Work your fingers to the bone and what do you get?

Something I look forward to every morning on my drive to work is the tail end of the 8 a.m. news/weather/traffic/sports report on Belleville radio station CJBQ (the station I grew up with here at the Manse) when morning-show host Matt Mitchell plays a song from the country-music archives. Sometimes those vintage songs are wildly obscure; sometimes they are songs that everybody knew once upon a time; sometimes they are oddities. It’s always an entertaining surprise to see what Matt will dig up.

Tonight is the end of a long week, and I think a little bit of music is what we all need. So I thought I’d share with you the total gem atop this post, which is one that Matt played one morning this week. It is the late Hoyt Axton‘s Boney Fingers (yes, I know it should be spelled “Bony,” but apparently “Boney” is how Hoyt chose to do it), which definitely falls into the category of “songs that everybody knew once upon a time.” Matt remarked on that too, noting how when Boney Fingers arrived on the airwaves, everybody, but everybody, was quoting it and laughing about it. He is dead right on that. Boney Fingers came out in 1974, and here in Queensborough, at least, its tagline (or maybe I should say punchline) was instantly being quoted by everyone. Come on, sing along with me: “Work your fingers to the bone, and what do you get? Boney fingers!”

I think Boney Fingers (the song) is also what you get when you mix L.A. folk-rock, deep country roots, and a good sense of humour – which I believe (if I do say so myself) is rather a good way to describe Hoyt Axton and his music in general. I always liked the guy, and his songs.

So in honour of it being Friday night, I think we should listen to another one. Here is Hoyt Axton and (did I mention L.A. folk-rock?) Linda Ronstadt with another classic that’ll take you back in time. Enjoy!



4 thoughts on “Work your fingers to the bone and what do you get?

  1. I too loved & still do love Hoyt Axton – the man and his music!… Very funny, sweet man, whose Mom wrote “Heartbreak Hotel” which of course Elvis recorded and had a hit… She also invented “White Out” !!!… She and Hoyt collaborated on songwriting..
    I always loved it when Hoyt was on any of the late night talk shows. Just that big stetson hat, and deep voice and hearty laugh, and twinkle in his eye…. a true ‘Gentle Giant’…

    • Mae Axton invented White Out? Get outta town, Ruthanne – that’s wild! But yeah, what a thing, to have written Heartbreak Hotel. And Hoyt’s sense of humour came through so well in his songs.

  2. Mea Culpa! I got the wrong star’s Mother on the White-Out/Liquid Paper reference…
    Should correctly attribute THAT little fact to Bette Graham Nesmith, mother of one of the Monkees from the 60’s-70’s, Michael Nesmith… I sit corrected….. 🙂

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