Nashville

The Hardway

by J Raleigh Jones

Garrett Walker

If there was a poster child award for doing Nashville The Hard Way,  Garrett Walker would definitely  be a worthy recipient. He has more than lived the Lacy J Dalton song "16th Avenue". 16th Avenue is a well known street at the center of the music industry here in Nashville. As I write this article and listen to Lacy sing this song on youtube I am reminded of so many who, like  Garrett , "Walked away from everything just to see a dream come true". Unlike the song story line, most of the seekers of fame  and fortune in Nashville gave up before living their dream. Frankly, many did not have what it takes and left. Others had what it takes and left anyway as well. Garrett Walker on the other hand, had what it takes but fell victim to broken promises, shark promoters and others in the industry who fed  false hype to hungry seekers of Country music fame.

Garrett is a great songwriter. He is a sensitive person by nature and that is at the root of his songwriting talent. He  paints a very real picture in song lyrics and many of his songs are quite personal. They come from his hopeless struggles, failed relationships and his journey to find himself. He found himself on the cusp of being homeless and living on the sreets of Nashville. Once when he and I were driving through some areas of Nashville together, he would point out different bridges and locations where he had visited the homeless. During that time he was in the company of many other songwriters and musicians who lost everything following their dream. Several of his friends are still on the streets of Nashville today.  His song "The Corner Of Heaven And Hell" is a snapshot of his life at that time.

 

Following are the lyrics to this song, Corner of Heaven and Hell  © BMI G. Walker 1997

verse-

They’re selling ice cream and blue jeans…and hot car stereos…

They’re giving away free balloons to all the girls and boys

They’re selling cold beer, crack cocaine…Jesus saves a preacher yells…

You can find anything you want…on the corner of heaven and hell

chorus-

Take a left turn off that main road…you might find the devil there…

Take a right turn off that wrong road…you’ll find God is everywhere

The choice you make is the chance you take…on the soul that’s yours to sell…

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

verse-

They got fast cars, wild bars…cotton candy and lollipops…

And ladies of the night all day…they’re swearing they’re gonna stop

But the promise to everlasting life…is the hottest thing they sell

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

chorus-

Take a left turn off that main road…you might find the devil there…

Take a right turn off that wrong road…you’ll find God is everywhere

The choice you make is the chance you take…on the soul that’s yours to sell…

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

bridge-

Heaven only knows who’s best and the rest we’ve got free will…

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

But heaven loves all the rest and the best are here to tell…

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

chorus-

Take a left turn off that main road…you might find the devil there…

Take a right turn off that wrong road…you’ll find God is everywhere

The choice you make is the chance you take…on the soul that’s yours to sell…

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

tag-

You can find anything you want on the corner of heaven and hell

 

The Corner Of Heaven And Hell was written by Garrett standing on the corner of Trinity Lane and Dickerson Pike in Nashville Tennessee.   I wanted to share with  you a couple of the great songs that were written by Garrett.  Many of which were representative of his life at that time. Music is in his blood. It is his passion, so regardless of his situation he did two things. He wrote songs and prayed. Here is another song by Garrett that I want to share with you.

If I Were Magic   © BMI G. Walker 1998

verse-
How many roads must I walk down…
Before I am a man
I’m still searchin for my home…
Hopefully hopin, all alone

verse-
How many towns…must I play…
Before you…come my way
May be the city…is where you’ll be…
May be the end of the rope is where you’ll find me

chorus-
But if I were magic…I would disappear…
If I could fly away…I’d be right there

verse-
My father told me long ago…
You need a woman to have a happy home
So I got all dressed up…and said I do…
My only problem…is that it was not with you

chorus-
But if I were magic…I would disappear…
If I could fly away…I’d be right there
I’m still searchin for my home…
Hopefully hopin, all alone

tag-
If I were magic…I’d be right there 

In addition to searching to find himself and his way in music, he also searched for that special someone. He never gave up searching and he found her, finally. Her name is Patsy. She is something else. Garrett has always been a big fan of Marilyn Monroe and often has her photo in his Facebook live performances. When Garrett got off the plane to go meet Patsy for the first time, Marilyn Monroe met Garrett getting off the plane. I have seen the photo and Patsy really was a great look alike for Marilyn Monroe.  Long story short, they married. 

 

Now, Garrett has moved to Texas and with Patsy as his manger is living his dream. He has recorded a couple of albums and a gospel album in the last year or so. He has been performing at various venues in the Dallas Texas area and making plans for touring. Garrett will tell you that Jesus has played a major part in his life and opening doors for him that he had never dreamed would open. I have had Garrett on my TV show and wanted to introduce him to you here. He has a lot of music on the Sound Cloud link above. Check it out, and watch for him on Facebook live. Garrett is living proof that success is achieved when you never quit.  He has truly lived Nashville The Hard Way.

Nashville Country Music Magazine ©

315 Deaderick St, Ste 1550

Nashville TN 37238