Monday, October 28, 2013

Opening Night Concert with Casey James and Sarah Darling

Mayor Karl Dean and Country Music Stars Casey James, Sarah Darling, Striking Matches Honor Music Teachers at NAfME’s 2013 National In-Service Opening Night Concert
 
Over 3,500 Teachers, School Administrators & Students Packed Grand Ole Opry House for Inaugural Event
 
NASHVILLE, TENN. (October 28, 2013) – Last night, Sunday, Oct. 27, country music stars Casey James, Sarah Darling, Striking Matches and the city of Nashville honored music teachers nationwide for all they do to support quality music education in schools during a special concert at the Grand Ole Opry House. The concert kicked off the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2013 National In-Service Conference, which is being held now through Oct. 30 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean welcomed the packed house of over 3,500 concert attendees saying, “I think it’s pretty clear that a quality arts education and in particular, a quality music education, is a key component to a well-rounded, successful education program. Arts education is not a frill, it is not optional -- not if we are going to give our students the tools they need to live rich and rewarding lives.”
 
Rising country duo Striking Matches (Justin Davis, Sarah Zimmermann), who were signed to new label, I.R.S. Records Nashville, earlier this week kicked-off the music for the night with harmonizing vocals and blazing guitars. “This is an amazing honor for us to be here and perform for you,” said Davis. “No offense to any of my other elementary school teachers but the only name I really remember is my music teacher!”
 
Powerhouse vocalist Sarah Darling followed their set with her four-piece band, belting out hit single “Home To Me,” and other crowd-pleasing songs like “Ho Hey” (The Lumineers) and “Missing You,” (John Waite). Attendees filled the Grand Ole Opry House with the glow of cell phone lights during the jaw-dropping delivery of her final song, “Landslide.” She closed expressing her gratitude for NAfME honoring her with the “Stand For Music” Award earlier this year and the work of all music educators.
 
American Idol finalist and headliner Casey James ended the night with an acoustic set including his hit “Crying on Her Suitcase,” to an enthused crowd who sang along to every word. “Music education is very important to me and I’m glad I can be a part of it,” he said. “I really appreciate what you all are doing for aspiring musicians.”
 
Outlining the vision behind the “Music Makes Us” program, which has been supported by Nashville’s music industry community, other local businesses and community leaders, Mayor Dean emphasized that cities can and should be ensuring students receive a quality music education in the schools, even in tough economic times. “What I want to leave with you is that it can be done,” he said. “Thank you for all you do in your local communities to make sure music remains a priority.” NAfME President Nancy Ditmer then presented Dean with a special award in honor of all of his work.

Pictured on the right, Artists also participated in a Q&A for students prior to the concert, answering questions they had about breaking into the music industry and the challenges of achieving long-term success.
 
The concert kicked-off a slew of other entertainment events to take place during NAfME’s conference this week, including a performance by more than 670 students selected as part of the All-National Honors Ensemble – the most skilled high school musicians in the country. Following Nashville At-Large City Councilman Ronnie Steine’s Keynote Address and other professional development workshops today, NAfME will host a fundraiser for their Give A Note Foundation for members at the Wildhorse Saloon tonight.
 
For additional program information, please visit http://inserviceconference.nafme.org. Media credentials are available upon request by contacting Nelson Duffle at NelsonD@nafme.org or Amanda French at amanda@marqueepr.com.
 
National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.  With more than 70,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States. Follow NAfME on Twitter ( twitter.com/nafme) and on Facebook ( facebook.com/nafme).

