11/22/17 The Juker

Apparently, National Jukebox Day is a thing, obscure as it is. For the second straight year, “Tennessee Whiskey” topped the TouchTunes Jukebox chart (all-genre): Don’t Rock the Jukebox…    Here are links to the top 10 lists for 2016 , 2015 , and 2014 .

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11/20/17 My Christmas List

I know I should wait until after Thanksgiving for this post, but I had a little time this morning… The only 2017 addition so far is Mudbone’s “Christmas Whiskey,” which works well as a country song, no matter the season. I included a variety of genres on my Christmas List .

I lead off with Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops, because my father volunteered as an usher one season for them many decades ago when he lived in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  I was a trumpet player in the school band in my youth, and I enjoyed playing this song.

11/19/17 Looking Back at 2015-2016

Although this “blog” began the first of this year, I started making YouTube playlists in 2015. When I looked back at Country & Western Music 2015-2016 , I noticed that a few of my links no longer worked. After I cut those from the 200-song list, I trimmed the list some more,  down to 150 songs. My goal with the 2017 New Country Showcase is to similarly showcase a variety of music that didn’t receive top 40 country airplay. Although most of the songs are in fairly random order, I’ve grouped a few blocks of songs with similar themes. For instance, there’s a block of trucker songs, honky tonk songs, drinking songs, cowboy songs, etc.

11/15/17 Resurrecting the Video Star

I’m showing my age here, but I was a kid when MTV came along, and “Video Killed the Radio Star” ushered in the era of music videos in all genres. At some point in the 1990s, low-quality reality TV largely pushed music off the screen. Fast forward to the present, and streaming is greatly impacting the way the public consumes music. There are still radio stars, such as they are. Video stars ? Not so much. A video can really enhance a song, though. Here’s a look at eight in 2017: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers – Santa Fe     Robert Mizzell – Two Rooms and a Kitchen   Nikki Lane – Jackpot   Marty Stuart – Time Don’t Wait  Sunny Sweeney – Bottle By My Bed   Bobby Osborne – Kentucky Morning  Whiskey Gentry – Dead Ringer   Steel Woods – Straw In The Wind 

11/14/17 Old Folks

It’s amazing that these artists who have accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the world of country music are still creating quality music at over 80. Some of the older artists represented on my 2017 New Country Showcase include Bobby Bare (82),  Charley Pride (83), Glen Campbell (who passed away at 81), Willie Nelson (84), Bobby Osborne (turns 86 next month), and Mac Wiseman (92). To put this in proper perspective, the Bristol Sessions were in 1927. Here’s a great duet from last year from Loretta Lynn (who is now 85) and Willie Nelson: Lay Me Down . With all the talk of politics and divisiveness nowadays, it’s refreshing to see these all-time greats find common ground through music.

11/9/17 CMA Highlights Recap

Yes, country music was represented at the CMA, believe it or not. The Willie Nelson & Glen Campbell duet won for music event. One of my favorite shows in Nashville is the weekly residency New Monday at the Station Inn, and Glen Campbell fans especially should check that out. The last time I was there, Ashley Campbell and Carl Jackson performed together…

How awesome was Alan Jackson to close the show ? The one concert that most inspired me to flip a switch from being a passive music listener to someone who attends live music events regularly was Alan Jackson (with openers including Chris Stapleton) in Panama City Beach, Florida a couple years ago. And speaking of Chris, there’s a  possibility that he could top the weekly country album chart with three different albums in 2017, so good for the CMA to recognize him, even if radio does not. Miranda Lambert has been featuring the very most traditional country songs from her recent album as of late. Carrie Underwood put her soaring vocals to great use, and while some might tire of Miranda and Carrie “winning everything” over other women for the last decade, performances like last night prove why they deserve to be at or near the top.

Anyway, for the most part, I like supporting little acts as much as the big acts, if for no other reasons than that they’re generally closer, cheaper, and appreciate the support more. I think my brother and I were the only two people who stayed for the whole three-hour show for a recent act that was pretty darn good.  My 2017 New Country Showcase is closing in on 200 songs. I was sorry to have to remove a couple of good ones, because they showed up as broken links on the list.