Monday, November 5, 2012

Win a Cabin on the Biggest Bluegrass Festival At Sea

Fans Can Win a Cabin on the Biggest Bluegrass Festival At Sea, Provided by Steep Canyon Rangers and Sixthman 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 5, 2012) - Mountain Song at Sea is making waves sailing from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay with the biggest names in bluegrass, Feb 1-4, 2013. Steep Canyon Rangers and Sixthman have partnered to give away a cabin for two on board the inaugural voyage of this large-scale bluegrass festival at sea.
To be entered for a chance to win, fans can visit Steep Canyon Rangers’ Facebook page and click the Mountain Song at Sea contest app. By submitting their email address they will receive a download of SCR’s song “Nobody Knows You,” as well as a unique URL to share with friends. The entrant whose URL receives the most views will win the grand prize cabin for two, as well as a Steep Canyon Rangers merch pack that includes a signed copy of their latest release from Rounder Records, Nobody Knows You.
The contest kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 24 and ends Sunday, Nov. 18 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.
In addition to the Steep Canyon Rangers, the Mountain Song at Sea lineup also boasts Punch Brothers, David Grisman Sextet, Del McCoury Band, Tim O'Brien & Bryan Sutton, Shannon Whitworth, Deadly Gentlemen, The Kruger Brothers, Peter Rowan, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Della Mae, Town Mountain, Mandolin Orange and more.
With stages around every corner, fans will enjoy intimate performances, collaborations, spontaneous jams, activities and Q&A sessions with artists, all while cruising from Miami on the beautiful Norwegian Sky to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas reserved just for Mountain Song at Sea guests.
"We are super excited to be involved in Mountain Song at Sea!" says Woody Platt, lead vocalist and guitarist for the Steep Canyon Rangers. "So many of our favorite bands and fans will be all together for a unique festival experience."
The Steep Canyon Rangers have spent the last year touring extensively to support Nobody Knows You. Mountain Song at Sea is a unique opportunity for the band to showcase their energetic live performance.
"We have been big fans of the Mountain Song Festival and it is a privilege to be able to bring it to life in this unique way at sea" said Andy Levine, founder and CEO of Sixthman, who is partnering with Mountain Song Productions to present Mountain Song at Sea.
For additional information about Mountain Song at Sea, discounts and the full schedule, visit


Jason Aldean


Aldean Sells Out Two Nights at Fenway Park and University of
Georgia's Sanford Stadium at the On Sale
Nashville, TN – Nov. 5, 2012 – MULTI-PLATINUM entertainer Jason Aldean has been on a strong and steady climb, breaking all-genre sales and touring records in over 40 venues over the last two years, with no sign of slowing down.  Today the CMA and ACM Award winner announced he will kick off the first leg of his 2013 Night Train Tour in Bossier City, LA on Feb. 21 and roll on to 23 cities through May. Special guests Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett will jump on the 'Train' with Aldean in 2013.

"The thing I'm most excited about for next year is getting to add some new songs off the 'Night Train' album into my show," said Aldean.  "As a musician, it's great to be able to shake up the set list and think of cool ways to present these new songs in the live show.  We're already working on some cool production ideas, and we're going to come back from the holidays ready to go.  I'm a big fan of both Jake and Thomas Rhett, so it'll be awesome to have those guys out with us."

Aldean solidified his stadium headliner status when the first announced stadium dates of the 2013 Night Train Tour sold out in just minutes at the on sale over the past three weeks.  In 2013 Aldean will play to sold out crowds at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA (4/13), with a two-night stand at Boston’s Fenway Park (7/12 and 7/13) before heading to Wrigley Field in Chicago.


