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Recent finds include a nice 45 on MGM of a dude named Walt Conklin (no, I’ve never heard of him either) doing a great version of the Willie Nelson classic “Half A Man”. Willie’s original on Liberty was a slow waltz with a full, lush string arrangement, but ol’ Walt reworked it here as an almost shuffle. He sings it high & hard with lusty vibrato, ala Johnny Bush or Curtis Potter. The chord changes are altered a little, to make it work better when played this way. I love it, I think it’s a great version of the tune, and I’ve been playing it with this arrangement at my Lucky Horseshoe shows lately. The overwrought Glen Campbell-ish A-side may not be my cup of tea, but the keen reworking of “Half A Man” makes this 45 a real keeper.
Tom Armstrong’s new CD, Wine Stained Heart, is finally out! You can order it on CDBaby, or through iTunes. For now, we discourage purchasing any of Tom’s music through Amazon.