Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008: Waylon Jennings - "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean"

Today is my brother Jim's 29th birthday. Naturally, I brainstormed birthday songs and songs with variations of "Jim" in the title so that I could make the Greatest Song of Today a dedication... I came close to pulling the trigger on "Jim Dandy" by Black Oak Arkansas, but couldn't quite do it.

In the end, I decided the best way to go was Waylon. (Really, when is Waylon not the best way to go?) He loves Waylon. I love Waylon. We were raised on Waylon. I don't know about you, Jim, but "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" is one of my favorite Waylon Jennings songs. Plus, when you drove my drunk ass and all of my drunk friends all over the city during my bachelor party, we capped the night off with me singing my heart out with this song during karaoke at the Vegas Lounge. It's sentimental!

The fantastic live version that I've chosen for Song of the Day comes from Waylon Live: The Expanded Edition, a 2003 42-song double CD reissue of Waylon Live, originally an 11-song LP released in 1976. It was recorded over a three night stand in Austin in 1974, at the absolute peak of Waylon's powers. The restored double CD is one of the great archival finds of the last decade. It's all killer, with the Waylors (featuring Ralph Mooney, the greatest steel guitar player who ever lived, in my humble opinion) playing like a band possessed and Waylon himself singing with all of his soul. For anyone reading this, if you have anything more than a passing interest in country music, Waylon Live: The Expanded Edition is essential.

I couldn't find a youtube video of the Waylon Live performance, but I did find this one, which is pretty similar. Enjoy! And happy birthday, Jim!

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