Stonewall Jackson and his wife, Juanita, are good people. Stonewall even has a son named "Turp" who plays drums with him. They live out in Brentwood on Cloverland Dr. in a cute, red house overlooking a neato pond. Stonewall overcame a rather not so good childhood and was a rarity in country artists in that he was discovered by the Grand Ole Opry. Yes, he was. The Grand Ole Opry discovered him, so it’s a little ironic to me that they put him out to pasture, as it were. Obviously, the people that were the powers that be at the Opry back when Stonewall was a young buck out of Georgia, are either dead or hiding their own Easter eggs…it’s a different day and time at the Opry.
Pete Fisher’s job is to keep the Opry as a money maker and fill seats. That’s not an easy job. As much as I love Stonewall Jackson’s music and contribution to country music and the Opry, he ain’t exactly drawring a crowd. I’m sure there are those who come to the Opry who know the words to "Don’t Be Angry" , "Waterloo" and some folks, younger than the required age for membership in the AARP, who thanks to Dwight Yoakam, know the words to "Smoke Along The Track", but, those people are becoming fewer and fewer.
It pains me more younger folks don’t know Stonewall. He made some killer records. Still, reality is reality. At the same time, there’s a part of me that says "Go Stonewall" in speaking up for the older people and I hope he gets some good publicity out of this, cause like I said…Rock and pop music are much kinder to their senior artists than country music is and that’s sad. Jack Greene can still sing "There Goes My Everything" and "Statue of a Fool" just as good today as he did in 1967 when it was CMA’s Song of the Year. A lot of them still got it and can put on a good show. Stonewall is good people.
With that, I must tell one of the funniest country music stories that I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard one or two. There are a couple variations of the story. Now, when I tell this and quote (or paraphrase) Stonewall, think Foghorn Leghorn. He sorta talks like that.
Stonewall was out on his tractor. The tractor turns over. Stonewall breaks his neck. No problem, he gets in his vehicle and drives himself to the hospital, holding his head in place. He gets to the hospital and goes and says "I broke my neck." The nurse looks at him, quite puzzled and says, "No way." Stonewall says "Yeah I did….see?" then proceeds to let go of said head and it wobbles about.
Now, Mr. Smiff has heard Stonewall hisself say "Yes, I broke my neck and drove myself to the hospital" but 100% truth about him holding his head by the hair, in place, is not totally confirmed by The Stone himself, but, most believe that to be true.
That story makes me laugh like a crazy person every time I hear it. I hope it gives you a chuckle this Friday night as well. And oh, by the way, look up Stonewall on your favorite downloadable music outlet and listen to "Don’t Be Angry." You’ll be glad you did.