On Wednesday July 22nd in the early morning hours my music loving friend Owen Mays was called to Hillbilly Heaven. I’m pretty damn sure he was greeted by the same Country Music Legends that he and I often talked about for so many years. In a roundabout sort of way, I’m envious of what he is currently witnessing as I write this, wondering.
He was born November 1st, 1982 ten years and 28 days after me and yet our studies were reversed in that he knew the older obscure Country artists from the older Starday Era and I knew the older obscure artists from the “Outlaw” era, and many many times we exchanged facts and dates.
I remember one time at Muddy Roots Music Festival in 2014 I was having a conversation with Richie Owens from the band Farm Bureau in a merch tent about Riley Puckett and both of us were stumped on who wrote the song “Mountain Dew” and up walks Mr. Owen who says “Lamar Lunsford” and proceeds to tell us about the two versions he wrote. So we included him and had a three way nerd fest of things from Gid Tanner to Tracy Pitcox. He and I went through our favorite George Jones albums chronologically by year and discussed our favorite songs and how much we enjoyed George Riddle and Weldon Myrick’s steel guitar style.
Even though we did not talk as often as most, when we did talk if was always a hallowing experience filled with many facts and places..I looked forward to it. I longed to know more and so did he, we enjoyed being around one another because we both had a passion for preserving Traditional Country Music. Oftentimes we stood there and watched people like Bobby Bare perform and enjoyed each others company without exchanging a single word.
He once told me the moment he became infatuated with what I knew was when I pointed out the fact that Hank 3 didn’t originally record “You’re The Reason” it was instead Bobby Edwards and later Hank Locklin and interestingly enough Kayton Roberts played steel guitar on two different versions of the same song. He rubbed his hands together and smiled and said “Deud tell me more stuff like that”..
He also loved to eat and had a large and vast appetite for eating at diners all over the Country. He knew how to smoke pork butts better than anybody I knew rivaling only my friend Mr. Chris Warrick. And I’m quite sure he admired Mr. Chris food like I do. He loved the food that was served in the venues that he performed in for a living with his friends Amanda and Eric Bestul, both of whom are talented beyond measure. And I have done many an article on them at times.
You can find more information on services and sign the guestbook HERE.
He accepted me and admired me for who I am and never once judged me by my appearance or my faults. And instead he led me to meet many others whom I admire and support to this day. I met my buddy Mr. Dan Swan from Jane Rose and the Deadend boys through Owen Mays. I met Jimmy Swope through Owen Mays and many many more. I am certainly going to miss his wit and his humor and the fact I could ask him for advice on things like the graphics program I use to run this website…he showed me that too.
So tonight as I rest from some bad medical issues it is with great sadness I say goodbye Mr. Owen and I’m sure you are pestering half the population of Heaven learning things I can only dream of learning.