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inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #51 of 219: Andrew Alden (alden) Sat 24 Aug 02 17:21
    
You and John Sebastian, a la "Nashville Cats," got blasted sky-high by that
clean country music.
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #52 of 219: Elizabeth Churchill (leroy) Sun 25 Aug 02 11:23
    
One of my favorite characters in the book is Richie, the Little
Richard look-alike who is the costume designer and stylist for the
local community theater, and who designs Sarah Jean's wardrobe once she
becomes a star.

I notice in the acknowledgments you say "Cynthia Robins provided
fashion advice, including Cindi-Lu's wedding gown." Can you tell us a
bit about how you and Cynthia (and is Richie modeled after your own
real wardrobe consultant? if so, him too) came up with the various
outfits in the book?

I've always been intrigued with the evolution of the outfit in country
music. From Mother Maybelle Carter, with her long dark high-necked
dresses, to Patsy Montana with her demure little cowgirl image, to
Kitty Wells with her yards of gingham. And then suddenly the Bad Girls
burst onto the scene: brash, assertive Rose Maddox scandalizing the
industry with her wonderfully garish Nudie Cohen suits ten years before
they became the uniform de rigeur in Nashville; racy little Charline
Arthur, who was the first woman to wear pants on stage; and of course
Wanda Jackson, the first woman to introduce glamour to the genre with
her fringy glittery strapless dresses, long earrings, and high heels. 

When Wanda appeared on the Grand Ol Opry in the early 50s, they
insisted she cover up her bare shoulders with a jacket. She was so mad,
she didn't go back on the show for 40 years. Charline Arthur was never
even invited on the Opry because of her pants, her pre-Elvis hip
gyrating, and the sexy way she prowled around the stage.

Which brings up a second question: what was the role of women in
honky-tonk? Has it always been pretty tough for them to break into it?
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #53 of 219: Moist Howlette (kkg) Sun 25 Aug 02 13:40
    
Wow, great questions!

I love Richie too. He represents my imagination running wild after seeing 
a performance by the Ethel Merman Memorial Choir, 10 or somen dressed like 
Ethel Merman, singing Ethel Merman songs. One of them looked like Little 
Richard dressed up like Ethel Merman...

Cynthia Robins (cynthiar) will tell you I am a total dunce when it comes 
to fashion, so I needed help with Richie's character. The great thing 
about Cyn is that I could call her and say, "What would a pretentious 
Hollywood video director wear to a shoot in 1993?" or, "If Calvin Klein 
designed a wedding gown and price was no object, what would it look like?" 
and she KNEW! Off the top of her head!  

I made up Sarah Jean's award show outfit myself though, and I really do 
have a leopard-covered stratocaster.
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #54 of 219: Moist Howlette (kkg) Sun 25 Aug 02 13:52
    
I didn't know about racy little Charlene Arthur! I heard Wanda speak at 
SXSW in Austin last year, and she was wonderful. There is a documentary 
about four rockabilly women: Wanda, Brenda Lee, Janis Martin (who was 
called the "female Elvis", and Laurie Collins (of the Collins Kids)--I 
think it's called "Welcome to the Club" or something like that. It was 
screened there, and it's great!  Anyway, Wanda Jackson talked a lot about 
her outfits. Her mother made them, and her father (who was also her 
manager) had to approve the neckline and skirt lengths. Then mom would 
sneak an extra inch or so off the top and the bottom. She also talked 
about being a reluctants song writer: apparently there just wasn't a lot 
of material out there that she liked, so she wrote songs out of 
desperation. What a performer! There are a bunch of very hot clips of her 
in the film.

I think if a woman has amazing presence and a great voice, it's not that 
hard to break in as a "chick singer" fronting an all-male band. It's the 
instrumental musicians who have it tougher. Aside from Barbara Mandrell, 
how many female pedal steel players have you seen? Drummers? Not that 
many. Things are changing slowly...
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #55 of 219: Elizabeth Churchill (leroy) Sun 25 Aug 02 14:34
    

I saw Wanda Jackson at Bimbo's in San Francisco a few years ago when she was
touring with Rosie Flores: man, were they hot. The place was packed to the
gills with the rockabilly kids. I think Wanda Jackson falls more into the
rockabilly camp than honky-tonk. What exactly is the difference, anyway?

