(Jukka Joutsi * up-dated: 15.4.2020)


Bobby Bare (Robert Joseph Bare Sr ~ born April 7, 1935) is an American country music singer and songwriter, best known for the songs "Marie Laveau", "Detroit City" and "500 Miles Away from Home". He is the father of Bobby Bare Jr., also a musician.

In the 1950s, Bare repeatedly tried and failed to sell his songs. He finally got a record deal, with Capitol Records, and recorded a few unsuccessful rock and roll singles. Just before he was drafted into the United States Army, he wrote a song called "The All American Boy" and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn how to record. Instead of using Parsons' later version, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to go with Bare's original demo. The record reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but Fraternity erroneously credited Bill Parsons on the label. The same track, with the same billing error, peaked at No. 22 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1959. In 1965, an album of older recorded material, Tender Years (JM-6026), was released on the Hilltop label. That same year, the material was repackaged by Sears and released under the title Bobby In Song (SPS-115). These albums are not usually included in Bare's published discographies.

Career at RCA Victor (1962–1970): Bare's big break in country music came when Chet Atkins signed him to RCA Victor. His debut single for the label was 1962's "Shame On Me". Follow-up "Detroit City" reached No. 6 Country, No. 16 Hot 100, and in 1964 earned him a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. Then a surge of hits followed, including "500 Miles Away from Home" (based on a traditional folk ballad written by Hedy West as "500 Miles") and Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds".
In 1965 he received two further Grammy nominations for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance and Best Country & Western single for the latter song. In 1966, he received a yet another Grammy Nomination for Best Country & Western Male Vocal Performance for his song "Talk Me Some Sense". He also recorded two duet albums with Skeeter Davis and recorded six tracks as a trio with Norma Jean and Liz Anderson, which produced a major hit with "The Game of Triangles", a wife-husband-other woman drama that hit No. 5 on the Billboard chart and earned the trio a Grammy nomination. In 1968, he recorded an album with a group from England called The Hillsiders. In 1969, he had a Top 5 hit with Tom T. Hall's "(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn".

Career at Mercury (1970–1972): Bare moved to Mercury Records in 1970 and immediately scored a Top 3 hit with "How I Got To Memphis", and also had two Top 10 hits with early Kris Kristofferson compositions, "Come Sundown" and "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends" (both 1971). He also scored a #12 hit in 1972 with a version of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's pop hit "Sylvia's Mother", written by Shel Silverstein.

Return to RCA (1973–1977): After two years at Mercury, Bare returned to RCA in 1973 and scored once more with Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy", which nearly made the Top 10. Bare started to release novelty songs recorded live with selected audiences. One such song, "Marie Laveau", topped the country chart in 1974; the song was Bare's only #1 hit. It was co-written by his friends Silverstein and Baxter Taylor, who received a BMI Award for the song in 1975.
In 1977, Bare released an entire album of songs by songwriter Bob McDill called Me and McDill, which contained the popular hit "Look Who I'm Cheatin' On Tonight."
Silverstein penned other songs for Bare including a Grammy-nominated hit, "Daddy What If", which he recorded with his five-year-old son, Bobby Bare Jr. The song was an immediate success as well, not only reaching #2 on the country charts, but nearly reaching the Top 40 on the pop charts. Bare's album, Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies, became his most commercially successful album, finding him a new audience with pop radio once again playing his songs and also gaining a new following with college kids. These songs, however, would become Bare's last Top 10 hits.
Bare later recorded a very successful album with his family, written mainly by Silverstein, called Singin' in the Kitchen. It was nominated in Best Group category in Grammy Awards, but was declined by Bare himself. He continued to record critically acclaimed albums and singles. His biggest hits during this time included "Alimony" (1975), "The Winner" (1976), and "Drop Kick Me, Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life)" (an unusual Christian-football waltz, and a 1976 Grammy nominee). In 1977 he recorded "Redneck Hippie Romance" and "Vegas" (a duet with his wife Jeannie).

