Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Record collector turned DJ enjoys sharing hobby

From the Lafayette (LA) Courier and Journal
ut this old farmboy has entertained thousands of people and met some of country music's biggest stars.

Hayworth, a graduate of Montmorenci High, attended Purdue and served in the military before spending 31 years at Duncan Electric/Landis & Gyr.

Upon retirement in 1986, his life took a major turn. He and his wife love live music, so they traded rural Otterbein for Walnut Shade, Mo., eight miles from Branson. Branson competes with Nashville as the country music mecca of the world.

Hayworth can't sing, but he loves to talk and he has a massive collection of recordings from 1920s jazz to modern hip-hop.

So in 1994, as a hobby, he started working as a disc jockey. "Don the DJ" brought a sound system, music and patter to nursing homes, weddings, proms, parties and car shows.

Hayworth has entertained for four people, and for packed gymnasiums. Between songs, he offers interesting insights into songs and artists.

Hayworth delighted the residents at Benton County Retirement Village last summer. It was a picnic with a Hawaiian theme.

Administrator Linda Butler says that leys were distributed, Hawaiian music filled the air and residents danced on the sidewalks. Butler's daughter and granddaughter wore grass skirts.

Read the article
Lafayette Courier and Journal


Wilburn family, Community Foundation settle estate dispute

From Nashville Business Journal
The family of the late Thurman "Teddy" Wilburn and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee have settled a dispute over the Grand Ole Opry star's estate.

The settlement provides for most of Wilburn's estate to go to the foundation to help college students at Tennessee State and Vanderbilt universities. About $1 million of Wilburn's assets will fund the Teddy Wilburn Scholarship Fund through the Community Foundation.

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Nashville Business Journal


Grand Master Fiddler Championship to Return at IBMA

From Cybergrass
ybergrass reported in June 2004 that the Grand Master Fiddler Championships were to resume after being quiet since 1997. The welcome return will coincide with the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass event in Nashville during October.

he Grand Master Fiddler Championship Inc. is organized as a Tennessee nonprofit corporation, formed to educate about and perpetuate fiddling as an art form and cultural treasure. The corporation has plans to restart and organize, hold and support the annual Grand Master Fiddler Championship competition - an event that has started many young country, folk and bluegrass musicians on their way to a career in music.

The contest was held in Opryland from 1972 through 1997. During that quarter century the preliminaries were held in the historic Ryman Auditorium and the finals and championship rounds were held in Opryland USA through 1997, after which the Championship fell casualty to Gaylord Entertainment budget reductions and the closing and dismantling of Opryland USA theme park.

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Steel Guitar Rag - Slide on Down to the Florida Steel Guitar Jam This Weekend and Hear Some of the Best

The Ledger (Lakeland, FL)
Ask Heywood Henson why he loves hosting the Florida Steel Guitar Jam every year and his voice takes on the down-home quality of the instrument itself -- a warm, reverberating timbre that all but defines the sound of country music.

"It's the heart of country music, because when they take that away from a song, it kind of turns into a pop song," says Henson, who hosts his sixth Florida Steel Guitar Jam in Lakeland on Saturday and Sunday at the Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites.

The event, which features a country music show Saturday night and an all-out steel-guitar jam Sunday, is perhaps Henson's favorite way of paying homage to the instrument that puts the "country" in country music, he says.

Fans can see for themselves starting Saturday night, when the event's Country Music Show at 6:30 features such renowned steel-guitar players as John Hughey, Doug Jernigan, Lynn Owsley and Russ Hicks, among others.

Hughey played on many hits by Conway Twitty, including "Hello Darlin', " while Jernigan is known for the song "Farewell Party" and an instrumental version of "Orange Blossom Special." Owsley and Hicks became known for playing with Ernest Tubb and Mickey Gilley, respectively.

Henson's Florida Steel Guitar Jam, inspired by a similar event he attended on Florida's east coast years ago, will raise funds for the Shriners' Transportation Fund, which pays to transport children needing medical attention.

Note: Event was on January 29, 2005.
Read the article
The Ledger


Preacher finds storytelling to be effective trademark

From the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that Jesus frequently used parables in talking to crowds about the kingdom of heaven.

The Rev. Huey Wood, a native of Union County's Wallerville community, learned well that though preaching may be primary, stories make it stick.

"Storytelling has always been integral to communication and community," wrote United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder in the foreword to "Preacher, Tell Me a Story," published by Wood in 2002. "The most profound truths, poignant experiences and penetrating insights have always been shared through stories."

Sometimes the serious lessons yield to the simple priority of making people laugh. When the Natchez Trace came up more or less randomly in a recent conversation, Wood quipped, "Back before Columbus, that's the road the Natchez Indians took when they wanted to go see the Grand Old Opry."

