Jim Hoehn

Jim Hoehn


One reviewer said of my songs, "This has nothing to with music, it's storytelling plain and simple." I took it as a compliment.


Jim Hoehn, author of A Father's Guide to Birth, Babies and Loud Children, is a Milwaukee-based journalist and songwriter who discovered early that putting pen to paper was a legitimate way of avoiding any form of manual labor, leading to a career path that has included newspapers, magazines and wire services.

Hoehn and his wife are the parents of three young children, whose sugar-fueled daily antics are the basis for his award-winning monthly magazine column on parenting, as well as his book.

One of his editorial stops, which helps explains some of his outlook and approach to parenting, was a stint as the managing editor of the New York-based Rugby magazine, a sport which he played for the better part of two decades.

Although he has written on a wide range of topics, Hoehn's primary focus was sports, covering such events as the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl and Hong Kong 7s rugby tournament, in addition to several thousand regular-season and tournament games of all sports at every level. Hoehn currently resides in the world cubicle journalism as a production coordinator for Journal Interactive, the online news division of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

For 11 years, he wrote a monthly magazine column, "Father's 'Hood," described by one reader as "Erma Bombeck meets Dave Barry," which won national recognition in the humor category from Parenting Publications of America.

A midlife crisis turned Hoehn's writing attention toward music, where he has carved out a surprisingly successful niche as a performing songwriter despite a musical philosophy of "Six strings, five fingers, three chords, no problem."

As a songwriter he has performed at numerous festivals and events around the country and has opened for a wide variety of national artists, including the likes of Todd Snider, James McMurtry, Warren Zevon, Jerry Jeff Walker, Junior Brown, Robert Earl Keen, Don McLean, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a memorable evening with songwriter-turned-mystery novelist Kinky Friedman. Through a combination of shameless self-promotion and clerical errors, Hoehn also has appeared on a number of radio and TV shows, including The Mitch Albom Show on MSNBC.

In addition to his latest CD, "Royalty Check Hotel" (June 2009), Hoehn has released two other CDs of mostly original music, Deadline Penitentiary and Playa del Pressbox. He also is the producer of three extremely successful tropical-flavored compilation CDs, Thongs In The Key Of Life; Thongs In The Key Of Life, Vol. II and the cleverly named Thongs In The Key Of Life, Vol. 3 .

Hoehn also is the host the semi-regular radio show, The Three-Chord Barbecue, on Radio Jimmy Dreamz, which originally aired for two years on Radio Margaritaville.

His hopes of completing the ultimate male trifecta of immaturity - sportswriting, guitar playing and eventually owning a Harley-Davidson - were squelched by the appearance of not one, not two, but three children. In his mind, he is not driving a minivan.


Maggie & The Singin' Cowboy

Written By: Jim Hoehn

Maggie And The Singin¹ Cowboy Show

She¹s a solo act in a lonely room, lifetime fading on the wall
Like the opening of the Co-op store, Blue-Dot flashbulb caught it all
On her good days she¹s got her memory and 30 or 40 cats
A closet full of dancin¹ boots and sequined suits to match

She¹s got Scotty¹s priceless old guitars, they ain¹t heard a chord in years
Con man tried to get Œem once, she tossed him out right on his ear
She talks of going back on the road, though her partner died long ago
She still thinks of herself as Maggie of the Singin¹ Cowboy Show

And she¹ll tell anyone who¹ll listen, boy they were somethin¹ in their day
And the Starlight Ballroom off Highway 12 was her favorite place to play
She¹d hit the stage and tip her hat with a big old Howdy-do
And mean it when she¹d end each show with Happy Trails To You

The Airstream¹s in the backyard weeds up on blocks since Scotty died
The Singin¹ Cowboys are all but gone as the paint peels from the side
But on a small town night at the one stop light, Maggie¹d honk and let’em know
And they¹d follow that silver trailer to the Singin¹ Cowboy show


