Music: Riding High with Hard-Luck Guys

Joe Ely keeps faith with the past and makes good music

The best country album of 1980 never came out in the U.S., and the best country album so far in 1981 isn't getting played on the radio and hasn't sold enough copies to keep Glen Campbell in rhinestones. The fellow responsible for both records isn't taking it too hard though. "I'd like a hit," Joe Ely muses.

"But I'm not in it for the fame and fortune. It's getting so that if you don't make three million bucks, you're not hot. But you don't...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!