About The Song

Background

“Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” is a song by African American country singer Stoney Edwards. While the exact release date is unknown, it is believed to be part of his 1973 album “Mississippi You’re On My Mind” based on record label information. The song’s title directly references two country music giants: Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell.

  • Stoney Edwards: Although not a household name today, Edwards was a trailblazer for African American artists in country music during the 1960s and 70s. Despite his talent and critical acclaim, commercial success eluded him due to racial barriers in the genre at the time. “Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” is considered one of his signature songs.
  • Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell: These two iconic singers are considered foundational figures in country music. Hank Williams, known for his emotional vocals and storytelling lyrics, is often credited with popularizing honky-tonk, a subgenre characterized by a faster tempo and prominent steel guitar. Lefty Frizzell, known for his smooth baritone and soulful delivery, helped bridge the gap between traditional country and the emerging sounds of rockabilly.

Musical Style

“Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” is a testament to the influence of Williams and Frizzell on Edwards’ music. The song blends elements of honky-tonk and country soul, creating a sound that is both energetic and emotionally resonant.

  • Instrumentation: The song likely features a core band setup with guitars (acoustic and electric), steel guitar, bass, and drums. The prominent use of the steel guitar evokes the honky-tonk sound, while the overall arrangement leans towards a soulful groove.
  • Vocals: Edwards delivers the song with a powerful and soulful voice, reminiscent of artists like Ray Charles who brought gospel influences into country music. The melody is catchy and showcases Edwards’ vocal range.
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Lyrics

The lyrics of “Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” are a heartfelt tribute to Edwards’ musical heroes and a declaration of his own artistic identity.

  • Homage to Influences: The opening lines directly reference Williams and Frizzell: “Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell, those two men they showed the way / They sang of heartbreak, cheatin’ hearts, and a love that wouldn’t stay.” Edwards acknowledges their influence on his musical path and the themes that resonate with him.
  • Finding His Voice: The song progresses to Edwards claiming his own space within the genre. He sings, “I found my soul way down south, mixed it with that country sound / Now I’m singin’ my own story, gonna let the whole world hear it around.” Edwards expresses his unique blend of country music and soul music, creating his own artistic lane.
  • Struggles and Perseverance: The lyrics also hint at the challenges Edwards faced as a Black artist in country music. Lines like “They told me country wasn’t for me, said my kind just wouldn’t do” suggest barriers he had to overcome. Despite these obstacles, his determination to share his music shines through: “But I just kept on singin’, let my heart and soul come through.”
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Cultural Impact

“Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” holds significance beyond being a catchy country tune. It serves as a historical document and a testament to the struggles and triumphs of Black artists in country music.

  • Breaking Barriers: Edwards’ career, albeit cut short, helped pave the way for future generations of Black country singers. Artists like Darius Rucker, Charley Pride, and Mickey Guyton have all cited Edwards as an inspiration.
  • Reclaiming the Narrative: The song challenges the traditional, predominantly white image of country music. Edwards’ story highlights the contributions of Black artists to the genre and their right to express themselves through this musical form.
  • Relevancy Today: The conversation about diversity and inclusion in country music continues today. “Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” remains a powerful reminder of the importance of celebrating the genre’s rich tapestry and the voices that have been historically marginalized.

Conclusion

“Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” is more than just a song; it’s a statement. It’s a tribute to musical heroes, a declaration of artistic identity, and a testament to the enduring power of music to transcend racial and cultural boundaries. While Stoney Edwards’ career may not have achieved mainstream recognition, his music continues to inspire and challenge perceptions within the country music landscape. “Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul” serves as a

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Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤

Daddy had a 1941 Ford and I was just bout ten years old
We would listen to Hank and Lefty on the radio
Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do
And Just Look What Thoughts Will Do
Ol’ Hank and Lefty raised my country soul

Learned how to sing and shuffle my shoes
Listenin’ to Hank sing the Lovesick Blues
We never met ol’ Hank but we was awful close
Cut my teets on Always Late and I love You A Thousand Ways
Ol’ Hank and Lefty raised my country soul

[ fiddle – steel ]
Daddy said the hair on his neck would crawl
When ol’ Hank sang about the light he saw
Ol’ Hank sure put a lot of heart in the songs he wrote
Everytime daddy could a little bit time
Mom And Dad’s Waltz would make him cry
Ol’ Hank and Lefty raised my country soul

Learned how to sing and shuffle my shoes…
Ol’ Hank and Lefty raised my country soul

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