When old songs were new songs, and dead genres lived

You don’t generally think of the Rolling Stones as a country-music band, but when they want to be, they do a damn fine job of it. “Dead Flowers,” recorded back in the prehistoric era of 1969, is a great example. Listen to the song as if it were the first time that you ever heard it, forgetting that those playing and singing constitute a celebrity rock band from England, and it just oozes country.

What you also hear, however, is a direction not taken for country music. The Stones were tapping into the country genre at a moment in its history when its commercial sound and its authentic sound had not yet divorced because of irreconcilable differences. It could still be vibrant and rough and at times crude, both in its lyrics and its sound, and it was still true to its shared roots in the blues and rock and roll.

Within a decade of this song’s release, country music in its commercial form had been castrated, and all the hat acts in the world can’t reverse the operation.

– Jay Bookman

652 comments Add your comment

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:28 pm

Jay

Dead Flowers kicks butt

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:29 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:31 pm

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
4:32 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:33 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:35 pm

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
4:37 pm

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
4:38 pm

Mick

March 22nd, 2013
4:39 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:39 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:41 pm

You can go for awhile and just play killer Stones tunes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_S532DjrZk

Normal, plain and simple...

March 22nd, 2013
4:41 pm

In the interest of fair and balanced…the best country song of the Beatles… :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNRH7_Kd5Yc

indigo

March 22nd, 2013
4:42 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:44 pm

so I will can on for awhile and play some killer Stones tunes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ8Bc6jz-W8

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:46 pm

indigo

March 22nd, 2013
4:47 pm

And this is about as authentic Country as it gets.

I’m sure most of you have never heard this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKwpBrlBOEU

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:48 pm

“will go on…………..”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwu0MQrk_ec

The Stones being played from the TBS version of their Greatest Hits

Mick

March 22nd, 2013
4:49 pm

Normal, plain and simple...

March 22nd, 2013
4:50 pm

Johnny Winters did a cover of The Stones “Stray Cat Blues that is dyn-o-mite!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaH2Pm_8Sr4

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:50 pm

Matti

March 22nd, 2013
4:52 pm

!!!!!!! LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE THIS, MR. BOOKMAN !!!!!!!!!!

I’ve had Sticky Fingers in my changer for months. The whole thing is brilliant, and as you so aptly described, a sound now lost to commercialism. Vibrant, rough, & crude = REAL. You’ve made me very happy this afternoon. :)

Normal, plain and simple...

March 22nd, 2013
4:53 pm

But before I go, I guess my favorite Stones song is this one…and I can tell it’s true…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI318VBjAmw

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
4:54 pm

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
4:58 pm

I swear TBS lives for FNM

What, Jays not a Garth fan?

saywhat?

March 22nd, 2013
4:59 pm

Can’t see youtube at work, so I don’t know if its been mentioned above, but for countrified Stones, I like “the girl with the far away eyes”.

Matti

March 22nd, 2013
5:01 pm

saywhat?,

Kam put that up for us, and I agree.

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:04 pm

Jm

I set it up for the 1st few hours, so those who usually stay on later will have some righteous tunes listen to………

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuRxXRuAz-I

big1sred

March 22nd, 2013
5:05 pm

One of my favs of all time. Of course, the BEST country song done by the Stones was “Far Away Eyes”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyK1bZZ7E-s

Jefferson

March 22nd, 2013
5:08 pm

Kam and TBS got the yayas going what about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNY8eYmzdH4

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:10 pm

jefferson: Great choice

Check out this monster jam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyyLOOvwIts

Jefferson

March 22nd, 2013
5:12 pm

TBS another from beggars – blues/country

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8NfWcqIdEE

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
5:13 pm

Rolling Stone Magazine nailed this observation. “Lucinda Williams has attained what ALL other country acts are striving to attain, but to date, none have reached her level.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx1ffuDoy6I

