Mickey Newbury Official Web Site COME CHAT WITH US ON "THE PORCH"

With the re-issue of 1971's FRISCO MABEL JOY, Robert Rosemurgy, Owsley Manier, and Mickey Newbury have given us all a treat that, as longsuffering fans, we all surely deserve.

Mountain Retreat Records, distributor of "The Mickey Newbury Collection," the mammoth ten CD collection of Mickey's work from 1969-1981, have smiled down on fans that, in the past were left with two choices: come up with $110.00 or so for the set, or keep listening to that scratchy old vinyl record that has surely seen better days....
In 2000, Peter Blackstock, Co-Editor of No Depression Magazine, put together a wonderful tribute album of "'Frisco Mabel Joy" starring Mick's good friend Kris Kristofferson, Dave Alvin and others, so the timing of a re-issue of the original must have seemed perfect.
Well, it is; perfect, that is.... An album that sounds as wonderful and fresh today as it did thirty years ago.... There is no dating or aging to Mickey's music; it is now, as it always has been, a link between many different genres of music..... Mickey Newbury is folk, he is country, he is rock and roll and he is pure, unadulterated artistry in every song he touches.
The album begins with "An American Trilogy" which even people that don't know Mickey will remember from those Elvis Presley videos where it was always the most dramatic moment of Elvis's stage shows. The combining of these three songs ("Dixie," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and "All My Trials") is pure genius, and if it doesn't give you a lump somewhere then you're just not alive.
Next up is "How Many Times (Must The Piper Be Paid For His Song)" which chronicles the story of a woman torn between two loves, told from the viewpoint of the faithful one, who is always there when the other one lets her down.... The pain and heartache in Mickey's voice is something you could tell even if he was just humming the song with no lyrics. This, like many of Mickey's songs, attacks you on so many different levels that it is an emotional rollercoaster to listen to.... Like the distraught, fearful hero in Roy Orbison's "Runnin' Scared" the singer here is rewarded in the end when "She turns and she walks back to me...."
Further along, on "'Frisco Depot" Mickey sings, to me, one of the greatest verses in modern music:
"Lord, when you're chained, there's nothin' you cherish like freedom
When you're free it seems that you're hell bent for chains
You dance with your demons till you got strength, Lord, to beat'em
Then you deal with the devil for the salvation you sold...."
This is a poet and an artist for the ages; one who is timeless and unrestrained by passing phases or fads; above, beyond and so far ahead of any competition that he could have stopped in 1971 and his status would have still been spoken about in hushed tones and with words like " Hall of Fame."
The album ends (we think at first) with the wonderful "How I Love Them Old Songs," a tribute to the kinds of songs that Mick says were "a comfort to me when I was alone." When he sings, "Doggone my mind it just won't leave me alone" I want to find his phone number and tell him that that's exactly what HE does to US.... I will stop in the middle of the day, or lay in bed, late at night, with one of his lyrics running over and around my brain, and not be able to think of anything else....
Now, when Song Eleven (the last song listed on the cover) ends, don't walk away.... There is one more treat here, and for anybody who ever complained that the song about San Francisco's Mabel Joy wasn't on the album Called "'Frisco Mabel Joy", well, you can sleep in peace, now, Bucko, because now it is..... And if there was ever a song that is more heart-tugging than this, I don't wanna hear it....this is as far into the heart of darkness as I can stand to go.... But, don't get me wrong, I love every heart rending minute of it, and all the others..... Feeling bad about Mickey Newbury's characters gives us a little time-out from our own lives....
So, Campers, consider us lucky, free men and women, under the sun.... and in 2000, we were given STORIES FROM THE SILVER MOON CAFE, new songs from Mickey Newbury, and word has it that another new one is right around the corner.... But, here, in between the two New ones, we are given the gift of an Old friend in New clothing.... How nice it is to hear these gems in all their pure digital glory, unblemished by those old pops and clicks and scratches; much as I know you loved them, you're gonna have to learn to live without them.... Thank you, Mickey, and Bob, and Mountain Retreat for stepping up to the plate and hitting a homerun for us with this delightful reissue.....



Stories From The Silver Moon Cafe-A Comment
From the opening eight syllables that Mickey Newbury sings on The Silver
Moon Cafe, I immediately felt relief and exhileration....Quite alot for
eight syllables...Here's the deal...Sometimes we put our heroes on such high
pedestals, all they can do is fall,or if they don't fall all the
way,sometimes they slip....C'mon,everybody gets older,everybody gets tired,
everybody at some point has given everything they had to give and just plumb
run out,both of energy to do it,and of something to say.... I can remember
watching Mickey Mantle in his final year of 1968, sometimes wanting Not to
watch or to turn my head away...The higher the pedestal we put em
on.....Well,in those first eight syllables, singing,"There's a blue moon in
Kentucky", I knew I had not lost another hero; I knew the pedestal still
stood,tall and proud....For I heard That Voice,with all it's world weary
pain, all it's beauty and joy,and all it's unmistakable dedication and
energy to perform the task at hand....Mickey begins,then, another series of
Stories of America, stories of the backroads and the trains,the bedrooms and
the roads....; filled with unforgettable characters that sometimes don't
even care where they go,as long as it's somewhere...People that find truth
in their lies, love in their shadows, and anger in their sadness....People
that "have a longin for a pure and simple time when all we had between us
was a dream and one thin dime." People that cannot even turn in the
direction of their memories,let alone face them....All are Real people,but
some are even ones that we know; Louis Armstrong,Lefty Frizzel,and Hank
Williams become brushstrokes in the artists pallette....Mickey talks about a
storm comin that he can feel in his belly and in his gut, a storm that will
eventually lead to a brighter day,but in the meantime we better "gather up
the children and head for higher ground." He leaves us with a father praying
for his son and his woman,that they may find truth and love,and eventually
peace....Mickey Newbury has shown up,here in the year 2000, with all of his
skills intact; his voice,angelic and ethereal at times, raw and gritty at
others; his music, possibly prettier and lovelier and sweeter than ever
before; and of course, his stories, his paintings, his photographs of you
and me and the people we would be or could be or sometimes would never want
to be; they're all here in these thirteen Stories of America....but what is
also here is the story of Mickey Newbury, a hero that never wanted to be, an
idol that just wanted to write and sing, a man with all of everything he
ever brought to the game still evident and still as vital as when we first
Came To Hear The Music those thirty some years ago....Stories From The
Silver Moon Cafe will stand forever as a testament to the man that formed
it, and shaped it, and to those of us who,in finding our heroes,find
ourselves.... Hank Beukema-July,2000

Mickey, I must comment on the music on Stories... My God,man,there are only
so many notes on the keyboard,and yet, when laid end to end,at the end of
the day,your notes go together better than,say, my notes...It reminds me of
the great Jimmy Webb,whose melodies always could stand alone even though he
had wonderful,great lyrics; the melodies could sound good just
instrumentally...Some of your songs on Stories are achingly,hauntingly
beautiful; rich and creamy,like a beautiful cake that you can't stay away
from...Reminds me of Tim Hardin's old song Misty Roses where he describes
his love as " too beautiful to touch,but too lovely not to try..."
Folks,have you ever heard Anything like Dancing Shadows before? That segment
of music is as touchingly beautiful as anything Windham Hill has ever put
out, the difference being that your song has a constant musical
plotline...notes that follow on a theme and recall the melody throughout...I
feel like I have in my hands one of those little glass balls with snow in
it, and when Dancing Shadows plays I am ten years old and I have just shaken
it up and the snow is falling and school is cancelled,and my Mom is young
and beautiful [as she still is] and all is right with the world....Does it
make you feel like that,too? Play it again; light a candle; take a little
trip with me....Thanks for the melodies,Mister are a unique
and rare human being and there will never be the likes of you again,at least
not the whole package of who and what you do and are....No sir,it's just
enough of a days work for a deity that God gave us one like you in a




