An NPR Driveway Moment: Wade Mainer

The biography of country music patriarch Wade Mainer, who died this week at 104(Photo: University of Mississippi Press)
The biography of country music patriarch Wade Mainer, who died this week at 104(Photo: University of Mississippi Press)

I was backing out of the driveway early this morning in good time to hear an NPR tribute to Wade Mainer, who died a few days ago at the age of 104!

I had never heard of Wade Mainer. I knew nothing about him.

NPR began to play his music and I stayed in the driveway.

There it was on the radio. The talent and the joy of storytelling through music. What’s being accomplished with walls of screaming lights and special effects?  I’m never moved by that, you can wear a dress made of meat all you like. But this acoustic playing and singing I loved. I appreciate the honesty and the skill. Wade Mainer must have heard music in his cradle (in 1907!) and playing and singing was like breathing. It’s the best kind of music education.

Plus-in 1934 he married a woman called Julia Brown. She was known as Hillbilly Lily. Are you kidding? What’s not to love?

Thank you,  NPR.  Thank you,  Wade Mainer.  Godspeed.

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