A once-in-a-lifetime event happened on January 12th, 2019 when a wide-ranging assemblage of talent from country music and beyond came together at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to Willie Nelson. Called ‘Willie: Life and Songs of an American Outlaw,’ it’s being released on CD and DVD.
Unless you were there in person, you missed it. But now we’ll all get the opportunity to see the tribute concert that transpired on April 6th, 2017, when a hefty list of musical talent all assembled at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to the legendary Merle Haggard.
Aaron Lewis, Ben Haggard, Billy Gibbons, Blackbird Presents, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Chris Janson, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr., Jake Owen, Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Dunn, Sheryl Crow, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, The Avett Brothers, Toby Keith, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
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.
Billy Joe Shaver wasn’t just a musical legend and icon, or an “Outlaw” as we like to call the artists who work outside of the Nashville system. He was a hero, in both music, and in life. What is a hero? A hero is someone who illustrates a level of bravery well beyond what most would be willing to.
The heart and soul of the songs and words of the American country music Outlaw movement has passed on. Billy Joe Shaver, with only three fingers on his right hand and an 8th grade education left an indelible mark on country music that will never be worn down.
Charley Pride will be the 2020 recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award handed out by the Country Music Association. To be awarded during the 54th Annual CMA Awards set to transpire on Wednesday, November 11th from Nashville and broadcast on ABC.
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.
The writer of “Whiskey River,” and a legend among legends in Texas music and beyond, Johnny Bush has died at the age of 85. The Texas native should have been a superstar, and a top name of the Outlaw era in country music. But right as his career as a solo performer started to take off, he began to lose his voice.
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.’
It was one of the coolest things in country music while it lasted. But one of the cool things about The Time Jumpers is nothing lasts forever aside from the band itself. Nashville’s Western Swing house band has been entertaining crowds with interchangeable players and keeping traditions alive since 1998.
3rd and Lindsley, Andy Reiss, Asleep at the Wheel, Brad Albin, Jeff Taylor, Joe Spivey, Kenny Sears, Larry Franklin, Miranda Lambert, Paul Franklin, The Time Jumpers, Vince Gill, Wendy Moten, Willie Nelson, “Ranger Doug” Green
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
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.
As a broadcasting legend and award-winning songwriter, Bill Mack brought the beauty and love of country music into many homes and big rig cabs for many decades, and has now passed on to that big radio booth in the sky. He died Friday morning (7-31) at the age of 88 due to underlying health conditions complicated by COVID-19.
In a recent interview, Willie Nelson said he has a Roger Miller tribute album on the way. He also told the story of how he once turned down recording “The Gambler.” Written by Don Schlitz, it became the signature song for Kenny Rogers when Kenny released it in 1978.
Italian film composer Ennio Morricone passed away on Monday (7-6) at the age of 91. And though he will will always be remembered as the definitive mastermind behind the sounds and sonic imagination of the Spaghetti Western, it would be criminal to overlook the influence Morricone had on American country music.
Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg will have a new collaboration coming out in a couple of weeks, and this time it may not just be about the favorite pastime of the two superstars of puffing on pipes, but about something deeper. “Man we got a song coming out in a couple of weeks, how ’bout it? How ’bout it!” Snoop says.
Just like all the black squares that co-opted the Black Lives Matters hashtags and sowed chaos on Tuesday, the “Country Music Accountability Sheet” should be taken down because it is directly detrimental to the cause, nonfactual at times, dangerously misleading, and destructive to the careers of artists.
The legendary performance of Waylon Jennings at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on August 12th, 1978 was finally reissued to the public on May 15th in DVD form. Now it has also finally been made available On Demand on Amazon via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Keeping up with all the releases in the country and roots realm is hard enough. COVID-19 has made it even more difficult with numerous delays and postponements on big titles, along with many artists waiting to announce their new records with all the uncertainty in the marketplace. But there are still many important records coming up in 2020.
Willie Nelson’s latest album First Rose of Spring has been postponed until July 3rd due to Coronavirus concerns (it was supposed to be released April 24th), but he’s celebrating Mother’s Day by releasing his cover of Johnny Paycheck’s infamous song “I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised.”
Friday, April 24th was supposed to be a big day in country music, with the long-anticipated release of the first Dixie Chicks record in 14 years called ‘Gaslighter,’ and a much-anticipated new record from Willie Nelson called ‘First Rose of Spring’ leading a stacked day of new album releases.
Organized by Blackbird Presents who’ve put together a host of these tribute shows over the years, usually if you can’t swing a ticket, you miss your opportunity to see so much country music star power assembled in one place. But for this particular event, footage from the tribute was compiled, and is premiering on A&E Easter Sunday.
A&E, Amanda Shaires, Chris Stapleton, Derek Trucks, Don Was, Ed Helms, Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, George Strait, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Lyle Lovett, Margo Price, Mickey Raphael, Nora Jones, Ray Benson, Sturgill Simpson, The Little Willies, Willie Nelson
Western Swing legend and frontman of Asleep At The Wheel Ray Benson is the latest country artist to test positive for the Coronavirus. The 69-year-old who lives in the Austin area said on Tuesday morning (3-31) he’s been feeling tired for the last 10 days. He was tested Monday and was positive for COVID-19.