Country's Family Reunion News, November 2020

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Country’s Family Reunion

NEWS

November 2020

Don McLean

Young Minnie Pearl The Mulehouse in Columbia Jeff Carson Chrissy Metz Sings Country Thank God for Kids

Janie Fricke’s Christmas Album BJ Thomas Goodbye, Mac Davis Helen Reddy Dead at 78

… and more

November 2020


Country’s Family Reunion

NEWS

Who’s inside? Blair Garner, p. 3 Texas Tenors, p. 4 Don McLean, p. 5 Waylon Jennings, p. 8 BJ Thomas, p. 9 New Radio Shows p. 10 Nadine’s Corner, p. 11 Minnie Pearl, p. 12 Mac Davis, p. 14 Helen Reddy, p. 16 PeeWee King, p. 17 Vern Gosdin, p. 19 Areeda’sApple Pie, p. 20 Jeff Carson, p. 21 Chrissy Metz, p. 23 Janie Fricke, p. 24

CFR News is published monthly by Country Road Management, 710 N. Main St., Suite B Columbia, TN 38401 Larry Black, Publisher Paula Underwood Winters, Editor, Print Layout & Design Claudia Johnson, Writer, Online Layout & Design

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Annual Print Subscriptions $29.95; renewals $24.95 To subscribe or renew call 1-800-8 20-5405 or mail payment to PO Box 610 Price, UT 84501 Online Subscriptions $15 per year http://countrysfamilyreunionnews.com/

November 2020


The Mulehouse – Radio Personality Blair Garner’s Small Town Venture By Claudia Johnson One of America’s best-known radio personalities, Blair Garner, is creating a venue, The Mulehouse, in Columbia, Tennessee, that will enable music fans worldwide to enjoy performances and interviews with some of entertainment’s most beloved artists. Garner's radio programs have focused primarily on Country music hits, along with recent music news and chat about pop culture. Country music's top stars, including Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire, have made it a point to appear on Blair's shows to promote their projects. Recognized as one of the best interviewers in the country, the radio host and DJ won the Academy of Country Music's On-Air Personality of the Year award in 2004 and 2006. Garner has also been nominated for the prestigious Marconi Award and for Nationally Syndicated Air Personality by Billboard Magazine.

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Six years ago the Canyon, Texas, native settled in Columbia, a mid-sized community about 70 miles south of Nashville, having “Fate lead me to a house in Columbia online,” said Garner, who’s lived in Dallas, Washington, DC, Houston, New York City and Los Angeles. “Columbia had an old, familiar feeling that fueled my soul. Everything felt right. I didn’t just buy a house, I bought into a community.” Garner also bought a building he had hoped would hold a collection of 10-15 cars, but soon discovered that the wooden floors of the historic building would not hold the weight. In the process of relocating his business, his family, which includes husband Eric and a teenage daughter and son, and his car collection, Garner met people who encouraged and welcomed him. “In 2018 we formed a corporation to begin the painful but re warding process of laying the foundation for The Mulehouse,” he said, adding that the venue will “bring our community of Columbia to America.”

November 2020


The 55,500-square-foot building was formerly a “Each has its distinct slant, serving a different Baptist church and is next door to the personal home of purpose,” Garner said. “What is different about our fare, 11th President James K. Polk and its accompanying is that on-stage interviews will be a core component. museum. and library. Viewers/guests will know every song that’s performed, Once part of the Polk property, the building is part but by the end of the night they’ll truly feel that they Columbia’s historic district. ‘know’ that performer. That’s the interview component, “During Covid 19 our team has been able to modify which is where I come in.” the design to create the first music and The artist-friendly venue is designed for easy event venue in America designed crew load-in. Artists will be treated to locally specifically for live event streaming,” sourced and prepared meals and full spa Garner said. “The stage is large treatments with massage and more. enough to accommodate a 14-piece In a commitment to create a first-class venue, band, along with a large side stage, Clair Solutions, an industry leader in and there will be a radio studio inside designing, installing and supporting the most as well.” advanced technology solutions, specializing in Garner explained that many of the the fields of audio, video, lighting, data, events he hosts will be a combination rigging, control, acoustics and broadcast, is of interviews and performances. creating the theater’s entire sound and video Blair Garner “What I love most about my job is system. interviewing,” he said. “Once I got Michael Oppenheimer, former iHeart market over the intimidation of interviewing famous people, I manager for Memphis, as GM for the new venture. In learned that everyone deals with the same things – phases two and three of the development plan, Garner heartbreak, insecurity, mentorship. All the stories are plans to add a 6,000-square-foot bar and full restaurant about how we relate to one another.” and 26-room boutique hotel. In addition to live streaming, a live audience of “There’s a Divine plan for all of this,” Garner said, around 500 can be accommodated in the auditorium. referring to not only his investments in Columbia but Garner is planning several different versions of concert those of Rory Feek, Larry Black and others who have series to appeal to a variety of audiences. There’s the chosen the town as their business headquarters. “We Headliner Series, The Fan’s Choice Series, The Icon were all guided here.” Series and The Ground Floor series.

Texas Tenors Release Children’s Book

The Billboard chart toppers, The Texas Tenors, will once again be “causin’ a ruckus” in bookstores and libraries this winter. In between sold-out shows across the country, the music trio penned a lullaby that became the children’s picture book, “Moon’s on Fire!,” published by Blue Cat Books. It’s a rompin’stompin’ companion to The Texas Tenors’ awardwinning “Ruckus on the Ranch.” The book will delight young readers ages 3-7.. The book closes with a lullaby that finally puts everyone—critters and kids alike—to sleep. “The Cowboy Lullaby” is featured on a new CD, along with a reading by The Texas Tenors and special guests. Order the book at www.texastenors.com. Page 4

