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News Posted: November 6,
Remembering some of the greats from yester-year, some are gone, some are not, some are doing better then ever, but all of them left a mark that all the new people to walk the road in the future could not live up to.
No, they did not make all the money that today's artist pull in, they didn't have six vans of equipment getting to a job two days before they arrived, but they did leave songs that are still remembered and played today, in fact, most of them sooner or later get around to being on late night T.V. on a commercial that is most times called the greatest hits of all time, now I wonder why that is ?, could it be because it is true?, They were and still are the greatest hits of all time, otherwise it would be hard to believe some one is that stupid to spend thousands of dollars for such a commercial that was trying to sell records that no one ever heard of.
I wonder how many of the new songs will have the staying power that "Release Me" has had, written in the front seat of a car on the way home from a bar gig one night. A song with an idea so simple that one of the guys said, "Why do we have to go through all the bull s_ _ _ of a divorce, paying lawyers that don't give a d _ _ one way or the other but yet they get most of the money we should be giving the kids, why couldn't we just sign a paper to release us from each other ?
After this song had been recorded by country artist after country artist, Engelbert Humperdinck recorded it and here it is 35-40 years later it is still apart of his show, it is still being sold on record racks probably all over the world. And little did a couple old country boys, that probably never had five hundred dollars in their pocket at one time know, that after all this time an auditorium packed full of people would still be tearing down the house with applaud over a song they had written on the back of an envelope with the title to the old car they were driving inside of it.
Well anyway, I reckon what it was written on don't mean much, you read every now and then about a song that went on to become a monster that was written on the back of something or another, we wrote a smash once on the side of a box car, fell asleep and when we woke up it was gone, that's what happens when you write on the side of them forgotten trains.
Meanwhile back at the ranch the phone was ringing , the phone will always ring when your naked and in the shower, you can wait for a call 'till the buffalo roam but no ringin' will you hear, BUT your answer machine will fill up to the limit the minute you ain't there..Some people don't like them things (answering machines) can't say that we especially luv um, but unless you want to glue your self to the phone, or glue the phone to you or pay some one to get the message wrong for ye', well, that's about the only choice you got left,Anyhow..
When good ole Freddie Hart and I got back from a little bitty airport, one of the greats of the good old days had called and it won't take you long to start remembering all the hits this guy has had, and we are talking about Claude Gray, and it was funny that only a couple of weeks ago Bill Woods from Bakersfield had called and was talking about Claude Gray and said he had called Claude after he had first played his new record of "Family Bible" and told him, "You have sure got yourself a hit with that one". Ole' Bill was right, Claude Gray did have a hit with that one and the next one and the next one and then he got up to my favorite, (not that we didn't like the rest of um) but "How Fast Them Trucks Can Go" just grabbed me by the cucumber, we played that sucker so many times one night that the owner of the station said he was going to fire me if we played it again, I told him the phones was just ringin' off the hook, they were but I wasn't answerin' um.
Claude was born and reared on a farm in Rusk County, Texas and served his time with Uncle Sam in the U.S. Navy >> In the early days he worked the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport and the "Big D" in Dallas, in 1959 he was offered a job at WDAL radio in Meridian, Mississippi which was to become one of the first all Country music stations in the U.S. and it wasn't long before Claude became the number one disc jockey until he left the station in 1961.
Anyhow, Claude is sending us a new package real soon and we will do some up-datin' for you and see what he has been up to this past few years and see what we can do about getting some of his recordings back where we can hear them again, so hang in there.
In case you are wondering what a little bitty airport is, a friend of ours builds them model airplanes about five or six foot wide and fly's them beside a lake on a little bitty airport, sometimes when the plane poops out over the lake, they stand out there and yell, ticking off a fisherman that is trying to get some snooze in his boat and talk him into fetchin' the downed plane, of course they usually buy him lunch other wise the next time the plane hits the water the only thing they would probably hear is "gurgle-gurgle-gurgle" and a few hundred dollar investment would soon be the home of a tadpole.
Anybody know where Mitchell Torok is ?
Ever go through some of your old magazines you have been hanging on to for a hundred years, maybe got them stuck up in the attic someplace or down in the basement, if you have one, anyway when you turn over to the page where there is a subscription blank printed on it you read something like this >> ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO " COUNTRY SO & SO" **six dollars, subscribe for two years and you get six pictures of Johnny Cash, four pictures of Minnie Pearl, a signed picture of Hank Snow and a watch with Carl Smith's picture on it all for eleven ninety eight, that's just $ 11.98 folks, if you are not 100% happy keep the pictures and the Carl Smith watch, write "Cancel" on the last issue you have received and send it back for a full refund.
It was one of them old magazines where we was reading about a Bill Monroe tent show, admission was a quarter and kids was free, it has been a while since we was to one of them shows but I'll bet you it's way up past a half dollar to get in there now.
