How Country Popped Its Way Into the Mainstream

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Post  misery guts on Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:58 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Moe Bandy
From Mississippi, but moved to Texas. Tried rodeo, but his brother was better at it. Had musical parents, spent 10 years playing honky tonk joints, hit paydirt with a rodeo song. But not a real rodeo clown. Had troubles with alcohol, but got over them. Was on tour in England in the late 70s. Managed 3 albums with Joe Stanley following a hit "Good Old Boys". Managed a holiday hit with "Americana". Swapped a number called "Diamond Dreams" for "'Til I'm Too Old To Die Young" which he suited better. Was planning a new album with a track called "Did Everything Hank Williams Did, But Die". Yup, sounds Country to me.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:10 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Leroy Van Dyke
A snappy dresser celebrating 59 years in the business, born in Missouri and with a degree in Agriculture. He fought in Korea, in Counter Intelligence, but became inspired musically instead. His big hit came from his real life career as an auctioneer. It sold millions and was often covered, though not well. Another hit was "Walk on By", apparently judged the biggest ever country single by USA Today. Put on a specially choreographed show in Las Vegas. Has returned to Missouri, while his son is a whizz on lead guitar.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:17 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Jeannie Seely
Another legend, apparently. She was a radio listener from the age of 4, moved from Pennsylvania to California because she was daunted by Nashville. But Dottie West told her she had to go there to learn more. She met Hank Cochrane in California and married him. Had hits like "He's All I Need" and "Don't Touch Me". Won a Grammy and was granted membership of the Grand Ole Opry. Did some acting when the music wasn't going so well, but mainly theatre. A full life, then, whoever she is.
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Post  misery guts on Thu May 12, 2016 7:41 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - "Whispering" Bill Anderson
A prolific songwriter responsible for "City Lights", "Whisky Lullaby" and my favourite "I've Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand". He was a DJ in Georgia in the 1950s, and helped fund a Performing Arts Centre in his hometown, is as thrilled by cover versions and for singing them himself. Written 4 books so far, and narrates his own audiobooks. Nice guy.

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Brenda Lee
Also from Georgia. Won a talent contest aged 7 and became the family breadwinner. The only woman in the R&R HoF and Country HoF (seems unlikely, but hey). Also the Georgia HoF Laughing Dubbed "Little Miss Dynamite". Moved to Nashville, didn't fit the Hollywood lifestyle. Married for over 51 years. Better to have a classic than a hit, eg "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree". Her mentor was Owen Bradley. Sees similarities with Taylor Swift.

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Nancy Jones
An extended plug for the George Jones Museum, really, but Keith seemed to be a family friend, as there were a great many personal anecdotes. A GJ biopic is on the way (No Show Jones) in 2017. George was raised in the Pentecostal church, was awestruck to work with Hank Williams and Roy Acuff. Many exhibits in the museum reflected George's private world, eg his special chair, his lawnmower (with Ronnie McDowell's pic of it), his old rocking chair, etc. Nancy spoke of the need for rotation of stock, but has plenty of choice. His memorial at Woodlawn Cemetery is subject to fan pilgrimages, and is set up to accommodate them. Sounds worthwhile.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:43 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Gene Watson
He worked in body shops by day, and sang in bars by night. He must have worked it out because he was up to 53 years in the business. He was backed by the Farewell Party Band, named after one of his songs. He didn't do favours for song-writers to accept sub-standard material. Pushed a new project, called "Real Country Music". His shows were always a hot ticket, with folks travelling from 2-3 states afield to catch him. Had a brush with cancer, though his voice remains as good as it ever was. But then he doesn't smoke or drink. He also doesn't warm-up or practice. Had a TV project working with Moe Bandy which I gather had a good pilot and might run to a series.