Mickey Newbury's Website

Mickey Mantle - BOB COSTA'S EULOGY

  You know, it occurs to me as we're all sitting here thinking of Mickey, he's
  probably somewhere getting an earful from Casey Stengel, and no doubt quite
  confused by now.
  One of Mickey's fondest wishes was that he be remembered as a great teammate,
  to know that the men he played with thought well of him. But it was more than
  that. Moose and Whitey and Tony and Yogi and Bobby and Hank, what a remarkable
  team you were. And the stories of the visits you guys made to Mickey's bedside
  the last few days were heartbreakingly tender. It meant everything to Mickey,
  as would the presence of so many baseball figures past and present here today.
  I was honored to be asked to speak by the Mantle family today. I am not
  standing here as a broadcaster. Mel Allen is the eternal voice of the Yankees
  and that would be his place. And there are others here with a longer and
  deeper association with Mickey than mine.
  But I guess I'm here, not so much to speak for myself as to simply represent
  the millions of baseball-loving kids who grew up in the '50s and '60s and for
  whom Mickey Mantle was baseball.
  And more than that, he was a presence in our lives-a fragile hero to whom we
  had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic. Mickey
  often said he didn't understand it, this enduring connection and affection-the
  men now in their 40s and 50s, otherwise perfectly sensible, who went dry in
  the mouth and stammered like schoolboys in the presence of Mickey Mantle.
  Maybe Mick was uncomfortable with it, not just because of his basic shyness,
  but because he was always too honest to regard himself as some kind of deity.
  But that was never really the point. In a very different time than today, the
  first baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis said, "Every boy builds a
  shrine to some baseball hero, and before that shrine, a candle always burns."
  For a huge portion of my generation, Mickey Mantle was that baseball hero. And
  for reasons that no statistics, no dry recitation of the facts can possibly
  capture, he was the most compelling baseball hero of our lifetime. And he was
  our symbol of baseball at at time when the game meant something to us that
  perhaps it no longer does.
  Mickey Mantle had those dual qualities so seldom seen-exuding dynamism and
  excitement, but at the same time touching your heart-flawed, wounded. We knew
  there was something poignant about Mickey Mantle before we know what Poignant
  meant. We didn't just root for him, we felt for him.
  Long before many of us ever cracked a serious book, we knew something about
  mythology as we watched Mickey Mantle run out a home run through the
  lengthening shadows of a late Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
  There was a greatness about him, but vulnerability too. He was our guy. When
  he was hot, we felt great. When he slumped or got hurt, we sagged a bit too.
  We tried to crease our caps like him; keel in an imaginary on-deck circle like
  him; run like him, heads down, elbows up.
  Billy Crystal is here today. Billy says that at his bar mitzvah he spoke in an
  Oklahoma drawl. Billy's here today because he loved Mickey Mantle, and
  millions like him are here today in spirit as well. It's been said that the
  truth is never pure and rarely simple.
  Mickey Mantle was too humble and honest to believe that the whole truth about
  him could be found on a Wheaties box or a baseball card. But the emotional
  truths about childhood have a power that transcends objective fact. They stay
  with us through all the years, withstanding the ambivalence that so often
  accompanies the experience of adults.
  That's why we can still recall the immediate tingle in that instant of
  recognition when a Mickey Mantle popped up in a pack of Topps bubble gum
  cards-a treasure lodged between an Eli Grba and a Pumpsie Green.
  That's why we smile today, recalling those October afternoons when we'd sneak
  a transistor radio into school to follow Mickey Mantle and the Yankees in the
  World Series.
  Or when I think of Mr. Tomasee, a very wise sixth-grade teacher who understood
  that the World Series was more important, at least for one day, than any
  school lesson could be. So he brought his black and white TV from home,
  plugged it in and let us watch it right there in school through the flicker
  and static. It was richer and more compelling than anything I've seen on a
  high-resolution, big-screen TV.
  Of course, the bad part, Bobby, was that Koufax struck 15 of you guys out that
  My phone's been ringing the past few weeks as Mickey fought for his life. I've
  heard from people I hadn't seen or talked to in years, guys I played stickball
  with, even some guys who took Willie's side in those endless Mantle, Mays
  arguments. They're grown up now. They have their families. They're not even
  necessarily big baseball fans anymore. But they felt something hearing about
  Mickey, and they figured I did too.
  In the last year, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally came to
  accept and appreciate the distinction between a role model and a hero. The
  fist he often was not, the second he always will be.
  And, in the end, people got it. And Mickey Mantle got from something other
  than misplaced and mindless celebrity worship. He got something far more
  meaningful. He got love. Love for what he had been, love for what he made us
  feel, love for the humanity and sweetness that was always there mixed in the
  flaws and all the pain that racked his body and his soul.
  We wanted to tell him that it was OK, that what he had been was enough. We
  hoped he felt that Mutt Mantle would have understood that Merlyn and the boys
  loved him. And then in the end, something remarkable happened, the way it does
  for champions. Mickey Mantle rallied. His heart took over, and he had some
  innings as fine as any in 1956 or with his buddy, Roger, in 1961.
  But this time. he did it in the harsh and trying summer of '95. And what he
  did was stunning. The sheer grace of that ninth inning, the total absence of
  self pity, the simple eloquence and honesty of his pleas to others to take
  heed of his mistakes.
  All of America watched in admiration. His doctors said he was, in many ways,
  the most remarkable patient they'd ever seen. His bravery so stark and real,
  that even those used to seeing people in dire circumstances where moved by his
  Because of that example, organ donations are up drastically all across
  America. A cautionary tale has been honestly told and perhaps will affect some
  lives for the better.
  And our last memories of Mickey Mantle are as heroic as the first. None of us,
  Mickey included, would want to be held to account for every moment of our
  lives. But how many of us could say that our best moments were as magnificent
  as his?
  In a cartoon from this morning's The Dallas Morning News. Maybe some of you
  saw it. It got torn a little bit on the way from the hotel to here. There's a
  figure here, St. Peter I take it to be, with his arm around Mickey, that broad
  back and the number 7. We know some of what went on. Sorry, we can't let you
  in, but before you go, God wants to know if you'd sign these six dozen
  Well, there were days when Mickey Mantle was so darn good that we kids bet
  that even God would want his autograph. But like the cartoon says, I don't
  think Mick needed to worry much about the other part.
  I just hope God has a place for him where he can run again. Where he can play
  practical jokes on his teammates and smile that boyish smile, 'cause God
  knows, no one's perfect. And God knows there's something special about heroes.
  So long, Mick. Thanks.

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