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Date News Posted: February 5, 2013

Well here we go again, sorry for being so late but with the passing of my brother last year it kinda took the wind out of my sails and not much giving a hoot one way or the other but life goes on and for better or for worse I reckon I will too.

I was thinking back the other night about one of my grandmothers, it was the one on my Dad’s side who lived in a little three room house in a little valley in Kentucky, in the front room as you walk in was a big old wood burning stove sitting a little back from the middle of the room, on the right side as you went in was grandma’s bed and on the left a few chairs, one of them was a rockin’ chair where many hours were spent with grandma just rockin’ away hand sewin’ shirts for my uncle Elmer, Elmer was the only one of the thirteen kids that grandma and grandpa had that stayed at home, just inside the front door on the right was a big old “Atwater Kent” radio with a ten pound battery that was used only for listening to The Grand Ole Opry (period) the rest of the boys hit the trail early in life most of them ending up in Indianapolis and most all the brothers ended up working at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Out of the thirteen only one was a girl that died early in life, why, well I really don’t know why, don’t recall anyone ever sayin’ but by the time I was old enough to remember anything and after knowing that Dad’s first job in Indianapolis was in a cemetery I was pretty sure that wasn’t my kind of job, as a kid I remember Dad and uncle Charley talking about some of the things that happened at the cemetery like digging up people that were not really dead when they were buried, now you have to remember that things were not like they are today where a medical examiner is the one that says “your dead” and not some one sticking a mirror if front of your face to see if it fogs up, some people were just in a coma which people back in those days knew nothing or little about, it was just plain and simple, you ain’t breathin’ you is dead, most times of course that was true, every time it wasn’t but never the less you got buried any way.

So now you are saying, why in the world were they getting dug up in the first place, well some of the first people ever buried in that cemetery were buried many, many years before, some of their kin had no idea where they were and no one ever visited their grave so the folks that were in charge of the cemetery decided to make a Memorial Plaque, attach it to a special room on the cemetery grounds, dig up and cremate the remains, that’s when the workers discovered all those that went under were really not ready for that trip—yet—

It may have been after a day like this at the cemetery that Dad and Uncle Charley would set out there on the front porch and sing and play their old guitar and fiddle till Mom would say, come eat your supper.

Boy some of them songs I remember them singing would make the hair curl on a one legged possum, they made “Old Shep” sound like a church hymn, and it took me several years to realize that’s what country music was all about, good or bad, sad or glad, like it or not country music is about the reality of life. Most country songs after you hear the title you can pretty well guess what the song is about, take my friend Freddie Harts song for instance “Drink Up And Go Home” or Hank Snow’s “Movin’ On” or Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Thru December”, that’s country music, every single one of us has a story to tell some are good some are bad and some are sadder than hell and the words are loud and clear, that is “Country” music.

Those songs could make you cry, they could make you tap your foot to the beat, they could make you shake your hind end on a honky tonk dance floor or just sit at your table and remember why you were in that bar in the first place, cause the one you loved done run off with Hank the hired hand and you are the left sitting there singing “There’s A Tear In My Beer”. The good part about country music is, if you sit there long enough some beautiful young thing will say, is this seat taken? And all of a sudden you are saying to yourself, thanks to Hank the hired hand I won’t be goin’ home alone tonight.

When you stop to think about it about every job that a person has had in life no matter what it was someone wrote a song about it, if it was something good then it was a happy song if it was something not so good then it was sadder then hell and if I was making a bet on which sold the most records sad or happy I would bet two to one it was the sad ones, since ole George Jones recorded “He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today” that thing is still selling CDs and how many years ago did George cut that one.

And as far away as Australia we get emails asking about songs so old they have turned white with the years, we get emails from people who hardly know enough of the English language to write a letter we can understand but they sure know the title of the song and they sure know Merle Haggard or Hank Williams or Marty or Bill Anderson and we have had more than one DJ from a foreign country send us their radio shows which we never understood a word they said ‘till it came time to announce the artist and the song title like just this week from Denmark, here’s Red Simpson and “Hello I’m A Truck”.

Those of us who love nothing better, when it comes to music, is a good country song, those who lived thru those great fifty’s years lived thru the best years of your life with Webb Pierce, Bob Wills, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Carl Smith, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, T Texas Tyler, Hank Thompson, Hank Snow, Bill Anderson, George Hamilton the fourth, Cal Smith, I could keep on writing the names of artists that kept me awake all night long listening to the radio, and I was pretty much in love with Jean Shepard I thought and still do she could do more with a country song than six people.

Now I say this every chance I get and now is my chance to say it again, you have one chance left, just one, if you really like country music then you need to call your TV company today and subscribe to RFD TV there is no in-betweens if you want to hear real country music then just do it, Larry Black started this thing {Country Family Reunion} probably not knowing if ten or ten million people would ever watch it, not knowing if some of the greatest in our country world would even want to do something like this, not knowing if Whispering Bill Anderson could talk loud enough to MC this thing and not knowing if he did put a show together like this it would last for one week or hopefully a life time, our life time, the ones who love this kind of music.

Lucky for us, Larry’s dream worked and on almost every show one of the artists on there says how grateful they are for a show like this, and to be with others who feel the same way.

Other then The Family Reunion RFD has brought back some of the old 30 minute shows from the past like The Del Reeves Show, The Wilburn Brothers Show, The Porter Wagoner Show, Pop Goes The Country, The Ralph Emory Show, The Marty Stewart Show, Larry’s own show of Larry’s Country Diner, many of the great old western movies from yesteryear, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and more to come.

If you are a farmer or just have a big garden to grow your own corn in, you will find plenty of tips to make that corn grow taller, anyway you will get your money’s worth if you subscribe to RFD.

Before you know it time and life have gone and slipped away, so pick up the phone.

Here is a good reason to do the above, in the past couple of years so many of the artist have moved on to Hillbilly Heaven, although this artist was never on RFD folks from those fifty years especially the Bakersfield gang knew him well his name was Vern Stovall, Vern did several of his early gigs with pretty Janet McBride, Janet is still alive and well at her home in Texas, Vern has passed away>>Others that have left us in the not to distant past are Chet Adkins, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb, Grandpa Jones, Del Reeves, Bill Monroe, Patty Page, Ferlin Husky, the Wilburn Brothers, Lonzo and Oscar, Johnny Russell, Archie Campbell, Sheb Wooley, Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Billy Walker, Stringbean Akeman. & the list goes on and before you know it country music as we know it will be a thing of the past and only to be found in history books along side of Noah and his ark.

If it wasn’t for the younger generation coming on then there would never be an older generation, but wouldn’t it be great if the younger generation of singers could sing a country song that the words could be understood, that the music behind them was not just beating the singer to death, that the singer, him or her, could stand still long enough to get a three and a half minute song out of their mouth, that would walk on stage looking like the star they are being paid for, that a hat wouldn’t cover their eyes and half their nose, that the girls would wear a dress that covers all her boobs, and most of all would sing a song that means something………….Now wouldn’t that be something?.

If you live in an area that there is a “Real” country music station would you take a couple seconds and drop us an email with the call letters and location, it would sure be appreciated, our email is donbradley@countryclassics.com  and in return if you are a real country station and you are looking for an old song you have had request for but can’t find, we would be happy to check our archives and send it to you for nothing.

We have a station not to far from here that I accidently tune in sometimes that advertises “Today’s Gold and Yesterday’s Classics” I kept the station on the car radio not long ago for two days, the oldest thing I heard in those two days was a Garth Brooks song, now ain’t that a booger.

We have an artist you probably never heard of but we hope sooner or later you will, on the 14th of February he will be on the Shotgun Red show on RFD TV, although he has a great album and it is pure country, on the show he does not sing one of his own songs but because this will be George Jones retirement year Bart does one of George’s songs in his honor, his name is Bart Connell.

Bart is one of the nicest young men you could ever meet and the feeling he puts into a country song is something you haven’t heard in a while from the younger generation.

Catch the show if you can.

Bear Family Records has just released a Great box set and mini book on our good friend Red “Hello I’m A Truck” Simpson.

Now a lot of folks think that Red, Dave Dudley, Red Sovine and maybe Dick Curless sang mostly about trucks, which is a good thing because I like them truck songs my self, but Red Simpson has written and recorded some super good songs that got nothing to do with a truck or to say anything about some of the major hits he has written for others like Merle Haggard and Mr. Buck Owens.

Bear Family albums and or box sets are not cheap but you get your money’s worth if you are a big fan of the artist, and no, we don’t sell Bear records as far as I know you can buy them on line.

The Simpson box we got came thru Denmark and I really don’t know what it cost, but check it out on line and if you are a Red Simpson fan well then you just hit the jackpot.

And one last note, Red Simpson is alive and well and still living in Bakersfield and still pickin’ and singing & come to think of it would be a great guest for the Family Reunion Show

If you have a new CD and are looking for over seas airplay, and needless to say it has to be “Real” country & if it is good here is your chance to get it played, send it to>>

Mr. Dann Hansen

Hanging Tree Records

Vestervaenget 18, 1th.

DK-4000 Roskilde

Denmark

If Dann likes and plays your record we are 100% sure he will email you back and tell you so, he is one of the good guys that knows and loves good country music.

We get more emails and calls about an artist named Ivan Jessie Curtis then we do Rembrandt, but then most people, I am sure know, that I don’t know Rembrandt.

In the past year we can’t count the number of emails wanting to know what the selling price may be of some of Ivan’s paintings and or prints, there again I don’t know so what I thought I might do is put some of the folks together that have some of Jessie’s art work and you can figure it out.

In talking this over with Walter Brennan Jr. he thinks due to the fact that Ivan never had an agent as far as we know that his works never got listed in art magazines and catalogs which list the selling prices of different pieces of art.

And that’s a shame, Jessie’s western art work was second to none, and not just my opinion but those I have received mail from, from Canada to Tennessee.

Now this week we received a nice email from a young lady that has two of Jessie’s originals and thinks in may be time to downsize her collection and would like to sell them so we got her permission to place her name and email address in this months issue of Country Classic and hope some others that own or want to sell one or more of Jessie’s paintings could get together and figure out a price fit for all concerned, to sell or for that matter buy.

The lady’s name is Marilyn and her email address is packsta2@gmail.com and if you want me to list your email address either as a buyer or seller just email us and maybe we can coordinate some names and contact information for buyers and sellers.

Even though after meeting Jessie some years ago at a benefit for one of the old western cowboys and seeing his work and knowing it didn’t take an art critic to see the come to life paintings Jessie created. And even for some one like me who is only a critic for one thing, hamburgers, I was smart enough to know these paintings were great.

AND I have said this before but this should be the right time to say it again that Walter Brennan Jr. who in his own right has won awards for his paintings and some of them have sold for, let’s just say a lot of money, was with me the day we held the benefit and Ivan was there, Brennan had only one word to say about Ivan Jessie’s work, Great.

If you live in southern California and know where Thousand Oaks, Ca. is and find Thousand Oaks Blvd. Then you should have no trouble in finding Corrigan’s Steak House owned by Tom Corrigan, son of Ray Crash Corrigan who had a hand in making several of the greatest western movies ever made at the world famous Corriganville movie ranch>>>>>>And in there on those walls of other great western pictures and art work hangs one by Ivan Jessie Curtis, I am not sure, we haven’t been there in a few months but I believe it is the one Ivan called “Sidekicks” and if you are a western buff then you know what and who they are or were.

Just a note and I know we have said this before but after 12-13 years of doing this who knows what we said yesterday.

To most of us who loved the old western movies, no bad talk and no blood, how they did that last part was something wasn’t it? That’s how Roy and Gene lived so long, as many times as they were shot they never did bleed, ain’t that somthin’?.

Anyway, instead of those in charge of stuff like that in this town, to restore something that over 3 thousand 5 hundred movies were made they decided to just let the grass grow, or maybe those are weeds, Corriganville would have been a place to bring in revenue for this town for years to come, a place to shut your eyes and relive the old west, now the dark at that old ranch just brings the sound of hoof beats and the site of an old cowboy slumped in the saddle, dark ain’t a good time to be messin’ in the remains of a ghost town.

“Heaven Is My Woman’s Love” now who said that? Right!!!! Tommy Overstreet and Tommy is now a book author and his first (as far as I know) co/written book is called “The Graham Cracker Kid”

This is strange but Tommy says you can order it thru Amazon but you might get a note back saying it is sold out or out of stock which is not true, just order it anyway.

If this doesn’t work email us and we will mail the orders up to Tommy.

We think it would be great if Tommy would get rich again writing about a cracker after all the good songs he has his name on.

Stranger things have happened.

We were suppose to get another story two weeks ago from Oklahoma but that never happened so for now it is time to say so long and we will see ye later.

But!! just in case we don’t, take care of yourself & God Bless America

Don Bradley

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