Monday, May 5, 2014

Country Music News International Newsletter May 5. 2014

Country Music News International Newsletter May 5. 2014

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International Magazine http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.com . Your Country Music News is supported by, 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 , Stephanie Grace http://www.stephanie-grace.com ,Lucy Malheur http://www.lucy-malheur.info

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CD: KOPSA FAMILY BLUEGRASS BAND Elkhorn, Nebraska 2013


KOPSA FAMILY BLUEGRASS BAND
Elkhorn, Nebraska 2013
 
Lord Lead Me On - King of All Kings - Walking In Jerusalem - The Whippoorwill Song - Happy Land - Mill Valley Waltz - Fields on Fire - Joy Joy Joy - Feast Here Tonight - Where The Old River Flows - Cowboy Sweetheart - Night Herding Song - Sam-Bino
 
What a neat young bluegrass family this is from Elkhorn, Nebraska.  I received this CD from close friend and minister John Cox, who makes his home in Papillion, Nebraska, not far from Elkhorn.  Elkhorn is also the home of the Gottsch Family Feed Lots.  Interesting, the Gottsch family includes Patrick, who left feeding beef, to feeding rural America with knowledge, music, and education by creating RFD-TV.  The Kopsa Family are doing much the same with beautiful young voices singing to us about Christ, His redemption, and His teachings.  I don't have all I'd like when I review CD's, there is nothing on the individual children, I can tell you from the photo enclosed that the young man, James is 15 and plays mandolin (quite well, especially on the leads), a younger sister Julia is 10, and plays acoustic bass, another sister Maria is 12 and plays fiddle, and another, Sara plays acoustic guitar, and is the oldest at 16.  They are all quite gifted on their instruments, but for me, it's 'family' harmony that just can't be beaten, and these young artists have it down just right.  It's 'real' and it's 'entertaining' because it's 'honest.'  They have taken the time to record some beautiful gospel tunes, but they also have some terrific old-time country on this CD, making it a valuable addition to anyone's library of good old-time mid-American regional performers.  I especially liked the mix, and their performance on "Happy Land," which demonstrates some super harmony and pickin' in an old-time style.  If you like to hear young voices singing in an old-time way, you are definitely going to enjoy this lovely CD.  If you like professional young singers praising the Lord Jesus in a very personal and private way, you are definitely going to enjoy this lovely CD.  If you like acoustic music, both rhythm and leads done in a most enjoyable way, you are definitely going to enjoy this lovely CD.  This Elkhorn, Nebraska, CD is definitely going to the Rural Roots Music Commission.  Since I sit on this board, I know where my voice is going to be, I just hope this family will be free during LeMars, because I'm going to push for a CD of the Year for them.
Kopsa Family, John Cox, 710 E. Patton St., Papillion, NEbraska, 68046
 
Review by Bob Everhart, President, NTCMA  www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International

CD: BARRY WARD Lonesome County Road


BARRY WARD
Lonesome County Road
 
Roman Nose - A Storm Abrewin' - My Oklahoma Home - Colorado - Freedom in January - The Blizzard - Lonesome County
Road - Ghost Chickens in the Sky - Beyond the Western Sky - La Viborron - I Hear Her Calling - White Horse of Glory - Hills of Ireland - The Trail You Ride
 
How long has it been since you've heard a 'story' song in country music?  Long time huh?  How long has it been since you've heard a good 'cowboy' song?  Long time huh?  Flying W Productions out in Colorado, has taken care of that.  In the face of contemporary country music, a rugged cowboy from Colorado has taken a stand.  This CD has not only got some terrific cowboy and western music on it, it also has some terrific country music, this comes from the incredible steel guitar on the song "Colorado" played by Ernie Martinez, who also played some incredible mandolin on "My Oklahoma Home" that borders right on traditional country.  Whew, I never thought I'd hear the music of Bob Wills again, much less Gene Autry or Roy Rogers done by an adequate performer of the genre today.  Barry Ward has worked with some of the best in the 'cowboy' music realm, including Riders In The Sky.  Once you turn this CD on, you won't even drift away to the others I've just mentioned, you'll stay right next to Barry Ward, who contributed seven original songs to this project, including "Lonesome County Road' the signature for this titled CD of the same name.  I love the traditional country sound...you know "It's only seven miles Mary Ann."  This is a prominent line in Harlan Howard's "The Blizzard" and how wonderful it is to watch the miles drift by with the drifting snow.  Ward brings the 'story' alive.  It's still "Lonesome County Road' I like best, it's new, it's original, it's a Barry Ward singing that puts him high on my 'star' list.  Barry is not only a sincere Christian, he's a sincere singer of songs. No wonder he received the Western Music Association's 'Male Performer of the Year" award in 2013.  As well as the 2012 Association of Western Artists "Will Rogers Award" for the western music song of the year.  Barry Ward is a quiet sort of cowboy, and lets his merits speak for themselves.  First American cowboy singer to perform in Cameroon, Africa.  A cowboy music performance in Carnegie Hall.  Guest-hosting RFD-TV's Cowboy Church.  Maybe one more coming up.  I'm definitely forwarding this CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their 'CD of the Year' award. I'm also pretty sure the category is going to be somewhere in the 'western music'  category.  Good luck Barry Ward in all things you do.  Go with Christ, and go with victory.
Flying W Productions, 2782 County Road 98, Elbert, CO 80106
 
Review by Bob Everhart, President NTCMA  www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International

TRADITION BULLETIN MAY 5. 2014


We just had a stunning show at the Oak Tree Opry, Friday night, standing room only to see Dale Eichor and Bobby Awe.  As you read "On The Road" at the end of the bulletin, you can get a bird's eye view of what's happening at the Oak Tree.  It was a remarkable show to say the least, for the Eichor-Awe show, and as I asked in "On The Road" IS TELEVISION REALLY THAT BAD?  For such a long time, we've been sitting in front of the tube, most of the time watching some pretty interesting and entertaining programs, but today, and the beginning of this TV season, I have to admit some of the stuff they have on television is pretty stupid.  At any rate, that has seemed to 'up' the attendance at the Oak Tree, standing room only is a significant indication of what the folks who are willing to drive so far to see a good show are telling us.  Sheila and I are going to join Bobby and Dale in a special concert at the City Auditorium in Tekamah, Nebraska, on Saturday, May 31.  Showtime is 7pm, and this should be a nice presentation of terrific styles of country music.  Sheila and I pretty much play traditional or old-time country, Bobby Awe is without a doubt one of our very best Classic Country artists, Dale Eichor is also classic country with some nice cosmopolitan country tunes included, and joining the duo is world champion fiddler Jay Kelly.  Put that all together in one beautiful concert, tickets only $10 at the door, and you have what we'd call a 'winner.'  Mark your calendars and come see us in Tekamah.  The next day, June 1 at Lally's Restaurant in LeMars, you'll catch the same show beginning at 2pm, minus Bobby Awe, who has commitments elsewhere.  Paul Burnett is going to open that show with some 'outlaw' country, so once again, it's going to be one super neat matinee program.  No night driving, no hurry up hurry up, and delicious broasted chicken for lunch.  You'll have to mark your calendars, I'll probably forget to tell you about it again.  OR, just give us a ring and we'll fill you in, 712-762-4363
 
