Country Reunion Magazine, July 2021

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Country Reunion m a g a z i n e

July 2021

Chapel Hart

Carl Perkins BJ Thomas

Ray Pillow William Lee Golden

Maine Country Music

Rodney Crowell David Allan Coe Restless Heart

… and more

June 2021


Country Reunion Magazine Who’s inside? Chapel Hart, p. 3 Ray Pillow, p. 5 BJ Thomas, p. 6 Nashville Symphony, p. 8 Maine Country Music Museum, p. 10 Carl Perkins, p.12 Sour Cream Pound Cake, p. 13 Rodney Crowell, p. 14 David Allan Coe, p. 16 Diner Chat, p. 17 Shooter Jennings, p. 18 William Lee Golden, p. 21 Restless Heart, p.23

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 Online Subscriptions $15 per year http://countryreunionmagaine.com/ Annual Print Subscriptions $29.95; renewals $24.95 To subscribe or renew call 1-800-8 20-5405 or mail payment2020 to November PO Box 610 Price, UT 84501


Chapel Hart – Exactly Where They Want to Be

C h a p e l Ha r t , C M T ’s Ne x t Wo m e n o f Country 2021 inductees, has an amazing ability to tug on your heartstrings with a tender yet powerful ballad, then have you pumping your fist in unison to the pulse of hard-hitting rock and roll. The band accentuates the three vocalists, who embody the sweet and southern sound of country with the soulful undertones noting their gospel roots. Chapel Hart is a trio of cousins. Sisters Danica and Devynn Hart, along with first cousin Trea Swindle grew up in a small community called Hart’s Chapel, Mississippi. When they were looking for the ultimate name for their trio, their manager suggested Chapel Hart. “At first we laughed,” said Devynn. Then we realized it was a great idea because the name represents exactly who we are.” If Danica had not lost her job, the trio might not have come together. “My cousins invited me to New Orleans after I lost my job and so I went,” Danica recalled. “Trea and I got together a list of about 15 songs, and we started to busk down on Royal Street. One day a club owner by the name of Tony Seville, came by and said, ‘You girls don’t need to be here on the street. Come sing in my club.’” Page 3

The group started out as a duo, playing in New Orleans and drawing from their entire musical background. They took a couple of years to try and acclimate to the New Orleans music scene, but they knew that wasn’t what was in their heart to do. When Devynn joined Trea and Danica, the three decided to go back to what they really loved, which was Country music, choosing to ignore the repeated admonitions that there was no Country music coming out of New Orleans. Helping solidify their decision, the girls were given advice from one of the bands they used to cover on Royal Street, Louisiana’s LeRoux. “They stressed the importance of staying together, talked about the good and bad times, but the most important thing was when they said let the music be the guide and never forget what you do is for the love of the music,” the ladies remembered. Shortly after this encounter with the band, they were then asked to sing harmonies on LeRoux’s famous song “New Orleans Ladies.” Another eye-opener for the trio was their trip to Innsbruck, Austria, where they headlined the New Orleans Music Festival.

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“The people attending the festival loved it,” Danica said. “It was the first time we took our music somewhere other than where we had a fan base. The first day after we played, the line backstage was short to buy our CD. The second day the crowd was lined up around the corner. On the third day, it rained, and we thought no one would come, but people were again lined up around the building. They were asking us about certain songs and if they were on the CD and they wanted to know when we were coming back. When you get these markers on the road, you know you are on the right track.” After Innsbruck, the trio was more determined than ever to play Country music, but people still asked why they wanted to go in that direction. The answer was simple: They were raised in Mississippi and listened to local station Kicker 108 all the time. “It was the storytelling in country music, how easy you could put yourself in a country song,” Danica explained. “My dad listened to George Strait and Kenny Rogers. Music was our thing, and it always led back to country music, which shaped us to be who we are today.” Their debut single, “Jesus & Alcohol,” which they wrote, poured up a double shot of passion and soul. The clever lyrics were meant to instill faith in the belief that in any setting, whether that be at Listen Now church with a Bible open or a bar with bourbon in hand, God continues to remain by our side through the most difficult times. The song’s music video features cameos from legendary ZZ Top frontman Billy F. Gibbons, country/soul legend T. Graham Brown, hit singersongwriter Deborah Allen, CMT favorite J.D. Page 4

Shelburne, The Voice’s Kyndal Inskeep and others. “We hope the fans who watch this video take away the message to dream big, have fun and always believe in yourself,” said Danica, adding, “Well… ’cause one day Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top could hear about you and want to be a part of your project!” Their most recent single, “You Can Have Him Jolene,” is an electric reply to country music superstar Dolly Parton’s 1973 hit, “Jolene.” Unlike the initial tale, Chapel Hart decides that Jolene can keep the man for herself because they are all just fine without him. The ditty demands dignity and sets the bar high for those looking to fan the flames of romance. Chapel Hart proves that heartbreak is temporary and emphasizes the importance of knowing one’s own worth. C h a p e l He a r t h a s a f u l l s c h e d u l e o f performances slated throughout the U.S. for 2021. The trio admitted they get some strange looks when they show up at the small honky-tonks and bars, but once they hit the stage the ice is broken and everyone has a good time. They believe that as long as they are being genuine and doing what makes their heart happy and what God put in them to do, people can’t help but connect to that. “When people hear Chapel Hart, they are hearing real Country music with stories that make a genuine connection with people,” said Trea. “It’s real, raw countr y. We play music that is a combination of influences f rom all of our backgrounds, played from our heart.” July 2021


