sad song about a man in a sad life that faked it until his death that night.
Gillian and Dave have been honored and awarded through the years and will be remembered as great song writers and musicians.