Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!
Name the only gospel singer to have a million-selling soul hit record with a country song, which also happened to have been written by Willie Nelson.
That would be Joe Hinton, who grew up in the church singing in various gospel groups and eventually became the lead singer in the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. He had a number of great singles with them during the period when they recorded for Peacock Records, a subsidiary of Houston's Duke Records.
If It Ain’t One Thing (It’s Another) – The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet
Lost In Sin – The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet
Noting Joe’s huge talent, Duke Records owner Don Robey decided to try some secular tunes with him on his Back Beat subsidiary. After a few misses they had a monster hit with “Funny How Time Slips Away,” AKA “Funny” as they called it on the label. You’ll want to listen all the way through on this one.
Willie Nelson in concert singing the song that he sang in a Texas court this week
Good news this week for Willie Nelson, his fans, and for those who agree that there are already way too many people overcrowding US jails as a result of sentencing for possession of marijuana for personal use. The 77 year old country music legend and longtime weed activist was arrested in Texas after crossing the border from Mexico last November when his tour bus was stopped and police found weed in Nelson's possession. He could have faced a lengthy jail term, but luckily for him, this week Texas prosecutor and Hudspeth County attorney Kit Bramblett presented a favorable deal when he said, "I’m gonna let him plead [guilty], pay a small fine and he’s gotta sing “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” with his guitar right there in the courtroom." Obviously a fan of Nelson's music, he added, "You bet your ass I ain’t gonna be mean to Willie Nelson." County Judge Becky Walker agreed to the deal as did, not surprisingly, Nelson, who, as a longtime open advocate of legalizing pot, is co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
The agreement is not unique or new since oft times judges sentence musicians to community service that taps into their skills rather than jail time. Other instances include when Keith Richards long ago was busted in Toronto and instead of a sentence he was made to do a concert for the blind. The song "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain" -- a hit for Nelson and a longtime favorite with fans -- can be found on several different albums by the artist including Red Headed Stranger (the 1975 album that it first appeared on and has since been reissued), The Essential Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be), Willie Nelson & Friends, Stars & Guitars, and (as a duet with Shania Twain) on Willie Nelson & Friends: Live & Kickin', released in celebration of Nelson's 70th birthday in 2003, on both CD and DVD formats.
Travis Graves is the one and only member of the musical act known as Mt. Egypt. His latest album, III, is out now on vinyl only from Secret Seven Records and available at Amoeba. Airy, cyclical and sweet, nature seems to surround the album. Its acoustic songs are confessional and simultaneously sunny- sounding. The record kinda makes me want to go to the beach but maybe for a good cry down near the crashing surf. Mt. Egypt's music has beautiful harmonies and gorgeous moments of sonic intensity. This all seems strange perhaps, coming from a formerly sponsored skateboarder who mostly listens to hip hop, but welcome to the enigma that is Mt. Egypt -- read on for more about what makes Travis tick, how his new record III came to be and also his brushes with greatness, including tours with Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Cat Power and even...The Osbournes!
Travis: The name Mt. Egypt came from an area in rural North Carolina out by my father’s house. It’s an homage to him, his songwriting and to spending long periods in the wilderness with little to no human contact.
When did you pick up the guitar?
Travis: My old man got me playing guitar when I was 12 or 13.