Bus Fare To Kentucky by Skeeter Davis



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Bus Fare To Kentucky by Skeeter Davis

Postby Moshe » Sat May 17, 2014 7:19 am

Skeeter Davis' autobiography is as unconventional and dramatic as the lady herself. Skeeter first came to fame as one half of a duo called the Davis Sisters. Skeeter was named Mary Francis & born to William Lee and Sarah Rachel Roberts Penick. Her grandfather nicknamed her "skeeter" because he thought she had a lot of energy. Her best friend at school was Betty Jack Davis & the two sang together, gaining fame as the Davis Sisters.
Skeeter's best friend Betty Jack was killed in a car crash on their way back from a gig. Here is where things get really weird. While Skeeter was in hospital regaining consciousness, the Davis family claimed Skeeter as their daughter & took her home with them, keeping her away from her own family.
Eventually, after a disastrous marriage, Skeeter was re united with her own family. Along the way, Skeeter revived her musical career, this time as a solo artiste, on record singing harmony with her self as she had sung harmony with Betty Jack as a duo.
Then there was the marriage to radio & TV host Ralph Emery. The portrait of Ralph Skeeter paints is not a pretty one. He comes across as deeply unstable, a pathological liar, a stalker & a control freak.
Skeeter titles the chapter about their marriage as "The Only DJ you Can Hear After Three", a line from the Gram Parsons/ Roger McGuinn song about him "Drug Store Truck Driving Man."
The song was written after the Byrds appearance on The Grande Ole opry & their subsequent appearance on Ralph's overnight show where he refused to play their album "Sweethears of the rodeo" and said that they were not country.
While Skeeter & Ralph were dating Skeeter asked Ralph who his hero was. "Nathan Bedford Forest". Skeeter had never heard of the guy.
When they got married, Skeeter bought Ralph a bio about his hero, but never read it herself till after their marriage was over. Turns out, Ralph's hero was a Confederate general who turned coward after the war & "hid beneath a sheet" while he butchered women & children. He was a KKK member.
"If only I'd known more about him (Ralph's hero) I might have gained insight into who Ralph would turn out to be" Skeeter writes.
Skeeter became the only Grand Ole Opry member, other than Hank Williams Senior, to be kicked off the Opry. This happened after she saw Nashville police act roughly and arrest a bunch of Jesus People in downtown Nashville. Skeeter was upset about this & referred to it during her performance on the Opry. Skeeter claimed the only publication to print a truthful, accurate account of the controversy was Rolling Stone magazine. When she was kicked off the Opry, she was told that the Opry stage could not be used for religion or politics. Next year, speaking from the Opry stage was Richard Nixon.
Skeeter turned down an invitation to sing at the White House from Richard Nixon because she did not respect him.
Skeeter is a fervent Christian, and writes quite a lot about her faith & her missions to Africa & elsewhere. She writes about her mum, dad, sisters and-quite a lot- about Jesus.
She also writes quite a bit about music, & her eclectic musical tastes having been an avid listener not just to country but also to RnB & Rock radio. An unlikely musical alliance between Skeeter & the eclectic Rock-jazz-roots band, NRBQ, emerged, which included an album "She Sings, they play" & marriage between Skeeter & their bass player, Joey.
So, anyway, there it is. Skeeter's autobiography, first published in 1993. An eccentric ride, but the reader emerges from it maybe a bit confused, but feeling that one has got to know this country music legend. BTW, they did eventually let her back onto the opry!!
Cor Blimey, Guv'nor! 8)
Moshe

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Re: Bus Fare To Kentucky by Skeeter Davis

Postby aj11 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:49 am

I really enjoyed your writeup of the book moshe! I was looking at it on Amazon and this review was much better than the ones on there. I love Skeeter Davis, she was a country gem and I even enjoy some of her 60s 70s "pop" hits too. That voice! Definitely underrated in my opinion. You should consider posting your reviews on amazon, or start blog with wordpress or 1&1. thanks again for the review! Much appreciated and I'll let you know what I thought of it.
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Re: Bus Fare To Kentucky by Skeeter Davis

Postby Moshe » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:08 am

Thank you very much, aj11! :D

I think Skeeter has a great voice
Cor Blimey, Guv'nor! 8)
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