Less than a month ago the news broke that the Ernest Tubb Record Shops' long-running radio program the "Midnite Jamboree" was suspended indefinitely. Along with that, the largest of the stores, the Music Valley Drive location (next to the Texas Troubadour Theater where the Midnite Jamboree was held), closed. (You can read the original blog here .)
There is conflicting news about the fate of the store and the show. Initially the Ernest Tubb Record Shop's web site said that the show would return in May, then on June 6. A sign posted on the marquee of the Texas Troubadour Theater also gave a June date for the show's return. Glenn Douglas Tubb, the nephew of Ernest Tubb (and co-writer of the huge hit "Skip a Rope"), posted a Facebook comment about the subject: "All is not lost. The MJ will be coming back, and the ETRS will also be restored. Maybe folks are not buying records anymore, but they are still buying all kinds of merchandise. And we can give them some great stuff they can't get anywhere else."
The hopes of a reprieve of the legendary show, which began in 1947, must be balanced against reality. Last week the Ernest Tubb Record Shops' web site went down; and, as of this writing (4/21) it is still offline. There is still the question of whether the Midnite Jamboree will return to WSM; and, if so, how the outstanding debts to the station will be settled.
The future of the Midnite Jamboree is still very much in doubt, and the combined dwindling interest in traditional country music and "brick and mortar" record shops seems, sadly, to point toward this great show's obituary.
Boy, do I hope I'm wrong.