Category Archives: Songwriting

Remember Angel Train? They Were Live on April 22, 1989!

ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD Anyone remember the band Angel Train? They were singer Diane Cannon, from Maine, guitarist Rick Plant, from Cambridge, bassist Tom Miller, originally from New Jersey, and drummer Jamie DeCato of Boston. Angel Train had just … Continue reading

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Reelin’ Back to 1989, with Lincoln and Larry Live in Studio A!

ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD The metal reel on Revox tape recorder looks perturbed, but I prefer to think it’s singing. The slow-moving (3 3/4 ips) reels are regaling me with music from 1989 (two hours of The Down Home … Continue reading

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Billy Joe Shaver Lives Forever

Some years ago when Billy Joe Shaver was in town, Steve Morse, then of The Boston Globe, described him as “an American original.” I don’t know whether Steve invented the phrase; it has become so commonplace of late it sounds … Continue reading

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Willie, John T, and Me

In which Willie sits around in his underwear, his friend John T sells sheets to the KLan, and I get suspended. Back on September 26th, a listener to one of our prerecorded shows (I’ll call him ‘Mr S’), wrote to … Continue reading

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HAH History: Sinc and Dave Interview Patty Loveless in 1994

Cousin Dave Schmalz hosted Hillbilly at Harvard with Ol’ Sinc from c. 1966 (see The Committee Saves the Show) into 1975, when Dave moved to Holland, and I came back from hither and yon.  Sadly, as I mentioned on the … Continue reading

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Stuart and Stinson Celebrate Nashville’s ‘Duchess’, NC&StL No. 576

Since 1953, Nashville, Chattanooga & Saint Louis locomotive no. 576 has adorned Nashville’s Centennial Park. It was the last of the 20 class J3 4-8-4 (‘Dixie’) steam engines built by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) for the NC&StL (abbreviated ‘NC’) … Continue reading

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Pickin’ on Ninnies

Saturday a listener named Liz posted a comment on the Paper and Pen page. I was going to respond there, but then decided that the question was important enough to merit a post. Liz wrote: “When the pickaninnies pick the … Continue reading

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Extra! Fiddlin’ John Carson Played Tex’s ‘Christmas Time’ in 1927!

Well, sort of. After I played Tex Logan fiddling his composition, ‘Christmas Time’s a-Comin’’ with The Lane Brothers, followed by Bill Monroe’s classic first recording of the song, listener Paul Murphy emailed me with this news (reprinted with his permission): … Continue reading

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The Whiskey Gentry’s Dead Ringer—Is Lauren Staley!

Hits and Misses 8 “It was a face I’d seen a thousand times at every Derby I’d been to.  I saw it, in my head, as the mask of the whiskey gentry – a pretentious mix of booze, failed dreams, … Continue reading

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‘Maple Sugar’, Sweetheart!

Last Saturday (5May) on a whim I played an instrumental version of the fiddle tune ‘Maple Sugar’ (sans fiddle) from White Mountain Bluegrass, and mentioned that the first version I recalled was from Doc Williams, “with words.” As it turns … Continue reading

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