Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Well It's Lonesome in This Big Town

I've only been to Houston once, and that was for a layover, so I never left the airport. I was still afraid I was gonna get arrested for not carrying a gun.

Founded by brothers Augustus and John Allen, who paid $1.40 per acre for 6,642 acres of land near Buffalo Bayou in 1838, Houston is named after Sam Houston, general of Texas army that won independence from Mexico, and president of the Republic of Texas. Some also call it "Space City, USA" (probably not it's locals though). It's the 4th largest city in the United States, and home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the world's biggest rodeo. It's also home to Comets and Astros, Aeros, Hotshots, Rockets, and Texans. NASA's got a thing going there. Cowboy hats and oil rigs figure prominently in the skyline. The Geto Boys were from Houston. Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, Howard Hughes, and Tommy Tune have all been born or resided in Houston. According to the 2003-4 U.S. census, folks from Houston eat out more than any other city in the United States.

We're informative here at the Mountain.

But we're not really concerned with Houston the city so much as Houston the idea. Houston the song. One we're quite keen on here at the Mountain. A stumbling, shambolic western hymn to, ostensibly, losing oneself and finding, again, in the green, green, grass of home. Or something. Maybe it's not about that at all.

Here's another Mountain favorite(hell, they're all favorites, aren't they?), presented in glorious technicolor. One by the man who wrote it, one by the man who perfected it, 'nother by a country prankster, and the final by a savant genius. Enjoy.

Lee Hazlewood: Houston (mp3)

Dean Martin: Houston (mp3)

Bobby Bare: Houston (mp3)

The Fall: 41 Loop/Houston (mp3)

The Mountain is not planning on visiting Houston anytime soon, but if we do, we'd be inclined to check out their local, independent establishments. To get a proper taste of the character of the city.


april5k said...

We do like to call it "Space City" from time to time, but usually "H-Town" or "H-Tizzy" is what you get from the kids. You get "Bayou City" every once in a while.

And I don't know the last time I saw a cowboy hat on someone, and it's even rodeo time.

But thanks for the Houston songs!

Happy In Bag said...

I just learned that Cactus Records is closing on March 31. They're good people, and they're also connected to the Daly family, big players in the independent record label industry decades ago.

Anonymous said...

If you go to the Big H., make sure you hit McGonigels Mucky Duck.

It's one of the best live music venues around.

Anonymous said...

You forgot about Beyonce and Destiny's Child!

Joe de Vivre said...

Great songs! Thanks

RGN said...

RE Houston its worth noting that the hot mouth organ featured on Dean
Martins recording is provided by Sun rockabilly pioneer Billy Lee Riley
(best known for Flying Saucers Rock n Roll)