This video is property of a GREAT Youtube channel called New Hillbilly.Com.
They have some truly wonderful videos over there, and this one I stumbled upon has prompted me to make an article, and share some memories I have of some of them. In the twelve years I have been running the roads hot following bands and festivals, I have encountered most of these Legends on here.
I got the chance to see Mr. Joe Diffie when he was playing one of the smaller venues around town, and I caught many of his package deal concerts backstage. I call a lot of these 3 and 4 artist combo concerts from the 80’s and 90’s. The term package deal is a business term where a tour pairs the same artist from the booking agency, and offers a flat rate for all of them.
He was always a top notch performer, and his set list was never short of unforgettable hits from decades of playing Country Music. I tried to listen to him on the Opry as much as I could, and I still enjoy his music.
I have many memories of his music growing up as a young adult in the 90’s, and before I moved here in 1996 to study this kind of music, I would have cited him as one of my latest influences to pursue a career in the Country Music field.
My later teenage years are filled with a plethora of times bombing around in pickup trucks with his cassettes and later on cd’s. I am an avid collector of vinyl from this era of Country Music, simply because it’s harder to come by due to supply and demand.
Jan Howard was an Opry juggernaut that graced the Opry with her presence for her entire career, and she had that mutual respect for the Opry that so many of them have. She was an honorary member of R.O.P.E. ( Reunion Of Professional Entertainers ) for as long as I can remember.
This is one of her and I and Leonna Williams from one of the R.O.P.E. functions we had, and I had the opportunity to see her many times at the Opry. All of these people I enjoy their albums, to this very day. They all remain in my constant rotation!
As a sincere janissary and follower of Country Music, I feel that all of us owe a debt of gratitude to her and her husband Mr. Harlan Howard as well. Most of the beloved characters of her generation have long since passed on, but to be honest, many of those on the list ARE her ilk.
Some of these folks I didn’t know and Mr. Fuzzy Owens was one of them, but to say I have not studied his legacy is ludicrous. One year at Muddy Roots music Festival WE HAD country Legend Red Simpson, AND Mr. James Hand! I have two separate stories about them there, on different years.
Mr. Fuzzy Owens discovered Mr. Red Simpson and many others. He was the first to record Mr. Merle Haggard as he got out of prison. He was not only a songwriter, he was a manger and handled many of their finances.
Fuzzy Owens was one of the first few people to bring integrity to the paperwork side of the business, when nobody else knew how to. He managed Merle Haggard for over 30 years, and showed Merle how to divide expenses, and how to turn a profit from his music.
He was one of the pioneers of festival insurance and how to take the concept of a festival and capitalize on that. Many of the videos that are out there of his I have indeed watched and studied.
Mr. James Hand was one of those that entered the Country Music game late.However the albums he left behind, and the class he brought to the genre cannot be ignored.
One HOT NIGHT out at Muddy Roots, he played a long set in his classic Nudie suit. He did not include his song “Old Man Henry”, and a few of us were upset about that one. On into the night he took us in the back around a campfire and softly played some acoustic versions of that one and a few more.
Mr. Charlie Daniels was always good to me, both as a friend and a fan. He ALWAYS took the time out to spend time with me and answer ALL of my millions of questions I had for him.
The Charlie Daniels Band was a big big part of my childhood, and along with the many bands that hung around him and toured with him on his Volunteer Jam tours. I did a LOT of work with him and people that were associated with him, and I was there the night he was inducted into the Opry.
I recall seeing Mr. John Prine and Mr. Mac Davis my entire life as well, I recall both of them being guests on the Muppet Show when I was young. All of these people inspired me to become what and whom I have evolved into here.
Another Legend we lost that I covered a lot was Mr. Billy Joe Shaver. I have been to more Shaver shows than almost any other artist I cover on here. Period. He has always been one of the more overlooked members of the songwriting community, and I never understood why?
I covered his set from Tumbleweed 2017 with so much passion and enthusiasm that he himself said it was one of the finest articles anybody ever wrote about him. Mr. Jerry Jeff Walker was another of his ilk that passed away in 2020. Country Music took some ungodly blows in that year.
I did indeed get the chance to talk with him on several occasions and in many states. Many of the questions I had for him were so old and forgotten. he couldn’t recall the answers to. He did remember much of what I asked of him, but basically I just wanted to LISTEN.
As I was additionally saying above as I was talking about the 90’s stars, Mr.Doug Supernaw and his “Red And Rio Grande” album was another on my young adult years list that shaped me as a fan. I vaguely remember the cassette tape was purple, and it was one of the first cd’s I bought.
In this entire list, and on this entire article here, none other is more special to me than Mr. Charley Pride. As I began to collect vinyl, after getting back on my feet, his album catalog was the first one I completed.
I admired his music and style more than anybody in the world of Country Music after the 60’s era stuff. He sang with more passion and feeling than anybody I knew, and he was my 2016 album of the year. That album of original music was one of his finest albums of the last 15 years.
He was one of the pioneers of bringing forth some of Country Music’s greatest songwriters like Mr. Jerry Foster and many others as well. He put out album after album of timeless classic Country that will live in our hearts for as long as we allow it to.