Archive for November 1st, 2006

Remembering Spring Valley Dr.

The Dawta and I rode out to Cool Springs the other day.  I don’t go out that way often.  I sometimes feel like I’ve been whisked away on a spaceship and landed on another planet when I go out that way anymore.  That was the area I grew up in.  I’ve pined for the way Brentwood was and how I miss that, but, really, I think it’s more the time I miss and still grieve for.

Anyway, whenever I go out that way and I have time, I try to drive by my childhood home.  Why do I do this?  I have no clue.  I’m sure the kids can recite the things I say when we ride through the Hallbrook subdivision off Concord Rd.  It’s rather redundant to them, I’m sure.  Spring_valley_dr

Hallbrook looks pretty much the same as it did in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s.  The biggest difference is the trees are taller. There are only a few families there who were there during Sista’s Little Girlhood Heyday.   My house looks just like it did from 1969-1993 when it was occupied by our family.  I haven’t been inside the house since October 1993 when my mother sold it.  Even so, there’s a part of me that’s still in there all the time. 

We moved there in October 1969 when I was 8 months old.  I learned to walk in that house, laughed a lot in thThe_collie_houseat house, got engaged in that house, my father died in that house….

I know home is where you are and my home is now with my own family. I also know that what makes a house a home is the people inside, blah, blah…

Still, there are moments that I’d give everything I own to go back and be able to shoot baskets in the driveway, get up early on a chilly, Saturday morning and go out into our "Big Den" (the garage that was converted to a big room), turn on the 200 year old space heater and cover up in the blankets while I wait for the room to heat up and turn Scooby Doo on the ginormous console tv…roller skate on the concrete slab or hit the tennis ball against the wall and see how fast I can run in the house if I hit the wasp nest hanging under the air conditioner…wait for Mr. Kurek to get home next door from filling vending machines all over Nashville so I can get some gum, or if I’m really lucky, get a jaw breaker…hear Terri Leigh call my name from across the yard and wave her arm in a counter-clockwise motion, telling me to come over…look out the kitchen window in the spring when the crabapple tree is in full bloom…feel the thrill of building the first fire in the fireplace every year, before gas logs (I don’t have a fireplace now)…all the Christmas mornings we descended the stairs to see what Santa brought…the friends who came over to watch movies, the parties, the get-togethers my parents had…singing around the piano…

Life was good on Spring Valley Dr.

Buddy Killen Dies

70690001 I had no idea when I saw Buddy Killen back in August at the Ray Price thing, that he was sick.  It’s possible he didn’t know then, but, I was shocked to just hear that he died this morning of liver and pancreatic cancer. 

The Tennessean has a nice write up on Buddy.  Buddy also wrote an autobiography some years ago.  I doubt it’s still available, but, if you can find a copy and are interested in the early days of the Music Row, you should read this book.

One of the many, interesting things about Buddy, besides the fact he was a completely self-made man, was he was married to a cute, blonde, country singer back in the 50’s named June Webb. They had two girls and June was one of those women born without any maternal skills.  She wanted to sing, not change diapers (back in the 50’s, it was hard to do both.  Not many women did both back then).  Buddy was trying to support his family by playing bass for different artists, on the road and in the studio.  He also worked at Tree Publishing then, but, he’d have to come home during the day to make sure his little girls were being cared for since their mother was sorta uninterested in the whole thing.  They eventually divorced and he retained custody of his kids.  I just think it’s interesting that he had all those roles and responsibilities for a man of the 50’s and 60’s.  That was not the popular thing to do then.

One of my favorite Buddy Killen accomplishments is that he was the finger snapper on the original, Roger Miller recording of King of the Road.  Buddy also gave us that memorable, classic song of the 70’s, the prolific Ain’t Gonna Bump No More.  No joke..he co-wrote that with Joe Tex.  He also co-wrote the great Conway song I May Never Get To Heaven.

Buddy has not been quite as visible in recent years in the Nashville scene as he used to.  Remember when he owned the Stockyard and did all those radio commercials where he sang (not well) "I wanna be seen at the Stockyard?" 

For years, Buddy hosted the Easter Seals telethon every spring in Nashville.  I remember one telethon found me down at Channel 4 and I’ll never forget Buddy coming in the front door, pouring down rain, I mean, monsoon-like rain and there was not one "hair" on his head out of place.

It’s been a bad week for losing important fixtures in the music industry with the deaths of Marijohn Wilkin, Tillman Franks and now Buddy.  All our libraries are burning down and it’s sad.