Country's Family Reunion News, February 2020

Page 1


Crossover Star Dwight Yoakam

Homes of the Legends Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash The OTHER Songwriters’ Venue Douglas Corner Cafe


ON THE COVER: Ray Stevens CabaRay in Nashville, where Larry’s Country Diner will start filming a new season in March. New shows will be filmed twice a month thru September.

Country Road NEWS ! Vol. 9 ! No. 2

Homes of the Legends


Rory Feek films new show


Larry’s Country Diner filming


Reno show on RFD hiatus


Singer Songwriters


Country Music Q & A

Trending on Social Media...


Areeda’s Southern Cooking 11 Country Music Tourism


Radio & Records


The Crossovers


Something About That Song 18 Diner Chat


Douglas Corner Cafe


Barnes, Wiliams & Yates


Memories of Music Row


published monthly by Country Road Management P.O. Box 210709 Nashville, TN 37221 Larry Black, Publisher Paula Underwood Winters Editor, Layout & Design Claudia Johnson: Contributing Writer Subscriptions: $29.95 yearly Renewals: $24.95 yearly To subscribe or renew: 1-800-820-5405 P.O. Box 610, Price, UT 84501

During his set on the Grand Ole Opry on January 17, Gene Watson was surprised by Vince Gill with an invitation to join the esteemed club. “He's one of the greatest country singers that's walked the earth,” said Vince. Many were surprised to learn Gene Watson wasn’t already a member!

Homes of the Legends Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash This sweetheart couple died within months of each other and their home ended up in ashes. June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003 after undergoing surgery to replace a heart valve on May 7th. She was 73. Johnny Cash died just a few months later on September 12. He was 71. Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure. Many believed he died from a broken heart after his beloved wife died.

Their love story started on June 1968 when he proposed on stage in front of 7,000 people. They were married for 35 years and lived in this beautiful 13,800-square-foot home on 4.5-acres that ran along Old Hickory Lake. 200 Caudill Drive Hendersonville, TN. The lake house had a solid rock foundation with an outdoor swimming pool, a bell garden, four 35 foot round rooms, seven bedrooms, and five full bathrooms with a tree that has Cash’s face craved into it. The couple wrote songs, raised their family and entertained guests. Kris Kristofferson once landed his helicopter on their lawn to deliver a song by hand!!! After their deaths the property was sold to Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees who wanted to remodel and restore it and continue the musical legacy. Unfortunately during the renovations in 2007 the home caught fire and most of the

home was destroyed. The guardhouse remains as you look behind to see very few structures that survived. A onebedroom one-bath apartment survived that June used as a wardrobe cottage and the swimming pool. Down the lower driveway is an open cement slab where the house once stood. You can still see a parcial fireplace that was seen in Cash’s video “Hurt.” The orchard next door that was Roy Orbison former home is still in tack. Johnny purchased it in 1968 after Orbison’s home burned losing two of his three sons. Johnny promised, “Only good shall grow on this land.” The Cash family planted fruit trees and turned it into a memorial grove. What will come of the Cash property? It was sold to a developer but it remains as is. So stay tuned.

Rory Feek starts f ilming new show at Marcy JoÊs Muletown in Columbia, TN Rory Feek’s Muletown in the Round was filmed a pilot and first couple episodes of this new TV series for RFD-TV on January 11 at Marcy Jo's Muletown. Was such a special night of music with songwriters Paul Overstreet Music, Wynn Varble (The Official Page) Brandon Kinney, and Danny Green. Special thanks to LilDRAGON, Daniel Grace, Aaron Carnahan, Heather Huston, and the rest of the team for making it happen.

Above: Paul Overstreet (center) keeps the round moving smoothly. Marcy Jo’s Muletown is one block off the square in Columbia, TN.

Taping Begins In March 2020 A new season of taping for Larry’s Country Diner starts March 11, 2020 at Ray Stevens CabaRay in Nashville, TN. These tapings will be twice a month (with each taping featuirng two shows) and continue through September. July will only have one taping due to Independence Day. The entertainers for the first show on March 11 will be Joe Mullins and Radio Ramblers and then a new trio of Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakefield and Casey Everett James. JOE MULLINS & THE RADIO RAMBLERS bring their popular and growing brand of Bluegrass music to Billy Blue Records with For The Record, a twelve (12) song debut release on the young label. Lead by banjo playing Bluegrass veteran Joe Mullins, the band includes a plethora of instrumental and vocal talent with Jason Barie on fiddle, Mike Terry on mandolin and vocals, Adam McIntosh on guitar and vocals, and Randy Barnes on upright bass and vocals. They are true industry and fan favorites, having garnered multiple IBMA (8) and SPBGMA (4) Awards, including the 2019 IBMA Award for Entertainer of the Year and Collaborative Recording for "The Guitar Song, as well as the 2018 IBMA Award for “Song Of The Year” (“If I’d Have Wrote That Song”). From the hard-driving “That Old Wheel” and the fun, upbeat “Bacon In My Beans,” to the

emotional “A Folded Flag” and beautifully arranged soulful vocals of “I Want To Know More,” every track on this new project is strong evidence that Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers are at the top of their game. A duet between band leader Joe Mullins and legendary Grand Ole Opry member, Del McCoury, "The Guitar Song" was co-written by another legend, Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson, with award-winning songwriters, Jamey Johnson and Vickie MCGeehee. Joe Mullins' cleverly arranged version of the song is a conversation between two pawn shop Instruments, a guitar and a banjo, hanging side-by-side on a store wall. The guitar (McCoury) and banjo (Mullins) discuss their respective Bluegrass histories in the hands of some of the genre's greatest pickers and singers. Having gained the reputation as a band who always chooses great songs for their projects, the recognizable sound of Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, with their rich vocals, have exceeded that reputation delivering another collection of wonderfully wellwritten songs arranged and recorded in their own style that is sure to continue to grow their fan base. Craig Wayne Boyd moved to at the age of 25 in 2004 to pursue a career in . Boyd was signed to a publishing deal with EMI. He spent many years songwriting. Boyd began touring, opening for acts such as Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and Brantley Gilbert. On September 30, 2014, Boyd debuted on of The Voice . During his Blind Audition, Boyd sang "The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’" by Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart. Boyd was declared the winner on December 16, 2014, giving 's team its fourth win out of the seven Seasons.

