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

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

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

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

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 »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 21 March 2018

March 21st, 2018

Ronnie Prophet (1937-2018)
Ronald Lawrence Victor Prophet, a native of Calumet, Quebec, died March 2 at age 80, following cardiac and kidney failure. Ronnie Prophet charted 23 singles during his 60-year career. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1966, playing in Memphis and Nashville. There is a Ronnie Prophet Waiting Room at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, in honor of his charity work. The Boots Randolph’s Carousel Club, where he got his Nashville start, later became Ronnie Prophet’s Carousel Club. He appeared on The Tommy Hunter TV show prior to hosting his own TV shows. He and his wife, Glory Anne, performed in Branson, Missouri, from 1997 until they retired in 2015 and moved to Florida. Ronnie was buried near his farm home in Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 28 February 2018

February 28th, 2018

The 2018 inductees to the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame are songwriters Tom T. Hall and Dixie Hall. The award ceremony will take place during the 44th Annual Hall of Fame and Uncle Pen Bluegrass Festival at the Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, Indiana, in September. Bluegrass Today explains that Tom T. once wrote songs for Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and Miss Dixie wrote with Maybelle Carter. The pair married in 1968 and wrote together until Dixie’s death in 2015. After retiring from Nashville life, they dedicated their energy to bluegrass — forming a publishing company and record label and actively promoting bluegrass artists who recorded their songs. After Tom dies, all their song royalties will be donated to the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 14 February 2018

February 14th, 2018

Daryle Singletary (1971-2018)
Daryle Singletary, 46, died unexpectedly on February 11 at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee. The cause of death is pending. He leaves behind a wife and four children. Daryle Bruce Singletary was born March 10, 1971, in Cairo, Georgia. An early Randy Travis fan, he moved to Nashville at age 19 and began playing nightclubs and doing demo work. Randy, while listening to demos, liked the singer. There’s also a report that Randy’s band members saw Daryle singing at the Broken Spoke in Nashville and urged Randy to come listen. Whatever the introduction, Randy Travis helped Daryle get a record deal and he co-produced the first single, “I’m Living Up To Her Low Expectations.” Billboard’s obituary states, “Singletary will no doubt be remembered as a torch-bearer for artists such as Lefty Frizzell and Keith Whitley to modern-day generations of fans and artists.” His two songs I’ve always really liked are “I’m Living Up To Her Low Expectations” and “Too Much Fun.” Read the rest of this entry »