Monday, June 10, 2013


Hammer Down Tour Opens June 8, Ford Sweepstakes Set


(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) New music from chart-topping singer-songwriter Toby Keith will delight his fans and music lovers beginning June 11 as "Drinks After Work" arrives at country radio. The single is the first release from an as-yet untitled album due later this year.

"Drinks After Work" celebrates "havin' fun, two-for-one" and the end of the "ball and chain for the suits and skirts - it's just drinks after work."

The new song is sure to be an immediate favorite at Keith's standing-room-only live shows, which resume June 8 in Ozark, AR as he puts the hammer down on the Hammer Down Tour, presented by Ford F-Series. Joining him are Kip Moore and Drake White.

As the tour revs up, Toby and Ford Trucks are partnering to send one fan speeding toward some amazing prizes in the Hammer Down Sweepstakes. The grand prize winner will receive a new 2014 Ford F-150 with EcoBoost®, as well as an exclusive backstage barbecue with Keith prior to one of his shows. Entries are now being accepted at

Toby Keith is one of the most consistent recording artists and touring draws of his era, having 30 #1 singles since his debut and continually ranking as one of the genre's top grossing live performers.
Forbes ranked him as the top-earning country artist of 2012. Hammer Down Tour dates, which will have Kip Moore and Drake White on select shows and are subject to change, include:

Jun 08, 2013        Ozark, AR                          Thunder On The Mountain
Jun 14, 2013        Cincinnati, OH                   Riverbend Music Center
Jun 15, 2013        Pittsburgh, PA                   First Niagara Pavilion
Jun 16, 2013        Detroit, MI                        DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jun 21, 2013        Holmdel, NJ                       PNC Bank Center
Jun 22, 2013        Philadelphia, PA                Susquehanna Bank Center
Jun 28, 2013        Oshkosh, WI                      Country USA
Jun 29, 2013        Cadott, WI                         Country Fest
Jun 30, 2013        Chicago, IL                         First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
Jul 19, 2013         Cleveland, OH                    Blossom Music Center
Jul 21, 2013         Darien Lake, NY                Darien Lake PAC
Jul 26, 2013         Minot, ND                         North Dakota State Fair
Jul 27, 2013         Cheyenne, WY                   Cheyenne Frontier Days
Jul 30, 2013         Davenport, IA                    Mississippi Valley Fair
Aug 02, 2013       Sweet Home, OR               Oregon Jamboree
Aug 03, 2013       George, WA                       The Watershed Music Festival
Aug 06, 2013       Sturgis, SD                         Buffalo Chip
Aug 14, 2013       Springfield, IL                    Illinois State Fair
Aug 15, 2013       Des Moines, IA                 Iowa State Fair
Aug 16, 2013       Sedalia, MO                       Missouri State Fair
Aug 17, 2013       Louisville, KY                    Kentucky State Fair
Aug 23, 2013       Syracuse, NY                     New York State Fair
Aug 24, 2013       Washington, DC                 Jiffy Lube Live
Aug 25, 2013       Hartford, CT                      Comcast Theatre
Aug 29, 2013       Milwaukee, WI                  Marcus Amphitheater
Aug 31, 2013       Allentown, PA                   The Great Allentown Fair
Sep 01, 2013        Essex Junction, VT            Champlain Valley Fair
Sep 02, 2013        Bangor, ME                        Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
Sep 07, 2013        Indianapolis, IN                 Klipsch Music Center
Sep 14, 2013        Kansas City, KS                Flatlands Country Music Festival
Sep 15, 2013        Hutchinson, KS                  Kansas State Fair
Sep 21, 2013        Boston, MA                       Comcast Center
Sep 28, 2013        Panama City Beach, FL     Gulf Coast Jam
Oct 19, 2013        Laughlin, NV                      Laughlin Amphitheater

Dave Adkins & Republik Steele Debut at #7 on Billboard

Dave Adkins & Republik Steele Debut at #7 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart
Band Chosen as Official IBMA WOB Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Artist
NASHVILLE, TN (June 10, 2013) -- Rural Rhythm Records is very proud to announce Dave Adkins  & Republik Steele make their debut at #7 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart with THAT’S JUST THE WAY I ROLL.  Media has certainly welcomed this album with Cybergrass exclaiming, “This release isn’t HOT – it’s EXTREMELY HOT!  Wow this is one of the finest new sounds I’ve heard in quite a while” and PARCBENCH stating Adkins “voice finds just the right nuance for each song, treating each as a unique musical portrait. His trustworthy vocals frame each with warmth and authenticity.”
THAT’S JUST THE WAY I ROLL has also received international Radio support with numerous tracks receiving airplay including  the title track and first single release, “That’s Just The Way I Roll” along with other  popular tracks like “Heartstrings,” “Rio,” “Get Em Up, “ and “Please Come To Boston.”
"I'm looking for my rubber stamp that says HIT and as soon as I find it I'm going to rubber stamp this album with HIT all over it. The song itself is just about the best introduction to the rest of the album you could find. Bluegrass to the Bone! Followed by Dave's rendition of John Conlee's Top-Ten country hit from 1978 which may be even better than the original, right on down to the last song on the album, The Storm, Dave Adkins' name needs to be placed right up next to all of the great vocalists in the hall of honor,"  said Brian McNeal, Prescription Bluegrass Media.
Dave Adkins & Republik Steele has certainly emerged as one of the most talked about and exciting new acts in bluegrass music. The band received a 2013 SPBGMA award nomination as Entertaining Group of the Year along with Dave garnering his first nomination for the SPBGMA Male Vocalist of the Year. Their highly entertaining live performances have garnered them a heavy tour schedule and loyal fan base. Attendees of the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh this September will get a chance to see their exciting stage show as the band has been chosen as an Official WOB Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Artist.
Numerous promotional appearances including interviews on WSM Radio, Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction, Bobcat Country Radio, Blue Ridge Country, WSIP and events such as Dave’s performance of the National Anthem for the 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship - Nashville Regional at Vanderbilt's Hawkins Field have helped gain the band even more fans.

Country Music News International June 10. 2013

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International . Your Country Music News is supported by, Courtyard Nashville Downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau , Dellenbügler, , Tennessee Tourism, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity,

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R.O.P.E. (Reunion of Professional Entertainers)

Tillis-AchievementAward.jpg(Nashville, TN-6.8.13) Mel Tillis holding the R.O.P.E. Intl. Appreciation award presented to him during his performance on June 5th for our Breakfast with the Stars.  And there were many, many stars, some 40 artists from Hall of Famers, Grand Ole Opry members, Indie artists who attended the best show in Nashville to begin CMA Music Fest Week. 

Mel Tillis delivered a awesome show with his super band The Statesiders.  How great it was to see a 9 piece band all dressed alike and knowing exactly what they were going to do on every song that Mel sang. What a joy to see and hear a real entertainer, but that is who Mel Tillis is and he gave a great performance for all present.  He was really excited about the fact that the show was totally sold out-I mean totally sold out.  Those of you who missed this fantastic show, need to get ready to get your tickets for next years Breakfast with the Stars, which we are already working on for you.

From the time our Board of Directors arrived at the Nashville Palace to get things ready until the doors opened, you could feel the excitement in the building, and I mean the electricity was high voltage.  The fans were standing all around the building waiting to get in to get seated or pick up their tickets.  When the last person got inside, then the rain came and it was a downpur, but someone was looking out for us, because the rest of the day turned out beautiufl.

The buffet lines were great, the artists and fans mingled, and the media was there to enjoy what I sure they know was the best show in Nashville to start what “we” still call Fan Fare, and to most of us, it will always be Fan Fare.  Before I get deep into this article I want to send out a great thank you to Inside Music Row with Kelly Lynn doing the interviews, and she was awesome, also Keith Bradford’s NBRN with Laura Dobbs was super greatJennifer Justus from The Tennessean was in attendance also, and WSM’s All Night Trucking Show host, Marcia Campbell was also with us as she promised she would be.  I personally thank Marcia, Bill Cody, and Charlie Mattos of WSM-AM 650 for their great support given to us for this show and for years past.  We owe all of the media a debt of gratitude for being with us.  There were others that came to interview, but I cannot remember all of them.  Thanks to Terri Church for joining in the media interviews along with the ladies who were with her, one a DJ, but all three great supporters of traditional country music.  The media this year played an important part in the success of this show.  All of us on the Board of Directors for R.O.P.E. knew that this show was going to be special, but never did we think that it was going to be one of the best that our organization has ever presentedin its 30 years of existance. 

So from all of us at R.O.P.E. who make the decisions on what we do with our events, we thank all of you in the media for believing in our show to take the time to join us and give us coverage that we felt you would enjoy being a part of.  And we are not forgetting all of the foreign countires who were in attendance for our show, and some of their media people who were in attendance.  A special thanks to my friend from England, Duncan Warwick who is the Editor of the super mag Country Music People was also with us again this year and promised he would be back for next years breakfast.  He said he loved the show with Mel Tillis.  And our special thanks to Jerry Overcast, who is R.O.P.E.’s exclusive photographer and all of the picture that you see in this article are credited to my friend for his undying work and love of our organization. 

The artists who were in attendance reads like a Whose Who in Country Music.  I am going to list the names so that those of you who do not listen to my Saturday morning Radio Show from 10 to 1030am CST, will be able to get an idea of what you missed.  As follows:

JSeely.jpgMel Tillis and His Band-Charlie Pride-Bill Anderson-Jean Shepard-Mac Wiseman-Jim Ed Brown-Jeannie Seely-Jan Howard-Razzy Bailey-T.Graham Brown-T.G. Sheppard-Kelly Lang-Tommy Cash-Helen Cornelius-Jimmy Fortune-Jim Glaser-Rhonda Vincent-George Hamilton IV-Sam Wellington-Guy Hardin-Stan Hitchcock-Ronnie Reno-Georgette Jones-Robyn Young-Bobby G. Rice-Bobby Lewis-Leona Williams-Shelly West-Miss Jeanie-Allen Karl-Donna Cunningham-Helen Cornelius-Rattlesnake Annie-Lulu Roman-Dianne Sherrill-Karen Wheeler, and I know I have forgot others who were in attendance, but I did not mean to.  Also joining us were Brian Edwards one of Canada’s top promoters, Bayron Binkley who was so intrumental in bringing television shows to country music, Charlie Monk (We call him Mayor of Nashville and Country Music), and Joe Taylor one of the last of the greatest talents in the world.  Joe was a mentor to so many of us. He was thrilled to be with us, and thanks to Bobby Tomerlin one of Nashville’s great songwriters, for bringing Joe to the show.  There were so many musicians and fans who were enjoying the moment that the entire Nashville Palace was turned into a salute to real traditional country music and we celebrated it in high fashion.  And before I forget, we would like to thank the entire staff of the Nashville Palace for a super job of taking care of our people with great food and great service.  A special thanks to Jeanie Spears who designed the R.O.P.E. Breakfast with the Stars flyer for us.  Everyone was so impressed with Jeanie’s great work and we here at R.O.P.E. are so thankful for her help.  And thanks to our Board of Directors for a great job on this event.

TillisandBand.jpgEveryone evidently had enough food, and then it was showtime.  The Statesider’s were introduced by the host of our show, Keith Bilbrey.  Mel’s band is so, so good, and the time had come for the introduction of Hall of Famer and the band played a great intro to Mel coming on stage, and as all great entertainers do, Mel took over the entire room and gave a 45 minute performance that was made to order for Mel’s fans and all country music fans who attended.  Mel then signed autographs for almost 30 minutes, took pictures, shook hands with all of his fans and stayed until the Palace emptied out.  We thank you Mel Tillis and we thank the Statesider’s for being the professional band that I wish all bands were like that.  We do not have many left that still dress alike.  I guess Mel, Bill Anderson, Ray Price, Jesse McReynolds, and a few others.  I do not think it would change any of the minds of the new artists even if they were at this show to see how great Mel’s band looked and played.  R.O.P.E. is so thankful for Mel agreeing to do our show this year and we were all treated to a true legend, a professional, and one of the best entertainers country music has ever known.  I had bands for almost 25 years and I made sure that they all dressed alike, so when you see a band that are great musicians and they are all dressed well, you know you are in for a great show.

Some of the fans that were there said they wished that all of the artists in attendance could have sang a song.  That would have been great, but we asked Mel if he would do our show, and he was kind enough to accept our invitattion to bring his band at his expense, and I do not think it was our choice to ask Mel to have his band back everyone with their songs.  All artists that were there knew what the format of the show was going to be and there were comfortable with how everything turned out.  Mel enjoyed being with his fellow artists, and several artists that he had no seen in a long time.  Rhonda Vincent asked me if I thought Mel would take a picture with her, and if I would ask him.  After the show was finished and Mel was on his tour bus, we asked if he would take a picture with Rhonda and he said just get that young lady out here and bring her on the bus, which we did and she got her picture, plus she spent time with Mel talking, so she was a happy lady.  She looked great and she bought tickets for her friends to come to this show she said it was one of the best shows she had been to.  Also I want to make mention that I received an email from Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely who said it was one of the best shows R.O.P.E. ever presented, and that was great to have her let us know.

