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.
Hee-Haw—the Roy Clark and Buck Owens-hosted show that ran for 30 years could soon be coming back to the airwaves with a brand new cast and fresh episodes. But don’t get your hopes up too high because it isn’t a done deal just yet.
It was bound to happen at some point. It’s almost strange it took so long. Two guys who have long called Austin, TX their main haunt, and who have made careers out of steadfastly sticking to their guns in their particular styles of country music, be damned of the financial ramifications, what fleeting trends come and go, or what Nashville thinks of it all, joining forces on a duets record.
The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame in cultural-rich Bakersfield, California has announced their inaugural class of inductees to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in correlation with the one year anniversary of opening its doors to the multi-use facility. Not your average Hall of Fame, it includes two professional recording studios, and a 250-seat performance hall.
Devastating news out of Bakersfield, California Friday night that country legend Red Simpson has passed away. According to the performer’s family, Red died today, January 8th. Simpson was just getting ready to release his first official record since 1973 in February with his best friend Mario Carboni. He was 81-years-old.
Some may recognize the name south of the Canadian border, especially if they understand the intricacies of hockey’s offsides and icing rules. But in the great frozen north, he’s considered a national treasure. Theo Fleury, a 1,000-goal scorer in the NHL, Stanley Cup winner in 1989 with the Calgary Flames, Gold Medal winner in 2002 representing Canada, and a World Junior Champion, has decided he’s going country.
Even though Taylor Swift has 86’d country and said she wants nothing to do with the awards specifically, the ACM’s have minted a special 50th Anniversary “Milestone Award” crafted by noted jewelry designer David Yurman to be handed out to Swift and a few select others. The Milestone Award trophy is made up of more than 1,010 grams of sterling silver, with the top edged with 4.16 carats of black diamonds.
ACM Awards, Brooks & Dunn, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Milestone Award, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEnitre, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson
In the windup to Sunday night’s Grammy Awards presentation, Bob Dylan was the honoree at a Friday evening event (2-6) naming him the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year. During Dylan’s 30-minute acceptance speech, he laid out much praise for his fellow songwriters, while unceremoniously lashing out at others, including Tom T. Hall and Merle Haggard. Merle has since responded.
With the passing of the 94-year-old “Little” Jimmy Dickens at the beginning of 2015, it’s a reminder for us to cherish the final living links to country music’s most legendary past who can still tell stories of how country music once was. The amount of performers who were important in forming the very foundation of country music are quickly fading away.
Bill Monroe, Billie Jean Horton, Bobby Osborne, Buck Owens, Buck White, Carter Stanley, Don Maddox, Eddie Arnold, Elvis, George Jones, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Harold Bradley, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jesse McReynolds, Jim and Jesse, Jim Ed Brown, Joe Pennington, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Owen Bradley, Pee Wee King, Ralph Stanley, Ray Price, Red Simpson, Ricky Skaggs, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Roy Orbison, Stonewall Jackson, Studio 'A', The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Grand Ole Opry, The Quonset Hut, The Stanley Brothers, The Whites, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
If you’re looking for a brand of country music that is country and country only, not country rock, country punk, “evolved” country, alt-country or Americana, then J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices just might be right in your wheelhouse. J.P. lets it be known he’d rather you leave your hyphenated country labels and long-winded qualifiers clear of what he does.
Ameripolitan, Bandit Brand, Bandit Town, Buck Owens, Chance McCoy, Dale Watson, Home Is Where The Hurt Is, Joe Fletcher, Junior Brown, Keep It Country Festival, Merle Haggard, Miss Lonely Hearts, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Red Simpson, Sam Outlaw, Whitey Morgan & The 78's
The first issue of “Country Music Magazine” did not disappoint, and made good on their promise to deliver high quality content to the scores of country music fans who want to read about past greats and future hopefuls while not completely ignoring the mainstream names worth a listen. Now they have released their second issue, and the 2nd verse is as sweet as the 1st.
Austin Lucas, Buck Owens, BUddy Emmons, Country Music Magazine, Dolly Parton, Jason Eady, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Webb, Johnny Cash, Lindi Ortega, Marty Sturat, Possessed by Paul James, Reverend Horton Heat, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Samantha Crain, Shovels & Rope, Slaid Cleaves, Spade Cooley, Sturgill Simpson, Turnpike Troubadours, UK
Willie Nelson is in many ways a microcosm of the American experience. He grew up during The Depression, had a rough and tumble youth, battled through familial and financial problems for years, struck it rich, and reformed himself from his violent past to become one of the world’s most well-known and greatest pacifists and advocates for the poor and social justice.
