"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Hank was a landmark, the first really sexy hillbilly. Chet Atkins, who saw him perform, said he was graceful like a snake, somebody you couldn't take your eyes off. He sang at dance halls but people stopped dancing to watch him, 6-foot-1, 150 pounds, guitar extended, insinuating himself around the microphone stand, a jagged edge to his voice, darkness in his eyes. He came along when country music was dominated by novelty acts and huck-and-shuck mediocrities and comics with blacked-out teeth and Ma-and-Pops-and-Cousin-Hezzie bands and Republican daddies like Roy Acuff and Tex Ritter, and in blew this lean drifter who sang, "I don't know what I'll do-ooo-ooo / All I do is sit alone and sigh-ee-yi-ee-yi-yiii," his voice breaking into a hoarse falsetto, and "I love to hear her when she calls me sweet da-a-a-a-a-dy" and that cry, a sort of blue yodel like Jimmie Rodgers's, made women jump up and whoop and yell. He was a hot cat, he was what led to Elvis, and he wasn't some studio-designed star, his stardom was based on what he could do to people in person. He insisted on recording "Lovesick Blues" because it drove them wild in the roadhouses of the South. It made girls want to tear at his clothing.
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While I'm not one for counterintuitive Blue and Red State categories, here is some "Red State" music you'll like, whatever your state: