Thursday, November 15, 2018

Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark Passes Away at 85

K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.

Country Music Hall of Fame legend Roy Clark died today (11/15) of pneumonia at his home in Tulsa.

Born in Virginia and raised in various areas because of his father's work in Navy shipyards, Roy Clark developed a love of music at an early age. He took up the guitar when he was just 14, and the next year he was winning national championships in banjo and guitar competitions.

In 1955, before major success for either man, Clark was a regular on a regional country music program hosted by Jimmy Dean. Although popular, Dean canned Clark because Roy kept showing up late for rehearsals. When Dean fired Clark he told him, "Roy, you're the most talented person I've ever fired."

In the early 60s Clark's star took off. He had his first top ten hit with a cover of Bill Anderson's classic "The Tips of My Fingers" in 1963. He also found an acting job as "Cousin Roy Hasley" on The Beverly Hillbillies (he would also play Myrtle Hasley, Cousin Roy's mom).

Then along came 1969 and a CBS "summer replacement" country music/variety show called Hee Haw. Clark, who had just released his third single on Dot Records, was tapped to co-host the program with honky tonk great Buck Owens. Both the program and Clark's single -- "Yesterday, When I Was Young" -- became major hits. (Ironically, the co-writer and original performer of "Yesterday, When I Was Young," Charles Aznavour, died October 1.)

Clark began building bigger mantles for his awards: two-time CMA "Entertainer of the Year" (with a third "Entertainer of the Year" award from the ACM), gold records, number one hits (his biggest chart success was 1973's "Come Live With Me"), and a Grammy for his rendition of "Alabama Jubilee."

Clark was one of those rare performers who was well-known to people outside of the country music world thanks to his years on Hee Haw. Additionally, music fans of all genres knew him for his marvelous guitar work (his first album was titled The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark) and prowess on other instruments, including banjo (which he frequently played on Hee Haw, including on the "Pickin' and Grinnin'" joke session with Buck Owens) and fiddle.

As with most performers in their 80s, Clark was out of the limelight, but the awards kept coming. His adopted hometown of Tulsa named an elementary school after him, and in 2009 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Survivors include Clark's wife of 61 years, Barbara, three children, and a legion of fans.

In 1995, fulfilling a request of baseball legend and fellow Oklahoman Mickey Mantle, Clark sang his major crossover hit at Mantle's funeral. How it's time for us to sing those words in memory of a true legendary performer in every sense of the word:

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung

I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue

Roy Clark was 85.

Monday, November 12, 2018

That Nashville Sound Monday Newsbytes: New Music Videos & Albums On The Way From Cody Johnson, Adam Wakefield & More

There's lots of news that popped up over the weekend and we've got several new music videos and new forthcoming projects to give you the low-down on...

- Kelsea Ballerini released a new music video for her song "Miss Me More."

- Jared Ashley released a powerful new music video on a song called "Cherrybend."  Cherrybend” is inspired by Operation Cherrybend, an annual event held in Wilmington, Ohio that strives to thank our nation’s wounded veterans and to spread awareness about veterans’ issues.

- Grammy winning artists Keb Mo and Rosanne Cash have teamed up on a new music video titled "Put A Woman In Charge."

- The Voice runner-up Sundance Head has a new music video for his song "Leave Her Wild."

- Ty Herndon has a new music video for a Marc Cohn "dance" cover of "Walking In Memphis."

- A very intriguing guest list has me excited about a forthcoming new album, North Country.  It's coming from Irish Americana artist Danny Burns, who just signed to Bonfire Recording Co. North Country drops Jan 18. Seriously, check out this amazing guest list: Tift Merritt, Holly Williams, Mindy Smith, Cara Dillon, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tim O'Brien, Dan Tyminski, Critter Fuqua of Old Crow Medicine Show.

- Average Joes Entertainment recording artist and Season 10 runner-up on the The Voice, Adam Wakefield will release his debut, 12-track, full-length album Gods & Ghosts on November 30, 2018. “I picked twelve of my best songs, called up three of my favorite musicians, and recorded the album I have been waiting my whole life for,” said Wakefield. “This is the first time I’ve had complete freedom to record the songs I wanted, in whatever way I wanted. The process was scary, but so rewarding. There’s a long list of people that have supported this record and put their faith in me to produce something extraordinary, and I truly believe we did the songs justice. This record represents the truest version of me.”

- Alligator Records has set a January 11, 2019 release date for Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, the new album from Grammy-winning band The Kentucky Headhunters. The band -- guitarist/vocalist Richard Young, his brother drummer Fred Young, guitarist Greg Martin and bassist/vocalist Doug Phelps --- had never before been to Europe in their 30-plus year career.

- Cody Johnson released the cover art and track listing for his upcoming 1/18/19 release of "Ain't Nothin' To It." This will be Johnson's first collaboration with Warner Nashville although he's been granted full creative control.

Track listing:
Ain’t Nothin To It
Understand Why
Long Haired Country Boy (feat. The Rockin’ CJB)
Nothin’ on You
Honky Tonk Mood
Monday Morning Merle
Ya’ll People
Where Cowboys Are King
On My Way to You
Doubt Me Now
Dear Rodeo
Husbands and Wives (Bonus Live Track)
His Name Is Jesus ( Bonus Live Track)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Up & Coming New Nashville - Liv Waters

That Nashville Sound gets dozens of new artists send us new material and it never ceases to amaze the amount of talent and creativity that lies within those aspiring singer/songwriters. It's doubly hard then to cut through that talent and create a name for yourself independently. Liv Waters has done just that with a powerful new song she'll be releasing shortly.

Waters has a new single releasing December 7th that comes with a mission: "I want to make a change with this song. It's called "When The Young Die" and it is about all of these senseless acts of violence out of pure hate and it's in the eyes of a victim. All proceeds of this song will go to helping all those effected in hate crimes, more specifically the Thousand Oaks tragedy that happened this past week in our backyards in California. I want to spread love, healing, and happiness with this single and I hope that you can help me do so."

Liv Waters is from a small town in upstate New York called Lagrangeville. When Liv was younger and her friends dreamed about boys and white picket fences, Liv dreamed of bright lights and music behind each corner. Liv began learning piano at age 5, followed by flute and clarinet at age 7, and guitar at age 12. She followed her father, a drummer in a local cover band, to gigs and soon enough, Liv was playing her own.

Music is my life--the only thing with me through the high school drama, the highs and lows of life, fights with friends, breakups, loss, the very best and the very worst days of my life. I haven't had anything make me feel quite like I do while I am making music. An indescribable comfort and passion that I wouldn't trade for the world."

Liv began writing songs at the early age of 8 years old with the musical influences of Country Artists Martina McBride, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, and later, Taylor Swift and Kelsea Ballerini. "I thought it was normal," Liv says, "singing was just like talking to me like it is now, I thought everyone wrote poems and songs like they do sentences." She continues "It wasn't until I sang to my Piano teacher at age 11 a song I wrote about a friend of mine always being sad that I realized that I was different, God had given me a talent that not everyone possessed."

In her career, Liv has had the opportunity to perform on world famous stages including Carnegie Hall in New York City and The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and she also was a 2015 finalist in The Texaco Country Music Showdown. Liv is known for her large social media presence with over 32k followers on various social media accounts including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She has her music digitally released on websites including but not limited to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music.

Now, Liv plays anywhere between 2-5 gigs a week ranging from local bar and brewery gigs, to county fairs and opening acts, to performance venues. She says “I write music because when I was younger I would hear strangers singing about things that I could relate to, almost like they wrote them for me to get me through. Wide Open Spaces by The Dixie Chicks specifically stood out to me because I loved my family, but I was just so ready to leave and run into my own life and music career in Nashville.” Liv concludes, “I want to make people feel love, heartbreak, and life in my music, and I want to make a difference in hearts around the world.”

Saturday, November 10, 2018

That Nashville Sound Saturday Newsbytes: New Trisha Album, New Music Videos & A PGA Tour Caddie Makes Album

We've got a handful of news items to share this Saturday morning including some new music videos, a couple of upcoming album announcements and a link to a brand new album from a prominent PGA Tour caddie.

- Trisha Yearwood will release an album of Frank Sinatra covers through William Sonoma on December 20th- the project will get a more universal launch in February of 2018. “I’ve been wanting to make this record for 20 years!” Yearwood, 54, tells PEOPLE. “I have always loved standards, and nobody sings them better than Sinatra. I’m honored to get the chance to pay tribute to him and the songwriters in these timeless classics.”

