Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk

By Johnny Bush

When it involves Texas honky-tonk, no one is aware the track or the scene higher than Johnny Bush. writer of Willie Nelson's vintage live performance anthem "Whiskey River," and singer of hits equivalent to "You Gave Me a Mountain," "Undo the Right," "Jim, Jack and Rose," and "I'll Be There," Johnny Bush is a legend in kingdom song, a singer-songwriter who has lived the cheatin', hurtin', hard-drinkin' existence and recorded probably the most heart-wrenching songs approximately it. He has one of many purest honky-tonk voices ever to return out of Texas. And Bush's occupation has been simply as dramatic as his songs—on the verge of attaining superstardom within the early Nineteen Seventies, he used to be sidelined through an extraordinary vocal disease that he combated for thirty years. yet, survivor that he's, Bush is once more filling dance halls throughout Texas and encouraging a brand new iteration of musicians who crave the authenticity—the "pure D" country—that Johnny Bush has continuously had and that Nashville nation tune has lost.

In Whiskey River (Take My Mind), Johnny Bush tells the dual tales of his lifestyles and of Texas honky-tonk track. He remembers growing to be up terrible in Houston's Kashmere Gardens local and studying his chops in honky-tonks round Houston and San Antonio—places the place fowl cord secure the bandstand and lethal fights broke out frequently. Bush vividly describes existence at the street within the Nineteen Sixties as a band member for Ray cost and Willie Nelson, together with the booze, medications, and one-night stands that fueled his songs yet destroyed his first 3 marriages. He recalls the time within the early Seventies while he used to be warmer than Willie and at the quickly tune to superstardom—until spasmodic dysphonia compelled his occupation into the sluggish lane. Bush describes his agonizing, yet eventually winning fight to maintain appearing and rebuild his fan base, in addition to the hard-won happiness he has present in his own life.

Woven all through Bush's autobiography is the never-before-told tale of Texas honky-tonk song, from Bob Wills and Floyd Tillman to Junior Brown and Pat eco-friendly. Johnny Bush has recognized just about all the good musicians, earlier and current, and he has incredible tales to inform. Likewise, he bargains intelligent observations on how the song enterprise has replaced for the reason that he begun appearing within the 1950s—and pulls no punches in announcing how Nashville track has misplaced its kingdom soul. for everybody who loves actual state track, Johnny Bush, Willie Nelson, and tales of triumph opposed to all odds, Whiskey River (Take My Mind) is a must-read.

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I’d performed “Unchained Melody” sooner than that. It used to be only a subject of having the rustic humans to hear it. The track went to quantity at the state chart, the largest hit I ever had. i used to be upset it didn’t cross all of the solution to the pinnacle. We had spent cash with advertisements and merchandising, yet i assume we didn’t use you gave me a mountain 151 152 sufficient grease at the correct palm. Make no errors, these quantity ones are got. I had a number of extra hit singles on Stop—”My Cup Runneth Over,” “Jim, Jack & Rose,” “I’ll visit a Stranger,” “I’ll Be There. ” None was once greater than “You Gave Me a Mountain,” yet “My Cup Runneth Over” was once a major checklist for me. I received an ASCAP list of the 12 months award for that during 1970. It used to be one in all most-played singles of the 12 months on state radio. frequently, you’d have or 3 singles a yr, reckoning on how a lot play you have been getting. They didn’t are looking to placed a brand new one out whenever you have been nonetheless gaining momentum with the former one. occasionally I’d have singles the place each side have been hits. “Jim, Jack & Rose” was once now not the A-side; “I’ll visit a Stranger” used to be the A-side, however the deejays became it over. The list corporation hates that. They name “split checklist. ” That’s why they began placing an analogous track on either side. I picked all of the tunes I recorded on cease, with Pete Drake and Tommy Hill. Pete was once continuously trying to find that crossover hit. i assume all manufacturers are trying to find that. I by no means apprehensive approximately it. What i glance for in a song—and i suppose I realized this from gazing Ray rate choose material—is that it wakes up whatever on your brain the 1st time you listen it and makes you must listen it all. We name it the hook, the grabber, the punch line. one way or the other, on your unsleeping or unconscious brain, you could relate to it. and also you say to your self, “Yeah, yeah . . . ” whilst i glance again now, i will be able to see how the songs I sang reflected what used to be occurring my own lifestyles. yet on the time, I didn’t quite examine it that approach. i presumed of myself as an actor attempting to exhibit the songwriter’s message with the emotion and the phraseology of my voice. yet like an actor wishes a script, a singer wishes the track. you need to imagine, “I like this tale rather a lot i need to inform this to anyone. i would like them to think what I felt while I heard it. ” I by no means reduce what I felt used to be a shit music for cease. i used to be comfortable Pete had the feedback he did. Pete had the knack of deciding upon stable songs. I by no means might have heard “You Gave Me a Mountain” ’cause I didn’t take heed to that sort of radio. “My Cup Runneth Over,” that used to be the Ames Brothers. you may make extra money should you write your individual hits, however it should be successful. Of all my hit singles for cease within the past due sixties, the one one I wrote used to be “Sound of a Heartache. ” If there’s a greater music mendacity at the whiskey river (take my brain) table than mine, I’ll checklist it. I’m no longer prejudiced in desire of my very own fabric; actually, I’m most likely more durable by myself fabric. I don’t list a track simply because I wrote it. have in mind, again in these days a deejay may possibly play what he desired to play.

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