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Lorrie Morgan
Her father George was someone special at the Grand Ole Opry. Lorrie debuted there at just 13. Was friends with other kids of stars. She signed to RCA Victor, after struggling to convince that she was serious. Had been quiet for the past 6 years through a loss of confidence, and feeling bored with touring. But now she was working with producer Richard Landis, and planning another LP with Pam Tillis. She discussed her daughter's career too.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:34 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Ronnie Reno
His father was Don Reno, who made the first record of "Duellin' Banjos". Ronnie toured with his Dad, and befriended stars like Merle Haggard, even singing harmony with MH. Spent 9 years with MH, still considers him a friend. Toured with his Dad until he died, then toured with his brothers for 15 years. Had a show to give bluegrass more exposure. Sees music as the universal household language.

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - John Anderson
Roy Acuff wanted him to cut his hair, but Ernest Tubb defended him. Though born in Florida, he moved to Nashville when 17, but had a rough time. Spent 2 years working well in a duo with his sister. Got help from published Al Gallico.  Felt part of a special era of country. Did hundreds of shows with George Jones, and still kept in touch with Merle Haggard. Felt that few modern stars care for the old days. Now at an age where he could be choosy over how many dates to play. Had his own publishing company, and owned half of his own stuff. Made an LP, Goldmine, last year. Impressed by great loyalty of fans - helping expose an impostor on Facebook for example.

Larry's Country Diner - ?
This series seems to run older episodes than the Reflections ones. The format seems somewhat looser, but where it scores, it scores well. The guest complained of feeling under the weather, but still sang quite well. Sadly, having looked through the website (8 seasons so far, apparently), he didn't appear listed anywhere, and I omitted to note his name (I wasn't really expecting to mention this, but I did enjoy it, so go figure).

EDIT - It was Jim Glaser!
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Post  Adric on Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:42 pm

Sad   Bit of sad news and a good topic to post it in. Glen Campbell is Alzheimer Stage 6 ...

Glen Campbell is Alzheimer Stage 6

Glen Campbell is Alzheimer Stage 6 and his family could use some prayers as the Rhinestone Cowboy is at the end of his journey with Alzheimer’s. Glen Campbell’s wife of over 30 years really missed her husband so she had brought him home from the memory facility last summer where he had lived for almost a year.

His stay at home lasted only 7 weeks as he has become harder to manage now that he has entered late Stage 6 Alzheimer. What that means as a diagnosis is that Campbell and his family are now facing the end of this disease. This is what is happening to Campbell mentally, physically and emotionally on a daily basis. This information was taken from the National Alzheimer website. Some of his symptoms might vary but this is the reality of what they are all going through right now and what many other families are facing and dealing with as well.

How Country Popped Its Way Into the Mainstream - Page 2 MN9GZu

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Post  misery guts on Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:00 pm

Well, after the brutal first few months of the year, things seem to have tapered slightly lately, but there's still 5 months left to go if Glen is facing his final bow Sad Having watched the doc with him in the early stages of Alzheimers, I can't imagine how much more heart-breaking things have got.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:55 am

Kris Kristofferson: Greatest Hits
An amiable hour compilation which started well with "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and peaked with a version of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", but the end seemed to be a repetition of material for no reason besides carelessness presumably. There was stuff from Farm Aid, and some which I presume was from Saturday Night Live.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:26 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - John Conlee
Raised in Kentucky, his gimmick was that he went from being a farmer to a mortician, a career he sometimes fell back on. Spent 6 years learning about people, and seeing connections with showbiz. Was a morning SJ in Fort Knox, then wrote "Rose Coloured Glasses". Able of driving a tour bus. Dreams about work on radio. Still records, has a new compilation-style album out. His band line-up has been constant for a long time. He kept a good website. And so on.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:42 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - T. Graham Brown
Had a new album out featuring many collaborations. He was from Georgia, with a blue-eyed soul sound. Struggled to breakthrough onto radio or the Opry. Did some commercials, got to work with Little Richard and Count Basie. Also met heroes like Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard and his favourite George Jones. Went through tough years of addiction, but beat it with help from his wife. Back on Sony at the age of 60. Son was also musically talented, fronted his own band. Seemed happy enough.

