Sunday, June 30, 2019

Hoyt Axton: Evangelina

I remember this as a staple of Radio 2 in the days when I was looking for a gentle station to write my essays to at York.

With their parallel between water and love, I have always suspected the lyrics of profundity.

Hoyt Axton was a successful singer and songwriter in the country and folk fields. His Della and the Dealer was hit in the UK in 1980.

Trivia fans will want to know that his mother co-wrote Heartbreak Hotel for Elvis.

Andrew Hickey tells her story:
Mae Axton was an odd figure. She was an English teacher who had a sideline as a freelance journalist. One day she was asked by a magazine she was freelancing for to write a story about hillbilly music, a subject about which she knew nothing. 
She went to Nashville to interview the singer Minnie Pearl, and while she was working on her story, Pearl introduced her to Fred Rose, the co-owner of Acuff-Rose Publishing, the biggest publishing company in country music. And Pearl, for some reason, told Rose that Mae, who had never written a song in her life, was a songwriter. 
Rose said that he needed a new novelty song for a recording session for the singer Dub Dickerson that afternoon, and asked Mae to write him one. And so, all of a sudden, Mae Axton was a songwriter, and she eventually wrote over two hundred songs.
He also tells me that Elvis went on to record some of Hoyt Axton's songs, giving them a unique mother-and-son double.

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