Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 11 July 2018

July 11th, 2018

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – BOBBY BRADDOCK
Golden Ring – Old Flames Have New Names – He Stopped Loving Her Today – I Wanna Talk About Me – D-I-V-O-R-C-E – Would You Catch a Falling Star – You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too – Her Name Is – Nothing Ever Hurt Me Half As Bad As Losing You – Thinking of a Rendezvous – People Are Crazy – We’re Not the Jet Set – I Don’t Remember Loving You

What do these songs have in common? They are a few of the 1,300 songs written (or co-written) and published by Bobby Braddock. The Florida native moved to Nashville in 1964 to be a songwriter. At age 24, he got a job with Marty Robbins, playing piano and singing harmony. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I was,” he recalls. “I was a big fan. It was like magic to me.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 27 June 2018

June 27th, 2018

NEWS
Dominic Joseph Fontana (1931-2018)
D.J. Fontana, 87, died in his sleep on Wednesday evening, June 13. He played drums for Elvis Presley from 1954 to 1968, both onstage and on approximately 460 recordings. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, he taught himself to play drums by listening to big band records. Hired in 1953 as house drummer for the Louisiana Hayride, he backed future stars such as Webb Pierce and Faron Young. And Elvis Presley in late 1954. “They sent Elvis’ records from Memphis. I thought the sound was really incredible,” he told The Tennessean in 1984. “It was really different. … When Elvis, (guitarist) Scotty Moore and (bassist) Bill Black came down as a trio, Scotty approached me about drumming with them. We ran through about two or three songs backstage.” After moving to Nashville in the 1960s, Fontana became a sought-after session musician. He was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame, and Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 13 June 2018

June 13th, 2018

CONCERT REVIEW – SUZY BOGGUSS
Coteau Entertainment recently hosted Suzy Bogguss at the Performing Arts Center in Sisseton, South Dakota. It was a show worth driving 170 miles to see. Just Between Friends gave their usual excellent opening performance.

Suzy played a 90-minute set, with the backing of Elio Giordano on upright bass and Craig Smith on rhythm and electric guitar. Craig came from Scotland to attend college to play the guitar. He learned well, there’s no doubt about that. Elio has worked with the Mavericks, and he does sales and promotions for WSM radio in Nashville. Suzy’s husband of three decades is Doug Crider, who served as sound man for the show. A noted songwriter, his 187 BMI songs include “First Step” for Tracy Byrd. He wrote the BMI-award-winning “Letting Go” for Suzy. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 30 May 2018

May 30th, 2018

FEATURED ARTIST — Wylie Gustafson
If you’ve heard the three-note yodel for Yahoo.com, you’ve heard Wylie Gustafson. He told me the story when I called him last week. The Montana cowboy had moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s to pursue a musical career. Playing at the Palomino Club, he became known as one of the few yodelers in town. This resulted in being sought out for making commercials. In 1996, Yahoo asked him for a yodel containing the Yahoo name, which he sang and then sold the copyright to the company. It must have been a good payment, because he used the money to buy a ranch in Washington state. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 16 May 2018

May 16th, 2018

NEWS
One of the Geezinslaw Brothers has died. Sammy Allred, a native of Austin, Texas, died May 10 at age 84. He and partner Dewayne “Son” Smith came to national attention on the Louisiana Hayride in the late 1950s and Arthur Godfrey’s radio show in the early 1960s. Sammy later had a show on KVET Radio in Austin. Keith Bilbrey posted on Facebook: “Just learned of the passing of Sammy Allred of the Geezinslaw Brothers and a radio legend in Austin, Texas. Absolutely one of the funniest guys I ever had the pleasure of working with.” Read the rest of this entry »

My Major Life Work

May 8th, 2018

Another assignment in my “Personal Legacy” writing course was to describe my major life work, followed by the advice I would give a young person seeking a career. Here’s what I wrote:

My major life work is being a leader. It’s an unlikely calling for a bashful farm girl who didn’t talk to people and who feared speaking in class. I fell into this role; it was never one of my dreams or expectations. Even after becoming a U.S. Navy officer, I didn’t see myself as a leader, only as someone doing my best to advance in my naval career. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 2 May 2018

May 2nd, 2018

CONCERT REVIEW – BRAD PAISLEY
Brad Paisley came to Sioux Falls last Friday night. It was my first opportunity to see him in concert. I’ve been a fan of his since before I was introduced to him backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. That was probably in 2000. An internet search tells me he recorded his first album in 1999. He was born October 28, 1972. I remember that period of my life; it was my first month of US Navy basic training. Brad’s current net worth is $95 million. Read the rest of this entry »

A Branching Point in My Life

May 2nd, 2018

I recently took a “Personal Legacy” writing course, in which our lives were compared to trees with numerous branches. We were assigned to write about a branching point that changed our lives. This is what I wrote:

The major branching point of my life occurred in 1972, when I joined the US Navy after college, instead of becoming a schoolteacher. I had grown up with the dream of teaching in one-room country schools, much like the one where I spent my childhood. By the time I enrolled in college, South Dakota had passed a law requiring all schools to be part of 12-year districts. This mandated closing rural schools that taught grades 1-8. We sold our country schoolhouse at auction in 1969. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 18 April 2018

April 18th, 2018

NEWS
On his 83rd birthday, Bobby Bare received a surprise from the Grand Ole Opry. He was on the Opry stage April 7, singing during the segment hosted by Jeannie Seely, when Garth Brooks walked to the microphone. Garth invited him to officially rejoin the Opry family. “I’ve got to tell you that this is quite a surprise,” Bobby responded. “I was a member of the Opry for 10 years, but then I just drifted away.” Bobby had joined the Opry in the early 1960s, but over the years his membership lapsed. His name was never removed from the list on the backstage wall at the Opry House. The Tennessean says Bobby performed on the Grand Ole Opry more than 10 times in the past year, as a guest. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 4 April 2018

April 4th, 2018

NEWS
This year’s inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame are Johnny Gimble, Dottie West, and Ricky Skaggs. They were announced March 27 at an event in the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood were the hosts. Western Swing fiddler Johnny Gimble from Texas was chosen posthumously as Recording/Touring Musician. He died in 2015 at age 88. His son and granddaughter performed his “Under the ‘X’ in Texas” during the ceremony. Dottie West, who lived her entire life in Tennessee, was named posthumously as Veterans’ Era inductee. The “Country Sunshine” singer and songwriter died in 1991, just before her 60th birthday, following a car accident on her way to the Grand Ole Opry. Ricky Skaggs is the Modern Era inductee. Read the rest of this entry »