Archive for December, 2015

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 30 December 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

A five-time national country music disc jockey of the year is retiring. Billy Parker, 78, made his radio debut in 1959 and has been on KVOO Radio in Tulsa continuously since 1971. The last taping of Billy Parker’s Country Junction took place on December 22. The playlist for his farewell show, which aired twice on Christmas weekend, included his 1982 recording of ‘(Who’s Gonna Sing) The Last Country Song.’ When asked if he could remember the first record he played on the radio, Billy said it was probably a Hank Williams song. He told the Tulsa World he’s not tired of the music, but his body gets tired. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 16 December 2015

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

“For the first time in 64 years, I have no schedule–and I’m loving it.” That’s what Johnny Western told me when I called him last week at his home in Mesa, Arizona. The little boy who lived in a CCC camp in the Minnesota north woods and dreamed of being a singing cowboy has fulfilled his dreams. When his family moved to Northfield, Minnesota, he started disk jockeying and singing at a local radio station in 1949. “Billboard magazine found out I was 14 years old, and wrote me up as the youngest disc jockey in America,” he says. He wanted to be Gene Autry. Who could imagine that Gene Autry himself would later put Johnny under contract, and they would travel together until Gene stopped touring. Johnny joined the Johnny Cash show in 1958 and spent the next thirty years as part of that show; he is the only surviving member of the original entourage. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 2 December 2015

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

It’s been 19 years since Faron Young left this life on December 10, 1996, and 33 years since a heart attack took Marty Robbins on December 8, 1982. We remember them both fondly and never tire of listening to their music. (more…)