Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 23 April 2014

My Faron Young/Marty Robbins e-mail newsletter is coming from my new Windows 8 computer with Windows Live email. Please forward to anyone who might like to read this, and I welcome your suggestions.

I watched via the Internet Tuesday morning to see the announcement of the 2014 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Kix Brooks served as emcee. Bobby Bare introduced the posthumous Songwriter award for Hank Cochran. Jo Walker Meador then introduced the Veteran Era awardee as Mac Wiseman, and Mac told a few stories about the good old days. Hunter Hayes came in off a tour to introduce the Modern Era performer – Ronnie Milsap. Ronnie started his speech with, “I’ve wanted to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame for as long as I can remember.”

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has opened a new addition that more than doubles its original size. The 210,000-square-foot expansion connects to the Omni Hotel and includes large event spaces, the Taylor Swift Education Center, and expanded gift shops. Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Lee Ann Womack headlined the opening ceremony last Tuesday. A crowd of 600 people packed the museum’s new sixth-floor event space. Country Music Hall of Fame members in the audience (in addition to Vince Gill on the stage) included Bobby Bare, Ralph Emery, and Harold Bradley.

Texas singer/songwriter Delbert McClinton, age 73, underwent emergency bypass surgery on Monday, April 7, He was in Florida for a concert when he experienced chest pains on Saturday afternoon. He went to a local hospital, which kept him there for tests, and his band performed without him at a festival that night. He has canceled all shows for April and May. He was Tanya Tucker’s duet partner on “Tell Me About It” in 1993.

Bobby Braddock will have a new book out in the spring of 2015. Hollywood, Tennessee (A Life on Nashville’s Music Row) is being published by Country Music Foundation/Vanderbilt University Press. “It’s been a long process,” Bobby wrote on Facebook. “I had several decades of memories and about 85 journals to glean from, and I am done! I won’t tell you it’s great, but I will tell you it’s the truth.” [Bobby and I first met at a book festival in Nashville when we exchanged books, his Down in Orburndale and my Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story. This was after I did a phone interview with him for my Marty Robbins biography and before he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He came to the book release party for Twentieth Century Drifter in 2012.]

Jesse Lee Jones, owner of Robert’s Western World on Lower Broadway in Nashville, has purchased the Nashville Palace in Music Valley near the former Opryland. It is sometimes now referred to as Robert’s Eastern World. Jesse Lee considers Marty Robbins his inspiration, and he leads the house band, Brazilbilly, at the downtown club.

Last month Glen Campbell was moved to an Alzheimer’s care facility in Nashville. His family was exhausted from constantly watching him to keep him safe. His daughter told People magazine he would drink anything–dish soap and olive oil–and household appliances presented a danger. He is able to leave the facility when his family takes him somewhere. They recently brought him home for a family dinner. He still plays his guitar, and yesterday was his 78th birthday.

Country Weekly reports that Willie Nelson will celebrate his 81st birthday next week by receiving his fifth-degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, a modern Korean martial arts system. It will be presented at a ceremony in Austin, Texas, Willie took kung fu lessons when he lived in Nashville as a songwriter and he later learned tae kwon do.

Chuck Robeson, Bill Anderson‘s son-in-law, died last Wednesday of brain cancer. Bill wrote on his website that Chuck “proudly served as both an enlisted man in the Army and as an officer in the Air Force. Sadly, he passed away this morning at the far-too-young age of 49. He left behind his wife of over 26 years, my daughter, Jennifer, and their four children. . . . I’m trying to take comfort in the old song that says, ‘Farther along we’ll know all about it….Farther along we’ll understand why.’ Right now, though, it’s painful. And there’s a whole lot about it that I don’t understand.”

Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, and Emmylou Harris were among those performing a musical tribute to honor Linda Ronstadt at her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York City. Glenn Frey, one of the band members who left her to form the Eagles, inducted his former boss. She was unable to attend the induction due to Parkinson’s disease.

Lee Ann Womack has signed with Sugar Hill Records/Welk Music Group and will be releasing a CD in September. Her husband, Frank Liddell, is producing it. Lee Ann told an interviewer, “All the songs come from writers who are artists. Every song was written for the writer to sing, and as someone who loves and listens to music, it’s a very different reality to cut songs that were written with intention from an artist’s perspective, to try and invest in what they’ve lived so eloquently.”

I’ve been checking for information on memorials for Bobbe Seymour, who died 16 March. All I find are questions from fans and friends wondering why they haven’t seen an obituary or heard anything about a funeral. I recently ran across a message on the Steel Guitar Forum that reported Bobbe had been living with a woman who produced a power of attorney document and told the employees at Bobbe’s store not to inform his family or anyone else of his death. She claimed the inventory of Steel Guitar Nashville in Hendersonville belonged to her, and she changed the locks on the doors. She arranged for an immediate cremation, which was put on hold after someone realized her power of attorney wasn’t valid after his death. The situation is under investigation and an autopsy has been ordered. The building owner is proceeding with action to terminate the lease and take possession. One of Bobbe’s customers alerted the police and reminded the owner that some of the store’s contents are owned by the customers.