Shortly after winning the show and signing with Universal Republic and Dot Records, Boyd played at the Grand Ole Opry and went on a 65 city tour. His debut album is to be released sometime in 2015. In early May 2015, following 6 weeks of rumors, it was reported that Boyd parted ways with Dot. He tweeted that "it's called I ASK off of the label....". Boyd released one single under Dot records "My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face", which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs before falling off that chart with a 94% drop in sales the next week.. His second single "I'm Still Here" was released to iTunes under his own imprint - Long Haul Records. The song peaked at #35 on the Billboard Digital charts. Craig Wayne Boyd signed a new record deal with Copperline Music Group in 2017. The singer is collaborating with Reviver Entertainment Group for radio promotion and BDG/RED for distribution. Top Shelf was released on October 27 via the Copperline Music Group. Adam Wakefield grew up in New Hampshire, He didn’t plan on becoming a singer, instead he wanted to be a musician. He began to play piano when he was younger and rather than choosing the classical route, he opted for jazz. After playing jazz for about a year, he decided to join his brother in Baltimore and put together a band. Adam has been influenced by an eclectic group of artists from Stevie Wonder to John Prine to Willie Nelson and he eventually ended up in Nashville. He put together a bluegrass band, started playing around town, and occasionally went out on the road with artists. While playing a gig downtown one night, somebody from NBC’s The Voice approached him and asked him to

audition for the show. The audition led to a successful run, and his newfound name recognition was the catalyst for him to pursue a solo career. , and is currently working on a Singer/Songwriter project set for release in 2018. Casey Everett James was born on May 31, 1982 in . He started playing the guitar at 13 and within a year was playing on stage. James has played acoustic sets with his mother, and blues with his older brother. He has also played with country and rock bands. At the age of

21, he was in a serious motorcycle accident that nearly ended his life. He was told by his doctor that he would no longer be able to play guitar, which proved untrue. James was a contestant on during its ninth season. He made it to the Top 3 before being eliminated on May 19, 2010. James had tried out for and been selected to compete in the ninth season of Idol in 2009 in spite of the fact that he had never seen the show. He was the oldest contestant to be selected for the

Top 24 of the ninth season at the age of 27. James was voted off of the competition on May 19, 2010, and finished in third place. During the finale of American Idol, he performed a duet of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn� with Bret Michaels, USA Music critic Brian Mansfield suggested that James was "the best guitar player the show [American Idol] has seen." Before he was on American Idol, he played with his band, The Casey James Band, consisting of James, his brother, Billy Cole (bass), and Jacy McCann (drums). They recorded four songs, including the first song that James ever wrote, "Freezing," back in 2002. James cites blues guitarist as a major musical influence and whom he would most like to perform with in his Idol Q&A. Another major influence is Stevie Ray Vaughan; James named Vaughan's In The Beginning (1992) as a formative album in his early years. Other influences cited in the article are southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pearl Jam . Tickets will be on sale soon at, 615-3274630.

Reno's Old Time Music on Hiatus with RFD-TV following Decade-Long Partnership "Reno's Old Time Music," the nationally-syndicated, Cable Ace- nominated, award-winning show featuring the best of acoustic, bluegrass and old time music, is deeply saddened to announce that, after a decade-long carriage partnership with RFD-TV, it has gone on hiatus and is no longer airing on the network. "It has been a great run," states Ronnie Reno, bluegrass legend, host, and executive producer, who founded the show 25 years ago. "We aired for nearly 15 years on another network, but Patrick [Gottsch] at RFD-TV offered us a much bigger platform, more than doubling our reach from 28 million homes to well over 50 million." "Think about that," he continues, "he gave a niche music market like mine (bluegrass and acoustic music) a Saturday night, prime time slot on his network. Who does that??!! Because of this, and over these past 10 years, we're proven there is, indeed, a hunger for bluegrass programming-we grew our fan base to well over a million devoted viewers and were able to showcase some of the biggest artists and hottest newcomers in our genre. We will always be extremely grateful to the network for all they have done and for the opportunities they provided to us."

"The hiatus comes as a result of some changing times. After fifty years of touring, I decided to retire from the road and additionally wanted to take a well-needed break to spend time with my wife and family...and that had us reevaluating a lot of things," says the affable host. As for the future of the show, Reno is not eliminating any possibilities on RFD-TV, or any other network. "We still might do a few specials and homecoming shows, or we might do a whole new season of shows--it really depends on the circumstances," he explains. "Things could literally change in a New York minute--that's the nature of this business...though its going to be a bit quiet around here for a while," chuckles Reno, whose show has been in national syndication for 25 years, earning him the nickname has "The Dick Clark of Bluegrass." Though Clark's years as a national music TV show host far outnumber Reno's 25years tenure, his longstanding record of hosting his own show exceeds that of Don Cornelius ("Soul Train" from 1971-'93), Porter Wagoner ("The Porter Wagoner Show" from 1960'79), and Ralph Emery (who worked on television a total of 16 years on television, serving from 1974-'80 as host of "Pop Goes the Country and from

1983 -'93 as host of "Nashville Now"). Fans who love the show can still catch fan-favorite episodes via streaming technology. Last year, "Reno's Old Time Music" partnered with to make the show available on-demand and on any device for a small monthly fee. Reno fans can enter the code RENO in the discount code box to receive an exclusive, FREE 30-day trial. For more information, or to sign up for the service, please visit .

