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Date News Posted: March 27, 2004

The Johnny Cash and June Carter song of “Ring Of Fire” would have caused both of them to do some tossing and turning had the family agreed to let the Hemorrhoid people use it for a commercial, holy mole-e where has respect gone, We didn’t think it was to funny, unless of course you listen to the song thinking about hemorrhoids.

Johnny is already doing Hank Snow’s song of “I’ve been Everywhere” behind, I think a motel commercial and that sounds great and we are happy the family agreed to still let them do that even with Johnny being gone, >It keeps Johnny’s name out there where he won’t be forgotten.

Who could forget Johnny Cash you ask? We won’t, but give it a few years, if you stood at the entrance to a shopping mall and ask everyone that came in who Roy Rogers was; you would be surprised at who wouldn’t have a clue as to who he was.

Watch the Tonight Show and see how many of those college yo yo’s Jay has on there that don’t know who was Governor let alone who Roy Rogers or Johnny Cash was, if Arnold wasn’t the Terminator they wouldn’t even know who he was, maybe that’s the secret, only vote movie people into office, come to think of it, George Carlin would probably make a heck of a president.

We didn’t know ‘till the other day when it came up about the Hemorrhoid company wanting to use the song “Ring Of Fire” that when “Easy Lovin” came out Freddie was approached by a chicken company called the Greasy Chicken wanting to use “Easy Lovin” behind their Chicken spots, try singing Greasy Chicken to the tune of “Easy Lovin”.
 


Now this is suppose to be a true story, what it has to do with the old song that we all know from those good old days about the dog “Old Shep”(what we believe to be the original article in the paper) (Sun Media by Erik Floren) again, we don’t have a clue but it’s a good sad story anyway so here it is.

In August of 1936 an ailing shepherd was hospitalized here (in Montana), waiting patiently outside the hospital sat his faithful collie named Old Sheep.

But the Shepard died and his body was shipped back east to his relatives for burial by the Great Northern Railroad.

As legend has it, Ol’Shep followed the casket whining from hospital to station but was prevented from boarding the train, so there he sat waiting.

For more then five years Ol’Shep greeted each train as it pulled into the station, hoping to finally meet his master again.

According to the article> Shep’s story was carried in newspapers around the world and appeared in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” two and a half years into his vigil.

Ironically, Shep was run over by a train on January the 12th 1942.

By that time the story was so well known that both A.P and U.P wire services and United Press International carried his obituary pushing aside some of the war news.

School was dismissed in Fort Benton for the funeral, Cub Scouts were the pallbearers, songs were penned and booklets written. Great Northern employees buried the dog and put up a marker over the grave on the bluff overlooking the train station. The marker is still there.

In 1992 the 50th anniversary of Shep’s death, Fort Benton citizens raised $100,000 to further honor the faithful canine. A big bronze statue of Shep was erected along Fort Benton’s levee beside the Grand Union Hotel in 1955. The dog has thus been forever honored.

Old friend Howard Vokes typed in an address at the top of this story that reads, For more information on Shep contact Diane Vielleux % Shep at P.O.Box 262>Fort Benton, Montana 59442.

We think they may have gotten the address a little backwards, sounds like it should read to Shep % of the young lady but what do I know, maybe Ol Shep does pick up the mail.
 

Dog stories are great and they are used in so many ways to help people that can’t help themselves, they are used to track down bad guys, my goodness, one of them hound dogs get a smell of your shorts he could track you to Houston, but the most important role we think any dog can play is to be by the side of the elderly and the lonely it is just a great comfort to know “Old Shep” is by your side.

A nice little bio and letter from the family of song writer great Redd Stewart who was born May the 27th 1923 as Henry Ellis Stewart in Ashland City, Tennessee and left us August the 2nd 2003 at the Baptist Hospital East in Louisville, Kentucky.

If you are a fan of the great old country songs then you sure know that it was Redd and Pee Wee King that had some great hits written by the duo over the years like “Tennessee Waltz” and one of our favorites “Slow Poke” and of course “Bonaparte’s Retreat” the song that took Kay Starr to stardom.

