We all have many people in our lives to be thankful for this week of giving thanks. I am extremely thankful for everyone in my life while only a little less thankful for all the ones that have come and gone, leaving their mark on me whether I realize it or not. Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday but I appreciate the traditions so many others look forward to with relish. Not a fan of turkey, stuffing, yams or the cranberry-whatever-the-heck-that-is. My own father seemed to live for family gatherings and enjoyed his role as family patriarch. This will be our first Holiday Season without Dad but we'll always have the memories and the music. Thanks, Dad.
If you asked him, my Dad would tell you how he grew up listening to the blues in the juke joints of West Texas where his Mom, my Texas Grandma, worked as a waitress and bartender. Further questioning would give you insight that when Dad said "the blues", he meant the R&B sounds of the late Forties and early Fifties, the foundation of rock and roll, as he was born in 1946. Then he became a big fan of rock and roll music as he grew into a teenager while later in his life, he became a fan of country music. So from a marketing standpoint, the album Rhythm, Country & Blues was tailor made for people like my Dad. I had no idea he liked it or even owned it until my last visit with him in April 2014 when he asked if I had ever heard of it and then played it for me in its entirety , the last album we listened to together. Inspired by the way he talked about the album, I made him a companion CD when I got home after that trip but regrettably never gave it to him. A Spotify recreation of that CD is below - it is simply the original or biggest hit versions of the songs found on the Rhythm, Country & Blues album. Originally released in March 1994, the album topped the Country Albums chart while peaking at number 15 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and number 18 on the Top 200 chart. Unbeknown to me or my father was that the album was originally accompanied by a documentary of the same name which examined racial relationships within the context of music made in two cities, Memphis and Nashville, located just 200 miles apart. I didn't make the racial connection until watching the video and realized that each song is covered by a white act and a black act.