Jason Isbell Leads Americana Music Awards Nominations; Buddy Rogers Passes Away; Big Machine Label Group Adds Music Publishing

Juli Thanki | June 1st, 2012

  • Chet Flippo remembers Doc and Merle Watson: I interviewed Doc with his son Merle (named for Merle Travis) for Rolling Stone a couple of years later, and it turned out to be a delightful time with Doc. He told me the story of what he considered his first real instrument, his banjo. He was carrying stove wood into the house when his brother Lenny came through the yard with a large sack. Doc related the story thusly: “Dad said, ‘What in the world you got in that sack, son?’ He said, ‘Well, this’s that poor old cat of granny’s that she wants me to put it out of its misery. It’s got to where it can’t eat. It just lays around and suffers.’ Dad said, ‘Well, make sure it don’t suffer.’ He turned around to me and said, ‘I’ll tell you what. If you boys’ll skin that cat, I’ll make you a banjo head out of it.’ And I said, ‘Whoever heared tell of a cat-hide for a banjo?’ He said, ‘Well, they got one in this Sears Roebuck catalog. I believe I can make one.’ “It took me and Lenny two days to wash the smell off our hands. But that banjo head was almost transparent. It did make the finest banjo head you ever saw.” 
  • Drummer Buddy Rogers passed away. “Uncle Bud” was a four-year member of the Opry house band, and he also performed/recorded with acts like Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Wilburn Brothers.
  • Gaylord Entertainment sold their hotel rights to Marriott, but they will continue to own and operate the Ryman and Grand Ole Opry.
  • Here’s the new video for Shooter Jennings’ “The Real Me.”
  • Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and Kenny Rogers will appear at the 2012 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner June 14 in New York City.
  • Our pal Dave Woods interviewed Lynn Anderson on his radio show. Check it out.
  • Eric Church is adding Kip Moore and Justin Moore to the fall leg of his “Blood, Sweat & Beers” tour. (via press release)
  • Alt-country band Elliot Randall & The Deadmen covered Derek and The Dominoes for Music Fog.
  • Watch Neil Young’s 41-minute film featuring the music from new record Americana.
  • Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Casey James will perform at the CMT Music Awards on June 6.
  • Wish Me Away, the documentary about Chely Wright’s coming out, got a B+ from The A.V. Club.
  • Trampled By Turtles played a couple songs for Martin Guitars’ “Turndown Sessions.”


  1. timeo
    June 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

    “Big Machine Label Group is launching Big Machine Music Publishing.” I know it’s part of the survival kit for record labels, but this probably doesn’t bode well for good music — I’m sure Big Label acts will most have to record music written by Big Label writers, shifting the emphasis even more to commerce rather than art..

  2. Jack Williams
    June 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Maya Angelou: “seriously affected” by Brooks & Dunn’s split.

    Well, I’ll be damned. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that interview, listening to that great voice talking about her love for country music.

    • Juli Thanki
      June 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Several years ago, she hosted a CMT special on the “20 Greatest Songs of Faith.” It was pretty cool hearing her sing a snippet of “I Saw the Light” and talk about her favorite tunes. I wish I could find a clip of it.

  3. Arlene
    June 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Does anyone else think it odd that “I Love” was composed by Tom T. Hall 29 years ago but has just been nominated by the AMA for Song of the Year? Record of the Year, maybe, but Song of the Year?

  4. Jack Williams
    June 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Arlene: Yes, I do.

  5. Jon
    June 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    It’s really hard to write “Song Of The Year” award criteria in a way that excludes new recordings of old songs. Assuming you would want to do that in the first place.

  6. Barry Mazor
    June 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    True. And it’s a good recording. But it doesn’t say a WHOLE lot, on the other hand, for the perceived strength or ability to identify some specific new songs let loose in Americana, a supposedly song centered format loaded with singer-songwriters, this year.. especially if the “song versus record’ distinction gets made.

  7. luckyoldsun
    June 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I’d say that making a bnjo head from the skin of Granny’s old cats beats out even plastering a rebel flag and and Earnhardt sticker on your Chevy truck in the “That’s Country” contest.

  8. Rick
    June 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I figured the article link for “Maya Angelou: “seriously affected” by Brooks & Dunn’s split.” was going to take me to Farce The Music or Country California. After reading about Maya’s favorite country artists I wish it had.

    That Gaylord turn of events is quite interesting regarding keeping the Opry and The Ryman and not selling them off. Now they just need to replace Pete Fisher with Jon W. or Triggerman and everything would be good! (lol)

    Shouldn’t CMT change the name of their awards show to “American Idol Alumni Country Awards Show”? Hmm.

    So “Eric Church is adding Kip Moore and Justin Moore to the fall leg of his “Blood, Sweat & Beers” tour.” That is so disappointing! With just a little more effort Eric could have landed Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert instead…

  9. luckyoldsun
    June 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I thought maybe Parade interviewed a Maya Angelou impostor.

    I’ll just say that nobody’d better play for Maya Blake Shelton’s recording of Rhett Akins’ “Kiss My Country Ass.” It might make her heart give out–or send her over to hip hop!

  10. Jon
    June 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I’m not interested in seeing anyone replace Pete Fisher; I think he’s doing a good job in a tough position.

  11. Jon
    June 2, 2012 at 12:15 am

    But it doesn’t say a WHOLE lot, on the other hand, for the perceived strength or ability to identify some specific new songs let loose in Americana, a supposedly song centered format loaded with singer-songwriters, this year.. especially if the “song versus record’ distinction gets made.

    The cynical view is that the word “supposedly” there counts for a lot; a less cynical view is that many people have a hard time making the song vs. record distinction. And members have 3 other songs to choose from, right?

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