Big names in country music turned out on Tuesday, May 7th, for a benefit concert for Byron Berline and his Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, Oklahoma. But immediately as the Turnpike Troubadours began to play, long-time fans of the band could tell something was off with frontman Evan Felker.
Nancy Jones is not happy about a new mural that has popped up in Nashville depicting the legendary story of George Jones riding a lawnmower to the liquor store (see below). The mural was recently unveiled on the side of Colonial Liquors located at 2401 Franklin Pike in Nashville where George Jones used to be a frequent customer.
Yes, Captain Old Farts & Jackasses has given traditional country fans plenty of reasons to give him a hairy eyeball over the years or curse his name under their breath (anyone remember the tractor rapping of “Boys ‘Round Here”?) But I’ll be damned if Blake Shelton hasn’t been on some prolonged traditional country kick lately.
Just the name “Shooter” elicits strong opinions from people in country music. This is the result of being the son of a country hero whose legacy looms so large, the history of the man himself could never match the mythos. Hank Williams Jr. was saddled with such burdens. He’s also the primary inspiration behind “Shooter.”
The legendary and Hall of Fame country music career of Alan Jackson has been marked by two underlying things: his ability to write and sing songs that stay true to country’s roots and ultimately become mega-hits (he had 26 #1’s overall), and his propensity to step up at critical moments and say or do whatever he can to help preserve the music.
As first reported by Saving Country Music in January, a new animated series called ‘Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus’ covering real stories from country music’s past in animated form is on its way to television. Now, we finally get the details and an in-depth look at what country music fans can expect.
The name “Bill Monroe,” the bluegrass legend’s likeness rights, ownership of the URL “BillMonroe.com,” the name of his iconic band the “Blue Grass Boys,” even the historic Uncle Pen’s Cabin in Rosine, Kentucky, along with other valued artifacts and memorabilia from the Bill Monroe estate, have all been put up for sale.
Alan Jackson is the new “Modern Era” inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame. One of the biggest superstars in country music history, and one of the genre’s most uncompromising supporters of the traditional roots of the music, Alan Jackson deserves the Country Music Hall of Fame distinction as much as anyone from the modern era.
In a recent interview with Kacey Musgraves ahead of her opening for George Strait in Las Vegas, Strait said “Tennessee Whiskey” was one of the songs he most regrets punting on when it was first pitched to him early in his career. “Dean pitched me to that in the 80’s … and I missed it,” George Strait says.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
Folks were left wondering what the fate of the 46,000 square foot, multi-story facility would be after the manager of the museum and a close financial partner to George Jones’ widow Nancy Jones plead guilty to fraud charges in October. On Wednesday, November 23rd, it was announced that the George Jones Museum has been sold to a Nashville-based investment group.
You never know what Jesse Dayton may have his hands dirty with at any given moment. He could be playing guitar for Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings right before they pass away, or collaborating with Rob Zombie on some horror flick, or producing a record with Eddie Spaghetti. Last year he was touring around with the band ‘X’ filling in for Billy Zoom on guitar.
So many of country music’s legendary artists also spent time earlier in their lives serving the country in one capacity or another. And on Veteran’s Day as we pay tribute to ALL the men and women who served in the military and put themselves in harm’s way, let’s have some fun by looking back to see how many of these country legends we can pick out by their pictures.
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.
The manager of the George Jones Museum in Nashville, and a major investor and partner of George Jones’ widow Nancy Jones, is headed to prison for two years and owes nearly $1 million in restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of bank fraud. Kirk West, also known as Kirk Leipzig, lied about his income…
Courtney Granger delivers a surprising, touching, well-rounded, and frankly stunning performance of classic country tunes made anew by the power and passion behind his voice. Courtney Granger is Cajun music royalty. The grandnephew of the formidable Balfa Brothers, Courtney grew up surrounded by the music of Southern Louisiana, and currently performs in the Pine Leaf Boys.
Along with all the other accolades Chris Stapleton has received over the past year, you can add gold and platinum certifications for his version of the country music classic, “Tennessee Whiskey” to the pile. Written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove, first recorded by David Allan Coe in 1981, and then turned into a Top 5 hit song for George Jones.
Saving Country Music reached out to the respective estates and managers of the artists affected to confirm use of the likeness was unauthorized, and that the artists were receiving no money. “This product is not authorized at all,” says Kirk West, the Business Manager for the George Jones Estate. “They need to remove this product and never use George Jones name again or I will sue them.”
Vince Gill is the perfect model of how a country artist should age. Forget trying to run with the young crowd, or continuing to try and tap into whatever made you famous in the past. An artist like Vince Gill has accrued all the personal wealth he and his family will ever need. He’s as decorated with awards as any living country music artist, including a Hall of Fame induction.
The 320-page biography will cover George’s life from an impoverished childhood growing up in East Texas, being raised by by a devoutly-religious, but alcoholic mother and an often-abusive father, his multiple tumultuous marriages including to Tammy Wynette, his alcohol and cocaine abuse that almost killed him, and his marriage to his fourth wife Nancy.
As No Show Jones moves forward with pre-production, so does a completely different movie, potentially a rival movie if you want to look at it that way, being made by the daughter of George Jones, Georgette Jones. Georgette was the only daughter between George Jones and Tammy Wynette during their brief, but high-profile marriage.
The cast for an upcoming biopic on the life of George Jones is starting to take shape, and the leading man appears to be Josh Brolin. He will play The Possum according to reports, as well as work in the capacity as producer for the film. Starring beside Brolin will be Jessica Chastain, who will play Tammy Wynette who was famously, and tumultuously married to George during his heyday.
Consolidation of record labels and music catalogs continues in the independent roots realm with more big moves being made in the last week. Concord Bicycle Music, which has been on a big buying streak lately, has acquired the George Jones label imprint Bandit Records. In another deal, Concord Bicycle has acquired the library of Americana label HighTone Records.
Boy this thing sure had me intrigued when I first saw the image of Trace Adkins looking all contrite, weathered, and wise in the promotional picture with his hat in his hand, like he was ready to ask for forgiveness for all the Honky Tonk Badonka Donkin’ of his earlier career, and the gratuitous puppet sex of his “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” effort. Perhaps he was ready to be washed in the blood of good ol’ true country music.