Thirty Miles West Debuts at No. 1; Ron Block Works on Solo Album; Chet Flippo Remembers Frances Preston

Juli Thanki | June 15th, 2012

  • Chet Flippo remembers Frances Preston: Every music hall of fame that really matters has inducted her as a member, and she received honors galore. But those were not the things she talked about. She talked about what still needed to be done and about songs that she loved and songwriters who were continuing to be discovered. She originated the slogan, “It all begins with a song.” There were many good reasons she became known as “the best friend a songwriter ever had.” Kris Kristofferson called her the “songwriter’s guardian angel.”
  • Alan Jackson’s Thirty Miles West debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. It came in at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.
  • Naomi Judd will star in Hallmark Channel original movie The Nearlyweds; it’s scheduled to premiere in January.
  • Check out Elizabeth Cook’s Thursday night Letterman performance.
  • Ralph Stanley’s music will be in upcoming moonshine film Lawless, which is coming out in late August. Emmylou Harris will also have music featured in the film, and the original songs are composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
  • There’s a good feature on singer-songwriter David Olney in the Tennessean. An excerpt: A reliably unreliable narrator, Olney has sung as baseball great Satchel Paige, as a ventriloquist’s dummy, as pool hustler Fast Eddie Parker, as a World War I-era French prostitute, as a bird and as lightning speaking to the wind. But the songs aren’t impressive because of their novelty, but because of their emotional depth and immediacy. “The part that always gets me is when you get into the song, and in the middle of the writing you lose track of time, you’re unsure where things are going and it gets to be a blast,” he says. “Every time out, I think, ‘You’ve got to keep your mind open to the possibility that what you’re going to write is going to be totally great.’ You can’t put too much pressure on yourself, but you can’t aim low.”
  • Chris Mateer of Uprooted Music Revue interviewed Ben Sollee.
  • Paste’s Ryan Bort catches up with Alejandro Escovedo.
  • Here’s Kelly Hogan talking about a trio of songs from her new record.
  • There are articles on roots rocker Cory Branan in The Nashville Scene and on
  • Watch footage of Josh Turner’s recent trip to NBC’s Today Show, where he performed “Time is Love.”
  • Out today: Life After Deaf, an huge Ryan Adams box set that includes 144 live acoustic tracks on fifteen LPs as well as 74 digital bonus tracks.
  1. Arlene
    June 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Songs on the Lawless sountrack include:

    “Cosmonaut” — The Bootleggers featuring Emmylou Harris (written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis)
    “Fire In The Blood” – The Bootleggers featuring Ralph Stanley (written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis)
    “The Cuckoo Bird” – Clarence Ashley
    “Fire In The Blood” – The Bootleggers featuring Emmylou Harris (written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis)
    “The Snake Song” – The Bootleggers featuring Emmylou Harris (written by Townes Van Zandt)
    “The Telephone Girl” — Frank Fairfield (written by Orville Reed)
    “White Light/White Heat” – Ralph Stanley (written by Lou Reed)
    “Midnight Run” — Willie Nelson (words and music by Marc Copely, James Bernard Dolan & Adam Stuart Levy)

  2. Rick
    June 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Its nice to see Alan Jackson can still sell a few albums. It seems cream still does rise to the top in the country music realm.

    That Chet Flippo article on Frances Preston was quite a good read. I wasn’t aware of her prior to these articles about here recent passing, but it’s nice to know she was out there doing what she did!

    The Elizabeth Cook clip on Letterman was great, and especially Elizabeth’s dress! She never looks like that when I see her in concert…(lol)

    Forget Naomi Judd! I’d much rather see Wynonna star in a TV movie about female wrestlers! (lol)

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry will feature Holly Williams, Craig Morgan, Crystal Gayle, Jimmy Wayne, The Farm, and Del McCoury. A decent mix to be sure. Grade: B

  3. luckyoldsun
    June 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Too soon to know whether the Jackson disc is a success. A lot of discs seem to open nowadays at or near the top and then sink like a rock. I believe Ronnie Dunn’s solo album opened at No. 1, but it seems to have been deemed a failure–and he lost his deal mid-project.

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