Country Reunion Magazine, November 2022

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Country Reunion m • a • g• a • z• i • n • e

November 2022

Loretta Lynn Brenda Lee Wendy Moten Jenee Fleenor

Ray Edenton Tom Parker

Halfway to Hazzard Jody Miller Medical Musical Group Lennon Sisters … and mor

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Country Reunion Magazine Who’s Inside? Loretta Lynn, p. Wendy Moten, p. 4Joni Miller, p. Nadine, p. Jenee Fleenor p. 8Blueberry Pie, p. 1 Christmas Cops, p. 1 Ray Edenton, p. 1 Holiday Shopping, p. 1 Halfway to Hazzard, p. 1 Renea the Waitress, p.1 Brenda Lee, p. 16-17 Lennon Sisters, p. 18-1 Medical Musicians, p. 2 Children’s Books, p. 2 Published monthly b

Country Road Managemen 710 N. Main St., Suite B Columbia, TN 38401 Larry Black, Publisher Paula Underwood Winters, Editor, Print Layou Claudia Johnson, Writer, Online Layout/Desig Online Subscriptions $15 per yea

countryreunionmusic.com Annual Print Subscriptions $29.95; renewals $24.9 To subscribe or renew cal 1-800-8 20-5405 or mail payment to PO Box 610 Price, UT 84501

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Resilient, Loretta Lynn’s Work and Life Endures By Sasha Dunavan No celebration of life would be great enough for the achievements of mother, wife, friend and Country Queen, Loretta Lynn The singer-songwriter, who was in uenced by early Country music makers such as Kitty Wells and Ernest Tubb, was born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, on April 13, 1932. She was the second child of eight children born to parents Clara Marie “Clary,” a homemaker, and Theodore “Ted” Webb, a coal miner and farmer Lynn married at 15 years of age to Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn. She referred to her husband as “Doo” or “Mooney” for the duration of their marriage that lasted until Doo’s death in 1996 The Lynns moved to Washington state shortly after their 1948 marriage. Lynn gave birth to her rst child, Betty Sue at the tender age of 16. She would go on to have ve more children, four of whom were born by the time Lynn was 22 years old. Lynn would give birth to Ernest Ray, Cissy, twins Patsy and Peggy and Jack Benny after she began her career Doo Lynn took notice of his young wife’s talents and soon bought Loretta a $17 Sears-Roebuck guitar, after which she diligently worked to hone her guitar playing and singing skills. Doo began taking Lynn to honky tonks and clubs for some of her earliest public performances in the late 1950s. The singer-songwriter formed her own band, “The Trailblazers,” which included one of her siblings, Jay Lee Webb. Canadian investor Norm Burley saw a televised talent show that Lynn won, and signed her to his new record label Zero Records After signing her contract Feb. 2, 1960, Lynn’s rst record was produced at United Western Records in Hollywood, California. The album

included the songs “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” and “Whispering Sea. Lynn traveled to radio stations across the country to promote the release. Her song “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” rose on the Country and Western Billboard chart to the No. 14 spot. Lynn began working with the Wilburn Brothers Publishing Company with whom she ultimately engaged in a 30-year unsuccessful war over the rights to her own music Lynn’s marriage was far from perfect, and most of her songwriting material came from her personal experiences with her husband. Although, Lynn didn’t label herself a “feminist,” she was not afraid to write and talk about what women were going through at the current time. By writing and singing her truth Lynn led other Country music queens to their very own thrones for more than six decades Please go to page 21 for the rest of the story

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Inspirational and

November 2022


By Sasha Dunavant Memphis-born star Wendy Moten can sing it all – gospel, country, pop, blues and soul. The daughter of a pastor, Moten, who turns 58 this month, began her singing journey in a church choir. She became connected spiritually through music and longed to share her talent with others. “I’m child number ve out of six,” Moten told People Magazine in an interview earlier this year. “As a kid in Memphis, everybody was a great singer. It didn’t even matter nationality or race or anything like that. Everybody was great.” When she was only 16, she entered the singing competition at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis and won. After she attended the University of Memphis, Moten met record producer Dick Williams, who became her producer. She sang with Grammy-winning performer Michael Bolton during a bene t concert and was later pegged to open for him on tour after her rst self-titled debut album was released in 1992. Moten’s 1993 single called “Come in Out of the Rain” made it to the No. 55 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. “Come in Out of the Rain” was No. 5 on the Adult Contemporary Chart as well as climbing the UK charts to the No. 8 position in 1994.

Moten with the Time Jumpers

Wendy Moten After touring with Bolton, Moten became popular in Japan and performed at sold-out concerts held at the world-renowned Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo. The concerts were hosted by music producer and songwriter, David Foster, who eventually produced one of Moten’s albums. Moten and Latin crooner Julio Iglesias toured together and were duet partners for 15 years. She has very fond memories of their experience of traveling the world and has remained close friends with the artist. Their duet, “Just walk Away,” has become a classic. In 2013 she performed backup vocals for Bonnie Tyler’s album, “Rocks and Honey.” During her career she’s recorded duets with Derek Trucks, John Oates, Michael McDonald, Julio Iglesias, Peabo Bryson, Kirk Whalum, Larry Carlton, Michael Lington, Paul Brown and numerous others. She's recorded several movie soundtracks that included “The Pagemaster” and “Mr. Wonderful.”

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Wendy Moten, from Memphis to Nashville and Everywhere in Between

November 2022


"I've worked with some of the greatest artists in history; they were great storytellers, and I just wanted to reach people through song," Moten told the NBC Insider in an early 2022 interview For the past couple of decades, the worldtraveling performer has focused more on Nashville. Even though this strong and talented woman can sing any style of music, she prefers performing country. Moten joined country music superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw for a seven-month Las Vegas engagement as well as a concert tour in Australia. She was a backup vocalist for Hill’s solo e orts for nine years. Moten toured with Martina McBride from 2014-2016. In 2018 and 2019 Moten was a featured artist in the Countr y Music Hall of Fame’s Musician Spotlight Series. She has played at some of Nashville’s hottest spots, including her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in April of 2019. She’s been invited back several times for additional Opr y performances. She has been a featured artist on the Ole Opry stage at the Bonnaroo Music Festival held annually in Manchester, Tennessee. Just before the pandemic started Moten performed at one Nashville’s popular live venues, Third and Lindley, for the release of her song, “I’ve Got You Covered” in February 2020. In 2021 Moten was a contestant and second place winner on NBC’s “The Voice,” having been coached by “The Voice” coach and country star Blake Shelton. She’s had a busy 2022 that included performing at Shelton’s Old Red restaurant and appearing on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” Moten is currently on a tour that began in August in Nashville and ends the week of Thanksgiving in New York City. According to Moten’s o cial website, she refers to Country artist Vince Gill as “The Emperor of Nashville. She has been touring with Gill as a harmony and backup singer on and o since 2016. Gill produced Moten’s 2020 album “I’ve Got Yo u C o v e r e d . ” Gi l l invited Moten to join h i s Gr a m m y Aw a r d

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winning western swing band called “The Time Jumpers.” She appeared on CMT Giants with Gill on Sept. 16, 2022. “I’ve always enjoyed sharing a stage with Wendy, whether she was singing harmonies for me or when we were in The Time Jumpers together,” Gill said in a recent interview. “It’s always been my wish that more of the world could hear her, so being able to feature her each night…is something I look forward to.” Get tickets at wendymoten.com

November 2022


Jody Miller was Countrypolitan Artist Miller continued to record for Capitol Records through the 60's, releasing scores of singles such as the richly expressive Hot Country charter and fan favorite “Long Black Limousine,” while making multiple appearances on teen shows such as "Shindig" and "American Bandstand." In the 1970s Miller began recording for Epic Records in Nashville, working with Billy Sherrill as one of his premiere Countrypolitan artists, notching several hits. By the 1980s she had 31 Bi board charting hits to her credit, Miller retired from touring to spend time at home with her husband Monty Brooks and her daughter Robin. She helped manage her husband’s thriving quarter horse breeding and training business at their farm in Blanchard, Oklahoma. Miller rededicated her life to Christ in the 1990s and began a Gospel Music Ministry, sharing her Testimony through story and song, r e co r d i n g h a l f a d o z e n g o s p e l a l b u m s , c u l m i n a t i n g i n h e r i n d u c t i o n i n to t h e International Country Music Hall of Fame. With all of her accolades, Miller was deeply devoted to her family. Following the death of her husband of 52 years Monty Brooks, Miller began performing with her daughter Robin Brooks Sul livan and her grandchildren Montana and Layla Sullivan as Jody Miller and Three Generations. Dealing with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in the past few years, Miller made the decision to enter the studio one last time in 2020 for an upcoming project "Wayfaring Stranger" on Heart of Texas Records. The title spiritual song, part of the artist’s folk repertoire back in the ’60’s seems a tting bookend to her 60-year career. As label President Tracy Pitcox explained, “Jody lived her life, just as she conducted her career, with the utmost class and dignity.” She is survived by her sisters Carol Cooper and Vivian Cole, daughter Robin Brooks Sullivan and her husband Shawn Sullivan, grandson Montana Sullivan and granddaughter Layla Sullivan.

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Grammy award winning county-pop pioneer recording artist Jody Miller passed away Oct 6, 2022, in Blanchard, Oklahoma from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease at age 80. Miller rst signed to Capitol Records in 1962 for her legendary debut folk album "Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe" originally released in 1963. It was recorded at the Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with "The Wrecking Cre w” session players Glen Campbell, Billy Strange and Jack Marshall. She landed her rst hit single “He Walks Like a Man” on the Bi board Hot 100 in 1964. She is best known for her 1965 smash, “Queen of the House,” making Miller a country star overnight, when the single crossed over from the pop to country charts, cementing her status as a pioneering cross-over artist. Page 6 countryreunionmagazine.com

November 2022


Nadine’s Corner

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! It's getting bad. At this age I'm just trying to finish up my spring cleaning! This time of year there is one thing that I am abundantly thankful for – only me and God have all the facts about myself! Homer knows quite a bit, but God knows it all! By the way, I have to confess every day, somebody is gonna get on my last nerve! I know it before I get up in the morning! You know what? It's not what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, it's really what's in your heart. You say, “I can't pay my bills, what have I got to be thankful for?” Well, be thankful you're not one of your creditors! We may not be able to have what we want, but at least we don't get what we deserve! Be thankful that we are living in a country where folks can say what they think without thinking! And if you just can't find something to be thankful for, be thankful for something you don't have, like Monkeypox! Hopefully you don't have that cause it looks like it would be miserable! I'm praying the good Lord will help me to be thankful for Homer's relatives?!?!?!? The good Lord is the only one that can do that! He's working on me, and I'm working on it! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends, and know that we at the Diner love you all.

