Here 50 years after its original release, it remains one of the most influential and relevant albums ever recorded in popular music. From the songwriting, to the guitar tones, to the overall style and vibe, artists in country and rock and everything in between have been trying to capture it.
It’s that time of year again to consider who might be in the running for the precious few spots as the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A secret committee commissioned by the CMA is going over their final ballots and whittling down the names to the few who will make it.
Country Music Hall of Fame, David Alan Coe, Dwight Yoakam, Gram Parsons, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Larry Gatlin, Linda Ronstadt, Maddox Brothers and Rose, Ralph Stanley, Ray Charles, Shania Twain, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, The Stanley Brothers, Tompall Glaser, Travis Tritt
It is very important to contextualize that Luke Combs has completely scrubbed Confederate flags from his image, and for many years now—a critically important point not relayed by Margo Price’s tweet. If nothing else, this should exonerate Billy Strings from having to answer for anything.
It’s worth noting that Rolling Stone’s new updated version of their “500 Best Albums of All Time” significantly diminishes iconic titles from the classic country canon. Not only were some titles downgraded, some were eliminated entirely.
Charley Pride, Cody Jinks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Rolling Stone, Shania Twain, Steve Earle, Taylor Swift, The Byrds, Turnpike Troubadours, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Something that became obvious while watching the Ken Burns documentary is a few of the egregious oversights the Country Music Hall of Fame has been a party to when it comes to its inductees. Unlike other Halls of Fame, The Country Music Hall of Fame is extremely selective of who they let in, only allowing three new members in each year.
Don Maddox, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Hazel Smith, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Marty Stuart, Ralph Stanley, Rosanne Cash, Rose Maddox, The Judds, The Maddox Brothers and Rose, The Stanley Brothers
The 7th Episode in the series was unique in that 30 more minutes were added to give Ken Burns and his team the time to delve into a decade of the music, explain the important influence of Texas songwriters and the emergence of the Outlaw movement in the early and mid 70’s, all while keeping up with the goings on in popular country in Nashville.
Armadillo World Headquarters, Billy Joe Shaver, Billy Sherrill, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Freddy Fender, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Guy Clark, Hank Williams Jr., Hazel Smith, Hillbilly Central, Johnny Rodriguez, Ken Burns, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Tompall Glaser, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Undoubtedly, you could not tell the story of country music in the late 60’s and early 70’s without broaching the political upheaval and countercultural revolution roiling American society at the time. But the time spent on stories that were only proxies to country music bogged this episode down in stretches.
Billy Sherrill, Bob Dylan, Charlie Daniels, Don Chapel, Earl Scruggs, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Kris Kristofferson, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Shel Silverstein, Tammy Wynette, The Byrds, Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
Once again as spring nears, it becomes time for the annual exercise to ponder who perhaps the CMA will deem worthy for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. About this time the secret CMA-approved committee is going over their final ballots and whittling down the precious names to the few who will make it.
Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Dottie West, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr. Dwight Yoakam, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Lynn Anderson, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt. Brooks & Dunn
Though maybe not as recognizable of a name as many of the artists Gib shared lineups with, including Gene Parsons and Clarence White, his unique approach to music, influenced by his distinctly Cajun flavor and upbringing, made Guibeau seminal to the sound that would become West Coast country rock.
Love them, hate them, evoke the strong opinions of the Coen Brothers’ fictional character Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski all you want, but Glen Frey and The Eagles turned millions of music fans from all around the world into country music listeners through the evocative power of simple, universal sentiments bathed in twangy tones, however filed off the edges may have been, or however commercially successful the pursuit ultimately was.
Navy Buddies Take on Nashville and Advocate for Hank Williams Jr.’s HOF Induction — “I enlisted in the Navy when I was 17. That choice, and September 11, 2001, has kept me often deployed abroad and moving around throughout the United States over the last 17 years. Hank’s music is one way I’ve found to stay connected to rural American culture.”
It’s about that time of year again to start considering who the Country Music Hall of Fame will include in their list of 2015 inductees. That said, this announcement seems to inch later, and later (and later) each year. Nonetheless, if you want your opinion to amount to anything, you better get it out there early in the year as the people who make the picks for the final ballots and eventually inductees are doing their homework.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Kelley, Dwight Yoakam, Grady Martin, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenney Vaughan, Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Mac Wiseman, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Redd Volkaert, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, Sam Bush, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, The Oak Ridge Boys
The story of the homeless Nashville singer-songwriter done good named Doug Seegers crossed the Saving Country Music news desk early on in the story’s cycle, before big outlets like NPR and the Wall St. Journal were running big features on the heartwarming tale, but for whatever reason, a story that seemed like it was fit for telling filled me with a bit of trepidation.
