The River's Badge

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Singer-Songwriter Series ~ Episode 3


I won't say that "Crazy Over You" is the all-time best two-stepping song. Okay, I will.

This is how I first got to know Radney Foster:



Is that a kick or what? I love this song.

So, my introduction to Radney Foster was through his partnership with Bill Lloyd. Foster & Lloyd weren't around for a long time (although they're now back together), but they had some fine recordings.

Here are two (and regretfully, the guys only seem to have a couple of actual music videos from their halcyon days):





True music aficionados, I believe, pull out that little booklet from a new CD and check out who the writers are. As well as the lyrics, of course.

I always read my little booklet.

So, I found that Radney didn't just write for Radney. He wrote hit songs for other artists, too.

Like this one, by Tanya Tucker and T. Graham Brown (what the heck ever happened to T. Graham? He's a great singer!)



And this one, by Diamond Rio (Wasn't this DR's first hit song?):



How about Nitty Gritty?



Ha ~ and just to prove that I'm hip; I'm "with it" (although I have never in my life heard this song before), this is one that Radney wrote for Keith Urban:



Back in my sordid musical past, when I finally decided to give country music another go, I bought a couple of cassette tapes. One was by the Sweethearts of the Rodeo (and I don't remember the other one). I'd heard the SOTR a couple of times, and I liked their sound. It was, you know, country-sounding, as strange as that may seem today. I didn't know that Radney had written this song; I just knew that I liked it (and sorry for all the chatter in this video, but hey, it was the best I could find):



Lest we forget that Radney Foster is also a performer, here are some songs from his solo album, "Del Rio, Texas, 1959" (My, he looked much younger then!):



I'm kinda partial to this one:



And then there is this one, recorded by Sara Evans.

This song reminds me a lot of Texas in 1880. I think it was released around the time that I started to wean myself off of country music (not because of this song!), but it's kind of the last good one that I remember hearing on the radio.

The thing that I find about Radney Foster's songs is, melodically, they're superior. I, in fact, at one point, looked up the chord progression for this song, and tried to incorporate it into one of my own. Well, that didn't work.



What makes a good songwriter? Magic fairy dust? I don't know. I still say, either you've got it or you don't. You can't force things like that. Unfortunately.

I watched a video interview with Radney, in which he said that he has written between 25 and 50 songs a year for at least thirty years. I can't even comprehend that. Does he eat or sleep? Does he get any of that good exercise? I think he should get out and walk around a bit; stretch his legs; soak up a few rays. Man does not live by song scribbles and guitar chords alone. Does he?

Maybe writing 25-50 songs a year for thirty years makes one a master songwriter. But I truly think that if I wrote 25-50 songs in 30 years, I'd just have 750-1500 crappy songs. And what would be the point of that? How many crappy songs need to exist in this world? I'll say one. One crappy song. Just to have something to contrast with the good ones.

And to prove that good songwriters beget good songwriters, here's Radney's version of you-know-who's song:

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