Wonderful photos of country music greats in Vanity Fair

October 11, 2006

Whatever you think about the politics of Vanity Fair, it is the hands down best magazine for photographs of famous people. The November issue focuses on country music, and of the 23 photos in the spread, nine were taken in Tennessee by ace photographer Mark Seliger, who has shot over 100 covers for Rolling Stone.

The Tennessee locations include Porter Wagoner–where else?–at the Opry; Alison Krauss and Ralph Stanley at Hatch Show Print; and Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Lyle Lovett in Memphis’s Sun Studios. Gretchen Wilson appears in a low-rent looking Nashville kitchen with Kentucky Fried Chicken and Jack Daniels on the chrome table.


Making the charts in Vanity Fair

October 11, 2006

The November issue of Vanity Fair arrived today, with a couple of Tennessee topics.  Amid the ads showing sullen-faced young people wearing expensive clothes, writer James Wolcott fires repeated volleys at politicians who claim that red state inhabitants are paragons of virtue while residents of blue states might as well have license tags reading Sodom or Gomorrah. 

He then trots out ten sets of lists showing the top states in various onerous categories such as highest incarceration rates, suicide rates, and number of executions.  I stopped reading the piece and began flipping through the numbers to see how Tennessee fared.

Actually, not too bad.  Tennessee shows up in only three of the ten lists.  We are Number 12 with a bullet in the highest rates of death by firearms in 2003, Number Nine in highest divorce rates, and –pass the gravy–Number Four in rates of obesity.

Once again, everyone in Tennessee should thank God for Mississippi, which shows up on six lists, and heads two of them–highest rate of female incarceration and of highest rate of obesity. 

Cue Elvis singing “Mean Woman Blues.” 

YouTube – Mean Woman Blues [1957]