Archive for May, 2021

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 19 May 2021

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021


After Mary Lorefice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, asked me what Lionel Cartwright is doing these days, I decided to track him down. We had an enjoyable half-hour phone chat. Like Mary, I remember hearing on my radio “I Watched It All (On My Radio).” Lionel’s #1 hit was “Leap of Faith” in 1991. He explained to me how dropping off the charts after having several hits eventually moved his life in a different direction. “I’ve just always gone through the doors that would open,” he says.

Lionel, now 61, got his start on the WWVA Jamboree in his hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia, as piano player in the staff band when he was eighteen. He later became the band leader and music director. When I mentioned that Brad Paisley got his start there, too, Lionel said, “Yeah, Brad Paisley and I are not only from the same town, we’re from the same hill in the same town. His dad was our phys-ed teacher in high school. Mr. Paisley.”


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 5 May 2021

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021


Waiting for a phone call from Don Reid last week was one of my most nervous times in planning an interview. Hearing the voice on the phone that I’ve heard on Statler Brothers records and shows for half a century felt otherworldly: “Diane, this is Don Reid. How are you doing this morning, out west?”

He was calling from his lifelong home of Staunton, Virginia. We talked about his newest book, The Music of The Statler Brothers: An Anthology. His sons, Debo and Langdon, had encouraged him for a long time to write such a book. “I didn’t know what I had to say,” he told me. “But then I got into it and realized I had more to say than I thought I did. It was a joy to write.” He’d kept notes every day of all their years of touring, “and not knowing why,” he explained. “I guess this is when I found out why I was doing it.”