The first episode of the Ken Burns Country Music documentary tasked itself to define what country music is by delving deep into its origins and original purveyors. The second episode called “Hard Times” began the work of explaining why the music means so much to so many people.
Fans of country music most all recognize the name of Bob Wills as the King of Western Swing. But if you’re listening to the music of Bob Wills, it’s often Leon Rausch you hear singing. A fixture of Western Swing for some 60 years and known as “The Voice of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys,” Leon Rausch has passed away.
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.
If you’re into country music and the history of it, you’re probably used to hearing about the “King” of this, or the “Father” of that. Since the history of country music is so important to keeping the lineage of the music alive, country pays special homage to the people who helped form or popularize the genre.
Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Carl Perkins, George Strait, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Martin, Kitty Wells, Lena Hughes, Loretta Lynn, Mary Padgett, Maybelle Carter, Reverend Horton Heat, Rhonda Vincent, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Slim Dusty, Spade Cooley, The Carter Family, unknown hinson, Wanda Jackson, Wayne Hancock
Who hadn’t thought that when Han Solo was outrunning Imperial starships in the Millennium Falcon—not the local bulk-cruisers mind you, I’m talking about the big Corellian ships now—that he wasn’t booming a little Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Billy Joe Shaver? Remember, Han was a smuggler, so it’s only fitting he’d find a hankering for music that many a moonshine runner would blare.
Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Wills, Don Gibson, Emmylou Harris, Ernest Ashworth, Gregg Allman, Han Solo, Hank Locklin, Johnny Cash, Johnny Rodriguez, Red Sovine, Robbie Fulks, Skeets MacDonald, Star Wars, Tom T. Hall, Webb Pierce
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
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
As the longest running music show on TV enters its 40th season, Austin City Limits has announced its second installment of inductees into its Hall of Fame founded in 2014. The original crew of the Austin City Limits show will also be honored as the 2015’s non-performing inductee. As part of the Hall of Fame announcement, more performers for season 41 were also revealed.
ACL, Asleep at the Wheel, Austin City Limits, Bob Wills, Flaco Jimenez, Guy Clark, Lloyd Maines, Loretta Lynn, Ray Benson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, The War On Drugs, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
The truth is, Garth was never going to live up to the lofty expectations many were foisting upon his re-entry into the country fold. Forget the naysayers who still can’t get over his high wire act at Texas Stadium or the Chris Gaines gimmick, there was some thought that Garth may be the only one left with the star power to reignite the spark of true country music in the mainstream once again.
Every Justin Townes Earle album cover has featured Earle himself and a pretty woman somewhere in close vicinity to him, and just exactly who these pretty women are is part of the fun and mystery. But Justin Townes Earle broke from this tradition on his latest record “Single Mothers” and put someone else on the cover instead of himself. Or did he?
Amanda Isbell, Amanda Shires, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wills, Gillian Welch, Hayes Carll, Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Joshua Black Wilkins, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Sammy Brue, Single Mothers, Steve Earle, the cover of Justin Townes Earle's Single Mothers
The Legends of Sun Records exhibit will showcase many artifacts and much information about the original class of Sun Records stars, but one man, and one particular piece of memorabilia might be worth paying a little bit of extra attention to. W.S. “Fluke” Holland is not a name that is as familiar to music fans as the other big Sun Recordings stars, but his significance cannot be overstated.
Bob Dylan, Bob Wills, Carl Perkins, drums, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Legends of Sun Records exhibit, Nashville Skyline, Sun Studios, Tennessee Three, The Grand Ole Opry, The Highwaymen, The Johnny Cash Museum, W.S. "Fluke" Holland, W.S. Holland, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience: from growing up in California as the son of Okie parents during The Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story. When it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
#1 hits, Bob Wills, cancer, CBS Records, Escaping from jail, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Me and Crippled Soldiers Give A Damn, Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, Rick Blackburn, San Quentin, The Bakersfield Sound, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson
No ladies and gentlemen, Western Swing is not dead; not when Davy Jay Sparrow is on the job, doing his level best to keep the distinguished country music sub-genre fresh and fun by forging ahead with his fast-paced and frolicking take on one of country music’s original modes. Sparrow has migrated west from Indiana to Portland, OR and traded in his “Well Known Famous Drovers” for a gaggle of “Western Songbirds”.
This album is good both because it is Willie, and because it is good. After years of navigating through a gray area in his career and having to dabble with some record labels probably less able to do a Willie release justice, he’s back with the same company who released Red Headed Stranger, and back to making albums worthy of the world stopping down to pay attention to.
On Friday night I was treated to Western swing heaven as Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel brought his Bob Wills musical A Ride With Bob to my neck of the woods. (You can read my review of the show on the 9513.) The show featured a couple of guest artists, one being Ruby […]
I’m convinced. Ruby Jane was sent to earth by God to save country music. All accolades I lapped on the 15-year-old fiddle-playing fenom when I said You Need Ruby Jane In Your Life were validated, if not proved to be too tempered after seeing her live at Dallas’s historic Kessler Theater on Friday. Really, I […]
You might be surprised to learn that Jackass mastermind and actor Johnny Knoxville is a big fan of underground / outlaw country music. Not only that, at times he’s gone out of his way to lend his name to helping out specific artists and causes. When you start poking around a bit, it’s amazing where […]
Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Wills, Buck Owens, Dale Watson, Documentary, Dwight Yoakam, From the Cradle to the Grave, Gram Parsons, Grand Theft Parsons, Hank III, Hank Williams, Jackass, Jackass World, Jesco White, Johnny Cash, Johnny Knoxville, Johnny Knoxville Records, Joshua Tree, MTV, Phil Kaufman, Roger Allan Wade, Straight to Hell, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Since I was traveling and moving a lot of this week I kind of fell behind the news cycle, so here’s some stuff to get you caught up. New Tim Pop Country Podcast TIM POP LIVE has a new all country podcast out you should check out. Music from Hank III, Bob Wayne, and old […]