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DAVID BIANCULLI, host:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli in for Terry Gross.

For the second half of our Father's Day show, we've got three musical sons telling stories about their respective dads.

First up, Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Gilmore is a singer from West Texas who writes songs that would be described as alternative country. But in 2005, five years after his father died of ALS, Gilmore recorded an album of classic country songs called "Come On Back." It was dedicated to his late father and featured songs his father loved, including one by Jimmie Rodgers for whom Jimmie Dale Gilmore was named. Gilmore visited Terry in the FRESH AIR studio in 2005. He brought his guitar, and also brought guitarist, Robbie Gjersoe who accompanies him on the "Come On Back" CD.

GROSS: Welcome everyone to FRESH AIR. It's really a pleasure to have you here. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, this new CD is dedicated to your father who died a few years ago. I want you to start with a song, "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down," and what did the song mean to your dad?

Mr. JIMMIE DALE GILMORE (Singer-songwriter, musician): Well actually it represents and entire style that I really associate with him. It's just old, it's honky tonk dance music it's what it amounts to and it's a, it is one particular one that he really loved. I just, I have this memory of him just, you know, with his kind of head tossed back and with his eyes closed just grinning when this kind of music was on.

GROSS: Would you play it for us?

Mr. GILMORE: Yes. One, two, a one-two-three...

(Soundbite of song, "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down")

Mr. GILMORE: (Singing): You were mine for just a while. Now you're putting on the style and you never once look back at your home across the track. You're the gossip of the town, but my heart can still be found where you tossed it on the ground, pick me up on your way down. Pick me up on your way down when you're blue and all alone, when their glamour starts to bore you, come on back where you belong. You may be their pride and joy, but they'll find another toy, and they'll take away your crown. Pick me up on your way down.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GILMORE: All right. That's the way we fake being the band playing the song.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GROSS: That's Jimmie Dale Gilmore on guitar, and singing, Robbie Gjersoe who's singing harmonies and playing guitar. And that song is from Jimmie Dale Gilmore's new CD "Come On Back." That sounded really great. As I mentioned before, the CD is dedicated to your father who died of Lou Gehrig's disease. Did he introduce you to country music?

Mr. GILMORE: Oh yes. Yes, for sure. He was from my very, very earliest memories that music was always pervasive. It was radio. We didn't have phonograph until I was actually in high school.

GROSS: Wow. That's pretty late.

Mr. GILMORE: And we - but my dad - we always had the radio going you know. And my dad played, so he'll be sitting around the house playing his guitar along with the radio or actually, you know, sometimes playing that with bands for dances.

GROSS: And you quote a great advertisement for a dance that he was playing where apparently he was one of the first musicians in West Texas to use a solid body electric guitar.

Mr. GILMORE: That's right.

GROSS: So would you describe that ad?

Mr. GILMORE: Yes. It said - at this time, when I was very small, we live I Tulia, Texas from the time I was from the time I was, until I was about five-years-old and - on a dairy farm. And my mom recently, you know a few years ago found a little clipping from the Tulia Herald, a little tiny ad that said, dance at the VFW Hall featuring - with the Swingeroos, featuring Brian Gilmore and his electric guitar.

GROSS: That's great. This...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GILMORE: It's was such a novelty.

GROSS: So did your father teach you guitar or did you learn that on your own?

Mr. GILMORE: He taught me just a little bit. He actually, he taught me how to play "Wildwood Flower." And, but I, the thing is that I fell in-love with the acoustic guitar and my dad was an electric player, and I never did, to my regret now, I never did really learn to play the electric well. I can fumble through with it. But I just learned - my dad taught me a tiny amount and then I kind of went off in the really more in the folk and blues direction as I was learning to play.

GROSS: I want you to do another song from your new CD, "Come On Back." And the song I'm going to ask you play is a Johnny Cash song called, "Train Of Love." But tell us first how you first heard Johnny Cash and what he meant to you.

Mr. GILMORE: Well, I may have heard a few of his recordings on the radio, a little bit. This was when I was very young. But my first real memory of it was my dad took my sister and I to see Johnny Cash with Elvis Presley. And I was about 12. I think she was about 10. And it was a - I've often said that I suspect at that night completely determined that...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GILMORE: ...the rest of my - at think at - I think that was one of those places where a little...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GILMORE: ...a little deflection happened - that I loved that music so much. I loved the both of them.

GROSS: Well I wish I was at that concert. It must've been really early in their career, right after they both signed with Sun Records...

Mr. GILMORE: Yes. It...

GROSS: ...at that concert with Presley and Cash. Wow.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GROSS: Well, would you do that song for us, "Train Of Love"?

Mr. GILMORE: Yes. I will.

(Soundbite of song, "Train Of Love")

Mr. GILMORE: (Singing) Train of love's a-comin', big black wheels a-hummin'. Sweetheart's waitin' at the station, happy hearts are drummin' oh. Trainman tell me maybe, ain't you got my baby. Every so often everybody's baby gets the urge to roam. But everybody's baby but mine's comin' home. Train of love's a leavin', leavin' my heart grievin' but early and late I sit and wait because I'm still believin' oh we'll walk away together though I might wait forever. Every so often everybody's baby gets the urge to roam. But everybody's baby but mine's comin' home.

Mr. GILMORE: (Singing) Train of love's a goin' and I got ways of knowin' you're leaving other people's lovers but my own keeps goin' oh. Trainman tell me maybe, ain't you got my baby. Every so often everybody's baby gets the urge to roam. But everybody's baby but mine's comin' home. Every so often everybody's baby gets the urge to roam. But everybody's baby but mine's comin' home.

BIANCULLI: Jimmie Dale Gilmore visiting Terry Gross in the FRESH AIR studios in 2005. The CD, dedicated to his father is called, "Come On Back."

In a moment, we'll come on back with another country music father-son story about Darrell and Wayne Scott. This is FRESH AIR.

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