365 Days of Album Recommendations – Apr 9

Little Jimmie Dickens – Raisin’ The Dickens

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I never met my Grandpa Watkins. He’d come and gone before I came along. He would have been 127 yesterday.

I’ve learned a bit about him from my Dad over the years. He was apparently a “real Country & Western guy.” My Dad remembers bein’ taken to see Little Jimmie Dickens live when he was about 6-7 years old. That would have been right around the time Dickens scored his first Top 10 country hit, The Violet and the Rose” …

Roses are red, violets are blue
I’m sending red red roses to you
If you care to send some flowers to me
Then send me some violets, I’m blue as can be

So of course you know the Hank Williams song “Hey, Good Lookin’.” But do you know how it was written? Williams was on a plane with Little Jimmie and Minnie Pearl, and Minnie Pearl’s husband. And Hank was tellin’ Jimmie he needed a hit if he was gonna be a country music star. And Hank said he’d write a hit for him. And then he wrote “Hey, Good Lookin’.” Purportedly in 20 minutes. A week later, he recorded it himself. He told his friend Little Jimmie Dickens, “that song’s too good for you!”

My Dad said he thought Raisin’ The Dickens was the album he remembered hearing as a kid. It was released in ’57, so that’s probably right. So that’s my recommendation for today. This one’s for you Dad, and for your Dad, my Grandpa.


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