Date News Posted: August 2, 2004
Old Records mean something different to everybody, to my friend Henry Young it meant something new from Jimmie Rodgers: Way back in the 1920’s the songs of J.R. meant a way of life or a part of life that many people were going through at the time, if Henry didn’t have the dime it took to buy a copy of Jimmie’s new record he would walk down town and listen to it in front of a local appliance shop that had a speaker mounted out front while the owner played the record inside the shop.
Since Jimmie Rodger’s name went on to become what it did with folks from those early days, I would guess many others from the time had stories pretty much the same as Henry’s, which was, if you can’t afford to buy the record, go to a friend’s house or the local shop in town and just stand around and listen ‘till the shop closed up for the night.
Those great old 78’s were heavy and brittle and we have often wondered what it would cost to mail out a thousand of them in today’s time, the packing it would take to keep it from breaking, we have received 45’s through the mail and they are about as limber as a noodle and yet they would be cracked, so as much mail that runs through our postal system today a 78 would have little chance reaching it’s destination in the same shape it left home in.
But that was another day and time and now just a memory and something to talk about like Grandma’s old wind up Victorola that finally got moved to the attic and somewhere in a box nearby was some Roy Acuff records that Bub and I would sit up there where it was hotter then a firecracker and one of us would do the crankin’ and the other would change the record.
More then them old records what I have often thought of most was the needle it took to play that thing, it was more like a small finish nail with the head cut off, they were something like ten cents a package of ten or twelve and were great for ten or fifteen plays which more times then not became as many plays as that thing would keep going or the end wore flat, but still, them old records were tough as the nail it took to get the music out and many of them are still around today.
Think about this one, if technology had not changed over the years and in the dash board of your car was a 78RPM record player and in your back seat was a hundred of your favorite records a lot of us wouldn’t have had but one kid, no place to put him or her except tie him on the roof rack and I was always afraid when one of our kids was tied up there on the roof, lighting would strike him, most times it didn’t and we made sure he had plenty to eat, we would stop at almost every “Whiting Brothers Service Station” along Route 66 and throw him up something, we loved that kid but we lost him in a low built tunnel coming through Montana early one spring.
The only good thing about losing little Johnny was, it brought about each state putting up signs saying what the clearance was going under each over pass.
45’s were great, when they came along the stores were full of little carrying cases that held about twenty five of them little suckers so when you went out or went to a friends house between your case of records and his or hers you had about all the music you needed for the evening except most of the time both you and your friends had all bought the same records.
Albums were just about the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life time as far as music goes, the local record store owner where we grew up knew we didn’t have the price of the album but he never said a word when I would spend two or three hours in his shop every day after school reading the back covers on them great albums, why I knew where Hank Snow lived and where Hank Thompson did his last big show and who wrote that song on the album that was my favorite and most times what they called liner notes that some D.J would write saying good stuff about Carl Smith or Little Jimmy and they all had just great pictures on the front and some of my favorite kind of art to this day to hang on the walls in them new fan-dangle things they call a frame.
Except for collectors and old die hards like me them old records ain’t much in demand any more, now and then you can find an old worn out box full of albums at a garage sale, or a stack or two in the rear of the Goodwill store or the Salvation Army and when I do find them my knees get dirty because I’ll be down on um ‘till I’ve looked at every album in the box or on the shelf, and now and then I find a piece of gold.
No one cared in those early day about what label an artist recorded for, (except maybe the artist) I sure didn’t give a hoot if Johnny and Jack recorded for Lard Bucket or RCA, in fact, I don’t even remember looking at what the label was because it was that song I heard on the radio that I was after, there were so many small labels in the 50’s that hangin’ they would cover a nice size wall, and about the only requirements a radio station had was, that if it was “Good Country” they would play it, you know, like it should be now.
It’s funny somehow that one thing can mean so much to one person and mean nothing at all to someone else, most ten year old children today don’t have a clue as to what a “Record” is, no more then he knows Roy Rogers or Hoppy, Gene and Eddie Dean is and like old Brennan keeps telling me, it’s a new generation son, it’s a new generation.
