Posts from the ‘Nashville News’ Category


They didn’t call him “The Voice” for nothin’…Vern Gosdin was the geunine article.  After years of health problems, mostly related to strokes, Vern died here in Nashville yesterday.

The last time I saw Vern was about a year ago when CLC and I had lunch at the Cracker Barrel by Opryland.  Apparently, Vern was a daily customer and was on a first name basis with all the staff.  (Remember, Chris? One-by-one just about ALL the waitresses came by to see him?) 

Vern had a couple of different careers in music, first making his mark in the Bluegrass world in the 60’s with The Golden State Boys, which included his late brother, Rex, Don Parmley and  Chris Hillman.  They later changed the hillmenbands’ name to The Hillmen.  Vern was right in the middle of the country/rock movement of the late 60’s on the West Coast and even had one of his songs in the movie “Easy Rider.”

After giving up a music career and moving to Atlanta, Vern resurfaced and lordy, I’m glad he gave music another go.  Some of my very favorite country music recordings are Vern’s…his version of “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” is my favorite rendition of that tune…Curtis Young’s perfect harmony on it is just superb…


Vern’s Gospel album, in my mind, is way up there with the best of the best. The Gentleman Formerly Known As My Husband had the priviledge of contributing harmony vocals on this album. I can’t speak for him but I would wager he is quite proud of that.  Vern’s version of “Jesus Hold My Hand” is my most absolute favorite recording of that Albert E. Brumley classic…

Vern’s classic, written with the late Max D. Barnes, Chiseled In Stone, I think, is up there with He Stopped Loving Her Today with the best of the best of country songs…embodies everything that makes a country song a great country song…very visual and real; so much so you just want to cry when you hear it…

Charlie Walker

Back in the early 70’s. the Collie’s went to visit the Charlie Walker’s at their home in Hendersonville.  My sister and I were little girls and we were standing at the top of the stairs, fighting over a doll when suddenly, Sandra sailed down the big ol’ staircase, rendering her unconscious momentarily.  (I think.)

Every SINGLE time I saw Charlie Walker for the rest of his life, be it at the Opry or the last time I saw him a year ago Easter at the Springhouse at the Brunch (Charlie was a big golfer) he would ask me “Now, were you the one that fell down my stairs?”  Heh. Nope. Still wasn’t me, Cholly.

Charlie’s passing today in Hendersonville is quite a bittersweet one.  (Here she goes…her Dad and Charlie) Yep…Dad and Charlie went all the way back to their very beginnings in radio in San Antonio, Texas.  In fact, most of my family in San Antonio knew Charlie and some of his older children (the man was fruitful and multiplied, folks.  To the tune of 10 kids, ranging in age now from upper 50’s to young adult. One of his girls was a professional basketball player and I believe, was, and may still be, a commentator for the WNBA).  Charlie and Biff were born the same week, actually, and now that Charlie’s gone, there’s only one or two of his contemporaries left, meaning the guys that started in radio around about the same time and were good, good buddies til Dad died in 1992.   T. Tommy’s gone…Joe Allison, Tom Perryman is still alive and kicking and on the air in Tyler, Texas. 

Charlie was a radio man, but, he was the voice behind one of my favorite hardcore, country records ever…this one right here. I wonder how many times in my life I saw Charlie Walker go on the Opry stage and sing this Harlan Howard gem? More times than I can count.

Don Helms

The last of Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys and my fellow Hendersonvillian and nice man, Don Helms died today.

Sheltered Safe

I’m a big fan of songwriters and poets. Dottie Rambo was one of the very best, ever…any form of music. To me, her ability to put paper to pen and illustrate a thought was equal to the Gershwins, Bacharachs, Harlan Howards, any prolific composer you can name…Dottie Rambo’s name should be included in any list of great songwriters.

Aside from that, Dottie, along with her ex-husband, Buck and her daughter, Reba made up one of my very favorite trios…ever.  As a matter of fact, just this very day, on the Ipod, I was listening to the Rambos sing about being “sheltered in the arms of God.”  I never get tired of that one or of “He Looked Beyond My Fault”, “If That Isn’t Love”, “When I Lift Up My Head”, “The Holy Hills”, “One More Valley”, “In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul”….I could list a ton more.  Great stuff.  Look ’em up on Itunes…you will be amazed and dazzled.

I can’t tell you how personally, for me, lyrics like “Let the storms rage high, the dark clouds rise, they won’t worry me, for I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God…He walks with me and none of earth shall harm me…for I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God” have given my weary heart rest and reminder that I’m not doing this thing called Life by myself.

Or lyrics like “Too many sunsets lie behind the mountains, too many rivers my feet have walked through…too many treasures are waiting over yonder…there’s too much to gain to lose” have given me a little extry oomph to keep pluggin…God has been good to use stuff like words mixed together in rhyme to pump me up more than just about anything. Music is a powerful tool.

I find it ironic that Dottie, who had battled a ridiculous amount of trials in her time, especially in the last couple of decades…serious back issues, a divorce from Buck, being near death no telling how many times, that she met her end in a bus wreck, on a way to a gig in Texas…at 74 years old! 