Career at Columbia (1978–1983): Bare signed with Columbia Records and continued to have hits like "Sleep Tight Good Night Man", which barely cracked the Top 10 in 1978, alongside continuing to score critical acclaim with his releases Bare and Sleeper Wherever I Fall. In 1979, he started off Rosanne Cash's career in a big way by being her duet partner on the Top 20 hit "No Memories Hangin' Round". In 1980, he almost cracked the Top 10 with "Numbers", which came from his album Down and Dirty. On that album, Bare started to experiment with Southern rock, which continued with his following album, Drunk and Crazy (1980).
The next year, Bare returned to his country roots with his Rodney Crowell-produced album As Is, featuring the single "New Cut Road". Bare was still doing well chartwise into the early 1980s. In 1983, his duet with Lacy J. Dalton, "It's A Dirty Job", hit the Top 30. His last trip into the Top 30 came that summer with the novelty song "The Jogger". He also released "Used Cars", the theme song from the film of the same name.

Eurovision 2012: In January and February 2012, Bare joined up with Petter Öien at the 2012 Melodi Grand Prix to choose Norway's entry to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May. His song "Things Change" got through to the Norwegian final where Öien and Bare finished third.

Film career: Bare was also given an opportunity to star in movies. He acted in a Western with Troy Donahue, A Distant Trumpet, and had a memorable scene being branded for desertion, and a few episodes of the TV series No Time for Sergeants. He turned his back on Hollywood to pursue his country career.

Later country career (1983–present): From 1983 to 1988, Bare hosted Bobby Bare and Friends on The Nashville Network which featured him interviewing songwriters who sang their hit songs on the show.
In 1985, Bare signed with EMI America Records where he scored 3 low-charting singles.
In 1998, he formed the band, Old Dogs, with his friends Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings.
In 2005, he released his first new album in two decades, The Moon Was Blue, produced by his son Bobby Bare Jr., who is also a musician. He continues to tour today.
In 2012, Bare performed a duet of the song "I'd Fight The World" on the Jamey Johnson album Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.
On April 10, 2013, the CMA announced that Bare would be a 2013 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Other 2013 Inductees include Cowboy Jack Clement and Kenny Rogers.
After being inducted in the 1960s but gradually drifting away, Bare was reinstated as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on April 7, 2018 by Garth Brooks (Wikipedia, 2020).

Bobby Bare with Bill Anderson.


Bobby Bare Album of Shel Silverstein Songs Rises From The Ashes ~ “Great American Saturday Night”.

Can you believe they recorded this in the 1970s? (Vernell Hackett * April 17, 2020).

Like the Phoenix from ancient Greek folklore, which gains new life by rising from the ashes of the creature that was before him, Bobby Bare’s album Great American Saturday Night, with all songs written by Shel Silverstein, has come alive after 42 years of living in a record company vault.
While the album that was recorded in 1978 didn’t necessarily disintegrate into ashes, it did disappear from the memories of everyone except Bobby Bare, who knew the songs were timeless.

“I had one album left on my contract with RCA so Shel and I got together and we did this one,” Bare tells Sounds Like Nashville in his familiar drawl. “Columbia Records had already told me they wanted me to come over there, and Chet was gone from RCA. I turned the album in to Jerry Bradley and he told me if I left RCA the album would never see the light of day.
“So I left RCA and went to Columbia and they were true to their word – it never came out. Then a few years ago all those labels merged. One day I was talking to the people at Columbia and I said, ‘You know I have an album that I recorded back in the ‘70’s for RCA and it was never released.’ So they went looking for it and found it, and now it’s finally going to be released.”

Silverstein was a master at writing concept albums, always a mix of stories of unforgettable characters that run the full range of emotions. On this album, Bare remembers, they wanted to do a song about one of American’s great traditions, going out on the town on Saturday night.
True to his reputation, Silverstein turned in a group of songs that still conjure up a raucous Saturday night, from a the love story of a “Red-Neck Hippie Romance” to the loneliness in “Painting Her Fingernails” and “Goodnight Little Houseplant.” Then there is the poignancy of “Livin’ Legend” and “Me and Jimmie Rogers” and the hilarity of “They Won’t Let Us Show It At The Beach” and “Whiplash Will.”
“Shel writes all the songs specifically for the album. He writes the concept and then he reaches down in his pocket and comes up with the songs that fit that concept,” Bare explains how the album came together after they decided what it would be about. “We tied it all together the dialogue between each songs and it all fit together.”

