'The Kingston Springs Suite' • Panel Discussion, 2016
Interviews • 1h 29m
This 2016 program finds Jim Casey—a songwriter whose works have been recorded by Charley Pride, Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings, Richie Havens, and others—recounting halcyon days when country stars flocked to Kingston Springs, Tennessee, and he and fellow laid-back country picker Vince Matthews aligned forces with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Cowboy Jack Clement, and Shel Silverstein to create “The Kingston Springs Suite,” one of the most unforgettably odd and oddly unforgettable albums in country music history.
Unfortunately, Matthews and Casey were more into creation than completion, and “The Kingston Springs Suite” went unreleased for forty years. The album, a musical encapsulation of hippy life in the bucolic Tennessee town, is notable for its endearing songs and for Matthews’s delightfully (to some, at least) off-key vocals. Mark Linn of the Delmore Recording Society grew fascinated with the “Suite,” and he released the album in 2016.
Casey is joined here by Chris Gantry (writer of the Glen Campbell hit “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife),” who was among Matthews’s closest friends, and by singer-songwriter Danny Flowers (“Tulsa Time,” “Back in My Younger Days,” “Before Believing”). Author Frye Gaillard, who wrote a memorable chapter about Matthews in his 1970s book “Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music,” provides commentary and reading, and Gantry also reads about Matthews from his memoir, “Gypsy Dreamers in the Alley.”
The Conversation winds its way to subjects including Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, Cowboy Jack Clement, a Kingston Springs blacksmith known as “Uncle Soul,” the time Matthews and Casey managed to derail a train, and Matthews’s unique appeal. “I didn’t want to be out there that far, but I didn’t mind being around someone who was out there that far,” Casey says.
The program is augmented by audio from the album, rare photographs and videos, and clips of Matthews on ABC-TV’s “Johnny Cash Show.” At show’s end, Gantry sings his song “Vince,” and Casey and Flowers deliver “Floatin’,” from the “Suite.”
Explore our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
FOLLOW THE MUSEUM
Up Next in Interviews
Producer Jim Rooney, With Pat Alger a...
In conversation with the Museum’s Peter Cooper, producer Jim Rooney—among the architects of Americana music—talks about his life in music, from childhood days in Massachusetts to folkie days in Woodstock, New York, to Nashville days watching Cowboy Jack Clement waltz across a studio room with a g...
Chet Atkins • Panel Discussion, Behin...
Friends, colleagues, and admirers of the late Chet Atkins remember the guitarist and producer’s life and work here, during a 2012 panel discussion at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Not only one of the world’s most respected guitar players, Atkins also ran RCA Victor’s Nashville divis...
John Hobbs • Nashville Cats, 2012
John Hobbs surveys his career as a session pianist and producer in this thorough interview, held March 10, 2012, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, as part of the Nashville Cats series. Among other topics, he discusses his decision to move from Los Angeles to Nashville and his work wit...