Straight’s No. 1 Hit Captured Hope of Eternal Love /By Claudia Johnson With Valentine’s Day this month, no doubt there’ll be a multitude of love songs in the air. One of the most enduring of all Country love songs, “I Cross My Heart,” has been a wedding favorite since its release in 1992, but the song was written years before George Straight’s voice made it a No. 1 single. Songwriters Steve Dorff and Eric Kaz penned the heartfelt tune in about an hour, but nearly a decade passed before it was selected for the soundtrack of the movie, “Pure Country,” as well as

Dorff being included on Straight’s album of the same title. The song was Kaz pitched to several performers across the spectrum of musical genres. It seemed perfect as a Rhythm and Blues number but garnered no real interest among R&B performers. Stage, concert and screen icon Bette Midler recorded it, but as Kaz recalled in a 2019 interview with the Tennessean newspaper, neither she nor the songwriters felt it was right for her voice and style. Her version was never released. The lyrics of “I Cross My Heart” capture the passion of romantic love and the commitment necessary to make it last. The title, “I Cross My Heart,” is from a familiar phrase, “cross my heart and hope to die,” that expresses the lifeand-death seriousness of a promise. “I cross my heart and promise to give all I’ve got to give to make all your dreams come true,” Straight sings, and nobody can doubt he means it when he says, “In all the world you’ll never find

a love as true as mine.” Straight sang “I Cross My Heart” at the end of the “Pure Country” movie. As the movie’s star, Straight played Dusty Chandler, a huge musical star who was disillusioned with the hollow performances and overly produced arena shows he was contractually obligated to play. When he walks away from the spotlight and returns to his hometown, he becomes involved with Harley, the daughter of the rancher for whom he is working. After being separated due to a series of mishaps, Dusty and Harley are reunited at his concert. Dusty wins Harley’s heart for good when he sits on the edge of his concert stage and plays an acoustic version of a love song he’s composed just for her. The song says that their love is unconditional, that they both knew it when they met. “I see it in your eyes, you can feel it from my heart,” he sings, assuring her, “You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete, and as long as there’s a breath in me, I’ll make yours just as sweet.” Acknowledging, to paraphrase

Shakespeare, that the course of true love does not always run smoothly, he adds one more promise. “And if along the way we find a day it starts to storm, you’ve got the promise of my love to keep you warm,” he says. The movie was honored in 1992 with the Academy of Country Music’s Tex Ritter Award, named for America’s most beloved cowboy and Country Music Hall of Fame member Tex Ritter. The award is presented to a movie that features or utilizes Country music that was released or gained exposure during the preceding calendar year. While “Pure Country” only netted a $5 million return and was not considered a box office success, it’s often included among the list of romantic favorites. The soundtrack was, however, a critical and financial success, reaching No.1 in both the United States and Canada and selling more than six million copies. It remains Straight’s bestselling album. Since it became available for download, it’s also sold almost a million digital copies.

The music video for “I Cross My Heart” was compiled from “Pure Country” movie scenes as was the video for another No. 1 song from the movie soundtrack, “Heartland.” Both videos are available for viewing on YouTube. As Country music-loving couples prepare for a romantic February date or an unforgettable June wedding, “I Cross My Heart” is sure to be on the playlist, providing for yet another generation, a soundtrack for a lifetime filled with hope and unconditional love.

Q: Do all three of Merle Haggard’s boys have the same mother? A: Actually, Merle was married five times. Leona Hobbs: (1956-1964) Merle married Leona Hobbs at the age of 19. They stayed together for eight years and had four children: Dana, Marty, Kelly, and Noel. He had been in some trouble with the law and wasn’t a country singer yet. Soon he started singing in bars and scored his first hit “Sing a Sad Song.” Bonnie Owens: (19651978) He married Bonnie Owens, who was recently divorced from fellow country singer , next. She eventually became one of Haggard’s backup singers. During this time, he started showing interest in Leona Williams, and he went back and forth between the two women.

Leona Williams: (1978-1983) Haggard and Williams got married in October 1978, following his divorce earlier in the year. The couple started touring for their separate shows, but Haggard and Owens started having an affair (she was his ex and his backup singer). Owens had been singing with him for most of his 19year career at the time. Debbie Parret: (1985-1991) Haggard married Debbie Parret and is credited with co-writing his song “Thank You For Keeping My House,” which was on his Chill Factor album. Theresa Ann Lane: (1993-2016) Lane’s mother convinced her daughter to see Haggard perform. Initially, Lane was going back to Haggard’s guitarist Clint Strong’s room. However, Merle had eyes for her and asked his guitarist to go to the bus to get a guitar, and when Clint came back, Haggard wouldn’t let him back into the room. At the time of their marriage, she was in her 30’s and he was in his 50’s.They later had two children, Jenessa and Ben. His marriage to

Merle’s sons Ben, Noel and Marty on the Country’s Family Reunion Tribute to Merle Haggard show.

Theresa was his longest marriage (23 years). Merle passed away on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, due to complications from pneumonia. Q: Was Porter Wagoner ever married? He never mentioned a wife. A: Porter was married twice. His first wife, Velma was his wife for less than a year. He then married Ruth Olive Williams in 1946. They had three children, Richard, Denise and Debra. The couple separated in 1965 amid claims that her jealousy almost cost him his career. They finally divorced in 1986 twhere he claimed he had not unfaithful to her during the 20 years they were living together.

