When they finally get around to opening a proper brick and mortar Red Dirt Music Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, you can be assured it will be seeded with a bust of Stoney LaRue. Though many modern day artists love to cite Red Dirt as a sound and influence to their music, it’s only a select few who can say they’re founding members.
When the Ken Burns documentary was first announced a few years ago, the hope was the film could act like a big reset button on the status of country music, and give a boost to many of the songs and artists abandoned by radio in the present day. It has been a big boon in sales and streams for many of the classic country artists featured.
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?
The fifth installment of the Ken Burns country music documentary zeroed in on the time period between 1964 and 1968, when the United States at large began to be embroiled in tumultuous times, and two separate epicenters in country music began to emerge. Arguably the most egalitarian of the episodes so far, it covered a lot of performers.
Bobbie Gentry, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Connie Smith, Dolly Parton, Don Rich, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Faron Young, Jeannie C. Riley, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Lloyd Green, Loretta Lynn, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Ralph Emery, Roger Miller, Ronnie Milsap, Wynton Marsalis
Even though names like Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, and The Carter Family loom large for many of country music’s devoted fans, they don’t necessarily rise to the level of household names like Ernest Tubb, and of course the great Hank Williams, who was the centerpiece of the third installment of the Ken Burns ‘Country Music’ documentary.
Arnold Schultz, Bill Monroe, Chet Atkins, Don Maddox, Dwight Yoakam, Earl Scruggs, Eddie Stubbs, Ernest Tubb, Faron Young, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Hazel Smith, Holly Williams, Ken Burns, Kitty Wells, Lesley Riddle, Lester Flatt, Little Jimmy Dickens, Merle Haggard, Nathan Turk, Nudie Cohn, Ralph Stanley, Roy Nichols, Rufus Payne, Tee-Tot, The Carter Family, The Maddox Brothers and Rose, The Stanley Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Webb Pierce
Over seven years of full-time labor on the part of numerous people, over 101 interviews conducted, countless hours of archival work digging up old photographs, audio, video, and other vintage material, and an elongated year-long promotional effort finally culminated in the broadcast of the debut episode for the Ken Burns Country Music epic.
DeFord Bailey, Dolly Parton, Fiddlin' John Carson, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Kathy Mattea, Ken Burns, Ketch Secor, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rhiannon Giddens, Rosanne Cash, The Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, WSM
It’s the voice of Tanya Tucker that compels the country listener to seek her records out. It’s always been a mixture of worn leather and honky tonk smoke, even at a tender age. Some may call it husky, including those who mean that in a demeaning manner. But it’s hard not to fall prey to the “lived it” notions the tone of Tanya Tucker conveys, and how it cracks in all the right places to punctuate emotions in the most important moments.
PBS is gearing up for the release of the extensive 8 part, 16-hour Country Music Documentary starting September 15th directed by Ken Burns. And ahead of the release, PBS is trying to engage the country music public by asking people to share who their favorite country music icon is. They started by asking Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, & Ray Benson.
What I’m getting at here is that I don’t think I just speak for myself when I say I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing you take a stab at releasing an original album of some sort. I’m talking about something beyond what you’ve already been doing on the stage. Get Dave Cobb involved as a producer, or perhaps your buddy Sturgill Simpson.
On October 10th, 1969, Merle Haggard and his famous backing band The Strangers rolled into Muskogee, Oklahoma to play the Muskogee Civic Center for a packed house. Just two weeks previous, on September 25th, Haggard had officially released the song “Okie From Muskogee” as a single.
While Nashville country was awash in strings and suffering under the oppressive thumb of producers such as Chet Atkins and Billy Sherrill, the dim lights, thick smoke, and loud loud music of The Bakersfield Sound was keeping boots shuffling and country twangy. Unheard Merle Haggard tracks and other rarities are included in new box set.
Bakersfield, Barbara Mandrell, Billy Mize, Bonnie Owens, Buck Owens, Clarence White, Dallas Frazier, David Frizzell, Dick Curless, Don Rich, erlin Husky, Harland Howard, I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Joe Maphis, Kay Adams, Merle Haggard, Red Simpson, The Gosdin Brothers, Tommy Duncan, Wynn Stewart
We could say that it’s a strange time in country music when someone like the front man of the California indie rock band The Mother Hips is releasing a record, and it’s 95% more country, a leagues better than most of what you’ll hear in the mainstream of country today. But in truth this is not a new phenomenon.
When Merle Haggard passed away on his 79th birthday, April 6th, 2016, it left a gaping hole in country music, and a gaping hole in the hearts of his fans. In the years afterwards, fans of the Hag have gathered in bars and clubs on April 6th across the country to pay tribute to the country music legend in song.
Adam Lee, Bill Kirchen, Hagfest, Jaime Wyatt, Joe Macheret, Joe's Truck Stop, Joey Allcorn, Josh Morningstar, Merle Haggard, Nathan Kalish, Otis Williams and the Midnight Cowboys, Southgate House Revival, The Tillers
In October of 2017, traditional country fans were all giddy to read that a proper museum for Merle Haggard was on the way in Nashville’s Lower Broadway district where similar museums for Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Patsy Cline hold court, finally giving fans of the Hag a Mecca to herd to after his death in 2016.
The Steel Woods have arrived ladies and gentlemen, and with them a whole new legacy of Southern rock to enjoy in the present tense, and look forward to for the foreseeable future. With ‘Old News’ they lay it all to bear, leave nothing to chance, throw out their best shots, and scream for rightful consideration.
“It’s an honor to be here tonight. This is my first time ever playing the inside Bridgestone,” Sturgill Simpson said before launching into the song, making reference to his notorious busking set streamed on the internet during the 2017 CMA Awards. Then he launched into “Red Headed Rounder.”
A legend of country music songwriting, and one that put the painful experience of divorce into words and song like none other has gone to the great honky tonk in the sky. Sanger D. Shafer, known popularly as Whitey Shafer, passed away on Saturday, January 12th according to reports.
Connie Smith, Dallas Frazier, George Strait, Jack Greene, John Michael Montgomery, Johnny Russell, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, Mo Bandy, Shawn Colvin, Whitey Shafer
Netflix has released the 5th Season of their hit original series The Ranch, and as per usual, the episodes are textured with lots of great songs from often overlooked and deserving country music artists, hand selected to help set the mood and theme of each scene.
Amanda Shires, Ashton Kutcher, BoDeans, Cactus Blossoms, Corb Lund, Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam, Eilen Jewell, Jeff Hahn, John Moreland, Mandi Collier, Merle Haggard, Ramsay Midwood, Sam Elliott, Sam Outlaw, The Ranch, Whitney Rose
If you’re 17-years-old, can’t wait to get out from under the repressive regime of your parents house, and generally hate country music, Keith Urban’s new album ‘Graffiti U’ is right for you. It’s almost as if in a maniacal obsession, Keith and his legion of SIXTEEN producers set out on a purposeful mission to make the worst country album they could.
Kayla Ray has deep Texas roots and comes by her classic country music sensibilities honestly. On Friday (5-4) she releases her sophomore album entitled ‘Yesterday and Me.’ Jason Eady is back as co-producer with Pat Manske. Kayla was kind enough to spare a little time to talk about her new project.
Brennen Leigh, Colton Hawkins, Courtney Patton, Drew Kennedy, Erin Enderlin, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, Johnny Gimble, Kayla Ray, Keith Whitley, Merle Haggard, Midnight River Choir, Noel McKay, Pat Manske, Yesterday and Me
WARNING: LANGUAGE – Somehow, inexplicably, Keith Urban has figured out how to take the most iconic guitar riff in the entire 70+ year history of country music, and make it sound like the last dying gasps of a faulty smoke detector smacked repeatedly with a sledge hammer, and slowly drowning it in a bucket of 7-year-old used motor oil.
Netflix released the latest season of its comedy drama ‘The Ranch’ on December 15th, and just like the first three seasons, country music plays a big role in both the dialog and the soundtrack. Apparently the creators want to make discovering the songs part of the fun of the series, because they keep their soundtrack close to the vest.
Amanda Shires, Blitzen Trapper, Brenda Lee, Brothers Osborne, Conway Twitty, Eric Church, Jason Isbell, Mandolin Orange, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Netflix, Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson, Sam Outlaw, Sara Watkins, Sturgill Simpson, The Cactus Blossoms, The Ranch, Thomas Rhett
It’s so rare to find something that truly engages you as a traditional country fan and is being done in the here and now, and that’s exactly what Tyler Mahan Coe is doing with country music history via his Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast. It’s incredible how relevant history can be when looking at it in the modern day perspective.