L e ya’ll, Nadine

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Breaking Barriers in Nashville by Claudia Johnson Jenee Fleenor has already made history. In 2019 she became the rst female ever to be nominated for and to win the Country Music Association’s Musician of the Year award. In 2020 and 2021, she took the award again. If her winning streak holds, she could earn the title for the fourth consecutive year on the Nov. 9 CMAs “So many happy tears!!!” Fleenor Tweeted when the 2022 nominations were announced. “I LOVE ddlin’ my heart out for y’all …I’m just so very grateful! I love you country music. The singer-songwriter, who plays the ddle, mandolin and acoustic guitar, has visited “Larry’s Country Diner” and plays often at the Grand Ole Opry, where she debuted in 2019. In fact, the in-demand ddle-player has been busy with a variety of performances over the past 20+ years Born in Springdale, Arkansas, Fleenor started learning to play the violin using the Suzuki method at age 3 with her mother on piano and her father on violin. By age 10 she was playing in the house band at a local venue. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2001 to attend Belmont University but quit to become a full-time musician when Larry Cordle asked Fleenor her to perform with him after hearing her in a bluegrass show "Larry kept telling me, 'You're going to get a call from a big country star. I know it,'" Fleenor told Wide Open Country in 2019. "Sure enough, by that next summer, I got the call to play for Terri Clark. Things moved very quickly, and I was thankful. I was prepared if they didn't, because I know this town can be hard. She also toured with Martina McBride, who said in an interview with Wide Open Country, "Jenee is such a bright light and so talented. McBride said that Fleenor's stage presence and energy onstage elevate any show of which she is a part By 2015 she had garnered the Country Music Association's Touring Musician of the Year award. She’s since toured or performed with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Don Williams, Cody Johnson, Rascal Flatts, Dailey and Vincent, Rhonda Vincent, Mo Pitney and countless others She was the Music Row Album All Star Winner in 2019 and 2020’s winner of ACM’s Specialty Instruments Player of the Year. “I honestly did not know if I’d have a session career as a ddle player 10 years ago,” Fleenor said on Facebook. “I sure don’t take a second of this for granted. Thank you, Lord, for these musical gifts we share that I pray bring people so many di erent feels though those radio waves.

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Fleenor is a member of Blake Shelton’s band and performs regularly in the house band of NBC's hit show “The Voice.” Shelton’s No. 1 album, “Bringing Back the Sunshine,” included a song she co-wrote called “Just Getting Started,” and she also co-wrote “Oklahoma Christmas,” a song in which Reba McEntire joined Shelton on his Christmas album. As a session ddler, she played on Shelton's No. 1 hit, "I'll Name the Dogs. Jon Pardi is a neotraditional singer-songwriter credited with helping to keep traditional instruments in popular country. Fleenor played ddle on Pardi's 2019 album, "Heartache Medication." She can be heard on his hit singles “Heartache Medication,” "Dirt on My Boots," "Head Over Boots" and "Heartache on the Dance oor. She's recorded on hit records by Rascal Flatts, Lauren Alaina, Carly Pearce, Sam Hunt, Trace Adkins, Steven Tyler, Ronnie Dunn, Ashley Monroe, Joe Nichols, Reba McEntire, Terri Clark, Don Williams, Gord Bamford, Trisha Yearwood and more. Cody Johnson’s No. 1 record “Ain’t Nothin to It,” includes her ddle playing As a songwriter Fleenor has had songs recorded by such notables as Reba McEntire, Gretchen Wilson, Kathy Mattea, Montgomery Gentry and others. “I Am Strong,” recorded by The Grascals and Dolly Parton, was nominated for song of the year at the IBMAs. The hit song, “Big Blue Raindrops,” recorded by the bluegrass artist Del McCoury that was on his Grammy winning record, “The Streets of Baltimore,” was penned by Fleenor. When a Twitter user posted the comment “bring back 90s/early 2000s country music,” Fleenor responded “It’s a-coming” with ddle and celebration emojis. She has recently released her own album, “Fiddle & Steel.” In 2021 Fleenor’s Arkansas hometown added a city limit sign with a graphic of a ddle and a bow visible to anyone entering Springdale. It reads, “Hometown of Jenee Fleenor, CMA Musician of the Year 2019 & 2020.” She was named Fiddle Player of the Year at the Arkansas Country Music Awards earlier this year When June 27 was proclaimed Jenee Day in Springdale, Fleenor posted, “I honestly still have to pinch myself."

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Areeda’s

southern cooking by Areeda Schneider Stampley

Blueberry Pie Easy and very tasty! Pastry for double crust pi

1 pint fresh juicy blueberries (do not use frozen 1 cup white suga 1/4 teaspoon cinnamo 1/8 teaspoon sal 1/4 cup all-purpose ou 1 Tablespoon cornstarc 3 Tablespoons butte 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juic Cream or half and hal Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Add berries. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix well and sprinkle over berries. Drizzle fresh lemon juice. Dot with butter. Top with other pastry. Flute edges and cut slits for steam to escape. Brush with cream or half and half. Bake 40 minutes or until juice bubbles through slits near center. Cool on wire rack for about 2 hours for the lling to set well.