Over 80 years and countless miles, she¹s lost a step or two
But she¹ll surprise infrequent visitors with a dance she used to do
She raised her skirt and kicked one leg, knocked some knick-knacks off the shelf
Scared the hell out of the newspaper man and fell down laughin¹ at her self

In a cat-hair covered easy chair, a notepad on his knee
He¹s trying to make some editorial sense from her disjointed history
To balance the lonesome present with the smiles of long ago
So they¹ll always remember Maggie and the Singin¹ Cowboy Show


© Jim Hoehn

Kings of Black Velvet

Written By: Jim Hoehn

The Kings Of Black Velvet

On a country corner gravel parking lot,
sits an old Ford Econoline van that¹s all but shot
From the guts of the rusted-out van, springs a spiritual roadside stand
Where the saviors of soul and rock and roll exchange daily thoughts

They spend all day nonchalantly leaning on the fender
The pictures of cool as the bait of a roadside vendor
But to pass the time away, they talk with each other all day
And wonder ‘bout the irony that brought them together forever

I’m talkin¹ ‘bout the kings of black velvet, Jesus Christ and Elvis
The religion of contradiction side by side
Some would whisper it¹s kind of scandalous, shout it¹s downright blasphemous
But you can take ‘em both home for $39.95

Jesus says, every morning when I see your pompadour hair
It reminds me of something that drives me to total despair
I¹m talkin¹ ‘bout these TV preachers by the dozen
We drove the money changers from the temple and put ‘em on the air

Elvis says, man I know exactly how you feel
There¹s no part of my act those impersonators didn¹t steal
You can¹t pray in a public school,
but there¹s no law against singing Don¹t Be Cruel
When it comes to the message, I got the better end of the deal


They¹d bet on every car and who was going to buy what
They¹d go double or nothing on the total from a tourist bus
But they could never figure out how someone stone-cold sober
Would spend their money on those dogs playin¹ poker
‘stead of a couple of good-looking velvet hunks like us

They talked of Col. Parker and Judas and friends who¹d failed them
Elvis joked about the farmer¹s daughter and the traveling salesman
About Memphis Mafia and movie chicks, how Jesus saves but Elvis lives
And if the pearly gates are bigger than the ones at Graceland


They talked about the tabloid press and the thirst for scandal
Jesus says I put on some tunes when it¹s too much to handle
Now, Elvis my friend, don¹t take this wrong
But I always preferred those surfing Beach Boy songs
What do you expect from a guy always wearing sandals?

But there¹s one part of your act that I found particularly thrillin¹
Like the closing line from your show at the Vegas Hilton
When they rolled that stone away,
it would have been cool to have the big voice say
Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus has left the building.

Spend eternity on the walls of the double-wide
© -Jim Hoehn


Royalty Check Hotel (2009)
Deadline Penitentiary (2004(
Playa del Pressbox (1995)

Set List

Bone Island Mambo
Bad Rhymes, Worse Puns
Small-Town Bad
Maggie & The Singin' Cowboy Show
Ozzie Osbourne Barbeshop Quartet
Kings of Black Velvet
Art of Nothin'
Yesterday's News
Hard Liquor & Handgun Night
Wait 'til the Movie Comes Out
Howie Played Accordion
Three-Chord Barbecue
Dark Side of the Island
The Tedium of Cool
Callin' In Gone
I Still Like Herb Alpert
Tree House Peace of Mind
The Dancing Flamingo Queens
Poker Night at the Purgatory Lounge
Palm Tree Kind of Day
He's Away From His Desk
Rhythm con Queso
Between the Lines
Nude Awakening
Humanity Night on the Redneck Riviera
Live for the Moment
Room With A View
Old Home Days
Barroom MIA
Bimbette du Jour
Word Guys
100-Year Brunch with Shirley MacLaine
Legally Speaking

(also covers of Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Tom Russell, Todd Snider, etc.)