KORT, “Incredibly Lonely”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Kort, made up of Nashville’s Cortney Tidwell and Kurt Wagner (Lampchop), explore deep cuts from the ‘60s and ‘70s catalog of Chart Records.

Chart was an independent country label from Nashville that has particular relevance to both artists, but Tidwell in particular, who’s grandfather, Slim Williamson, ran the label, and who’s father, Cliff, and mother, Connie Eaton, had considerable influence over.

According to a fan-site, Chart was originally founded in Georgia by Gary Walker, who then moved operations to Nashville and sold the label to Bradley “Slim” Williamson in 1964. Williamson had already started a few music interests, including a label, Peach Records, and publishing entity, Yonah Music, but Chart proved to be the feather in his cap, as he signed a young Lynn Anderson (who’s mother, Liz, was a writer for Yonah) and partnered with RCA. (For Music City history buffs, Walker, who would continue to lend a hand at Chart even after he sold out to Williamson, would go on to open The Great Escape record shops in Nashville.)

In a promotional video for the album, Wagner says he was attracted to Chart’s catalog for the range of music it covered. “[Chart] cover[ed] this great ground between the world of novelty songs, which is very unique to Nashville in a lot of ways, to R&B, some gospel element, to straight-up country, to formulaic country. It was all over the place – how I always imagined record labels would be.”

Invariable Heartache surveys mostly forgotten names like Three Heads (“Penetration”) and Tom Tall (“Eyes Look Away”). But perhaps the record’s pièce de résistance – and only non-Chart cut – is “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now,” which Tidwell’s mother originally recorded for ABC Dunhill in 1975. “Incredibly Lonely,” the album’s opening cut and from which the album’s title “invariable heartache” is derived, was originally recorded by Gene & Rod in 1968 as the the b-side to Chart catalog number 1023’s “Woman Stealer” single. The original record, which can be seen spinning in the promo video, lists publisher Yonah Music, under a performing rights license to BMI. The record was produced by Slim Williamson and written by Gene Woods. The Gene & Rod duo, made up of Woods and Rod Bain, seem to be mostly a lost footnote in Nashville music history.

Tidwell says that when her grandfather heard her and Wagner’s record it made him cry. “It means a lot to him,” she says in the promo video. “Making this record brought in a whole new light to my grandfather. I knew [Chart] was really important to him, but I didn’t realize how big the catalog was, how much material there was. It was a huge part of his life and I feel really fortunate to be a part of it.”

“Incredibly Lonely”

Invariable heartaches keep hanging on
If I don’t find a way to lose them, soon life will be gone
Incredibly lonely, that’s what I am
Since I lost you the world has seemed to put me down
Impossible dreaming, I do each night
In dreams I’m holding you as my dreams fly
Invisible memories, still on my mind
Nights are so long, heart can’t go on
Incredibly lonely

I’m blue as a bluebird
With no song to sing
I’m like a little, bitty tear lost in the falling rain
Nobody wants me
Just drifting alone
Inevitably my heart keeps saying you’ll be gone
Impossible dreaming, I do each night
In dreams I’m holding you as my dreams fly
Invisible memories, still on my mind
Nights are so long, heart can’t go on
Incredibly lonely

Impossible dreaming, I do each night
In dreams I’m holding you as my dreams fly
Invisible memories, still on my mind
Nights are so long, heart can’t go on
Incredibly lonely

Nights are so long, heart can’t go on
Incredibly lonely

Written by Gene Woods

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