Don Warden, who was one of the original members of the Porter Wagoner Trio, and spent nearly 50 years in service to Dolly Parton, passed away on Saturday, March 11th according to Dolly Parton and Don’s family. The news was revealed on Monday when Dolly paid tribute to her long-time manager and right hand man in a personal statement.
Country music is not just a commodity or even a form artistic expression. It is an integral part of people’s lives and has been the foundation for their cultural identities for generations. It’s what binds them to their homes and ancestry, and is interwoven into the very fabric of who they are as people.
As if we needed another reason to love Dolly Parton, the Queen of the Smoky Mountains made good on her promise to help her friends and neighbors significantly affected by the recent wildfires in eastern Tennessee that ravaged Gatlinburg and surrounding areas, and came within yards of Parton’s Dollywood resort.
Yesterday amid many calls for my opinion and participation, I finally tuned into The Voice finale to see what all the hubbub was about … just in time to see Sundance Head performing with KISS. I promptly returned to the Dolly Parton telethon.
Dolly Parton’s made for TV movies continue to be ratings hogs. Her latest installment, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love won Wednesday night’s (11-30) ratings for NBC, beating out the vaunted FOX music series Empire by nearly 3 1/2 million viewers, and winning the night overall.
It was the recent events on Dolly Parton’s doorstep in Sevier Country that brought the story of the fragility of life, and the importance of taking care of each other at the core of ‘Circle of Love’ to the forefront, and once again proved that Dolly Parton is nothing shy of a divine figure of the Southern American experience.
Putman had a prolific songwriting career, including writing such songs as “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and “My Elusive Dreams” by Tammy Wynette, “Dumb Blonde” by Dolly Parton, T.G. Sheppard’s “Do You Want To Go To Heaven,” and a dozen other successful charting singles. But two songs would go on to define Curly Putman’s contributions.
Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is.
Screw me, but I just don’t have a strong opinion about this thing one way or the other. Sometimes that happens. If you think this song and video is amazing, then awesome. If you think it’s stupid, I can see that perspective too. In the end it’s kind of a wash for me.
Once again when a country legend releases an album, fans rise to the occasion and support the artist to a greater degree than their contemporary counterparts. And for Dolly Parton, those additional sales earn her a distinction she hasn’t seen in a quarter of a century. The Pure & Simple album coincides with Dolly Parton’s current Pure & Simple tour.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
The thing about music legends is they are legends for us all, and unite individuals with songs that speak to the universal struggles and shared joys that all Americans and humans experience. Politics should never should be foisted upon them so that music can remain a respite from political spats, and a place where people of all political ideologies are welcome.
All the information on the 50th Annual ACM Awards in one place, including the presenters, the performers, the collaborations, the nominees, special awards, and other things to watch for. Will Chris Stapleton have another big night? What can traditional country fans have to look forward to? And why have so many of the awards been handed out already?
Dolly Parton will have a busy 2016 ahead of her, and held a press conference Monday morning to fill folks in on all she has planned. Along with upgrades to her theme park Dollywood, including the first “launched” wooden roller coaster called Lightning Rod, which will be the fastest wooden coaster at 73 mph once it’s completed, Dolly Parton will have a new double album, and will embark on a 60-date tour of North America.
Mary Sarah is an unusual case when it comes to mainstream country prospects. On the surface, you have this gorgeous young woman with lots of styling, pizzazz, and stage presence, seasoned from performing since a very early age, like a pop country star ready to go out of the box. But what does she decide to do with her debut album? She releases a duets record with country legends.
Waylon Jennings was just 19-years-ol when Terry was born, and by the age of 15, Terry had dropped out of school and was a regular roadie working for his father. During that time, Terry not only got to witness the rise of his father to the status of a country legend and a Hall of Famer, but he got to see performers like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon’s final wife Jessi Colter do the same.
Dolly Parton’s NBC made-for-TV movie Coat of Many Colors went from a sweet little movie to watch with the family over the holiday season, to one of the most successful and cherished movies based on a country music legend’s life released in recent memory. As word of mouth spread, it also became the highest-rated TV movie ever using Nielsen’s “National TV Toolbox Live+ Same Day and Live+ 3 Days” measurement.
PhD researcher Chris Hamilton working for the Auburn University in Alabama successfully identified a new species of tarantula in California, and decided to name it after his favorite country music star. Aphonopelma johnnycashi is a tarantula strain the had not been properly identified previously by scientists, and was one of thirteen new tarantula species designated by the new study.
56-year-old Michael O’Rourke from Peterhead, Scotland has been sentenced to four months in jail after repeatedly violating noise ordinances and pissing off his neighbors by playing his music too loud. You see, Mr. O’Rourke is partially deaf, but he also happens to be Peterhead’s biggest audiophile, fessing up to a vast collection of vinyl and a propensity to listen to it at top volume at any time in the day or night.
Coat of Many Colors, which aired originally on Thursday, December 10th and will be rebroadcast on NBC Christmas Night, was not some sort of astounding feat of movie magic. What was astounding is how good it was as a television movie, and aside from some isolated moments, avoided much of the schmaltzy, cheeseball, cornpone feel that can completely ruin what otherwise might be a strong premise.