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Flying Fox AKA Ted L Glines

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Swansea 1900 In the Meg Hutchinson tradition comes a story of evil and redemption, set in turn-of-the-century Swansea...  
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Orange Blossom Special
by Flying Fox AKA Ted L Glines
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Certain songs resonate in your life; places you've been, lovers you've loved, things seen along the highway of your life, and the song of your own life may resonate with others through the keynote of some special song which everyone remembers. This title was one of the classic Bluegrass songs, and this poem is in tribute to Spade Cooley (pictured above) who never received credit for originally composing this intricate piece of music. After the horrible scandal which ended Spade's career, Nashville wiped his name from the books. This poem tells a bit of his story. With pleasure and some small degree of vanity, I am using my own modified sonnet form, the “Sonnerick” in this series. I hope my gentle readers may sing along with me. Remember this song made famous by Bill Monroe

“Orange Blossom Special”

by Ted L Glines


The song of Bluegrass sometimes is not great,

sometimes that fiddle masks an awful pain,

the sunshine for the crowd is hiding rain,

for underneath the glitter - life is fate,

the wife of Spade was quickly earning hate,

her lover and herself - a scandal stain,

and Spade was shamed said wagging tongues again,

for he was pushed too far - it was too late.

While gossip raged through Nashville - lovers kissed,

their sin was blatant - rife with lovers' lies,

the heart inside of Spade was torn - he cried

and many cheered him on with no surprise,

the night his shotgun blazed their little tryst,

and Spade gave up his freedom for his pride.

Performers' blaze their smiles - it's for your sake,

the crowd demands so much - there is no break,

but underneath those lights

may be horrors hurts and frights,

those Grand Ole Opry smiles are often fake.

I was about 25 years old when I knew Spade Cooley. Following the murders of his wife and her lover, Spade was serving a life sentence in prison. Not a moment passed without pain and guilt for him. All of the people who had urged him on, disappeared from his life. I knew Spade Cooley as the very damaged gentleman, the friend, and the very best fiddle player in the world. Spade passed away during intermission between two benefit performances at the Oakland Coliseum in California. He had been granted a 24-hour furlough. I was the prison hospital attendant who examined Spade prior to his departure to Oakland. I saw his lips were blue, his pulse was thready, and his blood pressure was way too high. He and I both knew this would be his last performance. I signed the release papers. His passing was the way he wanted to die.



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Reviewed by Jerry Engler
That's a very poignant piece of poetry plus a great insight to history, your personal one as well, Ted. I found it very meaningful....Jerry
Reviewed by Rose Rideout
An absolute great write Ted. Enjoyed very much. Thank you for sharing.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
what a trgic story--my mother is a very good five-string-banjo player-played this one a lot
Reviewed by J'nia Fowler
A tribute to beat all tributes and to expand it into a bio would offer us as readers a chance to know the man behind the music. Excellent.
Blessings, J'nia
Reviewed by Bonnie May
I agree with FEE this is a true winner and I can see a great book come of this...GREAT AND FANTASTIC and hugs, Bonnie
Reviewed by Felix Perry
As a country and bluegrass fan both and a lover of bio's this is one fantastic story and one that I think you should expound on and perhaps a book on it would be a great way to honor this man you cared for. I can actually see this playing out in a movie...

Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
Heartbreaking - you find out when you're in trouble or sick or dying who your true friends are. A beautiful tribute to the composer, the musician, and the man. Well done, Ted.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Have never really listened to Spade Cooley or his version of "Orange Blossom Special", but an interesting write, nevertheless! The "Orange Blossom Special" remains one of my very favorite country songs, especially if it's done right on the fiddle! Enjoyed this slice of musical history; thanks!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Georg Mateos
Sorry, ain't no follower of Spade, but I heard Johnny Cash singing it.
A great tribute for a Nashville Spade Special!


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