Markham was a pillar of Bakersfield music even before he joined The Strangers. , Therealbobcephus If you recall many of those great Merle Haggard songs, many feature a saxophone solo, though you may not notice them until someone points them out to you. Don Markham was one of the few last living links to the Western Swing sound in country music’s origins. I was lucky enough to meet Don, a couple of times. 8:53 am. Of course they do! Since trumpet was my instrument of choice, I’ve always liked the horns. February 28, 2017 @ Is this new Sturgill/Stapleton/neo-Muscle Shoals mono-genre OK because it sounds a little better than the rap/hiphop/arena rock one? TDM3 may use instruments that are ubiquitous in bluegrass, but their playing style doesn’t really resemble bluegrass all that much. In about 2013, Markham gave up the touring life for good due to health reasons, including issues with his teeth that affected his horn playing. For 40 years, Don Markham was the horn player in Merle Haggard’s backing band, The Strangers. 9:58 pm, I did not even mention horns in my comment, Marilyn Markham 12:51 pm, “The presence of actual horns on a record doesn’t necessarily make it country, soul, jazz or rock n roll. But the truth of the matter is horns have been in country music nearly from the beginning. There was a trumpet or sax guy in the band. ), that’s right, Don Markham was in the band. 7:13 am. Regardless of ones tastes marketing EDM as country is just as shitty as marketing R&B Soul Blues as country. February 28, 2017 @ March 1, 2017 @ I got a Merle Travis record called “That Fat Girl of Mine” that has Dixieland clarinet on it. Perhaps that’s taking into account that Markham did more actual service time over those 40 years, or was closer to Merle than Norm was, I really don’t know. R2D2 People are gonna try to put him into country music box that he probably doesn’t truly fit, expecially given that he picks like a bluegrass musician a lot. Me too. In 2005 Hamlet had quadruple heart bypass surgery and recovered well at his home in Bakersfield, California. Beautiful, mournful trumpet on this classic Ashcroft solo track. Trigger You’re right, horns were an integral part of The Hag’s sound, although it should be pointed out that said sound sometimes veered more toward jazz (“Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star,” I’d say) before going back to country (“I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” had that ripping sax solo at the end, and that tune was c-o-u-n-t-r-y). Kevin C. February 28, 2017 @ And don’t get you started about Sturgill Simpson and his latest record. March 3, 2017 @ Trigger OK, not on the original. There are horns, and then there are horns. I know a lot of your audience here despises anything “mainstream,” but The Hag and all the others I mentioned not only incorporated horns, but did so in a way that one can still hear the vocals very clearly. From da wiki: Norm Hamlet is an American steel guitarist and a member of Merle Haggard’s The Strangers band for the past 43 years. February 28, 2017 @ Chris Stapleton & Justin Timberlake collaboration My goal is to create a place of peace and harmony giving you inspiration, faith, hope and love. Because they’re playing Tin Pan Alley music, Ben. 10:31 am. Everyone likes a bit of trumpet, don't they? Horns are metal and require a different tech. Defining what is or isnt country is admittedly very subjective and as such often times prone to causing dissension and disagreement. 1:27 pm, You said it’s hard to imagine a saxophone in a bluegrass song with it simply being a novelty, but listen to the song “Forty Days” by the Devil Makes Three, its got a sax and it’s not just for novelty or giggles, it adds to the song and makes it more appealing and real. rusty beltway He has won many awards, including induction into the Western Swing Society hall of fame in Sacramento, California and the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. Don’t know about everyone else, but I certainly wouldn’t want to tell Waylon that his view on country music is wrong. In fact he outlasted every other permanent member in the band, and aside from a few hiatuses throughout the years, was the only constant member. In truth any time you talk about southern culture it will be heavily influenced by African-American culture. I have been open and honest from the very beginning that I do not see “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” as a very “country” project, and that country fans have a right to be disappointed that Sturgill didn’t make a very country record. 11:22 am. 10:38 am. 11:33 am. 7:42 pm. Benjamin Random Notes Think I’ll listen to The Way I Am tonight in honor of Mr. Markham. Kevin C. Todd Villars Regardless of ones tastes marketing EDM as country is just as shitty as marketing R&B Soul Blues as country. 7:06 am. When there is a distinct lack of good country out there in the mainstream its a bit of a piss off when talented people (like Sturgill) run off to play Bruno Mars or something. And that’s not the horns’ fault. Janice Brooks Required fields are marked *, Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. Unconventional, yes, but no doubt they are folk/bluegrass. Don was actually driving a tour bus for Johnny Paycheck in 1972 when he pulled the bus up right beside Merle Haggard’s rig at a stop in New Mexico. They all work to support a song by helping to evoke an emotional response to the narrative or the rhythm . Markham lived in a trailer part in Oildale, California, just outside of Bakersfield for 50 years with his wife Wanda. Charly … Mule The banjo is a similar story. March 1, 2017 @ February 28, 2017 @ The trumpet was probably the least memorable aspect of this booze and football anthem. TwangBob I don’t remember the exact quote, but Waylon said something in his autobiography about how he loved horns in country music and thought they sounded beautiful. 17 August 2016, 09:00 | Updated: 9 August 2017, 10:14 There are actually a ton of string band busking-style bands out there right now featuring horns of some sort. February 28, 2017 @ he was more than great, and was the longest running on horns for Merle, (gary church, dixieland express on an album, and Renato Caranto were the only others I can remember). 9:44 am, Brian And when Merle brings in sax, it’s for friendship and Freddy’s affection for jazz. But I also felt like it was a good opportunity to point out that horns do have a history in country music way before Sturgill or any other modern artist. But even if Sturgill dropped the horns it still wouldnt be a country record. Bob Wills played western swing wasnt really a honky tonk act anyways no shock he should use horns. Thanks. 1am - 4am, Teenage Dirtbag Sorry if that sounds reductive. Lying among the best trumpet songs, Wonderland by Night is s quite a popular song performed by Bert Kaempfert. All good points, and that is coming from someone who thinks ASGTE is country as anything else out there….although admittedly genre-bending. how close he was to Merle. I thought Norm Hamlet was the longest serving musician in Merle’s band, the Strangers. 9:40 am, People who complain that horns don’t belong in country music obviously haven’t heard Ring of Fire…. Merle obliged, seeing it as an opportunity to put a little bit of that Bob Wills magic behind his music, and a friendship was born. Their product is a reflection of this mono-genre. Stapleton has always been more bad than good in his songwriting legacy so im not that shocked Traveller was distinctively non-country mono-genre fare. Hard to imagine. His saxophone work was one my favorite parts of Merle Haggard’s sound.