You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Country music takes me back through the years
Rainy Days and Starry NightsJuly 30, 2014 | 3,185 views | Post a comment
I have been a fan of country music since I was a kid on the farm. This last weekend I was up at Canyon Lake with some of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We were staying at a lake house, which had a huge deck looking toward the lake.
One of my grandchildren was playing music very loud out there. I was enjoying being with all of them, watching the kids playing, the grownups laughing and talking. I asked GT if he could change the music to some country western music, so he did just that. He asked what kind of music I like, classic country, modern country, or old time country. I said old time music like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and George Jones. Then he started playing the oldies.
As I sat there and listened to the songs, which most of the people on the deck knew the words to, and began singing along with the music, I was in my element! I felt like I was young again and listening to George Jones sing, “I stopped loving her today.” And my mind went back to the olden days of the 1930s and 1940s.
Back when I was younger, Mother and Daddy would listen to the crystal radio, which had earphones. Sometimes we older kids were allowed to listen for a little bit. The Carter Family was a favorite of theirs and I got to hear them sometimes. Beginning with 1939-40, Maybelle’s daughters June (later known as June Carter Cash) and Anita joined the Carter Family on air. They went to San Antonio, where the programs were pre-recorded and distributed to multiple border radio stations. The Carter Family lived in Del Rio for three years and their music was broadcast all across America. Their haunting bluegrass songs, some spiritual, some sad, some happy, have stayed with me all these years. Songs like “Keep On the Sunny Side,” “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes,” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” are songs I still remember some of the words to.
The original “cowboy’s sweetheart,” Patsy Montana, was often featured on the program with Cowboy Slim, who was good friends with Ernest Tubbs. Cowboy Slim was the one who encouraged Tubbs to go on and make it big.
I also would tune in to San Antonio radio stations like KTSA and WOAI, and WBAP in Fort Worth. I also liked to listen to a singer called Big Bill Lister, who was touted as Radio’s Tallest Singing Cowboy. Lister was born in Kenedy, Texas, but grew up in Brady. He also sang for a while on XEG. Lister did go on to make some records.
As I grew older I loved to listen to the “Texas Top Hands,” who were featured on the hour-long “Noonday Jamboree” on KABC, along with Lister and a singer called Del Dunbar. My sister Margaret and I would always make sure we were home at noon to listen to our favorite singers. “Texas Top Hands” sang “The Bandera Waltz” and it became very popular early in 1949. I was a senior at Poth High School then. I danced to that song at many a dance at Hermann Sons Hall in Poth.
But one song I remember Cowboy Slim singing was a very sad song, like a lot of cowboy songs were back then. I used to listen to him sing this song and cry; it was about a little boy dying and telling his mother to “Put My Little Shoes Away.” It was so sad! I would turn off the radio and get ready for bed. I walked out on the front steps and listened to the night sounds, the crickets chirping, the frogs down by the tank, and I heard a coyote somewhere down in the pasture. I could see the Milky Way stretching across the sky, and even on a moonless night the starry night was so bright because the stars lit up the sky. With the Carter Family’s music still in my head, I thought about them and wondered if they sang about their own loneliness and sadness. I didn’t feel sad, but I felt a little bit lonely, and I wondered if one day I would know how sadness feels. Now I know how it feels.
I think those nights long ago were just a prophecy of things to come. I don’t mind a bit remembering those nights. I have a warm feeling in my heart when I do remember that time in my life because country songs seem to be about real life, whether it is joy or sadness.
