As bad as 2020 has been for just about everything, believe it or not, country music got it worse than just about every other segment of music, entertainment, sports, etc. when it came to both the amount, and the major names that passed away in the last 12 months.
Jerry Jeff Walker
Like so many other mainstay music institutions in 2020, PBS’s Austin City Limits program has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and been forced to scale back tapings significantly for the next year. However, there are some new shows that will be moving forward, and a tribute.
Among many other criticisms being lobbed at the 2020 CMA Awards broadcast on Wednesday (11-11), the lack of an In Memoriam segment, and specifically overlooking major deaths in country music such as John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver have quite a few hopping mad.
It’s been a hard few weeks down in Texas and beyond as Texas music and Outlaw country have lost three titans of the golden era, with Johnny Bush, Jerry Jeff, Walker, and now Billy Joe Shaver all passing away in rapid succession. It has left the country music world reeling in an already unprecedented year.
Though we’ll never forget, it will be impossible to not remember all those good times Jerry Jeff afforded us, and feel a rush of incredible sadness proportionate to the impact Jerry Jeff Walker had on music, and people, and places, which was infinite.
From contributing one of the most important folk songs of the American songbook in history, to becoming a seminal member of the Austin, TX music scene and founding father of Texas country music, there is no comparing, and no replacing the impact of performer, songwriter, musical icon, and gonzo musician Jerry Jeff Walker.
It only took 45 years, and many many impassioned pleas by fans and supporters and believers (including here at Saving Country Music), but Ray Wylie Hubbard will finally be appearing on his own segment on the longest-running music show on television, ‘Austin City Limits.’
If not for author Jan Reid, there would be no Austin City Limits. And without Austin City Limits, there may not have been any national awareness of what was happening in the Texas Capital back in the early and mid 70’s and beyond,which became the catalyst for country’s Outlaw movement.
The original Willis Alan Ramsey album released in 1972 is the stuff of legend. Considered one of the very foundations of the Austin music scene that was just starting to emerge as a point of national interest at the time, the enigmatic songwriter recorded 11 original songs for Leon Russell’s Shelter label, and they would go on to be covered…
American, Bruce Robison, Captain & Tennille, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, Marcia Ball, Mockingbird Blues, Shawn Colvin, The Next Waltz, Waylon Jennings, Willias Alan Ramsey
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.
Alison Krauss, Billie Jean Horton, Conway Twitty, David Allan Coe, Dayton Duncan, Don Williams, Doug Sahm, Eddie Rabbitt, Emmloyou Harris, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Hank Snow, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Reeves, Jimmy Martin, John Hartford, Johnny Horton, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Martin Murphy, Patsy Cline, Sam Bush, Tanya Tucker, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Vern Gosdin
Whatever you want to call him, “The Forgotten Outlaw,” “The Dead Thumb King,” “Wylie Lama,” or a host of other nicknames he’s amassed over his many years as a music troubadour, Ray Wylie Hubbard has been going through an elongated career resurgence that most 72-year-old performers could only dream of.
Songwriter and Texas music wildman Jack Ingram has a new album on the way called ‘Ridin’ High … Again.’ It will be Ingram’s tenth studio record overall, and was recorded at Austin, TX’s iconic Arlyn Studios in just two days in what Ingram describes as one “forty-eight hour party.”
“No way I could get out of doing this record,” Steve Earle says. “When I get to the other side, I didn’t want to run into Guy having made the ‘TOWNES’ record and not one about him … Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark were like Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to me.”
At a show on Friday, May the 4th at Love and War in Lindale, TX, Ray Wylie Hubbard was singing his iconic, signature song “Redneck Mother.” Right as Ray Wylie was spelling out “mother,” and extending the ‘R’ for “Rrrredneck,” a real life redneck decided it was the perfect time to crash the stage.
Jerry Jeff Walker had a rough 2017, and almost didn’t make it out alive. The 76-year-old was diagnosed with throat Cancer, and then while going through chemotherapy and radiation treatment, developed both pneumonia and a blood infection that was said to be “an understatement to call a setback.”
When you think of music towns and songwriting havens, your head naturally gravitates toward Nashville and Austin, Bakersfield and L.A. and such. You rarely think of Key West in Florida as a musical destination for songwriting or anything else musical, unless you have a Parrothead sticker on the back of your SUV.
Texas country music legend and revered songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker has revealed that he’s been suffering from throat Cancer, and recently experienced some health setbacks during his treatment and recovery. Citing that he and his camp did not want a lot of publicity about the Cancer diagnosis until after he responded well to treatment…
As times get lean for alternative newsweeklys, their penchant to dispose of any and all journalistic class, fact-based reporting, or positive counterpoints to their dubious assertions goes out the window in lieu of mercilessly ripping into entire segments of artists without a single word of objectivity or credit where credit is due.
Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort and the greater Music Valley portion of the city filled up this weekend with thousands of revelers in throwback duds celebrating the annual Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender presented by Muddy Roots. Over 90 acts on 5 different stages and at three separate venues.
Asleep at the Wheel, Big Sandy, Bobby Bare, Chris Casello, Country Side of Harmonica Sam, Deke Dickerson, Gaylord Opryland, Grand Ole Opry House, J.P. Harris, Jerry Jeff Walker, JM "Jimmy" Van Eaton, Joshua Hedley, Kristina Murray, Nashville Boogie, Nashville Palace, Nikki Lane, Ray Benson, W.S. "Fluke" Holland, Wanda Jackson
The 2017 Nashville Boogie presented by Muddy Roots is set to go off May 18th to the 21st at Nashville’s Opryland Resort and the nearby Nashville Palace, and they have just announced that Jerry Jeff Walker will headline the event Sunday night (5-21) at the Grand Ole Opry House.
For most artists, their careers start off by driving around in vans to club shows across the country, and if they’re lucky perhaps they graduate to a bus sometime down the road. Most artists start by making some noise in their home state, and then maybe hope to garner the attention of a national audience. For Sunny Sweeney, the arc has been nearly the opposite.
“I knew I wanted to record in this old fashioned way, that that was going to be the way to capture this music,” says Robison. “It’s real simple how we do it in here, which is pre-Beatles, where people used to be on the road, and they’d just take their new song into a real simple recording studio or a radio station, and they would just put the song down.”
Nothing Shines Like Neon has all the liquor, beer, bar scenes, and sultry interactions with lovers you might hear on some mainstream country record, except it tells the story from the opposite perspective—the more realistic perspective. It’s where libations aren’t just flowing to party hearty, but to help douse heartbreak.