You Can Go Back

music musings, beaverdamusa.comNestled in the rolling hills of southern Tennessee is Martin Methodist College (MMC).  MMC is a small liberal arts four-year college connected to the United Methodist Church.  I attended Martin way back in the early 80’s when it was a two-year college before I went to UT-Knoxville.  Martin was even smaller back then with a class of less than 100.  While not offering a lot of activities, Martin offered an opportunity for close friendships to form—the kind of friendships that last a lifetime. 

Darryl Worley plays a homecoming show at his alma mater, Martin Methodist College.

Darryl Worley plays a homecoming show at his alma mater, Martin Methodist College.

It had been a long, long time since a lot of our class gathered in Pulaski for homecoming.  While a lot of us keep in touch, like most classes, a lot don’t.  Typically, homecoming announcements come and go without much attention paid to them.  Homecoming 2019 was a bit different though.  It was our class’s 35th anniversary and in addition to the usual ballgames and receptions (for old folks), there was a concert that caught everyone’s eye: Darryl Worley.

Darryl was a classmate of ours at Martin.  If you don’t recognize the name, Darryl is a country music singer/songwriter who hit the charts in the early 2000’s with “I Miss My Friend” and his largest and most recognizable hit “Have You Forgotten” about the 9/11 attacks which spent several weeks at the top of the charts.  

The funny thing about Darryl’s career is that he wasn’t one of those who constantly walked around with a guitar, singing and proclaiming that he was going to be a country star.  Far from it.  He was just a good ole boy from West Tennessee who went to class and lived the life of a typical college student.  I am not surprised that he made it as a country singer if he decided he wanted to be one.  Darryl is one of those who backs up what he says.

Darryl and fellow Martiin classmate Zach Clayton, of Music Musings fame, talk about the old days after the show.

Darryl and fellow Martiin classmate Zach Clayton, of Music Musings fame, talk about the old days after the show.

So the concert was held in the auditorium where we used to gather for required assemblies.  While it has been remodeled, it brought back old memories of sitting there, waiting for the thing to be over.  I was surprised that Darryl brought the full band.  I expected just him with maybe one other player.  You can tell this band has been together for a while as they were tight and played as if they were in a full arena instead of a 400-or-so seat auditorium in Pulaski, TN.  

In between songs, Darryl would reminisce about the Martin days or tell stories.  Thankfully, he didn’t go into too many details either because the statute of limitations hasn’t run out or his daughter was on the front row – I suspect the latter.  I must say that his voice was still strong as it was singing Happy Trails in the cafeteria back in the early 80’s.  Highlights of the show for me were:

  • Bringing out first responders and recognizing them.  He has done over 15 USO shows in the sand and has always been a supporter of the military.
  • Mentioning some old haunts such as the mines and the Hill and telling the story of how he tried out for choir the first couple of weeks he was at school.  He didn’t make it and didn’t even get a call.
  • Telling the story of rolling in on little or no sleep (and looking rough) to the aforementioned required assembly and winning an American History award.  Darryl said all he could think about was his mom looking at the picture.  Evidently, she didn’t let him down.
Zach and his patient and loving wife Lori with Darryl.

Zach and his patient and loving wife Lori with Darryl.

Be on the lookout for his Greatest Hits album coming out this spring.  It will include eight hits and seven new songs.  Darryl played a couple of the new songs and they sounded great.  Besides getting to see an old friend, the moment of the night was his closing song.   It was just Darryl, an acoustic guitar, and some of his old friends in an auditorium from days gone by singing Whistle Dixie.  Whistle Dixie is a song about being content because the singer is going to see their Lord.  I must say Darryl looked content standing on that stage after coming back.

Musing in Nashville

Zach, 1984 Martin College Alum

Set List:

  • Calling Caroline
  • Good Day to Run
  • Living in the Here and Now  
  • I Miss My Friend
  • I Just Came Back from a War
  • Lonely Alone
  • Family Tree
  • Tequila on Ice
  • Tennessee River Run
  • Living the Dream (new song)
  • Second Wind (my favorite DW song)
  • I Need a Breather
  • The Night (new song)
  • Sounds Like Life to Me 
  • Nothing But A Love Thing – (told story that his mom was embarrassed by this video)
  • Have You Forgotten
  • Awful Beautiful Life
  • Whistle Dixie
About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

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