Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Willie's new/old song and the Urban Cowboy

Willie Nelson recently recorded a gay cowboy song and released as an iTunes-only track. I imagine the song was released to cash in on the popularity of "Brokeback Mountain" but it was recorded about a year ago. As it turns out, the song was written in 1981 by Texas-born singer-songwriter Ned Sublette in 1981. He was inspired by the "Urban Cowboy" trend at the time. It makes since considering a lot of the fashion trends picked up by the Urban Cowboy theme originated in gay bars in New York. Yeah, that larger-than-life feather you wore in your hat back in the early 80's was an idea that came from New York City.

I was just a kid during that craze but I actually lived in Dallas, TX at the time. I have a pretty funny story to tell about that. I went to my first circus with my Mom and Dad and we went out for pizza after that. We went to Forum Mall in Arlington, TX. It was right across the highway from a pretty popular country music bar called "Cowboys." So we were sitting at a table in the pizza place in the mall when some folks getting ready for a big night of drinking and dancing came in decked out in their urban cowboy digs. Being a young lad who just went to the circus, I took one look at them, pointed, and shouted, "Look Daddy, clowns!" Mom and Dad tried to calm me down but I kept pointing and shouting "Clowns! Look, clowns!" My parents were embarrassed but not as embarrassed as the faux-cowboys and their gigantic feathers and fake chaps. At one point during my clown shouting, my Father whispered to me, "I know, son. I know."

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