Sheila, Bobbie Lhea, and I went to Fairfield, Iowa last night to see the Showcase of Bands and Jam Session, hosted by the Bluegrass Music Association Iowa.  Three groups were on, and one in particular we wanted to see "Truckstop Souvenir" who was at LeMars a couple of years ago.  I wanted to see them there, but got side tracked taking care of other things, and missed their performance, so we made up for it by going to Fairfield.  This is the town that the Maharishi from India bought large pieces of property to build a university.  It's all still there, one huge building is up for lease, but not much activity on a Saturday anywhere.  We could have gotten by with a 'Budget Lunch' be dining at the Paradise Pizza Parlor, and I must say, the pizza was definitely good.  Sheila likes India food, and there is a restaurant in town serving that, but it was closed.  So was the Instanbul Restaurant, so you can pretty much guess how things were going.  We got to the Fairfield Middle School in time for the program, and first act on was Truckstop Souvenir.  If the audience was expecting an all bluegrass show, they were disappointed, it was not.  Truckstop Souvenir is a very nice folk duo (with the addition of an upright bass now), Lauryn Shapter plays a very nice violin, and writes much of their material, husband Dennis James is a super nice acoustic guitar picker, both lead and rhythm, but no bluegrass here.  We enjoyed them very much, and will hope to see them back at LeMars sometime in the future.  The second group on had a banjo player to be sure.  The group, named Milltown after the deciphered French name of Moline, which means the same thing, I would have to say this group leans a little more toward a Celtic sound then they do bluegrass.  We had a three hour drive ahead of us to get back to Anita, so we didn't get to see 'Barton's Hollow,' with mandolin picker Ian Kimmel (I'm sure this is Dick Kimmel's son) showcasing.  All in all it seemed a nice gathering, we thought we'd see a lot more people in the audience since it was a 'free' show, but be that as it may, the only other negative might have been the sound.  Not because of the system, the sound bounces off a back wall that makes it difficult to understand vocals from the audience level.  We have the same problem in the Dance Hall of LeMars, so we know how that works.  Hopefully a new system in the Dance Hall, from the very talented Michael Thoma, should help make that a lot better.  Thanks BMAI for the showcase, long drive for us, but we're glad to be dues paying members of your organization, and of course we hope we get some dues paying members in the NTCMA from that experience.
 
Sheila and my old camper is on it's last wheels, so we are going slow with it.  In the meantime however, the 1983 Eagle customized tour bus belonging to Willie Nelson is up for sale on Craigslist.  They say it's in excellent condition, and as of Friday they had a price listed at $36,000.  I'm a little surprised they didn't put it up for sale on E-Bay, where it would probably escalate in price far above that.  I guess that might have come up in conversation with the owner, but he said he doesn't really need the money and he wants to get rid of the bus fast???  I think I might have mentioned this once before, but if it's about Willie, here it is.... He was the first performer on the TV show 'Austin City Limits' back in 1974, and now he's part of the first class of the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.  Willie says, "This honor means a lot because Austin is the music capital of the world."  Whaaaaaat?  What happened to Nashville?  Anyway, actor Matthew McConaughey introduced Willie, saying simply, "There would  be no Austin City Limits without Willie Nelson.  Willie just turned 81 if you didn't know.
 
I was so fortunate to receive the DVD of Steve Parry's "The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance."  Some of it is narrated by Garrison Keillor, it tells the story of a changing America through the lens of one of early radio's most popular and influential programs.  The sound-track features over 70 songs, spanning from the mid 1920's to the Great Depression, through World War II.  The radio show was a melting pot of Americana music; listeners could hear everything from mountain string bands and polka trios, to folk balladeers and cowboy crooners. I especially enjoyed watching and listening to Patsy Montana, who was a dear friend.  I had her on our festivals nearly every year, had her at the opera house we owned in Walnut.  I remember so well, while she was on a visit when I was still 're-constructing' the old showhouse, it looked horrible.  She said, "Now Bob, when you get this done, I want to be the first one to do a concert for you."  She wasn't exactly the first one, we had to do a lot of 'benefit' shows to get the money to fix it up, but she was the first 'celebrity' we had there.  She was playing her Fender acoustic guitar at that time too, I thought it was truly incredibly good.  That's the same guitar that was stolen from our Pioneer Music Museum.  Patsy autographed it for me, and there it was for years and years.  Now it's gone, along with Johnny Cash's harmonicas.  I can't believe how disgusting it makes me feel that someone would 'steal' Patsy Montana's guitar.  It's part of our Midwest rural music heritage, and now it's I don't know where.  Anyway, back to the "Hayloft Gang" Patsy talks about the trip from Arkansas with her uncle to show and sell watermelons.  I never heard her remark about that experience once the watermelons were gone, but she explains in this wonderful program that she auditioned for the National Barn Dance, got hired, and never went home again.  Patsy's daughter Beverly Losey tells some good stories about her mom too, not available anywhere else.  Another super personality I really liked in this film, is Slim Bryant. He just passed away about a year ago, another friend I met through the good graces of Juanita McMichen, the daughter of Clayton McMichen, founder of the Georgia Wildcats.  Slim was McMichen's guitarist, and was also the guitarist for the recordings of Jimmie Rodgers, including the last session.  I thought Slim was an incredibly gifted musician, and so did a lot of other folks.  He taught music well past his 100th birthday in Massachusetts, I believe, and will be sorely missed.   Anyway, this remarkable documentary is incredibly well done.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has a love for America's early roots and rural music.  It's a delightful 'honest' approach to the music so beloved by many of us, and it's a permanent record of the contributions made by so many gifted artists.  You can get this DVD by going to http://www.hayloftgang.com and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.  I wish Stephen Parry, who created it, would take a look at a script I wrote some years ago, "Blue River Blues" the life story of Jimmie Rodgers, another very important person in country music, whose life story has never been told on film.
 
