Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 19 July 2017

July 19th, 2017

CONCERT REVIEW — JOHN ANDERSON AND TANYA TUCKER
The Orpheum Theater in Sioux City, Iowa, was the place to be on Friday, July 7. John Anderson and Tanya Tucker both put on fantastic shows. A person forgets how many hits a singer has had, until listening to one recognizable song after another for over an hour. With both shows, the band kicked off and the singer appeared. No openers or introductions, just the star singing a well-known song. The acoustics were great, the sound level just right, and the intimate theater setting enjoyable. Having third-row, center-aisle seats helped, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 5 July 2017

July 5th, 2017

NEWS 
The last surviving member of Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys has died. Alden Johnny “A. J.” Nelson, age 94, of Hendersonville passed away June 22. He had served in the US Navy during WWII, and he performed on many USO tours during the Vietnam war. In addition to being an entertainer, he was a craftsman of stringed instrument repair. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 21 June 2017

June 21st, 2017

NEWS 
Norro Wilson, co-writer of “The Grand Tour,” “A Picture of Me (Without You),” and other classics, died June 8 at age 79. “Over the course of his career,” The Tennessean reports, “he was involved in nearly every aspect of the music business, working as a performer, a songwriter, a song plugger, a publisher, an A&R rep and a producer.” The son of a Kentucky factory worker, Wilson Norris “Norro” Wilson sang in a barbershop quartet in high school. He gave up his solo-recording career in the early 1970s to be a songwriter and music executive. He was a passionate advocate for songwriters. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 7 June 2017

June 7th, 2017

NEWS 
“All My Rowdy Friends” is returning to ESPN’s Monday Night Football on September 11. The Minnesota Vikings will be hosting the New Orleans Saints for the first Monday night game of the season. Hank Williams Jr. filmed a new video in Nashville with a new version of the song that calls out, “Are you ready for some football?” Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Day Speech – 2017

May 29th, 2017

Memorial Day Speech by CAPT Diane Diekman, USN (ret)
May 29, 2017
American Legion Post 13, Willow Lake, South Dakota

If South Dakota hadn’t passed a law in the mid-1960s to allow only 12-year school districts, I wouldn’t be standing here today. I’d be a retired country schoolteacher instead of a retired U.S. Navy captain.

That law dashed my childhood dream of teaching in the same sort of one-room country school I grew up in near Clear Lake. Teaching in town schools didn’t interest me. So I enlisted in the Navy after college graduation. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 24 May 2017

May 24th, 2017

FEATURED ARTIST–LEONA WILLIAMS
When Leona Williams and I scheduled a phone conversation, she was in Phoenix, Arizona. She was visiting friends there in conjunction with playing several shows. Now she is off to Texas for two performances this weekend before heading back to Nashville.

Ron Williams, Leona’s son, sometimes tours with her. In addition to several duets, they each have a solo portion on their shows. They usually travel without a band. Mark Yeary, longtime pianist for Merle Haggard, arranged the band for their Phoenix shows. Ron is Leona’s middle child. Cathy is the eldest. Two sons, Ron and Brady, were born to Leona and her second husband, Ron Williams, Sr. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 10 May 2017

May 10th, 2017

I recently received this email from the Library of Congress: “The National Recording Registry is an annual list from the Library of Congress. Twenty-five recordings are named to the Registry every year. The Registry now numbers over 400 recordings. Each recording has been chosen by the Librarian of Congress, with input from the National Recording Preservation Board. These recordings have been deemed so vital to the history of America—aesthetically, culturally or historically—that they demand permanent archiving in the nation’s library. Those of us who work on the Registry are attempting to build a variety of scholarly essays on each of the 400 titles on the Registry. I was wondering if you might be able write something for us/the Library on the topic of Marty Robbins and his Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album?” I said yes. My submission deadline is the end of this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 26 April 2017

April 26th, 2017

FEATURED ARTIST – RONNY ROBBINS
When I asked Ronny Robbins the other day if he still tours, he said he stopped in 1985 when daughter Courtney was born. “I knew what it felt like for Dad to be gone 200 days a year and I never wanted her to know what that felt like,” he said. He had been on the road with the Marty Robbins Band for the three years after his dad’s death in 1982. “I’ve done a couple of the ‘Children of. . .’ events through the years here locally in Nashville,” he told me. “They’re fun but not something I want to do on a regular basis. I’m getting a little old for that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 12 April 2017

April 12th, 2017

NEWS
2017 inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame are Jerry Reed as the veteran era artist, Don Schlitz as songwriter, and Alan Jackson in the modern era artist. Vince Gill announced the winners at a ceremony at the Hall on April 5, 2017.

The National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress adds 25 titles every year to its National Recording Registry. This year’s list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” recordings was announced on March 29. It included Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers/New York Giants game announced by Vin Scully — and the 1959 Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album by Marty Robbins. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 29 March 2017

March 29th, 2017

NEWS 
After the long-running Flatt and Scruggs Grand Ole Opry Show ended in 1969, there seemed to be no surviving copies of the TV show. Twenty years later, an advertising executive discovered a box of 16-mm film in his garage. It contained 24 half-hour episodes of the show sponsored by Martha White Flour and starring Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and their Foggy Mountain Boys. Read the rest of this entry »