Country Roots

Country Roots  (Childhood Details Collection)

My country roots extend into that tall upright radio

Inherited from downstairs when a new one was purchased

With a big dial that crackled and popped when tuned

Early roots wrapped around that 12″ vibrating speaker

Mounted right behind the fabric in the bottom of the set

With a magnet so thick and so strong

It could pull the fillings right out of your teeth

Knobs and dials that can pick up shortwave and more

Signals from all around the world and in the U.S.

My roots emerge from the AM station from just over the mountains

Guitar banjos and voices streaming out hillbilly music

Wheeling, WVA and Fort Wayne, IN came in loud and clear

Country songs from the early 1960’s still float through my head

Saturday night meant I could listen to the WWVA Jamboree

On 40,000 Watts of Power coming over the airwaves

Bringing pure country music to my ears filling every fold in my brain

Jim Reeves singing “He’ll Have to Go”

Hank Snow singing the “Great Speckled Bird”

Loretta & Conway, George & Tammy, and the Browns

Hank Williams singing “Jambalaya” and “Hey Good Lookin’”

All left their mark like “Country Sunhine”on my brain each night

Branded like a steer and marked for life with Country Music Roots

Commercials told of products you could buy to make you a star

Learn to play the piano like the wonderful Floyd Cramer

Playing “Tennessee Waltz” and “Last Date” high on the keyboard

A sound like no other before or since

Wayne Rainey played the blues harmonica so well

“And for $5.95 you too could own your very own Harmonica

Including an easy to follow instruction book with numbers to match”

Hooked I dreamed of one day playing music like that

Sounded so easy I took the bait sent in my money

A brown padded envelope addressed to me came in the mail

It had a cardboard box with a shiny ten-holed harp

Typewritten song book had songs like “Jesus Love of my Soul”

“You are My Sunshine” and “Irene Goodnight”

All with numbered notes some plain and some circled

Showing when to blow in or when draw out

Never did become very good even though I tried

Yes country music grabbed me at a young age

Dreamed of playing the guitar and finally got one

An old Stella that barely stayed in tune

Learned to play Hank Williams and Johnny Cash

And Folk-Gospel songs from the heart

When I watch the specials on PBS

It still takes me back home

To that big old radio

And the WWVA Jamboree


Photo: from the history of the WWVA Jamboree

Guitar Photo: Wikipedia



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