Where does "three chords and the truth" originate?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by KokoTele, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Anyone know where this quote comes from? I've heard attributions to Hank Sr., Johnny Cash, and Joe Strummer.
     
  2. Oster

    Oster Friend of Leo's

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    I hope it wasn't said by any of them. I like all three candidates listed and that's a pretty pompous and self-important thing to say.
     
  3. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I don't know who originally said that, but I think it supposed to be a descriptive phrase for what authentic country music is, not about the person saying it.

    That's the major appeal of most authentic country music, is that it's about real life issues.
     
  4. Johnny Isaacs

    Johnny Isaacs Tele-Afflicted

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    When asked what real country music was, Harlan Howard replied, "Country music isn't nothing but three chords and the truth."

    Gibson made him a J-200 that only had 3 frets on it in the cowboy position!

    Johnny Isaacs
     
  5. Eric Karonen

    Eric Karonen RIP

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    What a great piece of trivia!
     
  6. cvansickle

    cvansickle Tele-Holic

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    It's such a clever phrase, there was even a book of Nashville gossip with that title, and it was the title of a great Sara Evans song from her first cd too.

    Hey, some of Hank Williams' songs have only two chords!
     
  7. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    this came up awhile back on the forum. i believe i guessed Woody Guthrie. don't remember what the right answer was...
     
  8. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    U2 is also recognized for uttering an incarnation of this saying during "All Along The Watch Tower" at a live show.

    "All I have is a red guitar, three chords, and the truth."

    Kinda trite in that context, but what do I know.
     
  9. lobotomyactivist

    lobotomyactivist Tele-Afflicted

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    And 60,000 pairs of those stupid sunglasses.

    Joe Strummer would've said something more sparse and profound. I also don't think he claimed to know the truth.
     
  10. jlrich

    jlrich Tele-Afflicted

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    YEP!

    Johnny's right
     
  11. Joel Terry

    Joel Terry Poster Extraordinaire

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    Indeed. That quote is usually attributed to songwriter Harlan Howard--and he had just the kind of mind to turn a great phrase like that. ;)

    Joel
     
  12. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    I still like the famous Keith Richards quote, which I'm sure most people here know...

    "Five strings, two fingers, one ***hole." Or something like that. Hilarious...
     
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