Country's Family Reunion News, September 2020

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Country’s Family Reunion

NEWS September 2020

Columbia, Tennessee

Jim Reeves’ House Eddie Stubbs Retires Country Music Mayhem

Music Row Beginnings Hank Snow Museum Marie Osmond’s Paper Roses September 2020

… and more


Country’s Family Reunion


What’s inside?

Eddie Stubbs, p. 3 Columbia, p. 4 Nadine, p. 6 Jim Reeves’ Home, p. 7 Diner Chat p. 8 Babies, p. 10 Chattanooga Choo Choo p. 12 Rock & Roll, p. 14 Kelly Lang, p. 16 Squash, p. 17 “Paper Roses,”p. 18 Hank Snow Museum, p. 20 Jim Reeves’ Dog, p. 22

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 Annual Print Subscriptions $29.95; renewals $24.95 To subscribe or renew call 1-800-8 20-5405 or mail payment to P.O. Box 610 Price, UT 84501 Online Subscriptions $15 per year September 2020


Eddie Stubbs Retires After a life-long involvement in traditional Country music, Grand Ole Opry and 650 AM WSM radio’s evening personality Eddie Stubbs has retired. Although he’s best known for his voice, Stubbs is also a musician who learned to play fiddle while growing up in his native Montgomery County, Maryland. At age 17 he joined the initial lineup of the Grammy-nominated Johnson Mountain Boys, a Washington, D.C. bluegrass band. His first job in radio was as a disc jockey when in 1983 he began hosting a weekly bluegrass show on WYII in Williamsport, Maryland, for which he earned $20 per program. The following year he moved to WAMU Bluegrass Country in Washington D.C., and in 1990 he began hosting his own show. "No one gets rich in radio," he once observed, explaining why he continued to do odd jobs like house painting to supplement his income. “The Eddie Stubbs Show” on WAMU was a weekly exploration of the classic artists and songs of Country music that he described as “the best in classic honkytonky, traditional country and vintage bluegrass.” After his March 1995 move to Nashville he continued to produce the show from his studio until 2007. Stubbs’ relocation to Nashville was originally to play fiddle with Queen of Country Music Kitty Wells and husband Johnnie Wright, but other opportunities began to open for Stubbs. “I heard it said once, years ago, if you want groceries, you’ve got to go to the store,” he recalled in the Ken Burns-produced PBS documentary series, “Country Music,” in which Stubbs was the centerpiece of the third installment. “Nashville is the store where the groceries are if you want to be in the Country music industry.”

September 2020

A week after relocating to Nashville he was hired part-time at 650 AM WSM. A mere 17 days after he arrived in Nashville, Stubbs auditioned for the announcer’s position on the Grand Ole Opry and became the third-longest tenured announcer in the Grand Ole Opry’s history. Grant Turner served for 47 years, and Hairl Hensley served for 35 years as Opry announcers. On July 8, 1996, Stubbs began hosting the evening shift on WSM. In WSM’s 95 years of operation, he holds the distinction of being the station’s longestserving broadcaster in the 7 p.m. to midnight slot. He selected music focused on a different theme each night. Stubbs won the Country Music Association’s Large Market Broadcast Personality Of The Year in 2002 and has been a finalist for that award six times. “I have had an extremely blessed 25 years at WSM,” Stubbs said. “The experiences and friendships have allowed me to live a lot of dreams. Needless to say, I will be forever grateful.” In 2012 he received Country radio’s highest honor by becoming one of the youngest living inductees into the Country Radio Hall Of Fame. Stubbs spent six seasons as the on-camera announcer for “The Marty Stuart Show” on RFDTV. He has served on committees with the Country Music Association, the International Bluegrass Music Association and The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. “Basically, from the time my feet hit the floor in the morning until I go to bed at night, I am dealing with one aspect or another of the radio or music business,” Stubbs told journalist Beverly Keel in 2015. “The only time it seems like I am not is when I am in church on Sunday mornings.” Acknowledged as “a walking encyclopedia of country music,” Stubbs has written about Country music history in journals, newspapers, books and liner notes for albums and CDs. He’s delivered eulogies at the funerals of more than 40 country music artists, including more than a dozen members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Eddie Stubbs is considered the congenial face and voice of country music for many,” observed “A virtual encyclopedia of country music knowledge, full of stories… he is an irreplaceable institution of a personality leaving at a time when the voices, characters and timbre of American country music is changing.” o


Small Tennessee Town Becoming Hub for Traditional Country Music By Claudia Johnson Columbia, Tennessee, a 45-minute drive south of Nashville, is the emerging mecca for Country music fans. “A lot of people have found the same heart in Columbia as we’ve found,” said Jared Black, President of Country Road Management, explaining why the various Country music related business endeavors initiated by his father, Larry Black, and now operated by Jared and brothers Ian and Adam, have relocated from Nashville to Columbia. Black describes the family’s business as “a legacy company that focuses on the heartbeat of Country September 2020

music and a Country lifestyle.” That’s why they jumped at the chance to headquarter their operations in the restored downtown of historic Columbia, a city of around 40,000 that’s been growing since its settlement 213 years ago. Columbia, situated alongside the Duck River, is the county seat of Maury County, once the richest county in Tennessee. It was an agricultural center known for the breeding and training of thoroughbred race horses and production of highquality, full-blooded livestock, tobacco and hemp. History enthusiasts flock to the area for tours of antebellum mansions of which Maury has more than any other county in Tennessee. The self-proclaimed "mule capital of the world," Columbia annually celebrates the citydesignated Mule Day, which began in the 1840s as an annual daylong mule sale each April. Over the decades Mule Day has evolved into a full schedule of events, including a parade, music, vendors, food and reunions, the first weekend in April, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from throughout the world. 4

The only surviving personal residence of James Knox Polk, eleventh President of the United States, is located just off the public square and a block from a new 55,500-square-foot entertainment venue, The Mulehouse, being developed by broadcaster Blair Garner. “It’s going to be the white-hot center of music here with the ability to attract mainstream performers,” Black observed, adding that commitments by people like Garner further validated the Blacks’ decision to headquarter in Columbia. Rick Clark, an award-winning producer, writer and music supervisor for such television shows as “Hell on Wheels,” “Greenleaf ” and “Hap and Leopold,” moved his company to Columbia’s square several years ago. Sheryl Crow, who has sold 50 million records worldwide, purchased three commercial properties in downtown Columbia in 2017. Mike Wolfe of “American Pickers” has restored several historic and vintage buildings in Columbia’s downtown. Among others, he’s invested in a bike store, Trek Bicycle Store; Mefford Motors, a restored car dealership and garage; and Two Lanes Guesthouse, a loft vacation rental. Musician and storyteller Rory Feek opened Marcy Jo's Mealhouse and Bakery, which hosts songwriters and musicians at designated times. His company, Red King Productions, not only produces Feek’s original shows but rents its studio to other companies. “Larry’s Country Diner” began taping there in summer 2020. “Rory’s studio is less than 50 yards from our offices,” Black said. “Being able to produce here brings fans to a space that feels like the idyllic hometown.” With so many local resources, Black and his brothers have ambitious plans for entertaining Country music fans in the future. In addition to the “Country’s Family Reunion” specials, “Larry’s Country Diner” weekly television show and Country Road TV’s television subscription service and YouTube channel, the Blacks are developing more original programming. September 2020

“These will be different but with the same heartbeat, and they’ll feature the names and faces our traditional Country music fans like,” Black said. Some of these plans include specials similar to “Country’s Family Reunion” but with a holiday theme; a comedy variety show reminiscent of the Mandrells’ or Smothers Brothers’ shows; and even a weekly 30-minute show with “Larry’s Country Diner” comedian Nadine hosting Country stars preparing their favorite foods or taking tours of interesting places. “We’d also like to offer a live event for the public when we have a taping in Columbia,” Black said, explaining that when the artists are in town filming a show or special in the studio, there will be an opportunity for them to also perform for their fans afterwards. Black is hoping to partner with others who believe in Columbia as a growing music center to plan an annual, multi-day event during which singers, songwriters and musicians descend upon the community for a series of live concerts and meet-and-greets with fans. “Columbia is where Nashville left off,” Black said. “It’s the greatest backdrop in terms of physical layout, history and heartbeat. We are very blessed to be part of what’s happening here.” o

Country Road TV’s New Offices 5

Nadine’s Corner Well, I got up this morning and tried to straighten out the wrinkles in my socks and realized I wasn't wearing any. I'm in big trouble! Everything is dropping so fast, my doctor is wearing a hard hat when I go to see him now. I thought about getting a facelift but I'm afraid I'd turn out like my friend. Boy, they messed her up! Every time she crosses her legs, her mouth opens. She's the one that wont ever tell you how old she is. Her age is like the speedometer on a used car, you know it's set back, you just don't know how far. I tell you though, old age is like a plane flying through a bad storm. Once you're on board, there's really nothing you can do about it. Another problem us old folks have is tipping at a restaurant, Homer says its like eating prunes, is 1 enough or is 5 too many! I tell you one thing, we could slow this aging process down if we had to pass it through Congress Well, I better shut my mouth before I get in trouble! Just remember, evil will prevail, when good men do nothing.

Love y'all, Nadine

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

September 2020


Homes of the Legends: Jim and Mary Reeves, 1958-1964 by Renae Johnson

Jim Reeves lived at 400 Westchester Dr., Madison, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville from 1958 until his death on July 31, 1964, at age 41. Jim and his wife Mary had the home built in 1958 right after the success of his hit song “Four Walls.” The property was a large lot, almost a block deep, located at a dead end street with trees surrounding the property. After his collie dog, Cheyenne, got hit by a car; they decided to fence the back yard so he couldn’t get out again. The home had three bedrooms, three full baths, a

full basement, 32’ x 27’ game room, 18’ x 13’ kitchen and 33’ x 25’ family room with bath. The more than 4,000 square feet was divided into two complete living areas. The main level was 2,368 square feet with 1,800 square feet in the lower living area. With a covered patio that featured an outside fireplace they enjoyed a lot of lawn parties where Jim barbecued. He chopped his own wood for the fireplace and enjoyed tinkering with his antique Buick parked in the back. The offices of Jim Reeves Enterprises were moved into the lower level of the home that included September 2020