November 2020


Don McLean: 50 years after “American Pie” By Claudia Johnson It’s been nearly 50 years since Don McLean’s “American Pie” became a part of American history. “American Pie” was issued as a double A-side single in November 1971 and charted within a month. Interest from the media and public sent the single to No. 1 in the USA and McLean to international superstardom. Every line of the song was analyzed time and time again to find the real meaning. Adding to its mystery McClean refused for decades to sanction any of the many interpretations. The song is long – more than 800 words, and the record is almost nine minutes long. Finally McLean spoke about this song when he decided to sell his original 16-page working manuscript of the lyrics at auction for $1.2 million. For the Christie’s auction catalog in 2015, he made the following statement. “For more than 40 years I have rambled around every state of the union and many, many countries of the world. My primary interests in life have been America, singing, songwriting, and the English language. I love the English language as much as anything in life and words reall y do mean something. I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this work product on the song American Pie so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlor game. It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music and then was fortunate enough through the help of others to make a successful recording. I would say to young songwriters who are starting out to Page 5

immerse yourself in beautiful music and beautiful lyrics and think about every word you say in a song.” “American Pie” was named one of the Top 5 Songs of the 20th Century by the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, and in 2002 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. “American Pie” has been covered by dozens of artists, including Madonna, who’s 2000 recording was a No.1 hit in the U.K. and reached No. 30 in the U.S. However, McLean did not give permission for the name “American Pie,” which he trademarked decades ago, to be used for a series of movies by the same name. "I wish to state on Mr. McLean's behalf that, in response to many inquiries from fans throughout the world, neither Mr. McLean or his song are related in any way to the Universal motion picture,” McLean’s attorney stated after the 1999 release of the first “American Pie” Movie. “ However, Mr. McLean, as the owner of the title, came to an agreement with Universal with regard to the use of his trademark.” McClean told CFR News that by trademarking the phrase “American Pie” he had “stopped a lot of people from fooling around with it.” November 2020


Early Life and Career McLean was born on Oct. 2, 1945, in New Rochelle, New York, to Elizabeth and Donald McLean. By the age of five he had developed an interest in all forms of music and would spend hours listening to the radio and his father’s records. Childhood asthma meant that he missed long periods of school. While he slipped back in his studies, his love of music was allowed to flourish. He would often perform shows for family and friends. As a teenager, he purchased his first guitar (a Harmony F Hole with a sunburst finish) from the House of Music in New Rochelle and took opera lessons paid for by his sister. These lessons combined with many hours in the swimming pool, helped Don to develop breath control, which would later allow him to sing long, continuous phrases in songs such as “Crying” without taking a breath. The exercise also meant his asthma improved. While at Villanova University in 1963, McClean met and became friends with singer Jim Croce, who was later killed in a plane crash. McLean attended night school at Iona College, and in 1968, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration but turned down a prestigious scholarship to Columbia University Graduate School in favor of becoming resident singer at Caffe Lena in New York. Iona College conferred an honorary doctorate on McLean in 2001.

While resident at Caffe Lena, the New York State Council for the Arts invited McLean to become their Hudson River Troubadour. Page 6

Taping “Larry’s Country Diner” He accepted and spent the summer traveling from town to town in the Hudson Valley, giving talks about the environment and singing songs for whoever would turn up to listen. A year later, he was a member of the first crew of the Sloop Clearwater. With Pete Seeger, they travelled the Atlantic seaboard giving concerts at each port. In 1969, Don recorded his first album, “Tapestry,” in Berkeley, California. The student riots were going on outside the studio door as McClean was singing his self-penned “And I Love You So” inside. The transition to international stardom began with the1971 release of "American Pie” from his album of the same name. The album reached number 1 within two weeks of release and was certified gold within six months, spending almost a year on the Billboard album charts. The "American Pie” album remained at No. 1 in the UK for seven weeks in 1972 and in the U.K. charts for 53 consecutive weeks. The second single, "Vincent,” which McLean wrote about painter Vincent Van Gogh, charted in March 1972 going on to reach U.S. No. 2 and U.K. No. 1.

November 2020


McLean’s Comeback McLean credits his 1997 performance of “American Pie” at Garth Brooks’ Central Park concert, attended by more than 500,000 people, as the beginning of his third career comeback. "Brooks was joined on stage by two surprise guest stars, Billy Joel and Don McLean, who brought down the house with an acoustic rendition of "American Pie," CNN reported. According to Don, his first "comeback" had been the release of "Vincent" and the second, the North American release and massive success of "Crying," his 1982 cover of a Roy Orbison tune. McLean’s body of work has remained relevant and revered, and he has been honored for his contributions. McLean wound up the 20th century by performing "American Pie" for President C l i n to n a t t h e L i n co l n Me m o r i a l Ga l a In Washington DC. In 2004 he was inaugurated into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters' Hall of Fame. In January 2018, BMI certified that “American Pie" and "Vincent" had reached five million and three million airplays respectively. His song, “And I Love You So,” was the theme for Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding later that year. In 2019 his star was added to the Las Vegas Walkway of Stars. Having released 21 studio albums, earlier this year McLean signed a contract with Time Life to Page 7

release his catalog of recordings as well as a muchanticipated new album, “Still Playin’ Favorites.” “American Pie” will be featured in the upcoming “Avengers Black Widow” and the Tom Hanks movie “BIOS,” both set for release in 2021. McLean, who turned 75 in October, was a recent guest on “Larry’s Country Diner.” Before the taping he took a moment to talk with CFR News, sharing his excitement about recent projects like building his extensive YouTube channel. “It’s a receptacle for all kinds of videos, concerts, recordings and specials that I own,” McLean said, adding that his channel includes a record store. “Everything is a big record store in the sky.” He ’s a l s o w o r k i n g o n a f e a t u r e documentary, ‘The Day The Music Died: The Story Behind Don McLean’s American Pie,’ set for release at the end of 2021. The project’s producer, Spencer Proffer, is also working on the new stage play that will revolve around McLean’s deep catalog, which includes “Vincent,” “Castles in the Air” and “Wonderful Baby,” as well as a children’s book based on his most famous song. McLean, who resides in Maine and Palm Desert, California, told CFR News that he is eager to return to touring and plans a worldwide tour beginning in 2021 if Covid-19 does not prohibit travel. “I am ready,” he said. “I am ready to rock and roll.” November 2020