Austin, TX

Biloxi, MS

Bossier City, LA

Charleston, WV

Columbia, MO

Duluth, MN

Evansville, IN

Grand Forks, ND

Greenville, SC

Greensboro, NC

Houston, TX

Knoxville, TN

Lafayette, LA

Las Cruces, NM

Little Rock, AR

Louisville, KY

Lubbock, TX

Madison, WI

N. Charleston, SC

Omaha, NE

Tulsa, OK

Uncasville, CT

Wichita, KS

The Macon, GA native debuted the second single off NIGHT TRAIN, “The Only Way I Know” featuring Luke Bryan and Eric Church, as the show opener on last week’s CMA Awards broadcast.  The album’s first single, the GOLD certified “Take A Little Ride,” already had a three-week reign at No. one making it the longest running chart-topper of 2012. 
For a full list of appearances and more information on NIGHT TRAIN, please visit

Lifetime Achievement Award To Michael Martin Murphey


(L to R)  Michael Martin Murphey, Zion’s Bank President and
CEO Scott Anderson, Governor Gary R. Herbert
(photo courtesy of Martin VanRosendaal).
Utah Governor Presents With Lifetime Achievement Award
To Michael Martin Murphey At Cowboy Poetry Gathering
HEBER, UTAH — Governor Gary R. Herbert presented cowboy legend Michael Martin Murphey with a lifetime achievement award during Murphey’s performance with the BYU Philharmonic Symphony on November 2  at the Heber Valley Cowboy Poetry Gathering. 
Joining the Governor for the presentation was Zion’s Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson. 
The award from Heber City honored Murphey’s career, which includes recording six gold albums, receiving multiple Grammy nominations and entertaining millions of people around the world, and his work in preserving traditional cowboy music. 
A fan favorite at each year’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Texas-native Murphey will perform again tonight at the Buckaroo Ball at the Midway Town Hall.  The Heber Valley Cowboy Poetry Gathering continues through Sunday. 

Interview with Baluja

Interview with Baluja

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Baluja  I am songwriter who focuses primarily on the social, economic, emotional, and spiritual issues that affect the world around me as well as certain trends or current events that happen to move me. I also write personalized songs about the people and places that are near and dear to me. I record and produce all my work in the humble surroundings of my home studio in Tampa, Florida.The music behind my songs varies from very simplistic and sparse acoustic renderings to colorful, multi-layered blends of computer generated loops, samples, sound effects, and beats.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Baluja  The last year was my most successful in terms of exposure. Because of my inactivity as a performer, I’ve always had a difficult time establishing a fan base. Outside of my circle of friends, the only fans I’ve managed to acquire are those who have listened to me on various independent websites where I’ve posted my music. But this year, I was able to capitalize on the popularity of a composition called I Remember Tampa, which is currently the theme song for a local weekly broadcast called the Tampa Natives Show. I put together a pictorial video for the song, which I posted on YouTube, and it did very well. I’ve also enjoyed support from several DJ’s on our community radio station, WMNF 88.5 FM. I did a live interview in February, and they featured a few cuts from last year’s CD, Baluja IX: The System. In all, the added exposure has introduced my music to over 20,000 new listeners this year.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it doing?

Baluja  My latest CD, Baluja X: Cone of Uncertainty, will be released in December. It will consist of 10 songs that were recorded throughout 2012.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Baluja  A friend of mine suggested I write a song about the cone of uncertainty as Hurricane Isaac was approaching the coastline of Florida. I looked into the definition of the phrase and found it to be right in line with certain aspects of life, in general. After recording the song, I felt that it would be an ideal title for the CD. I normally use the title of one of my songs to label my projects, and Cone of Uncertainty seemed to be the logical choice for where I'm at right now.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

Baluja The influences are many, but if I had to pick a few off the top of my head, I'd say Lou Reed, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Sringsteen, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison. All my songs deal with real life experiences that most listeners are able to relate to. My messages are direct and to the point, and easy to digest. I speak in very simple terms.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

Baluja  The System, which was the title track of last year's CD, got some local airplay. It was a timely song that fit right in with the Republican National Convention coming to Tampa, and the things that our community had to deal with as a result: red tape, white lies, secret service, spying eyes. It was a song filled with images that our community was very familiar with.

