Showing posts with label statler brothers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label statler brothers. Show all posts

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September Is Country Music Month ~ Oops, Let's Go Back

I was so excited to begin country music month, I realize I gave short shrift to the decade of the sixties. Granted, for part of the sixties I was too young to remember much, but the wonder of music is, one can hear songs from eons before and fall in love with them still.

When I embraced country around 1967, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do. It wasn't that I was oblivious to country music entirely; my mom and dad's tastes had seeped inside my brain. But I was a sixties kid ~ I liked The Beatles and other assorted British Invasion groups. I'd had a brief interlude in the mid-decade of residing at my uncle's restaurant/bar establishment, and what else was there beside the radio and the jukebox? My uncle Howard stocked his machine with the latest country hits of the day, because that was expected by couples who stopped in to sip beer and whiskey sours and chance onto the dance floor for a two-step. So I knew who Buck Owens was, and I was familiar with exactly one Bobby Bare song.

As I researched "old" country, however, I found some gems; so let's stroll through the decade, shall we?

1960. This is not just the best song of 1960, it's one of the best country songs (er, instrumentals) ever. No one records instrumentals anymore ~ they died when the decade ended. It's quite a feat to grab one of the top twenty-five "best country songs ever" slots with a song that has no words. Words equal emotion. How can an instrumental do that? Here's how:


'61 is tough, because there is more than one song that tops the year. There are, in fact, three; and two of them were written by Willie Nelson:

1962. '62 is tough. It wasn't the best year for country singles (sort of like 1981). One looks for songs that later became classics, and there really weren't many. I'm going to pick a couple that I either like for my own reasons or were later re-recorded and became even bigger hits:

Things started getting interesting in 1963. Suddenly Bakersfield was giving Nashville a run for its money, but never fear ~ producer Chet Atkins was on the case, especially with a song written by Mel Tillis:

June wrote a song for Johnny:

Then there was Buck:

Something happened in 1964 ~ a phenomenon. This new guy who was sorta weird, but sorta mesmerizing, suddenly appeared. He was all over every network TV show, and none of the hosts actually spoke to him, because they were too busy having a laugh at his expense. Turns out Roger Miller was no flash in the pan and no joke. He'd written a lot of classic country hits before he embarked on a solo career. But what did network people know? Who's laughing now, idiots?

Take your Lorettas; take your Norma Jeans. This new girl singer (with the songwriting assistance of Bill Anderson) started racking up a string of number ones in 1964, and didn't stop for another decade:

I'm not one of those "George Jones is the greatest country singer of all time" adherents, but this song was pretty cool:

Truly, Roger Miller and Buck Owens dominated 1965, but since I've already featured them, let's find a few other gems.

1966 was rather a transitional year. Buck and Roger and Johnny were still dominating, but a few new voices appeared, such as David Houston and some guy named Merle. A young kid who called himself Hank, Junior, first appeared on the charts. There are those who worship Hank, Jr.; one of those people is not me. The fanatics are unaware of his early recording history ~ not me. But I digress.

You know that Ray Price holds a special place in my heart, and he had three hits in the top 100 in '66. Here's one:

Then there was this new girl singer:

1967 is where I come in, which is a weird time to show up, considering that the charts were dominated by yucky Jimmy Webb songs and pseudo-folk protest tracks like Skip A Rope. The first country albums I bought were by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Charley Pride. Even at age twelve I had good taste.

Here's a bonus:

By 1968 Merle was a superstar, Glen Campbell was still churning out pop hits, Tammy had the hit that would define her career. Johnny Cash had a network TV show.

I've been trying not to repeat artists, but this particular hit has special meaning to me ~ not because I was in prison or anything ~ but because this was a hit the year I actually "met" Merle Haggard:

Just because live performance videos of David Houston are infinitesimal doesn't mean he wasn't huge in the sixties, because he was ~ I was there. It bothers me that simply because an artist died years ago, we tend to erase them from history. I would feature one of Houston's hits, but I can't find them. This phenomenon also applies to Wynn Stewart, who, if you don't believe me, none other than Dwight Yoakam cites as one of his early influences. Here he is, with none other than Don Rich:

Something interesting happened in 1968 ~ a rock 'n roll icon decided he wanted to go country. And if you know anything about Jerry Lee Lewis, you know he does exactly what he wants. I love Jerry Lee:

This new duo showed up in 1968, featuring a girl singer with impossibly high blonde hair. I wonder whatever happened to her:

