The Nashville Musician January — March 2020

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Musicians + Kids = Fun

at the Adventure Science Center


Trisha Yearwood Live. Love. Sing. First quarter membership meeting: Monday, March 2

JAN – MAR 2020 1


CONTENTS Official Journal of the Nashville Musicians Association, AFM Local 257 | JANUARY — MARCH 2020


6 7 8 12 14 18

ANNOUNCEMENTS Details on an important first quarter membership meeting to be held Monday, March 2, at 2 p.m. On the agenda: two bylaw resolutions, plus discussion of several important issues. STATE OF THE LOCAL Dave Pomeroy on the musical journey that brought him to Nashville, and the artists who helped him along the way. IN THE POCKET Secretary-Treasurer Vince Santoro talks about Local 257 and our history of community outreach. NEWS Two star-studded events inducted many deserving musicians into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019.



HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE The comings and goings of Local 257 members. GALLERY We recognize member milestones as well as other events and honors. MUSIC COMES TO THE ADVENTURE SCIENCE CENTER Local 257 musicians play show and tell with inquisitive youngsters during visits to the museum, thanks to a partnership with Local 257 and the Music Performance Trust Fund.


career she has always had a relatable quality which infuses every record, book — and performance — that she has brought to life. Warren Denney talks to the beloved artist about her process, her philosophy, and her love of the song.



26 REVIEWS The Ragin’ Cajun Doug Kershaw publishes a

mind-boggling and powerfully detailed story of his life in a new autobiography, and Steve Purcell releases a solo record that nimbly runs the gamut of genres but never leaves the pocket.

28 SYMPHONY NOTES Bassist Kevin Jablonski talks about the

important work NSO members have done for many years to bring music to the schools.

29 JAZZ & BLUES A roundup of shows and other happenings in the jazz and blues community.

30 FINAL NOTES We bid farewell to Donald Fritts, Dillard

Montgomery, Martin Katahn, Daniel Pratt, and Richard Curtis.














Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro Kathy Osborne Leslie Barr Austin Bealmear Warren Denney Kathy Osborne Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro Steve Tveit Laura Ross Rick Diamond Tripp Dockerson Donn Jones Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro Lisa Dunn Design Kathy Osborne Leslie Barr 615-244-9514

Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro Jimmy Capps Jonathan Yudkin Laura Ross Tom Wild Jerry Kimbrough Steve Hinson Andre Reiss Michele Voan Capps Tiger Fitzhugh Teresa Hargrove Kent Goodson Dave Moody Kathy Shepard Bruce Radek Biff Watson Steve Tveit Kevin Jablonski Laura Birdwell

Steve Tveit Christina Mitchell Paige Conners Teri Barnett

The first quarter Local 257 General Membership meeting will be held March 2 at 2 p.m. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. The agenda includes important items that require approval by the members in attendance. Our bylaws currently require a 30 member quorum to be able to do business, an issue that will be addressed at this meeting. A second proposal deals with establishing a one-person one-hour miscellaneous live performance rate of $150. Also on the agenda will be reports from the president and secretary-treasurer, and other important discussions. Please make plans to attend and get involved in the business of your local.

Bylaw amendment proposals: Bylaw Amendment Proposal 1 – re: Quorum Requirement Whereas, It has become increasingly difficult to get 30 members to attend a quarterly membership meeting, a number that was established many years ago, when membership was higher; therefore, be it Resolved, That Article XII, be amended as follows: (new Language in bold, strikethroughs mark language to be deleted) Article VII – Local Meetings Section 1. Regular meetings shall be held at least four (4) times per year with the time and date being determined by the Executive Board. Section 2. Special meetings shall be called by the President upon written request of thirty (30) twenty-five (25) members, or upon the order of the Executive Board and only such business for which the meeting has been called can be transacted. Section 3. A Special meeting for reconsideration of a motion passed at a previous meeting can only be called by the President upon the written request of two-thirds (2/3) of the members attending such meeting. Only such business for which the meeting was called can be transacted. Section 4. Thirty (30) Twenty-five (25) members shall constitute a quorum and have power to transact all business. Executive Board Recommendation: Favorable Bylaw Amendment Proposal 2 — New Scale Rate for Solo Performers in Miscellaneous Engagement Wage Scale Sheet Whereas, Recognizing that many times a solo performer is asked to play a one-hour performance but is unable to get the work on an AFM contract because the current AFM 257 Scale is $220, which is based on double scale for a show of up to two hours; and Whereas, AFM 257 has had several opportunities to book one-hour performances at a trial rate of $150 for shows at the Adventure Science Center, and consensus has been that this is leading to our members getting more work at a more realistic rate; therefore, be it Resolved, That Category A of Section 1’s Performance Rates of the AFM 257 Miscellaneous Engagement Wage Scale Sheet be amended as follows, with new language in bold:

Sarah Weiss


Dalaina Kimbro Savanna Ritchie

And accordingly, create a new section in the associated rates, with language as follows: 1 hour or less, solo performance - $150.

Leslie Barr

@ 2020 Nashville Musicians Association P.O. Box 120399, Nashville TN 37212 All rights reserved.


Next General Membership Meeting Monday, March 2, 2020

Executive Board Recommendation: Favorable


Don't forget to like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Search for Nashville Musicians Association Nashville Musicians Association AFM Local 257, AFL-CIO Minutes of the Executive Board Meeting Sept. 13, 2019 PRESENT: Vince Santoro(VS), Dave Pomeroy(DP), Andre

Reiss(AR), Laura Ross(LR), Steve Hinson(SH), Jonathan Yudkin(JY), Jimmy Capps(JC). ABSENT: Tom Wild(TW), Jerry Kimbrough(JK).



Pomeroy called the meeting to order at 2:02 p.m. MINUTES: Minutes from Apr. 29, 2019 were distributed.

MSC to approve as amended. JC, JY. PRESIDENT’S REPORT:

The following issues were discussed: 1. The $4200 (plus interest) that the state of California mistakenly held for over five years has finally been returned to us. 2. Tim McGraw’s band was finally paid $5,000 for NFL show. 3. Organizing push in advance of AFM film negotiations in October is being scheduled for Oct. 1 at Musicians Hall of Fame, Oct. 2 at Lamar Alexander’s office and Oct. 3 at Lower Broad. (Oct. 2 event was rescheduled and modified as a letter-writing campaign)

Local 257 sends important advisories to members by email, including updates on our annual NAMM pass giveaway, and invitations to Local 257 events. Don't be left out of the loop! Notify the front desk of any changes to your contact information, including phone number, address and beneficiary. Call 615-244-9514 to make sure we have your correct information, or email

TREASURER’S REPORT: Santoro distributed financial reports and

fund balances. 1. Members have received a pamphlet sent by R.J. Stillwell describing voluntary healthcare options. 2. As reported above, Local 257’s five year effort to receive $4200 erroneously held by the state of California has finally succeeded. 3. Annual Funeral Benefit Fund audit is proceeding currently with CPA Consulting Group, the same outfit as last year. 4. The proposed structure for 2020 Annual Dues has been approved by our fiduciaries, Biff Watson and Bruce Radek. The board’s recommendation is favorable.


MSC to approve Sec-Treasurer report. LR, JY. MSC to approve new member applications. JY, SH. Motion to adjourn. LR, JC. Meeting adjourned at 2:52 p.m. TNM JAN – MAR 2020 5




hen I moved to Music City 42 years ago at the age of 21, knowing one person, my only ambition was simply to play bass in a band that people liked. I didn’t yet understand that there were many other jobs in the music business. If you would have told me that someday I would be president of the Nashville Musicians Association, I would have laughed out loud and told you to have your head examined! As we enter the year 2020, a very futuristic sounding number, it seems hard to believe that I am in my 12th year as your Local 257 president. It just goes to show that anything is possible, and I am grateful for the chance to be of service to this incredible community of musicians that is like no other. A month after I arrived in town, I landed my first touring gig with an Arkansas native named Sleepy LaBeef — a country, blues, and rockabilly artist who was signed to Sun Records. He was a big man with a deep voice and a repertoire of literally thousands of songs that earned him the nickname “The Human Jukebox.” I hopped on his motor home the next morning and we headed to Boston, his base of operations. I got an amazing education in what is now called Americana music from Sleepy. He didn’t like to rehearse, never used a set list, and I had no choice but to learn how to follow and learn songs I had never heard before on the spot. After 10 months, Nashville was calling me, and I finally jumped off the motor home and took a Greyhound bus heading south. I was determined to stay in town this time around, and tried everything I could think of to make some headway. On the advice of several musicians, I joined Local 257 in 1978. I was very naïve and knew nothing about what the AFM is and what it does for its members, but I was ready to learn. A chance 6 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

Dave Pomeroy, Don Williams, Pat McInerney(l-r)

It makes a huge difference when we all work together toward the common goal of promoting respect for musicians. Here’s to a great 2020! encounter with a drummer led to a job with legendary Texas songwriter Guy Clark. His music was simple but beautifully eloquent. It was a great wake up call to listen to the words, drastically simplify my approach, and work around what everyone else was doing. Guy showed me the emotional power of a great lyric and the need to lose your ego and play what is right for the song. I had befriended the guys in Don Williams’ band, and when his bass player decided to get off the road in 1980, I got the first shot at the gig. I learned 24 songs in a couple of days, including harmony vocal parts, and played my first show with Don in front of the biggest crowd I had ever played for. They were also the quietest crowd I had ever played for! They were hanging on every word, and I understood that every note counted. The next 14 years with Don were life changing. Over that time, I learned how to write songs and make records, and was his bandleader for the last five years of my run. Don treated us with respect, and was a huge role model for me in so many ways. Playing on his records led to many other sessions, and I got off the road in 1994 to go freelance full time. At that time, Local 257 had a business agent who would bring members up on charges for not having a contract with a club for shows that were “door gigs,” where the band would make their money from the door receipts and the club would make money at the bar. In addition to playing sessions, I always had a band or two going on the side playing clubs around town. After several

frustrating attempts to convince him there was a better way to deal with this issue, I stood up at a Local 257 meeting and said something about it. Next thing I knew, I was head of a committee, and together we wrote a new bylaw saying that when playing “original music” in a “listening room” the “bandleader can be the employer,” which fixed the problem. That is when I realized that the AFM is only as strong as its members make it, and that if something is not right, it can be fixed if the members get involved. Over the next 15 years I served on the local’s hearing board, and then the executive board, and in 2008, I was elected president of Local 257. A year and a half later, I became an AFM International Executive Officer as well. Looking back, it’s been quite the journey, and what I have learned is that you can do anything if you believe in yourself and pay attention to your surroundings. Sleepy, Guy, and Don have all passed on in the last few years, but the way they treated me remains in my heart and mind. I have been blessed to have a long career as a musician, and thankfully still get to play enough to keep my sanity. I love getting musicians paid and doing all I can to make sure that the tradition of mutual respect that turned Nashville into Music City not only remains, but flourishes. We are a team, and I am honored to represent you. I encourage all of you to get involved in the business of YOUR union. It makes a huge difference when we all work together toward the common goal of promoting respect for musicians. Here’s to a TNM great 2020!




Local 257's booth at the annual public school career fair

very autumn we coordinate with Metro Nashville Public Schools to take part in the annual Career Exploration Fair held at the Music City Center. Dave and I recruit some available players who want to lend a hand in putting together a combo to act as representatives of Local 257 in front of thousands of highschoolers from across the city. We were lucky to have AFM Local 257 members Will Barrow on keys and Lee Worden on guitar the past couple years and their involvement has been tremendous — we thank them for their help. We meet at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., set up and play music in the huge convention hall to demonstrate that music as a career is a worthy choice. We do this alongside more than a hundred other career representatives, from doctors and lawyers to emergency medical technicians and police officers, each commandeering their own booths. Each entity readies themselves and the hall looks and feels like any other convention — NAMM for instance — and at 7:30 a.m. the doors open and busloads of kids stream in for the start of Career Exploration Fair. They go from booth to booth asking questions about the nuts and bolts of each career choice and our combo admittedly draws quite a crowd. Live music will tend to do that. We play for a bit, then answer student questions. We let some kids play our instruments and jam with us or with their friends. It all adds to the spectacle and draws more and more to our booth. Near the end of the day we get a visit from Judge Sheila Calloway who takes time out from her legal

services booth and sings “I Will Survive” with us in full judge regalia — and she absolutely kills it every year. Nothing like a little discoera flashback to be the showstopper! This type of youth outreach is something we’d love to build on because Nashville youth need to know what opportunities exist beyond what they study in class. This being Music City our presence at functions like the career fair helps immeasurably. Every year we do this I come away with mixed feelings – on one hand, our outreach feels important, but on the other, I feel like we lose the thread until the next career fair comes around. If only we could keep the connection going so we don’t lose steam.

Nashville youth need to know what opportunities exist beyond what they study in class. When Shannon Williford left Nashville to return to his Louisiana home, he remained a Local 257 member, but we did lose his project, Bayou and The Degradables, an outreach band that traveled to Metro schools under the aegis of Blues in the Schools. Using the shared funding accessed through the Music Performance Trust Fund to help offset expenses to schools and to pay the players, Shannon created a wonderful program that demonstrated how the blues began and how it is uniquely American to young people all across the Nashville school system. In the wake of his departure I can see that we somehow need to keep that momentum going.

In Symphony Notes this quarter [page 28] Kevin Jablonski talks about NSO educational initiatives that reach out to Nashville youth with their Ensembles in the Schools program, where they send trios, quartets and quintets to area schools in an effort to show these same kids how broad a spectrum exists in the musical opportunities available to them. It got me thinking that our local could generate more connections of this ilk if we created a hub, or committee, that could coordinate possible events that add to that array of outreach. We could call it the Community Engagement Committee, or CEC, and it would hook up the musicians and venues using all the aid available to them and the connections with MNPS to make things operate smoothly. This committee would be made up of Local 257 members who want to give back to the student community whom we believe will inevitably be the future music leaders here in Nashville. I know there are a lot of our members who fit this bill so I’d ask you to contact me if you’d like to be put on the list to form the committee as we create this group. It will be important for this committee to brainstorm ways to continue to grow our music community from the ground up. Every year at the career fair it is clear that our city’s youth are an untapped source that is ready and waiting to make the music of their future. TNM

Next General Membership Meeting Monday, 2 p.m. March 2, 2020 JAN – MAR 2020 7


Country Music Hall of Fame 2019

Inductees Jerry Bradley, Ray Stevens, Ronnie Dunn, Kix Brooks

Local 257 members Jerry Bradley, Ray Stevens, and Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn were welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame last Oct. 20 at a star-studded event held in the CMA Theater.

“Nobody chooses to be up here,“ Stevens said. “We can dream about it, but we can’t plan on it. We can’t choose it. We have to be chosen. And let me say how sweet it is to be chosen to be here tonight.” Stevens’ legendary career as an arranger, multi-instrumentalist, publisher, producer, singer, and songwriter has spanned several decades and gained the artist notoriety across genres with songs from the sweetly sentimental (“Everything Is Beautiful”) to the sublimely silly (“Mississippi Squirrel Revival”). Ricky Skaggs paid tribute to Stevens with a performance of “Misty,” and Ralph Emery inducted Stevens, saying “He is really overdue for the award we are going to give him this evening.” Stevens said that if the induction had come 8 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

sooner, he could have upped his price for dates. “All joking aside,” he continued, “it’s a long way from the sock hop at a South Georgia high school when I played piano with a little four-piece band to this here place tonight. Think about it. Ray Stevens in the Country Music Hall of Fame — no hat, no guitar. My jeans aren’t even ripped. How did that happen? The answer is simple, really. This is Nashville. Anything can happen in Nashville.” Jerry Bradley, the son of Music Row founder Owen Bradley, was inducted in the nonperformer category by Bud Wendell. At RCA Records Bradley cultivated Dolly Parton’s career, and signed Alabama to the band’s first major recording contract. He also produced Charley Pride, Dottie West, Eddy Arnold, Dave & Sugar, and signed Ronnie Milsap and Sylvia. “This business has given me a wonderful life. I’m grateful for the people I’ve met, the songs I’ve heard and the part I played,” Bradley said. Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt, who performed “Good Hearted Woman,” were among the musicians who paid tribute to the songs and artists Bradley had a hand in bringing to popularity. Brooks & Dunn, the modern era inductees, each had a solo career before being brought together by Arista executive Tim DuBois for a long string of hit records and awards. Trisha Yearwood was part of the musical tribute to the duo, singing their hit “Believe.”