MeLeonaRhondaMac.JPGJShepard-LWilliams.jpgOne of the classic of this years breakfast was once again to see Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry legend, Jean Shepard agreeing to attend the show if Mac Wiseman would be there and they could sit together and talk, and that is what they did for three hours.  They both have been great friends for so many years, and like me, Jean feels that Mac should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame, so I say to the nominating committee, please read up on Mac Wiseman and you might be embarrassed to see that he is not in the Hall and should be nominated and inducted in next years class.  Please realize what this man has done for our industry.  But just to see Jean and Mac, and then Leona Williams sit down with each other and talk about old times, tell great stories with great memories, and to enjoy each others company was a treat for all fans who were taking picture as many as they could get, and Jean accommodated as many as she could with autographs before she left.  I thought she would leave early, but she said no, because it was such a great show and she was enjoying it, that she was going to stay.  I hope everyone knows, that in my heart and mind, Jean Shepard is the Matriarch of Country Music and if you need questions answered, she will be the one to give you a straight answer. 

TGraham.jpgOne of the impressive things about these legendary artists is how they do not say no to anyone.  The interviews were coming from all directions and the media room was in a buzz from the time the doors opened until they closed.  And the excitement of the media people was great to see when they knew they were going to be able to interview Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Charlie Pride, Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely, T.G. Sheppard and the long list of artists who paraded back to the media room to do the interviews and they enjoyed it as much as the interviewer.  I told T. Graham Brown when he asked me to explain to him what R.O.P.E. stood for, that our organization was to help preserve traditional country music and that we felt we were the catalyst to make sure that the media, the fans, and the country music industry did not forget the Bill Andersons, the T.Graham Browns, Jean Shepards, and that we wanted all of the artists to talk to the younger artists and let them know that real country music is alive and well, although there are some factions of the industry that would like to see it completely die out, but that is not going to happen as long as R.O.P.E. continues to grow, and I feel that it is just now beginning to move forward and that artists are beginning to recognize our organization as being one that they will always be able to depend on, and by the way, it is not an old age retiremennt home. 

BillAnderson.jpgThis particular show proved a point beyond anyone’s doubt that artists such as Mel Tillis, Bill Anderson, Jean Shepard and the many that were there, believe in what we are doing and will endorse us to keep going.  It is made for the Friends of R.O.P.E. and for industry people such as the artists, songwriters, publishers, media, booking agents, record labels, record producers, and anyone and everyone who wants to know who we are.  This years show was living proof that we are here to stay.  Now I hope that CMA will add us to their agenda during next years CMA Music Fest and also in October during Country Music Week.  We have paid our dues.

CPride-Rattlesnake.jpgOne of the best parts of the breakfast was to see Charley Pride with us with his manager John Dane.  Charley stayed the entire time talking with old friends that he had not seen in some time, autographing, taking pictures, shaking hands, and doing almost one hour of interviews non stop.  We feel that he was glad to be there with his fellow artists although it was early in the morning, he seemed to enjoy himself, and his being there along with other artists, gives me the feeling that we will see more artists and fans joining R.O.P.E. because of the attendance of the artists.  I hope all of the artists realize that by their commitment to be at the breakfast it has helped R.O.P.E. tremendously, so that when we partner with another organizations such as cancer, heart disease, or someone that we can help, it will give us even more recognition that we are here to help others and to keep traditional country music alive, and hopefully the younger artists and more indie artists, legends, and veterans will join us to realize that we are building an organization of comaraderie and friendship as a place to enjoy each others company and to make sure that we can join hands with the younger artists to let them know that we are not a bunch of old people getting together for hot dogs and hamburgers and a beer to live out our golden years.  If you would have been there you would have seen the number of young people and indie artists who were enjoying every minute of this great event.  The artists made this possible, and Mel Tillis gave the performance that makes our organization as authentic as any of the other organizations in country music.  We need the Charley Pride’s to let people know that R.O.P.E. is a organization to be a member of.

