And now for something completely different…
We have all known Larry Cordle as among the greatest songwriters ever to be involved in bluegrass music. He left his mark on the country world as well, with Highway 40 Blues, a mega-hit for Ricky Skaggs, and Murder On Music Row (with Larry Shell), recorded by nearly everyone in Nashville.
Of course he has continued to record bluegrass albums of his new music without pause for decades now, and has another on the way, Where The Trees Know My Name. Two singles from that upcoming record have gone to #1 on our Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay chart, and a third drops today, Cherokee Fiddle.
But what makes this one unique is that it’s not one of Cord’s compositions, but a classic from the pen of Michael Martin Murphey.
Larry says that this song has been with him for 40 years.
“This song was written by the legendary singer-songwriter and artist, Michael Martin Murphey and is part of the soundtrack of my younger days.
Some of you will remember the great Johnny Lee recording, from the soundtrack of Urban Cowboy in 1980. When it first came out, I was so infatuated not only with the story, but also the great melody that Michael had woven the story around. I just fell in love with it and decided to work it up and sing it with the band I was in at the time, Homebrew. I was playing 6 nights a week with them at Lee’s Lounge in Winchester, Kentucky. For two years, six nights a week, I sang this song.
When compiling songs for this upcoming album, I remembered how much I loved the song back then, and realized I still loved it. Thanks so much to Michael Martin Murphey for such a great song.”
Here’s a taste of the track…
Murphey had a chance for a listen before the single was released, and was unabashed in his praise.
“Love it! Although my original version of my song was not recorded pure bluegrass style by me or Johnny Lee, I wrote it as a bluegrass song. I did a bluegrass version of it on my album, Buckaroo Bluegrass, many years later, but no other versions are as good as Larry Cordle’s. Larry Cordle captures the bluegrass soul of the song perfectly! I feel honored that the bluegrass family of artists still considers me a part of the family; thank you Brother Larry Cordle.”
Cherokee Fiddle is available for download purchase from Cord’s web site. Radio programmers can find the track at AirPlay Direct.