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News Posted: June 30, 1998
This whole week CBS New York will be in Southern California doing interviews with Eddie Dean, Monte Hale, Wes and Marilyn Tuttle, Roy and Gene if their health is up to it, Herb Jeffries, over to Arizona to interview the "Arizona Cowboy" Mr. Rex Allen and several other of the great Classic Country artist and Cowboys from the West coast for a CBS special.
When it is finished and we have a time on it we will let you know, we are very happy that they decided to include good friend and great artist Herb Jeffries, Herb is also very active all around the country doing shows and talks at University's, at Clubs at Concerts any place he is booked to work including his home town of Palm Springs when he is not on the road. If you remember from one of our web news pages back the line a ways, we mentioned that Herb Jeffries was one of the top singers of the times when he was with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, after that era of time left us he became a Cowboy and made Westerns, after that era left us he became a Singing Cowboy and joined Warner Westerns Records, AND if someone decides there will be no-more Cowboy music, Herb Jeffries will probably become an Astronaut.
With out a doubt when the word "Cajun" is mentioned, right behind it comes the name Doug Kershaw, being a fan of Doug Kershaw since the days of Rusty & Doug we still are 30 years later.
Born January the 26th. 1936 in Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, Doug Kershaw knew the meaning of hard work and heart ache from a very early age, at the age of seven, Doug walked out into the chicken yard and found his father dead, shot by his own hand through the head with a long barreled .45 caliber pistol, Jack Kershaw was only 41 years old.
After his father's death the family, Doug, his Mother and three brothers moved into a little town called Lake Arthur, Louisiana where the boys went to school and Mama worked washing and ironing clothes for 50 cents a day, but on Saturdays she would give the boys a dime each to go watch a Cowboy Movie and since the movie was only 9 cents, the boys would bring back to Mama a penny change.
Doug started shining shoes, the older and bigger boys would chase him out of town and then one day he brought his fiddle with him, he could see that after two or three hours of this the people wanted him to keep playing, so he said I'll keep playin' if y'all will let me shine your shoes. That day he made Ten dollars and twenty cents, he took it home and they all ate beans and everything.
When Doug was about 15 he met a man by the name of J.D. Miller, Mr. Miller had a little recording studio and a little record company called "Feature Records" Doug had a song he had written and wanted J.D. to record it for him and he did and released it over the counter but most of the records he gave to Doug, Now back in them days a record cost about 19 cents, 29 cents at the most if you went in to buy one, but if ole Doug had a bunch of that same little record today, it would be worth a heap more than that.
Due to another release or so with J.D. Miller and his little "Feature Records" label, it wasn't long 'till Doug Kershaw and his brother Rusty were on their way to Nashville and Acuff-Rose and "Hickory Records" Doug had just turned 18 and brother Rusty was 16, the song written by Doug was called "So Lovely Baby" and so was born the duo of Rusty & Doug.
In 1956 Rusty & Doug were called to go the Wheeling Jamboree where they became regular members, In November of 1957 they signed a contract with the Grand Ole Opry shortly after that, just about to be drafted the Brothers signed up to go into the Military together, When Doug came out in 1960, on the floor of their apartment, broke and about to be thrown out, is where and when Doug Kershaw wrote "Louisiana Man" and decided to play the fiddle, since that day the song "Louisiana Man" has been recorded some eight hundred and fifty times.
My favorite Doug Kershaw song of all time is one that he record a few years ago out here in California for the "Scotty Brothers" label called "Hello Woman", I can't remember the last time we played it, I think it was yesterday, we wore out two copies, they both turned white.
Doug says it ain't no trouble french kissin' an alligator, it's lettin' him go that's a booger, Now if that don't sound like a lot of fun I'll kiss your saddle, If someone just, well, ask me real quick and I had no time to think, who I'd like to smooch, I think it would be the Budweiser Lizard.
From Nashville and the "Tennessean" News, Tammy Wynette along with George Morgan, Elvis and Bud Wendell are the newest members of the "Country Music Hall Of Fame".
It's great that that Super Stars of the 50's are finally getting in the Hall Of Fame or even being remembered at all, as far as I am concerned the day that George Morgan sang his first song he should have been in the Hall Of Fame, he always was to me, I never thought of him being anywhere else: Even though George's name was often spoken in the same breath as "Candy Kisses" if you were to put one of George's albums on the turntable and do nothing but listen than you would know that George Morgan was one of the finest Country singers ever and not just for Candy Kisses but for everything he chose to sing.
