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Date News Posted: December 31, 1998

WE remember it like it was yesterday, it was a balmy morning, the warm air drifting over the horizon, the oxen were starting to stir around in the pen, hankerin’ to get the day started, and me? I was in no hurry, kickin’ back on the roof over looking the villa, drinking a cup of warrior mud and listenin’ to Arnold Baldpepper, the greatest country music singer of the times, the year was 1498 +++WHEN SUDDENLY a news flash came over the make believe radio sitting there beside me:: "Someone has just stolen the Silver Raven from the front gate of Arnold Baldpepper’s country hideaway" and I found myself saying to myself, "Self, how could this happen, someone doing such a thing to one of the worlds greatest singers"?

Well, time passed and the thief realizing he couldn’t sell it because everyone knew who it belong to, had no other choice but to keep it, so he stuck it up in the straw loft in his barn, but late one night the Silver Raven, sick and tired of being locked away started to move, first his head very slowly moved up, then a wing moved, then the flutter of feathers and then a deep breath of air, the Silver Raven was alive.

The Raven and only the Raven knew who had taken him from his mounted place at his master’s front gate, a place where in his silent way, he would greet the welcome visitors, he could stare down from his perch and see the smiling faces of little children that hoped someday to meet their idol, he could look down and see all the honest, good, upstanding agents and record company executives that would stop by from time to time pretending to want to sign the singer to a deal of a lifetime, but the Silver Raven knew who was lying.

So one night, upset because he couldn’t sell the Raven he had stolen, he just lay there tossing and turning, the thief heard a noise, "What’s that" he said aloud to himself as the noise got louder and louder, then all of a sudden the wind blew the curtains back and sitting on the window seal was a bird the size of a moose, "but NO, this can’t be he screamed" the big bird had the head of Little Jimmy Dickens, "and birds can’t play guitars" he shouted so loud he woke his cat, "and besides Little Jim ain’t been born yet" But, to late, Jimmy Dickens moose bird had already started singing, "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose, May an Elephant Caress You With His Toes".

The front door to the thief’s shack was shattered like a hurricane had hit it and standing in the dust was a three ton elephant, too scared to move he lay frozen as the elephant moved closer and the last feather from the giant bird disappeared up the thief’s nose.

Checking the calendar I see it’s the last day of 1998 and there was just a thump on the front porch and the coffee is almost hot, so we might as well check out the news and drink a cup, "What’s this"!! "THIEVES TAKE SINGER’S GOLD PLATED EAGLE" Oh No!! it’s happening all over again, I thought to myself, some one has taken Arnold Baldpepper’s bird again, but looking down the page farther I see this ain’t Baldpepper’s bird, this time it’s George Jones’ Gold Eagle. Goosebumps are starting to creep up my arms as we think of the fate of this no good robber, my mind can’t help but wander back to that day when it took 14 surgeons to remove that giant moose bird from the nose of the thief of Baldpepper’s Silver Raven.

And we thought, you know George Jones has given this world so many great songs that we could laugh with, love with, and cry with and through all his good times and bad times and going through hell and high water with his own life, he never gave up doing what he loved most, singing.

The record companies have shafted every classic country music artist including George Jones living today, the radio stations have sold out to foreigners and computers and what few live D.J’s that are still left, they think it’s cool too  play ten in a row, never once even mention who’s singing them (not that I care) I don’t listen to what they are playing now days anyway because with thousands of records, tapes and now, CD’s of George’s and all the others, we don’t need the radio.

People think it’s also cool that some of these foreign countries are putting out box sets on some of our great classic country artist, why don’t those people that think it’s so cool, ask those artists if they are getting paid for that box of albums, bootleg records are as common as mom’s apple pie and I don’t see anyone doing one thing about it, it might be true that some of those great old artists may be dead now, but his wife or kids aren’t, and they deserve that money that their father or mother worked so hard for.

So the point is, that some idiot that thought it was cool to steal something from the gatepost of George and Miss Nancy’s house, You have to live with it, your friends don’t think it was cool, other wise they would have done it themselves, the only thing that makes them as big an idiot as you is, that they don’t turn you in.

One way or the other, the Bird Of Paradise will fly up your nose unless you make it right and send George back his bird.

Now, I’m-a-gonna tell you something that few people know, when and if, you get to heaven and you are waiting in line to get past that last guard dressed in angel wings, and ready to meet the maker and your finally there and you look up, you are gonna find you are looking into the face of Tex Ritter and he’s gonna beat the crap out of ye, he don’t want nobody up there in the company of Patsy and Hank and Hawkshaw or Gentleman Jim, that stole George Jones’ bird.

Now for something on the lighter side to close out the year, a little town back in the midwest has come up with something new, actually we reckon it was first built in 1869 but folks are just now discovering it and that’s a two story outhouse , they also say that car loads of people stop by to take a picture of it. Now we love them pictures of old barns and grown up fields and swayback horses let out to pasture, and it’s nice to blow um up and frame um on the wall, but an outhouse ?

Come to think of it, that would probably make a pretty nice picture.

Maybe we told you this story before but it’s a pretty good story so we’ll tell it again, a friend of my brothers came up from the hills and asked  my brother if he could stay with him 'till he found a job. my Brother said he would be welcome but he didn’t have a spare bedroom, his friend said "I could stay in that little building out there in back" my brother said "why, that’s the outhouse" the old boy said, "That’s o.k. it’s just for a little while" two days later there was an antenna on the roof, a week after that there was two antennas on the roof, my brother stopped by to ask him why he needed two antennas, he said "I didn’t think you would mind, I rented a friend the basement"

A Judge back in Colorado found himself a new way to sentence people that violated the noise ordinance in that city, he is ordering them to listen to an hour of Gene Autry, Hank Jr., Barry Manilow or Ludwig Van Beethoven, in other words, who ever they didn’t like, that’s who he would nail them with, how long do you think it will take those harden criminals to figure that one out ?? If we ever got in there I would jump up and throw myself on the floor and scream, "No, No, PLEASE NO !!! not Merle Haggard.

Johnny Paycheck is in the hospital in Kentucky or Tennessee fighting some sort of an infection says his friend and manager Marty Martel, and so that neither Johnny or the hospital staff is plagued with calls we ask if you would like to send a card, which would be very much appreciated, that you send it to Marty and he will make sure Johnny gets it, here is where to send it * Johnny Paycheck % Marty Martel, Midnight Special Productions Inc. P.O.Box 916, Nashville, TN 37077 Thank You>

Thanks also to those have already started sending in donations and things for Eddie Dean’s Star in the "Palm Springs Walk Of Fame" the fund raiser, to complete the funds needed, will be February 6th. 1999 at the world Famous "Iverson Movie Ranch" in Chatsworth, California.  Every one is invited so if you would like an invitation with directions, just drop us a note or email and it will be sent.

The rules of getting a star on the walk are, that it be a joint effort, the star can not be bought by one or any individual group, it has to be done this way.

Before we leave for the final time this year, if the person or persons that took George Jones’ Gold Plated Eagle would just wrap it up, take it to the bus station, lock it in a locker and send George the key, you could start off the New Year right.

To all our friends, one more time we’ll say, we’ll see ye next time, but just in case we don’t, take care of yourself.

Don Bradley

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