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Date News Posted: May 16, 2008

Country artist Glen Barber passed away March the 28th 2008.

I feel badly that some artists never get the distribution that others get with their records, what makes an artist great sometimes is the lone fact of whether people hear them or not.

From the first 45 rpm that I received of Glenn’s while a DJ in Mojave I liked and played but then by the time we received the next record people forgot what he did before and so to some he was a new artist with every release, so like we said, if a label can’t get them to enough stations one after the other, then not a lot of ground has been covered.

Over the years Glenn recorded for several labels like, Stampede, Hallmark, Starday, D, United Artist, Sims, Pic, Hickory, and a few others but one of our favorites was a Hickory release called "Who’s Taking The Picture".

Martin "Glenn" Barber was born in Hollis, Oklahoma February the 2nd. 1935.

We hope to meet up with his son Glen Jr. in a few weeks and figure out a way for some of Glen’s great music to be heard and enjoyed once again.

Over the years there have been Coal Miners trapped or lost in the mines and like the rest of the world I’m sure, thought, what a way to go and have felt sad that their own families had to suffer through the ordeal let alone what the miners went through themselves.

There have been many over the years including the great Merle Travis that wrote and recorded songs about the coal mines and that includes "16 Tons" a smash hit from Travis that several other artists done quite well with also.

What we want to tell you about is a book and a couple of CDs totally dedicated to the coal miners, never have we seen a book or heard so many great stories about coal mining and what it has meant to the miners and their families.

The book that comes with these CD's tell some great stories about the coal mines, the men that risk their life to mine the coal and the tragedies that took place at times deep in those cold wet tunnels that only a few would ever see. Some of those brave miners came home every night after a hard day in the mine their faces black from coal dust and lungs filled with even more of the black powder that filled the air deep under ground. Some didn’t.

If you have ever been a coal miner I am sure you have stories of your own to tell but if you haven’t and your Dad or husband or even a good friend was at one time or another then you owe it to your self to order and read and listen to everything in this outstanding package and I say outstanding because it is. I doubt if anything will ever be written again that covers the life or death or even the tragedies that occurred (and still is) far beneath this cold dark ground.

I would tell you how much this package cost but I don’t know, they sent us a sample copy but what we will do is give you the address and phone number so you can call, write or email to find out, but whatever it is if you have ever wondered about where coal comes from and what it takes to make it’s way to your house to keep you warm at night then you need to read and hear this whole story.

OK here is the phone number 276-523-5064, the fax number is 276-523-5066.

The e-mail is:

The website is:

The record company and address is:

Lonesome Records and Publishing

P.O. Box 568

Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219-0568

I am sure anyone that answers the phone if you do call will help you but the director’s name is Paul Kuczko just in case you would like to speak with him or get more information. What ever the cost, it’s a great package and worth ever penny.

Little did we know when we started this issue of "Classic Country" that we would lose even more of our great Country artists before we were finished, however the first had nothing to do with country music (that I know of) and that is Mrs. Paul Harvey, Paul has been for many years probably the most famous news caster in the world and many of us heard stories and news about some of the world’s most famous people for the very first time from one of the very best, Mr. Paul Harvey. Our best to Paul and his family.

On March the 12th this year of 2008 we got word that Mrs. Eddy Arnold had passed away, Sally Gayhart Arnold who was by Eddy’s side since November the 28th 1942 passed away in a Williamson County Hospital in Tennessee at the age of 87. Unable to attend the services of his wife that had stood beside him for all those many years, Eddy was in a hospital himself in Davidson County undergoing a hip replacement.

The two had met in Louisville, Kentucky while Eddy was playing with the also great Pee Wee King, some thought she might have ask Eddy for his autograph after the show. Well, what ever and how ever they were side by side for more than 66 years and that’s a long time.

BUT NOW a month and a few days later, Eddy himself is gone and I guess it was no surprise for those that knew them both well that those that have been married and side by side for so many years that when one goes a short while later so goes the other.

There has got to be a book some where that we have never read because no one could have the life that Eddy Arnold did and not have thousands of pages written about him and most likely will have for years to come.

Every time one of those that have passed away that has been a household name to all of us in the world of country music we all write stories that start with the biggest country star of all time>>>and go on from there but when you read the history of Eddy Arnold’s life and music I think you will be reading something you never dreamed of. For starters Eddy (and this number will never stop growing) has already sold over 85 million records, he is ranked in Billboard magazine as the most popular country artist of all time.

I would venture to say that if you ask a hundred people standing in a row what was their favorite Eddy Arnold song that at least 80 would give you a different answer, Lord knows there were many, many songs to choose from, my favorite is "What In Her World Did I Do" which was just a well put together song.

Anyway the stories and the music of Eddy Arnold will last ‘till us that remember him are gone. There is plenty more to read about this country music giant on the web so just pull up his name and you will find great stories and many of those songs you grew up singing. Eddy Arnold, gone at 89.

Jerry Wallace passed away May the 5th.2008, in the last few years Jerry had kept pretty much to himself. Cindy Walker had told us she spoke with Jerry now and then and that he was living up in Victorville which some may remember that for many years was the home of Roy & Dale. She (Miss Walker) asked us to call him, which we did but as expected never reached him, I think she just wanted me to tell him how much we enjoyed him singing her songs, we did enjoy him singing her songs but just about all the other songs Jerry Wallace ever put on record also. At the present time not many stories are up on the net yet but if you were a Jerry Wallace fan bring his name up now and then and you will find some great stories and music by Mr. Jerry Wallace.

Jim Hager one of the Hager twins and a fun pair of young boys to watch on the world famous Hee Haw show passed away passed away May the 2nd 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee he was 66 years old.

Jon Hager, Jim’s twin brother said Jim had collapsed in a coffee shop there in Nashville and rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Working with Buck Owens, Roy Clark and one of my all time favorites Kenny Price, the Hee Haw show was laughed at, with, around and you name it for several years and the only thing wrong with Hee Haw is, it should still be on the air.

Lulu Roman (and few sings the gospel better than this lady) said "Jim will be missed greatly as one of my true friends".

The twins were born in Park Ridge Illinois 66 years ago.

Leo Jackson who started with one of the best, Mr. Jim Reeves as his guitar player and played on all but a few of the records you hear today by Mr. Reeves has passed away. Leo was born October the 22nd 1934 and left us May the 4th. 2008.

Good friend Don Powell sent us this story on Leo which was written by his good friend Ronnie Light, there is to much of it and to good a story for us to abbreviate in this small space it is just a great story on one of country music’s premier guitar players and one that you should pull up the name Leo Jackson on your computer and read it all, when you pull the story up on your computer you will see two nice pictures one with just Leo and the other with Leo and Gentleman Jim Reeves.

Just thinking while looking this little story over - singers are great, Gene Watson - now who could argue with his singing? Our good friend Cindy Walker when we asked her one time who she thought was the best, quicker than the Lone Ranger’s bullet she said Gene Watson. Singers are a matter of opinion (so is music for that matter) and we like Watson our self and have about all his records but others may say Vern Gosdin, Little Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Stonewall Jackson, Freddie Hart, Tommy Overstreet and the list just goes on and on but just think for a second about any of the above singers without a Leo Jackson, without a Dave Kirby or without a Chet Atkins or one of the other great guitar players you have known over the years behind them.

What have you got then? Well, we’d say you got a guy that sings good sitting on a rock by a stream singing to the fish’ees to the music of a sparrow.

Leo Jackson, one of country music’s best for a lot of years (please read his story)

Good friend > wait a minute, we may change Walkin’ Talkin’ Charley Aldridge’s name again to "A Little Piece Of History" Charley, that don’t sound bad but a little to long. Charley digs back in his memory somewhere and remembers and writes one great little story after the other, Charley knows "Stuff" and I know "Stuff" but he remembers "Stuff" and I don’t remember "Stuff" unless I think about why am I writing this "Stuff" and then it comes to me, we are both just full of "Stuff".

This weeks Charley story is about "Cornbread & Beans" certainly one of my favorite meals if-n-your-hungry.

Charley wanted us to insert a little note about his friend and Director (Truman J. Smith) who he mentions in this story, but other than type set Charley’s whole story for a couple of lines we’ll just tell you up front that Truman J. Smith is the gentleman that wrote the book (The) "Wrong Stuff" that is consider one of the best books ever written on air warfare of world war two.

And while we are at it, let us mention this book is available right now at {Barnes & Noble .com} and we can also say it’s worth bringing up on your computer to read the reviews and while your at it, might as well buy the book.

And Now let’s dim the lights, break out the pop corn and dig into episode number 83 from the vaults of Talkin’ Charley and>>>"Cornbread & Butterbeans"

Playin' Lookback! #83 Cornbread & Butterbeans!

Oh, how I miss those long-ago, wonderful chaotic days of early Television...Those were the days when folks who'd ponied up the dough to buy on of the new-fangled wonder-boxes would put it in the parlor, turn it on and watch the test pattern... which often was the only thing being broadcast.

A bit of time had passed since I'd lucked into my own daily TV Show, and I still had a lot of rough edges, although Truman J. Smith, my patient Director, was trying hard to learn me somethin', day by day.  Yep! I was trying to learn.  My daily Show featured fine pickers and singers, plus Valley Keene, a Girl-Friday, who answered our office phone, typed our Show-lists, and sang like an Angel.

Valley had many credits; she'd doubled Ann Blythe in movies and won her Spurs as a stuntwoman doubling Liz Taylor riding horseback in Giant, the big movie.  In addition, Valley was pretty and liked by all who knew her.  So it was only natural that a lot of young dudes hung around our offices at KTTV-TV, Hollywood.

When I went in one day I heard voices dueting "Cornbread and Butterbeans"; it was Valley and a young, charismatic guy I'd never seen b before.  Then I was shaking hands with Johnny from the South, come to test the waters of Hollywood.

Johnny wasn't yet a professional, but had hopes.  I told Valley to put their duet on that day's TV Show.  Oh, no! New to the game and insecure, the pair protested.  But, since I was Boss of the Show, answerable only to my Director, Truman Smith, (and a few Mortgage companies) Valley and Johnny gave in and did the duet.

The bottom line?  They were great.  Now here's the part that sounds like a scriptwriter's conniving; an Electrician at a Hollywood Studio was watching that day and, impressed by Johnny, got in touch with him, offering to pay for a record session.

Soon they had a session, headed by good ol' Hi Busse (accordionist, and also my TV Show band-leader).  I remember well... one song was "Plaid and Calico!"  But nothing much happened with that session; for the Electrician behind the session had no distribution setup.  So the session soon faded away.

As time passed I heard little about Johnny (the good looking boy-singer) except that he was doing appearances at Supermarkets as The Singing Fisherman.  Then he was gone from California, and back in the South again.

Not long after, as I entered Radio Recorders one day with a friend, I ran into Fabor, the Electrician involved with Johnny's Session.  He was now a recording biggie, thanks to his Fabor records.  (I'd heard about that first session; according to HI Busse, he and his musicians who'd done the playing had never been paid).

Fabor pointed to a tape, saying he'd been re-mastering, "fading" the accordion.  At the time, accordions were "out".  (Often, trends had changed; with steel guitars, fiddles or some other instrument shunned at times to fit the public's taste).

Fabor grinned and enlightened me; he'd just sold Johnny's masters... because Johnny now had the number one record in the country... "The Battle Of New Orleans!"  I was glad, for I liked Johnny Horton and was glad he'd been discovered and recorded due to his singing "Cornbread and Butterbeans" on our TV Show!

Now, Playin' Lookback, I remember that day well.  So, thinking of HI and his men) I said, "Good Fabor!  Now, out of that money, you can afford to pay HI Busse and his men for recording that Johnny Horton session for you!"

Lookin’ back at Charley’s "Playin’ Lookback it’s hard not to think about one of our good friends that he mentions and that’s a guy by the name of Hi Busse, now you would have to know Hi to see the expression on his face when he laughed or smiled or even talked for that matter. He was just something else. Hi lived here in California close to us but when he decided to retire (he and his wife Eddy) they moved to New Mexico where Hi was suppose to hang up the accordion (which he was just a pure pro at playing) and spend their twilight years I guess raising cabbage, at least that was wife Eddy’s idea but certainly not Hi’s.

Eddy was a colorful lady to say the least and because of it everybody loved her, she called a spade a spade and said what she thought, myself, I couldn’t talk to her but a couple minutes at a time before I would be on the floor laughing, so, one day Hi calls telling me all about a new group (that he wasn’t suppose to have) because he was retired and a TV station that wanted to film him and his new group (which was not suppose to happen because he was retired) and a few other things like a studio wanted to record him and his group and him alone with some of his stories which again was not suppose to happen.

So when Hi is done talking Eddy gets on the phone and ask me if I have time to come to a funeral in New Mexico, I said, "who’s dead" she said this son of a bitch will be in a few minutes and I am going to bury his ass with this dam accordion right on top his chest, I already have a coffin maker that is designing a box with a lump in it, we are suppose to be retired and he ain’t stopped playing yet.

The stories of Hi Busse are many, the roads he traveled were many, some good, some not so good and I sure loved the ole boy and miss him as I am sure Charley does, one day we will do the entire "Country Classic News" to our old friend Hi Busse.

One thing for sure though, nobody loved, respected or cared for ole Hi like pretty little Eddy did.

It’s funny lookin’ back over how things happen from one side of America to the other, some artists get really famous in Texas and never heard of in Rhode Island or famous in California and never heard of in Nashville or, well you get the meaning. The reason we even mention this is we get letters wanting some artists record that we never heard of then when we check up on him or her & find he was only famous in Chicken Scratch, Arkansas and only a hundred and twenty five records (that’s those round things with a hole in um) of his were ever pressed and all those were given to his kin and kids, well shucks we don’t have any left to send you. Maybe you’ll get one in his will.

This is going to be a scary election folks, you might want to consider voting for Charlie Daniels, everything we have ever heard from Charlie up to now makes more sense than all these other turkeys put together. He may even hang the Red White & Blue back up in our classrooms and maybe even say the Lord’s Prayer before class.

If more of us don’t start believing the motto of "In God We Trust" none of us will have to worry about it much longer.

And those that are to lazy to stand up when the flag goes by "MOVE"

There is a lot more but time is running out for tonight and we need to wrap up a few things and head down Kentucky way for a few days.

We’ll see you later but just in case we don’t, take care of yourself.

Don Bradley


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