In March 2021, I wrote an article about Julie Gold and her songs.
The article was about seeing Nanci Griffith and Julie Gold for the first time. In 1992 they were guest stars along with Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter in the first show of Austin City Limits – Season 17.
Recently, Julie Gold dropped me a note along with her story about the Austin City Limits experience. I laughed and laughed. Julie grew up a long way from Country. She was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania, moved to Philadelphia, graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls and got a degree from Temple University.
Julie said, “I was WAY out of my league for that show!!!! I have NEVER watched it . . . I do still have my t-shirt, but only started wearing it within the past few years!”
My wife Peggy and I love all kinds of music. About the time Julie was born I was already listening to Johnny Cash, Little Bill and the Bluenotes, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Peggy was the host of one of our local TV shows and interviewed hundreds of people. For most of them it was their first time on Television. Many of them were just like Julie. Peggy got them to relax and just be themselves. Watching and listening to Julie Gold reminds us that just being honest is what people are looking for, understand, and care about.
Julie shared her story with me of being on Austin City Limits, “Nanci Griffith and I had our make-up done, side by side. Very hard on me, since she always looked like a porcelain angel! The moment the make-up artists were done, Nanci went over to the sink and washed/rubbed all her make-up off!
The Indigos came in around 15 minutes before showtime! They were in ripped jeans, work shirts, combat boots, no make-up. I said something like ‘Hey you guys, you better hurry up, you only have about 10 minutes to get ready.’ To which they responded, ‘Um, we ARE ready’ . . . And they were! And I learned a great lesson. Whoops.
“Finally, just as they were pushing us out on stage, one of the mean make-up artists looked at me and said, ‘QUICK, QUICK, what are we gonna do about her bald spot?” I didn’t know I had a bald spot! Then, the other make-up artist got this brown shoe-polish-like applicator and painted over my part!
I think I had a look of dazed horror and disbelief on my face for the full concert. I know none of us knew or rehearsed the encore.
Nanci invited me into her magical world many times over the year, and I am eternally grateful for everything she shared and taught me. I was grateful to remember that special event so vividly.”
The Austin City Limits program was so laid back and even though Julie was nervous, she had been performing live for years, so you couldn’t really see anything that looked out of the ordinary. It was real people just being themselves. We just sat back and enjoyed the music and remembered both Nanci Griffith and Julie Gold. We’ve remained fans for almost thirty years, now.
Every Julie Gold song I’ve heard comes with tears no matter who does them. Here is an example of three versions of one song and several comments from listeners.
Southbound Train written by Julie Gold:
Version #1 – mumd2003 performing “Southbound Train” –
“This is one of my favorite songs relative to the emotion expressed, the music and the visual image altogether.”
Version #2 – Julie Gold performing “Southbound Train” with Nanci Griffith harmonizing
“This is a recording from the television show American Music Shop on September 14, 1991. Sorry for the poor quality. It is from a 30-year-old VHS tape.”
Version #3 – Nanci Griffith performing “Southbound Train”
“Not very familiar with Nanci Griffith, but I heard this song some years ago and it just grabbed me by the heart and every time I hear it i am nearly moved to tears. Very moving to me. Silly me, but I wouldn’t change a thing.” – Kerryman
“Thank you for giving a voice to so much of what I’ve lived.” – Andrew D
I can’t really add anything to the comments of her fans. Julie Gold, you make me both laugh at your comments and cry at your songs. That is praise, indeed.