Reba McEntire inducted Brooks & Dunn, who toured with her in the ‘90s. She said she convinced them to reunite for a series of coheadline concerts in Las Vegas — a series that has become a residency. She said the two are “wonderful people” and like brothers to her. Brooks talked about the duo’s reunion. “We realize how much we love this music, how fun it was to get back to singing those songs again,” he said. “You know, we had every intention of quitting, and we did for a few minutes, but I think we realize now how lucky we are.” The evening concluded with McEntire and the McCrary Sisters leading a performance of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” New inductees and other members of the Country Music Hall of Fame joined with guest performers and the audience to sing the 100-year-old hymn that has become synonymous with the end of the annual ceremony. The all-star house band for the event included Local 257 members Biff Watson, Eddie Bayers, Brent Mason, Bruce Bouton, Mike Rojas, Alison Prestwood, and Deanie Richardson. New members of the Country Music Hall of Fame are elected annually by an anonymous panel of industry leaders chosen by the Country Music Association. The first members — Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams — were inducted in 1961. Jerry Bradley and his wife Connie

Trisha Yearwood backed by Deanie Richardson, fiddle/mando; Alison Prestwood, bass; Mike Rojas, keys; Biff Watson, acoustic guitar; Eddie Bayers, drums; Brent Mason, guitar; Bruce Bouton, steel guitar

Ray Stevens and Penny Jackson

Ray Stevens, Connie Bradley, Jerry Bradley All photos by Jason Kempin and Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt

continued on page 10 JAN – MAR 2020 9


continued from page 9

Musicians Hall of Fame 2019 Induction

Ricky Skaggs inducts Don Everly. (r)

Vince Gill performs with The Players while the house band looks on.

(2nd from l-r)Local 257 members Norbert Putnam, David Briggs, and widow of Reggie Young, Jenny Young All photos: Pete Collins and Roy DeGrie for the Musicians Hall of Fame

Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, and Randy Owens of Alabama

Local 257’s Steve Wariner, Felix Cavaliere, Don Everly, the band Alabama, plus members of the Original Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and a group of session musicians known as The Players, became part of the class of 2019 inductees to the Musicians Hall of Fame Oct. 22 in a ceremony held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall in Nashville. Local 257 members in the Original Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section include David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and the late Reggie Young. Terry Thompson and Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery were also inducted, as well as Jerry Carrigan and Joe South, posthumously. Local 257 trombonist Charlie Rose was inducted as part of the Muscle Shoals Horn Section. These session musicians brought their creativity to some of the most highly regarded records of the 10 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

‘60s and ‘70s including songs by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Duane Allman, Jerry Reed and many more. The Players consist of Eddie Bayers, Paul Franklin, John Hobbs, Brent Mason, and Michael Rhodes. This newer iteration of highly sought after Nashville Cats has played on untold numbers of country hits, and continue to bring their skills and professionalism to Music Row studios every day. Also inducted posthumously was legendary Music Row founder, producer Owen Bradley. Bradley’s contributions to what would become the recording music business of Nashville are incalculable. He worked with iconic artists like Chet Atkins, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Buddy Holly and many more. Wariner, one of only five musicians named “CGP” (Certified Guitar Player) by

Chet Atkins, has performed in several past tributes to other inductees. Regarding his own induction, Wariner said, “You dream about these kind of moments. I came to Nashville to be a musician. People ask me about the singing and the writing…but the roots, for me, is the playing.” Cavaliere was songwriter, keyboardist and vocalist for The Rascals — his cowrite credits include “Groovin’,” and “People Got to be Free.” “I know a lot of the other people that are in there, and I admire all of them,” he said. Don Everly, half of the legendary duo the Everly Brothers, received the Iconic Riff Award for his unforgettable rhythm guitar opening to “Wake Up, Little Susie.” The Everly Brothers are past inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


John Hobbs, Brent Mason, Paul Franklin, Michael Rhodes, Eddie Bayers

Felix Cavaliere

Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook of the band Alabama, have won dozens of awards over the group’s 50-year history. The storied band has sold over 80 million records and charted 43 No. 1 singles, including 21 in a row. In addition to their induction into the MHOF, they received the organization’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Brooks & Dunn, Keb’ Mo’, and many other musicians performed during the sold-out induction ceremony. The show was hosted by AFM Local 802 member Paul Shaffer. Local 257 members in the house band included leader Shane Keister, Mark Beckett, Bruce Bouton, Bruce Dees, Larry Franklin, Steve Gibson, Gordon Kennedy, Craig Krampf, Chris Leuzinger, Dave Pomeroy, and John Willis. Other AFM 257 members who performed were Vinnie Ciesielski, John Howard, Randy Leago, Paul Leim, Vince Santoro, and Mike Severs. "Tonight, you are experiencing what Music City is all about," said Pomeroy, president of the Nashville Musicians Association. "Let's respect each other and take care of the musicians. The Musicians Hall of Fame may be located in Nashville, but it's way bigger than Nashville. It honors musicians from all over the world." The Musicians Hall of Fame recognizes studio musicians, session players, producers, engineers and others who contributed to hit recordings in a wide variety of genres. “It’s not a yearly popularity contest. It is a lifetime of work,” said museum founder Joe Chambers. The museum opened in 2006, and inducted its first group of musicians into the hall of fame in 2007. TNM

Steve Wariner

Tom Shed songs about something

Better Than Good love at first sight? it’s a stone cold fact

JAN – MAR 2020 11



Kris Kristofferson



Dierks Bentley


Local 257 members Dierks Bentley and Kristian Bush joined other artists and musicians for Hope 4 Hope Town, a benefit concert held at the Ryman Sept. 16. The event was organized by songwriter Patrick Davis to raise funds to assist in relief efforts for victims of hurricane Dorian, which caused devastation in the Bahamas earlier in the month. The annual Songwriters in Paradise (SIP) festival was a fixture on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas for the last eight years. Davis and others with the SIP organization have already raised around $400,000 with a GoFundMe campaign. Money raised from the benefit concert and accompanying auction will especially benefit those on the outer Bahamian Islands who may not be the first to receive government aid. For more information go to 12 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

Guitarist Andy Reiss was honored with the Jazz Heritage Award during Jazzmania Oct. 19. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Nashville Jazz Workshop, and includes performances, dinner, and a silent auction. Reiss has been an important part of the Nashville jazz scene for decades — working sessions, teaching, and performing locally with a variety of ensembles including the Time Jumpers and the Lori Mechem Quartet. He is also a life member of Local 257 and a longtime member of the executive board. The Nashville Jazz Workshop is a nonprofit organization that supports jazz musicians, jazz fans, and the jazz community with classes, public performances and special events.

AFM Local 257 life member Kris Kristofferson received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards Nov. 13. Dierks Bentley joined Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne for a tribute performance of Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee” during the show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The Country Music Hall of Famer won CMA Song of the Year in 1970 for “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” first released by Ray Stevens in 1969, then Johnny Cash in 1970. By 1987 over 450 artists had recorded his tunes, including “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and “For the Good Times.” He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy in 1977 for his work in A Star Is Born, which costarred Barbra Streisand. Kristofferson has also won three Grammys and a host of other accolades, including CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award, BMI’s Icon Award, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music, and achieved international prominence through performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales, and public representation at the highest level. Previous recipients include Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

Andy Reiss, Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer (l-r)



Blake Shelton helped increase visibility in digital streaming credits for those who contribute to the track. The Recording Academy launched an initiative in October called Behind The Record to correct the lack of credit documentation that has been displayed with digital streaming in the past. Tech companies have made attribution easier, which in turn allows for more accurate payments to musicians who play on the recordings. During the recording process, information flows from the record label using a standardized format and is delivered to streaming platforms like Pandora and others who have made a commitment to feature credits. In a recent Twitter post Shelton said “The power of song is unbelievable, and this year #GodsCountry (Shelton’s new record) has been just that for me. Join me in celebrating and #GiveCredit to all those who work #BehindTheRecord. It’s been a damn good year.” The accompanying image shows the new display that was used for Shelton’s latest release on digital streaming with credits for musicians, engineers and producers.


Cowboy Jack Clement’s J-200 Gibson guitar was donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in a ceremony held Nov. 19. The gift was made possible by a grant from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Organization. Clement's daughter Allison gave a humorous induction speech from the viewpoint of the guitar, and there were performances by Local 257 members John Prine and Shawn Camp, along with Charley Pride and Crystal Gayle. The house band included Local 257 members Pete Abbott, Lloyd Green, Dave Roe, Michael Rojas, and Billy Sanford. Clement purchased the guitar in Washington D.C. in 1952, when he was in the Marines. The instrument he referred to as “My baby,” stayed with Clement his whole life and appears on countless records, including “Big River” and “Ring of Fire” for Johnny Cash. During the mid-50s Sun sessions in Memphis, Clement once lent it to Elvis Presley, who played it during a performance at the Eagle’s Nest. His oversized belt buckle left scratches on the guitar’s back, and the story became one of many involving the instrument. In the ‘70s it was the guitar Clement used while composing the Waylon Jennings hit “Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)” and “Just Someone I Used to Know,” which became a hit for Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. The guitar was always present at Clement’s studio — Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa — and many artists played it on sessions over the years, including John Hartford, John Prine, Bobby Bare, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, Waylon Jennings, and hundreds of others. Clement was a life member of the Nashville Musicians Association who joined Local 257 in 1965. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, and was also a member of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

The guitar was always present at Clement’s studio — Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa — and many artists played it on sessions over the years.

