Gordon Stoker Passes Away; New Pokey LaFarge Album Due in June; Jim Mills Remembers Earl Scruggs

Juli Thanki | March 28th, 2013

  • Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires passed away yesterday at the age of 88. From MusicRow.com: The Jordanaires’ harmonies can be heard on some of the most famous recordings from the 1960s and early ‘70s, particularly the Elvis Presley classics “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” and “It’s Now or Never.” Stoker had worked with Presley beginning in 1956, on the star’s first sessions for RCA Victor. During the 1960s and beyond the Jordanaires helped create the Nashville Sound on recordings by Ferlin Husky (“Gone,” widely regarded as the first hit recording to embody the Nashville Sound), Jim Reeves (“Four Walls”), and Patsy Cline (“Crazy”). The also group contributed to Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me,” Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans,” Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man,” Conway Twitty’s “Hello Darlin’,” Kenny Rogers’ ”Lucille,” George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” as well as tracks by rock & rollers Ricky Nelson and Gene Vincent. Peter Cooper wrote a fine piece on Stoker for the Tennessean. 
  • Chet Flippo wrote a fantastic column about Will the Circle Be Unbroken and how he and his wife ended up singing on the title track.
  • Jim Mills writes about life without Earl Scruggs on the one-year anniversary of the musical pioneer’s death: Think about it for a minute… what would it mean to a top classical violinist if he or she could drive over to Paganini’s house, or to a rock guitar player if they could go to Jimi Hendrix’s place? Have him come to the door and greet them warmly, then go inside and sit down and talk for a while, and maybe even play some music together. Well, I got to do just that with my Hero, Mr. Earl Eugene Scruggs, and even though I didn’t go to see him that often – or call him that often, either – I still had solace in knowing that Earl was there at home on Franklin Road, and I could pick up the phone and call say “Howdy Earl,” and hear his voice on the other end of the line whenever I wanted to.
  • American Songwriter premiered the title track from Luke Winslow-King’s upcoming album, The Coming Tide.
  • Hearth Music posted a number of new old-time tracks, including recordings by Bruce Molsky and Adam Hurt & Beth Williams Hartness.
  • Pokey LaFarge’s next album will be released on Third Man Records in June. The self-titled release will be produced by Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show).
  • There’s a couple NoiseTrade downloads you may like: this Langhorne Slim sampler and an Omnivore Recordings Record Store Day sampler, which features The Old 97s, Big Star, and more.
  • Andrew Leahey of American Songwriter interviewed Turnpike Troubadour Evan Felker.
  • Brian T. Atkinson interviewed singer-songwriter Terri Hendrix for CMT Edge.
  • CMT Edge premiered The Deadstring Brothers’ “Like a California Wildfire” from the band’s upcoming record, Cannery Row, due April 9 on Bloodshot Records.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca was less than impressed with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell’s concert: “Earthbound” was one of several tunes, a few too many, in fact, that ruminated on the passage of time, and the specter of mortality up around the bend. Matraca Berg’s treacly “Back When We Were Beautiful” and the fuzzy Old Yellow Moon title track were the chief offenders in a set that dragged in its middle passages. 
  • Here’s a clip of Jewel as June Carter singing “Wildwood Flower” from the upcoming Lifetime movie Ring of Fire, which premieres May 27.
  • Craig Campbell’s next album, Never Forget, will be released May 7. (via press release)
  • Listen to Ryan Bingham play a few in this Guitar Center podcast.
  • MerleFest will honor Doc Watson’s memory in several different ways this year, including a Celebration Jam hosted by Sam Bush.
  • Joshua Tehee of the Fresno Bee did a Q&A with Janis Ian.
  1. Rick
    March 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    The good news is Pokey Lafarge is coming to Los Angeles in early May! The bad news is that his shows are at a nice theater venue that tends to have pricey tickets! DOH! I’ve heard SoCal’s own clarinet wunderkind Chloe Fiorenzo has been performing some shows with Pokey. If Chloe is with Pokey I might just have to spring for a ticket!

    Opry Alert! Tonight kicks off the Spring Season of the Thursday Night Classic Country Opry shows! The artists scheduled include: Chris Janson, The Whites, Sunny Sweeney, Gene Watson, and the “Spotlight” artists The Time Jumpers! WooHoo! Guess I’ll be heading for the outshirts of town… (lol) Grade: A+!
    Schedule Link: http://www.opry.com/shows/ThisWeek.html

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