Thursday, September 06, 2012

Joe South's songs stand the test of time... and genre

Before you say, "who's he?," let me introduce you to some of the late songwriter's creations:
"I could promise you things like big diamond rings but you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover, so you better think it over. Well if sweet-talkin' you could make it come true, I would give you the world right now on a silver platter. But what would it matter?"
"Hush, hush. I thought I heard her calling my name now. Hush, hush. She broke my heart but I love her just the same now."
"Oh, the games people play now. Ev'ry night and ev'ry day now. Never meaning what they say now. Never saying what they mean."
The prolific American songwriter Joe South died this week, age 72.
Don't worry if you don't recognize the name -- he wrote songs that will stand the test of time, such as the three referenced above: "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden," "Hush" and "Games People Play."
Not only indelible, the songs South wrote were adaptable, covered by artists as diverse as the Osmonds and Coldcut.
I've got country, new wave and reggae versions of South's songs in my collection. Surely, that alone speaks to his greatness?