My grandfather Mac Lyman died at the age of 36 and I never met him. My Aunt Ruth, Mac's sister, was my closest connection to him. They used to sing at different hole-in-the-wall joints around Brian Head and Parowan. Aunt Ruth sang cowboy songs, told semi raunchy cowboy jokes, yodelled and painted with oils. She ran off with a cowboy at the age of 16 and later, because of her connections to Southwestern cowboy culture, learned "The Sierry Petes AKA Knot in the Devil's Tail" directly from Gail Gardner. I think she actually lived with her husband on his ranch for a while. She was proud to know all the original lyrics to the song, not the bastardized Michael Martin Murphey version. I once asker her what songs she liked to sing, and she replied "Country Western". I asked if she played songs by people like Hank Williams. She looked me straight in the eye and said emphatically: "No. I play Country Western" as if to say even Hank Williams was no match for Gail Gardner.
She was dying of cancer in this video and passed away a few months after this brief two song serenade. For all I know, it was the last time she played guitar and sang for anyone.
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