Red Sovine: Tinsel and Rot Hall of Famer

A little bit late on this, but Tinsel and Rot is proud to welcome Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine into the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame as its August inductee.

Sovine's country music career got its first big boost from Hank Williams, albeit in an indirect sort of way. When Williams left the "Louisiana Hayride" to join the Grand Ole Opry, Sovine took his place on the popular radio show. Sovine used that prime spot as a springboard into the country music world and soon carved out a respectable career as a honky-tonk singer.

Then came "Teddy Bear."

Sovine eventually began to specialize in trucker songs, particularly absurdly maudlin recitations, in which he would tell a tale that generally involved death, crippling accidents, lost children, or some combination thereof over light musical accompaniment. His first such hit was "Giddy-Up Go" (a trucker reunites with his son, who is now also a trucker), which was followed by "Phantom 309" (hitchhiker gets a lift from "Big Joe," who's actually the ghost of a trucker who lost his life while swerving to avoid hitting a busful of children).

But neither can top "Teddy Bear," which tells the story of a boy who can't walk and lost his father in a wreck. He turns on his dad's CB radio hoping to get some truckers on the line so that one of them might find it in his heart to drop by the boy's house and let him ride in the rig like he used to do with his dad. It is nothing short of a masterpiece, and from the second I heard it "sung" by Hank Hill on the "King of the Hill" soundtrack, I've been a Red Sovine fan. "Teddy Bear" is almost enough on its own to get Sovine into the Hall, but songs like "Colorado Kool-Aid" (also recorded by Johnny PayCheck) and "Little Rosa" (in which Sovine endearingly delivers the world's worst imitation of what I guess is an Italian) make it a no-brainer.

So, welcome, Red Sovine, to your new Home 20, the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame.

"Teddy Bear"

"Little Rosa"

"Faith in Santa"

"Hold Everything"

A fantastic commercial for Red's "Greatest Hits"

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