NewsComments Off on Country Legend Mr. Gene Watson Invited To Join The Opry.
This article has me up at the wee hours of the morning with a box of tissues drying up my tears. There is nobody that I adore more ardently then Mr. Gene Watson in Country Music PERIOD..nobody. Aside from Mr. Vern Gosdin or Mr. Don Williams, the voice of Mr. Gene Watson resonates so deeply within my heart that you cannot EVER remove his music from my soul. His voice and his demeanor brings honor and integrity to both Country Music as a genre, and to the Opry as the heart and soul of that genre.
I understand many of you are very articulate in your negative sentiments about the direction of the Opry, and I only partially agree with you. If you remember last year I made a good point that the Opry IS FINALLY LISTENING TO US, and has been featuring more traditional artists we know and love.
It’s my hope and my onus to see to it that the Grand Ol Opry continues to maintain to not just be an outlet for Pop Country , but and outlet for Traditional Country as well, and it’s doing that by recently inviting Mr. James Carothers to perform his Opry debut very soon. ( MORE on that later).
As I listened to the Opry last night online I was simply in absolute AWE from what was transpiring at my desk here. It involved Mr. Vince Gill, another Country Music artist I consider to be a Legend in his own right. This is how last night went:
“They’ve got me down for two more songs, but I’d love to give you one of those songs. I’ll make you a deal. I’m a wheeler-dealer guy. If you do ‘Farewell Party,’ we’ll invite you to become the next member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
Of course, Mr. Gene Watson accepted and then Mr. Gene said, “In 2019, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of this song. And after 40 years it’s still the most requested song. And then you pull this on me, I’m not sure I’ve got anything left.”
Mr. Gene Watson is a prominent part of the history of Texas music as well, not only Traditional Country Music overall. You know, he has been around for many years, and he has been gracing the Opry stage for so many of those years even NOT being a member of it. He has never ONCE put the Opry down because of that, or complained about being overlooked as much as the fans have…now we FINALLY have that prize.
I’m going to also include this press release here, and also this review of his show at the Nashville Palace.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music legend Gene Watson was surprised on stage at the Ryman Auditorium during the Grand Ole Opry tonight by Opry member Vince Gill with an invitation to become an official Opry member. Watson, whose hits including “Fourteen Carat Mind” and “Farewell Party” have become country standards, made his Opry debut 55 years ago at age 21 on the Ryman stage.
“He’s one of the greatest country singers that’s walked the earth,” Gill said, introducing Watson on stage to perform. After Watson performed “Sometimes I Get Lucky and Forget” and “Nothing Sure Looked Good On You” Gill asked, “Would you mind singing ‘Farewell Party’? The Opry told me if you would, you could be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry.” A nearly speechless Gene replied, “I’m not sure I have anything left after that kind of surprise” and then gave an outstanding performance that kept the sold-out crowd on its feet.
“The Opry strives to showcase an array of musical styles in every show,” said Dan Rogers, Vice President and Executive Producer, Grand Ole Opry. “When Gene Watson steps onto the Opry stage, fans know they are going to hear one of the most respected traditional country singers of all time. For years, we’ve watched him wow audiences in the crowd and fellow artists backstage. He’s been committed to the Opry for decades, and we look forward to him becoming an official member of the family. Plus, when all is said and done, you just can’t beat that last note of ‘Farewell Party.’”
About Gene Watson:
This masterful country stylist from Houston, Texas has been thrilling audiences for more than 50 years. Gene Watson’s tally of 75 charted titles, 23 Top 10 hits, six No. 1 country records and three No. 1 gospel hits has led to membership in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Houston, TX Music Hall of Fame. Radio listeners are still transfixed whenever classics like “Farewell Party,” “Fourteen Carat Mind” or “Love in the Hot Afternoon” are played. Considered one of the finest pure-country singers of his generation and known as “The Singer’s Singer,” Watson offers up one of the best traditional country shows in the business.
