TRADITION BULLETIN FEBRUARY 3. 2014

TRADITION BULLETIN FEBRUARY 3. 2014


Kenny Rogers has received an honorary Master of Photography Degree from the Professional Photographers of America during their convention on January 14 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Rogers has a new photo book out called "Places I've Been, Things I've Seen."
 
Our favorite mando-picker, Jesse McReynolds had a minor cardiac procedure at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, for an electrophysiological (yes, that's a real word) study to determine the cause of dizzy spells and accelerated heart beats.  Jesse will be 85 this summer.  We extended an invitation for him to be with us in LeMars this year, but haven't heard anything back yet.
 
The Oak Ridge Boys have never had a 'live' album of their hits, even after 60 years in music, but it's coming out now, on vinyl no less, along with CD too, but what's interesting is they managed to get some really good portable recording equipment and taped every show they did recently while on the road, and then pulled the best takes off for an album, simply called "Boys Night Out."  Should be good.
 
For those of you who have worried about Clay Walker, and the lady in charge of a huge radio station in Australia, both of whom have said country music is dead in urban areas....  listen up!  Rural Rhythm Records is releasing a Heritage Collection series which includes 'authentic' old-time and traditional country music, bluegrass, folk, even waltzes, fiddle tunes, and Lord Bless them, Gospel music too.  All performed by many legends and pioneers.  To be sure, 'so-called' country music today is dead.  So what's so bad about that, they have never been alive, they are just actors 'pretending' to be country.  You can find Rural Rhythm Records easy on the Internet.
 
Speaking of the wanna-be 'so-called' country artists of today, one of them, Eric Church responded to a reporters query about what he thought of reality singing competition shows.  His response was, and I quote..."Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green turn around in a red chair, you got a deal?  (What he means here is that if these two  'judges' turn around in their red judges chairs, it means they have a winner??? and a shortcut to fame and fortune? for that contestant) Continuing with Eric Church... "That's crazy.  I don't know what would make an artist do that.  You're not an artist."  Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert fired back, and I quote.... "Thanks Eric Church for saying I'm not a real artist.  Or Kelly Clarkson, or Carrie Underwood, or Keith Urban."   WELL, DUH!  You're right Mrs. Blake Shelton, you are NOT a country music artist, real or otherwise, well maybe in your dreams.
 
Even though California is going through a drought, Southern California is beautiful.  Roy Orbinson's great song, "California Blue" is true almost every day.  Drought we have, and without large quantities of rain, we have conflict all the time.  For instance, reading the San Diego Union Tribune, there's a stunningly beautiful ad announcing the certain possibility of experiencing (and this is in huge red letters) The American Dream.  On the other side of the same page is a huge story about the 8,000 homeless living in the streets and gutters of the same town.  Aaaaa California.
 
Willie Nelson is known for his outlaw image, and he got a little philosophical when asked about Justin Bieber's recent drunk driving arrest.  "He'll be all right."  Willie said of the 19-year old pop star.  "Let him grow up and then we'll talk about him."  Willie has been picked up several times for marijuana possession, and just appeared last week on the Grammy Show in Los Angeles.  I always thought the Grammys was about good music.  Now it's about gay marriages. Whaaaat?
 
Music from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, will be featured at the Old Avoca (NEBRASKA) Schoolhouse, Wed-Fri, March 12-14, beginning at 9am each day.  This is a Celtic Fiddling Camp led by championship fiddler and author Deborah Greenblatt.  More info at:  http://www.greenblattandseay.com/schoolhouse_fiddle_camp.shtml
 
"Hee Haw The Musical" is headed for Broadway, produced by Gaylord Entertainment of course.  Robert Horn wrote the script with music and lyrics by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally.  Gaylord Entertainment said, "Our writing team is extraordinary and perfect for this original work.  We will hold readings in New York City and received a wonderful and very encouraging response from the Broadway community."  Don't forget, if you want to see some of the 'real' Hee Haw, all you have to do is come to LeMars this year and listen to LuLu Roman sing some of her beautiful gospel songs.  She's scheduled for Tuesday, August 26.
 
Ronny Cox is going to be at LeMars this year.  He's the actor/guitarist that played "Dueling Banjos' in the movie "Deliverance."  You can see this at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8  You may, or may not, know this, but the footage as it appeared in the movie was not staged, it was pure accident.  The film company had stopped at this old gas station for refreshments.  Ronny Cox took his guitar out and began to strum, and much to his amazement, the 15-year old autistic boy (Billy Redden) joined him on the banjo, completely unrehearsed.  Through the entire three minutes you can see the happy thrill of this boy who can't even talk, and pay attention to the end, he reverts back to his autistic being.  The Director and Camera Operators were smart enough to catch it all on film, adding some cameos while it all happened.  This was Ronny Cox's first movie, and he went on to more super-good roles.  The autistic boy, Billy Redden, lives in Georgia, where he now works at the Wal-Mart loading and unloading freight, and sometimes as a greeter.  Snopes has a different version of this story, so we're going to ask Ronny Cox straight out, how did that song all come about in that film.  Snopes also went on to say that Billy Redden appeared in several more films too.
 
Our buddy Johnny Houser, who used to play Dobro for us at the Oak Tree Opry ( I believe he still lives in Red Oak, Iowa) will be doing some filming in February for the History Channel.  He's not saying what show yet, but he'll let us know when it's a done deal.  Can't wait!
 
Urban-Country is a contradiction of terms, thereby invalidating anything on the so-called Top-Ten Country Charts.
 
If you are a guitar picker, you have a choice.  Martin or Taylor.  Well yes, of course Gibson, Fender, etc etc etc, but if you're a serious acoustic player, it's Martin or Taylor.  I picked a Martin 12-string (Sheila got it for my birthday a long time ago) because I believe the low notes and range sound a bit better than the Taylor.  Be that as it may, Bob Taylor, the founder of the company was in Washington DC recently to accept the State Department's prestigious ward for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for fundamentally changing the entire ebony trade with an ebony mill it co-owns and operates in Yaounda, the Capital of the African country of Cameroon, one of the last places on planet Earth where they still harvest ebony.  Secretary of State John Kerry made the award, himself a guitarist (I didn't know that?) and praised Taylor for its sensitive use of ebony, a prized and increasingly endangered material in guitars.  He also credited Taylor for making the ebony trade safer, more ethical, and more lucrative than ever, and for encouraging other guitar manufactures to come on board, and  for also offering educational opportunities and improved working conditions to ebony mill employees.
 
John McCutcheon, a very gifted hammer dulcimer player, as well as guitar, fiddle, banjo, and a few others along the way, will be doing a concert for LAFTA in Lincoln, Nebraska at the 7th St. Loft, Friday February 7th at 7:30pm
 
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International


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