Gratitude for What’s Important this Thanksgiving By Claudia Johnson Thanksgiving 2020 could be a very different kind of celebration. With the ongoing pandemic families may find themselves sharing a meal and time together through electronic devices. Even with a constant onslaught of bad news this year, there are still many reasons to be thankful. Back in 1976 when the world was a very different place, singer-songwriter Eddy Raven wrote a song with a sentiment that holds true across time — “Thank God for Kids.” The song, which he was inspired to write because his son wanted him to help him compose something with his favorite characters in it, enumerates reasons to be thankful for children. “If it weren't for kids, have you ever thought, there wouldn't be no Santa Claus or ‘Look what the stork just brought?’” Raven’s lyrics ask. “And we'd all live in a quiet house without Big Bird or Mickey Mouse and Kool-Aid on the couch.” The song states that because of kids, there’s “magic for a while, a special kind of sunshine in a smile.” “Do you ever stop to think or wonder why?” the lyrics question, answering, “The nearest thing to heaven is a child.” Raven captures in the song a phase that every parent experiences — one that is an aggravation when it is happening but is greatly missed when the child outgrows thinking that a parent has all the answers — “Daddy, how does this thing fly?’ And a hundred other wheres and whys you really don't know but you try.” Raven released the song as the B-side to his 1976 single "The Curse of a Woman,” but it did not get much airplay. Although the lyrics of “Thank God for Kids” resonated with all loving parents, it was not until the Oak Ridge Boys recorded it in 1982 that it received the widespread attention the subject matter warranted. Included as a track on their 1982 album called “Christmas with the Oak Ridge Boys,” it was the record’s only single release.

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The Oak Ridge Boys’ single spent 16 weeks on the Hot Country Songs charts and peaked at No. 3. In Canada it peaked on the Country charts at No. 24. Raven’s final verse suggests “When you get down on your knees tonight to thank the Lord for His guiding light and pray they turn out right, thank God for kids.” Kenny Chesney covered the song for his Christmas album “All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan.” His version spent one week at No. 60 on the Country singles charts in January 2004. “Thank God for Kids” is not the only hit song written by Raven, who was born Edward Garvin Futch in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1946. Among his early successes as a songwriter were four Top 10 hits between 1971 and 1975: "Country Green" and "Touch the Morning" both by Don Gibson, "Sometimes I Talk in My Sleep" by Randy Cornor and "I Don't Wanna Talk It Over Anymore" by Connie Smith. Two cuts from his album “Eyes” were later recorded by other artists. Merle Haggard covered " D e a l i n' w i t h t h e D e v i l " o n h i s 1 9 8 1 l i v e album “Rainbow Stew Live at Anaheim Stadium,” Waylon Jennings covered "Sweet Mother Texas" on his 1986 album of the same name. As a recording artist Raven charted 35 singles and achieved six No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. These were "I Got Mexico," "Shine, Shine, Shine," "I'm Gonna Get You," "Joe Knows How to Live," "In a Letter to You" and "Bayou Boys." Raven who lives in Gallatin, Tennessee, east of Nashville, continues to perform. As for his own kids – sons Ryan and Coby – both are now in their 40s and live the same region of Tennessee as their father. Perhaps for Thanksgiving this year, no matter how it is celebrated, Raven’s advice to “Thank God for Kids” will be remembered. The lyrics remind parents that when they “look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize, there's a love that you can't buy.”

November 2020


“(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” Celebrates 45th Anniversary W0n Grammy Award for Best Countr y Song in 1976 Four-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, B.J. Thomas is celebrating the 45th anniversary of his classic number one hit “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” Written by Larry Butler and Chips Moman, B.J. Thomas reached the top of the Billboard charts in 1975 and was ranked the No. 17 top song for 1975, winning a Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1976. The single, just as relevant and catchy in the 1970s as it is today, invites listeners into a world where love leaves one lonely and the only thing that heals is the sweet simple melodies of a song. “’(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song’” was the last song we recorded for the ‘Reunion’ album, and I am so glad it was included,” said Thomas. “It was produced by Chips Moman and the Memphis Boys and is the longest title to top the Hot 100 charts. Thanks for the No. 1!” Originally entering the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975, “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” ended up becoming B.J. Thomas’ second No. 1 hit. After reaching the top of Billboard’s Easy Listening chart, this classic single solidified B.J. Thomas’ place in not only country music, but Pop music as well. Some songs come along that slow time down to speak to the heart. This single shoots through the Page 9

B.J. Thomas origins of time to deliver craft and conviction along with a feel-good intention. To keep up with everything BJ Thomas, follow his socials linked below and visit HERE. Thomas has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide with a total of 8 #1 hits and 26 Top 10 singles throughout his 50 years in the music industry. As one of Billboard’s Top 50 Most Played Artists Over The Past 50 Years, B.J. Thomas’ hits include “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “Hooked On A Feeling,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love” and “New Looks From An Old Lover.” • November 2020


New Radio Shows for Country Fans by Paula Winters

T. Graham Brown T. Graham Brown has a show on SXM’s Prime Country channel 58. He plays live cuts from artist’s live albums and chooses artists from the 1980-2000 era. November’s guest artist is Lee Greenwood in honor of Veterans Day. Some of the other guests he’s had this year include Wynonna, Marty Stuart, Kix Brooks, Gene Watson, Oak Ridge Boys and many more. You can also find it on “On Demand” using the SXM mobile app, so you can listen anytime. It’s really a fun show, so tune in! It airs eight times a month on different days and at different times.

SiriusXM SiriusXM is the exclusive satellite radio home of the Grand Ole Opry. Listen on Willie's Roadhouse (SiriusXM Channel 59) every Friday and Saturday night. EVERY SUNDAY Willie's Roadhouse Channel on SiriusXM (Channel 59) Willie's Roadhouse with Jeannie Seely Tune in as Jeannie tells great stories and plays classic country music! 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT https://www.siriusxm.com/williesroad- house

“The TG Sheppard Show” Country music legend TG Sheppard’s “The TG Sheppard Show” will continue on SiriusXM following its successful and wildly popular debut.Airing on SiriusXM’s Elvis Radio every Friday from 3:00 to 7:00 pm/ET, The TG Sheppard Show grants listeners behind-the-scenes access to never-beforeheard stories about the King of Rock-n-Roll and his transcendent legacy.

