Music on TV: 'True Detective' Resurrects 'The Rose'

January 30, 2015 – 11:07 am

Conway Twitty Conway Twitty United LP/conwaytwitty.com

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the third episode of “True Detective” season two.

The first thing we see is a spectral Conway Twitty (musician and actor Jake La Botz) bathed in blue light and singing his hit “The Rose, ” a 1983 country cover of the smash Bette Midler ballad from the 1979 movie of the same name. Twitty, who died in 1993, recorded the song for his album “Dream Maker.”

The song underscores a cryptic conversation between Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), who was blasted twice with a shotgun and apparently left for dead at the end of the previous episode, and his father (Fred Ward). While the talk takes place at Ray’s favorite dive bar, which often features live music, it is clearly a dream sequence. The song plays in full, too, and we even get to see La Botz perform some Twitty-style vamping on stage just before we come crashing back into reality. “The Rose” was playing on the radio, and it had simply crept into the very-much-alive Ray’s dream as songs often do when we’re asleep.

Songwriter and performer Amanda McBroom, who wrote “The Rose” in the late 1970s, was ecstatic to find out that the show would be using her song, a timeless pop standard whose success has helped fuel her creative lifestyle. She just wrapped up a play in Los Angeles and will soon head to Chicago to perform a concert. In late September and early October, she is scheduled to perform at New York cabaret club 54 Below.

“Talk about the gift that keeps on giving, ” McBroom told Speakeasy in a telephone interview last week. “I have the opportunity to do whatever I damn well please, thank you very much.”

An edited transcript of the interview follows.

So you had no idea …

No! They never tell me anything. Warner Chappell just says, “Sure you can use it, ” and much after the fact I find out much to my delight. I am so happy to know about this before it airs. Woo hoo!

Amanda McBroom amcbroom.com

Have you watched “True Detective” before?

Oh God, yes, I’m addicted to it.

Have you seen this season so far?

Yes, I can’t believe they killed Colin Farrell! Oh my … or, maybe he’s not dead, but he looked pretty dead to me!

I won’t spoil anything for you, but “The Rose” does play a prominent role in the first scene of the third episode, and it’s the Conway Twitty version.

God bless him!

Are you a fan of the Conway Twitty version?

Absolutely. Honey, I bless all the versions that make it into national attention, and I thought he did a beautiful job. It was such a hard right turn from the movie, and it was the first cut aside from Bette’s to come out. I love country, and I’ve always loved Conway. I had heard that, when he was looking to put together that particular album, his kids told him that he had to record that song, and he said OK. I thought to have a male voice to it, first, yay, and a man with so much gravitas, it was a thrill. It was a total thrill.

Source: blogs.wsj.com

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