Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Across from the bus station in Boston in the early 70's there was a Rockabilly/Country bar - It might have been named "Hillbilly Heaven" or something like. The letters spelling out the name along the roofline were made of thin birch logs - you know the faux-rustic type I mean.

This place was the real deal, though. Seedy, not touristy - Guys in string ties, odd belt buckles. Those who had cowboy hats had small ones, not the big wide-brimmed ones from the movies. It looked more than a little dangerous for a long-haired college boy to go in, but I gave it a try in the dark, on the greasy floors. Both times I went in it was rockabilly, not country music that was being played.

Sign of the times: In my arrogance, I thought that I was more in touch with "authentic" people's music because I listened to Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, while they were just rather old-fashioned losers from the south hanging on to this artificial electrified three-chord country guitar music.

What a poseur I was, eh?


Sam L. said...

I remember this one.

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Sparkletone - I love that name. Across from the Boston bus station in the late 60s was the building that housed the short-lived Boston Playboy club (not that I ever was there mind you). Maybe it was in the Penthouse while your Rockabilly place was the ground floor? Wow, what a mind-blowing contrast!

Texan99 said...

They look like they're having a fine old time up there.

My childhood cartoon shows often used to be interrupted by commercials for music compilations you could send off for in the mail. I remember the first time I heard Hank Williams (Sr.) on one: I wanted him, bad.

Anonymous said...

The night club was called the Hillbilly Ranch, it was a fixture from at least the early 1950s, catering largely to an armed service clientele. The unsung bluegrass group "the Lilly Brother & Don Stover" were based there for years. I only attended once, the closing night 1978. I borrowed Sleepy Labeef's guitar and sang "Lost Highway". It was a thrill.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Thanks for the info. Servicemen. Of course.