Feeling My Age

Getting older has its drawbacks – but it's a lot better than the alternative.

Chante Cow-Boy EP
Seven tracks of supposedly ‘traditional cowboy songs’ by Lou Reizner and his guitaricians released in 1957 on the French imprint Le Chant Du Monde.

1. 900 Miles 1.25
2. Blue Tail Fly 2.13
3. On Top Of Old Smokey 2.46
4. Jesse James 1.40
5. John Henry 3.00
6. Home On The Range 2.57
7. Rye Whiskey 2.12

In the summer of 1964 aged 14, I went on a fortnight’s French exchange holiday with a family in Limoges. It was my first ever trip abroad, and also a first full escape from adult supervision. Mum & Dad sent my luggage ahead – as you could in those days – and I took the train from rural Essex to Liverpool Street, crossed London to Victoria station, caught the boat train to Newhaven, ferry to Dieppe, and an onward connection to Paris.

And that’s where I took the time to stop into a record store and buy this EP – for the sheer wicked thrill of spending the exotic French notes and coins my parents had given me for holiday spending money – on something completely illicit. Why, it wasn’t even in French. When making the same journey a year later I really went to town and – at huge expense – bought an entire LP by Charles Mingus which was well worth every centime. But that’s another story…

“900 Miles” from the Chante Cow-Boy EP (1957) by Lou Reizner

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