Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Slick Cheaters

Truth of the matter is, I've been known, on occasion, to take a bit of a piss on Country music of the 1970's. And I'll maintain there's much from that decade that's better left buried. To tell the truth again, though, I'd have to admit to a good amount of Country from the 70's that was pretty damn swell. It's easy to lose sight of that until one stares into the shiny bauble of crap coming out of Nashville nowadays (and the whole last decade). Going through my record collection, I'm always astonished how many albums I own from the 70's or how many artists I admire made their careers during the aegis of the Rhinestone years.

Of particular interest is the perfection of the cheating song forged to an art during the decade of key parties, discos, swingers, niteclub culture, deep throats, miss jones, and leisure suits. Along with dead dogs, pickup trucks, and beer, country has always been about the cheating, two-timing, doublecrossing deeds of bad men and wayward women. God bless 'em. But there's something about a cheatin' song from the 70's that adds a weary sigh to the knowing wink. Which is not to say the genre became a study in moralism. Quite the opposite, as the act was generally celebrated as a hedonistic last dance before the dawn of the 80's, and the rise of a virus some called the consequence of sin. Or something. But, to toss off any over-analysis, cheating songs have always some of the funniest lyrics in country, doing the tongue-twist like Dr. Seuss.

I like Moe Bandy. A honky tonk purist in the midst of urban cowboy Nashville, Bandy somehow managed to position himself among Music City's elite despite a disinclination toward the slick and overproduced. His thoughts never far from the barroom and the bedroom (someone else's), Bandy racked up song after song about drinkin' and steppin' out, all without sacrificing his country raisin' (he was born in the same town as Jimmie Rodgers). The 80's and beyond were not kind to Bandy (depending on who you ask, I guess), and he now sets up shop in that little town I like to think is as Hell's representative on earth, Branson, MO. But it's his 70's output that should put a smile in every honky tonk's purist's heart.

I can't guarantee I won't do another Moe Bandy post featuring his fine, fine, drinkin' songs, but today it's all about the cheatin'.

Moe Bandy: I Just Started Hatin' Cheatin' Songs Today (mp3)

Moe Bandy: She's Not Really Cheatin'(She's Gettin' Even) (mp3)

Moe Bandy and Janie Fricke: It's a Cheating Situation (mp3)

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C. said...

Thanks for the Bandy--they're all great tracks. But man, you're not kidding that Moe went downhill in the '80s--one sad memory I have is of a record he put out after Culture Club had had a few hits, called "Where's the Dress?"--the schtick being Moe was going to put on a dress to get a hit song.


Satisfied '75 said...

Damn, you have a great blog. Every single post.

Ed said...

Pure '70s honky tonk (of the Nashville variety)! Great stuff. It wasn’t just Bandy that went down hill from there. The creation of the CMA signaled the end of anything “pure” coming from Nashville.
Thanks for reminder of late nights on a stool, dark smokey barrooms, and cheatin’ songs on the jukebox. Now if you’ll excuse me…”Bartender! Another one down here.”
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

There are some great Branson shows to see!