The Canadian Sexsmith had never been to Lebanon, Tennessee, when he wrote this track. He was working as a delivery man and overheard a co-worker saying a package had come “all the way from Lebanon, Tennessee.” Liking the juxtaposition of the city and state name, he turned it into a song.
The song is a cover of a song released by country music singer Charley Pride in 1970. You can hear that version here.
Pride was a top-selling artist in the 70s. Over the course of his career, he scored 30 #1 Country hits and put 52 songs on the top 10.
We have another chance for the Random iTunes Fairy to match a song to a milestone. Today is frequent commenter Dana’s birthday — Happy Birthday, Dana! — so he will have the chance to comment on a song chosen (randomly) just for him.
Let’s spin the dial…
Well, this is a rather funny outcome. This is a remixed version of a cut on Ron Sexsmith’s sixth studio album, 2002’s Cobblestone Runway. And I happen to have featured the original version already, so we have Dana’s first reaction on record.
Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith quietly released his 17th studio album, titled Hermitage, in mid-April. He’s not exactly an artist who pairs up an album release with multiple talk show appearances and a stadium tour, so he probably didn’t think about postponing the record due to coronavirus.
His timing turns out to be pretty good, though, because Hermitage is a very upbeat, positive, sunny record. Sexsmith often leans toward the melancholy, but he’s equally adept at spinning out feather-light tunes with sugar-sweet melodies, and he’s in that mode here.
I joined the bandwagon 19 years ago, when an online group of Elvis Costello fans steered me to his 2001 album Blue Boy. I fell hard for that record, and as often happens with introductory albums, it remains one of my favorites of his.