4. Lonesome Dove
1988. Nashville. The mini-series “Lonesome Dove” starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, makes its TV debut. Everyone in my circle of friends is absolutely bonkers about it. To this day it is still my favorite ‘Western’ of all time. I’m playing a gig at the Blue Bird in Nashville and Carl Jackson’s dad, Lethal Jackson, is in the audience. I tell him I’m looking for an old Martin guitar. He tells me he knows where one is. I tell him I’ll take it, so Carl and I drive to Mississippi to pick it up. I tell Carl I think “Lonesome Dove” would make a great song title, but not about the TV series. I want it to be something that maybe Emmylou can do. On our way back home to Nashville, Carl takes the guitar his Dad has gotten me out of the case, remarks about how great it sounds (course anything would sound good with him playing it!) and we start writing the song while on the Natchez Trace. By the time we get to Nashville, it is practically a finished piece. Later, we make some tweaks to polish it up and Carl says we should put some oohs in in. I love how they fit! We call Alison Krauss to sing the demo for us and I’m sure she will fall in love with the song & record it herself. That doesn’t happen but she does sing the dog out of the demo. It doesn’t work for Emmylou or Patty Loveless either. Maybe it isn’t as good as we think it is. The old doubt spook is showing up on me. I happen to run into producing great Garth Fundis at the publishing company one day. He tells me
“Lonesome Dove” is in his ‘A’ drawer, (meaning he loves it), and that he is going to find someone to record it on someday. I didn’t even know he had heard the song! Boy does he ever find someone to record it on. My friend, great session bassist Dave Pomeroy calls and tells me he is on the Trisha Yearwood session and that they have tracked the song. It’s included on Trisha’s 1st album on MCA & winds up going double platinum (2 million sales). To this day it is one of my all time favorite cuts by one of my absolute all-time favorite female singers. She killed it again on this CD. Thank you so much Trisha.