The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
"Windy and Warm"

"Windy and Warm"

#187 / March 10 Podcast

Composed more than 60 years ago by the great John D. Loudermilk, “Windy and Warm” is a one of the late 20th century’s most loved virtuoso pieces for fingerstyle guitar players.

It was first recorded and released in the spring of 1961 by legendary guitarist Chet Atkins. In fact, the story goes that the tune came into being specifically because Chet wanted something that sounded old-fashioned, something in the old Merle Travis tradition.

"I'm getting too deeply into jazz,” Chet was reported to have said at the time. “I need to get back to my roots.”

"I played this song for him,” Loudermilk mused many years later, “and he picked up the guitar and … he finished the damn thing before I finished it. And I wrote it!"

The piece quickly became a signature tune for Chet, who continued to perform it throughout his lengthy career. It wasn’t long after that thousands of guitarists — shoot, over the past six decades, perhaps millions — were learning it. Recordings came from everyone from The Country Gentlemen and Tony Rice to Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman.

Along Comes Doc

Of those also-rans who recorded “Windy and Warm” in tribute to Chet Atkins’ original treatment, the most influential probably was Doc Watson’s performance on his massively successful 1966 “Southbound” album.

Doc recorded it again in 1970 in a popular “live” rendition with his son, Merle. The Watsons played it so well, in fact, that listeners who didn’t pay attention to the album’s credits might have assumed they wrote it themselves.

Tommy Emmanuel

The day after John D. Loudermilk’s death in September 2016 at 82, famed guitarist Tommy Emmanuel posted on Facebook that “Windy and Warm” was the first song “to come along and change my life.”

Emmanuel added, “It was played by Chet Atkins and written especially for him by a great songwriter, storyteller, history-maker and all-round genius! … My love and sympathies go out to all the Loudermilk Family today. John, thanks for your humor, your passion for music, people and songwriting. We will never forget your beautiful blue eyes and your warmth for us all. Love you, Big Daddy.”

Our Take on the Tune

When the incomparable Dan Cox joined The Flood Fold last year, one of the first tunes he and his buddy, veteran Floodster Randy Hamilton, brought to the mix was “Windy and Warm.”

While most of this take is all about Danny’s pitch-perfect picking, it also features Randy and Dan vocalizing at one point, a moment that you can hear being happily applauded by Charlie. Check it out!

Want More Danny?

If that Dan Cox picking only whets your appetite for more, you’re in good company. For another helping or two, check out The Danny Cox Channel in our free Radio Floodango music streaming service.

Click here to hear Danny playing in a randomizes playlist of several dozen especially cool tunes in all kinds of styles and moods.

The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Each week The 1937 Flood, West Virginia's most eclectic string band, offers a free tune from a recent rehearsal, show or jam session. Music styles range from blues and jazz to folk, hokum, ballad and old-time. All the podcasts, dating back to 2008, are archived on our website; you and use the archive for free at: