These here fellas were known as The Skillet Lickers way back in the 1920s. Now before you go thinking one of them licked too much skillet, the one with the hair like a dead man’s curve was legally blind, but Riley Puckett was quite the vocalist. Haven’t heard of of this hillbilly band from Georgia? Well, that’s probably because they were selling singles before you were born. “Down Yonder” was their biggest hit on RCA Victor, but others included “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane” and “Bile Them Cabbage Down.” They disbanded in 1931. Andy Griffith performed his more grammatically-correct version of “Boil Them Cabbbage Down” on his hit show. As an added bonus, a verse is sung by Bob Denver, aka Maynard G. Krebs and Gilligan.
These gorgeous gals can hardly contain themselves, anticipating the opening number at the Charley Pride concert. They are duded up and ready to get their country music on. What is that, you say? Who is Charley Pride? I can’t hear you over the squeaking of her leather jacket as she shifts uncomfortably against the wallet in her back pocket. Charley Pride is a country music singer who had hits in the 70s and 80s, scoring his 29th No. 1 in 1983 with “Night Games.” Back then, he was a pretty big deal.
Apparently, Charley Pride has been forgotten. I did not know it until I saw this picture. I assumed he was very much remembered, since everyone and their dog wants to call Darius “Don’t Call Me Hootie” Rucker the modern-day Mr. Pride. True, they have the honor of being the only two African-American artists to have solo No. 1 hits in the Country Music genre, but Charley is a traditionalist, and Darius is a crossover artist, writing his own songs as well as scoring hits with covers like “Wagon Wheel,” originally co-written by Bob Dylan.
If you know anything about me by now (aside from the fact that I don’t get it), you know Mama likes her ties, even this silk handkerchief thingy that isn’t really a tie. A man who wears this can never truly be forgotten. Especially since he’s still alive.
Now I’ll tell you who’s really been forgotten. Eddie Rabbitt. God rest his soul, he has been forgotten. Case in point: I waltzed into the local Best Buy nigh on seven years ago, back when people still purchased CDs, looking for a “best of” collection. I grabbed one of the associates, bordering on the edge of adolescence. He had never heard of Mr. Rabbitt, but he went to his trusty keyboard at the end of the aisle, punched in the name, and came up with…nothing. What? Who erased Eddie Rabbitt from existence? Who does Worst Buy think they are? I put a hex on them that day to perish in the manner of Blockbuster Video, and mark my word, they will. As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like an empress above the Serengeti.
I said, “Boy! Go fetch me your most elder statesman, for I wish to speak with him.” Eventually, a schlubbier version of gawky teen made his way over to me, and he could not have yet been thirty. I told him I wanted to hear “I Love A Rainy Night.” This ditty he could not recall.
“What about ‘Driving My Life Away?’ You remember that one about the windshield wipers?”
“No. No, I don’t.” At that point, he sounded just like Robin Gibb on The Barry Gibb Talk Show, but I figured making reference to the Brothers Gibb would get us nowhere.
“Surely you bought the Soft Love Adult Contemporary three cassette collection from a late-night infomercial in the 80s like I did, the one that contained Rabbitt’s hit with Crystal Gayle, ‘You And I.’ “
His eyebrows raised. “The lady with the long-ass hair?”
“Yes, her!” Victory was in sight.
“I know her. But I don’t know that song.”
Exasperated, I explained, “He wrote ‘Kentucky Rain’ for Elvis. Have you heard of Elvis?”
“Elvis, yes. Kentucky, yes. Eddie Rabbitt, no.” And even though he was only saying the words, I knew that he was misspelling Rabbitt in his mind. Curse him.
Ugh. So don’t cry for Charley Pride, Argentina. Cry for Eddie Rabbitt and his smoldering bedroom eyes.