Moving in to fill the space once carved out between country and alternative rock by alt-country pioneers such as Uncle Tupelo and the Old 97’s, three sons of University of Virginia Southern Literature professor Bill Wilson and two other willing accomplices come together to form the Charlottesville-based Sons of Bill under the charge to help revitalize alt-country.
This initial offering from The Loudermilks finds the band ranging from the bluegrass-inspired and steel guitar-drenched opening number “Watch ‘Em Fall”, to the the nearly straightforward rock styling of “The Plan”, accomplishing all with equal ability to enrapture the audience and appeal to whichever musical leanings the listener happens to carry.
I’ve been wanting to tug on the sainted Saving Country Music reader’s ear about Moot Davis for years, and who knows what all kinds of dumb excuses have conspired up to this point to not allow that to happen. But the release of his latest “Goin’ In Hot” is just about the perfect damn opportunity if there ever was one to stop everything else down and sing the praises of this man’s contributions.
In February it was announced that the the era-defining album “Wrecking Ball” released in 1995 by Emmylou Harris was getting the reissue treatment, with a remastering of the original album, a new disc of demos and outtakes, and a DVD delving into the making of the album, all set to be released on April 8th. You may wonder why this was the album picked out of the choir for a reissue, and why now.
It’s been my contention for years that if genre bending pioneer Beck ever made a straight up country record, it could have a similar effect as when The Byrds, heavily influenced by Gram Parsons, released Sweetheart of the Rodeo, allowing young hip listeners outside of country’s borders to realize the virtues of the genre.”I’m hearing the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young,” says Beck.
It’s that time of year again when we’re on the verge of hearing who the next class of inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame will be. Though the date seems to be getting later and later each year (last year it stretched all the way to April 10th—2012 was announced on March 6th), as soon as spring starts to break, you can be assured an announcement is coming soon.
2014, Alan Jackson, Bobby Bare, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Dottie West, Garth Brooks, Gram Parsons, Hank Cochran, Hank Williams Jr., Inductees, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, John D. Loudermilk, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Kenny Rogers, Lynn Anderson, predictions, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Tompall Glaser
2013 very well may go down as the year when referencing marijuana and other drugs in your songs is no longer cool as much as it is conformist—a lyrical hook, a well-recognized buzz word made for marketing an artist or song just as much as anything else. There has ceased to be either the generational gap, or the exclusivity of drug references in music to make them “cool.”
Arlo Guthrie, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark, Charlie Daniels, Cypress Hill, Eric Church, Gram Parsons, Green Day, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, marijuana, Miley Cyrus, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Pantera, Pistol Annies, pot, Snoop Dogg, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
You talk to most any independent country, roots, or Americana artist, and to a man they will tell you their fortunes tend to be better in the European market. With so many European tours and the continued spread of American country music, it was only a matter of time before country began to rub off on the locals and American roots music spread like wildfire throughout the Old World.
country music in Europe, Crooks & Straights, Dad Horse Experience, Dinosaur Truckers, Emmylou Harris, English, European country bands, First Aid Kit, G-runs 'n Roses, German country bands, Gram Parsons, Heinrich XIII, Jens Kruger, Kruger Brothers, My Darling Clementine, Rattleshack, Steve Martin, The Rip Roaring Success, UK
This news of Linda Ronstadt losing her voice due to Parkinson’s Disease seems like an especially sinister storyline. What a cruel machination of mother nature to rob a woman of her one defining gift while she still has life and clear cognitive factories to contemplate her fate. This isn’t any voice, or any woman.
This Saturday, April 20th is the 2013 installment of Record Store Day. 2013 has some juicy releases, including some super rare Willie Nelson demo sessions, a split with Waylon Jennings and the Old 97’s, some cool live albums from Gram Parsons and Sarah Jarosz, and a re-issue of Justin Townes Earle’s first album, the Yuma EP.
2013, Aljeandro Escovedo, Avett Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, Calexico, Charlie Poole, Chet Atkins, Chris Scruggs, Dale Watson, Elizabeth Cook, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Chambers, Mike Cooley, Mumford & Sons, Old 97's, Patty Griffin, Randy Travis, Record Store Day, Richard Thompson, Sarah Jarosz, Shane Nicholson, The Band, Tift Merritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Yoner Mountain String Band
Separating themselves from those with only a half-sense for the early 70’s vibe and hipsters who see it as trendy, the Deadstring Brothers have been proving they have an unadulterated sense for that coveted heroin sweat sound and how to mix it with their own original expression since their first album on Bloodshot Records in 2003. Simply put, Cannery Row is a pleasure to listen to.