"60 Minutes" scores the Eagles one "Cha-ching"

Driving back to Beaumont from Nacogdoches on Friday I kept punching the radio buttons to find a station that didn’t suck. I happened upon a so-called “country gold” station out of Houston. Where that station really is, its call letters or whether or not what they were playing was really country and/or gold is irrelevant.

What is pertinent was this great song playing that I’d never heard before. I have to admit that I am not a country radio music fan. That is not to say I don’t like country-western-just-country-western or what the hell. I just think that we have entered into one of those periods like the late 1970s and early 1980s when, to put it into Babs Mandrell’s own words, damn it, “country wasn’t cool.” It wasn’t cool because it wasn’t country. It was pop and pop music that stunk. Had not Emmylou Harris, ol’ Merle, Wylie Neilson, Jerry Jeff and those who didn’t bow down to Nashville’s insanity been around, country music like the fabled “Minnow” of “Gilligan’s Island,” would have been lost.

The song I heard on the country-music-gold radio the other day reminded me of works from some of the country rock bands and performers who became so distinct in the 1970s — folks like Gram Parsons, groups like the Eagles, Pure Prairie League, and so forth. I thought to myself after listening to this rocking country-like tune that if this was country gold, I wondered why the hell I never heard this particular song before. It wasn’t until watching “60 Minutes” this evening that I discovered why that was. It was a new song.

That song, “How Long,” is a single off the Eagles first album of new material in 25+ years. The album, CD or whatever the hell they are called these days, is titled “Long Road Out of Eden” and after watching the interview on the CBS news magazine, I went online to order it, which with shipping came out to be about $17-some-odd.

This is not the first time I have bought a record due to the strength of one song. I probably have bought most albums after hearing one or two songs. I don’t think I ever bought an album or CD without hearing a track. But after hearing this one song — which is as good or better than “Already Gone” but will never be “Take It Easy” — I decided to live a little and buy the CD. I doubt this arrival matches my eagerness for a new Tom Robbins (not TIM but Tim is an okay actor) novel which seems to only come ever 5-6 years, but after 25-something years with the collaboration of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Tim Schmidt and Joe Walsh, I think the wait may just be worth it. If not, at least “How Long” is a great song.

Who says those TV news magazines are a waste of time?

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