Ray Pillow – 55 years at the Grand Ole Opry by Claudia Johnson

This is the year that Ray Pillow, who turns 84 on Independence Day, celebrates 55 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. “I am always very honored and proud," said Pillow, "to be introduced around the world, and especially back home in Nashville as Grand Ole Opry star Ray Pillow." Before his music career the Virginia native served four years in the U.S. Navy and afterwards earned a bachelor's degree in business from Lynchburg College. He formed his own band called The Stardusters, and following military service he played for square dances and honky tonks in the Lynchburg area while working for a truck sales company. In a 1982 inter view with entertainment writer Wa l te r Ca r te r o f T h e ( Nashville) Tennessean, Pillow said that he had grown up listening to Country music. “I didn’t even know there was any other kind,” he said. Pillow was a regional winner in Virginia of the Pet Milk national talent search conducted by WSM radio in 1962 and went on to place second in the national finals during his first trip to Nashville. “Once I got down here and saw all of it, it was like turning a kid loose in a candy store,” Pillow told The Tennessean. His Pet Milk win landed him a guest spot on the Grand Ole Opry. “Whenever anybody asks me how I got started, I have to say ‘Pet Milk’,” Pillow admitted. Another food product associated with Country music enabled Pillow and his family to relocate to Nashville. In Roanoke, Virginia, Pillow met with Joe Taylor who handled promotion for Martha White Flour road shows. The singer soon began appearing on radio and TV shows sponsored by Martha White Page 5

and performing in the flour company’s road shows. This job security prompted Pillow and his wife, Joanne, to sell all their belongings and move to Nashville permanently with children Dale, Selena and Daryl. In 1965 Pillow released his first singles, “Take Your Hands Off My Heart” and “Thank You Ma’am” and his first album, “Presenting Ray Pillow.” The following year he teamed with Opry star Jean Shepard on a pair of hits, the Top 10 “I’ll Take the Dog” and “Mr. Do-It-Yourself ” and was inducted into the membership of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1966 Pillow was named Billboard's, "Most Promising Male Artist" and Cash Box's "Most Promising New Artist." A national deejay poll declared him the "Most Programmed New Artist.” In the ensuing 60 years, the singersongwriter made his mark in country music history both as a recording artist who charted 18 times on Billboard’s Country charts with such songs as “Volkswagen,” “Common Colds and Broken Hearts” and “Reconsider Me” and as an artists and repertoire (A &R) representative for Capitol Records. Virginia added Ray to its Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. In the early 1980s Pillow formed a music publishing partnership with Larry McFaden, who played in Mel Tillis’ band. The pair brought Lee Greenwood to Nashville and helped him get a record contract while their jointly owned Sycamore Valley Music Company published all of Greenwood's songs, including the 1985 CMA Song of the Year, "God Bless the USA.” With his movie-star looks and versatile, strong voice, both of which have only improved with age, Pillow could have easily been a star in any genre. “I didn’t want to be a pop singer,” Pillow said in an interview for the Grand Ole Opry website. “A Country singer is all I’m ever going to be. I sing what I like to sing.” Watch Pillow perform for “Country’s Family Reunion” on the Country Road TV channel and YouTube. Click here for his website.

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BJ Thomas Passes Away By Claudia Johnson Five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, B.J. Thomas died of lung cancer on May 29, 2021, at age 78. Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Thomas. With his smooth, rich voice and unerring song sense, Thomas’s expansive career crossed multiple genres, including country, pop and gospel, earning him CMA, Do ve, and Grammy awards and nominations since his emergence in the 1960s. Thomas’ career was anchored by numerous enduring hits, among them his million-selling cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” the Grammy-winning “(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and the iconic “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which won the Academy Award for best original song. Thomas sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, scoring eight No. 1 hits and 26 Top 10 singles over his 50+ years in the music industry. Such memorable hits as “I Just Can’t Help Believing, “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love,” “New Looks From An Old Lover” and “Hooked on a Feeling” made him a staple on multiple radio formats. His lengthy chart history led to him being named one of Billboard’s Top 50 Most Played Artists Over The Past 50 Years. Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by the timeless, B.J. Thomas. “My sincere condolences to the family of one of my favorite duet partners, B.J. Thomas,” said singer Dionne Warwick. “I will miss him as I know so many others will as well. Rest In Peace my friend.“ Singer-songwriter Richard Marx said he had been in touch with Thomas only a few weeks before his passing and had found him “ready to fight his diagnosis.” “He was a kind and elegant gentleman and I will miss him, and his amazing voice,” Marx said. Duane Allen recalled a time when Thomas opened for the Oak Ridge Boys in Las Vegas. Page 6

We spent almost every night in each other’s room.” Allen said. “We both had Texas roots, similar beliefs, and we loved finding and playing new songs to each other. The first time we met, we both talked over each other. It was just crazy. We had so much to say to each other that we were almost talking at the same time and it just became funny to both of us. We had so much fun together, getting to know each other in such a short time. Every time I saw him, we just picked up where we left off. I guess it will be that way in Heaven.” Joe Bonsal l remembered how Thoma s’s Christian example inspired him. “As a young man B.J.'s biography and song called ‘Home Where I Belong’ and his testimony of how Jesus Christ changed his life meant the world to me,” Bonsall said. “A few years ago I shared that with him late one night over pizza on the Country Music Cruise. We cried and prayed together. I loved B.J. Thomas. There's a brand new star up in heaven tonight, and we will miss you, man. Until the Promised Day.” July 2021


In addition to his international place as a pop star, Thomas released a series of positive-themed discs that were embraced by the gospel community, resulting in the first four platinum albums in gospel history. His successful foray into country music, during which he recorded “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love,” and “New Looks From An Old Lover,” written by his wife, Gloria, Red Lane and Latham Hudson, emphasized classic family ideals and commitment.

BJ Thomas’ First Christian Hit “His lyrics aren’t just words,” states his website. “He lived out his musical ideals, turning down career opportunities for years when he thought they might interfere with the home life he established in the Dallas area with his wife of 53 years, Gloria, and their three daughters Paige, Nora and Erin.”

That he succeeded at home and still maintained a place as one of music’s most recognizable voices is truly remarkable. “All I am is just another guy,” Thomas stated on his wesite’s biography page. “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had a wonderful life, I’ve been a husband and a father who cherishes his children and now I’m a grandfather, and I’m motivated like all these teachers and preachers and mothers and fathers to help my kids grow up with character and selfrespect. I hope that doesn’t sound too grandiose, but that’s what it comes down to. It’s what I’ve tried to do with my music and with the majority of my life. That’s a part of the music that I’ve been a part of – making someone lift their head up or making someone feel OK.”

Theme from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

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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

Nashville Symphony adds Special Touch to Country Music We think of the “fiddle and steel” when we talk about great country records, but when classical instruments merged with typical country instruments, the blending enriched this great sound - The Nashville Sound. Symphony instruments cello, violin, viola and the string bass, were being introduced into country sessions in the early 1960s. Byron Bach, a cellist with the Nashville Symphony was one of the first six or so members of the Symphony to play on country sessions. He is a personal family friend and agreed to an interview in 1999. What a revelation and joy it was to listen to Byron recall those early sessions from the classical point of view. “My first session was in the Quonset Hut with Ray Price on the “Faith”album with Anita Kerr as the arranger,” he recalled.”It was an old-time gospel, great album! Then, we did the Ray Price Danny Boy and “For the Good Times” sessions and used 4 cellos, 4 violas and probably 8-10 violins. Price liked that sound and continued using the big string groups. He was such a nice considerate guy to work with! After the huge success of those sessions, the floodgates opened for strings on numerous country sessions. The artists were asking for strings.” Bach praised the recording engineers, saying “I don’t think you could ever give enough credit to the engineers that made these records. They could either make it or break it. There have been some fantastic engineers here in Nashville! They were all very good, but I recall that Charlie Bragg and Mort Thomason were exceptional. They had the unique ability to see the big picture and pull everything together. ” “I did a lot of sessions with Roy Orbison. Crying was one. He was very meticulous in the sound he wanted! On one session we worked 3 1/2 -4 hours, never got the sound he wanted. We stopped for a while. We came back a little later, and he nailed it!”

He continued, “Nashville studios drew great artists from throughout the country. I worked with Perry Como, really laid-back guy, and with Andy Williams. One of the best voices I’ve heard here was Arthur Prysock, the great R&B artist. He recorded The Country Side of Arthur Prysock LP at, I believe, Starday-King Sound Studios.” Bach explained, “Owen Bradley and Lillian Hunt both played in the WSM orchestra; and were instrumental in getting symphony musicians involved in Music Row’s recording sessions. July 2021


Bradley recognized talent and never hesitated to give input. He’s the primary reason for Floyd Cramer’s unique piano style. Also, A-Team Bassist Bob Moore said Owen told him ‘all you have to do is have a little lick that’s a little different from anybody else.’ Owen and Chet Atkins had enormous influence and responsibility in creating The Nashville Sound.” Bach added, “Working the Johnny Cash TV Show, I got to know Carl Perkins. We were rehearsing one day, and Carl was all excited because he was going to become a Mason that weekend, and that really meant a lot to him. He was a really nice unassuming person.” “One of the nicest guys I ever worked with was B J. Thoma s on the session when he recorded Somebody Done Somebody Wr o n g , with arranger M i ke Leach, a dear friend of mine. We all felt that recording would be a huge hit. There was amazing talent working in Areeda and BJ Thomas those studios then on Music Row.” Bach recalled, “One of my favorite artists to work with was Patsy Cline, a remarkable lady and the sweetest! That automobile accident, before she had time for plastic surgery, had left her very uptight

Areeda and Chet Atkins during her recording sessions. She and Marty Robbins were very close friends, so he made a point to be at the studio when she was recording. Marty would hide down behind one of the dividers (between the instruments), and when she would start to sing, he would pop up with a silly look on his face and get her tickled enough that she relaxed. I thought this was really a true friend to take the time to see that she was alright. Anytime she was in the studio, night or day, you could depend on Marty being there – a friend, indeed! Areeda Schneider-Stampley is a writer, longtime employee of CBS Records, cookbook author and lives in Nashville with husband country music legend Joe Stampley. areedaschneider@bellsouth.net.

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Maine Country Music

Hall of Fame and Museum By Claudia Johnson

The small town of Mechanic Falls, Maine, has the only physical country music hall of fame museum east of Nashville. Mechanic Falls is located along the bank of the Little Androscoggin River near the towns of Lewiston and Auburn, Maine. In this community of around 3,000 residents, Country music history is celebrated and preserved. Founded in 1978, the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame is housed on the lower level of a vibrant music and dancing venue, the Silver Spur, which heralds itself as Maine's Capital Of Country Music. The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame’s 3,000square-foot space is a showcase for thousands of pieces of memorabilia accumulated over the decades, many of which were and continue to be donated by the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and their heirs. The beautiful displays of guitars, banjos and other instruments, costumes, photos, LP recordings and more tell the history of Maine Country music a n d b r i n g to l i f e t h e m e m o r y a n d m u s i c a l contributions of its inductees, which are among the finest country musicians in the country. The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is open to the public and full of beautifully displayed memorabilia, plagues and biographies of Page 10

members of the Hall of Fame with new inductees having been added every year since 1978. The first three performers inducted into the museum included Dick Curless, whose 1965 hit, “A Tombstone Every Mile,” made it to No. 5 on the Billboard Countr y charts; Ken Mackenzie, a performer and radio host who introduced the Countr y variety show format to Maine radio audiences; and Hal Lone Pine, born Harold John Breau, who performed extensively with his band Lone Pine Mountaineers and recorded both solo and duets for RCA Records. For a virtual tour of the museum and to hear music and stories about the history of Maine Countr y and bluegrass music told by fellow inductees Slim Andrews, Denny Breau, Tommy Thompson, Ken Brooks and Joe Kennedy visit https://tinyurl.com/mainecountry. The museum is located at 272 Le wiston Rd Mechanic Falls, ME 04256. Call to arrange a private tour by one of the organization’s inductees, who volunteer to share Maine’s Country music history with visitors by calling (207) 795-1119

