Opry Member Charlie Walker Passed Away Friday at 81
- Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame member Charlie Walker passed away on Friday at age 81. Peter Cooper eulogizes:
In 1958, Mr. Walker decided to record “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down,” from the pen of an aspiring songwriter named Harlan Howard who was a forklift driver at a California printing factory. The song became Mr. Walker’s signature hit and it was Howard’s first commercial writing success. (Howard went on to write more than 100 Top 10 country hits and to become a Country Music Hall of Famer.)
- David Cantwell lingers a moment longer for Jerry Reed and notes that “as an ambassador for country music, he was, among his contemporaries, second only to Willie Nelson and, perhaps, Dolly Parton or Glen Campbell.”
- And tonight, friends of Jerry Reed, will take another moment to linger and perform a musical sendoff to the guitar legend with a free show at Douglas Corner.
- Daily Trivia: The original “King of Country Music,” Roy Acuff, was born this day in 1903. (watch him perform “Wabash Cannonball”)
- NPR has a live performance of Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles on Mountain Stage.
- Toby Keith took his Biggest & Baddest Tour to Atlanta for the anniversary September 11th, and despite the profanity-laced performance, 18-year-old Michael Paul exclaimed that “there could never be a better concert on 9/11 than that of a Toby Keith concert!”
- Country Music Goodness has a brief Q&A with Earl Scruggs. (via The Bluegrass Blog)
- Songwriter Craig Bickhardt discusses the decline of the American songwriter:
It’s safe to say that never in the history of our culture have so many superficial similarities existed between the musical artists of today and the musical artists of a previous generation. Look at the clothes, hair styles, images and artwork and you’ll see 1969. Listen to the CDs and you’ll hear production that reminds you of the Byrds, the Beatles, “Positively Fourth Street” and Joni. But check out the songs. The lyrics are unfocused, the choruses unmemorable, the ideas lack the motive to really communicate. It reeks of self-indulgence. Simply put, no one has told these folks that they haven’t worked hard enough, that they haven’t written their best song, that they need to develop their instincts and hone their craft. No one has said, “No”.
Both the article and ensuing comments are worth checking out, and there’s more in response to Ben Cisneros’ forum topic “Do pop-country songwriters know the score???”
- The video for Taylor Swift‘s first single, “Love Story,” from her upcoming album is spreading like wildfire and features a performance from Nashville Star‘s very own “Underwear Boy.”
- Twang Nation’s Baron Lane recalls a round table in Nashville last year that included Southern fiction writers and songwriters discussing how storytelling through the different mediums were alike. Among the songwriters was Chris Knight and in his review for Heart of Stone, Lane claims the storytelling presence is strong throughout.
- Nashville At Nite posted video from their exclusive backstage access to rehearsals from Nashville Star finalists. Melissa Lawson talks about traveling to China, Gabe Garcia explains the format of the planned concerts on their tour, Shawn Mayer shows off her new tattoos and dishes on Gabe’s emerging status as a prankster, while Coffey says he had paparazzi following him around L.A.
- Leeann: No offense to Chely Wright, but while I expect that she will make a good album, asking for $175,000 seems …
- Juli Thanki: Ha! The best way to celebrate Connie Smith Day is by marrying a younger man. Mullet optional.
- nm: But was it Connie Smith Day all day long and then from dusk to dawn?
- Deremy Jylan: I heard that Jim Lauderdale documentary is some super-duper great movie stuff. Makes Scorsese's THE LAST WALTZ look like Wiseau's …
- Barry Mazor: I'll have to see if Dr. Green's ever read 3 Lives; it's a good book.
- Juli Thanki: Rose is a rose is a rose is a yellow rose of Texas. I smell a terrible concept album!
- Barry Mazor: Pigeons on the grass, alas.. Come-a kai-yai yippy, yippy ay.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Barry, thanks for the great sentimental look at Winchester. I will admit that he is an artist that was largely …
- Arlene: Thanks for this article, Barry. It's not often that an artist brings another performer to tears during a guitar pull. …
- Leeann: At any rate, I'll still look forward to his next album, because I'm a fan of his music.