By Bill Morrison for the Rockabilly Hall of Fame ©2006


All 12 Months - 340K Packed Full of Country Music History - Click Here

"November 2006"
Volume 39
Bill Morrison ©2006

"Quote of the Month"
"It was Elvis who, without knowing it, made me a motorcycling fan. I saw a cycle outside Sun Records studio - somebody told me it belonged to Elvis Presley. I finally managed to get to take a cycle ride with the fellow who bought that machine from Elvis and that was the start of it.." - Roy Orbison in his book "Only The Lonely"

November Highlights

Roy Acuff visited his friend Minnie Pearl, as she was recovering from a stroke on November 1, 1992. The last words he spoke to Minnie as he left the room were "I'll see you In Heaven, Minnie." Mr. Acuff died three weeks later.

Johnny Cash spent the night in jail in Lafayette, Georgia on November 2, 1967. High on amphetamines, John couldn't sleep and was wandering through the peaceful community picking flowers.

Merle Haggard was paroled from San Quentin Prison on November 3, 1960, after serving two years and nine months of a five year sentence. The remaining two years and three months of the sentence were served on parole. The Hag was later issued a pardon from then Govenor of California Ronald Reagan.

Audrey Williams, age 52, former wife of Hank Williams, died in her sleep in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 4, 1975. The next day the Internal Revenue Service was scheduled to seize her home for non-payment of taxes. If there are any conclusions to be made in regard to the timing of her death, I'll let you decide. In Nashville, official records seldom reflect events as they actually occurred, when local celebrities are involved. This also applies to autopsies (if they have been conducted at all).

Johnny Horton, age 35, died in a car wreck near Milano, Texas on November 5, 1960. Horton was hit head-on by a drunk driver, while returning home to Shreveport, after an appearance in Texas.

Elvis Presley and his parents signed a one-year contract with the Louisiana Hayride on November 6, 1954. Elvis would receive $18.00 for every Saturday night, and Bill Black and Scotty Moore, would receive $12.00 each.

Alvin Pleasant Delaney "A.P." Carter, age 68, died in Kingsport, Tennessee, on November 7, 1960. A.P. was the leader of the Carter Family, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with the rest of the group in 1970.

Pop singer Kay Starr turned down an opportunity to record "Walkin' After Midnight" in 1956. The song was then pitched to Patsay Cline, who reluctantly recorded the song for Owen Bradley, at Bradley's Barn on November 8, 1956. The single hit the Billboard country chart on March 2, 1957, and climbed to #2, becoming Patsy Cline's first ever chart hit. The single remained on the chart for 19 weeks.

Roy Acuff became the first "living" member, Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on November 9, 1962. The award was accepted by Mildred (Mrs. Roy) Acuff, and their son Roy Acuff Jr. "The King of Country Music" was not in attendance, due to the fact that he and Smokey Mountain Boys were entertaining American troops overseas.

David "Stringbean" Akeman and wife Estelle were murdered in a robbery at their rural home near Nashville, on November 10, 1973. The two robbers were waiting for them, as they returned home from an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Both killers were aprehended at a later date, and sentenced to life in prison. One of the dirt bags has since died in prison.

The Allman Brothers bass player Berry Oakley died after crashing his motorcycle into a bus on November 11, 1972. The accident occurred one year after Duane Allman died after being involved in a motorcycle crash, three blocks from where Oakley lost his life.

The Internal Revenue Service took everything Willie Nelson owned to satisfy a multi-million dollar tax bill on November 12, 1990. At a later date the IRS auctioned off everything they had confiscated. Most of the items that were sold at the auction were returned to Willie by the fans that purchased them.

November 13th:  Sonny Fisher was born in Tyler, Texas, in 1931. Ray Wylie Hubbard was born in Soper, Oklahoma in 1946. Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. died in a car wreck in Mississippi in 1973. Hee Haw cast member Alvin "Junior" Samples, age 57, died in 1983. Bill Doggett, age 80, died in 1996. Cecil Blackwood, age 66, of the " Blackwood Brothers," died in Memphis in 2000.

