11/17/19 100 Proof

Today’s post is about centenarians.

“Whittling Fiddler” Violet Hensley turned 103 on October 21st, and she made appearances at the annual harvest festival at Silver Dollar City amusement park, as she has done for many decades. Here’s her write-up at the National Fiddler Hall of Fame: http://www.nationalfiddlerhalloffame.org/HallOfFame/violethensley.html

Viola Smith is the world’s oldest professional drummer, and she will turn 107 on November 29th. Here’s a recent article from Jazz Journal: https://jazzjournal.co.uk/2019/11/06/viola-smith-still-laying-it-down-at-107/

Genarians’ list of living celebrities born before 1918: https://www.genarians.com/1918-pre.html

Retired actor Kirk Douglas will turn 103 on December 9th. His extensive filmography includes westerns. Here’s a western song he sang in 1955 for the movie “Man Without A Star” https://youtu.be/Vf_UvzEFutM

Kirk Douglas and Johnny Cash costarred in the 1971 western “A Gunfight.” Here’s a clip from Kirk’s appearance on the Johnny Cash show leading up to that: https://youtu.be/vJAftp921Bo

Dame Vera Lynn is 102, and she first recorded “We’ll Meet Again” in 1939 (which many artists covered, including Johnny Cash) : https://youtu.be/h1xrofiEa4w

Actress and singer Julie Gibson passed away last month at age 106. She appeared in Three Stooges episodes, and in the 1944 western short film “Lucky Cowboy.”

New Orleans music legend Dave Bartholomew passed away this June at 100: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/23/698212277/dave-bartholomew-a-father-of-rock-and-roll-dead-at-100

Dave Bartholomew was most associated with Fats Domino, but he was also a prolific songwriter, and a few well-known country artists like Hank Williams, Jr, Jeannie C. Riley, and Doug Kershaw covered his songs. Bartholomew also wrote the “Ding-A-Ling” song that was a huge hit for Chuck Berry.

The Cavan Project has a list of some of the oldest artists to actually chart. The Zimmers had a member who claimed to be 100, though there was some controversy over his proof of age : http://www.thecavanproject.com/12-oldest-musicians-ever-charts/

Wikipedia list of music-related centenarians: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_centenarians_(musicians,_composers_and_music_patrons)

11/16/19 Biggest Artists Of All Time

I posted this link as part of my last post, but this deserves a closer look – Billboard Greatest Artists Of All Time: https://www.billboard.com/charts/greatest-of-all-time-artists

RIAA has a list of the top certifications for artists by album and by digital singles https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/?tab_active=top_tallies&ttt=TAA#search_section

The most surprising country name to miss the Billboard list of 125 artists is George Strait, who has the most Billboard country radio number one hits of all time, and who ranks number eleven on the RIAA all-genre top album certification units.

I’d have never guessed that Rascal Flatts would make a biggest artists list that George Strait didn’t.

Garth Brooks is one of the few country artists represented on the upper parts of these commercially-focused lists, but a lot of the classic rock and roll acts at or near the top of the list have at least some country influences.

The top three acts on the Billboard list are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John. Let’s take a quick look at a few of their country connections:

Wide Open Country, “Beatles Go Country: 10 Best Country Covers Of Your Favorite Beatles Songs” https://www.wideopencountry.com/beatles-country-covers/

Flood Magazine, “Why Aren’t You Listening To Ringo Starr’s Country Album From 1970?” http://floodmagazine.com/55173/why-arent-you-listening-to-ringo-starrs-country-album-from-1970/

Mick And The Boys, “Best Rolling Stones Country Songs” https://mickandtheboys.weebly.com/best-rolling-stones-country-songs.html

Rolling Stone, “Elton John: His 10 Best Country Songs” https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country-lists/elton-john-rocketman-best-country-songs-842933/dixie-lily-1974-842962/

11/14/19 New Albums This Week

I expect this to be a short list, but let’s see what I can find…

Lady Antebellum, Grayson Jenkins, Dos Borrachos (Roger Creager and Kevin Fowler), Wayne Hancock, Sam Knox, Jack Broadbent, McCrary Sisters (Christmas), Nicholas Allan Brumley, Samantha Leigh, Blackberry Smoke (live in Atlanta), Mitch Webb & The Swindles, Barker & Broski, Joe Henry, Bonnie Prince Billy, Jean Caffeine, Colin Gilmore & Nicolette Good, Luke Mitchem, Ransom Pier, The Broken String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters (live in Covington, KY), Diamonds and Whiskey, and Matt Robertson.