Lynn Anderson was more (much more) than Rose Garden, a song I came to truly hate after hearing it on the radio one bazillion times. Lynn is another somebody who should not be forgotten. Before her then-husband got his hooks into her and moved her to Columbia Records, she was truly country, and her Chart albums prove it. Here is a hit from '68:

No disrespect to Merle, but this is the best song that came out of 1968. On the rare instances when I hear it on Willie's Roadhouse, I am right there croaking along (he sings higher than I can). Johnny Bush:

1969 was Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. And Merle. You might not know that there were others, and there definitely were. Faron Young was my favorite country singer for years, until George Strait showed up. And speaking of sing-along country songs, well, here you go:

Maybe it was my pop roots peeking through, but I played the hell out of this '45, recorded by a former member of Paul Revere and the Raiders and written by Joe South (curse you, Joe, for Rose Garden).

Freddy Weller:

Yea, the sixties ~ that decade became imprinted on my musical mind and never left. Maybe it was my age; maybe it was simply that country was so good; so pure. So new? The sixties were a renaissance. The nineteen eighties were an epiphany, but they couldn't have happened without the sixties.

And so the river flows...

Friday, July 12, 2019

When Your Band's Name Gets You Fired

Some asshat at an event called the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois decided to fire the band Confederate Railroad from its grandstand lineup (after signing a contract with them) because of their name. The band was scheduled to perform with Restless Heart and Shenandoah under the banner “90s Country Reloaded Day” (one of my all-time favorite country eras).

The "woke" imbecile went on to state:

“While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all the people in our state.”

Confederate Railroad was formed in 1987 and hit its stride in the early nineties with country hits like "Queen of Memphis", "She Took It Like a Man",  and "Trashy Women" (not a personal favorite). While not by any means one of my preferred bands, they were innocuous; and you know, I never gave the band's name a second thought. Every band needs a name, after all.

In the case of the Blah Blah Blah State Fair, apparently some annoying political blogger (is there any other kind?) complained that someone's (his) fragile feelings would be hurt by a band he'd never in his life heard of taking the stage in front know, people. And who reads blogs anyway? Apparently only beta boys from the Illinois Ag Department.

Here's the deal, Ag Dude:  It's just a name.

Coming up with a band name can be a tedious process or a spur-of-the-moment one. Sure, you could use a random word generator, which would produce a result like Fungus Quarry; or you could fret about it for months and quibble with your band mates until the resulting animus causes the group to break up. And if you do decide to stay together and ultimately land upon a name that everyone is okay with, then hit the big time, how could you know that some thirty years later a quivering mouse will pull the covers over his head and sob because your moniker has triggered infantile PTSD?

Sure, it starts with Confederate Railroad, but where does it end? We could dissect every country band name and find something to enrage us.

For instance, did you know that Oak Ridge, Tennessee was the place where in 1942 the first atomic bomb was built? Bye bye, Oak Ridge Boys. Sorry.

The name Asleep At The Wheel offends me because it promotes drowsy driving. Ray Benson, you had a great run. Now it's over.

I suppose you didn't know that The Statler Brothers were named after a brand of facial tissue. Is tissue bio-degradable? The environment is too precious to risk it. Harold, Don, et al ~ you've gotta go.

Restless Heart? Making fun of cardiac patients? Real sensitive.

Don't even get me started on Alabama. Roy Moore? Come on...

When it comes to Diamond Rio, I'm stringently opposed to sullying the earth to mine precious stones for the top one per cent to flash.

Oh, so you call yourselves Highway 101? I'd suggest Bike Lane 101 as an alternative. Need I explain?

The Judds ~ I don't know what "Judds" are, but I'm pretty certain I'm opposed to them.

Soon all the billboards will advertise, "Band ~ Your Name Here ~ Coming Soon!", and one can roll the dice on purchasing tickets for the show.

I'd vent my rage at the dolts who work for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, but it's all so silly (except not silly for the band, who lost a crucial paycheck).

I will calm everyone's nerves by posting this:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

One Song

Everybody has one song.

I'm not saying they only have one song, but there's one that seers their heart. They probably don't even know what song it is until they hear it on the radio.

It's the rare artist who has many songs that live up to the lofty promise of a weighty career. For me, I can only name a few -- the Beatles, George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, Roy Orbison -- these are the artists who trip off my tongue.