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Baluja  That's a tough one. I guess the most impotant thing for me is solid lyrics. The more I feel the message, the more I like the song. It could be intellectual, spiritual, or purely long as the lyrics are tight, I'm into it, no matter how rough the music or the vocals might be.

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

Baluja  My favorite song is The Good Life. It's about the misconceptions we have towards the American Dream, and the problems that evolve from those misconceptions.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?

Baluja I have a childhood friend who has ovarian cancer. Last year I wrote a song that I dedicated to her called "Lisa's Song (Friends Forever)". It circulated within our circle of friends and family members and seemed to have a unifying effect on all of us. We were able to resetablish bonds that had been dormant for years. It was reassuring to know that despite the different paths our lives had taken, we could still manage to come together in the spirit of love.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Baluja  My father and my brother were not professional musicians, but they often wrote and sang "punto guaridos", which is a form of Cuban folk music. Their love for life and for people shone through in their lyrics. That love continues to inspire me.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Baluja  The music scene will always find a way to stay fresh and invigorating, not because of any major innovations, tricks, or techniques, but because music possesses a direct connection to the soul, and that connection is as vital to our existence and as it is timeless.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Baluja The limited vision, the shallowness, and the envy and animosity that are a byproducts of our quest for financial gain. We place more emphasis on generating sales of mindless, spiritless, and unrefined garbage than we do on material that has intelligent, thought provoking, and soulful content.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Baluja  I love recording and producing. I become complete enthralled in it. I don't always hit a home run, but there's nothing like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I come up with something that feels and sounds right.

Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?

Baluja The only area that I might be making waves in is with the use of computer generated music as a songwriting tool. Over the past decade, I have gone from being a solo artist who was limited to acoustic guitar and harmonica renderings to an artist with a perpetually changing virtual back up band. I just wish that I could afford some of the higher end products available on the market so that I could expand my choices in sounds and develop more intricate melodies. All in all, technology has made it easier and more affordable for independent artists to simulate state of the art studio recordings that were once only attainable by big name artists.

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?


Christian Lamitschka ( )

