Back when I was researching and writing my book Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, at least one friend misheard what I was doing and thought I was dedicating years of work to Kenny Rogers. There were a lot of polite, puzzled “Is that so’s” and ‘How ’bout that’s.” These two artists strike so many people as so very different that they […]
Pulling off a musical biography well is not easy. Trust me; I’m spending much of my own time these days working on one, (on roots music A&R and publishing pioneer Ralph Peer). From short profile articles to full-length books, there are questions for the writer—focus, depth, audience, and how to go about it. I have […]
Country fans have long since noticed (and sometimes complained) that the ACM and CMA awards shows feature pretty much the same star acts and hits of the year. That was hardly the case back in the mid-1960s, as pointed out in the Country Hall of Fame and Museum’s major new exhibition, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, […]
Keeping up with the sheer volume of new releases that might be of interest to people reading this column is always a challenge, practically impossible, and while I don’t plan to do it often, I figure that one way to play some catch-up here is just to line up some brief comments on recent releases […]
Owen and Harold Bradley’s Quonset Hut, the first Music Row studio, was a place where, circa 1966, Tammy Wynette could be recording her breakthrough “Apartment #9” in one room, and Bob Dylan recording cuts from Blonde on Blonde in another, while an unknown named Kristofferson emptied the ashtrays for both. But then, people tend to forget that […]
If you’re fundamentally or primarily a fan of country music, or Americana, or bluegrass, as many reading these words will be, you might well not be familiar with the name “Janiva Magness.” (For one thing, her first name’s pronounced JAN-i-vah, more like “Canada” than “Geneva.”) This, separate genre worlds being what they are, despite the […]
Pssst. I have some shocking news to reveal: For some time, apparently, there have been some points along the roots music spectrum where the talent to amuse is commonly relegated to secondary status as less significant, less special, and even less demanding of technical proficiency than bringing audiences to tears, working them into a lather, […]
It’s beyond me when a new “musical year” begins these days, but happy New Year. The start of a new calendar year here in Nashville does have a certain distinctive local flavor to it; performers who’ve been out on the road, suddenly back home for a Christmastime break, show up at events and get-togethers around […]
Working as I do in both journalism and music history, from time to time I’ve had the opportunity (and also the working need, truthfully) to interview the immediate families of some of country and roots music’s most celebrated figures, sometimes getting to know them outside of that defined situation. It occurs to me again and […]
2011 has not been a huge year for new music by many women on the country music charts, a situation that’s been much noted, often with understandable dismay. The most-heard hits by female vocalists have tended either to have come from the mixed male/female group arena or to be yet another single pulled from older […]
- Leeann Ward: It was Brad Paisley and its on his Christmas album.
- luckyoldsun: I seem to recall hearing a recording of the Christmas song "Walking in the Winter Wonderland" where the line "In …
- Leeann Ward: For a slow new Christmas music year, the announcement of the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP and the Christmas tracks by …
- chris: That voice singing with Jim Ed is younger sister Bonnie, also a member of the Browns.
- Kev: I saw Jim Ed at the Opry in June and he sounded great then. I certainly look forward to …
- Delica Smith: I've had the blessings of following Mr. JimEd and Helen Cornelius since the mid 70s. I was a amateur …
- Inell: I meant to say you still sound as great as you did when you sang Pop O Top
- Inell: Oh Jim this is an awesome song I will be adding this to the collection of your other records I …
- Arlene: I couldn't agree more with Bonnie Raitt's description of Mavis Staples as a live performer. Forget St. John's wort-- …
- Tom: "...lucinda williams recorded enough material for another album" - better late than never this strike of wisdom.