There was considerable excitement (at least with me) during the Ravens game the other afternoon when a new Volkswagen Jetta commercial came on, and the music in the commercial was the great Wynn Stewart singing his great hit "Another Day, Another Dollar," which he recorded in 1962. You can see the commercial here.
am going to try to find some way to write to the ad executive from VW -
someone who, I'm pretty sure, was born after 1962 - and thank them for
saluting one of the best country singers ever. I hope his family gets a
nice payday from this, because Wynn (born Winford Lindsey Stewart in
Morrisville, MO, in 1934) never quite got the big payday he deserved.
By the time he reached his teens, his family had moved to California,
and young Wynn did the usual route - smalltown radio shows, talent
contests, small-label record deal - until he signed with Capitol Records
in 1956. That big break didn't pan out, so he went with Challenge
Records for a few years and cut hit after rockabilly hit there. This
was the genesis of what's called the Bakersfield Sound, a grittier sound
for Country music than what was coming out of Nashville. Nashville was
veering more toward what they called a "country-politan sound," meaning
that they wanted city folks to buy country music. If only they had
realized that we city folks would be happy to buy any real country
sound, such as what Wynn Stewart, Buck Owens and others were making out
One of the others was a former jailbird named
Merle Haggard, who showed up looking for work and was hired to play bass
in Wynn's band. Always more generous with others than with himself,
Wynn wrote Merle a sad song to sing. It was called "Sing A Sad Song,"
and it became the first of Haggard's several hundred country hits, while
Wynn had to wait a while for his ship to come in.
Ironically, that ship docked when Wynn moved his sound more to the east.
I'm sorry, but the online radio station to which I am listening - KYMN in Northfield, MN
- just did a PSA for an all-you-can-eat waffle breakfast at St Anne's
Church this Saturday. If ever two phrases blended in perfect harmony -
"all you can eat" and "waffle breakfast," those are the two best, I'd
say. Sorry for the interruption.
"It's Such A Pretty World Today,"
which was used in a K-Mart commercial a few years back. After that
came a few more hits, but as the 70s came along, more and more country
artists were doing the rougher-hewn style that Wynn had pioneered twenty
years earlier, and Wynn, Buck Owens and others were relegated to
cast-off status, prophets without honor in their own hometown, as it
were. He only lived to be 51, dying of a heart attack in the middle of
an attempted comeback in 1985. I saw him perform here in Baltimore in
the late 60's and he was great. I'm glad you get to hear him now.
Please, go buy a Volkswagen, would you? Tell 'em Wynn sent you!