Time Magazine coined the phrase "Nashville Sound," in an article on November 14, 1960.

Billboard magazine honored Patsy Cline with their "Most Promising Country & Western Female Artist" award on November 15, 1957.

John Daniel "J. D." Sumner, age 73, member of The Blackwood Brothers, and later The Stamps Quartet, died of a heart attack on November 16, 1998. J.D. and Elvis met when Elvis was a child, and J.D. would let Elvis attend the Blackwood Brothers concerts for free because he had no money. As a member of the Stamps, J.D. worked hundreds of shows for Elvis.

Eva Overstake, age 33, a.k.a. Mrs. Red Foley, took her own life on November 17, 1951, after learning her husband was having an affair with Sally Sweet. Red Foley married Sally Sweet, a short time later.

Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Myra were divorced on November 18, 1970.

November 19th: Elvis performed on a remote broadcast on KWKH's "Louisiana Hayride" from a High School in Gladewater, Texas, in 1955. Carl Perkins recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" at Sun Studios in Memphis, in 1955. Chuck Berry was released from prison in 1979 after completing his incarceration for tax evasion.

Joe Walsh of the "Eagles," was born in Wichita, Kansas, on November 20, 1947.

Welcome to the new "Music City USA." On November 21, 2001, one month after the attacks of 9-11, Country Music Television presented their "Country Freedom Concert." Charlie Daniels was booked on the show, and was going to perform his popular "This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag." The politically correct executives at CMT (which is owned by VH-1) told Charlie that he could not sing that song on the show, because it might offend the Muslim community. Charlie Daniels, an American Patriot, cancelled his appearance on the show. Someone should cancel CMT - they don't have a clue as to what country music sounds like.

Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan were married on November 22. 1986. Whitley died of alcohol poisoning two and a half years later, at the age of 33.

Jerry Lee Lewis was arrested for the second time in 24 hours, on November 23, 1976, when he drove to Graceland and insisted on seeing Elvis. When he was refused permission to come on the property, he pulled a loaded pistol and started to threaten security officers. Police were called and The Killer was arrested. The day before he had been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, after crashing his Rolls Royce into a ditch.

Glen Campbell, age 67, was arrested by Phoenix police for Drunken Driving, Hit and Run, and Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer on November 24, 2003.

Tanya Tucker and her piano player Tony Brown, were drinking in a Nashville bar on November 25, 1976. After a few hours, Tanya left the bar and wrecked the car she was driving, almost killing herself. Tanya's father fired Brown, and a few days later, Tony Brown was Elvis Presley's piano player. Today, Tony Brown is a co-owner of a record label in Nashville, and one of the most successful producers in the history of Music Row.

Hawkshaw Hawkins and Jean Shepard married on stage, in Wichita, Kansas, on November 26, 1960. Hawkshaw died in the 1963 plane crash that took the life of Patsy Cline, and Cowboy Copas.

Guitarist James "Jimmy" Wiedner," was shot and killed in a hold-up in Downtown Nashville on November 27, 1973. Jimmy was Hank Snow's lead guitar player, and my friend. My wife and I spoke with Jimmy about an hour before he was murdered.

November 28, 1925, George D. Hay presented the debut broadcast of  "The WSM Barn Dance," later to be renamed "The Grand Ole Opry." The broadcast originated from the WSM studio. Fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson, was the first artist to perform, the name of the first song he played was "Tennessee Waggoner."

George Harrison singer/guitarist died November 29, 2001, from lung cancer. Harrison was 58. Herbert Khaury a.k.a. Tiny Tim was performing at a women's club in Minneapolis on November 30, 1996. As he began to sing his biggest hit "Tip Toe Through The Tulips" he had a heart attack and died on stage. You might recall that Tiny Tim married his girlfriend Miss Vickie on the Johnny Carson Show - but probably not - I didn't.

Check out "Bill Morrison's Country Music Calendar" at:

Walking Down Memory Lane
with "Bob Luman"

Bill Morrison ©2005
      Bobby Glynn Luman was born in Nacogdoches, Texas on April 15, 1937. After winning a Talent Contest judged by members of the Louisiana Hayride, Bob was invited to make a guest appearance on that show. Later, when Johnny Cash left the Hayride Luman was chosen to replace him even though he was still in his teens.
      Luman signed with Imperial Records in 1957. Bob put together a band in Shreveport with James Burton on guitar, Bruce White on drums, and James Kirkland on bass. The Rockabilly classic "Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache" was born at his first Imperial recording session. In a short time Bob had his own TV show in Shreveport.
      Bob took the band to Hollywood to make the movie "Carnival Rock," and while there, he was offered a spot on the very popular "Town Hall Party" television show. Ricky Nelson heard Bob's band at this time and hired them away from Luman.
      After leaving Imperial, Bob signed with Capitol Records, and later signed on with Warner Brothers. Bob's "Let's Think About Living" became a hit on both pop, and country charts.
      When Bob moved to Nashville in 1964, he joined the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry was never the same after that. Bob was very hard to follow, after bringing the Ryman audience to a frenzy. Many old timers didn't like that at all, and they didn't try to hide it. Bob ruled the Ryman for a few years, and he kept all the seats filled every Saturday night.
      In the fourteen years Bob lived in Nashville, he charted thirty-seven records. "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers" was the best seller.
      We lost Bob Luman in 1978. He was 41 years old. I was Bob's opening act on some very exciting shows, in the late sixties, and early seventies. No one took better care of an audience than Bob Luman - and I sure do miss him. Bob was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2005.

Did You Know?

Drummer Ron Wilson recorded rock and roll's most influential drum solo, "Wipeout" with The Surfaris in 1963. The group split in the late 60's and Wilson died in poverty after suffering a brain aneurysem in May of 1989.

The LP "Johnny Mathis' Greatest Hits" spent 490 weeks on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart. (Over 9 years).

On every session that Johnny Cash recorded at Sun Records, he played the same Martin guitar. It was the same Martin that he used while writing his hit songs of that same period. The Martin belonged to Marshall Grant, who loaned it to John, because Cash couldn't afford to buy a quality guitar.

In 1971, Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas appeared in the film "The Last Movie," and later married her co-star Dennis Hopper. The marriage lasted eight days.

In 1965, while Bob Dylan was recording his "Blonde On Blonde" album for Columbia Records in Nashville, Kris Kristofferson was there too - working as a night janitor.

"When they started filming (Coal Miner's Daughter) in Butcher Holler, Tommy Lee (Jones) rented a Jeep, bought a jug of moonshine, got drunk, and started driving around the back roads of Kentucky like a madman. He got arrest before he even made it to his first day on the set! Worse yet, he resisted arrest and ended up getting beat up the side of the head for it. Universal Studios had to go bail him out so he could get to work." --Loretta Lynn in her book "Still Woman Enough," with Patsi Bale Cox

In 1995, Michael Jackson contacted the British Embassy to enquire about being knighted by the Queen, for his work with children.

Billy Joel was 16 years old when he played piano on the Shangri-La's 1965 hit, "Leader of the Pack."

Charline Arthur was the first woman in country music to wear trousers and western shirts on stage.

Alton Fig, who plays drums on David Letterman's Late Show, performed on the 1980 KISS album, "Unmasked", after original drummer Peter Criss had left the band.

Before he was signed by ABC-Dunhill Records in the early seventies, Jimmy Buffett was turned down by 26 record labels.

Book Of The Month
"I Was There When It Happened-My Life With Johnny Cash"
- Marshall Grant with Chris Zar
Marshall takes the reader from the day he first met Cash, to the grave. He was there when it happened, in the capacity of stand up bass player, friend, road manager, and gofer, and he was the man who held the business together, when Cash was falling apart. You'll learn how, and why, the very unique sound of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two became reality. No one knew more about Johnny Cash than Marshall Grant - if you read this book, then you'll know too. In book stores now. Warning: Before purchasing this book, make sure you really want to know the whole story.

From The Wisdom Desk

There is nothing in history to match the dire ends to which humanity can be led by following a political and social philosophy that consciously and absolutely excludes God.