Not very country related, and then again maybe it is.  "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" was a very beautiful song written by Paul Simon, and recorded by Simon & Garfunkle.  Super duo singing if there ever was, except maybe by the Everly Brothers, or the Louvins, or... now you got me started.  This is apparently how this story goes.  Last week, police were called to the home of Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, after Simon called 911.  According to the police report, Brickell confronted her husband, Paul Simon, and he did something to "break her heart."  He subsequently shoved her, she slapped him, it became a knock down drag out, and he called 911.  Police said, upon reporting to the scene, that Simon had a superficial cut to his ear, and Brickell who smelled strongly of alcohol, had a bruise on her wrist and asked the police to feel the lump on her head.  BUT she would definitely not let them photograph the injuries.  Following all of this, the couple wound up in court and proceeded to deny anything more serious than an 'atypical' argument took place.    Simon said "Both of us are fine together," and Brickell said "He's not a threat to me at all."  Well lo and behold, less than a week after all this 'celebrity brawl' kind of media attention, Simon and Brickell announced they are releasing a new duet CD.  Whaaaaat?  "Like To Get To Know You" is an oddly ambivalent love song on the new release. Wow, it is country related after all.
 
Talked to John Carter Cash Wednesday morning, he's all set for LeMars, we're trying to work the airplane schedule out, not easy.  He's going to be with us on Wednesday, August 27th, so that should be a real mid-week treat for all of us.  With all the other stuff going on at LeMars this year, I'd sure get it on your calendar if I were you.  LuLu Roman told us last year (after she canceled to be with her son who was in an accident) that she would be with us on Tuesday, August 26th, add to that the presence of David Davis and the Warrior River Boys (from Alabama), and Larry Gillis and Swampgrass (from Georgia) on Monday, August 25th, it's looking like the whole seven days are going to be worth the stay.  Come early and stay late, but most important of all, have a terrifically good time.  Just got word from Miami, Florida that Bernie Worrell the most beautiful bones player on planet earth is going to be with us along with husband Tommy Worrell.  You remember him he's the guy who wears a tuxedo to emcee the most incredible country music variety show in the upper Midwest.  Expect a visit from the Cumberland Trio from Tennessee early on, along with Dave Wilburn and Ron Wilburne...AND.... the HARMONICATS on Thursday.  Whaaaat?  So, it is looking good huh?
 
There's so much flack going on about 'modern' country music today, especially the Blake Shelton kind of music, which is obviously not country, even mainstream major network television is adjusting.  Jimmy Kimmel 'Live' is gaining in popularity points.  He had on his program, a week ago Saturday, the "Sleepy Man Banjo Boys." Whaaaat? A young bluegrass sounding 'ACOUSTIC' country act on national television without Shelton's approval or agreement. How can that be?  Anyway, the 'Boys' did "By My Side" (this is their new album) to an incredibly enthusiastic audience.  The album is going to be released June 24th, so be on the lookout for it, you're in for a treat.
 
Another 'winner' in the real-deal country music world.  "At The Feed & Seed" is a venue in Fletcher, North Carolina, that features down-home bluegrass, old-time country, and folk music acts.  It's actually an old hardware store that was converted to a church some time ago, along with a music hall owned by Philip Trees.  April Janow and Dax Cuesta were production accountants on something called "The Hunger Games," that was filmed nearby in Asheville, North Carolina.  April and Dax stayed in the small village of Fletcher while working on this movie.  I think Bobbie Lhea dragged us to the theater to see that film, but I don't remember much about it, except it moved along real fast.  Anyway, April and Dax quit their work with "The Hunger Games" production company, and went to work on their own, doing a documentary film called "At The Feed & Seed."  The documentary captures the culture of small town America, the charm of the folks who live in Fletcher, and their love for the old time music, especially bluegrass.  Lo and Behold, the documentary won "Audience Award for Best Documentary" at the 15th annual "Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival."  According to April, she said, "We are thrilled that our documentary connected so well with the Bare Bones Film Festival organizers and attendees.  Being able to bring something as special as the traditions of the Feed & Seed and bluegrass music to new audiences and have it so well received is what makes filmmaking a success."   ooooooooooh, please Mr. Shelton, do not apply.   By the way, the last couple of shows we have done at the Oak Tree in Anita, have been rehearsals for a 'live' (yes of course, taped) recording for a radio pilot.  We have the audience down pretty good, now we have to get the best songs by the regulars ready to go. We're kind of letting the audience decide that too, judging from the applause the regulars get.  Come and be part of that.
 
This just in from Nashville's RFD-TV's "Larry's Country Diner," ATTENTION Bob Duff.  While Sheila, Bobbie Lhea, and I were down in Fairfield, Iowa, Saturday, guess who was on Larry's Country Diner?  That would be May 3rd.  Ok, give up?  How about Bill & McKenna Medley.  Wow!  Here's the deal.  Bob Duff is one of our dear friends, lives in California, owns most of that state, and was born and raised (well for awhile anyway) in Anita, Iowa.  He headed west with 38-cents in his pocket and made a beeline for California.  He's going to be at LeMars by the way, to do an auction to raise money for our continual 'fix the roof' on both the Oak Tree and the Pioneer Music Museum.  Anyway, some of you already know who Bill Medley is.  He is the tall 'basso' voice of the Righteous Brothers.  His partner passed away a few years back, but Bill is still a mighty music maker, and he's bringing his daughter McKenna into the game.  Bill Medley lives next door (or close to it depending on the size of the house) to Bob Duff.  And guess what?  McKenna tends to favor country music,  real country music.  Bob Duff has hurt my arm twisting it to let them come to LeMars, and once he had me down on the ground at Knott's Berry Farm, I had to relent, and say 'sure bring her on.'  Who knows what will happen, but Saturday and Sunday is still open at LeMars ATTENTION Bob Duff.  We haven't picked our 'Rising Legend' award for this year yet either, so if dad Bill Medley will come along and sing....errrrr. sing a couple..... errr great gospel songs, we're on the right track.  What fun that would be to have the Kenastons back Bill with acoustic instrumentation doing some terrific gospel.  Yep, that's a go, even though my arm still hurts, lets see what happens here ATTENTION Bob Duff.
 
I've always liked Kris Kristofferson.  He's not the world's greatest singer, but he very well may be among the world's greatest country music songwriters.  He's also a pretty darn good actor, being in some good movies.  He's 77 years old now (wow, same age as me), but he's suffering from a mild form of dementia called 'puglistica.'  Well, I don't have 'puglistica' but I've been demented pretty much all my life.  Anyway, back to Kris.  I want, dearly, to induct him into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame this year, can't find a direct connect anywhere.  Anyway back to Kris. He has severe memory loss from years of head injuries from boxing and football when he was younger.  He still remembers his songs and is able to play them pretty well.  He knows his family, but memories of his music career are almost gone.  When he sings though, unlike Glen Campbell, he remembers his words.  Well, we didn't get to induct Campbell, but I'm still hopeful we can induct Kristofferson.  Need some help getting to him.
 
One of our regional country music super-stars, Sherwin Linton, has been recently contacted by the "Legends of South Dakota Country Music Association" and the "Nebraska Country Music Foundation" to inform him that he will be inducted into each of their "Halls of Fame" in 2014.  Sherwin and his wife Pam were inducted into our "America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame" a number of years ago, and Sherwin will be with us in LeMars this year, backing one of his protégés Delaney Johnson, who is going to receive "Young Country CD of the Year" from the Rural Roots Music Commission.  She has recorded a 'mighty' country CD using Sherwin and his band the Cotton Kings.  She has an incredibly pretty young girl voice, you're going to like her a lot.  This is all going to happen on Monday, August 25th, another reason to come for the whole 7-day shooting match this year, LeMars is definitely going to be fun.  Sherwin will do a set of music for you too, so get ready for a good time.  Sherwin and his wife Pam are still hard at work on the documentary for Pioneer Public TV called "Sherwin Linton - Forever On the Stage."  Sherwin is one of the longest touring musicians in the upper Midwest, a Living Legend, and a favorite of his thousands of fans.  Good going Sherwin, keep it up!
 
Crystal Gayle (Loretta Lynn's sister) will debut her "When I Dream" at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, beginning May 2, and will go through November 3rd this year.  "When I Dream" recounts Gayle's unique rise to stardom.  She became a young dreamer emboldened, but nearly pigeon-holed, by the pioneering success of Loretta, but determined to make her own mark, she grew into a superb vocalist whose signature glamour and pop-infused hits charmed the entire country, as well as county fans
 
Hangnails hurt like crazy, I think we can all agree on that, but do they hurt enough to have surgery?  Well, some of you know Janet McBride.  I don't think she gives a hoot about hangnails, but one of the super stars of country music who got her start on Janet's "Mesquite Opry" seems to think so.  This is from her tweet last Monday, "Seriously painful hang nail.  About to have surgery at the derm.  This is not going to  be very enjoyable." and later after the evil deed was done, "OMG that hurt! Numbing shots on the fingers are no bueno! At least I don't feel any pain right now, or for my hand for that matter."  Wow, sure glad she's not a guitarist.  Anyway, still like 'Blue.'
 
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTION NOMINEE’S

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME
INDUCTION NOMINEE’S


There are times when I am writing an article I have so many things that I want to put into the story, that I sometimes miss important parts and I need to be reminded of that so that I do not miss people, places, and news.  In this case, I am writing an article on the process by which the Country Music Hall of Fame Nominating Committee forget those who are deserving of being members of the Hall of Fame.  In my past article I listed names that I felt were being forgotten, or maybe the voting committee might be too young to know who some of these legendary names are and what they have meant to country music.  One name that comes to my mind is Sam Lovullo, the man who opened the doors to making country music a worldwide name, when he introduced Hee Haw to the world. 

The TV Show Hee Haw was like a medicine needed to cure the ailments of country music.  It gave many artists the opportunity to restart their career with television being a major stepping stone.  Many artists were not all that successful at the time.  Sam’s vision was his passion and he knew that Hee Haw would be successful for many, but no one realized at the time that it would be the huge success that it became worldwide.  It was as if the country music industry had finally found a cure that would make the music a household name by giving it a shot in the arm which was needed at the time.  People called us hillbilly’s, country bumpkins from the backwoods, wearing bib overalls and cowboy hats, but never getting the recognition that it deserved.  Then along came Sam Lovullo and his vision was one of making the music known worldwide by giving it major television exposure, and that happened when Sam’s ingenuity and knowledge introduced Hee Haw to country music and the world.  He knew that many artists careers were stuck in the idle position and they needed to find something that would enhance their careers, and major television exposure was just what was needed.  It gave legends and veterans artists a new lease on their careers, opened the doors for young and aspiring artists, and also for the already successful artists.  It helped television ratings soar because now the country music fans could see and hear their favorite’s by sitting in their living room each week to watch Sam Lovullo’s dream come alive-Hee Haw.

And so when it comes to who should be nominated and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, let us not forget the man that changed the direction of country music forever by producing a show that was destined to be the lifeline to a music that was moving in slow motion.  Sam Lovullo realized that television was the main artery that opened the doors for new artists, older artists, veterans artists, and it gave country music a chance to bring our music to the world through the medium of television, and Sam Lovullo was the man who made this possible.  He was the director, the producer and the magic wand that he waved was probably the most important and most needed direction finder that pushed country music from a standstill to a much needed change in the music.

Sam realized that television was the one way to get immediate attention to the music and that it gave artists the chance to be seen and heard, gave them more personal appearances, and he was the one person who made this a reality.  The input that Hee Haw had to the music industry, the fans, television ratings, and to an artist career can never be measured with the success that came with being on a major network every week.  The music industry moved forward immediately as if it had found a cure for its ailments, and now had found a new road to bring country music full force to the world.  Sam probably never visualized the success it would have.  He knew that if everyone thought we were hillbilly’s then that would be the best way to make the show successful, but the show was for all ages and it gave the country music industry the much needed medicine to cure its ailments.

Sam Lovullo has never been one to pat himself on the back.  He is a genuine human being that loves country music and in his heart he knew that Hee Haw would be what the industry needed to let the world see how great the music was, and through his efforts country music found a new road to introduce the artists and their music to a new group of fans, young, old, and those from other music genre’s who were just getting to know about country music.  All of these changes can be attributed to Sam Lovullo for knowing that there was a special place in music for country music, and as we all know, country music is no doubt the highest rated music today in all genres of music.  Just think of all of the artists who were never in country music, and then when their careers were going down the tube, they realized the opportunity to jump on the country music bandwagon to keep their careers from dying.  Many artists found a home in country music, and no doubt took places of other country music artists by recording country songs and calling themselves country, which was not good for many artists who could not compete with artists who had name value in the pop or rock field, but their careers were floundering and they needed to find a way to keep their success moving forward, so they came over to country music, recorded some country songs, changed their music to country, and there was nothing that anyone could do, but it did hurt many artists who could not find a spot on radio because of the many artists from other music genres who took a slot that was meant for real country artists.  I do not agree with this, never have and never will, but I guess it is a business and country music saved the careers of many artists who were on the brink of losing their success in their field of music, so they changed their music values and called themselves country.  It hurt many artists, but record labels, talent agents, and venues could see the light in the tunnel and knew that there was a change that was getting ready to take place and that they had better jump on the bandwagon.  There were many artists who paid the price of these changes.

Sam Lovullo was the main ingredient of this new recipe that would eventually be very successful.  He never asked for any honors of what he done, he just wanted to see the music flourish, and because of Sam it has, and is now enjoying great success.  I wonder where country music would be if it were not for the direction of Sam Lovullo and Hee Haw.  It gave artists move visibility, more personal appearances, more financial stability, and careers were lengthened that otherwise might have ended without Hee Haw.

Sam gave the country music industry a prescription that would make it stand on its own feet, and he gave a new start to so many artists that otherwise might have never had a career without the opportunity that Sam Lovullo gave to them.  He knew that the music needed a jumpstart and Hee Haw was the way to push the music to new heights of success.  Sam was one of the most influential ambassadors for Country Music and still is the mentor of advice to so many others in the industry that respect his knowledge and love of the music.

The name Sam Lovullo should be given the title of Country Music Hall of Famer Sam Lovullo.  I cannot take the credit for all of this article, because there is an umpire friend of mine who felt that I should write something about Sam, and I agreed with him, and I hope that when they call the names of next year’s new inductees, the name Sam Lovullo will ring out louder than Big Ben.  Sam is one of the kindest and most respected human beings that I have ever know, and when he is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, it will be something that he will cherish and enjoy for the rest of his life.  I support Sam Lovullo and I hope that I will hear his name called in 2015.

Marty Martel©

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