Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cowgirls Are My Weakness Part I

I was in Music & Magic the past few weeks. The music there is C&W and the singers brought me back to 1995 when I used to frequent another cowboy bar in the former Bayanihan Hotel. That was where the Wild West used to be. In those times, WW used to be The Place To Be. There were much discussion already on why country & western is Big in Baguio. But among Baguio people this is already taken for granted. You are not from Baguio if you can not sing Take Me Home, Country Road. I used to be there then with Alfred Dizon and Alex Bangsoy back when he was wild. Entering the place, you would be greeted by a huge wooden Indian chief. There was a mechanical bull that I only saw used once. The place was huge and the stage was in the center. On the side, you would be greeted by signs like "Welcome Apugan Boys" or "Welcome Bontoc Boys." They took out "Welcome Tuba Boys" because if you try saying it fast you get...There was Conrad Marzan, Lourdes Fangki and other stalwarts of 168 Bar (pre-Earthquake cowboy bar along Abanao) but then there was the Wild West Band composed of Subic Boys. These were the musicians of the old Subic Naval Base who played for the American servicemen. So they had a different evolution and style of C&W music. Once they also played gospels. They mostly did Hank Williams and old time country music. The displaced Subic employees also included the dance instructors but we had nothing to do with them. But then five months of listening to Jolene and Amazing Grace can also be chore. One time, Alfred in a moment of epiphany calculated how much we were drinking and shouldnt we do something more productive? We then went upstairs and that changed our lives somewhat. Part II

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Anonymous volume-addict said...

One of the reasons I have to be thankful that I was born and raised in Baguio: it's the only place where you can hear Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Hank, etc. blaring on jukeboxes in the country. I used to hang out w/ some of the Cosalan clan for some country karaoke with a live backing band. Okie From Muskogee was a favorite.

BTW, Willie hosted his annual 4th of July Barbecue Picnic at The Gorge last week. It's the first time he set a different venue for the event.

I wouldn't enjoy roots musicians like Neko Case or Wilco today if it wasn't for those foundations.

4:44 AM  

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