Category Archives: Songwriting

No Particular Place to Go

Chuck Berry reportedly wrote that title in prison (for transporting a 14-year-old girl across state lines, violating the Mann Act).  The song devolves into an amusing anecdote when the the protagonist cannot get the young lady’s ‘safety belt’ unbuckled, but … Continue reading

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HA’ppenings: Del Resurrects Woody!

Woody Guthrie reportedly left some 3,000 manuscript songs behind, most if not all lyrics without a hint of melody.  Back in the ’30s and ’40s there were no smart phones, tape recorders, and precious few wire recorders.  Radio stations had … Continue reading

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Another Songwriter Gone: Guy Clark (1941–2016)

Guy Clark was a crusty fellow with a laconic Texas reticence, which belied a whimsy that comes out in some of his songs, like “Too Much,” Too much workin’ll make your back ache Too much trouble’ll bring you a heartbreak … Continue reading

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“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”: The Composer’s Grandson Writes

Almost two years ago I posted an article about the history of a hymn we have played on the Hillbilly at Harvard Christmas Extravangaza for years and years: The Stanley Brothers‘ recording on King Records of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”; … Continue reading

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My Favorite Album of 2014. . . Was Released in 2010!

But I just discovered Richard Brandenburg this past fall.  I was listening to an album I got from a California artist named David Thom at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, a good album, which I enjoyed, but nothing … Continue reading

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