To purchase Areeda’s Southern Cooking, a co ection 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. August 2022

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Christmas Cops & Country Music Ticket Available A night of hit songs from the '80s and '90s era of Country music will be the focus of the Dec. 6 bene t event, Christmas Cops & Country Music, set to help raise money for Law Enforcement Assistance Partnership (LEAP) at the world-famous Nashville Palace. Hitmakers from the 1980s like John Conlee, T. Graham Brown, Ronnie McDowell and David Frizzell along with '90s hitmakers Michelle Wright, Marty Raybon of Shenandoah and Terry McBride of McBride & The Ride will take the stage to perform songs ever yone remembers during the event presented by All Access Coach. “Man, this event is going to be so much fun," said T. Graham Brown. "You know, we never get to hang out with our fellow artist friends because we are always on the road, so these events really are a time to catch up, have fun and help raise money for such a great cause.

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Earlier this year the Nashville Palace hosted the Music Memorial for Je Carson which also bene ted LEAP and raised $82,000. “We are honored to be part of this event as the last one exceeded all of our expectations,” said LEAP President Diane Wilhoit. “We used some of the funds raised in May to provide scholarships to children of law enforcement as well as purchase air units for police o cers to use under their protective gear during the height of the summer.” General admission tickets to the Dec. 6 event are $40, and reserved seats are $50. VIP tables range from $500 to $1,000. Those interested in a taxdeductible ticket purchase may contact Diane with LEAP directly at 615-587-1023 or visit leapfranklin.org. Tickets are available on The Na s h v i l l e Pa l a c e website thefamousnashvillepalace.com or at christmascopsandcountrymusic.com.


Nashville Session Guitarist Ray Edenton Passes by Paula Winters You may not be familiar with the name Ray Edenton, but you’re most de nitely familiar with the songs he played on that he helped turn into country hits over years. He and Jimmy Capps were two of the most proli c and respected session guitarists in country music history. Edenton, who passed away on Sept. 21, 2020, at the age of 95, was an undisputed part of Nashville’s ‘A’ Team of go-to musicians that started in the Golden Era of the 1950s and lasted well into the ‘70s and beyond. He had more than 12,000 studio sessions logged. Just some of the notable artists on whose recordings he performed include The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Lynn Anderson, George Morgan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cowboy Copas, Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce, Chet Atkins, Conway Twitty, Jan Howard and The Statler Brothers Born Ray Quarles Edenton on Nov. 3, 1926, he was part of a musical family and was performing at square dances around his home in Mineral, Virginia, with his two brothers and cousins by the age of six. His rst instrument was a banjo ukulele, and along with guitar, Edenton would play banjo, mandolin, ukulele and sometimes bass in recording sessions as well. Though he could do it all, what Edenton became best known for was playing acoustic and rhythm guitar After serving in the United States Army in World War II, in 1948 he began appearing on WRVA’s Old Dominion Barn Dance radio show out of Richmond every Saturday night in a group called the Korn Krackers. He moved to Nashville and landed a regular gig playing acoustic guitar on the Grand Ole Opry Edenton’s rst studio session came in 1949, playing a version of “Lovesick Blues” by Red Kirk for Mercury Records He was married to Rita Robbins, sister of Don Winters, who sang and yodeled with Marty Robbins for more than 20 years. Rita was part of the trio Nita, Rita and Ruby with Anita Carter and Ruby Wright. Together he and Winters wrote the song “You’re Running Wild,” which became a hit for the Louvin Brothers. He and Rita had two children, Ray Jr. and Ronda Edenton retired in 1991, but he continued to make regular appearances around Nashville, including an interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 as part of the Nashville Cats series Edenton was one of the last surviving members of the Nashville ‘A’ Team, with Charlie McCoy, steel guitar player Lloyd Green and ddler Buddy Spicher comprising some of the last remaining members

Ray Edenton was a guitarist with the famed “A” Team for decades.

Above: Ray, Jimmy Fortune & Jimmy Capp Right: Painting by his daughter, Rhonda

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November 2022


Holiday Shopping

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Halfway to Hazard Believes in Using Musical Gifts By Sasha Dunavant Country music duo Halfway to Hazard is a multi-talented, singing-songwriting pair that consists of Chad Warrix and David Tolliver. The two have a story-telling gift that has been displayed throughout their music career. Whether it’s singing about love and loss as they did on their debut single, “Daisy,” which made the Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in 2007 or if it’s a well-written, well-performed ballad about the struggle between right and wrong, such as the chart making, Halfway to Hazard song, “Devil on the Cross,” Warrix and Tolliver always present their talent at its nest.

The two named their duo after its earliest beginnings when these Southeastern Kentuckians would meet to work on their music at a halfway point, Hazard, Kentucky, between the two separate communities in which they lived. Halfway to Hazard’s debut song, “Daisy” also became an iTunes single of the week on August 6, 2007. The single was a hit from their rst and selftitled album produced by Tim McGraw’s label, which was released later that month and made its rise on the Country U.S. charts to number 14. They also joined Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on the couple’s Soul2Soul Tour. Halfway to Hazard were nominated by the Academy of Country Music for the Duo of the Year award in May of 2008.

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After touring with Country music superstars Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean, the pair launched a charitable event called “Halfway to Hazard Charity Concert and Trail Ride,” which became an annual event from 2008 to 2014. Performers such as Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Lee Brice, Keith Anderson, Montgomery Gentry, in addition to many other artists entertained patrons during an outdoor concert. A 40 mile, o -road ATV ride and a carnival were included in the event that quickly became known as “Crockettsville” because of its location in Crockettsville, Kentucky. Halfway to Hazard released their second album, “Come On Time” in October of 2009. The album continues to have ve out of ve stars on Amazon music. The album also includes songs, such as “Bar Flu,” “I Know Where Heaven Is,” and “Only Get So Much Time.” “Heaven on Down the Highway” and “American Outlaw” were the two singles released from Halfway to Hazard’s 2017 album, “REDemption.” During an o cial hiatus from 2011 to 2014, Warrix toured as lead guitarist for with both Randy Houser and Keith Anderson. He also released a solo music video, "Rain on the Roof," in 2012 featuring former All Pro NFL Tennessee Titan's kicker Rob Bironas. The duo reunited to release a live acoustic album on May 17, 2019, entitled “Live at Analog.” The signi cantly moved the needle. They have raised more than $1 million for music programs in their home state of Kentucky. They also raised more than $500,000 for hurricane relief in Texas and Florida. In addition to those amazing charitable e orts, they are active with the TJ Martel Foundation, Storme Warren’s Nashville Navy and Tracy Lawrence’s Turkey Fry

November 2022


Renae the Waitress

reneathewaitress.com

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so Thankful for all of you, who have watched our shows, attended our tapings and came on our cruises. Without you we would not have been able to have a TV show on RFD-TV, and we hope to have shows on for years to come In last month’s paper I promised more about our Branson shows. Well…they were awesome. Gene Watson was fabulous of course. The Isaacs blessed us with gospel songs and their beautiful family harmony. Rhonda, who I call the energizer bunny, sang her heart out and even went overtime. The Malpass Brothers were there Tuesday night then returned Friday night. Both shows were “special” but it was Friday night with Leona Williams & The Malpass Brothers performing together that gave everyone goose bumps! They sang hit after hit of Merle Haggard songs written mostly by Leona. After intermission Taylor Malpass returned to the stage on a zip line above the audience. There is never a dull moment with those guys On Thursday we had breakfast with Jimmy Fortune who was also performing in Branson and Friday we ate lunch with Johnny Lee, who lives there. It was so great to visit with two of my favorite performers!

Rhonda Vincent

Johnny Lee

Jimmy Fortune

Malpass Brothers and Leona Williams

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Brenda Lee – “Little Miss Dynamite,” Part I Brenda Lee is an international icon. The petite singer known for her big voice and even bigger heart rose from poverty to become a child star and then continued to achieve success over the next six decades across multiple genres of music. Lee holds the distinction of being the only person to be inducted into four Halls of Fame: Rock and Roll Hall, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rockabilly and Pop Music. She has also been the recipient of the esteemed Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as well as countless other accolades during her stellar career. Lee signed with the legendary Decca Records label before her twelfth birthday and went on to record such landmark hits as “Sweet Nothin’s,” “All Alone Am I,” “Break it to Me Gently,” “I’m Sorry” and of course, the perennial holiday favorite “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Throughout her career she shared stages and earned the respect of the world’s most revered performers. The Beatles opened for her, and the lads from Liverpool became good friends with the Southern belle from Atlanta. Elvis Presley and Lee made their Grand Ole Opry debut on the same night. “I’ll never forget, he came in and they sent him down to that men’s shop in the arcade to get a tux,” she recalled. “They said he wasn’t dressed right, so here he comes back with a tux. He wowed the audience. He tore the house down, and I’ll never forget they told him to keep his day job.” Incredible talent, hard work and a humble attitude are the cornerstones of Lee’s impressive career. Always a ghter since the day she was born, Brenda Mae Tarpley arrived in the charity ward of Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, weighing only four pounds 11 ounces. “I was little,” she said with a laugh, and noted that at 4’ 9” she still is. “Back then, they didn’t have everything they have now. If a baby had breathing problems, normally it didn’t make it, but I’m here, so they did something right.” Lee’s family battled poverty throughout her childhood, and her musical gift became the ticket to a better life for them all. “I knew we didn’t have a lot and I knew my mom worked 14-16 hours a day sometimes in a cotton mill,” she said. “My dad was a carpenter, and

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we never owned a car. I didn’t even know if my dad could drive because my mother’s brother would pick him up for work. I knew we didn’t have much, but nobody did. My dad did the best he could, and my mom did too. She was paid $20 for her rst show date, which Lee said that back then was a lot of money. “I saw that I could make money and help,” she said. “I love to sing, but when that came into the picture, I thought I could do something to help my family. That’s how it pretty much started.” Lee had always loved music and sang along with the radio as soon as she could talk. Her mom would put her up on the counter at the local candy store when she was only three and the tiny tot would fascinate anyone within earshot. By age six, she won a talent contest and earned an appearance on a local radio station where she became a regular. November 2022


