Thursday, January 25, 2007

"The Doodle-Ooh-Doo-Doo-Kid" Dies at 73

While I was in NYC, a real country legend passed away. I didn't bother to watch television, or read much in NY, and most of what jammed the airwaves and print was the death of James Brown.

James Brown deserves a post, or several posts, but I want to spotlight a very underrated country performer, who epitomized the quintessential country troubadour of the 1960's. More reserved in dress than Porter Wagoner, he had the pompadour, the slick clothes and the persona of a 'Dean Martin' of the Grand Ole' Opry set.

Del Reeves.

Known as the 'king of twang,' Reeves was a really great crooner, wrote some great songs, and seemed to be having a helluva good time doing it.

He got his title of "The Doodle-Ooh-Doo-Doo Kid" based on one his first and more popular novelty songs called, "The Girl on the Billboard," It's a vocal intro--and sometimes a coda--that he used in that song and many others.

Popular with truckers, he carved a popular niche with songs directed to those guys riding the highways, with nothing but the radio--usually country music radio--as a companion. I remember him from watching his show, "Del Reeves' Country Carnival."

From my dysfunctional memories, it was sandwiched somewhere between Hee Haw and Porter and Dolly.

One of his biggest hits was a trucker song, "Lookin' 'at the World through the Windshield." But I actually like "This Must be the Bottom," as I can really relate at times, and "Nothing to Write Home About." These are classic country songs, and much better than the CRAP that passes for 'country music' these days.

I only knew a little bit about him, but I love his singing. However, I found out that he retired from recording and began producing others. He was responsible for finding and signing Billy Ray Cyrus, etc. in his later years. I'm not sure, really, if that was a good thing for the recording public or not, however the guy knew a hit when he heard one.

Oddly, he died on the same day that Hank Williams, Sr. died and Townes Van Zandt. To me, that says quite a bit.

Take a look at what I found on YouTube!!! Both, "This Must be the Bottom" and "Nothing to Write Home About." Check out his Dean Martin-esque tone and manner in "Nothing to Write Home About," and, check out the clothes!

A member of the Grand Ole' Opry since 1966, he will be missed.

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