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News Posted: February 22, 1998
GRANDPA JONES, Another TRUE legend of Country Music is gone, What made the Grand Ole Opry the Grand Ole Opry is soon to be no-more.
When Miss Minnie Pearl, Mr. Rod Brasfield, Mr. Roy Acuff, Mr. Ernest Tubb and others from those great old days cashed in, a part of America cashed in to.
The "Opry" in those great old days had a balance that kept your ear glued to that old two hundred pound radio sitting in the corner.
Martha White Flour or one of the other great sponsors of the time would all but stop southern America when "THE GRAND OLE OPRY" would come on the air, In the 40's and 50's when the Louvin's, Ernest Tubb, Carl Smith or just whoever the guests were for the night started singing people listened, But it was those times when Minnie and Rod Brasfield got to cutting up and ended when ole' Rod had to get back to the wagon because "THESE SHOES ARE KILLIN' ME"..I still remember my Uncle Charlie walking along behind the mules come Monday morning while he was plowing and I would ask him, "What are you laughing at Uncle Charlie?" and he would say, "Oh, just thinking about something Rod Brasfield said Saturday night".
When a young man named Jones came on the scene, not really an old man but in fact pretty young, he chose to wear them bib overalls and call himself Grandpa and again the lights of the "Grand Ole Opry" got bright because he was apart of the same hard working people that stayed by the radio every Saturday night.
Even though Grandpa Jones was never really known as a hit singer, and probably never even wanted to be, but in those early years when Grandpa and Ramona would do them duets, you heard what was needed to fill a space at the "Opry" that would forever be remembered.
But never think for a second that Grandpa Jones couldn't really sing and just used that banjo for a prop, not on your life, when Grandpa and some of the other side kicks from "Hee-Haw" sang those gospel songs, even the devil put out his fire and listened.
I am sure (or let's put that a different way) I would hope, that the death of Grandpa Jones is all over Nashville radio and they are telling everyone what I am about to tell you now..That, Visitation for Grandpa will be Sunday and Monday, that's the 22nd and 23rd between 3 and 9 PM at Cole and Jarrett funeral home, and then on Tuesday will lie in state from 11 AM to 1 PM on the stage of the "GRAND OLE OPRY".
As you get older you give life a lot more thought than you did when you were young, as a kid you blame someone for every thing that happens to you especially if it was bad, if it was something good, as kids we took the credit ourself, it is real easy to blame others for something that is really just part of life and was meant to be anyway, so I blame no one for letting Grandpa die, I am sure the doctors loved him as much as we did, I just thank God he let him pass our way, and long before God gave us Grandpa Jones he gave us all something else and he called it a "Memory". So remember those nights when you waited for the Opry and Grandpa and the days when you could reach out and touch him on the T.V. screen.
If you are close enough and go to see Grandpa before he goes home, don't be cryin' no tears, just tell him thanks for those great songs and for giving you a part of his life to share, and don't be a sayin' goodbye, just say "I'll see ye later" and walk on by.
*****Thanks to our good friend Miss. Cindy Walker for giving us the times above and some of the other information, she was not only a fan of Grandpa, but one of her most cherished friends.
Anyone that is or ever has been in any part of show business no matter what part it is and something happens to them or a friend or a co-worker, the words from all the others are, "The Show Must Go On".
SLIM WHITMAN, Now in 1998 is celebrating his 50th year in show business, and to hear him tell it is just getting started.
Slim sent us a nice little bio and a picture and we have to say this because it's true, Slim Whitman, (in looks, and you will know what we mean when we finish this paragraph) is like Dick Clark, he is still one fine lookin' man and still looks the same as he did, or that we remember, when we first saw him, if you don't believe it just dig out all your Slim Whitman pictures and take a look....him and Dick must be using the same salad dressing.
Slim has received hundreds of awards and numerous honors bestowed upon him, including a "Star" in the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, he has a Tulip and a Daffodil named after him in Holland, and has sold over 60,000,000 records over the world and it would not surprise me if he adds another ( 0 ) to that ever time he goes on tour.
With over a hundred albums, hundreds of cassettes, hundreds of 78's and 45's and now days into the compact disc, with wall to wall gold, platinum and double platinum records, with "INDIAN LOVE CALL" and "ROSE MARIE" both being multimillion sellers and having recorded over 600 individual songs.
Slim Whitman has toured the world and it looks like back to England again in 98, and that for sure should add that other ( 0 ) to his record sales because the good folks in England Love good Country Music, and they love Slim Whitman.
We dug into the archives and found one of Slim's Christmas albums, on the cover he is dressed in a evening robe and if he don't look like the King of England we'll kiss your monkey, >the first song in this Christmas album is sure food for some thought, the title is, "Let There Be Peace On Earth" (Let It Begin With Me).
The first album cover we ever saw with Slim's picture on it I thought they shot it backwards or reversed the film because ole' Slim was pickin' the guitar in the wrong direction, but he wasn't, he's just a left handed picker, But what did I know, we wuzz just a baby.
If Slim sends us his 98 schedule we will pass it along to you and that includes England, we have as many readers over there as we do here, so we'll let you know.
You do not have to read into Slim Whitman's Bio or anything else very far to figure out that he is a devoted family man, and he may have even been the one to discover cloning, take a look at his son Byron. And his little wife Jerry, has been by his side since 1941 and Johnny Grant, mayor of Hollywood should give Slim another star just for that alone because most of them on the Walkway of Stars, don't even know who their first wife was.
Good friend Wayne Rogers is a hard workin' slow talkin' fast thinkin' country music lovin' and the only person we know of in the world who carries a picture of "THE DURANGO KID" in his wallet, Durango Boot Quality Control head woolly bugger for the world famous Durango Boot Company in Tennessee and probably friends with the Queen of Spain ( if they have one )..Sent us a nice package this week and we want to thank him for that, especially some of the articles or news paper clippings that were in that package, and in a nutshell here are a couple of them.
This first article Wayne sent me was from a writer in the Nashville paper so you may have read it if you live there and I hope he don't mind me using a little bit of his article, his name is "JERRY THOMPSON" it is a Super piece and I wish we had space for all of it. He calls this article -- The" Lasts" Are Times To Treasure.
The first part of this article is about his son that was starting to nod off as they were watching T.V.,..he said "Pop, why don't you carry me up the steps and tuck me in ?"..We both got a chuckle out of such a ridiculous suggestion as he made his way toward the stairs and up to his bedroom. Although he's just 15, he's already bigger than I am and many times stronger.
After he went off to bed I began to think about the many times I'd carried him up those stairs and tucked him in after he had fallen asleep on the couch or in the car.
Of course those days were years ago. As I attempted to sift through the faulty memories that seem to elusively lurk somewhere in my brain, I tried to remember the last time we went through that common ritual of yesteryear.
I couldn't remember, It was probably because when it happened, it never occurred to either of us that it might be the" last time", Had we known, I would've hugged him a little longer, tucked him in a little tighter, made sure he heard me tell him I loved him.
Jerry Thompson goes on to tell about some relatives coming over for a visit and how much they all enjoyed it and the plans they had made to see each other again soon, but he didn't know it at the time that it would be the last time he would ever say goodbye to his Aunt's husband Paul, >he goes on to say> Had I known it was the last time, I would've made sure he knew my feelings about a lot of things, I would have told him how much I respected him; how much I appreciated what he had done for me; I would have told him how much it meant to be apart of his family, And I would have told him I loved him.
Jerry goes on> When our company left Friday morning the hugs were a little longer and maybe a little tighter, And I made sure I told them all how much I love them...JUST IN CASE.
So to Jerry Thompson who's *by/line* is "Thompson's Station", if your article does not make folks Stop and think, then that's a shame, it sure did me Mr. Thompson , and if it does one other person in this world, then it's all worth while.
Wayne Rogers sent these words to a friend > "Nothing gonna come up today that me and the Lord can't handle."
We mentioned the other night something about a song and an artist, the artist name was Guy Drake and the song was called "WELFARE CADILLAC" and as POPEYE would say, "Well Blow Me Down", yesterday Guy Drake called, we talked for quite a while about that song and others and what he was doing now and all kinds of other good stuff and it was really a nice phone call, we sent him a letter with all our numbers on it and he is going to send us back a package so we can do a good story on him.
Up until yesterday, I did not know this man, never spoke with him and the only thing I did know was Welfare Cadillac and how many times I had remembered it and how funny it was, But yesterday changed all that, with one phone call I think we became friends for what ever time is left, I sure hope so because this is one funny man, and 90% of his funny stuff he gets from every day livin', and that's the best kind.
We have had some problems for some reason with our email, we know that some of you have sent us mail but for some reason it did not come thru..SO..if you have sent us any mail in the past five or six days and we have not answered it, PLEASE send it again, 98% of all mail we receive is answered the same day and no later than the next, we think we have the situation corrected but if we have not answered you as of yet, like we said, Please send it again. Thanks Very Much
I guess I had better practice what I preach, So to all of you that read these articles, I appreciate it more than you know, we really wish we could write more things on the lighter side, there are so many great funny people out there to write about and things they say and things they do, but it is very hard to write funny things right now when so many of our greats are cashin' in.
To all of you that stay up late to read some of the things we write, we just want to say that We Love You:
Just In Case
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