July 10, 2007

I was driving down Clinton Highway on the way to Knoxville when I passed a place whose sign read “Cas Walker merchandise,” so I pulled in. This is Ciderville, a combination music store, concert hall, and the closest thing there is to a Cas Walker Museum. Presiding behind the counter was Faye West, the sister of owner David West.


The store is filled with all manner of accoustic instruments; you could outfit all manner of bluegrass bands here. The owners claim that at one time they sold more Martin guitars than anywhere else in the country. I saw one with a price tag of $2,500 and a sign that said “no jamming on this guitar.” Read the rest of this entry »

Shinbone Alley

July 10, 2007

While stopping for lunch in Ashland City, I came upon a place of which I have long heard Bob Wills and others sing: Shinbone Alley. It’s a part of “Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)” and appears in these lyrics:

“You ought to see my blue-eyed Sally,

She lives a way down on Shinbone Alley,

The number on the gate, the number on the door

And the next house over is the grocery store.”

Shinbone Alley was the name of a song by the Spin Doctors on their Pocketful of Kryptonite CD, but was most famously associated with Don Marquis, who created Archy the typing cockroach in the 1920s. Shinbone Alley became the name of an animated film about Archy  and friends in 1971.

Where did Bob Wills get “Shinbone Alley?” Did he read Marquis? Bob would have been 22 when Marquis began publishing his Archy poems, but did they make it to readers in Texas?


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