Dallas Wayne Added to Heybale Lineup; The Smilin’ Irishman of Country Music Passed Away; Lionel Richie Recording Country Duets
- Singer, songwriter, and Sirius deejay Dallas Wayne has been announced as the replacement for Gary Claxton in the band Heybale.
- The Austin Chronicle‘s Margaret Moser published a really cool profile on Elizabeth McQueen, who in turn, dishes out a lot of praise for Ray Benson and Willie Nelson.
- The Smilin’ Irishman of Country Music James O’Gwynn, who recorded between 1958 and 1962, passed away yesterday morning at the age 82. (Obit)
- The Tennessean‘s Peter Cooper interviewed Rodney Crowell on the subject of his new memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks:
“Because I knew the end of the story, I knew that I could write at the beginning about how sick and (messed) up both of them were,” Crowell says. “My father had a dark and nasty side, and it had to be told. But with a book, you have 250 pages to get to the end, and you can leave the breadcrumbs out for people to follow. If you follow the breadcrumbs, you get to see J.W. as a lovable guy, which he was. I know I certainly loved him.”
- Hit songwriter Tammy Hyler and healthcare entrepreneur Glen Blaschke announced the launch of a new full-service label, Big Country Records. The label’s first signing is singer-songwriter Morgan Tobias (MySpace), who, if you ask me, resembles a brunette Taylor Swift.
- Gretchen Wilson chimed in on Kanye West‘s occasional outbursts:
“His adrenaline was going and he gets very … he’s a very passionate person, you know?” Wilson told CMT Insider at Wednesday night’s (Jan. 18) Grammy nominees party in Nashville. “What am I talkin’ about? I don’t know him. … I don’t know him at all. I think he’s an ass really for acting like that. He really is. He makes quite a spectacle. So grow up! Quit being such a baby! You know, if somebody beats you, it’s because they deserve to beat you. And I don’t know if you remember all the way back to the first time. I outsold you, bro! Do your homework.” Wilson also said, “It’s kinda cool for me to know that I was the first. Kanye, just remember, I was your first. And I’m not above kicking your ass.”
- Lionel Richie is in the process of recording an album of duets with country artists. Those that have recorded songs so far include Darius Rucker, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Little Big Town, Blake Shelton, and Jimmy Buffet, with Jennifer Nettles and Zac Brown still scheduled.
- The Grascals debuted atop the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart.
- Producer and songwriter Larry Butler recalled meeting Willie Nelson for the first time:
“I was getting airplay on KIKK and all the other stations, so Willie had heard me on the radio and thought maybe I would buy some of his songs. I told Willie that I didn’t really buy other people’s songs, but I let him play them for me,” Butler recalls.
“He had ‘I Gotta Get Drunk,’ ‘Night Life,’ ‘The Party’s Over’ and ‘Crazy.’ I asked him how much he wanted for them, and he said ten dollars apiece.”
“So I told him, ‘Mr. Nelson, I’m not gonna buy your songs,’ and he said, ‘What’s the matter, no good?'”
- Ricky Skaggs is writing an autobiography and hopes to have it out this fall.
- Emily Robison called Toby Keith out in Tuesday’s webchat for the similarities between his song “Bullets In the Gun” and Robert Earl Keen‘s “The Road Goes On Forever.”
- Results from The Village Voice‘s Pazz and Jop survey are out and between all the critics, 1,839 different albums were nominated. Jamey Johnson was the top ranking country artist on the album list, coming in at No. 20 overall, with The Guitar Song.
- Jim Caligiuri has a brief Q&A with James McMurtry:
It’s been a while since you’ve had any new music out. Any chance there will be a new record this year?
I’ve got one new song recorded so far. Usually I book some studio time and just hope I’ve got the songs written. That got to be expensive after awhile, so I’m doing it in a more proper way of actually getting the songs written before I go in the studio this time. It’s just taking a while without that pressure. It’s possible there will be something this year, if I get a burst. I don’t know.
- Austin band Crooks, which bills itself as Texas outlaw country, is streaming last year’s four-song EP Lonesome, Rowdy, and Restless on its website. In the few reviews I’ve read, “Downtown” is cited as the best of the bunch. (via Awaiting the Flood)
- Paul W Dennis: Tom T & Dixie Hall are good people and I wish them all the best through this difficult time
- Paul W Dennis: Actually , it is not. We have so thoroughly debased our language that it is no longer possible to praise …
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …