Last week’s Chain saw Helen Jones take us seamlessly from Biloxi to Houston via the lyrics of Hiss Golden Messenger’s ‘Biloxi’ which references the Texas city that with a population of around 2.4 million is the USA’s fourth most populous. This week we stay in the Lone Star State to visit the very much smaller settlement of Monahans, which has a population of less than 8000. The reason for our visit to this dusty desert outpost? Well, in addition to being the birthplace of the great Guy Clark it is also the setting for his song ‘Texas, 1947’, written about his childhood memory of the first streamline train to pass through the town. Clark would have been six years old at the time but always claimed that he remembered it vividly. However, when performing it at his 70th birthday concert Clark relates the story of how having written the song and proudly taken it home to play to his his parents, “they didn’t remember it”. That concert is well worth checking out, with lots of great guests, but I’ve chosen this older clip to illustrate the song. The images are a bit grainy, but the audio is good and the performance is masterly.
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