NewsComments Off on The Grand Ole Opry is FINALLY Listening To Us!
The time is coming folks when the Opry FINALLY “Gets It”. I knew this was going to culminate one day! I’m not sure if it’s the new manager that is a TRUE lover of real music or that they are looking for a more diverse crowd? This article here has been culminating in my brain for the last year now, because our music…our beloved “underground” music is FINALLY taking shape up top with mainstream music.
I’m not really sure if the Opry “watches” what the Ryman does, but if Mr. Cody Jinks, Mr. Tyler Childers and Miss Margo Price are any indicators, then I’d say YES THEY DO. Because all of those three have recently SOLD OUT THE RYMAN, and some of them in record time.
You have had several Country Legends like Vince Gill and Reba McEntire previously state that they wished the bro country shit would come ti a close and that the rap country would follow out the door. Well, it pretty much has and many of the prominent figures of the 1990’s have resurfaced and are making quality NEW music, but the problem is that people over 50 that enjoyed it in the 90’s aren’t buying it.
Let me tell you WHO IS. This new demographic of 20-40 year old music fans that grew up listening to the Outlaw Era music FROM the 50 and up people who won’t spend money on music. Pop Country is specifically targeted to women ages 14-25 and soccer moms up to 35 ( there ARE some exceptions to those that like the music that isn’t Pop Country), but now many of those females are coming over to the other side of the Country fence.
Now, mind you that the Opry WILL ALWAYS pander to ALL GENRES of Country and by all means that is GREAT. Because you get a 4 hour show for a GREAT PRICE, and you get a little bit of everything for everyone. But these younger people that are digging up the real Country are becoming very erudite about it. Whether it be word of mouth on social media, or rabbit hole time on Youtube or Spotify, they ARE finding it.
The Opry is picking up on this, and cashing in on it all by offering us all we want. And I’m hoping that very soon they start functioning as the Grand institution they once were. In the past, as far as members go they made some pretty mundane choices, and many of those fools won’t honor what it means to BE A MEMBER.
But then as of January of 2019, things began to change and now I’m seeing a positive, new echelon of shows and invitations of guests. Is this a result of the new manager? In my opinion I’d say YES IT IS. I think being a woman she is making better choices of some of the artists out there busting their backsides to gain the attention in the mainstream world…and it’s becoming easier every day.
From Cody Jinks Instagram account.
On August 28th Underground Country Music sensation Mr. Cody Jinks made his Opry debut with 3 songs, to where after the first song he paused and said “I’m not going to lie to y’all, I’m pretty scared right now”. He played three songs, and right now along with Whiskey Myers and Mr. Chris Knight they are PISSING ALL OVER CORPORATE NASHVILLE ( hell some of them are based out of New York and California). It’s TRUE that these “DIY” artists are doing it THEIR WAY and mainstream radio is losing, and so are the artists that mainstream radio pushes down our throat on a daily basis. Radio used to be a very viable way of gathering an audience, but it’s not anymore and I couldn’t be happier.
One of the most prominent artists in this formula that has set many standards as an independent female artist is my friend Miss Sunny Sweeney. Her music is just a soulful and beautiful as she is, and she embellishes Country Music with her songs in a fashion only she ever could.
NOBODY deserves to be an Opry member more than her right now, having over 50 appearances under her belt, she has identified as one of the “Grand ladies of the Opry” like Miss Jan Howard and Jeannie Seeley are now. I mean don’t you all agree that ladies like her and Miss Kelsey Waldon would be sufficient additions of a new group of younger ladies that would carry on that tradition left behind by Miss Jean Shepherd BUT STILL allow and even proliferate those still alive like Miss Jan Howard?
I want EVERY ONE OF YOU To contact the Opry in any way you can and tell them that we MUST make Miss Sunny Sweeney a member! And you can damn sure bet I’ll be there in attendance to cover that news when it does happen!