Well, thanks for dropping by RCNV, it's always good to cyber-see you. Tell your friends about this monthly column, and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame website. I'll guarantee you there's something here they'll like.

Bill's Favorite Music Links:

"October 2006"
Volume 38
Bill Morrison ©2006

"Quote of the Month"
"Here is a man with a story to tell-legendary, an American icon. Merle Haggard. We have been best friends since the early 1960's. I value his friendship more than any earthly thing. One year ago I was lying in the hospital slipping in and out of the coma of death. A man walked quietly into my room, he did not say a word. He walked to my bedside, leaned down, and put his arms around me. I lay there for a while, feeling his arms girpping me as if he was afraid he would have to let go. I slightly opened my eyes and said, 'Is that you, Hag? He just nodded his head. He was only allowed to stay one minute, but that one moment is more precious to me than any time in my life." --Johnny Cash 1999 from Merle Haggard's book "My House of Memories-For The Record." With Tom Carter

October Highlights

Mac Davis, Allen Reynolds, Bill Edd Wheeler, and Randy Goodrum, were Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on 10-1-2000.

Elvis Presley debuted on the Grand Ole Opry on 10-2-1954. Jim Denny, the Opry manager told Elvis after the show, that he should go back to Memphis and resume his truck-driving career. Jim Denny was fired from the Opry two years later.

Marty Haggard, recording artist, son of Merle Haggard, was critically injured in a head-on automobile crash while driving to a performance in Arkansas on 10-3-1988. Marty was thrown through the windshield, and it was four years before he could perform again. Bob Dylan showcased at New York's Carnegie Hall Annex on 10-4-1962. A total of 53 people showed up for the show. One year later he played to a sold out Carnegie Hall.

Dinah Shore's hit single "Ill Walk Alone" went to #1 on the American Singles Chart on 10-5-1944. She was the first female artist in history to do that.

Bill Haley & the Comets had five of the Top 20 songs on the British charts on 10-6-1956. "Rockin' Through The Rye" was the highest rated at #6.

Merle Haggard and Leona Williams married on 10-7-1978.

Anne Murray becomes the first female to win the CMA's Album of the Year award on 10-8-1984.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley were divorced on 10-9-1973.

Joe Poovey, age 57, recording artist/guitarist/deejay/songwriter, died in his sleep 10-10-1998.

Tom Mix died in a car wreck, between Florence and Tucson, Arizona on 10-11-1940.

John Denver, age 53, died when the plane he was flying crashed into the Pacific Ocean, near Monterey, California, on 10-12-1997. Seven months earlier, the Federal Aviation Administration refused to issue a pilot's license to John, because of alcohol related problems. Divers recoverd all of John's body with the exception of the head.

Shirley Bickley age 32, a member of the Orlons was shot and killed on 10-13-1977. Shirley sang on nine of the Orlons top hits.

Buddy Holly age 19, and his friend Bob Montgomery as Buddy & Bob were the opening act for the Bill Haley & the Comets concert in Lubbock, Texas, on 10-14-1955. The following day, the duo opened for Elvis.

Johnny Cash hosted the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, on 10-15-1973. Chet Atkins and Patsy Cline were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Chet, age 49, was the youngest person ever inducted (at that point in time.) Patsy had been dead for ten years before the Testosterone Hall of Fame decided to acknowledge her talent. Cline was the first female solo artist to be inducted. As of 2006 a total of (7) female solo artists have been inducted. The Country Music Hall of Fame is a joke.

The Ralph Stanley Museum was opened in Clintwood, Virginia 10-16-2004.

Beecher Kirby "Bashful Brother Oswald," age 90, died in Madison, Tennessee 10-17- 2002.

