Songwriters are more often than not, hidden in the background. It’s the artists who turn the songs into hits. Then, we associate the song with the artist, not the songwriter.
I have a great friend, Sonny Throckmorton, who has had over twenty number one songs and well over 1,000 recorded by artists. He is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and has been awarded Songwriter of the Year by both BMI and the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International. But, only a handful of people know the name.
However, here are some of his songs that you’re sure to recognize:
“The Way I Am” – A huge hit for Merle Haggard
“This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away” – A hit for George Strait
“The Last Cheater’s Waltz” – A #1 hit for T.G. Sheppard
“Trying To Love Two Women” – The Oak Ridge Boys
“Middle Age Crazy” – Jerry Lee Lewis
“Friday Night Blues” – John Conlee
“I Wish You Could Have Turned My head and Left My Heart Alone” – Oak Ridge Boys
And last, but certainly not least nor anywhere near the end of the list, “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again,” made famous by George Burns.
I say all of this to introduce you to a new album released by Sonny Throckmorton. I wanted you to know the calibre of songwriter I am promoting.
A NEW KIND OF HIGH is different from anything Sonny has ever done. It verges on country-funk with catchy lyrics and thought-provoking phrases.
The album opens with “A Little Bit of That.” A mix of electronica and rap, the lyrics say it all. “I’m tired of being hungry/Tired of being poor/All my friends are driving Benz/And I want a little bit more…”
While “Next” is more reminiscent of bluegrass on steroids, it is again, quite a different twist for Sonny.
“Party Man” is more like the old Sonny Throckmorton style waltz with a twinge of loneliness thrown in.
Willie Nelson included “Butterfly” on his album, God’s Problem Child. Its slow easy flow is beautiful and the lyrics go deep.
“Pink Limousine” has an odd combination of banjo and electronica that I’ve never heard. The lyrics go like this. “I dreamed all night of a pink limousine/Full of beautiful ladies, the cream of the cream/And I caught a ride if you know what I mean/And I rode all night in a pink limousine…”
Full-on-country, “Wasting a Fire” is a two-stepping unrequited love song.
“Look What I Missed,” ramps up the countrified gospel funk to a new kind of high.
A soft flowing melody accompanies “Little Miss Out of the Blue.” I could hear someone with a smooth voice like the late Ray Price singing this and turning it into another hit for Sonny.
“Deal Breaker” starts off with heavy reverb on lead guitar and a driving beat. “Looking for somebody that doesn’t have a cat/I don’t want no feline on my welcome mat/You’re a kitty lover well I’m a dirty rat/Looking for somebody that doesn’t have a cat/Well, it’s a deal-breaker…” Ha! I think we can all relate to that in one way or another whether or not it has anything to do with a cat. 🙂
The album ends with “Ride Me Back Home,” a poignant story song. “Ride me back home to a much better place/Blue skies, sunshine, plenty of space/Somewhere where they would leave you alone/Somewhere I could call home/And you would just ride me back home…”
I think it’s safe to say that Sonny Throckmorton, even at the age of 77, isn’t anywhere close to being done.
I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity enough that you’ll take a look at Sonny’s new release. Who knows. Maybe one day, we’ll hear some of these songs on the radio and soaring up the charts again for this talented phenomenal songwriter.
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