October 17: Bruce Springsteen released The River in 1980
But I remember us riding in my brother’s car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true Or is it something worse?
~Bruce Springsteen “The River”
Put on your best dress baby
And darlin’, fix your hair up right
Cause there’s a party, honey
Way down beneath the neon lights
~Bruce Springsteen “Out In The Street”
“Jesus was a good guy, he didn’t need this shit.”
― John Prine
“And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile. It don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while. Won’t you please tell the man I didn’t kill anyone. No, I’m just tryin’ to have me some fun.”
― John Prine
It can be explained in just one word: sincerity. When a hillbilly sings a crazy song, he feels crazy. When he sings, ‘I Laid My Mother Away,’ he sees her a-laying right there in the coffin. He sings more sincere than most entertainers because the hillbilly was raised rougher than most entertainers. You got to know a lot about hard work. You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly. The people that have been raised something like the way the hillbilly has…. knows what he sings about and appreciates it
~Hank Williams (on the success of Country Music)
Nobody had a talent for making suffering enjoyable like Hank Williams
Hank Williams was the first influence I would think.
~Bob Dylan (to Billy James, Oct 1961)
I started writing songs after I heard Hank Williams.
~Bob Dylan (The Les Crane Show, 17 Feb 1965)
By most accounts, George Jones is the finest vocalist in the recorded history of country music.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Be real about what you do. Stay true to the voice inside you. Don’t let the “business” change what it is you love because the people, the fans, respond to what is heartfelt. They can always tell when a singer is faking it.