Monday, July 1, 2019

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BLUES Jack Blanchard's Column July 1, 2019


In the 1970's, when we released this song on a major label,
I called DJ's to see how it was going.
All the responses were positive except one.
Naturally that's the one I remember.

The program director of a big Atlanta station said that the song depressed him.
We had a pretty good relationship, so I explained it to him like this:
Some of our greatest songs are sad,
for instance Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry",
and every blues lyric ever written.
They let people know they aren't alone in their troubles.
It works the other way too.
If we're doing okay now,
we can appreciate what we have by looking back at the hard times.

This song is about a couple who had hoped for more from the future.
They are in a deep rut and don't know how to get out of it.
It's nobody's fault.
This is a common life situation. I see it in faces every day.
I know the look because I've worn it.
This song says: "Don't let this happen to you!"
and, "Break out before it's too late because there IS more to life!"

This was the scene I remembered as I wrote it:
The seedy outskirts of a cold industrial city...
The part of town with drive-in theaters closed for the winter,
junk yards, chain link fences, brown slush,
and black factory soot that gets in your eyes and skin.
The guy with the wet boots is a younger me.
The woman in the story is not Misty,
but just my idea of how a woman might feel under these circumstances.

The romance that once brought this couple together
has been scarred and eroded by bad times, drudgery,
worry, boredom, and mostly disappointment.
Neither of them is angry. It's a different kind of blues.

I've written a second song about this same couple,
where they finally make the break.
It's called: "Second Tuesday in December",
and is the only time I've ever written a sequel to a song.

His story: "Sky full of factory smokestacks,
Hot cinders paint the snow black,
Turn up my collar to the cold.
My old boots are wet and dirty. Missed my bus at seven thirty.
Ah, There Must Be More to Life than Growing Old."

Her story: "Each day seems like the last one,
Each year, just like the past one,
As if they stamped them from a mold.
Somehow it seems to be The only change is you and me
There Must Be More to Life than Growing Old."

"There Must Be More to Life than Growing Old.
What happened to the dreams we used to hold?
We never asked for cities paved with gold
There Must Be More to Life than Growing Old."

Jack Blanchard

Listen to it here:  

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Home Page:
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists 

Jack Blanchard, 2019 

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