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|Date News Posted: September
It has been a busy last three months that we got really behind with everything, we have shipped out so many beer signs I am turning into a Bud Frog or Lizard, I don't know which, now we are getting ready to head back to North Carolina for a few days stopping by to say hey to good friend Corky Mayberry at which ever station he is now at in Amarillo.
I miss old "Route 66" so gonna' hop off where ever we can and relive some old memories, when I was a Marine we hitched hiked from Camp Pendleton at least five times on that old road back to Kentucky and Indiana, now days I wouldn't hitchhike to Krogers, good folks would see you in that uniform would stop and give you a ride, now days they would probably think you stole it.
Many years ago, (back in the good old 50's) Good friend Bill Woods from Bakersfield was working at a radio station up in that area when a young man and young lady came in, the young man's name was Chester Smith. They talked for a while and Bill ask Chester where he was going, Chester said he thought he had a pretty good demo and was headed for Nashville to see if he could get a deal. Bill said "well let me hear it" which Chester did and Bill thinking he was right about it being both a good song and demo, ask Chester if he would mind if he called Ken Nelson at Capitol Records.
That phone call got Chester an appointment with Ken Nelson who at the time "Was" Mr. Capitol Records like in later years that job was turned over to a man that went on to become an icon in this business, Mr. Buck Owens. Anyway that meeting between Chester Smith and Ken Nelson turned out to be one of the biggest door openers that Chester would ever have, California Country artist were hotter than a fire cracker back then but gospel music even though played and respected a lot never was an every day conversation piece like a newly cut country tune from, Tex Williams or Merle Travis or Freddie Hart or good singing little ol' Wynn Stewart, that is until Ken Nelson got through with Chester Smith and that song Chet had walked in with, written by Hazel Houser and himself.
The song ? "Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus" as an artist put Chester Smith's name on many country fans lips and certainly every lover of gospel music all over the country.
Today some forty plus years have gone by and Chester Smith is at it again, his great Country Music Station that he owned in Modesto has turned into nine T.V. Stations from Southern California to the Oregon border, he not only is a very well respected man in the business he is as humble as Mom's apple pie, always with a kind word to say about a fellow man, and never forgetting an old friend that he met along the way from his early days in radio to the present.
This time with voice a little shaky from not being behind that mike singing what he loves most, (Gospel Music) his good friend Merle Haggard said, "You can do it Chester" and he is, at Merle's studio high in the mountains Chester was put at ease when one of Merle's side kicks said, "Don't worry about being a little shaky at first, you oughta' hear Merle sometimes in the mornings".
I don't know about any one else but I would buy one of Merle's records even if he sang it with his privates caught in a vise.
A few weeks ago Freddie Hart and I took a trip up to visit Chester at his office, Freddie and Chester sat in that office throwing songs back and forth for three or four hours, Freddie, as the world of Country Music knows, has written so many great songs that Chester wanted to hear some and pick some to put on his new album, we also ask the greatest lady writer, probably of all time, Miss Cindy Walker, to send something for Chester, which she did. But we are sure that no matter which songs are on this new album it will be a winner, how can it not be with the hand of Merle Haggard close by.
AND....Speaking of Freddie Hart, which we wuzz, He just won another award from down in Texas someplace, he stopped by the other day to make up a little thank you tape to send them, just at the point of his voice slipping away partly because of a little cold but mostly because he sings so much, we got the job done.
The greatest love in this man's life other than his family is writing songs, he never stops, if he is with you and you ask him a question or mention something to him and he says nothing, then shut up, because he is writing another song up there in his head and when he's finished he'll answer you, then he'll say, "what do you think about this boy" and start singin' something you ain't never heard before.
We're not exactly sure how you spell this guys last name, and it don't matter to much now I guess, he's somewhere up there in Heaven, but Jimmy Pruett was the blind piano player for years on Compton's Town Hall Party, always with a smile on his face and loved by all that knew or heard him, anyway it was a Saturday night at the old Town Hall and long tall Freddie Hart walked out on the stage, Jimmy at his usual place in front of the piano and me in the front row with old J.T. Voss I think it was a good ol' fellow Marine from Texas, Freddie said, as the people applauded, "ah thank ye very much, bless your heart, your wonderful, (mostly though, Freddie leaves out the "R's" in his words) we'd like to sing you one we just finished up back stage back there and if Jimmy will kick it off for me it goes like this," and his next words were, "You sit there a cryin', cryin' in your beer, you think you got troubles, my friend listen here, be thankful your livin' Drink Up And Go Home."
That one sure ended up being a good juke box record in them there Honky Tonk's.
