Hank Williams’ Steel Guitarist, Don Helms, Passed Away Today At 81
- Steel guitarist Don Helms, who played on more than 100 Hank Williams recordings, passed away this morning at 81 from an apparent heart attack.
Mr. Helms was the last remaining link to the Drifting Cowboys. His guitar was heard on more than 100 of Williams’ recordings, including “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Cold, Cold Heart” and “I Can’t Help (It If I’m Still In Love With You).” His steel playing is an indelible part of those records, and after Williams’ death Mr. Helms went on to provide significant parts on recordings such as Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Stonewall Jackson’s “Waterloo” and Lefty Frizzell’s “Long, Black Veil.” He played with other greats as well, including Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Jim Reeves and Webb Pierce.
- Country Weekly’s Chris Neal sang the praises of Jamey Johnson‘s That Lonesome Song to the tune of five stars. He says, “it’s still too early in 2008 to declare an Album of the Year, but consider That Lonesome Song a contender for the honor.”
- Hazel Smith confirms reports that Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks are an item.
- Willie Nelson Family Band members Paul English and Mickey Raphael contributed their drum and harmonica talents to the new Bruce Robison album, The New World, due out on September 2nd.
- Country Universe’s newest writer, Blake Boldt, counts down 25 of his favorite songs from Patty Loveless.
- Darrell Scott has written songs for Travis Tritt, Dixie Chicks and Sara Evans, but he put the pen down to honor some of his songwriting heroes on his next album of acoustic covers titled Modern Hymns, due out on August 19. Even though it hasn’t been released, Scott has already begun work on his next album, which he describes as “a pretty full-tilt country record, pre-‘Urban Cowboy’ country.”
- Country, California’s John Maglite pulled several quotes from stories that pertain to country performers in some fashion and provided a short commentary on each. For instance, the following quote is from Jessica Simpson in an article in the San Jose Mercury News:
Country was a huge part of what I listened to… All of my boyfriends growing up, all of our songs were from Garth Brooks, or Clint Black, or Clay Walker…
And Maglite’s response: “Wow, Jessica Simpson had a lot of boyfriends growing up.” Funny stuff.
- Galleywinter’s Brad Beheler republished an article that he wrote for the Aug/Sept issue of LoneStarMusic magazine chronicling the rise of Wade Bowen in the Texas music scene by doing things the only way he knows how–his way.
- John Brown, the man convicted of killing Hee Haw star Dave “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife 34 years ago, was denied parole for a third time. He’ll be up for consideration again in 2011.
- Eamon McLoughlin stumbled across an album titled Farewell to the Tracks from Jim Rooney while waiting for the bar at The Station Inn, and while it may sound unimportant, he says it’s a tribute to a recording studio called Jack’s Tracks (named for Jack Clement), which may have sold more records than any other studio in Nashville.
- Emily West added two more new tracks to her MySpace: “Why Do Lovers Leave” and “One Thing Right.”
- 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 …
- Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
- Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …
- nm: Agreed. A good job by three very smart women.
- Deremy Jylan: The Hight piece is tremendous reading.
- Juli Thanki: Much like the music of Aldean and FGL, Michelob Ultra is favored by college kids and too much exposure will …
- Tom: ...michelob ultra seems to be a brew from hell.
- luckyoldsun: Maybe he was just changing out of his hunting clothes. At least he didn't do the full Randy...um Monty.