Well, we certainly didn’t see this coming, but it’s very hard to argue with. In the midst of the Grand Ole Opry’s ongoing effort to finally induct worthy artists as official members after having been passed over for many years, Charlie McCoy and Don Schlitz have both been invited.
It’s not every day that new recordings are unearthed that feature Waylon Jennings, but that’s what the new album from Tommy Townsend called Southern Man to be released on April 29th boasts. Tommy Townsend is a Waylon Jennings understudy.
It had been since 1997—or 25 years—since Warner Bros. had done a proper accounting on Randy’s catalog, and made sure his Gold and Platinum Certifications were current. Now Randy Travis has received five new RIAA Certifications.
‘An Old Time Christmas’ has always been considered one of the better bets for Christmas albums from country legends. That is how it achieved its Certified Gold status by the RIAA—something many of Randy’s 90’s and early 2000’s studio albums didn’t achieve.
For his Hall of Fame career, Randy Travis’s ace-in-the-hole behind-the-scenes was his manager, his biggest believer, his staunchest champion, his eventual wife, and eventually, his biggest and most catastrophic adversary, Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher. This is their story.
Colonel Parker, Country City USA, Dolly Parton, Don Schlitz, Eamonn McCrystal, Eddy Arnold, Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Joe Stampey, Lib Hatcher, Little Jimmy Dickens, Mary Davis, Nancy Jones, Nashville Palace, Paul Overstreet, Randy Travis, Stubbs Davis, Taylor Swift
The Grammy Awards have announced their annual inductions into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and a few of them have deep ties to country music, including “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, as well as Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt in “Trio.”
In a recent interview, Willie Nelson said he has a Roger Miller tribute album on the way. He also told the story of how he once turned down recording “The Gambler.” Written by Don Schlitz, it became the signature song for Kenny Rogers when Kenny released it in 1978.
On Saturday, May 4th, Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Randy Travis will turn 60 years old. And to commemorate the milestone, the Grand Ole Opry is planning a special tribute to Travis, while the flagship radio station of the Opry, 650 AM-WSM, has named Randy Travis their Artist of the Month.
On Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, Alan Jackson will officially take his rightful place in the Country Music Hall of Fame right beside all the other greats of country music. And ahead of it, Jackson has released the first taste from a new, upcoming album in the form of a song called “The Older I Get.”
Though perhaps best known for his towering hits for Randy Travis, including “Deeper Than The Holler,” “Heroes and Friends,” “On The Other Hand,” and the aforementioned “Deeper Than The Holler,” Schlitz wrote signature songs for Alabama, Mary Chapin Carpenter, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Paul Overstreet, and scores more.
Look, I don’t want to make too much of this, because in the end, what’s in a name? I didn’t really get too exercised over it (har har) until I saw award-winning songwriter (and #55 on SCM’s Greatest Country Songwriters of All Time) Don Schlitz tweet out about it, “Hey Mark Buffalino: you’re an idiot. And that’s my nice tweet.” But this has got to be the most dumb and over-thought decision I’ve seen in a long time.
There’s been much ado about country artists of the fairer sex over the last couple of weeks. For Logan Brill, whose Carnival Records album Shuteye came out on June 2, that debate is all just noise. Sure, she’ll righteously stand up for women artists and songwriters. But for Brill, music is pursued for the passion of good quality songwriting and the artistry of storytelling—everything else comes secondary.