“Who’s gonna fill their shoes”?, is the title of a “Country Song”, recently recorded, asking a relevant question about many great Country-Music “Stars” passing-on, as everyone has to do, at one time or another. Well, with people such as Johnny Cash, George Jones, & Merle Haggard “gone” in the recent past, Ray Price & Marty Robbins, a little while ago, Patsy Cline & Tammy Wynette, joining “their Men”, on Heaven’s Stage, plus other great female Country Stars, I suppose the question asked is quite a reasonable one.
Luckily, there ARE a few of “The young ones”who will hopefully fill the shoes of “the greats”in the Country Music I term “the best”, only because, there have been eras of this music, now long gone, that are termed “Corny”, or “Country & Western”, or even “Hillbilly” , quaint terminology for Country Music. Personally, it does not matter to me, what the song/music, is, how old or young a “Country Vocalist is, IF the song has lyrics that can be understood, the music is “melodic”, commercial, to the point where it could be “karyoked”/ hummed-along with, minutes after one has heard it for the first time, then, to me, this is a good song.
“Millions USE Music that appeal, just to them,
Music for millions, no matter how, where, or when” (D.K.).
When I first saw this young guy, he was in a “tribute-show” to one of the “greats” I have mentioned. Together with Noel Haggard, Ben Haggard, & Marty Haggard, Mo Pitney comes along to answer the question asked in the first place. There are, indeed, “The Young Ones” who will, in time, fill the shoes of the “Stars” & Mo Pitney is certainly one of them.
Written exclusively for all expatriates from Sri Lanka.
Born in a Country that was supposed to be THE former Garden of Eden, this particular “expatriate”personally saw the massive”changes” from the halcyon CEYLON of the 30’s, where “life” was uncomplicated,inexpensive, easy to live, in every imaginable way. First & foremost, it was a Country with NO Seasons. Waxing lyrical, Eternal Summer, golden wind-swept beaches surrounding it, palm trees, like no other, fruit trees, like no other, as well, bearing fruit like the mangosteens, rambutungs, bananas (of multiple variety), unheard of, in any other similar Country, the beli-fruit, which bore the adage “Beli-kanakota, bada-yanawa, Bada-yanakota, beli-kanawa”in Sinhala, or “When you eat beli, your belly discharges, when you THEN eat beli, your belly recharges”, in other words, this “fruit” will help you avoid constipation, but if you keep “stuffing-yourself”, as a lot of Sri Lankans do, all the time, then, this magnificent fruit will help you get constipated, all over again. Where else would you be able to get a fruit of this nature?. What’s more, if you are neither constipated or dehydrated, you can use it’s “hard-nut” outer to bash in the head of any “nut-case” who wishes to harm you or your family. Please don’t quote me, but I was made to believe that the British, who were in Ceylon, used “live-beli-fruit as “Cannon-fodder”. When they weren’t shooting people out of their cannons, wherever possible, they shot the plentiful “Beli-fruit” around them, in order to save their steel cannon balls!!.
I am now feeling less hungry, so here we go again.…
He was a “ray of hope”, at what price ?. Yet another “Star”, of the best music in the World, as far as I am concerned, anyway, His name ?, Ray Price, of course.
Many “rays of hope” in the “Country-World” of America, shone for a while, then faded, to a dull “glow”, only because there were so many aspiring Artistes in that field of music, one had to be “extra-special” not only to “find” a host of “Star-followers”, but, more importantly, to “keep”these “fans” in high pursuit of their ‘Icons”.
“Women first, even to the gallows” was an adage I recall from younger days. Growing up, the names Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Anita Carter, stood out because of the fact that they always performed perfectly, with their individual “styles” in presenting a “Country- Song”.
Dolly Parton not only stood out on these abilities, she, stood out, on a couple of “extra-points”, and what points, they were!, superb points that kept the “fans” always coming for more, what’s more, they still do!.
My “favourites”, among the “boys” were many and varied. It seemed to me that the “males” always outnumbered the “females” when it came to performing Country Music. In the latter part of the previous millennium, “wanna-be” male Country Stars flocked to places like Nashville in order to get “that Nashville-Sound” that was so very special to ” everyone around. They arrived here, from all over the World.
Many, like Daniel ODonnell came to America to “record” vsrious songs & Albums, from Ireland. They could record in their Home-Countries, of course, but it seemed that the “Nashville Sound”, the “crying pedal-steel guitars”, the “electric-fiddles” &, of course, the “back-up voices” (generally female ones),was something worth travelling many thousands of kilometres for, and so they came, in their droves, to “have a go”, as we say, in Australia.
Writing for eLanka, as I do, I consider myself very fortunate to bring our readers my preference in presenting these music clips, not only of Country Music, but also for the various styles of music, played & sung by “the greats”, many of whom (like Ray Price), have “passed-on” the big “stage in the sky. This “procedure” is still another “first”, for me, in the case of the subject I love. Neither eLanka or “your’s truly” gain any financial benefits from this, whatsoever, as a matter of fact, these “clips” further publicize the songs, etc., that have already had their “first-outing”& good luck to them.
They certainly deserve it. Here then, folks, is the talent of Ray Price in triplicate for you to enjoy.Listen to the Man. Before you know it, you will certainly be still another “fan”.
This will be yet another “Series” for eLanka, by far, the BEST website for Lankan/Aussie ex-patriates + all Country Music Lovers, everywhere.
Hot on the heels of Ray Price, is another confirmed favourite of mine, incidentally, the favourite of millions of Country Music Fans, throughout this planet, the name of George Jones stands out like a beacon, and yet, there was not “much” of this Music Legend, nicknamed “the possum” for this very reason. A “little guy”, huge “rebel” & “Super-Star”, served in the American Marines, making it obvious to those around him, that here was another “classic Country Star, in the making, and proving, beyond doubt that this was the case indeed.
In an Era when there were so many Country Music Geniuses to contend with, it must have been something of a nightmare to try to figure out which songs to record, in order to have a “hit”in the business known as “Country”. American Country Music has always been noted for being far ahead of all others, not because it is BETTER, but simply because it is “better-presented”, has far more ” followers”, perhaps, because, even TODAY, they have more Radio-Stations, State-wide that “play Country-Music 24/7.
At the same time, when “Stars” of the calibre of Gene Watson, another of my top-favourites, was struggling to reach the top rungs of the “Country-ladder” of fame (he was 70 years old, singing like an angel, with the devil on his back), one does tend to wonder what it is all about.
Back to George Jones. He proved that it didn’t matter what size you were, it didn’t matter that you loved your liquor with a vengeance, it didn’t matter how many times you got married (& he was an absolute “sucker for punishment”, God bless him, George Jones went on to prove that, when he died at 82, EVERYONE knew that George Jones, Country Music Star, had passed-on. No more, would the “Possum” have to “ride” on his motorised lawn-mower, into Town, to buy his “drinks”, after the wife, at the time,(2nd time), had to hide the keys of his famous “Corvette”to try and stop George from getting to the liquor store.
Tammy Wynette tried and failed, other wives tried & failed, but the JONES’ BOY always did what he wanted to do, and that was that!.
Here he is, Ladies & Gentlemen, the “Possum” George Jones
The story of the song, it is, and the story of the song, it will remain. One of the most traditional Buddhist “processions” held in “our Island Paradise” every year.
I am really at a loss, as to who “wrote” the “original Sinhala version, don’t even know if it was ever recorded, so decided that “this writer” would give it a go.
This said, I have the utmost respect for Prince Siddehartha Gautama (The Buddha), Here was a Man who could have lived a life of absolute luxury, yet, gave up everything, wealth, “titles”, even himself, as Jesus Christ did, in another Country, much later, to try everything that was humanely possible to do in order to make a sordid Planet Earth, a better place to live in. In so doing, the Buddha attained “Nirvana” just as Christ rose to Heaven on the Sunday, following the tragically sad “Good Friday” .