The Gentleman Formerly Known As My Boss, the fabulous David, was good enough to send this pitcher along of he and Miz Dottie.  What a treasure.  Look at Dave….aw…makes me miss the ol’ boy.  Hadn’t seen him in awhile.


So Long, Eddy…

I had the neat priviledge and honor to be able to say that Eddy Arnold was my buddy.  I got to know him when I worked at Huff’s in Brentwood. He and Dad were friends for many years, but, Eddy was my pal separately.  I treasure the chats I had with him.  I treasure a wonderful letter I received from him one time.  I treasure the wedding gift I receieved from he and Sally. I’m a lucky girl to have made his aquaintance.

Eddy Arnold was probably the financially wealthiest person I’ve ever known personally, yet, you wouldn’t have known it.  He had such a kind, generous spirit about him.  When I think of Eddy Arnold, I think of the word “warmth.”  There was no phoniness about him though…I asked him one time if he would ever go do the Opry and he looked at me and said “I don’t care nothing about that.” HA.

Another good pal o’mine, Ronnie Pugh, has written a lovely tribute to the Tennessee Plowboy here.

I can’t get You Tube to load into my page, dangit but go see Eddy do his thing here.  

Love ya, Eddy.



Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus

I’m sorta mad that I missed the Earthquake.  What aggravates the pee-waddlin’ outta me is the fact I missed it by about 30 minutes. 

Your Sista doesn’t sleep well, as a rule, and I had woke up about 2 and was awake til about 4 or so.  I miss all the good stuff.  Dangit.

The Holy Tara, on the otherhand, did not miss the EQ.  She felt it, thinking it was the Psycho Cats on her bed.  (She’s kinda like me about the cats).  The Boys and me…we’re bummed. 

What was funny to me was having my cousin in Southern California ask ME if I felt the earthquake.  I don’t know why, but, that struck me as funny.

The more I think about it though…had I felt it, I’da probably gotten scared that Jesus was on His way back.  Not scared…I’m not scared of Him showing up, but, I’m sure that would’ve been my first thought.  Like the first (and only) time I’ve ever seen the Aurora Borealis.  I can tell you exactly when that was. (Warning…Rainman alert)

April 14, 1981.  Now, I did not remember that date.  I looked it up.  I remember that was a Sunday night and we were at Gee and Geega’s house.  I remember exactly when it was cause it was the day the very first Space Shuttle went up.  We were on the first Spring Break we’d had in years cause we used to get snow back in the olden days around here. 

Linda Gossett came over from across the street and said “Come out here and look”…it was nighttime and the sky was pink-like.  I thought fo sho Jesus was about to come down to Derby Lane.  Here He comes.  I can remember that feeling of massive butterflies in my stomach, thinking Jesus was about to burst through the pink part of the sky.  He didn’t though.

For months and months after that, I was sure everytime I saw light reflected on the night sky that Jesus was a’comin.  Shut up…the Bible says to watch for Him.  I was just doing what the Bible says. 

Then, I got scared to death the next year when I saw this book at a friends house…”88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Occur By 1988.”   Well…dadgumit…I would miss graduating from high school (which I did anyway) and I’d never get married, have kids.   I prayed and prayed Jesus would just hang on.  That song “Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus” rang through my head (with Carl Smith singing it, of course). 

Between you and me though…at that point, as the song says, my concern was not about getting a few more loved ones in, but, I wanted to grow up and drive and do fun stuff.  I didn’t know enough about sex or nothing at that point (and certainly that that was not a big deal) so it wasn’t that.  Just wait a little, Lord Jesus.

Now, I’ve grown up, I’ve learned a lot more about things of a Jesus nature and matured and I can say right ‘chere and now, I don’t worry about stuff like that no more. 

I used to get all freaked out (even after I married) if I passed that man and woman on the tv that have that show that’s about nothing but that…can’t think of their names now….yankees….I would get all scared.  No more.  He can come on back whenever He pleases. 

I came to notice that the TBN people would start picking dates and stuff just about the time they were having a telethon to raise money.  Funny how that is.

Putting The Hall In Hall Of Fame

It is SO about time somebody on the Hall of Fame committee decided that maybe it was time to get their head out of their hind end and put Pop Stoneman in the Country Music Hall of Fame.  I mean, the man only made some of the first country recordings ever.  Plus, he fathered something like 23 children. (One of which is Roni! Whoo!) Pop was a stud.

For real, I’m glad that Pop’s finally going in.

The Statler Brothers…oh my gosh, yes indeed.

Does this mean that Lester “Roadhog” Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys also have secured their spot in the HOF? For real…will it be Lew Dewitt, Jimmy Fortune or both?

Tom T. Hall? Oh heavens….they don’t call him “The Storyteller” for nothing. Tom T. should be considered Country Music’s official Poet Laureate. Just read some of his lyrics.

And what more can be said about Emmy? She made me love and appreciate old Country Music.