Who are some women who made it big in honky-tonk? I guess Rose Maddox
qualifies, fronting for the Maddox Brothers--they played clubs. (Did you
ever go to the It Club in El Cerrito? They used to play there all the time.
I went there once in the mid-70s, right before it became a dentist's
office.) And I think Charline Arthur. I don't think I ever saw any women at
the 23 Club besides you, and folks like Kathleen Enright and Big Lou who
were sitting in.

By the way, I laways loved your guitar and was delighted that the leopard-
skin pillbox Strat made it into the book, foot-long fringe and all.
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #56 of 219: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sun 25 Aug 02 14:45
    
"Shoes" is a delight. And Kath and I even wrote a song which ended up
in it. (We really have to write a melody, kiddo).

Obviously, Kathi was much more into upholstering her axes with leopard
than playing with paper dolls. . . which is my only qualification for
being a "designer" as such. But hammered satin and white mink are two
favorites of mine (for other people, of course). You'd add sequins and
wall-to-wall pave-d pearls for Vegas. . .

Kath: Why aren't they sending you to VEgas? You could bunk here and we
could go skinny dipping. . .
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #57 of 219: Elizabeth Churchill (leroy) Sun 25 Aug 02 15:09
    

Hey, Cynthia! I see your name on "You're Not My Kind of Guy," performed by
the flamboyant Monica Boom Boom. Any stories about what (or who) inspired
the lyrics?
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #58 of 219: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sun 25 Aug 02 16:45
    
Kathi and I were sitting on the floor of my former S.F. apartment one
afternoon, sort of rehearsing what we were going to sing for one of hte
Book Week gigs. It had to be four-five years ago. We were noodling
around on the guitar, singing old Baez/Judy Collins stuff harmonizing
when we just sort of started writing a song which was originally called
"The Drag Queen Lament," but it morphed into the Lounge Lizard Blues. 
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #59 of 219: Moist Howlette (kkg) Sun 25 Aug 02 19:03
    
Those lyrics were so much fun to write! "You're plyng me with liquor; 
you're licking me with plyers..." what does that mean, anyway?

It's funny, I was going to have Monica sing a jazz standard, "I Wanna be 
Loved by You" or something, when I happened upon those lyrics stuffed in 
one of my gig bags. You're right Cyn, we MUST come up with a melody soon.

Honky-Tonk vs. Rockabilly? Hmmmm, I'm not sure Honky-Tonk has that precise 
a meaning, really. Rockabilly can certainly be Honky-Tonk and vice versa, 
but Honky-Tonk can also be what I think of as country swing, country-rock, 
or even back-to-roots blue grass, blues or R&B. I think it has as much to 
do with the venue as the style of music, as someone (leroy) said earlier.
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #60 of 219: Elizabeth Churchill (leroy) Sun 25 Aug 02 19:29
    

I'm thinking also the theme: rockabilly is generally more upbeat and youth
oriented, songs about a pretty carefree partypartyparty life. Whereas
honktonk comes out of a bluecollar culture where people work hard all
week, then go out and get drunk, spend all their money, fight, cheat, and
maybe even dance a little...but they pay for it. There's an undercurrent of
remorse in honky-tonk that isn't there in rockabilly.

Kathi, even though your book hasn't hit the book stores yet, the reviews are
starting to come in. I hear O Magazine gave you a rave. What are they others
saying?
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #61 of 219: Lena M. Diethelm (lendie) Sun 25 Aug 02 20:49
    

What did O magazine say?
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #62 of 219: Moist Howlette (kkg) Mon 26 Aug 02 05:01
    
>> There's an undercurrent of remorse in honky-tonk that isn't there
 in rockabilly.<<             

Ooh, I like that...


