Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ballad of a Thin Man

Joan Baez’s 1965 venture into “folk rock,” Farewell, Angelina, contained, in addition to songs by Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie, this Red Hayes composition, probably best known as a 1955 number one country hit for Porter Wagoner. It was always one of my favorites from the Baez album along with Dylan’s “Farewell, Angelina” and a German-language version of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Bob Dylan’s 1980 LP Saved opens with a very un-country version that pretty much saves an otherwise unredeemable album. One day around 1986 I finally heard Porter’s version on an RCA comp, Best of the ’50s, nestled between songs by Hank Snow, Don Gibson, and The Browns. Well, Porter Wagoner’s version promptly moved to the top of the list, for no other reason than that it’s really great. So, without further gabbing about it . . . here is “A Satisfied Mind” as sung by none other than the thin man from West Plains, Porter Wagoner.