a recording studio. There was a separate driveway and entrance on the right for his business and on the left the driveway circled around to the garage/ carport area. Jim loved his home, but complained he scarcely had time to enjoy it. Reeves began his recording career in 1945 and soon became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. His smooth-toned voice and great songwriting left us with many classics. In fact after his death his songs continued to chart for years. He had 34 charted hits after his death, which was unheard of. Some of those songs included “He’ll Have To Go,” “Four Walls,” “Distant Drums,” “Blue Side of Lonesome,” “Bimbo” and “Welcome To My World.” On Friday July 31, 1964 piloting private, singleengine plane. The plane crashed into the Brentwood woods just east of I-65 at 4:52 p.m. It was possibly caused by bad luck or poor piloting in a thunderstorm. He and his manager/ piano player, Dean Manuel, were found at the wreckage. Several country stars, including Roy Acuff, Eddie Arnold, Minnie Pearl and Ernest Tubb, went to search the wreckage. Bill Anderson’s house was nearly adjacent to the crash site. The bodies were found Sunday, August 2. He is buried off Hwy 79 near Carthage, Texas. His dog, Cheyenne, who outlived him by several years is buried next to him. There is a life size marble monument of Jim holding a guitar. o


I don’t know about you guys but these last few months have felt like years! It’s crazy to think about living in a country where we have to wear face masks all the time. I can’t get out of the habit of putting on lipstick, and all it does is smear on the inside of my mask. Lucky for me I have more than one. One in my purse, one in the car, and usually one in the laundry. I have the worst time recognizing people when they are wearing a mask. Do you? Don’t forget to order your “Larry’s Country Diner” face mask while supplies last. And don’t forget to send us a picture of you wearing the mask. It could be in the next issue of the paper.

Wilford Brimley Wilford Brimley, who visited the Diner with Riders In The Sky, passed away of a kidney ailment. He was 85. To have Wilford come and sing at the Diner was such an honor. I have watched him in so many movies, “The China Syndrome,” “ T h e Fi r m , ” “ C o c o o n , ” “ T h e Natural,” “Absence of Malice” and o f c o u r s e t h e Q u a ke r O a t s commercials. He did lots of bit parts where he worked without a script, so he fit right in at the Diner. His singing voice sounded just like him! He had that no-nonsense gruff-speaking voice you could recognize even with your eyes closed. With his thick large mustache the only way we knew he was having a good time at the Diner was watching his large waistline shake. We weren’t sure what he thought of Nadine, but later we heard he was convinced she was a man dressed as women!!! Lol September 2020


Malpass Brothers

Jake Hoot

I know you guys are ready for more from the Malpass Brothers. Yes….they are back and of course great! They made us laugh as we enjoyed their wonderful harmonies.

If you are familiar with the TV show “The Voice” you may have seen the winner of Season 17, Jake Hoot. This Texas boy, whose father was a Baptist Missionary, sings his heart out. He went to college in Tennessee so we claim him as ours. I know you will love him. And he is BIG!! Don’t miss this Diner show Sept. 17 and 19.

Michelle Capps Many of you have asked how Michele Capps is doing? She stops by the Diner during one of shows to bring a shadow box with Jimmy’ shirt and badge to hang on the wall.

Book Club For this month’s Book Club, with every Jimmy Capps’ “ The Man In Back” book I will include free a copy of Jimmy’s Celebration of Life program from his funeral. With every “Larry’s Country Diner” Episode #501 TV Show DVD, I will include free a Guitar Pick with The Sheriff Jimmy Capps on one side and our logo on the other side. This show features Jimmy’s Cd “In Time for Dinner.” With every Jan Howard Book “ Sunshine and Shadow,” I will include free the poem by Jan called “Aging.” It’s $6.95 shipping is per order not per item. Call 615-579-5497 or mail your order to: Renae Johnson PO BOX 681178, Franklin, TN 37068. And be patient. The postal service is S –L –O –W these days. o September 2020


Country Stars Welcome New

“Fans” to the Nursery Glen Campbell’s Great Grandson The grandson of late music legend Glen Campbell (son of Glen’s daughter Debby) welcomed his second child with wife Jessica, a baby boy named Campbell Douglas Olson, on Sunday, July 26. He measured 22¼ inches long and weighed 8 pounds., 11 ounces "It was important for us to carry on his grandfather's name and to show our child what a role model his great papa was," said Jeremy and Jessica Olson. "We know Glen is up in heaven smiling down on his great-grandson and sure is proud that he's named in his honor," adds Jeremy, an actor, and Jessica, a senior VP at The Mota Group and owner of children's clothing brand Wren Amber, named for the couple's 3½-year-old daughter.

Malpass Christopher Malpass announces new baby on the way Christopher Malpass announced at the July taping of “Larry’s Country Diner,” that he and his wife Linda are expecting their second child. Son Barrett will soon be a big brother!

