For 40 years, Don Markham was the horn player in Merle Haggard’s backing band, The Strangers. In fact he outlasted every other permanent member in the band, and aside from a few hiatuses throughout the years, was the only constant member. He also played on every single Merle Haggard release since 1974, though you may have not noticed him.
Editor’s Note: This is a contribution to Saving Country Music by Zac McDaniel who is a freelance writer. Zac is also a rancher and small business owner from Oklahoma. Along with immersing himself in the music of others he is also an aspiring songwriter. He enjoys spending time with his wife, children and Gibson guitar. […]
As we near the end of February and look forward to spring every year, it becomes time for the annual exercise to pontificate on who perhaps the CMA will deem worthy for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. About this time the secret CMA-approved committee is going over their final ballots and whittling down the precious names to the few who will make it.
The prospects of a new incarnation of the long-running country music-themed television show Hee-Haw being in the works opens up a whole realm of delicious possibilities of how the show could take shape, and who could comprise the cast. So if a new Hee-Haw show comes to pass, who should be part of the cast?
In a recent interview with Kacey Musgraves ahead of her opening for George Strait in Las Vegas, Strait said “Tennessee Whiskey” was one of the songs he most regrets punting on when it was first pitched to him early in his career. “Dean pitched me to that in the 80’s … and I missed it,” George Strait says.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 2017 Saving AMERIPOLITAN Music LIVE blog from Austin, TX and the historic Paramount theater. Since the awards will not be broadcast or televised, the will be the live portal into the festivities for the folks who can’t be here. We’ll keep you informed of the winners, performers, doings, photos and other observations.
What’s so strange about the news is Tim McGraw seemed to be doing so well on Big Machine after fleeing Curb Records. There was a lot of symbolism in McGraw moving to Big Machine after a lengthy court battle with Curb, which tried to keep him on the label indefinitely and was ruining his career.
There actually was an artist that was so clearly a victim of systemic bias and rigging of the system at the hands of the 2017 Grammy Awards, it’s almost shocking. And nobody is talking about it. In fact Beyoncé was one of the very reasons this particular artist got marginalized.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 2017 installment of Saving Country Music’s Grammy Awards LIVE blog. It promises to be an interesting year with one of SCM’s own homegrown artists in Sturgill Simpson up for two of the biggest awards on the night (Best Country Album, and Album of the Year), as well as plenty of opportunity for snark and commentary.
Sturgill Simpson is up for two major awards, and will also have one of only eight solo performance slots on the entire night. He will perform backed up by the famous horn section The Dap-Kings. Sturgill has to be considered the front runner for Best Country Album since he is also up for the all-genre Album of the Year, but nothing is assured.
Dammit, can’t we do anything in American without someone wanting to inject their political vitriol into it and make a moment of unification into a vehicle for polarization? God blessed, we’re inundated with political acrimony 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in every sector of American life. You can’t get away from it.
You better be damn sure of your rationale when you veer so incredibly off the page believing there’s better opportunities out there. Because if you leave behind everything you were before, you’re going to leave behind all those people who followed you there, and they will turn their backs on you just like you did them.
“I really don’t even know what current country music is anymore. I am as flabbergasted as anyone and have no idea what is country and what is not anymore. I am not a fan of country today. Today’s country can’t be differentiated between pop, and you can’t tell them apart. If you are going to be in the country category and call yourself a country artist, then stick with it.”
“When there is music, nobody thinks of fighting. That’s why I came to the United States—not only to study country music in its homeland, but also to travel to the country which had been introduced to me by the media in Iran as ‘the enemy’ and ‘the great Satan’ and see the people, talk to them, and learn about their culture through them.”
Belief that celebrity somehow elevates one’s political opinions is exactly how Donald J. Trump got elected President of the United States. You can’t just call for the political activation of the artists of country music, and expect for only the ones that are opposed to Donald Trump to speak up.
So here we are, having spent nearly a decade climbing up the face of a mountain we thought we may never reach the apex of, and what is one of the last obstacles we’re facing? The small, but very vocal minority of independent and underground fans that seem to resent this newfound success for the top level of independent acts.
I remember saying it myself when the Carolina Chocolate Drops first came on the scene. Excellent band, and great to see some diversity represented in country and Americana music in a way that illustrates the role African American’s played in creating roots music. But there was something a bit off about watching a black band playing for a distinctly white audience.
Once again in 2016, the current mainstream artist leading the pack of delinquent members is Blake Shelton who couldn’t find the time to make even one appearance in 2016 at the Grand Ole Opry, let alone the 10 or so appearances current members are expected to make. Country fans shouldn’t be surprised by this; it’s pretty much par for the course…
This is a pretty significant sales spike for A Sailor’s Guide, which has become a matter of great intrigue by the public after it shocked the world by getting nominated for the Grammy Awards’ Album of the Year. But what’s even more surprising is how the performance of Sturgill’s other records has been boosted by the SNL appearance.
And though we’re a good half decade from when Toby Keith was still relevant in the country mainstream, and a healthy 15 years removed from when he was telling would-be terrorists where he rudely wanted to ensconce his manly footwear, Toby Keith still has a reserved seat at the very top of these “highest paid” lists, despite not showing a Top 5 single since 2011.