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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mighty Merle

CMT aired a special on "Hank Williams, Jr's Greatest Moments" last night and then turned around and aired a special showing him turkey hunting with Joe Nichols and deep sea fishing with Lee Ann Womack (who wore wedge heels for the trip.)

I love Hank, Jr. I don't drink beer (often), I don't fish, I don't hunt, I don't dip, but I do think Bocephus is an incredibly talented musician, performer, writer, personality. In spite of the fact, that they showed a clip of him mooning an audience that left me a little shaken and his tendency to show his arse in public, both literally and figuratively, I think a lot of him.

I've met Hank a few times, but, he would not recognize me at the Wal Marts. Besides our family connection that goes back to the Truman Presidency, The Biffer worked for Hank in the late 80's and it's there's just a love fest .

Part of that lovefest included a man by the name of Merle Kilgore'>Merle Kilgore. Merle was featured prominently in the "Greatest Moments" special. Merle was a legend in Nashville circles. Everybody knew Merle and he knew everybody. His personality was larger than life. I feel pretty fortunate to have gotten to know Merle.

About a month or so ago, I had seen an article in the paper about Merle's newly laid headstone out at Hendersonville Memory Gardens. Merle rests just a few feet away from Johnny and June, whom he served as Best Man at their 1968 wedding and co-wrote "Ring of Fire" with June. Mother Maybelle Carter is also close by as are Guitar legends Joe Maphis and Luther Perkins.

If you are into this sort of thing, I strongly suggest you take the drive out to Hendersonville to see Merle's final resting place. You will know it's Merle's because the stone is as tall as Merle was, which was about 6'4. When you'd ask Merle how he was doing, he'd throw those fingers out (see rings) and would say "How do you THINK I'm doing?"

At Merle's funeral, Hank, Jr. read a poem he had written for the occasion and part of it is inscribed on the stone....

I had a dream so beautiful and serene
Do not grieve, for from Heaven he is called
"Brother, you won't believe....I've made the biggest deal of all."

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1 comment:

Frank Strovel III said...

Joe Stampley was supposed to call me for an interview last Friday but stood me up (thanks Joe!). I was going to ask him about Merle Kilgore and his association with The Uniques.

Thanks for the photo and cemetary info.

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