If you can name drop at least twelve incredible musicians/songwriters without sounding the least bit ridiculous, your name just might be Ray Wylie Hubbard and that’s cool.
Ray Wylie Hubbard turns 68 today, November 13. And I wanted to make sure I talked about this uber cool dude to celebrate him.
The word ‘cool’ and Ray Wylie go hand in hand. Why do I say that? Let me break it down.
If you can say you have a multi-million copy author talk about your music in articles and a book, you’re cool.
If you have a late night talk host, request you appear on his show and play not one, but two tunes, you’re cool.
If you have artists and songwriters from around the world who look up to you and wanna be like you, you’re cool.
Oh and if you’re married to one of the most awesome ladies ever, Judy Hubbard aka Mother Hubbard, that makes you pretty cool, too!
There are so many more examples of how cool RWH is and one of the best articles I’ve read about him, can be found here: http://www.heritagefarmstead.org/raywyliehubbard/.
I asked Ray a few questions and hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did!
Katie: How often does the song writing bug bite ya?
RWH: It bites pretty much every day, its itches and i got to scratch it so i’m always writing or looking for things to write about.
Katie: Describe your relationship with Tony Joe White.
RWH: I met Tony Joe in Taos, NM when he was doing a movie back in the early 70’s I think. He liked my songs and produced a demo session for me at Sun Studios in Memphis. We just kinda hit if off and I can make him laugh which makes me laugh.
When I used two lines of ‘Poke Salad Annie’ in ‘Mother Blues’, EMI publishing wanted $5,000 and 66 & 2/3 of the publishing on the song or they weren’t gonna let me use it. I called Tony Joe and told him and the next day he called and said I could use it for nothing…he carries some serious weight with them cats.
Katie: What do you think about the path that country music has taken? There have been several instances lately about a certain TX “celeb artist” being a complete womanizer, etc, is a perfect example. That’s what folks think of when they think “country music” now. What do you think of that reputation?
RWH: I really don’t know whats going on in Texas/Red Dirt country music unless Judy tells me about it. I think its more important to have a reputation as a good songwriter than one as a womanizer but there are a lot of guitar holders who are into that. I never been a country artist and I used to enjoy some of it but country music started going downhill the day Johnny Cash quit doing pills and cats starting swinging on ropes and dancing around and using fireworks.
Katie: Looking back at all the artists who have listed you as their “mentor” (Hayes Carll, Cody Canada, Dirty River Boys, Sam Riggs), who were YOU lookin’ up to back in the day?
RWH: Mance Lipscomb showed me a pentatonic scale at a club in OKC one night. Johnny Vandiver taught me about drop d tuning. Michael Murphey was kind enough to gimme some hints about inspiration. Townes taught me that I shouldn’t gamble. Muddy Waters told me that the opening act should never play past their time limit. Willie Nelson showed me how to roll something that I no longer do. Waylon said always get a deposit before you leave and get the balance before you play..lessee, who else? Bugs Henderson helped me learn about cool…other mentors would be Rick Fowler, Wayne Kidd, Terry Ware…
Katie: What would you do without Mother Hubbard in your corner?
RWH: I’d have everything I own in a shoe box and be looking for a happy hour gig.
See what I mean? Pure coolness.
Find out where and when you catch Ray Wylie Hubbard performing here: http://www.raywylie.com/.