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The Elderly American Songbook: From Curly Putman & Billy Sherrill

Carl Putman, Jr.

Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr.

By Jim Miller

Curly Putman, Jr. grew up on Putman Mountain in Alabama, did a stint in the Navy aboard the Valley Forge and moved from job to job until he sat down one day and wrote “Green, Green Grass of Home.” Some years later he would meet Paul and Linda, a young couple from Liverpool, who would write and record “Junior’s Farm” with their rock group Wings.

Billy Sherrill

Billy Sherrill

Billy Sherrill started life in Alabama as Phil Campbell, a jazz wannabe with a saxophone. Knowing next to nothing about country music, he landed at Epic Records in Nashville where his pop music production values would transform the Nashville Sound. One day a pretty, blonde hopeful named Wynette Byrd walked into his life. Billy signed her to a contract, tacked “Tammy” onto her name, and it was off to the Country Music Hall of Fame for both the producer and his artist.

October, 1967, David Houston and Tammy Wynette teamed up to take My Elusive Dreams to #1 on the country charts and #89 on the Billboard Hot 100. With a well-deserved nod to Billy and Curly, here is….

My Elusive Choppers

You followed me to Wal*Mart
You followed me to K-Mart
We didn’t find ’em there so we moved on

You followed me to Home Depot
Things looked good, alas, but no
We didn’t find ’em there so we moved on

I know you’re tired of lookin’ for
Traipsin’ ’round from store to store
Dinner time won’t be the same
Without my false teeth

We shared a Coke at Arby’s
Stopped in at that book store
We didn’t find ’em there so we moved on

Down the street to Walgreen’s
Lingered at the magazines
We didn’t find ’em there so we moved on

Now we’re parked at Starbuck’s
Thinkin’ I’m flat out of luck
Guess I’ll learn to gum it from now on

[spoken]
Now, all we got is me and you
Rememberin’ how I used to chew

And still, you won’t let me go on alone

I know you’re tired of lookin’ for
Traipsin’ ’round from store to store
Dinner time won’t be the same
Without my false teeth

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in The Elderly American Songbook

 

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What a friend we have in cheeses

CheesesCome on, now, fess up. Surely, I’m not the only hardshell Baptist child to ever hear “What a friend we have in cheeses” in that venerable Sacred Harp hymn.

Cheese is older than recorded history, probably originating as if by magic back when Middle Eastern nomads began toting milk in goatskin bags. And what fare is more basic, more down to Earth for road trip picnicking than a loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese and a bottle of good wine?

So here’s to cheese in all its marvelous forms and flavors! Our salute from The Elderly American Songbook.

What A Friend We Have In Cheeses

What a friend we have in cheeses; cheddar, brie and Camembert.
What a privilege to marry country ham with smoked Gruyere.
Oh, what peas so often forfeit, Oh, what tasteless dishes bear
All because we do not marry yummy cheese with all our fare!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, so long as we have cheese to share.
Can we find a friend so faithful to grace our table oh so fair?
Cheeses fit for every palette, to every meal a special flare.

Such a friend to macaroni! Comfort food beyond compare!
And who can imagine poor bologna, without an American slice to share?
But be it wedge or slice or circle, be it spread or in a can,
There’s no food you may mention that’s been a better friend to man!

 

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in The Elderly American Songbook

 

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Roll Up a Doobie

As a salute to the voters in Colorado and Washington state, I have morphed yet another ditty to my growing collection, The Elderly American Songbook.

The seed for this one is Bobby Vinton’s 1975 recording of Beer Barrel Polka.

 

In a garden, closet garden, only leaves and big buds grow there;

And there’s scarcely any room there or a whisper of dark doom there.

Here is music, loads of laughter, toking happily e’er after.

When we pass around a fat one, we all get in the mood.

Every time that grass cloud starts to bloom.

We all feel the sweet smoke fill the room.

Then we throw all cares into the pot,

Feelin’ fine with what we’ve got.

When the munchies hit we hardly care.

Grab a bag o’ chips we all can share.

Or we’ll make a Stoned Soup pie

With whatever we find nigh.

So-o-o-o-o-o……

Roll up a doobie, we’ll have a doobie-doo high.

Roll up a doobie, we’ll put the blue in the sky.

Who‘s up for nachos? Let’s make a run to Taco Bell.

Now’s the time to roll up a doobie, and pass the pipe as well.

Here’s to tokin’, we’re not jokin’, though our Golden Years be broken.

There’s no hurry; what, us worry? For the voters now have spoken.

Colorado, in the Northwest, where the finest herbals grow best.

Fire our bowls up without protest, and just blow all cares away.

When that old “Black Water” starts to flow

Through that place in which all dreamers grow.

Just kick back and light a fire;

Into the haze let us retire.

Roll up a doobie, we’ll have a mellow good time!

Roll up a doobie, tokin’s no longer a crime!

So what if it’s taxed now? Give Uncle Sammy his cut!

Everybody roll up a dobie, and smoke us out of this rut!

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Genesis

 

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Elderly

[May be sung to the tune of “Tenderly”, that great old American Songbook standard by composer Walter Lloyd Gross]

You take a slip and break a hip. Elderly.
Your still in bed. She thinks you’re dead. Elderly.
Then you start for the store and get to the door
But can’t find the goddam keys!
There’s another face that you can’t place. Elderly.
It’s just a shame to feel so lame. Elderly.
But let fools rush on by because you and I
Don’t give a damn, we’re on the lam so elderly!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Genesis

 

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