Where do I even start when talking about those beloved Country Music Legends we still have with us like him? I mean, let’s be up front and honest here…his litany of hits far exceeds many other Legends that were held in high regard as well, and are no longer with us. The main three that I have lately focused on have been him, Tanya Tucker and Gene Watson, and in the next few weeks, you’ll be reading about those two as well.
Yeah, he was a fixture on the Country based television show called “Hee Haw”, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2014, was awarded six Grammy Awards and has amassed a cache of 35 number one hits. As far as number one hits go, he is third only to George Strait and Conway Twitty. He was straight up bar brawling Honky Tonk Country on some albums, and he was pop country for it’s time on a few albums as well.
He dedicated his entire life to bringing others joy through music and his signature smile behind his piano. If you are like me, you grew up listening to him either on the radio, or the ever popular “tapes in Dad’s (or other family member’s) truck”. In his prime, he is credited with having the ability to sing that swoon to the ladies that clearly emulated the great Conway Twitty, whom Ronnie Milsap idolized.
But to me as a Country Music fan, he was much more than just that, and he made a profound impact on my youth by the timing of his many hits as they simultaneously entered my life at the time I needed them. For example the song “Not That I Care” written by Cindy Walker, that he covered on his 1977 album 20-20 Vision was discovered by me as a teen going through a breakup. At that time in my fandom, I was not aware at that time it was not an original song, but nonetheless, his version was more important at that time. It just seemed like every time I needed a positive song as a tough time crept up on me. I went through deaths, breakups, and many other life issues where his music aided me in that time.
Now, it is time for Nashville and his extensive Country Music peers to assemble and celebrate his decades long career with what he is calling his final Nashville show. Right now, he is not announcing his retirement or a final tour, this is a final Nashville show.
Right now, they are still announcing other people on this bill, but right now this event includes great lineup names like The Band Of Heathens and Parker McCollum. This will give his peers an attempt to deliver a panegyric about him, and many of them will share their own special personal memories of him.
Tickets are available here. At the Bridgestone Area and the last time I checked, there were plenty of good seats still available.