KENNY ROGERS TO RECEIVE WILLIE NELSON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD


KENNY ROGERS TO RECEIVE WILLIE NELSON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN STAR-STUDDED TRIBUTE DURING “THE 47TH ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” AIRING WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6 ON THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK

Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry Will Also Perform During the Three-Hour Gala; Previously Announced Performers Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban Will Take the Stage Together During "Country Music’s Biggest Night™"
NASHVILLE – Newly inducted Country Music Hall of Fame member Kenny Rogers will receive The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award during “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” airing Wednesday, Nov. 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Rogers will be honored with a star-studded tribute featuring performances by Jennifer Nettles, Rascal Flatts, and Darius Rucker.
“Kenny Rogers is a living legend and Country Music trailblazer,” said Ed Hardy, President of the CMA Board of Directors. “He is more than deserving of this honor and what is sure to be a stellar tribute. He represents everything that this Award was intended to recognize when we initiated it last year with Willie.”
Rogers is a five-time CMA Awards winner with 23 career nominations. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in a Medallion Ceremony Sunday night, celebrating a five decade-long career. Rogers has sold more than 120 million records worldwide, recorded 24 No. 1 songs and 12 No. 1 albums, is a New York Times Bestselling author, and recently released his 35th studio album – the critically acclaimed You Can’t Make Old Friends, which became his 22nd Top 10 Country album.
The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award was presented for the first time last year to its namesake. The Lifetime Achievement Award was created and meant to be presented to an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music. The Award recognizes an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales, and public representation at the highest level.
Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry have been added to the list of artists performing during the ceremony, and previously announced performers Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban will perform together on the CMA Awards for the first time.
Nettles is a six-time CMA Awards winner, five of which were for Vocal Duo of the Year with Sugarland, and one as songwriter for Song of the Year, “Stay.” Sugarland is nominated again for Vocal Duo of the Year.
Rascal Flatts has earned seven CMA Awards and 16 career nominations over. The trio was named Vocal Group of the Year six consecutive times, and also received the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year) in 2002. 
Rucker is a former CMA New Artist of the Year with four career CMA Awards nominations. He is nominated this year for Single of the Year for “Wagon Wheel,” the No. 1 single from his latest album, True Believers. The hit is also nominated for Song of the Year for songwriters Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor.  
Lady Antebellum are seven-time CMA Awards winners with 14 career nominations. They’ve been named CMA Vocal Group of the Year three times, and are nominated again in that category. The trio is also nominated for Music Video of the Year for “Downtown.”
The Band Perry, two-time CMA Awards winners, are nominated this year for Vocal Group of the Year - their fourth consecutive nomination in the category. The trio took home the trophy for New Artist of the Year and Single of the Year for “If I Die Young” in 2011. Additionally, Kimberly Perry won Song of the Year for writing the track.
Hosted for the sixth consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Previously announced performers for “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” include Jason Aldean; Luke Bryan; Eric Church; Florida Georgia Line; Hunter Hayes with Jason Mraz; Little Big Town; Tim McGraw; Kacey Musgraves; Paisley; Blake Shelton; Taylor Swift with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss; Underwood; and Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl. Alan Jackson and George Strait will perform together in a tribute to the legendary George Jones.
Tickets for “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” are officially sold-out, marking the fifth year in a row the ceremony has sold out in advance.  
Winners of “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting members of the Country Music Association. CMA Awards balloting is officiated by the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends today (5:00 PM/CT).
The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by more than 7,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was formed in 1958 as the first trade organization to promote an individual genre of music. The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest-running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards moved to ABC in 2006, where it will remain through 2021.

GREG LOUGANIS SINGS ON EPIC NASHVILLE RECORDING

OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST GREG LOUGANIS SINGS ON EPIC NASHVILLE RECORDING.

