The Life and Music of Dick Curless • Conversation and Performance, 2023
Interviews • 1h 19m
Award-winning author Peter Guralnick, who guest co-curated the Museum’s exhibition “Dick Curless: Hard Traveling Man From Maine” and wrote a lengthy profile on him for his 2020 book, “Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing,” joins the Museum’s Michael Gray to discuss Dick Curless’s musical career and legacy. Musician, producer, and artist manager Jake Guralnick, Peter’s son, who produced Curless’s final album, “Traveling Through,” for Rounder Records, also contributes to the conversation. Chuck Mead, co-founder of country band BR549 and longtime Americana solo artist, closes the show with performances of songs Curless recorded, “Evil Hearted Blues Man,” “King of the Blues,” and “A Tombstone Every Mile.” This program was recorded on February 18, 2023, and is presented in support of the Museum’s exhibition “Dick Curless: Hard Traveling Man From Maine.”
Dick Curless—best known for his national 1965 hit, the truck-driving anthem “A Tombstone Every Mile”—was one of the most versatile and powerfully eloquent singers of his time. In the 1950s, he became a regional favorite in the Northeast for his wide-ranging repertoire and his smooth, sonorous baritone. In 1965, Curless was named Most Promising New Artist by Cashbox magazine. The following year he was signed by Buck Owens’s management, production, and publishing company and toured nationally with Owens. Curless’s album “Traveling Through,” completed just months before his death in 1995, is a rootsy and emotionally expressive exploration of country, blues, and gospel music.
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