JAN – MAR 2020 13


20th Annual Nashville Unlimited Christmas Concert December event benefitting Room in the Inn raises record breaking $143,500

1. 2. 3.



Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks Photo:Mickey Dobo

Riders in the Sky

Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks listen backstage while Charlie McCoy performs.

Photo: Jennie Clayton

Photo: Jennie Clayton



Over the years, this annual benefit concert organized by Dave Pomeroy has raised more than $460,000 for the homeless organization Room in the Inn.

Trey Hensley, Dave Pomeroy, Rob Ickes Photo: Mickey Dobo

Don Schlitz

Charlie McCoy

Photo: Mickey Dobo

Photo: Mickey Dobo

Andy Leftwich Photo: Mickey Dobo

1. Kenny Vaughan and Chris Scruggs Photo: Mickey Dobo continued on page 16 JAN – MAR 2020 15


continued from page 15



1. Local 257 members and

staff spearheaded a protest against taxis parking illegally in musician loading zones on Lower Broadway. 2. 80 year AFM Life member MERV SHINER, who turns

99 on Feb. 20, and his wife Marilyn are still actively performing together. 3.

3. Life member CHARLIE MCCOY (center) poses with

257 staffers (L-R) Laura Birdwell, Christina Mitchell, Paige Conners and Leslie Barr after serenading the office with Christmas tunes on his harmonica.

1. 2.

Metro Nashville Public Schools Career Fair 1. LEE WORDEN answers

questions at the MNPS career fair. 2. Students sit in with Local 257

members at the career fair.

1. 2.

your nashville symphony Live at the Schermerhorn NASHVILLE SYMPHONY







March 19 to 21

April 9 to 11

May 1 & 2


May 15 to 17


615.687.6400 |




Pat Alger performs "Seeds" with Kathy Mattea at the award-winning songwriter's CMHOF Poets and Prophets event held Nov. 2.

ROGER CARROLL celebrates his life

member pin and shows off his one of kind G&L bass made with wood from the Grand 1. 2. Ole Opry House stage. 3.

Dottie West

The Dottie West Birthday Bash in October raised over $28,000 for the Local 257 Emergency Relief Fund. Special thanks to Jeannie Seely, Roxane Atwood, 3rd and Lindsley, and everyone who attended or donated.

Jeannie Seely and Michele Voan Capps 4.

Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely and Tim Atwood

Bassist-vocalist Danny Davis performs at the tribute. Photos: Moments by Moser Photography

Rudy Gatlin displays two autographed guitars auctioned at the benefit.

Event creator and host Jeannie Seely sings with Tim Atwood on piano and Danny Davis on bass. TNM

JAN – MAR 2020 17

Clifford Koufman

Members groom future musicians Nashville Musicians Association members have been educating and entertaining young music lovers — possible future professional musicians — at the Adventure Science Center the past three months. In partnership with the Music Performance Trust Fund, AFM 257 musicians are performing weekly solo instrument demonstrations, interacting with children who visit the museum. Adventure Science Center unveiled a new exhibit earlier this year about the science of sound called Music Box.

"These interactive instrument demos go hand-in-hand with Music Box by

bringing a human element into the science of sound. Our members teach the kids about a variety of musical instruments and even give them a chance to play along," said Leslie Barr, 257 live department director. "Any member interested in getting involved can call or email me for more details." Kyle Everson


Alison Brazil

Alison Brazil

...bringing a human element into the science of sound

John Donahoe

John Donahoe

Craig Duncan TNM

JAN – MAR 2020 19


The first thing you hear is her heart. Trisha Yearwood is one of those singers, at the ready to work through the world, good or bad, sympathetic to the right fight.

Her voice cuts through the noise — emotional, powerful, elastic, and she sings about heartbreak, longing, and exhilaration with honest bearing. Yearwood can go anywhere with a song, and through that emotional carry, she delivers kinship. To tell the story, you must feel the story. “As a young girl, before I had any real life experience, I was dramatic,” Yearwood said from home, just before Christmas. “I’d sing those [Linda] Ronstadt songs like I had a broken heart — when I had never even kissed a boy. But still, it meant so much to me. And I was always drawn to songs that commiserated with you. When you want to go down that rabbit hole, or you’re feeling like your life is a mess, you want to hear a song that says, ‘Yeah, I get it. I’m there, too.’ You want to hear a song that says, ‘Oh my God … here’s how I feel.’” continued on page 22


JAN – MAR 2020 21

"She is more than that music — actress, author, celebrity chef, household name — but at the root of all which has made her, she is a singer with an extraordinary gift."


continued from page 21

Yearwood, of course, does get it. She has been translating the everyday, alongside the divine, in a career that spans three decades. Her first record, Trisha Yearwood, released in 1991, caught the world off-guard and yielded the monster No. 1 hit “She’s in Love with the Boy.” Yearwood became the first female country singer to have a debut album sell a million copies in its first year. She joined Local 257 on July 30, 1991, and is now a 28-year member. Her belief in herself, and faith in others, too, brought her to that original place. She understands doubt and crises of confidence — and exhilaration. You hear it. The release of Every Girl last August, her first solo effort in twelve years, signaled a reaffirmation. Her life has certainly been full, but the focus was not squarely on her music. Certainly, she is more than that music — actress, author, celebrity chef, household name — but at the root of all which has made her, she is a singer with an extraordinary gift. Life in the public eye came at her quickly, and she has refined a professional balancing act ever since. In recent years, Yearwood has published three insanely popular cookbooks, and established the award-winning television show Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on the Food Network. Because she has the ability to fit seamlessly into American popular culture in so many effective ways, it might be easy to forget the absolute power of her voice. She’s played a Navy coroner in the television series JAG, and starred in a Peter Bogdanovich movie, for God’s sake.

“Well, I made my first official album when I was 26 years old, and that’s all I’d ever wanted to do — was to sing,” she said. “And so, I felt very lucky to get to do that. I think what I’ve done in the last 10 or 12 years — the other things that I do — the cooking show and the cookbooks, were all an accidental second career. I wrote a cookbook because I’d moved to Oklahoma to help [husband] Garth [Brooks] with the girls, and I wasn’t working at all. “I wasn't touring, and I was at home and I needed to find a way to be creative. So, I would work on the books at night when the girls would go to bed, and I never dreamed it would turn into another whole career — I never dreamed this would happen. It’s time-consuming and it’s something that I really enjoy. Then Garth did the world tour and I was part of that, so that was almost four years. And, when I wasn’t touring with him, I was doing the show. It was kind of like — I looked up one day and 10 years had passed without me making a new album of music. “It was a big reminder for me when I went in the studio to work on this album — just how much I need to do this to feed my soul.” The result was powerful, not only for the listener, but for Yearwood, too. She has referred to her relationship with music as a calling, not a choice. “It’s not just something I do because I want to be famous, or I want to make money,” she said. “I like those things, but I do this because it’s something that is important for me to do — to feel like me. And it was a good reminder, too. I don’t need to let that much time pass. Life is short and you don’t know what’s going to happen in 10 years. I don’t want that much time to pass again because being creative and being in the studio is so fulfilling to me. I really had missed it.” Yearwood’s music has always tilted to a rocking country feel, with a heavy dose of blues counterpoint when needed, as delivered on Thinkin’ About You in 1995 and Everybody Knows in 1996, which yielded two No. 1 hits “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)” and “Believe Me Baby (I Lied).” She won her first Grammy in 1995 for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for her duet with Aaron Neville continued on page 24 JAN – MAR 2020 23

continued from page 21

‘It's okay if you don’t have it all together.’ I like songs that speak to that — the humanness of who we all are.” on Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” from the Rhythm, Country and Blues compilation of R&B covers recorded by country artists. In total, Yearwood has earned three Grammys, including Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1997 for “How Do I Live,” and for her vocal collaboration with husband Garth on “In Another’s Eyes” the same year. Both songs appeared on (Songbook) A Collection of Hits, the greatest hits album that reached No. 1 on the Billboard country charts. She was named the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year in 1997 and 1998. She earned the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female Vocalist in 1991, followed by Top Female Vocalist in 1997. With the release of Every Girl, Yearwood has reanimated that voice. And, in doing so, she has returned to her touchstone. Beyond the 2007 holiday-themed Christmas Together recorded with Garth, Every Girl is the first real solo offering since Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love. She did record Let’s Be Frank in 2018, a collection of classic Sinatra covers at the Capitol Records studio in Los Angeles. Additionally, she had joined Brooks in 2014 on a daunting and hugely successful three-year world tour. She believes that time away informed her perspective and the approach to her own thing. “I definitely think so,” she said, laughing. “I turned 55 [last year] and if I had a filter before, it’s gone. I kind of recommend losing that filter highly — that good old Southern girl who doesn’t want to offend anybody and worries about what everyone else thinks. “And also, being in an industry that’s very much about, ‘Well, what have you done lately? You're too old to do this. And you’re a woman — we’re not going to put that thing on the radio.’ To make a record now, there’s a freedom that comes with it. I don’t have any rules. I can go in, find songs I love. I don’t have anybody to please except me. “When it’s done, we can figure out different ways to get the music out there. I knew we had a big following for the cooking show. I knew we had an audience. Country music — fans who love country music — they don't stop being fans. I think we have the best fans of any genre. They are loyal. [With Every Girl] I wasn't worried about exactly how we were going to do it. I just knew that we were going to figure it out. That freedom to just go in — just have fun and make a record — it’s something I might not have felt if I had made one right after the last one 12 years ago.” The record, produced by longtime compatriot Garth Fundis, moves from the reflective to the anthemic, with emotions bared. Whether it’s the broken-hearted cry of the opener “Workin’ on Whiskey” or the got-your-back slice of American life with “Every Girl in This Town,” Yearwood lifts mundane living to a higher plane. Of special note is the cover of Karla Bonoff’s “Home,” made popular by Bonnie 24 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