Carter Girl is the latest Carlene Carter CD. It’s a tribute to her Carter roots, with songs made famous by the Carter Family (A.P., Sara, and Maybelle), the Carter sisters (Helen, June, and Anita), her mother (June Carter Cash), and her stepfather (Johnny Cash). Carlene is the daughter of June Carter Cash and Carl Smith and is the only remaining survivor of this entire group. She included one original song, which she wrote about her late half-sister, Rosie Nix. Her duet partners on the CD are Kris Kristofferson and Vince Gill.

Trisha Yearwood is selling her Brentwood, Tennessee, home for $2.2 million. The 6,553-square-foot “cottage,” built in the 1920s, sits on four acres and has 5 bedrooms and 6 baths. She says it has the charm of an older home but the bells and whistles of a new house. Trisha and her husband, Garth Brooks, split their time between Tulsa and Nashville. They are not moving from Oklahoma to Nashville, in spite of such news reports several weeks ago.

The malt shop where Marty Robbins and Marizona Baldwin met in 1946, in their hometown of Glendale, Arizona, is going out of business. The owners are retiring.

Doug Mc Leod says, “This newsletter is just the best. Good to hear from Tommy Overstreet. His singing voice is special. His cousin, Gene Austin, was, I believe, David Houston’s godfather. My favorite concert was seeing Buddy Holly in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on January 30, 1959. He was killed in the plane crash four days later. Everyone knows the story but my recollection is of a consummate guitar player, playing and singing his music. Waylon Jennings was playing Fender bass and renowned country musician Tommy Allsup was alternating with Holly on lead. A truly special event getting to see and hear one of the founders of rock and roll that came from a country background. I received a note this week from Gladys Van Dyke. Leroy will be performing August 12th at the Iowa State Fair. Leroy gives a great show. Really enjoy the news and hearing from the folks that share our interests and love the music.”

John Morris writes from Peterborough Ontario Canada, “You are doing a great job with your news letter. I’d like to talk about my most memorable concert. My all-time favourite singer George Jones was appearing here in Peterborough in September 2005. I have been to 14 concerts and met George 5 times but this was really special. My cousin and I went to the souvenir table and George’s wife Nancy was there. Since I am a fan club member I was able to go back stage for a meet and great. Our camera wouldn’t work so I stepped out of the line to let others in. In a minute George called me back as someone would take our picture. George was so kind to me. I am totally blind so he made sure I was facing the camera with him. I was nervous because I was taking up so much time but George said, “Now Son come on and smile. We’re going to get a great picture taken here.” I smiled and we did get a great picture and the concert was fantastic from front row seats. There is so much more to tell about my time with George and Nancy that day so if any of your readers are Possum fans and collectors, could you please pass on my email address: john.morrisi@bell.net. This was a great question, Diane.”

Terry Beene from Texas but now living in Georgia announces, “The 31st Annual Terry Awards will be held at Branson, Missouri, in the luxurious Baldknobbers Theater. I would like for you to look at my website at www.terryawards.com. Hope you have a good week and keep up the good work you are doing.”

David Allan says, “Greetings from the Old Country. Thought you might like to see my column from the latest edition of the UK’s top country music journal, Country Music People.”
Diane: If anyone would like to see the page David sent me, let me know, and I’ll forward the .pdf copy to you. It’s about my entertainer vs. singer question.

Fred Bishop writes from Glendale, Arizona, “I do like the Newsy Newsletter. I was at your Book Signing at Glendale in April 2012. The Book signing was a neat event. I was newly associated with the Marty Robbins fan group and I got to meet quite a few people. Several of them have now become good friends. I was the guy taking photos. Wife Chris and I attend the local events that celebrate the Music of Marty Robbins.”

Mary Mitchell in Woodland Park, Colorado, says, “Thanks, Alan Porter, from the UK remarking about Wynn Stewart. He is so forgotten and was the best of all. Go to WS web site and there you are able to vote to get WS into the Hall of Fame. His daughter is trying to get enough votes for the HOF people to recognize this must-need honor for WS. You being in the UK gives me hope. Thanks Alan for your dedication to Wynn.”

Jim Pierce writes from Hendersonville, Tennessee, “I played piano with Wynn Stewart at George’s Roundup in Long Beach before we all moved to the Nashville Nevada Club in Los Vegas. We had such a great band: Ralph Mooney on steel, Roy Nichols on lead, Bobby Austin on bass (later Merle Haggard joined us and played bass), Helen ‘Peaches’ Price on drums, and Jackie Burns as the female vocalist. I recorded with Wynn when he was with Challenge Records and all the Capitol Records sessions, too. I went on the road with him while he was living in Texas. We played the Buck Owens show ten days a month (in a row!!!) and toured with Wynn the other twenty dates in the month. Wynn was booked though the Omak organization by Jack McFadden. I left Wynn and moved to Nashville in the late sixties and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve had a successful career as a musician and music producer. I’m 81 years old and still working. But the ‘Glory’ days were the Nashville Nevada Club. Moon, Roy and I were in competition each night to see who would make the first mistake. It was fun and we were probably the best band on the West Coast. I was later called to see if I wanted to play on a comeback tour with Wynn in 1985. On the night we were getting to leave, Wynn died! All of us standing by the bus had tears in our eyes. To me, that ended an era. I think Wynn is under appreciated for his accomplishments. He wrote ‘Sad Song’ for Merle and had cuts from various major artists over the years. He was a very creative writer and his catalog would be a wise choice for a singer today. I miss the old band and the only ones still left are me, Helen, Jackie, and Merle.”

John Krebs says, “Please write that Webb Pierce book. Take care and thanks for the nice newsletter.”

Johnny Seay writes, “In answer to Tom Barton’s post, I’d like to say I’m happy he remembers that day we met by the Steam Locomotive 2248. I met many interesting people in the seven years I ran that engine. One of the things that always comes to mind when thinking of those days is when I pulled to a stop in the station and saw a old man with a cane walking towards me. As I looked down from the cab of the engine, he looked up and said, “You have already gone to heaven, you just ain’t died yet.” He was so right. I wrote and recorded a song in honor of the 2248, titled ‘Ballad of the Tarantula Express.’ It on my CD Johnny Seay, The Good Years, 1958-1999. Also on iTunes. I retired from the railroad in 2002. I still hear Steam Whistles in my dreams.”

Ross, PROUD father of an American Soldier says, “When I was a teenager, maybe 13 or 14 years of age, there was a Stanley Brothers concert at a lodge hall in Overlea, Maryland. It was quite a memorable experience. The FIRST live performance of my LIFE! There have been many more since then, but how could anybody ever forget his/her first experience to watch music (regardless of style) performed live in front of them? Thank you for asking.”

Carolyn Babin sends this report: “Supporters of the restoration of the Municipal Auditorium FINALLY got their years of work, money and efforts to maybe get the Louisiana Hayride back. Maggie and Alton Warwick (also Shreveport resident James Burton) have been presenting country activities at the auditorium for many years. This has kept memories alive, but with the building itself now in its original majesty what a wonderful day this will be. I am now an old lady, but I was there in the Hayride’s booming days and even before. I attended dances that featured top musical artists with orchestras & bands and a weekly public dancing event nicknamed the ‘Rat Races.’ Also wrestling matches every Monday night were great fun. Nationally known plays, musicals, and many other events were on stage. Ginger Rogers and other famous people appeared there. Those were the days! One day I know Shreveport and the Louisiana Hayride will shine again and talented hopefuls can get a helpful hand in becoming a star.” She adds, “I still enjoy the newsletters so very much.”

Aileen Arledge says, “I normally re-send your e-mail to a friend as her computer crashed and she doesn’t know when she will be replacing it. Love your letters. Very interesting. Thanks so much.”

My Navy buddy John Paron says, “After terrorists blew up the Naples USO, Randy Travis came over to put on a USO show and help us raise money to rebuild. I was so happy to read in your letter that he was making a progress in his recovery.”

And from another Navy buddy, Randy Yerigan, “What a pain…I think there is a country song detailing the calamity and sorrow associated with changing horses, women and emails. If not, surely one is in the works.”

Jon Philibert writes from the U.K, “Sorry to hear about your email hassles, a real modern day problem. Good luck with sorting it all out. By the way is Country Music People – the magazine I used to write for – on your mailing list? I’ve been forwarding your newsletters to them for the interesting news items you manage to find. A friend of mine here in the UK, David Turner, has written a song called ‘Marty Robbins, A Poet And A Pen,’ which he asked me to send to you. Really enjoying the newsletter, thanks for continuing to send.”

George Owens, former Country Deputy, writes, “I appreciate you staying in touch and keeping us up on your newsletter. Good luck on the switch of your e-mail. I do enjoy the newsletter, even though I don’t always respond. Your friend forever, I hope.”

Ron Reagan says, “I saw rockabilly artist Jerry Jaye in concert a few years ago here locally with his wife, Darlene Battles. He still puts on quite a show. My favorite concert, though I do vaguely remember seeing Tammy Wynette in Malden, Missouri, as a kid. Would you be so kind as to pass along that a new Hank Williams release is on the way? It’s The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, recordings Hank did for a nursery chain. It’s available for pre-order right now on Amazon.com and will be released in May.”

