Family Movie Night
by Karyn Bowman
This past weekend the husband and I got out to see a band over at the bowling alley. We are friends with one of the members of the band and our son plays in a band with the son of another member.
While their mix of covers run the gamut of rock-and-roll and country music from the 60s through the 90s, my growing up years, they also throw in newer songs. This was my first time hearing “The Boys ‘Round Here” by Blake Sheldon and it was a crowd pleaser as was “Wipeout” by the Safaris.
Hearing so many great tunes by a band who knows that their job is to please the audience and play a tight set really made our night.
But it also led to me thinking about my favorite movies about country singers. These movies are one that can be watched with the teens in the family, many of them talk about the harsh aspects of life that can drag a person down no matter how much success they have attained.
While it seems as if Country music leads to sad stories and addiction in many forms, sadly that is the life for musicians of a variety of genres. Look at the great jazz singer Billie Holiday. Her story is depicted in the movie Lady Sings the Blues and stars Diana Ross.
Her childhood is certainly not idyllic and her adult life was filled drama and chaos fueled by her drug addiction. But the woman could sing with disarming emotion.
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A few years ago Jeff Bridges starred as a broken down country star in Crazy Heart. The movie follows his romance with a younger woman who is an aspiring music journalist. The man has to decide how to find sobriety while living a life on the road and having young bucks such as Colin Ferrell taking away his spotlight.

It is a heart rendering movie filled with good music and great performances. Maggie Gyllenhall is wonderful as the love interest but Robert Duvall steals every single scene.
Then again, Duvall knows this territory well since he starred in Tender Mercies in 1988 about an alcoholic country singer who loses everything in his life. When he agrees to work for a widow and live by her request that he not drink while doing it, life begins to change.
This movie, more than any, other reminds me of George Jones. Jones died this past spring and probably no one was more surprised than he was to have made it to the age of 81. Jones was a notorious addict to alcohol and cocaine. When people did not call him ‘Possum,’ they called him ‘No-Show-Jones.’
It is my understanding that there a movie in the works on the life of Jones but no one has been signed to play Jones. What a story it will be from his many marriages, his personal and professional relationship with Tammy Wynette, his comeback in the 80s, and his battle against addiction.
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One of my other favorite bio pics is Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Sissy Spacek. This movie follows the rise of Loretta Lynn who became a singing sensation in her early 20s. I am a sucker for a woman who can tell it like it is and sometimes make stupid mistakes. Sadly, they do not show anything from when she and Conway Twitty were singing together and that is a real shame.

Until Next Week, see you in the rental aisle.