So many great songs are just lost in albums, when we were working at a station up in the Mojave desert and the evening man decided to move to Arizona, the owner ask me if I wanted to take over his shift as well as do the one I was already doing, I said sure I'll do it but I won't sit there and play the top 40 for four more hours, I'll play album cuts and talk about the artist and give people something to listen to while they are drivin' down that old highway, at first they didn't like the idea to much but after a few days when the phone started ringing they changed their mind.
If you ever heard George Morgan singing the Dave Kirby song of "A Walk On The Outside" and some of the others from his albums then you will know how much has been lost over the years, Not only George but singers like Frank Ifield that came to America to record a few albums in Nashville, two or three, maybe more. Frank hit big with one of his songs that was kinda Country/Pop called "I Remember You" and that's the one everyone seems to remember but the songs he did and the arrangements on some of Don Gibson's songs are just flat killers.
We read in a little publication from England the other day that Frank Ifield is living in Australia but he is kinda acting as vice president to a archive of music collectors in England, where ever he is, Frank Ifield is a great singer.
As far as the Hall of Fame, or a Star in the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and a few other places where the honor the greats of yester-year, I don't know about the Hall of Fame but the Star in Hollywood sure ain't free, first it's a bunch of paper work and second it's five thousand dollars or more to even be considered, So the bottom line to that one is no matter how great the general public thought you were, if someone is still not around to fight for you, you ain't never going to be in a Hall of Fame or a Walk Of Stars or any place else except a grave covered with weeds like Elton Britt.
Millions and Millions of dollars have been raised by Country Music Singers and the Great old Cowboys from the Silver Screen to help little children, to help the farmer, to help people rebuild after a flood or fire or a tornado has ripped down and destroyed all they owned, But yet only a chosen few are ever honored in any way, and for the most part even if they are, only after they are dead.
We did see where members of the Ritter family are still working hard to keep Tex Ritter's memory in front of all his many fans, on July the 18th of last year (97) the Opry opened an exhibit honoring Tex with some of his suits, boots, records, pictures, saddle, guitar and some other things and going on right now down in Carthage, Texas, plans to do even bigger and better things with the Tex Ritter Museum.
We know most people any more are so short of time that they just hop in a plane, go to where grandma lives, hop in a plane and come home, BUT if you do have a little time to drive your way across America and time to stop and smell the roses, then before you ever leave home, take the time to map out where some of these folks that gave you so many hours of great entertainment lived and or are buried or have a little museum or maybe even the old house they grew up in and STOP by and spend a little time remembering, chances are that you will be very close to many of them anyway.
Ancel Cook called last night and even though his Coors commercial is still running around the country and his M&M commercial is set to run about August, he is still not getting enough to do so there is a good chance he will run for President to fill in some of his time, Ancel talks pretty slow so by the time anyone figured out what he was doing it would already be done. Even though Ancel lives in California, he is from Oklahoma and most likely will be headed back that way for a visit in Gene Autry, Oklahoma where once a year Elvin Sweetnin has a little celebration going on, I think that's in October sometime.
Don Hinson is in Arizona for the week, he wanted to go some place a little cooler than Southern California for a few days, unless the folks he is going to visit has a basement way, way deep in the ground and a block of ice for him to use as a pillow, I think he's screwed since it is about a hundred a six there this week, he will be happy to get back to a cool ninety two.
The Virginian co/star Randy Boone has had a lot of offers this past month to do some shows in several different places including ride'n in this coming years Rose Bowl Parade and some Country Music shows, he just returned from back there in the mid-west someplace doing a show with the "Have Gun Will Travel" man Johnny Western.
Eddie Dean is still doing good as can be expected for a kid of 91, tomorrow we will be doing the interview with him for his part in the CBS special.
Cindy Walker should have no trouble with road kill cookin' down there in Texas, since she don't like that kitchen' cookin' and her and I both like fresh road kill, and them Texas highways are so hot this time of year that if she would just have someone run out with a little possum helper and stuff one of them critters, why it would only take a few minutes and that bugger would be finger lickin' good, um um.
I want to thank whoever is in charge of dying, for giving us a break, as far as we can determine, none of our Country Boys or Girls have left us this week, there for a while it was more often then we cared to write about.
Well as whoever used to say it, "Keep Them Cards & Letters Coming In."
We want to thank the Radio Stations that are playing the releases we send them, and the customers that are buying them and every one else that reads what we write.
It is time to move on for the night but we will see ye later.
Just in case we don't, take care of yourself
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