As for reviews, I got good ones in PW and Booklist (both publishing trade 
publications) and a so-so one on the Amazon.com web page. But the rave was 
written by Pam Houston ("Cowboys Are My Weakness") for 'O' Magazine:

"If you are the kind of person who has a hidden passion for Top 40 
country, if you find yourself watching I Love Lucy reruns more often than 
you'd like to admit, if your secret desire is to live in a world where bad 
men are punished and your girlfriends rule and the best cure for a broken 
heart is to throw back your head and belt out a few bars, then kkg's debut 
novel is perfect for your late summer trip to the beach...in Goldmark's 
universe, families are supportive, children are loved unequivocally, and 
even the men who won't marry you always come back around to be your 
friend. It's a place we could all stand to spend a little more time in."

A thrill because Pam is an author I don't know, really, so she wasn't just 
being a pal.

            
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #63 of 219: Berliner (captward) Mon 26 Aug 02 05:24
    
Somehow those are the best reviews: in the consumer press from someone
who doesn't know you at all. You know they're just reacting to what's
there, not playing politics. 

I'd like to chime in and say that I've never heard a slow rockabilly
song, which is one thing which differentiates that genre from
honky-tonk. Nor have I ever heard a serious song about drinking in
rockabilly. Or cheating. Maybe what I'm saying is one is more for
adults. Like drinking and cheating. 
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #64 of 219: Elizabeth Churchill (leroy) Mon 26 Aug 02 07:16
    
Yep, rockabilly's all about jitterbug and the irrepressible carefree
youth that lives to jitterbug. Honky-tonk throws in an occasional swing
tune, but more of the Ray Price shuffles, Texas two-step, and of
course waltzes. But they both have a common ancestor in the old country
swing and boogie beat. Bob Wills, The Delmore Brothers, the Maddox
Brothers and Rose, Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies: these sounds
paved the way for both honky-tonk and rockabilly.

What the hell happened to country music? How did it become the bland
souless boring industry that it is today? What happened to that raw
edge of authenticity, whether it's the ragged pain of honky-tonk or the
defiant exuberance of rockabilly? 
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #65 of 219: Berliner (captward) Mon 26 Aug 02 07:19
    
I could bloviate on that subject for ages, and in fact once published
a long piece on it. Wonder if Kathi has come to the same conclusions,
though. 
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #66 of 219: Nancy Montgomery (nan) Mon 26 Aug 02 07:27
    
Great review, kkg! I'm debating whether to wait until your Cody's book
signing to pick up the book or get it and read it now!

To me, rockabilly has always seemed like a particular piece of country
music carved out by people who might not ordinarily profess to listen
to country music. Honky tonk songs put those down home lyrics and
gut-wrenching emotions and humor out there that stand solid amid the
variable winds of public taste. They just is.

"gotta hear old Hank a-moanin' a honky tonk song..."
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #67 of 219: Daniel (dfowlkes) Mon 26 Aug 02 08:07
    <scribbled by dfowlkes Tue 3 Jul 12 10:14>
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #68 of 219: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 26 Aug 02 10:00
    
Kath: The Calvin Klein string is hilarious. . . wonder what his people
have said to you. he is VERY protective of his name, dontcha know. 
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #69 of 219: (fom) Mon 26 Aug 02 10:11
    
Yeah, it's fun, the way it keeps popping up in the background. The CK 
thing, I mean.

I am about 3/4 through the book, and I'm especially enjoying the writing 
style (and tone and voice) -- it's so smooth, as if you've been writing 
novels for years. 

I'm curious as to whether the book is being promoted to country music 
fans. 
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #70 of 219: Casey Ellis (caseyell) Mon 26 Aug 02 10:40
    
I just want to know WTF Amazon hasn't sent me my copy which I
pre-ordered MONTHS ago.
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #71 of 219: Moist Howlette (kkg) Mon 26 Aug 02 11:35
    
