Guest Blog: Michaela Anne on “Me and Willie”

"I immediately wanted to know everything about the songwriter. I stalked the internet but found only a name, no other song credits, no All Music profile, just a name: Laurie Hyde-Smith"

Michaela Anne 2016 Photo credit: Amanda Bjorn "I'd rather be singing my heart out, in a dark and dingy bar....." I heard those words while driving down Ocean Ave in Brooklyn, NY heading out to Sheepshead Bay to teach piano lessons. I had quit my full time office job a couple years prior and was still slowly figuring out how to make a living as a professional musician. I was beginning to embark on my commitment to a life and career based in song. I was learning very quickly this was a life choice often questioned by others, questioned so much that my own devotion and faith in my path could not be tenuous. I couldn't quite put into words the feeling that sustained my choice but this song immediately seemed to do so. Emmylou Harris' voice rang through my car speakers and grabbed me in a way it always does, but this time the words were new to me. I hadn't ever heard the song before. The story is relatable to musicians who live their lives in bars, on the road, often for nothing more than the love of playing music. They sometimes turn to vices, whatever they can do to sustain their faith and survive emotionally. I looked down at my phone and saw that it was a bonus track on a re-released version of Emmylou Harris' 1976 album Luxury Liner. It was called “Me and Willie.” I hit repeat and played the song over and over until I reached my destination and then again all the way home as well. I immediately wanted to know everything about the songwriter. I stalked the internet but found only a name, no other song credits, no All Music profile, just a name: Laurie Hyde-Smith. For a year, I talked about this song nonstop to everyone, hoping someone might know the story. How did Emmylou find this song. Why doesn’t the writer... Sign In to Keep Reading

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