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News Posted: September
It takes more than just a FEW people that still care about the Classic Country music of yester-year to keep it alive, It takes more than just one station here and there giving George Jones a spin in the middle of the night,and it takes more than a magazine giving Faron Young a few lines on page 67 telling the world that he is dead after he gave the Country music world hit after hit year after year.
I can sit and write about it all I want, I can sell some Merle Haggard C.D.'s to a D.J. that the big companies are not about to give him one, but the bottom line most radio stations are not going to play it even if Santa Claus brings it attached to a reindeers butt.
If you me or anyone else had the money that was spent over the years on artist, singers, bands, what ever you want to call them, that no one ever heard of you would be richer than Ross Perot, Most of those people came up with the money to put that record out themselves contrary to what those that sit back and tell you, "Don't ever put a nickel into yourself, once those people hear you, you got it made, you'll be a STAR in 6 months". Like a pig lays eggs they will.
Something else you can believe or not, Most people get up the nerve in the first place to go into a recording studio because Dad, Mom, or Grandma told them they could sing, and in case after case it was all of the above that hocked house home and life savings to have that first recording session done for their son or daughter, and most of them were never to be heard of again.
In the 50's if you were a GOOD country singer you could make a record pretty cheap and if it was a good record most COUNTRY stations would play it at least a few times and if the phone rang a few times then they would play it some more..BUT THEY DON'T NO-MORE..If it ain't on a major label, national airplay is a spider in a hurricane, and if you don't believe that then waste a five spot and buy one of the trade magazines. What do you see ? When was the last time you saw Randy Travis on the charts ?.
The only way that 90% of the living, working artist make any money on their recordings is, first they do all the work themselves, some of them own their own studio, some are partners with others and some do pay out side studios but they keep full control of every thing they do. A lot of them do not sell to out side sources they just sell their product at shows and personal appearances.
The bootleg rate is so high that you can not even count, not only in foreign countries but right here in America and if you think someone is going to help you in law enforcement then you better guess again. You tell me what 50's artist unless he has been active all these years, has fifty or a hundred thousand dollars to go after a bootlegger that he knows for a fact is bootlegging his product..and if that bootlegger you were going after was in a foreign country, a hundred thousand dollars would be pocket change as to what it would take to nail him and he wouldn't be there by the time you got there anyway..So they get away with it because it would be stupid to spend a hundred thousand dollars that you don't have to get the fifty thousand dollars that he owes you.
We have got two or three (and by we I mean my old partner and I) songs on a Lefty Frizzell album, and it is a big album, to this day the company has never received one red cent, you call one publishing company they tell you one story, you call another record company, they don't know what you are talking about and a year of that crap and you don't even care any more.
So why am I writing all this ?, hell I don't know, maybe just to say to some young singer out there, "be careful" and let someone that has been there help you, the radio stations are not going to play no "Lard Bucket" record labels, the slick producers are going to take your money and if you are now then you will still be working in a honky tonk this time next year even if you do make a record.
Stoney Edwards, maybe a victim of time, maybe a victim of color, maybe a victim of some of the people mentioned above, but what ever it was he was one of my favorite singers. He sang a good song and no, he wasn't a friend but I wish he had of been because if you ever saw a picture of him, you could see kindness clear to the heart.
I never saw one article about him in the American Country magazines, if it was it was probably back on page 96 anyway but I would have even settled for that. Frenchie "STONEY" Edwards born in Seminole, Oklahoma in 29, Stoney had a few things on Capitol that at least got his feet wet but it was "She's My Rock" in 72 that really gave Stoney a big break. Maybe someday I can write a long story on Stoney because I know there is a lot of ups and downs and good times too that would be fittin' a great human being like Stoney Edwards. And I would bet my life that you left behind that special someone that has said a million times "You were my rock, and I ain't gonna throw you away" The Great "Stoney Edwards" arrived in Hillbilly Heaven April the 5th. 1997. See Ye Later Stoney:
We had a couple of nice folk out there in radio land that wanted to know about the legendary Miss Molly O'Day, so with the help of my friend Bob Pinson sending me some Great notes and stories from Mr. Ivan Tribe from the University of Toledo, I'll try to lay a few things on ye: Born Lois Laverne Williamson in Pike County, Kentucky on July the 9th. 1923, in 1942 she adopted the stage name of Molly O'Day and continued to use it for the remainder of her professional career.
Around 1941 she married a man by the name of Lynn Davis, Davis was an 8 year veteran of Country Music and Molly had joined his band in the fall of 1940 called "Lynn Davis And His Forty-Niners", where she worked as a girl vocalist.
The 40's were busy years, from Bluefield they worked many stations including, WJLS Beckley, WAPI Birmingham, WHAS Louisville, and the Renfro Barn Dance on CBS, KRLD Dallas in 1945,WNOX-45 & WROL-49 in Knoxville and WBIG Greensboro in 1949.
Molly O'Day passed away on December the 5th. 1987, making her only 64 years old and in all of the things I have read and know about her, I don't know the reason she died, But I have found an address for you if you would like to write them for more on Miss O'Day it is>>>Old Homestead Records, Box 100 Brighton< Michigan 48116, We only have one of her albums it is a cassette called 'THE LIVING LEGEND' HT357, I would guess that Old Homestead Records has many of her albums, And thanks for letting us help, Good Luck.