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The Silver Spur, which occupies the main floor of the facility, is a BYOB dance club that’s open every Saturday night from 8-11 p.m. and on occasional Sunday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. with live Country music – sometimes performed as outdoor concerts. Food is available, and patrons can even enjoy a game of pool in the spacious club. Each Monday from 6-7:30 p.m. the club hosts dancing lessons. “Our passion is keeping it country, and that's our goal in the upcoming year,” said Silver Spur owners DeeDee & Peter Allen, after having been closed for 18 months due to Covid 19 concerns. “We have some of the best bands the State and Country has to offer, so come on down, kick up your heels and dance a two-step or two or simply sit back, relax and listen. Either way, you are sure to have a great time!”

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The Silver Spur’s Facebook page provides up-todate information on concerts as well as activities at the Museum.

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Where the Stars are Buried by Renae Johnson, Renae the Waitress

Carl Perkins : 1932 - 1998 Carl Perkins died Monday Jan. 19, 1998, from complications following a series of strokes. He was 65 years old. In 1992 Carl had been diagnosed with throat cancer but pronounced cancer-free after treatment. In 1997 he had surgery to repair blockage in the carotid artery. He appeared to be recovering but then suffered two stokes. Complications claimed his life in Jackson, Tennessee. Carl Lee Perkins was born on April 9, 1932, in Tiptonville, Tennessee. As a kid he worked in the fields during the day and listened to the radio at night. Field hands taught him blues guitar, and he began playing and singing country songs blues style. Perkins taught his older brother, Jay, to accompany him on rhythm guitar. He started writing at age 14 and performing at honky-tonks. His first hit was in 1955 “Turn Around.” He toured with Elvis Presley and had his second hit “Gone, Gone, Gone” before writing and recording his mega hit “Blue Suede Shoes.” On March 22, 1956, Carl and his band were in a car accident on their way to “The Perry Como Show,” which would have given him national Click to Listen exposure. Pe r k i n s s u f f e r e d a broken collarbone, and his brother suffered a broken neck and two years later died of a brain tumor. Carl’s hits and musical success continued while touring in Rock and Roll Shows across America and appearing in the film “ Into the Night” in 1985. Carl met the Beatles in 1964, and his relationship with the Beatles lasted long after the Beatles break up in1970. Perkins and Paul McCartney sang together on a country ballad “Get It,” a song off McCartney 1982 album, “Tug of War.” George Harrison and Ringo Star appeared with him in å 1986 cable TV Page 12

special in London, “Carl Perkins and Friends: A Rockabilly Session.” He spent 15 years battling alcoholism, saying he overcame it by hurling his last whiskey bottle into the Pacific Ocean in 1967 near Encino, California.

In 1987, Perkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Celebration of Life Carl’s funeral was at held o n Ja n . 2 3 , 1 9 9 8 , a t Lambuth University’s R.E. Wo m a c k Me m o r i a l C h a p e l i n Me m p h i s , Tennessee. The stars that attended included Garth Brooks, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Harrison, Ricky Skaggs, Johnny Rivers, Wynonna Judd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sam Phillips, Rufus Thomas, Razzy Bailey and more. Four celebrities spoke at the funeral: Wynonna Judd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Doris Freeman and Ricky Skaggs. George Harrison borrowed Ricky Skaggs guitar and sang “Your True Love” in honor of Carl. Perkins was survived by his wife, Valerie; sons, Greg and Steve; and daughter, Debbie Swift. Resting Place Ridgecrest Cemeter y, 200 Ridgecrest Rd., Jackson, Tennessee 38305 July 2021


Areeda’s southern cooking by Areeda Schneider Stampley

Sour Cream Pound Cake with Fresh Lemon Zest Glaze This recipe was given to me by Patsy Bruce, co-writer of “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up To Be Cowboys” with husband Ed Bruce. 1 box Betty Crocker butter recipe cake mix ¾ c. vegetable oil ½ c. sugar 4 large eggs 8 oz. sour cream ½ t. vanilla extract ½ t. almond extract Preheat oven to 350°. Place all ingredients in large bowl of electric mixer. Blend on medium speed, using paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Pour into spray-greased Bundt pan. Bake 43-44 min. Let cool, then turn out on cooling rack, drizzle with Glaze. Glaze 1½ c. Confectioners’ sugar, sifted 1½ t. water 2 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice 2 T. lemon zest Combine ingredients in a bowl, whisk until well blended. Drizzle over slightly-cooled cake.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream July is National Ice Cream month! A family recipe from the 1960s! 4 eggs

2½ c. sugar

4 c. half and half

6 c. whole milk

2 T. vanilla extract

¼ t. salt

Beat eggs; add sugar, then remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat just long enough for eggs to cook. Do not boil. Freeze in your old-fashioned hand crank freezer. Yield: 1 gallon

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.