Both of these questions were from Helen Perkins of Hannibal, MO. If you have questions, please send them to Paula, CFR NEWS, P.O. Box 310709 or paulaunderwoodwinters@gmail. com

By Areeda Schneider Stampley

A beautiful and delicious cake for a special Valentine’s Day! Classic Red Velvet Cake 2 ½ cups all-purpose flou 1 tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 4 tablespoons cocoa ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened ½ cup Crisco shortening 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 tsp red food coloring Combine flour, soda, salt, and cocoa. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, shortening and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Add vanilla and food coloring. Blend well. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tooth pick or pastry stick stuck in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Prepare frosting.

Frosting: 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened 1 stick of butter, softened 4 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Cream together cheese and butter, then work in the sugar. Add vanilla. Note: this frosting is very good on homemade cinnamon rolls.

…. this and other delicious recipes can be found in “Areeda’s Southern Cooking, a collection of old-fashioned recipes” at or Areeda’s Southern Cooking, P. O. Box 202, Brentwood, TN 37024 or

Country Music Tourism Around The Country

Historic Sites Offer Immersion into Patsy Cline’s Short Life By Benjamin Johnson For many, Patsy Cline is considered the most iconic female artist of all time. Though her life was short-lived, the sound of her voice and name alone resonate with generations of country music fans. For those seeking a deeper understanding of the life and career of this incredible woman, The Patsy Cline Museum and the Patsy Cline Dream Home in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the Patsy Cline Historic House in Winchester, Virginia, provide experiences sure to captivate the Country music connoisseur and die-hard Patsy Cline fans. The Patsy Cline Historic House Cline was born in 1932 to a workingclass family in Winchester, Virginia, as Virginia Patterson Hensley. Her mother was only 16 when she was born, and the two developed a very close relationship. Cline’s mother was later quoted saying they “were more like sisters than parent and child.” The Patsy Cline Historic House at 608 S. Kent Street in Winchester, Virginia, is a 1,000-square-foot cottage that Cline occupied during her early years before her commercial success. She, her two siblings and her mother moved into this house when Cline was 16, and she remained there until her first marriage at 21. Though not her birthplace or even final residence, Cline always thought of this house as her home and lived here longer than she did any other location. It has been restored to the 1948-1953 era to reflect the years of her residency. Visitors of the Patsy Cline Historic House will gain insight into the life of Cline as a working-class girl with only dreams of a musical career. This house is on both the National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Registry and is just a few miles from Cline’s burial site in Shenandoah Memorial Park. Hours of operation for the museum house are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4

p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and free for active military. Curbside street parking is available. For concerns about visitors with special needs or any other questions about visitation call (540) 662-5555. Airbnb Dream Home Cline began showing interest in music as an early teenager, singing in the church choir with her mother and teaching herself to play the piano. At 15, she was performing on the radio and for live audiences. By 1955 she had some marginal success in recording her first album, “Patsy Cline,” performing on the television show “Town and Country Time” and even made an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Her debut album did not yield real commercial success, and although she was offered a job by Roy Acuff at age 16, in the mid- to late- 1950s, she continued to live in Virginia and perform regionally while working toward her breakthrough as a solo artist. In 1957 on “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” show, Cline performed what would become her first hit, “Walkin’ After Midnight.” Audiences were enamored and the song was recorded and hit the top of the charts, leading to several Grand Ole Opry appearances and mainstream attention. Cline moved to Nashville, signed a record deal and became a member of the Opry. In the final years of her life, Cline saw success with songs such as “Crazy” and “She’s Got You” on both country and pop charts, won numerous awards and performed on television and stage with some of the biggest acts of the time. Cline died in a plane crash in 1963 just six months shy of her 31st birthday. The final home in which the first female Country Music Hall of Fame inductee lived in Tennessee may be rented through Airbnb by searching the phrase “Patsy Cline Dream Home.” This home was depicted in the 2019 movie, “Patsy and Loretta” on Lifetime TV. While staying there, visitors can sit on the same steps that Loretta Lynn did when she wrote “This Haunted House” in the immediate aftermath of Cline’s death. Four guests can stay in the retro-restored space that's set up with two full-sized beds, a bathroom, kitchen, laundry and sitting area. There's a screened patio, covered

parking and a private entrance with keypad access. Nashville’s Metro Historical Commission honored the house by erecting an historic marker on the lawn in 2019. Patsy Cline Museum Nashville’s Patsy Cline Museum is a 4,000-square-foot space in downtown Nashville above the Johnny Cash Museum and is in close proximity to many popular Nashville destinations such as Lower Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium and Musicians Hall of Fame Museum. Opened in 2017, this location is an easy stop to round out the full Music City experience. This exhibit is a curation of many of Cline’s personal possessions including clothing, costumes, jewelry, instruments, awards and personal keepsakes. There are also a number of replica scenes filled in with Cline’s personal belongings. Interactive stations allow visitors to read copies of entire hand-written letters and watch never-before-seen live performances. The exhibition is arranged so the goer expe-

riences the progression of her life chronologically. The Patsy Cline Museum is at 119 3rd Avenue S., in Nashville and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The entire museum is wheelchair accessible. The museum office can be reached by phone at (615) 454-4722. Adult admission is $18.95 with discounts available for military, students, seniors and AAA. Children ages 615 can enjoy the museum for $14.95, and for children 5 and under, admission is free. Any further questions can be answered by visiting the website

