MUSIC FOR DECEMBER 2023
‘CHRISTMAS NUDIE SUIT’
Not to be confused with one’s birthday suit, “Nudie Suit” refers to the makers of the stage costumes that epitomized the dazzling Western wear that country musicians once favored — outfits whose eye-popping images of horses, cacti, wagon wheels, etc., were drawn in glittering rhinestones on boldly colored cloth.
Kiev native Nuta Kotlyarenko, doing business as Nudie Cohn, and his wife, Bobbie, started building their business in Hollywood in the 1940s, and ultimately sold Nudie Suits to, among others, artists like Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and Porter Wagoner (who would eventually own 52 of them). I first learned about Nudie Suits through the Flying Burrito Brothers: Singer Gram Parsons, a mighty influence on country-leaning rock musicians like me, sported a Nudie infamously embellished with images of pills, poppies, marijuana, nud(i)e women, and a cross.
“Christmas Nudie Suit” is the portrait of a country singer facing some tough realities on the eve of the holiday. Incorporating sounds of the obligatory Fender Telecaster as well as a metal mixing bowl and a guitar scratched with business cards, it was written and recorded during the past three weeks — just in time for that last-minute Christmas shopping!
Hear “Christmas Nudie Suit” below! Buy it on Bandcamp! (“Christmas Nudie Suit” copyright © 2023 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved. Above: Illustration by Gretchen Schaefer. Below: Doug Hubley in a polyester Western shirt, not a Nudie Suit, in a photo by Jeff Stanton.)