…wonder where I’d be today if she had loved me too

In the right hands a twelve-string acoustic guitar, its double strings in six courses, produces a rich, shimmering quality…and despite having to overcome such obstacles as partial hearing loss and near-career-ending tendon damage, Leo Kottke has long been recognized as a twelve-string master.

Born in Athens, Georgia in 1945, Kottke’s family moved so often that he was raised in twelve (there’s that number again) different states. Influenced by folk and delta blues, he learned to play trombone and violin before turning to guitar.  A mishap with a firecracker permanently damaged the hearing in his left ear, a condition exacerbated (in both ears) when he was exposed to big guns while in the Naval Reserve, so much so that he was discharged early.

After a stretch of hitchhiking and busking ‘round the country, Kottke settled in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, becoming a coffeehouse regular. In 1969 he recorded his first two albums, the live “12-String Blues” and the quintessential “6-and-12-String Guitar.”  Never a top-40 kind of guy, today’s 1974 selection is Kottke’s only single to actually hit the charts.

By the early ‘80s his aggressive picking style caught up with him and he began to suffer from nerve damage and painful tendonitis in his right hand. So he took a break and changed to a classical style, using fingertips rather than fingerpicks and changing his right hand positioning.  Having collaborated with the likes of Chet Atkins, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac and Rickey Lee Jones, Kottke has recorded nearly 40 albums. These days you can still catch him on “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Featured on his seventh album, “Ice Water” and peaking at Number 69 on the Billboard Charts, “Pamela Brown” was written by Tom T. Hall, who some may recall as the writer/composer of “Harper Valley PTA.”

 TODAY’S SONG – Tuesday 28 February 2012

Pamela Brown

 I’m the guy that didn’t marry pretty Pamela Brown

Educated, well-intentioned good girl in our town

I wonder where I’d be today if she had loved me too

Probably be driving kids to school

 I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

All of my good times – all my roamin’ around

One of these days I might be in your town

And I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

 Seen the lights of cities and been inside their doors

Sailed to foreign countries and walked upon their shores

I guess the guy she married was the best part of my luck

She dug him cause he drove a pick-up truck

 I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

All of my good times – all my roamin’ around

One of these days I might be in your town

And I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

 I don’t have to tell you just how beautiful she was

Everything it takes to get a guy like me in love

Lord I hope she’s happy cause she sure deserves to be

Especially for what she did for me

I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

All of my good times – all my roamin’ around

One of these days I might be in your town

And I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown

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