Raitt. Yearwood absolutely nails the plaintive inspiration found there. There are potent collaborations found, as well, with tracks like the bluesy lament “What Gave It Away,” sung with Garth, the simple “Bible And A .44” sung with Patty Loveless, the personal and powerful “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” with Kelly Clarkson, and the aching “Love You Anyway,” featuring Don Henley. “I’ve always been drawn to those kind of songs,” Yearwood said. “I like an underdog … especially in songs like 'Every Girl in This Town,' I love that it says, ‘You’ve got this baby, so what if you don't?’ I think it’s important to say, ‘We’re all going for the same thing here. We're all trying to put on our best face.’ Sometimes we don’t. And that’s okay too. “And I think we need to be told — especially girls — because I think girls in particular are hard on themselves and they're hard on each other. When you’re really young, you think you can do anything. Then, in your early teens, you start to doubt yourself and listen to what other people say. So, to remember that feeling of ‘It's okay if you don’t have it all together.’ I like songs that speak to that — the humanness of who we all are.” Possibly, it is that sense of empathy which resides at the core of Yearwood the artist. From the moment she knew she was different, growing up in Monticello, Georgia, she has relied on the range of emotion in her voice to take her anywhere. She listened to everything, giving herself the musical foundation that still thrives — when awakened. “Yeah, I think it just comes out,” she said. “I like a lot of different kinds of music. And so, whatever the song seems to feel, is just what comes out. It’s not really a plan. Linda Ronstadt’s my person — she’s the reason I wanted to be a singer. And Linda was that artist who — when I was a kid growing up in the ‘70s — they were playing on pop radio, rock & roll radio. But, you hear the steel guitar and fiddle. And, she leaned into the country thing, although she wasn't played on country radio then. I grew up on it. “And, that introduced me to Emmylou [Harris] and to Bonnie Raitt. And so I’ve always had those influences there. I think most artists naturally end up picking a genre that they kind of fit into the best. We all like different things. So, I think that my voice can go bluesy … that kind of thing. But, it wasn't like, ‘Oh, let’s try to make your voice do this.’ If I love a song, let’s shake it out.” The American musical landscape was more democratic, less surgically dissected.

“It was definitely a time when music seemed to be a lot more open,” Yearwood said. “There weren’t as many boxes put around what you sang, or what you did, exactly. And, I love country music too, and I felt like this is where I landed. It’s interesting — when I started making records in the early ‘90s, I was not considered traditional country. I was not. But now, it sounds more traditional in a sense. Everything just goes in cycles like that.” Yearwood has persevered and succeeded in a town that might often care less about who you are than what you are. The commodity of music in the digital age always threatens to cheapen it, even as it disseminates it more globally. Nashville is literally packed with hopefuls who may not know how to dig deep. In other words, more of a choice than a calling. “There are two sides of the coin that have always existed in this town,” she said. “There are artists who can’t be anything else. Like Emmylou. To me, she set the bar. She is the definition of an artist being true to herself. I’ve asked myself before, ‘What would Emmylou do?’ “The other person I think of is Linda Ronstadt. I got to be a part of honoring her at the Kennedy Center, and I was listening to Don Henley talk about all of her accomplishments — everything she’s done. And I sat there and thought, ‘This is why I am how I am, because this woman, she never compromised her artistic integrity.’ When she went against her record label to do an album of standards. They thought it was a terrible idea, and it did great ... she’s the definition of an artist. She’s followed her path and hasn’t worried about what was going to happen.”

To Yearwood, the commercial byproducts of artistry aren’t the point. “What can come out of that — fame, fortune, record sales — that’s all well and good, but that’s not the reason I cut this song,” she said. “That’s not the reason I wore this dress … all of those things. There are always going to be people coming here to seek fame first. There’s always been an element of that, but I think it’s even more so now because there are bigger, different ways to do it. You can go to YouTube and make a name for yourself. You might go on The Voice or American Idol and be famous before you’ve even put out a record. “There have been great country artists in the past who have put out three or four records before having their first hit. I’m not sure they would get that opportunity today.” Yearwood certainly understands the drive behind each side of the coin. Hillbilly Babylon has it all. But, like Hollywood, dreamers are drawn here, and that in itself drives artistry, regardless of motivation. Nashville sits squarely at the intersection of high art and an oft-times colder reality. “I’ve always loved it [Nashville],” she said. “There’s always the appeal. True artistry and talent may not be the first things at the top of the list when they’re putting acts together for small-town kids who want to make it big. But, then the flip side of that is, you'll have someone like Chris Stapleton come to this town and be under the radar for years, writing songs, doing demos. You listen to the demos to hear Chris Stapleton sing. Then good things happen for him. So, there is a true artistry that no matter what people do — you can’t put down. It’s there. My hope is that the good stuff will always be there. There’s so much talent in this town that no one knows about. It’s amazing.” By returning to the fore with Every Girl, Yearwood has reclaimed ground, and rekindled a fire. But, it’s not about one record. She has found, once again, what many of those dreamers are looking for. “Making this record felt so good,” she said. “I’m hoping when people hear it, that they hear the joy.” TNM

JAN – MAR 2020 25


Doug Kershaw with Cathie Pelletier

The Ragin’ Cajun – Memoir of a Louisiana Man Mercer University Press

Doug Kershaw, a 62-year member of Local 257, reflects on his life in a compelling autobiography that paints a vivid picture of the unique culture of rural Louisiana and the Cajun music that he came to personify. Co-written with Cathie Pelletier and told in Kershaw’s own words, The Ragin’ Cajun takes the reader on a long and winding path from rivers, swamps, and small towns onto the biggest stages in the world. Through many ups and downs, Kershaw, the living personification of his autobiographical signature song, “Louisiana Man,” managed to survive numerous brushes with disaster and found redemption at last. This book is not for the squeamish or easily offended, but the frankness of his narrative is refreshing and reveals the many layers behind his high energy persona.

The hardships and challenges that Kershaw endured before the age of 10 would be insurmountable for most people, but somehow he made it through it all and brought the fiddle and accordion music of southwest Louisiana to the world. It’s not easy to imagine a family living on a homemade houseboat on the river with their survival depending on their trapping and fishing skills, not to mention never having shoes until your eighth birthday! Just as incredible is that speaking his native French language was deemed illegal in the state of Louisiana at that time, and he had to learn English as a second language out of necessity. Kershaw’s uncle noticed his fascination with the fiddle, and built the toddler a homemade one from a cigar box, gator bone, wood, and wire, and he quickly graduated to the real thing by the age of five. His tempestuous father, Daddy Jack, committed suicide when Doug was seven, and his mother did whatever she had to do to take care of her children. Doug shined shoes and played fiddle for tips, and brought the money home to his mother. He and his brothers played music together in various groups, and worked their way into the music business, eventually as the duo Rusty & Doug, and performing on the Grand Ole Opry and beyond. Kershaw’s behind the scenes Nashville stories of the ‘50s and ‘60s are fascinating and give a unique glimpse into the seamy side of Music City. Publishers, agents, and musical partners all found ways to get a piece of Kershaw’s revenue stream that they did not deserve, and he learned many lessons about what NOT to do to succeed in the business. Despite it all, he was a consummate entertainer who carved out an individual persona and repertoire like no other. This led to every imaginable kind of gig, including appearances on The Johnny Cash Show, having a song beamed back from Apollo 12, playing the Super Bowl halftime show, and getting married onstage at the Astrodome! The saga of Kershaw’s personal life is even more convoluted than his musical journey, and he is unflinchingly honest about his own mistakes, as well as the actions of those who took advantage of him. His longtime alcohol and drug abuse wasted a small fortune, nearly killed him, and almost cost him his marriage to the love of his life, Pam. Her nearly infinite patience with his behavior and final ultimatum saved his life and gave him the chance to redeem himself. He finally became the father and man he had been unable to be before, which has brought him peace and resolution. This is a well written memoir of a complex man whose life and music has gone full circle from the swamps of Louisiana to the mountains of Colorado, and the moon and back. – Dave Pomeroy 26 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN


Steve Purcell

Ample’tudes Grandaddie Records

Steve Purcell named this record appropriately. Listening to the 10 cuts he includes in this collection reflects a dizzying mastery of distinctly different musical attitudes, or styles. He connects them all with fun audio droplets of revving engines, church bells tolling and footsteps between songs that somehow work to set the listener up for what they’re about to experience.

The opener ”Hammer Down” took me straight to a Hendrix vibe replete with wah-wah and whammy bar-driven solos that smoothly morphed into speed-metal, Steve Vai-ish dexterity. Then Purcell relaxes in a Spaghetti Western cut, “Rattlesnake Road,” where guitar chords fall safely off the table among “Hoo, Hah” backing vocals. I envisioned Clint Eastwood looking smokily across the spare landscape while gnawing on a stogie. Purcell brings on board several Local 257 members such as Randy Kohrs on dobro and traveling member Tim Crouch, who adds fiddle and mandolin on “Angel in Hell” — a Waylon type groove that is a dark portrait of the writer’s encroaching death and the company he’ll keep in his destination. Track four, “Retro Radio,” is actually a static laden radio being shuttled through stations as if on a road trip trying to find just the right mood. No problem! Track five, “Mouse in the House,” turns out to be that perfect cut. An instrumental with the exact emotional balance for putting mindless miles behind you. More Local 257 members, Eugene Moles and Dave Gant, appear here as Moles lends some guitar strutting and Gant adds B3 and Wurli. Gant also cranks up the B on “Messin’ With the Kid,” a screamer with an edgy live aroma. Yeah, you can smell the intensity! Purcell himself is at the center of all this slinging and the colors he employs includes track seven’s picking style reminiscent of Tommy Emmanuel on “Bits and Pieces.” Feels like a jazz club date with lots of air in the room. Made me want to order a drink. Purcell is then asked to play “the riff” and he sure does, showing that he don’t need no combo to hide behind. The pocket is all about them fingers of his. At the end of this extravaganza Steve signs off with “Don’t Say Goodbye,” which is sparse, intimate and acoustic driven and puts a warm, simple cap on the bottle we opened about 40 minutes ago. A sweet, human touch. I had a ball sitting with Ample’tudes and am sure you will, too. TNM — Hank Moka

JAN – MAR 2020 27



"Outside the Schermerhorn, we are also playing in the community and in schools to bring our music to different venues and audiences."


are in the thick of the 2019-2020 season now at the symphony, and a lot has been happening, as always. We had a change in board leadership back in October, as Kevin Crumbo, our board chair at the time, was appointed as Metro Nashville’s new finance director in the administration of Mayor John Cooper. Crumbo decided to step down from the board, and our immediate past board chair, Dr. Mark Peacock, agreed to step in and serve out the rest of Crumbo’s term, which expires on July 31, 2020. We are grateful to Crumbo for his service, and we welcome Peacock back into his former position, which has made for a smooth transition.

Performances abound, in the hall and around town

The Schermerhorn is continually humming with a wide variety of concerts and performances. Our Classical Series has combined traditional standards with newer American music, some of which we are recording for future commercial releases. In October, we finished recording the repertoire for a CD of music by John Adams, and in November, we began recording music for a new CD featuring our fantastic organ at the Schermerhorn. Our Pops Series opened with a bang as the orchestra performed with Trisha Yearwood and several special guests. And, our new Movie Series is off to a great start with popular films like Coco and Return of the Jedi. Outside the Schermerhorn, we are also playing in the community and in schools to bring our music to different venues and audiences. So far this season, the full orchestra has performed at Plaza Mariachi in Nashville and at the Renaissance Center in Dickson. 28 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

Smaller ensembles also go out to perform in the community as well.

Educational initiatives bring NSO musicians to area schools

Among our many educational initiatives, I’d like to shine a spotlight on our long-standing program of Ensembles in the Schools, for those who may not be aware of it. This program involves several chamber ensembles traveling to area schools to perform primarily for students from pre-K through fourth grade. This program has been in operation for many decades, certainly long before I joined the orchestra, and it continues to be a popular way for our musicians to connect directly with young students. It is especially useful for those schools that cannot make the trip downtown to hear our Young Person’s Concerts at the Schermerhorn. The ensembles and programs are mutually formulated by the musicians and our education department, and there are currently seven ensembles regularly performing around Middle Tennessee this season. The ensembles include a brass quintet, a woodwind trio, a string quartet, a violin and bassoon duo, and a mixed trio — in which I play — that consists of an oboe, a viola, and a double bass. So, the students are exposed to the wide variety of instruments in the orchestra, and they get to experience them in a close setting. Throughout the roughly 45-minute performance, students learn about how the instruments work and hear a number of short pieces. They also have the opportunity to ask questions, and they always have many! Starting in the past two years, schools have had the opportunity to enroll in a residency in this program, where they receive a visit from up to five of our ensembles over

the course of one year. This provides a more immersive and complete experience of the different instruments of the orchestra, and a handful of schools have participated in this way each season. This year, five schools are in residency, and they also receive educational materials to help prepare the students for the ensemble performances. This includes a lesson plan to introduce the instruments, a playlist to familiarize them with the pieces they will hear, and access to Naxos' online music library. More recently, schools also receive social stories which are geared toward students with disabilities, and that makes them more comfortable to come experience the performance. The impact of these efforts is palpable, as we constantly receive positive feedback from the schools and many handwritten thank you notes from the kids, testifying to the excitement and enthusiasm generated by the visit. The students are genuinely inspired by the music and for many of them, it is their first ever encounter with classical music. Although the setting of these performances is more intimate, the reach of the program is quite vast and continually expanding. Last year, the program reached around 5,000 individual kids, and this season is on pace to reach thousands as well. The recent residencies have helped build longer relationships with specific schools, and the number of requests for visits from other schools has been increasing. It’s heartening to see that even in a time when music education programs have been or are being cut from public schools, there is such an eager interest in bringing musicians into the schools, so that we can share our passion for the power of music. TNM


Brubeck Brothers Quartet


Taj Mahal

Dee Dee Bridgewater Terri Lyne Carrington


ooks like we'll start the new year with a basic roundup of news. There's one major story, along with the usual lineup of events. So, let's get started.

In the schools

Perhaps the biggest news on the jazz scene this winter is the relocation of the Nashville Jazz Workshop. The organization’s many loyal fans and students will be celebrating their 20th anniversary as a nonprofit by following them to their new home at 1012 Buchanan St., a developing artsy neighborhood with some cool cafes and shops. Several designers are working on the chosen building and it promises to be a state of the art educational and performance facility. Watch for grand opening festivities this spring, and a continuation of NJW’s popular combination of classes and various musical and artistic events. The Middle Tennessee State University Jazz Artist Series continues with legendary hard bop drummer Roger Humphries (classic albums with Horace Silver and others) featured Feb. 6, and the Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival offering tenor saxist Cord Martin March 20. The virtuoso baritone saxist Gary Smulyan will appear March 21. All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. in the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus. At Blair School of Music, the jazz faculty performs in concert Jan. 21 at 8 p.m., and the Blair Big Band hits on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. As of press time, Belmont University had not posted its 2020 concert calendar.

Around town

Schermerhorn Symphony Center has several jazz events scheduled. On Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. Grammy and Tony Award winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater puts her unique spin on standards and jazz classics. This fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition will be joined by Bill Charlap, one of today’s leading jazz pianists. Together, for one very special evening, they’ll explore a wide range of material with impeccable style, skill and sensitivity. A tribute to jazz legend Nat King Cole takes place Thursday, March 16 at 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. Nat King Cole was a trailblazer in music, television and film. This celebration of his legacy will feature an all star band led by Grammy winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, along with vocalists Nikki Renée Daniels and Brandon Victor Dixon, and full orchestra, Gerald Clayton on piano, Mark Whitfield on guitar, and historic video footage. Cole's iconic hits include “Unforgettable,” “Route 66,” “Mona Lisa,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Embraceable You,” “L-O-V-E,” and more. Then on Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m. the Blakeford Jazz Series presents The Hot Sardines. Formed over a mutual love of Fats Waller, Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, the New York City group brings a contemporary flair to classic jazz. The roots of American music will be well displayed this quarter at the City Winery when Taj Mahal comes in for two shows on Friday, Jan. 31 (6:30 p.m. and 9:30 pm.). Saturday, Feb. 1 features Sarah Potenza in the lounge

at 7 p.m. and Delbert McClinton in the main room at 8 p.m. The legendary Mahal brings his traveling quartet plus the dobro/guitar duo of Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. McClinton's out-of-Texas sound is well known in Music City, while Potenza is a newer artist with two solo albums. These shows are presented by WMOT/Roots Radio. Two months later watch for one night with the New Orleans based Subdudes on Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. The Franklin Theater hosts the Brubeck Brothers Quartet on Friday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. Chris (bass, trombone, composer) and Dan (drums) Brubeck will be celebrating their legendary father Dave's centennial with stories and tunes from his long career. Expect creative renditions of classics like "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk." Remember New Age music? Pianist George Winston, a legend of the genre, takes the Theater stage on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.

On the radio

You can still hear jazz and blues on radio with the right setup. Although WMOT 89.5FM went Americana about three years ago its digital channel broadcasts pure jazz 24 hours a day. They also broadcast Steve Cushing's long running show Blues Before Sunrise from Chicago every Friday from 12 midnight to 5 a.m. You can also listen to their jazz channel via streaming audio by going to www.wmot. org. Click on the arrow to go to channel 2. In case anyone misses the popular JAZZ On The SIDE show, it can still be heard on the internet via streaming audio from University of Memphis radio station WUMR The Jazz Lover. Go to wumr. The show plays Sundays at 9 a.m. and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. See you out there.


JAN – MAR 2020 29


Donald “Donnie” Fritts, songwriter, actor, and longtime keyboardist for Kris Kristofferson, died Aug. 27, 2019. He was 76, and a life member of the Nashville Musicians Association who joined the local Aug. 18, 1970.

Donald “Donnie” Fritts Nov. 8, 1942 – Aug. 27, 2019


ritts was born Nov. 8, 1942 in Florence, Alabama, to Huey and Helen Brown Fritts. His father was a building contractor who played guitar and bass in a local swing band on the weekends, and his mother was a homemaker. At 15 Fritts started playing drums, and performed with rock & roll bands in high school. He played with his future cowriter Dan Penn in the band Mark Vs and the Pallbearers. Fritts later became a session keyboard player, first recording in a space above the City Drug Store in Florence. He worked with many locals in the music community including Rick Hall, David Hood, and David Briggs, and cowrote his first hit with Tommy Roe, “Sorry I’m Late, Lisa.” In 1965 Fritts signed with Raleigh Music, a Nashville publishing company owned by Shelby Singleton. He later wrote for Screen Gems and then EMI. During the decade he wrote or cowrote songs for Dusty Springfield (“Breakfast in Bed”), Arthur Alexander (“Rainbow Road”) and the Box Tops (“Choo Choo Train”). Fritts and his wife moved to Nashville briefly for a few months in 1968 but then returned to Alabama. They moved back to Nashville in 1970 and lived here for 12 years. After his arrival he started working with Kristofferson and became a 30 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN

writer for Fred Foster’s Combine Music, which also had Kristofferson on its roster. In addition to playing with Kristofferson, he continued to have writing success, including a Top 40 hit for Waylon Jennings with “We Had It All,” which was also recorded by several other artists including Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, and the Rolling Stones. “You’re Gonna Love Yourself In the Morning” was a Top 40 hit for Roy Clark in 1975. Over his writing career Fritts had cuts by Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Plant, John Prine, and Sheryl Crow. In 1974 Kristofferson and Jerry Wexler coproduced Fritt’s solo record Prone To Lean. His second album, Everybody’s Got A Song, was released in 1998. One Foot in the Groove followed in 2008, produced by Dan Penn with Ron Laury. Fellow North Alabaman Jason Isbell commented on Fritts’ passing: “Donnie Fritts was a legend back home, and a guide for many of us when we started writing and making music. I met Prine while working on Donnie’s album, and when I met Kristofferson and Willie all I had to say was ‘I’m a friend of Donnie Fritts.’ Very proud to be able to say that.” Fritts had roles in a number of films

Donnie Fritts and John Prine

including three for Sam Peckinpah: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and Convoy. He also appeared in the 1976 version of A Star Is Born and the 2012 film Jayne Mansfield’s Car. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2008. In addition to his parents, Fritts was preceded in death by one brother, Luther “Wayne” Fritts. Survivors include his wife, Donna Fritts; one aunt, Robbie Fritts Smith; three nephews; and several cousins. A musical celebration of his life was held Oct. 3 at Norton Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Alabama. Donations can be made to Donnie Fritts Memorial Fund at P.O. Box 3214, Florence, AL 35630.


Richard “Sonny” Curtis Oct. 22, 1935 – Oct. 11, 2019

Richard "Sonny" Curtis

Steel guitarist Richard “Sonny” Curtis, 83, died Oct. 11, 2019. He was a life member of the Nashville Musicians Association who joined Local 257 Jan. 17, 1975. Curtis was born Oct. 22, 1935 in Chillicothe, Ohio. He said in an interview that he initially didn’t like the sound of the steel guitar, until he saw it played live at local venues. His interest in the instrument continued to grow, and he asked for one of his own for a graduation gift. "I was fascinated by the use of the bar, the fact that the instrument wasn't fretted, and the player's ability to make the proper notes by positioning the bar." The young musician took a few lessons but ultimately taught himself how to play, looking to emulate the “Nashville Sound,” according to his website. "When Bud Isaacs came along with pedals, I really dug that sound," Curtis said. "Then I heard Buddy Emmons and he became my all time idol." He practiced at first without an amp. "I used to wait until everyone went to bed and I would practice in my bedroom. The house was quiet enough for me to hear the guitar sounds. I didn't have anyone to help me so I set up the guitar and put the tuning on it that later turned out to be inverted to the way everyone else plays. Roger Blevins, who then played for Dusty Owens on the Wheeling Jamboree, was the first person to tell me I was playing backwards,” Curtis said. Curtis played locally at clubs and other venues, where he worked with Bobby Bare and other artists, and eventually came to the attention of George Jones, who hired Curtis in 1964 for his touring band. His first gig with The Jones Boys was performing on an ABC show in New York City featuring Jimmy Dean. Curtis played with Jones and Tammy Wynette when the two artists were married and touring together, and then

continued to work with Wynette after her marriage to Jones ended in 1975. During his time with the two legends, Curtis played in all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. Performances included Carnegie Hall and the White House. He had the opportunity to back up many other artists that appeared with Jones and Wynette, including Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, Minnie Pearl, Roy Clark and Jean Shepherd. His work included dozens of television appearances including the Grand Ole Opry, Phil Donahue, Joey Bishop, and 60 Minutes. Curtis played on dozens of Jones’ 1960s records, and released his own album in 2002, titled Reflections. Survivors include his wife, Barbara Stout Curtis.

Daniel P. Pratt April 25, 1940 – Oct. 30, 2019

Daniel P. Pratt

Daniel P. Pratt, 79, died Oct. 30, 2019. He was an accordion player who joined Local 257 Aug. 14, 2000. He was born April 25, 1940, in San Diego, California, to Charlie Warren and Marie Pratt. Pratt performed locally at the Grand Ole Hatchery, in Dixon, Tennessee. He was a ham radio operator, and a member of the National Association of Amateur Radio. Pratt was also a member of the Camden Church of Christ. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte. Survivors include one daughter, Tish Barnes; one son, Stan Pratt; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Nov. 5 at Plunk Funeral Home; burial followed in Eastcontinued on page 32 view Cemetery. JAN – MAR 2020 31


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Dillard Montgomery

Dillard Montgomery (l) with former staffer Rachel Lovett

Jan. 1, 1936 – Sept. 4, 2019 Nashville Musicians Association life member Dillard Montgomery, 83, died Sept. 4, 2019. He was a keyboardist and educator who joined Local 257 July 3, 1972. Montgomery was born Jan. 1, 1936, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mary Joyce Montgomery. He served in the United States Air Force from 1955-58, and afterwards received his Bachelor of Science degree (1962) and his Master of Arts degree (1968) from Tennessee State University. In 1962 he started teaching and directing band in Nashville Metropolitan schools, where he would work until his retirement in 1974. Montgomery was assistant principal for Washington Bass Middle School, 1984-1993, and principal from 1993-1994. Karen Hester, one of his former students, remarked on his passing. “I will never forget Mr. Montgomery. I was extremely shy and was put into band class in seventh grade. He had each of us take a test, and once he went through all of them, he called my name. I thought I was in

trouble, but he said I was the one who scored the highest on it. He always encouraged me and took the time to make each and every one of us feel special about ourselves. I will never forget him," Hester said. Montgomery played with The New Imperials beginning in 1962. He was a close friend of the late sax player (and fellow teacher) John Green, with whom he performed for over 40 years. In 1965 he married Joyce Helena Beale. Montgomery was also choir director at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Nashville beginning in 1958, Dixon Memorial United Methodist Church from 1970-1971, and Braden United Methodist Church from 1985-2002. He also worked as a professional model with the Hurd Agency, beginning in 1999. Montgomery was a member of the National Education Association, Tennessee Education Association, Metropolitan Nashville Education Association, Tennessee State University Alumni Association (life), and Alpha Phi Alpha (life). Survivors include his wife, Joyce; and one daughter, Lisa. An Omega service was held Sept. 11 with Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Incorporated Tau Lambda Chapter. The service was followed by a celebration of life at John Wesley United Methodist Church with the Reverend Daniel M. Hayes, Sr., officiating.