Wendell Austin has spent many years of his life writing songs and singing about our American fighting men, men that have truly given their all for America, he is proud of the memorial that was built in Bangor, Maine by the Korean war veterans to honor the two hundred and thirty three men that died in the Korean war from the state of Maine, in fact, that memorial in a beautiful picture covers the front of his new album called, "Hello American Veterans"
This album is well done and Wendell gives a heart felt account on all the songs, it is something he believes in with all he has to give, but even though Wendell has this CD in many outlets in and around Maine and selling quite well, it is not in stores in other parts of the country and that's a shame because it should be.
On this CD album, Wendell not only sings songs written by him and other friends he does the "classic" that if you are a veteran will surely remember the one that Barry Saddler made famous, called "Ballad Of The Green Beret" as far as just picking one or two that we think you'll like and know that we do, it is the kind of album you need to just either sit down and close your eyes and listen to or, when you take a ride to the next town by your self, put a copy of it in your CD player or tape deck and just listen to the words, it is not something to listen to with a bunch of people talkin' even your wife who is trying to tell you, you missed the cut off to aunt Mable's house.
Especially if you were a Veteran of any war, you will really enjoy talking or writing to Wendell Austin, he does not, as of yet, have a web site, but that thing laying there to the right of your computer called a pen will do just fine to write him with, even if you are not a vet but enjoy good patriotic songs about our good old U.S of A write to Wendell, if you insist on doing it on the computer, email us and we will forward it on.
You can write Wendell Austin direct for more information on prices on both CD's and Cassettes at Peace And Freedom Music-R.R 1-Box 294A-Winn, Maine 04495 or if you have the time to call, you can do that also at 207-736-2225, which ever way you chose, you'll be a winner.
We have mentioned this CD before but it is well worth mentioning again and again....
Let me just write these next few lines exactly like Tracy Pitcox did to us so you will know what this CD is all about.
We are hoping that you may be able to help us promote our new "Heart Of Texas Country" compilation CD/cassette, it is a rather unique project with the proceeds to be used to construct a country music museum in Brady, Texas. The artist donated their time and talents to aid this effort. We tried to produce a project diverse enough for a wide audience while sticking to the more traditional country music. We have a mix of some of the more legendary Texas artist along with some "Adopted" Texas along the way.
Now it's my turn, This CD contains music from some artist that we are pretty sure you have not heard from in a while, artist like Darrell McCall and Johnny Bush with a great song, "24th. Hour" "As Long As There's A Sunday" by Justin Trevino, "All Hat No Cattle" by the great singer and song writer, Liz Anderson, also, Mr. Claude Gray and "If I Ever Need A Lady" by the way, this one by Claude has been on the charts in Sweden for 37 straight weeks. My favorite guitar player (Dave Kirby) does a great job singing and pickin' on this one called, "What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana" "Neon Nights" by Lawton Williams (when was the last time you heard Lawton ?) "Take Me Back" by Big Bill Lister (that one oughta take you back a ways) Leona Williams does an outstanding job on "Yes Ma'am" and the late great writer singer son of Ernest Tubb, Justin with "What's Wrong With The Way We're Doing It Now". And there is plenty more and all equally as good as these are and all are "Real" Country from artist you have heard and know from over the years.
This one also you can order straight from the horse's stable, Tracy has offered to sell them to us at a distributors price but since all the money for this project is going to a great cause and he has spent many hours of his time and efforts into this project, we believe all the money that we could make should also go into his dream of a Country Music Museum in Brady, Texas.
The CD's are 14.95 and the cassettes are 9.95 and you can get either one or both by writing to Tracy Pitcox- Heart Of Texas Country-1308 South Bridge-Brady, Texas 76825 or again if you care to call for faster service or to find out more about the project, you can call Tracy direct at 915-597-2119.
Words of Claude Gray -"Tracy Pitcox is a fine young man, doing everything he can do to preserve and promote traditional Country Music". Tracy Pitcox is also a Country Music DJ on KNEL Radio in Brady and of course plays traditional Country Music
If you haven't got a copy yet of Joe Paul Nichols CD or cassette with his great song on it of "Jesus Is The Same In California" then you oughta' be doin' that, the name of the album is "Swing Me A Song" it's got some good stuff on it but that ones a killer. You can write Joe Paul Nichols at Rt 1-Box 224-A-Jacksboro, Texas 76458 or again if you want to holler the number is 940-567-2779
I don't have the old remedy book here in front of me tonight, I sure get a kick out of that thing. But I did find a great sign the other day while digging through old records and stuff at a thrift shop run by a couple of very nice little old ladies..Now while reading this, think to yourself, if any medicine could really do all this, why in the world would you ever need a doctor, and also what in the heck are some of these diseases ?
