Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Massey's Run

Back in April, I blogged about Richard Petty's second career win. He won the Virgina 500 at Martinsville on April 10, 1960.

Finishing second in that race was Jimmy Massey from Mebane, NC - about half-way between Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham. In a 10-year, part-time career, Massey made 51 NASCAR Grand National starts and 57 NASCAR convertible series starts. Between the two series, he banked three convertible wins and 32 combined top 5 finishes. 

His top finish in Grand National competition was second - two times. The first one was in 1957, and the second and final time to finish second was in the 1960 Virgina 500. In both instances, he drove a Ford for the famed Wood Brothers team.

Recently, a friend tipped me off to a tune by the songwriting duo of Doug and Telisha Williams titled Massey's Run. They are from ... yep, Martinsville, VA and now living in East Nashville.

The lyrics seem to have sprung from a what-if scenario. What if Massey had held off the Randleman Rocket that day?

Here are a couple of versions to enjoy...

The lyrics fly by pretty quickly - and are a bit tough to understand in the couple of YouTube videos I found available. But to fully appreciate the tune, one needs to read the lyrics while listening to them. The Williams may have taken artistic liberty with Petty's career by putting him in a red, white, and blue STP car in 1960 as Richard's association with STP didn't begin until 1972. As they say, however, never let the facts get in the way of a good story song.

Listen again as you read the following.

Massey's Run - Doug & Telisha Williams

Well, he's the one they always talk about
the name that's always thrown around
He's the best that's ever held a steering wheel

With his straw hat and feathered cowboy crown
he's the King of going around and 'round
If you're out front, he's nipping at your heels

After all the races that he's won
All the tires he musta spun
Its no wonder folks still go on about him

But with twenty-six laps
In the spring of 1960
He was behind me

Right there in my mirror
That red, white and blue STP
If it hadn't been for the number 43
I coulda been the King

I held him off through every turn
My tires were bald and my brakes were burned
I took everything ol' 21 could give

He was coming up the inside fast
And I knew he was gonna try to pass
So I got down low and I kept him there behind me

Until the final time around turn four
He finally got me door to door
And that paperclip, it turned into a drag race

But with twenty-six laps
In the spring of 1960
He was behind me


I drove it like a demon
On that final death-wish track

And I know I almost had him
'til I crossed that checkered flag
He was behind me


Well I crossed the line in second place
The day Petty won his second race
Since then, he's won a hundred-ninety-eight more

But I like to think I did pretty well
Raced him tight and gave him hell
He probably don't think about me anymore

Sometimes at night I still dream
Still hear those pistons scream
I can still see that Petty blue

I'm crossing the line
In the spring of 1960
He was behind me 


And with 26 laps
In the spring of 1960

Doug and Telisha have been performing the song during several 2012 performances, but the track hasn't been officially recorded and released yet. As an effort to help raise the money needed to cover the costs of recording the songs they've written (including Massey's Run), Doug and Telisha set-up a Kickstarter project. If the funds can be raised, they hope to record and release their next album in the first half of 2013.

TMC update: Doug and Telisha added a drummer to their line-up and took the name of Wild Ponies (web | Twitter). Their Kickstarter campaign was successful. Massey's Run was included on their 2013 release, Things That Used To Shine.

Consider joining me in helping them out if you like what you've heard and dig what they're doing.


1 comment:

  1. You know, it's funny- I thought long and hard about taking STP out of the song. I found out not long after I wrote it that it probably wasn't 100% accurate. Finally decided that the STP brand and the King are so tied together that it's probably OK to just leave it. It's a folk song. In the old tradition of folk songs. It tells a story, and passes down info about a hero. Sometimes the truth is better than accuracy? Anyway- REALLY appreciate the blog post! People are really digging the song- even folks who aren't NASCAR fans at all! Looking forward to recording it and getting it on the new album.