Peggy Lee is releasing a 50th anniversary edition of an album: https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/peggy-lee-is-that-all-there-is-digital-release/

Billboard’s “Decade In Charts” https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/chart-beat/8543492/decade-in-charts-2010s-country

Congratulations to Chris Stapleton and the rest for their achievements.

Billboard Greatest of All Time Artists includes a number of country acts, such as Garth Brooks at #20: https://www.billboard.com/charts/greatest-of-all-time-artists

My October-December Country Plus Showcase includes over 130 artists, so I’ll highlight five of those specifically today:

Johnny Falstaff has a classic honky tonk sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk82bZbLxzI&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=120

The recent Bloodshot Records compilation includes a lot of goodies for honky tonk fans. Check out “The Last Honky Tonk In Chicago” by Wild Earp and The Free For Alls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zx4RYjWP1w&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=93

Fowler & Creager are prolific creators of Texas party country. Since the Dos Borrachos album is out tomorrow, here’s a fun video for “Purdy Dang Bueno” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucn6GqM1Yo4&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=65&t=0s

If you like a good honky tonk sound that fits somewhere between Guns & Roses and Chris LeDoux, check out “Never Heard Of You” from Alec Davis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb5Y0mXEP4A&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=66

Morgans Mill hasn’t gotten much coverage elsewhere, either, so here’s the latest video from that band, “Crying Again” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWWGvA7HhkQ&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=119

11/13/19 CMA Awards Pre-Game

10:00 update – The Entertainer Of The Year is Garth Brooks ? I’m shocked. I thought it would very likely be Carrie Underwood with a possibility of Eric Church. I thought that Carrie would also win Female Vocalist, but that went to Kacey Musgraves, and I don’t know what to say about Eric Church winning neither album nor entertainer after the monster year he had. Anyway, another year’s awards are in the books.

9:45 update – Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves sang a duet. Bless Willie, he sounded rough, but I was so glad to see him on that stage. I have seen him several times in the last few years, and hope to see him many more. Also, I should mention how cool it was to see Sailor Jerri get air time a bit earlier in the show.

9:40 update – Luke Combs wins male vocalist- no surprise, because he had a gigantic year.

9:30 update – I guessed wrong. I expected the album to be either Eric Church or Carrie Underwood, whichever one didn’t win entertainer. Instead, Maren Morris won album. Go figure. Also, that was a neat-looking double neck guitar behind Dolly Parton. It looked like maybe the lower part of the instrument was a banjo ?

8:35 update – Man, is it just me or has the pace of the show slowed to a crawl in the last half hour or so ?

7:55 update – Jenee Fleenor won musician of the year before the show – big win for her. Ashley McBryde won new artist, but do check out all the new artist nominees, because this was actually a good group. I’m glad Chris Stapleton got to be on the show at all, but he was just in a backup role for a song from Pink’s album. It did sound good, though. Here’s how that collaboration came about https://youtu.be/yO2zLn175iY

7:23 update – very nice opening medley & cool to see Loretta Lynn in the audience

I don’t plan to do a full play by play, but I will edit this post with any comments on the awards at the top, so you don’t have to scroll through the whole post every time. The CMA gave out a couple of awards early: https://www.cmaworld.com/the-53rd-annual-cma-awards-reveals-early-winners-live-on-good-morning-america/

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction, and if you had told me a year ago that the biggest song in all of music in 2019 would feature Billy Ray Cyrus and win awards from both the CMA and the BET hip hop awards, I’d have laughed until I passed out.

