By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Were you surprised by what Mark wanted to do in the studio?
Actually, Roy, I went in and did my parts. I was responsible for getting the Possum in there, and Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare. I assume they were going fishing afterward. But I live 75 miles outside of Nashville, so I suppose I wouldn't have had time to be there for all of it. Eventually I'll get to meet everyone, I hope.
Sometimes when country stars invite in a lot of guests, the result can be a disaster. Were you worried about that?
4 p.m. Sunday, April 1. Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar Boulevard, University City. Free. 314-721-4096
I don't suppose Mark chose anybody that at least wasn't a Louvin Brothers fan. Nobody had to twist their arm. There were no twelve-page contracts, nothing about points on royalties.
With these songs, you pay some debts to your own influences: Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe, the Carter Family and the Delmore Brothers.
Absolutely. We were huge fans of the Carters and the Delmore Brothers. I've said it before, but the Delmores were the hottest duet to ever perform on the Grand Ol' Opry. But they were lucky that they performed in the '30s, when there wasn't nothing but radio. Now there's so much media, and so competitive, more so than it was when my brother and I got into it.
You've been singing without your brother Ira for four decades now.
41 years to be exact.
On that beautiful song you wrote, "Ira," you say that you still hear him singing.
It's scary. Somewhere down the road, someone will invent something that you can hook to your head, and whatever you hear, it will be recorded on the tape you're singing on. I suppose the Japanese will invent that. They invented the harmony singer machine. A lot of people, you just mash a button, but whatever part you want, tenor, baritone or bass, that machine can do it. I know Ray Price uses one. It's a different world out there.
Three years ago, I went on a tour with Cake, Cheap Trick and the Detroit Cobras. Ain't nobody louder than Cheap Trick. Before the tour was half over, I was on the stage singing "I'm a California Man" with Cheap Trick! Roy Kasten
Performing at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 1. Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar Boulevard, University City. Free. 314-721-4096.