June 5, 2013 was a special day in the life R.O.P.E.  It was a great successful because of all of the artist who were there to enjoy being with their fans and their fellow artists, and to you the fans for attending this event to show your support of these great artists, and to enjoy what we all felt was one of the best shows we have ever had.  On behalf of all Board of Directors of R.O.P.E. we sincerely thank all of the great artists, all of the super fans, and the super media.  This event was successful because you made is successful  2014 is going to be awesome.  See all of you back here next year during the CMA Music Fest for our Breakfast with the Stars.

Marty Martel©


    Atlantic, Iowa....."As many folks know, I'm a great old-time train lover," says Bob Everhart who has recorded six albums for Smithsonian-Folkways.  "My first introduction to trains in music was through Jimmie Rodgers the father of country music.  Well, I don't know about 'father.'  If you were to ask anyone who records so-called country music for a major label today, they wouldn't know who their father is.  Anyway, trains were important to some of those early really authentic country music recording artists.  Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, tons of super stars, including Roy Acuff.  Who could forget the Wabash Cannonball.  Even Hank Williams liked train songs.  I have recorded a ton of them, and still perform them.  Sheila (my wife) and Bobbie Lhea (my daughter) had the great good fortune of taking a steam-train ride this past weekend.  It was a rainy day, but that didn't lessen the pleasure of going on an old-time train trip.  Old Engine #7081, fired up the coal, and smoking like a house afire left the depot in Anita for the round trip adventure to Atlantic, Iowa, probably about a 30-mile ride through the countryside.  This particular steam engine was built in China in 1986, and was the last long distance passenger train in China that used steam.  Add to this smoking, clanking, old-time whistler, eight old-time passenger cars, and you begin to have an idea what it's all about.  And yes, all eight cars were full when we departed Anita.  Just thinking that 27-some years ago, an elderly Chinese carrying a pig to market might have been sitting in the very seat I was sitting in.  Once out in the hinterlands we could see how well the corn crops are growing.  Sheila spotted a couple of white-tail deer prancing along the railroad tracks, and the wild flowers are really wild and beautiful alongside these same tracks.  It was great fun, we went shopping in Atlantic, and had a nice char-broiled hamburger for lunch.  All of the profits went to the Atlantic and Anita Volunteer Fire Departments.  What a neat way to raise some money, have fun (especially the hundreds of kids that were on board) and remember the past."
     "We just finished our last concert at the Oak Tree Performance Center," Sheila piped up.  "Sarah Davison and her band High Road did a simply wonderful job.  Three-part female harmony is hard to beat.  From Nashville, they really put on a good show, and now we are looking forward to our next show, June 14th, featuring Red Johnson, who will no doubt be doing some train songs I honor of Governor Brandstad's Museum Week."
     "Dad wanted to declare the char-broiled hamburgers a budget lunch when we were on the train ride," Bobbie Lhea said.  "But he had taken us earlier in the week to the Kentucky Fried Chicken that now features what they call their 'boneless chicken meal.'   So that's what we had.  You can get two big chunks of chicken breast if you ask for it, a biscuit, and we all had cole-slaw, though you could get other sides.  With drinks too, the total bill was $18.98. Good going dad!" 


June 13 - Texas Style Jam, Dows Convention Center, Dows, Iowa - 6-9pm
June 14, 7pm - Red Johnson, Capitol Recording Artist, in concert, Oak Tree Opry, Anita, Iowa
June 16, 2pm - Francis & Jeannie Hahn Anniversary/Bob Everhart Birthday - Community Center, Mapleton, Iowa
June 19-22 - Kenaston Family Festival, Fairgrounds, Wahoo, Nebr.  Leona Williams & son Ron & a whole bunch of
      great performers from all over.  Dances, workshops, several stages.  RV camping.
July 4 - Lund Seeds Old-Time 4th of July - Potluck 5:30pm followed by Oak Tree Opry cast + Emma Heyen
July 5 - Oak Tree Opry, Anita, Iowa, 7pm - featuring Jackie Shewey & Lee Muller
July 6 - Gayville, South Dakota, Music Hall - John & Susan McNeill and Bob & Sheila Everhart concert- 6pm
July 13-14 - Juhl's Farm for their Arbor Fest for Damascus Road - Great show with Terry Smith & a ton of great ones
July 14 - Ragtime to Riches Festival - begins 2pm with concerts 3pm & 7pm  - United Church of Christ, Omaha, Nebr.
July 19 - Oak Tree Opry, Anita, Iowa, 7pm - John & Susan McNeill incredible performers from South Dakota
July 20 - Randy & Kay Jipp's Barn, 4818 Y Ave., Aurelia, Iowa - features concert by Bob & Sheila Everhart
July 21 - Hitchcock House, Lewis, Iowa - features concert by Bob & Sheila Everhart
Bob Everhart


