Diane’s Country Music Newsletter

August 10th, 2022

NASHVILLE TRIP REPORT

The day before flying to Nashville, I received an email from United Airlines that suggested changing my flights to avoid weather congestion in Chicago. But rescheduling before knowing there was a problem seemed like an unnecessary hassle. Kayo Paver, Perry Steilow and I showed up at the Sioux Falls airport on Friday morning and checked in for an on-time flight. Then it slid. And slid again. By the time we got off the ground, we knew we couldn’t make our connection in Chicago. However, our flight from Chicago to Nashville had also been delayed. We rushed from the far end of Terminal F to Terminal B and found our flight had been delayed even further. Time to relax. We arrived in Nashville only one hour later than originally planned.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 27 July 2022

July 27th, 2022

CONCERT REVIEW – JANIE FRICKE

Janie Fricke came to the Sisseton Performing Arts Center in Sisseton, South Dakota, last Friday evening. Brother Keith and sister Kayo were there with me for the show. Janie came onstage at 8 p.m. and kicked off with “Somebody Else’s Fire,” a song she said came from “my new greatest hits album, called Complete Hits.” I looked it up later, and the title is It Ain’t Easy–The Complete Hits, released in 2019. The song was a top ten hit in 1985.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 13 July 2022

July 13th, 2022

CONCERT REVIEW – STEVE EARLE

The Deadwood Mountain Grand, a Holiday Inn Resort that overlooks Historic Deadwood, South Dakota, is the only hotel I can recall–and I’ve stayed in many of them around the world–that has no front entrance. We crossed the street from the parking lot and entered the casino, then took an elevator to the third floor and exited from the back side of the elevator to get into the hotel lobby. This made me curious to learn about the building’s history.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 29 June 2022

June 29th, 2022

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – JENNIFER McCARTER

The McCarters were a sister trio who recorded traditional country music for Warner Bros. in the late 1980s. Jennifer sang lead, with twin sisters Lisa and Teresa singing harmony. Their debut album, The Gift, produced two Top Five singles, the title track and “Timeless and True Love.” When I called Jennifer McCarter several weeks ago, she told me she didn’t think she’d ever sing again after the group broke up in 1996. She wanted her sisters’ harmony and didn’t like singing alone.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 15 June 2022

June 15th, 2022

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – DOYLE GRISHAM

Steel guitarist Doyle Grisham grew up wanting to be the next Carl Smith. Instead, after a long career as a musician, he is now a Coral Reefer with Jimmy Buffet. When I called him the other day, they had just returned from a two-week tour. At age eighty, he is “happy doing what I’m doing.” Jimmy Buffet and his Coral Reefer Band tour about ten weeks a year, playing three shows a week. “We travel to a lot of neat places, and it doesn’t take up a lot of my time, so it’s a perfect job for me,” Doyle says. “And the kind of music I want to play.”

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 1 June 2022

June 1st, 2022

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – JAMES DUPRÉ

Tickets go on sale today, June 1, for The Music of Randy Travis Concert at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. The show takes place Sunday afternoon, August 28, at 2 pm, to conclude the annual Corn Palace Festival. James Dupré will be singing Randy’s songs, backed by Randy’s band. Randy Travis can no longer sing, due to aphasia and aftereffects of his 2013 stroke, but he and Mary will be there. So will Jeff Davis, who has been Randy’s tour manager for 35 years. I’ve talked to most of the group while doing my research for Randy’s biography, and I’m excited to be able to meet them all.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 18 May 2022

May 18th, 2022

CONCERT REVIEW – GENE WATSON

Gene Watson finally gave his concert at the Sisseton Performing Arts Center. He told us the May 7 show had taken so long to happen he didn’t think they would ever do it. It was two years in the making. “We drove all the way up here from Texas,” he said, “because we were determined we were going to make it this time.”

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 4 May 2022

May 4th, 2022

Happy birthday to Randy Travis. He celebrates his 63rd birthday today.

NEWS

Naomi Judd (1946-2022)

One day before being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Naomi Judd, 76, died on April 30. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd said in a statement. “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief.” Naomi died in the hospital at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday, surrounded by her family. Born Diana Ellen Judd in Ashland, Kentucky, in 1946, Naomi married young, gave birth to Wynonna and Ashley, divorced and was working as a nurse at a hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, when she and 19-year-old Wynonna got their record contract in 1983. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 20 April 2022

April 20th, 2022

IN THE SPOTLIGHT – T. GRAHAM BROWN

When the 90s Country Rewind Tour comes to Sioux Falls on June 25, I will be in the front row at the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance to welcome T. Graham Brown, Doug Stone, and Terry McBride. I recently spoke on the phone with T. Graham Brown. He said he’ll be flying in the day of the show and flying out the next morning, so he couldn’t accept my invitation for a tour of the Battleship South Dakota Memorial while he’s here.

He is writing his autobiography, I Tell It Like It Used To Be, and expects to have it published later this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 6 April 2022

April 6th, 2022

NEWS

C.W. McCall (1928-2022)

William Dale Fries Jr. (pronounced “freeze”), 93, an advertising executive who became C.W. McCall, died April 1 at his home in Ouray, Colo. He had announced in February that he was in home hospice for cancer. The Washington Post reports he was born Billie Dale Fries on November 15, 1928, in Audubon, Iowa. His parents played musical instruments, and he wanted to be a classical musician. He played the clarinet while at the University of Iowa and later studied art and film production. He joined the Bozell & Jacobs advertising agency in 1961 and became creative director and vice president. When asked to devise an advertising campaign for Old Home bread, he created the characters of trucker C.W. McCall and a waitress named Mavis at the Old Home Filler-Up an’ Keep On-a-Truckin’ Cafe. As recording artist C.W. McCall, he had hits with “Convoy,” “Old Home Filler-Up an’ Keep On-a-Truckin’ Café,” and “Wolf Creek Pass.”  He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Rena Bonnema Fries, three children, and their children.

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