Jerry Lee Lewis - Last Cheater's Waltz
Trent Tomlinson - Cheatin’ On My Honky Tonk
The Pearls - Your Cheatin' Heart
Dale Watson - Cheatin' Heart Attack
Since I've been having a break from the blog, the British press have been having a field day with John Terry, laughably awarded Father Of The Year around the same time he was poking team mate Wayne Bridges' misses. I know they say in football that when the left back leaves his position, the centre half covers the hole, but this was still a bit naughty. I hate John Terry, so I'm loathe to name an EP after him, but what the hell, he did provide the inspiration for an EP of cheating songs, so here goes.
I love Jerry Lee more than I love life itself, and when he sings a Sonny Throckmorton song, if jest don’t get any better. Their 1978 collaboration, Middle Aged Crazy is in my top 10 songs of all time, an absolute peach. From the same year came Last Cheater's Waltz. This was a period where Jerry Lee was singing country music better than anyone outside of George Jones’ house and Throckmorton starting a three year run as the Nashville Songwriters Association’s, Songwriter of the Year the song couldn’t help but be pure gold. Taken from the Killer’s final Mercury album, Keeps Rockin’, it’s one of the great cheatin’ songs. “She was going to pieces when he walked in the door, She had to see him she can't wait no more, Tonight she'll be with him no matter the cost, As the band plays The Last Cheater's Waltz”.
Trent Tomlinson is a modern country singer who won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. His debut album Country Is My Rock, from 2006 produced three Top 40 singles, Drunker Than Me, One Wing in the Fire and Just Might Have Her Radio On. A couple of them are pretty good but it’s the album track, Cheatin’ On My Honky Tonk that really appeals to me. Set to a modern day country rocker beat, the lyrics are great fun, with Tomlinson being embarrased to be going home when he should be tonkin’ with his buddies. “Hey, I'm cheatin' on my honky-tonk, 'Fraid my friends are gonna talk, Tryin' hide it best as I can, Well, I don't want no-one to know, What I'm doin', where I go: Think I'm any less of a man, I know they'll really kill me,
Try to pull me back if they only knew, I've been cheatin' on my honky-tonk, An' comin' home to you.” I look forward to his upcoming album, A Guy Like Me later this year. As Waylon said “Are you sure Hank done it this way”, well, no he didn’t, but then he never did it like Waylon either. Ignore the modern drums, and this is a honky tonk classic.
And if ol’ Hank didn’t do it Trent Tomlinson’s way, he sure didn’t do it like the Pearls. They were a doo-wop band on the Onyx label, a short lived affair from New York whose either prime-time woppers were the Velours. Their 1957 cover of the Hank Williams classic is a brilliant interpretation that leaves you wishing they’d stayed around long enough to do a full album of Hank covers. Check out the 1998 CD, Here Come The Pearls on Onyx 2003 to sample such delights as The Vow, Zippity Zippity Zoom and the fabulous, Ice Cream Baby.
It was a rave review in Country Music People that led me to buy Dale Watson,’s 1995 Highton debut, Cheatin’ Heart Attack. It was the same day I bought my first Anson Funderburgh album, Rack ‘Em Up, with my favourite track, Lemonade. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I still believe this is still Dale Watson’s finest album to date. Nashville Rash is a brilliant insight into the way Music City has done away with the old legends that’s as relevant today as it was 15 years ago. The whole album is hardcore honky tonk music, with Merle to the fore.