Considered to be the greatest diver in history, four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis can now include "country singer" to his long list of accolades.  The only male to sweep both the 3m and 10m diving events in consecutive Olympic Games (’84 and ’88), Greg earned a total of 5 Olympic medals, 5 World Championship titles and 47 national titles (more than anyone in U.S. history). Greg has now contributed his singing talents to a record breaking Nashville recording session for "Painted Hands".
Produced by former Atlantic Recording artist Wayne Warner for his associated Melodical Hearts Foundation, the song was inspired by the true and tragic story of Virgil Ware. At the age of just thirteen, Ware was a victim of events related to the 1963 civil rights movement. “The story of this little boy pulled me in and I knew it had to be told,” says Warner. When hearing the stories of today’s equality issues (ie, bullying, social, racial, etc.) Warner felt that Virgil’s soul could help to weave many of these issues together allowing the music to have the conversation. For the first time in history, this song will include a singer from each state to make up the United States Choir. The production presents a great platform where all come together to promote a message of unity with an astounding cast of voices. "Greg Louganis encompasses so much of what this project is all about, we are so honored to have him on this project" says Warner.
VIDEO LINK - http://melodicalhearts.org/projects/painted-hands/

Known for their work with “Making Music That Matters”, the Melodical Hearts Foundation has produced projects such as “God Bless The Children” featuring Statler Brothers tenor singer and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmy Fortune, CMA Entertainer of the Year Taylor Swift, along with many more household names.. The song and video went on to become one of the most successful adoption PSA campaigns for The Dave Thomas Foundation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY0AEmc8LJo
Media Contacts for The Melodical Hearts Foundation -Juanitalee@melodicalhearts.org For Greg Louganis - www.greglouganis.com










Sweetwater Rain Partners with City of Hope for Stageit Concert TONIGHT

Sweetwater Rain Partners with City of Hope for Stageit Concert TONIGHT
 





(Nashville, TN)---Sweetwater Rain has partnered with City of Hope for Breast Cancer Awareness month to perform a live Stageit show tonight at 8:00pm CST. Proceeds from the show will go towards Breast Cancer research and treatment at City of Hope. Reserve your ticket here.

Sweetwater Rain will be wrapping up the Rascal Flatts Live and Loud Tour with one last performance for all of their fans who could not make it out to a show. Viewers can feel free to make requests and ask Sweetwater Rain questions during the show via Stageit's live chat.

The Curb records trio has already opened for leaders in the industry including ZZ Top, Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts and many more. Their debut single, “Starshine,” cracked Billboard top 50 while the music video has been added to CMT, GAC, & TCN. Sweetwater Rain recently made their national television debut on GAC's Daily Countdown in promotion of their current single "Pray For Me."

NO SHAVE Lady Antebellum

NO SHAVE NOVEMBER GROWS AS THE BIG MONTH APPROACHES
Lady Antebellum, Bigger Picture, Music Row, KFKF/Kansas City & More Sign On

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) With a week to go before the scruff starts flying, the Third Annual No Shave November has signed on another batch of big names, companies and radio stations. Team Lady Antebellum is up and running, led by member Dave Haywood, who has pledged to let it all grow throughout the month.

Other recently signed-on teams include Bigger Picture Group, Music Row, KFKF/Kansas City, WGH/Norfolk, WPUR/Atlantic City, NJ, WOGY/Jackson, TN, WBFM/Sheboygan, WI, and WMCI/Mattoon, IL. The radio stations are all in the Country format. In addition, The Morning Buzz show on Rock WYNU/Jackson, TN has also created a team.

The team concept is a focus this year for No Shave November, as companies, artists and stations vie to see who can get the most participants and biggest donations for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®. The signup page is live now at stjude.org/noshavenovember, and everyone is encouraged to join or start a team to help St. Jude continue its lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children. 

Previously announced participants include last year's top fundraising artist Keifer Thompson and Thompson Square (Keifer is this year's Honorary Chairman of the Beard) as well as Benton Blount, Craig Campbell, Randy Houser, Dylan Scott, Austin Webb, Big Machine Label Group, Blaster Records, BBR Music Group, Country Aircheck, Country Weekly, Sony Music Nashville, Tenacity Records, Universal Music Group/Nashville, Warner Music Nashville, The Bobby Bones Show, KAJA/San Antonio, KTEX/McAllen, TX, WCYQ/Knoxville, WDXB/Birmingham, WKML/Fayetteville, NC, WSIX/Nashville, and WUSY/Chattanooga.

