Musical Notes — Garth Brooks
Voiceover by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
Honkytonk favorite Friends in Low Places cemented Oklahoma native Garth Brooks as the top country singer of the 90’s, eventually making him one of the biggest-selling artists of all time.
Friends in Low Places hit the airwaves in 1990 hot off the heels of another signature song…The Dance.
The success of both singles propelled his second CD, No Fences, to diamond status with over 17 million units sold.
According to CMT, the song’s infamous Oasis Bar was named after an establishment in guitarist Jim Garver’s hometown of Corcordia, Kansas.
My hometown had its own tavern called the Oasis, which had been around for many years.
Once Friends in Low Places hit, that local watering hole reached another level of notoriety, making it a place where everyone wanted to hang out, especially my father, Ernie.
Remember the 1980s comedy “Cheers” where everyone yelled “Norm!” whenever actor George Wendt walked in? Well, according to Mom, Dad was the “Norm” of the Oasis.
The bar itself was nothing special. It had a worn-out dance floor, bar stools with ripped cushions, cheap longnecks and not to mention, an old drunk sitting in the corner.
Someone would drop a bunch of quarters in an antique jukebox and old Hank Sr. or George Strait tunes blared over the speakers.
By the time you left that place, you were partially deaf and had had your fill of the same ole’ stories being swapped over and over.
Ruby, the perfect name for the bar manager, once asked my mom to work there part-time. Ernie, of course, was dead set against it.
“If you hire my wife, I’m gonna start going somewhere else!”
We thought he was joking, but he was dead serious. Needless to say, Mom didn’t take the job.
We didn’t know what the big deal was. It’s not as if he was going to take everyone with him.