My Facebook friend Michael Beam posted an old Hank Williams song, Honky Tonk Blues, earlier and it made me start thinking.
Northwest Louisiana was really a hub for country music - real country music - back in the day.
Hank Williams played at the Louisiana Hayride, heck, Hank Jr. was born here.
In 1966 my brother owned a service station right smack on the Bossier Strip and I used to work for him some on the night shift. Of course, it was a 24 hour operation.
One of his other employees was Harmie Smith, who, with his Ozark Mountaineers, was on the very first Louisiana Hayride. Harmie was older, and lived just off East Texas Street. He had some great stories. He would talk about Hank Williams, how he would show up so drunk at the Louisiana Hayride that they had to prop him up and walk him onto the stage. "And he would sing like a bird", Harmie would tell me.
Old friends would come over to the service station to see him when they were in town, people like the Wilburn Brothers. I was there when they showed up.
Harmie went on to DJ at KENT radio in Shreveport and died a couple of years later.
I can't remember the exact year, maybe 1967 or 1968, the Hayride ended it's long run at the Municipal Auditorium. I went to some of the last shows and they were great.
I got to hear Ferlin Husky singing Snow White Dove, Sonny James singing Young Love and Running Bear. Marty Robbins sang El Paso (posted below), and the Statler Brothers opened for Johnny Cash singing Flowers on the Wall.
Johnny Cash and June Carter were amazing performers, they could electrify an audience. They sang, among others, Jackson, which I have posted below.
I have a lot of younger friends who claim to love country music, but I don't think any of them would know a good country song if it walked up and kicked them in the ass (yes, I can say that, it's my blog).
This was country.