Commitments have yet to be announced, but bands interested in being a
part of this inaugural festival showcase can find more information here.
Salon@615 events were free to the public as
recently as June 13, 2014, but now, for the price of a $35.50 ticket
(that includes the price of the book) and a trip to snooty Harpeth Hall's
FRANCES BOND DAVIS Theatre October 13, 2014 at 6
sign a copy of Around the Table for you. (Since copies of
McBride's hardcover can be purchased for as little as $20 online- the
kindle version is less than $15- the event markup is enough such that
ticket-holders ought to stand up for themselves and to refuse to settle
for anything less than personally-autographed copies.)
RICK MOORE, HELEN WATTS, Helen's husband, PAUL and
JAMES BROWN can attest that 3rd
and Lindsley was the site of JAKE BROWN's October 1st book release party and
songwriter showcase featuring some of the songwriters profiled in
Jake's newest book, Nashville Songwriter. (James explained that
one of the reasons he and his wife named their son JACOB was so Jake
would be spared JAMES BROWN jokes!).
Critics of critics might well point out that one of the interesting
aspects of the book is missing from myreviewand
that is its opening chapter that focuses on FREDDY POWERS, Freddy's relationship with MERLE HAGGARD and commentary from WILLIE NELSON and JOHN RICH explaining why Powers is "country
music's best-kept secret."
Sadly, Freddy is ailing now, but even Powers' being in what his wife
CATHERINE told the crowd is the last stages of Parkinson's Disease
wasn't enough to keep the couple from coming out to support
Jake. I spoke with Catherine and her wheel
husband and, though Freddy is no longer able to speak, Catherine
me that his hearing is crystal clear, his mind is active and he is
otherwise on all cylinders even though the interaction may not be
apparent to strangers/friends Freddy has just met.
Following the press meet-and-greet, the distribution of drink tickets
and the assignment of reserved seating for the show, the general public
was invited to sit in as the hit songwriters MARTHA
me to (or re-introduced me to, as the case may be), all of whom are
featured in Jake's book, readied themselves for the performances that
began after Jake took the stage as the evening's emcee.
Following Curtis' set, Jake welcomed Catherine to the stage, not to
sing, but to detail Freddy Powers' contributions to those who were
unaware and/or otherwise had yet to read Brown's book and to introduce
Freddy's "duet partner" MARY SARAH and promote her new album, Bridges. The 19-year-old singer soloed with All I Want to Do is Sing My Song.
While I've been on 24/7 call for acting opportunities with the debut of
the third season of ABC-TV's Nashville
(even managing to snag a role as a paid extra in a crowd scene that
will be part of episode four airing October 15, 2014), I'm juggling the
rest of my schedule around such opportunities which present themselves
with little notice.
The Ride of Fame is "a continuing series of mobile moments dedicated to
public figures highlighting New York City with their lifetime and/or
specific endeavors... by bestowing a bus in its fleet to each
honoree." John and Kenny cut the ribbon during September 26, 2014
ceremony at Pier 78 (455 12th Avenue at 38th Street) and were "honored
with a seat on the top deck of the bus, featuring a personal message to their fans."
GEORGE HAMILTON IV exemplified the best in country
music, both personally and professionally.
He was one of the first country-music
stars I ever interviewed at a time, during the early 1970s, when I
was beginning to learn about the genre.
George was very patient with me, my
fascination with the patrician suffix attached to his patrician name
and the confusion that I suspected he sometimes encountered sharing the
same name (if not a suffix) as a well-known actor.
Hamilton told me that he had middle-class roots; that George III, no
upper-class patrician, was a Goodies headache powder company executive.
The singer RALPH EMERY nicknamed “The Number” added modestly
that, while he had encountered confusion among some who weren't sure if
he and the Hollywood actor were or were not one and the same, "There's
no comparison: He's much better-looking.”
George's interest in party topics
extended somewhat to the music industry. At time when ED MORRIS bravely wrote in Billboard about the Country Music
Association's overreaching and inconsistency in its alliance with
publicists who controlled access to Fan Fair press credentialing (by publishing names
on a blacklist), George was not pleased with the heavy-handedness.
George agreed to join WALT
TROTT and I in a meeting we wanted to schedule with CMA's ED BENSON;
a meeting Walt and I thought Benson would be more inclined to grant,
viewing it as considerably less contentious and intimidating were
George to join us, speaking out in his highly-effective, diplomatic
thought decidedly low-key and gentlemanly manner.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, George bowed out and the meeting
never happened. But- I'll speak only for myself- in much the same way
George chose to express himself politically without, say, collaborating
with the Music
Row Democrats, he maintained cordial relations with the Country
Music Association because he knew not only how to assert himself
but, as importantly, when it would (and would not) be most effective to
George's evangelical faith is one I neither share nor understand, thus
my wish that we had discussed religion backstage at the Grand Ole Opry
as I used to do with George's "brother in Christ," TEDDY WILBURN, with whom I did not agree, but who
taught me a lot. With my respect for George's intellect and the faith
that brought him so much comfort I'm sure that, while those discussions
would have been as spirited (no pun intended) as the ones I had with
Teddy, I would have come away a little smarter and perhaps
SANDY KELLY was apparently (and otherwise
understandably) missing from the September 24, 2014 memorial service
for George, though I was pleased to see my British buddy TONY
BYWORTH made it across the pond to eulogize his good friend. This
was in contrast to small number of Hamilton's fellow Opry arts who were
present at the music and video celebration of George IV's life.
The weather was beautiful so there was no excuse that so few in number
were there to pay their respects.
The family requested that mourners applaud during musical performances,
some of which included the performers' requests that we sing
along. Where else could those assembled see JOHN D. LOUDERMILK perform the opening bars of
"the first song I ever wrote": A Rose and a Baby Ruth (the song responsible for
George's "teen idol" status, gaining momentum with Hamilton's
recording- with PAUL ANKA and JOHNNY NASH- of The Teen Commandments).
I didn't realize that my fellow author,
FRYE GAILLARD had a connection to George dating back to March, 1968!
Gaillard's story was yet another one of Hamilton's generosity, which
was well-known to everyone who knew, as was his lack of
pretension. George's lesser-known, quiet philanthropy was also
As I joined DON CUSIC at the service I learned that, at the
time George's death, Hamilton had begun recording what was to be a new
album to be released on Plowboy
Records in 2015. For more information about the service feel
free to email
me. Please include GEORGE IV in
the subject line and your name, city and state (or country, if
applicable) in the body of your request.
adversity overshadows LYNN ANDERSON's contributions to the (crossover)
popularity of country music. Lynn is also the author of a
children's book aimed at disabled children. Krystal and the Chief, inspired by
Lynn's love of quarter horses, teaches its readers about "the joy and
freedom of horsemanship through therapeutic riding."
reaction to Lynn's September
11, 2014 arrest is quite interesting. Country-music media has reacted
same timidity it always does when weighing the wish for a post-accident
exclusive interview with Anderson and the obligation to report.
completely ignored the story while cmt.com
attributes its limited reporting to "staff reports."
department is apparently under no media pressure to issue a news
release as it
usually does when celebrities are (pardon the expression) under the
know that Lynn has a November 20, 2014 court date, but before which
judge? (Yes, unfortunately it matters.).
can't imagine the blow
to her self-esteem Anderson undoubtedly experienced when, jailed during
second divorce, she lost two of her children during the early 1980s in
custody fight (though Lynn did prevail in related matters at the
doubt that traumatic
episode of her life led to her subsequent brushes with the law, but
follows are examples of celebrity justice- the breaks celebs receive in
situations where we would not.
appears to have sought refuge at the BETTY
FORD Center because it was
fashionable and only after several progressively worse incidents, any
which should have been a wake up call. First, in October, 1988, Lynn
charged with malicious mischief after allegedly breaking into a
taking some of the server’s belongings and threatening her. LINDA GAIL
BOWERS agreed to drop the charges after receiving Lynn's letter of
on December 2, 2004,
after Denton, Texas police found Lynn passed out in a car she had
parked on the
side of a highway (after another driver alerted police that Anderson
weaving in-and-out of traffic) and charged her with drunk driving, Lynn
released on a $1,000 bail, serving no jail time.
days later, in
an apparent cry for help, Lynn was charged with stealing a Harry Potter DVD
from a Taos, New Mexico convenience store and felony battery on a
officer Anderson allegedly struck on the arm as Lynn was being led to a
car. After resisting arrest and striking the officer, Lynn struck an
with the Taos DA’s office. The shoplifting charge was dismissed in
Anderson agreeing to refrain from committing further offenses
Lynn’s attorney described as a “loved and respected member of the Taos
you read credits (no, I'm not the only one who does so, but it's enough
drive my less interested TV or movie theater companions batty) and
remember The Nashville Network (TNN)
in its glory days (as previously reported, its successor is effectively
bankrupt), you'll remember DEBBIE
MATHIS (now DEBBIE MATHIS WATTS).
Debbie, a former Opryland performer, was also a writer-producer for
(ALLEN) REID- (MADY) LAND Productions, even managing to
Land) a Fandango trivia book.
By contrast, I tried to put my Radio-TV degree to good use, writing a
script for ALAN NELSON and appearing on Country
segment (the back stories to which were at least as interesting
the opportunities) and almost became a writer and/or contestant on the
game show (an equally "missed" opportunity due to my reaction to what I
thought was a "suit"'s overreaction to an interview I did with the
show's host, BILL ANDERSON shortly before the series
(Admittedly, Whispering Bill was an early mentor, but 25 years after
the demise of the $64,000 Question even the lamest link to a
perceived conflict-of-interest gave game show producers the jitters.)
With TNN's demise, my fellow published author and I went on to bigger
better things. Debbie is an educator, a common core standards
coach, a Socratic
seminars specialist, a ghostwriter, an entrepreneur coach, a Nashville
entertainment personality, a blogger, an "edu-tainer," and
a professional pianist, just to name a few of the projects that have
kept her busy since our paths last crossed.
Watts concludes that Mary Elizabeth Baugh (Bettie) Ryman "was a
remarkable woman. The best part is that my book is now being
produced as a stage play right here in Nashville!... Not many people
know about this yet... You could break the story in Nashville, if you
are of a mind to do so."
Debbie graciously sent me an autographed a copy of her latest book and
a publicity photo of the costumed lead characters in her stage
Yes, Debbie Mathis Watts stars as Bettie. ("Do you think we look
like an antebellum couple?")
Indeed- and I love the "diary" format. Can't wait to utilize some
of the meal preparation hints and period recipes, too!
the emailbag: WAYNE SHUEY
informs me of Report reader DICK SHUEY's passing in Holliday,
Tennessee on August 16, 2014.
I have yet to meet Dick's son, Wayne and hadn't seen nor heard from
Dick in years,
but am both saddened to learn of the outspoken "songwriter,
and DJ"'s death and upset by Wayne's characterization of the
circumstances: "According to the coroner's report/death certificate"
the "cause of death was pulmonary failure due to dehydration and
"The family would like to hear from anyone who could explain how this
could have happened to Dick."
Irlene is, as always, the show's celebrity spokesperson. When my
schedule doesn't coordinate with Mandrell's booth time(s) it's catch as
catch can. This always makes for a (running) inside joke I'm
always happy to explain to anyone who hasn't heard it.
In any event, this year's show promises to be another great opportunity
to interact with exhibitors, compare prices and services, get some
advice, learn some remodeling hints and to win prizes.
The September issue of the UK-based Country
Music People contains a scathing letter to the editor from
former CMP Editor CRAIG BAGULEY re:
GARTH BROOKS' Ireland concert cancellations.
It reads, in part, "Well, Garth Brooks' ego has finally got the better
of him. With three three sell-out shows confirmed in Ireland, the
promoter adds two more subject to license. When that license is
declined by the local council, Garth goes into a pre-pubescent sulk...
Only a man with a confused appreciation of his own worth could
spout such preposterous drivel."
Baguley adds that while "No doubt there are some that blame the
council," he holds Brooks responsible for Garth's inconveniencing fans
traveling from afar who, though receiving ticket refunds, faced
nonrefundable travel expense, thanks to "a superstar who believes
himself too big to adhere to local regulations, and goes into a tizzy
when he can't get his own way.
"Garth has previously declared great respect for this fans, but to me
this action proves that vanity comes first."
While ultimately we are each responsible for our own decisions, I
have been close enough to him over the years to know that, as smart as
Brooks is, he lives in a blissful bubble of unawareness that no one can
penetrate, courtesy of Garth's chief advisor/handler, BOB DOYLE.
Doyle's defenders will point to aspects of Bob's character that suggest
he should be immune from criticism. I would agree were
Doyle's behavior, as I have experienced it, consistent with the
admirable aspects of his character.
To elaborate in this forum would be to repeat myself. Suffice it
to say that Brooks butters Doyle's bread and as long as that continues
to be the case Garth will continue to be misunderstood.
review of P.F. SLOAN's memoir compels you to buy the book,
reading it you might be wondering if the references to BOBBY ROBERTS
suggest that the veteran Nashville booking agent had an earlier career
on the Left Coast as a former tap-dancer-turned-record label chief,
musician and movie producer . The answer is no, but, as the owner
of the Nashville artists' agency (recently acquired by The Agency
Group) explains, "STACY,
you are correct. That is a different Bobby
Roberts but someone who has a good reputation in our
industry. I spoke to him a couple of times prior to his passing."
That was in 2004. Meanwhile, as Sloan's travels have brought him
to Music City, USA,
has written with Nashville's JON TIVEN, which has only added to the confusion
Album narrator David sent Merle eight songs from which to choose
two. I asked Haggard how he chose the title song and That'll Be the Day. "It's pretty simple," the Hag
grinned. "I did the only ones I knew."
When I asked Sonny if, were Buddy alive today, would Holly be as
musically innovative now as he was before his death 55 years ago (and
thus a viable recording artist even able to adapt to today's business
model), or the subject of a tribute album as has been the fate of
artists who are still with us but whose years of hits are well behind
him, Curtis, the only person in the room who personally knew- indeed,
worked with Holly, speculated that Buddy would still be a player.
Sonny explained that Buddy was into music publishing and using
orchestral arrangements, for example, long before such expansion was
even on the minds of his contemporary recording artists.
While thanking Edd for sharing "another wonderful example of your
excellent work," I told him that "I vaguely remember the Country
Cavaleers, and recently saw them on The Wilburn Brothers Show you
referenced (on Famnet),
but didn't realize they had such illustrious "producers."
Reading Hurt's two-parter, I also learned that ALAN
COFER will soon be adding to his credits, Wilburn Brothers'
biographer. DOYLE and TEDDY still have a strong fan base behind
an effort to secure the duo's induction into the Country
Music Hall of Fame.
Perhaps Cofer's book will give the Wilburns' fans the necessary
momentum, in the form of a gentle reminder, to make that induction a
reality. Posthumous though it would be, such recognition is
richly deserved and long overdue.
Planning to be in Dallas? Tour the museum anyway and, while
you're at it, ask to listen to the January 27, 2014 interview I granted
Associate Curator STEPHEN FAGIN, assisting Fagin with the museum's
oral history project.