November 2020


Nadine’s Corner Well, I cannot believe it is November and Thanksgiving is almost here! Thank the good Lord 2020 is almost over! I just pray 2021 is better for everybody! There is still so much we can be thankful for, even after a year like 2020. We should all be thankful for the good things that we have and also for the bad things we don't have! You know, a person doesn't realize how much he has to be thankful for until he has to pay taxes on it! We ought to be thankful that we are living in a country where folks can say what they think without thinking! I am, because that's me a lot of the time and these politicians, all the time! And if you have nothing for which to be thankful, make up your mind that there's something wrong with you! There's always something to be thankful for. If you can't pay your bills, you can be thankful you're not one of your creditors! I'm thankful that Clyde and Lois got invited to their kids’ house this Thanksgiving, which gives me a break and an enormous blessing! Naw, just kidding...sort of. I've been praying a lot for this country we live in. I know a lot of you are doing the same. No constitution, no court, no law can save liberty when it dies in the hearts and minds of men and women. We need to be looking up! It isn't what we have in our pocket that makes up thankful, it's what we have in our heart. Maybe that's a good place to start looking, making sure our heart is right, where it should be and letting the good Lord do some work in that heart, if it isn't! All I know is, that y'all need to take a moment and be thankful that Nadine don't own a taser! Love y'all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!. Nadine

Country’s Family Reunion Fridays 7 p.m. Central Saturdays 11 p.m. Central

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November 2020


1941 Radio Magazine Predicts Stardom for Newcomer Comic Minnie Pearl

By Claudia Johnson

It’s always interesting to see the publicity on a new celebrity. The critics offer their reviews. The press publishes pieces speculating about how successful or what a disappointment an up-andcomer may be. Some become great. Others fail. Only time tells. However, looking back eight decades, the cover story of the January 1941 issue of Radio Varieties magazine really puts pre-fame publicity into perspective. “Minnie Pearl – The Girl with the Big Future at WSM,” reads a headline over the cover photo of a plain, skinny woman with a gaudy hat seated at the piano. The full page story on page 19 identifies the girl as Ophelia Colley, calling her “the little girl who came onto the Opry stage in Nashville a few weeks ago and brought the house down with her homey patter and songs.” Page 12

The magazine assures readers that if they haven’t heard of her, they will soon. “Given a little time, Minnie Pearl stands every chance of blooming into a full-grown star,” the story stated, adding that she was being favorably compared to the Songbird of the Ozarks, Judy Canova. Who? Apparently Canova was a huge radio star who transitioned to movies and television but left the entertainment business completely by 1955. Fame can be fleeting for sure. The article introduces Colley, telling how she was born in Centerville, Tennessee, in 1912. “Ophelia lived the normal life of a young girl in a small town of a family of above average means,” the article reveals. “She never wanted for anything, least of all diversion. For she more than made up for what the town lacked in playmates by her own vivid imagination.” The article recounts the story of how Colley’s imagination propelled her toward training as the actress she had hoped to become. “The envy of many a young Centerville lassie, Ophelia went off to Ward-Belmont college, swank girl’s school in Nashville which attracts subdebs from all over the country,” stated the magazine. “It is a superb finishing school. But the Centerville entrant was not so much concerned with finishing touches as the dramatic work offered there.” Colley earned her degree and went back to Centerville to teach drama, but that was not satisfying. Two years later she joined the Wayne P. Sewell Producing company of Atlanta, traveling all over the South, giving dramatic readings and coaching home talent for their own production. November 2020


“She still yearned for the serious side of drama, but fate seemed to conspire to turn her toward comedy,” the article observes. “There was an abundance of native humor to be found in these little communities all over the South – humor which seemed to be begging expression.” She lived in the homes of the country folk she was teaching and worked hours on end with the whole township helping them produce their own plays. “Invariably, she learned they were better at their own sort of plays than those of any playwright, including even Shakespeare,” states the article. “Thus she rea soned a s she came to the conclusion to abandon the serious drama and turn to the native country wit of the South. For three years, this young girl traveled through 20 states of the South and Southeast, talking with, working with and living with the folks in the country areas and the small towns.” Little by little she picked up bits of wit and humor from the natives which she incorporated in the character she began building with one idea in mind: presenting it on the Grand Ole Opry. “Minnie Pearl, then, is no one character but bits of many people Ophelia Colley knows very well,” concluded Radio Varieties. “So are the other characters that appear on the Opry with Minnie Pearl, all creations of this young girl gleaned from her extensive travels through the rural Southland. And Grinders Switch, where Minnie lives, is actually a place not far from Centerville.” "Nobody lives there anymore," Ophelia explained, "So I thought they would not mind if I moved Minnie in. Nobody has complained. And I reckon the onl y one who would is Farmer Stephenson, who owns the ground where Grinders Switch is located. There used to be a couple of families there, but they moved away. It makes a nice home for Minnie Pearl." Incidentally, the name “Minnie Pearl” is the part of two persons who contributed to the creation, but Page 13

Colley never thought there was such a real person. After her debut on the Grand Ole Opry, she heard from scores of real, honest-to-goodness Minnie Pearls. “WSM officials feel she has a long and happy and prosperous life ahead of her, feel she is destined to add glory if not glamour to the Grand Ole Opry,” stated Radio Varieties. The magazine was right. Minnie Pearl appeared on the Opry for more than 50 years and was a regular on Hee Haw from 1969-1991. In 1947 Colley married Henry Cannon, the owner of an air charter ser vice that skirted performers like Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and Eddy Arnold to performances. The affluent couple purchased a large estate n e x t t o t h e Te n n e s s e e Go ver nor ’s Mansion in 1969. Colley battled cancer and became a spokeswoman for the medical center in Nashville where she had been treated, taking on the r o l e a s h e r s e l f, S a r a h Ophelia Cannon, not Minnie Pearl, although a nonprofit group, the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, was founded in her memory. The center where she was treated was later named the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center and has expanded to hospitals in three states. She lived nearly five years after suffering a debilitating stroke in June 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts for her influence and contributions to Country comedy and opening doors for women in the Country music industry. “Although Minnie is pretty dumb, no one has complained,” the Radio Varieties article stated. “For Minnie is too real and very lovable. Nobody could dislike her, or take exception to what she says.” In her real life Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon was an educated, well-spoken, gracious and elegant Southern lady who was as much beloved and respected as herself as the character for which she will be forever known. • November 2020