This is the way the sign reads with a picture of the container it comes in, or came in I should say, if it was still out there and did all this, I'd get a truck load to sell on eBay.
It is called "GREEN MOUNTAIN VEGETABLE OINTMENT" it says "IS A POSITIVE REMEDY FOR EVERYTHING" no other ointment of equal mildness exists for subduing pain:
Unequalled for:RHEUMATISM --GOUT--SHINGLES-ERYSIPELAS-MILK LEG SORES-CUT WOUNDS-BRUISES-FACE AGUE-SWELLED BREAST-INFLAMMATION OF THE EYES AND BOWELS-SORE NIPPLES- BRONCHITIS-SORE THROATS-QUINSY-CROUP-PILES-FELONS-RING WORM-BURNS-SCROFULOUS AND BILIOUS CHOLIC.
This must have been some great stuff it was on the market about this time one hundred and twenty years ago, the advertisement reads "October the 20th. 1879"
To walk into any Doctor's office today just to see what was wrong with you, let alone fixin' it would cost you probably about a hundred bucks, then if he treated you only the good Lord knows how much it would then cost you, of course "All" Doctors say (no matter what you went in for) make an appointment with my girl at the front desk, I'll want to see you again in two weeks.
Next time I make it back to Kentucky, which will be in a couple of weeks, we gonna' take a look under Grandpa's house, maybe he stocked up on this fine ointment, it was fifty cents a jar. Come to think of it 50 cents was not that easy to come by in 1879
Election time will be here soon and for the most part politics don't interest me one way or the other but it is my duty to vote, so I do. Clinton may have people working, which is great, but he made a big mistake when he started and did close several Military bases in America, if anyone for a second thinks Korea is still not a bomb ready to explode, then think again. I was there and I know of no humans on this earth that thinks less of life then they do, my brother spent his time in Vietnam and between us we proudly gave twenty nine years of our life for our Country, and both of us would do it again.
The point is, we need a president that if he has the guts to smoke grass, he oughta have the guts to inhale it, and if he is our commander in chief he better have the guts to get some loaded guns ready before they do and after they are loaded he better know how to fire that thing, it really would be the end if a President said, "I loaded the guns, but I didn't fire um".
One other thing while we are at it, what could be so scary about a UFO that no President wants to talk about it, and have put down all the honest people in Roswell, New Mexico that said they saw things that the government said they didn't.
And where are all the POW's that are un- accounted for ?
Three generations of officers and one a POW for five years, I think we should take a look at John McCain, Senator from Arizona, Jay Leno said he was the next President of the United States, I hope he is right.
Here is something that we are not sure is true or not because we have not read or even looked at more than a handful of "Wall Street Journals" in our life, but we have been told that this past weeks edition of the Wall Street Journal's front page carried the first feature article on a Country Music Singer and that being Chester Smith with quotes from Freddie Hart, Dell Reeves, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard > Now the fact that The Wall Street Journal is a money paper and Chester's Univision stock alone is worth some 45 million dollars, so, maybe having a few bucks didn't hurt getting a story on the front page of a "world" circulated news paper.
Like we said way back up the page, Chester still has the voice and the presents and the charm to do it all over again and the best part of it is, he is having a heck of a lot of fun doing it.
If you are a radio station and will play this new Gospel album when it is all finished, drop us an email, a letter, call us or send a fax and we will make sure you get a brand new copy hot off the press, if you are just a lover of good gospel music and would like to buy a copy, do the same as above and we'll get right back to you with how much, also, we are sure, Mr. Smith would be happy to sign a picture for you and if you would like a copy of the write up that was done by Rick Wartzman in the "W.S.J" on Chester, we will send you a copy of that also.
When we get to Amarillo next week we are going to stop by and visit for a few with our old friend Terry Stafford's parents, Terry is buried there in his home town, some of his great songs you may remember, like, "Hey Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" and "Suspicion" and most of all one he had a hit with and wrote but has turned out to be George Strait's signature song, one called "Amarillo By Morning"
Claude Gray is all finished with his new album, the cassette's are finished and the CD's are being cut and he said yesterday that he was "Really" happy with this one, it has some of his great classics on it and we'll give you all the titles next time when our copies arrive. If you are a radio station and want a copy, write us, call or something and we will get one out to you.
We hope there is a lot of mail from you when we get back from the south, oops, one more thing, Freddie Hart is working on a new recording contract, if all goes well with that, Freddie will have a brand new album that we can tell you about, one that is long over due from one of the master song writers of all time.
We will see you next time, but just in case we don't, take care of your self.
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