An age-old question is, "If you were stranded on a desert island and could only possess one album (and apparently something to play it on), what would it be?" I always think, well, I'd get tired of it really fast. But if I had to choose only one album to take with me to that castaway experience, I'd most likely pick an artist whose voice soothed me (because being stranded, with no hope, on an isolated mound of terra firma could, I imagine, rapidly plunge me into a deep depression). I'd rather take a mix-tape of songs I like best, although that's not a panacea, either. Hearing the same songs ten thousand times will quickly devolve into utter hatred.

I was thinking about artists who had just one good song. If an artist has one good song, that's quite enough. That's more than the other quadrillion artists out there have ever accomplished. It's not that they were necessarily one-hit wonders -- they most likely had other songs -- but maybe they just had that one good one.

I can't possibly list all my favorite one good songs, but here are a few:

These are some of my "ones". Kind of a lot, as I peruse them, but that's how music goes. I could write a completely separate post with my "ones". I like ones, though. I like songs -- good songs. 

I need a long-playing tape for my desert island playlist.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CMA Awards - Welcome To The Eighties! - 1980

Here we go! We've made it to the eighties! I'm excited! Can't you tell from all the exclamation points!!

I'm just excited to have made it all the way through the seventies, and now on to a new decade! I'm predicting BIG THINGS for the eighties! A whole regime change, if you will. I sure hope that's true.

Realistically, however, progress came slowly back then to the world of country music. Country wasn't quick to just shove people aside (like they do now). Good grief, when you look at the country music world of today, good old George Strait must be the most stubborn man alive, cuz try as they might, they just can't push him off the cliff.

So, in 1980, we've got some holdovers from previous years.

The INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR was the Charlie Daniels Band. Here's a 1980'ish song:

I think this song was inspired by Ronald Reagan's election. I could be wrong. But Charlie's a big conservative supporter, so I think I'm right.

The INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR was (again!) Roy Clark. And the VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR were the Statler Brothers. Ahhh, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It might have been a new decade, but it was still the same old Roy and Harold, Don, Phil, and Lew.

As you know if you've read any of my 1970's CMA posts, my video options for the Statler Brothers are kind of running dry. But here's one I found that begins with a song by Johnny Cash, with the Statlers singing backup. Then the boys step out front to do "Bed Of Roses".

And, as you heard, Johnny really loves Scandinavia!

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR was a bit of a surprise. Of course, this category had long been dominated by male/female pairings, but 1980 brought something different. A male/male pairing: Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley. Yes, that's right.

This video is of supremely bad quality, but, believe me, it's the best that I could find:

Alas, but a moment in time. A snapshot, if you will. But it still marked a most unusual win; one that could only happen in the year that was; 1980. Two "good old boys", never to be heard from again, but here they were. And they still have that oddly-shaped statuette on their mantles, even to this day.

The ALBUM OF THE YEAR was also sort of an anomaly. It was a soundtrack, with a bunch of Hollywood types, singing the songs of Lorett-y Lynn and Patsy Cline, among others. A soundtrack from, as I recall, the biggest movie of 1980, "Coal Miner's Daughter".

I used to have HBO. And if you know HBO like I know HBO, you know that they repeat movies endlessly and relentlessly. So, back in the day, I think I saw the movie, "Coal Miner's Daughter", approximately 192 times. I can, to this day, quote lines from that movie. I also had a huge crush on Tommy Lee Jones. Course, Tommy's old now (who isn't?), but back then, he was a hunk.

Here (in case you've forgotten) are some scenes from "Coal Miner's Daughter" ("Put the backdrop back on the bed, darlin'.")

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR was a pleasant surprise: Emmylou Harris.

Emmylou got me into country albums. From Elite Hotel to Luxury Liner to Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town, Emmylou's albums were great! And she had a bunch of future legends in her band - like Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell.

You know we always leave Entertainer of the Year 'til last, so let's have a grouping of awards, shall we? Ol' Possum Jones got his act together around this time, and I'm sure we can agree that it paid off big time for him! Some say that this is the best country song of all time. I disagree, but I still think it's a good one, and look what came of it:


SINGLE OF THE YEAR - He Stopped Loving Her Today

SONG OF THE YEAR - written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman


Barbara Mandrell
Yes, Barbara won! Another opportunity to get up on stage and give a long......long acceptance speech! As we shall see in future retrospectives, Barbara climbed up on the Ryman stage many, many times to accept many, many awards. And she gave many, many long, rambling acceptance speeches. Sometimes they even ran out of time for the rest of the awards! (okay, I made up that part).
Don't get me wrong. I like Barbara Mandrell. But she did really become full of herself......really quickly. It got to the point, when I was watching the CMA's, when her name would be announced, I would mutter, "oh, for pete's sake", and then wander into the kitchen to make a snack, and when I came back, she was still talking.
But kudos anyway, Barbara, on the first (okay, second) of your many, many awards. Here's a song that I always liked:


Connie B. Gay
Connie B. Gay was a guy - don't let the name fool you. Odd name for a guy, but it maybe stood for Constantine? Mr. Gay was a music executive, and in fact, one of the first people to use the term "country music", as opposed to "hillbilly".
I vote for going back to calling it "hillbilly music". That would clear out some of the riff-raff. Cuz no self-respecting Carrie or Taylor or Tim or Kenny would stoop to calling themselves hillbillies. So, that'd only leave the ones who didn't mind (the good ones).

But, back to Connie B. Gay. He was part of the music scene in Washington, D.C. And he discovered and represented hillbillies - I mean "country artists" such as Jimmy Dean.

Here's a rare find. A clip from the Jimmy Dean Show, with Jimmy stepping in for Don Rich, and singing with Buck Owens and his Buckaroos.

Mr. Gay was also the founding president of the Country Music Association, so I guess if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't even be writing all these dang posts! Thanks, Mr. Gay!

I think the Sons of the Pioneers are cool. Can't you just picture the cowboys out on the range, rounding up those doggies, yodeling away to their heart's content; something like this:

You'll notice our entertainer of the year is right in there; right in the mix; talking, talking, talking; but finally there's another tune from the Sons, featuring Roy Rogers.

Well, I notice Johnny got in there rather quickly! Took the Country Music Association a bit longer to recognize some earlier pioneers - Faron Young, for example. In fact, that took until the year 2000! But let's not quibble. Johnny deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, and here's a medley of some of his songs (including one of my favorites, "I Still Miss Someone"):

So, there you go. A new decade. A fresh start. One classic country song. One classic movie. A novelty act named duo of the year. A long-winded entertainer. There's a little here for everyone!

I think this is going to be an interesting decade!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

CMA Awards - 1979

We've done it! We've gotten to the last of the seventies! I've never spent so much time reliving the seventies since.....since, well, when I was actually living the seventies.

Luckily (or unluckily, as the case may be), we've got a movie to reference as we stumble through the year that was 1979.

What movie, you ask? Oh, how easily we forget!

Yes, kids, 1979 was the year of Urban Cowboy! Yee-haw! And the CMA awards certainly bear that out!

(I'm using exclamation points because Urban Cowboy music was lame!)

But, to be fair, the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack had a lot of good music on it. After all, there were the Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh (as a solo), Bob Seger, Boz Scaggs; a lot of good stuff. The problem was, all we ever got to hear on the radio was that damn "Looking For Love"! And it wasn't even a good song to begin with!

When I say that Urban Cowboy music was lame, I'm referring more to the whole mindset, rather than to the soundtrack itself.

But this guy coming up and his band are good; real good, so here we go..............

Let's start with the INSTRUMENTALIST and INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR. Yes, this guy was on the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack!

He also had the SINGLE OF THE YEAR, and this was actually good!

So, three awards in 1979 for the Charlie Daniels Band!

Oh, before I forget to mention it, the single of the year was "The Devil Went Down To Georgia"!

Oh, and this guy was on the soundtrack, although not with his duet partner:


Kenny Rogers & Dottie West

Not to mention that he also won MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR, ALBUM OF THE YEAR, and he recorded the SONG OF THE YEAR (written by Don Schlitz). I think some of that old Urban Cowboy magic must have rubbed off on him!

The Gambler

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, man, Kenny must be sick of singing that song! I agree! I think he got so sick of singing that song, that his eyes dropped out of his head, so therefore he had to have that weird cosmetic eye surgery, and now he looks like a space alien! All thanks to "The Gambler!"

Guess who won VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR! Not the Oak Ridge Boys! (Wow, their reign was rather short-lived!)

No, wrestling the statuette away from the ORB (they're wiry, but they're strong!) were the Statler Brothers!

Yes, they're back! Here's a cute song they released around this time, and, boy, is it a time capsule of the seventies or what! All the names they reference in this song were straight out of the 1970 - 1979 CMA's! Here's, "How To Be A Country Star":


Barbara Mandrell

Well, this is the first of (sigh) many, many awards for Barbara (just wait for the eighties!) I like Barbara! It's just that, well, she started winning over and over and over again, and she started getting really fakey and patronizing in her acceptance speeches.

Sort of like, "If it wasn't for you, the dear, sweet fans out there, I couldn't have accomplished this remarkable feat. I'm very humbled....and proud.......yes, that's it. Humbled and proud. I promise to work very diligently this coming year, so that, the lord willing, I will have this wonderful, and may I say, surprising honor bestowed upon me once again. Let us pray."

I think the association members finally stopped voting for her because they just couldn't stand the sight of her anymore.

Be that as it may, I still like Barbara. And here's a cute performance from earlier in her career. (notice how the word "cute" pops up every time we talk about Barbara Mandrell?) Well, she was cute. Like a Barbie Doll.

Here's "Show Me":

That brings us to ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR.

Well, here's a guy that just keeps goin' and goin'. He's still out there doing his one-night stands. Still recording songs with every person, male or female, who ever, even one time in their lives, released a record. He's an interesting guy and a great songwriter and a perserverer. Who is it? Who else?

Willie Nelson


Hubert Long

Sure, you don't know who he is, do you? Well, I didn't either, although I'd heard his name before. Turns out Hubert Long was a talent promoter and a music publisher. He at one time worked for Decca Records, and later for RCA Victor. He promoted Eddy Arnold. He signed both Webb Pierce and Faron Young to management contracts. And he was a founding member of the Country Music Association, so you'd think it wouldn't have taken them so long to recognize him. But I guess they weren't playing favorites.

Hank Snow

Well, you do know who Hank Snow is, right? Man, this guy started recording in 1949 and continued through to 1980! That's a long career! Hank was from Canada, which may explain his unusual voice. And they say that Webb Pierce sang "nasally"! Admittedly, Hank's voice is an acquired taste, but he had some big hit records, and here's one of them (and take notes, Lynn Anderson!)

Here's the one he's most famous for (and in this video, he introduces it as a new song!)

So, there you have it! Not only 1979, but we've gotten through the seventies!

And I've used more exclamation points in this post than I've ever used in my life! I hate exclamation points!

I wonder what the eighties will bring. I never cheat and look ahead, but I'm optimistic!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The CMA Awards - 1975

1975 was a weird year for the CMA's. Actually, it was just a weird year, period. Everybody watched their hard-earned savings go down the drain; the US was in a recession; gas prices were high. The President (Ford) thought the way to get the country back on track was to have everyone slap on a "WIN" button (Whip Inflation Now). Flash forward to 2008. Oh wait, I thought we were talking about 2008.

And, of course, we had a presidential campaign going on. Just like now.

And just like now, the music of 1975 sort of sucked.

In 1975, country music was stuck in a rut. The CMA vote-counters, I'm sure, were just as flummoxed as everyone else. Everybody was getting tired of handing out the same old trophies to the same old people, but there just weren't too many bright spots on the horizon. Things needed to change, to light a spark under the record-buying public, but instead, Nashville was offering up the same girl singers in their same Little House on the Prairie dresses, with their same three-chord songs about the no-good man that done them wrong.

If there were new acts being signed, they sure didn't seem to get promoted. A few newcomers hit the charts now and then, but it happened in spite of Nashville, not because of it.

The powers-that-be in the country music business probably had that tired attitude that said this stuff is good, and we're not changing it. You know, sort of like some old tired music blogger who's always talking about how the country music of the nineties was so much better.

But, in spite of themselves, the promoters and movers 'n shakers in Nashville knew that something needed to be done. So, this is what they came up with:


John Denver

Okay, this isn't what would spring to MY mind immediately, if I was looking for a fresh voice for country music. And this isn't even country music. It's folk. And even today, 33 years later, this still sort of sucks.

I now remember why I used to hate John Denver.

And this, coupled with Olivia Newton-John's win the year prior, was what got the old timers in country music all riled up, and led them to create their own organization. (I think that lasted about one or two years). And they gave all their awards to Grandpa Jones, even female vocalist of the year, and he was sort of p.o.'d about that.

So, like the industry folks of 1975, you can see I'm torn. I hated John Denver and all the sappy crap that he stood for, but I also didn't think that Grandpa deserved awards, either (nothing against Grandpa).

If I, and everyone else, was looking for something a bit more exciting to get behind in 1975, this was pretty good:


Waylon Jennings

(And you notice in this video, they kept a'showin' his hands, but not his face on TV; at least not right away.)

Can you picture the scene backstage, when Waylon ran into John Denver?

"Hey there, little snot-nosed creep. How ya doin'?"

"Um, fine, Mr. Jennings. Thanks for letting me be here."

"Wadn't my idea, son. If it was up to me, I'd rather just shoot ya."

"Thanks, Mr. Jennings! I've gotta go now. I think I need to clean my wire-rims."

"Get the hell outta here, boy!"

So, there you have it. The yin and the yang, shall we say, of 1975. The schizophrenia that permeated the confines of the Ryman Auditorium.

I wish I could say that there were a bunch more surprises that year, but there weren't.

The FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR award went to Dolly Parton for this little song, that, if anyone remembers correctly, didn't do much on the charts. Who knew that Dolly would eventually end up earning one BAZILLION dollars in royalties for it? Lucky!

The SINGLE OF THE YEAR was awarded to Freddy Fender for this song, which is sweet, and has the added bonus of being the first CMA award given to a Hispanic performer (although Johnny Rodriguez surely deserved something for "Pass Me By").

The ALBUM OF THE YEAR went to Ronnie Milsap for "A Legend In My Time". I've already posted the video of this song before, so I thought I'd go with something different this time around.

Just as a postscript, however, I did have this album, and it was good. Country, for the longest time, didn't really know what to do with albums. They'd basically slap on a hit or two, and fill up the rest with cover songs. Ronnie didn't do that. He found some songs that nobody had yet recorded, which was refreshing. And it was a fun album.

This song was recorded long after 1975, but I just like it:

The VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR was the Statler Brothers.......again. Sorry, but I'm just running out of videos of these guys. So, I thought (in the hopes that they don't keep winning, simply for the fact that I'm reaching the end of my video-search capabilities) that I would post a video of their alter-egos, Lester Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys. Enjoy.

CONWAY and LORETTA won for VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR yet again. I've run out of videos, so if you want to see them in concert, please check my previous posts. Not to be cavalier, but the available videos on YouTube are quite limited.

For a refreshing change of pace, JOHNNY GIMBLE won the INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR award. Johnny goes waaaaay back to the Bob Wills days, and I think he's the best fiddler to ever grace the world of country music.

Here's a video that also features Suzy Bogguss and Chet Atkins.


Roy Clark & Buck Trent

Well, I remember Buck Trent when he was one of Porter's Wagonmasters. He gave Porter that distinctive sound. But, as time moved on, so did Buck, and he evenutally teamed up with Roy Clark, and I guess they did some recordings. Not that YouTube could attest to that, because I couldn't find any videos of the two of them in performance together.

This was the best I could find, and I don't know what the setting of this was, but I think it was a gathering of the old folks at home.....the nursing home.

It's sort of disturbing, in a way, to see how all these folks have aged, but hey, they seem to be having a good time, so good for them! Anyway, Roy is in the audience, and Buck (I barely recognize him) is front and center as the ladies of the Opry sing this old chestnut. I didn't know that was Norma Jean, but Jeannie Seely still looks remarkably good! And there's Bill "I'm still winning songwriting awards" Anderson in the audience, along with Little Jimmy Dickens, Johnny Bush, Jim Ed Brown, and a bunch of other people who are apparently a shell of their former selves, because I have no idea who they are, but they must have been somebody at one time.


"Back Home Again" - John Denver

Obviously, this is a (much) later performance of this song, but I actually don't hate it! It's a pretty good one!

So, John definitely had it in him to do good songs. It's just that that "Sunshine" song was such a loser. But this one I like.


Minnie Pearl

I think she was a nice lady. And boy, what a legacy. She was probably the first female in country music who made you stand up and take notice. She wasn't going to fade into the woodwork, like a pair of red velvet drapes. She was out there! Yelling, "HOWWWW-DEEEEE!" And I bet if you saw her, you didn't forget her. She was out there, traveling in a wood-paneled station wagon with Hank Williams and Faron Young, with the bass fiddle strapped to the top. She had ultimate confidence.

And her induction was well deserved.

The videos available of Minnie aren't many. But here's one from a George Burns special, that'll give you the essence of Minnie Pearl.

So, there you go. 1975. Where the past met the.......future? Where a legend like Waylon stood on the same stage with a legend like John Denver........two completely incompatible artists. But they came together in a truly strange year for country music.