Found this great old book put together by the "Hinton Bradbury Agency" up in Bakersfield, can't find a date on it but it is probably in the late 50's or early 60's but anyway a nice book and full of pictures of some of the Bakersfield gang and featuring the story of "Cousin Herb Henson" the book sold for a dollar. For those who lived in California during those great years when Country Music was everywhere that old book is worth about a million dollars worth of memories>>>>let us read you some of the names in there, of course Cousin Herb Henson, Mr. Jim Reeves, Tim Spencer (Room Full Of Roses), Cliff Crofford (one of the outstanding country song writers of all times, including Old Rivers and on and on and has three or four songs in the latest Robert Redford movie) Dallas Frazier (who knows how many songs he went on to write) Billy Mize (one of the top singers and showmen and TV host of those great days) Bill Woods (with out a doubt the number one promoter of the Bakersfield sound of the time, and still is) Johnny Bond,Tex Williams, Little Jimmie Dickens, Joe and Rose Lee Maphis, Fabor Robison, Cliffie Stone, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, Tommy Collins, Tex Ritter, Jimmy Wakely, Del Wood,Ferlin Huskey, Jean Shephard, Johnnie and Jack and then at the end, parts of three pages called "Cousin Herb's Life Story" well, we doubt if they could get all of Cousin Herb's life story on a couple of pages, but it was a lot of good memories and readin' for a buck.
Ran across some great old pictures of Lefty Frizzell, my old partner used to send a picture taker guy around where Lefty and Freddie and about everybody else was doing shows for him and have him take pictures while they were working and Steve would keep what he wanted and make publicity pictures out of them and toss the rest in a file box Now we ain't a sayin' that Lefty drank but in some of them no user pictures, Lefty's eyes didn't line up, there is one thing we do know for pure sure truth, no human in this world ever said the two words "Always Late" like Lefty Frizzell did.
Speaking of Lefty, if you removed the influence of his voice out of the voice of some very famous singers that followed him, you would sure have a lot of blank spots on the records where they felt like throwin' in a little Lefty, come to think of it, some of them through in a lot of Lefty.
March-April-May & June 1954 Vol. 1 No 1 "Official Jenks Tex Carman Fan Club, the president of the club was Doris Holcomb in New York, the VP was Jean Klipper in Michigan a reporter Boots Fay in Nashville and of course the main President was Jenks himself who at the time listed his address as Pasadena, California probably because that's where the radio station KXLA was.
At the time this first fan club journal was printed for Tex these were the Capitol records that were listed for Jenks "Tex" Carman >>> Samoa Stomp > Locust Hill Rag > My Lonely Heart and I > Don't Feel Sorry For Me > Caissons Go Rolling Along, Since there are only five songs listed these could have all been the "A" sides and the "B" sides were not listed or they are the "A" & "B" sides and one of them didn't have a back, anyway so many of the early artist that went on to record in later years for small or local labels, for the most part those old extra albums that they never sold just laid in a closet or back room some where and as the studio got re-sold over the years eventually just got thrown away or given to Goodwill as a write off for ten cents apiece.
Some of those old albums that were still new, still sealed and never played would be worth a lot today to a collector, we get request now and then for an old album, sometimes they don't even care if the record is in the cover, they just want to frame it, best part about them old albums was reading the back covers.
Jenks "Tex" Carman was born in Hardinsburg, Kentucky and latched on to the handle "The Dixie Cowboy" and even though we have know several members of Compton's "Town Hall Party" show, very few people know anything about Tex even though they all worked with him. But one thing is for sure, when Tex Carman walked out on that stage you knew he was there, Jay Leno would have had a ball impersonating Tex had his time been in 1998.
Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins was born in Huntington, West Virginia on December the 22nd. 1921 > he was 6ft.4" and 3/4 inches tall and weighed 185 pounds, publicity read "The "Hawk" Of The West Virginia Hills". According to Hawks early publicity he wrote many of his early recordings including his first release which was called "The Way I Love You" and in 1954 was one of the top recording artist for the "King" record label.
Many of the early artist, even though they did record and went on tours, they still worked for a radio station as a Disc Jockey, Hawk started at WSAZ in Huntington, W.Va. and would later move on to a few others after a stint in Army in 1943, sometime in the early 50's he recorded a song that was probably more bluegrass then Country but never the less it was hard to turn on a Country station that you didn't hear "don't forget me little darlin' when I'm growin' old and gray>>>On the "Sunny Side of the Mountain" where the rippling' waters flow.
Driving through Denver one night and listening to a "Country" station the D.J. said here is a brand new one for you, we just received it today, "Here is Hawkshaw Hawkins and Lonesome 7-7203", I did a "U" turn and went lookin' for a record store.
Plane crashes and auto accidents eliminated many of the artist that were at the top of the ladder in those days but thanks to some wire, some tape, some wax and some people that knew what they were doing, their music still lives on and with these new things they call a computer, it looks like it always will.
Before we close the squeaky' door tonight, we need to mention one more time the CD we were telling you about last time with 21 songs on it from Brady, Texas. Tracy Pitcox who you can find most time at KNEL and at 95.3 on your FM dial would really be happy to hear from you and more than that sell you one of these CD's, we gave you a little run down as to who was on it last time, so we'll just tell ye' this, it is good Country.
We sure want to say thanks to all those we received mail from this week >> France, Denmark, Austria and Sweden, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, New York and all over California.
Ancel Cook was working extremely hard when he called us while right in the middle of a "Yellow Pages" commercial he was taking a little snooze, that is one of the reasons he is so valuable to the movie companies, he talks in his sleep and we sure want to thank him for loaning us that twenty thousand dollars and for getting Don Hinson that great part in the new Bo Derek flick.
That's about going to do it for this week so we'll see you next time. But just in case we don't, Take care of yourself.
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