Steel Guitar News November 5. 2012

This is Bob Hempker. Back in the mid eighties, I was at Woodland Studios in Nashville with Loretta. It was one of the big name studios at the time. We were doing a commercial for United Way. They had picked this song out for her to do. I can’t remember what it was other than it was an old pop song and they had sent a producer down from New York to produce it. We started just playing around with the song a little bit to get the feel of it. I didn’t hear anyone else filling, so I started filling. I didn’t think what I was playing sounded anything country-ish. Anyway, the producer came out of the control room, walked over to me and told me not to play because I was making the song sound too country. I agreed. I knew I was going to get paid anyway. Loretta was unaware of this and they started playing the song again. They got through about 16 bars when Loretta stopped. She asked, “What happened to the steel guitar that I heard in there before?” This producer said, “I told him not to play. I didn’t want it sounding too country.” Loretta replied, “Too country? Who in the world do you think you have in here, Vic Damone?” She looked at and me and said, “Play what you were playing before. I really liked that.” I said, “Ok. I’ll play what I played before.” I looked over at this producer and just grinned. We ended up getting the song cut and it got some radio play and some television play. This producer had an opinion of what he thought a steel guitar was going to sound like and I guess he refused to use his ears and stuck to his opinion. He treated all of us including Loretta condescendingly. To his chagrin the steel guitar got put on the recording. I’ve not heard of the man since and I bet he’s not set foot in Nashville since. This is just an example of what to expect being a steel player and getting the least bit out of our realm of country music. I’m sure each and every one of you have stories similar to this. Steel guitar players have been subjected to shoddy treatment from so many people that have no idea of what the instrument is capable of doing when in the right hands. I guess it’s too much to expect everyone to have an open mind. In spite of this, we should all keep on playing and expanding what we do to all genres of music. Thicken up your skin, show them what you’ve got and maybe you’ll change some minds. And if you can’t change their minds, at least you can enjoy irritating them. This weekend we turn our clocks back. The days will be shorter and the nights will be longer and colder. It’s a good time of year to woodshed and pump up your steel guitar playing skills for the coming springtime. It’s the time of year when we have time to practice and study our scales, work on our ear training, practice with our tracks and not be in any hurry. It’s a great time to learn how to play new and different things. It’s surprising sometimes when we look back and think we’ve not accomplished much when in fact we have accomplished a great deal. It’s also a good time to really go over all our equipment, fix our cords, change scratchy pots in our amplifier, go over our guitars and adjust everything out underneath them. We have maintenance DVDs to show you how. Make the most out of your practice time. Don’t view practicing as drilling exercises. Be in a positive mood when you sit down. Sometimes I like to just sit down and start playing and see where it takes me. I don’t have to have a regimen in mind. I will start playing my way through songs that I’ve heard but I’ve never played before just to give myself practice at playing “off the cuff”. When you’re away from your guitar, practice humming your scales and see if you can make little melodies out of them, then when you get to your guitar, see if you can play what you can hum. Above all, keep things positive and don’t get to where you dread practicing on your guitar. That’s not why we play to begin with. We play because it’s enjoyable and fun. It’s great to critique ourselves, but we still have to be patient with ourselves and consider our playing as an unfinished product. We never stop learning and that’s actually part of the fun of it. Wherever we are at the time is just a stage in our development. We never need to get bored because there is always something new you can learn. So check out all the courses and tracks and things that we have to help you learn to be a better player. I firmly believe that we as players, are the best accessory that we can invest in. Check out our monthly specials at Steel Guitar Nashville 123 Mid Town Court Hendersonville, TN. 37075 (615) 822-5555 Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday Closed Saturday and Sunday




Boston, MA (Monday, November 5, 2012) -- “Musicians For Mitt” continues during the final stretch to bring Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan to The White House.   Kid Rock will perform the final event tonight for Gov. Romney in Manchester, New Hampshire, while Randy Owen will bring the campaign trail for Congressman Ryan to a close in Wisconsin singing Alabama hits that lead him to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Hitting Ohio during the final two-days included performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Moore, The Marshall Tucker Band, country star Rodney Atkins, gospel-country group The Oak Ridge Boys, and Tim Rushlow (lead singer of hit-making group Little Texas), while various other artists including Big & Rich, Trace Adkins, Meat Loaf, John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting), Cowboy Troy, Lee Greenwood, Ricky Skaggs, Mark Wills, Lorrie Morgan, JoDee Messina, The Roys, Jamie O’Neal, Bryan White, Jett Williams, Baillie & The Boys, Lisa Matassa, Jeff Foxworthy, Collin Raye, John Michael Montgomery, T.G. Sheppard and more have criss-crossed the United States to entertain crowds at rally events.

“I love and respect my Country and I want it back!  I want the Country that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others including myself marched for; that we gave blood and sweat to help create, that’s why I support Mitt Romney for President,” says Sam Moore of Sam & Dave fame.

"I am supporting Mitt Romney because our country is in an economic mess and Mitt Romney is a businessman.  The Oak Ridge Boys have to balance our books every year.  Obama has exploded our budget and national debt.  With the stimulus money, he used borrowed money to buy government jobs and pay off his supporters.  Very few 'real' jobs were created.  We need real change," said Duane Allen of The Oak Ridge Boys.
Doug Gray of The Marshall Tucker Band stated, "We have been a small business for over 40 years, and we want to see other small businesses succeed. The Presidential race is drawing to a close, so we knew it was time to put our efforts to the cause. This is the most monumental vote that we will probably see in our entire lifetime - the most important vote to elect the next President of the United States.”
Christian artist Michael W. Smith endorses the Romney-Ryan ticket adding, "I value the sanctity of human life, I value the biblical definition of traditional marriage, and I value the principals this great nation was founded on.  And that is why I support Mitt Romney for President.  This is a man of great principle and integrity with a strong moral compass that , I believe, will be a great President – at a time we are desperate for leadership."
It's our responsibility as US citizens to exercise our right to vote. There are clear cut choices in this election that will determine the direction of our country.   I will be casting my vote for Mitt Romney – and I hope you'll consider doing the same."
Rodney Atkins adds, “I support what Gov. Romney plans to do to support our military and families.  And furthermore, I just believe in Governor Romney."

Sage Brush Music and Silver Stirrup Music Announce #1 Single for Lou Reid & Carolina

Sage Brush Music and Silver Stirrup Music Announce
#1 Single for Lou Reid & Carolina
Nashville, TN (November 5, 2012)  Sage Brush Music and Silver Stirrup Music companies are proud to announce the #1 song for Lou Reid & Carolina's "Carolina Moonshine Man" on the November 2012 Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s Top 30 Song Chart.  The song, written by Ray Edwards, Terry Foust and Lou Reid, appears on Lou Reid and Carolina’s album, CALLIN’ ME BACK HOME.
This is the second #1 song on the Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 chart for Sage Brush Music and Silver Stirrup Music, the first being "Hard Rock Mountain Prison ('Til I Die)" for Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out.
Songwriter Ray Edwards’ new album, PORTRAIT OF A BLUEGRASS SONGWRITER recently released on Rural Rhythm Records, includes the first single release, “My Name is Jimmy Martin (Do You Remember Me)" that is also moving up the Bluegrass Unlimited Chart.  All songs on the album are on Sage Brush Music & Silver Stirrup Music.  Rural Rhythm is gearing up to release another track from Ray’s album, “Blue Ridge Mountain Snow” written by Ray Edwards, Terry Foust and Daniel Routh.  The song is performed by Nu-Blu  with the talents of Daniel Routh (Lead Vocal & Rhythm Guitar); Carolyn Routh (Tenor Vocal & Acoustic Bass); Levi Austin  (Baritone Vocal & Banjo); Austin Koener  (Mandolin); with Special Guests Rob Ickes (Dobro) and Greg Luck (Fiddle).
Sage Brush Music & Silver Stirrup Music will soon be announcing details regarding the exciting upcoming track, "Last Day At Vicksburg." The song was written by Terry Foust and Ray Edwards and will be performed by Bradley Walker.  It will appear on the new major Civil War concept album slated to release in January titled, GOD DIDN'T CHOOSE SIDES on Rural Rhythm Records.

The parent company for Rural Rhythm Records has been operating Sage Brush Music Publishing Company for over 50 years.  Sage Brush Music is affiliated with BMI and has over 900 songs in their song publishing library.  Sage Brush Music is owned and operated by the same management team as Rural Rhythm Records. Sage Brush Music is aggressively adding to their song publishing library with songs from today’s top Bluegrass songwriters. 
Thirty year music veteran Tony Spinosa heads up the Sage Brush Music Publishing division.  In addition to the Bluegrass music market Sage Brush Music will be actively marketing their songs to the Country and Gospel music markets utilizing the vast contacts and relationships with major artists and producers which the management team has accumulated over 30 years in the music business.
Sage Brush Music and Rural Rhythm operate under two separate independent divisions.  Songwriters do not have to be on the Rural Rhythm roster to have songs in the Sage Brush Music library and vise versa, songwriters do not need to have songs published by Sage Brush Music to be on the Rural Rhythm roster.


