Monday, January 18, 2021

Are your walls closing in? Music in the time of Covid by Kaye Spencer #westernfictioneers #classiccountry #humor

On January 7, 1961, country music singer Faron Young recorded the Willie Nelson-written song Hello Walls. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country & Western chart in 1961 and stayed there for 23 weeks. This song also boosted Willie Nelson's up and coming music career.

In January 1966, country music group The Statler Brothers had a Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles hit (No. 2) and a Hot 100 Chart (No. 4) hit with Flowers on the Wall, which was written by Lew DeWitt (tenor in the group). Flowers on the Wall is ranked in the 100 greatest country songs of all time by CMT, and it won 1966 Grammy for Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance - Group (Vocal or Instrumental)

It occurred to me that, although both songs are about the loneliness and heartbreak that accompanies a relationship breakup, with a little stretch of lyrics interpretation, along with application to our ongoing lockdowns / shelter in place / safer at home experiences, these two classic country songs sum up a person's mental and emotional status on any given day.

Trivia: (

Willie Nelson performed an updated version for the COVID-19 era as part of his "Come And Toke It" live stream on April 20, 2020 (4-20), which was broadcast on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Accompanied by his two sons, Lukas and Micah, Nelson changed the final verse to incorporate people worldwide self-isolating against the coronavirus pandemic.

We got to all stick together or else we'll lose our minds

I've got a feeling we're going to be here a long, long time

For your stay-at-home listening and viewing entertainment...

Four Walls


Flowers on the Wall

(YouTube links to the videos for phone-readers.)

Four Walls:

Flowers on the Wall:

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer

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  1. Faron Young remained grateful to Willie for that song the rest of his life.

    1. Vicky,

      He sure did. There is a video on YouTube with Willie and Faron telling stories about this song and how Faron came to sing it.

      Thanks for stopping in. ;-)

    2. Yes, i have to admit you will be, good luck buddy.

  2. Hello Kaye,

    Just as soon as I read the first few lines, I went to Youtube and played Willie's and then Faron's version of HELLO WALLS. (Who doesn't love Willie Nelson's work? And...he is on the side caring and empathy. Love him for that.)

    Ahhh music, it soothes the savage beast. I've been taking out the guitar, and singing old songs that I performed in Germany and in pubs here in the U.S. That was 50 years ago!

    The virus didn't affect me much (until my friends and family started dying) as I live a pretty isolated life. But it would not go so well IF THERE WASN'T MUSIC TO LISTEN TO!

    Thanks Kaye. (If we are smart and careful we will survive the virus. HOPE IS ON THE WAY.)

    1. Charlie,

      Willie Nelson is an American treasure.

      I've watched the videos of you singing that you've put on Facebook. I'm in awe of musically talented people. I hope you share more.

      The virus didn't affect me too much, either, as I'm a homebody by nature.

      It would be horrible to live in a world without music. While I mainly listen to classical works (as in SiriusXM radio's Symphony Hall Ch. 76), I love Broadway music, classic country, 80s 'hair' bands, heavy metal, and movie soundtracks.

      I'm right there with you in that there is hope on the way.

      Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting.

  3. LOVE Faron Young's Hello Walls. And the Statler Brothers are awesome, and Flowers on the Wall has been a long time favorite of mine. I at times lament being in the older age bracket but I wouldn't trade for anything growing up listening to classic country artists that I do still depend on today to keep me sane.

    I don't think story-telling through music is exclusive to country music, but country music does it best.

    Finally, how timely this post. I do rely on (country) music more than ever to get me through these trying days, & just minutes before reading this post, my classic country station had me in happy tears by playing a song you don't hear much any more -- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Dance Little Jean." If you need an uplifting moment, I recommend searching it for a listen.

    1. BK,

      I am so glad, and feel fortunate, to have grown up with what is now classic country music. For me, country music took too much of a 'pop' turn shortly after what I call the George Strait era. I'm grateful to WIllie Nelson for his SiriusSM radio show on Ch. 59, Willie's Roadhouse, for when I'm traveling and in the mood for some good old foot-tapping, sing along with the lyrics country music.

      "Dance Little Jean" is a song that will make a person smile, because you can't help it. My cynical heart just melts... *wink*

      So glad you stopped in.

  4. Thanks for the distraction today. I grew up on this music thanks to my dad.

    1. David,

      The town I grew up in had one radio station (AM) - KFTM - in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, and it played country music. My parents always had the radio on in the mornings as I got ready for school, and my dad got ready for work. Even now, when I hear certain country songs, I picture myself at the kitchen table with my bowl of cereal and that song playing. One that comes to mind is Marty Robbins' Cowboy in a Continental Suit.

      You're welcome for the distraction - haha- and so glad you stopped by.

  5. Just what I needed today, but maybe more tomorrow with the snow. I'll be singing those lyrics as I walk. Loved both songs, but the Statler Brothers edge out Young by an inch or so.


    1. Doris,

      I do love Four Walls, but Flowers on the Wall as an earworm feature that makes it so hard to get out of your head. hahaha

      Happy walking!

  6. Love both these songs. What a great post! I am so glad you included the links so I can go listen and get these songs in my head and not be able to think of anything else. THANKS, KAYE! LOLLOL

    1. Cheryl,

      You're welcome! hahahaha I am the Queen of Earworms, after all.

  7. Our town didn't have a radio station, but I listened to country music on Saturdays as I cleaned house. Later we got a stereo and I'd load it up with records I wanted to listen to. A favorite was Mitch Miller and his Singalong singers. I still have that LP. And then there was the 1812 Overture that had my imagination galloping right along with the horses racing over the Russian Steppes. Flowers on the Wall, one of my favorite songs, always makes me want to dance and sing along. I miss Harold, who loved to cut up but now is singing with the Lord. I love his deep voice. That song will be on my mind when I'm away from the computer. I have loaded so many of my CDs onto my computer and then make special playlists of some of my favorites. I cannot breathe without music playing. I love your posts about music...we have similar tastes.