During the 1950's two small labels, Sun Records and Chess Records, featured a stable of musicians that included Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry. Influenced by the aforementioned artists, Bob Dylan travelled to Nashville to produce "John Wesley Harding and “Nashville Skyline.” Gram Parsons, during his brief stint with the Byrds, with Chris Hillman, influenced that band to produce the classic “Sweetheart at the Rodeo.” And, as early as 1965, the Beatles, fans of Buck Owens and Carl Perkins, included a cover of a Buck Owens song on their album “Help.” Linda Ronstadt, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, too, contribute to this country catalogue. We’ll also hear from Tex-Mex rockers, The Last Bandolaros, representing the significant influence on country music from our Southern border.
Rusty Nail's blog
If you’re following the Ken Burn’s documentary “Country Music,” you’ll have heard about the Bristol recordings. In 1927 Ralph Peer, with the Victor Talking Machine Co., set up a temporary music studio in Bristol, Va., to record Appalachian musicians and their songs. The best-known artists emerging from the sessions are Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Rusty Nail will explore the Bristol recordings, pairing an original recording with a more contemporary cover of that same song. One cover featured in this week's program includes Boz Scaggs with Duane Allman on guitar. The show will open with two songs highlighting families living and working in coal country. Not often associated with country music, Natalie Merchant contributes to the coal country song list, and provides beautiful and haunting vocals.