9. Misery Country
There is an unlikely link between this post and the last one. The Sir Douglas Quintet’s Doug Sahm (who started having hits in the mid 60’s) played as a child on the last gig ever done by Country Music’s greatest star: Hank Williams (in 1948). I was the right age to buy Williams’s EPs in the mid 50’s and wore them out.
Aside from being as miserable as Johnny Cash (the man in Black, the same title as worn by the much more unfortunate Roy Orbison). Williams’ misery was at times more real: unlike the other two mentioned he committed suicide. But he had a wonderful sense of humour which presumably kept him alive as long as he managed.
My facourite of many is in ‘I’ll never get out of this world alive’. Of course the title of the song is pretty hot too. But one of the phrases in the song is unbeatable. A distant uncle died and left him ‘quite a batch’ (which rhymes with the line quoted below). He was living high until the fatal day’:
‘A lawyer proved I wasn’t borned, I was only hatched’
For surreal wonderfulness I consider that lyric very hard to beat. The whole song is sung with utter seriousness, which is of course a big boost to its humour. He recounts a series of misfortunes which lead him to the conclusion that he wont even ‘get out of this world alive’. What a man!
I cant find that on YouTube, but here is one of his good ones:
There is a huge country music industry and plenty of excellent stars,but nobody shone so bright as Hank!