Bill Monroe, Buck Owens, Charlie Rich, Dennis Hopper, Dottie West, Farm Aid, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Larry Trader, Loretta Lynn, Luck, Luck TX, Mark Rothbaum, Neil Young, Poodie Locke, Red Headed Stranger, Roger Miller, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Country music in the second half of 2013 is going through some of the most historic changes the format has ever seen. The ever-present erosion of what the term “country” defines has never been greater, and the charge of preserving the roots of country music has never been more dire. As a symptom of all the change and upheaval, big-time artists are speaking out about the direction of country music like never before.
With 34 CMA Awards, over 20 Grammys, and and some 80 million records sold between the two, they both have seen their share of overwhelming commercial success, public notoriety, and peer recognition. But over the last few years the writing has been on the wall that their time has come, and their days of widespread radio play and big awards are over. And so what did these two men do?
Alabama, Alan Jackson, Bakersfiled, Bill Monroe, Brooks & Dunn, Buck Owens, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Kid Rock, Merle Haggard, Paul Franklin, Ronnie Dunn, Sheryl Crow, The Bluegrass Album, The Dillards, Vince Gill, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
A big battle ground in country music right now is the presence of so many songs about trucks. Though this recent popularity trend seems especially sinister in its simplistic, incessant nature, it is not necessarily unprecedented in country. From the early 60’s into the mid 70’s, songs about semi-trucks and truck drivers were all the rage, with big names like Merle Haggard, Del Reeves, and Buck Owens getting in on the action.
Aaron Tippin, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wayne, Buck Owens, C.W. McCall, Commander Cody, Dale Watson, Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Dick Curless, Jerry Reed, Junior Brown, Merle Haggard, Red Simpson, Red Sovine, Tom T. Hall, truck driving songs, trucker songs, Webb Pierce
If it seems like Saving Country Music is running a story every other day about an artist speaking out on the state of country music, it is because we are, and it’s because they are more and more frequently as modern pop country strives to set a lower standard for itself seemingly every day. Tom Petty is the latest. Following up on an anti modern country rant Petty delivered from the stage of the Beacon Theater in New York City…
Just in time to coincide with the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Bakersfield Sound exhibit, country music maestro Vince Gill, along with legend of the steel guitar Paul Franklin have released Bakersfield, a tribute to the Bakersfield Sound and it’s two biggest icons, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. This ten song album swaps between Buck and Merle tunes and features some of their most notable songs.
The fight for the purity of country music is almost as old as the genre itself. The conflict between pop and traditionalism, and the fight for creative control for artists runs like a thread throughout country music’s history, defining it as much as the twang of a Telecaster, or the moan of a steel guitar. Here are some of the most iconic images of country music revolution, and the stories behind them.
Andy Gibson, Bill Monroe, Billy Joe Shaver, Buck Owens, burning envelope, Charlie Rich, Dripping Springs Reunion, Earl Scruggs, flipping the bird, Hank3, Hillbilly Central, Joe Buck, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, middle finger, Reinstate Hank, Roger Miller, The Grand Ole Opry, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
This Saturday, April 21st with be the 2012 installment of Record Store Day, the annual event started in 2007 to help the struggling independent record store. 2012 will go down as the year when country came busting through the Record Store Day scene with full representation, with so many projects being released taking stock of it all can be dizzying. So here is your 2012 Country Music Record Store Day Field Guide.
Blitzen Trapper, Bonnie Prince Billy, Buck Owens, Caitlin Rose, country, Everley Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, Lydia Loveless, Ralph Stanley, Record Store Day, Ricky Skaggs, Ryan Adams, Sara Watkins, The Civil Wars, The Pistol Annies, Tony Rice, Townes Van Zandt, Uncle Tupelo, Will Oldham
One of the reasons the the Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the most revered and respected Halls in all the land and specifically in music is because it is so hard to get into. It is always better that you look at a list of Hall inductees and wonder why certain names are not in, instead of looking and wondering why certain names are.
Buck Owens, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Rich, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Gram Parsons, Hank Garland, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Reed, John Hartford, Johnny Gimble, Johnny Paycheck, June Carter Cash, Kenny Rodgers, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Ralph Mooney, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Rolling Stones, Wynn Stewart