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:14 pm

“Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy………….”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUO8ScYVeDo

td

March 22nd, 2013
5:16 pm

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
5:18 pm

keith mentioned something of note in his autobio–and people seem to forget, but if you listen to most any Stones lp, you are not going to hear mostly straight ahead rock n roll. You will get country tinged stuff, and blues, and folk, and some hard rock. Which is why when they were at their best they were very hard to beat. “The greatest rock n roll band in the world”? dunno. at times, maybe.

like say here.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=TW-sJqO5qDM

Note how Mick changes the lyrics to “they all look real to me, they don’t look so strange”

td

March 22nd, 2013
5:18 pm

Another one that is pure country across genres.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S67CTVVv3KQ

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:23 pm

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
5:25 pm

The Chicken Raid is on this weekend.

This is where it ALL came from. (unless you are Irish, Bach or early gospel)

http://www.northsidetavern.com/chickenraid_13.html

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
5:27 pm

That jam in Sway is fierce!

Trying to keep up and losing ground!

td

March 22nd, 2013
5:31 pm

I call this one a crossover to country. One of the best lines ever written into a song.

“You can spend all your time making money
You can spend all your love makin time.
If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
would you still be mine”

The original with Randy in 1977

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItlY6oIfRVg

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
5:32 pm

“Within a decade of this song’s release, country music in its commercial form had been castrated, and all the hat acts in the world can’t reverse the operation.”

Word.

http://youtu.be/2N-UFoIraHY

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
5:33 pm

Mudcat runs and performs at the Chicken Raid.
http://www.examiner.com/article/atlanta-blues-musicians-mudcat

2 weeks ago Will Ferrel dropped in for some Blues.

St Simons

March 22nd, 2013
5:35 pm

yes sir TBS – Wild Hosses

& Beast of Burden is one of the greatest songs ever written

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:38 pm

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
5:39 pm

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
5:40 pm

You can hear a pin drop when Essie May gets on stage at the Chicken Raid.

You think you are too old to get out and hear some music, she was born in 1930 and sits through both days of music.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C96ZbGT1fhA

Whiznot

March 22nd, 2013
5:41 pm

Everything on “Sticky Fingers” was great and that album with Mick Taylor on lead was the Stones high water mark. For an earlier Stones country tune check out Brian Jones’ great dobro lead on “No Expectations” off the “Beggars Banquet” album.

Commercial country is beyond awful. For those who would like to listen to good Americana and roots rock check out the online Rootsradio.be out of Belgium–you will not be disappointed.

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:42 pm

pogo

March 22nd, 2013
5:45 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjGLKg5SvC8

The Kinks were into this long before anyone else. Long live Ray and Dave and the rest. Something extraordinary that came our way for a while.

td

March 22nd, 2013
5:46 pm

Here is some new none commercial country for you all from a good local band.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tel7yXwtXI8

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
5:49 pm

This is to salute R C (R–apoi) in appreciation of all the haulin’ and luggin’ so we can have beer in our favorite retail store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8WefF6C01c

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
5:52 pm

The Kinks were into this long before anyone else.

pogo, I love the Kinks. They’re my favorite band, they basically invented hard rock, they are the desert island disk guys. But, Muswell came out in ‘71 and to be fair to the Stones, they were already well into the country genre with “Dear Doctor” on Beggar’s Banquet.

td

March 22nd, 2013
5:57 pm

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
5:57 pm

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
5:58 pm

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
5:59 pm

Kam: thanks for the Jim & Jessie. Jim (who sang the high harmony has been dead for years. Jessie McReynolds is still alive although his is well into his 80s. Jessie pioneered the “cross-picking” technique of playing the mandolin (which is similar to the 3-finger “roll” on banjo) but it never really caught on because it is so difficult. LOVED IT!

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
6:04 pm

“Waiting for a Factory Girl…………….”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5950v0kTJg

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
6:05 pm

Got nuthin to do with music, but thought I’d share:

http://thugkitchen.com/

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
6:07 pm

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
6:10 pm

pogo

March 22nd, 2013
6:13 pm

I stand corrected stands. Dead Flowers by the Stones was also an excellent rock and roll “country” song. It reminded me of one of my childhood acquaintences whose father had a big old house with a bomb shelter where some of the very same things portrayed by Keith Richards in that song happened. Very strange coincedence.

The Kinks concert at the Fox Theatre with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as the starter was one of the best (if not the best) I ever saw (and I have seen a lot including the Stones three times). Ray Davies and crew are geniuses whose lyrics mostly went over the head of their listening audience. Village Green is another strange song for a rock band but its meaning is still pertinent today. Tradition is losing and they knew it was coming. They were trying to tell us that not all that WAS is bad even though we are now told daily that we need to forget the past and embrace the future. And if we don’t, we are labeled dinosaurs (or some political smear).

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
6:16 pm

Paul

March 22nd, 2013
6:19 pm

Thanks, Jay, I never imagined anything like that.

I can see the judges on American Idol: Randy talking about taking a song and making it their own, Mariah gushing encouragement, Keith Urban nodding and grinning and slapping you upside the head for your comment and Nicki Minaj grimacing and rolling her eyes and muttering something unintelligible.

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
6:20 pm

pogo

March 22nd, 2013
6:21 pm

Commercial country music has been reduced to being performed by good looking yankees with generic songwriters with absolutely no connection to the hard times and the remoteness that living in the South created for such performers as Hank Williams and others. It is trash (as most other music of any genre today is). Standards for everything in American society are lowering everyday. Just like the intelligence level.

Paul

March 22nd, 2013
6:21 pm

Jamvet 4:37

heh, heh, heh

I hope Ole Miss plays on a station I get. I wanna be entertained.

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
6:26 pm

Whiznot, that site looks wild, thanks!

And in the same sweet spirit of sharing the music, check this puppy out!

http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
6:26 pm

Just when the previous generation declares music is not as good as their music was, this happens:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I83llca5mf0

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
6:50 pm

Thomas heyward Jr

March 22nd, 2013
6:55 pm

If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use both feet.
Keith Richards
———————————————————-
.
Obama/Bush Thumbsucking Prog Wankers don’t even deserve to listen to Mr. Richards.
.
Stick with Beiber.
Leave Richards to Real men/Americans.

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
6:56 pm

Ya`ll sleep?
Here, have another hit….of Fresh Air.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EacQEhrbBQ

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
6:56 pm

Kam, that 6:05 cracked me up, big time. Bookmarked and sent on down the digital highway to friends and fam! Thanks.

Hiya Paul! March madness!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haH-tClY8ME

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
7:04 pm

Brother AmVet

Cribbed it from TBogg’s twitter.

https://twitter.com/tbogg

It’s a gold mine of tidbits.

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
7:04 pm

Gee, “Dumbus” Heywad. Thanks (I think) for the advice. I’ll be sure to break out all of my “old” Justin Bieber albums just for you, dumbass! Don’t let the door . . . you know the rest.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 22nd, 2013
7:06 pm

Well, the beer’s right tasty and the company’s OK tho it could do with some people of the female persuasion. I reckon Billy Bob’s is OK if you like looking at other men, but it sure ain’t a romantic place.

I see where they caught this guy pretending to be a pilot and setting in the pilot seat of a airliner. What with the closing of all the control towers, seems to me flying is getting to be right risky.

No songs from me tonight. I’ll just check in once in a while. I’m kinda sellabrating being at the top of the group with my bracket but I’m tied with two people that just won’t go away. I think they was looking over my shoulder when I filled out my bracket. For now, I’ll just say Cheers, losers.

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
7:08 pm

Heyward,
They all ask about you down on the farm…the pig asked, the cows asked, the horses asked too..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFVdWnvIXMM

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
7:11 pm

Well, I booked my tee time over there at Country Land Golf Course tomorrow. They said we was going to follow the “Redneck” foursome. I’m not sure if it’s gonna rain tomorrow, but I’m gonna be on the lookout for anyone teeing the ball in the fairway! I’ve already talked with the ranger about it!

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
7:14 pm

For little Tommy-poo “Ron Paul RULZ” Heyward

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHozn0YXAeE

‘Cause it’s more your speed.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 22nd, 2013
7:17 pm

Well, Sooth, you might have the course to yourself. You know good and well that Joe Bill won’t play if it means getting the new golf shoes he bought at Goodwill wet.

Anyhow, I’ll be sorry to miss out on being followed by a rat fink. Let the record show I never squealed on you when you was doing your business behind that tree, too lazy to go to the clubhouse. Anyhow, I hope the copperhead that bites you is a fairly small one. I don’t wish ill on anybody, you know, being a Christian and all.

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
7:19 pm

Before Chuck Levell played keys for the Stones there was this guy. Fastest piano player I ever heard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xVohNilEo0

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
7:21 pm

pogo, I think you’re on the right track about Village Green Preservation Society–it is, for me, a classic small-”c” conservative masterpiece, about as perfect a collection of songs as anyone has ever committed to vinyl.

Ray Davies was and is a complicated fella. I haven’t always seen eye to eye with him but he always gives me something to think about. As for where ideology falls into this, he put it beautifully in “Uncle Son”–

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i09gNsHa9w

Liberals dream of equal rights
Conservatives live in a world gone by
Socialists preach of a promised land
But old Uncle Son was an ordinary man

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
7:26 pm

No Beatle mania?

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
7:27 pm

Well, I booked my tee time over there at Country Land Golf Course tomorrow.

C’mon, man, swamp chicken season opens in the AM. (Gobble, gobble.)

The heathen will be listening to the woods wake up in the AM. Quite an experience in the springtime as just about every bird is a-courting.

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
7:28 pm

skydog, here’s a tune that Ray Davies wrote about Nicky Hopkins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1h7lv8__rc

Many years ago, I thought it was kind of a nasty little dig. Nowadays, of course, it seems like it was just one working man to another… “he’s not paid to think, just play.”

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
7:32 pm

St Simons

March 22nd, 2013
7:41 pm

What if the Stones, George Harrison, Chuck Berry, even Robert Cray
in the background, and the baddest singer ever did one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8i5PEhtWzY

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
7:47 pm

Sooth: That Ann Abby is H O T !!

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
7:51 pm

A sortta cross-over with that high and lonesome sound.

http://youtu.be/s4-ixeR1sdA

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
7:52 pm

g.h., is that what her name was?

wsm_marathoner

March 22nd, 2013
7:56 pm

I am a 50 year old Gay man and I love Johnny Cash. I have a lot of Texas in me. ;)

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
7:56 pm

David Allan Coe was in a serious auto accident in FLA this week and remains in the hospital.

Get well DAC.

If that ain’t country,

http://youtu.be/27ewOMNqkYA

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
7:58 pm

Viva la WSM and the Grand Ole Opry!

Glad to have you with us, wsm_marathoner!

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
8:02 pm

Sooth: That’s what they said.

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
8:04 pm

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
8:10 pm

Mick solo.

“people say I`m a drunkard…but I`m sober 1/2 the time..”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm8UGBzmTx8

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 22nd, 2013
8:16 pm

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
8:19 pm

Have we covered this one?
Stones and Dave Mathews – Memory Motel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w3iOCmmywE

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
8:19 pm

St Simons: just listened to your post. Fabulous! You should have let me know there was some Chuck in there! Went straight to the bookmarks! Thanks for posting!

skydog

March 22nd, 2013
8:22 pm

JamVet

March 22nd, 2013
8:24 pm

skydog, because it looked interesting,I bought this record on a whim.

And never regretted it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JUIPpeLg68