“I don’t want no headstone on my grave,” Jerry Lee Lewis informed us from his undisturbed piano bench on stage at the Ryman, October 4th. “I deserve a monument!” He was still toying with the keys, and had just finished wailing the bluesy Charlie Rich song “Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave,” as he’s […]
Americana music organized itself as this millennium approached. Over fourteen years later, the general sense of where its musical core lies (even with living, evolving outer borders), is better understood than ever before by anyone who cares to understand. Partly a format (see: Chart), nearly a genre, certainly a lively arena, maybe it’s not yet […]
The New York Times published George Hamilton IV’s obituary today. Robert K. Oermann wrote one for MusicRow. Jim Ed Brown will release his first solo album in 30 years, In Style Again, on Plowboy Records in January. (via press release) Randy Travis attended a fundraiser in Denison, Tex. yesterday. The photos accompanying the article show […]
George Hamilton IV Passes Away; Isbell Wins Three Americana Music Awards; Bravo Development Plans to Demolish Studio A
George Hamilton IV passed away yesterday, less than a week after suffering a serious heart attack. The 77-year-old, who began his recording career as a pop artist with the Top 10 hit “A Rose and a Baby Ruth” in 1956, had been a member of the Opry since 1960. Peter Cooper wrote Hamilton’s obituary for the […]
It’s easy, with the perpetual slow-trickle arrival of new country songs, singles and stars, to become fixated on the brand new and of-the-moment—as some publications, writers and fans do. Yet some level of recognizable continuity has been a basic element of the music from its beginnings. In country music, themes and sounds and performers are […]
Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, one of the most monumental events in history; but for this Friday Five, we’re going to go back a bit further in time: 2014 also marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Here are five songs that address the “war to end all wars.” […]
Brad Paisley Plays Surprise Show in Afghanistan; Brain Implant Creates Johnny Cash Fan; Album Releases
Herb Jeffries, who starred in several black Westerns as a singing cowboy, sang with Duke Ellington, and released his own jazz albums, passed away on Sunday. He was believed to be 100 years old. Bucky Doster, a trombone player who toured with Glen Campbell and recorded with Johnny Cash and Brenda Lee, passed away last […]
Events and releases have conspired to put the Carter Family front and center for me through this past month. It’s not the iconic, commonly sentimentalized version of them that’s been brought into fresh focus, though—the domesticated diamonds in the rough, forever simple, down home in their Clinch Mountain “fold”— but the sometimes complicated, breathing, talented […]
Beauty Is…, Ray Price’s beautiful new album, was recorded only a few months before he died—and in the weeks just following his learning definitively that he was going to. When the project was completed, the singer told Janie Price, his wife of more than forty years, that he had made it especially for her. As […]
Merle Haggard marked a birthday Sunday, his 77th. He celebrated the occasion with an appearance on CBS’s Academy of Country Music awards show, where George Strait and Miranda Lambert performed a medley of his hits and where Haggard was presented with something called the Crystal Milestone Award by Garth Brooks, one of its former honorees. […]
- 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 …
- 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 …