Friday, May 4, 2007

A Walk On The Wild Side

In 1952, Hank Thompson cut this gem. It was a #1 hit on the hillbilly charts for three months. A tale about a girl shunning her would-be husband for a life as a honky tonk girl. Songwriter J.D. Miller in turn composed the answer song and shopped it around Nashville for a singer, where he was turned down by nearly everyone except Kitty Wells who came out of semi-retirement to record what would be one of the biggest selling country hits of all time. "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" shot to #1 on the charts, but was banned from the Grand Ol' Opry for it's proto-feminist viewpoint. It's hard to imagine the matronly Kitty Wells as controversial, but this was 1952 and Nashville (and the Opry) was and still is not exactly a hotbed of progressive politics. So here it is: the grandaddy (or grandma) of all answer songs.

Download: "The Wild Side Of Life" mp3

Download: "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" mp3

Buy Hank Thompson and Kitty Wells music at Amazon
or at your local independently owned record store.


Unknown said...

This is a nice one for your old pal Tony Patti. I downloaded "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" from sheer curiosity a few years ago and gathered that it was an answer song to something. Now I've got the whole scoop.

I haven't listened to your 78 rpm mp3 yet, but I think I'll probably like it better. I like to hear the record itself, too.

Anonymous said...

Very good, thanks for these two tracks.
You probably are already aware but if not, British band Status Quo did a fair rendition of Wild Side Of Life on thier 12 Gold Bars LP from 1980 (the last of the albums worth buying)