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Date News Posted: November 9, 1997

Little Richie Johnson spent a lifetime promoting many artists over the years out of his place of business in Belen, New Mexico: Richie was also a supporter of Faron Young and his music and did much to promote Faron over the years and he will be missed by all those he helped. Little Richie Johnson passed away at 3 am. November the 2nd. 1997. Check out the up-coming issue of Country Western Variety out of Nashville for more on Little Richie.

Most every large town across America has got a street named after someone that was born there and went on to make his or her mark in music or otherwise. No one that we know of ever made a dent in anything being like the person next door, Whether it be Will Rogers, Patsy Montana, Martin Luther King Jr. or even the first man that had guts enough to take that first trip to a big bright ball in the sky called the moon.

So what this is all about IS, not whether you were a fan of any of those above or a fan of the man below, what it is about though is a part of Country Music History that can never be erased, and a person that lived his own life, and as he said in song "Wore his own kind of hat", MERLE HAGGARD.

The citizens and fans of Merle Haggard, would like to request a letter of support to honor someone who has dedicated his life to Country Music and has influenced many new artists along the way. After receiving many requests to name the new incoming AMTRAK "TRAIN" Terminal after Merle Haggard because of his love for the trains, we think it would be a great Honor to name the new station "the MERLE HAGGARD AMTRAK STATION".

The committee has also received hundreds of phone calls asking to rename North Chester Avenue that runs from Bakersfield to Oildale, "MERLE HAGGARD BLVD." This too, is to honor Merle who was born in Bakersfield, California and has mentioned that fact all over the world and right up to his appearances at the White House. Any consideration you can give to this effort will be much appreciated, you can write your own letter in your own words, or you can print out and sign this one and make any other notes you would like on the bottom, or, if it would be easier, you can just email us and that too will be put in the hands of the project coordinator Rose Waters who will continue with this effort to get the job done.

For mail, fax or email, here are the addresses:

Bill Woods>2200 Fremont Street> Bakersfield, Ca. 93304

Don Bradley> Box 2144> Winnetka, Ca. 91396 Fax> 805-522-6058

EMAIL> Click on icon below

A Fine Newsletter Publication is written and published by Jay Taylor, the name of his Publication is "Country Music Trails Less Traveled". Jay has been putting this publication out now for several years and just does a fine job of keeping up with yesterday's greats, not only the country stars that you hear little of now days but the cowboys that have been all but forgotten.

Jay's news is a professionally put together publication and I am sure Jay would be happy to send you a sample copy if you would write him at> Country Music Trails, Jay Taylor, P.O.Box 143, Marshville, NC 28103-0143.

ALSO > If you have a new release, any good stories, any items of interest on any of yesterday's greats, send Jay a copy and if he has the room he will sure be happy to use your material.

Coming up in the next issue of "C.M.T.L.T." will be an article on Mr. Easy Lovin' "FREDDIE HART".

Jim Gough, "Mr. Texas" has got some great cassette albums that you can order straight from the horses mouth, or in this case, straight from Jim Gough Enterprises > P.O. Box 767 > Needville, Texas 77461. (ten bucks each)

Cassette (1) from Jim is, "All Time Western Swing Hits" w/ Waltz Across Texas-Home In San Antone-Miles And Miles Of Texas, and plenty more great Texas type music from the Texan, Jim Gough............Cassette (2) is "The Best Of Today In Texas" w/ Timeless stories from the colorful history of the Lone Star State............Cassette (3) "Spur Jingles And Saddle Songs" is Jim's interpretation of his Granddad's cowboy poems written while trailing herds in the Texas Panhandle to Abilene and Fort Dodge in the late 1800's.