September 2020


Tony Jackson Celebrates Baby Girl’s Birth Tony Jackson and Michelle Peterson welcomed daughter Madelyn Rose Jackson on July 17 at 12:20 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Jackson Family

Mo Pitney Has Second Daughter Country singer Mo Pitney and his wife, Emily, are celebrating the addition of a new baby girl to their family. Audra Elaine Pitney was born on July 14. She weighed 7.5 pounds and measured 20 inches at birth. "I’m so humbled to see her bravery and strength show through her the way that it did!" Pitney said of his wife who also had rough delivery with the Pitneys' first daughter, Evelyne Nadine, who ultimately arrived via emergency C-section due to a prolapsed umbilical cord. September 2020

Pitney Family 11

Country Music Mayhem

Song’s Authorship Sparked Royalty Battle By Claudia Johnson Sensational lawsuits over music authorship have been in the news since music became a business. In recent years highly publicized disputes have resulted in years-long court battles with multimillion dollar judgements. In 1950 the release and phenomenal success of "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy" sparked a similar suit, with newspapers around the country reporting that an estimated $100,000 in royalties were at stake. That’s more than $1 million when converted to 2020 buying power. The suit was filed by Minnie Lee Biggs, widow of David McCarroll “Bunny” Biggs, who alleged that her late husband wrote a song in August 1947 called “Shoe Shine Boogie” that was recorded after his death as "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy.”

With aspirations beyond Dallas, they became members of the National Barn Dance touring company and were featured guests on WLS and other popular stations. While living in Dallas Biggs married Mrs. Minnie Lee Wilson Turner on May 5, 1939.

Who was Bunny Biggs? Biggs was born July 7, 1897, in Newport News, Virginia. He served in Europe during World War I, and became an entertainer after his return. He appeared as a singer and comic with the Lew Dockstader Minstrel Show and toured with both the Pantages Theatre Circuit and its competitor, the Orpheum circuit. Biggs appeared on the live radio show of violinist, bandleader and radio personality Ben Bernie and on the National Broadcasting Company’s radio series “What’s Your Title?” He also recorded an album, “Tales of Uncle Remus.” He was touring with Freddy Madden as the comedy team “Biggs and Madden” in 1933, according to old newspapers of the era. Biggs got his start as a comedic radio entertainer at WFAA in Dallas, Texas, in the early 1930s. Rural Radio magazine’s March 1939 issue published a story about Biggs and his performing partner, Harry LeVan. The pair first developed characters known as Catfish and Skillet, later redubbed Slo ‘n’ Ezy, creating as many as 18 different characters to entertain Dallas radio listeners every weekday morning. September 2020

The Allegations Named as defendants in the Minnie Biggs lawsuit were Harry Stone, director of WSM; Mildred Acuff, Roy Acuff ’s wife; music publisher Fred Rose and Jack Stapp, WSM program director. The suit alleged that Bunny Biggs had written the song “Shoe Shine Boogie” and turned it over to Stone for promotion, who was to have it performed on WSM radio as well as have it published by AcuffRose Music. Stone was to receive one-third of the royalties with the remainder going to Biggs. 12

The suit claimed that Biggs’ composition was identical in song pattern and rhyme as the tune published by Acuff-Rose under the name. “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy" with writing credits given to Stone and Stapp. The suit explained that under the Acuff-Rose contract it was customary for a music publisher to rewrite or dress-up the verses submitted to them and in some instances make minor changes in the rhythm and music to improve the song prior to publication. However, in all cases when the idea is obtained from an individual, when rewritten and published, the song would bear the name of that individual as the author. The suit pointed out that neither Stone nor Stapp could read music and had never written a song before "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy." She contended that when her husband provided Stone with the original manuscript containing the verses and lead sheets for “Shoe Shine Boogie,” he was supposed to obtain a “singer of wide reputation” to record it. A few months after her husband died the song was published, was being sung live on WSM radio and was about to be recorded by a well-known singer.

The Hit Song The song tells the story of a young black man working as a shoe shine boy on the streets of Chattanooga. The industrious lad draws an appreciative crowd each day with his impressive and somewhat musical 10 cent shoe shine using his “boogie woogie rag.” The youth gets up early, works hard and is described as a “great big bundle o' joy” who makes customers feel “as though you wanna dance when he gets through” with their shine. Country star Red Foley’s recording was released in early 1950, and "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy" became his signature song. It reached the Billboard pop chart on Jan. 13, 1950, and lasted 15 weeks, peaking at No. 1. Foley's recording also went to No. 1 on the Country chart and stayed at the top spot for three months. September 2020

In April 1950 Foley, Stapp and Stone were honored at a special event in Chattanooga. A shoe shine contest was held with 50 actual shoeshine boys from Chattanooga competing to perform a shine like the one described in the song’s lyrics. A street called Grand mentioned in the song did not exist, but the city renamed an existing street “Grand” to match the song. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Phil Harris, Bradford & Romano and Bill Darnell all recorded the song in 1950, with each release spending some time on the charts. After charting for 13 weeks, Crosby’s rendition peaked at No. 4.