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - David Frizzell
His brother was Lefty, also a singer, with whom he started out on package shows. Met Johnny Cash, was impressed by his charisma and entertainment quotient. Was offered the chance to replace Buddy Holly on tour after he died. Did duets with Shelley West. Struggled to find a label, got some help from Clint Eastwood. Did his own TV show in Montana. Has written his book, a new CD, and an online presence. Still loves touring, and welcomes new challenges. Good.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:20 am

All You Need Is Love: Making Moonshine
Episode 11 of this series covered Country Music, or "American folk" as one person described it. This was very much the old yee-haw testament, bluegrass and banjos, fiddles and the Ozarks, religion and rodeo, rednecks and cowboys, and so on. Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff, often name-checked on Keith Bilbrey's show, both were alive enough to talk about the GOO and the Ryman. But heck, even Roy Rogers got to talk, which almost made up for stories about Jimmie Rodgers and so on.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:59 am

SoundStage: Tim McGraw
Around an hour from 2010, when Tim was plugging his 10th album, Southern Voice - he finished off with the title track. I wish these shows had captions, because the singers generally feel obliged to personally introduce only 2 or maybe 3 of them if we're lucky. Still, this is modern country for sure.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:01 am

Fife country singer Jackie Storrar has died after losing her battle with cancer
She had several top 10 hits in the UK country charts, including a cover of Motörhead’s Ace of Spades which reached number one in 2007.
She was just 50 Sad RIP
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Post  misery guts on Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:27 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Janie Fricke
Yay, a new series (or more of the old one). Janie is from Indiana, was shy when she started singing, worked as a back-up singer and made her fortune if not her name working for a jingles company in Memphis. Then she worked in Dallas. Then LA. Then back to Memphis. Then - aha! Nashville. Finally got to do her own records, spending 12 years on Columbia Records. Keeps touring, working with many other singers, creates a good vocal blend. Now based in Fort Worth. Good stuff.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:45 am

Seem to think this isn't a new series so much as odd episodes I missed previously.

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Mark Chesnutt
He's from Beaumont, Texas, also the home of George Jones, and Johnny & Edgar Winter. His dad was a singer-songwriter, but couldn't chase the dream for himself. Ditto his brother. He feels Jerry Lee Lewis gets overlooked for his contribution to Country. Had hits like "Bubba Shot The Jukebox", some tracks that other artistes overlooked or felt needed more work. Waylon Jennings was a mean fan of pinball machines. His new album, which took 3 years to put together, was "Tradition Lives", which speaks for itself. Still embodes Old Time Fiddle & Steel. Has a good website. Fair enough.
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Post  misery guts on Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:11 am

The Frank Kilbride Show: Charley Pride
One of the worst interviewers I've ever watched, talking to a bona fide country music legend, thankfully interspersed with concert footage from the Olympia Theatre, Dublin, or Pride in full voice. Those bits were more entertaining, though Pride did his best, one of 11 children from Mississippi, picked cotton and had his sports career cut short. He managed to transcend the colour bar through his evident talent. Frank is his middle name. He enjoyed his time in the army. He was RCA's 2nd best selling albums artist after Elvis Presley. Talk of doing a new album with Randy Jackson. Was given some gifts at the end, including something fashioned from wood believed to be several thousand years old.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:37 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Rhonda Vincent
"The Queen of Bluegrass music", apparently, from a Missouri musical family. She started singing at age 3, playing the mandolin at age 8, and the fiddle at age 12, though some of these motivations were to ensure her part of the act got paid. She was sanguine at the notion of a missed childhood. Her father died in October 2014. The family have organised their own festival since 1987 or so. She tours a lot with her own band, bringing fashion and glamour to the ragged beard world of bluegrass. Has 5 projects in the pipeline, of which 3 are DVDs. Her son-in-laws are now part of her band, which is The Rage.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:46 am

Curly Putnam has died at the age of 85.
a country songwriter responsible for some of the most enduring hits of the 1960s and 1970s, including D‑I‑V‑O‑R‑C‑E, which gave Tammy Wynette her first No 1 hit; He Stopped Loving Her Today which revived the career of George Jones; and, not least, Green, Green Grass of Home, the song which propelled Tom Jones to stardom.
That's Hall of Fame stuff alone. Spookily, Green Green Grass of Home was a big hit here 50 years ago this month. Anyway, RIP Sad
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Post  misery guts on Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:04 am

Reflections w/Keith Bilbrey - Paulette Carlson
A fun-loving dress-twirler, from Moose Lake, North Minnesota. Her mother was also a great singer. She had early gigs at Fargo, North Dakota, and started song-writing at an early age. When she moved to Nashville, her first hit was "The Bed You Made For Me". She met up with the Oak Ridge Boys, and later formed Highway 101, an act her mother named. She took time out when H101 came to its end, so she could raise her young daughter. Was able to restart her career through Facebook. She wrote "Thank You Vets" partly because her brother was a Vietnam veteran (interestingly, Keith didn't get drafted). Unsure of her future plans, whether H101 might reunite, but she was bound to keep touring, and was willing to make more records. Felt that being "real" always worked best.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:40 am

Obviously caught up with all the episodes of Reflections (for now).

Live With... The Shires
Popular duo with a new album out this year, though they disappointingly do their recent single "A Thousand Hallelujahs", though they did manage a cover of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now".
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Post  misery guts on Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:49 am

The Great Songwriters: Jimmy Webb
He was born in Elk City, and grew up on a farm. He played piano in church, learned to improvise arrangements, and then made up his own songs. Joined the staff at Motown, but got the elbow after writing several songs that would then be hits. He met Glen Campbell, who sang By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Wichita Lineman.
Billy Joel wrote:It's about an ordinary man thinking extraordinary thoughts.
Oh, and Galveston, criticising the Vietnam War. But he made pains to emphasise that he didn't just write about towns. He's supposedly working on a memoir called The Cake In The Rain. Very acerbic about the danger of the Internet to songwriters, like the Blue Meanies wrecking what they don't appreciate.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:20 am

Country's Family Reunion
Seen a couple of these before, this was a 2-part one paying tribute to "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson's 50-year career (from 2010). Vince Gill MC's as a room of various other country artists, from Moe Bandy to George Hamilton IV, either told anecdotes they were fond of, or sang his songs, or both. John Anderson did my favourite "I've Enjoyed as Much of This as I can Stand". John Randall told a great one about Bill doing some songwriting with Brad Paisley. Paisley apparently likes his tech, whereas Bill turned up with pencil & paper. At this, Brad retorted "hey, Moses, when did you stop using chisel and stone?" Laughing
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:05 am

Star Treatment: Greg Bonham
Unlike the others in this series, I believe Bonham is still in the business and reasonably successful too (if he's lasted nearly 40 years, he must be). He was an Aussie who sang and played the trumpet, but his material veered towards the Country side, with Rhinestone Cowboy, Thank God I'm a Country Boy and Your Cheatin' Heart along the way, before finishing with An American Trilogy.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:58 am

The Shires: New Country
How Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes met through Facebook, and blossomed into the UK's 1st & foremost country duo, with growing success, especially with their 2nd LP "My Universe", and how they might have a chance to crack the USA, the premier country market. They went to Nashville for a showcase at the Bluebird Café, on the night of the 50th CMAs. They associate with other country acts like Ward Thomas, and Thomas Rhett, and are part of a move to reassert the premise of assertive women in country, something which was going well in the 1990s and was then knocked back after 9/11. They seem to have as much chance of a lengthy career as any.
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