The Right Part For The Right Song
by POPSIE 1956
In 40 plus years as a broadcaster, 90 percent of the time I have been a music DJ, so I tend to pay attention to a lot of “quirks” when I hear a particular song.
Lately I’ve been hearing a new song on Country Radio that’s actually an old song, and while I really like the new version, one could say there’s something…quirky..about it, which got me thinking.
The song in question is “Gentle On My Mind,” made famous by Glen Campbell.
When you read the lyrics, the song was, in no certain terms, written for a man to sing.
The Country group The Band Perry has the new version.
Now, one can say it’s quirky that the female lead sings the song which references the singer’s beard. Considering that it’s a tip of the hat to Campbell, considering his health battles, I can accept that, however, there’s scores of other Campbell songs to choose from, IMO.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than open to experimentation in music. A great song is a great song, but this is not the first time this has been done, and it confuses me.
Here’s some other examples;
One of my most hated songs is “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Not the original version or lyrics for sure,
But it’s the version by Joan Baez that has bugged me for over 40 years.
Could be I’m just not a Joan Baez fan, but this one CLEARLY was written (and sung) from a male standpoint.
Now, some quirkiness to add to the quirkiness;
Back in the sixties, Cher (while still with Sonny) put out a solo record of “You Better Sit Down Kids,” written BY Sonny, and perhaps was a vision of their married life down the road.
All that said, it was still a big hit for Cher.
John Prine wrote AND originally recorded “Angel From Montgomery.”
ALSO recorded by Bonnie Raitt.
One of the strangest ones is the Classic Country Standard “Stand By Your Man.”
The original version the signature song of Tammy Wynette. There’s been a version by David Allen Coe,
But the most successful male version of the song is by Lyle Lovett.
Again, I am ALL about an artist’s way of performing a song, but to me, it’s just a little…quirky…no, goofy, for one gender to sing a song that without a doubt has lyrics/meaning from the opposite gender.
Am I alone? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
One last thing, even the greatest of great songs can have new life when envisioned differently.
Example, there’s a LOT of ways to f**k up Beatle songs, but turning a pop classic into a Soul ballad? Whole new spin.
I’m guessing the boys from Liverpool rather liked this one.