06 March 2011

'Steel guitar rag' - the lyrics

Thanks to Paul Foley of the Ubangi Stomp Club in Dublin for this news of a free film event at the Odessa Club, Dame Court, Dublin 2, on Wednesday 9 March at 8.00 p.m., open to all:

Can you create a documentary that plays like a missing episode of 'Monty Python’s Flying Circus?' Filmmaker and writer Robert Gordon will be on hand to present his scientific breakthrough, Shakespeare was a big George Jones fan: Cowboy Jack Clement’s home movies, a cult-favorite movie about cult-favorite musician and producer Jack Clement. Featuring Jack’s hilarious and candid home movies of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Prine, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, George Jones, and others, Shakespeare was banned from the Nashville city limits.

Robert Gordon is the director of Johnny Cash’s America, Respect yourself: the Stax Records story, and William Eggleston’s stranded in Canton. He’s the author of several books, including It Came From Memphis. Last month, he won a Grammy Award for his liner notes to the Big Star box set. Gordon is in Ireland working with film-maker Paul Duane and they’ll be showing a preview of their work in progress, 'Very extremely dangerous'.

Robert Gordon will be available to answer questions after the film is shown. And the bluegrass connection? Read Thomas Goldsmith, 'Catching up with Jack Clement' in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, xxxix, #11 (May 2005): 'Before he produced Johnny Cash or Charley Pride, worked with U2, or wrote any of a number of hit songs, Cowboy Jack Clement played bluegrass.' In the 1950s Washington, DC, area he played with the now legendary Buzz Busby and admired Mac Wiseman's singing; later he was associated with John Hartford and Doc Watson and encouraged Jim Rooney as a sound engineer and record producer. You can see a clip of Shakespeare here; it includes footage of Clement playing 'Steel guitar rag' on lap steel, with Johnny Cash singing the words.

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