King of the Road

Thursday morning NPR’s program, Fresh Air, featured an interview with Dean Miller, son of the deceased country singer, Roger Miller. Dean has compiled a tribute album, actually a double album, of his father’s music and was promoting it in an interview with the wonderful Terry Gross. I listened as I drove into Tallahassee to do some grocery shopping.

Roger Miller was one of my favorites growing up. Even when I detested country music I still enjoyed his songs: “King of the Road,” “England Swings,” “Husbands and Wives,” “The Last Word in Lonesome is Me,” and so many more. No one put words together like Roger, and the interview with his son brought back some great memories of trying to sing along with his novelty songs like, “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” and “Oo-de-Lally.”

I’m tempted to order King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller. Here’s what LA Times pop music critic, Mikael Woods writes about the album,

Various artists, “King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller” (BMG)

Country stars young and old — from Kacey Musgraves and Lennon & Maisy to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn — crowd this double-disc set to honor the late Nashville songwriter best known for the oft-covered “King of the Road.” (Some non-country types show up too, including Ringo Starr and, uh, Toad the Wet Sprocket.) If anybody was worried about being overshadowed, though, you can hardly tell: What distinguishes the project is the care each act takes to respectfully showcase Miller’s top-shelf wordplay. The result is the rare tribute album with class to spare.”

Sounds like the perfect soundtrack for my autumn. Couldn’t we all use a little “Do-Wacka-Do,” and “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” in our lives right now? I certainly could.

Peace, people.

Straight out of Floydada

I’m a native of the tiny Texas panhandle town of Floydada. So was country music artist Don Williams. He’s much better known than I am, and that’s a fact.

Mr. Williams passed away this week. His music, though, will live on. I was a fan of his work, and believe I would have been even if we hadn’t had Floydada in common.


I am having a love affair with country singer/songwriter, Chris Stapleton. Now Chris isn’t aware of this, but Studly Doright is, so nobody’s feelings are in danger of being hurt. 

Every morning Chris serenades me while I shower and dress for work or play. His music keeps me company as I complete chores around the house or sit out on the screened in porch. 

I own two copies of his Traveler cd, one for the house and another for my car, and his is the first name up on my Pandora playlist. My favorites off the cd are Tennessee Whiskey and Traveler, but Parachute comes in near the top these days. 

I’m especially fond of the chorus:

You only need a roof when it’s raining
You only need a fire when it’s cold
You only need a drink when the whiskey
Is the only thing that you have left to hold
Sun comes up and goes back down
And falling feels like flying till you hit the ground
Say the word and I’ll be there for you
Baby, I will be your parachute

Maybe you should listen:

Peace, people.

Dolly, Jolene, and Pentatonix: At Long Last, Love

I absolutely hated the song Jolene when it was released in 1974. I mimicked Dolly’s voice, bleating out, rather than belting out, the lyrics about a woman in danger of losing her man to the much lovelier Jolene. And what kind of crazy, made up name was Jolene anyway? (My apologies to all the actual women I now know who bear that moniker.)

But the tune slowly grew on me over the decades. While I didn’t actually like the song, I didn’t despise it anymore either. If the strains of Jolene began playing on a country oldies station I didn’t automatically switch to an alternate channel. 

And now there’s this lovely acapella version of the song featuring Dolly Parton and Pentatonix. Pardon me while I sing along.

Peace, people!


As a native Texan I’d heard tales of the mythical Houston Rodeo–an epic 20 day extravaganza featuring competition between the top cowboys and cowgirls in their respective events. Now at the age of 59 I finally got to savor the experience first hand. And what an amazing experience it was!

My brother, Kelly, works with a man who has volunteered at the rodeo in various capacities for more than two decades. This man has two sets of season tickets that he offers to friends during the event. We were fortunate to get incredible seats close to the action so there wasn’t a calf roping or bull riding that we missed. 

The pageantry was “over the top Texas” with fireworks and wagon races, mutton busting and a host of other events.

Once the rodeo events were completed for the night country singer Jason Aldean took the stage and rocked the house from a rotating stage. There were no bad seats for the concert.

We drank copious amounts of beer, consumed peanuts, nachos, fried Snickers and fried pecan pie. 

And smiled.


My brother Kelly and sister-in-law, Susan
My goofy self and brother Kelly
My handsome son, Jason who came from Dallas for the rodeo, and me.
What a great evening! And I didn’t even relate my bull riding experience. That’s coming in another post.

Peace, people!

An Old Ode

I give you Miss Bobbie Gentry:

Ode to Billy Joe

Question: Just what was thrown off the Tallahatchee Bridge?

Question: Is it Tallahatchee or Tallahachee?

Unrelated Question: If Tom Brady were less good looking would his suspension have been overturned?

Fiddling Around With Love

A month devoted to love should include a look at physical love. Back in the days before Studly and I were married I enjoyed nothing more than dancing to country Western music. It wasn’t my preferred listening genre, that honor went to rock, but when it came to dancing, nothing could compare to a good Texas 2-Step, or even better, a waltz.

Anytime the DJ played “Love on a Hot Afternoon” by country artist Gene Watson I had a physical need to be on the dance floor. I always melted to the fiddle playing in this homage to hot, sweaty sex. Ok, who wants to dance?

(Even if you aren’t a fan of Country music, listen through to the end. That fiddle is swoon-worthy.)

Love on a Hot Afternoon

From somewhere outside, I hear a
Street vendor cry “filet gumbo”
From my window I see him, going
Down the street and he don’t know
That we fell right to sleep
In the damp tangled sheets so soon
After love in the hot afternoon

Now the bourbon street lady,
Sleeps like a baby in the shadows
(in the shadows)
She was new to me, full of mystery,
But now I know (but know I know)
That she’s just a girl,
And I’m just a guy, in a room
Full of love in the hot afternoon

We got high in the park,
This morning and we sat, without talkin’
Then she came back here,
In the heat of the day, tired of walkin’
Where under her breath,
She hummed to herself a tune
Of love in the hot afternoon