Niemann Goes "On the Streets" With GAC Nov. 6 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Monday, November 5, 2012) – Tune in on Monday, Nov. 5 at Noon EST/11 a.m. CST to Hallmark Channel’s new daytime talk show "Marie" to watch country star Jerrod Niemann debut his poignant new single "Only God Could Love You More," from his new album, Free The Music, which reviewers are calling a "wild musical exploration," and an "envelope-pushing brand of country"(GAC). 
Niemann will step on to host Marie Osmond’s stage to share the inspiration behind his new single as well as what fans can expect from him this fall. 
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Niemann will appear on GAC's "On the Streets" where he will perform an acoustic rendition of "Only God Could Love You More." Air times that day are 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 11:30 p.m. EST. 
Currently touring the U.S. on his Jägermeister Presents Tour, Niemann will perform over 200 dates this year. He was also granted two coveted songwriting awards for his hits, "What Do You Want" and "One More Drinkin' Song" on Oct. 30 at the 2012 BMI Awards in Nashville. For more information, visit

Country Music News International November 5. 2012

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International . Your Country Music News is supported by, Flynnville Train, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Katsy Redstar

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages von Country Music News International . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Flynnville Train, ,Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Katsy Redstar

Der Newsletter darf veröffentlicht werden auf Euren Internetseiten und an Eure Freunde weiter geleitet werden. Solltet Ihr gerne einige der Interviews veröffentlichen wollen, kurze Rückmeldung an mich.
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Allen Karl & Donna Cunningham topping ECMA

(Nashville, TN-11.4.12) Century II recording artists’ Allen Karl & Donna Cunningham are topping the ECMA, Indie World, and other charts with their new singles and duet. Allen with “As Sure As I’m Standing Here” and Donna with her new singles, “Don’t Tell Me That You’re Gone” and “A Satisfied Me,” and their great duet “Your Name Is On My Lips Again.” 

Please give an extra push to put Allen and Donna at the top of your chart with their great performances.  You have been their support system for many weeks and months and they appreciate all of your airplay.  It is because of you that they are enjoying great success in their careers, and they send their appreciation to all DJ’s worldwide for your continued support of their music.

This could be a first in the careers of these two great artists if all four songs reach #1.  The excitement grows at Century II Records as they wait and watch for each week’s charts to come in. 

Allen & Donna would like to have you send us your playlists so that they could send you their personal thank you and sincere gratitude for the support you have extended to both of them throughout their careers.  You are special people and they feel that they should let you know on a personal basis how much you mean to each of them.  Since James Allen is deceased and RhonBob Promotions is no longer active, Allen and Donna miss their personal relationship with their DJ friends, so we are asking you to send us your playlists as you did with James and Rhonnie.  I hope that I have continued promotion for both artists in a manner that is good for you and I hope that James would feel that I have continued his work as he would have, as well as Rhonnie.  I thank you also.


Bear Family Release Historic 1960s Shows on DVD

Take a trip back in time and see country music as it was on television in the mid 1960s. No big spectacular production, no glitzy sets – just honest-to-goodness country music the way the fans liked it.

Country music was no stranger to television and, throughout the previous decade, had been presented in the “barn dance” setting that was already a proven winner with radio audiences – a large regular cast, some guests and often shot in a large auditorium. But things changed when Porter Wagoner arrived on the small screen in 1961, with his show focused on the star and his band, a few guests and recorded in a studio with minimal props. The viewers loved it and other artists looking to broaden their audience horizons quickly followed suite, among them Buck Owens, the Wilburn Brothers, Billy Walker, Del Reeves and Flatt & Scruggs.

There was also Ernest Tubb. His show was launched in 1965 – a truly memorable year for the Texas Troubadour as, after over 30 years in the business (and 25 on Decca Records) - he became the sixth inductee into Nashville’s prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame.

The show was produced by Hal Smith (Tubb’s manager and co-founder of Pamper Music) with shows filmed four-at-a-time at the WSIX-TV studios in Nashville.

Accompanying Tubb and the regular guests were The Texas Troubadours, going through their hottest period with the much acclaimed line-up of Buddy Charleton (steel guitar), Jack Drake (bass), Leon Rhodes (guitar). Jack Greene (drums) and Cal Smith (guitar), the last two on the threshold of their own solo careers. At the start of 1967 Steve Chapman replaced Rhodes who went on to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry house band as well as working numerous recording sessions.

