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  1. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    Van Zandt was addicted to heroin and alcohol throughout his adult life. At times he would become drunk on stage and forget the lyrics to his songs. At one point, his heroin habit was so intense that he offered Kevin Eggers the publishing rights to all of the songs on each of his first 4 albums...
  2. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    Townes spent most of the seventies moving between Austin, Houston, Nashville, New York, and the mountains around Crested Butte, Colorado. He divorced his first wife in 1970; sometime during the next decade he married and divorced again. He was living the life he was writing about - traveling...
  3. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    The album, "Our Mother the Mountain", recorded in LA, was released in April of ’69, then "Townes Van Zandt", recorded in Bradley's Barn, Nashville, was released in September of '69. Though neither were big sellers, they attracted critical acclaim and boosted Townes’s steady rise to prominence as...
  4. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    For any that have followed this history, y'all would know that nearly every artist featured, with very few exceptions, came from poor - most often, from very poor - often isolated rural families, where, growing up without such basics like electricity, the main (or only) source of entertainment...
  5. Professor Knowall

    Player Watch Jay Rantall

    Patty Mills is exceptionally quick. Randall is slow and would never get a look in at the NBA. There are very good reasons why champion junior basketballers like Pendlebury choose football - he correctly figured out he was too slow to make it in the NBA as a point guard (and was too short for...
  6. Professor Knowall

    Player Watch Jay Rantall

    If you are neither exceptionally tall or exceptionally fast, you won't have any sort of professional career in basketball. That's why so many junior basketballers end up choosing football - also the AFL is a much better earner than the NBL.
  7. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    By 1996, Tom T Hall Hall seemed washed up as he hadn't really been in the hit-making business for 12 years and had retired from writing any songs some 10 years earlier. Then out of nowhere, he returned with "Songs From Sopchoppy", a new album of (overly produced) originals named after the...
  8. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    Tom T Hall’s trademarks were a keen sensitivity to the problems of plain folks, a gift for tale-spinning, acute attention to detail, and an economical writing style, influenced by Ernest Hemingway (Hall also authored half a dozen books). With a genius for capturing the nuances and speech...
  9. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    We now come to Tom T Hall's most productive songwriting period, from 1970 to 1975. So how did he come up with the ideas for his story-songs. It seems not so much from his personal life, which, having married bluegrass song-writer, Dixie Hall in 1965, was stable and by all accounts happy, with...
  10. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    In a nutshell, from when Hank Jnr was still a mere stripling of a boy, Audrey saw him as her way of staying in the limelight she always craved, and as a cash cow. She made sure he had the very best training in singing and learning multi instruments (eg Earl Scruggs gave him banjo lessons and...
  11. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    No less than George Jones once described our next artist as “by far the greatest all-time songwriter and storyteller that country music has ever had”, while Johnny Cash once wrote to him, saying “You are my all-time favourite writer”. Along with songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt, Kris...
  12. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    Singer/songwriter Johnnie Wright was born in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, spent much of his career working with Jack Anglin in the popular duo "Johnnie & Jack". He first performed with Anglin in 1936. They teamed up full-time in the 1940s and, except for the time Anglin spent overseas during the...
  13. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    'Harper Valley PTA' was Riley's first and last single to cross into the Pop Top 40, but she became a frequent presence on network television in 1969 and 1970, starring in her own TV special (titled, of course, Harper Valley PTA) and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Johnny Cash Show, The...
  14. Professor Knowall

    RIP Don Everly, the last of the Everly Brothers

    After decades of being criminally underrated or just plain forgotten, it finally seems (now that they're both dead), the Everly's Brothers place in rock'n'roll history (given their direct and obvious influence on the Beatles harmony sound) is finally being better recognised, as this recent...
  15. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    As we saw, Bobbie Gentry's 1967 'Ode to Billie Joe' expanded the commercial limitations of country music and it even surpassed the Beatles on the pop charts. In 1968, record producer and promoter, Shelby Singleton had just launched his new label, Plantation Records and asked up and coming...
  16. Professor Knowall

    AFL and NFL things

    Sorry for the tardy reply ... actually it's more the other way around - college football has always been there (originating in the latter 19th century), and by the 1920's was already attracting huge crowds, up to 120,000 in some cases, whereas pro football only started in the 1930's and really...
  17. Professor Knowall

    Tasmania set to apply for a provisional AFL licence (aiming to enter competition by 2025)

    These are his actual words - "It's a shame about the timing," Amarfio said. "In any other time, in any other period, the vast majority of clubs would be in absolute agreement that Tasmania deserves a team. The only thing that's holding that decision back is the timing. I would love to see...
  18. Professor Knowall

    Politics Climate Change Paradox

    The Antartic had just recorded it's coldest 6 month period (April to September) ever recorded (as reported by the Washington Post) - https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/south-pole-posts-most-severe-cold-season-on-record-an-anomaly-in-a-warming-world/
  19. Professor Knowall

    What are you listening to right now? Pt VI

    I've heard so many versions of this song over the years, from Woodie Guthrie, Nina Simone, Dave Van Ronk, Bob Dylan, Peter Seeger to The Animals, Deep Purple, Led Zep and Dolly Parton, but this is my favourite -
  20. Professor Knowall

    Country Music

    We left off yesterday with from the 1968 album "The Delta Sweete", in which all the songs were based in the Mississippi delta - except for one, located in the nearby Louisiana swamps. However in its use of local lingo and depiction of Cajun swamp life, Gentry decided that it fitted in with the...