Three Country Debuts Top Billboard 200

Brody Vercher | October 31st, 2007

  • Tune into WSM tonight between 7 pm and 12 am for a five hour remembrance of Porter Wagoner hosted by Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs and featuring interviews with many of Porter’s closest friends.
  • Merle Haggard, George Jones, Jack White, and Dwight Yoakam chime in on the loss of Porter Wagoner.
  • Josh Timmermann says “The Ballad of Jerry Jeff Walker” from Brooks & Dunn’s Cowboy Town might be the best Brooks & Dunn song ever and his “favorite three minutes and forty two seconds of music this year.” However, he concedes that the remainder of the album doesn’t live up to nearly half the standard set by “The Ballad of Jerry Jeff Walker” and considers it marginal at best; even a step back from albums they’ve released in the past.
  • Apparently the daughters of Johnny Cash have opened an investigation to find out why they haven’t been receiving royalties (estimated in the millions) from “Ring of Fire”. The article even questions who really penned the song.

    Cash and June Carter Cash are said to have shared the copyright on Ring of Fire with songwriter Merle Kilgore. In her book I Walked the Line, Vivian Cash writes Johnny told her, “I’m going to give June half credit on a song I just wrote called ‘Ring of Fire.’ When she asked why, he answered, ‘She needs the money and I feel sorry for her.'”

  • A few days ago Chris Ledoux was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame, an honor that was established in 1997 to be awarded to those that have made a significant contribution to the western way of life. Past inductees include icons by the likes of: Louis L’Amour, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Wyatt Earp, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Tubb, Davy Crockett, Gene Autry, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Bat Masterson, “Tex” Ritter and Bob Wills.
  • With his current success, Josh Turner says the days of being talked into something that goes against his better judgment are over–such as the video for “What It Ain’t,” which he felt was too risqué in featuring a scantily clad woman.
  • Shooter Jennings really, really wants to be played on mainstream country radio stations.
  • The 6th annual Country Fever Music Festival appears to have a decent lineup. This year’s festival is an official event for Oklahoma’s Centennial celebration–that’s 100 years of statehood. If that’s not enough celebration, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Garth brooks, Vince Gill, and Carrie Underwood have something going on at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.
  • The firing of veteran host Sammy Allred probably means nothing to those outside of the 98.1 KVET listening area, but it came as a shock to me when the story popped up in my feed reader this morning. It appears no one is commenting on the reason for firing, but Allred hung up the phone when asked whether he uttered a profanity on the air. Sam and his co-host Bob Cole won CMA awards for best radio personalities in 1999 and again in 2006. Allred is also part of The Geezinslaws, a band who once opened for Elvis Presley, were regulars on the Louisiana Hayride in the ’50s, and still make frequent appearances at The Broken Spoke in Austin, TX. Check out the mp3 samples on their website.
  • Three country debuts lead the Billboard 200 this week, a first for the chart. Carrie Underwood took No. 1 in a landslide with Carnival Ride, followed by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Raising Sand, and Living Hard from Gary Allan came in at the third spot. Take heed new artists, two word titles are in.
  • Update: Visit the following blogs and read their tributes to Porter Wagoner, all equally inspiring in their own right.
    • Country Universe – “He was Nashville when it started to go a little bit uptown, then stuck around as an important reminder of the genre’s traditions when the music got a little too uptown.”
    • Nashville Now – “We forgot about Porter, the same way we forgot about Johnny, the same way we forgot about Buck. Porter Wagoner was an institution in country music.”
    • Caffienated Politics – “The style, flash, and smile that Porter brought with him to the stage was reflected back to him with warm applause and appreciation night after night on the Opry stage, and other venues around the nation.”
  1. Dave S
    October 31, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    That’s great news about the Billboard 200. I’m pleasantly surprised by Gary Allan and the Krauss/Plant debuts. I don’t think anyone doubted Underwood would be sitting at the top, though.

  2. Jim Malec
    November 1, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Josh Timmermann’s comment is an exhibition of traditionalist elitism. “The Ballad Of Jerry Jeff Walker” is a painful listen (who gave Kix a mic?), and makes no sense in the context of the album, their career, or the format. Calling it anything other than marginal, lie the rest of the album (he was too generous with that statement) shows how some people will flag-wave for anything that they consider to be “real” country music.

    I applaud artists taking risks, but this, I think, is a case of self-indulgence.

  3. Brody Vercher
    November 1, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Dave – I personally thought Gary Allan’s numbers would be a little better than 69,000.

    Jim – There’s nothing wrong with a little self-indulgence every now and then, but otherwise, I mostly agree with you.

  4. Chris N.
    November 1, 2007 at 10:24 am

    I’m sure Allan’s would have been higher had he not released a greatest-hits album a few months ago. That likely deflated a lot of the demand.

  5. Chris N.
    November 1, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Oh, and “The Ballad of Jerry Jeff Walker” is easily my favorite song on the Brooks & Dunn record. Am I just being self-indulgent too?

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