“The Procession” in Sri Lanka, every August, pays it’s respect to this wonderful Man, who tried to show us the negativity of “life” complete with all the “Human illnesses, the pain & the suffering” every one of us go through during our short stay on Earth. He cast away Regal-Robes, donned the simple ” Saffron” ones to sit under what is now known as the “Sacred Bo-Tree” to meditate on what HE could do, to try & STOP as much of the unnecessary grief we all suffer at one time or another.
I have always loved “reading”, read volumes on the life of The Buddha, still keep reading, whenever I get the chance, & am also privileged and honoured to write the lyrics to “The Procession”. The “Story of the song”, tells it all, my friends.
It was 1815, the British “took-over” the little Island of Ceylon, not because it was a huge mass of land in the middle of the Indian Ocean, not because it presented the English Sailors with yet another tropical Island wherein they could vent built-up passions of months at sea, not because they were, even then, singing “Rule, Britannia, Britannia rules the waves”, in fact it was a tiny little “dot” of an Island, & there were hundreds of other such “dots”where Sailors could have their “fun”, when “out on liberty”, most of them could not “sing” to save their souls, anyway & no one knew the “lyrics”.
Because I was fortunate enough to be born (much later), in Ceylon, I think I know that the main reason why Britain walked into ” My Lovely Island Home” was firstly, because of what was then, and still is now, I believe, 2 the largest NATURAL HARBOUR in the entire World, secondly, because the “Dutch” who were already there, preferred to build “Forts” everywhere, rather than fight, & thirdly, because, after the initial “landing”, these “Suddhas” realized that, in addition to the dozens of trees over there, producing “food”, practically ready to eat, all they had to do was “plant” their “walking-sticks” into the ultra-fertile soil of THIS Island to produce all the umbrellas to suffice the two monsoonal periods that happened annually. They were very happy, these Brits., to take over, what was soon to become the favourite Island of the very beautiful Queen Elizabeth the 2nd who, I believe, “visited” Ceylon, every chance she got.
Ceylon gained her independence in 1948. Once again, because I love this Country so very much, (their “Pollies”, all of them, can go jump into the Beira Lake, as far as I am concerned), I LOVE THE “COUNTRY” FOLKS, I am extremely fortunate to own collections of this precious memorabilia
you are about to see, courtesy of eLanka, of course.
Lest we forget, let us now view a “CENTURY OF CEYLON”
The title is very well known. The original version of the song was written by Minnie Riperton & Richard Rudolph. Minnie wrote the lyrics as a dedication to her baby daughter but tragically died herself, at 31, a victim of the dreaded Cancer.
Elvis Presley came along & recorded a completely different “Loving You” (I could spend my whole life through, loving you, loving you,) remember?. He had a slightly longer life than Minnie, but still, died far too early, as we all know.
These recordings were done many years ago & sadly are all but forgotten. Then, comes the band that I have been writing a lot about, lately, “The Mavericks”& they have just recorded still another “Loving You” song, written, I take it, by Raul Malo.
Personally, I have been around the “‘recording business” for a very long time. Almost 70 years since the 78 rpm vinyl discs, have seen the entry of the smaller 45 rpm discs, then into the Reel-Reel Stage, the 8 track Stage”Cassette-Stage”, the smaller “Cassette” Stage, the C.D. Stage, the Mini-disc Stage, D.V.D.& Video Stage, the “You-tube” Stage, Stages everywhere, but sadly, no more “Stages” to climb up & entertain.
I have seen various methods of “presenting recordings” to the Public. There are literally hundreds of Recording Company’s who “present their “Stars” professionally, but leave it to the Public to either like or dislike the final “product”. Superstars like Elvis or Michael Jackson will sell their product with just a “still-photograph” as their introduction. Both these “Stars” have now passed on, but still have huge followings who will ensure that their heroes will never die. Not so, for lesser known mortals. They come, they go, & they are gone forever.
I am proud to present what I consider the BEST version of ” Loving You” by the Mavericks. After you watch it, my friends, you will understand what it means to be “jealous” of watching a “production” like this. A beautiful song, well done, with a background that is really “something else”!!
