Over Mickey Newbury
Newbury is one of those songwriters who helped change the sound of country music in the late '60s and early '70s -- along with his buddy Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Bare and Don Williams, among others. Newbury cut his musical teeth in Houston, Tex.'s fertile mid-'50s scene, where he developed a love for R&B, blues, and Soul music that's consistently given his writing an edge. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition brought Newbury's "Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In" to the top of the Pop charts, and other Newbury songs have been taken into the country charts by the likes of Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, and Eddy Arnold. The real puzzle is why Newbury never became a star himself. He never got any higher than #26 in the charts, which is odd considering the quality of his writing and the fact that his tenor voice is easily as good, if not better than that of the folks who've covered his songs.