Posts tagged ‘Nashville’

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.

Big Doin’s For The Smiffs

This past Thursday night, I had the wonderful opportunity attend the Source Foundation Awards at the Musicians Hall of Fame. This year was the 6th annual presentation to women who have been a vital source in the success of Music Row and the Nashville Entertainment Industry. 

This year, Source honored Rose Drake,( who I used to wait on years ago at Huff’s Foodtown in Brentwood,) who is the widow of steel guitar god Pete Drake and an amazing businesswoman, who was the brains behind Pete’s record label, publishing, and continues to this day, 20 years after his death doing what she does so well.  I think they said Rose’s first music biz job was taking requests on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Midnite Jamboree and her compensation was one album a month. 

Helen Farmer was the Director of Special Projects at the CMA for many years.  I hadn’t seen Helen since Fan Fair of 1991, when I was pregnant with the first kid.  Helen and my Dad were close friends and I was pretty tickled to see her and to see her recognized for her contribution.

Reba Hancock was honored posthumously for being the rock behind her brother, Johnny Cash’s business.  Her daughter Kelly was there to accept her Mom’s award.

Another honoree that was quite interesting was Lucy Coldsnow Smith.  Lucy spent 10 years as Marty Robbins’ assistant before moving to Hollywood, becoming a very succesful dialogue editor.  I couldn’t believe I was sitting across from an Academy Award winner.  We are talking BIG TIME. Go look at that link to see the movies she’s worked on. 

Virginia Team was honored for her trailblazing art direction.  Gosh, I’ve seen her name on so many albums.  I used to just study liner notes like crazy, so much so, I recognized the names of the people who have worked for her for many years. 

Oh yeah…there was another distinguished honoree…a certain Mutha In Law of mine
The whole evening was so fun (even Marshall Chapman leaned over to me during the thing and said “I had no idea this would be THIS fun!” heh) and the vibe in the room (although it was hotter than hades) was just sparkly. 

It got even MORE interesting when Jeannie Seeley began to tell about Hazel’s early days in Caswell County, NC and how she moved to Nashville in 1970 (with a 10 year old Mr. Smiff in tow),her days at Hillbilly Central, the days when she worked for Dr. Hook, Ricky Skaggs, the years she wrote for Country Music Magazine and the zillions of other things she’s done…it’s really quite impressive, all the things Hazel has done.   Not bad for a Tobacco Farmer’s daughter.

We were all proud and happy for Hazel through the whole shindig, and we all almost wet our britches when Jeannie announced there was somebody special there to present her her award. Surprised sho nuff we were when His Garthness strolled into the room.   He had some wonderful things to say about Hazel and how much she means to him.  Pretty dang sweet.

After the program was over, there was the obligatory photo ops.

You can see more pichurs over there > at the Flickr.

As we were taking this photo here of my older children (#2 was really unimpressed with the whole thing cause he had his Gameboy with him. Someday, he’s gonna kick himself for that) I told Garth that I had a picture of him holding Baby Tyler at the Opry. He looked at Tyler, who is as tall as he is and probably weighs the same and said “I don’t think we’ll try to duplicate that pose.”

Really…a wonderful night.

Good In ‘Da ‘Hood

I love old church buildings.  I love this one on Gallatin Rd.

I haven’t seen one of these little fellers close up in years.

Don Helms

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

They Come In Threes, Fours, and Fives

I am not much on politics, however, I love me some Tim Russert and HATE to hear that he died this morning of a heart attack. Dadgum.

Danny Davis, leader of the Nashville Brass died yesterday in Nashville.  One of my favorite records as a kid…was Danny Davis and the NB doing “Running Bear.”  Shut up. I loved that. 

Another thing that kills me and makes me shake my head is when people refer to the Music Row types as “Good Ol’ Boys” when most of them are Yankees….Danny Davis (he was an A & R man, too ya know) was from Boston.

Gordon Lightfoot has also gone to that great Sundown in the Sky.  Loved him. I’ve always thought this was a cool song.   ***I have been corrected that Gordon is still amongst the living.  Heh heh.  Sorry Gordon.  Not trying to kill you here. 

And this one….loooove this song…

 
Also, Sam Bush’s dad, Charlie, who was a regular fixture backstage at the Grand Ole Opry as far as I can remember passed away yesterday.  Sam is STILL gonna be playing at Bonnaroo today and somewhere in Georgia tomorrow.  Amazing.

