Lonesome Onry and Mean: "Nowhere Man" and Houstonian-Turned-Superproducer Frank Liddell's Other Early Favorites

Houston native Frank Liddell, whose Nashville production credits include roots-rocker Chris Knight, Texas music phenom Jack Ingram, budding megastar Miranda Lambert, and his wife Lee Ann Womack, has a surprising set of early music impressions. "I can't remember the first one but there were a lot of odd ones," says Liddell: "'You Get A Line And I'll Get A Pole,' 'The Erie Canal,' and one of my favorites if not my favorite was '500 Miles Away From Home' - the folk song, not the Bobby Bare song. I'm sure I learned some of those at school.

"Dad had these singing parties and I enjoyed them, all the usuals, some Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Hank Sr., pop standards of his generation, Ink Spots ('Java Jive'), songs like 'Greensleeves,' 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain' (before Willie!), 'Gold In The Morning Sun.' There were a ton."

Continues Liddell: "I vividly remember him playing 'The Happy Wanderer,' 'All Through The Night' and 'I Don't Hurt Any More' like it was yesterday. I used to sing '500 Miles' to my daughter every night when she was a baby. Probably why she won't hug me anymore! "When I was about five, I thought 'Nowhere Man' was about the greatest thing I had ever heard. It's still probably my favorite Beatles song.

"I was out of touch at the time as far as pop music went, probably because my dad hated it. I didn't start listening to the radio until fifth grade or so. The first records I ever bought were an Elvis compilation, John Denver's greatest hits and Elton John's greatest hits. But I remember so much music from before that, just don't know how I heard it."

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William Michael Smith