Photo (c) by Christian Lamitschka

Adam Brill Named IEBA's "Rookie of the Year"

Adam Brill Named IEBA's "Rookie of the Year"
 
 

Nashville, TN (October 28, 2013) - APA's Adam Brill was named "Rookie of the Year" at IEBA's 43rd Annual Conference held in Nashville this week.   During his three-year tenure with APA, Brill has played a key role in the success of numerous touring artists, including Imagine Dragons, Awolnation, Capital Cities and Gold Fields, to name a few.  

A University of Iowa graduate who began his career at Scope Productions, a student-run concert promotion organization, where he booked and produced concerts at venues ranging from small clubs to arenas with acts like Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, Bob Dylan, The Fray and 311, Brill has grown his strengths and furthered his determination to get these acts on the road and in front of new faces every night. 

"Adam's energy, enthusiasm and drive to do his best for a client is palpable," commented APA's president and CEO, Jim Gosnell.  "No one is more deserving of this recognition, and we're all very proud of his accomplishments."  

APA reps and artists celebrated the kick-off of the IEBA Conference this week with a showcase on Sunday, October 20 at Nashville's new Omni Hotel.  The SRO show, hosted by Goldy Locks, featured performances by Sundy Best, Tonic, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Charlie Daniels and Chris Cagle.  

Country Music News International October 28. 2013

Country Music News International October 28. 2013

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.com . Your Country Music News is supported by, Ray Scott http://www.RayScott.com , Courtyard Nashville Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnadt-courtyard-nashville-downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Tennessee Tourism, http://www.Tennessee.de , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , Lucy Malheur http://www.lucy-malheur.info/

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 http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.de . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Ray Scott http://www.RayScott.com , Courtyard Nashville Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnadt-courtyard-nashville-downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Tennessee Tourism, http://www.Tennessee.de , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , Lucy Malheur http://www.lucy-malheur.info/

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On The Road With The Everharts October 28. 2013


ON THE ROAD WITH THE EVERHARTS
 
     The last show of the season for the Oak Tree Opry in Anita, Iowa, was Friday night with Dale Eichor and Bobby Awe. It was a totally 'sold-out' audience, and they had a great time.  We're already booking the acts for next year, and it looks to be a super great season.  If you live near enough to us to want to come to some of our shows, please send us your address and/or your e-mail address and we'll send you post-card announcements.  Dale Eichor and Bobby Awe are already booked for two great shows, and Terry Smith is booked for August 1 and 2.
     We just lost one of our better musicians in the upper Midwest, Ed Dovel from Omaha, passed away October 23rd. Ed was a gifted guitarist, vocalist, studio operator, and most importantly one of our very best volunteers, especially with his gift of music.  He never stinted when asked to help out, whether it be at a festival to fill in, play a senior center for pure enjoyment, or to keep the dances going at the Elks Club.  He never ever pushed himself in front of anyone, on stage or off, and he was a delight to be around.  He suffered a stroke and then a heart attack, and left us musically poorer here in the upper Midwest.  His wife Kathy is a terrific keyboardist, and we hope that she will continue her musical offerings.
     Sheila and Bobbie Lhea are 'on the road' all the way down to Hermitage, Missouri, to visit with grandma Virginia, Sheila's mom.  I believe everyone is in good health down there, including Sheila's grandfather Robert Lightfoot who is now in his 90's.  They will have a three-day hiatus and then come back to Iowa to help me get the camper loaded and ready to head for Texas for our 'real' on the road hiatus.
     I had to go to the vet's hospital for a check-up, and had a chance to see what they are doing in the building of what they call their Coffee Haus.  I've heard they are going to have entertainers in at various times, but I still don't know what that consists of.  At any rate there's a pretty neat cafeteria at the Vet's Hospital, so guess where we had our budget lunch?
     Next show at the Oak Tree is scheduled for April 18-19-20, however that is also Easter Weekend, which I'll bet Sheila didn't realize when she set those dates.  Anyway watch for what happens, it might be the weekend earlier.
 
