Friday Song: Jeannie C. Riley

In 1969, this acerbic story song by Tom T. Hall and sung by Jeannie C. Riley was a massive radio hit, going to Number One on both Country and Pop charts. Riley was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame and taken to the hearts of the South, who know their kind better than most. You can see why a song like this, which lays out its plot and climax in three minutes, would have meaning to small towns where gossip and self-righteousness go hand-in-bible. To honor the recent braying of the Tea Party, here’s “Harper Valley PTA” — their political socking can’t come soon enough.

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