What do Tom Jones, Nick Cave, Joan Baez, John Denver, Ray Charles, Del Shannon, Keith Richards, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Carol Channing, Manowar and Linda Ronstadt... have in common?
They recorded his songs. Matter of fact, Newbury's material has been covered by over 1,230 artists. That is just about everybody.
His inspirational ballad "An American Trilogy" has been recorded by more than 550 artists. It was Elvis' showstopper.
His "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" is the rocker that launched Kenny Rogers' career into the stratosphere.
Newbury, who grew up on Houston's tough North side, is the only songwriter to place four top hits on four different charts... simultaneously.
The train hopper was also instrumental in mentoring Kris Kristofferson, who says, "God, I learned more about songwriting from Mickey than I did any other single human being. He was my hero and still is."
Shotgun Willie Nelson adds, "He was one of the best writers we've ever had and one of the best friends I've ever had."
And that is not all. Newbury's albums enjoy an extensive cult following. Peers consider him among the best of the best, and many artists refer to his albums as "perfect." Some call him a modern day Stephen Foster.
Why then is Newbury known mainly to insiders? A well-kept secret? Too good for the masses? Two truths can be stated: The man cannot be pigeonholed, and he refused to sell out.
Like crystal and stone, Newbury's fascinating story is clearly and solidly laid out. It may even change a few truths. As he wrote,
Time has a way of changing everything
Truth has a way of changing all the time.