Read the article
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal


The Carolina Opry kicks off its 20th season

From Myrtle Beach (SC) Online
Calvin Gilmore's The Carolina Opry, the Grand Strand's longest running professional musical variety show, opens its 20th season tonight.

The show features comedy, dancing, and various styles of music, including country, pop, rock and gospel, performed by a cast of singers, backed by an electric orchestra.

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Myrtle Beach Online


Emmylou Thrills Bar Patrons With Impromptu Jam Session

From KWNR - Las Vegas, NV
Country legend Emmylou Harris thrilled locals at Nashville, Tennessee's famous Tootsie's bar on Saturday night when she staged an impromptu set to fill in time between two shows.

Harris, who was playing early and late shows at the nearby Grand Ole Opry, chose not to sit around between performances, and took a couple of friends to the bar in the center of the city.

Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch were among those who joined Harris for the unannounced jam session.

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Country icon Merle Kilgore dies at age 70

From The Tennessean
Had Merle Kilgore only been a bit player in country music history — had he never co-written Ring of Fire with June Carter or managed Hank Williams Jr. to great career heights — he would still have been one of Nashville's great characters.

A remarkable teller of stories and writer of songs, Mr. Kilgore died last night of congestive heart failure in Mexico, where he had been undergoing cancer treatments. He was 70.

Born Wyatt Merle Kilgore in Chickasha, Okla., Mr. Kilgore grew up in Shreveport, La. He often hung around the Louisiana Hayride radio show, where he introduced himself to numerous performers including Hank Williams.

At age 18, Mr. Kilgore wrote his first hit song: Country star Webb Pierce covered his More and More and turned it into a No. 1 hit in 1954. Pierce also saw promise in Mr. Kilgore as an artist and helped him get a contract with Imperial Records. Mr. Kilgore augmented his artistry with work as a disc jockey and a songwriter. He wrote the Johnny Horton hit Johnny Reb, and he scored a top 10 solo hit on Mercury Records with Love Has Made You Beautiful.

Mr. Kilgore is survived by his wife, Judy; sons, Steve and Duane Kilgore; daughters, Pam Compton, Kim Pomeroy and Shane McBee; eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Read the article
The Tennessean


Steel guitar great Jimmie Crawford, 69, dies

From the Tennessean
Steel Guitar Hall of Famer Jimmie Crawford — an innovative player, teacher and instrument-maker who performed with artists including Kitty Wells, George Jones, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton — died early Wednesday after an apparent heart attack. He was 69.

''He was in that small, elite group of world-class players,'' said Lloyd Green, himself a legend in the steel guitar world. ''He could hold his own with anyone. A musical genius.''

Born in Obetz, Ohio, Mr. Crawford grew up around country music. He began playing in area clubs with Donny Lytle, who would later become famous as ''Johnny Paycheck.''

Mr. Crawford is survived by wife Elsie Orens Crawford; sister Connie Crawford Johnson; children Lucy Callaway, Steve Crawford, Tim Crawford, Robin Fletcher, Rhonda Crawford and Dee Dee Wright; 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Read the article
The Tennessean


ccordionist Sonny Day, who played with Acuff, dead at 80

From WVLT - Channel 8 - Nashville, TN
Accordionist Sonny Day, an original member of Roy Acuff's (AYE'kuhf) "Smokey Mountain Boys" and a regular on the Grand Ole Opry, has died after a bout with bone cancer. He was 80.

Day died yesterday at a hospice center in Nashville.

Day's accordion playing was credited with helping to create the Roy Acuff sound in the 1940s. He's featured on original recordings of Acuff's signature hit, "The Wabash Cannonball," and appeared with Acuff in the film "Night Train to Memphis."

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Pioneer 'son' Spencer dies at 75

From the Arizona Daily Star
Robert J. "Sunny" Spencer blew one last labored breath into his saxophone, then stopped.

He put the instrument on the stage at the Hidden Valley Inn on that Thursday night two weeks ago and turned to his Sons of the Pioneers bandmates.

Spencer spent the last seven years battling respiratory illness after contracting valley fever, said his son-in-law and fellow band member, Gary LeMaster.

Spencer joined the Pioneers - the 72-year-old Western band that plays winters in Tucson and summers in Branson, Mo. - in 1984, 40 years into his music career.

"He was just a great player with lots of humor," said Debbie Pundt, office manager for the Tucson-based Western Music Association.

Spencer's signature act with the Pioneers had him playing every instrument in the band, from fiddle to sax, for the ditty "Mama Don't Allow No Music Played Around Here." He would light into the fiddle at a furious pace, and the band would sing "Mama don't allow …" and fill in the blank with whatever instrument Spencer was playing. The audience would laugh as Spencer scrambled to play every instrument, followed by the perfect harmonies of his boys chiding him not to play.

Read the article
Arizona Daily Star

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