Books on tape is becoming a very big thing in these days in time where folks seem to have little time to sit down and read or much of anything else for that matter, and if you are on the road, radio stations fade in and then fade out before you can even figure out the call letters of the station you are listing to, SO, Books on tape are great, you can plow the field, mow the grass, eat a bowl of road kill chili, or sky dive from a plane (not recommended for those past 92) and never miss a word of a good book that you would not otherwise have the time to read, and this is to say nothing of all the miles that will be behind you on the road while listening to a good story > Ralph Compton, a top writer of western tales and stories, has written many of these great Tales of the old west and Jim Gough is narrating these for world wide distribution. So if you are interested, when you write Jim about one of his other albums you might want to ask him the titles and where you can get some of these great Westerns on tape.

We have mentioned Howard Vokes from Pennsylvania before and we are going to do it again, If you have spent the time and money and care enough about your C.D. being heard, Then you ought to send Howard a copy and see what he does. Let me tell ye this first, anyone that tells you they can guarantee that any radio station will play your record is pulling your WOOFER, and if they tell you they are going to make you a star, is more than likely pulling not only your Woofer but your TWEETER.

Other than a few and I mean a few, country radio stations in America will not play an unknown artist record. I watched an interview that ole Waylon did on PBS or one of them stations not long ago, and Waylon said that he had taken his bus or traveled across the states and I think he said from Tennessee to California, anyway, he never heard any radio station anywhere playing one of his records. Now other than his music, I never met Waylon, but my first guess would be he's got more money than the average bear, he can afford any producer he wants and record in any studio he wants and use any pickers he wants including his old pal Willie Nelson and the radio stations in the U.S. are still not playing it.

So, if some promoter from Timbuktu comes along and tells you for X amount of thousands of dollars he can get these radio stations to play your record (CD or what ever you want to call it) then I think you should go out and buy the George Strait album of "Ocean Front Property" lock yourself in a room and play it 'till Hell freezes over, because there ain't no Ocean front property in Arizona.

As I mentioned the other day, overseas stations (If It's Good) will more than likely play your record, you may never hear it, but just about every D.J. in any country that we have sent music to, we get a response from, some of them (if you ask) will send you a cassette back of their show and if they liked and played your music, then it could be on that tape.

This is 1997 and a brand new world where Country Music is concerned, you don't have to like it, (I DON'T). We have been promoting Country music since the days I could stuff about all the records I could stuff in a record mailer for pocket change, but not anymore...and neither could Howard Vokes, but what he does do is this, he will promote two or three at the same time, sending them to radio stations overseas that he knows will play them, stations that he knows that if they like them will take the time to write him or you back and tell you so, he will also send them any bio material he has on you and a picture if you send them to him.

Chances are you don't live in a cave and can at least pick up your home town radio station, When was the last time you heard an unknown artist on your local station ? By getting your music to some of these stations overseas, at least if they play it and you have a chart or a letter to prove it or better yet a tape of their show and your music is included, then you have at least started to build up some credits and it's good for your ego and I reckon we all got one of them.

More people, and not only young ones have lost their rear ends because grandma said "Why honey, you're the best singer I ever done heard, why I'd sell my house and give you the money so you could record that". They not only lost Grandma's money but everyone else's they could get their hands on.

In Vegas a few weeks ago at a Country Music show I heard some super talent all in one big auditorium, multiply that by thousands of other young great singers around the country and you will come up with, well, you set the figure, a million ? more ? . Spend $5.00, go to a news stand buy the top music publication in America, turn the pages 'till you find what they call the top fifty Country Artist and songs. Then ask yourself why there are only fifty when you know there are thousands of great singers out there maybe even including you.

The point to all this is > If you don't know what you are doing, know who you're doing it with.

By now you're probably thinking to yourself, this guy must be getting a heck of a kick back from Howard Vokes, but the truth is Howard will never see this unless we spend 32 cents to send it to him. This is what we suggest, If you have already recorded something and want some advice or would like it to be sent where it will do YOU the most good and someone to answer your letters when you write, then do this, drop Howard a note, letter, whatever send him a copy of what you've got, something about you and a picture, tell him what you would like to do and ask him what he could do for you.

If Howard Vokes don't do what he says he'll do, go back to PA. and let the air out of his tires, and no, he don't live in a post office box, write him another letter and wait 'till he picks up his mail again, then, let the air out of his tires.