A few years back Miss Kelsey Waldon made her debut on the Opry and I recently had the opportunity to catch her set at Kickin It on The Creek in Irvine Kentucky, which I’m still writing about now. She recently released a new album on Mr. John Prine’s label Oh Boy Records, and will grace many a TOP 50 lists of 2019.
In my opinion she would equally be a good candidate for future performances on the Opry, along with the Pistol Annies, and SO MANY other younger female artists that are out right now, and outperforming the males in my opinion. I recently started writing my Americanafest articles and BY ALL MEANS I enjoyed the gals more than the guys there, I don’t know maybe it’s just what I LIKE more, and I’m not meaning this in a physical manner, their songs just speak to me MORE as a person.
Mr. Tyler Childers has played the Opry twice now, since his rise to fame in the underground music realm but it has gotten so large and amassed so much notoriety, one simply cannot argue with his success. The sales and attendance of the Opry when this man takes the stage means that he deserves to play on a regular basis.
I’m not trying to say that all of these artists deserve to walk in the door and become members in ANY fashion people. In now way do I sit here and write this and boast that they should be inducted without a plethora of performances under their belt on the stage…I’m just saying that the Opry has the right idea.
Joe Diffie, Clint Black, John Anderson, Terri Clark, man there are SO MANY great artists out there that play the Opry frequently, and are a hell of a lot better choices than the crap emanating from the FM radio speakers now. There have been a few recent good choices for good members with such names as miss Crystal Gayle and Mr. Luke Combs.
I’ll be completely honest here folks, I don’t like the music that Mr. Luke Combs does at all. It just doesn’t speak to me in any fashion, but I’ll be honest it’s probably some of the best mainstream music out there. In a nutshell, this man’s music could easily lead others to more underground music.
On November 23rd 1992 the Grand Ole Opry lost one of it’s most beloved figures. A man that embellished Country Music with grace and poise, and he died with more dignity and honor than a thousand of today’s “stars” of Country Music. A man that even the likes of Hank Williams Sr heralded as Country Music’s Godfather, even Waylon Jennings held all cussing around in respect to his stature of this genre. Roy Acuff was and still is one our most beautiful leaders of the Opry and performed on the stage of the Opry up until the week he died in a house that faced the Opry front doors.
Every morning he awoke and lifted his head to look at his precious place where many people began their journey in the music industry. It launched so many people’s careers and created a home for many of our beloved Legends, in the form of providing a staple place to perform after their prime of their careers. Every weekend you can still go to the Opry and see people like Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seeley week after week, you can still see Mike Snyder telling jokes and Bobby Osborne play Rocky top which became the Tennessee state song in 1982.
I am sitting here on a small wooden bench in front of the final home of his writing this article, because I deemed it appropriate to do so. I firmly think Mr. Roy would approve of what we are doing here this weekend and that is appreciating true music, ALL kinds of music. Rockabilly music was originally forbidden on the Opry stage, but the main focus here is the fact that we are bringing REAL Country Music to the Opry stage tonight.
Mr. Jason is the heartbeat of Muddy Roots, and in my opinion is a prime example of the American Dream…one of the kings of DIY businesses. A small entity that is usually ignored by the major media outlets and hated upon by the bigger groups in the industry, because they are promoting and creating the false music that Muddy Roots exposes as fake. Those people that listen to the plastic music don’t know who Bobby Bare is nor do they care, they aren’t told to care. They are impressionable and “programmed” to like what’s placed in front of them, and they just “go with it”. The Muddy Roots crowd isn’t falling for that bullshit and they aren’t tolerating it, in their own way once Roy Acuff understood their sincerity, I think he would have approved of this evening’s relevance.
The Cowpokes are a band that come from the local Nashville scene out of the American Legion Post in East Nashville. With powerhouse producer and steel guitarist Andy Gibson on the steel and Mr. Brendan Malone this band is absolutely on key and already play like a well oiled machine.
