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A Brief Burst Of (Charley) Pride

I spent a good chunk of my teen years on 19th Avenue South in Nashville. My publisher had two units in a building there; an office on the 3rd floor, and a residential unit on the 9th. Linstrum and I lived in the 9th floor unit for about a year, and you'll surely hear plenty of tales from that building in future blog posts.

For this story, I just wanted you to know that our absolute "home base" was this building - that sat just around the corner from Chet Atkins Place, and shared a side parking lot with Quad Studios. Terry booked a handful of sessions at Quad, and the engineers there knew me and pretty much let me come and go without questioning it. I was sixteen, turning seventeen, and I stayed out of everybody's way and took it all in.

So I was allowed to hang out in most studios on the Row back then. And Quad was right in my backyard, so I remember being there often.

One day, someone mentioned that Travis Tritt and Charley Pride were over there working on vocals for something. I have no idea what the song was, but I do know they were tracking vocals, and nobody had a guitar in the studio that afternoon. Tritt wanted to play one of his new songs because it had a lyric about Pride. But again, there was no guitar in the building. So I sprinted out the front door in my $6 skate shoes and up the elevator to the $200 Alvarez acoustic I had leaning in the corner.

The strings on that thing were at least six months old, and they were frayed over the 3rd and 5th frets. They'd long since gone from gold to a dingy, grayish brown. I'm pretty sure those strings gave anyone that touched them an instant staff infection. You should probably have gotten a tetanus shot before playing this guitar. So of course I ran it straight to Travis Tritt at Quad Studios. He tuned it, and knelt on the floor by Charley Pride's chair to play a song called "Outlaws Like Us". He recorded it a couple of years later (with Bocephus) and all I could think the first time I heard it was "I once gave Travis Tritt an infection with a shitty acoustic".

His only response was "you're a good man, Charlie Brown" which probably really pissed the teenage me off. Come to think of it, I don't feel too guilty about those strings after all. I gave Travis Tritt a staff infection and he played Charley Pride a song on my $200 acoustic. Last night I dreamed of Hillbilly Heaven.

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Do the one about Trace Adkins!

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I can't believe you even remember that one. Haha


Feb 28

Great stories from Nashville in it's prime, keep them coming!

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