There may not be a more recognizable song from the catalog of country music in the last 35 years than “Friends in Low Places” performed by Garth Brooks. Garth may have popularized it, but like so many of country music’s most legendary compositions, someone else wrote it.
For all of you Johnny Cash fans out there, there’s been a bevy of release and announcement activity lately you should be aware of—some of it newer stuff, some of it old, and all of it worthy to be on your radar. Here’s a roundup.
Sturgill Simpson just wrapped up a stint of three sold-out nights at the Mother Church of Country Music in Nashville, also known as The Ryman Auditorium, and the word from the concerts was a good time was had and great music was made. But at one point during the Halloween show, stuff got a little rowdy.
One of the most revered and recognizable voices in American pop and country music has passed away. The “boy from down in the boondocks,” Billy Joe Royal, died on Tuesday, October 6th at his home in Marietta, North Carolina. The Valdosta, Georgia native and world renown singer was 73-years-old. According to reports, he passed away quietly in his sleep.
“Moving to New Zealand is career suicide!” was one of the responses country music singer/songwriter Tami Neilson received when she announced she was leaving her native Canada to live in a place where country music was generally synonymous with two words: achy and breaky. But after 5 years of being in a long-distance relationship with her Kiwi boyfriend (now husband) it was time for them to finally live in the same hemisphere.
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
Tragic news out of Nashville where where prolific and beloved bass player Henry Strzelecki has passed away after being struck by a vehicle while out for a walk Monday, December 22nd. Strzelecki experienced severe injuries including major head trauma in the accident, and was in a coma over the holidays. He eventually passed away from the injuries on December 30th.
Baker Knight, Bob Dylan, Boxcar Willie, Charlie Rich, Chet Atkins, dead, Elvis, George Strait, Hee Haw, Henry Strzelecki, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Long Tall Texan, Loretta Lynn, Louis Armstrong, Lyle Lovett, Nashville Superpickers, obituary, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, The Four Flickers, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Bob Montgomery, most famous for being the teenage friend, songwriter, and duo partner of Buddy Holly, and for writing iconic country songs like “Back in Baby’s Arms” by Patsy Cline, and “Misty Blue” recorded by Eddy Arnold, Wilma Burgess, and many others, has died according to his son and fellow musician Kevin Montgomery. He was 77-years-old.
Billie Jo Spears, Bob Montgomery, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Charlie Rich, Cliff Richard, dead, Del Reeves, died, Dorothy Moore, Eddy Arnold, Flatt & Scruggs, Kevin Montgomery, obituary, Owen Bradley, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Wilma Burgess
Take the West Coast country coolness of Dwight Yoakam, the haunting tremolo of Roy Orbison, the sweaty rhythms of Los Lobos, and what you get is Miami’s indescribable and enigmatic throwback old-school all-things-to-all-people house band for America known as The Mavericks. “In Time” might be the best album in their nearly 25-year history, and its one of the best put out so far in 2013.
On October 4th, The Lost Notebook of Hank Williams will be released. As far back as October of 2008, I’ve had serious questions about the origins of these songs, the ethics behind the project, and the artists chosen to flesh out songs that do not include music. Now I have a new concern: why we are being given wrong information.