Wednesday, January 22, 2014

about the depth of Pandora's genome project

Listening to my Pandora station "Burl Dunn Radio" has been an almost religious experience. To hear songs that reach deeper into my folk past than I expected; to hear rocking songs that validate my take on rock; to meet up with Johnny Cash and others made me cry. But, how in the world could Pandora know to put the late Buck Ramsey on? I met Buck in Amarillo when I was still in high school. One summer I took a room in a defunct bar on Amarillo Boulevard, old Route 66, and opened a coffee house called "The Hut of Baba Yaga." An ad in the paper brought in Buck and Judith Nelson, then Judy Clark, to sing.
Buck was already in a wheelchair, injured while working on a ranch. From Buck and Judy it was just a baby step to meeting Stanley Marsh 3, he of the Cadillac Ranch. Judy and I recorded a tape on a reel-to-reel I owned. It was an ode to Stanley and Amarillo. Judy's first song began, "In a lemon-colored dreamland fondly known as Amarillo ..." I adapted Tom Paxton's song to "The Globe News is the Globe Blues, you can pick up a copy any time you choose, 10 little pennies in the newsboy's hand, and you ride right along to Never Never land."
To know that Buck's work was put out on the Smithsonian Folkways label, the holy grail of American folk, warms my heart. Here is a link to Buck's Smithsonian roots. Opens in new window.
Judy went on to Austin and why she did not make it big in the Texas Outlaw Revival is beyond me. Like Buck, she hit it big, though in her own way.  My God I just found her vinyl 45 rpm record on Amazon, here. If you don't snap it up soon, by God I'll get this to add to the one she gave me. Now I need her "Oh Johnny Please, play one more night with you again." She came within a hair's breadth of hearing Roy Orbison record that song. Google her.
Thank you so much Amarillo.
ps Sweet, now in the afternoon there is only one Judy Clark record on Amazon: I Just Dropped By to See the Show and Long Legs on 45 rpm vinyl. Snap it up!

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