Column

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

A Musician's Musician: Charlie McCoy

I have been waiting on this. Speaking of "Pretty Woman," its famous and infectious guitar lick is by fellow West Virginian Wayne Moss, another one of the Nashville Cats.

 

Henry...you never fail to make me want to read the books you read...sounds like a great read!  Well done!

This does sound like a very interesting book for a music nerd like me who loves to read about how great music is made. I recently watched the documentary about Leon Russell, "A Poem is a Naked Person" which was filmed from 1972-74 but Leon didn't allow to be released until 2015. There is some great footage of Leon recording his counry album "Hank Wilson is Back" in Nashville. He explains in a bonus feature interview that he heard how professional and quick Nashville musicians work and since he worked that way too he wanted to record with them. He also mentions that numbering system that you mentioned.

Some of the first footage of those Nashville sessions features Charlie McCoy playing harmonica and it is sweet indeed. One is mesmerized by the gorgeous sound he can get from that tiny instrument.

However, it sounds like one disappointment is how little he talks about sessions with famous musicians. For instance I've read a lot about Dylan's "Blond on Blond" sessions but I would love to have read McCoy's perspective on those legendary recordings and how odd and amazing Dylan came across to these musicians who had bearly heard of him. I've also read how pleased they were when Dylan gave them credit on the album since no one had bothered to give these unsung heroes their due before that. Then of course Dylan opened the door for so many other non-country artists to record in Nashville which I wonder if McCoy mentions.