Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 21 February 2024

February 21st, 2024


The former Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Nashville’s Lower Broadway will become a bar and live music venue, reports Nashville Scene. To recap: David McCormick bought the record shop business and three-story building from ET’s family in 1992 for $128,000. He sold it for $4.75 million in 2020 to JesseLee Jones of the Brazilbilly band and Robert’s Western World. With the ownership changed to an LLC, it was sold in 2022 for $18.3 million to Nashville real estate investor Brad Bars, attorney Blake Bars (Brad’s brother), Dale Tubb (ET’s grandson) and Ilya Toshinskiy, a prominent Nashville musician. The record shop went out of business. The new owners have leased the building to Tusk Brothers Entertainment, owned by Bryan Kenney and Jamie Kenney–a music producer and songwriter who says, “Our hope is to have a honky-tonk that will pay tribute to the legacy of Ernest Tubb and the record shop. We love who Ernest Tubb was and what he meant to Nashville’s music history.” The Metro Planning Commission on March 14 will consider final approval for the proposed live music venue and four-level bar (three stories and the rooftop). There isn’t yet a name or opening date.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 7 February 2024

February 7th, 2024


Toby Keith (1961-2024)

Toby Keith, 62, died the evening of February 5, peacefully and surrounded by family. He had been battling stomach cancer for almost two years. He was born in Clinton, Oklahoma on July 8, 1961. MusicRow reports he got his first guitar when he was eight, and he formed the Easy Money Band at age 20. He worked in the oil fields and then played defensive end with the semi-pro Oklahoma City Drillers while continuing to perform with his band. Moving to Nashville in the early ’90s, he made a vow that he would get a record deal by the time he was 30 or he would quit. His first hit came with “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” in 1993. The many hits that followed included “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight,” “I Wanna Talk About Me.” “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” “Beer for My Horses,” and “How Do You Like Me Now?” Toby was also a member of the New York-based Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter

January 24th, 2024


When Langdon Reid called me a week ago for our scheduled interview, his first question was, did we have any snow. I said we had a foot of snow, and the temperature was below zero. He told me they’d had an unexpected snowstorm in Staunton, Virginia, the previous night, and he’d spent that morning shoveling his driveway. Cousin Wil was not on the call with us because he was snowed in and still shoveling.

Langdon Reid and Wil Reid, sons of Don Reid and Harold Reid of the Statler Brothers, make up the musical duo Wilson Fairchild. The name comes from their middle names–Harold Wilson Reid II and Langdon Fairchild Reid.<!–more–>

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 10 January 2024

January 10th, 2024


Vintage Guitar Magazine reports that rockabilly guitar great Larry Collins, 79, died January 5 at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Santa Clarita, California. He was 10 and his sister Lorrie was 12 when they joined the cast of Los Angeles television’s Town Hall Party as the Collins Kids in 1954. The Collins family had moved from Tulsa to Southern California the previous year, on the advice of Leon McAuliffe of the Texas Playboys, after Lorrie won a talent contest. In 1956, the Collins Kids appeared as guests on the first televised broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry. Joe Maphis mentored Larry and gave him the double-neck Mosrite guitar Larry played throughout his life. Lorrie and Larry reunited at a British rockabilly festival in 1993 and continued to perform occasionally. Lorrie retired in 2012 and died in 2018. Larry co-wrote hit songs “Delta Dawn” (Tanya Tucker) and “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” (David Frizzell/Shelly West), as well as writing songs with Mac Davis.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 27 December 2023

December 27th, 2023


One of the performers at A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis – 1 Night, 1 Place, 1 Time in Huntsville, Alabama, was Tony Jackson. He agreed when I asked to spotlight him in my newsletter, and I called him several weeks ago for a conversation. His latest release is “Do You Remember Country Music,” written by Mo Pitney, Bobby Tomberlin, and Aaron Bowlin. The video features Randy Travis and was filmed at Johnny Cash’s farm, now called the Storyteller’s Museum, near Bon Aqua, Tennessee, forty miles west of Nashville along I-40.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 13 December 2023

December 13th, 2023

This month, we especially honor the memories of Faron Young and Marty Robbins. Marty died December 8, 1982, at age 57. Faron died December 10, 1996, at age 64.


When Johnny Cash recorded “Hey Porter” in 1955 with Luther Perkins on guitar and Marshall Grant on upright bass, they called themselves “Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two.” In 1960, drummer W.S. Holland joined the group, and the band became The Tennessee Three. Now, twenty years after Cash’s death, his legacy continues with THE TENNESSEE FOUR.

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Veterans Day Speech 2023

December 8th, 2023

By CAPT Diane Diekman, USN (ret), at Deuel School, Clear Lake, South Dakota, November 9, 2023

Good morning. It’s always great to be back in my hometown. Thanks to Superintendent Schiernbeck for inviting me here today. I would like to talk about what is possibly the most amazing document ever written, the United States Constitution. And I’d like to describe a possible way you can help keep it vibrant and relevant.

Those who wrote the Constitution did a spectacular job of designing a product that has lasted over 230 years. Grounded in British law and attuned to the experiences that came from establishing a new nation, the Constitution has been tested and amended over the years and is stronger now than it was at the beginning.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 29 November 2023

November 29th, 2023


Fifty-year music industry executive and former CRB/CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne, 72, died November 28 after a long-term illness, reports MusicRow. I called him a year ago to ask if he would speak with me for Randy Travis’s biography; he told me his health was too poor for him to do interviews. He began in radio, launching KASE in Austin and leading KZLA/KLAC in Los Angeles and KSCS/WBAP in Dallas, and then joined Warner Bros./Nashville, where he spent 15 years and became Senior VP/General Manager and VP of Promotion. He was Executive Director of Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) from 2009-2019. Memorial services have not yet been announced.

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Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 15 November 2023

November 15th, 2023


The new CMA Entertainer of the Year is Lainey Wilson. She is the first female to win since Taylor Swift in 2009 and 2011. Lainey also won the most awards—five—at last week’s 57th CMA Awards show. “This is all I’ve ever wanted to do; this is all I’ve known how to do,” she said in her acceptance speech. “For all of you little girls watching and for the ones that are here tonight too. I’m getting up every single day and I’m looking at myself in the mirror and saying, I am beautiful. I am smart. I am talented. I am Godly. I am fearless. If somebody tells me I can’t do it, hold my beer and watch this. Us girls, y’all, we’ve been having to blaze trails from the very beginning. I just wanna say thank you so much for letting me be part of that. And here’s to all the ladies that blaze trails every single dang day of their life.” Chris Stapleton won his seventh Male Vocalist of the Year Award, breaking his own record. Read the rest of this entry »

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 1 November 2023

November 1st, 2023

Happy 86th birthday to Bill Anderson — who was born James William Anderson III on November 1, 1937, in Columbia, South Carolina. Have a great day, Bill!


A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis – 1 Night, 1 Place, 1 Time occurred in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 24. Lorraine “Kayo” Paver and Perry Steilow flew there with me to see the show. Thanks to Mary Travis for inviting us and to Terry Tyson for the backstage passes. We had a wonderful time. Read the rest of this entry »