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My Hart belongs to Freddie

Country Musings by Robert Loy, July 2005

I learned a lot during the time I worked in a bar. I learned that white Russians are the work of the devil and that men cannot compete with women when it comes to trashing a restroom.

I also learned to be careful what you say. And I don't mean just to that glowering redneck in the corner with the almost-visible chip on his shoulder. I mean you should be careful because what you say today you will believe tomorrow.

There were always a bunch of barflies buzzing around, and they loved to have these interminable inebriated debates about what was the best western movie ever made or who was the ugliest woman on television or which member of the Justice League had the coolest super-power.

I managed to avoid these conversations until the night a couple of the debaters, who knew of my love of music, asked me to help settle the question of who was the greatest country and western singer ever.

They probably expected me to say Johnny Cash or Jimmie Rodgers, but I told them there was no doubt in my mind that that title belonged to Freddie Hart.

And I said that because I thought it was a ridiculous conversation, and Freddie Hart was the most ridiculous country singer I could think of.

(For those who don't know, Freddie Hart enjoyed a brief heyday in the early 1970s even though he couldn't sing very wel,l and his one emotion seemed to be perpetual horniness; "The Want-To's", "Got The All-Overs For You (All Over Me)" and "My Hang-up Is You" were a few of his hits.)

I came up with some convoluted argument to back up my claim of Hart's illustriousness, but all I was really doing was making fun of them.

Then about a month or so later, I happened to hear Hart's "Easy Loving" and was surprised to see that I sorta liked this song that had always annoyed the crap out of me before. Shortly thereafter I was truck by the profundity of "If You Can't Feel It (It Ain't There)."

The next thing I knew I was on eBay feverishly tracking down albums from Freddie Hart and the Heartbeats. (I still can't find 1977's "The Pleasure's Been All Mine," so let me know if you have a copy.)

It's obviously too late for me. I am a fan of Freddie Hart, and nothing can save me. But this tragedy doesn't have to befall you. Remember these words of wisdom: Be careful what you say.

And stay away from white Russians.

The views expressed in this column are Robert Loy's and do not necessarily reflect those of CST.