Everlasting songs

“THE YOUNG ONES” by Des Kelly

“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.


desmond kelly







Desmond Kelly.

Star of eLanka.


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     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.

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“A RAY OF HOPE” – By Des Kelly

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.


Desmond Kelly.

Star of eLanka.


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“THE JONES’ BOY” – By Des Kelly

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

Desmond Kelly.

Star of eLanka.


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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?.

Desmond Kelly

Star of eLanka

(Editor-in- Chief).

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“A ROSE”(In the snow) – by Des Kelly

Shirley Myers of Canada wrote the song, presumably with boyfriend, Rod Nicholson & recorded it, many moons ago, in Nashville. The Song, Artiste, Recording, in total, has not got the recognition it truly deserves. Shirley has a “true” Country voice, simple, still beautiful, the song, presumably written by herself & boyfriend, Steel-guitarist Rod, is exactly what a good “Country-Song” should be, totally listenable, beautiful “life-like” lyrics & a recording that I love.

All my readers of eLanka are now aware, that when I pick a “song”, any song, vocal or instrumental, it will be the very best that 75 years of experience in the “Music” business can muster. I KNOW a good song, & “A rose in the snow” is certainly one of them.

In addition, this song, & “story” are dedicated to another “Rose”, whose name was “Dawn”. I have written many things about her, including a “song” “Another Dawn, another day” which features on a CD, presented by eLanka, so, suffice to say, that the day Dawn was born, in Ceylon, I would personally say “It was the Dawn of the Day of Roses”, on Tuesday the 15th of June, 1943.

The most beautiful “Rosebud of Ceylon”, came into being, on that day, only to leave us on Thursday, the 29th of March, 2016, in Canada, very nearly two years ago. One thing is for sure. There are two families who will NEVER forget you Dawn, yours & mine.

After I wrote ” Another Dawn, another day”, with the strange quirk that some songwriters seem to have, I wrote another, entitled simply, “Wait for me”, which is also featured on eLanka, on the “Especially for you” set of three.

I will now dedicate this song to Dawn, as well, but my good readers will have to understand that this song was not recorded in Nashville, like the beautiful “Rose in the snow”, as I would have preferred it to be done, it was recorded by myself, at home, with simply a “Keyboard” self-backing. It doesn’t matter, because, all I can finally say is “I miss you, honey, you liked my songs anyway, so, wait for me.


Want to buy the CD with this song and many other great songs from eLanka Shop? Click Here to buy the CD


(Kelly from Colombo)

 &  Dawn
(his Rose in the snow)

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