In 2004 his family (or friends) started a tribute web site to honor Redd at www.redstewart.com so if you were one of his fans, that would be a great place to start checking out other things you may want to know about one of America’s classic country song writers.

The letter and bio was actually sent along with a very nice looking CD with all the songs mentioned plus more for any artist that may want to cut one of Redd’s songs. Now if they have any of Redd or Pee Wee’s songs on a CD to sell, well, we don’t know but here is how you can find out. Redd’s son Billy has taken over his Dad’s music business and looks to be doing a fine job of it so write and ask him>Ambridge Music>Bill and Sharon Stewart>P.O.Box 10708>Norfolk, Va. 23513 or since they listed a phone number I reckon it would be OK to call 757-536-5851.

One thing about the “Tennessee Waltz” somebody will still be listing to that song ‘till the good Lord says “That’s All Folks”. (Good things and music just never die at least in our memory)

Here is one that will go into our catalog if we ever get around to it, It is called 20 Country Hits and if you want to buy one just email us back in case it is not yet in the web site catalog.

Anyway we bought these to tell the truth because of one song and that one song is sung by an artist probably not many people ever heard of by the name of George Kent, now the other artist in this album are household names to real country music fans like Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Roger Miller, Dave Dudley and Bobby Bare and a few others but it was George Kent with a song called “Mama Bake A Pie, Daddy Kill A Chicken” that made us add the CD to our catalog.

We have had an old 45 on the song so long we wore it white from play, it is a great story song and an artist I am sorry to say don’t really know beans about except we have liked what we heard when we ever heard anything by him, which was far and long between.

We will try to round up some story on George and see what we come up with.

Got a letter off today to Vern Stovall, an ex Bakersfield singer that now lives in Texas and who was and still is we reckon a good singer and writer, so we will wait and see what comes out of that letter and maybe have a good story on ole Vern before long.

Freddie Hart worked to two sell out, well actually four sell out shows, two shows in each place, two in Florida and two in Brady Texas with Tracy Pitcox who runs the good country station there in Brady and a real fan of country music and it’s artist>

 One of our favorite actors of all time was Neville Brand; although I am sorry to say unless you were a real movie buff you wouldn’t remember who he was unless you saw him on the screen.

In most of his movies he was a real bad ass, the book list D.O.A. as his first movie so we guess it was, in it he played the above mentioned kind of a person, when he jabbed Edmond O’Brien in the gut two or three times with his gun you could feel it yourself.

Neville did many westerns with just about every major star of the time, many war movies and, well, you name it, and Neville did it.

His bio says he did 59 feature films, 17 TV shows and was a guest star in another 17.

Neville was born in Griswold, Iowa August the 13th 1920 and his family moved seven years later to Kewanee, Illinois where he grew up.

After high school Neville joined the National Guard that was in 1939, a year and a half later he had made corporal and was inducted into the regular Army, after five weeks of infantry training he was off to the European theater of operations, his military records shows he spent nine months and nineteen days overseas, little is know about everything Neville went through over there but when he was discharged he was a Staff Sergeant after being wounded in April 1945.

Other then a time or two did Neville talk about his war record in public interviews or what he did over there, but records show he was the 4th most decorated man of the war.

According to our friend Walter Brennan Jr. what you saw was not what you got with Neville Brand, he said Neville was a kind person with a big heart.

We were thinking the other day how great he would have been in the “Wind Talker” movie he made a great Indian, but who knows, he may have been a for real wind talker himself.

Anyway Neville moved on April the 16th 1992, he died from emphysema.

Speaking of war hero’s, did ye know that one of the number one war hero’s of all time Audie Murphy was writing country songs shortly before his plane went down (on the way to Virginia I think it was) and as far as we are concerned one of them was the best song, (although not the one to reach the top charts) in the whole album by Charley Pride called “Was It All Worth Losing You” just a great song.