Once a year old friends get together at Hank Penny's house as we have for many years, It is just a fun thing to do, seeing old friends you haven't seen for at least a year, Danny Michaels has brought his band now for many years and always does a fine job getting things started. I spent some time in Alabama some time ago and it is kinda like they do down there every Saturday night, Just get together, sing, eat, drink coffee or what ever you want and tell stories, and there lies the secret of why these things last so long, Stories, who can tell the biggest one, I think they save um up just to tell it on that day.
Like I said it is a fun thing , but everything has it's price, and the price is every year one less person, this year it was Gene Bear, a man who had more stories to tell than the University of California has books, but Gene won't be making it anymore. Somehow I have drawn a blank where his name is concerned but anyhow he was a kindly gentleman in a wheel chair, even if you knew his name it might not ring any bells but you sure remember "Benji" the little dog in many movies, He was his trainer and he also trained many other dogs and animals in many other movies, always there but never seen just beyond camera range, I hope he didn't die but this is the first year he didn't make it so I'll have to do some checkin'. As always I went by to pick up my old friend Eddie Dean but he just couldn't make it, his being able to breathe was just not there so for the first time in many years he didn't go, people were disappointed when I got there with out him, all I could say was I don't complain because he can't make it, I just thank God he has kept him here for ninety years.
Sue Thompson was there and she sings as good now as she did when she was 19, maybe better> Good friend Doye O'Dell was there, Doye had a stroke a few years ago but is getting around pretty good> Wesley and Marilyn Tuttle was there, the Tuttles are working on another Gospel album and as you may know were on Town Hall Party for many years>Good friend Don Hinson was there and his little wife Rita, Don Hinson is one of the finest Country D.J's in the world so if you own a Country station call him> Dick Jones was there, another one of the great cowboy actors of yester-year, Dick is getting ready to head down to Oklahoma Thursday to Gene Autry, that's Gene Autry, Oklahoma where they have a great time three days a year>The Mercer Brothers were there, they still work 8 months a year in Palm Springs>All in all about two hundred plus people were there> But now I want to tell you about Shari, Shari is or was Hank Penny's wife (you remember, "Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon") Hank sold a ton of those and was a man that is still missed by every one who knew him, Anyway Shari married a fine man after Hank died his name is Bill Nona, Bill loves what she does and they have continued the once a year parties at there house, Shari is someone who should be on a Broadway Stage she is not good, she is outstanding as an entertainer and her and ole Hank used to do shows but now she is happy just to see old friends and let er rip once a year, and we thank Shari and Bill for letting a bunch of old outlaws come to their house once a year and spin yarns.
The Penny's had a beautiful daughter named Cindy and you are never going to believe this but she had the same last name as her Mom and Dad making her Cindy Penny, now ain't that somthin', anyway, since I don't know beans about day time soaps, I don't know which one she was on and since it is two in the morning I'm not gonna call and ask but for several years she was one of the stars on one or more of them shows that filmed out of New York, But I am sure of one thing, folks that watch them soaps know every single person, man or woman on them personally, they live, eat and breath them day time soap stars, so the point is, if you watch them then you already know her anyway, Cindy was also one of the young girls on the mini series "The Thornbirds" which they still run, year after year, I think she is taking a break right now, but she'll be back.
Gotta'' Email from a young lady name Lisa, she said you're page is really neat, more than you know I really appreciate that. She also said maybe we should put some music with it, once I figure out how to turn this computer on and off maybe we will. I ain't one much for computers, in fact I would still be using tomato cans for telephones but the string gets tangled up in all the traffic now days so that don't work, but I do love to write stories and talk about friends I have been blessed to know. For a while we were just messing around reading and answering Email about Country music on a different line but that got to be a mess so we don't even bring it up anymore, people started calling each other names and wanted to change the world. There is only one thing I would change if I could and that is that the Country stations would play some of the Classics and some of the great old Westerns now and then.
I was watching an old Jimmy Stewart movie the other night "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" I think,but the point being is, that one person can make a difference, but no-one has the time any more to write or call radio stations to ask them to play a Gene Watson song or a Johnny Horton song, we just either turn the station to the news or talk radio or off and forget it and as long as record sales continue to maintain the level of sales the majors want, it will never change and for the rest of your life you will hear the same 20 artist over and over again.
Maybe Lisa we could start computer radio since so many people now have one and folks could Email in their request, at least it would be fun trying to find all the things folks wanted to hear, watch your mail.
We have mentioned this before and we gonna do it again, As of this date in 1997, only FIVE, THAT'S "5" of the singing cowboys are left in this world from the big silver screen and they are, Eddie Dean, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen and Monte Hale. Now Eddie turned 90 in July, Gene will be 90 the 29th. of this month, (September) and the other 3 are right behind, and to answer any health questions you may have about these cowboys let me sum it up this way, None of them are entered in the next Olympics. If you ever spent one Saturday eatin' pop corn watching any of these guys or watched any of their old movies on T.V. and said to your self, "I sure miss those great old Westerns" then this is getting close to your last chance to tell them so. If you own a computer and you would have to to be reading this then you can afford a buck for a card and 32 cents for a stamp. PLEASE drop them a card, but PLEASE do not ask them for an autographed picture, they have signed pictures for 90 years give or take a little so this ain't about no picture signing, it's about saying thank you. I am not about to open your mail but I will forward it to anyone of the above you care to send a card to and remember, it is just to say THANK YOU...So address it this way> Mr. (any of the above names) % Bradley Brothers Records-Box 2144-Winnetka, California 91396 and THEY WILL GET IT, unopened, just the way you sent it.
It is past time to close the squeakin' door for tonight, so 'till next time-we hope every days a good one.
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