Author Archive

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 22 September 2021

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

NEWS

The last surviving member of The Maddox Brothers and Rose, known as “the most colorful hillbilly band in America,” has died, reports the Mail Tribune in Ashland, Oregon. Don Maddox, 98, died September 12 in Ashland. His sharecropper family migrated from Alabama to Modesto, California, in 1933. His siblings—Cal, Fred, Rose, and Harry—began performing western swing in California’s Central Valley. After serving with the Army Signal Corps in central Burma during World War II, Don joined their band as fiddler and comic relief and gave himself the nickname “Don Juan.” The Maddox Brothers and Rose wore brightly embroidered Western suits, inspired by the silver screen actors in Hollywood. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 8 September 2021

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – DOUG STONE

I’d been waiting for an opportunity to spotlight Doug Stone in my newsletter ever since his show in Sisseton almost two years ago. Our conversation finally happened when he called me on one of his days devoted to doing phone interviews.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 25 August 2021

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

PUBLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT – AUDIOBOOK OF LIVE FAST, LOVE HARD: THE FARON YOUNG STORY

Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story is now an audiobook!!! I am so excited to finally have Faron’s story available to the public for download and listening. My effusive thanks go to Frank Gerard for making it happen.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 11 August 2021

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – WENDY NEWCOMER

When Kayo and I went to Nashville several weeks ago, our first entertainment stop was at the Nashville Palace. Wendy Newcomer & the Good Ol’ Timers were making music on the stage. We were so impressed that I asked to spotlight Wendy in my newsletter.

“I loved reading about your Randy Travis trip, and meeting with his old band members,” she told me when I called for our interview, after I’d sent her my most recent newsletter. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 28 July 2021

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

TRIP REPORT

My sister, Lorraine “Kayo” Paver, and I returned Sunday night from our third Randy Travis research trip. We drove 3,082 miles in the eleven days we were on the road. On our first afternoon in Nashville, we headed to I-65 to go downtown, but I missed the interstate entrance because of a misplaced do-not-enter sign. I turned around in our motel parking lot, which gave Kayo a chance to stash her recent purchases to our room instead of leaving them in the car on a 92-degree afternoon. It reminded me of the old Archie Campbell song: “Oh, that’s bad.” “No, that’s good.”

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 14 July 2021

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

NEWS

The newest members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame are Amy Grant (“Baby Baby,” “Tennessee Christmas,” “That’s What Love Is For”), Rhett Akins (“That Ain’t My Truck,” “Honey Bee,” “It Goes Like This”), Toby Keith (“How Do You Like Me Now,” “I Love This Bar,” “Should’ve Been a Cowboy”), Buddy Cannon (“Give It Away,” “I’ve Come To Expect It From You,” “Set ’Em Up Joe”), and John Scott Sherrill (“Wild And Blue,” “How Long Gone,” “The Church On Cumberland Road”). The Tennessean reports they will be inducted November 1 at the Music City Center, along with the 2020 class: Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James and Spooner Oldham.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 30 June 2021

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

NEWS

We’ve lost another of Faron Young’s Country Deputies. Skip Jackson of Hendersonville, Tennessee, died June 26. Born Lloyd Aaron Jackson III, Skip played steel guitar with The Kendalls and then with Faron Young from 1970-75. He retired from the music business and became a photography professor at Nashville State Community College. Pam Jackson posted on Facebook, “Just before sunset last night, my husband, friend, partner and the love of my life of 45 years took his last breath and stepped into the arms of Jesus. His fight against cancer was valiant and painful but his passing was calm and peaceful, surrounded by the love of his family.” There will be a celebration of Skip’s life at the Hendersonville Funeral Home on July 23.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 16 June 2021

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

NEWS

The 32nd annual National Memorial Day Concert on PBS, which ran for 90 minutes and was cohosted by actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, featured several country music performers. Mickey Guyton sang the National Anthem. Alan Jackson sang his “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” Vince Gill, on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, sang his “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 2 June 2021

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

NEWS

B.J. Thomas, 78, died May 29 at his home in Arlington, Texas, two months after announcing he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Best known for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” he also had hits with songs such as “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” and “New Looks from an Old Lover.” Born Billy Joe Thomas in Hugo, Oklahoma, he grew up in Houston, where he played Little League baseball. He started calling himself B.J. because so many of his teammates were named Billy Joe.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 19 May 2021

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – LIONEL CARTWRIGHT

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.”

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