Radio and Records, Star-Making Combination

Bob Kingsley Counted Down Country’s Top Songs for 40 Years By Claudia Johnson Country music disc jockeys can have tremendous influence over whether a song or a recording artist achieves success. This was especially true in the early years of radio. Conversely, hit Country music songs have enabled some radio disc jockeys to gain national or even international recognition. One of these was Country radio producer Bob Kingsley, who was associated with the long-running syndicated radio program, “American Country Countdown (ACC)” and “Bob Kingsley’s Top 40.” ACC was launched by Casey Kasem and Don Bustany in 1973 as a spinoff of their Pop music countdown, “American Top 40,” that began airing in 1970. Singer Don Bowman was tapped to host “American Country Countdown,” which originally aired for three hours as it counted down the Top 40 Country songs of the previous week from No. 40 to No. 1. Using the Hot Country Singles Chart, Billboard magazine provided information for the weekly countdown. Billboard began compiling the popularity of Country songs with its Jan. 8, 1944, issue. At that time only the genre's most popular jukebox selections were tabulated, with the chart titled "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records." Then in 1948 Billboard began compiling three charts to measure the popularity of a given song – the jukebox chart, the best retail selling records chart and a "jockeys" chart of songs most played by Country disc jockeys. When the jukebox chart was discontinued in June 1957, Billboard began combining sales and radio airplay in

figuring a song's overall popularity, counting them in one single chart called "Hot C&W Sides." The chart was published under the title Hot C&W Sides through the Oct. 27, 1962, issue and "Hot Country Singles" thereafter, a title it would retain until 1990. ACC grew slowly with fewer than 100 stations carrying the syndicated show during its first year. For five years Bowman hosted the show, but in 1978 he left without any notice or explanation. That’s when Bob Kingsley, who had been the producer of the “American Country Countdown” since 1974, sat down in the host’s chair where he remained until 2005. Kingsley had begun his radio career as an announcer for the Armed Forces Radio Service station in Keflavik, Iceland, in 1959 at age 18 while serving in the Air Force. After his military service ended, he worked at stations in Las Vegas and Tijuana, Mexico, before working at KGBS and KLAC in Los Angeles. KLAC switched to a Country format in 1970 with Kingsley as its programmer. In addition to programming duties at “American Country Countdown,” Kingsley often filled in as host, making him a logical choice as Bowman’s successor. At the beginning of 1986 “American Country Countdown” was expanded to four hours, adding several new features, including "ACC Archives," a chronological playback of No. 1 hits of the 1970s, and later on the 1980s and an "ACC Calendar," spotlighting a classic country artist, song, important innovation or event in country music. By 1980 “American Country Countdown” hit the 300affiliate mark, with stations across the country airing it to a growing Country music audience. Kingsley’s show was so popular that in 1987 “American Country Countdown” was named Billboard‘s Network/Syndicated Program of the Year, an honor the show received for 16 consecutive years. "I love the music and the people who make it," Billboard quoted Kingsley as saying, "and I want our listeners to have as much insight into both as I can give them, and to make the experience as enjoyable as possible." Kingsley won the Country Music Association's National Broadcast Personality of the Year award in 2001 and 2003. In 1998 he was inducted into the Country Radio

Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He became only the fifth representative of the Music Format On-Air Personality category to be selected for inclusion in the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016. Without notice to his listeners, Kingsley exited “American Country Countdown” after his Christmas weekend countdown in 2005 and immediately began hosting a program developed by Kingsley and his business partner and wife, Nan Kingsley, called “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40,” which ran on more than 320 radio stations. When Kingsley left ACC, award-winning performer Kix Brooks took over as host. ACC is produced and distributed by Cumulus Media Networks. In 2007 Kingsley earned the Academy of Country Music’s National Broadcast Personality of the Year award. He was the inaugural recipient in 2014 of the Living Legend Award, which now bears his name and recognizes notable music industry professionals. Kingsley was honored during a special event in February 2018 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House, with Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Alabama, Martina McBride and others paying tribute. In October 2019 Kingsley was diagnosed with bladder cancer, forcing him to cede hosting duties for what was initially intended to be a temporary leave of absence. Kingsley died at his home in Weatherford, Texas, on Oct. 17, 2019, at the age of 80, from complications related to his treatment. "All of our greatest memories have his name attached to them," observed Garth Brooks, who performed “The Dance” at Kingsley’s celebration of life in November 2019.

Yoakam Navigates Journey through California Country in Las Vegas Show By Sasha Kay Dunavant Crossover artist Dwight Yoakam, who has sold 25 million albums worldwide during a 40-year career, will navigate his audience through a musical excursion March 4, 6 and 7 when he headlines at the Encore Theater in Las Vegas. During the special appearance billed as “An Evening with Dwight Yoakam & The Bakersfield Beat,” guests will take a journey with songs, sights and stories through California country music’s dramatic arrival and lasting impact on American pop music. The Grammy-winning entertainment icon will perform a variety of the music that influenced and created the “Bakersfield” and “California Country-Rock” genres of Country music from their early beginnings to their commercial zenith. The award-winning songwriter will also perform his own original music that was shaped by the California Country legacy. Yoakam, who was born in Kentucky in 1956, has recorded 12 Gold albums and nine Platinum or Multi-platinum albums while putting nearly 40 singles on the Billboard charts. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, Yoakam began playing guitar at age six, took roles in school and community theater and performed with a variety of local bands while still in high school. He enrolled in Ohio State Uni-

versity but dropped out to pursue music and acting fulltime. He and a guitarist friend Pete Anderson determined that Nashville’s music row was not particularly wel-

coming to honky-tonk musicians in the late 1970s, so they headed to California where other misfits like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens had found a place in the industry. Country at heart but in need of exposure, Yoakam first opened for postpunk rock bands such as X, Los Lobos and The Blasters in California, developing a fan base of so-called “cowpunks.” Decades later he's played with punk and pop legends like Travis Barker from Blink 182 and Alice Cooper. In 1984 Yoakam’s independent EP, “A Town in Bakersfield,” became a staple on college and alternative radio station playlists. When Reprise Records heard the EP, Yoakam was contracted for the 1986 album, “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc…” It went Platinum, and its first single, a Johnny Horton cover called “Honky Tonk Man,” topped out at No. 3. Rolling Stone ranked “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc…” No. 94 on their 100 Greatest Country Songs list in June 2014. "Honky Tonk Man" became the first country music song ever to air on MTV. The 1987 album, “Hillbilly Deluxe,” produced four Top Ten hits, such as “Please, Please Baby,” “Little Sister,” “Always Late with Your Kisses” and “Little Ways.” In 1988 Yoakam’s single, “I Sang Dixie” from his third album, “Buenos Noches from

