Islandport is all about good stories, good storytellers, and the heritage of Northern New England. Growing up in Eastern Maine, I was steeped in traditional country music or Country & Western music as it was then known. Some of that music was based right in Maine (and still is, for that matter). Anyone remember Stacy's Country Jamboree? "These hands pump gas!"? Wings of a Dove?
Anyway, one of the prime strengths of country music, much like folk and bluegrass, is its focus on storytelling and everyday life. One of the biggest country stars/storytellers to ever come out of Maine was the man with the eye patch, Dick Curless (1932-1995). I can remember on my dad's old record player—in memory, the size of a small couch, but at the very least a significant piece of furniture— was an Curless album tucked in amongst the LPs of Johnny Horton and Elvis Presley and Ernest Tubb and Hank Snow and Carl Smith and other greats.
For some reason in the past year or so, the name Dick Curless, a Fort Fairfield native, has come up every so often (including with Jane at Northeast Historic Film who may have footage of some old Curless television commercials in the vaults!). I finally searched on YouTube to jog my memory and sure enough found a video of his biggest hit and signature song, "A Tombstone Every Mile" (1965), which cracked the Top 5 on the Billboard country charts. Curless eventually had 22 Top 40 hits, became famous for trucking songs, and even toured with the legendary Buck Owens for a while in the late 1960s. I hadn't actually heard "Tombstone" in decades, but I still knew the refrain: "If you buried all the truckers lost in them woods there'd be a tombstone every mile. Count'em off, a tombstone every mile."
If you like old country songs or story songs about Northern Maine or want to listen to a hit by perhaps Maine's greatest country music singer, check out "Tombstone" on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aFzfDv2hz0. But whatever you do, just be sure to avoid those Hainesville Woods.