Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk

By Johnny Bush

When it involves Texas honky-tonk, not anyone is familiar with the track or the scene higher than Johnny Bush. writer of Willie Nelson's vintage live performance anthem "Whiskey River," and singer of hits comparable to "You Gave Me a Mountain," "Undo the Right," "Jim, Jack and Rose," and "I'll Be There," Johnny Bush is a legend in kingdom song, a singer-songwriter who has lived the cheatin', hurtin', hard-drinkin' existence and recorded one of the most heart-wrenching songs approximately it. He has one of many purest honky-tonk voices ever to come back out of Texas. And Bush's occupation has been simply as dramatic as his songs—on the verge of accomplishing superstardom within the early Seventies, he used to be sidelined by means of a unprecedented vocal illness that he combated for thirty years. yet, survivor that he's, Bush is once more filling dance halls throughout Texas and encouraging a brand new iteration of musicians who crave the authenticity—the "pure D" country—that Johnny Bush has regularly had and that Nashville nation tune has lost.

In Whiskey River (Take My Mind), Johnny Bush tells the dual tales of his existence and of Texas honky-tonk track. He remembers becoming up terrible in Houston's Kashmere Gardens local and studying his chops in honky-tonks round Houston and San Antonio—places the place chook twine secure the bandstand and lethal fights broke out on a regular basis. Bush vividly describes lifestyles at the street within the Nineteen Sixties as a band member for Ray expense and Willie Nelson, together with the booze, medicines, and one-night stands that fueled his songs yet destroyed his first 3 marriages. He recalls the time within the early Nineteen Seventies while he was once warmer than Willie and at the quick song to superstardom—until spasmodic dysphonia pressured his profession into the sluggish lane. Bush describes his agonizing, yet finally winning fight to maintain appearing and rebuild his fan base, in addition to the hard-won happiness he has present in his own life.

Woven all through Bush's autobiography is the never-before-told tale of Texas honky-tonk song, from Bob Wills and Floyd Tillman to Junior Brown and Pat eco-friendly. Johnny Bush has recognized just about all the nice musicians, earlier and current, and he has exceptional tales to inform. Likewise, he bargains sensible observations on how the track enterprise has replaced on account that he begun appearing within the 1950s—and pulls no punches in asserting how Nashville tune has misplaced its kingdom soul. for everybody who loves actual kingdom tune, Johnny Bush, Willie Nelson, and tales of triumph opposed to all odds, Whiskey River (Take My Mind) is a must-read.

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That was once my university schooling, operating for expense: crowd psychology, the way to deal with a crowd, the way to preserve the song going. We’d exit and paintings Monday nights, Tuesdays—unheard of this day. the one guy i do know within the state enterprise this day that may exit any evening of the week and pack a home is Willie Nelson. It don’t subject a rattling what evening it truly is. while I went to paintings for rate, he was once operating for at any place from 600 fifty to 8 hundred cash an evening. He merely paid the musicians within the band twenty-five money an evening.

You may also inform him this. My profession will live to tell the tale without or with the Golden Nugget. ” The flunky acknowledged, “Yes sir, I’ll inform him,” and walked out. Willie went again to chatting with Shirley—they’re making plans on getting married whereas they’re there. I’m in a nation of concern. We hadn’t gotten paid but, we’re now not gonna receives a commission . . . we’re performed. for my part, we will commence packin’. not anything ever occurred! not anything was once ever stated. We went on that evening like we regularly did. eco-friendly by no means acknowledged a notice. are you able to think? Willie wanted that gig.

He requested me approximately how I felt approximately my mother and dad’s divorce. i'll see my development of going from spouse to spouse and girl to girl, yet on the time, I couldn’t attach my addictive habit to my mom and dad’ divorce. Jerry 168 bradley, my manufacturer, knew whatever was once incorrect. I saved dodging his telephone calls. whilst i'd check with him, he may perhaps listen the choking in my throat. i used to be capable of regulate my breath simply lengthy sufficient to be audible. Jerry might set a consultation. “How you feelin’? ” he’d say. And me, in a excessive voice, “Oh, I’m doing ok.

They'd Waylon Jennings and Eddy Arnold. and naturally that they had Elvis. He used to be signed to their pop department and recording in Nashville. i used to be low guy at the totem pole. the massive guy at cease used to be the little guy at RCA. really, it might probably were a nasty circulate for me. As I stated prior, a checklist label has no identification of its personal. yet RCA used to be the largest corporation on the planet, and so they may possibly get the product available in the market, while cease couldn’t. That’s precisely why Elvis went from solar documents to RCA. the one holdup used to be that I nonetheless owed Pete approximately $5,000 for the Winnebago.

I acknowledged, “You acquired that correct. ” He stated, “But if I positioned a guitar on your hand or a microphone, i do know you’re both loopy hands fifty five 56 a guitar participant or a singer. So have whatever in that photograph that tells me not only who you're, yet what you're. ” and that i was once taking all of this down, yet I couldn’t get that rattling printer’s ink off of my palms. each day whilst I’d print the menus, I’d pass down from the print store, during the foyer of the Shamrock, and search for motion picture stars. One time I observed Hugh O’Brien, who performed Wyatt Earp on television.

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