Big Big Heartaches
South Of Lonesome
Big Tears Are Coming
From the Ichiban satellite office down here in Georgia, I'd like to wish Melba Montgomery a very happy 73rd birthday. Melba, who was born on October 14, 1938 in Iron City, Tennessee, came from a very musical family.
Her brothers Earl and Carl, like Melba, were also talented songwriters. Carl, in fact, co-wrote two great trucker anthems, Six Days On The Road and Give Me Forty Acres, while Earl (also known as Peanutt) cut his teeth as a studio guitar player in the Muscle Shoals area (that's him playing on Arthur Alexander's You Better Move On) and went on to write over three dozen songs recorded by George Jones.
After spending a few years as the "girl singer" in Roy Acuff's band, Melba began releasing records under her own name in 1963, around the same time she began recording a string of duets with George Jones. Her solo material from this time period is comprised on numerous superb honky-tonkers like the three tracks above and, as Joe Sixpack points out, it remains a scandal and a shame that no one has put together a good compilation of her early years.