March 7: The late Townes Van Zandt was born in 1944

“I’m trying to define the relationship between man and the universe,….. often it’s between man and man, or man and woman, or man and the cosmos. Whatever song comes through the door I’m happy with.… I’m lucky just to play the guitar and sing.”
~TVZ (on the purpose behind his songwriting)

“Figures like Townes Van Zandt remind us that the wandering bard, that American archetype, is still very much with us—and his music will live long after the voices that declare it in or out of fashion have been stilled or forgotten.”
~Robert Palmer (New York Times/Deep Blues/++)

“I lived in Fort Worth till I was 8, Midland till 9, Billings, Montana, till 12, Boulder, Colorado till 14, Chicago till 15 … Houston till I was 21. And then I started traveling.”
~TVZ (to Contemporary Musicians (CM) in 1992)

If I Needed You:

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February 28: Steve Earle released Train a comin in 1995


“This ain’t no part of no unplugged nothin — God, I hate MTV”
~Steve Earle (Liner notes)

I got to thinking,…if I don’t make this record now, I won’t get the chance to make it. .. I’m singing the best I’ve sung in years. Mainly [because of] no dope. Heroin relaxes your vocal cords, it lowers the top of your range a little bit, and then when you try to sing over it…
~Steve Earle (to SPIN in 1995)

I wish I’d never come back home
It don’t feel right since I’ve been grown
I can’t find any of my old friends hangin’ ’round
Won’t nothin’ bring you down like your hometown


Released February 28, 1995
Genre Folk, country, country rock, bluegrass
Length 40:21
Label Warner Bros.

Train a Comin’ is an acoustic studio album by Steve Earle. The album, Earle’s first in five years, was released in 1995. In addition to Earle, it features Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, Roy Huskey, and Emmylou Harris. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

steve earle 1995

If you see her out tonight
And she tells you it’s just the lights
That bring her here and not her loneliness
That’s what she says but sometimes she forgets

Sometimes She Forgets:

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February 16: The late Otis Blackwell was born in 1931

otis blackwell

I like this town, it’s really great. They’ve put me in The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This town is about music. It’s about the kind of music I like.
~Otis Blackwell

I used to go down every year for the remembrance of Elvis’ birthday. Memphis State College invited me to sit in the auditorium and speak to the people for one of those Elvis days.
~Otis Blackwell

Blackwell’s songwriting style is as identifiable as that of Willie Dixon or Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. He helped formulate the musical vocabulary of rock & roll when the genre was barely breathing on its own.
~Bill Dahl (

All Shook Up -Elvis Presley:

Great Balls Of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis:

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February 11: Hank Williams Lovesick Blues was released in 1949

hank williams lovesick blues

I got a feelin’ called the blues, oh Lord
Since my baby said goodbye
Lord I don’t know what I’ll do
All I do is sit and sigh, oh Lord

Hank Williams signature song was released 69 years ago today.

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January 19: Dolly Parton was born in 1946 – Happy Birthday!

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
― DollyParton

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
― Dolly Parton

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.”
― Dolly Parton

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January 13: Johnny Cash recorded At Folsom Prison (album) in 1968

“Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash’s legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail.”
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (

One of the best live albums in recording history was taped on this date in 1968, hell, it’s one of the best albums period. Today it is it’s 48-year anniversary.


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