"My father Nathaniel Couty Jr., born in Natchez, Louisiana on October 6, 1934, he moved to
Chicago when he was a child with his parents, Eleanor and Nathaniel, Sr. Couty. My father
is a downright southerner and spoke with a twang all of his life. He was married twice the first
marriage I don't know too much about but he had three sons and a daughter. I only met my half
sister at my father's funeral. Her name is Denise Couty. Dad met my mother in 1964 and
they were married a year later. My mother Jovita Couty had three children, Eric Couty,
Renee Couty Phillips and Yvette Couty. He met my mother while playing in a band at a local
bar. He played guitar and wrote many of his own songs. He loved to fish and hunt and
did regularly when we were younger.
He taught me how to play the guitar, shoot craps and
bait a hook! He rode horses as well and had a love for animals. We owned so many dogs
as a kid and rabbits and birds. My father, when he was younger, raised and raced homing pigeons.
My parents divorced in 1973.
We lost touch for a long time and then we became friends again when
I was 16 years old. I never lost touch with him since. He was a wonderful man who made many
friends, all who met him instantly liked him and he loved to tell stories and jokes all the
He was always known by the nickname Coty! and all knew him by his black Stetson cowboy
hat and black cowboy boots that he wore everyday and you never seen him without wearing them.
His wishes before he died was to be buried with them.
The last year my father was alive he was very ill. He had a stroke in 1999 and I had moved
to Florida with my family I moved back later that year to help him. We found he had
stomach cancer as well. My father passed away in his sleep, he had a massive heart attack
and we found him on September 9, 2000, two days later. He was cremated at Woodlawn Cemetery,
in Forest Park and we had a memorial service on September 12, 2000, at St. Benedict's Church.
His last wishes were to also travel back to Louisiana and be buried there.
I still have his ashes with me as well as his hat and boots, I must one day make the
trip to bury him where he wanted to have his final resting place.
It was hard for me when my father passed away, he is the only one who I was very close
to that died. I miss him dearly and his memories will always be with me.
My children had the chance to know their grandfather and they adored him.
I remember one year back in 1998 my father loved to cook the traditional Cajun
way and he made Gumbo all the time. We went to the store and we saw live chicks as it
was around Easter time that we went. I told him I always wanted one of those when
I was a child. Two days later my father went back to that store and bought a cute
little fluffy yellow chick and gave it to me for Easter when I was 26 years old.
My dad did things like that, he was trying to make up for not being around when I was a kid,
and he did. He was always giving away things to his friends and family, his motto was why
should I have it if it makes someone else happier. I wish we all thought more like that
and I guess I inherited that same motto as well.
My father had two brothers and two sisters. Clyde Couty, Wilkey Couty, Marjorie Couty
and Louise Couty. My father played in bands and sang all his life. He made tapes for
me when I was younger and he wrote many songs and of course redid some of Elvis'
as well. He loved rock-and-roll and country western music. I remember when I was
small we turned our basement into a party hall with a full stock bar and people would
arrive and music would start playing and people danced way into the night.
My dad was a great dancer and taught me dance to as well.
I believe this story makes my father out to be a saint but he wasn't. He had his own faults,
and many as most people do. He had two failed marriages and children he barely saw during
their childhood. He drank heavily for many years and lost touch with a lot of his family
along the way. But in the end I know my father knew what kind of man he was and where
possible he tried to make up for the past mistakes that he made. He wasn't perfect nor
was he a saint but he was my father and I loved him dearly no matter what.
My mother was his one true love and he never remarried after her. He once told me years
ago that he still loved her and always would, she was the right woman for him he just
wasn't the man he should have been to her. He had many female friends after that and
women just adored him. They flocked to him like bugs to a flame. Nat Couty had personality,
wit and charm and he knew how to talk to the ladies.
He was a good dad as far as I can remember, he always let me sit on his lap and
he would tell me stories about growing up on a farm in Louisiana. He would sing
to me all the time and he took me to the park, the zoo and the movies. He loved
me and brother and sister dearly and always talked about us to his friends and
family. He was proud of us.
In conclusion, my father, Nat Couty wrote Woodpecker Rock and Won't You Come
Along with Me, both songs I love and have heard all my life. He gave me his original
45 from the recording of those songs. He never knew his music was adored by many and
it was such a great honor that Morrissey put his song on his CD as one of the singers
in his life that gave him inspiration. I am glad my father was able to touch many with
his music as he touched many lives by the man he was. I wish he were alive to see that
his songs were being played by many people still today and it warms my heart and soul.
Thank you and for all those who enjoy the song and wanted to know more about the man.
He wasn't perfect, he wasn't famous, and he wasn't rich, but he was my father.
He gave me many years of memories and he passed on to me and my children what he
knew best, wisdom, laughter and most of all songs that we still listen to today and
remember the person he was. He may not be here in body but his spirit will
remain in our hearts forever and his songs will inspire those memories and love
he shared for us and for life."
Renee Couty Phillips
Posted April, 2005
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