Sunday, May 28, 2017

Back With a Vengeance

Category: Concert Review

The instant I heard the Secret Sisters I fell in love with them.  What isn't there to love?  If you remember the Davis Sisters' hit "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" you know what the Alabama natives' harmonies are like.  Or maybe consider if there had been the Everly Sisters instead of Everly Brothers.  

Then, as suddenly as their budding career took off, it disappeared.  None of this was their fault: they were sued by their former manager; and, despite positive critical and fan reviews and significant gigs such as opening for Bob Dylan or appearing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a tribute to the Everlys, they were unceremoniously dumped by their record label.  The sisters took to "day jobs" to stave off bankruptcy.
Lydia (left) and Laura Rogers harmonizing during
their show at Southgate House Revival.
c.2017 K.F. Raizor

I'm happy to report that the Secret Sisters -- Laura and Lydia Rogers -- are back.  And with a vengeance.  They made a stop at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky last night (5/27) to treat fans to what more or less amounted to a live listening party for their forthcoming third album, You Don't Own Me Anymore.

Before they did the title song near the end of the concert, Laura (who did most of the between-song banter, which included several loving sibling digs) explained the tumultuous two years they had endured that resulted in several of the songs.  The title, she said, stems from the fact that they realized that "nobody knows what's best for the Secret Sisters better than the Secret Sisters."

They opened the show with the opening song from the new album, "Tennessee River Runs Low," and thrilled the audience with their gorgeous sibling harmonies for over an hour and a half.  Included in the set was a break, where brothers Cheyenne and Will Medders (who served as the opening act) left the stage to let the sisters focus on stunning, simple harmonies, accompanied only by Lydia's guitar playing.  Among the songs they did during this time were Eddy Arnold's hit "Make the World Go Away" and "Let It Be Me," a tribute to their "all-time favorite family harmony act" ("we can't get away with being on Kentucky soil and not do an Everly Brothers song, right?" Laura asked).

The people in attendance were able to buy You Don't Own Me Anymore two weeks ahead of the "official" release date of June 9.  After the album is out the Secret Sisters will resume touring in support of their music that is just too good to be ignored...or stopped.

Welcome back.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dates of Note in Country Music, May 16-31

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; DJ=Country Music Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; RR=country performer also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient)

May 16:

Rick Trevino born in Austin, Texas, 1971 (now 46)
Laura Lee Owens, the "Queen of Western Swing," born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1920 (died 1989)

Wallace Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) died in Washington, Georgia (complications of Parkinson's disease), 2007 (was 78)
Doug Dillard of the Dillards (BG 09) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung infection), 2012 (was 75)

May 17:

Pat Flynn of the New Grass Revival born in Los Angeles, California, 1952 (now 65)
Grant Turner (CM 81, DJ 75) born in Abeline, Texas, 1912 (died 1991)
Paul Warren (BG 13) born in Lyles, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1978)
Arthur Lee "Red" Smiley (BG 92) born in Marshall, North Carolina, 1925 (died 1984)

Penny DeHaven born in Winchester, Virginia, 1948 (died 2014)
Wiley Walker of Wiley & Gene (NS 71) died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (cancer), 1966 (was 54)
New Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building opened, 2001.  Nearly every living Hall of Famer was present at the opening ceremonies, and the audience was treated to a tour of the new facilities for free.

May 18:

Rodney Dillard of the Dillards (BG 09) born in East St. Louis, Illinois, 1942 (now 75)
Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1948 (now 69)
Gary Scruggs born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 68)

Tom Shapiro (NS 08) born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1950 (now 67)
George Strait (CM 06) born in Poteet, Texas, 1952 (now 65)

Leon Ashley born in Newton County, Georgia, 1936 (died 2013)

May 19:

Martha Carson born in Neon, Kentucky, 1921 (died 2004)
Rex Gosdin born in Woodland, Alabama, 1938 (died 1983)
Mickey Newberry (NS 80) born in Houston, Texas, 1940 (died 2002)