a Lonely Room,” went to No. 1. The second single, “I Got You” reached No. 5 on Top Ten charts. Also in 1988 Buck Owens and Yoakam got together to record “Streets of Bakersfield,” yielding Yoakam’s first No. 1 hit. In 2006 Yoakam paid homage to Owens by recording a 15-song album of Owens’ tunes called “Dwight Sings Buck.” The 1989 album, “Just Lookin’ for a Hit” went Gold. In 1993 Yoakam had three No. 2 singles from his album, “This Time.” These were “Ain’t That Lonely Yet,” “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” and “Fast as You.” Other albums followed, including 1995’s “Dwight Live,” “Gone” in 1996, 1997’s “Under the Cover,” 1998’s compilation, “Last Chance for a Thousand Years: Greatest Hits from the 90s” and “Blame the Vain” in 2005. In 1999 Yoakam’s cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” became his greatest Country hit in six years and crossed over to Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop chart. Yoakam garnered respect from a cross-section of artists. Country star Johnny Cash told talk show host Larry King that Yoakam was his favorite country singer, saying “Isn’t he great?” and calling him “terrific.” "Dwight Yoakam is about as good a songwriter that ever put a pen to paper,” rock singer Chris Isaak told the Houston Chronicle in 2009. “I think he is someone who years from now will still be remembered, like a Hank Williams or Buck Owens." Pop rocker Michelle Branch told The Boot in an interview that Yoakam was “just incredible to work with” when they recorded the duet, "Long Goodbye." In 2012 Yoakam released “3 Pears,” which became the

highest charted debut of his entire career on the Billboard 200 as well as Billboard Country charts. The album reached No. 1 on the Americana Radio chart and was named on annual best-of lists by Rolling Stone, The Boot, American Songwriter, Entertainment Weekly and many more. His album “Second Hand Heart,” was released in 2015 followed by “Pretty Horses” and “Then Here Came Monday” in 2018. Never forgetting his theatrical roots, Yoakam has appeared in several films, including “Panic Room,” “Sling Blade,” “The Last Rites of Ransom Pride,” “Boomtown,” “Wedding Crashers” and more. Television credits include “Goliath,” “Under the Dome” and “To Appomattox” among others. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019, which notes on its website, “Throughout his career Dwight has written most of the songs on most of his albums.” He wrote the soundtrack for the movie, “South of Heaven, West of Hell,” and his songs have been used in dozens of movies and television shows from “Iron Man 3” to “Four Christmases” to “Friday Night Lights.” Named Americana Music Artist of The Year Award and the recipient of two Grammy Awards, Yoakam was honored for his recording career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. With the Las Vegas performance this year Yoakam will bring his dual mastery of songwriting and storytelling to the theater, weaving a musical journey audiences are sure to remember. Buy tickets online at or call show reservations at (702) 770-9966.

Wayne Walker: A Songwriter First By Sasha Kay Dunavant Some artists are so passionate about music, they’d do anything to support themselves until their big break finally comes. This couldn’t have been truer for Wayne Paul Walker. The Oklahoma native sold vacuum cleaners and fire

escapes and even worked as a roofer while his music career was coming together. Walker began his performing and songwriting journey in 1949 when he was just 24 years old. The break he’d been hoping for came in 1954 when he was invited to be part of “Louisiana Hayride,” where he befriended performers Webb Pierce and Tillman Franks, who encouraged him to write and record. During that time he collaborated with Pierce in composing, “How Do You Think I Feel?” Red Sovine recorded it in 1954 for Decca Records, and Elvis Presley was just an industry newcomer when he released it in 1956. Within a few months Walker moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to join Cedarwood Publishing, co-owned by Pierce, as a songwriter. He was immediately successful in writing hits for Country artists as well

as singers from other musical genres, but he still hoped for a career as a Country music performer. Walker recorded his first solo single, “You Got the Best of Me,” for Chess Records in 1955. By 1957 he had a recording contract as a singer with Columbia Records to release four singles, including Rockabilly songs, such as “BoBo Ska Diddle Diddle” and “Just A Walkin’ Around.” The song “Love Me,” recorded with Jimmy Lee Fautheree, is now considered a Rockabilly classic. Across his career, he would only record 15 singles, none of which were hits, and his shy nature and disdain for traveling caused him to make few live performance appearances. He made his final recording as a singer with StarDay Records in 1970. Though Walker had a pleasing voice, it was clear that his career should focus on songwriting. Nashville’s evening newspaper, The Banner, recognized that when it profiled the Nashville newcomer in the