Oh dear--I guess I missed the boat on Montel. Faulty research on my 
part--the one day I turned on Rickie Lake they were doing paternity 
tests. But she also seemed like more of a natural venue for Calvin 
Klein...who has not said a word as yet, not a peep. No And why would 
he, since thanks to Cynthia, he designed a perfect wedding dress? 
No  one at Chronicle seemed concerned from a legal POV about throwing
 in the occasional real-life name, though. 
That came from a joke Kath (Kathleen Enright, my 
bandmate in the Kath Sisters and the Ray Price Club) and I used to tell on 
the bandstand: "We're going to do a song by Calvin Klein's mother Patsy." 
Someone would ALWAYS believe it! I started thinking about how you can make 
a made-up thing true, and decided that if something is printed in the New 
York Times, it will be acknowledged the world over as the truth.
So Sarah Jean's joke becoming the truth is meant to be kind of a send-up 
of the publicity machine--if you spin anything the right way, people 
will eventually believe it.
The reason you haven't received your order from Amazon is that books 
shipped a little late. should be any time now.  I personally only have ONE 
copy so far.
And thanks for the riting compliment! I think the "smoothness" is really 
the result of the editorial process as much as anything. I am VERY lucky 
to have Jay Schaefer as my editor; he's the old-fashioned kind who rolls 
up his sleeves and digs in, but he's also responsive and everything is 
negotiable.  I think the book is much better because of his input.

As for promoting to C&W fans, I think  they're trying to do that by 
sending some CDs along with the book, to Country Radio stations. We'll see 
what happens. I also think they're going for reviews in some of the 
country fan publications, and there was talk of setting up a workshop at 
SXSW music festival in Austin next spring.

Speaking of radio, has anyone in the Bay Area listened to KTIM, the Marin 
station that recently changed format and is now the only country radio 
station in the Bay Area? What do you think?
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #72 of 219: David Gans (tnf) Mon 26 Aug 02 12:38
    
The Cline/Klein thing is a stroke of genius, an excellent feature of your
novel.  Like so many of the songs and other devices in this book, there's a
natural, "Of course!" quality to your creations.
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #73 of 219: Moist Howlette (kkg) Mon 26 Aug 02 12:57
    
Aw, shucks. Why, thanks. Do you ever wonder how many other things we've 
read and truly believe 

are true  might have started as a practical joke?
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #74 of 219: Daniel (dfowlkes) Mon 26 Aug 02 18:39
    <scribbled by dfowlkes Tue 3 Jul 12 10:14>
  
inkwell.vue.157 : Kathi Kamen Goldmark: "And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You"
permalink #75 of 219: Elizabeth Churchill (leroy) Tue 27 Aug 02 07:13
    
I was thrilled to see guest appearances in the book by some of my
favorite musicians from other genres. For instance, Billy Wilson from
Motordude Zydeco shows up with his band. Woo-hoo! 

Small World story: last December I walked into Miss Wanda's cafe in
downtown Opelousas Louisiana, the Zydeco Capital of the Universe, and
immediately recognized that the CD she was playing in the cafe was
Billy Wilson! But NOT Zydeco: it was his ukulele Christmas CD. I said,
Wanda, where in the world did you get this? And she said some customer
from California had given it to her. In fact, she had a whole stack of
them for sale next to the cash register and she said they were going
like hotcakes. I questioned her about this mysterious Californian and
easily ascertained it wasn't big ol' 7' tall Billy Wilson. I never did
find out who it was, but 35 people in Opelousas now own Billy Wilson
playing Christmas songs on a tiny little ukulele.

There are also a couple of references in the book, both direct and
indirect, to Big Lou, the accordion-playing polka goddess. Her
spectacular all-accordion wedding at DeMarco's 23 Club shows up,
slightly altered, but I was there in real life. She really did put
white veils on all the buffalo heads, and her dog Booger really was the
ring bearer who got spooked and ran off with the rings and had fifty
crazy accordion players in polka-dot outfits chasing him up Main Street
on a Sunday morning screaming "Booger! Booger! Give back the rings!" 

It happens I'm heading over to Texas this weekend for a Tex-Czech
polka fest where Carl Finch and Brave Combo will be the headliners.
Carl Finch produced Big Lou's CD, Polka Casserole. So, more small
world.

How is it that there are all these wonderful connections, even though
it's different types of music? Almost like there's some kind of
mystical underground movement. What is the common denominator that
draws them together? That they all play music that's authentic to its
roots, or what?
  

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