Here is his address >>> Howard Vokes, P.O. Box 12-New Kensington, PA 15068

Over the years we have had a lot of folks call us and ask, what year so and so died or what year was so and so born, we have been working on a new page for our site that we hope to have finished shortly, (come to think of it, we'll never be able to finish this page, unless people quit die'n) we are going through every old publication we can find to put this together. Now you could help us out a lot, we know that you know when you were born, and if you know the exact day you are going to die let us know so we will have a first on our news page, if you don't plan on die'n let us know and we'll just leave that hole blank.

You can also order the Eddie Dean collection, Video, C.D, and (or) Cassette album >AND the Bobby Helms collection of Christmas music straight from Branson Gold Records in MO. This C.D. of Christmas Music by Bobby Helms unless you have THIS C.D. is like none you have heard before. This is the second from last album ever recorded by BOBBY HELMS, it has his famous "JINGLE BELL ROCK" on it and "ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE" along with ten other Great Christmas songs that Bobby went into a studio and re-recorded for this project for reasons we can not mention here. But we can assure you this, THIS is a real collectors item from one of the most respected Country singers that has ever lived or ever will live.

These first pressing editions will not and can not last forever, so if you ARE a collector we would suggest you buy two copies, one to play and one to leave sealed, because believe it, they will be a priceless collectors item in a very few years.

The Eddie Dean collection is also something very rare and this to will be a REAL collectors item before you know it. EDDIE as we have mentioned before is one of the last of the singing cowboys from the great Silver Screen and just turned 90 years old this past July, 1997 > Eddie Dean was one of the finest singers to ever have sung a note, if you buy it and you don't think so or you don't like it or you buy the video and don't enjoy it "SEND IT BACK" and we'll send your money back period.

If we would of had the time when we released this Eddie Dean collection to collect endorsements, we would have had to include more pages than can go into the booklet of a C.D. and we are not talking about endorsements from the guy that trims our trees we are talking about from people the whole world either knows or should know if they know music.

Our address you already have if you are reading this and the address of Branson Gold Records is > 1601 S.E. 7th. Street Terrace, Lee's Summit, Mo. 64063.

Our old friend Ancel Cook had a nice part on Angela Lansbury's "Murder She Wrote" movie of the week "SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST" on CBS this past Sunday- in case you don't know who Ancel is (which is hard to believe) he was the guy sitting in the little cafe when Miss. Lansbury came in looking for her friend, he is the guy the waitress accused of having seen Elvis in the restroom.

If I was a guy as rich as a famous computer tycoon we all know, I would buy a network T.V. station and only show Angela Lansbury movies and "Murder she Wrote", even though Cabot Cove is a beautiful place in her series, it was amazing how many people died there, at least one a week, but Miss Lansbury made sure in her series they died without all the blood and gore that writers today seem to think they have to have to make people watch.

Think about this, wouldn't it have been great if this could have come to past that in her series she could have used now and then folks like Jimmy Stewart and Bob Mitchum and well, you know who I mean, couldn't you just hear Jimmy Stewart trying tell Miss Lansbury who he thought and committed the murder, or even Peter Falk, it would take him two weeks to get out of town if he was the one accused, think about this one, Jimmy Stewart and Peter Falk in the same movie, now if that wouldn't drive a director bonkers.

In an interview Miss Lansbury did for the T.V. Book, she said "Families and teenagers have watched "Murder She Wrote" and I believe they will come back"...she was talking about her new T.V. Movie South by Southwest. >>>>> I don't think they went anywhere myself, and anyone that doesn't like an Angela Lansbury movie should be deported.

Well, I done plugged everything but a watermelon tonight, and I would do some more pluggin' but we gotta' milk the cows and slop the hogs and put a Band-Aid on the roosters wing, with out a doubt, that's the dumbest chicken I ever seed.

Suzi Cantu said I was crazy, she's probably right but it keeps me from going insane.

See you the next time


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