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Rodney Crowell’s Enduring Americana by Sasha Kay Dunavant

Rodney Crowell’s move to Nashville from Houston as a 22-year-old brought more than a fine performer to the music industry. Crowell’s insightful and prolific songwriting has produced many of the best-loved songs of the past 40 years, not only in Country but in pop, Americana and soft rock. Though his own early albums didn’t make him an immediate star, Crowell’s songs have been recorded by artists like Waylon Jennings, Etta James, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Wynonna Judd, Van Morrison, Oak Ridge Boys, Johnny Cash, Jerry Clark, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris and numerous other hitmakers. Six years after arriving in Nashville, Crowell signed a solo contract in 1978 with Warner Bros. Records and released albums “Ain’t Living Long Like This,” “But What Will the Neighbors Think” and “Rodney Crowell.” Crowell’s fourth album, “Street Language,” a mix of the Soul and Country genres, did not chart. In time, he gained commercial and critical success as a performer, but it continues to be his songwriting that garners the most recognition.

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Crowell was inducted into Nashville’s Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and was the winner of the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2006. “Shame on the Moon,” Crowell’s first major songwriting success, was recorded on Bob Seger’s “The Distance” album in 1982. It reached and held at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart for four weeks and was No. 15 on country charts. Crystal Gayle recorded and hit No. 1 with Crowell’s song “’Til I Gain Control Again” in 1983. Finally, Crowell’s fifth album, 1988’s “Diamonds and Dirt,” recorded in Nashville, rewarded the singer-songwriter for his hard work. The Certified Gold album peaked at No. 8 on U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and netted five singles that reached No. 1 on the Songs Chart. They were "It's Such a Small World" (a duet with then-wife Rosanne Cash), "I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried," "She's Crazy for Leaving," a cover of Buck Owens' "Above and Beyond (The Call of Love)" and the 1990 Best Country Song Grammy winner, "After All This Time."

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Crowell’s sixth album, 1989’s “Keys to the Highway,” was No. 15 on the Top Country Albums chart and had two chart-topping hits co-written by Crowell – “Many a Long and Lonesome Highway” and “If Looks Could Kill.” Still producing hits more than 40 years after arriving in Nashville, Crowell’s beautiful songs have been recorded by some of the greatest voices of the 2000s, including Alan Jackson’s “Song For Life,” “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban, “Ashes By Now” sang by Lee Ann Womack and Tim McGraw’s “Please Remember Me.” “KIN: Song’s by Rodney Crowell and Mary Karr,” released in 2012, includes a duet by Kris Kristofferson and Crowel l and additional performances by Crowell, Norah Jones, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Roseanne Cash, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, in whose band Crowell played for three years.

Click to Listen and Watch Page 15

Harris has recorded more than 20 Crowell written-songs, such as “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” “Till I Gain Control” and “Leaving Louisiana in Broad Daylight.” The two collaborated on an album, “Old Yellow Moon” in 2013. Harris’s 27th album and Crowell’s 10th, the album reached No. 4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and Crowell won a 2nd Grammy in January 2014, this time for Best Americana Album. The collaboration earned the duo Best Duo/Group and Album of the Year awards in 2013 from the Americana Music Honors & Awards. Having been nominated for and taken home many awards, Crowell continues to write and record. “Tarpaper Sky” is his 2014 release that includes guest vocals by John Cowan, Ronnie McCoury, Shannon McNally and Vince Gill (with whom he had performed as a member of The Cherry Bombs in the late ‘70s).

“The songs on Tarpaper Sky are mostly pastorals – pictures from an imaginary countryside that tell unadorned stories with straightforward language and energetic musicianship,” Crowell said. Tarpaper Sky is “an opus of new songs, tracked with a common sensibility and put in a carefully considered sequence,” Crowell’s website observes. After recording 16 albums and writing hundreds of songs, Crowell has become one of the most admired songwriter-performing artists in America. In 2018 Crowell opened his own record label, Rc1 records, and released Acoustic Classics in 2018 and Texas in 2019. His new album, Triage, was released in July 23. Listen to the first single, “Something Has to Change.” July 2021


David Allan Coe, Outlaw

The perfect country song needs to mention trains, trucks, mama, prison and getting drunk, or at least that’s what Country singer-songwriter David Allan Coe sings in his perpetual favorite, “You Never Even Called Me By My Name.” Though Coe did not write the song, which spent 17 weeks on the country charts and became his biggest hit, the sentiments it expressed reflected his attitude about operating on the fringe of Country’s mainstream. “I've heard my name a few times in your phone book,” Coe sings. “I've seen it on signs where I've laid, but the only time I know, I'll hear David Allan Coe, is when Jesus has his final judgment day.” The Ohio native, now age 76, spent time in reform school and other correctional facilities as a child and young a d u l t , i n c l u d i n g t h r e e y e a r s a t t h e O h i o S t a te Penitentiary.

After a 1967 release from prison, Coe lived in a hearse in front of Ryman Auditorium in hopes of reaching stardom. Coe told many stories, but perhaps the biggest stories were those entangled with his own persona, including a rhinestone studded suit he allegedly scored from Mel Tillis. The name he gave himself, “The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy,” would ring the ears of his followers long before Glenn Campbell’s hit song, Rhinestone Cowboy ever touched down. He also claimed to have been encouraged to become a songwriter by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, remembered for his 1955 hit, “I Put a Spell on You,” with whom he had spent time in prison. Coe realized limited success as a singer, garnering a small but dedicated following in his career. His first major victory as a songwriter was with 1973’s “Would You Lay With Me (In A Field of Stone)” for Tanya Tucker’s album of the same name. The song topped charts for a week in 1974 and reached No. 46 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Later, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Coe himself covered the song. After Tucker’s album and Coe’s song became a hit, Coe gained a modicum of respect in the Country Music

