L is for Lyle Lovett

There are very few times that I remember the first time I really became aware of an artist: the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Santana in the Woodstock film. Such is the case for a guy with funny hair.

I was watching the Today show, the NBC-TV morning show, in 1989. Back when it was only two hours – it’s now four – in the 8:30 a.m. half hour. Bryant Gumbel, the co-host introduces “country” singer Lyle Lovett, at which point he, his band and background singers performed the first two songs off his third album Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, an instrumental called The Blues Walk, and Here I Am [LISTEN]. Afterward, a perplexed Gumbel said to Lovett, “THAT was country?”

I think the IMDB post on him got it more accurately: “His albums… incorporate elements of country, Western, folk, swing, jazz, bebop, blues and gospel music.” Soon, I went out and bought that album, which also included the Tammy Wynette classic, Stand By Your Man [LISTEN to this live version], which was later used at the end of the movie The Crying Game.

Subsequently, I purchased his first two albums, the eponymous album, which features God Will [LISTEN – and turn up the volume], and Pontiac.

Clearly, my favorite song from the Joshua Judges Ruth album, appropriately, is Church [LISTEN]. I Love Everybody, which had his then-wife Julia Roberts singing background vocals, features Record Lady [LISTEN]; Lyle and Julia had met on the set of the movie The Player.

Probably my favorite album, though, is The Road to Ensenada, with Don’t Touch My Hat, That’s Right, You’re Not from Texas [LISTEN to this live version] and an old song recorded, by, among others, the Beach Boys, Long Tall Texan [LISTEN to this version, with Randy Newman, on David Letterman’s program].

He released a number of other albums. During a less-prolific period, due no doubt to being “caught by a bull and rammed into a fence on his uncle’s farm in Klein, Texas” in 2002, he put out Smile, a compilation of his songs from various movie soundtracks. LISTEN to I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord from the Robert Duvall movie, The Apostle. In addition to proving the music, he has acted in a number of films as well.

I got to see Lyle perform live once, as the headliner at the 1998 Saratoga Folk Festival; here is a wonderful review.

Lyle Lovett is an eclectic guy; I LIKE that.

ABC Wednesday – Round 9

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38 thoughts on “L is for Lyle Lovett

  1. Never heard of this musician before! Thanks to you I spent some time listening to his songs on youtube, I prefer the songs that don’t sound like country (or how I expect country to sound like). Not sure my comment makes much sense, but anyway thanks for the music ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I played God Will on the country music radio station I was working for at the time it came out. It’s one of my favourite songs, and one of the few country tunes I have any respect for at all. Lovett’s one hell of a songwriter.

  3. Thank you Roger for the collection of Country Music. I do not know the singer but enjoyed the music. I like country music compared to the new generation kind!! :)….I even had a small collection on those old fashioned record disks and cassette tapes ๐Ÿ˜€ We have come a long way since then!! You can never get tired of country artists!!

  4. It takes a real musician to encompass all those styles and still remain true to himself. (I had forgotten about him having been married to Julia Roberts.)
    Thanks for another of your very informative posts about the music world, Roger. I always enjoy what you have to say.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittieโ€™s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  5. I think you have got a great sense of humour. Loo( pronounced: Loh, like in “oh”or in “so”)is woods, but I don’t like to use it as toilet, a bit cold in winter, besides we haven’t got many woods here. The word loo( wood) is older than loo as toilet.

  6. Itโ€™s clear that Lyle is a great musician with some charm since he was married to Julia Roberts. Funny thatโ€™s mostly what I know about him as it seemed like an odd match. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’m surprised so many of your commenters have not heard of Lyle Lovett. I do like
    country music but I’m not the greatest follower, but even I have heard of him. You are definitely contributing to my musical education.

  8. Great choice! He’s a terrific musician. Unfortunately, I always think of him and Julie Robert’s when I hear him, but then the music overrules and I am able to hear only Lovett.

  9. I don’t know if I know him, maybe I have heard songs. I never pay attention to the names, lol ! Except the famous once of course like Elvis, the Beatles, Freddy Mercury, etc.

  10. Hello.
    I had heard of Lyle before. I’ve even seen him in a few movies. He can definitely sing and his music is certainly a mix of all sorts. My favorite of the links you provided is the live version of “Stand By Your Man”.

    Thanks for sharing & for the visit too. Much appreciated

    The Last Kiss

  11. He’s a new (to me) artist. I like country music so I think I’m going to like him too. Wait, he’s been married to Julia Roberts? Didn’t know Pretty Woman can sing ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thank you for these information. I don’t remember him but checking it out in youtube I heard his songs and love it. And I’d tell yah, he is hot now than before hahaha. (sorry for the “hot” word ^_^ peace)

  13. e-mail I got today:
    roger
    i read your post the other day on lyle lovett and didn’t know about the randy newman duet
    also surprised so many comments were left that did not know his music..oh well
    this morning i got this email of a new show added at the egg
    An Evening with Lyle Lovett
    Saturday, December 10, 8:15 PM

    One of the day’s most sophisticated singer/songwriters, Texan Lyle Lovett will perform his Grammy award winning blend of folk, country and jazz with an acoustic trio.

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