The kicker to the album was the live feel. As Bobby explains, “We got all our friends on Music Row (in Nashville) and had them come over to the studio and we played the album and recorded their responses to it. We recorded in RCA Studio B with a lot of booze and a party atmosphere. I think Waylon (Jennings) was there, and Dr. Hook, and we had a good time.”
This wasn’t the first concept album Bare did with Silverstein. Back in the 70’s the singer had the idea that he wanted to do a concept album, and he approached some of the biggest songwriters at the time like Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran and Red Lane, and none of them were interested in working on it.
“I was at a party at Harlan’s house the Saturday of CMA week, and Shel was there. Now I knew of his songs but we had never met before. I was frustrated that somebody didn’t jump on my idea about a concept album and I was talking to Shel about it. Monday morning he called my office and said ‘I’ve got your album.’ I asked when I could hear it and he said, ‘How about this afternoon?’”
Silverstein flew to Nashville and proceeded to play the songs for Bare. “When he sang ‘The Winner’ I had to make him stop I was laughing so hard. Before he was even finished singing all the songs I told him I wanted to do it … the songs were so great and the people in the songs were so vivid.”

Bare went into the studio with the “A” musicians of the day and recorded “The Winner” and “Maria Laveau.” He played it for RCA execs and they told him to do it. The result was Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies. Hits from that album included “Marie Leveau” and “Daddy What If,” a duet with his son, Bobby Jr.
“Shel always showed up when we were recording. His spirit in the studio was unbelievable. Shel was the cheerleader; he was so much fun. He would show up and it was great, lots of laughs.”
Bare ended up cutting more than 100 songs written by Silverstein, during that time becoming good friends with him. He never tired of his friend’s wonderful talent for writing a song or his children’s books, or even his cartoons that he produced for Playboy magazine early in his career. Bare even recorded one of those books, The Giving Tree, one of Silverstein’s most popular books, on his Singin’ in the Kitchen album. Other Silverstein books include A Light In The Attic, A Giraffe and a Half and Falling Up.

“I loved his songs before I knew who he was,” Bare says. “Years ago he wrote ‘The Unicorn’ for the Irish Rovers. And he wrote ‘Time’ — the first time I heard that was probably back in the late 50s, when I heard Burl Ives do it on black and white television. Burl Ives was a great actor but he was actually a folk singer. I thought ‘Time’ was the greatest song I ever heard, and it was probably 15 years later before I met Shel. Chet introduced me to him and gave me an acetate of songs of his songs. I think I recorded ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ before I met him.”

In trying to describe what made Silverstein such a good songwriter, Bare said simply, “Shel was brilliant. He had a mind that was so fast and he was very aware. All great songwriters are bright and aware, but Shel even more so. He gets an idea for a song and he’s off and running.”
Bare never co-wrote anything with Silverstein. The closest he came was having Silverstein and Fred Koller help him finish a song he was already writing, “When Hippies Get Older the Hair on Their Shoulders Turn Grey.”
“Shel was so brilliant — maybe I just thought what can I add to a song that he can’t?” Bare mused. “I came up with some ideas, but he always wrote the song.”
Several singles have been released from “American Saturday Night,” including “Livin’ Legend,” “The Day All The Yes Men Said No” and the title cut. His latest single is “They Won’t Let Us Show It At The Beach.” The album releases today (April 17).
Bare is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and is part of the “Outlaws & Armadillos” exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The Ohio native has won numerous awards, including GRAMMYs. He was reinstated as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2018.ial, including an album about nostalgia, A Bird Named Yesterday, mostly written by Jack Clement.


(Oldies, 2020): Bobby Bare was raised on a farm; his mother died when he was five, and his sister was adopted. As an adolescent, he dreamed of being Hank Williams: ‘then Hank died and I didn’t want to be like him no more’. Nevertheless, he started songwriting and secured an early morning radio spot, and later worked on television in Charleston, West Virginia.
He moved to California and impressed Capitol Records, recording for them in 1955. After receiving his draft notice in 1958, he wrote a parody of Elvis Presley going into the army, ‘All American Boy’. Returning to Ohio to join the army, he met his friend Bill Parsons and joined his recording session. He contributed ‘All American Boy’ with the intention that Parsons would learn it later. Parsons’ name was put on the tape-box because Bare was still under contract to Capitol Records. The label’s owner liked ‘All American Boy’ and released it under Parsons’ name. The single climbed to number 2 on the US charts and made number 22 in the UK. The song resembles Shel Silverstein’s, which was later recorded by Bare, but most of Bare’s early songs were straight country, being recorded by such contemporary stars as Wynn Stewart and Ferlin Husky.

