I love smart and smart-alecky women. I know, I know… they can be a challenge. I was married to one for lots of years. I think most men are intimidated being around really intelligent women, so they feel a need to celebrate their boorish bubba-isms. Mary, was the smartest person I have ever known, and some people think I’m sharp enough, but I couldn’t hold a candle to her. So, if you couple her intelligence with smart-alecky wit, then you have a whole bunch of stuff to deal with. And…now that Mary is gone, if you know anything about my relationship with Catherine, (my granddaughter), then you know that I still have my hands full with a smart and smart-alecky young woman.
Several years ago, I was writing a song about this guy who was clueless and he had finally “ripped it” and his woman had left him. It was gonna be based on an old jazz/blues bass pattern: a throwback to the tunes the big bands were playing in the 40′s and 50′s. The title was going to be, “Since My Baby Walked Out On Me”… and it was gonna be so cool, and jazzy, and bluesy and completely sophisticated. I didn’t exactly know how I was gonna pull that off … a guy from New Mexico (who grew up listening to old timey country music trying to write a big band jazz type tune)… but what the hell? I worked on it for several months…. my problem was that I knew what I wanted it to sound like, but I’m a really limited guitar player and I didn’t have the vaguest idea of how to play the chords I was hearing in my head. So…. I spent a fair amount of time, painstakingly moving my fingers around the fretboard playing mystery chords that sounded like what I was hearing in my head.
As you all know, I’m a film buff and one night I was watching an old movie on TV, and one of my favorite actors, Walter Brennan said a line that just stopped me cold. He said…”Dadgummit”, and it just kept reverberating in my head. I said to myself, “I don’t know if I’ve ever heard dadgummit in a song”. So here I am… working on a jazzy, bluesy, big band song and it occurred to me that dadgummit was the perfect thing for the clueless guy I was writing about to say. The antithesis of the sophisticated, hip guy he thinks he is. I knew I had to try to work it into the song. So, I’m working on the tune and a week or so later I heard Cary Grant say: “peaches and cream”. Okay, that sealed it for me.. I vowed to work both of those disparate lines into the song. The title “Since My Baby Walked Out on Me” is now long gone… it’s called “Dadgummit”… don’t know why anyone would call it anything else.
The final irony is that there’s a scat section in the middle of the tune… I always intended to do the scatting myself, but I’ve been playing with Karen Mal for several years… I love her, she’s like a daughter to me and since the song celebrates a smart and smart-alecky woman… (and she is certainly that), it seems only right for her to do the scatting.
If you’d like to hear it… it’s on my “Ronny, Rad and Karen” CD
- Dadgummit Ronny Cox 2:51