May 21-23

Why this weekend? Because the calendar tells us these seven songs are keyed to the next three days. Go to the jump, and enjoy.

“Re-Enlistment Blues” | Merle Travis
Recorded May 21, 1953 at Capitol Records’ studio on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Appeared on the soundtrack of From Here To Eternity. Merle got to perform it on-screen in his role of Sal Anderson.

“Sea Of Heartbreak” | Don Gibson
Don Gibson was something, wasn’t he? RCA Victor released this hit on May 22, 1961.

“Long-Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man” | Johnny Cash and June Carter
Columbia Records released this single on May 22, 1967. Johnny and June’s great chemistry (not yet marinated in matrimony) practically jumped out from the hi-fi speakers.

“The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde” | Merle Haggard
Mighty Merle wrote this song and cut it in 1968, to capitalize on the Bonnie and Clyde craze associated with the landmark movie biography of the gangsters. The wayward pair met their bullet-riddled fate on a lonely Louisiana road on May 23, 1934.

“Before The Next Teardrop Falls” | Freddy Fender
The Tex-Mex singer had been peforming for years when this record earned him his first gold single on May 22, 1975.

“Susan When She Tried” | The Statler Brothers
The boys from Staunton, Va., recorded this classic on May 23, 1973, at Mercury Records’ studio in Nashville. It soon became one of the many numbers that Elvis Presley covered in the original artists’ arrangements during the ’70s. That gives it something in common with …

“Love In The Hot Afternoon” | Gene Watson
This is the song that put Gene Watson on the map in 1974. The guy who wrote it, Kent Westberry, was born on May 23, 1939. As for Elvis, rumor has it he was set to record “Love In The Hot Afternoon” in sessions to be held in 1977. Those sessions weren’t to be, and neither was the big royalty boost for Westberry. But, man, I’d have loved to hear Elvis tackle that one. That chorus was tailor-made for his vocal dramatics.

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