There's an incredible story out in Jett Williams latest newsletter about the death of her father Hank Williams Sr., as well as a new movie out entitled "The Last Ride," also about Hank.  It seems there's a lot more to Hank's death than any of us remember or realize.  Jett Williams is married to a very successful attorney, Fletcher Keith Adkinson, who managed to not only prove Jett's relationship to Hank Williams Sr (his daughter), he also managed to get her the rightful inheritance she was entitled to.  He is one super attorney, even serving on the bar of the Supreme Court of the U.S. and he's married to Jett Williams.  He came with Jett to our festival (when we were located in Missouri Valley), and I was quite impressed with him.  He watched everything going on while we had Jett on stage, and I would constantly glance at him about how we were doing, and he nodded his head approvingly, so apparently it all turned out OK, and now we are quite satisfied with his abilities as well as Jetts.  This time around however, the story of Hank's death is starting to show some interesting conflicts about the entire episode.  We just had June Webb at our little performance center in Anita.  She was Hank's opening act on that West Virginia/Ohio last two shows he never showed up for.  June was also an avid fan of Hank Williams, so much so that when he disappeared, so did she, for nearly 35 years.  She's back, and she's got a great new CD coming out.  Back to Hank.  According to Jett, there was a lot of contradiction, lies, and misinformation swirling around Hank's death.  More recently, she's asking "Why would someone in Oak Hill close to the investigation of the death of Hank Williams want to meet Keith and me in the middle of the night to tell us my dad's death, in his opinion, was a homicide?"  Wow, that is indeed an incredible statement. Here's the rest..."What happened to Hank if he didn't die of natural causes at 29 years old, and who did what, and why?  A quick recap suggests that we have a 17-year old driver of a new Cadillac, on New Year's Eve, with a hitch-hiker (apparently a military man) that vanished, then with a relief driver (another 17-year old) that denies the hitch hiker ever existed, trying to get to Charleston when they were supposed to be going to Canton, Ohio.  The show at Charleston had been canceled.  And then there was the Highway Patrolman, the magistrate, and the waitress who maintain that Hank was alive or dead when they allegedly saw him.  Include a detective who was denied the ability to investigate, a blood sample that turned up negative for alcohol or drugs, a bruised and battered body, and you have yourself an Agatha Christy mystery."  Indeed indeed!  We won't even go into the aftermath and all the incredible 'incidents' that took place, because that is a story in itself.  It's the 'death' of Hank Williams that is now shrouded in mystery.
It's definitely going to be an interesting ride, just received this most interesting press release.  "Celebrate the Legend of Hank Williams - THE LAST RIDE - The intimate look at the final days of one of the greatest singer-songwriters in American Country Music History.   According to the press release, "Ride off into the sunset with the most legendary country music artist of all-time when "The Last Ride" arrives on Blue-ray and DVD June 4th, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Based on the controversial life story of singer-songwriter Hank Williams, the Last Ride tells the powerful tale of country music's original bad boy.  The man, the myth, and the music come together when Williams travels from Alabama to a series of New Year's shows in West Virginia and Ohio.  This remarkable journey leads straight into the heart and soul of the legendary performer, as he takes one last shot at redemption. Featuring all-new versions of Hank Williams's greatest songs, this emotional tale of hope and truth is one you'll never forget. With 11 number one songs throughout his career, Williams' music continues to touch people's lives long after his passing 60 years ago.  Former President Bill Clinton has said of the Last Ride that 'it takes us back to rural America in the 1950's, tells the story simply, and uses the music deftly, both to intensify the drama and to remind us of the timeless genius of Hank Williams."  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee added, "it's a beautifully crafted and creative vehicle for telling the story of almost every gifted musician or actor who must reconcile the desire within to simply be a great artist and the demands of the public to be an accessible and accommodating celebrity."  OK, so how does all this connect to Bob & Sheila Everhart and their love and admiration for this 'rural' genius, Hank Williams? Yes, please do listen to us doing one of his songs "My Sweet Love Ain't Around" on our fan-based website in England.  Please go to click up music and then click up "My Sweet Love Ain't Around." Hope you like it.
Minnesota lover of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Jimmie Rodgers, and a ton more, Sherwin Linton, is excited about inviting friends and fans to join him in Nashville Oct 15-21.  Joining forces with Hart Travel, Sherwin and wife Pam, have set up a seven-day tour in a luxury coach.  Four nights at the Fairfield Inn within walking distance of the Opry Land Hotel, a Night Life Dinner Theater welcoming them with a show by Sherwin and Pam. Included in this trip  is your lunch, show and cruise ticket on the General Jackson, tickets to tour the country music hall of fame museum. Also the Grand Ole Opry, and much much more.  Price per person is $850 with more info at