May 18, 1957, issue. “The Columbia [Records] Moguls call him a great find, voice-wise, and predict a zooming career,” reported Banner writer Ben Green, adding, “but Country music lovers of the nation ought to pray for his vocalizing not to interfere with his visionizing. He’s a songwriter first.” Walker proved to be a prolific songwriter, with no less than 526 titles in the Broadcast Media Inc. (BMI) database, 23 of which won BMI awards. His first major songwriting hit was, “I've Got A New Heartache,” which Country crooner Ray Price took to No. 2 on the Country charts in 1956. Thirty years later when bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs covered the tune, it became a Top 10 hit. “I've Got A New Heartache” was recorded by jazz singer Sarah Vaughn. Walker and Mel Tillis collaborated on another hit for Price called “Burning Memories” and in penning “Teenage Wedding” for recording

artist Johnny Angel, whose real name was Jimmy Lee Fautheree. Walker wrote Patsy Cline’s hit “Leavin’ On Your Mind,” which was the B-side of her signature hit, “Crazy,” by Willie Nelson. Pop sensation, Andy Williams took Walker’s song “Are You Sincere” to the third slot on the Pop charts, making it Walker’s most successful Pop song ever and earning him a BMI Play Award. The Platters covered “Are you Sincere?” for their 1959 album, “Encores.” Jimmy Dean made headway with Walker’s song, “The Cajun Queen.” Rock ‘n’ Roller Eddie Cochran entertained audiences with Walker’s, “Cut Across Shorty” later recorded by Pop megastar Rod Stewart. Walker’s Rockabilly song “Lost Weekend” was recorded by Billy Brown and “Real Cool Cat” was released by honky tonk singer Sonny Burns. "All the Time," a Walker composition first recorded by Kitty Wells in 1959, became his only #1 hit when Jack Greene took it to the top of the charts in 1967, in a version that was named Billboard's Country Song of the Year. Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s his compositions were recorded by Moon Mullican, Sonny Burns, Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy and Johnny, Goldie Hill, David Houston, Johnny Burnette and the Rock ‘n Roll Trio, Faron Young, Link Davis, Webb Pierce, Janis Martin, Andy Williams, Johnnie Bailes, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs* & The Foggy Mountain Boys, Carl Smith, Johnny Bond, Lefty Frizzell, Brenda Lee, Mel Tillis, The Platters, Ferlin Husky, Jerry Reed, Stonewall Jackson, George Morgan, Crash Craddock, Hank Locklin, Bobby Bare, Eddy Arnold and many others. Walker was inducted into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975, two years after ending a 15-year marriage with Ernest Tubb’s daughter, Violet. In 1979 he lost a battle with cancer at age 54. He was survived by his mother, his two daughters and two sons. His funeral arrangements published in The Tennessean newspaper listed dozens of Country’s greatest artists as honorary pallbearers, including Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubb, John D. Loudermilk, Bobby Bare and Red Sovine. His old friend and songwriting collaborator, Mel Tillis, and singer Faron Young, for whom he had written several hits, helped carry his coffin to his place of burial at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville.

DINER CHAT with Renae the Waitress Join Us On Facebook LIVE Larry’s Country Diner Every Thursday at 2 p.m. Central How many Country Music Sweethearts can you name? 1. Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright 2. Johnny Cash and June Carter 3. Grandpa Jones and Ramona Jones 4. Carl Smith and Goldie Hill 5. George Jones and Tammy Wynette 6. Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter 7. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood 8. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw 9. Vince Gill and Amy Grant 10. Clint Black and Lisa Hartman 11. Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams 12. Rory and Joey Feek 13. Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper So how did I do? Did I include your favorite couple? And how about the most Romantic Country Music Songs of all Time! 1. HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY/ Georgre Jones 2. I NEED YOU / Faith Hill and Tim MeGraw 3. ALWAYS ON MY MIND/Willie Nelson 4. AMAZED / Lonestar 5. CRAZY / Patsy Cline 6. MINE WOULD BE YOU/ Blake Shelton 7. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU /Dolly Parton

Diner Cast Sweethearts Luann & Larry Black married 54 years

Renae & Phil Johnson married 50 years

Mona & Dave Brown married 48 years

Emy Joe & Keith Bilbrey married 14 years Michele & Jimmy Capps married 12 years “SEND ME A BOOK “ BOOK CLUB (NOTHING TO JOIN) I am so excited to add “A New Mountain To Climb” by Neal McCoy to the list of great books for sale. He was inspired by people who had inspired him and changed his life. He brings downhome humor and insight to compel others to find their own heroes. $21.95 + 6.95 s/h paperback “Its message of joy and home will be felt long after the last page is read.” — Wayne Newton

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR DAUGHTER, CHI If you have not purchased her book "Touring With A Beatle" then you need to get it. Raising a dancer has been so much fun and it looks like her daughter, Rio who is 5 years old is going to follow in her foot steps. Chi has been a professional dancer since she was 16 years old and has danced in Movies, TV shows, Tours, and Commercials. She is considered a veteran In fact last week she danced in a music video with rapper Pit Bull and Blake Shelton. When the producer as for a solo they called on her.....the veteran. lol !!! She laughs and says she is too old to keep dancing with these younger dancers!

Douglas Corner Cafe...the OTHER great songwriters’ venue!

Douglas Corner Cafe is located on 8th Avenue South in Nashville, TN

Trisha Yearwood and The Kitchen’s Jeff Mauro shooting the music segment of her cooking show Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.

Douglas Corner Cafe began in 1987 when Recording Engineer, Mervin Louque, partnered with businessman, Rick Martin, to create a music venue aimed at showcasing new singers and songwriters in Nashville. It soon grew to become a well known ‘Home Away From Home’ for Nashville’s top songwriters and future music stars. It is a place for writers and performers to come together in an intimate environment with the common goal of hearing and creating great music. At Douglas Corner, you will often be entertained by future hit songs long before they are even heard by the artists who will eventually record them. It is also where one might often witness an impromptu jam session with legendary artists, players and writers. Douglas Corner is for songwriters and aspiring artists, what the world famous ‘Improv’ is for comedians. It has been a showcase venue for such artists as Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Marc Collie, The Kentucky Headhunters, Billy Dean, John Berry, Blake Shelton and many others. The Open Mic Writers Night every Tuesday night is hosted by singer/songwriter Donnie Winters whose father sang with Marty Robbins. Garth Brooks played Douglas Corner as a songwriter and held his very first fan club party at the venue performing with his band to a jam packed crowd. He presented Mervin with the printing plate that was used to make the Fan Fair posters for the event. That plate still hangs in Douglas Corner today. Artists who have performed at Douglas Corner Townes Van Zant Guy Clark John Prine Garth Brooks Trisha Yearwood Blake Shelton Terri Clark Alan Jackson Jon Bon Jovi Jamey Johnson Eric Church

