Mickey Newbury, Lamp

Mickey was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, Texas on August 16. His mother, Mamie, wife, Susan, son, Chris, and daughter, Laura were in attendance to accept the award, which is on display at the Hall of Fame, along with some other items and photographs. As someone who was Texan through and through, this is an exciting honor for Mickey, and we are grateful to the Lonestar State for their recognition of his contribution to the genre.

Mickey Newbury Receives 2006 President’s Award

The Americana Music Association has selected Mickey Newbury as this year’s recipient of the President’s Award. Past honorees have included John Hartford, Gram Parsons and the Carter Family. Given in posthumous recognition of outstanding musical achievement, the winner is chosen by the AMA President, a post currently held by Tamara Saviano.

Mickey’s mother, Mamie, was on hand September 22 at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to receive the prestigious award. Singer Kacey Jones then performed Newbury’s “Lie To Me Darlin,” a song that also appears on her highly acclaimed Newbury tribute album.

Mickey Newbury’s songs have been recorded by hundreds of artists; over 1,000 covers have been documented. Though he considered himself a songwriter first and singer second, Mickey recorded 25 albums over 35 years. Some of his albums are considered masterpieces.

In 1968, Mickey saw huge success… three number one songs and one number five – across four different charts: Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) on the Pop/Rock chart by the First Edition, SweetMemories on Easy Listening by Andy Williams, Time is a Thief on the R&B chart by Solomon Burke, and Here Comes the Rain Baby on the Country chart by Eddy Arnold. This feat has not been repeated.

His arrangement of “An American Trilogy,” made famous by Elvis Presley, is a great slice of Americana . Consisting of “Dixie” slowed to a quarter-time ballad (I wish I was in the land of cotton), “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (Glory glory hallelujah) and “All My Trials” (So hush little baby / Don’t you cry / You know your daddy’s bound to die), the “Trilogy” bonds minority, Southern and Northern issues into a common lament. The song, Brian Hinton wrote, has become “the ultimate example of Americana. It somehow evokes the birth of modern America.” Actually, the movement has grown. The prayer-song has become a staple in the repertoire of church groups and male voice choirs the world over.

Many of his peers consider him to be the best of the best. Kris Kristofferson says, “God, I learned more about songwriting from Mickey than I did any other single human being. To me he was a songbird. He comes out with amazing words and music… I’m sure that I never would have written Bobby McGeeSunday Morning Coming Down… if I had never known Mickey. He was my hero and still is.”

Mickey’s love was the music, not the business, and he actively campaigned for recognition of Americana music as early as the 1970s, when he tried to bring attention to Stephen Foster’s work. Among Mickey’s peers, he was always seen as a champion of the songwriter.