Merle Haggard is getting ready for the release of his new album with Willie Nelson next week called Django & Jimmie, and ahead of the release he had some interesting revelations about some things in his past, and what he might have coming up in the future. Many have wondered why Merle never joined the Highwaymen, but it apparently wasn’t because they didn’t want him.
Texas Playboy, Million Dollar Band member, and legendary country and Western Swing fiddle player Johnny Gimble has passed away. Known best as one of the primary fiddle players in Bob Wills’ Western Swing band the Texas Playboys, Gimble spent his life charming audiences and being revered as one of the Godfathers of Texas fiddle music. “My hero passed away today. Godspeed Johnny Gimble. We love you,” said current Western Swing fiddle maestro Jason Roberts
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Merle Haggard is finally a graduate of Bakersfield High School, some 60 years after attending his last class there as a truant freshmen. Never mind that Merle never passed a single class. Never mind he’s 78-years-old and was awarded an honorary doctorate first by the California State University in Bakersfield in 2013. He’s now a Bakersfield “Driller” for life.
This weekend in sunny Southern California, Sturgill Simpson will be taking the stage at the annual Stagecoach Festival in Indio—the country music cousin of the massive 2-weekend Coachella gathering. Sturgill Simpson is one of the few to ever play both the Coachella and Stagecoach weekends. Even more surprising is where Sturgill Simpson is ranked as far as popularity when it comes to Stagecoach attendees.
If 2013 was the “Year of the Song” and 2014 was the “Year of Sturgill Simpson,” 2015 may just go down as the “Year of the Collaboration.” The Congress of the United States has yet to recognize 4/20 as a holiday, or that the possession of the leafy green is legal in all 50 states, but it made for the perfect excuse for Willie & Merle to release the first single from their upcoming collaboration called, “It’s All Going to Pot.”
One thing is for sure, the 4th of July in Texas is going to be hot. It’s also going to be a happening time for country music; so much so it’s going to be a hard to know where to point your nose. It was already setting up to be a good 4th of July for country music in 2015 with the holiday falling on a weekend this year.
Ted Cruz says he became a country music fan after 9/11, while the digital editor of ‘Ebony’ responded with “Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music,” forcing MSNBC to have to publicly distance from the comments. Meanwhile a super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton released a pro-Hillary country song. Here’s how country listeners will be targeted like never before in the upcoming election.
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.
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Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are pairing up once again. This was the one nugget of important information squeezed between pot jokes when Willie Nelson made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday evening (3-21) as part of South by Southwest (SXSW) festivities in Austin, TX. It won’t be the first time the two country music legends have released an album together, and it may not be the last.
I don’t need a workup from Dr. Scratch-N-Sniff to know something is seriously ill with country music here in the first quarter of 2015. We’re not talking about the worn-out complaints about how pop country sucks and how Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line don’t belong. Take all of those concerns and put them to the side for a second. I’m talking about the once high-flying country genre…
“My name is Aaron Watson. I’m not played on country radio. And I have the #1 record in country music this week. I do exist.” This was Aaron Watson’s reaction to the comments of Sony Records Nashville CEO Gary Overton, who said earlier this week, “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist.” But overall the Texas country star took a much more humble, appreciative, and inclusive tone.
Musician, songwriter, and member of The Memphis Boys Bobby Emmons has passed away. Known for writing such iconic songs as the #1 hits by Waylon Jennings “Luckenbach, Texas” and “Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You),” Tanya Tucker’s hit “Love Me Like You Used Too,” “So Much Like My Dad” by George Strait, and many more, he was also a well-respected musician…
Once again the Ameripolitan Awards, founded by Dale Watson, and championed by many hard working individuals and artists wanting to shine a spotlight on under-appreciated but highly-deserving roots music, was a rousing success. However one oversight that was completely predictable, and highly inappropriate was the appointment once again of SiriusXM DJ Mojo Nixon as the Master of Ceremonies.
Bob Dylan is pretty notorious for not speaking publicly very often, either in speeches or to the press. But after being honored at a Grammy Awards’ MusiCares event a week ago, and the impending melee that resulted from the 30-minute speech in which he specifically criticized Merle Haggard and Tom T. Hall among others, Dylan was forced into another public disposition with Rolling Stone on Friday.
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.
Who would have thought that Vince Gill would emerge as one of the big winners in country music over the past seven days, culminating in last night’s 48th Annual CMA Awards? But that’s the thing about Vince Gill. His accomplishments sort of creep up on you because he’s so refreshingly understated, honest, and humble.
Professed Christians Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, known collectively as the pop country mega duo Florida Georgia Line have more euphemistic language on their new album Anything Goes than a salty-mouthed locker room. If you’ve been wondering what the hell they actually mean, then here are some useful translations of Florida Georgia Line’s most sexually-charged lines.
Aviator isn’t one of those albums you cherry pick through to the best songs. That would be like choosing a favorite child, because all of these songs are great and work so well together and in succession. This is one of those albums you put on for a long road trip or a restful backyard barbecue and then press repeat when you get to the end. It is the embodiment of that laid back Texoma flavor.
When comparing and contrasting the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you couldn’t find two more differing ideologies. For the Country Music Hall of Fame, it is a “quality, not quantity” approach. Inducting only three new members each year under the current system, a Country Hall of Fame induction is one of the industry’s most difficult distinctions to land…
Indio, California’s country version of the massive Coachella Festival bucks the trend of most corporate country music festivals by casting independent artists and legacy acts in their lineup right beside some of the biggest current names in the country music industry as well as major label up-and-comers. This is the environment that cultivates cross-pollination between independent artists and a wider fan base.
Daniel Romano, Della Mae, Gregg Allman, John Moreland, Kacey Musgraves, Lineup, Lydia Loveless, Merle Haggard, Nikki Lane, Parker Milsap, Stagecoach, Stagecoach Festival, Stagecoach lineup, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, The Devil Makes Three, The Quebe Sisters, The Time Jumpers, Vince Gill