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by Sasha Kay Dunavant

community. He co-wrote “LongHaired Redneck” with a popular Texas radio DJ named Jimmy Rabbit in 1976. Included on his album of the same name, the song’s chorus imitates beloved Country figures, Ernest Tubb, Bill Anderson and Merle Haggard. “Johnny Cash helped me get out of prison, long before Rodriguez stole that goat,” the song says. “I've been the Rhinestone Cowboy for so long, I can't remember, and I can do you every song, Hank Williams ever wrote.” The tune became the anthem of Country Music’s Outlaw movement and one of Coe’s best-known songs. It reached number 17 on Billboard ’s Hot Country Singles Chart and did well in Canada. For 40 years, one of the lyrics, “my longhair just can't cover up my red neck,” has been quoted so often, it is now a part of American pop culture. Another song penned by Coe captured the sentiments everyone who’s been at their wits’ end with a job, offering yet another lyric integrated into the American dialogue. “Take This Job and Shove It” became Johnny Paycheck’s only No. 1 hit, spending 18 weeks on Country charts with two weeks at No. 1 in 1977. The song title was later used for a film title in which both Paycheck and Coe had minor roles. Coe created and recorded a second, extremely bitter, version of the song, “Take This Job and Shove It Too,” which he dedicated to Paycheck and others involved in the making the film. “This ain’t the first job I ever quit, and I know it won’t be my last paycheck,” he wrote. “I’m so tired of working like a dog…there’s got to be a better way.” Over the years, Coe has continued to write, record and perform, exploring other genres and taking inspiration from such unexpected people as poet Shel Silverstein. He had success with songs by other writers, including “ Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile,” “The Ride” and “ She Used To Love Me A Lot.” Coe began co-writing with Kid Rock and opened for Kid Rock’s 2000 concert tour. One of their songs, “Single Father,” was featured on Rock’s 2003 selftitled album. Coe’s rebel attitude may have allowed him a career in music, but one act of rebellion has not been excused by the federal government. In 2015 Coe pled guilty to income tax evasion after being accused of owing taxes since at least 1993. The nearly half-million dollars he owed included taxes, interest and penalties. Unstoppable, he’s releasing a new album and scheduled for multiple concert dates this year. See his calendar here.

countryreunionmagazine.com

July 2021


Diner News Hey everyone……Happy 4th of July. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to spend time with family and friends again and NO MASK. Nashville is getting back to normal with tons of tourists and TRAFFIC. But no complaints.

Another Great Gone We l o s t a n o t h e r g r e a t s i n g e r o n Ma y 2 9 – B J Thomas. His hits included “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” “Hooked On a Feeling” and more. He was on our “Country’s Family Reunion” series and “Larry’s Country Diner” shows, and it was such an honor to get to know him.

Cruise! But the big news is that will we be CRUISING William Lee Golden “Man Behind The Beard is again. It’s been scary to try and plan available now. William Lee as a member of the anything with the cruise lines Oak Ridge Boys and can easily be spotted by his until we had a green long gray beard. My favorite “Diner” show is light!! Call customer when he put on an apron and helped serve food! service at 1-800-820-5405 Don’t miss getting a copy of his new book. to book or to get more $29.95 + 6.95 s/h. information. You don’t want to miss this fun time with some of your favorite artists and the cast of “Larry’s Country Diner.” Feb. 22-27, 2022, leaving from New Shows Galveston, Texas. We are in the middle of taping eight new “Larry’s Country Diner Shows” with again some old friends and new friends.

Celebration of Life On June 1 Michele had a very special service at Jimmy’s gravesite. Their pastor was there to say a few words with Jimmy Fortune and Mark Wills singing and providing the music. Ronny Robbins, Tim Atwood and Hazel Daniels were a few of the special guests who attended. At the end of the service we all were given red balloons to release together. It was such a sweet time as we paid tribute to the memory of our SHERIFF. Page 17

countryreunionmagazine.com

July 2021


Shooter Jennings Interview, July 2005 by Michael Buffalo Smith, www.kudzoomag.com

When I met Shooter Jennings in 2005, the only son of legendary country music icon Waylon Jennings and his wife, Jessie Colter was just 25 years old, and riding high on the country charts with a hot single “4th of July” and an even hotter album, “Put The “O” Back in Country.” In our exclusive interview, Shooter spoke about his album, his famous parents, and his love of good ol’ Southern rock and Country music. What do you think about the state of music these days? Especially country music? I think country music has been in a weird place for the past ten years or so. I feel like it changed a lot in the early ‘90’s and they forgot about a lot of people. A lot of people I have talked to say they haven’t bought a country record in the past ten years. But I think that it’s getting better now, with people like Gretchen Wilson, Big and Rich - there are a lot of artists I like that are out there now like Josh Turner and Brad Paisley and Dirks Bentley. At least it’s not one every ten songs now, it’s about one every three songs that I like, you know. I feel like it’s getting back to a better place. I think the people that are coming out now that are around my age appreciate the old favorites.

I like the part where Possum goes “When are we gonna get paid for this?” (laughs) Yeah! That actually came later. I left the recorder going. He was telling a story and somewhere in the middle of it he just blurted that out. I thought is was funny, and I said, “that has to go on the end there.” He was great. I was shaking in my boots when I had him come into the studio and sing on the thing. And I was so happy he did that part at the beginning of the record too. He said,” you’ve got some balls boy, to say ‘let’s put the ‘o’ back in country.' But he did it. We all just fell out of our chairs when we heard it.

