String Man

by C. Carson Parks

Often, I wonder at how blessed I have been with my success in the music business. When I decided to try to make a go of it, I decided that, if I DIDNíT make it, I was probably better than some who DID. And the reverse was true - - if I DID make it, I was certain that there are a lot of poor folks still stuck in the woods who maybe didnít get the breaks I got, who were probably a lot more talented than I. Iíve always tried to be aware of that, and grateful to The Almighty and remember to help out the less fortunate. Iíve often thought that, if I ever write an auto-biography, Iíd probably entitle it ďGodís Pen In My HandĒ, or something to that effect, as we donít know the source of inspirational ideas. I once taught a songwriting class at Beechwood Music, the Publishing arm of Capital Records. One night we spent a good bit of time discussing inspiration and the like. I related that I had heard that Salvador Dali would eat a huge lunch, set up his easel in a sunny sitting room, sit down in front of it with a tin pan between his legs, holding a coin between his fingertips, and when he dozed off, the coin would drop into the pan waking him up, and he would jump up and paint the first thing he saw, or whatever he had been dreaming about. I also told them it was a good thing to keep a pencil and paper by your bedside, in case you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea. After a little more of this, some little gal in the room raised her hand and said: Now, let me see if Iíve got this straight. Itís sort of like having your period. You canít be sure when inspiration is going to strike you, but you ought to have a pad handy! Well, after we picked ourselves up off the floor, we abandoned for the night! But, back to the song. I think I must have had Jerry Reed in mind for this song. He had done a prior song of mine called ďWith His Pants In His Hand ď.He plays such great guitar, and sings a nice ballad, too. I thought it would be a natural for him. Still do. At the time, I donít think he had a record contract, and perhaps Chet Atkins was sick, who always produced Jerry, so it never happened. Too bad.