Archive for May, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Below is the speech I gave on May 30, 2016, at American Legion Post 131 in Valley Springs, South Dakota.

Welcome to today’s ceremony and thank you for being here. This is one of those few years when Memorial Day falls on both the traditional date of May 30th and the last Monday in May. Memorial Day has evolved in the past century and a half, from Decoration Day that honored those who died on the battlefields of the Civil War, to Memorial Day that honors those who died in all wars. It now also includes all deceased veterans and deceased civilian family members and friends. But the main focus is still those who lost their lives in battle.

Today is not for living veterans—we have Veteran’s Day for them. Today is not for active duty members—we have Armed Forces Day for them. Today we remember the millions of Americans who fought and died on battlefields around the world to defend our freedom. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 18 May 2016

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

The University of Illinois Press is running a special promotion that includes a sale on the e-book versions of Twentieth Century Drifter and Live Fast, Love Hard.

Johnny Seay (1940-2016)
Johnny Seay, 75, was killed Saturday afternoon, May 14, in a crop-dusting plane crash near West, Texas. His crop duster hit a cell tower guide wire, according to good friend Bill Mack, and he was ejected from the aircraft. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnny told me two years ago, when I interviewed him as one of my first featured artists (19 March 2014), “I’m still Crop Dusting and will be as long as my health holds out. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter – 4 May 2016

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016


“I’ll never, ever want to retire,” Bill Mack told me when I called him the other day. He was sitting in the studio he’d built in his Fort Worth, Texas, home in 2001 when he joined XM Satellite Radio. He’d spent three decades as the Midnight Cowboy on WBAP Radio in Dallas before becoming the Satellite Cowboy on XM. He stayed there for ten years. “I still do freelance radio,” he said. Radio stations call him at least weekly for interviews about other personalities. And he gives all kinds of speeches–for trucking companies, schools, conventions, and various events. (more…)