1) Having attended many of your concerts over the years, it amazes me how you remember the words to all of the songs you sing. Do you have a “trick” to remembering the words?
No, but I can tell you a sure-fire way for me to FORGET them and that’s to TRY and remember them. In other words, if I over-concentrate on remembering the words, I’ll lose my place every time. But when I just relax and let them flow, more often than not they’ll come out right.
2) My favorite song of yours is “That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome.” Did you write this song? And was there something that happened in your life to inspire it?
The answer is yes to both questions. I wrote it while I was still living in Commerce, Georgia, and working as a disc jockey. A girl I had been dating suddenly became engaged to an old boyfriend that I thought she had left in her rear-view mirror. I didn’t take the news very well, and that one incident inspired LOTS of songs.
3) How did you and Jimmy Dean become such good friends?
If there was any one thing that drew us together to begin with it was probably our senses of humor. I thought he was hilarious nearly every time he opened his mouth, and he thought the same about me. That broke the ice, so to speak, and then we realized how many other things we had in common. Listen to his “IOU” and my “Mama Sang A Song.” His “To A Sleeping Beauty” and my “Five Little Fingers.” And to both of our recordings of “Drinking From My Saucer.” We both loved our mothers, our children, and spoke often of the many blessings the Good Lord had bestowed upon each of us. I’d give anything to pick up my phone on a Sunday morning and hear his laughter echoing across the miles one more time. There was nobody quite like him.
Thanks for your questions. Keep ’em coming to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. I’ll see you back here again next month.