Two Helpings Of Old Stu
:: Stuart Hamblen - This Old House Has Got To Go ::
:: Stuart Hamblen - Transportation ::
This guy wants to have his cake and eat it too. On the one hand, he's complaining because "they" want to tear his house down to put a freeway through (the liner notes reveal that in actuality, Caltrans wanted to put the freeway through "a portion of the Hamblen ranch". Aw, poor Stuart!). Then on the other hand, he goes on and on about how transportation provides a man with liberty. So I guess it's ok as long as the freeway goes through some other schmuck's house, or ranch.
All kidding aside, Stuart Hamblen had quite a career. Born in Texas in 1908, he became the first singing cowboy on radio in 1926. Over the course of the next 40 years, he remained popular as a radio personality, appeared in films as a rough and tumble ranch hand alongside Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, and wrote and performed many a country song. The original manuscript for his song, "It Is No Secret" is buried in the corner stone of the Library of Congress, and "This Ole House" (the forerunner to "This Old House Has Got To Go") was song of the year in 1954 and was a number 1 hit in 7 countries. And of course, who can forget the old time gospel favorite, "Open Up Your Heart and Let The Sunshine In"?
As if this wasn't enough, he was a championship horse breeder too, which explains the location of his ranch in Arcadia, CA near Santa Anita. In 1945, he was the first to fly a horse (in an airplane) for a race at the Bay Meadows track in San Mateo, CA (thus changing horse racing forever). The next day, Bay Meadows changed the name of it's racing form from the War Horse, to the Flying Horse.
In 1949, Billy Graham inspired him to devote his life to Christ, and although he continued to write and record secular music, he did his fair share for the Lord as well. In the early 50s, he had a radio show called Cowboy Church of The Air, which was syndicated nationwide. When he refused to run alcohol ads, he was pulled off the air. This act prompted the Prohibition Party to ask Hamblen to run for president in 1952, and he came in in 4th place. Not so great in a horse race, but not bad in a presidential one, especially on an anti-alcohol ticket.
The thing I don't get is, if he was so against alcohol and everything, what the hell was he on when he recorded "Transportation"?