Hello Johnny

:: 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!

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Monday, February 26, 2007 8:38:00 AM

Great version of "Dear John." Do you know the Jean Shepard/Ferlin Huskey version? Let me know if you want me to send it to you.    

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 12:35:00 PM

Mike, or madcatjoey,

thanks for the posting. I was able to check on the writing credit for "Hello Vietnam" (Tom T. Hall) and also for "Dear John", but i can find precious little on "Pretty Little Vietnamese", although it IS mentioned on a couple of sites - intriguingly on a THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS fanpage, where someone actually blagged a copy of the original 1965 album. Can anybody help me out as to who wrote the third track ? Or, even better, post a breakdown of the tracklist in its entirety. I know the album cover posted mentions some of the tracks included on the album, but i'd hoped to find more detail on the decca pressing online but hit a dead-end. Great covers, anyhow. Pass me the Jack Daniels.    

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 1:57:00 PM

Happy to oblige:

Hello Vietnam - Tom T Hall

She's Gone, Gone, Gone - Harlan Howard

A Dear John Letter - Billy Barton-Lewis Talley-Fuzzy Owen

Bright Lights And Country Music - Bill Anderson-Jimmy Gateley

Sweet Snow Dear - Bill Philips-Johnnie Wright

Blame It On The Moonlight - Boudleaux Bryant-Felice Bryant

Pretty Little Vietnamese - Terry Fell

Rainbow At Midnight - Lost John Miller

Walkin', Talkin', Cryin', Barely Beatin' Broken Heart - Justin Tubb-Roger Miller

Soldier's last Letter - Earnest Tubb-Sgt. Henry Stewart

Mexico City - Jim Anglin

Don't Give Up The Ship - Kendall Hayes


Tuesday, February 27, 2007 4:08:00 PM

ib - thanks, mike.    

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 5:16:00 AM

Hi! I didn't know that there's another singer of A Dear John Letter song namely, Johnny Wright!

Well, just to let you know I love it too... I have this song from different singer artists i.e Jean shepard 3 of this song from the album of; 1. Stars of the Grand Ole Opry, 2. The Ranch Melody & 3. Country Duets KING! also from Kitty Well and Red Soven Foley, Lorreta Lynn, Skeeter Davis w/ B Bare & Pat Boone!

I Believe this song was EXTREMELY popular that time. If anybody wants this music I am willing to send it via e-mail.

Does anyone has a sax, flute, guitar or piano of this song A Dear John Letter.

Thank you!

Jerry Dignos
e-mail: jerry.dignos@gmail.com    

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