Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 22 October 2014

More than 2,000 items from the estate of Waylon Jennings were auctioned off last week. Waylon’s widow, Jessie Coulter, donated the proceeds to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Charities. The highest-priced item was Buddy Holly’s 1958 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle. It sold for $457,500. Next was the $70,000 paid for a desk Johnny Cash had given Waylon. The braids Willie Nelson cut off and gave to Waylon brought $31,250. The original contract that formed the Highwaymen and contained all four signatures sold for $18,000, and a letter from John Lennon to Waylon Jennings for $7,500. Savingcountrymusic.com reported, “Out of Waylon’s musical instruments, his two personal 1940s Martin guitars brought $26,000, and $22,500 respectively, while a 1985 acoustic-electric Alvarez guitar fetched $10,000–much higher than original auction estimates. However auctioneers had a difficult time getting bidders interested in the numerous Fender amplifiers from Waylon’s personal collection, with most of the Twin Reverb models going for well under estimates, and for less than $1,000.”

A new exhibit at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, called Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, will run from November through May. The exhibit will include stage costumes, Tanya’s pink Harley Davidson, and a container of Tanya Tucker salsa. She started making hit songs at age 13, and signed a $1.4 million contract with MCA Records on her 16th birthday.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame organization has announced its 2015 nominees, with the induction ceremony for the winners to be held in New York City in June. As Bobby Braddock explained on Facebook, “For the second time, I’ve been nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York. The only other country writer in the non-performing category this year is Bob McDill. Vince Gill is nominated in the artist/.writer category. This is not to be confused with the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame into which all three of us were inducted many years ago. We are in competition with all those big pop writers.”

Songwriter Paul Craft, 76, who was inducted October 5 into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, died October 18 at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. His songs included “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life” (Moe Bandy), “Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)” (Bobby Bare), “Brother Jukebox” (Mark Chesnutt), and “It’s Me Again, Margaret” (Ray Stevens).

One of the men responsible for the murders of Stringbean and Estelle Akeman in 1973 is being paroled. John A. Brown, 64, made his sixth appearance before the Tennessee Board of Parole on October 14, with five of seven members present. After reviewing the psychological evaluation that had been ordered in April, they voted 4-1 to grant his request. Terms of his release have not been finalized, and it could take several weeks. Opry stars such as Jan Howard and Bill Anderson have been vocal in lobbying against parole.

A video has been released of the last song Glen Campbell ever recorded, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”: http://youtu.be/U8TsAh-zYFI. His final album is Ghost on the Canvas, and a documentary called Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me will be released this week. Glen suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and lives in an assisted living facility in Nashville.

The most recently announced city on the Garth Brooks World Tour is St. Louis, Missouri, on December 5-6. Before then, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have six shows in Jacksonville, Florida, two in Lexington, Kentucky, eleven in Minneapolis, Minnesota (with 188,000 tickets already sold), and five in Greensboro, North Carolina. The first stop on the tour–Chicago–grossed $12 million.

Rolling Stone Country reports four new characters have been added to the cast of I Saw the Light, the Hank Williams movie that is just beginning filming. All four had controversial encounters with Hank. Bobbie Jett is the mother of Jett Williams. A New York native plays a Big Apple reporter who interviewed Hank. Dore Schary signed Hank to a movie contract in 1951, but a combative meeting ended that deal. WB Nolan was a music promoter who tried to get an intoxicated Hank to do a show.

Craig Schelske, the ex-husband of Sara Evans, is suing TMZ, a tabloid news site, for defamation. According to Country Music Nation, the lawsuit says, “The proclamation made by TMZ left its viewers with the unmistakable belief that Mr. Schelske was unfaithful to his wife of 14 years, and that Sara Evans had discovered his infidelity when she found a hundred photographs of him having sex with other people. These statements made by TMZ on the June 17, 2014 broadcast were and are unequivocally false.” Personal text messages in which Sara said she knew TMZ’s story was untrue, and that she would never paint her ex-husband in a bad light to their children, were obtained by TMZ but ignored, according to Schelske’s attorney: “That didn’t stop TMZ from continuing to post their story, even after they found the reports to be false. ”

The Second Annual Hank Williams Museum Songwriting Workshop will be held at the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, from November 6-9, 2014. Jan Howard, Bill Labounty, Bobby Tomberlin and Arty Hill are the instructors. Events include songwriting seminars, one-on-one critiques, jam sessions, and an acoustic concert Saturday night with Jan Howard as headliner. For further information, contact Beth Petty at 334-262-3600 or hankwilliamsmuse@bellsouth.net. The website is www.TheHankWilliamsMuseum.net.

PJ Steelman writes, “I absolutely enjoy your newsletter every time. Your story on Jeannie Seely is top notch…as is she. One of my favorite artists of all time. Thank you for a great article.”

Aileen Arledge says, “I just wanted to say that Joe Bonsall’s video of the song he wrote ‘G.I. Joe and Lillie’ is really beautiful. I saw it on UTube If you get a chance you should see it too. Make sure you have a hanky with you if you do. Love your newsletter more and more each month. Great work.”

Gary Presley, one of my writing buddies, suggests, “As you know, I use Gmail. Today I found your most recent newsletter in my spam folder. I’m sure many of your readers also use Gmail. It might be a good idea to tell them to check their spam folder if they feel they’ve missed a newsletter. Also, a way to (somewhat) help the problem is to place your email address in their address book. (Of course, it didn’t help me this time, did it?) However, I did find it and marked it ‘not spam.’ Maybe next time Google will remember. Thanks. I’m enjoying reading them.”

Jack Blanchard writes, “Well, I’m home from the hospital today [10/10]. I got paroled. My problem was internal bleeding. I lost 5 or 6 pints of blood. Anyway, they fixed it, at least for now. Everybody that worked at the hospital was just like family, only friendly. The food was great but I had no appetite and couldn’t eat it. They checked me from head to toe with a colonoscopy and found and fixed a couple of things. No cancer or anything deadly. They took me in an ambulance Monday night and threw me out today. During all that time I ate practically nothing and slept about an hour and a half each day. It’s good to be home. Misty took great care of me, as always. Thank you for caring.”

Joyce Jackson, long-time Jim Reeves employee, posted on Facebook: “Just want every one of my friends to know what a special day yesterday [10/18] was. Mary Reeves was laid to rest finally by Jim. It was a sweet and beautiful service. She is where she is supposed to be and where she requested to be in her will.”

Terry Counts writes, “Another great issue!! What I WISH you’d do is write LEFTY FRIZZELL’S story…he was a good friend of the old man’s and I can’t remember what he died of, he was still young, I remember that…and am told that in their teens and still ‘brats’ Lefty, Murrel, Glen Campbell and John Denver had a band that played around Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas…I remember some delicious stories about Al’s State Line, a club I think, in or near Hobbs NM….I wish I had had the pleasure of meeting Lefty, I STILL LOVE HIS MUSIC!!!” She adds, “Have you seen Glen Campbell’s new recording of ‘I Won’t Miss You’? I don’t have sound on the darn computer and it still broke my heart…so many great video shots of his life and family……so many great stars now gone..sad,sad,sad.”

Ann Davis says, “Would love to receive your newsletter. Here’s my e-mail address.”

Linda Elliott Clark writes from Virginia, “Give Jeanne Seely my best when you next talk to her. She’s a busy lady. Saw her years ago at the Ryman, and if I am not mistaken, Bill Anderson was on the same show that night. Good for Nancy Jones. What a nice tribute to George Jones. Met him years ago at an outdoor concert where he was appearing in Culpeper, VA. He was on a break from the show and came up to the car to say hello to us. I’m sorry to hear about Jim Ed Brown. I pray that he will do well in his upcoming days of chemo and radiation. I also met him years ago in Waldorf, MD, at The Stardust. He came over and sat down at our table to talk during a break in the show. Love his voice. I agree with Dave Barton’s comment. Thanks for all the updates.”

Johnny Seay sadly reports, “My longtime friend Bo Powell has passed into the Spirit World. He will be greatly missed. Bo Powell was one of the most talented men I have ever known. Bo had friends who loved him in both high and low places. He was a good mixer. My home and my heart are filled with memories of times we had together and things made by the hand of ‘Hobo’ Bo Powell.”

Alan Potter writes from the U.K., “Always wonderful to read your column. Thanks Jean for announcing the death of my wife Betty. We met 12-9-54, married the following year & were as much in love when she died 25 Sept 14. She was the wind beneath my wings. She loved to meet the stars in Nashville & on tour in the UK. So many cards, e-mails, letters…She wouldn’t have believed how many people were touched by her ….God bless My forever love.”

South Dakota’s newest country band made its Sioux Falls debut at the VFW this past weekend. The Chute Rooster Band and the crowd were both full of energy and having a good time. The dance floor stayed full all evening, and the crowd enjoyed the band’s mixture of familiar songs and ones they’d never heard before. All good dance tunes. Perry Steilow on bass and Jay MacDonald on rhythm did most of the singing, with Daryl Skancke on lead adding an occasional song. Don Saxton’s steel guitar and Seth Curl’s drums completed the sound.

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Perry, Seth, Jay, Donnie, Daryl

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