I thought it was hilarious having Shooter Jennings and his father Waylon Jennings Hank Williams, Jr.’s telephone message on the record. Yeah, (laughs) that was a last minute addition to the record. We already have George Jones on there, so I I really like “Busted in Baylor County.” Is that asked the producer, wouldn’t it be funny if we had song by any chance autobiographical? Hank do a phone call to my machine like he was Word for word, man. We were busted and thrown in dodg- ing singing on the record, you know - like I’d jail. We were doing a show in Lubbock, and we were been bugging him for weeks. There was another track on our way to Wichita Falls to do a show, and I’ll be of me calling him back, but we left it off because I felt damned if we didn’t get busted and thrown in jail for like there was too much exposition on the record. So less than an eighth of pot. Just a tiny bit. But down I called him around Easter, and he was outside with there they are real hard core about it. We were all the kids doing Easter eggs and all and he laughed and said, “Yeah, I’ll leave you a long Merle Kilgore kind of spread out across the highway and hand- cuffed. This message.” I really think that was almost better than old sheriff comes out and he says ” Well, well, well looks like we got ourselves a band.” We were like, him singing on the record, a little comedy. (laughs) “uh,oh.”

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countryreunionmagazine.com

July 2021


Is this your first album? This is my first album. I mean, I had a rock band for almost seven years in Los Angeles, and we put out a couple of records and a live record. But this is my first record that is really a representation of me.

Jennings is the son of Waylon Jennings Jessi Colter Buford T. Justice meets Boss Hog? No kidding man. (laughs) We’re all were cuffed in the back of this car, and to tell you how small a place it is, he was driving and talking to the Deputy, “Looks like the Lawrence’s have got a good crop this year.” All we could think was, I hope we get out of here alive. (laughs)

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What does “Let’s Put the O Back in Country” mean? Does it mean what I think it means? It does. It’s a play on words there. My girlfriend former girlfriend came up with the title, and it was a joke at first. I’d say, “No way, it’s too rough, too dirty.” Lo and behold she was right. I sure have got- ten a lot of attention over it. So I wrote a little song, actually, I stole a little song....(laughs)

I was gonna say, it sounded a lot like Neil Young's “Are You Ready for the Country” that your dad cut. It is. We gave Neil all the writer credit on it. I said hey, I took it from the song and you can have it, just don’t sue me, please! What was it like growing up in the shadow of a music icon like Waylon Jennings? I never felt like there was a shad- ow. He never made me feel that way. My whole life, I always felt like I was my own person, and I think he supported the music that I did and so did Mom. We had a mutual love of music and then after I moved to L.A. I kind of extracted myself from a place where there were a lot of eyes on me. Because in Nashville I don’t know if I would have been able to grow and develop on my own as an artist. I went out there and I was a little fish in the big pond, you know? I got knocked down time and time again. It was kind of like being in college for the music business. When I went and cut the record, I was able to do it my way, and it just reflected me and my tastes. I’m really lucky that Tony Brown believed in me and said “Hey, we’ll put this out like it is.”

countryreunionmagazine.com

July 2021


What do you think is the greatest lesson you ever learned from your Dad? Oh man. That’s a though one. Probably that he said for me to never try to be like anybody else, ‘cause you never will be. I learned that the hard way, because I was trying to be somebody else when I had my band. I was trying to be like all the other bands, but when I stopped caring is when I cut this record, and he was right. Don’t ever try to be like any- body else because you never will be.

They just took the blues and just rocked out to it for an hour, you know what I mean? You better believe it, bro. You are playing your father in the new Johnny Cash movie, “Walk T h e L i n e . ” Ha d yo u a c t e d before, and how did you enjoy it? Hell no, I hadn’t done no acting before and it was nerve wracking. But it was great. The director was real gentle with me. I only did three scenes in the movie, but it was a lot of fun. It was kind of crazy playing my Dad, but at the same time it was kind of a cool experience. In many ways it brought me whole lot closer to seeing where he was at that time. We did a scene where Johnny and Waylon had an apartment together in 1967. We came in to do the scene, and the apar tment wa s tra shed, food everywhere. There were beer bottles everywhere. I said, “ Hey, this looks like the apartment I lived in last year?” (laughs) It wasn’t too far from home.

I can tell you have had a lot of influences. Did Southern Rock influence you at all? Are you kidding me? Southern rock, I mean. Marshall Tucker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers and all that stuff I always just loved man. I always felt like The Stones were Southern rock sometimes. Aerosmith too- to me it’s just that vibe, laid back blues, country ori- ented rock and roll. The thing I love about Southern rock is just that the l yrics were always straight forward like country. They told a Click to watch video of Jennings’ song “Outlaw,” commentary on story, or they told about really simple the degradation of country music into pop. He tells the story of his feelings. Like Ronnie Van Zant has a father’s rise to a superstar despite his initial rejection in Nashville. way of saying shit - there was no riddle to his lyrics. It was always something straight up. Something that just got to your Click here for heart, whether it be “Needle and upcoming The Spoon,” or “Simple Man.” The music was always performances number one, but the lyrics were always very country.

