The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13115   Message #106416
Posted By: Rick Fielding
19-Aug-99 - 01:22 AM
Thread Name: What was Lee Hays really like...?
Subject: RE: What was Lee Hays really like...?
Art, do you ever wish that you'd been born twenty years earlier? (and of course not been any older today?) Sometimes I get so angry and frustrated at having wasted 20 years of my life playing in bars, hotels, Lake Ontario cruises, and the like. The people were fine I guess, but they just didn't KNOW how much I loved traditional styled music. For years I got away with sandwiching "C'est dans le moi du Mai" between "Don't Think Twice" and "Gotta Travel On". Or a Wade Hemsworth song between "Kansas City" and "Four Strong Winds". 'Course I sung a lot of Hank Williams and Hank Snow songs (which I still love) but I think without the ability to entertain and be funny (although near the end of the bar string, a lot of the humour had become very caustic) I would never have worked as much as I did. Never saved a dime though!

I just feel that if I'd started singing in the mid forties rather than the mid sixties, the oportunity to become a "folkie Juke box" would not have been there, and I'd have been forced to focus on what I really loved. (course I'd have had to get a job as well!) I would have loved to have been part of the American folk revival. (the Canadian folk revival was mostly led by Alan Mills and Charles Jordan, who were far to "corporate" for my tastes) I've met and gotten to know most of the key figures, but to have known them in their hey-day when their adrenalin was flowin' would have been my idea of heaven.
I truly think I would give a year of my life to have spent one evening in Huddie Ledbetter's apartment. (well maybe half a year)

Oy! didn't mean this to be maudlin. I've been damn lucky to have been able to scratch out a living with music, and meeting Sandy and Caroline turned my life and attitude a hundred and eighty degrees, to the point where the last few years have been very rewarding. (emotionally, if not financially) But I guess that's why I'd stand outside (what I thought was) Lee Hays' house, and get a huge grin on my face when you brought Frank Hamilton to visit. Now if Ed McCurdy would only drop by...

Rick (fucking nostalgic bore, tonight)