Song of the Week: “Lost John Dean” by Bascom Lamar Lunsford

by Douglas Cowie on 25 October 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Lost John Dean” by Bascom Lamar Lunsford:

A friend of mine told me about this song last weekend. I didn’t know it before, though I am familiar with Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s version of “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground,” because Greil Marcus writes about it in Lipstick Traces. “Lost John Dean” has a great chorus, sung amazingly by Lunsford here, and the ballad tells its story with real verve, to my ear. Really, though, it’s the way he sings “long gone” that transfixes me, along with that “lucky/Kentucky” rhyme.

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