A pastor, a country music artist, & Honky-Tonk Gospel

Some of you know Rev. Eric Andrae, a Lutheran pastor of note in Pittsburgh.  He sent me an e-mail saying, “I have a very good friend who’s a local country musician of some renown,” Slim Forsythe.  “we both just read your book Honky-Tonk Gospel, and we will have a radio appearance together next week [that is, THIS week, tomorrow, Wednesday].” Pastor Andrae adds, “Despite what the Dos Equis commercials claim, Slim Forsythe is actually the most interesting man in the world.”  He’s also a case-study in vocation, someone who gave up a successful law career for a life in music, fronting a Hank Williams tribute band, playing Western swing, rock-a-billy, and gospel, and fulfilling his dream of living over a bar.  Here is the announcement about their radio appearance tomorrow, which can be accessed online:

 Pastor Andrae’s monthly appearance on WORD-FM (Pittsburgh) will be a unique one. . . . Slim Forsythe – well known country/gospel musician, recent inductee to America’s Old Time Music Hall of Fame, and a good friend of First Trinity Lutheran Church – will join him live on the air at approx. 5:10-6:00pm Eastern time on “The Ride Home with John and Kathy.”  Slim will play several songs, including covers of Hank Williams (with Molly Alphabet) and Johnny Cash tunes, as well as an original, with Pastor Andrae offering theological/spiritual commentary.  At 5:10pm on Wednesday, May 7, tune in at 101.5-FM or world-wide at www.WORDFM.com.

That they are going to discuss my notorious book, written with Tom Wilmeth, Honky Tonk Gospel:  The Story of Sin and Salvation in Country Music, makes this interview even more frought with possibilities.   More on Slim Forsythe, including a YouTube performance, after the jump. [Read more...]

Songs about health insurance

In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to get 18-34 year-olds to sign up for Obamacare–those “young invincibles” who are expected to foot the bill for everyone else–the administration and allied independent groups are trying to reach them with comedy routines, cash prizes, and–most humorously of all–songs about health insurance.  After the jump, a link to an article about all of this AND a link to such a song, including its various pop, folk, alternative, techno, dub, and hip-hop versions.

My esteemed 18-34 year-old readers, do you find this kind of insulting? [Read more...]

Music and Politics

Music streaming site Pandora is claiming that it can tell how their listeners will vote according to the music they like.  They plan to use this information to sell political advertising.

Why would candidates buy advertising to attract voters who already are likely to vote for them?

At any rate, after the jump, read how internet sites are trying to get into your head so as to target you for advertisers.

And then we can play a game.  What are some politically conservative songs?  What are some politically liberal songs? [Read more...]

Love songs

Roger Catlin interviews jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway and country artist Rosanne Cash about love songs.  After the jump, I’ll give you what Ms. Callaway, a master of the form, says, including some real insights about the nature of love and her complaint that most of today’s pop songs, though about love, “don’t sound like love.”  And as a bonus Valentine’s Day present, I’ll add some samples of Ms. Callaway practicing what she’s preaching. [Read more...]

Bob Dylan, Chrysler salesman

So what did you think of Bob Dylan’s Chrysler commercial?  There he was, clear voiced, no mumbling, unobscure, voicing over some great Americana imagery.  (He doesn’t appear until 47 seconds in.)  I’m assuming that he wrote the script.  Though it lacks Dylan’s trademark surrealistic imagery, the commercial sounds like him with lines like these:

So let Germany brew your beer,
Let Switzerland make your watch,
Let Asia assemble your phone.
We…will build…your car.

Compare this with the lyrics to his protectionist anthem Union Sundown.  The only thing is, Chrysler is now fully owned by Fiat, so it’s an Italian company, not American.  They do make some of their cars here, but not necessarily.  Still, I vote this as best Superbowl commercial.

The transcript after the jump.  (You might get the video at the link above, though Chrysler has taken it off YouTube for copyright violations, though I thought going viral was what you wanted in a commercial.) [Read more...]

Oscar winner sees “faith-based bigotry”

A Hollywood heavyweight weighs in on the “Alone Yet Not Alone” controversy.  From the Hollywood Reporter:

Gerald Molen, an Oscar-winning producer of Schindler’s List, is accusing the Academy of discriminating against a religious movie in revoking its nomination in the best song category. [Read more...]


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