Multi-talented Mac Davis Passes After Heart Surgery By Claudia Johnson Singer-songwriter Mac Davis, who wrote and recorded the No. 1 million-selling, gold record “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” in 1972 and penned hits for other artists, died Sept. 29, 2020, at age 78 following heart surgery in Nashville. The Grammy-nominated “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” was the first of a list of Davis’s solo recordings that climbed both the Pop and Country charts. Of his 38 singles, 30 charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts between 1970 and 1986. Among them were 1974's "Stop and Smell the Roses” and "One Hell of a Woman,” 1975's "Burnin' Thing" and the following year's "Forever Lovers." In 1974, Davis was awarded the Ac a d e m y o f C o u n t r y Mu s i c 's Entertainer of the Year award. Success continued through the '80s. "It's Hard to Be Humble," the title track of his 1980 album, was the first of four consecutive Top Ten Country hits that culminated with his biggest Country single up to that point, "Hooked on Music." By 1985 he had recorded his last Top Ten hit, "I Never Made Love ('Til I Made Love with You)." His discography consists of 19 studio albums and 38 singles. Davis was a prolific and in-demand songwriter who penned hits for a number of Countr y and Pop stars, including Glen Campbell, Lou Rawls, Nancy Sinatra, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Merle Ha g gard and many others. He wrote for Elvis Presley, providing him with the hits "Memories," "In the Ghetto," "Don't Cry Daddy," "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" and "A Little Less Conversation." Bobby Goldsboro also recorded some of Davis's songs, including "Watching Scotty Grow,” which became a No. 1 Adult Contemporary success for Goldsboro in 1971. "I Believe in Music," often considered to be Davis's signature song, was recorded by several artists, including B.J. Thomas, Perry Como, Helen Reddy and Davis himself, before it finally became a success in 1972 for the group Gallery. He was an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Texas

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Country Music Hall of Fame, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and was a recipient of the BMI Icon Award. He was awarded a star symbol on the Hollywood Walk of Fa m e f o r h i s contribution to the recording industry. Davis was not j u s t a s i n g e rsongwriter, he was an artist with diverse talents. He was a movie and tele vision actor and voice ar tist, television host and Broadway star. From 1974 to 1976, Davis had his own television variety show on NBC, "The Mac Davis Show." In 1980, Davis hosted an episode of "The Muppet Show," where he performed his biggest hits. Davis served as the balladeer for the 2000 telefilm "The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood," replacing Don Williams, who had served the part in 1 9 9 7 's " T h e D u ke s o f Ha z z a r d : Reunion!" and Waylon Jennings, who narrated the original "Dukes of Hazzard" television show. Davis was the first balladeer to appear on-screen. He also appeared in TV shows "8 Simple Rules" and "Rodney" and for seven years voiced two characters in " K i n g o f t h e H i l l . " He h a d 3 0 television shows and specials to his credit, his last being "Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings" on Netflix. He made his feature film debut opposite Nick Nolte in the football film, "North Dallas Forty," in 1979. Davis also starred in the 1981 comedy film "Cheaper To Keep Her" and in 1983’s "The Sting II." In 1998, he starred in the sports comedy "Possums." In all he appeared in 19 films. He also played Will Rogers in the Broadway production of "The Will Rogers Follies" and in the show's the national tour. Davis wrote in his song “Texas In My Rearview Mirror” that when he dies “you can bury me in Lubbock Texas, in my jeans.” His family released a statement confirming that his wishes were carried out and he is indeed buried in his hometown in his jeans.

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Christmas 2020 Looking for a great Christmas gift? Check out my website for Mugs, Aprons, Pictures, Books, Caps, Key Chains, Redneck Glasses and Shot glasses (or as Nadine calls them Communion glasses). www.Renaethewaitress.com Branson Our shows in Branson at the Clay Cooper Theater were great even with masks and social distancing! The theater blocked two seats between guests and required masks to be worn in the lobby. Our five shows included The Malpass Brothers, Wilson Fairchild, Teea Goans, Mark Wills, Jimmy Fortune and Rhonda Vincent. I g o t t o m e e t Ta y l o r Malpa ss’s little boy, John Reynolds, and he is such a doll — looks just like his daddy. There were so many special moments during the week. One of the cutest things that happened was at Jimmy Fortunes’ show. When Jimmy ask for special requests the lights came up and there on the second row on the left side was a little girl about three years old fidgeting and bored. When Jimmy saw her, he said, “I have just the s o n g f o r YO U ” a n d started singing “Lion King.” The little girl sat straight up and smiled the biggest smile while swaying to the music with her hands over her head. When Jimmy finished the whole song, she waved at him and blew him a kiss! Lion King is now my favorite song by Jimmy Fortune.

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We also had lunch with two of our favorite Country Artists from Branson – Moe Bandy and Barbara Fairchild. It was a good week! The Diner On the “Diner” you never know who is going to drop by. This week Ronny Robbins and Tony Booth both stopped by. Tony was in the audience, but it didn’t take long to get him on stage to sing his hit, “The Key’s in the Mailbox.”

Ronnie Robbins

Tony Booth

Book Club This month I am adding Mac Wiseman’s book to my book club. Mac had an amazing career and was such a favorite on “Country’s Family Reunion” shows. We visit Mac’s final resting place on my new “Nashville Memorial Tours” DVD, Volume 3. I have a limited supply of Mac’s book so grab it while you can.