- Darryl Worley has a new yet-to-be-titled album coming out in February of 2019. He is now on Acceleration Music Group, a new secondary radio label project started this month. Other artists on Acceleration include Ty Herndon and Michelle Wright.

- Ashley McBryde has a new acoustic music video for her song "Home Sweet Highway."

- Rodney Atkins has a new music video for "Caught Up In The Country."

- Jerrod Niemann has a new music video for "Old Glory."

- Longtime PGA Tour caddie and Sacramento-native John Wood has released a new album entitled Record 66. Having been on the bag for golf stars like Kevin Sutherland, Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar, Wood is recognized as one of the finest caddies out on tour- and time between tournaments has had him perfecting his musical craft as well. Says Wood, "Been writing songs for a while now and finally sat down and got to work and made halfway decent recordings of them, so it's almost kinda sorta a whole album. You can listen to it on soundcloud. If you like overly wordy, sad, and slightly off key singing, then this Is your jam. Best I can say is it's not horrible for a caddie."  You can listen to the project HERE.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

New Music Video From The Song Suffragettes' Emma White - "Ten Year Town"

If you frequent this blog/website even somewhat infrequently, you've probably seen us feature the Song Suffragettes. It's a group of female-only singer-songwriters that do a showcase every Monday night at the Listening Room at 6pm in Nashville. Their talent is undeniable. But every so often, a performance video is posted to their YouTube channel that absolutely stops me in my tracks. This week was one of those times.

Emma White is an artist with an all-together too-familiar story in Nashville. A Nashville transplant by way of Baltimore, White seemed destined for country music after being named after Emmylou Harris. And this talented singer/songwriter has been chasing her musical muse through Nashville looking for that one major cut or break. This track she performed last week at The Listening Room is one for the ages. Chasing one's musical dreams is a passion that is done for the love of music and for every one artist or songwriter that succeeds, there are dozens others that are equally as talented (or more so) that never make it over the hump. This track "Ten Year Town" is one of those songs that details the trials and tribulations of chasing the dream inside Music City. It's one of our favorite songs of the year and I implore you to take a minute and listen to it. It's powerful stuff.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Country Music Obits: Freddie Hart Passes Away at 91

 K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.

The great Freddie Hart has died.

Hart, with a career that went back to the 1950s, died Saturday (10/27) of pneumonia in Burbank, California.

Born Frederick Segrest in 1926, Hart lied about his age and joined the Marines at the age of 14. He saw action in Guam and Iwo Jima during World War II. While in the Marines he also played in NCO clubs to entertain his fellow troops.

Lefty Frizzell is credited with discovering Hart, using the singer/songwriter as an opening act for three years. Despite songwriting success (one of his biggest hits as a songwriter is "Loose Talk," recorded as hits by both Carl Smith and Buck Owens & Rose Maddox) Hart's career as a singer took a long while to get off the ground. He was a regular on the West Coast program Town Hall Party and had some top 30 charted hits (such as "The Key's in the Mailbox"), but nothing to keep him on one label for any extended period of time.

One of my favorite stories in country music lore is Freddie Hart's dismissal from Capitol Records. He recorded a song for them as a single to fulfill his contract, after which the label dropped him. After all, he was in his mid-40s and had never had a hit reach higher than #17 on the country charts (1959's "Chain Gang," no relation to the Sam Cooke song by the same name), so why would Capitol keep him?

The "last" single Hart recorded for Capitol was "Easy Loving." They re-signed him in a big hurry.

"Easy Loving" was a #1 smash in country as well as a top 20 pop song. It also made history: it was the first song to be awarded the CMA "Song of the Year" award two years in a row. (That's only happened two other times, with "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "Always On My Mind.")

Additionally, "Easy Loving" was the first of five consecutive #1 hits for Hart. The others included "My Hang-Up Is You," Bless Your Heart," and "Trip to Heaven." In 2004 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Hart's talents weren't limited to music. He was a black belt in karate and an instructor for the Los Angeles Police Department in self-defense in the late 50s. After his success he founded a school for blind children, a trucking company, and his own publishing company.

Hart continued to perform until the end, appearing in shows earlier this year. His legacy is a long list of songs that will be forever sung by country music fans, including that beautiful award-winning "Easy Loving," no doubt inspired by his wife, who survives him after 61 years of marriage:

Easy loving
Seeing's believing
Life with you's like living
In a beautiful dream

Freddie Hart was 91.