A new episode of Points South is now playing!Subscribe today and never miss an episode. Episode Three features Arkansas’s “cemetery angel,” Ruth Coker Burks, John Jeremiah Sullivan’s “Three Encounters” + a performance by Los Texmaniacs. For more information visit oxfordamerican.org/pointssouth. | Oct, 2019
Holly Gleason’s writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, and Musician. She lives in Nashville.
An essay from the Louisiana music issue.
When I was fifteen, my brother brought home an album by Lightnin’ Hopkins. I got real turned around by that. I took that record and a guitar up to my room. A month later, I came downstairs into the living room and played “Baby Please Don’t Go,” played it for the family. They didn’t say anything, and that’s it. I played from the time I heard that album. It was something I couldn’t stop thinking about. I had no choice.
When I got the news I pulled off I-65 North and nosed into the Spalding University Library. En route from Nashville to Cleveland, it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Chet Flippo—the storied Rolling Stone editor who’d gone toe-to-toe with Mick Jagger, smoked cigars with Uma Thurman, helped land Willie Nelson dressed as Uncle Sam on the cover of the magazine, igniting my pre-teen imagination—had died.