Well who cares, if it takes a pile of old albums mixed with some 45's and a 78 now and then for desert to keep me happy then I’ll keep diggin’
Over the years we have received letters and emails and a some cards saying they had an old record that was one of their Mom or Dad’s favorite old song, they said they would really like to hear it again but in some cases they never even had a record player, in other cases it was scratched a little or in other cases where they didn’t want to take the chance of breaking it or hurting it more then it already was, that it was just a memory and a treasure tucked away in a drawer someplace but they would still love to hear it again.
Believe me, we know what you are saying and maybe this is the answer or at least one of them.
Do you remember a few years ago when a young couple by the name of Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan had a record out called “Tennessee Birdwalk”? Now if you ever heard it you would have to still remember it because of the story line in it where the bird was walking around in dirty underwear, because you don’t hear that many stories about birds in dirty drawers. (Fact is, this was my first, and come to think of it my last)
Well Jack and Misty have recorded many other things since those days and have a pretty new one out right now called “Carolina Sundown Red”. Now don’t think because Jack writes songs about Birds in their under ware or Chicken Fairy’s that he don’t know stuff, because Jack knows “Stuff”.
And, the “Stuff” he knows is>> How to take that 45 of Mom or Dad’s that you love so much but are afraid to mess with it because you don’t want to damage it more, and turn that bugger into a clean as new CD for you that you can play ‘till the cows come home, Jack over the years, has built himself a nice little studio down there in Florida where he does that kind of thing, sorta like a “Record Hospital”.
Now let me slip in a little story then we’ll get back to Jack: In the beginning after God had created Heaven and Earth, some good ole’ country boys and girls discovered they could do what was later known to be singing, sometimes they would do it alone and other times with another boy or girl depending on taste.
After the earth and civilization began to grow someone invented Honky Tonks (I’m pretty sure this wasn’t God) but still, not a bad thing and many young people found that other people (known as customers) liked to taste the “Tody” and listen to some music, later to be know as “Hillbilly Music” and then a little later “Country Music”.
What this all amounted to for the young boy or girl (who were 21 of course) was a job doing what they loved best, and this was, singing in front of people.
Some of the customers that visited these “Honky Tonks” were called (or some of them just called themselves) Record Company Executives, others were later to be named by these young singers as “Shisters” but, never the less, for some, good things happened and these young singers were taken into a small room with all kinds of things hangin’ from the walls and they were ask to sing in a can nailed to a stick and a wire running from it into another little room where there was a guy sitting turning knobs on a big tape recorder, after the young singer had sung his song the guy turning the knobs hollered out through what was called a loud speaker, “Ye’all” come in here and he played back what was just done in the other room behind the tin can, some of them purt near wet their drawers hearing themselves for the first time while others said, “Boy, Fred that sure was purty”. And so it was.
Over the years some of those young people just kept on recording and the world enjoyed their music but few of them ever saved their first record or the second and some, none of them>>Then as years passed by they would do one of their old songs on stage somewhere, and people would ask, “Where can we buy that record”?
So the artist hunted and searched and called all his friends, by now almost crying, do you have any of my old records? He asks. And then finally, in Grandmas brazier drawer plum to the bottom there was a copy of Fred’s first record, scratched and turning a little white from age and Fred from the top of his lungs started screamin’ “I Have Been Saved, Lord Have Mercy, I have Been Saved”.
Well the bottom line is, Fred would have never been saved, he would have never regained that popularity that he once knew way back in those Honky Tonks had it not have been for Grandma’s brazier drawer and his daddy reading on an internet country news service about a guy in Florida that had a hospital for people that let dumb things happen to their prize possessions, namely, their first record, and folks that’s where Jack Blanchard re-inters the story again.
SO here it tizzz> If your old record has been run over by a truck, been shoved through a paper shredder, smashed in a kitchen trash compactor, then the most you could do with it is to just frame it and every time you pass by the wall where it hangs is just to sit down and cry.
BUT, if it has had the normal wear and tare that any record would get during normal play then Jack’s your man, but let’s do this, either by the good old internet or a regular letter (you know by stamp and every thing) get with Jack, tell him what you have and re new that great old treasure.
IF you are or were, a recording artist from days gone by and all you have left is some of your old records, played or not, then tell Jack and see what he can do with it, chances are even you won’t believe how good you sounded when that was first recorded.
NOW you may be asking yourself, who has he ever done anything like this before that I may have heard of, well the fact is, he has a pretty impressive list and chances are you have heard of them all.
WHAT I would do if,n I wuz you are, by one of the methods mentioned above I would contact Jack, tell him what you have and what you would like done (like, make it all better) and here is how to do it:
Mail Jack Blanchard
If there are any unforeseen problems, meaning if you can’t reach Jack well then reach me and we’ll get Jack to reach you>>Things do happen now and then, computers go wacky, the postman delivers your letter to your neighbor that don’t like you, or the phone company gets your number mixed up with an info commercial that tries to sell you a body by frank exerciser.
There is really no price I guess that you can put on a prized possession but in this case for a small price you can have a brand new version of your old record, you will be able to play it when you want and still have your great old record in a drawer or better yet, “frame it”.
For many years in California there has been a car dealer by the name of Cal Worthington, who, by the way over the years has done much for “Country Music” His ads run on TV with the lines>>If you need a brand new car go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal.
Now in this case, if you need a brand new CD from Dad’s old worn out record, go see Jack, go see Jack, go see Jack.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS
Freddie Hart has been inducted in to the “COUNTRY SONG WRITERS HALL OF FAME”, that dinner and presentation will be in November. 2004 in Nashville.
He has also been inducted into the “NEBRASKA COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME”, that dinner and presentation will be September the 7th 2004 in Omaha.
Freddie also just worked a sell out show in Houston, Missouri with his old friend Leland Martin.
We are also working on a 30 to 40 song souvenir album for him to sell at shows; this will be a cassette double album specially packaged and all that good stuff.
And we have just completed some new promo pictures for him and a few other things so if you have a “Concert” where you think the folks would like a good country show, then just whistle Dixie.
One of the premier Country singers of all time, Eddy Arnold is calling it quits; he is now working on his last album, probably to be released in the fall.
Eddy who is now in his early 80’s and for all accounts is and has been one of the smartest business men in Nashville for many years, Eddy in a short interview with Lee Cash some years ago said in part, he had never walked onto any stage while drinking or had never been late to any show that he could help.
The book shows about 97 albums released on Eddy over the years and to many singles to even count.
Good friend Cindy Walker will have one of her songs on this the last album that was especially written for Eddy.
And this will be another part of American Country Music History that will soon be just another memory.
Eddy Arnold, you will be missed.
If you are ever down around Brady, Texas flip that dial around and pick up Tracy Pitcox Country show, you may hear a lot of things you haven’t heard in a while.
Walkin’ Charley Aldridge is still working on some Western Humor for his albums on and about the old west, Charley has got more books about the old west then Carter has pills and probably has about the same amount of knowledge about Jessie James and Billy The Kid and most of them other old gun slingers up there in his head.
Charley and Slim Pickens were great friends and although I was never with them when they did their runnin’ together it don’t take a wise man to figure out the kind of belly bustin’ laughter them two created, it was probably like my old pappy always said, what one of you boys don’t get into or think up, the other one will.
Doug Dugger hosts a country music type talk show, I still haven’t really figured out what kind of a show it is, it comes out of three places at the same time, Montana, Oregon and Arizona.
Anyway, what ever kind of a show that it is according to Doug, it gets into several million homes each time it goes on the air.
Freddie Hart along with several other top country artists over the years have been a co/host on the show and then they in turn bring in a new comer that is trying to get his or her break in the business.
The way I look at it, just to get your name mentioned on a station that brings you into three or four million homes at a time, is something else then on top of that getting your music played, you can’t go wrong with a deal like that.
If you know of somebody that has got what you think is a good new CD send it on and we’ll get it to Ole Doug and see what he thinks about it, you may just help get somebody a good start, can’t hurt.
The first station is in Australia their names are, Pejay and Joy Bell>Country Roads>43 Harcourt Street>Nathalia 3638 Victoria>Australia.
The second station is in Austria and his name is, Hans Mair>Amlacher Str-2>A-9900 Lienz> Austria, Europe.
When you are sending CDs overseas always mark the customs tag, “Free Sample”
That’s going to do it for tonight and we’ll see ye later, but just in case we don’t, take care of yourself.