The Legend-News

Monday, 2002 February 4 : Volume 5, Number 3

What We Got Here in this edition of The Legend-News.

Where's C.W.?
Here, There and Everywhere.

We've been inspecting all of the pages here at C.W. McCall: An American Legend, and along the way we've been making lists of changes to be made and lists of stuff that ought to be listed. Among those changes is a promise to eventually complete the Concordance of all things C.W. But in the meanwhilst, we've got a shorter list of the cities and towns that have been mentioned in the songs of C.W. McCall.

Curiously, despite the well-known connection of Bill Fries and Ouray, Colorado, that town is never mentioned in any song. You could infer its presence through the reference to "Ouray County" in "Riverside Slide", but the town itself is never mentioned, not even by a nickname, as is "Taco Town" (Corpus Christi, Texas, mentioned in "Convoy (new version)").

By the way, if last issues' notations on "Convoy" have you wondering about other terms used on the CB, check out the page of CB Slang at CB Gazette, and Edward Green’s Talk Like a Truck Driver.

And now, the little list of locations…

Flagstaff ("Flag Town")
Los Angeles ("Shaky Town")
San Francisco ("Frisco", but don't say that to a resident of S.F.)
Ames (Three-foot tracks nearby)
Dolores (Home of "The Gallopin' Goose", Number 5)
Durango (D&RG depot)
Ophir (Fabled mines)
Pagosa Springs (Watch out for the feed store)
Ridgway (Roundhouse)
Silverton ("Silver town", of course)
Telluride (take the Black Bear Road shortcut from Ouray)
Wiggins (Here there be chickens)
Chicago ("Chi-town")
Audubon (Birthplace of Bill Fries)
Correctionville (Can't drive straight through it)
Council Bluffs (Watch out for Jerry and Calvin)
Des Moines ("Dees Moines")
Mondamin (Pay phone is four miles north)
Pisgah (Stop in at the cafe)
Red Line
Sioux City
New Orleans
Joplin (How's the wife and kids?)
Oklahoma City ("OK City")
Tulsa ("Tulsa Town")
Grand Island
North Platte ("Flat Rock")
Omaha ("O-Town", not to be confused with that boy group)
Scotts Bluff
South Sioux City
Reno (Lose a c-note here)
Winnemucca (Got a load a' black sheep)
New Mexico
Pecos (Peddle down)
Santa Fe (Mama's place)
New York
New York City
Chapel Hill (Mama's other place)
Alvarez (The pits)
Del Rio (Send your cards and letters)
Tacoma (Ah, the aroma)
Jackson Hole (now known by the politically correct "Jackson")
London, England (They're got 18-wheel lorries)
Tokyo, Japan (crick)
West Berlin, Germany (at the time of "'Round The World With The Rubber Duck", West Berlin was in East Germany. Then the Wall came tumblin' down).

Now we're betting that some of you are saying, "Hey! You missed Fort Kearney, and Westport Landing, and Lizard Head! And what about Camp Bird?"

Technically, Fort Kearney wasn't a town (it's now an historical site); Westport was the town, Westport Landing was a location on the Missouri River; Lizard Head is actually Lizard Head Pass; and the song "Camp Bird Mine" mentions the mine, but not the town (which is a ghost town, by the way).

Of course, we could also argue that Des Moines is in northeastern New Mexico, and that the town of Alvarez, Texas doesn't exist, but we're not that discriminating.

Old Home Café
Back where it all began

C.W. McCall continues his week of co-hosting Music City U.S.A. with T. Tommy Cutrer, November 1975.

[T. Tommy] Of course, with that four-wheel-drive vehicle that you have, C.W., you must travel a lot out there.

[C.W.] Yeah, we get out there every summer and we get up into some pretty wild country. I mean really, stuff where you've got to have survival kits and everything else and be able to get yourself out: winches, and everything on those Jeeps 'cause you've got to be able to take care of yourself.

[T. Tommy] And this is the story of the ghost town.

[C.W.] This is a serious song. It's about the town of Animas Forks, which is a little town up about twelve thousand feet in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.

Song A’ Th’ Week
Words without music. Call 'em poems.

The San Juan Mountains are littered with the remains of towns whose purpose disappeared long ago. GhostTowns is a great source for locating these once-thriving villages.

Ghost Town
(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)
From the album Black Bear Road

[The sound of a lonely harmonica.]

The dance hall is silent and empty
The banjos don't play anymore
The music is only a mem'ry
And the dancing is dust on the floor

Wild flowers cover the ground now
The timbers are streaking with gray
The palace is tumblin' down now
And the dancers have all gone away

Once there was singing
And once there was song
And once there was silver and gold (silver and gold)

The tombstones are weathered and broken
But the last signs of life are still here
The labors of love have been stolen
But the gold was the last souvenir

Once there was laughter
And once there was life
And once there was silver and gold (silver and gold)

The dance hall is silent and empty
The banjos don't play anymore...

[Fade out to the playing of "Oh, Susanna" on the banjo.]

Old Home Café
Part Two

[T. Tommy] You actually been to a place that's kinda like that.

[C.W.] Yeah, very nostalgic.

[T. Tommy] Do you ever do any "straight" stuff, C.W.?

[C.W.] Yeah, we're doin' some more of that kinda thing.

[T. Tommy] Now, prior to your becoming a big star, what were you doing? Were you actually an entertainer then, singing?

[C.W.] No, I've been in advertising. I've written commercials, and jingles. I'm a writer, basically, and have been for a long time. And now just by a quirk of fate I've been suddenly involved in country music. Way back when I was growin' up my mom and dad were country music players: my dad was a two-fingered fiddle player, and my mom played piano. Dad lost two fingers in a chain saw, but he could still play that thing pretty good. And they used to play for country dances, and so I grew up on country music.

[T. Tommy] I wanna tell you a quick story. Slim Whitman; you're familiar with the name Slim Whitman in country music? Well, Slim was a postman in Shreveport, Louisiana, and he became a big star on the Louisiana Hayride and singing and selling several hundred thousand records at a time and he didn't think this business would last for him, so he took a leave of absence from the Post Office. He never did quit his job. Did you quit at the advertising agency, or take a leave of absence?

[C.W.] No, I'm still involved with them, only on a kinda "special projects" basis, 'cause this is takin' up all my time.

Got C.W. and T. Tommy?
The complete week of T. Tommy Cutrer and C.W. McCall is now available on CD, taken straight from the original scratchy records. Ask us for details.

The Legend-News is Copyright 2002 TechRen Enterprises. "Ummm, unexpected bacon." Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music.