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July 2021


Oak Ridge Boy William Lee Golden Takes Fans Behind the Beard In New Book

“This is the autobiography that most people thought would never be written,” William Lee Golden, said, stroking his long, white beard. “To be honest, I doubted it would ever get done…but here we are.” As a member of the Oak Ridge Boys for the past 50 years, Golden has become one of the most recognizable faces in country music. His iconic long hair and beard helped the Country Music Hall of Fame member choose the title for his just released autobiography. “People have always been interested in my beard, and since I’m telling lots of behind-the-scenes stories of my life and career, I thought Behind the Beard was the perfect title.” Behind the Beard is an amusing, poignant and brutally honest memoir. Wife Simone said even she was surprised when her husband finally committed to putting his life story down on paper. “When I found out William was going to write a book, I thought “Uh-oh. Oh boy,” she said. “I know he is not afraid to tell the truth. He is genuine and honest, almost to a fault. He can be almost too honest. But I was thrilled when he told me he was writing his life story. I can’t wait to read it!” “Behind the Beard” includes details of how Golden helped turn a gospel group into one of the biggest acts in country music history. For the first time, Golden shares the real reason he was fired from the group, and how he made a “Prodigal Son” return to the Oaks. “When you write your life story, and you decide to bare everything, it’s kind of scary,” Golden said. “It feels a lot like getting naked…in front of the entire world. That’s really not something I would suggest… especially if you’re an 82-year-old like me!” Told in the singer’s own words, Behind the Beard was co-written by Scot England. England’s previous country music autobiographies include those by Ronnie McDowell, Johnny Lee, Moe Bandy, Jimmy Capps, Larry Black, Lulu Roman and Misty Rowe. “We’ve worked on the book for the past year. Scot went down to the farm where I was born in Alabama,” said Golden. “He interviewed my sister and brother Page 21

and all my sons. He interviewed my wife numerous times, and he also spent a couple days with my first wife. She knew she was dying, but she took time to do an extensive interview for my book. She passed away a week later.” Golden’s Oak Ridge Boys partners also share their memories in the book. “I know William has a lot of stories he wants to tell in this book, and I support him 100 percent,” Duane Allen said. “He has a lot of fans who want to read about the interesting life he has led.” Low-note legend Richard Sterban added, “I am honored to be a part of William’s book, and I look forward to reading it. Imagine that…I’m with the guy almost every day of the year, and I’m still looking forward to finding out things that I don’t know about the man.” The deluxe, 350-page, hardback book includes 200 rare, never-before-seen photos. “We found pictures that I had never seen,” Golden said. “When we got the first copy of the book, my wife started crying. It will become a treasure for my family, and I think any country music fan will enjoy it. I hope all the fans of the Oak Ridge Boys will love it. For a guy who doesn’t talk much on stage, I seem to have filled up a pretty big book. I’m proud of how it came out.” Each book costs $24.99 plus $5.00 for shipping. Autographed copies, hand signed by William Lee are $29.99, plus $5 for postage. To order William Lee Golden’s Behind the Beard by credit card or Paypal, you can log onto www.williamleegoldenbook.com or Amazon.com. To order by check, send payment to England Media 102 Rachels Ct. Hendersonville TN. July 2021


The Doobie Brothers The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour will have TOM JOHNSTON, MICHAEL MCDONALD, PAT SIMMONS and JOHN MCFEE back on the road together for the first time in more than 25 years. The band will make 49 stops across North America, kicking off August 22, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa, and ending on June 30, 2022, in London, Ontario. Special guests, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, will be supporting The Doobie Brothers on all tour dates. Full tour routing is found here.

Ricky Skaggs Countr y Mu s i c Ha l l of Fame member Ricky Skaggs has a major reveal: nearly 50 years after leaving high school, he’s finally received his diploma. On June 1, 2020, his alma m a t e r, L a w r e n c e C o u n t y H i g h School in Louisa, Kentucky, bestowed upon him an honorar y high school diploma for all of his work in music.

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July 2021


Restless Heart – History Left to Make Restless Heart lead singer Larry Stewart can remember the exact moment and place his life began to change forever. “I was driving east on I-40 from West Nashville into town to an appointment,” he recalls. “Back then, I was listening to what we were doing in my Jeep Cherokee every day. I had turned the radio on, and ‘Let The Heartache Ride’ was right in the middle of the acapella intro.” Stewart had been living with the song for a while, and hearing it through his car speakers wasn’t that big of a deal – until he looked at the stereo and saw the numbers 97.9. “It didn’t sink in because I had it in the tape deck for days, then I realized ‘That’s the radio. It’s WSIX.’ I pulled over on the shoulder around White Bridge Road and sat there with my car idling. It was like yesterday.” Then one of Nashville’s newest acts, the band is now celebrating 38 years in Country music. John Dittrich, Greg Jennings, Paul Gregg, Dave Innis and Larry Stewart – the men who make up Restless Heart have enjoyed one of the most successful careers in Country Music history, placing over 25 singles on the charts – with six consecutive No. 1 hits, four of their albums have been certified Gold by the RIAA, and they have won a wide range of awards from many organizations – including the Academy of Country Music’s Top Vocal Group trophy. Those stats aside, Innis feels that their career goes much deeper than that. “In the past few years, we have really started to branch out in the community, particularly our work with the Nashville Rescue Mission. We have hosted an event called Restless Heart & Friends – Music With A Mission that we do at the Schermerhorn Center with the Nashville Symphony. We invite a lot of our friends in the industry across all genres to join us, and all of the money we

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raise goes to the Nashville Rescue Mission. The other thing that stands out is the tours we have done in support of the men and women of the Armed Forces. We did some tours with the Air Force, going all over the world.” Those audiences have sung along with their record-shattering string of hits, such as “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” “Fast Movin’ Train” and “When She Cries.” Stewart says it’s humbling to know Restless Heart has made an impact. “I’m proud of the fact that we get to hear stories from young artists and musicians that we might have made an impression or inspiring them to come to town – having number one records, and hearing the stories of what they meant to people. To know that you have been a part of something that made a difference, the power of music, the power of a song. To be a part of something that made a mark. However big or small of a mark Restless Heart made, it’s still a mark. To be able to appreciate and feel blessed that we got lucky enough to get together. I feel like it was something that was meant to be.” And, the story is far from over, as Stewart says Restless Heart still has a lot of history to make.

July 2021


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June 2021


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