Sunday, October 11, 2015

HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER

In the early- to mid-eighties I kind of picked up listening to country radio again in a city in the middle of the Pacific. It wasn’t much of a time to regain an interest in contemporary country music. Slick pop acts like T. G. Sheppard and Barbara Mandrell (she was country before it was cool) abounded. The Judds and Reba, however, were starting to rise, and a few records, like John Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses,” didn’t sound exactly like the country music of yore, but hit where it counted anyway. Into this mix came “hillbilly deluxe” John Anderson with his #1 hit “Swingin’.” The record itself was quite a mélange: deep soul horns, Hammond organ, girlie chorus, and leading the way was John Anderson’s deep-down-in-Florida twang, and his simple ode to sittin’ on the porch with Charlotte Johnson, just a-swangin’. To take the HBTN essay by David Cantwell a little out of context here, “What could be more perfect than that?”


John Anderson • Swingin’ • 1983


Frame grab: YouTube

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