November 2020


Groundbreaking Singer Helen Reddy Dies at 78 By Claudia Johnson

Though not a Country artist, the passing of Helen Reddy on Sept. 29, 2020, is of note. "I Am Woman," which she wrote and recorded in 1971, became an anthem for the feminist movement and earned Reddy a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Often referred to as the "Queen of 70s Pop,” she recorded 18 studio albums, seven of which achieved sales of 500,000 units in the US for which they were awarded Gold certification. One of those seven albums, "I Am Woman," eventually went Platinum by reaching sales of one million copies. Her first compilation album, "Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits," was awarded Double Platinum status in 1992 for hitting the two million sales mark. Reddy's singles had the most success on what was then Billboard's Easy Listening chart, where eight of her 24 entries made it all the way to No. 1. Of those 24 there were 20 that also made the Billboard Hot 100, with six of those hitting the Top 10, including three, "I Am Woman," "Delta Dawn” and "Angie Baby,” that reached No. 1. Of those 20 Hot 100 entries, 19 were also Canadian pop hits in RPM and four of them, the three number ones and her No. 3 hit, "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)," earned Gold certification for the sales of one million copies. On 23 July 1974, Reddy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the music industry. That same year during the inaugural American Music Awards she was named Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. Also in 1974 she became a naturalized American citizen, resuming her Australian citizenship when the subsequent opportunity to maintain dual American–Australian citizenship became available. Page 16

Reddy was active in community affairs. In July 1977, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Reddy to a nine-member commission overseeing the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Her nomination was unanimously approved, and she served on the commission until 1980. Reddy announced her retirement from performing in 2002, giving her farewell performance with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, after which she moved from her longtime residence in Santa Monica, California, back to her native Australia to spend time with her family. After the move to Australia she earned a degree in clinical hypnotherapy and neurolinguistic programming and became a practicing clinical hypnotherapist. At a ceremony in August 2006, Reddy was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. By April 2008, Reddy was reported to be living "simply and frugally off song royalties, pension funds and social security...[renting] a 13th-floor apartment with a 180° view of Sydney Harbor." Her apartment had been recently appraised, causing Reddy concern over its future affordability. Howe ver, when the Ne w York-ba sed landlord learned his tenant's identity he wrote her saying, "I had no idea it was THE Helen Reddy who was living in my unit. Because of what you have done for millions of women all over the world, I will not sell or raise your rent. I hope you'll be very happy living there for years to come." November 2020


Memories of Music Row Welcome back to my Memories of Music Row as I share stories and day-to-day happenings through my personal interviews with the “architects of music row” — record producers, songwriters, artists, studio musicians and recording engineers. by Areeda Schneider Stampley was the first major promoter and manager of A trailblazing Pioneer father Nashville's growing Country music industry. In early 1937, King formed the Golden West – Pee Wee King Cowboys band, and by June he had joined the Grand I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Pee Wee King in July 1987 when we judged the popular Te n n e s s e e Va l l e y Jamboree’s Challenge of the Country Bands at the historic Crockett Theatre in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. What a joy to spend time visiting with this iconic legendary star! King was born Julius Fr a n k Anthony Kuczynski on Feb. 18, 1914, in Abrams, Wisconsin, and grew up in the polka and waltz culture of the Midwest. He was an unlikely candidate for Country music stardom, yet his lucky break came in 1934 when he met pioneer music promoter Joe L. Frank, a native of Limestone County, Alabama, who was working with Gene Autry. Throughout the 1930s, King toured and made cowboy movies with Autry. Western music became the focus of his repertoire after Autry invited the band to back him on his radio show for WLS in Chicago. Autr y, however, soon left WLS for Hollywood where he would go on to become famous as “The Singing Cowboy” of the movies. In 1936, King moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and married J. L. Frank’s daughter, Lydia, with whom he settled in Louisville and had four children. Lydia's Page 17

Ole Opry. He and his band were featured with the Camel Caravan, a WSM touring company that did shows at military bases throughout the United States and Central America. At various times his band included Opry members Ernest Tubb, Minnie Pearl and Eddie Arnold. King helped introduce new sounds to the Grand Ole Opry stage such as electric guitar, drums and trumpet, “modern” instruments which had been banned from the Opry. In April 1954, following the death of President Roosevelt, the Opry was canceled. Since many fans had shown up, Opry management asked King to perform his stage show. When confronted after the show about using banned instruments, King said, “You told me to do my stage show”. That incident opened the door to a new dimension of sound to the Opry stage.

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King wrote or co-wrote more than 400 songs, including some of the most popular songs in American musical history, notably “Tennessee Waltz,” written with Redd Stewart in 1946. Patti Page’s 1950 version was No. 1 on the pop charts and within six months sold 5 million copies. It became an official Tennessee state song in 1965. They also wrote, along with Chilton Price, “Slow Poke,” a No. 1 for 14 weeks, and “You Belong to Me” in 1951. His songs introduced waltzes, polkas and cowboy songs to country music. King’s 17-year recording career with RCA Victor included more than 20 albums and 157 singles. With his release of “Slow Poke” in 1951, he became one of the first country artists to cross over successfully into the pop field. His Golden West Cowboys band was named Country Band of the Year by Billboard and Cashbox magazines 1950-55. King became a television favorite with his shows in the 1950s and '60s, including a six-year run of “The Pee Wee King Show” on ABC television. He repeatedly blazed a trail for other country performers to follow. He appeared in four movies: “Gold Mine in the Sky” (1938), “Flame of the West” (1945), “Ridin’ the Outlaw Trail” (1951) and “The Rough, Tough West (1952). King was inducted into the Country Music Ha l l o f Fa m e i n 1 9 74 a n d t h e Na s h v i l l e Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

Areeda’s guitarist brother Roger Howell is pictured backing Pee Wee King on stage in this vintage photograph.

Video: Wisconsin Country Music Minute: Pee Wee King

Areeda with Pee Wee King judging the Challenge of the Country Bands

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November 2020


Vern Gosdin Homes of the Legends by Renae Johnson

Vern Gosdin had several homes in the Nashville area. At the time of his death, he lived at 2526 Pennington Bend Road, Nashville, TN 37214. This one-story home was built in 1999 and included 1,581 square feet. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, fireplace, central heating and cooling and an attached garage with an awning carport. Its location is only a few miles from the Grand Ole Opry, and you can actually see Briley Parkway from his house. Another famous country music legend, Porter Wagoner, lived on the same street less than a mile away from Vern. Vern was seen by his fans at the Nashville Palace, Cracker Barrel and other locations in the Music Valley Drive area. Prior to the Pennington Bend home, he lived at 7904 Stallion Drive in the Bellevue area of Nashville.

He lived there from 1997 until he moved to Pennington Bend. Vern Gosdin was known as “The Voice.” He had 19 Top 10 solo hits on the Country music charts from 1977-1990. They include “Set ‘Em Joe,” “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance,” “I’m Still Crazy” and of course his huge hit “Chiseled in Stone.” Vern died on April 28, 2009, after suffering from a stroke. He was 74.

