Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Close all the honky tonks

I guess it goes without saying that there was very little chance of my not hearing of Paul Newman’s passing—but as I was leafing through a Newsweek that came in the mail (or it may have been Time—I get them both confused sometimes) I came across an obit that mentioned country singer Charlie Walker’s passing this past September 12th. He was 81.

I’ll come clean here and admit that I often had a tendency to confuse Charlie Walker with Billy Walker—and the fact that Billy had a #1 hit in 1962 with a song called Charlie’s Shoes didn’t help matters much, either. Charlie may not have had the tremendous chart success Billy enjoyed, but he did crack the Top Ten on occasion with records like Only You, Only You, Wild as a Wildcat and Don’t Squeeze My Sharmon—which, ever since I posted the lyrics in this obit for Dick “Mr. Whipple” Wilson—has generated more hits to Thrilling Days of Yesteryear than I could have dreamed imaginable. Charlie’s big million-selling smash came in 1958 with Pick Me Up on Your Way Down, a classic written by songwriting great Harlan Howard which peaked at #2. The success of this record—and subsequent forays into the Top 40—guaranteed him a spot with the Grand Ole Opry in 1967.

R.I.P, Charlie. You will be missed.

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

I hadn't heard this. Sorry Charlie's gone. I remember "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down" very well, a great one.