Country Radio Returns to NYC; Willie Nelson, Jerry Douglas to Play New Orleans Jazz Fest; Album Releases

Juli Thanki | January 22nd, 2013

  • New York City has its first country radio station in 17 years: Cumulus launched “Nash 94.7” on Monday. An excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article on the new station: In addition to building a NASH-branded network of stations, Cumulus also plans to launch a NASH country lifestyle magazine, through Modern Luxury, the magazine company it operates…The company is also exploring ways to bring the NASH country brand to cable television. Original radio content produced by Cumulus for the brand will also be sold to non-Cumulus stations under the NASH brand. 
  • Download tracks from Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Amy Cook, and more.
  • Omnivore Recordings posted “Sunshine Boy,” a track from the forthcoming Townes Van Zandt collection, Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972.
  • Jana Kramer and Brantley Gilbert are engaged.
  • Holly Williams kicks off her U.S. tour on Thursday. On January 30, she’ll appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
  • Thompson Square will release its next album, Just Feels Good, on March 26. Check out the track listing here.
  • Willie Nelson, Little Big Town, The Mavericks, Jerry Douglas, Martha Redbone, Pokey LaFarge, and the Del McCoury Band with Preservation Hall Jazz Band are a few of the acts scheduled to perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz Fest. Here’s the full lineup.
  • Peter Cooper writes about Jerry Lee Lewis’ Opry debut in January of 1973.
  • Planners for The National Blues Museum are targeting a 2014 opening in downtown St. Louis:  The 23,000-square-foot museum will feature 16,000 square feet of exhibit space along with a classroom and small theater. It will cover the history of blues and its influence on rock ’n’ roll, country, jazz, R&B and other music forms, with a focus on interactive elements. Among the areas slated to be included are Evolution of the Blues, Blues Icons & Legends and a Blues Lab.
  • Luther Dickinson was interviewed by Brian T. Atkinson for CMT Edge.
  • Album releases:

Buck Owens Honky Tonk Man

Don Rich Sings George Jones

Kris Kristofferson Feeling Mortal (iTunes only; widespread release next week)

Gary Allan Set You Free

Ted Russell Kamp Night Owl

Daniel Romano Come Cry with Me

Henry Wagons “Expecting Company?”

The Shadowboxers Red Room

Max Gomez Rule the World

The Lone Bellow The Lone Bellow

Tim McGraw Tim McGraw & Friends

John Driskell Hopkins & Balsam Range Daylight

Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition White Buffalo

Carrie Rodriguez Give Me All You Got

Randy Houser How Country Feels

Chicago Farmer Backenforth, IL

Overmountain Men The Next Best Thing

Various Artists – They All Played for Us: Arhoolie Records’ 50th Anniversary Celebration

  1. bob
    January 22, 2013 at 10:00 am

    It’s closer to 11 (May 2002) than 17 years that NYC has been without a country music station. The country music station article from the NY Daily News indicates that “The WYNY call letters were later picked up by a suburban signal at 107.1 FM, which continued to play country until 2002.” This station was available to all NYC residents. It wasn’t like you had to drive out to the suburbs to hear it. Y-107 was also one of the sponsors of the free lunchtime country concerts at the World Trade Center.

  2. Luckyoldsun
    January 22, 2013 at 11:32 am

    When WYNY 103.5 shut down 17 years ago, that was really the end of country radio in NYC. The later 107 was a “quadcast” of low-power FM stations that was definitely not “available to ALL NYC residents.” It was tough to pick up in a lot of Manhattan.

    Y103.5 sponsored country concerts at the WTC Plaza–I saw Toby Keith play there when he was a new artist. Not sure if the later 107 resumed that program, but I have my doubts

  3. bob
    January 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I guess I stand corrected. The few country music fans I worked with listened to Y-107 but perhaps none of them lived in Manhattan.

    Y-107 sponsored the WTC country concerts right up til 9-11. I read somewhere that 2001 was the 15th year of concerts which were generally held from late June to the end of August. I don’t remember them being around that long but my memory is not the greatest.

