Mama would’ve loved the music

Published 11:34 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

Mama would have loved the music that is being played at the Ole Rex Memorial Bluegrass Jamboree.

Of course, she would have stayed in the car to listen because the wind was blowing and she would not have brought along her “old head rag” to tie up her head. And, we would have had to leave before dark because Mama wouldn’t let dark catch her away from home.

Mama loved home.

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And Mama loved country music.

I would wake up in the mornings to Mama’s singing from the kitchen and I would lie there and softly sing with her. I couldn’t carry a tune a bucket, my granny said.  So, I kept my head under the covers to sing. I knew all the words to all the songs that we sang in church and I knew most of the songs that were sung on The Grand Ole Opry.

Mama kept the radio turned on most of the time but I played outside all the time so I didn’t know as many songs as Mama did.

Daddy didn’t like country music. He said it sounded like cats fighting and dogs howling. So, when he came home, Mama turned off the radio. Except on Saturday. That’s when the Grand Ole Opry came on the radio from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. And, that was our program, mine and Mama’s.

Daddy would tell us to turn the squawking off but Mama said he could just go to bed because we were listening to the Grand Ole Opry. Our favorite singers were Marty Robbins, Ernest Tubb, Eddie Arnold and Hank Williams.

I liked Minnie Pearle, too. She couldn’t sing, either.

I don’t know how many Saturday nights I spent sitting at Mama’s knee listening to the Grand Ole Opry. But it was many. Some special Saturday nights, we went to gospel singings at the school auditorium. Mama loved gospel music as much as she loved

hillbilly music, as Daddy called it.

In time, the radio gave way to the television and the Happy Rhythm Boys, the Tadlocks and other gospel quartets stopped coming to the school.

But we did go see Jerry Lee Lewis at the National Guard Armory in Brundidge. It rained like cats and dogs but we went anyway. We went to see one of our favorite singers, Marty Robbins, in Dothan and Mama got an autograph.

We wanted to go see Elvis in Montgomery. Daddy said we didn’t have any business doing that. We couldn’t get a ticket anyway.

Not long before Mama died, I took her to an Oak Ridge Boys concert. She had a good time even though dark caught us.

I was thinking about Mama on the way home from the bluegrass jamboree Friday and how much I missed her not being here. But I have those wonderful memories and, for now, that has to be enough.

Jaine Treadwell is features editor of The Messenger. She can be reached via email at