May 20:

"Lonesome George" Gobel born in Chicago, Illinois, 1919 (died 1991). Although many may remember him as a comedian and regular on Hollywood Squares, one of Gobel's earliest jobs in entertainment was on the WLS National Barn Dance when he was a teenager in the 1930s.
Jack Cash, brother of Johnny Cash, died in Dyess, Arkansas (injuries from accident with table saw), 1944 (was 15)

May 21:

Henry Glover born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1921 (died 1991). The R&B songwriter and pioneering black record company executive co-wrote "Blues, Stay Away From Me" with the Delmore Brothers and Wayne Raney in 1949.
Charlie Poole died in Spray, North Carolina (alcohol-related heart failure), 1931 (was 39)
Billy Walker died in Fort Deposit, Alabama (car wreck), 2006 (was 77)
Vaughn Monroe died in Stuart, Florida (post-operative complications), 1973 (was 61). Among the pop singer's many hits was "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky."

May 22:

Miggie Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Richmond County, Georgia, 1926 (now 91)
Buddy Alan born in Mega, Arizona, 1948 (now 69)
Rich Alves of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Pleasanton, California, 1953 (now 64)
Dana Williams of Diamond Rio born in Dayton, Ohio, 1961 (now 56)
Ralph S. Peer (CM 84) born in Independence, Missouri, 1892 (died 1960)
Royce Kendall died in LaCrosse, Wisconsin (stroke), 1988 (was 63)

May 23:

Mac Wiseman (CM 14, BG 93) born in Crimora, Virginia, 1925 (now 92)
Ken Irwin, co-founder of Rounder Records, born in New York, New York, 1944 (now 73)
Misty Morgan born in Buffalo, New York, 1945 (now 72)
Shelley West born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1958 (now 59)

Leroy Troy born in Goodlettesville, Tennessee, 1966 (now 51)
Rosemary Clooney born in Maysville, Kentucky, 1928 (died 2002). The legendary pop singer recorded a number of country songs, including covering Carl Smith's hit "If Teardrops Were Pennies."
Rex Gosdin died (heart attack), 1983 (was 45)

May 24:

Mike Reid (NS 05) born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1947 (now 70)
Rosanne Cash (NS 15) born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1955 (now 62)
Billy Gilman born in Westerly, Rhode Island, 1988 (now 29). Gilman's "One Voice" hit #1 when he was 12, making him the youngest person in Billboard country chart history to have a #1 song.
Gene Clark of the Byrds and Dillard & Clark died in Sherman Oaks, California (bleeding ulcer), 1991 (was 46)
Vivian Liberto died in Ventura, California (cancer), 2005 (was 71). Vivian was Johnny Cash's first wife and Rosanne Cash's mother.
Jimmie Rodgers recorded "Old Love Letters (Bring Memories of You)," "Mississippi Delta Blues," "Somewhere Down Below the Dixon Line," and "Years Ago" in New York City, 1933. Ravaged with tuberculosis, they would be the final recordings of the Father of Country Music.

The United States Postal Service issues the Jimmie Rodgers postage stamp, 1978

May 25:

Tom T. Hall (CM 08, NS 78) born in Olive Hill, Kentucky, 1936 (now 81)
Jessi Colter born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1947 (now 69)
Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters born in Castallian Springs, Tennessee, 1875 (died 1936)
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman (CM 08) born in Monarat, Virginia, 1893 (died 1968)

Hal David (NS 84) born in New York, New York, 1921 (died 2012)
Dick Curless died in Bangor, Maine (stomach cancer), 1995 (was 63)

May 26:

Randall Hank Williams Jr. (NS 07) born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1949 (now 69)
Richard Leigh (NS 94) born in Washington, DC, 1951 (now 66)
Lance LeRoy (BG 00) born in Tingall, Georgia, 1930 (died 2015)
Levon Helm born in Marvell, Arkansas, 1940 (died 2012). The actor and drummer/singer for the Band made his acting debut in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Jimmie Rodgers (CM 61, NS 70, RR 86) died in New York, New York (tuberculosis), 1933 (was 35)
Onie Wheeler died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1984 (was 62). He died on the Grand Ole Opry stage during a performance of the post-Friday Night Opry show, Grand Ole Gospel.
Judy Lynn died in New Albany, Indiana (congestive heart failure), 2010 (was 74)
The first International Country Music Conference held in Meridian, Mississippi, 1983. The three-day event began as a memorial to Jimmie Rodgers and coincides with the anniversary of his death.

May 27:

Don Williams (CM 10) born in Floydada, Texas, 1939 (now 78)
Redd Stewart (NS 70) born in Ashland City, Tennessee, 1921 (died 2003)
Kenny Price born in Florence, Kentucky, 1931 (died 1987)
Slim Bryant died in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania (long-term illness), 2010 (was 101)
Opryland opened, 1972 (closed 1997)

May 28:

John Fogerty born in Berkeley, California, 1945 (now 72). The leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded an album of country songs under the pseudonym Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973, hitting the country chart with his rendition of "Jambalaya," and several songs Fogerty has written have been recorded by country singers.
Jerry Douglas born in Warren, Ohio, 1956 (now 61)
Phil Vassar born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1965 (now 52)

Gary Stewart born in Jenkins, Kentucky, 1945 (died 2003)

May 29:

Carl Story (BG 07) born in Lenoir, North Carolina, 1916 (died 1995)

Danny Davis (ne George Joseph Nowlan) of the Nashville Brass born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1925 (died 2008)
Doc Watson (BG 00) died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (complications from abdominal surgery), 2012 (was 89)
Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family became members of the Grand Ole Opry, 1950
Hank and Audrey Williams divorced, 1952

May 30:

Mike Snider born in Gleason, Tennessee, 1960 (now 57)
Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers born in Trousdale County, Tennessee, 1909 (died 1996)

Johnny Gimble born in Tyler, Texas, 1926 (died 2015)
Don Wayne (NS 78) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1933 (died 2011)
Karl Davis of Karl & Harty died in Chicago, Illinois (cancer), 1979 (was 73)
Bobby Harden of the Harden Trio died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2006 (was 70)

May 31:

Vic Willis of the Willis Brothers born in Schulter, Oklahoma, 1922 (died 1995)
Johnny Paycheck (ne Donald Eugene Lytle) born in Greenfield, Ohio, 1938 (died 2003)

Bud Carter (StG 09) born in Sullivan, Missouri, 1931 (died 2015)
William "Red" Rector died in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1990 (was 60)

Lloyd Perryman of the Sons of the Pioneers (CM 80) died in Burbank, California (complications of heart surgery), 1977 (was 60)
Jerry Sullivan of the Sullivan Family died in Alabama (illness), 2014 (was 80)

UPDATE: Loretta Lynn in Rehab Facility

Category: News

Country Music Hall of Fame member and American music legend Loretta Lynn has been moved from a Nashville-area hospital to a rehabilitation facility as she continues to recover from a stroke.

The 85-year-old suffered a stroke on May 4, a day before she was scheduled to perform in Durham, North Carolina.

Today Lynn's official Facebook page carried the following message:

Loretta wants to thank everybody for their prayers love and support. Loretta has been moved from hospital facility in to rehabilitation and we're happy to report she is doing great!

There is no indication how long she'll be in rehab, or when she'll be able to resume touring.

Remember this living legend in your thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Sick Call: Loretta Lynn

Category: News 

Country Music Hall of Fame member and national treasure Loretta Lynn is in a Nashville hospital after suffering a stroke.

Lynn, who turned 85 in mid-April, suffered a stroke at her famous Hurricane Mills, Tennessee home Thursday night.  She was scheduled to perform in Durham, NC tonight (5/5).

Her web site states that she "is expected to make a full recovery."  Her scheduled shows have been postponed while she recuperates.

Prayers and best wishes to our great "coal miner's daughter."