The Settlement The case went to trial in February 1951, but a jury by a vote of 7 to 5 failed to agree on the song’s authorship. The court case was set for a second trial on Feb. 25, 1952, in the Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court. The jury had been selected, and a large number of spectators had gathered in the courtroom, but Chancellor Thomas A. Shriver announced that there would be no trial. A compromise had been reached when Minnie Biggs, who was 54, suddenly settled for $7,500 and relinquished all rights to the song and any future income from the sale of its recordings or sheet music. That sum in 1952 had the buying power of $72,414.89 in 2020 dollars. No explanation is provided as to why she settled for such a negligible amount or forfeited future royalties. Only five years later Faron Young made it into a Country hit once again, and as credited songwriters, Stone and Stapp benefitted solely. In the decades following the lawsuit Minnie Biggs is listed in Nashville city directories in the home of her widowed daughter, Dorothy Marie Turner Lamar, who owned Dorothy’s Ceramics, a successful studio in East Nashville until her death in 1987. Minnie Lee Biggs, who was born on Dec. 1, 1898 died on Feb. 21, 1985 at age 86, outlived her husband by nearly 37 years. Under a headstone inscribed “Bunny Biggs” they are buried side-by-side in Nashville’s historic Spring Hill Cemetery, where many Country stars and personalities have been laid to rest. o 13

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

From Rock and Roll to Country In the 1950s-1960s, many of us were bopping and strolling to the sounds of rock & roll and rhythm & blues, when Elvis was king! During this time, some of the great rock, pop and swamp artists were starting to lean toward Country just as Country started leaning toward a more “Countrypolitan” style. While this blending of genres didn’t occur overnight, gradually profound Country influences mixed with elements of rock and blues began emerging on the music scene. In 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis was rocking at the top of the charts with “Great Balls of Fire.” This Ferriday, Louisiana, native was enjoying success at Sun Records both as an artist and a session player. On Dec. 4, 1956, he was playing piano on a Carl Perkins session at Sun Records. Johnny Cash was also there hanging out, and Elvis Presley had dropped in as well. Producer Sam Phillips was not one to let an opportunity pass, so he started the tape rolling. This impromptu jam session would later become known as the Million Dollar Quartet. By 1968, as Jerry Lee Lewis’ career was lagging, Smash/Mercury Records producer Jerry Kennedy suggested a shift and produced “Another Place,

Jerry Lee Lewis

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Another Time,” a Country classic written by Jerry Chesnut. It shot up to No. 4 on the Country charts and would be the beginning of a string of crossover Country hits for Jerry Lee Lewis. Another rocker with Country inclinations was Conway Twitty. Conway was born in Friars Point, Mississippi. In 1958, “It’s Only Make Believe” was released on MGM Records and went to the top spot on Billboard’s pop music charts and No. 1 in 21 other countries. It sold four million copies and was awarded a Gold Record. In 1965, Conway Twitty switched genres to his first love, Country music. Interestingly, radio refused his first releases because disc jockeys still considered him to be rock and roll. However, in July 1968, he had his first top five Country hit with a Wayne Kemp-penned “The Image of Me,” followed by his No. 1 Country song “Next in Line” in November 1968. His biggest Country hit was “Hello Darlin,’” released in 1970. That tune spent four weeks at the top of the Country chart. Conway Twitty had a string of duet hits with Loretta Lynn and numerous music awards.

Conway Twitty 14

In the 1960s Joe Stampley and The Uniques, his pop/rock band from Springhill, Louisiana, dominated the college market across the South. In 1965 “Not Too Long Ago” was a national hit on Paula Records followed by “All These Things,” which skyrocketed to No. 1 across the charts and placed them on national teen TV shows in the 1960s. After the 1970 Uniques breakup, Stampley signed with ABC/Dot and had a string of Country hits including “Soul Song” and a remake of the No.1 “All These Things” as a two-step. In 1974, he signed with Epic/CBS Records, where he released 13 albums with top hits such as “Roll On Big Mama,” “Red Wine and Blue Memories” and “Do You Ever Fool Around.” In 1976, Joe Stampley was Billboard’s Singlesartist of the Year. He and label mate Moe Bandy added to their successful solo careers the hit-making team of Moe & Joe, with chart-topper “Just Good Ol’ Boys,” written by Ansley Fleetwood in 1979. Moe and Joe went on to win numerous duo awards. They both remain active in their solo and duet careers.

Joe Stampley

Charlie Rich, born in Colt, Arkansas, began his career at Sun Records in Memphis, with music styles ranging from jazz to rock and roll. His 1960 release of “Lonely Weekends,” notable for the Presley-like vocals, sold more than one million copies and was awarded a Gold Record. He signed with Epic/CBS Records in 1967. During that time, older rock and roll artists were finding a new musical home in the Country format. Rich’s Countrypolitan style fit right in with Nashville’s new emerging sound. His first Billy Sherrill-produced record, “I Take It On Home,” went to No. 6 on the Country charts, followed by “Behind Closed Doors,” then “The Most Beautiful Girl,” which stayed at the top of the Country charts three weeks, plus two weeks at the top of the pop charts. Wasn’t the music world fortunate when all of these legendary Country artists made the switch from pop/rock to Country? They brought with them a unique dimension of relatable stories that spoke to the human condition and elevated the heart and soul of Country music that is known as the great Nashville Sound. o

