One of the most important and influential steel guitar players in the history of country music has died. Buddy Emmons, known as the “The World’s Foremost Steel Guitarist” passed away Wednesday evening (7-29) according to reports. He was 78-years-old.
In one corner you have the wily veteran who’s sold more than 80 million records worldwide and racked up untold awards and accolades during his quarter century career. In the other corner you have the scrappy young upstart who after years of paying dues on the club circuit can now sell out three consecutive nights at The Ryman Auditorium in 30 minutes and is on the tip of everyone’s tongue as the name of one of the best songwriters around.
Remember the curious news of how Korn frontman Jonathan Davis was working on some sort of country project, and was in the studio with Big & Rich trying to hone in on the “Bakersfield” sound? Well now the story has turned even more strange. Though we still don’t have any solid details on exactly what Jonathan Davis is working on, apparently Marilyn Manson is also on board…
Dear Luke Bryan, Thanks for taking the time to read my letter, if in fact you do so. I can only imagine the time constraints a man of your success has, and you’ve already been taking of your time over the last few days to help clear up a mess that I guess I had some part in creating.
Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, Blake Shelton, Dallas Davidson, Florida Georgia Line, Gary Overton, George Strait, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Hill, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Sam Hunt, Sturgill Simpson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Luke Bryan has called Waylon Jennings’ widow Jessi Colter to apologize after he made comments characterizing Outlaw country artists as cocaine addicts “laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs.” Waylon’s son Shooter Jennings has also commented on the situation, saying, “It’s all flush in my book.”
It seems to be the destiny of man to make the same mistakes over and over, even when we have insurmountable evidence of the fallacy of our actions right in front of us. Country music might be one of the greatest examples of this as it cycles from being obsessed with pop and contemporary sounds, and then gets reeled back in towards its traditional heart during the tug and push of its sometimes tumultuous history.
Now one of the members of Waylon’s extended family has spoken out about Luke’s initial words and his apology. Kathy Pinkerman Jennings, who is the wife of one of Waylon Jennings’ sons Buddy Jennings, spoke out about the matter via Facebook initially on July 10th, and the posted a video to YouTube late Saturday night. Despite some media reports, Kathy Jennings makes it clear she is not speaking for the family.
So to give some historical context to Luke Bryan’s characterizations, I thought we would look back and see what Willie, Merle, and Waylon felt about cocaine. Willie hated the stuff, and would fire anyone in his crew caught using it. Merle barely touched it, except for one dalliance that ended poorly. And Waylon was a professed, long-term cocaine addict who openly expressed his struggles with the drug.
Being an Outlaw never had anything to do with arrest records or cocaine addictions. Anyone found on Willie Nelson’s crew with their nose in the powder was immediately fired. Being an Outlaw was about being yourself, insisting on having creative control of your music, and moving country music forward while still respecting the roots of the genre and all the greats that came before.
Regardless of how you feel about Kacey Musgraves, her music, her politics, or the ideologies she espouses, she symbolizes nothing short of a victory in the effort to save country music. To have a major label artist release an album like Pageant Material, full of traditional country leanings and songwriter-based material, is a sizable leap forward for the genre.
A massive Waylon Jennings tribute show in Austin, TX has just been announced, and the lineup is something to salivate over. Set to transpire on July 6th and Austin’s Moody Theater (where Austin City Limits is taped), organizers Blackbird Music Group made use of the fact that many of the big names would already be […]
Austin, Billy Joe Shaver, Buddy Cannon, Chris Stapleton, Don Was, Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Moody Theater, Ryan Bingham, Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Toby Keith, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The Ft. Worth Zoo is considered one of the Top 5 zoos in the United States, and the best zoo in Texas. And to show off a little bit of their Texas spirit, the zoo has decided to name two new arrivals after a couple of Texas musicians known for standing tall over the competition. After some careful consideration the Ft. Worth Zoo decided to name the brothers “Willie” and “Waylon” respectively.
You look at these two guys, and it is living history right in front of you. But they aren’t living history museum pieces. They are lucid, active participants in the music community, still writing and singing songs, still with the fire inside them to contribute to the genre they helped create, and pay country music forward to yet another generation of loyal and appreciative fans.
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
Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wills, dead, Emily Gimble, Hee Haw, Jason Roberts, Jimmie Davis, Johnny Gilble, Mark O'Connor, Merle Haggard, obituary, Ray Benson, Ray Price, Texas Playboys, The Million Dollar Band, Willie Nelson
2015 is apparently the year to get paid in country music, and no stone is being left unturned, and apparently nobody is immune. From mainstream country artists who we once thought were the few remaining renegades with integrity that are now releasing trendy R&B singles, to some of our favorite country heroes’ faces, names, and songs ending up endorsing products or stamped on packaging.
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.”
The Louisiana Hayride is on its way back, and in a big way. Arguably the 2nd most influential music program in country music history, only rivaled in stature by The Grand Ole Opry, it’s been an effort that has lasted over 20 years and seen a major renovation of the radio program’s original home of The Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport that has put organizers on the brink of bringing the show back.
Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Wills, Elvis, Faron Young, George Strait, Hank Williams, Horace Logan, Jeannie C. Riley, Jim Reeves, Joel Katz, Johnny Cash, Louisiana Hayride, Maggie Warwick, Margret Lewis, Merle Kilgore, Shreveport, Tex Ritter, The Grand Ole Opry, Tillman Franks, Webb Pierce, Willie Nelson
Over the last few years, David Letterman and The Late Show have become tireless supporters of many of the older country artists and up-and-comers that mainstream country so unfortunately pays little to no attention to. To giving artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Dale Watson, and Sturgill Simpson their first network debut, to being one of the few shows regularly willing to book Willie Nelson and other legends…
Amos Lee, Asleep at the Wheel, Band of Horses, Ben Bridwell, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Dale Watson, Dave Matthews Band, David Letterman, Elizabeth Cook, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Iron & Wine, Mumford and Sons, Norah Jones, Ralph Stanley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Avett Brothers, The Late Show, Tom Waits, Tracy Chapman, Willie Nelson
It happened again, and thanks to over 500,000+ shares on Facebook (and counting), many Willie Nelson fans believe the legendary country singer died on Saturday, April 11th in Maui, and one dubious website is reaping the financial rewards. A site called msmbc.co—purposely titled to be easily confused with msnbc.com—initially posted a fake death story involving Willie Nelson on February 21st, 2015.