Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Barter Takes 'Sunny Side' on the Road

From the Bristol Herald Courier
Barter Theatre's "Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of The Original Carter Family," one of its most popular productions, will pick up its much-anticipated tour this fall. Because of its immense popularity, Barter will send its talented cast of nomadic actors on the road to play 70 performances in 20 states between October 1 and March 27, 2005. In the middle of the tour, the production will open Barter¹s 2005 Season on its historic stage on January 26 and will run until February 26.

The Barter Theatre

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Bristol Herald Courier


Tammy still a crowd pleaser

From The Roanoke Times
Where were all the cowboy hats Saturday night?

Mill Mountain Theatre regulars turned out for the opening performance of "Stand by Your Man," but country music fans seemed nowhere to be found.

Come on, people. It's a musical about the first lady of country music, the first female artist to sell a million albums, a pioneer who paved the way for all the Martina McBrides out there. Country music lovers - even those who only listen to contemporary country- have a duty to come out and pay their respects.

Opening night of "Stand by Your Man" got off to a rough start with some sour notes, but by the fifth song, "Between 29 and Danger," the audience was swept away by the mighty voice of Kristin Stewart, who plays Wynette. The New York actress shares an uncanny resemblance to the country legend and has clearly channeled Wynette's determined spirit.

Larry Tobias, as George "'Possum" Jones, makes a perfect match for Stewart. It may be difficult to get younger audiences, who know 'possum only as road kill, into Mill Mountain, but once they're there they'll go ga-ga over the hunky, slightly dangerous-looking Tobias.

"Stand by Your Man" runs through Sunday on Mill Mountain Theatre's Trinkle Main Stage. $35. 342-5740 or millmountain.org.

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The Roanoke Times


Yorkville Music Weekend, November 19-20, 2004 Historic York, South Carolina

From PRWeb
Instructional workshops for Old-Time Fiddle, Hammered Dulcimer, and Mountain Dulcimer Lots of jamming on Friday and Saturday. Saturday evening concert featuring dulcimer and fiddle virtuoso Ken Kolodner. Park your car and walk to all events on Congress Street in beautiful historic York.

Fiddle and dulcimer master, Ken Kolodner returns by popular demand to the Yorkville Music Weekend to teach old-time fiddle and lead the big jam on Friday night, Nov 19.

Saturday, Nov. 20, Ken will teach two - 2 hour workshops for hammered dulcimer, adv-beginner thru experienced players. Award winning mountain dulcimer wizard John Renwick is coming to us from Charlotte, NC to teach a two hour workshop for mountain dulcimer.

For more information and to download the official YMW brochure or register on-line, visit www.SusanSherlock.com/YMW.htm.

Read the Press Release


Bluegrass festival starts out with a bang

From The Times Record (Aledo, IL)
Around 1,000 people showed up Friday, Sept. 3 to see the opening night of the Barnes Bluegrass Music Festival.

"It's a good crowd for a Friday night," said Jim Barnes, patriarch of the Barnes family. Barnes started the festival 32 years ago and it thrives today as the longest running bluegrass festival in the state of Illinois and as a fundraiser for The Children's Therapy Center (formerly Easter Seals). "We are getting more and more local people," said Jim. "They are discovering it's not too harmful."

The Times Record


With Fall comes the chance to see something new

From the York (NE) News Times
With the onset of fall comes another opportunity to get out and experience the natural beauty of Nebraska. While New England is a popular destination for tourists this time of year, I am confident Nebraska offers equally impressive sights in combination with fall festivals in communities that are ready to celebrate the change of seasons.

The Nebraska Country Music Festival comes to Hastings and Valentine will host the Old West Days and Cowboy Poetry Gathering in mid-October. Harvest celebrations continue in Gage County with a festival held in an authentic old-stone barn. Oktoberfest celebrations are planned in Sidney as well as Omaha; and families can experience the fun of Halloween with haunted hayrack rides and more during Haunted Hollow in Scotia and at both Ponca State Park and Indian Cave State Park in Shubert. Norfolk boasts its local pumpkin patch is great entertainment for kids with mazes, as well as a train, tree house and racetrack.

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York News Times

Monday, September 27, 2004


George Jones Lives to tell it all and he does

From the Spartanburg (SC) Herald Journal
The title of George Jones' 1996 autobiography says it all: "I Lived to Tell It All."

For years, people close to him wondered whether he'd live to see the end of the day much less live to see his music career reach the 50-year milestone.

But earlier this month, Jones was on hand for a star-studded salute in his honor, which will be broadcast Thanksgiving night on

The program, "George Jones: 50 Years of Hits," includes admirers ranging from Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Connie Smith to Harry Connick Jr., Trick Pony and Uncle Kracker.

During his career, Jones has charted more singles than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.

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Spartanburg Herald Journal


Bluegrass festival fills Eva Beach

From the Jackson Sun
How many 12-year-olds do you know with a festival named after them?

"I'm really proud of him," Lisa Holladay said. "I'm proud the chamber and the people of Benton County support him the way they do."

The "him" is her son, Ryan, the center of attention on Sunday as Benton County residents turned out by the hundreds at Eva Beach to enjoy the last day of the inaugural Ryan Holladay Bluegrass Festival.

Formerly known as the Tennessee River Folklife and Music Festival, the festival began in 1983, nine years before the festival's namesake was born.

Ryan has appeared at the Grand Ole Opry on several occasions, ...

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Jackson Sun


Santa Cruz & Hawaii: Separated at birth?

From the Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel
When the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club met last month, 200 string-strumming, self-professed "ukulele nuts" showed up.

It’s a gathering that would seem amazing almost anywhere else on the U.S. mainland. You probably can’t find 200 ukulele players in the entire state of Minnesota, for instance.

But in Santa Cruz, the ukulele draws a crowd.

In fact, anything Hawaiian seems to attract a following here.

We’ve got hula schools and canoe clubs and the headquarters of the nation’s foremost Hawaiian slack-key guitar record label.

For the Monterey Bay is the beginning — and now part of the preservation — of the Hawaiian folk music tradition of slack-key guitar.

It started with three head of longhorn cattle, according to Houston and Ben Churchill who worked at Santa Cruz’s Dancing Cat Records, which has, for years, preserved and popularized the slack-key guitar.

Back in the late ’70s, local vintage blues guitarist Bob Brozman encouraged a then-unknown pianist named George Winston to move to Santa Cruz.

Winston, who became a million-album-seller in the 1980s, set up Dancing Cat Records in Santa Cruz as a way to document the Hawaiian tradition of slack-key guitar — a style he said was one of his influences.

"He (Winston) elevated slack-key guitar to be a legitimate form of guitar, like flamenco and jazz," said Brozman, who has produced his own albums of vintage Hawaiian music.

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Santa Cruz Sentinel

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Wanda Jackson relives glory days with saucy set

From the Chicago Sun-Times
Any concert by an early pioneer of rock 'n' roll involves a time warp. The performer wants to take the audience into the past, back through the decades to an artistic heyday. The crowd happily joins this fantastic journey, but fans must reconcile dreamy notions of yesterday with the cold reality of today. Such was the case during Wanda Jackson's concert Thursday night at Martyrs'.

Jackson headlined a five-act bill as part of Estrojam, a weeklong festival that aims to get more women involved in the creative and technical aspects of the arts. Dubbed "The Queen of Rockabilly," Jackson was an appropriate booking for the fest because her fiery singles in the '50s blazed a trail for all the female rockers who followed.

During her prime, Jackson's voice was a compelling instrument that combined girlish allure with formidable whoops and growls. Her form-fitting, shoulder-baring dresses made her a symbol of sensuality, and she famously dated and toured with Elvis Presley.

Jackson's impressive vocals on "Right or Wrong," a self-penned ballad from 1961, demonstrated that she can still convincingly emote in dramatic fashion. Jackson peppered her performance with anecdotes from her 50 years as a recording artist, including a story of how the young Presley had once given her his ring, which she placed on a necklace and wore around her neck.

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Chicago Sun-Times


Poway Rodeo opens with excitement

From the North County Times (Poway, CA)
Bolting out of its stall at breakneck speed during the bareback event, a bucking horse tossed his rider like a rag doll --- just one of many breathtaking moments shared by hundreds of spectators Friday on the opening night of the 32nd annual Poway Rodeo.

The first part of the three-day event, which runs through Sunday, drew about 2,500 people, said Russ Sheldon, the rodeo chairman. He expects an additional 8,500 attendees for the rest of the rodeo being held at the Poway Valley Riders Association Arena.

The Poway Rodeo was introduced in 1973, Sheldon said, when the Poway Valley Riders Association, the Lion's Club and the Poway Chamber of Commerce wanted to find a way to promote the area's western traditions. Sheldon said that he and his wife are the only two people he knows who have worked at all 32 rodeos.

The rodeo is a big production for the city, with its $190,000 price tag and 150-plus volunteers. No one involved with the event is paid except for specialty acts, bull fighters and rodeo clowns.

Proceeds from the event will go to various charities, Sheldon said.

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North County Times


ARC provides $50,000 for Ralph Stanley Museum

From the Kingsport (TN) Times-News
The Appalachian Regional Commission is providing a $50,000 federal grant to Clintwood to assist with the operating costs of the Ralph Stanley Museum.

The Ralph Stanley Museum will be located in Clintwood's historic Chase House, which is undergoing renovations to house the exhibits that will be showcased in the museum. Once completed, the museum will commemorate the contributions of Ralph Stanley to Appalachia's music culture and the development of traditional mountain and country music.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony has been planned for Oct. 15. It is expected that 10,000 people will visit the museum during the first year it is open, and approximately 20,000 will visit during its second year of operation.

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Kingsport Times-News


Caswell County to hold annual Bright Leaf Hoedown

From the Danville (VA) Register Bee
Caswell County’s biggest event of the year returns this Saturday and Sunday. The 23rd annual Bright Leaf Hoedown will draw an estimated 25,000 people to Historic Court Square in downtown Yanceyville over the course of its two-day run, according to Bob Hillman, executive director of the Caswell County Chamber of Commerce.

Hillman explained the namesake of the Hoedown.

“On Abisha Slade’s farm, back in 1839, it seems that one night it was raining. As the story goes, a young man named Steven was watching the fire and fell asleep, then, in a panic, he went to the blacksmith’s shop and got some coals and threw them on the fire. The fire became intense. The next morning, much to his surprise, the tobacco had turned a golden yellow. When they took it market, it quadrupled in price. What came to be known as flue-cured tobacco made every tobacco farmer in North Carolina and Virginia rich.”

“And thus, we have the Bright Leaf Hoedown,” he said.

“It’s quite an event. Folks get a chance to see old friends from all over the county.

“People look forward to a chance to get together and have a good time.”

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Danville Register Bee


Bluegrass Experience - Annual Angie event gets under way this weekend

From the Bogalusa (LA) Daily News
There's something at once deeply spiritual and compellingly human in the experience of Bluegrass music. It is the sound of America. It is the voice of the people that unites generations past, present and to come.

"Kids" of all ages sat in lawn chairs, stood swaying to the music or played with one another in the safety of a family-oriented event where alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited. One woman did needlework while a handful of voices in unison joined with mandolin, guitar and bass to add enjoyment to her task. A man stood contemplating what looked like a homemade chocolate cake, sliced and under glass in the rear of the big room. And outside the building in the nearby camping area, people sat in impromptu circles and sang and played into the night.

The Great Southern Bluegrass Festival offers people the opportunity to take a break from chores, television and other dull routine. It offers a chance to tap into the spirit of life and the character of America. And it's taking place in a fine facility "at home" in Washington Parish.

The festival is being held at the R.V. Park on La. Hwy. 21 in Angie. Admission costs $12 per day or $22 for a two-day ticket. And children 12 years of age and younger are admitted free with parents.

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Bogalusa Daily News


The Weavers take last bow

From the Chicago Sun-Times
Pete Seeger was standing in the corner of the big dressing room, playing a tune on his recorder. Fred Hellerman was planted on a chair, listening. "It's an old Japanese air," Seeger said, putting down his recorder.

"I've heard you play a whole opera on that thing," Hellerman said.

This was last week at the Toronto Film Festival, where the Weavers were going to sing that night for probably the last time. Three of them -- Seeger, Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert -- go back more than 55 years together, and their songs are like the American national soundtrack. Think of "Goodnight, Irene," "Wimoweh," "This Land Is Your Land," "If I Had a Hammer," "Midnight Special" and "Rock Island Line," and it's their voices you hear in your memory.

Pete Seeger is now 85. Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman are pushing 80. Lee Hays, the fourth member of the original group, died in 1981. Erik Darling and Eric Weissberg have joined the group for reunions since then, and now all five gathered for a conversation before their rehearsal.

The occasion was the premiere that evening of Jim Brown's "Isn't This a Time," a documentary about a Carnegie Hall concert in honor of Harold Leventhal's 50th anniversary as an impresario. It was Leventhal who booked them into Carnegie Hall the first time in the late 1940s, and Leventhal who reunited them a few years later at the height of McCarthyism, when the group's left-wing politics had made them victims of a show business blacklist. In between, they'd had a No. 1 hit with Leadbelly's song "Goodnight, Irene," become the most popular singing group in the country and then faced oblivion because of the blacklist.

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Chicago Sun-Times


Pickin' and grinnin': Family group reaches out to nursing homes

From the Columbia (TN) Daily Herald
With fingers flying over mandolins, fiddles and guitars, six sisters entertained the residents and staff at Rosewood Manor Nursing Facility with bluegrass gospel music and songs at their monthly visit.

The musical group of sisters is called The Ward Family. The girls' ages range from 6-18 years. They play classic hymn songs bluegrass-style, which the residents are familiar with, like "In the Garden" and "Shall We Gather."

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Columbia Daily Herald

Friday, September 24, 2004


Country legend brings her own brand of gospel to amphitheater

From the Chillicothe (OH) Gazette
Connie Meador has come a long way since her days singing at the Washington County Fair.

Known to the world as country music legend Connie Smith, she'll bring her "big mouth Christian" style and "hillbilly" talent to the stage at the River of Life Amphitheatre tonight at 8.

"It will be fun," she said. "We'll be doing some of the songs that were instrumental in getting me started in the country music business so many years ago and a lot of gospel."

Her first album, a self-titled release, was released in August 1964 and topped the country charts by November.

"I've been tremendously blessed to work with some great people and I love singing hillbilly music. It's what I do best," she said.

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Chillicothe Gazette


Merle Haggard cancels date due to illness

From Z104 (Washington, DC)
Country music legend Merle Haggard has canceled a series of dates in Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico due to respiratory problems.

A message posted on Haggard's official Web site said the 67-year-old singer-songwriter had canceled all shows for the rest of 2004 "due to health concerns."

At first, the posting prompted concern that Haggard's illness might be serious, but his publicist told United Press International Haggard only had a short series of dates scheduled from Oct. 1-10 and he was "just not in top-notch shape to sing" on those dates. No other dates had even been scheduled for the remainder of 2004.

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Country songwriter, singer Roy Drusky dies at 74

From The Tennesseean (Nashville)
Country music performer Roy Drusky, whose smooth baritone was part of the Grand Ole Opry for 46 years, died yesterday at the Highland Manor Nursing Home in Portland, Tenn.

He was 74 years old and had battled emphysema for many years.

During his 50-year musical career, Mr. Drusky recorded more than 50 albums, scored at least 10 No. 1 hits and acted in three movies. He last performed on the Opry in June 2003.

Mr. Drusky appeared in the movies “White Lightning Express,” “Forty Acre Feud” and “Golden Guitar.”

The Tennesseean

Gallatin News-Examiner

ABC News - Reuters

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Dover to honor musical pioneer - Joseph Kekuku

From the Daily Record (Parsippany, NJ)
Hidden under an overgrown bush in Dover's oldest cemetery is a piece of history that, historians say, may have revolutionized music altogether. Joseph Kekuku, considered the inventor of the steel guitar style of music, is thought to have been buried in Dover's Orchard Street cemetery in 1932.

Local officials learned about five years ago that Dover was the renowned musician's final resting place.

"We didn't know" Kekuku was buried in Dover, said George Laurie, the Dover Area Historical Society museum curator.

Kekuku was born in La'ie, Hawaii, in 1874. At the age of 11, Kekuku decided to try something new, sliding a metal piece across slacked strings. As if by accident, Kekuku originated the distinctive sound, which later became part of Hawaiian traditional music and eventually made its way into country music and other musical styles. ...

Now both men are working with the historical society, Dover Renaissance, and the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association in putting together a Hawaiian festival on Oct. 10 at the Dover American Legion Hall, 2 Legion Place. The celebration will start with a memorial service at Kekuku's grave at 3:30 p.m., followed by a social hour inside the legion hall. The evening Hawaiian steel guitar program will start at 7 and will feature steel guitar musicians and hula dancing. ...

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The Daily Record


Politics of ‘Pickin’: Bluegrass on the bill at Fairview mayor’s house

From the Williamson County Review Appeal
Move over “Monday Night Football.” Now there’s Bluegrass at the Mayor’s.

The first Monday of the month, people of all sizes and shapes, young and old, gather in a building behind Fairview Mayor Stuart Johnson’s house for an evening of old-time pickin’ and a-grinnin’.

It’s dubbed Monday Night Bluegrass at the Mayor’s, a chance for people to get together and have fun, and within a few short months it has become a Monday night tradition that hearkens back to a slower time when friends and neighbors gathered on a porch or in a barn to play the music of their parents and grandparents.

At Johnson’s place, guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, Dobros, bass fiddles and spoons move in and out of the circle of players that often has as many as 16 players at one time. Anyone with an instrument and a love for bluegrass music can step in to play a riff or a few songs as onlookers clap their hands and stomp their feet to the music as it goes on into the evening. ...

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Review Appeal


Loretta Lynn shares recipes, life in new cookbook

From the Asheville Citizen-Times
Chicken `n' dumplin's, beans `n' taters, `possum and peanut butter fudge.

When Loretta Lynn married Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn at age 13, she wasn't much of a cook.

"He threw out everything I cooked for at least three months," she writes in her cookbook, "You're Cookin' It Country" (Rutledge Hill Press, $24.99).

In the book, she tells of her first efforts at cooking, modeling her dishes on those her mother made. When she was growing up in eastern Kentucky as one of eight children, pickings were slim, so mostly she learned to cook "beans and taters and taters and beans."

Regardless of whether you cook from this book, by the time you read the stories and enjoy the photos of Lynn's life, you will feel like this legend in the world of country music is an old friend.

(Article includes two recipes from the book.)

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Asheville Citizen-Times


Strum Some?

From The Oregonian
You can see yourself up on that stage, strumming or fiddling away at a bluegrass tune. You imagine the cheers of the crowd, the smiles from fellow musicians.

But so far, only your dog and your living room have ever heard you play a note.

Let's face it: You're a beginning player of the (fill in the blank) guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, string bass, dobro, and even in your most inspired musical moments, you have to admit you're not very good.

Randy Black is looking for you.

Randy is the creator and guiding light behind the Off-Key Bluegrass Jam, a friendly, supportive jam session held Sunday afternoons in Northwest Portland. Randy started the jam two years ago, when he realized there was no place for beginning bluegrass musicians like himself to jam together without fear of failure.

"Our motto is, 'Nobody is too crummy to play with us,' " Randy says. "The idea is to get beginners who don't think they're very good -- and often they're right -- to come out and play with other people at their level."

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The Oregonian


Homestead sets event to preserve tobacco memories

From the Durham County (NC) Herald Sun
With high-tech machines to prime the tobacco and many farmers contracting directly with manufacturers, North Carolina's tobacco traditions are becoming little more than memories.

On Saturday, Duke Homestead State Historic Site will seek to preserve those memories during its annual Tobacco Harvest Festival.

The event features harvest activities such as priming, looping, and hanging the tobacco in the curing barn. Visitors are invited to join the looping contest at 11 a.m. to prove who's the fastest stringer on the farm. After the fires are stoked, farmers will grade and tie the cured leaves into hands to prepare for the afternoon's mock tobacco auction.

In addition to the harvest and auction, visitors may view the film "Legacy of the Golden Leaf" throughout the day, listen to The Boys of Carolina play bluegrass music at 1 and 2 p.m. and meet Joanne Sharpe, author of "Before TV -- Life on a Tobacco Farm." She will sign and sell copies from 1 until 4 p.m.

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The Herald Sun


Willie Nelson to headline Homecoming concert Oct. 30

From the Pine Log (Stephen F. Austin State University)
Texas music legend Willie Nelson will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at William R. Johnson Coliseum to benefit the Paul Buskirk Memorial Scholarship.

Tickets for the benefit concert are $20 and $50, and they will go on sale noon Oct. 1 at the Johnson Coliseum Box Office, Baskin’s Department Store in Nacogdoches and Lufkin and Charles Tomberlain Insurance in Longview. All seats are reserved.

Phone orders can be placed with MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express by calling the SFA Ticket Office at (800) 775-3358 or (936) 468-5225. Sales will resume on Oct. 4 at the SFA Ticket Office, Room 101 of the Birdwell Building on the SFA campus.

Sponsored by the SFA Alumni Association, the benefit concert is a part of the university’s annual Homecoming weekend celebration. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Paul Buskirk Memorial Scholarship, which is administered by the SFA Alumni Association.

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The Pine Log


Auction to fund memorial for lost flight crew

From The Tennesseean (Nashville)
Will Murray wants to make sure his friends aren't forgotten.

The fellows in question are CW3 Keran Kennedy, Capt. Ben Smith and crew chiefs Staff Sgt. Paul Neff and Staff Sgt. Scott Rose. The four Fort Campbell soldiers made up the crew of Lancer 431, a Black Hawk helicopter shot down last Nov. 7 near Tikrit, Iraq. All four died.

Murray — actually Chief Warrant Officer William H. Murray, a 12-year Army veteran — is coordinating an auction of country music and Nashville sports memorabilia 8-11 p.m. tomorrow at The Trap nightclub. Proceeds will go toward funding a granite memorial to the crew.

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The Tennesseean

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Gospel greats strum the soul; Compilation, Cash release give gospel genre its due as country’s muse

From the National Catholic Reporter
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and New Haven Records have compiled what they believe are the 20 best country gospel tunes. This compilation, “Country’s 20 Classic Gospel Songs of the Century,” is dense and storied, with insightful liner notes and an impressive roster of American music pioneers.

The Hall of Fame and New Haven personnel, with input from country radio professionals, narrowed the list to the 20 tracks contained on this album. Many deserving pieces hit the cutting room floor, but these 20 are not too shabby. The museum’s senior historian, John Rumble, said: “It wasn’t really that hard to come up with great performances and great songs. The hard part was deciding which 20 we were going to present.”

Red Foley’s version of “(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)” is reason enough to buy the record. The Carter Family’s “Can the Circle Be Unbroken” and Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” are low-fidelity gems from country’s early years.

Connie Smith’s vocal magic on “How Great Thou Art” is majestic, and Patsy Cline nicely understates “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” with accompaniment from the Jordanaires.

Earlier this year, a new (Johnny) Cash gospel record, “My Mother’s Hymn Book,” hit store shelves, featuring some of his last recorded work.

Cash, who left the earth in September 2003, did not hesitate a moment to declare his greatest work. “You asked me to pick my favorite album I’ve ever made and this is it, ‘My Mother’s Hymn Book,’ ” Cash wrote in the liner notes. “On that album I nailed it. That was me. Me and the guitar, and that’s all there was in it and all there was to it. I’m so glad that I got that done.”

Read the article
national Catholic Reporter

New Haven Records


Country Music Star Estate Sale Wednesday

From WTVF - Channel 5 (Nashville, TN)
Country music fans will also have their chance to get a hold of memorabilia from country music legend Teddy Wilburn.

An estate Sale will be held Wednesday on Evansdale Drive in Nashville. Collectors can buy furniture, china and even costumes.

The sale doesn't wrap up Wednesday until 5 p.m. so you still have plenty of time.

Wilburn died last year. He and his brother Doyle were best known for their musical talents as the Wilburn Brothers.

Read the article


A brief history of country

From Echo Online (Eastern Michigan University)
There are quite a few people who will not listen to country music. Surely many of the students here at Eastern Michigan fall into that category. But really, why is that?

Country, rap and rock ‘n’ roll all have their roots in the blues. Blues artists from the 1930s and ‘40s have paved the way for almost all of the music that you hear today. Blues men Robert Johnson and Rufus “tee-top” Payne were influences of the “father” of country music, Hank Williams.

“Lovesick Blues” was the first hit to put Hank on the map. “Honky-Tonk Blues,” “Long-gone Lonesome Blues” and “Ramblin’ Man” would follow, as his success turned Nashville upside-down. “No doubt about it. Hank Williams had the blues,” said Robert Palmer, author of “Deep Blues.”

Artists through the ‘60s and ‘70s such as Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson kept true to the mold that Hank Williams made of “classic country.”

“I really enjoy the older stuff,” said Amanda Reynolds, a student at EMU. “It focused on love. It is not materialistic or poetic.”

Without a doubt, country music has evolved over the years. It is nothing like all the naysayers remember it. It is so different now, I cannot see how someone could listen to it for a week and not have a couple new favorite songs.

Years from now, there will still be country music. I don’t know how it will be played, but I am sure that it will include fiddles and steel guitars. It will be about everyday people with poetry that comes from the blue-collar democratic way of life.

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Echo Online


Headliners sing her fare's praises

From the Wichita Eagle
You hear a lot of stories about those stuck-up celebrities and their unreasonable demands and their egotistical ways.

You won't hear any of them from Val Morgan, though, and she should know.

For the past 17 years, Morgan has cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the big-name entertainers -- from Johnny Cash to Tony Bennett to REO Speedwagon -- who have played the Kansas State Fair's Grandstand stage.

"I also fix a lot of ham and beans and cornbread, and they say they don't get that on the road," Morgan said. "I remember that Aaron Tippin wanted the ham and beans and cornbread. We had steaks, but he wanted that."

The 17 years' worth of performers have filled two scrapbooks with autographs and photographs, Morgan said, and she seems to particularly treasure the pictures of herself with Garth Brooks, Charley Pride and Barbara Mandrell. No one has declined to add their signature to the books, she said, and many of the stars have even seemed a bit bashful around her.

"Sometimes they'll stand there at the door, afraid to come in," Morgan said. "I'll tell them, 'Come on in, it's OK.' "

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Wichita Eagle


Award-winning Cajun music comes to Ames

From the Ames Tribune (Iowa)
The Cajun music will be provided by the Grammy award-winning BeauSoleil with Michael Doucet and the original New Orleans jazz sound of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

The show, "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler," is led by talented Michael Doucet. Joining Doucet is his brother David, one of roots music's most innovative guitarists; Jimmy Breauxand his traditional Cajun accordion (he's the grandson of Cajun accordion pioneer Amedee Breaux); Tommy Alesi on drums; Billy Ware on percussion; and Al Tharp, on everything from banjo to bass to second fiddle.

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Ames Tribune

Louisiana band tries to remain true to its roots
Iowa State Daily

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Lafayette fest (Festivals Acadiens) keeps everyone entertained

From The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys inspired dancers, who discharged a dust cloud in front of the Festival Stage, while nearby the aroma of cracklins and red beans and rice rose from the Bayou Food Festival and merged in the pleasant breeze and drifted over Girard Park.

It was Saturday at Festivals Acadiens, which is three ongoing festivals at once: the Festival de Musique Acdienne, The Louisiana Crafts Fair and the Bayou Food Festival.

Paul McCasland, owner of Show and Tell Productions that had the sound responsibility at the Heritage Tent, grabbed two small speakers from his pickup truck and headed to the Louisiana Folk Roots tent, where fiddlers Kevin Wimmer and Mitch Reed were to give a fiddling workshop.

He left employee Mark Gamache at the Heritage Pavilion minding the sounds of the Lost Bayou Ramblers.

McCasland has done sound at the Heritage Pavilion for eight years, but he has worked with Festivals Acadiens since the late 1970s.

"It's not really for the money so much, we just have a good time. We like networking with all the bands," he said. "We have a good time with all the bands."

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The Advocate


Solid as 'Steel' - An instrument and its music birthed in churches, get praises

From the Ocala Star-Banner
There's a lot of musical tradition right here in our own back yard, from The Royal Guardsmen of Ocala to Gainesville's Tom Petty and Sister Hazel. But one example that is lesser well-known - but quickly gaining popularity - is the Sacred Steel tradition.

In the 1930s and '40s, lap steel and pedal steel guitars began finding their way into gospel services within the Pentecostal House of God denomination. Originating on the streets of Ocala, the non-fretted instruments (think luaus and honky-tonk licks) lent themselves perfectly to the quartertone vocal inflections of traditional gospel music. Unlike a fretted guitar, piano or organ, the lap and pedal steels could mimic the human voice much more effectively, making them a perfect vehicle for rejoicing.

Dubbed "sacred steel" by Gainesville's Bob Stone - who is outreach coordinator for the Florida Folklife program - the tradition was immortalized on the Sacred Steel CD compilation, which was eventually re-issued by the Shanachie label.

Saturday is the perfect opportunity to experience this music firsthand, as the Matheson Museum in Gainesville showcases Stone's documentary " 'Sacred Steel': The Steel Guitar Tradition of the House of God Churches" at 7 p.m. The program is free, and will be followed by a performance by Alvin Lee and Roosevelt Collier of the Lee Boys, Florida's own Sacred Steel group.

The movie was filmed in several churches and traces the development of the music through interviews, performances and historic footage.



The Cowboy Way

From the Mail Tribune (Jackson County, Oregon)
Away from the polished and formal settings of manyof today’s churches, faith flows in a Lake Creek barn

At first glance, it looks like a combination hoe-down, barbecue, family reunion and mini-Grand Ole Opry.

But when the sermons get going in Red Rock Cowboy Church’s barn at Lake Creek, you know you’re in the middle of some serious revival religion.

With fiddle and guitar backup, three female vocalists belt out gospel favorites, such as "Uncloudy Day," "Keep on the Sunny Side" and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," while churchgoers — up to 150 on Saturday evenings — clap and extend hands to heaven.

"I wanted to take us back 50 years, where you’d see a gathering of guys, the sort who’d go off and build a barn together," said Albertson. "I’m not after the domesticated sheep of the city. I’m after the wild sheep in the hills.

Worship leader, guitarist and cowboy Bill Jones of Eagle Point had gone decades without church — until May 10, 2003, the day when "I knew this was the place," he said.

"Why is it working?" Albertson asked. "Well, you drive downtown and see the bars full and the churches empty. It’s because people just want to be loved. They get it briefly at the bars, but it’s false. The churches are empty because they forget to love you."

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Mail Tribune


A Million Bucks Raised by Farm Aid

From KRVN (Nebraska)
Cold and wet didn't stop the artists, and
didn't stop the crowds, at Saturday's Farm Aid concert in Auburn,
Washington. The all-day concert fund-raiser, featuring Farm Aid
founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, fulfilled
its goal of raising a (M) million dollars. Other performers
included Trick Pony, Lucinda Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and Dave

Read the article


Musicians step up, sing out at latest Farm Aid

From the Chicago Sun-Times
A different kind of homeland security was evident at Farm Aid 2004 Saturday at the White River Amphitheatre on the Muckleshoot Reservation outside Seattle. That the show was held in the westernmost location of any of the 17 Farm Aid concerts signaled a new message: People are paying more attention to local farm systems for food.

"All around the country, people are reaching for family farm-identified, locally produced, high-quality food," Farm Aid president and founder Willie Nelson said before the nine-hour show. That intimate connection was celebrated in warm acoustic sets by Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Steve Earle on a cool night.

I've only been to 10 of 17 Farm Aids, but Young put on his most heartfelt Farm Aid performance I have seen. The singer opened his set sitting in the center of a circle of five guitars and a banjo. He started slapping his hand on his guitar to establish a beat before launching into "Pocahontas," which he dedicated to the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

The organic nature of Farm Aid 2004 shaped an upbeat vibe. Artists, fans, farmers and Native Americans coalesced to honor the ability to make the good choice. Before the concert, Mellencamp said, "It is time to take personal responsibility to create the future we want." The message is walking tall, from Seattle's farmers markets to the family farms in upstate New York.

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Chicago Sun-Times


Dolly Parton Comes to Town

From News 25 (WEHT-TV) Evansville, IN
The Tri-State gears up to host country music star Dolly Parton this weekend as she travels the country to promote her new album. But will getting to her be more trouble than its worth? Dolly is coming to the eastside Walmart tomorrow night. She's scheduled to sign 300 autographs. And this area of Evansville is already congested on the weekends, so now shoppers are having mixed emotions about tomorrows chaotic day.

Meanwhile, Walmart manager Darrel Weitzel is excited. "It's actually the most activity that we've had ever since the stores been open in one weekend." On a typical Saturday about ten-thousand shoppers visit the eastside walmart. Hardly enough to fill every parking space. But tomorrow it's a different story. Walmart expects Dolly to draw an extra three thousand people. ...

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News 25


Bobby Cashing in on country music

From Cybernoon (Bombay, India)
Bobby Cash - India's lone country singer - his name has not been inspired by the angry man of country music, Johnny Cash. It has though a nice bit of human interest story to go with it. Born Bal Kishore Das Loiwal, his father used to call him 'Babu' which became 'Bobby' - and Kishore became 'Kish', which in turn became 'Cash'.

Bobby Cash performed in the city last night, at the Taj President. Last night also saw the Indian release of his first album, 'Cowboy at Heart'. Songs on the album currently feature on the Australian Top Ten charts. For the album which was recorded in Australia, Mr Cash collaborated with the legendary Smoky Dawson and Tania Kernaghan. His influences? You ask Mr Cash to spell them out, 'cause you're not familiar with country music and then there's the accent (Australian??) to tackle. "A wide spectrum really. Merle Haggard, Jorge Jones, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, to name a few."

About the country music scene in India Mr Cash hesitates little before responding, "There is no country music scene in India. But whenever I play in India, I always find an audience. I find that Indians connect well with country music. Country music is at its core sentimental and has its roots in family, respect for elders and for the simple things in life. Hence country music as opposed to rock music is closest to the Indian ethos."

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Monday, September 20, 2004


Perspectives: On the election trail with family and friends, circa 1955

From the Macon Telegraph
n the deep Missouri winter of 1955 my father announced that he was running for Congress, and my brother and I instantly became Exhibit A in the case he took to the voters. It was a complicated time for us.

Until then we had spent our seven and nine years mainly as private projects of our mother in her quiet, orderly world of feeding, clothing, and bed-tucking.

We saw our father mostly on weekends while he chain-smoked over stacks of yellow legal pads - writing copy for his advertising company, laboring over radio and television scripts, filling pages with numbers. He was a restless, dream-driven man.

Our small world's population abruptly split in two: Donkeys (Us) and Elephants (Them).

Our sense of new importance to the family increased when our mother began to break long-honored household rules. We were allowed, even encouraged, to stay awake later on school nights so that we could come downstairs and be shown to large groups of people who gathered almost nightly at our house. We couldn't have slept anyway because they were so noisy.

We got our first look at some "Democrats" at these gatherings: they seemed to be mostly farmers of some sort. I heard Nana tell my mother that it was "dangerous for every hillbilly in the Ozarks to traipse through this house."

His "campaign trail" led through the southwestern Missouri Ozark Mountain foothills, through small towns named Neosho and Aurora and Nixa, past foaming streams and deep blue lakes. The winter landscape was dramatic, but we rarely looked because we were dazzled by the people on the bus.

The musicians were the best. They sat in the back where there was always a strong smell of alcohol, though no cans or bottles were ever visible. Any time we drifted back there, my mother soon bustled back and told us cheerfully to "leave these folks alone to work on their music." They never worked on their music in the bus. They played cards and told stories that made each other laugh very loudly.

Tommy Sosebee was our favorite. He was the soloist who began each whistle stop with a thrilling rendition of "In These Hills God Walks with Me." He walked with a pronounced limp, and in my memory he looks like Johnny Cash.

By summer a very young Brenda Lee joined them onstage, but she sat with her aunt in the boringly familial center section of the bus. Nana said that Brenda Lee would lose her voice by age 30 if she kept singing so loudly.

A deeper and more solemn excitement emanated from the dozens of men, women and children who came to our rallies. To my father these were not "hillbillies" but hill people who, like his parents, Sherman and Frankie Brown, lived hard lives on farms or in small towns.

In his tiny hometown of Humansville (a birthplace fit for a political myth if I ever heard one), my father had worked many a hard-scrabble job himself to help support the family during the Depression.

Nowadays, every time I see Barbara and Jenna Bush, Chelsea Clinton, Vanessa Kerry, and all the other young symbols of "family values," I wonder what a whole life of party politics and reflected fame is like. What combination of idealism and cynicism do they bring to the voting booth? And I have to admit that I can't help wondering, did their mothers (or fathers) let them hang out with Toby Keith and Willie Nelson?

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Macon Telegraph


(Uncle) Len Ellis' celebrates four decades of broadcasting with Radio One Communications

From the Times (Hammond, IN)
When Len Ellis' first air shifts behind a radio microphone began in 1954, it was during the time when Walter Winchell's gossip broadcasts and Art Linkletter's "Kids Say the Darnest Things" program ruled the airwaves.

"The world at that time was only about AM radio, and television was just entering the picture," said 77-year-old Len, of Valparaiso, whose string of family-owned Northwest Indiana radio stations under the name of Radio One Communications celebrate a 40-year anniversary on Friday.

When Len first entered broadcasting, he worked at WJOB in Hammond both on air and as a concert promoter.

"In the early 1950s, in addition to my radio shows, I was also responsible for booking entertainment for the Hammond Civic Center," he said.

"In 1953, I booked a newcomer named Jerry Reed who was trying to get exposure on the concert scene and all it cost me was the $27.50 to pay for his bus ticket from Atlanta to Hammond."

In 1967, his launch of WAKE-FM 105.5-FM was heralded as the first full-time FM radio station in Chicagoland, and in 1974, the station call letters changed to WLJE in homage to the founder's own initials: Leonard J. Ellis.

Len was one of the original 15 people who started the Country Music Association which annually telecasts the prestigious CMA Awards. He's proud to hold CMA membership card No. 1. Started in 1957, today, there are more than 200,000 CMA voting members. In 1978, Len even sported a straw hat and bib overalls while appearing on the most popular country music show of the day "Hee Haw."

As for the future of radio, Len said he believes he knows what's next on radio dials.

"Country music will always be popular," Len said.

"But what defines country music and how it's marketed will continue to change. It used to be called hillbilly music, then country western and now it's just country. As those same sounds are refined and softened, you'll see yet another reinvention: heartland music. Stay tuned."

Read the article
The Times

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Vernon Dalhart

Vernon Dalhart

From the Hillbilly-Music.com archives:
One of the earliest country music recording artists. He had the million selling tune, "The Prisoner's Song". Recorded under many other pseudonyms.

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Vernon Dalhart


Slim Dusty's fans to mark first anniversary of death

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Country music fans will be marking the first anniversary of the death of Slim Dusty this weekend.

Slim died on September 19 last year after a long battle with cancer.

He was aged 76.

Read the article
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Slim Dusty's Official Web Site

Friday, September 17, 2004


Gene Watson a local favorite

From the Texarkana Gazette
Gene Watson carries a rare distinction among country music tunesmiths-Watson is a "singer's singer."

And Texarkana area fans will have a chance to hear him at the 60th Annual Four States Fair and Rodeo when Watson performs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 on the outdoor stage.

Since the early 70s, Watson has written, performed and sung a list of country music staples, which could fill a jukebox in a roadside honky-tonk.

His discography is as long as his arm, with 36 albums and counting now on the list.

Read the article
Texarkana Gazette


Commissioner says tourism is healthy in Tenn.

From WATE (Knoxville, TN)
Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker says tourists spent $10.8 billion in the state last year.

The figure was revealed as Gov. Bredesen's annual tourism conference began Wednesday in Memphis.

Whitaker says tourism spending was up 2.3 percent statewide in 2003.

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge was the state's top tourist attraction in 2003 with 2.2 million visitors.

Based on state figures for 2003, here are the rest of Tennessee's top 10 attractions with numbers of visitors:

2. Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, 1.7 million.
3. Bristol Motor Speedway, 1.1 million.
4. Ober Gatlinburg, 920,000.
5. Tennessee Aquarium, 890,000.
6. Memphis Zoo, 780,000.
7. Casey Jones Village, 750,000.
8. Golf & Games Family Park, Memphis, 750,000.
9. Graceland, 580,000.
10. Grand Ole Opry House & Opry Museum, 560,000.

Read the article


Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration – Sept. 30 thru Oct.3, 2004!

From the Bill Monroe Foundation
The Bill Monroe Foundation has announced the new dates for next year's Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration to be held Thursday, Sept. 30th through Sunday, Oct.3, 2004 on the site of the Monroe Home Place, Jerusalem Ridge in Rosine, KY.

More than 50 top Bluegrass and Old-Time bands and artists are expected to perform over the 4 day celebration to pay tribute to Bill Monroe and his musical & cultural legacy. In addition to the music, fans will be able to see firsthand the efforts that have been made in restoring and preserving Jerusalem Ridge and also tour Bill's childhood cabin, the inspiration of his song "The Old Home Place".

Read the news release
Bill Monroe Foundation


Johnny Cash auction closes at $4m

From the BBC
Items owned by the late Johnny Cash raised almost $4m (£2.2m) at auction, more than double the expected amount.

More than 1,000 bidders paid up to 27 times the predicted prices for the country music star's possessions.

A 1986 Grammy with a $7,000 (£3,900) list price sold for $187,200 (£104,000) making it the most expensive item.

Sotheby's in New York had estimated the three-day sale, which ended on Thursday, would raise about $1.5m (£836,000). Cash died in September 2003.

Read the article
BBC News

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Ewing resident sings ‘Hula’

The Trentonian (NJ)
Wynne, a Philadelphia-born Hawaii music expert now living in Ewing Township, headed off to the islands this weekend in a hunt for a record contract singing music he doesn’t even know how to speak.

The 25-year-old, who is not of Hawaiian descent, learned almost everything he knows about Hawaiian music by collecting and studying standard folk tunes.

He’s amassed more than 2,000 LPs, 78s and original reels of Hawaiian music and has been obsessed with the art ever since its sweet sounds hit his ears.

Wynne was invited by the Aloha Festival to compete in two Hawaiian falsetto singing contests this weekend on the big island and as a guest steel guitarist in the Aloha Festivals Steel Guitar Week at the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach Thursday.

Read the article
The Trentonian

For more info on Steel Guitar Week:
Steel Guitar Festival September 11 - 17
Halekulani hotel, will celebrate Aloha Festivals with renowned steel guitar artists who will make guest appearances throughout the week at House Without A Key. (808) 923-2311.


Bob Wills: Creative man with a big generous side

From the Enid News
There was another Bob Wills beyond the entertainer, the booze and the smoke-filled dance halls. He had been a barber and a preacher and a blackface fiddler in a medicine show band. The Bob Wills that few people knew was the creative and generous Bob Wills.

Wills’ creativeness is evident in the writing of what is probably his best known piece, “San Antonio Rose.” He wrote it in just a few minutes in a recording studio in 1938.
They had just recorded “Spanish Two Step,” a simple melody that Bob had written, but they needed another tune similar to it. Bob didn’t have one in his repertoire, but he told them if they could give him a few minutes he would see what he could come up with. He wrote it in just a matter of minutes and they named it “San Antonio Rose.”

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Enid News


Toe-tappin' good time created in Paris

From Country World (East Texas)
There were plenty of tapping toes and patting hands within the audience facing the Red River Valley Fair's outdoor stage on Sept. 3. Although each night, during the fair, entertainment enthralled the crowds, the Friday night show offered popular, local talent.

As the sun set and the temperature dropped, The Hard to Git bluegrass band, and The Paris Cloggers, heated things up with their performances.

The six-member Hard to Git band united for some of the familiar bluegrass tunes, including "Gospel Plow," "Can't You Hear Me Calling?" and "Train Carrying Jimmy Rogers Home." Between songs, band members James Martin and Sam Bolton shared stories about band members, jokes, and some tales. The rapport between the band members drew the crowd into their fun.

Martin and Bolton have a following of bluegrass listeners that remember them from their radio show. "Sam and I did skits and stories during our early Sunday morning radio show on KPLT (Paris). ... Many of those people where there at the (Sept. 3) show."

Show officials said the crowd gathered for the bluegrass, and cloggers, was the second largest during the Red River Valley Fair; just behind the numbers gathered for Paris native, country music legend Gene Watson concert.

Read the article
Country World

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Mini-Review: Floyd Tillman - The Influence

Mini-Review: Floyd Tillman

This one made me stand up and take notice right from the first few notes of the intro to his classic "Slipping Around" with Dolly Parton. Surprisingly their harmonies work quite well. Floyd's work on this album is a good example of why record companies need to forget demographics and allow folks such as him to continue recording. He may have been over 85 years old when he did this, but I found myself wishing - the duets were nice - but why couldn't I have a version of the CD where it was just him doing the tunes? His style is such that you got the feeling he was enjoying himself doing this record. Like Lefty Frizzell perhaps, he has his own way of carrying the notes sometimes, but it works. "Driving Nails In My Coffin" with George Jones is a nice upbeat version of the old song. Willie Nelson shows up to sing along on "Each Night at Nine", which may remind you of Willie's style at the same time. The arrangements on this CD is 100% pure old-fashioned honest traditional country music. Floyd and Ray Price do a very nice easy almost bluesy "I Gotta Have My Baby Back". Connie Smith's work on "I Love You So Much It Hurts" makes you wonder why we don't hear more of her today. In the liner notes, they mention that they asked Mel Tillis if he needed the words to "It Makes No Difference Now" and Mel laughed them off telling them he had been doing that one for years. Leona Williams helps out nicely on "Let's Make Memories Tonight". The fiddle on the tunes will catch your attention - a reminder that Johnny Gimble is a legend himself. You're going to find yourself going back to replay more than one tune after you listen to this one.

Get the CD


Arlie Duff

Arlie Duff

From the Hillbilly-Music.com archives:
Known as the Singing Schoolteacher, a star of many of the famed shows and a songwriter. His hit tune, "Y'all Come" was recorded by dozens of artists.

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Arlie Duff


2004 Canadian Country Music Awards

From the Calgary Sun
Alberta songstress Carolyn Dawn Johnson stole the show Sept. 13 at the Canadian Country Music Awards.

Nominated in almost every category she was eligible for, the 34-year-old from Deadwood, won four awards on the strength of her second album Dress Rehearsal.

“What a great way to start the night,” cheered a happily tearful Johnson after she was presented with her first award of the evening, single of the year.

Alberta’s Olympic gold medallists, Edmonton’s Lori-Ann Muenzer and Calgary’s Kyle Shewfelt, presented Johnson with the album of the year trophy.

Longtime favourite Terri Clark won the fans’ choice award for an unprecedented fourth year in a row. Clark, 36, who was raised in Medicine Hat, was also chosen as female artist of the year at the two-hour award show at Rexall Place.

Jason McCoy from Minesing, Ont., was chosen as male artist of the year for the second time in three years. The 34-year-old lived in Camrose, as a child, where he says he fell in love with “cowboy culture” and country music.

The Sept. 13 sold-out show, which was broadcast by CBC Television and CMT in the U.S., wrapped up a week of jam sessions, showcase performances, a gospel concert and chances to meet the musicians in Edmonton.

Note: Article contains list of winners.

Read the article
Calgary Sun


Johnny Cash Auction Yields $1.2 Million on First Day

From Reuters
An auction of items from Johnny Cash's estate took in $1.24 million on its first day as collectors paid as much as 15 times the expected amount for the late country music star's belongings.

Bidding topped out at $131,200 for a custom-made guitar used by Cash on his tours. The Grammer model guitar had been expected to bring in $10,000 to $20,000.

Country music's "Man in Black," Cash died last September after complications from diabetes. The auction's 769 lots trace the five decades of his career and his life with June Carter Cash, who died last May.

Read the article


Brazil famous for samba, but today, cowboys and country music are cool

From Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau
There's a well-kept secret in Brazil, a land best known for teeny bikinis and soccer prowess: It's cool to be country and cowboy.

So cool that buyers snap up country music - American and Brazilian - at a rate that ranks it just behind rock and religious in popularity among Brazil's musical styles. And that's just legitimate sales. Add in pirated copies - Brazil is the world leader in CD piracy - and sales soar.

In the land of samba and some of the world's most populous cities, how did cowboy become so chic? Because outside megalopolises such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil is largely a land of agriculture. It's a continent-sized country, like the United States, of cattle raising and farm production.

And rodeo is a popular sport, with Brazilian cowboys wearing wide-brimmed hats and oversized belt buckles just like their American counterparts - though in humid Brazil, sometimes they also wear swim trunks and flip-flops.

More than 900,000 people attended the annual August rodeo at Barretos, in Sao Paulo state, Latin America's largest rodeo. Cowboys came from across Brazil and as far away as the United States and Australia for the 11-day event to ride bulls, brave bucking broncos and wrestle steers. Amazon Indians in body paint hawked handicrafts to the crowd.

"Television helps show rodeos and country culture around the world. Here, country music is just getting attention, and television will show the country culture to all of Brazil," Caminhas said.

Read the article
Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau


Midwest Jamboree in New Paris, Ohio a great show

From the Earlham Word Online
Although the following review may seem demanding (and you are free to take it that way), it is in no way an attempt to judge any Earlham group in a contemptuous manner regarding their choice of activity on or off of our fine campus. However, if you don't even consider going to the Midwest Jamboree in New Paris, OH, you are a fool and denying yourself of a great pleasure.

The Midwest Jamboree is the brainchild of Clay Huddleson, a man of whom you may or may not know. Clay is the creator and primary host of Clay's Country Classics, a WECI radio show that runs from midnight to five AM everyday. It is a blend of all different varieties of country music, from the modern folks such as Townes Van Zandt and John Prine to the old classics such as Hanks Williams and the early career of the recently canonized Johnny Cash.

Huddleson, an avid fan and participant in country music culture for many decades has an old church in New Paris, OH, just one and a half miles after the state line on National Road. All you have to do is turn and drive about three minutes into New Paris until you see a sign in red, white, and blue letters reading "Midwest Jamboree". It is right next to the local post office.

The Midwest Jamboree is a perfect experience for any Earlham student to take in. If you are from a culture separated from rural life, you will benefit from seeing the show for yourself (it runs from seven to eleven as well, and you can walk in and walk out as you please). Oh, and another thing, they will all love to have you. They are the nicest bunch of people you could imagine.

So, when you feel like complaining about nothing to do, remember this: it is not that you have nothing to do. You just don't do anything new. So come to the Jamboree. You won't be disappointed.
Read the article
Earlham Word Online


Old-School Country

From the Howard County Times
Except for a few chickens clucking next door, most days it's quiet at 80-year-old Frank Gosman's barn in Clarksville.

But come Sunday, the structure, which sits down a gravel drive off Brighton Dam Road, rocks to life.

People come from Maryland, Virginia and even Tennessee. Some carry guitars. Others wear jeans and boots and cowboy hats. They slap backs, catch up on the week's news, then take their seats in folding chairs.

Then, the music — what patrons like to call "real country music" — begins.

Five musicians, one for each of the five instruments that makes up a traditional country band: drums, bass, lead guitar, steel guitar and fiddle, harmonize their way through the show's theme song.

Welcome to the boot-stomping, hand-clapping, head-rocking, Country Showcase America jamboree.

The jamboree's fans come in part for the camaraderie. But they also come out for a sense of nostalgia and to hear the music of such legends as Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline.

"This is the Grand Ole Opry of Baltimore," said musician Doug Lester of Essex, comparing the show to the well-known, long-running radio show out of Nashville, Tenn.

"Unless I'm very ill, I wouldn't miss a Sunday," added 78-year-old Bob Loveless of Ellicott City. "I started listening to the Grand Ole Opry many years ago and it can't hold a light to this show. The Grand Ole Opry should take lessons from this place."

Read the article
Howard County Times


Banjo and fiddle fans flock to Floyd for a taste of the real thing

From the Virginian-Pilot
It is Friday evening, and music fills the air.

Though many Virginians may not know of it, bluegrass, old-time and traditional music fans across the country and around the world know all about the legendary Friday night jamborees at the Floyd Country Store.

They know of County Sales records, tucked in an alley a few steps down the street from here, which offers the largest selection of mountain music anywhere and ships CDs to Japan, England, Austria, South Africa, even to a customer in Russia.

They know musicians like Clyde Williams, a retired VDOT worker who on this and most Friday nights sits on a folding chair in the alley outside the store and leads an impromptu jam.

Williams plays the fiddle, and by 7 p.m. a woman playing guitar and a man on the banjo sit with him and tune up.

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Return to Picker's Paradise in Winfield - 33rd annual Walnut Valley Festival

From the Wichita Eagle
Some of the best acoustic instrumentalists in the world will descend on Winfield this week for the 33rd annual Walnut Valley Festival.

More than a bluegrass festival, the four-day jamboree showcases all styles of traditional acoustic music -- music that features guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dulcimer, autoharp and any and all combinations of those instruments.

Contests offering more than $81,000 worth of prizes attract the best players from across the country -- the Finger Style Guitar Championship especially carries international clout.

More than 35 acoustic music acts will rotate performances on four stages from morning till midnight during the festival. Some of the biggest names this year include the Irish band Cherish the Ladies; bluegrass legends Pat Flynn, John Cowan, Stuart Duncan and Scott Vestal; folk singers Tom Chapin and John McCutcheon; guitarist extraordinaire Tommy Emmanuel; and young-gun swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown.

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The Wichita Eagle


Kay Bain at center of volunteer group

From the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
On the shelves of Kay Bain’s small office are hundreds of video tapes.

“This is 18 years of Fan Fairs,” she said. “Some of it is from Branson, some of it’s from the Grand Ole Opry. I don’t want to get rid of it.”

“‘The Mornin’ Show’ started with us nearly 26 years ago,” she said. “We came on in 3,000 households.”

She said she wasn’t exactly sure, but guessed that the show reaches 150,000 people now.

Throughout the years, “The Mornin’ Show” duo Buddy and Kay Bain carried their love of people into the community, by performing at charity events, for civic organizations and at festivals.

Before Buddy died in 1997, she said, he asked her to continue their good work.

Today, WTVA is in the process of creating “Kay’s Corps,” a volunteer program with Bain at its center.

“We want to utilize her to get people to sign up to do senior services programs,” said Kristie Blaes, WTVA community relations director. “We want to provide a volunteer base for them.”

Buddy Bain was a radio disc jockey when he first met young Kay Crotts. At that time, Buddy worked as a DJ in 1950 on WCMA in Corinth, Kay’s hometown.

The couple hosted many stars, including Tim McGraw, Bill Anderson, Boxcar Willie and a handful of Grand Ole Opry favorites.

Read the article
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal


Lintons, others entertain crowds at Centennial Stage

From the Plainsman (Huron, SD)
Sherwin and Pam Linton have been regular performers at the South Dakota State Fair for 25 years.

Linton, 65, first performed at the State Fair in 1973 in the grandstand and on the Freedom Stage.

Since 1997, Linton has played every year at the State Fair, bringing with him a number of South Dakota performers.

That first year, he said, the guest performers included Kyle Evans of Wessington Springs, and Theresa Endres of Watertown, who was known as the “yodeling cowgirl.”
“The fans seemed to like it and the State Fair wanted me to put together a program for the Centennial Stage,” he said. The stage then was located next to the administrative office on Third Street.

(Sherwin) Linton, who now lives in Coon Rapids, Minn., is a native of Volga and graduated from Watertown High School in 1957.

After graduating from high school he attended a radio announcing school in Minneapolis, but didn’t launch a career in radio. He did work for KWAT in Watertown while he was in high school.

Linton began entertaining with his own band in Minneapolis. They have traveled all over the country since the early 1960s.

By the mid-1960s, he started working in Nashville, Tenn., and was invited to sing on the Grand Ole Opry by Ray Acuff.

He has recorded songs for several different labels. One of his first recordings was “Cotton Kings,” which also is the name of his band. Another hit song was titled, “Fender Benders.”

In 1975, the song, “When She Cries,” was ranked number one and was named the Midwest Country Song of the Year in Illinois.

Linton recorded a salute to Johnny Cash in the state penitentiary in 1971. It was entitled, “Hello, I’m Not Johnny Cash.”

After the song was released he received a letter from Cash stating that was the nicest tribute ever given to him in song.

Read the article
The Plainsman


Fifteenth Annual Fall Equinox to be held this weekend in Springfield

From the Lamar (CO) Daily News
The fall introduces the Annual Fall Equinox in its fifteenth year. The festival has changed a bit since its inaugural event. The location has changed because of the need for more space as the festival grew. The entertainment lasts during the entire craft show instead of on a periodic basis. Yet the festival occurs for the same reason since its first year. The Springfield Chamber of Commerce wants to welcome everyone who comes to see the equinox phenomenon in Crack Cave twice a year. The "welcome" sprung up as a festival for everyone to enjoy the weekend while visiting Springfield.

Saturday morning starts at 9 a.m., at the Baca County Fairgrounds with breakfast offered at farmers' prices by Farm Bureau.

Along with vendors and crafts, a full day of entertainment is scheduled. Bluegrass music performed by the Ackerman Band, the Springfield School band, Larry and Taylor McLemore, Jack Garner, Baca Little Theater and The 3 and 4 Faces of Elvis will grace the stage to entertain everyone.

Read the article
Lamar Daily News

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


(Carolyn Dawn) Johnson takes home 4 country music awards

From CBC News
Carolyn Dawn Johnson was the big winner at the Canadian Country Music Awards Monday night, taking home four major honours, including album and single of the year.

Fellow Albertan Terri Clark won her fifth fan's choice entertainer of the year award, a record surpassing the mark set by k.d. lang.

"I'm just a girl from Medicine Hat who wanted to be Reba McEntire, and as long as you want me to play, I'll be out on that Opry stage with my walker," said Clark, who also won female artist of the year.

Other winners included Jason McCoy (male artist of the year), Doc Walker (group of the year) and Corb Lund Band (roots artist of the year).

Read the article
CBC News


New health building for Tullahoma heads commission agenda

From the Tullahoma News (TN)
The creation of a new Coffee County Health Department tops the new business for Tuesday's meeting of the Coffee County Commission.

The county commission is to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in its meeting room at Coffee County Administrative Plaza in Manchester.

Commendations are scheduled to be approved for former county commissioner Robert Gilliam, who resigned due to relocation; long-time Grand Ole Opry performer Charlie Louvin, an area native; and Fox Garland, who is retiring after many years with Youth Services and the Clerk & Master's office.

Read the article
Tullahoma News


Love of bluegrass drives couple's work on festival

From the Lebanon (MO) Daily Record
Don and Bobbie Day love bluegrass music.

The Conway couple felt there was a need for a venue for other bluegrass lovers to play, sing and listen to the cries of a mandolin or the melody of a fiddle in the area.

Nineteen years later, that thought has grown into the Starvy Creek Bluegrass Park, which plays host to about 6,000 people twice a year. It also has led to the Days and Starvy Creek being awarded the Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America Midwest Promoter of the Year -- more than once.

Starvy Creek will hold its 13th annual fall festival Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a dozen bluegrass headliners, featuring Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Gary Ferguson, Bill Clifton, The Drifters and The Gibson Brothers.

Read the article
Lebanon Daily Record


Pickers fiddling in the rain

From the Troy Messenger (Alabama)
Rain and the threat of rain didn't dampen the spirits of those who braved the weather to enjoy the Fall Fiddle Fest and Music Jamboree at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama Saturday.

Charlotte Gibson, museum director, said the crowd was about half the number that attended a similar event in April, but attributed that to inclement weather.

"With the facilities that we have here at the museum we can always adapt to the weather conditions," she said. "The musicians just gathered inside the main building and on the porches of our cabins and kept picking and singing. In spite of the weather, everyone had a good time and we had a successful festival and jamboree."

"Bluegrass, gospel and country - I love all three of them," Dorothy Coe said. "When we lived in Louisiana, we went to the Louisiana Hayride and the Ozark Jubilee every chance we got. There's just nothing like that kind of music. It's music from the soul."

And that's the kind of music that fills the heart of a "syrup soppin' senior and former cotton picker."

"That's what I am," Coe said, laughing. "And this is my kind of music. I could sit and listen to it all day long."

Laverne Sanders, the heart and soul of Mercy Rain, said gospel music is a way of life for her.

"I was singing with he Masters Quartet and we were involved in a terrible car accident," she said. "Four members of the quartet died as a result of the accident. The drummer and I were the only ones to survive."

"This guy wanted to sing and I agreed to sing with him," she said. "We didn't have a name and needed to have one. One night, he suggested Mercy Rain because he said God had rained down His mercy on me. Since we took that name, things have been going really good for us."

Read the article
Troy Messenger


Show honors leaders in cowboy culture

From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Ranchers, cowboy poets and rodeo cowgirls were among those spotlighted Thursday night in the American Cowboy Culture Awards Show at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

The show, which featured awards in 16 categories, also launched the 16th annual National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration for a three-day replay of scenes from the Old West.

Larry Maurice of Truckee, Calif., was presented the Cowboy Poetry Award. His literary inspiration reflects 20 years as a cowboy, horse wrangler and packer in the Eastern Sierra Mountains and the high deserts of Nevada.

Read the article
Lubbock-Avalanche Journal


(Lynn) Anderson takes bold new step with bluegrass records

From the Nashville City Paper
Lynn Anderson's new release The Bluegrass Sessions (DM Nashville), which is being released today, offers stunning proof she's still an exceptional vocalist. Not only has Anderson easily made the transition from a country to a bluegrass musical setting, but the new versions of previous hits like "On Top Of The World," and "Rose Garden" rival the originals. But Anderson said cutting this record wasn't quite as easy at it sounds.

The date was produced by Bil VornDick, who earned a 2003 Grammy for his collaboration with Ralph Stanley and also worked on the famed O' Brother soundtrack. The songs are spiced by backing from a first-rate instrumental corps that includes acoustic guitarist Johnny Hiland, bassist Mark Fain, David Talbot on banjo, Randy Kohrs on Dobro and Andy Leftwich on mandolin and fiddle. In addition, Chip Davis, Karen Davis, Margie Cates, Ronnie Bowman and Mentor Williams provided harmony and background vocals on various tracks.

Read the article
Nashville City Paper


The Cash collection, up for bid at Sotheby's

From the USA Today
ohnny Cash is gone, but you can still walk the line with him. That is, if you have the $1,000 or more it'll take to buy the man's black patent-leather ankle boots.

"Johnny was often quoted as saying that June had a black belt in shopping," says Leila Dunbar, Sotheby's director of collectibles. "The stuff we have has perhaps the greatest breadth of any performers we've worked with."

In fact, the Cashes approached the auction house in 2000, but June Carter Cash changed her mind about parting with their things. After she died in May 2003, Cash resumed the discussions, but he died four months later.

The Cashes matter to fans because "they felt at home in any culture and on any stage," says Jay Orr of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. "They brought a spiritual conviction to their music, encouraging others and standing for the things they believed in."

Read the article
USA Today


Mini-Review: A Tribute to Wesley Tuttle

Mini-Review: Tribute to Wesley Tuttle

We were getting ready to drive to work this morning when we decided to pull out a CD we had gotten a long while back. If you're looking for a sound that kindles the memories of the early hillbilly and western music era - this tribute album will have you kicking back nice and easy. We talked to Buffalo Rick a year or so ago - he told us they tried to stay true to the original arrangements that Wesley Tuttle had done on his Capitol recordings. The efforts paid off in a well-done tribute. We even get to hear Wesley do a verse on his hit, "Detour". Amy Jo Richards is given credit for the female harmony on the Jenny Lou Carson classic, "I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows". Wesley's wife Marilyn is listed as doing vocals in the liner notes, but they didn't identify which song she was on; part of me say it was this tune. You'll hear some of those classic western harmonies that conjur up thoughts of the Sons of the Pioneers and the old west - "Strawberry Roan" or even "Vaya Con Dios". How about a bit of yodeling? "Yodelin' Boogie" will get you tapping your fingers in time. I almost wish my drive to work was a bit longer to listen to the album again.

Get the CD
BRWW, Inc.; Cave Creek, AZ (web site not known)


Illness lassos cowboy singer

From the Arizona Republic
Buffalo Rick Galeener rode tall in the saddle in Arizona for more than two decades.

A cowboy musician and entertainer, Buffalo Rick, with his gunslingers and saloon girls, brought the mythical Wild West to life for tourists and Valley city slickers.

In his motorized, stage coach limousine he made a good run at living up to his own moniker as Arizona's Unofficial Tourist Attraction.

Four years ago, the trail got rocky. Now, Buffalo Rick is 54, is leaning on a walker and the saloon girl he married.

His music and bullwhip have gone silent.

"Cancer has affected our lives, and we're no longer performing," Connie Galeener explained to a caller looking to hire a Western band, even though it has been years since Buffalo Rick strapped on his bass guitar and six-shooter.

Before the Buffalo Rick personae was born, Galeener joined the Navy right out of Camelback High School in 1968, putting on hold a blossoming music career. He served on an aircraft carrier in Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin.

Just before his illness, Buffalo Rick teamed with some top Western swing musicians, dubbed the Old Cowhands & Friends, to record a tribute album to Wesley Tuttle, who played with the legendary Sons of the Pioneers.

Buffalo Rick, at this point, can only dream of playing and singing like that again.

He hopes that a doctor he is seeing outside the VA will be able to help him.

"I sure wish I could get back out and perform," he said. "I'm not ready to give up yet."

Read the article
Arizona Republic

Monday, September 13, 2004


The past, present and future: Remaining members work to uphold, expand Carter Family legacy

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch
With the death of June Carter Cash last year, members of Virginia's Carter Family had to decide whether to carry on the Carter tradition of music or let it pass into the past like a setting sun fading into the horizon.

They chose to press on.

Early August 1927. Along the crooked road that stretched from Maces Spring through Hiltons and down to Bristol traveled a carload of Carters, including A.P., wife Sara and Maybelle.

They had records to make.

Today's Carter Family exists in several areas. Since 1974, much of the family's history resides at the foot of the Clinch Mountains in Hiltons at the Carter Fold (Saturday nights at 7:30, year-round, admission $5), museum (admission 50 cents), and newly restored birthplace cabin of A.P. Carter.

Come Oct. 3, 8 and 9, those interested can catch the Barter Theatre's return engagement of "Keep on the Sunny Side" at the Carter Fold. The musical drama stages the story of the original Carter Family and features a dozen or so songs.

Read the article
Richmond Times-Dispatch


True Grit: ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN talks to Corb Lund, a real Alberta cowboy...

From the Globe and Mail (Canada)
Corb Lund's first audience can be seen on the cover of his CD Five Dollar Bill, in an old photo of a couple dozen cowboys hanging around a fence. They're watching the boy on the bucking steer, though they can't see what the camera can: the teeth-clenching, oh-my-god grimace on Lund's face.

Lund gave up competitive rodeo just when it came time to graduate to bull-riding, "the original extreme sport," as he calls it. The animals had already taught him their most important lesson, which was that any time you're saddled with something that doesn't suit you, you've got to kick and twist until it's gone.

In his quiet way, Lund has spent his adult life doing just that. Every major step in his career has involved shucking off something that didn't quite fit. He's a rebel western musician in the tradition of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings and, like them, he had to go the long way round to find his own voice.

You can hear the oppositional spirit of that voice in almost every song from Five Dollar Bill, whose recent prominence on country radio and TV has helped the Corb Lund Band earn three nominations at this year's Canadian Country Music Awards, which will be handed out in Edmonton tonight. The sound of the music is mainly vintage western, but the songs express an acquaintance with irony never heard from the likes of Wilf Carter.

Read the article
Globe and Mail


WSM: Crying wolf?

From the Nashville City Paper
Could The Wolf be sniffing at doors of WSM-FM? That’s the rumor swirling around the radio station’s anticipated announcement today of a new sound and logo for the Nashville country station.

Trying to turn the tide for Nashville’s third-rated country station, Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. of Atlanta will unveil a host of changes, including a new on-air line-up and branding campaign, starting at noon today.

Nashville City Paper


Good Brothers enter into country hall of fame

From CTV
Bruce, Brian and Larry Good are being inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame at a gala dinner Sunday.

The trio has gained fame for three decades with their group the Good Brothers.

With the addition of Larry, the brothers released their debut album in 1976, and then went on receive eight straight Juno Awards for Best Country Group.

The trio has dined with the Queen, played for Presidents and Prime Ministers, and also graced the stage with Neil Young, Roy Orbison and the man they call their mentor, Gordon Lightfoot.

Read the article


Edmonton set to party with Clark, Wilson at Canadian Country Music Awards

From Dawson Creek
After four days of kicking up their cowboy boots during Country Music Week in Edmonton, fans and stars get to wrap it all up with some flash at the Canadian Country Music Awards on Monday night.

Calgary native and five-time show host Paul Brandt will kick off the televised show with some 18-wheel steam from his remake of the 1976 C.W. McCall hit Convoy.

Jason McCoy of Minesing, Ont., is nominated for six awards including album of the year for Sins, Lies and Angels and best male artist.

Instead of splitting his time between Nashville and Minesing, about an hour north of Toronto, McCoy and his wife have talked about a permanent move to Tennessee.

But those classic small-town country roots that some artists make hit songs about keep his feet firmly planted in his home town.

"I'll go do a television show and think I'm something else," he joked.

"As soon as you come home . . . your neighbours are out there cutting their grass. That's what you do, you throw on your old clothes and go cut the grass."

Read the article
Dawson Creek


Smoky Mountain Fiddlers hold Loudon convention

From the Daily Times (Marysville, TN)
Downtown Loudon held its 22nd annual Fiddlers Convention on Friday and Saturday under the big tent at Legion Field Baseball Park.

The convention started with bluegrass band preliminaries on Friday night and continued with the finals Saturday.

Juvenile musicians competed in the 12 and under category. Also, there were competitions in guitar, clogging, senior fiddlers (age 55 and over), banjo, buck dancing, junior fiddlers (under age 55), mandolins and smoky fiddle champ. There were cash prizes allotted for each category, with total prize money set at $5,215.

The Fiddlers Convention started as an event at the World's Fair in Knoxville in 1982 and has continued in Loudon. The event was broadcast live by WDVX Radio Station this weekend.

Read the article
The Daily Times

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Ernest Tubb

Ernest Tubb

From the Hillbilly-Music.com archives:
This legendary Country Music Hall of Famer needs no introduction - the Texas Troubadour. Star of the WSM Grand Ole Opry. The Midnight Jamboree still airs today and still includes a Jimmie Rodgers special. The Ernest Tubb Record Shop survives. The original ET.

Read more about:
Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours


Bluegrass Roots: Music fans set up camp early for New Salem festival

From the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
Music filled the air Wednesday night as campers and others were treated to impromptu jam sessions at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site.

The 24th annual Traditional Music and Bluegrass Festival starts tonight at New Salem, but musicians and fans began arriving at the park last week.

Ensembles both large and small have been performing throughout the campground in anticipation of the festival. They strum, fiddle, pluck and pick such instruments as acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, dulcimer, fiddle and steel guitar.

While some people Wednesday were swaying to old-fashioned ballads or singing along with spirited hymns, others were toe tapping to tunes like "Ragtime Annie." Bundled in sweatshirts, jackets and even blankets, they didn't seem to mind the cool evening temperatures.

Joining in on such songs as "Tall Pines," "Red Clay Halo" and "Home Sweet Home" were Stan Smart on the resonator guitar, Nathan Payne and Don Randle on banjos, Terri Randle on bass and Dave Graun on acoustic guitar. Meanwhile, Debbie Woods and Georgia Sinclair harmonized during a rendition of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

The festival is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the New Salem Lincoln League. It is free and open to the public. New Salem is two miles south of Petersburg and about 20 miles north of Springfield on Illinois 97.

Read the article
The State Journal-Register


Hemmingsen: The 2004 State Fair

From KELO Television (SD)
I never quite grasped the logic of moving the South Dakota State Fair to a Labor Day start rather than a Labor Day finish, but maybe it's working...or at least helping. Iwent to Huron for a day at the fair earlier this week.

But my stomach, and some have said I have a golden gut for a news story, tells me we've turned a corner. It started rumbling at the Pork Producers' stand in the food court. For the first time in memory, the Pork Producers ran out of pork loin sandwiches and had to sheepishly cringe, point us to the Beef booth and close the window. This was before the eight o'clock Charley Pride concert, so they must have had a lot more customers than they expected, a good thing for the fair.

As for Charley Pride, I'm not a fan of the country genre, but he puts on a good, crowd-interactive show encouraging people to stand in front of the stage where he shakes hands as he sings, the country version of a mosh pit. I'm glad they didn't try passing me around.

But Charley Pride, who has been famous since the early 1970's, wouldn't have had to worry about that. He left 'em wanting more, not less.

Read the article


Enjoy bluegrass music, camp under the stars

From the Texarkana Gazette
The campers and recreational vehicles will be pulling into the Texarkana RV Music Park next week as bluegrass music purists and fans arrive for the park's 1st Annual Bluegrass Festival Sept. 16-18.

Headlining the park's first venture into the festival scene is Lost Highway of California, a band which has acquired an international reputation for quality and authenticity.

Other bluegrass performers scheduled to entertain the crowd are Midnight Flight from Branson, Mo., the Nicholes Family from Fordyce, local favorites Hickory Hill from Avinger, Texas, Southern Strangers from Russellville, Ala., Southern Spice from Lake Charles, La., and Wes Thibodeaux and the Cajun Travelers, also from Louisiana.

Read the article
Texarkana Gazette


Lost Highway bluegrass concert to benefit Arts Center

From the Daily Post Athenian (Athens, TN)
hose who appreciate bluegrass music are in for a treat next week when the Athens Area Council for the Arts presents Lost Highway in concert.

The show, which will feature opening act Dave Wilburn & The Trail Blazers, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Townsend Hall on the Tennessee Wesleyan College campus. Tickets are $10 and are available in advance at the AACA office or at the door.

Lost Highway has been together about 24 years and the group plays traditional bluegrass.

“They sing harmony beautifully,” Wilburn said, adding it is the same lineup of performers as when the group performed here three years ago.

Read the article
Daily Post Athenian


9th Street Gospel Bluegrass Festival weekend starts Friday

From the Spooner Advocate (WI)
Gospel bluegrass enthusiasts are invited to another 9th Street Gospel Bluegrass Festival weekend that starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Festival promoters said it will feature some of the best gospel bluegrass music from around the country in a one-of-a-kind music venue that draws fans from all over the Midwest “to enjoy a relaxing, friendly time together with family, friends, and those who just love the music.”

Festival-goers will hear performers from all parts of the country, including Mountain Heir from Kentucky, Blue Grace from Alabama, The Franz Family from Arizona, The Anderson Family from Iowa, and Wisconsin groups The Hershey Family and, a local favorite, Trego Gospel Band.

Read the article
The Spooner Advocate


Early American History Scholar Named As New State Historian

From the University of Connecticut
A UConn alumnus who is a specialist in early American history, has won two Emmy awards, written two top 10 country music songs, and won numerous advertising prizes, has been named the state’s historian and an assistant professor of history.

Walter W. Woodward, an assistant professor of history at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn., who received his Ph.D. in early American history from UConn in 2001, will be based at the Hartford campus. He replaces Christopher Collier, the state historian since 1985, who retired this summer.

The switch from advertising to history wasn’t as dramatic as his first career switch, he says. While a senior in college majoring in English, Woodward wrote two national Top 10 country music songs, It Could Have Been Me in 1972 and Marty Gray (1970), both sung by Billie Jo Spears. That led him to a career in Nashville writing songs and advertising jingles.

Read the article
University of Connecticut

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Officially sanctioned Patsy Cline stars at Roxy

From the Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville, TN)
Lisa Dames is a happy, together actress with a no-nonsense attitude about her work.

"We were all so impressed by her professionalism," says John McDonald. artistic director for the Roxy Regional Theatre, where Dames stars in "A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline."

When she talks about how she became a professional portrayer of Patsy Cline, sanctioned by the late singer's estate, she tells the story as matter-of-factly as she would if recounting a trip to the grocery store:

  • She got a call from a friend asking her to do it.

  • She got on a plane and auditioned for the estate.

  • She became sanctioned and has been playing Patsy in two or three productions every year since.

Dames' heart reacts to the sight of elderly couples holding hands in the theater.

"At one point, I say, 'Sing it with me. You know you want to," Dames says, and the theater fills with a hundred voices.

To prepare for the role, Dames read "Honky Tonk Angel" by Ellis Nassour, a collection of interviews with people who knew Patsy. Nassour asked Grandpa Jones, "Do you think Patsy Cline had sex appeal?"

Read the article
The Leaf Chronicle

Friday, September 10, 2004


Willie Nelson Visits Carter in Georgia

From First Coast News
Willie Nelson visited long-time friend and former President Carter today in Carter's home town for a taping of a television show and a free concert.

The two were brought together again today for a Country Music Television Special titled, "C-M-T Homecoming: Jimmy Carter in Plains."

C-M-T spokeswoman Jana Bowen said the special should air in December.

About 3,000 people at the concert cheered, whistled and danced while Nelson performed.

Read the article
First Coast News


Music festival hits the high notes

From The Belfast Telegraph Digital
t was a superb lineup at the 13th Annual Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival in the Ulster American Folk Park, and one which now firmly makes it the most international festival of its type in Ireland.

It was definitely the best series of concerts and the biggest crowds since the festival started and the chairman of the main sponsors, the Northern Ireland Events Company, was mightily impressed.

Due to public demand - after the success of last year's event - there was a celebration of the gospel element of Bluegrass and American music on Sunday evening.

Dale Ann Bradley, who had raised the roof on Saturday night, also headlined this concert. Billboard Magazine has described her singing as 'soul-filled . . . building on time tested themes of love and the sacrifices made by hard-working people, her songs speak of the struggles of people today'.

One of the other big hits of the festival were the Gospel Jubilators who have been singing unaccompanied gospel for almost 30 years.

I really enjoyed Professor Jack Bernhardt's lectures on the origins of 'shape-note' singing, old-timey and bluegrass music.

Read the article
The Belfast Telegraph Digital


Bluegrass Gas - The Avalanche Jam brings a mountain of music

From the Denver Westword
Although bluegrass music is rooted in Kentucky, it resonates with the Western spirit. At today's 2004 Avalanche Jam, Coloradans will have a chance to show that spirit as they kick up a storm to the tunes of the homegrown Hit & Run Bluegrass band.

Proceeds from the Appalachian-music-inspired fundraiser will go to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, a Boulder-based organization that forecasts landslides and other geological events for our state. The hoedown starts at 5 p.m. on the south lawn of the American Mountaineering Center, 710 Tenth Street in Golden. In addition to being slammed by several half-hour Hit & Run sets, jammers will be tempted by items featured in the benefit's silent auction, such as ski passes and avalanche beacons.

Tickets, $30 in advance or $35 at the gate (children under twelve admitted free), include a hearty dinner and a selection of beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

Call 303-417-1345 or visit www.avalanchejam.com for more information. -- Caitlin Smith

Read the article
Denver Westword


Bluegrass All-Stars in the Hills - Cancelled due to Weather

From The Mountain Times (Boone, NC)
NOTICE: Due to the inclement weather and heavy flooding of the High Country Fairgrounds the festival has been cancelled. For information on tickets visit www.boonebluegrassfest.com

The article mentioned it was to feature:
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Southern Accent, Marty Raybon, The Osborne Brothers, New Found Road, Blue Highway, Amantha Mill and Big Country Bluegrass.

Read the article
The Mountain Times


Old-School Country

From the Howard County Times
Except for a few chickens clucking next door, most days it's quiet at 80-year-old Frank Gosman's barn in Clarksville.

But come Sunday, the structure, which sits down a gravel drive off Brighton Dam Road, rocks to life.

People come from Maryland, Virginia and even Tennessee. Some carry guitars. Others wear jeans and boots and cowboy hats. They slap backs, catch up on the week's news, then take their seats in folding chairs.

Then, the music — what patrons like to call "real country music" — begins.

Five musicians, one for each of the five instruments that makes up a traditional country band: drums, bass, lead guitar, steel guitar and fiddle, harmonize their way through the show's theme song.

Welcome to the boot-stomping, hand-clapping, head-rocking, Country Showcase America jamboree.

"It's a step back in time," said Warren Blair of Middle River, who plays fiddle in the CSA Jamboree Band, the show's house band.

Read the article
Howard County Times

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Neighborhood hosts jam session

From the Johnson County Sun
The poet John Milton wrote, "Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie."

The Historic Overland Park Neighborhood Conservation Group hopes that sweet compulsion brings about not only smiles and foot-tapping, but a stronger sense of community.

The group will hold its third annual Blue Grass Music Jam from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Santa Fe Commons, 81st Street and Santa Fe Drive.

The Historic Overland Park Conservation Group will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall. With 879 units and a population of 1,678, Historic Overland Park is the largest group in the neighborhood conservation program established by the city to organize residents for community building purposes, address challenges and build on opportunities in older areas.

The neighborhood group is involved in a number of community building activities, but the bluegrass music jam has proven itself to be one of the most accessible and efficient ways to become acquainted with their neighbors.

The jam's featured act, the Back Porch String Band, has been making music together for four years and playing at the Historic Overland Park festivities for three of them.
Read the article
Johnson County Sun


Johnson will 'make memories' for seniors

From the Graham Leader (TX)
Seniors can dust off their hats and shine up their boots for the next country western dance Saturday, Sept. 11, featuring Johnny Johnson and the Memory Makers.

The Graham Senior Citizen Center will be the place to be from 8-10 p.m. Sept. 11, at , 825 Fairview St. The popular North Texas band's music combined with delicious refreshments ­coffee, tea and cookies ­will add up to an unforgettable evening.

And for those not into dancing, come anyway and enjoy traditional country music and fellowship. Dancers and listeners alike will have memories of the evening, featuring many old-time favorites sure to bring back memories.

Johnson and his band have made a name for themselves playing in North Texas towns such as Spring-town, Weatherford, Granbury, Stephenville and Cleburne.

He headlines in his hometown of Perrin, where he performs for the annual Volunteer Fire Department barbecue, usually the last Saturday of June.

Johnson played solo at gigs and on television as a youth. He finally formed a band in the 1960s that he named the Memory Makers, inspired by a song by Mel Tillis. Although the Memory Makers have changed several times over the years, the band's music style hasn't.

"I played guitar and sang just as country then as I do today," Johnson said. "Back then it was Hank Williams."

Today, the band's album, " Paint it Country," released in 2000, was inspired by artists like Merl Haggard, Ray Price, Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, George Strait and Ernest Tubb.

Read the article
Graham Leader


Music Lovers Gather at Jamboree

From South Dakota
Find a toe-tappin’ good time at the South Dakota Old-Time Fiddle Contest and Jamboree, Sept. 17-19. This family-oriented festival of bluegrass, folk and old-time country music features traditional fiddlers and accordion players from across the nation. They gather in Yankton annually to compete, jam and entertain music lovers. Rising stars as well as seasoned veterans take their turns at contests, each hoping to be crowned the next champion at the National Old Time Fiddle Invitational Finals.

“This is the only contest that has a national invitational,” said George Mallory, vice president of the South Dakota Old Time Fiddlers. “That means that some of the best talent from across the nation is on our stage.”

Call (605) 357-9357 or visit www.TravelSD.com for a schedule of activities.

Read the Release
South Dakota

Wednesday, September 08, 2004



From Farm Aid
Music fans who were not able to buy a ticket to Farm Aid 2004 Presented by Silk Soymilk can now see the show live via webcast. This year’s Farm Aid concert will take place Saturday, September 18 at the White River Amphitheatre on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation near Auburn, Wash., just outside Seattle.

Jerry Lee Lewis, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Marc Broussard, Blue Merle, Kitty Jerry, Kate Voegele, and Tegan and Sara have been added to the stellar lineup.

Beginning at 4 p.m. PT, the official webcast of Farm Aid 2004 Presented by Silk Soymilk will be presented live on www.farmaid.org. The webcast will cover the main stage events, including performances by Farm Aid Board of Directors members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews.

Those interested in viewing the webcast at www.farmaid.org will be asked for a $10 donation to Farm Aid for a virtual ticket.

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Farm Aid 2004


Fame, yes - riches, no (Carter Fold)

From the Gazette (Galax, VA)
Joe Carter walks stiff-legged out the back door of the Carter Fold, then braces himself with a cane to ease down the stairs.

Hey, Joe, a woman calls over, mind if I get a picture with you?

"Not at all."

Joe, good to see you, another greets him, you're getting around a little better.

He is famous for his parents' fame and doesn't mind that a lick. He was born in February 1927, six months before his parents A.P. and Sara Carter, along with his aunt Maybelle, came out of the hills and changed the musical landscape forever.

But Joe, along with his older sister Janette, sweated nearly as much to keep mountain music alive through the lean times of Elvis, the Beatles and even today's sparked-up country - rock 'n' roll in a cowboy hat.

Joe built, by hand, the Carter Fold, a performance stage cut into a hillside, where in warm weather like today's, wood-plank flaps crank open like a tobacco barn and music fills the Clinch Valley.

Read the article
The Gazette


Johnny, June Carter Cash Items On Auction Block Next Week

From the Kansas City Channel
You may need a lot of cash if want to own some of the music memorabilia that belonged to the late Johnny and June Carter Cash.

That's because the personal collection of the legendary country music couple goes up for auction next week at Sotheby's in New York.

The collection includes guitars, Johnny Cash's black clothing and leather boots, Grammy awards and a tin cup from Folsom Prison.

Sotheby's spokeswoman Lee Dunbar said one of the most valuable items is a notebook from 1955 and 1956, with Johnny Cash's lyrics and notes for five major early songs in his own handwriting.

The three-day auction will begin Sept. 14 and is expected to bring in more than $1.5 million, with the proceeds going to the Cash estate.

Read the article
Kansas City Channel
Sotheby's eBay Auction Listings


Players open "Honky Tonk Angels"

From the Ashley News Observer
Evidenced by the twangy, love-gone-wrong and life-gone-awry tunes being heard these days at the Hurd Playhouse, the Crossett Players are gearing up for their first performance of the season. “The Honky Tonk Angels,” by the same writer as “Always Patsy Cline,” is expected by the Players to be a big hit.

Many of the 35 songs included in the production, which span the country to gospel genre, were themselves hits.

Tammara Mitchell-Fleming, portraying disgruntled office worker Sue Ellen Smith Barney Fife, was Louisa in the Players' 2002 production of “Steel Magnolias.” She also will direct. Kayla Minor will portray Angela Bodine, a burned-out housewife. She will be recognizable from her portrayal of Patsy in “Always Patsy Cline.” New to the Crossett Players is Melissa Carpenter, portraying Darlene Purvis, a young woman badly in need of a life. Though new to the Crossett Players, Carpenter has performed at the Grand Palace in Nashville, Tenn.

Executive director Carrie Nault is excited about the production.

She said that “The Honky Tonk Angels” includes audience participation.

“Everyone that attends needs to be prepared to be entertained and be involved,” she added with a laugh.

Read the article
Ashley News Observer

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Junkyard becomes country music club on Friday nights

From the Williamson County (TN) Review Appeal
During the week he runs Binkley’s Junk Yard on Horn Tavern Road, but every Friday night he becomes lead guitarist of the Junkyard Band, a homegrown band that plays at Binkley’s Country Music in Fairview.

Every Friday night the doors open at 7 and people young and old from as far away as Clarksville drop in to hear the band play until everyone has left.

Dan Binkley has been playing music since he was a child. Everyone in his family plays an instrument or sings; his dad plays the harmonica and his mom plays the drums, turning family gatherings into a backyard version of the Grand Ole Opry.

Ronnie Dell was once a member of the Junkyard Band. He played keyboard until he moved on to Tootsie’s and eventually began playing with Dell Reese. Both Brad Paisley’s and Gene Watson’s steel guitar players also once played with the Junkyard Band.

Read the article
Review Appeal


Randolf to steel JAS stage

From the Aspen Times
Robert Randolph is the young man who made good.

Raised in Irvington, N.J., a rough, urban suburb of Newark, Randolph, a child of divorced parents, leaned toward the lures of crime, drugs and truancy. But the church - the House of God in nearby Orange, where his father was a deacon and his mother a minister - was a balance against those influences. And within the church, music was the biggest shield from the street life. Randolph, the drummer for the youth choir as a kid, found a sense of joy and purpose in gospel music.

In his midteens, Randolph discovered the sound that would become his salvation. The House of God is home to the sacred steel style, a unique gospel form built around the pedal steel guitar. Within a handful of years, Randolph had taken the sacred steel sound, mixed it with other influences, and brought it first into small clubs in Manhattan, then into the jam-band world. This summer, Randolph and his Family Band took the music onto the biggest stage it has ever seen - an arena tour that had Randolph opening for Eric Clapton, and joining Clapton for a few songs each night.

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Aspen Times


Stars Come Out For George Jones

From Billboard
George Jones will be the subject of an all-star tribute to air Nov. 25 on PBS. Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Harry Connick Jr., Aaron Neville, Martina McBride and Wynonna are among the artists scheduled to perform at two separate concerts, to be taped Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 at the Roy Acuff Theatre in Nashville. The TV special will consist of footage from both concerts.

Other performers will include Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Merle Haggard, Lorrie Morgan, Sammy Kershaw, Uncle Kracker, Emmylou Harris, Shelby Lynne, Kris Kristofferson, Tanya Tucker, Connie Smith, Joe Diffie and Trick Pony.

Read the article


Arts Council begins annual concert series

From the Los Banos Enterprise
Singer Joni Morris will be returning to Los Baños next Saturday, Sept. 11 presenting her show "Legendary Ladies in Country Music."

Presented by the Los Baños Arts Council, Morris returns for a command performance of this show, which has received rave reviews throughout the country.

She brought her "Tribute to Patsy Cline" show to the Ted Falasco Arts Center last September, drawing a crowd of more than 200 people.

This Saturday's performance promises to once again delight audiences of all ages.

Fresh from her rousing success at the Reno Hilton, Morris brings her "After Midnight Band" for her tribute to such country music stars as Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Skeeter Davis, Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.

Morris, a Stockton resident, grew up singing country music, harmonizing with her father as he played his guitar.

Tickets for individual performances are priced at $20 each.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. for holders of season tickets and 7 p.m. for those wishing to purchase tickets to this show.

Read the article
Los Banos Enterprise


Area picnics celebrate summer's last holiday

From the Southeast Missourian
Labor Day picnics are a tradition in both Olive Branch, Ill., and Advance, Mo., where the events are more like communitywide homecomings than small gatherings.

In Olive Branch, about 200 people began Labor Day with a pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in the Horseshoe Lake Community Center off Highway 3.

The breakfast was followed by a day of bluegrass music and barbecue. Funnel cakes, snow cones and hot dogs also were part of the picnic fare.

But Sally and Jay Deevers of Cape Girardeau drove to Olive Branch for the music. "When bluegrass gets in your blood, it's in there," Sally Deevers said.

The couple had heard the band Old Santa Fe at a festival last year and wanted to hear another performance.

Read the article
Southeast Missourian


Twangin' tunes - Fiddle Fest 2004 entertains crowd at Wabash Valley Fairgrounds

From the Terre Haute (IN) Tribune Star
Bluegrass music and the aroma of kettle corn greeted visitors to the third annual Fiddle Fest at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds on Monday.

While the sounds of banjos and mandolins twanging on a steamy September day may conjure up images of grizzled beards and corncob pipes, afternoon visitors heard old favorites such as "Jacob Spence" from musicians as young as 7 years old.

Some budding fiddlers tested their talents at the try-me tent, where novices could pluck strings with some more weathered guidance. Others took the stage with celebrated Wabash Valley musician Louie Popejoy.

A handful of Popejoy's students -- he estimates it at a baker's dozen -- played a list-free set of tunes that included solos from nearly all players.

Popejoy has taught fiddle, mandolin, violin, drobo, guitar and bass guitar for more than 40 years to people aged 7 to 79 -- so far.

A mandolin player barely 3 feet tall plucked a frenetic melody during the last song of the students' set, answered by clamorous applause. Other students played elaborate solos to the crowd's delight, and not one was older than 14.

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Tribune Star


Local man honors music legend - Basement turned into tribute to Hank Williams Sr.

From the Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL)
The spirit of Hank Williams Sr. is alive and well in the basement of a Farmer City house.

Willis Bowles has transformed his basement into a museum, commemorating the late country music singer.

Recently, he added the first in a series of hand-made Hank Williams porcelain dolls.

n Bowles' basement, visitors see an impressive collection. Hundreds of CDs, cassettes, and records, including 78s, 45s, and LPs, line the walls of the museum.

T-shirts, hats, coffee mugs and key chains hang from shelves, but "none of this stuff is for sale," Bowles said.

There are photographs of Williams as a child, a young man, a musician, and a star, as well as his family and band. Magazine covers, posters, books, articles, sheet music, and even a copy of his death certificate also are on display.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, when Williams became known for his style of country music, Bowles, a steel guitarist in a Gibson City country band, became a fan.

"(Hank's) music always told a story in his songs that gave a message," Bowles said.

Read the article

Monday, September 06, 2004


National music festival brings thousands of fans to Missouri Valley fairgrounds

From the Daily Nonpareil (Council Bluffs, IA)
There's one more day to experience old-time country music as thousands already have.

An estimated 10,000 people came to the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Missouri Valley Saturday for the 29th National Old-Time Country/Bluegrass Music Festival and Contest.

"We've broken our campers record," said Bob Everhart, the organizer.

He said about 450 campers have come to enjoy all or part of the week long event, which concludes today. Last year's event drew 398 campers.

And, this kind of music is drawing a younger crowd and performers, Everhart said.

About 600 performers, many national and international celebrities have been appearing there, along with some of the greatest songwriters in country music history. These include Hank Cochran, who wrote the famous Patsy Cline song "I Fall to Pieces" and Terry Smith, who wrote "Far Side Banks of Jordan" for Johnny and June Carter Cash.

Today's events start at 9 a.m. and at 5 p.m., Council Bluffs resident Dennis Devine will be inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.

Read the article
Daily Nonpareil


Bluegrass for the pickin'

From the Courier Post (NJ)
Greg Schweitzer had never been to Albert Music Hall before, but minutes after his arrival, he was making bluegrass music.

One of the regulars asked him to join a few old-timers in the "pickin' shed," a place where musicians get together and jam while other bands take the stage in the main hall.

Albert Music Hall in Waretown, Ocean County, traces its roots back to Joe and George Albert, who hosted Saturday night bluegrass gatherings at their hunting cabin in the Pinelands.

The cabin was known as the "Home Place" and word spread about the weekly happening.

Albert Hall, a 6,000-square-foot building, opened in 1997 along Route 532. On a good night, more than 400 people pack the place.

Outside, musicians gather in the shed or the huge front porch. Inside, bands with names such as McMule, Rustic Rhythm and North Country play 30-minute sets on the stage.

"It's the best show on the eastern seaboard," said John McKinnon, 64. "It's a good family outing."

Kathy McKinnon said it's also important to preserve Pinelands history and that's a big part of Albert Hall's purpose.

The walls are lined with photos and old newspaper clippings. Each performance is recorded for posterity. In a back office, file drawers are filled with artifacts.

All of the musicians are unpaid and all admission money goes back into programs and upkeep of the building, said Everett. There are also volunteers selling homemade pies and cakes.


  • Albert Music Hall is at 131 Wells Mill Road, Waretown, Ocean County. To get there, take Route 70 east to the Four Mile Circle. Pick up Route 72 east. Turn left onto Route 532 east to Waretown. Albert Hall will be on the right, just before Route 9.

  • There's music every Saturday night, starting at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There are seven sets each night, with a different group taking the stage every 30 minutes.

  • Admission is $5, $1 for children younger than 12.

  • Call (609) 971-1593 or visit www.alberthall.org(cq).

Read the article
Courier Post

Sunday, September 05, 2004


Obituary: Johnny Bragg of the Prisonaires

From the Independent Digital (UK)
John Henry Bragg, singer and songwriter: born Nashville, Tennessee 6 May 1926; married Gail Green (died 1977; one daughter); died Madison, Tennessee 1 September 2004.

In 1956, when "Just Walkin' in the Rain" was a No 1 record for Johnnie Ray, its writer, Johnny Bragg, was incarcerated as a convicted rapist in Tennessee State Prison. He was serving six consecutive life sentences - a total of 594 years.

Bragg became known as "Bucket Head" as he would write his songs with a bucket on his head to simulate echo. Nashville stars would sometimes perform at the prison and, when Bragg met Hank Williams, he asked, "Do you ever sing songs written by other people?" "Depends," said Williams, "Are you one of those other people?" Bragg sang Williams a song which Williams bought for $5. The song eventually became "Your Cheatin' Heart", a country standard.

In the winter of 1953, Bragg was walking across the courtyard to his duties in the laundry with a burglar, Robert Riley. The rain was beating down and Bragg said, "Here we are just walking in the rain and wondering what the girls are doing." Riley said, "That's a song." With a few minutes Bragg had written two verses and was convinced it was a hit. As he was illiterate, he asked Riley to write it down in exchange for a writing credit.

Bragg was released on parole in January 1959. He was 32 years old and had spent 15 years in prison for crimes he almost certainly did not commit. Unusually for a black performer, he sang on the Grand Ole Opry and he also opened for Sammy Davis Jnr in Las Vegas. He recorded the singles "True Love Will Never Die" and "Everything's Alright", showing that he could copy either Brook Benton or Jackie Wilson effectively. He met Johnnie Ray and gave him a follow-up, "Laughin' in the Rain", but Ray was not interested.

Read the article
Independent Digital


Music Highways: Hank Williams Museum

From the Birmingham News

Where: 118 Commerce St., Montgomery.

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Sundays.

How much: $7, $2 for children ages 3-11.

What it's like: You might not even notice this place if you're walking by on Commerce Street, as its facade is unassuming. However, there are some primo items on display, and Hank Williams buffs need to know about them.

Along with an abundance of the artifacts you'd expect – songbooks, photos, costumes, posters and the like – the collection includes a mannequin wearing the pants and shirt Williams had on during that fateful car trip to Canton, Ohio, on New Year's Eve 1952. Seeing his death outfit is kind of spooky, but get ready for a double whammy. This museum also has the baby blue Cadillac Hank died in, restored to mint condition. Ooh.

Organizers here are hooked up with Hank Williams Jr. and the Williams estate, which means they're picky about things like what you can touch (not much) and the photographs you can take on site (none without special permission). They'll watch you like a hawk, but it's worth it if you want to get a gander of Williams' original lyric sheet for "These Men With Broken Hearts," which is displayed in a little cabinet with wooden doors you're instructed to swing shut when you're done.

Worth a trip? Yep. They've got the goods, even if the atmosphere is a mite forbidding. Pick up a Hank Williams bobble-head doll ($15) on your way out, and grab the directions sheet that'll guide you to Williams' statue and gravesite nearby.

Info: 334-262-3600.

Read the article
The Birmingham News


Bluegrass fans pick tunes until dawn at Thomas Point festival

From WAGM-TV Presque Isle, ME
Bluegrass players are laid-back types. They'll keep on strumming all night as long as there's somebody to play with.

At the 26th Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival this weekend, some musicians in the "Field Picker's Paradise" zone were playing until sunrise.

"This place was happening till 3 o'clock last night, maybe 4," Richard Michaud, a lawyer from Newton, Mass., said Saturday. "I went to bed at 3."

There were 113 bluegrass festivals across the country when Patti Crooker started the Thomas Point festival at her family's 27-acre campground, she said. Today there are more than 1,400.

The laid-back nature of the bluegrass musicians appealed to audience members like Wayne Cormier, a retired warehouse worker who began listening to bluegrass last year after hearing it in movie soundtracks.

"Nobody puts on any airs. People come like they just got done cutting the grass in their backyard," he said.

Read the article


Roll on, Charley Pride

From Canoe / Edmonton Sun
Rexall Place, Edmonton
Saturday, August 28, 2004

To say the least, it was an absolute treat to see such an unstoppable legend last night at Rexall Place.

Charley Pride is the epitome of a timeless star. Timeless because he and his audience seemed to have been transported directly from Pride's heyday in the late 1960s and early '70s. Dressed in navy slacks and a multiple-blue sweater, his slightly subdued six-piece band, complete with a pedal steel and a fiddle player, is what would have clued an innocent bystander into the fact he's an old school country act.

There's a reason Pride has endured all these years and the reason became crystal clear while watching the crowd melt in the palm of his hand.

After rising above the flock as the black sheep of a genre, the world of country is still as white as can be as it was at last night's concert. They came all the way into town and wanted their just reward yelling out "louder" while Pride was praising his opening act Kylie Harris, finally cutting his speech and launching into another song.

Charley Pride was everything you'd ever imagine and the memories he's left his fans will remain timeless in their hearts.

Read the article
Canoe / Edmonton Sun

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Cliff Japhet

Cliff Japhet

From the Hillbilly-Music.com archives:
One of the early country music entertainers and songwriters who worked and collaborated with many of the legends. One of our site's first visitors and supporters. Read about the man who stirred his fans today to vote for him in the Hall of Fame voting.

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Cliff Japhet


Gympie Muster goes from strength to strength

From Landline: ABC-TV (Australian Broadcast Corporation)
For six days every August, the hills flanking a valley west of Gympie resonate with music and festivity.

From the sea of tents pegged on every available campsite you'll hear all manner of music.

Country music had its genesis in American 'hillbilly' mountain folk music, popularised by the advent of the wind-up gramophone in the late 1920s.

Dianna Corcorcan began yodelling at the age of 12. After three years working as a human resources manager she decided music was her true calling. At the start of the year she quit the corporate world for the gypsy life of a country musician.

Dianna Corcoran is an inheritor of a rich tradition of musical performers. None loom larger than the late Slim Dusty, who died last year. A regular headline act at Gympie, Slim Dusty emerged in the 1940s when country music hit the road with rodeos, circuses and Wild West shows. His legacy - songs written about Australia and sung in an unmistakably Australian accent.

Musician Peter Denahy says Slim is gone and there's no-one to fill his shoes.

"There are people who there who'll do different things and that's the way it goes, Johnny Cash has gone in the States too, no-one's going to fill his shoes, but that's the thing, Slim was different and just an individual and he always sort of pushed for that when he was encouraging other young talent too," he said.

