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 HIGHis 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.
“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.
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.
Once in a great while, in life, someone walks into it that leaves such a large footprint you are forever touched. And so it was with Richard J. Dobson (aka Don Ricardo).
Roxy Gordon was an American Indian activist, a poet, and storyteller. And, he was a friend and spirit brother to Rick and myself. It was he and his wife, Judy, who introduced Rick and myself to Ricardo in December 1999. He and his bride-to-be, Edith, had come to Coleman to visit Roxy and Judy and to get married in the Coleman County Courthouse. I didn’t get to attend the actual wedding ceremony because I had to work, but this picture was taken in our music room the night before.
The first song I heard Ricardo play and sing in our home, was “Piece of Wood and Steel.”
There was a little controversy that arose when David Alan Coe released it on an album and listed himself as the writer. That eventually got straightened out.
“Richard is a huge, gentle bear of a man with a rollicking, roll-with-the-punches attitude toward show business success or lack of same,” Robert Oermann wrote in The Tennessean in 1983. He added, “He’s a man-child who has retained the wide-eyed wonder of youth as he has become a godfather to the new generation of struggling pickers.”
That description fits the man perfectly. He made more than twenty albums and had songs recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash and Guy Clark. He is mentioned in Rodney Crowell’s song “Nashville 1972” as a poet. Another apt description.
But on a deeply personal level, Ricardo’s music touched me in a way that only “truth” and “real” can do.
Anytime life gets tough for me, I have one go-to as far as soothing music for my soul. It is none other than “Rockin’ To The Rhythm of the World.” It always puts me back in sync.
And there is another that I carry the lyrics to in my wallet and have for well over fifteen years called “Useful Girl.” I was that useful girl and it spoke to me in ways I can’t explain. The song was written from a true story (as many of Richard’s songs were). He loved history and loved, even more, expressing it in the poetry of song.
When the news came that Richard J. Dobson had passed away, my heart broke into a million pieces. I know that death is as much a part of life as is birth, but it doesn’t lessen the blow or the grief. I want everyone to know what an amazing artist and person Richard J. Dobson was. He was a true friend to Rick and myself and continued to be to me, after Rick’s passing.
This picture was taken at our music store a year or so before Rick passed away.
Ricardo wrote a song telling Rick’s story, “The Old Rhythm Rebel.” I am happy that he wrote and recorded it while Rick was still alive to hear it and be able to appreciate and acknowledge the honor he felt.
This post is longer than I normally make, but there isn’t any way to make it shorter and express what’s in my heart. I loved Ricardo like a brother. I was thrilled for him when I received his email telling me that his work was being archived in the Woodson Research Center at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Well, there simply isn’t enough room in this post to list all of his accomplishments including a film debut in “Heartworn Highways.”