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

The Last Page October 28. 2013


THE LAST PAGE 
 
Ed Dovel perhaps one of our finest 'real' country music artists passed away October 23rd from a stroke followed by a massive heart attack at the age of 68.  It appeared to be a rather sudden attack, and even though he was safely within the confines of a hospital, they could not do anything for him.  He was one of our very thoughtful and kind musicians who never ever placed himself before others.  He was among the first to always volunteer to play music, move amplifiers, man sound boards, clean the floors, or whatever else needed doing.  He was a very stringent classic and traditional country music lover and player, along with his wife Kathy who joined him on the keyboards.  Together they kept the classic country music 'dance' alive at a number of clubs, including the Elks,  and the American Legion. He enjoyed tremendously performing the older country music classics for assisted living and senior centers. He was a very outgoing and happy man, smiled easily and often, and enjoyed swapping jokes and stories with his musician friends.  I knew him from my very early adventures in country music when he worked endlessly getting the Cornhusker Country Music Club in Louisville going, but he also performed and helped keep going the Weeping Water Country Music Festival, both of those enterprises operated by opposing sisters. He had a small recording studio in his basement, he duplicated tapes and CD's for his fellow friends and musicians, and is a member of America's Country Music Hall of Fame.  In the Hall of Fame is Ed's old cassette-tape duplicator he had in his studio.  It could duplicate four tapes at a time, a bit faster than normal.  Imagine that, four at a time.  He was a constant 'helper' for anyone who asked, and he still has musicians that were part of his band living in LeMars, Iowa.  We hope his wife Kathy will continue her 'real' country music contributions to the upper Midwest, keeping it the way Ed played it for such a long time, and so well.
 
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

Tradition Bulletin October 28. 2013


TRADITION BULLETIN
 
Things always slow down this time of year, a lot of our music-makers are either making the trek to warmer climes, have already left, or are planning on leaving ASAP.  We will make the trek around November 4th, heading for Texas's Rio Grande Valley to do a few gigs with Francis Hahn, as well as get some dental work in Progresso, Mexico. It's so difficult for us, as self-employed musicians to get any kind of insurance at all, much less anything that will help us with dental work.  We took Bobbie Lhea to a dentist in Atlantic, who promptly informed us that she needed a new crown, a possible root canal, and tons of other work amounting to right at $3,000.  Wow, that's pretty heavy for us, of course if we got paid that much for each gig we do (similar to the dentist) it wouldn't be a problem, but since that is not the case, it's off to Progresso for the same dental work, equally as well done, for $300.  A lot of winter Texans, or 'snowbirds' as they are called in the upper Midwest, do the same thing, so we'll be in good company.  Francis Hahn is already at his RV park in Donna, Texas, after some mishaps with the motor home involving electrical components, and then a spark-plug blew out of the engine en route, stalling them in Fort Worth, Texas, for a couple of days.  We normally try to take in any kind of national park or educational attraction that would be of benefit to Bobbie Lhea, but the weather is so peculiar this year, and so unpredictable, we'll probably just get on I-29 (now changed to I-49 Kansas City south) to I-35 and just keep heading south until we get to LaFeria where we usually go. We're sure looking forward to a nice change of weather.  We should be thankful, the cool weather sweetened our delicious apples (we have two trees in the back yard) of which there are a plentiful amount.
 
I keep passing along information of this sort, never know when it might be beneficial to someone.  I get this information from the Music Ops Board, and that's where you have to go to find more detailed information. They are looking for a country/bluegrass/folk style song they are willing to pay $1,700 for a popular television show looking for an emotional Americana type of song.  They want harmonies on top of delicate arrangements, and no songs with explicit lyrics will be considered.
 
