The above painting was created for an auction a few years ago. The “model” was one of my husbands many Ovation Acoustic Guitars.
I was introduced to country music in 1970 by my “to be” husband (I was more of the Three Dog Night kinda gal). After 40 years together, his love of the origins of the music has not changed, if anything, has become more so. He got his first guitar at six years old and began “picking” and singing the songs of such greats as Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and many more. The first song he learned on the guitar was Hank Williams, Your Cheating Heart. Today, he mostly sings and picks gospel songs. Many which include songs by Luke the Drifter, (Hank’s pseudo name for his gospel songs). He passed his love of music on to our daughter, who loves many “flavors” of music but her heart belongs to the all time great….Dolly.
While at my daughters this week, I was perusing a book on country music, My Country by Melanie Dunea. The author photographed and interviewed, through a set of questions, musicians, compiling a great, interesting, and beautiful book. As I read through the book, the answers to the question, What makes country music the heart and soul of America?….a re-occurring theme was repeated….”heart, soul, life…love, heartbreak, cheating”. Wynonna Judd says it best-real words for real people in the real world. Country music is the poetry of everyday life. Through the years, the style has changed many times but the heart and soul-the stories-have remained pretty much the same.
Another question asked by the author was, If you could thank God in person for one thing, what would it be? Again, there were many different answers, but Joe Nichols spoke volumns to me and it was a one word answer…..Jesus! (Side-bar I read the question and answer aloud to my granddaughter and she said, “Nanny, you should put that on your blog”, so MP this one’s for you!)
Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep ,
You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep,
but sleep won’t come the whole night through,
Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you,
when tears come down like falling rain,
You’ll toss around and call my name,
You’ll walk the floor the way ,I do
your cheatin’ heart will tell on you,
When tears come down…Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you…(Hank Williams, 1952)
There is One, who, once invited into your heart, will never cheat on you-Jesus!
New International Version (NIV)
16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.