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Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)

Arnie 20 Oct 08 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 08 - 08:25 AM
Arnie 20 Oct 08 - 11:55 AM
open mike 21 Oct 08 - 12:56 AM
GUEST,Lee-Anne 03 Jul 10 - 02:48 AM
Old Grizzly 03 Jul 10 - 08:52 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Jul 10 - 02:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Jul 10 - 02:59 PM
Wesley S 26 Jul 10 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,nodak boy 19 Dec 10 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,nodak boy 19 Dec 10 - 10:37 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 10 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 13 - 11:47 PM
GUEST,Sam 26 Feb 13 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,gillymor 26 Feb 13 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,henryp 26 Feb 13 - 09:42 AM
GUEST 26 Mar 15 - 08:26 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Mar 15 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 27 Mar 15 - 03:03 AM
Lonesome EJ 27 Mar 15 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 28 Mar 15 - 04:46 AM
Lonesome EJ 28 Mar 15 - 10:37 PM
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Subject: Origins: Hickory Wind - what is it?
From: Arnie
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 07:52 AM

I've been listening to various versions of Hickory Wind on YouTube and may give it a try. However, I like to know a bit about songs I perform and I can't find any information on this one, other than it was written by a blind woman named Sylvia Sammons and not Gram Parsons, although he claimed it initially. What I would like to know is, what is Hickory Wind? Is it like the Mistral in the south of France or some such? Grateful for any information.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind - what is it?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 08:25 AM

Hickory Wind from Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind - what is it?
From: Arnie
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 11:55 AM

Guest - thanks for the link but Wikipedia simply gives the following explanation: 'The alluring 'Hickory Wind' serves as a powerful image for Parsons' bittersweet nostalgia.' So am I to understand that there is no actual wind called the Hickory Wind somewhere in the Carolinas? Also, I see that Wikipedia still attributes the song to Gram Parsons although on YouTube a poster states that he eventually acknowledged that he hadn't written the song but bought the rights from the original songwriter Sylvia Sammons. If this is correct then Wikipedia needs an update.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind - what is it?
From: open mike
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 12:56 AM

hmmm..if you buy the rights to a song..
and (as sylvia quotes on a folk site)
they insisted that she turn over the
cassettt of the song that she had
sent ot herself to prove "ownership")
does that give you the right to say you
wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind - what is it?
From: GUEST,Lee-Anne
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 02:48 AM

South Carolina is famous for hickory forests, and they feature in many place names, Hickory Grove, Hickory Knob, and so on. Gram Parsons was born in Florida and spent his childhood there, and had no childhood memories of South Carolina whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind - what is it?
From: Old Grizzly
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 08:52 AM

Hickory wind .... a after effect from eating hammer shafts ??


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 02:07 PM

Google Books doesn't find any use of the phrase "hickory wind" earlier than 1970, and those are references to the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 02:59 PM

I see the Sammons claim as spurrilous, especially in the absence of any evidence to support it other than the alleged 'missing cassette tape'.

From wikipedia site

"In 2002, an article on the website folklinks.com controversially claimed that "Hickory Wind" wasn't, in fact, written by Gram Parsons, but by Sylvia Sammons—a blind folksinger from Greenville, South Carolina—with Bob Buchanan later contributing an additional verse.[12][13] Sammons' alleged authorship of the song was first made public by traditional musician Kay Justice during a performance at a small church concert in southwest Virginia.[12] Additionally, L. Beatrice Hutzler, a former professor at Clinch Valley College (now the University of Virginia's College at Wise), recalled that she too had heard Sammons sing the song in person prior to its being recorded by The Byrds.[12]

When interviewed in 2002, Sammons confirmed that she had written the song and claimed that she regularly performed "Hickory Wind" at coffeehouses and other folk venues in Greenville during 1963—a time when Parsons was also performing in Greenville with his band The Shilos—and that her song was stolen during this period.[12] She further claims that in 1969 she reached a cash settlement with a music publisher for the rights to "Hickory Wind" and agreed to turn over a tape-recorded copy of the song, which was her only physical proof of authorship.[12]

Sammons' claim to the song has been refuted by both Bob Buchanan and Chris Hillman, with the latter stating "As far as I know Gram and Bob Buchanan did indeed write 'Hickory Wind'. As unstable as Gram was in my brief time with him on this earth, I sincerely doubt he was a plagiarist in any of his songwriting endeavors unless his co-writer Bob brought him the idea."[12] Although many people have chosen to dismiss Sammons' claim, citing a lack of any physical proof on her part, the controversy surrounding the authorship of "Hickory Wind" remains."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 03:26 PM

By the way - I've heard previously that the Rolling Stones song "Wild Horses" was written by Gram Parsons and the Stones stole it from him. Hard to say if that's a true story or not.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,nodak boy
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 10:32 PM

