Not as a rebuke of the work of the documentary, but as an addendum for those who watched and might want to dig deeper into the history of country through some of its more important personalities not represented well in the film, here are some of the Country Music film’s biggest oversights.
We’re plenty well satiated on new music from Willie Nelson after the release of his latest album God’s Problem Child in May. In fact it might be one of Willie’s best recordings in many years, and certainly one of the better selections since signing with Sony’s Legacy imprint some years back. But there’s no rest for the wicked.
It’s hard enough for side players in any genre to receive the recognition their contributions to the music deserve, let alone ones who choose a discipline that is a dying art. Kayton Roberts had it hard enough as a steel guitar player. But Kayton’s instrument of choice—the pedal-less steel—was in even less demand throughout his career.
A show that gave a fresh shot in the arm to the legacy of Sun Records and artists like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis will not be renewed for a second season. CMT’s series ‘Sun Records’ has been canceled after an eight episode run behind the network’s now signature series, ‘Nashville.’
From the rural regions of Nova Scotia and centered around the port town of Halifax, E. B. Anderson and the Resolutes are following in the footsteps of fellow Nova Scotia native Hank Snow and trying to preserve the classic sound of country music with their own style and approach. That means hitting on a lot of lonesome feelings, adding in a little bit of the blues, and . . .
On Saturday night (9-12), the CCMA’s also threw their annual awards gala where 20 CCMA were handed out, including one to Last Gang Records singer and songwriter Lindi Ortega who walked away with the distinction of Roots Artist of the Year. This is Lindi’s second win in the roots category in a row. Lindi released her latest record ‘Faded Gloryville’ on August 7th.
Some may recognize the name south of the Canadian border, especially if they understand the intricacies of hockey’s offsides and icing rules. But in the great frozen north, he’s considered a national treasure. Theo Fleury, a 1,000-goal scorer in the NHL, Stanley Cup winner in 1989 with the Calgary Flames, Gold Medal winner in 2002 representing Canada, and a World Junior Champion, has decided he’s going country.
With the passing of the 94-year-old “Little” Jimmy Dickens at the beginning of 2015, it’s a reminder for us to cherish the final living links to country music’s most legendary past who can still tell stories of how country music once was. The amount of performers who were important in forming the very foundation of country music are quickly fading away.
Bill Monroe, Billie Jean Horton, Bobby Osborne, Buck Owens, Buck White, Carter Stanley, Don Maddox, Eddie Arnold, Elvis, George Jones, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Harold Bradley, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jesse McReynolds, Jim and Jesse, Jim Ed Brown, Joe Pennington, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Owen Bradley, Pee Wee King, Ralph Stanley, Ray Price, Red Simpson, Ricky Skaggs, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Roy Orbison, Stonewall Jackson, Studio 'A', The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Grand Ole Opry, The Quonset Hut, The Stanley Brothers, The Whites, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The health status of Randy Travis still remains very much in question, but that is not stopping the Randy Travis camp and Warner Bros. from releasing the second installment of his Influence: The Man I Am series on August 12th. The first album in the series was released on September 30th, 2013—a few months after Randy suffered a serious heart condition and subsequent stroke.
I’m not certain that the impact of Johnny Cash getting dropped from the CBS/Columbia record label that had been his home for nearly 30 years has ever been fully appreciated. It truly was the end of an era, or the beginning of one depending on how you want to look at it. It stimulated a young Marty Stuart (an understudy of Cash) to get int the face of Columbia executive…
Billboard and the echo chamber that is much of the entertainment media/blogosphere made much hoopla last week over Florida-Georgia Line’s “Cruise” breaking the all-time record for weeks at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Closer scrutiny of the charts shows that, contrary to the flashy press releases and hype you may see regarding Florida-Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” its “record-setting” week is the historical achievement that isn’t.
Billboard, Carrie Underwood, Charts, Country Charts, Cruise, Eddy Arnold, Florida Georgia Line, Hank Snow, Hunter Hayes, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Longest #1 of All Time, Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Randy Houser, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Webb Pierce
Radio station 93.5 KOOK and 1230 KERV in Kerrville, TX, managed by legendary DJ Big ‘G’ Gordon Ames has a radio promo done by Kinky Friedman that simply says, “We play Hank. All of them.” Yes, we all know about country music’s most famous family, but here are the other 5 Hank’s that helped establish the sound of country music (and didn’t actually have “Hank” as their legal first names either).
Conway Twitty, Crazy Heart, Dwight Yoakam, Elvis, Hank Cochran, Hank Garland, Hank Locklin, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson
Alright, so we all had a good chuckle poking fun at the 6 Pop Country Archetypes, now let’s see what happens when I turn the poison pen towards the folks much more likely to frequent Saving Country Music; those folks that live on the fringes of the greater country music world.