Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 4 September 2019

September 4th, 2019

NEWS

The 53rd CMA Awards show will be held November 13. For the first time since the Musician of the Year category was added in 1988, there is a female nominee. Fiddle player Jenee Fleenor, a member of Blake Shelton’s band, was nominated along with guitarist Mac McAnally (who has won 10 of the last 11 years), Ilya Toshinsky, Paul Franklin, and Derek Wells. “I just broke down in tears,” Jenee told The Tennessean. “It’s been a dream of mine since I knew what the CMAs were, to be named with all of my peers and heroes.” The Arkansas native moved to Nashville in 2001, immediately after high school graduation, and quickly joined Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time. In Blake’s band, she contributes fiddle, guitar, mandolin and background vocals, as well as writing songs. “The first time I stepped in the studio was when I was about 11 years old,” she says. “I’ll never forget that sound. Those headphones, and the way my fiddle sounded. I was like, ‘I want to do this.'” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 21 August 2019

August 21st, 2019

CONCERT REVIEW – LACY J. DALTON

Ever since I interviewed Lacy J. Dalton for my May 15 spotlight, I’ve been waiting for her to come to South Dakota. It happened last Thursday evening when she did a show at the Sisseton Performing Arts Center. She was as friendly in person as she’d been on the phone. We chatted for a while backstage in the afternoon. Each time a new person entered the room, she would say, “Hi, who are you? I haven’t met you yet.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 7 August 2019

August 7th, 2019

NEWS

Billboard’s Country Airplay chart had a solo female artist at the top for the first time in more than a year. “Girl” by Maren Morris jumped from #4 to #1 and dropped this week to #13 . Kelsea Ballerini’s “Legends” hit #1 on February 24, 2018. Miranda Lambert shared a #1 with Jason Aldean for “Drowns the Whiskey” on August 25, 2018. This report led me to do some research. In the 240 weeks of 2015-2019, I found eight weeks where Billboard’s Country Airplay chart was topped by a woman and ten weeks where a woman was featured with a man. Let me repeat: That’s 8 of 240 weeks for women and an additional 10 appearances with men.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 24 July 2019

July 24th, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – PIG ROBBINS

“Pig Robbins probably played more sessions than anybody ever did,” Lloyd Green told me during our recent phone conversation. He gave me Pig’s number so I could check in with the famous pianist and keyboard session player. When I called Hargus “Pig” Robbins, 81, and asked how he was, he said, “I don’t do as much as I used to, of course.” He enjoys listening to old-time radio shows through his computer. “I listen to old Gunsmoke, old Sergeant Preston, old radio shows, Life of Riley, stuff like that,” he says.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 10 July 2019

July 10th, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – LES LEVERETT

“For my age and condition, I guess I’m doing pretty good,” Les Leverett told me when I called him last week at his home in Nashville. “God’s been awful good to me.” Les is ninety-two years old and leads a busy life. One of his favorite events takes place the first Monday night of each month. A group from his church goes to the Maybelle Carter Retirement Home to sing for the folks who live there. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 26 June 2019

June 26th, 2019

CONCERT REVIEW – WAHOO COUNTRY MUSIC SHOW

Thanks to Sharon Kenaston and Tracy Pitcox for a Thursday evening filled with high-quality traditional country music. Sharon hosted the 22nd annual Wahoo Country Music Show in Wahoo, Nebraska, this past weekend. Tracy Pitcox brought several Heart of Texas recording artists for a dance at the Starlite Ballroom.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 12 June 2019

June 12th, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – LLOYD GREEN

I hadn’t heard anything about Lloyd Green in quite a while, so I called him Sunday evening to find out how he’s doing. He answered the phone on the second ring. “Life’s different for me these days,” he told me. “Dot passed away about three years ago. I’m still in the music business, I’m still recording some, I’m still playing live shows around here. But music is becoming less and less important.”

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 29 May 2019

May 29th, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – LISA SUTTON

“I am kind of phasing out Lisa Sutton Music Services after fifteen years,” Lisa Sutton told me during our telephone conversation last week. Lisa is the daughter of the late singer Lynn Anderson and songwriter Glenn Sutton. Her grandparents were songwriters Liz Anderson and Casey Anderson. How’s that for country music royalty?

Lisa has spent her career in a different aspect of the music industry. “I always handled CD manufacturing and graphic design for album covers,” she explains. “We could do short runs, long runs, I could put all the CDs together, drop ship them to all the different customers. But everybody’s going digital. So I’m backing out of that one slowly, and I’m going to focus more on my publishing catalog.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 15 May 2019

May 15th, 2019

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – LACY J. DALTON

The most incredible project Lacy J. Dalton, 72, has ever done in her life came from the recent three-and-a-half years she spent with an arts program at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California. “It was a life-changing experience,” she told me during our telephone conversation last week. When a friend called and asked her to join the program, she said she was too busy and didn’t want to do it. He convinced her to give it a try. Dale Poune, her partner of ten years and a “fabulous guitar/mandolin/piano player,” went with her. “From the minute I went into that prison, I never felt one moment of fear,” she recalls. “Those men were so grateful. They had no programs like art or music or acting or anything in the arts. These are level four guys, twenty to life. I’ve never felt so loved and appreciated in all my life.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 1 May 2019

May 1st, 2019

NEWS

Mastering engineer John Eberle, 79, died April 12 at Dickson Health and Rehab in Dickson, Tennessee. For more than 30 years, he mastered recordings at Nashville Record Productions (NRP), before launching his own company, Americana Mastering. His credits appear on nearly 450 recordings. “Mastering is the final process in audio recording, after the music has been captured to tape (or disc), and mixed down to a two-track master recording,” explains Bluegrass Today. Read the rest of this entry »