Friday, October 22, 2010

Wired For Sound: Curtis Kirk on Abbott 126

Curtis Kirk on Abbott 126

Curtis Kirk (with) Red Hayes' Fiddles - I Can't Take It With Me (When I Leave This World) / The Little Things You Do (Abbott 126)

"I Can't Take It With Me (When I Leave This World)"

"The Little Things You Do"

Jack Rhodes and Red Hayes strike again. "I Can't Take It With Me," audibly recorded at the same late 1952 KWKH Studio session that also produced Freddie Frank's "12,000 Texas Longhorns,"pre-dates "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" by over two years and perhaps served to inspire it. Besides expressing a universal truth about money and death, Rhodes apparently wasn't exaggerating very much here in advocating a "live only for sex" philosophy. In his mid-40s at the time, he seemed to have discovered late in life the bizarre effect that song has on the wiring of the female mind, an incantation that dissolves inhibitions regardless if you're Frank Sinatra or a three-chord hillbilly from East Texas. He then went "middle-age crazy" with any number of female companions. "Jack was obsessed with women," Al Petty told me. "There were a lot of death threats." Alas, Jack lazily rhymes "girl" with "world" too many times for this lyric to really go anywhere, and Curtis doesn't clearly enunciate the song's most memorable couplet (in the final verse):

My pop, he used to say you're wasting money on a crowd
Did you ever hear of pockets in a cold, black shroud?

All of the surviving Rhodes/Kirk collaborations are keepers, though. Besides the two Abbott releases, there was the 1951 acetate of "Down Texas Way" and the 1954 acetate of "Easy Livin'".

Posted by Andrew Brown

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