Sunday, June 02, 2013

Merle Travis

Damn, what a great album! Been too long since I listened.

Merle Travis on it is great. I have a story. 1950s, LA, early days of TV. Time to fill, not many shows. One station had long weekday afternoon live country music variety show. Travis was a regular!

The station was located near the great Farmer's Market. Moms would drop their kids, like me, at the station to watch the show while they shopped. The kids might become part of the show, getting on a haystack. The first daycare in LA?

Anyway, one of these times I got a guitar lesson from Merle Travis! End of story. Well, not quite. He became a sort of hero after I got my Gene Autry guitar, so I was really upset when he made the front page of the paper after going after his wife with a butcher knife or some such. Innocence and Experience, as Blake says.

Travis had unusual TWO finger picking style. Doc Watson picked it up when not flat picking. Doc named son Merle after Trsvis.

Today Travis best known as songwriter: Sixteen Tons, Dark As A Dungeon.

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