Don & Phil

I was just turning 10 years old when I heard a song on the radio that looking back changed my life.  It was the Everly Brothers singing "Wake Up Little Susie" with their amazing two-part harmony and that beat, that rhythm.  I didn’t know what this new music was called back then, but it spoke to me and I was hooked for evermore.

 

In the early 1980’s I was a bit lost and uncertain about where to go and what to do since the OMD's were not really a cohesive unit by then, with certain members not wanting to tour anymore or even continue writing and recording for that matter.  For me, sitting around Springfield MO waiting for my partners to figure out what they wanted to do had become boring and was draining my creative juices.  I knew I had to relocate to where I'd feel some positive energy.  Mostly I just needed to be around people who had some good work ethics and were motivated to play music.  That wasn't happening in my old hometown.

 

In my mind there were several possibilities, some better than others.  For the style of music I was writing, both New York and Los Angeles were perfect choices.  But I knew those were both very big cities, and I’m a country boy in that I wanted and needed some wide open spaces, both physically and mentally speaking.  Janet and I had amicably parted ways, so my main concern was more about how far away from my three-year-old son was I willing to be.  Not far was the answer.

 

When I moved to Nashville around 1982 the music scene had just left its Hee Haw persona and was moving through and beyond the Urban Cowboy period.  I quickly found that I was pretty much a fish out of water in a musical sense.  But I was lucky in that I'd come to town at the invitation of my friend Norbert Putnam and was staying at his home/studio, The Bennett House in Franklin, just south of Nashville.  Norbert introduced me to the crème de la crème of Nashville's studio musicians and songwriters, all of whom welcomed me into the fold.  Norbert gave me a nice chunk of free studio time and there were lots of kind offers from some outstanding musicians to help me record and make the transition into a new scene.  It was very rejuvenating.  I ended up spending twenty-three years down in Tennessee and made some wonderful friends and worked on a lot of music, which was after all what mattered most and was the main reason for transplanting myself there in the first place.

 

I also spent a lot of time with my old friend from Springfield, Jon R. Goin, who I had played with in Granny’s Bathwater before my OMD years.  Jon and I ended up spending a large amount of time together writing and recording songs that were very much in the Pop / “Euro” Pop vain.  Needless to say, they were not songs tailored to the Nashville country artist of the day, or any other day for that matter.

 

But one day, probably just for the fun of it,  we did write a little country ditty.   I don't remember putting much time or thought into it and I'm sure we just quickly moved on to something we thought was more hip.  Little did we know that this would be the one and only song we as a writing partnership would get covered (recorded) by an established artist. 

 

In 1985, that little country ditty that Jon and I wrote on more or less a lark, got recorded and release by the Everly Brothers.  I can honestly say that other than maybe the Beatles, I can’t think of any other artist I’d be more proud to have sung one of my songs than Don and Phil. 

 

"These Shoes"   music by Larry M. Lee and Jon R. Goin / lyrics by Larry M. Lee

 

I need to buy me some new shoes
'Cause I've been walkin' off the blues
My soles are comin' all apart
They're lookin' just like my old heart

People think that my luck's down
'Cause I just walk the streets of town
But I'll be steppin' high real soon
About the time I'm over you
Then you"ll be the first to know
'Cause I'm sending you
These worn-out shoes

These shoes are all you're gonna see
These shoes will be the last of me
These shoes, they help me walk away.
There's nothing left to say
I'll say it all to you with these worn-out shoes

Since I've been out here on my own
I've never felt so all alone
I walked for days and thought of you
I sat for hours and drank a few

So you'll know all you put me through
I'm sending you these worn-out shoes

These shoes are all you're gonna see
These shoes will be the last of me
These shoes, they help me walk away
There's nothing left to say

I'll say it all to you with these worn-out shoes

I'm sending you a real surprise
I'll bet you won't believe your eyes...

These shoes are all you're gonna see
These shoes will be the last of me
These shoes, they help me walk away
There's nothing left to say

These shoes are all you're gonna see
These shoes will be the last of me
These shoes, they help me walk away
There's nothing left to say

These shoes are all you're gonna see
These shoes will be the last of me...

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