Keith Urban Bill Anderson Jack Clement Hank Cochran Kevin Costner Mac Davis James Otto Neil Diamond Larry Gatlin Cheap Trick

Max T. Barnes

Max T. Barnes, Leona Williams and Billy Yates at Douglas Corner Cafe Max T. Barnes, Leona Williams and Billy Yates performed In The Round at a show at Douglas Corner on Friday, January 10 to a full house. The songs were wonderful, but the stories made the show much more special. Max told a story about hte time his song “Love Me” was nominated for CMA Song of the Year in 1992, however, Barnes’s Dad, Max D. Barnes, also had a song nominated for CMA Song of the Year, Vince Gill’s “Look At Us”. As Barnes put it to me, “My poor Mom didn’t know who to root for.” Mas said he couldn’t recall who the presenter was, but when he first heard the “L” sound come out their mouth, he thought they had it,

and then, instead of it being “Love Me”, it was “Look At Us”. Leona told how Willie Nelson loved her song “All The Soft Places To Fall” so much that he put it on the “Poncho and Lefty” albumn and a few stories about her marriage to Merle Haggard. Billy, who was friends with George Jones, recalled a time he bought one of George’s cars. The OnStar was still paid for when he bought it and one time while lost, he called them. They thought they were talking to George and at the end of the conversation asked if he’d like to renew his subscription for two more years using the credit card on file. Billy laughed and said, “Yes!”

Leona Williams

Billy Yates

Welcome back to our monthly “Memories …..” segment as we share stories and explore day-to-day happenings in my personal interviews with the “architects of music row” - producers, artists, songwriters, studio musicians and engineers. Are you still humming Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree”? In my interview with Brenda, she recalled the day she recorded that record. “We recorded it in the summer of 1958; I was just 13 years old. My producer Owen Bradley decorated the Quonset Hut to get us all in a Christmassy mood. It was a fun day! It became one of the top 10 Christmas songs of all time; it’s done well for me.”

The iconic Brenda Lee (aka Little Miss Dynamite) was the top-charting solo female vocalist of the 1960s. She ranked fourth overall in that decade surpassed only by Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and the Beatles, and earned 46 Hot 100 singles. Brenda Lee is in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. She remains very active in the Country Music Association and, admittedly, cannot say no anytime she is called on for participation in industry functions. “My first recording session was July 1956, and one of our songs was Jambalaya. I was 10 years old. Owen looked for songs for my age, yet he wanted the best quality songs." According to Bradley, “Brenda was the ideal artist to work with. She came to the studio totally prepared, and had a really good ear.” In an interview with Jimmy Lockert, WSM engineer who later joined Bradley

Studios, he said, “In one of our early sessions on Brenda, we had completed a song and I asked if they would like to hear a playback? Brenda said, ‘Yes, because someone hit a wrong note!’ It turned out to be the guitar. She was a character from the word go and just a kid! She sure knew her stuff in that studio. Rarely did she have to hear a song more than once before singing it all the way through!” Brenda recalled, “Early 1960 when we recorded I’m Sorry strings were added beginning with 3 violins, the first record to come out of Nashville with strings. We then started using strings often.” I’m Sorry peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles in July 1960, #1 on the Country charts, and #4 on the R&B charts. It became Brenda Lee’s signature song. I asked how the studio guys were to work with. Brenda said, “I loved all those guys! We all became a little family because they all were part of my success. They were right there with me and had as much to do with my success as I did. All of the arrangements were Owen’s, but we all contributed with our own ideas and it

all worked.” The A team of studio musicians and engineers during this early period deserve so much credit! Buddy Harmon, drums; Floyd Cramer & Hargus “Pig” Robbins, piano; Grady Martin and Hank Garland, guitar; Ray Edenton, rhythm guitar; Harold Bradley, tic tac guitar; Bob Moore, bass; Boots Randolph, sax; Owen Bradley, producer, piano/organ; Anita Kerr Singers;

Selby Coffeen, Jimmy Lockert, Mort Thomason, Glenn Snoddy, Charlie Bradley, and Lou Bradley, engineers. In discussing why music being recorded in the studios in the 1950s was so different from the Grand Ole Opry sound, Brenda replied, “A lot of that had to do with Owen’s background as a big band leader, pianist, and writing orchestrations for big bands. I don’t think there was anybody in the business that knew as much about legendary songs and standards as Owen did. That’s where I got my wisdom about these kinds of songs and why my albums contain a lot of these type songs. Owen was never afraid to push the envelope or experiment in order to create a great sound.” Brenda recalled her friendship with Patsy Cline, “Patsy and I became very good friends even though she was 12 years older. I was just 11. We did some tours together. She was like a big sister, and I spent lots of time at her house because I loved to try on her beautiful stage clothes and clomp around in her high heels.” I asked who or what she felt was responsible for what we call The Nashville Sound. Brenda replied, “I feel that Owen Bradley was one of the ‘fathers’ that laid the foundation. A lot

laxed atmosphere of this town and the recording industry. There was no time clock; it just evolved in its time.” Check in with us next month for more “Memories of Music Row”

of us artists are part of it, but it all has to do with the musicians, the songs, and the real emotional feel of those records caused by the comradery between everybody involved, plus the re-

Areeda Schneider-Stampley is a writer, longtime employee of CBS Records, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is married to country music legend Joe Stampley.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.