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Throwback Thursday – The Tennessee Waltz

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Throwback Thursday brought to you by Jingle Jangle Jungle

“Tennessee Waltz” was written by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart in 1946. Inspired by “The Kentucky Waltz” by Bill Monroe, lyrics were added to an instrumental piece “The No Name Waltz” which had been the theme song of their band – The Golden West Cowboys – for years. So, on that night in 1946, The Tennessee Waltz was born.

The song is about someone who introduces an old friend to their sweetheart and loses them as they danced to The Tennessee Waltz.

The song was not recorded by the Golden West Cowboys until 1947 and then it was recorded a few months later by Cowboy Copas (a prior member of the Golden West Cowboys).

It was not until 1950 when Patti Page selected it for the B side of a Christmas record (”Boogie Woogie Santa Claus”) that the song hit its stride. Page selected the song because it was a favorite of her father’s, but there was never any intention for the B side to to be played. The disc jockeys felt differently. It was so popular that when the record was re-pressed, “The Tenneesee Waltz” became the hit side and the B side of the record was replaced with another song entirely.

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Shards of Broken Glass

I often look back on my life and wonder just how poor we might have been. We lived with our grandparents for a while when my parents ventured out to Ohio to find work. That must have been a difficult time or my grandparents financially, but we never knew it, we always had a garden to rely on for food. We did not have meat at every meal, but on Sunday it seemed there was always a feast.

We did not have an abundance of toys. We often received several gifts at Christmas, but I do not recall many birthday gifts if any. Birthdays were always celebrated – first with either being awakened by someone greasing your nose with butter or blackened with soot from the fireplace. We all got birthday ‘spankings’ which did not hurt and were more celebratory – one for every year of your life and of course – one more ‘to grow on’ (that one always stung a little!)

Instead, being outside and exploring nature was how we occupied our time. I have written about growing up near the creek which you can read here. I found the most fascinating things in and around the creek bed. This is how I came to collect small shards of glass.

There is something quite beautiful about a piece of glass that has tumbled over the rocks so the edges are rounded and smooth. I suppose this is why sea glass is so treasured among jewelry designers. The glass pieces pulled from the creeks were often recognizable pieces of a distant person’s life.

Pop bottles (soda bottles) were a very common find and did not interest me much. It was not unusual to find the top or bottom of a bottle (they were thicker) but the most interesting was when you found the side of the bottle with the brand name intact.

My favorite pieces were small pieces of someone’s china (not that country people had china – let’s just say dishes.) A small edge of a plate with a delicate flower, or a tea cup handle with a hint of gold paint. I could weave countless stories about how these delicate objects found their way into the creek.

My glass shards were stored in the cardboard box my Barbie came in. I only kept the smooth tumbled pieces that spoke to me of another place and another life. Of all my childhood possessions, this is the one thing I miss the most.

Did you have a special object as a child you wish you still had?