A Note From Billy
The other night I was in my home studio listening to some old demo recordings dad had done at a Nashville studio. While listening to the music, I was amazed at how simple it was compared to what is being recorded today. In my studio I am surrounded by loads of high-tech gear that my father never even saw in his lifetime, and the technology we musicians have today is something my father could only dream about! But even with all this wonderful technology at our finger tips, we don’t seem to capture in today’s music, the magic that was created by the founding musicians of Country music.
We spend thousands of dollars in state- of-the-art studios with the finest engineers money can buy, only to produce a product that is here today and gone tomorrow. Very few songs written today have any staying power. Try to hear today’s number one hit on the radio five years from now. Good Luck! Perhaps it’s because we have so much more music to listen to these days, or maybe it’s because this new generation of listeners get bored easily, or maybe we could blame it on the radio stations. But if you ask my opinion, I think it’s because we have lost the magic! We are so busy trying to write the next million-seller song that we have forgotten what makes a great song to begin with. Rather than following the newest formula for writing hits, which produces the cookie cutter effect, the writers of my father’s era wrote from their own life’s experiences.
Case in point: In the song, “Tennessee Waltz”, my mother was the darlin’ and my father was the one who stole her away. Get the picture! My father wrote about his own life experience. When you write from your heart there is emotions in the words not found in a lot of music today. A lot of writers today are creating fictional stories that they themselves did not take part in. Where is the emotion in that? It has become more about the money than the music, and that is sad. Now don’t get me wrong, not everything that is coming out of Nashville and the music industry in general is bad. But let’s face it, it’s getting pretty sterile!
The founding fathers of Country music were not trying to be the next superstar, and with what they got paid to play it sure wasn’t about the money. They were simply sharing with you a little peek into their own lives through the gift that God had given them. That gift we know as music.
Now with all that said, there is a lesson to be learned from all this. As I sat and pondered on this new revelation, I wondered what had brought about this change. Here is my conclusion for what it is worth. We have become a nation that is very much about the money. If you don’t believe me just look around. Americans work more hours than any other country in the world. In our quest to have it all and have it now, we have become workaholics. In exchange for stuff, we have given up our lives.
Our lives have become sterile. In other words, we have no life other than work and a few insignificant moments that are not what I would call memory makers. So rather than write about the life we have, we write about the life we wish we had. Where is the emotion in that! I’m moving to Mayberry!
Another Note from Billy
'My father was a master at keeping his professional life and his private life separate. Growing up I just knew him as dad. Being a very humble man, he never talked about his achievements. They were not as important to him as family and God.
Building this site has made me realize that his greatest achievement was the many lives he has touched with him music! What a beautiful gift he has given us all!'