Country music star Jimmie Rodgers will be celebrated at the annual Mississippi Picnic in New York City, where Brott Gully will play songs recently recorded using a guitar once owned by Rodgers.  Gully used Rodger's custom Martin guitar in February to record a tribute album at the Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian, Mississippi, Rodger's hometown.  The museum owns the guitar.  It was the first time the instrument had been played in a recording session in years.  Gully, who is from Kemper County, Mississippi, said the guitar is valued at something like one-million dollars.  Jimmie Rodgers died in 1933, and according to Gully, "It was an honor just to get to touch it, much less play it and record an album with it.  That's the Holy Grail for me."  The guitar has been kept in a safe in recent years at the museum dedicated to Rodgers, who is considered the father of country music and was also known as the 'Singing Brakeman' from his time as a railroad worker.  Gully said another country music star, Ernest Tubb, played the guitar for years after Rodger's death, but it hadn't been used for a recording in decades."  We don't have much information about the album Gully performed, but if you want to see a picture of the guitar being held by Ernest Tubb, you can find it at  You'll have to wait until I sing part of my original song "Dear Grand Ole Opry" and then watch the photos during the break.  Ernest and the guitar are toward the end of the break.
Most of you remember that Michael Martin Murphey was with us at our annual Convention-Festival in LeMars, Iowa, last year. He promised to be with us again this year (Aug 26-Sept 1) at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  It was recently announced that Red River Entertainment launched its Nashville division.  Chuck Rhodes who will head up the Nashville office for the label says the first releases scheduled are Murphey's "Live From The Archives" which features his WSM appearances, as well as his "Red River Drifter" album which will have a July 9th release date.  Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan join with a release of "Dos Divas."  Along with Michael Martin Murphey at our Iowa Festival, this year, we expect to have LuLu Roman (from Hee Haw); Ed Bruce (Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys); Kenny Serrat (the voice behind the voice of Merle Haggard); Terry Smith (wrote Far Side Banks of Jordan for Johnny and June Carter Cash); Rev. Dr. Harry Yates (founder of Cowboy Church) and Joanne Cash (Johnny Cash's younger sister), and more for this year's celebration.
Speaking of Johnny Cash, a new Johnny Cash Forever stamp has gone on sale at the post office.  The stamp is based around a promotional shot for the 1963 album "Ring Of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash."  According to Johnny & June's son John Carter Cash, "It looks like a 45 or 78 RPM record cover and is unlike the usual offering, matching his father's legacy.  It just truly embodies my father's spirit, who he was.  It's different.  That's one thing: It stands out to me as being unique.  It's very commanding when you see the stamp."  A decade after his 2003 death, Cash remains a popular figure with million-dollar sales.  A celebration of what would have been his 80th year started last spring and efforts to preserve his legacy continue in Nashville and his birthplace in Arkansas.  The Johnny Cash Museum formally opened in downtown Nashville, and efforts are underway to save Cash's childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.  Joanne Cash, his younger sister, will be at LeMars to be inducted into America's Country Music Hall of Fame, which Johnny was inducted into a number of years ago.
Everybody knows that Blue Bunny Ice Cream is located in LeMars, Iowa, where our annual festival is held.  What some might not know is that Sue Bee Honey is located in Sioux City, Iowa, just 19 miles south of LeMars.  It was recently announced that the Henningsens, a rapidly rising country trio, have a new partnership with the popular and classic American brand Sue Bee Honey.  Both the recording group and the company value referencing family, honest and hard-working American-made values and traditions.  These values are also displayed in the trio's new video for their Top-20 debut single "American Beautiful."  Clara Henningsen said "When we were approached about the partnership with Sue Bee Honey, we were so excited because our farm has been in our family for seven generations here in Iowa."  Clara's dad Brian also spoke up "We have a really large family.  My wife and I have 10 children.  We love the multi-generation aspect of farming and music, and that was a really good fit for us in partnering with and becoming friends with the folks at Sue Bee Honey.  The farm we live on (1,700 acres) has been in my family for 142 years.  The history, roots, and grounded-ness that it provides is very special to us.  It's a very special thing, a very American thing, to value that kind of multi-generational relationship and to want to build something that can be passed to your children as a heritage."  The Henningsen Trio is made up of father Brian, and his son Aaron and daughter Clara.  The trio is currently on tour with Brad Paisley, presented by Cracker Barrel, and they have been invited to appear at the 38th annual National Old-Time Country-Bluegrass-Folk Festival and Contest & Pioneer Expo of Rural Lifestyle in LeMars, Iowa, Aug. 26-Sept. 1 at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.
Neil Young's summer European tour with Crazy Horse beginning in Berlin covered a Bob Dylan song "Blowin' In The Wind" at the tour opener.  Young sang it solo acoustic, with harmonica.  Young said..."I'm going to do my best  Bob Dylan imitation.  I will go out there with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. No electric. This will be a folk approach, based on story songs with lots of words and verses.  I will be like a ghost from the past, totally a throwback to another time.  It's funny, I call it a Bob Dylan imitation, but Bob never does it.  I suspect it would be too lonely and singular for him, no band to hang with or friends to see every day when he gets off the bus."
What is it with CMT Awards.  The "CM" supposedly stands for "COUNTRY MUSIC" or that is what I've been told, and that is what they espoused to get their television license.  So how come....Lenny Kravitz and Nelly are performing on this so-called award show, joining his co-host Jason Aldean, while the rapper Nelly teams up with Florida Georgia Line.  Good Lord....WHAT IS 'COUNTRY' ABOUT ANY OF THIS?

Bob Everhart


We are getting ready for the June 14th show to honor Governor Brandstad's request that the entire week be called "Museum Week" in Iowa, and encouraged all museums to do something special to call attention to their memory houses.  We definitely are going to do something special, we will have the very gifted Red Johnson in concert to help raise money to help fix the roof that is leaking in the museum.  Red is the guy who recorded "There's A Grand Ole Opry Show Playing Somewhere" for Capitol records, and also wrote songs for Dave Dudley.  Some of his songs were recorded by Rex Allen and Hank Thompson, but it was Dudley that did most of them.  We will have the Pioneer Music Museum open, free of charge, for the evening of June 14th.  We still have some 'cleaning-up' to do while we are waiting for a roof repair person to come see what needs to be done to the roof, but hopefully the museum will be in pretty good shape by June 14th.
Bob Everhart


We just had Sarah Davison and her most excellent band "High Road" with us, all the way from Nashville.  We do not normally have shows on Thursday night, but this wonderful group led by Sarah, was in Iowa so Sarah and her friends could spend some time with her parents in Braddyville.  Their show was just simply super.  We had such a good time, our regulars were with us, Rick & Harriette Andersen who teased Sarah's fiddler Anna Grace Kimbrough into playing a huge number of old-time fiddle tunes before the show even started.  Kiley Phillips is the third female in the group who also plays guitar.  They had a young male bass player with them, but he was not a regular. Sarah of course plays keyboards, and her electronic piano sounded very much like a real piano.  David Green, one of our regulars,  brought his mom and dad to the show and even had dad Harold Green sing a song with him.  Francis Hahn whose wife Jeannie is recuperating at home from back surgery turned in excellent original songs, and Marge Lund our very own singing lark from Anita sang some of her best country songs.  Sheila and I did a little Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers.  Our other special guest was Emma Heyen who really turned in a mind-snapping set of incredibly good music.  She's a young country singer but her voice and her stage presence is that of a much more adult and serious performer.  All in all it was a super night at our little performance center, and now we are looking forward to our next guest, Red Johnson, on June 14th.  Red recorded for Capitol Records, wrote songs for some huge super-stars including his close friend Dave Dudley, and has a large fan-club following, so it's going to be a fun night.  We are even expecting a train song or too.  Reserved seats at 712-762-4363
Bob Everhart

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