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Date News Posted: August 12, 2007

Today is June the 12th and the year of 2007, the reason I started with the date today is that I don’t want to forget it.  Today I had a nice talk with Ken Nelson, and for many years as far as
Capital Records was concerned, Ken Nelson was the man, the list of “Country Artists” this man produced was second to none.

A short while ago Ken finished his book, it is an autobiography of his life and it’s called “My First 90 Years Plus 3” and it is available on AMAZON.COM: my copy will be on the way soon.

A year or so ago Freddie Hart and I went out to Ken’s house and spent part of the day with him, not only is he a great guy to be around he has more stories then Carter and all his pea-nuts and speaking of Freddie, Freddie’s first session with Capital came about when Hank Thompson finished his session sooner then first thought so Ken had his people call Steve Stebbins who at the time was Freddie’s manager and told him he had some time left and the band ready and that if he wanted to do a couple of songs with Freddie to get his butt over there PDQ.  Steve did, Freddie did, they all did and the results was Freddie Hart’s first official recording session, and that old 78 now hangs on our wall.

Somewhere in our files is the list Ken gave me of the artist he has produced over the years, two pages, hand typed,{that same list is probably duplicated in his book} the list and his book, is with out a doubt a who’s who in the world of country music.

Ken Nelson is in Country Music’s Hall Of Fame, just where he should be, he still has that smile in his voice and he lives in the middle of a golf course, well not like a mole, he has a for-real house and watches out his window with memories dancing in his head as the younger golfers tee off and whack that ball hoping it ends up in a hole a little bigger then a silver dollar.

Anyway, the year of 2007 has brought yet another birthday to our friend Ken Nelson making him 96 years old and we’re pretty sure what would be a great birthday present {and an honor} to Mr. Nelson would be to order his book, it ’s hardbound and 360 pages of the wonderful years of country music with Mr. Ken Nelson and like we mentioned available at Amazon.com:
 


Here is something you might find interesting from one of America’s oldest companies “SEARS”. How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for Military duty?

Well, by law they are required to hold their jobs open ‘till they return but nothing more.

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

(And this note back from Sears} Sears regards service to our country as one of the greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
SEARS CUSTOMER SERVICE
>>webcenter@sears.com
1-800-349-4358

You might want to stop by any Sears and thank a manager who I am sure will pass it on, or call the number above and thank who ever answers the phone.

Somebody check and see what Targets policy is on our service men and women.
 


Here is one from Tommy Overstreet; (since there was a little picture sent with this, you are just going to have to pretend you see a father sitting with his young son and telling him this)
As he says, Son, someday you will make a girl very happy for a short period of time.
Then she’ll leave you and be with new men who are ten times better then you could ever hope to be. These men are called musicians.
 


And here is a good one from Dana Hopkins:  7-7-7

A man and his ever nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away. The undertaker told the husband, “You can have her shipped home for $5,000, or you can bury her here in the Holy Land for $150.00.  The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home. The undertaker ask “Why would you spend $5,000 to ship your wife home when it would be wonderful to be buried here and you would only spend $150.00.
The man replied “Long ago a man died here, and was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead.”  “I just can’t take that chance”.
 


If you just happen to be passing through Moosup, Connecticut>>tune In the Art Kneeland show, good old country music from days gone by, a big part of American history.  Just noticed that the computer redlines Moosup, meaning it is spelled wrong or just ain’t in the dictionary, well it might not be in the computer dictionary but it’s spelled right.

 


As Jerry Clower told a man that had called and ask him to stop by his office in New York because he would like to talk to him about a recording contract.  Jerry said “Ain’t nobody just stops by New York City from Yazoo City, Mississippi”  And I doubt if many people stop by Moosup, Connecticut from Yazoo City or Glens Fork, Kentucky or about anywhere else, ‘less you live there.
 


Our friend Lawton Williams is starting to get his body back to normal again, he got to feeling kinda down and out for a few weeks, but some rest, some chicken and a couple “What-A-Burgers” and he’s back to chasin’ waitress’s again. oops, I meant, Chasin’ Rainbows, not waitresses.  And speaking of Lawton Williams like we wuzz, as you may know or, may not know, Hank Locklin recorded several of Lawton’s songs like this pair of back to backs on RCA we just found produced by Mr. RCA “Chet Atkins” we would have to check the book as to which side was the “A” side but it was probably “Wooden Soldier” the other side is “Kiss On The Door”.  We checked the book anyway and the “A” side was “Wooden Soldier” and it was released in 1963 and being in mint condition it’s worth $12.00, wow, I’m rich.  We will have to ask Lawton again how many of his songs did Hank record, he told us once but, you know how that goes.

Lawton does have something to be grateful for though, and he is, and that’s Phyllis Hill our friend in Nashville, she has re-worked his catalog, sit up files on his songs and just done an outstanding job putting it all into order.  It is great to be able to write a good song but yet something else to
publish them, get copies to artist that may be looking for songs, keep track as to who and where you sent them, and when, make sure you have nice demos for the prospective artist to listen to . Copyright them if you get a cut on one of the songs.

Which brings me to something else, when we first started writing and copyrighting songs, it was some where around five bucks a song to copyright it, now it is in the neighborhood of fifty dollars each. So unless you want to spend your money which you may never get any of it back, wait ‘till
someone records it first, some publishers will pay for the copyright in your name if they publish and record it.

Anyway, unless you know what you are doing with your paper work if someone is or has, recorded your song, you can get screwed real quick if your paper is not in order. Take your time and get it right, it’s your song and it will be your money if someone records it.

While we are at it, and this is not a copyright by any means and there are some judges that may not recognize this as being anything but a package with a CD in it sent to yourself but we have talked with many people over the years that have written some pretty big tunes and say they do this the next day or two after they have finished what ever it is they have written and recorded.

First you write your song, second (even if you don’t consider yourself a singer) sing it on a tape (and you can buy a cassette recorder for just a few bucks at just about any Wall Mart type store, if you can or have a friend who can put it on a CD for you then so much the better, number one a CD will last longer and number two it’s skinny and doesn’t take up as much room as a cassette tape.  Take the finished tape or CD along with the “Dated” lyric sheet and seal it in an envelope large enough to hold it well. Take it to your post office let them apply the proper postage on the envelope that has your mailing address on it, and if you ask them they will turn the envelope over and use their dated cancel stamp across the sealed portion of your package which will mean in case you have to later prove when you wrote it, that your original has been sealed in that envelope since day one.  Later on if you get a recording and your song copyrighted through
Washington, then put the envelope in a box marked “For my grandkids when I croak.”

But also believe this, there are shysters out there that “If it’s really a good song” and your idea is good they will re-write your song in a Mississippi minute that is if they hear it, how do you prevent this? Well that’s a problem but I do know this, when a song writer finishes with a song it’s not a hell of a lot different then a woman having a baby, and if that song ever does become a hit, it will out last all your kids and be apart of your whole family for ever, how ever long forever is.

There have been many a widow that would have struggled a mighty bunch had it not been for a song their husband wrote (and this is certainly not to put down the lady writers) and those royalties have paid the rent for many years to come. So be careful and know who you are doing business with.

If someone does steal your song  “WIRE PALADIN” SAN FRANCISCO {because his business card reads} “ HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL” that may sound like a joke but if you turn on the radio and hear your song with somebody else’s name on it, then rest assured, it won’t be a joke.

 

Talkin’ Charley Aldridge and I along with few good friends are working on a series of Western Tales to be released before long, the package takes time to put together but we are well on the way, our artist friend had a little set back, he, for many years was a Hollywood stunt man and his old knees finally caught up with him so the doc either put in a bone or took out a bone, so as of today he is either a bone over or a bone short. We just this minute, spoke to him and he is coming along great, he will be receiving the “GOLDEN BOOT” award next month which is even greater, he is a fine old wrangler that deserves the award, and the best part is, he is still alive to
receive it.

(Funny how things happen, we had typed two lines about him & the phone rang)
 


We have a lot of other things to tell ye about, but they can wait ‘till next time.

We’ll see ye next time but just in case we don’t, take care of your self.

Don Bradley
 


 

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