Season 2, Episode # 1: Whit the Songwriter, Part 1

Welcome to Season 2 of the Honky Tonk Papa podcast! Our new 3-part series “Whit the Songwriter” is dedicated to Lucille Dillard, who left an indelible mark on my father and his siblings. As their housekeeper, she was a prominent figure in their lives and they have often spoken of her influence, especially when it came to the music she loved. Three of the five became musicians, and they attribute that to the fact that she exposed them to the singers and songwriters who would have such a strong impact on their musical journeys. In so doing, she left a legacy that continues to carry on from one generation to the next. – Show Host & Producer Amy Connah Hudson

With each episode, we will explore 2 of Whit’s most beloved original songs:

E1 – Holy Robes & Ponce de Leon Avenue

E2 – Dark Angels & Hungry Ghost

E3 – Bon a Rein & Roving Rounder

Guest Host: It is my extreme pleasure to introduce your guest host for this series, Lee Connah. Lee and his brother Graham, my Baltimore cousins, both caught the music bug early in their lives. As a singer, musician and songwriter himself, Lee was curious about his Uncle Whit’s songwriting process and began interviewing people close to the music. Those conversations became the drive behind this project. Below, Lee plays Dad’s favorite harmonica, a cherished gift passed down. He learned to play harmonica from my father in his 20s.

Show Highlights:

Whit and Barbara played Holy Robes backstage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN when Michael Daves opened for Punch Brothers. Here’s the visual to the audio heard in the episode:

 

The evening of Whit’s memorial service in September 2016, friends & family gathered on the back porch to sing, watch a slideshow and share memories. Here’s Holy Robes as heard in the episode:

 

Show Guests:

Doug Connah, Paul Connah, Barbara Panter-Connah, Albert Smith, John Ferguson and Michael Daves. The slideshow below includes photos of guests and others featured in the show.

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Music featured in this episode:

Roving Rounder. (Intro) Written by Whit Connah. Performed by Whit & Michael Daves. Sound design by Dave Spencer. Host introduction by Kenneth Johnson.

Back Step Ellie (Background to Amy’s intro). Written by Barbara Panter-Connah. Performed by Barbara and Hair of the Dog on the band’s album, Mongrel.

Improv Cajun Intro. Performed by Hair of the Dog.

Roving Rounder (Background to Lee’s Intro). Written by Whit Connah. Performed by Whit, Barbara and Stepson John Ferguson, Thanksgiving 2009.

Improv Harmonica Interlude. Performed by Whit Connah and Hurt Dog.

Medley (during Albert’s Interview). Performed by Albert, Whit and Hurt Dog.

Holy Robes (back porch jam version). Written by Whit Connah. Performed by family & friends.

Holy Robes (backstage at the Ryman version). Written by Whit Connah. Performed by Whit and Barbara.

Holy Robes (Old First Church version). Written by Whit Connah. Performed by Michael Daves (vocals & guitar) and Jen Larson (vocals).

Ponce De Leon Avenue. Written by Whit Connah. Performed by Whit (vocals) and Hair of the Dog band members Barbara Panter-Connah (vocals & fiddle), John Ferguson (Telecaster), Bob Visentin (bass), Doug Landsberg (drums) and Bill Fleming (Pedal Steel). Recorded on the band’s album, Mongrel.

Ponce De Leon Avenue (live version). Written by Whit Connah. Performed by Michael Daves (vocals & guitar), Tony Trischka (banjo), Brittany Haas (fiddle), Jenni Lyn Gardner (mandolin) and Mike Bub (bass).

Cajun Outro. Performed by Whit and Hair of the Dog.

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