Roy Acuff

Nicknamed the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff was one of the early superstars of the genre. His versions of both “The Great Speckled Bird” and “The Wabash Cannonball” were instant classics in 1936 and he’s been a legend ever since, directly influencing every “high, lonesome sound” vocalist to since approach a microphone. That includes Hank Williams and George Jones, by the way.

Joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1938 quickly led to an unofficial role as spokesperson for the artist lineup, further cemented by the founding of Acuff-Rose Music with Fred Rose in 1942.

The episodes below significantly feature Roy Acuff or his music.

Louvin Brothers in cabin

CR006 The Louvin Brothers: Running Wild

1200 630 Cocaine & Rhinestones

The Louvin Brothers are widely regarded as the most influential harmony duo to ever cut a country song. The way Charlie and Ira could sing together is downright otherworldly. There’s even a special term we had to invent for family (it’s always/only family) who can sing this way: blood harmony. That being said, it’s possible we’ve never heard what they could really do.

By the way, do you believe in evil?

This episode delves in to exactly what blood harmony is and how the magic of it can’t save you from beating the living hell out of each other at every opportunity. Here is the story of two dirt-poor brothers who fought for fifteen years to achieve their lifelong dream and what happened after that. (Hint: it involves whiskey and bullets.)

This episode is recommended for fans of: singing, physics, the Radiolab podcast, mandolins and Roy Acuff.

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Ernest Tubb Texas Defense Social

CR001 Ernest Tubb: The Texas Defense

1200 630 Cocaine & Rhinestones

Everyone loves Ernest Tubb.

So when he straps on a gun belt one night to head across town and snuff out a character named Jim Denny, well, you might guess that ol’ Jim had it coming. Maybe he didn’t, maybe he did…

For you to make up your own mind, we’ll need to go behind-the-scenes of 650 AM WSM in Nashville, The Grand Ole Opry and the world of country music publishing companies.

This episode is highly recommended for fans of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Paycheck, Justin Tubb, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Roy Acuff and Matlock. Yes, Matlock.

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