They play prominent Western Swing and old classic Country Western music, like the Moon Mullican song “I’ll Sail My Ship along” from 1950. Mr. Moon was the King Of The Hillbilly Piano Players whom also played with the Blue Ridge Playboys, also recorded the song “Ragged But I’m Right” before Johnny Paycheck made it popular. However that song was originally recorded by Riley Puckett first, Mr. Moon made it commercially successful as well.
They played the song ‘They Call Me A Playboy” by Wynn Stewart from 1962 along with a really great song called the “New Panhandle Rag”. I’m going to have to venture out there one night when I’m off of work to see more of their set.
I have always held mammoth guitarist Deke Dickerson in high regard as a player and a historian as well. I enjoy going to see musicians you can not only watch but I enjoy the ones that stop and talk to the audience, and teach them things. Knowledge is a precious gift and a powerful weapon, I learned tonight that Country Music Legend Onie Wheeler died ON the Opry stage. Now folks I did know he died of a heart attack, but I had no idea he died actually on the stage.
He and Big Sandy both chose Onie Wheeler songs tonight, and not only was that history mutually significant between those two, but iconic drummer J.M. Van Eaton was there to play on some of the songs he originally played on like the Jerry Lee Lewis classic “Great Balls Of Fire”.
Mr. J.W. played on all of those Sun Records classic albums from all of those artists from that time frame, and he did splendidly well on those songs again. He started with Jerry Lee Lewis song “Let The Good Times Roll” which I do believe was originally released in the late 1980’s but I could be wrong about that one.
The Onie Wheeler song he chose was called “Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox” from 1959 Sun Records with “Tell Em Off” being the B side. He closed with my favorite song Mr. Billy Mize wrote “It All Depends On Who Will Buy The Wine” that Jerry Lee Lewis did but I liked Charlie Walker’s version better.
Billy Harlan is a local Legend to me in my area, being a radio disc jockey during the time Hank Williams Sr died. He has had a resurgence into the Rockabilly Music scene through Muddy Roots Record label Read More Here on that subject.
He played “I Ain’t Elvis” and followed that with “My Fate Is In Your Hands” that was recorded by Hawkshaw Hawkins before his iconic death in 1963 with Cowboy Copas and Patsy Cline. He closed his set with my favorite and his staple hit song “I Wanna Bop”.
Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys are Rockabilly Legends from the west coast area, and what’s nice about the Boogie is it brings them all to the Nashville area so I can cover their sets on this website. Anytime the west coast acts of any genre come out this way (or Red Dirt artists too) I usually rush out and see them, because there’s NO telling when they will return.
“That’s All” was the first song I noticed him playing, before playing Jerry Lee Lewis “I’m Sorry”. He closed his set with a song called “I Feel Sorry For You”. He also played a set at the Palace I believe but I missed it for other obligations.
J.P.Harris is an artist that I have always loved in every way, he plays COUNTRY. He doesn’t play any of the offshoot genres that are described by many. His new duet EP just recently cam out called “Why Don’t We Duet In The Road” and it includes “Golden Ring” with Kristiana Murray. I featured her at this past Muddy Roots.
This was a truly wonderful start to the Country portion of this show and did certainly whet our appetite for the main acts tonight. He opened with “Two For The Road” and went into “Oklahoma Is A Long Way Away” both from his first album he made, before going into a cover of “Why You Been Gone So Long”.
Mr. Joshua Hedley is a name YOU WILL hear more of on this website I PROMISE YOU. Now I took videos but I will not post them because these are new songs from an upcoming album. In fact I don’t even know the new song titles so I shall just speculate what they are.
His first one was perhaps the best called “Counting All My Teardrops” which not only showcased his vocals in a new and true form it embellished his lyrics really well. I was astounded by his ability to display his influences of traditional Country Music here. It resembled an old Conway Twitty song or the likes of that era song, but with a fresh new twist from a young man.
“Let’s Take A Vacation And Fall In Love Again” was well written and pleasant to listen to in a slew of hurting and heartache songs. “This Time for The First Time” was another truly fine song from the forthcoming album as well as “You’ll Be Better In The End”. AGAIN these are ONLY speculations on the names as SOOMN as I learn some information on this album it WILL be featured on here. He closed with “When You Wish Upon A Star”.
Bobby Bare was pretty much regarded as the original Outlaw of the 1970’s and is credited with ushering in the Outlaw Movement. Muddy Roots has featured him many times in the field, and as he walked out onto that stage and stood in that circle he gazed upon the crowd and said “Well I guess I had better sing some songs, huh”?
Standing brazenly in front of his band with age and growl in his voice he began with “I Wanna Go Home”, and went into “Winner” which had the crowd going on his trademark wild story songs like this one.
He went into “Streets Of Baltimore” and his equally famous trademark song “Dropkick Me Jesus”. I tell you what on so many classic songs from his past the enthusiastic audience sang along with every note he did, as he displayed ageless delivery of every note. Time has not faltered this Legend in any way but positively making his lessons of mistakes in life even more convincing. The stories and pictures painted by these old Outlaw songs of days gone by are many and vivid to someone like me.
“500 Miles” and “Four Strong Winds” were next followed by “Margie’s At The Lincoln Park Inn”. He stopped every couple of songs to tell jokes and share witty smart assed quips and one liner jokes. Before going into Shel Silverstein’s song “Still Gonna Die” off the Old Dogs album he made with Mel Tillis, Waylon and Jerry Reed. Mr. Jerry played on all of Bobby Bare’s classic albums, having helped Mr. Bobby’s career out immensely.
“That’s How I Got To Memphis” was second to closing along with “Marie LeVeaux” his only number one hit song, although he had many Top tens in his four decade career. And as he releases his new album soon called “Things Change” I see nothing changing for this man. Hopefully he will be around with us for many many years to come, because we need him.
Jerry Jeff Walker has brought Country Music so many songs I couldn’t even begin to name them all, and tonight as he performed his first Nashville set in twenty seven years he was just grateful to be there. “You Called Me out here to yell at me huh?” as people yelled out songs they wanted to hear.
As he opened with “Gettin By” and went into “Pickup Truck Song” he also displayed that time has not faltered his voice any, nor has it dented his ageless wit. He remain the same precise and crafted tunesmith we all know and love. He is the true last of his ilk the Townes Van Zandts and Tompall Glasers of his era probably survived only by Kristofferson and Mr. Tom Ghent. Mr. Jerry Jeff is the last of the breed, in every sense of the word.
He played the classic song “Navajo Rug” next along with one of his most popular songs “Mr. Bojangles” and followed that with “Trashy Women” that was recorded by Confederate Railroad”. That to me was a classic album for sure, in every sense of the word.
He took his long sleeve shirt off and decided to stay awhile before playing “Derby Day” and got ready to treat us to another set of classic songs here. He went into “Leaving LA Freeway”, and told some stories before going into the song “My Favorite Picture Of You” and more!
“The Cape” was next followed by one Miss Sunny Sweeney just cut called “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight”, along with his most noted rowdy bar anthem called “Up Against The Wall” made popular by Ray Wylie Hubbard. This truly was indeed a grand second set he played tonight here, and next he played “Those Were The Days”.
His encore included “The Armadillo Song” “Good Hearted Woman” and another song called “Little Bird”. There were four or five songs I missed while writing notes down and jotting things down on various places in my books. I know he played a Rusty Weir song as well, and once again received another standing ovation here at the Opry tonight.
Last year the Chris Issak show was truly enjoyable but THIS show was indeed the crown jewel of all Muddy Roots performances in my opinion. There has been many many Legends play in the field, at the Boogie and the Spring Weekender. In my opinion this one was the best I have ever had the pleasure to witness, and left me absolutely speechless. I had to wait a few days to even write words about this one folks it hit me that hard.