Cowboy/western themes have a very long history in hip hop, though the early efforts were not promoted as “country.” See Trickeration’s “Western Gangster Town” from 1980 and Kurtis Blow’s “Way Out West” from 1980 as just a couple of prominent examples. If you want an example that really plays up the cowboy theme in a way that incorporates “country and western” elements to a similar degree as “Old Town Road,” see the Jonzun Crew’s 1983 video for “Space Cowboy” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axrlhj5zbds&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-V1Zm3r_8zuhMVhWlU0O00&index=2&t=0s

My October-December Country Plus Showcase has swelled to 129 artists and counting. Here’s a look at just a few of the individual selections:

George Strait’s lyric video for “The Weight Of The Badge” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABsGojg_Iqo&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=50&t=0s

EmiSunshine’s haunting murder ballad “Scarecrow” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldb2od9yfOg&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=76

Fort Frances, “Desert Hotel” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5juXQ0nTd4&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=96

Back to the CMA Awards, I suggest to my readers to play at least one Brad Paisley song today. When it was announced that he was leaving his long-time position as host, I posted “The Best Thing That I Had Going,” and I will post that song again now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDc5BTShoTg&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_STDPd0CJaA3dFiEWiiT4R&index=175&t=0s

The Boot posted a “Peek Inside 2019 CMA Awards Rehearsals (Pictures): https://theboot.com/2019-cma-awards-rehearsal-photos/

The Texas scene is still cooking right along, as usual. I plan to attend the Texas Music Scene tapings Monday for Stoney Larue and Josh Weathers, and the Austin City Limits television episode this weekend includes Colter Wall and Kane Brown, and I attended both of those tapings.

11/12/19 The Uncomfortable History Of Medicine Shows and Emmett Miller

For good or ill, medicine shows were influential during country music’s formative years. This Texas State Historical Association article details the influence on Texas artists specifically: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xbm03

Folk Streams article, “About Medicine Shows” is “Adapted from Brooks McNamara’s book, Step Right Up (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1976: pp. 130-155).http://www.folkstreams.net/film-context.php?id=136

“A typical medicine show might last two hours and was made up of eight or 10 selections, including two or three lectures and their accompanying pitches.”

Grand Ole Opry shows to this day are also about two hours, often with 8-10 acts, including comedy acts, with two or three advertisement segments between clusters of acts.

Chris Bouchillon recorded a funny parody of medicine shows in 1927 in his signature talking blues style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbkzralNqFc&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09OfzcFwcXG8kIdG-WVMaCQ&index=13&t=0s

Now, on to Emmett Miller. On one hand, he influenced some of the most iconic performers in the history of country music. On the other hand, he was a blackface vaudeville performer, who likely didn’t even consider himself a country singer. Just how huge was the guy’s influence ? From NativeGround books, “Emmett Miller – The Vaudeville Star Who Helped Shape Country Music by Charles Wolfe” https://nativeground.com/emmett-miller-vaudeville-star-helped-shape-country-music-charles-wolfe/

“How major? Try Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan, The Callahan Brothers, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard. Hank Williams had Miller’s old 78’s in his personal record collection; Merle Haggard dedicated his I Love Dixie Blues album to Miller.”

Here’s a video of Merle Haggard talking about Emmett Miller: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-s-1nKQGNY

It’s tricky to cover a “politically incorrect” part of country music history such as the influence of blackface performers, but history is history. There’s a site called “Blackface” which traces the long history of the problematic practice: http://black-face.com/

Here’s Emmett Miller’s recording of “Anytime,” the first recording of the song in 1924, which was a hit for Eddy Arnold in 1948: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWiXztFPvoE

Here’s Emmett Miller’s version of “Lovesick Blues” (not the very first version of the song, but you can hear the influence of Emmett’s vocal style on Hank’s version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBkxnw6ONiY

Here’s Emmett Miller’s version of “Right or Wrong,” a song that George Strait had a hit with in 1983 and named an album after: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXo0n7TZq9M

Last year, Dom Flemons wrote a song called “Good Old Days” about Emmett Miller, and I’ll close with that one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBd0JorCQQo

Veterans Day Weekend 2019

Wide Open Country, “10 Country Stars Who Are Veterans” https://www.wideopencountry.com/10-country-stars-who-are-veterans/

Here are some lists of songs to honor Veterans Day:

Nash Country Daily http://www.nashcountrydaily.com/2016/11/11/in-honor-of-veterans-day-11-of-our-favorite-country-songs-that-pay-tribute-to-members-of-the-u-s-military/

Time Out https://www.timeout.com/newyobest-veterans-day-songsday-songs

Spin Ditty https://spinditty.com/playlists/Songs-About-Soldiers-and-Veterans

USA Today has a list of restaurants with free food or other special deals for veterans on Veterans Day https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2019/11/08/veterans-day-2019-deals-discounts-dunkin-starbucks-applebees/4168486002/

I’ll add that Black’s BBQ in San Marcos,TX provides free meals for veterans every Veterans Day. The restaurant also hosts live country music three days a week.

11/7/19 The Megapost, Including This Week’s New Music

Here are the new albums this week:

Luke Combs, Wade Bowen (Christmas), Clint Black, William Clark Green (live album from Cheatham Street Warehouse, which is right here in San Marcos, Texas), Ned Ledoux, Ronnie Bowman, Alyssa Micaela, The Farm Hands, Sarah Lee Langford, JM Stevens, Shelley King, Tj Broscoff’s Southern Satellite, Tracy Byrd (live album from Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth), Steve Moakler, Larry Fleet, Radio Company, Raelyn Nelson Band, Craig Wayne Boyd, Cameron Chudy, The Revelers, Philip B. Price, Joanna Connor, Jerry Leger & The Situation, Josh Kerr, Laura Cox, Josienne Clarke, Gracie Carol, Mount Eerie and Julie Doiron, Fruition, Chandler Holt, Fort Frances, The Hackles, and Bloodshot Records compilation “Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots.”

My October-December Country Plus Showcase features fully a hundred artists: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A

Recent additions include the truly spectacular Lego video from Chris Stapleton, which is also the current header on my list “A Few Good Tunes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zRVuDKxhX8&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09OfzcFwcXG8kIdG-WVMaCQ&index=2&t=0s

Here’s a Rolling Stone article about the creation of this unique video: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/chris-stapleton-lego-music-video-chris-pratt-909025

Karen Waldrup is a great example of an artist who has built her following largely through social media. I saw her at CMA Fest a couple of years ago. Her new song “Me Again” features William Michael Morgan, whom we also saw at a CMA Fest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-KtGYz5j84&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=30

Grayson Jenkins is one of the rich crop of young Kentucky acts who deserves to be on everyone’s radar, and here’s “Cowboy Dream” from his upcoming EP (and Nicholas Jamerson in the video is another artist with a strong following in Kentucky): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrxnq7xLpP4&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=29

Cowboy Troy is best known for “hick hop,” but he also does some traditional-leaning material like this lovely new song, “Dance Floor Romance” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2gCXVpK4Xk&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A&index=61

Luke Combs has tremendous momentum, and much more radio support than the other “90s revivalists,” and the songs he has already released from the new album are very good. I’m curious to see how well this album fares in terms of pure album sales. So far this year, in terms of actual sales (not counting streaming), the highest total for country albums released this year is just 132,900 by George Strait. Thanks to Roughstock for reporting the data: http://roughstock.com/news/2019/11/44038-top-10-country-albums-pure-sales-chart

Think about how much time, money, and effort goes into creating an album and marketing it, compared to the tiny sales numbers that most new albums generate. Those of you who are bluegrass fans should check out the Darin & Brooke Aldridge album listed at the bottom of that chart.

I realize that one shortcoming of my “sampler platter” style country plus lists is that “one per artist” cannot cover whole albums. Erin Enderlin’s album is a good example of an album that works better when heard as a whole, rather than picking any individual song. Still, I hope that people who hear my lists will discover artists they like, then investigate the artists’ whole catalogs, and buy the albums and best of all, go to the shows.

The CMA Awards are next week, and presenters and performers have been announced: https://cmaawards.com/performers-presenters/

It looks like a pretty good list overall. I see names like Janie Fricke, Pam Tillis, and Kathy Mattea among the presenters. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen them in the spotlight. I’m a little surprised that Tanya Tucker and Crystal Gayle aren’t also involved somehow, since both released new albums this year for the first time in a long time. (EDIT: The CMA just posted that Tanya and Crystal will perform. I mean, they literally posted this about an hour after I wrote that I wished those two artists could be included. How cool is that ?) I expect it to be a huge night for Carrie Underwood. As a fun fact, I was pulling for Bo Bice on American Idol the year the she won, because Bo left his job working at a music store in Birmingham to compete, and my first cousin then got the vacated position.

One of the entertainer nominees this year is Eric Church, who expressed his dislike of the steel guitar in a Rolling Stone interview last year. Just for fun, here’s a thread on a steel guitar message board about country artists over the years who dislike the instrument: https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=351001&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Here are links to many of my YouTube lists:

Today is the introduction of my newest list, Country Polka: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09gKahRkf7C-L1Ju0kdM6_V Hank Williams, Hee Haw, and Weird Al Yankovic are on the same list, and that probably doesn’t happen very often. Jimmy Sturr won 18 Grammy awards during the 24 years that the Grammy awards had a polka category. Willie Nelson collaborated with Jimmy Sturr many times, but you’ll also find Charlie Daniels, Mel Tillis, and the Oak Ridge Boys on Jimmy Sturr’s albums. The Hee Haw-Lawrence Welk CounterRevolution Polka was a backlash against the “rural purge,” and is a cool slice of country music history.

A Few Good Tunes is a small list that I change around: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09OfzcFwcXG8kIdG-WVMaCQ

200 songs, September 2019 Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_FemLPcAnqZM3UUNrx8AUP

100 Trucking Songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_eYTC_yZ-jG8V3Y-oJeM70

200 songs, Western Music Before 1960: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09fOAMoP5dQFLW-de24vp5P

100 songs, Western Music 1960-1979: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-zwHDHQlgGhLMsKG4EzqjG

130 Honky Tonk songs, from 1916-present: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-1yoTDTQV3Jrn6Oe8MaXef

75 Square Dance songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08WEniLfJ754gkbf3FdvpQo

100 Funny & Weird: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_EK_Dl_W92YMWSGoYgM2yt

100 Odds and Ends, but Mostly Odds: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_pvQKkaTWk_mMuZBq0AHJC

300 Interesting Instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-6BHcuXYX13cajGpJpKl8Z

45 songs, Island Country Vibe: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09gcNdHaAXRxhYc8-scNOUi

16 Marching Band country performances: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-U2lSP1Y7xa5uzpwPC_xu5

20 Bluegrass Covers: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08ALquMHcr8MRHspvPZAd_4

100+ acts I saw or met during CMA week this June: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-WbuM-pNw3IKPAU7nc4Ele

150 songs, Hip Hop Meets Country Plus (I actually lost three of my dozen YouTube subscribers when I created this list.): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-V1Zm3r_8zuhMVhWlU0O00

Ameripolitan Awards voting is now open, so make your voices heard. There are lots of good artists to learn about and choose from: https://www.ameripolitan.com/

August Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08us-o88qKzw1LmH8Xsuf8q

July Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_p3uv1wJwiGcf7DPaCfMRg

June Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-wdHepjkgDCr8-Sp2DsYTJ

May Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09cdworoiMzVB8_CdCxVZJ-

Mar-Apr Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-bwAXPAD9vVn5DA_X-Xhka

Jan-Feb Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-kwTHYUZwwwF1RGBkE2CP1

2018 Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08rh-5bkVOnbB0uP9XV09XX

2017 Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08t6N9eIxaDWm-2YP-niDXa

2015-2016 Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-uqAS0M4LlvpR7zBwLC4js

Halloween: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_xX_BwEull5byladrYInML

Virginia Mountains: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_33VovZTkvKF_TwzC3BcRd

Coal Songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08yWYJ2Sr_UeqY6DZxsxFzM

Snakesss: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_4c2rJLSHdU1JkcRSDLwS4

Southern Rock Plus, 2015-2019: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_bYlp0JhEwQrLHaURsl7ER

International Country Music 2018: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_3cF48cNpjzUaypVVInUia

Songs Written By Chris Stapleton: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_STDPd0CJaA3dFiEWiiT4R

Staplemania (Chris Stapleton singing, playing, backup vocals, etc): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-zKPI5u39k8hklw0eEy-P0

Religious & Inspirational: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09Sb75VzDdfRPjiNtElF0zA

2017-2018 CMA Week Meet & Greets: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ08QBqY-maPhaX0Zdh59dQkg

Christmas: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-j9NjX4777a9nZ97D5gVFK

The International Western Music Association Awards are next week in Albuquerque. Here’s the schedule: http://www.westernmusic.org/events

11/6/19 Hannah, Honey, Open That Door

Mel Tillis wrote “Honey (Open That Door), first recorded by Webb Pierce in 1962: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8syqQw5_-QU

Ricky Skaggs had a huge hit with it in 1983: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3K4ZzTlwLU

Pam Tillis and Ray Benson released a version in 2002, on an album covering her father’s songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrhxODT__pU

Here’s a look back to a much older song, “Hannah, Won’t You Open The Door” from 1904: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCgiF3klVS8

This was covered by many artists:

Pete Hampton and Laura Bowman covered the song, and it was re-released on a Bear Family Box Set a few years ago called “Black Europe, Vol. 4 – The First Comprehensive Documentation of the Sounds of Black People in Europe Pre-1927.” Pete Hampton passed away in 1916. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHWGp6uj8ZE

Chris Bouchillon is best known as the father of the “Talking Blues,” but he covered “Hannah” in 1926: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTUh8SNf9CA

The McGee Brothers were one of the first country music duos, and performed for decades: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/sam-kirk-mcgee-mn0001272419/biography

Here’s their version from 1927: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUMqWzijfpw

British Music Hall artist Ella Retford also recorded the song: https://monologues.co.uk/musichall/Songs-H/Hannah-Open-That-Door.htm

11/5/19 Introducing The Trucking Songs List

In our detail, truck-driving country refers to cargo-hauling trucks rather than pickup trucks like the one I drive. Although these sorts of songs were most popular in the 1960s and 1970s, there were such songs as far back as 1939, and my list starts with some of the early efforts to provide some context. I do include some modern songs, too.

Although I include many of the “trucking hits” that are on everyone’s lists, I also include some lesser-known gems: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_eYTC_yZ-jG8V3Y-oJeM70

Here are some country legends included on my list that you might not immediately think of when you think of trucking songs: Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Jim & Jesse, Kitty Wells, Minnie Pearl, Mac Wiseman, and Roy Rogers.

11/4/19 Funny and Weird, Odds and Ends

I recently expanded my “Funny and Weird” list to one hundred songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_EK_Dl_W92YMWSGoYgM2yt

The list is not just country, but there’s definitely some funny country stuff in the mix.

My “Odds and Ends” list is somewhat similar in scope, but is a different set of a hundred songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_pvQKkaTWk_mMuZBq0AHJC

Of course, I’m also constantly adding to my October-December Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-tR16mK6iahWJja7WOZA5A

Some of the recent additions to that list are from Micky & The Motorcars, The Grascals, Kylie Frey, Erin Enderlin, and Phoenix Asteroid.