RIP, Mel McDaniel

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I don't know if anyone would argue that the early part of the 1980's was a really great time for country music, as the whole Urban Cowboy thing overran whatever was left of traditional country music. While there's some sentimentality for the era on the pop music side of things, country tends to look way back to sentimentalize really old stuff like Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, to the outlaw era of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, or just focus on the seemingly endless stream of modern pretty people singing about sadness. Still, the musicians cranking out music in 1982 were working just as hard as anyone in the business. Example: Mel McDaniel, who died yesterday after a series of illnesses and mishaps, worked his way to Nashville performing for oil rig workers in small honkytonks, which I'm assuming were some really tough crowds. Still, in 2011, I bet if someone throws "Louisiana Saturday Night" on the jukebox at a country bar, people will start dancing. McDaniel isn't of the same ilk of a legend like George Jones, but I don't know if that was his goal. He was a entertainer from the start of his career until he couldn't get on the stage anymore, which is a pretty admirable career for any musician.

"Louisiana Saturday Night":

"Big Ole Brew":

Mel McDaniel was 68.

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