“I’m gettin’ the feel of hickory wind”…country rock, meet your maker.

Hickory Wind – The Byrds (1968) Legacy Edition FLAC HD 1080p Video

(This video contains a lossless audio track. Please remember to watch my videos in HD if you are listening to them on headphones, home theater or if you just want the best sounding audio possible…..it does make a difference!)

“Hickory Wind” was released in 1968 on The Byrd’s album, Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. It was written by Gram Parsons, to whom country rock and alt rock owe everything…he died tragically at 26 at Joshua Tree in California….wandering the desert under the influence of mushrooms, alcohol, and morphine. I’m still in awe of the songs he wrote before checking out that night in 1973.

This is actually the 2nd time I’ve updated the video for “Hickory Wind”….in addition to the new video edit, it includes a FLAC version of the track.

“Hickory Wind” was written by Parsons and former International Submarine Band member, Bob Buchanan, during an early 1968 train ride from Florida to Los Angeles.

Post-production work on the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album was disrupted when Parsons’ appearance on the album was contested by Lee Hazlewood, who contended that the singer was still under contract to his LHI record label. While the legal problems were being resolved, McGuinn replaced three of Parsons’ lead vocals with his own singing, a move that still infuriated Parsons as late as 1973, when he told Cameron Crowe in an interview that McGuinn “erased it and did the vocals himself and fucked it up.” However, Parsons was still featured singing lead vocals on the songs “Hickory Wind”, “You’re Still on My Mind”, and “Life in Prison”. There has been speculation that McGuinn’s decision to re-record Parsons’ lead vocals himself was not entirely motivated by the threat of legal action, but by a desire to decrease Parsons’ presence on the album. According to producer Gary Usher:
“McGuinn was a little bit edgy that Parsons was getting a little bit too much out of this whole thing…He didn’t want the album to turn into a Gram Parsons album. We wanted to keep Gram’s voice in there, but we also wanted the recognition to come from Hillman and McGuinn, obviously. You just don’t take a hit group and interject a new singer for no reason…There were legal problems but they were resolved and the album had just the exact amount of Gram Parsons that McGuinn, Hillman and I wanted.”

With its mix of country and soul music, “You Don’t Miss Your Water” provides an example of Gram Parsons’ concept of “Cosmic American Music”. The song is also one of three on the album to have had its original Parsons’ vocal replaced by Roger McGuinn prior to release.

The three songs that had their lead vocals replaced by McGuinn were “The Christian Life”, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, and “One Hundred Years from Now”, with the last featuring McGuinn and Hillman sharing vocals on the final album version. However, Parsons’ lead vocals weren’t completely eradicated from these songs and can still be faintly heard, despite having either McGuinn or Hillman’s voice overdubbed on them. The master recordings of these three songs, with their original Parsons’ vocals restored to full prominence, were finally issued as part of The Byrds box set in 1990. These same master recordings, featuring Parsons’ lead vocals, were also included as bonus tracks on disc one of the 2003 Legacy Edition of Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo is my favorite album by The Byrds….it is simply their most perfect effort. This version is from the fine 2003 Legacy Deluxe 2CD Remaster….if you love The Byrds, buy this CD!

In South Carolina, there’re many tall pines
I remember the oak tree that we used to climb
But now when I’m lonesome I always pretend
That I’m gettin’ the feel of hickory wind

I started out younger, had most everything
All the riches and pleasures, what else can life bring?
But it makes me feel better each time it begins
Callin’ me home, hickory wind

It’s a hard way to find out that trouble is real
In a faraway city with a faraway feel
But it makes me feel better each time it begins
Callin’ me home, hickory wind
Keeps callin’ me home, hickory wind


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