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Original Issue


The old line probably originated with Red Grange. You know, "Ail he can do is run." And the rejoinder was, "And all Caruso could do was sing." Well, Terry Bradshaw of the Steelers can run and pass and sing. His recording of Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry is in Billboard's Hot 100 and climbing on the national charts, and it deserves its ranking. Mercury, which recorded the single, has taken out a full-page ad in Billboard and will release a Bradshaw album soon.

I didn't catch Bradshaw's recent appearance at the Palomino, a first-rate country-singing club in L.A., but I did hear him in person at Steeler Dwight White's birthday party at a place called Bruiser's Pub in Latrobe, Pa. during training camp last summer. Many of the Steelers in attendance were drinking "depth charges," which are shots of whiskey dropped, glass and all, into mugs of beer. A carafe filled half with Coke and half with bourbon was being passed around. It was not an ideal group for an amateur to get up and sing in front of. But Bradshaw had been talking about his recent discovery in an airport by Tillman Franks, the same man who discovered Webb Pierce in a Sears Roebuck store, and his teammates evinced some curiosity as to how he might sound on a larger stage than his locker-room stool.

The featured Latin guitarist and his two Oriental vocalists finished their act. Bradshaw came on. He sang I Can't Stop Loving You.

"Hey," listeners exclaimed through a certain amount of fog. Then he sang Release Me. If Too Tall Jones had had a hold of Bradshaw at that moment, I believe he would have let him go. The man delivered real feeling. There was earnest applause. It isn't easy to elicit earnestness from pro football players in the evening after a workout.

Now maybe Bradshaw will write some country football songs, deriving images from the quarterbacking experience. Something like this:

They called it intentional grounding—
I went to her, she wasn't there:
The foot of a cliff's where they found me—
I rolled out and took to the air.
Oh, why did I believe her
As my primary receiver?
I looked for her, she wasn't there.