An interesting controversy: Sammons says she never published another song, although she says she wrote a few others.
It would seem she could offer proof she got the payment for the song's rights....maybe she has.
Even so, it's possible Parsons' version is a take-off of sorts, from what he remembers of her song; and may be within that gray area of being "inspired" by a previous work.
From what I've read of Buchanan's version, it's possible Parsons had his/Sammons' part of the song pretty much down, and Buchanan's contribution of a second verse was ex post facto, although he didn't realize it at the time. He thought, perhaps, Parsons was creating in the moment , as was he.... ;
   And, yes, good point+: even if they paid off Sammons, it doesn't seem right to hang your name on the song.
    I think it's easy to think the Stones stole stuff from Parsons during their sojourn in Texas; it's instructive that they let the Flying Burrito Brothers record "Wild Horses" before the Stones. Some say that was just a tribute to the country influence they got in Texas. But Jagger and Richards were/are notorious for lifting stuff from other people (ask Ry Cooder); so....
   If Sammons had a bunch of other good songs, I would tend to believe "Hickory Wind" was all hers. In the absence of more evidence, I tend toward the idea that Parsons took some stuff from her, the germ, the idea, of the song, ...not a complete plagiarization.
    It would be interesting to see some experts analyze if "Hickory Wind" is similiar in word choice, tune, key, whatever, to Parson's other work.... and obviously, he was a songsmith of the first degree (Hey, I claim that as a song title-don't rip me off.)
    and let's not forget to simply love the beeeeyOOOTiful song...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,nodak boy
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 10:37 PM

PS: in the Wikipedia entry; "Sammons' claim to the song has been refuted by both Bob Buchanan and Chris Hillman,. . ." , refuted should be changed to "rebutted."
Refuted means you PROVED someone wrong; I think all they can do is give their version as evidence... doesn't prove she didn't write the song, or a first draft of it....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:12 PM

GP did live in Waycross GA as a boy; I hear there are hickory forests there. As a trope "hickory wind" is the trigger of the narrator's nostalgic longing for home/lost innocence/ and endless Fruedian womb associations. In GP bio "Twenty Thousand Roads" the author does not treat the origin of "HW" as a controversy.
Doug Saum


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 11:47 PM

I have also wondered about the phrase "hickory wind." I can't imagine its a seasonal weather phenomenon like the mistral. I wondered whether the flowers of the tree might scent the air in a distinctive way, but I've been told this is not the case. However, after much thought, I've concluded that the phrase alludes to the scent of hickory smoke in the air. Hickory has a distinctive and pleasing scent when it burns and that is why it is prized for barbecues. So, when I hear that song, I imagine he is nostalgic for the scent of fires being revived in woodstoves in the morning, scenting the air as it blows through a valley or mountainside.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,Sam
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 12:52 AM

Compare verse two to verse one in Wild Horses by the stones. Kinda makes me wonder who wrote Wild Horses.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 08:26 AM

From the musty vault of my memory I seem to recall that Parsons found the lyrics on a paper in the typewriter of his Harvard (or was it Yale?)roomate (was it Buchanan?)and provided a melody and helped him finish the song. The tune reminds me of one from the Carter Family but I don't remember which one.
Re Wild Horses, I read somewhere that the Stones sent it to the Burritos for Sneaky Pete to put a steel guitar track on it (which they didn't use [I think]) Parsons heard it, recorded a Burritos version and put it out before the Stones did. Any corrections appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 09:42 AM

Colonel Tom Parker would ask songwriters to give up half of their royalties in exchange for Elvis recording their song. So you'll find lots of Elvis's songs have his name attached as a writer.

And Cole Porter bought the rights to Don't Fence Me In!
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=34307


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 08:26 PM

The song Wild Horses was written by Nick Jagger about his unrequited love for Marianne Faithful.

It was published but not recorded until picked up by the Flying Burrito Brothers.

It was later recorded by the Rolling Stones, using very sinmilarvarrangements.

That's the story I heard.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 12:28 AM

The lyrics to Wild Horses don't sound like Parsons' colorful but rather nebulous and arcane style. It is specific and rather formal in expression, and sounds much more like Jagger to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 03:03 AM

I had read that the song Wild Horses was originally written by Keith Richards, with or without some input from Parsons that is disputed, and was about the birth of his child and the idea that wild horses wouldn't drag him away on tour etc. Jagger supposedly then amended the lyrics to make it a love song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 12:31 PM

If they stayed true to their usual method, Richards would have come up with the refrain "wild horses couldn't drag me away", and most of the melody, while Jagger would have done most of the verse lyric.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 04:46 AM

As I understand from what I read (can't for the love of me remember where but it was a Stones bio I think) the song was written and completed before Jagger got his hands on it. It was seemingly obviously about leaving your child and Jagger simply rewrote, or adjusted, some of the words to make it a love song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 10:37 PM

Could be, Allan. Those verses would certainly be among the most erudite ever forged by Mr Richards, if true. Now, my friend Will James, who has been instrumental in producing several Gram Parsons Memorial concerts, is quite certain that Parsons wrote the bulk of it, with help from Keith.


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