I hit Bob pretty hard today in the comments, he’d sworn me to secrecy about his first job. I was never supposed to reveal that he’d been a toll collector as the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea. So now I feel I should try to suck up a little. Plus Bob requested a song the other day and not just any song but one of my own favorites.
Bob’s request was “Set ’em up Joe” but we need a little backstory before getting there. Ernest Tubb wrote and recorded “Walking the floor Over You” in 1941. It is a country standard to this day, songs like this are how the Country Troubadours became troubadours. So check it out…
You see, this is B24 in the song I’m about to play for Bob. Country music singers have always been willing to share the songs they wrote, who did the better version of “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” George Jones or Merle Haggard? How about “Tennessee Whiskey?” Was it David Alan Coe, George or maybe Chris Stapelton? Hell, lets compare Waylon’s “Honky Tonk Heroes” to Billy Joe Shaver’s. Billy Joe wrote the song but did risk serious bodily injury while selling it to Waylon.
Then you have to remember jukeboxes. A quarter used to buy 5 songs, in my glory days anyway. Bob had to work a month to make a quarter not to mention waiting till quarters were invented. I grew up listening to classic country music, not the pop country of today. I agree whole-heartedly with Hank Williams III, “pop country sucks.” But I remember hearing this on the radio while I rode in the tractor with Dad and this doesn’t suck a damn bit.
I really enjoy Jamey Johnson’s version too, it’s like deciding which one hurt most, Merle or George. When you get right down to it, thank God they hurt or they wouldn’t be able to make us feel it to this day.