Lois Zook Wauson is the oldest of eight children who grew up on a farm in Wilson County in the mid-20th century. After many years living in other parts of Texas, she now lives and writes in Floresville. Her two books are available from the Wilson County News office. Email her at email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Benefit for animal shelter is Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Cestohowa Altar Society ladies celebrate 60 years of service (July 29, 2015)
Church youth to hold car wash (July 29, 2015)
Don’t miss Kosciusko Picnic this Sunday (July 29, 2015)
Free movie Friday in Poth (July 29, 2015)
Historical marker denotes former school site (July 29, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary garage sale Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Life in the Camp Ranch community (July 29, 2015)
Luciano Pacheco – the sole Tejano survivor of the Alamo (July 29, 2015)
Opry helps fund historical markers (July 29, 2015)
Popeye beach pail (July 29, 2015)
See a free flick in Elmendorf (July 29, 2015)
Stuff the bus in Stockdale (July 29, 2015)
Summer program ends at Falls City library (July 29, 2015)
WCRSP delivers children’s books to schools (July 29, 2015)
Balance classes start July 27 (July 22, 2015)
Be a high roller in Floresville (July 22, 2015)
Bobble-head Bozo (July 22, 2015)
Cool down with free snow cones (July 22, 2015)
Copper-pot craftsmanship — CINCO Vodka (July 22, 2015)
Marion Sausage Supper is Aug. 1 (July 22, 2015)
Mu Chi members attend state convention (July 22, 2015)
Opry lineup is sure to satisfy (July 22, 2015)
Save the date for Kody Fest Aug. 8 (July 22, 2015)
Shop ‘Trinkets and Treasures’ (July 22, 2015)
SSCA seeks donations for rummage sale (July 22, 2015)
Start two-stepping at FUMC (July 22, 2015)
Texas sales-tax holiday (July 22, 2015)
The Landing offers help for teens (July 22, 2015)
What a difference an ‘A’ makes! (July 22, 2015)
Browse, learn, shop at Home and Garden Show (July 15, 2015)
Celebrate Czech Day in Jourdanton (July 15, 2015)
Daughters of the Republic installs officers (July 15, 2015)
Enjoy St. Anthony church fest (July 15, 2015)
Experience ‘The Hobbit’ under the stars (July 15, 2015)
Free Movies at the Park in Poth (July 15, 2015)
Learn to compost with worms (July 15, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary plans garage sale (July 15, 2015)
Library happenings (July 15, 2015)
Mystery blanket sparks search (July 15, 2015)
Night In Old Fredericksburg is July 18 (July 15, 2015)
Plan now for Beaver Roundup (July 15, 2015)
Teddy bears, pottery (July 15, 2015)
The bridges of Wilson County (July 15, 2015)
‘Atomic tourists’ converge on Trinity Site ahead of 70th anniversary (July 15, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (July 8, 2015)
Bobby Flores Birthday Bash is July 11 (July 8, 2015)
Early settlers of Wilson County (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Big Hero 6’ at Movie Day (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Cool Tunes’ in Brenham (July 8, 2015)
Family violence shelter seeks volunteers (July 8, 2015)
Family weekend fun in Adkins (July 8, 2015)
FHS Reunion is July 25 (July 8, 2015)
Fishing lures (July 8, 2015)
Give blood at Sacred Heart Church (July 8, 2015)
Hamilton earns rank of captain (July 8, 2015)
Memorial hog hunt a hit! (July 8, 2015)
Save the date for Home and Garden Show (July 8, 2015)
See comedians in China Grove (July 8, 2015)
‘Alabama’ to invade K-Town (July 8, 2015)
‘Dying’ brings broadcaster back to life (July 8, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (July 1, 2015)
Buses, pickup trucks, automobiles, and walking (July 1, 2015)
Davy Crockett, Depression glass (July 1, 2015)
Dog shows start July 8 (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Fourth of July parade, concert in Seguin (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Sunday Dances all month (July 1, 2015)
Free July 4 concerts in SA (July 1, 2015)
Free music, fireworks in Brenham (July 1, 2015)
Ice cream makers, tasters needed (July 1, 2015)
Jack's Cafe adds Sports Room and patio (July 1, 2015)
July is for grape stomping (July 1, 2015)
Look who's flying solo! (July 1, 2015)
Memories fly following balloon stories (July 1, 2015)
Register for state-wide Chili Cook-off (July 1, 2015)
Remembering my first haircut (July 1, 2015)
Savor: Summer drinks with calories and exercise equivalents (July 1, 2015)
South Texas Gardener reveals 'mystery plants' (July 1, 2015)
The Gathering Music Show (July 1, 2015)