Speaking of Charley Pride, where in the heck has he been lately, I guess it don’t matter, he could record 20 albums in a row and few radio stations would play them today, we don’t want to even think about what they are playing on country? Stations right now, all it would do is make us mad and we would throw the computer in the bath tub full of water, so what I think we’ll do is, go get some RC Cola and Moon Pies go out into our own little studio and break out some of Charley’s old albums shut the door and crank er-up ‘till the neighbors call.

The many voices of Don Hinson and his version of “Hillbilly Heaven” is still getting played in places where we are sure the people listing don’t even know who half of the voices he is doing belong to>>Places like Poland, Australia and Ireland>>The DJ from Poland sent us an email saying it was one of the funniest things he had ever heard.

Don Hinson does a lot of voices and a great stage act, and has opened shows for many of the big boys and maybe some of the big girls.

AND>>’till the number one country station in the Los Angeles area sold the station which at the time of Hinson’ reign they were the best country station in this part of the country, after Stewart Hamblin passed away and left his “Cowboy Church” show open Don Hinson took over and shortly after that was the number one show on that station, he called it “Down Home With Hinson”. Pure good ole country.

Hinson’s new one is ready to send out, fresh off the press this week called “The Officially Franchised Impersonator”> We’ll let you know how that one goes.

In the “I wonder what ever happen to column” We wonder what ever happened to Leapy Lee? Not that Leapy was a hard core country singer but as they might say in England, an interesting kind of chap (however Leapy might have been Welch) but never the less we got a kick out of his “Little Arrows”.

Little arrows must have been around 68 or 69 because on the same album was Bobby Russell’s “Little Green Apples” which was a hit of course for Roger Miller, and the hard core country reference books don’t list Leapy at all.

And you can’t help but wonder, “Did his Daddy really name that kid Leapy?”

Although America has pretty much had a lock on the greatest country music on earth, as far as my life is concerned, for ever, but now and then an outsider comes and goes that you can’t help but say, “I am glad he slipped through the curtain of country” and that would be Frank Ifield> Frank was born in Coventry, England on November the 30th 1937 and by the time he was a teenager had made his way to Australia and found fame on both radio and TV.

The year of 59 found him signing with Columbia Records in England and what he recorded between 1959 and 1962 we don’t have a clue but as many albums as he did record we are sure some of them were recorded in that time period But, come the year of 1962, the records show May the 27th of that year, Frank Ifield recorded “I Remember You” and it went straight to number one in the U.S, Ireland, South Africa, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and England and who knows where else and at that point the young man from down under was now on top.

Now the music Frank Ifield recorded when he came to Nashville in 1966 written by some of country’s greatest writers of the time was just second to none especially those produced by Norrie Paramor like “When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again” Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me” Kilgore and King’s “Wolverton Mountain” Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” Boudleaux & Felice Bryant’s “Roses From A Stranger” and Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou”.

Some of the last few above tunes gives Wesley Rose credit for production on the album covers:
We don’t rightly know how many albums Frank Ifield ended up recording, that is if he has stopped yet but we did count up to between 16 and 18, and we do know he did at least two for the “Hickory” label on his trip to America.

He is listed now days as being President of “The British Archives Of Country Music” where friend Dave Barnes has spent most of his life collecting old records and tapes and music and stories on America’s and other countries top country artist so they may be heard and talked about for generations to come.

During our DJ days we would slip in one of Frank Ifield’s tunes from the Nashville sessions and the phone would ring (and you could count on it) and someone would say “Who in the heck was that, and would you play it again”.

If you have any good stories on any of those good ole boys and girls that you think others might enjoy you could email them or drop them in the mail or even fax um if you gotta mind to, the only thing with us that has changed in the last umpteen years is the fax number which is now (same area code) 805-522-8329.

Maybe we can get to it next time a little story about Bradley Kincaid, an artist who has all but been forgotten although he sold more then 20 million records, and 20 million records for that day and time was a heap of wax.

And we have some little stories on a couple others that should never be forgotten, Claude King, Merle Kilgore, The Wilburns and The Louvin Brothers.

Time to go, we’ll see ye next time, but just in case we don’t> Take care of yourself

 Don Bradley -     

   

 


 

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