have some of the great songwriters write all those wonderful, wonderful songs that I had. My producer, Owen Bradley, had the knack of listening to an acetate tape that writers would bring in or some would just sing their songs in person with a guitar, and he had the knack to hear where it could go and what it could be. I had the knack for the lyrics and how to express them. I don’t know where that came from. It’s a God given thing. Record companies don’t want to sign a kid because your voices changes, but mine never did. You can tell I was younger, but as far as the growling and the way I phrased, that’s always been the same since I started recording. It had to have come from a higher power than anybody here on earth.” Lee credits her early manager, Dub Albritton, with boosting her career and pushing her to success in multiple genres. “He broadened my spectrum of what I could see and he had such bigger plans for me than I ever dreamed of, and we had success overseas before we had any here. That was him,” she said of Albritton, who also cowrote some of her big hits, including “I’m Sorr y” and “Sweet Nothin’s.” Lee said that Colonel Tom Parker was Albritton’s best friend, and they both had been carnies. “He knew how to promote and get the interest up,” she said. “I remember before we went over to France to play, they kept writing back saying, ‘Send more recent pictures.’ We were sending pictures of how I looked, but they thought my voice was so big I couldn’t be a kid. Then my manager somehow started the rumor mill that I was really a 42-year-old midget, so we sold out because everybody was coming to see: ‘Is she a kid or is she a midget or what is going on here?’ That was Dub!” Next month we continue the story of Lee’s success as it grows worldwide.

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Her father died when she was just seven, and by the time she was 10, Lee had become the family’s breadwinner as her music career began to soar. Her big break came when local radio personality Charles “Peanut” Faircloth introduced her to Red Foley. “I was living in Augusta, Georgia, and Peanut Faircloth would take me to meet anybody that came to the famous Bell Auditorium,” Lee remembered. “He would say, ‘Would you listen to this little girl sing? Would you let her sing a song on the show The audience loves her. She’s from here.’ Red Foley let me sing that night and then he asked my mother if I’d be interested in doing the Junior Jubilee in Spring eld, Missouri. So, I went and did the Junior and then I did the Ozark Jubilee, which was for the adults. I was seen by a columnist in Ne w Yo r k n a m e d Ja c k O’Brien and he wrote me up. From that write up, I was asked to do “The Perry Como Show,” “The Ste ve Al len Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” so that was my break. M r. Re d w a s m y breakthrough.” Foley said hearing Lee’s voice for the rst time gave him chills. No one could believe such a big voice could come from a tiny child. That amazing voice earned Lee a deal with Decca Records in 1956, and she began churning out hits such as “One Step at a Time,” which soared up both the pop and country charts, and “Dynamite,” which earned her the lifelong nickname “Little Miss Dynamite.” Lee scored nine consecutive Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits from “That’s All You Gotta Do” in 1960 through “All Alone Am I” in 1962 which set a record for a female solo artist that was not equaled until 1986 by Madonna. “I’ve always been a lyric singer,” she said with a big smile. “I love good lyrics and I was blessed to

November 2022


The Lennon Sisters Celebrated 60th Year in Show Business in 2022 In 1955 television audiences watched as four sisters, Dianne (Dee Dee), 16, Peggy, 14, Kathy, 12, and Janet Lennon, 9, who performed as The Lennon Sisters, made their television debut on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” singing an a cappella version of "He." America fell in love with these four little girls and their sweet, innocent, angelic voices, and The Lennon Sisters became regulars on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” performing on his show every Saturday night for the next 13 years. Their rst recording was a 45 single of "Mickey Mouse Mambo" and "Hi to You," both of which they sang on the rst of two guest appearances on “The Mickey Mouse Club.” They recorded their rst of many albums entitled “Let's Get Acquainted” in May of 1957. In 1960, Dee Dee married Dick Gass and retired from show business to be a stay-at-home mom. Peggy, Kathy and Janet continued in her absence until Dee Dee rejoined the group in 1964. In 1968 The Lennon Sisters and Lawrence Welk parted company. It was a painful move, but one that had to be made. They were not little girls anymore, and although they remained grateful to Welk for all he had done for them, they had to move on From 1969-1970 The Lennon Sisters starred in their own musical variety show on ABC called “Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters Hour.” Each week the girls welcomed new guest stars such as Jack Jones, Jack Benny and Bobby Goldsboro, and their good friend Jimmy Durante was with them each week. In the middle of this seemingly happy time tragedy struck the Lennon family for the second time. The rst occurred many years early in 1954 when their 16-monthold baby sister, Mary, was struck and killed by a speeding car. The second turned even more tragic. Fueled by movie The Lennon Sisters in the 1980s magazine articles, on Aug. 12, 1969, an obsessed fan gunned down their father then turned the gun on himself after months of stalking family members. In the wake of that tragic event, the Lennons persevered by maintaining their love for one another and strong believe in their faith. This was an extremely painful and frightening time for the entire Lennon family, but their strong faith in God and close family ties kept them going and gave them the strength needed to weather this storm. In the 1970s The Lennon Sisters were regular guest stars on Andy William's television show and performed with him in Las Vegas frequently. They also guest stared on a number of television variety shows and game shows, including "Hollywood Squares," "Family Feud," "Mike Douglas," "Cher" and "The Merv Gri n Show. When Peggy needed to take time out to have her last two children, Jennie and Betsy, younger sister Mimi was recruited to ll in for her during their Las Vegas performances. In the 1980s The Lennon Sisters spent more time on the road touring farther away from home to venues such as Atlantic City Although only two months old when her sisters made that rst appearance, younger sister, Mimi has played in integral part in the Lennon Sister phenomenon. Over the 60 years that they have been performing at one time or another, because of sickness, pregnancy, retirement, etc., Mimi has enabled the "show to go on" by lling in for one of her sisters. When Peggy retired in 1999 Mimi rejoined her sisters full time. Dee Dee retired after the 2000 season