 

 

 

All This Weddin’s And Nonsense…..(What movie is that quoted from?)

I went to the purtiest weddin’ today.   The Groom (in the middle) I’ve been knowing since he was a wee little boy.  He’s all growed up and is somebody’s husband now.  Yikes.  I say growed up but he’s barely a legal adult.  At any rate, it was a lovely event down by Old Hickory Lake.

I do think that this is the first outside Hitchin’ I’ve been to. 

The Bride and Groom have known each other since 5th grade.  They started dating their Junior year in High School.  He was the first guy she ever kissed. (Alls I could think of when Leonard said that was, “Sheesh, good thing I didn’t marry the first feller I kissed. I’d be warshing horse troughs today. Ick. But this ain’t about me, now is it?)

I told the HT she arta get married at Rock Castle. (Look how blue her eyes are, y’all!  That’s not contacts either) She was wondering out loud if she already knows whoever her future husband is.  Whoever that feller is, his future Mother In Law is praying for him.  Heh.  No, really.

And they had chocolate at the reception!

And perhaps one of the finer buffets I’ve ever had priviledge to partake in at a Hitchin’.  Good stuff.

The Fawtha of the Groom seemed pretty pumped to be getting his baby boy married off and out the house.  Nah…I’m just playing. He looked smashing in his new suit.

Even though he looks it, that is no rock star there with your Sista….that’s the famous Leonard, aka “The Crossville Flash.”  Heh.  He used to be my pastor for a lotta years.  I hadn’t seen him in awhile and it was good to see him do the honors of the Hitchin’. 

Outside Hitchin’s are nice.  (More pictures on the Flicka over yonder )

Viva Viagra

A couple months back, Mr. S. got called in, with his bandmates, to audition for a Viagra commercial.  Yep…Viva Viagra.  From what I understand, every Bluegrass picker in town was there to audition.  I don’t know how many in all came to audition, but, out of all those that showed up, only one real Bluegrass Dude was chosen. (It was not the Mister…dammit.)

Please go here to see the new Viagra commercial and see if you recognize anybody.

mt-dumdadink.jpg

I think it’s pretty dang swell that Uncle Bobo will make him some nice change on this commercial.  What I DON’T get is why on earth they had to bring in actors to be Bluegrass people.  I’m sorry, but, Bluegrass music’s got some charming dudes who probably would be able to sell some blue pills.   I’d have loved to see any of the Bluegrass guys on that commercial.  Lord knows Bluegrass pickers enjoy the benefits of the stuff…I could name several who could be poster boys for Viagra, but, I won’t cause this is a Christian blog and we don’t gossip here.  Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

**Update-I lied…there are a couple real musicians on there I just didn’t know them.  Kenny Kosek on fiddle and Eric Weissberg, (he was part of that famous “Dueling Banjos” from Deliverance, ya know…I know of Weissberg, but, obviously wouldn’t know him if I ran into him down at the Kmarts.

Come and Listen In To The Radio Station…

I didn’t realize that the Intimate Evening With Stubby and the Grascals will be broadcast live on WSM and on XM radio.  Thanks to my pals at the Bluegrass Blog for that little tidbit. I’ll be listening.

Happy Birthday WSM (a little late)

img_1734.jpgI’ve sorta become a collector of photos of the WSM Tower.  I’ve written before about how much and why I love pictures of that tower. I’m crazy about it.

A few weeks back, Mr. Smiff and some of Them were guests on WSM Radio the day they were celebrating the 82nd birthday of the historic radio station.  Because Mr. Smiff is getting elderly or because he needs to borrow some of my medicine, he did not mention to me until he was literally on his way to do this interview, that the interview was on the grounds of the WSM tower, a stones throw from my childhood home.  Had he not won Entertainer of the Year the night before, I mighta got a little testy with him.  I’ve never been on the actual grounds of where the tower sits. 

Anyway, my new pal Emy Jo Bellenfant-Bilbrey (Mrs. Keith) said I could show you some pictures she took from that event that day. I’ll show the pictures while I sulk at the same img_1735.jpgtime.  Even #2 got to go.  He was way more impressed with riding in Jamie’s red convertible than anything else.

I LOVE this picture of George Hamilton IV.  One of these days, I want a picture of me img_1747.jpglike this. 

Oh…Emy Jo is a Williamson County native and has a super cool antique store.  She’s having an Open House this weekend.  Go read about it here.

