:: Hello Vietnam ::
:: A Dear John Letter ::
:: Pretty Little Vietnamese ::
Being an ignorant smartass, I figured this record would be a hoot, and it is, just not the way I thought it might be. I'd never heard of Johnny Wright, and when I started researching, I found little about him. Seems he has the same name as some dude who used to manage Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, or some such shit. Finally I found a country guy who was somehow associated with Kitty Wells. I've heard of her. When I read her bio, I found out everything I needed to know about Johnny Wright.
Johnny was half of a singing duo, Johnnie & Jack (a record company had him change the spelling of his name way late in his career), who started out in the late 30s and continued until Jack Anglin's death in the early 60s. They sold themselves as a brother act, although in fact they were brothers in-law, Jack having married Johnnie's sister. The act also included Jack's brother Jim, who sang harmonies and wrote songs. Another secret weapon in the band was Johnnie's wife, Muriel Deason whom he later renamed Kitty Wells. By the early 50s, Kitty was a huge star, which suited Johnnie & Jack fine as they were a family act anyway.
So now it's the mid-60s. Jack's gone and America is changing. Johnnie is now Johnny, but his approach to making country music hasn't changed a whit. Hello Vietnam is the kind of song you'd expect it to be; unquestioningly patriotic in a very sincere, innocent way. I assume that's Kitty Wells singing harmonies, and as far as I can tell, they're together to this day (Kitty would be pushing 90 about now). If Hello Vietnam sounds familiar, maybe that because it was used in the film, Full Metal Jacket. Oh yeah, that's where I've heard it.
And now you know... the rest of the story. Good day!