    I got to see Suzy Bogguss, the Dixie Chicks, Terri Clark, Ty Herndon, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Phil Vassar, Big House, Trick Pony, Steve Wariner, Darryl Worley and probably others. Some of the acts I missed due to vacations or business trips include Hal Ketchum, Lari White, Bryan White, Jo Dee Messina, Mark Wills, Keith Urban, Gary Allan, Chris Cagle, Toby Keith, Chely Wright, Tracy Byrd and Lila McCann.

  4. nm
    January 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I could pick up Y-107 when I lived, in the Bronx, but you couldn’t get it in Manhattan or Hoboken.

    In adition to the free shows downtown, there were also shows at the Chelsea Piers. But I can’t remember who sponsored them.

  5. Luckyoldsun
    January 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I did not know they kept up the WTC concerts.
    I guess that’s because I didn’t hear the station.

  6. Arlene
    January 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    @NM- I don’t know about lower Manhattan or midtown but the Upper West Side had a clear signal.

    @Bob- We attended some of the same WTC concerts.

  7. Barry Mazor
    January 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    There were concerts at the WTC courtyard right up until its demise; I saw Johnny Johnson, Chuck Berry’s brilliant piano player and mentor, out there just a few days before 9/11..

  8. Rick
    January 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    The entire marketing approach and mindset behind the Cumulus “NASH” effort kind of makes me want to “BARF”! I expect it to embody everything that makes Top 40 AirHead Country Radio so vile these days…

    I don’t know whether to wish Jana Kramer my congratulations or condolences regarding her engagement to Brantley Gilbert.

    I’m glad to read Holly Williams is touring again. I’ll have to see if she’s scheduled any shows while she’s out here in sunny LA (where it’s 81 degrees today).

    I’m amused by the concept of a Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music! Crikey mate, the bluegrass scene is thriving just fine. I can understand the need for such a society for Barbershop Quartet Music or maybe even Western Swing music if there was one, but bluegrass? What we really need these days is a Society for the Preservation of Traditional and Honky Tonk Country Music! That genre is truly an endangered species nowadays and needs a support organization to keep it on life support.

  9. Jon
    January 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    SPBGMA is only nominally a society; in actual fact, it serves as the organizational framework for events promoted by Chuck Stearman. He puts on a fair number of shows in Missouri, and to some extent in AR and IA, and the annual “convention” in Nashville (that’s the event to which the awards show is attached) attracts a lot of jammers. I’ll be playing there Friday night with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.

  10. Rick
    January 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks for the info Jon. Is there any way to get Chuck interested in promoting younger traditional country music artists? Hmm…(lol)

    I checked the Holly Williams tour schedule and she hits LA on Wednesday night February 6th at 7 PM at the Hotel Cafe for a 50 minute set. Why couldn’t she have booked at The Mint like last time? (Which is much closer to where I reside.) Don’t know if fighting the traffic is worth it? Darn!

  11. Paul W Dennis
    January 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I’m delighted to discover that previously unreleased material on Buck Owens and Don Rich is now available. I’m also glad it is available as an actual CD rather than a compressed MP3

    As my bumper sticker says

    “45 rpm > MP3″


  12. Barry Mazor
    January 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Hey Paul, I previewed the Buck and Don CDs in the Roots Watch a few weeks ago. Just recallin’…

  13. Luckyoldsun
    January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    After hearing the clips, I ordered the Buck disc–the guy could flat-out sing, whether being hokey or playing it straight.

    On the other hand, the Rich clips just sound like “Jones-music-being-sung-by-someone-who-can’t sing-nearly-as-well-as-Jones.” Not much point, though I suppose it may have some historical significance.

  14. Paul W Dennis
    January 24, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Sorry Barry – I missed that particular article so I went back and read it. I had the John Hartford album on my Ten Best Reissues of 2012 list at MKOC

    Since Buck was on HEE HAW for many years, there really should be a lot more tracks available for eventual release

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