New Video from Marty Brown: “Country Girls”

Country Girls

Country singer Marty Brown has released a new video for his song “Country Girls.”  The long-time country star and America’s-Got-Talent alum co-wrote the song with Jimmy Yeary.

To promote the new song, Brown released a new video.  In the video, Brown gets a call while fishing. Then, he must make his way to his wife and his fans along various country roads.

“Country Girls” is another solid country hit from the writer of the wonderful “Whatever Makes You Smile.” Check out “Country Girls.”

For more information, check out Marty Brown’s website.

Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Springsteen Song Rejected By the Harry Potter Films

    Springsteen Song Harry Potter

    The Harry Potter films had almost everything.  They had magic and adventure.  They had a story beloved by children and adults.  But they did not have a Bruce Springsteen song, although they could have.

    Bruce Springsteen offered his song “I’ll Stand By You Always” to the franchise, but filmmakers turned him down.  Reportedly, Springsteen wrote the song between 1998 and 2000 after reading the first Harry Potter book to his eldest son, Sam.  He then made the song available to director Christopher Columbus for either Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

    Springsteen explained to BBC Radio 2 that “I’ll Stand By You Always” “was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I’d sing myself.”  He added, though, that “it was something that I thought would have fit lovely.”

    The song’s rejection had nothing to do with the quality of the song.  Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s contract stipulated that no commercial songs could be used in the movies.

    “I’ll Stand By You Always” almost had a second life when Marc Anthony planned to include it on his album Mended (2002).  But ultimately Anthony left the song off the album.

    In Springsteen’s demo version, “I’ll Stand By You Always” is a quiet ballad.  The lyrics contain no overt references to Harry Potter, but they do sound like they were written from a parent to a child.

    I know here in the dark tomorrow can seem so very far away;
    Here the ghosts and the goblins can rise from your dreams to steal your
    heart away;

    Together we’ll chase those thieves that won’t leave you alone out from
    under the bed, out from over our home;

    And when the light comes we’ll laugh my love about the things that the
    night had us so frightened of;

    And until then,

    I’ll stand by you always, always, always.

    Around the time that Springsteen was shopping the song to the Harry Potter folks, a CD-R with the song was given to some executives at Columbia Records.  But the song is not generally available.  Springsteen’s demo of “I’ll Stand By You Always” hit the Internet for a brief period recently, but for now it is gone.

    Springsteen does tend to release old songs eventually, so we may still see an official release of “I’ll Stand By You Always.”  But until we do, you may imagine how the song might sound along with Conan O’Brien (“Let’s raise our wands to all the wizards and steel workers. . . “).

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Sturgill Simpson and the Dap-Kings: “All Around You”

    Simpson Dap-Kings

    The 2017 Grammy Awards had several highlights.  While much of the buzz is rightfully upon amazing performances by the likes of Beyoncé, Adele, and A Tribe Called Quest, one wonderful performance that did not get so much attention was Sturgill Simpson and the Dap-Kings performing Simpsons’ “All Around You.”

    Simpson and the Dap-Kings make a perfect fit.  And, they were not thrown together by the Grammy folks as an attention-getting pairing.  The Dap-Kings, who attended the Grammys for a tribute to their former lead singer Sharon Jones, played on Simpson’s 2016 album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.

    Check out Simpson and the Dap-Kings kicking it at the Grammys on “All Around You,” a song Rolling Stone described as “a tale of uplift in the face of adversity.”

    “All Around You” is from Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Simpson wrote the album as a letter home from a man to his wife and newborn son. Working on the album, Simpson was inspired by his own time in the Navy, his separation from his own newborn while touring, and in a letter his grandfather wrote.  A Nirvana song also helped develop the album’s themes.

    Simpson’s performance was not the only highlight for him last night. He also took home the Grammy for Best Country Album. And then, after the show, he celebrated with a stop at In-N-Out-Burger.

    What was your favorite performance at the Grammys? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Best Gospel Songs by Pop Stars (Part 5): Cash & Byrds


    Pop Gospel Songs

    Chimesfreedom continues its periodic discussion of the best gospel songs by popular singers.  In this Post, we consider recordings by Johnny Cash and The Byrds.

    “Spiritual,” Johnny Cash

    I am not sure why it has taken me until this far into our “Gospel Songs by Pop Stars” series to write about “Spiritual” because I love this song. Johnny Cash, of course, recorded a number of religious songs though his career, but this one recorded near the end of his life stands out for me.

    “Spiritual” was written by Josh Haden, son of great jazz bassist Charlie Haden. There are other excellent versions of the song, including one of Josh singing on his father’s 2008 album, Rambling Boy. But Johnny Cash’s version from his 1996 Unchained album gets me every time.

    The song starts slow and hypnotic, gradually building to an emotional cry of pain. Beautiful.

    “I Like the Christian Life,” The Byrds

    The Byrds, under the influence of Gram Parsons, recorded “I Like the Christian Life” for their Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (1968) album. The excellent album is largely credited as a major catalyst for the country-rock movement, and “The Christian Life” was a cover of a classic Louvin Brothers song for the hippie crowd.

    On a rock record, one might expect the song to translate into tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, but the song feels genuine in its praise of living a simple Christian life. It is hard to imagine an album by a major pop group including a song like this one today.

    Originally, the Byrds recorded the song with Gram Parsons singing lead vocal, but a dispute about Parson’s contract with another record company, the Byrds replaced Parsons’s lead vocals on some of the songs. Some believe that the change was also motivated by the band’s concern that the album was becoming too much of a Gram Parsons project.

    So, the official album version featured Roger McGuinn’s vocals dubbed into the lead. Both versions are excellent and appear on re-issues. Below is McGuinn’s version that was originally released on the CD.

    For comparison, below is a rehearsal take featuring Gram Parsons singing lead.



    Check out other posts in our series on Gospel Songs by Pop Singers.

    What is your favorite gospel song by a popular singer? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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