Charlie Rich

Country’s Family Reunion News countrysfamilyreunionnews September 2020


Kelly Lang – Old Soul Delicately crafted with extensive passion, singer/ songwriter Kelly Lang takes fans on a soulful journey to deliver an unforgettable rendition of “Drive” leading up to a highly anticipated fall release of her new album “Old Soul” on September 18. Originally made famous by rock legends, The Cars, this cover boasts powerful blends of harmonic heat and signature sultry flame, illuminating the airwaves. “While looking for songs to record for my new project I kept hearing the song ‘Drive’ everywhere!” Said Lang. “It played when I was getting my nails done and while grocery shopping, almost like it was whispering ‘psst’... you need to record me! This song is the perfect way to start the album and set the mood for the eclectic tracks that lie ahead.” Defining class and musical excellence, Lang serves up the perfect dose of melodic healing to help untangle tired hearts. “Kelly Lang is one of those artists who believes totally in the music she makes,” said Sir Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. “Her new album entitled ‘Old Soul’ is a fine selection of songs that have meant something in her life and in her heart. Sentimental and romantic, two words missing in popular music today. As always she delivers with class and purity! This is one of the best!!!” Lang is a prolific singer/songwriter from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who has called Hendersonville, Tennessee, home since moving there as a child. Growing up in country music, her father, Velton Lang, was the long-time road manager for super star Conway Twitty. Being around great legends in the music business gave Kelly the burning desire to pursue her own personal music career. As a songwriter, Lang has had a stellar career with her songs being recorded by artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Lorrie Morgan, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, George Jones, B.J. Thomas, Jimmy Fortune, Jerry Lee Lewis, TG Sheppard and Johnny Lee, just to name a few. She has also performed/recorded duets with iconic artists like Sir Barry Gibb, Dame Olivia Newton-John, Paul Shaffer and Lee Greenwood. September 2020

“Old Soul,” sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms Chicken features 14 covers of critically acclaimed songs and highlights her rare love and appreciation for the timeless classics. “From the moment I put on Kelly’s CD, I smiled,” said Dame Olivia Newton-John. “You know when you hear a song on the radio and you have to turn it up so you can hear it properly? That’s what I felt about this whole CD! From the first song to the last, I kept smiling! A wonderful selection of popular songs perfectly suited to Kelly’s beautiful and unique voice. She can sing anything from country to jazz to rock! Kelly’s voice is warm and inviting, sharing her heart in every song, and I love that she sang the only duet, ‘Quando, Quando, Quando’ with her talented husband TG Sheppard!” As an artist, Lang has released several albums including “11:11,” “Shades of K,” “Throwback,” “Obsession” and “Iconic Duets” with her husband. In the spring of 2020, Lang re-released her classic children’s album “Lullaby Country,” which was originally sold at Cracker Barrel. As part of a regional campaign, her voice and writing skills can be heard on television with her song “I’m Not Going Anywhere” throughout Tennessee and the surrounding areas as the official anthem for the Ascension St. Thomas Hospital commercial. From writing and performing to producing her own music, Lang remains bold in her pursuit to deliver positive charisma to listeners and spread hope in times of need. Visit HERE to view the ‘Drive’ lyric video on YouTube. “Drive” is available to download and stream on all digital platforms.



Areeda’s southern cooking by Areeda Schneider Stampley

Skillet Sautéed Summer Squash Here’s an easy way to enjoy fresh yellow squash. A family favorite! ½ stick butter 1 ½ -2 lbs. fresh yellow squash, thin to medium sliced 1 small onion, thinly sliced 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced Salt and fresh-ground pepper, to taste Slowly melt butter in 10” stainless steel skillet. Wash and slice squash, horizontally, and pour into skillet. Spread onion and bell pepper over squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Do not stir. Cook on medium heat long enough that squash is lightly browned on bottom, then gently turn squash and brown on other side. Decrease heat and let it gently cook until done but not mushy. Turn squash only once. Time: 30 minutes. Yield 6-8 servings. Correction on August’s Blue Ribbon Lemon Meringue Pie mixing directions: Filling: 1. mix sugar, cornstarch & salt 2. combine egg yolks, water, lemon juice; then continue to follow recipe with Stir into sugar mixture, etc. Meringue: 1. cook cornstarch, 2 T. sugar and water 2. then continue with Beat egg whites, etc To purchase Areeda’s Southern Cooking, a collection of oldfashioned 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 at Credit cards accepted online. Email Areeda at

September 2020


Marie Osmond Began Career as County Music Hitmaker By Sasha Dunavant

Marie Osmond has been a star since 1973 when her first single release, “Paper Roses” became a favorite for disc jockeys and made No. 1 on the Country charts and No. 2 in the United Kingdom. Because it spoke to both young and mature listeners, the song became a top five hit on Pop charts as well. Upon reaching No. 1, Marie became, at less than one month after her 14th birthday, the youngest female artist and youngest overall solo artist to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart Marie, the second youngest of nine children and the only girl in the large Osmond clan, was born to Olive May and George Virgil Osmond in Ogden, Utah, on October 13, 1959. The Osmond family, who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, had already produced a successful group, The Osmond September 2020