There To Greet Me Is My Mama and Papa….

opry0705porterwagoner.jpg I look at this picture I took in the summer of 2005 and all I hear in my head is…”Hon’…you have to turn the thing on to take a picture.”  (Hence, the laughter from the Grascals.)

Grand Ole Opry Sorta Stuff

I hear that  Porter Wagoner, is in the hospital.  I don’t know why or what, but, say a porterwagoner.jpgprayer for the Wagonmaster, would ya?

I meant to mention last week, the passing of Brent Burkett, who was part of The Fabulous Four Guys that were featured on the Opry for many years.  These guys, I think were the only act to ever become members of the Opry without the benefit of a record deal/hit record.  It’s a shame they never had a major record deal because I watched them perform many times from the side of the Opry stage from the time I was about #2’s age on up til I was grown…those guys ALWAYS lit up the crowd and got them guysmembers2_2_ssss-313x275.jpggoing.  Always.  They were great singers and entertainers, always dressed impeccably…I never saw them not wake up a sleeping Opry audience.  (I’ve seen many sleeping Opry audiences, too.) Interesting trivia about Brent is that he hailed from the same hometown as Dean Martin…Steubenville, OH. I don’t remember ever knowing that little tidbit.

And somebody else I want to mention, who died a couple days ago is Clarence “Tater” Tate.  Tater was extremely well known and revered in the Bluegrass world.  He was a tatertate.jpgmember of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys as a fiddler and a bass player.  He worked with all kinds of people through the years and even played on Patty Loveless’ most wonderful Mountain Soul album.   One artist he worked for was Wilma Lee Cooper.  He worked with a teenaged Mr. Smiff in those days.  Mr. Smiff has a hilarious imitation of Tater.  He will be missed.

Thing about Tater and Brent though…one of the things I remember about both these guys is I never saw either of them without a cigarette, except when they were onstage.  I can remember as a kid, all the way up til I had my own kids,  seeing Brent at the side of the Opry stage, looking at the show schedule, in his fancy suits and he seemed huge to me when I was a kid, but always had that cigarette between his fingers.  I believe both men died of lung cancer. 

Not In Nashville, TN

Mr. Smiff and them played a show Downtown night before last for a bunch of talent buyers.  It was an important show cause these people look for acts to book at fairs and stuff.  Not your usual, yee haw, kinda Grascal crowd. 

I was not thrilled when Mr. S. said he had to go do this show cause he had just gotten back in early that morning (Monday) after being gone since the previous Wednesday night.  I’m sure I was really sweet about the whole thing since he said it “wouldn’t take long.”  I’ve heard that before.  I’m so jaded by show bidness, ya know.

As I sorta expected, Mr. Smiff’s thing took way longer for him to get home.  Not cause the show went over but cause some brilliant, motorcycle riders had parked their bikes in front of the bus, blocking them in their spot on Broadway.  (They played at the place that used to be where the NASCAR cafe was).  He called a few times, telling of the inconvenience and each time I spoke to him, he was using more and more colorful language to describe said Motorcyclists.  They ended up taking a cab home (of course, the bus followed right behind them once they decided to take the cab route).

Something else really crazy happened while they were blocked on Lower Broad.  They saw a guy die of a heart attack.  This guy (I believe he was a program director from West Virginia) collapsed inside the club (still can’t remember the name of it…Cadillac is in the title).  Mr. Smiff saw a waitress come outside, very excited, saying something about pounding the chest.  Because he is a dirty old man, he assumed somebody in the club must’ve grabbed her bosom. 

Instead, this gentleman inside grabbed his own chest and it was nearly 20 minutes before the paramedics arrived.  The waitress called 911 and was PUT ON HOLD.  I don’t know if a quicker arrival by the paramedics would’ve saved this guys’  life (he was not an older guy, probably in his 30’s or 40’s according to Mr. S) or not but, I’m still befuddled as to why they were put on hold by 911 in the first place and why it took an ambulance nearly 20 minutes to get to one of the main drags of the city?  I can’t understand that, for the life of me.  Mayor Dean?  Somebody? This should not happen in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, or anyplace that has an adequate number of emergency personnel.  

I can’t help but think of that gentleman and wonder if he had a wife and kids at home.  One of those situations that makes me realize the fact that I can’t get anybody to take the trash out at home or help with the laundry…is not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme.