Party Starters: Kevin Meyer of Hot Dog! Classic Country Spin
Here are five songs to get you cryin' in your beer
In Party Starters, Decider asks a local DJ to share songs that are guaranteed to get people dancing. This week we talk to Kevin Meyer, half of popular garage-rock DJ duo The Get Drunk DJs and also the co-host, along with Austin Dutmer, of Hot Dog! Classic Country Spin at Burnhearts. Hot Dog! celebrates its first anniversary Sunday.
The Louvin Brothers, “Great Atomic Power”
It’s like an old-timey, God-fearing gospel-country song, but the lyrics are so out there, talking about nuclear destruction and salvation through your belief in God. It’s literally talking about whether you’re prepared to meet your maker when they drop the bomb and kill us all, which is pretty heavy stuff. But they sing it all cheerful.
"Great Atomic Power" by The Louvin Brothers
Stompin’ Tom Connors, “Snowmobile Song”
Stompin’ Tom Connors is a Canadian country artist who specialized in novelty songs. This is a straight-up novelty song, but the music is lifted straight from the Johnny Cash sound. If Johnny Cash was singing on this song, it would sound like Johnny Cash And The Tennessee Two. But the lyrics are about going to the winter carnival and bringing your snowmobile and picking up girls. Country music is the only field where you can do a song that’s a novelty song and a straight song at the same time. A lot of country songs are stories, and stories are about something near and dear to you. So in one sense this song is not at all a novelty song. But it’s about a snowmobile.
"Snowmobile Song" by Stompin' Tom Connors
Roger Miller, “Reincarnation”
This might be one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s amazingly simple yet deep and goofy at the same time. It’s a really sweet song. It’s a love song, basically, but playing with the reincarnation idea. A country song talking about reincarnation seems incongruous, but Roger Miller can pull it off.
"Reincarnation" by Roger Miller
Red Sovine, “Teddy Bear”
“Teddy Bear” is an amazing trucker song. Red Sovine is known for these truck-driving songs where there might be a chorus at the beginning and a chorus at the end, and the middle part is just him talking for five minutes. “Teddy Bear” is about a kid whose dad dies in a wreck. It’s told from the point of view of the kid, who’s talking on his dad’s CB to these truckers. On top of that, the kid has no legs. So he’s lost his dad and his legs, and he can’t help his mom with chores. It’s this miserable story. One trucker in particular gets the coordinates of where the kid is, and he shows up at the kid’s house. And it turns out all the other truckers show up, as far as the eye can see, waiting to give him a turn in the rig. It’s such a weepy song. If I’m in the right mood, I’ll start to tear up a little bit.
"Teddy Bear" by Red Sovine
Glen Campbell, “Truck Driving Man”
I know Glen Campbell is kind of a weird pick because he’s known more as a pop artist, but his first album was actually a straight bluegrass record. This song is off that record. Some Glen Campbell stuff is pretty cheesy, but if you’re a Glen Campbell hater and heard this song you wouldn’t know it was Glen Campbell. This song has been done a million times, but I’ll love anyone who’s doing it. Country songs have a great tradition of songs referencing itself in the same song. He pulls in a truck stop and puts a coin in the jukebox to hear the song “Truck Drivin’ Man,” which is the song you’re listening to, which doesn’t make any sense, but it’s great. This song is the greatest truck driving country song. It’s so badass. Anyone can do it, even Glen Campbell.
"Truck Drivin' Man" by Glen Campbell