In its 23 years the Gympie Muster has raised some $7 million dollars for various local and national charities and this year the recipient is Transplant Australia, for people awaiting organ donations.

The emphasis is on people in isolated rural communities. This year's Muster is expected to net some $600,000.

Read the Article
Landline (Australia)


Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival - Sep 4 - 6

From the Courier-Post (NJ)
For three days of fun, frivolity and fine music, look no further than the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival starting today.

Each year, as many as 5,000 people converge at the Salem County Fairgrounds in Woodstown for the annual festival known for impromptu musical "jams" in the parking lot and stirring performances by some of the genre's best-known (and best-loved) names.

Virginia-based King Wilkie, which takes its name from bluegrass legend Bill Monroe's favorite horse, opens the festival. The band is made up of, as Lupton notes, "young guys in their 20s who discovered bluegrass in college, threw themselves into it and are now one of the hottest new bands in the country."

  • Who: King Wilkie, Bob Paisley & The Southern Grass, Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Blue Highway, Del McCoury Band, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys and many more
  • When: 1 to 11 p.m. today; noon to midnight Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Salem County Fairgrounds, Route 40, Woodstown
  • How much: $30 each day today and Saturday; $25 Sunday; $70 three-day pass; students 12 to 16 half-price; kids under 12 free
  • More: (302) 475-3454
  • Online: www.delawarevalleybluegrass.org

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Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, NJ)


Bud Moore and His Hillsdale Hillbillies

Bud Moore and his Hillsdale Hillbillies

From the Hillbilly-Music.com archives:
Bud's career started in the 1930s, one of the few remaining old time country comedians and entertainers, and is still performing today.

Read more about:
Bud Moore and his Hillsdale Hillbillies


New Book: String Bands In the North Carolina Piedmont

String Bands in the North Carolina Piedmont

String band music is most commonly associated with the mountains of North Carolina and other rural areas of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, but it was just as abundant in Piedmont region of North Carolina, albeit with different influences and stylistic conventions. It covers Piemont musicians such as Ernest Thompson and the North Carolina Cooper Boys; Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Charlie Monroe’s Kentucky Partners, Gurney Thomas and Glenn Thompson among others as well as the influence of live radio stations.

More Details:
String Bands in the North Carolina Piedmont


Mini-Review: Randy Kohrs and the Reel Deal

Mini-Review: Randy Kohrs

Sometimes we get a CD in the mail from the current generation of singers. We don't list them on the web site as we cover primarily the earlier era of performers. But we still give the music a listen. From the first few notes you sense this will be a 'traditional' country music CD. The music is fiddle and steel and doesn't drown out Randy's voice. We enjoyed the renditions of some classic tunes. You've got a tune written by Grady Martin - If the Back Door Could Talk. Randy's version of the old George Jones tune, Just One More, is nicely done, though perhaps we wondered if he should have done it in a key lower. James O'Gwynn's Talk To Me Ole Lonesome Heart, Stonewall Jackson's tunes, Blues Plus Booze Means I Lose and I'm Still Awake are good listens, too. Remember that era where some of the singers had distinctive harmonies that were a part of their sound? Buck Owens duet parts with Don Rich? Ray Price's high tenor harmonies in his earlier recordings? Conway Twitty's distinctive harmonies with Big Joe Lewis or Tommy 'Porkchop' Markham from his Twitty Birds band? You'll enjoy hearing such harmonies here rather than the overdone backup vocals that detract and drown out the singers at times these days. And backing up Randy on steel guitar is John Hughey, Conway's steel player. Its on Left of Center Records.

Visit his Website:
Randy Kohrs

Friday, September 03, 2004


Bluegrass Country: Harrison Jam attracts musicians from ages 4 to 91

From the Rockford Register Star
It's 56 degrees at 5 p.m. Saturday, and the rain is continuing to pour when Vivian Gaines does what she hasn't done before at the Two Rivers Bluegrass Jam: Shut down the only stage.

It sits outside on the 110-acre, tree-covered property owned by the Northern Illinois Coon and Fox Hunters Association in Harrison, a 30-minute drive northwest of Rockford in Winnebago County. Gaines worries about borrowed electrical equipment getting drenched and wrecked.

About 100 people hang around as a few others arrive. All told, about 650 people attended the free festival since it opened Thursday night.

None of the performers is paid.

Yet they pull out their acoustical banjos, basses, dobros, fiddles, guitars, mandolins and harmonicas and play on a roofed porch outside the clubhouse with the bands they came with.

Musicians, some who know each other and others who don't, join in an impromptu circle in the middle of the building, usually with eight or 10 bluegrass-lovers to jam to whatever song anyone wants to play.

Mike August, 45, of Roscoe, a FedEx package delivery driver, plays a dobro like a guitar.

"It soothes me," he explains. "It makes me feel good. And the music tells a good story. I can bring my kids, a 13-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl."

Read the article
Rockford Register Star


Dee Coleman to be inducted into Hall of Fame

From The Humboldt Independent
Dee Coleman's parents always told her that she could do anything she wanted to do and be anything she wanted to be, if she just had confidence in herself and Jesus Christ watching over her. Almost half a century later, she has certainly proven that statement correct, as she prepares to be inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in Missouri Valley, while simultaneously writing a book and serving as a lay minister for the United Methodist Church.

Dee was born in Laurens, but moved to Fort Dodge at the age of six. She loved to sing, and in 1955, at the age of 13, she and three other teens decided to form a quartet and sing on the Barndance show aired on KQTV in Fort Dodge (later renamed KVFD TV). One by one the other girls decided to quit, leaving only Dee to sing.

In 1956, the radio station sent a letter to the Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, MO, asking them to audition her for the show. Altogether, 80 acts auditioned. Dee and one other act were chosen to do a guest appearance on the show.

Back in Fort Dodge, Dee joined the Circle T. Boys, led by Bill Tyler, on KQTV as a female vocalist. Another female vocalist with Bill Tyler, Lou Lindsey, encouraged Dee to go with her to audition for the Smokey Smith show in Des Moines.

At the age of 14, she started her first band, called the Melody Ramblers. The band stayed together until 1958, when Dee met Bobby Awe while singing on the barn dance. They began singing duets and appeared as Bobby and Dee from 1958 until 1970. They were married in 1960 and continued to sing together. They hosted the KQTV's Barndance from 1962 until 1970.

It was the only hour of live country music in Iowa during that time. In 1967, they were named Iowa's Mr. and Mrs. Country Music by Larry Heaberlin at KWKY in Des Moines. In 1970, they left the Barndance and started Bobby Awe and the Country Awe Stars. Dee fronted the band, while Bobby played steel guitar and sang. They divorced in 1974.

Dee, her daughter, Kelly, and friends, Dennis Wienke and Anita Severson, started the Country Sunshine Band. They appeared at many shows in North and Central Iowa. To celebrate America's 200th birthday, Dee and the Country Sunshine and the Schultz Brothers from Algona produced the Bi-Centennial Barndance on KQTV in Fort Dodge.

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Humboldt (Iowa) Independent


Vanderbilt's Blair School adds history of country music class

From the Nashville Business Journal
The Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University has added a history of country music course to its curriculum.

The course joins an expanding roster of classes developed over the past two years as part of a design to broaden the experiences of music majors and attract general students to the courses.

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Nashville Business Journal


BCMA has home for planned cultural arts center

From the Bristol Herald Courier
The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance has a home for a planned cultural arts center.

Developer Steve Johnson donated a 24,000-square-foot building at Cumberland and Moore streets to the nonprofit group. He presented the deed to the former Goodpasture Motor Co. building Thursday during a news conference at nearby Bud Walling Memorial Park.

"I met with (alliance officials) a few weeks ago, and as they told their story, I realized they were telling this region’s story," Johnson said. "I knew they needed a home.

"Today, we take the first step toward building that cradle for the birthplace of country music," said the alliance’s president, Greg Wallace.

A cultural arts center focusing on Bristol’s contributions to country music would add to the "synergy and focus to the revitalizing of downtown" that began with the renovation of the Paramount Theatre into the Paramount Center for the Arts, he said.

Read the article
Bristol Herald Courier


Sebastian: Prowling in the park

From the Daily Camera
Local singers looking to be the next Garth Brooks may want to check out Lafayette author Carolyn Hollaran's new how-to manual, "Country Music Stars Reveal: What It Takes to Get a Break." The writer — a former Grand Ole Opry tour guide — compiled stories from 58 artists, from Faith Hill to Patsy Cline, detailing how they made it in the country music industry.

Hollaran will sign copies of her 114-page, self-published paperback at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Kaddy Shack's BBQ, 550 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. For more information on the book, call (720) 771-6807 or visit www.1stBooks.com.

Read the Article
Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)


Pickin' And Grinnin': Roy Clark, Lance Miller Entertain Fair Crowd

From The Southern Illinoisan
DU QUOIN -- Imagine the skill required for Jeff Gordon to maneuver his race car at 200 miles per hour.

Think of the knowledge required to score 170 on an IQ test. Combine those two skills, and you come close to the talent needed to play guitar like Roy Clark.

"People ask me why I keep on doing this," Clark said. "I don't want to get a day job. Me and 7 a.m. don't get along."

Watching Clark perform was like taking a trip down memory lane for McLeansboro Mayor Dick Dietz.

"I'm here to support traditional country music," Dietz said. "The old guys are all about gone. We are losing an important part of our culture. We need to hang on to these legendary performers as long as we can."

Dietz, who has been an area high school sports official for 49 years, said his loyalty was equally split between Clark and opening act Lance Miller, who hails from neighboring Fairfield.

Miller had the largest contingent of fans at the show and he brought them to their collective feet with renditions of "Can You See Me Alright" and show-closing "George Jones & Jesus."

Read the article
The Southern

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Doc Watson plans return to 'Hog Waller'

From the Caldwell County (NC) News-Topic
North Carolina legendary acoustic guitarist Doc Watson will perform on Sept. 11 at the sixth annual patrons ball benefiting the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation.

"We are honored to have Doc Watson perform at the ball," said Faye McGinnis, director of the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation. "It will be Doc Fest at Hog Waller."

Each year the ball has a different theme. This year's Black & White Ball or "Le Noir et La Balle Blanc" will be held on the top floors of the historic Bernhardt-Seagle Hardware building. The building currently is being renovated by Hog Waller Development Corporation and will be the centerpiece of the Hog Waller Marketplace project.

Watson's performance will be a return to the beginning of his career when he played on the streets of Boone, Wilkesboro and Lenoir. A young Watson used to perform at the old Hog Waller Market, which was held in the parking lot behind Bernhardt-Seagle. In those days, people gathered there to buy and sell livestock and to perform or listen to some music.

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Huge private music collection donated to ETSU

From WATE, Channel 6 - Knoxville, TN
A South Carolina doctor's massive collection of country and bluegrass music has been donated to East Tennessee State University.

Kenneth Smith avidly collected recordings from the late 1970's until his death in 1999. He founded a cancer clinic in Anderson, South Carolina, five years after graduating from Clemson University in 1965.

His widow, Linda Kelley Smith, was instrumental in the collection of more than 17,000 items coming to the Archives of Appalachia at ETSU.

Researchers with the archive say Smith collected 327 George Jones albums. There are 209 Johnny Cash albums. Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson and Hank Williams are also prominent in the collection.

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WATE: Knoxville, TN


Obituary: Oliver Norman Kelly

From the News-Herald
Oliver Norman Kelly, 84, of 439 Wiley Ave., Franklin, died at 7:18 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004, in Semper Care at Montefiore Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Mr. Kelly owned publishing companies including Progress Talent, Mercy Music and Country Star Talent Co., and a record company, Country Star Records.

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Country Music Association and was an accomplished musician who played several different instruments.

Read the Obituary


Labor Day Jamboree in Santee -- Country, bluegrass music event Sept. 2-5

From the Orangeburg (SC) Times and Democrat
The Second Annual Country Music and Bluegrass Jamboree will be held at Lone Star Barbecue and Mercantile near Santee on Labor Day Weekend, Thursday, Sept. 2-5. During the four days of entertainment, a total of seven bands will perform. To kick things off, the High Prairie Cowboy bluegrass band will perform from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2. Although this group, led by Gary Joyner, is new, the individual musicians have been friends and playing together on an informal basis for almost two decades. With one previous band or another, some of its members have played as opening acts for some of the biggest names in bluegrass music.

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Orangeburg Times and Democrat


Scruggstacular: Nonpareil banjoist Earl Scruggs takes up residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame

From the Nashville Scene
When Steve Morse of the Boston Globe asked Melissa Etheridge why she chose to appear as a guest on 2001's Earl Scruggs and Friends, the answer, as he reported it, was swift and simple: "Well, he's Earl Scruggs, that's why."

A lot of reasons can be offered for making attendance at one of the banjo master's artist-in-residence concerts at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum this month a high priority, but they all boil down to those six words. At 80, Scruggs can look back on (while still pursuing) a career unlike any other, even in a town that sometimes seems to have seen it all. Others have revolutionized country music in their youth, but all of them were, first and foremost, singers and/or songwriters. While others have been revitalized by new styles and sounds that appeal to new audiences, only Scruggs has consistently taken the initiative not to reinvent, but to recontextualize his groundbreaking but essentially unchanged contributions.

Read the article
Nashville Scene

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Son Of The Late Redd Stewart; Country Musician/Songwriter Releases Some Of His Dad's Music On CD Format

Press Release
September 1, 2004 — Henry "Redd" Stewart, the fiddle-playin', guitar-pickin' cowboy with the "voice as smooth as honey" blazed a glorious trail throughout the 1940's and 1950's as a solo artist and lead singer/songwriter with Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys. Considered one of the "most shockingly-overlooked country performers of his day" Redd is well-deserving of inclusion into the Country Music Hall of Fame, if only for penning the lyrics to the immortal "Tennessee Waltz."

Bill Stewart, son of the late Redd Stewart, has just released the first CD of many songs written and recorded by Redd. The "I Remember" CD includes songs such as, “I Remember”, “Sunshine Over The Hill”, “Tennessee Waltz”, “Banjo”, “Cold, Cold, Heart”, “Talk To The Angels”, and “Bonaparte's Retreat.” Along with the CD is a beautifully illustrated booklet with the lyrics to all of the songs and some treasured pictures of Redd, his family, and the times spent with Pee Wee King and the Golden West Cowboys.

This CD is now available at the Redd Stewart tribute site. For more information about this new CD release, and/or to learn more about the man behind these beautiful songs, please visit us at: http://www.reddstewart.com. This CD is one of many releases to come!

Note To Editors: Bill Stewart available for interviews. Photos of Redd Stewart available.

Sharon Stewart, Vice President
Ambridge Music, Inc.
P.O. Box 10708
Norfolk, VA 23513
E-MAIL: info@reddstewart.com

Redd Stewart Web Site

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