Stallion Drive

Pennington Bend Road Page 19

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Areeda’s southern cooking by Areeda Schneider Stampley

Fresh Apple Pie A great dessert for those fresh autumn apples!

5 - 6 c. Granny Smith or tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced. 1 ¼ c. sugar 3 T. all-purpose flour ½ t. cinnamon 1 ½ t. vanilla extract 1 T. water 5 T butter, cut into small chunks 1. In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly combine all ingredients except butter. 2. Pour mixture into a pastry-lined pie pan. 3. Dot with butter. 4. Take a second pie crust and cut into 1/2-inch strips. 5. Lay half of the strips on the filled pie at 1-inch intervals. 6. Place remaining strips in opposite direction, forming a diamond pattern. 7. Flute edge of bottom crust, securing the strips. 8. Bake in preheated 450° oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce to 325° for 45 minutes more. To purchase Areeda’s Southern Cooking, a collection of old-fashioned recipes send $24.45 check (no credit cards) and mailing address to Areeda’s Southern Cooking, P. O. Box 202, Brentwood, TN 37024. Order online with PayPal or credit card at www.areedasoutherncooking.com. Page 20

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Jeff Carson: Musician and Policeman Jeff Carson has come full circle with careers that have allowed him to do the two things that he loves — music and police work. As a youngster, he and his famil y would sing three-par t harmony on trips. One of those trips was to Branson, Missouri, where he saw a show that inspired him to tell his high school counselor that he wanted to get into music. The counselor didn’t discourage Carson; instead, he picked up the phone and made some phone calls and that encouraged Carson to pursue a career in music. After high school graduation Carson entered a talent contest sponsored by Ozark Mountain Music in Northwest Arkansas and came in second place. He won the brass key, however, because the singer from the winning band asked him to join their band as lead guitar player. Although he really didn’t consider himself a lead guitar player, luck stayed with him and that band’s bass player quit right after he joined the band. “I stepped right into that role, and I played with them for two or three years,” Carson says. “The band broke up and I decided to move to Branson. Luck stayed with me, as I learned right away that a bass player had just quit one of the bands that played there. I auditioned and was hired. I couldn’t have been happier, and I played with them for a couple years.” Carson was content in Branson, but his wife Kim persuaded him to move to Nashville, which they did in 1989. In Nashville, his luck stayed with him, because a friend of his wife had a duo that was working at Opryland Hotel and their bass player had just quit. They hired him and Page 21

Jeff Carson he was fortunate to not have to take on another job outside of music. In addition to playing with them, he also persuaded the hotel to hire him as a solo act. Carson quickly learned the places to meet other music business folks were the songwriter nights at local Nashville clubs. He also volunteered to do demos for songwriters for free so he could get his foot in the door to sing demos. He sang demos on songs that turned into hits for Tracy Byrd (“Walkin’ To Jerusalem”), Tracy Lawrence (“I See it Now”), Reba McEntire (“The Heart Is A L o n e l y Hu n t e r ” ) , Ti m McGraw (“I Wouldn’t Want it Any Other Way”) and Faith Hill (“It Matters To Me”)." Singing demos turned into a lucky decision for Carson when he met record producer and publisher Chuck Howard, who cut three or four songs on him that were good enough to pitch to labels. Howard was instrumental in getting him his label deal at Curb Records, and soon a single, “Yeah Buddy,” released to radio. November 2020


“It was my first charting single, and it set me up for the next one, ‘Not On Your Love,’ which became my first number one single. The following single, ‘The Car,’ became a top five hit, topping out at number two. That song brought in many stories from people about their father. I remember one that really touched me — we were in California and playing the song on radio and one guy called in and said, ‘I haven’t talked to my dad in 20 years, and when I heard that song I had to pull over and call him’.” Carson had several other singles, including “Real Life (Was Never The Same Again)” from his album “Real Life.” An album release party was planned for “Real Life” on Sept. 11, 2001. That morning terrorists hijacked two planes to attack the Twin Towers in New York City and one that attacked the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane was hijacked from the terrorists and crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Its destination was unknown. “The song made it into the Top 20 but it all changed after that,” Carson explains. “I had to make a tough decision on whether to continue in music or make a career change.” For some people this would have been one of the worst decisions of their lives, but once again, luck intervened. Carson had always said that if he had not pursued music, he would have looked at a career in law enforcement. “I was always very pro-law enforcement,” he explains. “If we had time after a show, I’d go ride with officers on patrol. I always said if music went away the only other thing I’d like to do would be a cop. So in 2007, when we went to a family dinner for Thanksgiving, Kim told me she was scared, but if I still wanted to be a policeman, it was okay.” Carson went through the Police Academy in Franklin, Tennessee, and was hired to the department in May of 2008. Page 22

“I went through Police Academy, where I stayed on base for five days a week, and that lasted 12 weeks. Then Franklin had a 16-week Academy and three months of ride-a-longs before I was released out on my own. I was one of the older applicants for the Academy at 44.” The singer admits that for about eight years he didn’t pick up his guitar, and then about three years ago someone called him and asked if he would do a show at a casino in Michigan. “I told him I’d see if I could remember the words to my songs, but really the words and chord progressions and playing guitar came back to me right away.” After that, a person who books shows for the Fraternal Order of Police contacted him to see if he would like to do a few Fraternal Order of Police shows. “I liked that idea, so I did a Merle Haggard tribute and one to George Jones and played some of the older stuff and the audiences really liked that. After that I started to get other bookings and I’ve been back out on the road doing my music again.” All that has led to two recent musical projects. Before Father’s Day this year, Carson sent out word via social media that he was going to do a video for his hit, “The Car,” and was looking for pictures of people and their father. He asked for photos of them doing something with their dad, or just a picture of them with him. “The song is about spending time with your dad and appreciate the times you had with him. A lot of pictures were submitted, and the video turned out really great.” While all the new music opportunities are great, Carson plans to keep his job with the Franklin Police Department. “I’m not giving up police work. I get enough vacation throughout the year so I can go out and do shows. Like other entertainers, I had dates booked and then Covid-19 came along and they all had to be cancelled. I never wanted to leave music, but I love my job as a cop as well. “I’m grateful that people remember me and when I play shows. They bring old pictures they had taken with me from Fan Fair or a show I did near them. It is touching to see these pictures from the fans and know they still remembered me and loved my music.” Carson says there have been no regrets with either of his career decisions. “I have had the best of both worlds and feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity of doing two things that I continue to love.” • November 2020