Bare resumed his own career on leaving the army, but his singles (‘Lynchin’ Party’, ‘Sailor Man’, ‘Lorena’) made little impact. He wrote twist songs for Chubby Checker’s movie Teenage Millionaire, but Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard persuaded Chet Atkins to record him for RCA - Victor Records. A ballad, ‘Shame On Me’, made number 23 on the US pop charts and crossed over to the country market.
Bare was travelling to Nashville to record the follow-up when he heard Billy Grammar’s ‘I Wanna Go Home’ on the radio. He admired the story of the country boy going to the city (‘By day I make the cars/By night I make the bars’) so much that he recorded the song as ‘Detroit City’. Bare’s record made number 16 on the US charts and won a Grammy. He had his biggest US hit (number 10) with ‘500 Miles Away From Home’. His fourth pop hit (number 33) came with ‘Miller’s Cave’.

Bare appeared in the 1964 movie A Distant Trumpet, but he disliked being stuck in the Arizona desert and was determined to move to Nashville, join the Grand Ole Opry and become a full-time country singer. He recorded prolifically, including an album of standards with Skeeter Davis that featured a successful single, ‘A Dear John Letter’. In 1966, Bare returned to his favourite theme (a country boy uneasy in the city) with the Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard song ‘Streets Of Baltimore’, which was arranged by Ray Stevens. It was followed by Tom T. Hall’s ‘Margie’s At The Lincoln Park Inn’. ‘It’s a great cheating song, ’ says Bare, ‘because you don’t know if the guy is going to go back or not.’ By this time, Bare was recording consistently strong material, including an album about nostalgia, A Bird Named Yesterday, mostly written by Jack Clement.


(Oldies, 2020): In 1970, Bare moved to Mercury Records and found success with two early Kris Kristofferson compositions, ‘Come Sundown’ and ‘Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends’. Producer Jerry Kennedy’s pared-down arrangements were ideal for his half-singing, half-talking style. Chet Atkins invited him back to RCA, where he signed on condition that he could produce his own records. He subsequently recruited songwriter Shel Silverstein to compose an album. The concept was simply one of stories, but Lullabys, Legends And Lies, released as a double album in the USA and a single album in the UK with no loss in music, has become a classic country album. It included the Cajun ‘Marie Laveau’, based on fact, which is his only US country number 1 and a concert favourite where Bare, arm outstretched, fist clenched, punches out the words.
He had a US country hit with another track, ‘Daddy What If’, featuring his five-year-old son, Bobby Bare Jnr.. ‘The Winner’, a witty song about the price of winning, had another 20 verses, which Bare omitted but which were subsequently published in Playboy. Another Silverstein-Bare collaboration, Hard Time Hungrys, dealt with social issues and included a sombre song about unemployment, ‘Daddy’s Been Around The House Too Long’.

The success of Bare’s good-natured, family album Singin’ In The Kitchen, was marred by the death of his daughter, Cari, in 1976. Bare, never one to stand still, took chances by recording such strange, controversial material as ‘Dropkick Me Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life)’ and the expletive-driven ‘Redneck Hippie Romance’. He returned to the mainstream with the superb Bare in 1978, which included laid-back ballads (‘Too Many Nights Alone’, ‘Childhood Hero’) and the hilarious ‘Greasy Grit Gravy’ with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Dr. Hook. His album, Sleeper Wherever I Fall, cost $100,000 to make, but Bare was lost in the varied arrangements and reverted to albums with small studio audiences.

In 1979, Bare helped to establish Rosanne Cash’s career by singing with her on ‘No Memories Hangin’ Round’. Bare’s singles for Columbia Records included ‘The Jogger’, ‘Tequila Sheila’, ‘Gotta Get Rid Of This Band’, ‘When Hippies Get Older’ and ‘Numbers’, inspired by the Dudley Moore movie 10.
In 1998, Bare, along with veteran artists Jennings, Mel Tillis and Jerry Reed formed the Old Dogs for a single recording session. The result produced a self-titled album released on Atlantic Records.

Despite his record sales dropping over the decades Bare has retained a loyal following and the respect of a new generation of country artists. He has become more laconic and droopy-eyed with age but continues to entertain audiences around the world. ‘I like everything I record. I’m afraid that if I recorded something that I didn’t like, it might be a big hit and I’d be stuck with it every night for the rest of my life. That’s a real nightmare.’

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