Brothers, and a solo teen idol, Donnie Osmond, by the time Marie released her mega hit. As a follow-up to her “Paper Roses” success, she released a single “In My Little Corner of the World” and an album by the same name in 1974. Both album and song made the Billboard Country Top 40 the same year. Marie switched over to Pop music for her act with her brother Donny Osmond on their television show, “Donny and Marie,” which ran from 1975-1979. ABC TV president Fred Silverman presented an offer to do the show to the Osmond siblings after he saw them on “The Mike Douglas Show.” At the time they were the youngest act in history to receive a variety show contract at ages 16 and 18. Hits such as “Morning Side of the Mountain,” “I’m Leaving it All Up to You” and “Make the World Go Away” were debuted on “Donny and Marie.” In addition to their performances, the show attracted popular guests stars and acts like The Brady Bunch cast, Sonny and Cher, comedian George Gobel, Charlie Pride, Little Richard and Minnie Pearl. At the end of each show Donnie and Marie would sing their trademark song, “May Tomorrow Be a Perfect Day.” In 1977 Marie released her album, “This is the Way I Feel.” It was intended for Country audiences but took a more Pop music turn. In 1984 she released “Who’s Counting” with RCA Records. It made the Billboard chart resting at No. 82. Her first studio album in seven years was 1985’s “There’s No Stopping Your Heart.” Two songs from the album made No. 1 on the Country music charts. England Dan and John Ford Coley’s Dan Seals recorded the album’s first No. 1 with Marie called “Meet Me in Montana.” “ There’s No Stopping Your Heart” was the second album cut to make No. 1. 18

1986’s “I Only Wanted You” brought another No. 1 Country music hit, “You’re Still New to Me.” The song was a duet created and sung with songwriter, Paul Davis. The second single on the album, “I Only Wanted You,” reached the Top 20. Changes in Country music ended Marie’s career in traditional Country music in the late 1980s. Marie had her last chart making song called “What Kind of Man” in 1995, but she would go on to do other great things for the world. In 2010 she recorded an album called “I Can Do This.” The album had 14 songs including, “Pie Jesu,” and proceeds benefitted the Children’s Miracle Hospitals. So far she has helped raise $6.9 billion dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network, which she cofounded with actor and Country singer John Schneider in1983. Marie was involved in a charitable social media campaign including artists such as, Diamond Rio, Sisqo, Olivia Newton John and Marty Roe called Music is Medicine. She also has her Sunday Message in which she gives devotion on Instagram and Facebook and shares about her week, friends and family.

Marie had a headlining show from September 2009November 2019 in the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, with brother Donny for which she received awards for her work such as, “Best All- Around Performer,” “Best Show” and “Best Singer.” She was also presented a key to the city of Las Vegas and a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame. In 2019 she received an offer from the popular television show, “The Talk,” and soon joined Eve, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Carrie Ann Inaba on the tenth season of the show. At age 60 Marie’s list of accomplishments are impressive. She’s performed on Broadway, written several books, hosted a radio show, starred in movies and television programs, served as spokeswoman for products she believes in and guested on “Dancing with the Stars.”

She’s a generous philanthropist, talented singer, dancer and actress, popular talk show host as well as a dedicated friend, mother, wife and sibling. This Country star has remained a genuine and inspirational person in the world of entertainment. o

September 2020


Canadian Country Stars Honored at Snow Museum by Claudia Johnson On Nova Scotia’s beautiful Lighthouse Route in Liverpool there’s a charming restored late 19th century railroad station that houses The Hank Snow Home Town Museum. It is the home of the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. Clarence Eugene “Hank” Snow’s journey began with his birth in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1914 and ended when he died in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1999. Renovating the Canadian National Railway depot into a museum is especially significant because it served as a childhood sanctuary for a young Hank Snow during a tumultuous time of his life. September 2020

At age 12 Snow became a cabin boy on fishing schooners to escape physical abuse and neglect resulting from his parents’ divorce and the unstable family situation it created. He returned to land permanently at age 16, having survived a storm during which 130 of his fellow fishermen were drowned. According to Snow’s son, Jimmie Rogers Snow, his father often slept in the train station when he had nowhere to go. After working in a variety of jobs while he developed his musical career, in 1936 Snow was finally signed to a recording contract with Canadian Bluebird, a subsidiary of RCA Victor. In the early 1940s, as "Hank, the Singing Ranger," he toured extensively through eastern Canada, playing at movie theaters during the intermissions between films and teaching guitar lessons. A move to the United States gave him the opportunities he needed to become an international Country music star. “Dad recorded 140 albums and had 85 singles on the Billboard country charts between 1950 and 1980,” his son said. “In all he sold over 70 million records.” Snow’s hit list contained ballads, spoken word recordings, country boogie, Hawaiian music, rumbas, traditional country, gospel, cowboy songs and his trademark traveling songs. 20

Hank Snow Home Town Museum The museum is usually open year-round, but it is currently closed temporarily as Covid-19 makes its way through Nova Scotia. When open, visitors enjoy audiovisual displays, artifacts and memorabilia on the history and heritage of Canadian country music, including Snow, Wilf Carter, Carroll Baker, George Canyon and others. A collection of Snow’s personal items, memorabilia and clothing from his long career and even his 1947 Cadillac convertible (right) are on display. Tickets are $5 for adults with discounts for seniors and children. The museum’s website,, offers online shopping for music, souvenirs, accessories and clothing as well as ways to make a tax-free donation to support the non-profits’ efforts. For additional information, call (902) 354-4675.

Hank Snow Tribute. Drawing thousands of Country fans, the three-day music festival is held each August and features performances by an impressive lineup of more than 200 Canadian musicians and singers. However, this year’s event is postponed until Aug. 19-22, 2021.