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The Lennon Sisters, Kathy, Janet and Mimi, performed at the Welk Resort Theatre in Branson, Missouri, during the 2005 Christmas Season with the Gatlin Brothers in a dynamic Christmas show. Those attending the show the evening of Dec. 9, 2005, received a very special Christmas gift as Peggy and Dee Dee rejoined their sisters on stage to reminisce and perform a couple of numbers in celebration of their 50th Anniversary in show business. It was a special moment made even more special because over 40 members of their family was there to help celebrate the occasion The Lennon Sisters, Kathy, Janet & Mimi, have continued to perform their distinctive harmonies for special concerts at Performing Arts Centers across the USA. For more than 20 years they presented their annual Christmas Show, at Andy Williams' famous Moon River Theatre The Lennon Sisters are showcased in the PBS television special, “Same Song, Separate Voices.” Three newly remastered CD & digital collections of their classic recordings have been released in conjunction with the newly updated special, and memorabilia chronicling their career is on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C

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November 2022


Medical Musical Group celebrates Veterans’ Day in Nashville on Nov. 10 at the Grand Ole O p r y Ho u s e . T h e c o n c e r t , “A n A m e r i c a n Resurrection: Yes, I’ll Rise Again!,” will bene t children of military families who battle cancer at Vanderbilt, St. Jude’s and Shriners Hospitals, as well as raise awareness about veteran’s physical and mental health. In Medical Musical Group (MMG) concerts no one has to ask if there is a doctor in the house. The award-winning group is considered by many to be the world’s premier integrated medical chorale and symphony orchestra. Core members are “healers” – doctors, nurses and community volunteers from Veterans and other US medical centers and schools all over the USA. MMG’s mission is to perform “Music with a Message” – of healing, hope, inspiration, patriotism at home; and peace and international brotherhood and sisterhood overseas. They deeply cherish America’s veterans and share a genuine and heartfelt concern for their issues. MMG has received the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Bob Hope Award for its service to veterans, and particularly, its Veteran’s hymn. Countr y recording artist and tv personality, Jessie James Decker and world-class entertainer Deana Martin will join the acclaimed group of more than 200 musicians and vocalists as special guests. Decker’s passion for music has made the multitalented artist one of music’s true breakout rebrands. The s i n g e r ’s a u t h e n t i c s t y l e immediately captivated listeners everywhere on her 2009 self-titled debut. She continued to keep it real with her second studio album, 2017’s “Southern Girl City Lights,” which debuted at No. 1 on B i l l b o a r d ’s To p C o u n t r y Albums chart. Now it’s onto a new musical chapter of growth and empowerment with her new single “Should Have Known Better” and “The Woman I’ve Become” EP.

Martin is a world-class entertainer who is equally comfortable with a celebrated symphony, at a legendary concert hall or on an intimate cabaret stage with a swinging jazz quintet. She’s a New York Times best-selling author, a g i f t e d a c t o r, a v o c a l i s t o f incredible depth and passion, and a licensed pilot When talent is part of the family pedigree it can sometimes be di cult for an artist to forge an individual path, Martin has successfully navigated that tricky terrain. Ho s t i n g t h e e v e n i n g w i l l b e C i r c l e T V n e t w o r k h o s t , Ru n a w a y June’s Natalie Stovall alongside iconic tv and radio host Storme Warren. With discounted tickets for veterans and senior citizens, the whole family can celebrate all who have served at one of the most prestigious concert halls with tickets available for all ages ve and up. A limited number of tickets will be made available to veterans at no cost through Vettix.com. Tickets can be purchased at this link: https://lnk.to/mmg2022PR

MMG’s mission is to perform “Music with a Message” – of healing, hope, inspiration, patriotism at home; and peace and international brotherhood and sisterhood overseas. Listen to them here.

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Veterans to be Honored at Opry Concert by Medical Musicians

November 2022


“We’ve been like sisters all the years we’ve been in Nashville, and she was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I’m one of them," wrote Dolly Parton upon Lynn's passing. "I miss her dearly as we all will. In September 1962 Lynn joined the Grand Ole’ Opry. She signed with Decca Records and released a string of chart making songs, such as 1962’s “Success,” 1964’s “Before I’m Over You,” “Wine, Women, and Song,” 1965’s “Happy Birthday,” “Blue Kentucky Girl” and “The Home You’re Tearing Down. In 1966 Lynn had large successes with “Dear Uncle Sam” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man.” “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man” marked Lynn’s accomplishment of becoming the rst Country female artist to write and record a No. 1 hit "Today, my world changed and it will never be the same again," Tanya Tucker wrote on Instagram when learning of Lynn's death. "My hero, Loretta Lynn, got her wings, and it's been a day lled with tears. Many memories, so much gratitude and thanking my God above for blessing me rst with her music and her guidance through the perils of the music world, way before we ever met. She had duet success with a couple of Country’s nest crooners. Ernest Tubb and Lynn gained Top 15 recognition with their 1964 song, “Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be.” They also teamed up together for two albums, 1967’s “Singin’ Again” and 1969’s “If We Put Our Heads Together.” Other hits such as, “Fist City,” “You Just Came in (From stepping out on me),” “What Kind of Girl (Do You Think I Am)” and “Women of the World (Leave My Man Alone). The recording partner with whom she was most closely associated was Country star Conway Twitty. They joined forces in 1971 and cranked out ve consecutive No. 1 hits, including 1971’s “After the Fire is Gone,” which won the pair a Grammy. Other hits by the pair were 1971’s “Lead Me On,” 1973’s “Louisianna Woman and Mississippi Man,” 1974’s “As Soon as You Hang up the Phone" and 1974’s “Feelings. The two were named “Vocal Duo of the Year” by the Country Music Association. They were also named Best Duet of the Year in 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1976. They had continued success until 1981