Chrissy Metz: “This is Us” Star Finds Her Voice in Country Music and Songwriting When Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate Pearson Country music fans found out that the TV star on the award-winning NBC series “This Is Us,” could sing thanks to her performance of “I’m read the script for an episode in the show’s first Standing With You” alongside Carrie Underwood, season where Kate sings Cyndi Lauper’s “Time Lauren Alaina, Mickey Guyton and Maddie & Tae After Time” at a retirement community, she at the ACM Awards in April 2019. thought the show’s creator, Dan Fogelman, had Impressed by her composure at the ACM’s and made a mistake. discovering Metz was writing and traveling to “I didn’t audition as a singer, so I was like, Nashville on her own dime for almost two years ‘Wait, what?’” she recalls with a prior to the performance, laugh. “I called Dan and said, Universal Music Group ‘You want me to sing?’ And he Na s h v i l l e p r e s i d e n t s a i d , ‘ If y o u d o n’t f e e l C i n d y Ma b e ( w h o comfortable, we can dub it,’ suggested the women and I said, ‘No, no, I would perform together) love to tr y and for the offered Metz a deal with character to have that piece of EMI Records Nashville. her story.’” This April, the label W h a t Fo g e l m a n d i d n’t released Metz’s debut know when he wrote the single, “Talking To God,” episode was that Kate’s story which Metz loved on mirrored Metz’s own. Growing first listen because it was up in Japan, where her father u p - te m p o b u t h a d a was stationed, and Gainesville, contemplative message. Florida, Metz harbored dreams “When I wake up or of being a singer. go to bed, I pray and “Mu s i c w a s s u c h a think about the people touchstone in my life,” said who aren’t in my life Chrissy Metz Metz, who also found peace anymore,” she said. “I singing hymns in church. “It always send them love was the way I could release my emotions, but also and wish them well even if they’ve hurt me. I just understand what other people were going through.” think that in the time of desperation and need, It didn’t occur to Metz that singing was whether you’re religious or not, people talk to God something she could do professionally. because you’re on your knees at that point, it’s the “A couple of my friends were aspiring singers,” moment of surrender. I think people can really she says. “They were talented, beautiful and all the relate to that. I certainly do.” things I thought you needed to be in order to “Talking to God” is the first single from actually become a popular singer. And I was like, Metz’s debut album, which she describes as having ‘Yeah, that’s not going to happen.’ And it wasn’t as a “soul-country” feel. if my family had money for any extracurricular “Organ and pedal steel guitar are two of my activities like voice lessons to cultivate the craft. favorite instruments,” she says. “The album is Being cast on ‘This Is Us’ has been such a gift in country with those rhythm and blues undertones.” my life for so many reasons, one being that it Metz, who wrote or co-wrote several of the provided a space to discover why I was afraid to album’s songs, mined her own life for subject create my own music or pursue something that was matter, emerging with songs that are vulnerable, this important to me in the first place.” intimate and deeply relatable. Page 23

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“I knew I wanted to tell stories through the songs and share my personal experiences,” she said. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to make music, I want it to be as personal as possible.’ That’s why I wanted to be a part of the process. The writer’s room is one of the most magical places on earth. That several strangers can go into a room and in four hours have a song that could change people’s lives? It is a moment in time to be revered.” Her song, “Pretty Girl,” was inspired by the narrative that one’s intrinsic value comes from what they look like or present as. “Feel Good” finds Metz in the moment where she realized she was done living her life for other people and that it was time to put the focus on herself. “I started to feel good when I allowed myself to do the things that I wanted to do like pursuing music,” she said. “I can’t worry about what people are going to say, think, or do. I’ve got to do what feels good to me.” Metz’s Best-selling Metz hopes that anyone who listens to her music will be Book inspired and feel less alone. “I hope people feel that we are more alike than we are different and that we all have individual journeys that we are invited to learn and grow from,” she said. To listen visit chrissymetzmusic.com. • Two-time CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year Janie Fricke proves that there is no place like home for the holidays with the release of her first-ever Christmas album, “A Cowgirl Country Christmas.” Fricke’s voice has been a staple in Country music for decades and now fans across the globe can add this album to their holiday favorites. Singles that evoke visions of sugar plums and snow such as, “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” and “The Christmas Song,” are featured on the album along with the original single, “The Followers” written by Fricke and Jeff Steele. “Christmas is my favorite time of year,” says Fricke. "It is a chance for family and loved ones to gather while having great food, fellowship, and sharing the love, while celebrating our savior, Jesus Christ’s birth. It is a way to bring the year to an end and celebrate such a joyous occasion. I had never recorded a Christmas album before. It was exciting to research my favorite Christmas songs and remember my mom playing piano and teaching me how to sing.” “A Cowgirl Country Christmas” was produced by Fricke, Jeff Steele and assistant producer Sonny Morris. Fans of

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Janie Fricke’s Christmas Album Fricke will be whisked away in comfort and joy after reveling in her signature sound crafted with a whole new sentiment. Fricke’s vocals are perfect for the soothing ballads and cheerful jingles that are nostalgic for the Christmas season. Listeners anticipate classic stories displayed in a unique light, leaving hearts merry and bright Fricke has hit No. 1 spot on the Country charts an astounding 18 times. She was named Billboard Magazine Top Female Vocalist, was the First Female Voice on the Moon and was named the UK’s Country Music Round Up’s Most Popular International Female Solo Act. Her music has reached Gold and Platinum sales status worldwide, and the talented and personable Indiana native has recorded numerous jingles for CocaCola, Pizza Hut and United Airlines. Janie has released 25 albums and 36 hit singles, and she remains one of the most beloved entertainers in the Country field. 'A Cowgirl Country Christmas' is now available exclusively at JanieFricke.com or facebook.com/ janiefricke. •

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r o f g n Tapi

October 2020

r e b m Nove

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