Okay, I’ll admit, this post has nothing to do with Bob Marley directly. It’s basically announcing that I am marrying Ted Barron’s blog, because I can’t imagine anything making me happier today than hearing Tommy McCook doing “(Music is My) Occupation” back to back with Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” I laughed with delight at that, my friends, believe me.
A post like this is like a snapshot of Nashville’s magic, mid-trick. Where we’re making music of all sorts and sending it out into the world, only to have it sent back to us in forms we never imagined.
The late 40s/early 50s in Nashville, like in much of the country, were a bullshit time. But it was also a time when musical exchanges in town happened like this all the time, that musicians of all stripes who were crazy about jazz would defy the law and social convention to hide away in the back of clubs on Jefferson after hours to play together or all search out the newest Bullet release and memorize it.
And I love knowing that some of that energy was strong enough to carry the music clear to Jamaica and back.
I now formally apologize for being one of those folks who rolled her eyes at Kenny Chesney and the Wailers. Little did I know, Kenny! You were just taking the next step in a long dance.
As I’ve said repeatedly, and will say until I’m convinced otherwise, American music at its best can be summed up in those lyrics shared by Johnson and Jackson, “the woman I love took from my best friend/ Some joker got lucky stole her back again.”