Loretta and Bill Anderson

The world has lost a treasured icon, and I have lost a friend of more than sixty years. I have so many wonderful memories of touring with Loretta, sharing stages all over the world, laughing together, and admiring her strength and tenacity. She was one of a kind as a singer, songwriter, and human being. We are all better off for her having walked among us.– Bill Anderson England just recently lost their Queen, and today we have lost ours. It’s a very sad day for the music industry. Loretta Lynn has gone on to her heavenly home. She did more for women in Country Music than anyone. She opened up all the doors. Her songwriting was cutting edge and she was never afraid to tell the truth. She loved her family and wrote songs about her eastern Kentucky upbringing, but her unforgettable voice and beautiful smile is what I’ll remember most about Loretta. She was an original, one of a kind. – Ricky Skaggs

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Loretta Lynn, continued from page 3

November 2022


Lynn’s 1970 Billboard Country topper “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was modeled after Lynn’s life. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was the title of her New York Times bestselling autobiography in 1976 and the award-winning movie it inspired

Oh my heart is sad to learn that Loretta Lynn has passed away at 90 years old. Sending our love and prayers to her family. Rest In Sweet Peace Loretta. –Rhonda Vincent

only woman to have received the title. Lynn was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983 and into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. Lynn performed at the White House for presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush Although Lynn was supportive of and worked with many Country music female artists, her special relationships were formed with two Country legends, Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette, at di erent times during her career. Lynn accredits Cline for helping her to own her own strength and to nally speak up for herself. She even named one of her twins after Cline Ly n n co n t i n u o u s l y r e l e a s e d a l b u m s a n d performed live until her health issues began in 2018 "Mom over these last few years after her stroke so missed her fans, her music, her friends, singing and performing," recalled daughter Patsy. "She missed her tour bus, her dresses and most of all her connection to her audience. She spoke about going back on tour again and singing. She would sing all the time at home. She would scare the caregivers to death when in the middle of the night break out in song at the top of her lungs. She was and will always be Loretta Lynn. I guess she needed to remind them she had chops.

Loretta and Rhonda Vincent "The world lost a magni cent human being," stated Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” "Loretta Lynn was a great artist, a strong and resilient country music pioneer and a precious friend. I am heartbroken." Lynn emphasized that she made personal rather than political statements in her hit songs, “The Pill” and “Another One’s On the Way” and “Rated X,” but these and other tunes she penned were socially empowering for women who were just beginning to gain some rights at the time of their release "I always did and I always will love Loretta," said Reba Mcentire. "She was always so nice to me. I sure appreciate her paving the rough and rocky road for all us girl singers. In 1970, Lynn was named “Artist of the Decade” by the Academy of Country Music. She remains the

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Loretta and the Campbells I have just learned that this beautiful woman passed away. My heart is sad and sending much love to her daughter Peggy and of course the rest of the family. Loretta you were TRULY one of a kind, and I am so blessed to have known you especially during all of our ”Branson Years.“ – Debby Campbell November 2022


Lynn had 24 No. 1 singles and sold 45 million singles. She received countless awards up until she passed peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 4, 2022, at her ranch at Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. "Today I kissed my precious mom goodbye," Peggy Lynn Marchetti stated on social media. "She looked so peaceful, like a sleeping angel. She is beautiful even in death...she just has this amazing radiance that is so unique and timeless. I could barely tear my arms from around her. I didn’t want her to leave us. I felt possessive and sel sh and broken ... utterly broken. The music world is shaken by the loss of the girl from Butcher Hollow. Her life impacted so many individuals. Her work will remain authentic, and like Loretta Lynn, it will never be forgotten

This is a devastating loss. The passing of an era. Loretta Lynn embodied everything that true country music is about. She wrote, sang and lived her songs her own inimitable way. Rest In Peace. –Dean Miller

Sweet Miss Loretta Lynn has crossed the river Jordan. I rst met her in 1977 and have since remained friends. Sheila and I will miss her greatly. I’ll always cherish her recording of my song, “Wine Into Water”. Please, pray for her family at this sad time. God bless you and rest in blessed peace. – T. Graham Brown

I have just learned that this beautiful woman passed away. My heart is sad and sending much love to her daughter Peggy and of course the rest of the family. Loretta you were TRULY one of a kind, and I am so blessed to have known you especially during all of our ”Branson Years.“ – Debby Campbell

Loretta and the Campbells

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