On Thursday, May 18th, George Strait will be officially recognized by the Texas State Legislature as the 2017 State Musician of the Year for Texas. George, along with other candidates, were nominated for the distinction by the general public, and then sent to the Texas Commission on the Arts, which decides the final recipient.
Songwriter and performer Dean Dillon has more skins on the wall than Kodiak Jack, and just his handlebar mustache is more manly than all the moronic Bro-Country songwriters on Music Row lumped together and tied in a bundle. Your favorite George Strait songs? There’s a good chance they were written by Dean Dillon.
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.
You can put any concerns away that the historic Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, TX will either be razed or turned into a Karaoke Bar anytime soon. Randy Rogers of The Randy Rogers Band has purchased the property from the heirs of the founder and owner of the building, Kent Finlay, who passed away in 2015.
Country protest songs are a dime a dozen these days, and in many cases have become just about as cliche as the pop country songs they criticize. It really takes a fresh angle or a unique twist to make a protest song resonate beyond the anger many folks have at the direction of today’s country music, and that is what Jamey Johnson and George Strait have done.
Strait played his first show at Gruene Hall on Saturday, February 21st, 1976—five years before releasing his first record, and only a few months removed from being honorably discharged from the Army. For his first gig, they charged $0.25 at the door, and according to Strait from the Gruene Hall stage Wednesday night, he made $7.00 total.
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.
If you’re waiting for new music from Jamey Johnson, you best not hold your breath. This is what little can be gleaned from the reception a recent interviewer found when talking to Jamey Johnson on the subject, and receiving the answer “I’d rather not get into that right now.”
Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is.
In January of 2016, Saving Country Music published an article explaining how 2016 Could Be 1975 All Over Again in country music—how an upsurge in more traditional and substantive talent and music could really take hold in country, from the independent realm to the mainstream. And that is exactly what we’ve seen as 2016 has progressed.
“I think right now it’s kind of trending back to more traditional country music, which is what I like and I like to do. So I’m glad to see that. But I can’t put anybody down for having success in the business, which is just tough … I’m not saying I have to like it, but I just know how tough it is.”
Jim Lauderdale decided that since he’d never made a Texas country record, he’d head down to Austin and assembled a hot shit band of Texas pickers and players, and record himself a Texas country project in one day at Arlyn Studios. Lauderdale wrote or co-wrote every song on the record, and each one has a Texas flavor of some sort.
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
What is so striking about the album listening back to it after nearly 35 years of perspective is not just the big hits, the #1’s, and the now country standards that it contains. It’s the variety in Strait From The Heart that makes it the perfect study of where country music had been, where it was in the present tense, and where it would be going.
It has been announced that “King” George Strait will make a rare public appearance after his official touring retirement to present Jim Lauderdale with the Wagonmaster Award named for country music icon Porter Wagoner during the September 21st awards at the Ryman Auditorium.
“Country has become a bigger umbrella. It’s good and bad. Country has become too homogenized and too commercial. It has lost what makes it special. It’s great that it’s popular, but then it starts to become watered down.”
Are you waiting for your favorite music artists signed to MCA Nashville to release an album after a prolonged hiatus? Perhaps you heard the first single months or sometimes years ago, but still no record? Well you’re not alone. It looks like the unenviable position of being the most notorious label on Music Row is no longer a slam dunk for Curb Records.
Ladies and gentlemen, we now live in a world where not even King George remains relevant on country radio. Isn’t that the sad, ever present revelation of the living—that time marches on, and no matter how important something was in the past, the present moves forward, callously at times, and the greatest of efforts are relegated to moments of fond reminiscing.
So what’s to learn from hitching a ride in Marty McFly’s time machine and traveling back to 1985? That the problems country music is facing today are virtually the same ones that were being faced 30 years ago. It’s all cyclical, as canonized in the old Gospel tune enshrined in the architecture of the Country Music Hall of Fame asking the question, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”
Alan Jackson, Bill Carter, Bobby Bare, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jason Isbell, Keith Whitley, Kris Kristofferson, Mo Pitney, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Ricky Skaggs, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwaymen, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson