Say It's Your Birthday: A Country Trio

The great country star Ernest Tubb.

February 9 is a good day on the country music calendar. It

boast the birthdays of a trio of C&W luminaries who've done more than their

fair share to help Nashville honest. We'll introduce them in order of

seniority. Ernest Tubb (born 1914 in Crisp, Texas) was the original honky-tonk

man and one of the pioneering figures of the form. Joe Ely (born 1947 in

Amarillo, Texas) is a modern master of E.T.'s beloved honky tonk, and his

intense connection to the other raucous root form--Texmex, rockabilly, etc.--is

not surprising of one who shares the hometown of Lubbock, Texas with Buddy

Holly. As one whose music illustrates how the energies of country, R&B, and

rock are forever intertwined, Ely has too often seen his work fall through the

many cracks this creates. His pure vision of mongrel music, however, has paved

the way for enlightened newcomers like out third birthday boy, Travis Tritt

(born 1963 in Marietta, GA). By the time Tritt emerged in 1990, he could pretty

well assume many of the freedoms folks like Ely fought so hard to procure. And

Travis wasted no time in exercising his freedoms to the max, pulling in

contributions from members of the rock bands he grew up loving, such as Little

Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Allman Brothers. The circle may extend in some

crazy directions but it remains unbroken. Other birthdays today include

singer/songwriter Carole King, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman Holly

Johnson.