Please watch this, & others, that I will try my best to use for the ultimate satisfaction of all eLanka members.
“Wordsmiths”, “Poets”, “Songwriters”, “Authors”, “Entertainers” (who can “turn a song around” to make it their very own), are all a “special-breed” of humans, blessed with these “talents”, by an extremely generous God, and yes folks, I do not write these words with an iota of scepticism, in a normally sceptical person.”God lives in every one of us”
Alphabetically speaking, smack-dab, in the middle of the English Alphabet (in my opinion, still the best, most frequently used International Language in the World) the letter “M” pops out. Strange, isn’t it, my friends ?.
“M” stands for a “miscellany” of great things, not the least of it, for “Music” & “Musicians”& stranger, still, “Music” will always be used Internationally as the best anecdote for what goes on in an Internationally muddled-up Universe we see out there, right before our eyes.
Hundreds of examples come to mind, but here is one that is unforgettable, to say the least. It was right in the middle of World-War 2, dug into “trenches” on opposite sides, were German Soldiers & American Marines. Minutes earlier, they had been firing bullets at one another, then, through the darkness of “early morning”, someone started singing “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright”.
It was that particular Christmas eve, & the shooting STOPPED!. For awhile, it was an unspoken “truce”, and the cause of it?, a beautiful Christmas Carol, sung with the “music from the heart”.
Now, because I am lucky enough to be involved with eLanka, a website for all Lankan/Aussies in the big brown Land and, as a matter of fact for all our expatriot Lankans in the World, I am able to “pick” songs, bands, vocalists, groups, &, above all, the “Music” I feel sure, will be enjoyed by everyone, be they Jazz fanatics, “Country” crusaders, big bands, little bands, vocalists, instrumentalists, etc.
I am also very lucky to have befriended Neil Jayasekera, who owns this special website & also loves good music.
Together, with no financial gain, whatsoever, bring our readers something new, with with to start off each week.
Starting with the letter “M”, alphabetically, eLanka brings you the A.B.C. of the “Mavericks”, a superb show-band with music to suit everyone!. When you good people listen to the first song & sing-along with Raul Malo, please do me the favour of inserting the word “Sri Lankan”, every time Raul mentions “Amsterdam”. There is nothing wrong with Amsterdam, but I find that I prefer Sri Lanka & sing it’s name as much as possible, before China takes it over. After that, it will be “Mandarin-Moon”, I suppose, & a full Sri Lankan Moon will always shed better light than a Mandarin “Crescent-Moon”. All good, but then listen to the Mavericks with their “B” song, finishing up with their “C” number.
Thank you for taking the time to understand. More of this type of “stuff” will be served up for your enjoyment, if nothing else. Go—Mavericks.
Talking about great music, many many years ago, in Melbourne, Australia, a female “fan” of mine, going back to the days in Ceylon, who endeared herself to me by loving the same music I loved (music that was tuneful, exciting to listen to, &, in fact, music to make love, to), suddenly made herself reappear, with a “cassette-recording” of this “‘group” called the Mavericks, handed it to me, with a smile, and said….
“Desmond, listen to this band, they have been unheard of, until now & as soon as I heard it, I had the feeling that you would be hooked too”
I said “thank you, An-oops, Angel, first chance I get, I will listen to them. I am sure that they will be extra–special, as you have been, for bringing it to me.” Angel then left, leaving the devil in me to “secret” the “copied music” to my own little music-room studio, where I could listen to it in peace.
As I have always said, music is something that can soothe the mind, and I talk about good music, vocal or instrumental, of the semi-classical style. Worried ?, overstressed ?, ready to take a plunge into the Ocean, or “hit” someone ?, Don’t do it. Just get yourself some Strauss Waltzes, played by a decent pianist, listen to them in a quiet atmosphere, chances are, your weak mind will be soothed & don’t tell me I didn’t tell you.
If you feel in the mood for dancing, alone, or with a partner or three, listen to some “Mavericks’-Music”. I will guarantee that you guys will hit the floor, listening to a band led by an excellent “‘front-man” in Raul Malo, dancing your hearts out, to a “Group” which play VERY simple “tunes” in the context of “music”, yet, brilliantly portrayed by them to make every song a “favourite” of SOMEONE!.
More will be written about the Mavericks & more music-clips featured on eLanka, simply to give our good readers & members a chance to go to bed, happy & then wake up, the same way. Music has always been the language of love, so, make music, make love, forget about war, cos, what’s it for?.
As the good Sri Lankan Ship “eLanka”meanders quietly around Botany Bay, the Captain in Command, Neil Jayasekera, at the wheel” it’s first Lieutenant, Desmond Kelly, has been forced to “take some time off”in “Sick-Bay”, to recuperate from a few health-problems, mainly to do, with old-age. Because of the fact that I am also it’s “Chief” Editor, I take this chance to inform our many “Readers” that, in fact, I am still very much “alive”, although the word around is that “Desmond Kelly has “carked-it”, &, was “put to rest”, last Saturday, as a matter of fact. “Fake-Press” Ladies & Gentlemen, as Donald Trump, the American President, would say, BUT, I do feel to explain this strange phenomenon. You see, in Dandenong, Melbourne, where I did live, for many years after arriving in Australia, the last “count”of the “Desmond Kellys”(a very common name), especially in Dandenong, was (9), NINE. Then, the “one” who was so, was a “Horse-Trainer”by trade, got “kicked” at the gate, right on his “pate”to his “fate” & so, there were (8), remaining, & I, dear reader, is one of the “rest-remaining”,or “remaining-rest”(take it anyway you want).
Like the Ships we sail in, we, “old Salts”sometimes find ourselves in waters that are fraught with the cross-currents of life, and then have to navigate these stormy waters, as best we can, in order to get back “in” from our enforced “liberty” & rejoin the “Senior-Force”(as I always call the Navy, to be “piped” back on Board.
As everyone at eLanka already knows, I have been the 1st Lieutenant of the “Ship”, where Neil Jayasekera has been the “Captain”, for a few years, now, & together, we strive to “run a tight Ship”, when we “pick” only the very best for our “Shareholders”(Members, right now numbering over 21000, who receive a personal “Newsletter” every week, in addition to many varied “bonuses”, in a website that has already won top recognition, where it matters. Being a Burger, NOT of the “Muller-Mind-Bogglers”(as he would try to represent), his “Carlo-boy”being only interested in the ONE thing, MY DAD, correctly known as Robert Carl Kelly, WAS ALSO EVER INTERESTED IN, THE ONE THING & this was was his “OWN FAMILY”, my dear Mother, (also, R.I.P., Mum), named Lyn (nee Kriekenbeek),(from Holland of course), Eindhoven, to be exact, as I remember it.Then followed, Desmond, Ian, Rogan, Romaine, & Cleone.
Never ever trying to claim that we “Kelly-guys” were these “Goodie-two shoes”people talk about, now that my Paternal Grandfather, John (Jack), Kelly!,born in Dublin, Ireland, my Dad, born in Ceylon, as was myself, Ian, & Rogan,(my male siblings), have always been “ramrod-straight”(in sex-jargon), Grandfather Jack, preferring to “drink anything BUT Water”, my dad, Carlo, preferring to be a “teetotaller”(as a result), myself, Desmond, a confirmed “teetotaller”(in Australia), since the “Eighties”, Ian, going completely “the other way”, & Rogan, 50/50, if you like, as he can “take-it” or “leave-it”, as the case may be.
Dear readers, this is part one, of what might be a most interesting “journey in life”, as I’d like to put it. Please read it and make your necessary comments, as this is what LIFE is really all about. A never-ending “learning-curve”.
Hopefully, depending on whether GOD decides that number (8) has reached the “Final-Straight”or not, I will consider on
“Part-two”, especially for you. Till then, along with a bit of my favourite music, thrown in by Captain Jayasekera, I will now call it a day.