Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 12 June 2024

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024


The Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls recently hosted concerts by Chris Stapleton and Tim McGraw, two weeks apart. Both singers filled the 12,000-seat event center. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 29 May 2024

Wednesday, May 29th, 2024


On Monday, May 20, the New York Times reported that Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion (built in 1939) in Memphis, Tennessee, was scheduled to be auctioned off at the Shelby County courthouse on Thursday. A notice from the Shelby County Courthouse stated that Graceland and its surrounding property would be sold for cash to the highest bidder. Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC was foreclosing on the property, saying Lisa Marie Presley used Graceland as collateral to secure a $3.8 million loan in 2018, and she failed to pay it off before she died. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 15 May 2024

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024


Randy Travis has a song on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart for the first time since 2009, when he and Carrie Underwood reached No. 2 with “I Told You So.” The AI-generated recording of “Where That Came From” debuted at No. 45 on May 10, one week after the song’s release, with over 3.3 million global streams. A press announcement from 117 Entertainment explains how the song happened. When artificial intelligence exploded in early 2023, bringing concerns about copyright infringement and protecting artists’ rights, Warner Music Group executives discussed what “AI for good” would look like. Cris Lacy, Co-Chair & Co-President of Warner Music Nashville, said, “AI for good would be giving Randy Travis his voice back.” She contacted Randy and his producer of forty years, Kyle Lehning, and they agreed to try. They chose the song, “Where That Came From,” written by Scotty Emerick and John Scott Sherrill and recorded by James Dupre, who does the singing on Randy’s More Life shows. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 1 May 2024

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

Happy birthday to Randy Travis on Saturday.


One of the musicians who founded the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1966 was John McEuen. Other than a 15-year hiatus for a solo career, he stayed with fellow founding members Jeff Hanna and Jimmie Fadden until the completion of their 18-month anniversary tour, 50 Years of Dirt, in 2017. The multi-instrumentalist plays banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, piano, and accordion, in addition to singing. A native of Oakland, California, he is now 78 years old and his spoken-word album, The Newsman: A Man of Record was released on April 12.


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 17 April 2024

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024


During her Saturday night Opry segment on April 6, Jeannie Seely introduced Cutter & Cash and The Kentucky Grass as her special guests. The young West Kentucky bluegrass ensemble performed their new Seely-produced single, a bluegrass version of “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Their second song was “I’m Working On A Building,” which brought their second standing ovation from the Opry crowd. Ernest Dale Tubb III allowed Cutter to play a guitar that belonged to his grandfather, Ernest Tubb. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 3 April 2024

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024


George Strait’s manager of 45 years, Erv Woolsey, 80, died March 20 in Clearwater, Florida, due to complications from surgery. MusicRow reports he “passed peacefully under the care of physicians.” Eugene Ervine “Erv” Woolsey was born in Houston on February 15, 1944, and spent his entire professional life in the music business. After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, he moved to Nashville and became Head of Promotions for ABC Records’ new country division in 1973. He and his then wife Connie owned The Prairie Rose in San Marcos, Texas, the club where he first saw George Strait perform. (more…)

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 20 March 2024

Wednesday, March 20th, 2024


Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives came to the District in Sioux Falls on March 12. And were they fabulous! They took the stage at 7:00, opening with an instrumental, and entertained us nonstop for 90 minutes. They played a variety of instruments, changing them seamlessly with never a disruption.


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 6 March 2024

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024


Veronica Loretta “Roni” Stoneman, 85, member of the famous Stoneman Family and banjo player and comedian on Hee Haw, died February 22. No cause of death or funeral information was announced. Born in 1938, Roni was the 12th of Hattie and Ernest “Pop” Stoneman’s 13 children. After Pop Stoneman’s death in 1968, his children continued to tour as the Stoneman Family. In the 1970s, Roni joined the cast of the TV show Hee Haw. She and sister Donna, the last surviving members of the Stoneman siblings, continued to perform into their 80s. I think Donna is still alive, although my internet searches for her only brought up Roni.


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 21 February 2024

Wednesday, 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.


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 7 February 2024

Wednesday, 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. (more…)