Monday, February 2, 2009

The Music. . . Verse 3 "Kay"

You know, dear reader, it sometimes intrigues me how the newer nickname of Nashville, Tennessee, has caught my attention, even my affection, this time around. During my earlier sojourn here, 1984-91, I much preferred the earlier nicknames, especially "Athens of the South", and I avoided "Music City". But not now; witness the name I chose to give this blogsite. And how my first post was entitled "First Note of a New Song", and the second post was verse 1 of "The Music of Music City".

Let's fact it, song and music are a MAJOR part of my life.

And now here's verse three of ""MoMC", to which I give the added word "Kay". This is the simple title of an old song; it goes back before my introduction to Nashville and my transformation into a country music fan. I mention this song in my posting of 24 January ("Verse 2"). I hadn't heard "Kay" in years, but as soon as Keith Bilbrey put it on the WSM airwaves that Friday it touched me deeply again.

However, it touched me in a more positive manner than previous hearings had, perhaps. Instead of focusing on the lyrics as a portrait of the ugly side of life in Nashville and the country music industry, I listened, really listened, to the personal heartache of the singer's story. How he had helped Kay further her singing career by moving them from Texas to Nashville, and then once she "made it" on Music Row she dumped him. And still he continues loving her. It's truly a sadly beautiful song, even with the negative images of the city of my current sojourn.

An Internet search began, to satisfy my curiosity about details of the song, such as date (1964), biographical info on the singer (John Wesley Ryles), identity of the writer (Hank Mills). As part of this search for enlightening about "Kay" I tried to phone in a request one evening for Eddie Stubbs to play it. Eddie is a wonderful fountain of information on just about any country hit recorded, and the artists who sang or played on each!

Having failed to get the song aired -- I probably called in the request too late -- I sent him an e-mail, and e-mailed CC to Bill Cody and Keith Bilbrey. Well, don't you know? Bill was apparently touched by my brief remarks in the e-mail and decided to air "Kay" as today's Cody Classic of the Day! He even made reference in his introduction to the song, to yours truly being "inspired" upon hearing the song (when Keith had played it days earlier). Well, let me tell you, dear reader, that made my day!

So here are the lyrics for this poignant song of love lost as the casualty of someone's rise to stardom.

. Kay, with all your singing talent back in Houston
. Nashville's all you talked about.
. I sold everything I owned to bring you here,
. now you'll be famous, there's no doubt.
. Last night you knocked 'em out in New York,
. tonight Chicago's going wild.
. Kay, your new record on the jukebox don't sound bad.

. Kay, I'm livin' yet I'm dyin'
. staring out at Music City from my cab.

. Caution lights blink out their warning,
. some old Bib Ben clock chimes 3 a.m.
. Starving hound dogs search the trash cans,
. my gas tank could use a dollar's worth again.
. All those chuck-holes here on Main street
. jar my rib cage -- I could cuss.
. Kay, the crowd of night life people look so sad.

. Kay, I'm livin' yet I'm dyin'
. staring out at Music City from my cab.

. Two young soldiers from Fort Campbell
. told me how they hate that war in Vietnam.
. Sirens echo thru an alley and some woman
. some fellow stabbed a man.
. I rushed miss teenage to a doctor,
. she begged to give the child my name.
. I've lost count of cups of coffee that I've had.

. Kay, I'm livin' yet I'm dyin'
. staring out at Music City from my cab.

. Guitars, organs, horns violins and pianos, how they play!
. Grinding out the latest sounds from Music City U.S.A.
. Kay, altho' I know I've lsot you to the swingin' music world,
. I kiss the pictures of the happy times we've had.

. Kay, I'm livin' yet I'm dyin'
. staring out at Music City from my cab.

. Three rose petals on my front seat,
. fallen from the bouquet Jimmy took to June.
. Jim kept mumbling thru his teardrops,
. "God, she'll leave this world with flowers in her room."
. Kay, I showed some drunk your picture
. and he made some smart remark,
. so I hit him in the mouth -- boy, was I mad.

. Kay, I'm livin' yet I'm dyin'
. staring out at Music City from my cab.

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