Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 17 October 2018

October 17th, 2018

CONCERT REVIEW – LORRIE MORGAN
All seats in the Sisseton Performing Arts Center were filled this past Sunday evening for the Lorrie Morgan concert. A row of folding chairs handled the overflow. The nine-member Just Between Friends band opened the show with its usual great performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 3 October 2018

October 3rd, 2018

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – JANET ROBBINS
Janet Robbins (Robinson) is the daughter of Marty Robbins. When I contacted her to get an update for my newsletter, I was surprised to learn she’s living in England. She and her Alaskan Malamute-Husky, Max, arrived there on the Queen Mary on August 4, 2017. “If you’re going to move to another country,” she says, “going across the Atlantic on a ship is the way to do it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 19 September 2018

September 19th, 2018

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – MARGIE SINGLETON
I couldn’t find Margie Singleton when I was writing Faron Young’s biography, but I’ve found her now–thanks to discovering Margie Singleton Walton on Facebook. During our recent phone chat, she brought me up to date on her life and her new music.

Back in the 1960s, 12 of her singles charted on Billboard. Her biggest was “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” a #5 duet with Faron in 1964. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 5 September 2018

September 5th, 2018

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – JIMMY FORTUNE
“I’m at a really good place right now,” Jimmy Fortune said when he called me for our scheduled interview. “I feel like God’s not finished with me yet. I’m singing as good as I ever did, and I’m writing quite a bit.” He has had to build a new career since becoming a solo act after the Statler Brothers retired in 2002. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 22 August 2018

August 22nd, 2018

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – MO PITNEY
Morgan Daniel “Mo” Pitney is 25 years old and a native of Rockford, Illinois. He released his first single, “Country,” in 2014. He co-wrote the song with Bill Anderson and Bobby Tomberlin. His first album, Behind This Guitar, was issued in 2016.

On the day he called me, he was doing a series of interviews before heading out for a late-night bus trip to Kentucky. His family travels with him to show dates. Mo and his wife, Emily, have been married two-and-a-half years. Their daughter, Evelyne Nadine, was born in January 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 8 August 2018

August 8th, 2018

CONCERT REVIEW – JIMMY FORTUNE
This past Saturday evening, Coteau Entertainment hosted Jimmy Fortune at the Performing Arts Center in Sisseton, South Dakota. Just Between Friends gave their usual excellent opening performance. My sister, Kayo Paver, and I enjoyed both performances and sold my books during intermission.

Jimmy kicked off his one-and-three-quarter-hour show of spectacular harmonies with a bluegrass version of “Flowers on the Wall.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 25 July 2018

July 26th, 2018

This newsletter is late because I just returned home from the national convention for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City. I received my second consecutive award for All-American Commander of VFW Post 628 in Sioux Falls.

NEWS
Larry Gatlin wants his Grammy back–no questions asked. He won his only Grammy in 1977 for Best Country Song for “Broken Lady.” The Tennessean reports the trophy was stolen from the Gatlin Bros. Music City grill in the Mall of America in the 1990s. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »