Cal Smith, Jim Shumate Pass Away; Tony Brown Charged with Domestic Assault; Randy Travis Expected to Return Home

Juli Thanki | October 11th, 2013

  • Bluegrass fiddler and former Blue Grass Boy Jim Shumate has passed away. He was 91.
  • Randy Travis’ rep says that the singer is expected to return home today after months of recovery and physical therapy after being hospitalized and treated for a stroke and congestive heart failure.
  • Remember Jeff Carson? Now he’s a police officer, but he hasn’t stopped singing; watch this video and learn the strangely catchy Franklin Police Department Non-Emergency Line jingle.
  • Nate Rau of The Tennessean wrote a feature on the solid Civil War compilation Divided and United.
  • Pete Anderson talks about his new record in Peter Cooper’s newest Tennessean column.
  • Win a chance to co-write with Ashley Monroe.
  • Grady Smith of Entertainment Weekly praises Lindi Ortega’s Tin Star.
  • Trombone Shorty and his eponymous foundation for music education were featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.
  • In a battle of the “country-bluegrass hybrids,” Ken Tucker gives the edge to James King’s Three Chords and the Truth over Alan Jackson’s The Bluegrass Album.
  • Mary Gauthier has just about finished work on a new record.
  • David Bromberg played a Fender Airstream Session; watch the video here.
  • Will Hoge on the success of “Strong,” his song that was used in a Chevy commercial: It would be nice to finally have a breakout moment. But we sold a hundred-thousand copies of the record at this point, which is far and above anything that we’ve ever done before, and anything that I’d probably have even hoped for. And it’s just getting started. It feels like there’s a lot of excitement about the record and about that song, and yeah man, I’d love to have one of those big obnoxious radio songs. It’d be awesome. 
  • Amos Lee chats with The 615’s Chuck Dauphin about new album Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.
  • John Prine, Loretta Lynn, Corb Lund, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Shovels and Rope are all in the lineup for this year’s Stagecoach Festival. Headlining: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and Luke Bryan.
  • The BBC announced its plans to launch digital music service Playlister.
  • Actor/musician Hugh Laurie to The Tennessean’s Dave Paulson: Hank Williams was always a hero of mine. There’s something about what appears to be the simplicity of what he does. It’s so deceptive, because anyone else tries to do it, and suddenly, they realize it isn’t that simple. Or at least, simple isn’t the same as easy. Robert Johnson, I think, is similar, in that people think, ‘Oh yeah, I know what he’s doing there.’ Well, no. It just so happens that nobody else can do it. Nobody can do Robert Johnson, and nobody can do Hank Williams. There’s something about guys like that. It’s unique, and all one can do, I suppose, is pay a kind of service to the songs themselves, rather than the artist.  
  1. BRUCE
    October 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    R.I.P. Cal. I can remember listening to “Country Bumpkin” as a boy and never forgot it. A great song that features both a good story-line and a fantastic voice.

  2. Paul W Dennis
    October 12, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Cal was a great singer and entertainer

    for more on his career see

  3. BRUCE
    October 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    That was a great read Paul. Thanks for posting.

  4. Luckyoldsun
    October 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I never knew anything about Cal Smith except for “Country Bumpkin.” Then, a few years ago some foreign label called “Hux” put out a deluxe single-disc compilation on him and I bought it. It was amazingly good. Epic American Gothic saga songs; sharp politically incorrect takes on life–all done with a droll delivery that made you feel like he lived what he sang about.

    There’s a lesson there that while the “country legends”–the Hanks and Buck and Johnny and George and Merle–get all the attention, there was a lot of equally great stuff put out by “sub”-Hall-of-Fame artists!

  5. BRUCE
    October 13, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Lucky,your second paragraph should be framed. Can’t agree more.

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