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sledding

Catamount Community Radio - September 15, 2013

Sometimes I wonder if I have late-onset idiot savantism, a condition I just made up. Maybe not even late-onset; maybe I've had it all along. I like to play little games like .... all the people I can think of whose first and last names start with the same first letter ... Albert Ayler, Francisco Franco, Woodrow Wilson, etc. Or, let me think of at least one city in each of the fifty states ... hmm Bakersfield CA, Eugene OR, Olympia WA, etc. One thing I do without fail is identify the make of every big truck that rolls by when I'm on the highways and byways: Petersbilt, International, Freightliner, Volvo, Kenworth (my favorite), and of the smaller ones, Mack and Sterling.

Another thing: in Don Quixote de la Mancha, the narrator claims that he likes to read "hasta los papeles rotos de la calle" ("haste los pap ales roots de la calle" according to Mr. Auto-correct) : "Even scraps of paper in the street." I'm a little like that. I half-heartedly peruse all kinds of stuff, like trucker pamphlets I find in truck stops in Tennessee. You wanna know what they contain? Well, if you're reading this, you probably have nothing better to do than find out. Articles about satellite technology to track trailers, fishing for northern pike in Canada, inspirational Christian messages, and a list of pithy pro-gun slogans, such as "The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 magnum is 1,400 feet per second." Oh boy!

All this as a prelude to today's theme: hitting the road. I got the idea listening to Chuck Berry's "Promised Land."

I left my home in Norfolk Virginia,
California on my mind.
Straddled that Greyhound, rode him past Raleigh,
On across Caroline.

Stopped in Charlotte and bypassed Rock Hill,
And we never was a minute late.
We was ninety miles out of Atlanta by sundown,
Rollin' 'cross the Georgia state.

We had motor trouble it turned into a struggle,
Half way 'cross Alabam,
And that 'hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham.

Straight off, I bought me a through train ticket,
Ridin' cross Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans.

I thought, "Aha! I should do a hit-the-road show!" And so it was.

We heard "Hot Rod Lincoln." I vaguely recall hearing this at Grandma Couture's house on a Sunday afternoon, back when I was but knee-high to a grasshopper. It's actually a cover, released by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen in 1972. That would make me nine years old, and fits the memory perfectly. We would pile into the 1966 candy apple red Ford station wagon and drive the seventy-some odd miles from Mancelona to West Branch. The grown-ups might have a bit of "hooch" and us kids would get a Squirt or a Vernor's ginger ale. The pop was kept in the root cellar, on the door of which was a basketball hoop only big enough to play basketball with a tennis ball. Grandma Couture would make chicken roasted in bacon grease .... deliciously artery clogging. Another specialty of hers, by the way, was the big sugar cookie with one raisin in the middle. After dinner, as if to insure their heart attacks, the men would retire to the living room where they would smoke their pipes, talk and listen to the radio. This is where I first heard "Hot Rod Lincoln." A cousin once asked me if I remembered the German-language newspapers ... I confess that I don't. My grandfather, despite being a "Couture" was fluent in German, his mother having married a German after his father died in a railroad yard accident in Detroit probably around the turn of the century.

(aside: a home-roasted red pepper is a lovely thing, worth the hassle)

We heard Serge Gainsbourg do "Ford Mustang." My family is by now surely tired of me saying "Ford Mustang, bang!" every time we run across a Mustang on the road.

We heard Willie do "Wabash Cannonball." My favorite version of this tune is one I discovered on Youtube, which I can't find as an MP3:



You can tell he's happy when he says "Aw fellas." .... "I'm gonna pick; quit out-loudin' me!"

After playing "Promised Land," I played the greatest Chuck Berry song not written by Chuck Berry: Bob Seger's "Get out of Denver," with its killer line, "Get out of Denver cause you look just like a commie / and you might just be a member."

So much more, but my fingers are getting tired of typing.

Mary Ellen wrestles the cover-contest crown away from Dandy.

1. We heard two versions of "Get Out of Town," one by Caetano Veloso and the other by Larry Goldings. The question was who wrote the tune. Answer: Cole Porter

2. What is the tune that Joel Harrison is covering and who had a hit with it? - "Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell." Of the Glen Campbell oeuvre this is probably my favorite tune, with "Gentle on my Mind" almost tying it.

3. Name two of the three tunes that Caetano Veloso is covering in this medley. Both Mary Ellen and Dandy got Michael's Billie Jean and the Liverpool lads' "Eleanor Rigby.

4. Despite their success on the previous question, neither MER or Dandy could tell me who Maceo was covering with "In Time." SLY AND THE FAMILY FREAKING STONE, kids!!!! Should I add another exclamation point or two? !!!!!!!!!

Catamount Community Radio, Sunday mornings, 10-12 on WWCU Sunday mornings 10-12, right coast time.

PS. for you local listeners, I have a strong hunch that soon we'll be moving from 90.5 to 95.3 on the FM dial.


1. Bill Coleman – Afromotive in Blue
2. Johnny Cash – Hit the Road and Go
3. Alison Krauss – Steel Rails
4. Willie Nelson – Wabash Cannonball
5. Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen – Hot Rod Lincoln
6. Taj Mahal – Chevrolet
7. Serge Gainsbourg – Ford Mustang
8. Kay Adams – Little Pink Mack
9. Caetano Veloso – Get Out of Town
10. Larry Goldings – Get Out of Town
11. Junior Brown – Semi-Crazy
12. Tom Waits – Big Joe and Phantom 309
13. Dave Dudley – Six Days on the Road
14. Joel Harrison – Wichita Lineman
15. Clark Terry – Boomerang
16. Hydroponic Sound System – Lagos, Michigan (’72)
17. Hank Snow – I’ve Been Everywhere
18. Chuck Berry – Promised Land
19. Bob Seger – Get Out of Denver
20. Ditty Bops – Moon Over the Freeway
21. Caetano Veloso – Medley: Nega Maluca / Billie Jean / Eleanor Rigby
22. Red Sovine – Freightliner Fever
23. Willie Nelson – What a Way to Live
24. John Lee Hooker – The Hobo
25. Merle Haggard – White Line Fever
26. Johnny Cash – One Piece at a Time
27. Maceo Parker – In Time
28. Bright Light Quartet – Christian Automobile
29. Bill Frisell – Gone Like a Train

davedudley1
Dave Dudley

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