Dr. Martin Katahn Sept. 25, 1928 – Sept. 17, 2019 Dr. Martin "Dick" Katahn, 90, author of The Rotation Diet, retired Vanderbilt professor emeritus, and 56-year member of the Nashville Musicians Association, died Sept. 17, 2019. He was a violinist who joined Local 257 June 5, 1963.


The officers, staff and members of Local 257 extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of our members who have recently passed away. You are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers. Name




Richard F Curtis





Wade Jackson





Daniel P Pratt




Carl E Thomason, Jr.





Life Member


Dr. Martin Katahn

Katahn was born Sept. 25, 1928 in Utica, New York, and began performing when he was 12. He enrolled in Julliard after high school — while there he organized the Degan String Quartet, which toured the area for several years. In 1952 Katahn married pianist Enid Miller, and the couple moved to Hartford, Connecticut to teach at Hartt College. Following a move back to Utica to tend to Katahn’s father, he decided to study psychology, and enrolled at Syracuse University, where he earned both a master of arts and doctorate of psychology degree. He joined Vanderbilt as an assistant psychology professor in 1962; his wife Enid became a faculty member at the Blair School of Music. He still also pursued his musical career, using a rare, 17th century violin made by Nicolo Amati on his frequent session calls. Katahn had traded a Muntz Stradivarius he had purchased in Europe for the Amati, which he said he much preferred. He worked with a number of artists including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson, Don Williams, Hank Snow, Ray Stevens, Waylon Jennings, Brenda Lee, and Elvis Presley. Woodwind player and professor emeritus Johnny Duke commented on Katahn's passing. "When we lost Dick Katahn, we lost not only a great violinist, but a true Renaissance Man. He was creator of some of America's first important diet books in The Rotation Diet and the T- Factor Diet and a nationally-known Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. I met Dick on recording sessions for people like Elvis and Johnny Cash. Having read and tried his diet books, I was in awe of the man from our first meeting. I remember well his sense of humor and friendliness. I also was acquainted with his strikingly beautiful wife, Enid, who was a exceptionally talented piano

MEMBER STATUS artist who taught piano at George Peabody College when I attended. My condolences to Enid and her family. Rest in peace, Dick." Katahn said his research-based interest in obesity was partly motivated by his own efforts to slim down. His first book on weight management, The Two Hundred Calorie Solution: How to Burn an Extra Two Hundred Calories and Stop Dieting, was published in 1982. Four years later The Rotation Diet, which offered daily calorie-intake schedules for a period of three weeks, followed by a “maintenance” week, became a New York Times bestseller. The book sold over a million copies and was translated into several languages. Katahn authored and co-authored numerous other publications on dieting and weight loss, including The T-Factor Diet and The Cancer Prevention Good Health Diet: A Complete Program for a Longer, Healthier Life. “Dick had the wonderful ability to think outside of the box, presenting complex scientific research in a way that the public could understand,” said Jamie Pope, a nutritionist and faculty member who collaborated with Katahn on several books. “As a psychologist, Dick was brilliant. He was a voracious reviewer of many scholarly studies, staying abreast of health related research. But he was also passionate about communicating what was important. He was influential in the careers of many in his field and it was an honor to work with him.” Katahn’s professional memberships included the American Psychological Association, the Tennessee Psychological Association and the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Katahn became professor of psychology, emeritus, in 1991. Katahn and his wife have been generous supporters of the Blair School. They established the Enid Miller Katahn Piano Scholarship and they donated the treasured Amati violin that Dick played for performances, session work and “Nashville Sound” recordings. During retirement Katahn became an avid enthusiast of chess — a game he had never before played — and an advocate for its educational benefits for young people. He had a leading role in the founding of the Nashville Chess Center, donating the building and property to the Foundation for Tennessee Chess. Survivors include his wife Enid; one son, David Katahn; and one daughter, Reyna TNM Lorele Katahn.


William Paul Ackerman, III

Gunnar Nelson

Anita M Anderson

Justin W Niebank

Travis Leon Anderson

Marshall Richardson

Michael T Baker

Sam Quentin Ritchie

Patricia Diane Berry

Scott Sims Saunders

Joy Black

Susan Beth Shann

Bari Brooks

James Richard Shipp

Jon-Paul Bruno

Gary M Siperko

Kevin S Caddigan

Jed Michael Smith

Tatiana Maria Cameron

Johna Bradley Smith

David V Challenger

Phillip David Sterk

Nash Chambers

Gregory Robert Thiel

Christine V Comer

Ian Lars Thorson

Peter B Cornell

Pamela Y Tillis

Stephen John Dawson

Wilton A Treadway

Thomas Anthony Delrossi

Jonathan Tuckness

Stephen Dorff

William Michael Wescott

Marc Alan Earp Tracy Bunting Ellis


Jeanne F Fitzpatrick

Richard Allen Boyer

Camille P French

Eugene A Bush, Jr

Stuart N French

James Terry Crisp

Ronnie Godfrey

Dina M Johnson

Stephie Goings

Stephen Lewis

Gary Gold

Herb Shucher

Benjamin Matthew Hall Jeffrey David Hawkins Kristen Sofia Janelle Matt Koei Jefferson Courtney Jimel Johnson Katherine M Kohler Gabe Lamog Edward Lloyd Lange David D Langley Nathaniel Payne Lewin Crystal Dawn Lynn Jim W McClard Sasha Elizabeth McVeigh Eugene Moles Jr. Brandon Moore Joshua Moore

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DO NOT WORK FOR The “Do Not Work For” list exists to warn our members, other musicians and the general public about employers who, according to our records, owe players money and/or pension, have failed to sign the appropriate AFM signatory documents required to make the appropriate pension contribution, or are soliciting union members to do non-union work. When you work without the protection of an AFM contract, you are being denied all of your intellectual property rights, as well as pension and health care contributions. TOP OFFENDERS LIST Nashville Music Scoring/Alan Umstead - solicitation and contracting non-union scoring sessions for TV, film and video games. Musicians who work for them are being denied appropriate wages and all intellectual property rights. Electronic Arts/Steve Schnur - commissioning and promoting non-union videogame sessions and exploiting musicians' intellectual property for his own gain. These are employers who owe musicians money and have thus far refused to fulfill their contractual and ethical obligations to Local 257 musicians. Terry K. Johnson/ 1720 Entertainment (unpaid contracts/unauthorized sales - Jamie O’Neal project) Ed Sampson (producer) & Patrick Sampson (artist) (multiple unpaid contracts/unauthorized sales) Revelator/Gregg Brown (multiple bounced checks/unpaid contracts) Beautiful Monkey/JAB Country/Josh Gracin Eric Legg & Tracey Legg (multiple unpaid contracts) Ray Vega/Casa Vega Quarterback/G Force/Doug Anderson Rust Records/Ken Cooper (unpaid contracts and pension) HonkyTone Records – Debbie Randle (multiple unpaid contracts/pension) Jeanette Porrazzo UNPAID CONTRACTS AND PENSION Knight Brothers/Harold, Dean, Danny & Curtis Knight River County Band/SVC Entertainment (unpaid demo conversion/pension)

Next General Membership Meeting 2 p.m. Monday, March 2, 2020



UNPAID PENSION ONLY Comsource Media/Tommy Holland Conchita Leeflang/Chris Sevier Ricky D. Cook FJH Enterprises Matthew Flinchum dba Resilient Jeffrey Green/Cahernzcole House Randy Hatchett Missionary Music Jason Morales (pension/demo signature) OTB Publishing (pension/demo signature) Tebey Ottoh Ride N High Records Jason Sturgeon Music AFM NON-SIGNATORY PHONO LIST We do not have signatory paperwork from the following employers — pension may have been paid in some cases, but cannot be credited to the proper musicians without a signatory agreement in place. If you can provide us with current contact info for these people, we will make sure you get your proper pension contribution for your work. 604 Records Heaven Productions Stonebridge Station Entertainment The Collective TNM

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