Nova Scotia Country Hall of Fame The Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame develops and promotes public interest in old time fiddling, country and bluegrass music in Nova Scotia. Among its goals are the preservation and public display of artifacts and memorabilia of those inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is accomplished through the Museum, and to encourage nominations for induction. Since its founding in 1997 the non-profit organization has inducted 42 individuals and groups who have made major contributions to the country music industry in Nova Scotia. New inductees are added each year. “The members of the NSCMHF are committed to the preservation, promotion and development of country music in Nova Scotia, and the continuing recognition of deserving performers and others who have made an impact on the country music industry,” according to NSCMHF president, Roger Bleasdale. For more information visit or call (902) 275-4142

Hank Snow Tribute Festival For the past 30 years the Hank Snow Home Town Museum and the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame have been the beneficiaries of the September 2020

"It was a very difficult decision, but with our demographic, our biggest priority is keeping our volunteers, musicians, fans and supporters safe," said Jessica Smith, administrator of the Hank Snow Home Town Museum. “We can't wait to see you in 2021 after this pandemic is over and we can all enjoy ourselves.” In addition to dozens of performers, including many of the NSCMHF inductees, singer-songwriter Carroll Baker is the 2021 festival headliner. She has 10 gold and two platinum records, is a member of Canadian and Nova Scotia Country Music halls of fame and has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Naval Challenge award for her charity work. The museum consistently earns praise from online travel site reviewers, one of whom noted that it’s “jam packed with little treasures and memorabilia” and “well worth the stop” adding that the “price of admission won't hurt your pocket book.” o 21

Cheyenne: Gentleman Jim’s Best Friend by Claudia Johnson East of Carthage, Texas, stands a lifesize statue marking the grave of Jim Reeves, the velvet-voiced singer who died in a plane crash on July 31, 1964. Behind him is the grave of his dog, Cheyenne. Reeves’ nephew, John Rex Reeves, remembers when Cheyenne became part of his uncle’s life. John Rex said that Jim was performing in Cheyenne, Wyo., when a couple that raised collies offered him one as a gift. Jim turned them down, explaining that his busy schedule did not afford him the time necessary to care for a pet. “When he got back to Nashville, they shipped Jim a dog,” John Rex said, adding that Jim softened to the beautiful animal. “It wasn’t just how he looked. Collies are exceptionally intelligent, and they’re easy to bond with people.” Jim decided to keep the dog and named him Cheyenne in honor of the collie’s place of origin. “When Jim would come off the road, he’d play with Cheyenne and became buddy-buddy with him,” John Rex said. “It was really good for Jim. The collie was a soothing tool for Jim, and Jim adored him.” John Rex Reeves, 78, is the son of Jim Reeves’ oldest brother, Buford, and only 13 years younger than his famous uncle. Jim’s father died when he was eight months old, leaving Buford, at age 20, with a feeling of responsibility for his mother and eight younger siblings, who were living in the rural community of Galloway in Panola County, Texas. “My dad had been working in the oil fields long enough to be able to buy a little house,” John Rex said. “He moved them up to DeBerry, and that’s were Jim lived until he was out of high school and had signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.” The Reeves children hunted for raccoon and squirrel and fished along the Sabine River, especially September 2020

Jim and his older brother OD. John Rex, who lived three miles up the road, remembers tagging along and cherishes the memories of time spent at his grandmother’s. “There was always music around her house,” John Rex said, noting that Jim, OD and other family and neighbors played and sang. “I not only remember listening to those jam sessions, we played baseball together. Jim taught me how to throw a curve ball. He was just like an older brother.” “We grew up around the oil and gas fields of East Texas, and there were all kinds of personalities that came in and out,” John Rex said. “There was a lot of folklore, a lot of stories around campfires. We’d go down on the [Sabine] river and build a campfire. Jim was a wonderful storyteller, so he’d tell stories, and we’d play music. Actually, the first time I heard Jim play ‘Am I Losing You?’ was around the campfire.” 22

Her youngest child’s body was returned to Panola County for burial in a location where hundreds of thousands of fans from throughout the world have continued to visit in the half century since his death at 40. True to his family roots, John Rex retired to pursue the passion for music he’d discovered as a child after a successful career with Nabisco. Since 1992, he’s performed fulltime, appearing at venues across the U.S. and once each month on “Midwest Country” on RFD TV. When the album “Jim Reeves and Friends–Radio Days, Vol. 2,” was released in 2001, John Rex said he was pleased to see that the cover featured an old black and white photograph of Jim playing with Cheyenne, a fitting tribute to the relationship between a man and his dog. Even more fitting was the small, temporary funeral home marker originally placed at the gravesite where Cheyenne was laid to rest near his best friend.”

When Jim joined the Louisiana Hayride, a popular radio show in nearby Shreveport, La., Jim took his young nephew backstage to meet the performers. This further instilled a love of music in John Rex, who first started singing at the Methodist Church where his family attended services. He had even formed a trio before leaving for college to earn degrees in economics and accounting. John Rex later did two tours in the U.S. Army, where he was often called on to use his musical talents. “During those years, I was busy and Jim was busy, but we got together when we could,” John Rex said. “I actually played golf with him two weeks before his plane crash. He’d just returned from South Africa filming his movie, ‘Kimberly Jim.’” After all the years of protecting their mother, it fell to John Rex’s father, Buford, to tell Beulah Reeves the worst news a mother could imagine – her son was dead. She had already buried an infant daughter in 1911 and a teenage son in 1935. “That left Mama Reeves with six of her children,” John Rex said. o September 2020


September 2020


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