Teresa Green writes from Eastover, South Carolina, “I have recently finished reading your book on Faron Young which was most interesting. I saw Faron in concert at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC, when I was 17. He headlined with Hank Williams Jr. whom I had a crush on at the time. There was a drunk in the audience that heckled Hank. His mother, Ms Audrey, came on stage in her rhinestone mini shift (it was 1967 and shifts were the style), white cowgirl boots and long bleached blonde hair. She promptly scolded and, in turn, shut down the audience. Hank sang the rest of his Dad’s songs just like the wooden Indian mentioned in his father’s famous lyrics. Faron then came on in what seemed to be an electrifying charge of energy. The audience just loved him, especially when he came down from the stage, sat in some woman’s lap and sang a love song to her. He was darling. Suicide is such a frustrating situation. I am a clinical social worker and I have had clients who have made suicidal gestures and one who actually committed the act. Breaking through their imposed isolation is so important. Thank you for your time and, again, I enjoyed your book.”

An Arizona resident reports, “The City of Glendale still refuses to do anything to honor Marty Robbins but there is a sliver of hope. They fought the new West Valley Resort and Casino for years and spent over 3 million dollars. Now the city is broke and has had a change of heart about that fight. I can only hope they also begin to see how wrong they have been in ignoring Marty Robbins. After all, Arizona has two NASCAR races every year and Glendale is Marty’s hometown and they can’t put that together?”

Les Leverett writes from Nashville, “God bless you Diane. What a job you are working through! I enjoy so much your e-mails. I find information I don’t get at any other place. I lost my sweetheart on Feb. 3rd, one hour and 10 minutes before our 65th anniversary. That old hateful Alzheimer’s!”

Art Rankin says, “I want to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing with us these insights of both the status of some of our treasured entertainers and the comments you receive from your long list of newsletter readers. I have been one of those since early in your development of your book on Faron. I have both books purchased primarily for my wife, Carrell, shortly after they were released. I print each newsletter for her as she is not computer literate nor does she wish to be. May you enjoy good health and continue providing the newsletter to us.”

Doug Lippert in Carmel, Indiana, says, “Diane, I am thrilled to still be a part of your email newsletters. Take care and good luck.”

Ralph Larson writes, “I thank you as I look forward to reading your newsletter.”

Red Freeman says, “Good luck with the email and thanks again for all the hard work you do.”

Jan Mitchell writes from Scotland, “I am a great Marty fan and I so look forward to reading your newsletters when they arrive. I love the new setup that keeps us in touch with what is happening in the world of country music. Keep up the good work. I hope soon you will choose another great performer to work on. The Possum would be an amazing read.”

Geoff Lambert writes from England, “Around two months ago here in the U.K. we had an update done and any group mails I sent out were restricted to around twenty names so I ended up making up groups of twenty names. I think they assumed batch mailing could be spam mailing. So I do wish you luck sorting it but please don’t give up the news letter no matter how trying it becomes.”

Jean Earle also writes from England, “I do sympathise…we have had new things added to our computer and I am in a daze. Good thing is, Alan seems to be finding his way around it all. I hope you soon feel happier with your system. Thank you once again for your help with tracing Bob Powel’s friends. He is over the moon to be back in contact with the two gentlemen who answered your newsletter.”

Arie den Dulk writes from Europe, “Yes, I remember Bob Powel well, having stayed at his house several times, been in the Radio studio with him during broadcasts of his program. It was a wonderful experience. And a fine friendship. Glad a book will be published about him. Although British, he has a Canadian youth. That might be responsible for his love of country music. The interviews he’d done are outstanding and the most informative and entertaining ones in the business. The US radio presenters are a mile behind him. I cherish the ones I have recorded. The memories about the ones done when I was present in the studio I will cherish forever. Good luck with Windows 8.”

Ernie Reed in Nashville says, “I so remember Bob Powel. The first time I ever went to England was with Faron in 1969. Bob Powel drove me and Dave Hall all over London showing us the sights that no one would normally get to see. 45 years later I still remember that trip. I later got to visit with Bob on one of his trips to Nashville. In closing let me say, I love you Bob. I can’t wait to read your memoirs, and you will always be a part of mine. What a great gentleman.”

What was the first record you ever bought? Mine was Hank Williams’ Greatest Hits. I bought the LP in 1964 with my Confirmation gift money, and I still have it.

One Response to “Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 23 April 2014”

  1. Col.Robert Hanger Says:

    First time reader of your interesting newsletter.

    I am RET DJ, now in West TX. Spent 30 yrs in

    biz too. Could you add me to e-mail list? Thanks.

    BOB GRANT Hanger

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