- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Country Times: Tribute to pay homage to Beatles’ Nashville roots
Question of the Day
Country has had a memorable couple of weeks, including some scintillating performances at the Grammys, news on filmmaker Ken Burns’ upcoming documentary on the genre, and a slew of Nashville stars streaming through Jay Leno’s final episodes of “The Tonight Show.”
But that’s all just been leading up to Sunday, when CBS airs a two-hour tribute to one of the greatest country bands of all time, with “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles.”
What? You don’t think the Beatles are a country band?
Are you trying to tell me you don’t think “country” when you hear the boozy Nashville swing of “Rocky Raccoon,” the straight-up bluegrass of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” or the rockabilly squawk of “What Goes On”?
OK, OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little — the Beatles, obviously, were so much more than a country act. But there’s no denying that Nashville was a huge influence on the boys from Liverpool.
The Beatles’ biggest rivals from back in the day, the Rolling Stones, get a lot of credit — and deservedly so — for practically inventing, along with Gram Parsons, the distinctive, grungy alt-country sound of the early 1970s.
But I’ve always felt the Beatles’ genuine affection for country music, on full display years before The Stones came up with “Exile on Main Street,” gets lost in the shuffle — they blended and borrowed so effortlessly from so many musical styles and influences.
Listening to the early Beatles, you hear country’s impact everywhere, including in George Harrison’s Chet Atkins and Carl Perkins-flavored riffs on “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” and “Honey Don’t,” John Lennon’s honky-tonk wail on “I’m a Loser,” and Ringo Starr’s dead-on Bakersfield delivery in the band’s classic cover of Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally.”
Even after the Beatles’ breakup, Paul McCartney and Mr. Starr experimented with country in the 1970s. Mr. McCartney used an all-star group of Nashville session players to record the obscure but irresistible “Sallie G,” and Mr. Starr recorded an entire country album, “Beaucoups of Blues,” that featured a young Charlie “Devil Went Down to Georgia” Daniels on guitar and Elvis’ backup singers, The Jordanaires, on harmony.
The album didn’t sell a lot, but some still consider it to be Mr. Starr’s best solo work.
Mr. Harrison’s Traveling Wilburys won the Grammy for best rock performance in 1989, but “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1” sounds more like a country album than a lot of the slick pop records Nashville puts out today.
Although The Beatles have borrowed, collectively and individually over the years from country, country has returned the favor, with Emmylou Harris (“Here, There and Everywhere”), Rascal Flatts (“Revolution”) and David Ball (“I’ll Follow the Sun”) essaying fresh country takes on Beatles favorites.
This Sunday’s tribute show, recorded last month, is chock-full, as you might expect, with pop artists — Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart reuniting as the Eurythmics, offering their take on “Fool on the Hill”; the omnipresent Dave Grohl crunching through “Hey Bulldog”; Maroon 5 with “All My Loving” and “Ticket to Ride”; and Katy Perry with a soulful “Yesterday.”
But Nashville will be well represented, too.
Keith Urban trades guitar licks with Miss Perry’s boyfriend, John Mayer, on “Don’t Let Me Down,” and Brad Paisley (what, Blake Shelton wasn’t available?) and Pharrell Williams teamed up for “Here Comes the Sun.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper’s coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper’s website. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as executive ...
- Silver: GOP has 60% chance to retake Senate
- Country Times: As all-timers go, Cash remains The Man (In Black)
- COUNTRY TIMES: Is Taylor's relationship with Nashville coming to a Swift end?
- COUNTRY TIMES: Nashville's collaboration with Doobie Brothers a natural partnership
- COUNTRY TIMES: Dierks Bentley is here to save country music
Latest Blog Entries
- Mainers would rather move to Canada than down South
- McCain: 'Stand your ground' laws may need review
- Sen. Tom Coburn: Holder investigating himself is a 'total conflict of interest'
- CNN poll: IRS, AP and Benghazi haven't dinged Obama's approval rating
- Slain diplomat's mom on Obama's Benghazi comments: 'Bullfeathers'
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- DCCC raising money on suggestion Obama impeachment is imminent
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq