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News Posted: October 12, 1998
Well, It is getting close to Las Vegas time, the 16th, 17th, and 18th of this month of October, my good friend Don Hinson and I will be up there to MC the CMOA award show which is the best of the new talent from around the U.S.
Last year it seems most every state was represented by some young and some old talent that just wanted to jump in the water and see if they could get wet or not, to say the least it is a long jump, to really make it in this business nowadays you have to be so different from the ordinary that it makes it a hard row to hoe.
It ain't like it used to be in the good old days when just being a good Country singer would get you on a record label and if no one wanted you, start your own label, less then a thousand dollars would press you a trunk load of 45's , for six dollars you could buy a list of every radio station in the country, for three cents each you could buy mailers to put the 45's in and for fourteen cents you could mail about all of them you could stuff into one envelope.
Now them 45's are collectors items, the radio station's turn-tables that they used to play them on is in a back room or a junk pile someplace and little kids pull on your pant leg and say, "What's a record daddy?"
Them good old days are over folks, C.D's don't cost all that much to be pressed but the cost of all of the art work it takes to wrap in in will chew you up and spit you out, inside that front piece of plastic when you open a CD box is usually a little booklet which tells you the life story of the artist, about how he worked in a chocolate factory for almost a week to earn enough money to buy his first guitar, how he struggled to get to Nashville, to poor to go commercial air lines he had to take a plane that actually had engines attached to the wings.
And, now and then if you are, lucky ? when you get to the big city after you have traveled all the way from Kentucky, you will meet a fine promoter in a coffee shop that just happen to over hear you say you would like to be a recording star, and bet your new shiny Sears boots that in thirty minutes he will know everything about you, what you own, how much your family is worth and how big a house they got, he likes to know all these things so that he can decide if he wants to live in Kentucky after he becomes the new owner.
Looks like the bottom line now days is, if you are past thirty and people don't know who you is now, the ain't never gonna, when a radio station won't play a Johnny Cash record, (scratch that) I mean CD then they ain't about to play yours no matter how good you can sing, and they are never going to know how good you can sing because they are not going to play it the first time to see.
But there is an answer to everything!!!!! Go ahead and cut a CD or make you up some tapes and buy your own radio station and just play your own "Stuff", home-town folks and people passing through your town will "Think" your a star.
You can call radio stations for the most part 'till your hair turns back to its natural color and yap all you want about them not playing Cash or Willie or Waylon or Ernest or Cal Smith or old J.R. or Gene Watson, when you are all finished ranting and raving a garbled computer voice comes on programmed by a one legged Filipino in a grass hut making thirty five cents a week says, "We----do----not----take----request, if----you----would----like----to---- speak---- with----an---- operator----please----stay----on----the----line----we----will------connect----you----with---- our----office---- in----Baltimore."
Why in the hell would I want to speak to an operator in Baltimore, I'm in Texas.
Something is bad wrong folks, time and time again you hear these new people say, "Why I grew up listenin'' to Johnny Cash, and George Jones, and boy when that Merle Haggard came along, why me and my Daddy went out and bought all his records, and my Momma' has every record George Morgan ever made, and Lefty, why I used to spend hours out in the barn tryin' to sing like him.
The royalty checks that used to come in for Lefty and Freddie and Eddie and most all them other Country singer back in the fifties was peanuts compared to what it is now, If one of these new singers would have three tunes in the top ten like old Lefty did at the same time, the royalty check today would be so big three people couldn't carry it. BUT yet, have you ever heard one of them ever say he or she was tired of never hearing any of them on the radio anymore.
Who's poop'n who, here folks ? they ain't ever gonna say that, the label they are on would make swamp bait out of um:
The good old boys have still got some great music out there, you just have to dig to find it, But you can, Some of them are still recording, not for the big labels, but the music is still just as good as ever, some of it better because they have more freedom to work, a couple of the people that grew up listing to the good stuff are now rich enough to buy up some of the old masters and re-press the original sounds and you CAN buy it, you just have to find it.
What we don't already have in our mail order catalog on George Jones, we can get at least fifty more of his albums in a matter of a couple days and if you find one or five of his albums in a chain record store it would be a miracle, So write us a letter, send us a fax, e-mail us but don't give up on the greats of yester-year, we don't care if you buy them at a swap meet. We would ask you to call your local stations but that is a waste of time, but you can hear them all sitting in your own home on your own "Record player" or CD player or tape deck, what ever you have.
Even though "Neon Nightmare" may be a strange name for a "Country" label, the music on this CD release is not strange, it has on this 21 song album some really good stuff like this one of Justin Tubb called "What's Wrong With The Way We're Doing It Now? * "24th Hour" from Johnny Bush & Darrell McCall * "If I Ever Need A Lady" by Claude (How fast the trucks will go) Gray * a song by one of my favorite pickers and writers, Mr. Dave Kirby called "What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana" * Leona Williams with a really good Country song called "Yes Ma'am" * one by Miss. Leona's son Ron Williams called "Truckloads and Trainloads" * this CD has cuts by, Big Bill Lister, Casey Anderson, Liz Anderson, Lawton Williams, Curtis Potter, , and enough others to make up the 21 great Country songs on this album. It will be in our catalog soon and it is from "The Heart Of Texas"
Mac McHale and the "Old Time Radio Gang" is like turning your radio on back when it was so big it weighed two hundred pounds, in fact it is almost just like listening to those good old days of radio with songs like, "New River Train", "Rocking Alone", "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan", "T.B. Blues", "When The Roses Bloom Again", "Orange Blossom Special", "Ashes Of Love" and enough other memories to add up to 24 cuts on this great CD by Mac McHale and The Old Time Radio Gang. Another good one for our catalog.
From our good friend Janet McBride comes her new CD called 'Classic Yodel Songs Collection" and all we can say about this one is, Janet better take one of them there silver pens with her when she goes on the road so she has it ready to sign her name on a bunch of this new one, Unlike them old hairy guys that their heroes have always been cowboys, Janet's heroes have always been yodelers. On this 14 song CD collection she has honored some of the finest writers and yodelers that have ever lived, and we hope it is no less than a hundred years down the road that the generation of the times will be honoring her with an album salute or tribute to Janet McBride.
On every album we have received from Janet, someplace on the covers she is saying something nice about other singers that she has either met or has really done her best to honor them by singing their songs in tribute on one of her albums, and after all the space is gone on that cover, there is very little room (if any) to say anything about her self, maybe she plans it that way, we don't know, but what we do know is, we know people that have been to many shows where Janet McBride has appeared, we never ask a one of them what kind of show she did, but time after time we have been ask, "Do you know Janet McBride, man, she sure did a great show"So be it from other great entertainers or just plain ole good folks that love Country Music, to me, that about says it all.
I hope by what we said above about honoring her in no less than a hundred years that we didn't want someone to honor her before that, we just hope she lives another hundred years, in this day and time when we are all living longer, shucks, who knows, good ole Eddie is headed for ninety two, Anyway we can see a lot of Patsy Montana in Janet, not that she sings like her, but that Patsy was always talking about how she enjoyed hearing someone else sing or yodel, and we are very sure another one of our friends the world calls Miss. Walker is very honored that Janet McBride chose one of her songs for this album called "Wide Rollin' Plains".
AND...Speaking of Cindy Walker, "Southland Records" has just released a 20 song salute to the music of Miss. Cindy Walker by the man who for many years was the voice of the famed Bob Wills Texas Playboys, Mr. Leon Rausch, on this album, some of the songs are pure country, some of them are western and some of them are Texas Swing done in the fashion of the King of Texas swing music, Mr. Bob Wills, some of the songs (5) on this album were never recorded before 'till Leon got a hold of them, one of them (Ruidoso) Miss Walker wrote as a tribute to the little town of the same name in New Mexico and her good friend Ray Reed who had just out-done himself a couple of years ago to put together a celebration to honor what he knew to be one of the great song writers of all time and that of course being Cindy Walker, The town of course did honor Miss Walker and the radio stations joined in to play her music all day and night.
AND... as anyone knows that knows Country Music, the songs of Miss. Cindy Walker have been record by everyone but the "Good Humor Man" he just sells ice cream (so far) BUT--a whole album has never been done of her songs like this one by Leon Rausch, there is something in it for everyone no matter what kind of music you like.
Something else you may not know, and we wrote about this album a few months ago, is an album by Cindy Walker with her doing all the singing, now, no doubt, she had rather write than sing, but that should not have been the case because she is a fine singer and especially of the songs she wrote herself that were just monster hits by others, who would no better the feeling you were trying to put into a song then the person who wrote it ? Anyway, on this one are songs like "Thank You For Calling", "I Was Just Walking Out The Door," "Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me," "Blue Canadian Rockies" and about eight more from the pen and lips of Miss. Cindy Walker.
AND... Don't forget the new release we were telling you about last week from Cal Smith and featuring the song the "Arizona Whiz", we were talking to the writer of the song last week, Harlan Sanders, and he only had two words to say about Cal, and they were, "My Hero", not because of this song but because Cal Smith is a great person, after we get a few other things behind us maybe Harlan will join up with us and run Cal for President.
We got a hang-up for them old T.V. shows that they rerun from the 50's, most of them are in black and white and that's the best kind, especially them old Bogart movies, any one who adds color to them should have his privates painted orange and a rebel flag on it but that's just our opinion, anyway, on one of them old game shows the other night at the end of something or another was a commercial by the late John Cameron Swazy who did the commercials for the "Timex watch company"..Anyway at the end of his little commercial and after the watch had been tied to a board or something and let go over a big water fall, he dug it out of the water at the bottom of the cliff, the camera did a close up to show you the watch was still running and John Cameron Swazy said, "Takes A Lickin' And Keeps On Tickin", and we were wondering, does that remind you of anything or anybody living today?
News from Nashville this morning, Monday, October the 12th 1998**T. Tommy Cutrer died last night of an apparent heart attack in Gallantine, he was 74.
T.Tommy's first job in radio was at WSKB in McComb, Mississippi and then on to some other stations in the south which led to his meeting of Sonny James in 1942 and then later in the early 50's, T Tommy signed with and recorded for Capitol Records. In 1994 Cutrer landed a job as a Grand Ole Opry announcer, on his way there, a car accident cost him his left leg, but they let him keep the job and in 1957 he was named the nation's number one DJ.
In 1978 T.Tommy Cutrer ran for the State Senate and won that election, representing Senate District 15. Losing his bid for re-election in 82, having plenty to do at home, T. Tommy spent his days doing what he loved most, feeding his ponies, his chickens and his cows at a place he loved most, His home.
T. Tommy Cutrer, gone at 74.
Saturday night, October the 10th 1998, even though this man made his living for many, many years trying to shoot Eddie Dean and just about all of our other Western Heroes of yester-year out of the saddle but usually ended up getting chased down in the end as our Hero ridin' along side of him, leaped out of the saddle and knocked him to the ground where they would proceed to beatin' the tar out'a each other, but we all know who won that fight, now he won't have to worry about that anymore.
One of the greatest people on this earth that we have ever met was this one, Mr. Pierce Lyden, We had talked with Pierce some months ago and we knew he was not well then, but, somewhere in England I think it was, they wanted to have a day for him and never being one to turn down anyplace or anyone that wanted him, he decided to go, on his return home we talked for a while with him again, he said they treated him like he was a king, they should have, because he truly was a fine person.
It was also a sad day just a few short years ago when his wife Hazel died, she was without a doubt one of Eddie Dean's greatest fans, she had ask for a couple of Eddie's tapes which we sent her, she called a couple days later, she said there was no-bill in that package you sent, we said, are you sure ? keep lookin', we knew there wasn't because we didn't send one, after that she used to call about once a month, where's my bill ? We said what are you gonna do if we don't send you one, send Eddie's tapes back ? She used to seek us out in a crowd no matter how large it was, sneak up behind us a give us a great big hug, she was something else.
Pierce Lyden was born, January the 8th 1908 and would have been 91 come this next January, he will surely be missed by all that ever knew him.
Family services for Pierce will be this week and following that in a day or so will be a memorial service for him for anyone that would like to attend, the family will announce when that will be.
See you this weekend for a three day Country show in Las Vegas...
But just in case we don't, take care of yourself
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