Over the years Sheila and I have made friends with many of the 'real' country music super-stars (this does not include imitators today who claim to be country) and some of them have been long-standing.  One is who we consider to be the finest harmonica player in the world today, Charlie McCoy.  Charlie told us he had a really nice time performing at the Merle Travis Center in Nashville recently, but he said he was late getting there because he went over to Henderson, Tennessee, earlier to celebrate the 100th birthday of Grand Pa Jones (another good friend of both Sheila and myself).  Grandpa is of course no longer with us, but he and Charlie were long time friends, appearing together for years on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and for 18 years on the one-of-a-kind television show "Hee Haw." Wow, was that show on for that long of a time frame?  Charlie told a reporter at the Merle Travis Music Center...."I came to Nashville at the age of 19 to become a studio musician, and I'm still doing it."  Wow, talk about 'doing it.' Charlie recorded with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, oh the list is endless.  Charlie was last with us in 2012 when he took "Harmonica Instrumental CD of the Year" award from the Rural Roots Music Commission.
 
Do you remember Ronnie Dean?  He came to LeMars in 2012 too, and he also took a Rural Roots Music Commission CD of the Year award for "Bluegrass Gospel CD of the Year" for his release "Everything."  I was quite impressed with him at LeMars, as well as his quite knowledgeable wife, who knows a great deal about the Ted Mack Show, and old-time country music in general.  At any rate, Ronnie and his wife have created a small television studio in Nashville, and are now producing programs called "Nashville Side Streets."  As he is aware, and so are so many of us out here in the hinterlands, there is an absolutely huge number of incredibly gifted musicians, songwriters, recording artists, vocalists, the list is huge, that are incredibly good and incredibly gifted, but don't get a chance to share their talent at all anymore.  Ronnie's show is tacking into that problem, because Nashville is as full of un working gifted talent as we are in the upper Midwest.  He invited Sheila and I to Nashville to do the show, and we will certainly attempt to do that, hopefully we can make the trip in the spring when we're not in such a hurry to go see a dentist in Mexico.  I certainly applaud Ronnies huge investment in time, money, talent, venue, and passion for doing all of this.  Country music today is just so incredibly off the track, I just watched a television show with Billy Ray Cyrus narrating, about hillbilly music.  He made a very strong point about the 'roots' of today's country music, and how very successful it is.  And made some evasive remarks about how it is still 'related' to the hillbilly music of the Appalachian Mountains.  Wow, I'd sure disagree with that.  If those hillbillies heard what is called 'country' today, they'd puke at the thought that it was something they birthed.
 
George Strait is still intent on slowing down his career, especially his traveling, but he just signed on to record five albums of new material for MCA Records in Nashville.  Strait has recorded each of his 40 studio albums with MCA, all of it starting in 1981 with the first one "Strait Country."  He pretty much stayed on the same course all the way through his recording career.
 
Thinking of albums, I'm thinking Christmas.  It's getting harder and harder to buy Christmas gifts anymore, mostly everything we buy is either from China, or some other far distant country we've never heard of.  I found a neat idea however.  Michael Thoma came to LeMars for the first time this year, to pick up an RRMC Award for "Old Time Country Music CD of the Year" for his delightful project "Comin' Home."  What this is all about is his incredibly beautiful and truly wonderful country CD "Christmas in the Heartlands."  I still don't know Michael very well yet, but I know what's good when I hear it, and this guy's original writings and beautiful recordings are going to make some progress for him.  I do know his 'Christmas' album is simply beautiful.  I don't even know how much he charges for his albums, but he lives at 54 Lane St in Waterloo, Iowa (50703) or maybe you could just call him at 319-232-8184 and find a 'gift' that will last far beyond the giving date of Christmas this year.  I'm not steering you wrong on this one, give it a try, you'll see.
 
Dolly Parton is home resting after being treated and released for minor injuries she suffered in a car crash she described as 'a fender bender.'  Kirt Webster says Parton was already home by last Monday afternoon following the accident that happened in Nashville.  Parton says in a statement that she's 'all good, just a little tired and sore.'  Police say the 67- year old (whaaaaat?) Country Music Hall of Fame member was riding in an SUV that was hit by another vehicle.  Parton and the two others were taken to hospitals for treatment.  None of the injuries appeared to be serious
 
Bad news from Joltin' Jim McCoy.  He's another of our Hall of Fame alumni.  He's the guy that 'discovered' Patsy Cline, gave her her first break, and continued to help her climb the ladder to fame and fortune long after she was already a star.  Jim is himself a remarkable 'real' country singer songwriter, and picker, as well as a top recording artist, and has just undergone a couple of colon operations as well as a lung operation in the past two months.  That sure don't sound good Jim.  His lovely wife Bertha told me that he's back home, in therapy three times a week, and he especially wanted her to tell me how he's doing. She said he also wanted her to tell me thanks for all I've done keeping real country music alive.  Well, that's super Jim, it's not just me, it's artists like yourself that make it possible for artists like me to love the music you create.  Keep at it, and I'm going to ask our Prayer Warriors to say a little prayer to Jesus for you.  Amen.
 
I found this information very interesting, a group from Estonia (that would be one of those small countries that gained their independence from Russia) called "Robirohi" is touring the USA, just completing an appearance at the Carter Fold.  They managed to find their way to America through the Methodist churches, of which they are members, and that has brought them to America.  The leader of the group, Robert Kreutzwald recalls without hesitation the first time he heard Roy Acuff's clear tenor voice on "Great Speckled Bird" and Mother Maybelle's "Carter scratch" style of guitar picking on "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."  This tells me, without a doubt, that this group from Estonia is far more 'country' oriented that any of those that are currently on America's top-40 country music charts.  They've already picked up some amazing experiences while they are in the USA, and since crossing the mountains into Tennessee, the guys performed at churches in Kingsport and Morristown.  The Carter Fold of course,  and at the Bush Mill Day Festival in Nickelsville, and at a jam session at the Lazy Time Pickin' Parlor.  According to Robert, "Seeing a young girl picking music alongside an 84-year old grandpapa at the Pickin' Parlor, has been one of my most favorite memories of the trip so far."  These guys are much like our own down-home pickers and players.  Despite their passion for old-time American country music, performing it remains just a hobby for the quartet, all of whom hold down full-time day jobs back home in Estonia.  And that's just the way Robirohi's members like it.  I especially like the quote from them...."In Estonia, with 1-million people, that is no mass effect.  If you are not a real mainstream pop musician, famous, then you can't make a living with music in Estonia.  Here, in the United States, somebody writes a couple of songs and, acts that became famous like Johnny Cash, simply puts his song on a record and he's rich for a lifetime, and all his siblings too.  Like Terry Smith who wrote "Far Side Banks of Jordan" and several more marginal acts who recorded his song, but for just this one song, it's guaranteed to live on.  But that mass effect doesn't work in our tiny country.  You can be a genius or not.  Only if you're a mainstream pop musician doing extra works in the theater, in the movies, everywhere, making jobs in the ferry ships, being like a slave there, picking guitar and singing for I don't know whom, drunken people maybe, then you only grab your living as a musician.  We don't want to be such."  Whew, I haven't heard these guys, or how to get in touch with them, but if anyone out there reading this can find them, please tell them they are more than welcome to come be with us in LeMars, and hopefully we can also arrange for them to back Terry Smith singing that very famous song he wrote, especially with them.
 
Extra money in your pocket.  How would you like to own the office of Colonel Tom Parker.  It's up for sale. You might remember that Parker promoter Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow, but his big client was Elvis.  The Colonel Tom Parker management office in Madison, Tennessee, stands as a testament to the old cliché...'if these walls could talk.'  As within a cluster of unassuming stone buildings, the walls would tell of unconventional business dealings, old venues and colorful stories of how an immigrant managed the career of America's biggest pop and rock artist, Elvis Presley.
 
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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