You Had Me At Mundo

:: Mundo Earwood - Pyramid of Cans ::

Mundo Earwood. Man, I love saying that name. Enough so that I was compelled to pick up this album on the strength of his strange name alone. Well, that and song titles like "Let Your Body Speak Your Mind" and "Pyramid Of Cans." Now, I am by no means an expert on country music, but having gained quite an interest in it the past five years or so, I've begun to learn some things. One of them is that country music stopped being good somewhere in the early 80's. Not that it was fantastic during the 70's, but it hadn't quite started mutating into the dreck that now passes for country music. This album, which was self-titled, because who could resist an album called Mundo Earwood, came out in 1981. And guess what? It's not too bad. This track in particular grabbed me -- it's got hooks, and it's got goofy yet somehow wise lyrics, a hallmark of many good country songs. And it's about drinkin'. I love country songs about drinkin'. It kind of reminds me of some of the Mo Bandy/Joe Stampley stuff from around the same time. Ol' Mundo's got a solid country voice, and he shore looks fancy when photographed in soft focus just like a Playboy Playmate. And just so we can mention speech impediments two days in a row, this song also appears on a Mel Tillis album. Mel makes a guest appearance on this album as does Larry Gatlin.

Mundo is from the Houston area, and apparently was a regional hero who made a bit of a splash nationally. In looking him up, I ran across this anecdote on a guitar tab site. It may be the greatest note I've ever seen preceding tablature. Really the only other thing I found about him is that endorses Congressman Ted Poe. The mystery gets bigger with every empty can.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005 9:57:00 AM

Yep -- you're pretty much right about the decline of country music, though there were still some good post 1982 country records. The main problem was the film "Urban Cowboy", and more precisely the soundtrack to same, which (despite not being that bad) was a huge hit and pretty much every track on that shot up the charts. So, Nashville saw that, saw that country records were selling more than they ever had, and decided that:
a) They liked that
b) To do that again, they should do more Pop-Tinged Country

So, they started the "Urban Cowboy" Movement (i.e. Lousy Pop-Country), which resulted in a lot of poppy songs, and a few songs in answer to that (including Conway Twitty's a-bit-late-but-sure "Don't Call Him A Cowboy (Until You See Him Ride)"), which were all pretty universally awful (but then, well, I hate Conway Twitty, who also embraced the pop side later -- and sort of ironic that he was against in the first place, as he actually STARTED as a rock guy).

Of course, in the 1980s, there was still enough people out there not interested in the Pop-Country side that you'd still occasionally get records that actually were Country Music. But as Urban Cowboy movement gained in strength, it started selling more and more records, until you get stuff like Garth Brooks having one of the first million-selling country records (if not the first, can't remember) in the early 1990s, as sort of the height of the "Country Fad", which, of course, wasn't really Country Music, but Urban Cowboy stuff (though no longer called that -- now it's called "Young Country", but the only difference between the two is Young Country is way, way, way poppier than Urban Cowboy.) And those guys who actually wanted to do Country Records, like, say, Dwight Yoakam? They're now officially "", which always strikes me as funny.

So, yeah. That's a brief explanation as to why Country Music started sucking and continues to suck.    

Thursday, November 17, 2005 10:09:00 AM

Hey! You aren't supposed to write a response longer than my article! ;)

Yeah, you make a good point about Urban Cowboy, I forgot about that. We also had Rhinestone, and some major hits by Kenny Rogers that I wouldn't exactly call legitimate Country. It's funny to me that a few TV themes like those of The Dukes of Hazzard and The Fall Guy sound way more country than what I see being played on CMT.

I have no doubt that there's been good country recorded in the last 30 years or so, but the stuff that's been on the radio really isn't it. It's kind of sad, but I guess a genre can't be good forever. Just ask reggae.    

Thursday, November 24, 2005 7:51:00 AM

Mundo was our FAVORITE for several years when I was in high school. He had the same sort of fan base that Pat Green enjoys now. We followed his band all over south Texas. He had a song that I recall as being the most beautiful love song EVER: The Things I'd Do For You

When you're young, everything has so much MEANING... :>)    

Thursday, December 29, 2005 1:51:00 AM

guitar learning music read.

Middle C is always where middle C is on the guitar.

Namely, at (B string 1st fret) B1, G5, D10, A15, E22.

What changes though is NOT the pitch but the rhythm.

To know guitar learning music read is to know how to talk and read rhythm.


And not know it.    

Sunday, June 24, 2007 5:16:00 AM

when I was a dj I played a song frequently by Mundo Earwood called, "Philodendrien". I don't think it was much of a hit, but we liked it, and it is still in rotation. JAMES DALPHONSE, LORDSBURG, NEW MEXICO    

Thursday, October 04, 2007 5:52:00 AM

I use to follow Mundo Earwood to all the places he use to play. I even named my cocker spaniel after him. He knew me and said he named his cat after me! I would always let him know I was at the concert and he would wave and want to know whether I wanted to hear "Angeline" or "Behind Blue Eyes". He was a good guy, great voice, and was very personable. I heard that he supports a place called "Bluebonnet Youth Ranch". It is in Yoakum, TX. My mom and dad live very near. He is playing for a benefit concert for them and does so every year. We need more Mundo Earwoods in this world. Love you Mundo....Anita    

Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:05:00 PM

When I was a kid I worked in the 80's for a Country station, WOZI, in Northern Maine.

I remember a song called "Blue Collar Blues" by Mundo Earwood, came out back in 81 or so. It was my favorite.

And I haven't heard it in over 25 years. I STILL think about that damn song today. It was such a *perfect* country song.    

Monday, June 07, 2010 7:39:00 PM

What is country music???
My country music is---Bob Wills (western swing), Mac Wiseman (bluegrass) and Hank Williams, Hank Locklin, Hank Snow, Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells, Marty Robbins, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Eddy Arnold, Carl Smith, Slim Whitman, Patsy Cline---Well you get the idea. You can have your Dixie Chicks, Clint Black, and all these popular untalented singers of today.    

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