The regular cast of the show comprised veteran fiddler/vocalist Wade Ray; Lois Johnson, who would be charting records by the end of the decade; pop/gospel quartet The Johnson Sisters; and, for a spot of Southern comedy, Bun Wilson.

The show also had a co-host – a clean shaven, smartly attired singer/songwriter named Willie Nelson. But it wasn’t a role that particularly suited him as Ernest Tubb later recalled in an interview with Hairl Hensley. “Willie was my co-star on that show, and the producer kept after me to get Willie to say something. I said ‘you get him to say something, I can’t’. Willie’s a great singer but he didn’t have just a whole lot of exuberance on TV”. He left the show in 1967 and, rather than seeking a replacement, more time was given to Greene and Smith.

Although bootleg copies of the series have been in circulation over the years, eight episodes are now officially released by Bear Family Records (artist and song details are listed below) on two DVDs.

Shot on a single stage, and with the camera focussing square on the artist (with the occasional tracking to band members), The Ernest Tubb Show was no flashy production. It was the music that counted!

The main attraction, of course, is ET himself and, during the course of these two DVDs, gets to sing 18 songs including his chart successes Waltz Across Texas, Thanks A Lot, Have You Ever Been Lonely and Seaman’s Blues, alongside classics Your Cheating Heart and In The Jailhouse Now, the latter being associated with Jimmie Rodgers, the legend that was Tubb's inspiration. On one show he also introduced his 9 year old son Tinker Tubb and, between the music, finds time for a spot of humourous conversation with Bun Wilson who, incidentally, was the Troubadours’ first official drummer back in 1960.

In addition to backing their bossman, and the other artists, The Texas Troubadours feature in their own rights, with spotlight turned upon steelman Buddy Charleton presenting an instrumental or Leon Rhodes showing his vocal skills while uprising stars Jack Greene and Cal Smith's performances include There Goes My Everything and All The World Is Lonely Now in their respective repertoires.

Willie Nelson might not have been a talkative co-host but he had no problem with his distinctive singing styling on the shows that he appeared, conjuring up images of his native Texas with such as San Antonio Rose and My Window Faces The South as well performing One Day At A Time and Lonely Little Mansion among his original material. Wade Ray, the "old pug nosed fidder" who began his career in the 1920s, had headed up his own western swing band and, after the tv shows, joined Nelson's band as a bass player. Here he shows off his considerable talents as both fiddler and vocalist.

Lois Johnson, yet to achieve hit status, performed classics like A Legend in my Time and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, or joining forces with the Johnson Sisters (no relation) on Ride Ride Ride among other songs. The sisters also had their own spots as well as providing the occasional vocal backup to the other artists. And, like the majority of country shows, there was always a gospel song included.

The Ernest Tubb Show ceased production in 1968 after 139 episodes, although it continued in re-runs for several years. Details of the show’s history, together with mini-biographies and photographs of the artists, is told in the full colour 16 page booklet that accompanies each DVD. The text is penned by Nashville journalist Randy Fox.

Other Ernest Tubb releases available from Bear Family Records:
Walking the floor Over You (complete recordings 1939-47) (8 cd box set with 40 page book) – BCD 15853 HI
Let’s say Goodbye Like We Said Hello (complete recordings 1947-53) (5 cd box set with 32 page book) – BCD 15498 EH
The Yellow Rose of Texas (complete recordings 1954-60) (5 cd box set with 32 page book) – BCD 15688 EI
Waltz Across Texas (complete recordings 1961-66) (6 cd box set with 44 page book) – BCD 15929 FI
Another Story (complete records 1966-75) (6 cd box set with 40 page book) – BCD 15935 FI
Thirty Days: Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight (cd with 32 page booklet) – BCD 16866 AH

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