Hank Williams married Billie Jean Jones Eshliman, in Minden, Louisians on 10-18-1952. The following day they repeated the wedding in two separate public ceremonies. Some folks say the last two ceremonies were Hank's attempt to spite Audrey. After his death a judge ruled the wedding was not legal, due to the fact that Billie Jean's divorce did not become final until eleven days after she married Hank. Less than three months after the marriage, Hank Williams was dead. A few months later, Billie Jean Jones Eshliman Williams married Johnny Horton, and became Billie Jean Jones Eshliman Williams Horton. (And the beat goes on - )

Tommy Facenda was a backup singer for Gene Vincent. On 10-19-1958, Tommy charted with his own single, which just might be the most unique recording ever released. The song "High School U.S.A.," was issued with twenty-eight different verisions, each mentioned the name of a different school, and all of the schools were located in the largest of America's cities. Doing the math on all twenty-eight releases, the average chart position was #28.

Ronnie Van Zant lead singer of the country rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and other members of the group, died in a plane crash on 10-20-1977, in Mississippi. The group named themselves after a High School gym teacher that they disliked very much - the plane crashed after the pilot accidentally dumped his fuel.

Bill Black died in Memphis as the result of a brain tumor on 10-21-1965. Bill played stand-up bass for Elvis during Presley's SUN years. After Elvis moved on to RCA in Nashville, Bill asked for a raise, and he was fired. Bill formed Bill Black's Combo and recorded hits of his own. Bill Black was 39.

Tommy Edwards was one of the best singers I have ever heard. While I was serving in the Navy back in the 50's, this young pop singer was having hit after hit, the best was certainly "It's All In The Game" but he had seventeen more that weren't too shabby. Tommy died on 10-22-1969, as the result of an aneurysm. He was 47.

Mother Maybelle Carter was an American musical treasure. Maybelle died in Tennessee on 10-23-1978, at the age of 69.

The Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame inducted Roy Clark, Wanda Jackson, and Jim Halsley, on 10-24-2000.

Roger Miller died in California on 10-25-1992, after losing his battle with throat cancer. Roger was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1973, and Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995.

Garth Brooks announced one of his many retirements from music on 10-26-2000. Reporters were not told if Chris Gaines was hanging it up too.

The Grand Ole Opry moved from WSM's Studio C, to Nashville's Hillsboro Theatre, on 10-27-1934. The Hillsboro seated 2,400 people, and for the first time the stars would have dressing rooms. At this time the artists were instructed to wear costumes on the show. The opening night at the Hillsboro Theatre was Vito Pellettiere's debut as the Opry's first stage manager. Mr. Pellettiere's contribution to the success of the Opry over the next forty years cannot be overstated.

Brenda Lee recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" at Owen Bradley's Quonset Hut studio on 10-28-1958. The session musicians were; Buddy Harmon on drums, Grady Martin and Hank Garland on guitar, Floyd Cramer on Piano, Bob Moore on stand-up bass, and Harold Bradley on electric bass.

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers single "Islands in the Stream," went to #1 on 10-29-1983. This was the only platinum-selling single that year in America, in any genre.

Steve Allen introduced many of the best artists of his day on his prime-time TV show, and was an accomplished songwriter with over 5,000 songs to his credit. Steve Allen was killed in a car crash on 10-30-2000, at the age of 78.

Kinky Friedman of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, singer, songwriter, and candidate for Governor of Texas, was born on 10-31-1944 in Chicago, Illinois.

Check out "Bill Morrison's Country Music Calendar" at:

Story From A Friend

The following story was written by a friend of mine. It can be found in his book, "From The Corner of Music Row and Memory Lane."  The First Edition is out of print, but Stan Hitchcock and the publisher, are updating the manuscript for a soon to be released Second Edition, sometime after the first of the year. I'll let you know when it becomes available. Stan Hitchcock has a lot of wonderful stories to tell, and I know you will enjoy his book.

In the early years, when Country was still young and inventing itself so folks like Garth could come along later and make a gajillion bucks filling up Central Park, Loretta was fresh out of Butcher Holler, Waylon was still skinny, Willie wore ties and had short hair, the DJ Convention was still at the Andrew Jackson Hotel, or The Hermitage Hotel, the Opry was still at the Ryman and the skies were not cloudy all day...... touring on the ROAD was a whole different life. Touring artists spent most of their money on the musicians that would make up their particular band.....and there was a darn good reason for this....traveling the Country working with house bands, different local bands at each gig, was just torture.
      I remember one particular tour I made for a promoter in North Carolina....he had booked a series of 7 or 8 small town high school auditoriums and he booked me as the headliner for his show with the understanding that he would furnish the band for the whole tour and that I could come in a day early and rehearse and get the show down real good. Well, I got there a day early all right and the promoter took me to the local high school gym to rehearse with the "alleged" band. This was the mid-sixties and my television show was pretty hot in the area, plus the local stations were all playing my records to promote the show. We got to the gym and I got to meet the band......l rhythm guitar player (who had no rhythm, and very few chords) 1 acoustic (dog house) bass holder, 1 claw hammer banjo player (who hated country music and only wanted to play real bluegrass music) and 1 kid about 13 who owned a snare drum. The leader of the band (the un-rhythm guitar player) stared at me impassively when I asked him if the band had practiced on my songs from the tape I had mailed earlier. He kinda grunted, scratched himself a couple of times, run his finger in his ear to dig at some unknown substance....and said, "Whydoan ya run em fer us?" I starting to wonder what the penalty was in North Carolina for beating promoters to a bloody mess with the business end of a Gibson guitar....but, no, let's try to be professional here, these guys don't look like much but they can probably really play the fire out of these instruments....ok, here's the songs guys....I started singing some of my records and showing the chords on my guitar. Four pair of eyes were staring at me like a tree full of owls, and I noticed that the drummer had took off his shoes and socks and was picking his toes....and not in tempo either! Finally, after I had exhausted myself, singing and playing extra loud to try to get through the solid wall of dumb....the leader of the (alleged) band held up his hand for me to stop, and said the classic pick-up, local band logic......"Chief, yer songs are real purty and all.....but all them chord changes are making the boys in the band nervous.....could you just do a whole show of singing Hank Williams songs? We know pert near all of his'n".
      For the next seven nights of little country town auditoriums....I would work for an hour, singing my records, just me and my guitar, while the boys in the band stood, like statues, in a row right behind me, never playing a lick until, at the end of my show, I would close with a Hank Williams song which they would play with such enthusiasm that it sounded like we had actually planned this Grand Finale. Show Business is a beautiful thing.
      At the end of the tour I went to find the Promoter and get paid for this week of torture and just missed him by about 30 the middle of the Grand Finale...he decided to take the loot and scoot...he headed out the backdoor of the auditorium so fast that the whirlwind of his exit almost woke up the somewhere out there is a Country Music Promoter who still owes me for the worst tour I ever enjoyed.....and a drummer who still picks his toes out of tempo! Country Music didn't come in on the latest music video, or the newest kid wearing a cowboy came in at the sweat, tears and love that existed between the 'billies and the fans. As it should be. -used by permission

You can visit Stan's website at: If you send Stan an email, tell him Bill Morrison said HOWDY!!

RCNV Songwriter's Spotlight
Carl Perkins - 1932-1998
      "One day I was listening to a DJ play Presley's 'Blue Moon of Kentucky' - I turned the radio up and shouted, 'That sounds just like us playing!' At last someone was recording country music with a beat. That's what Rockabilly music, or Rock & Roll was to begin with - a country man's song with a black man's rhythm. I just put a little speed into some of the slow Blue's licks." -Carl Perkins
      Carl was born in rural Tiptonville, Tennessee on April 9, 1932. As a teenager Carl performed in a trio with his brothers Jay, rhythm guitar, and Clayton, bass fiddle. At the age of 13, Carl won a talent contest singing a song he had written called "Movie Magg." This was the song that Sam Phillips based his decision on, to sign Carl to SUN Records in the mid-fifties. When Carl signed with Phillips he joined a staff of artists that included Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison.
      SUN released "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956, and the single became the label's first million seller, and resulted in Carl becoming the first white artist to hit on the Country, Pop, and R & B charts. The Perkins version of Blue Suede Shoes sold more copies that Elvis'. During their career the Beatles recorded more Carl Perks penned songs that any other artist, or group.
      A few examples of the songwriting skills of Carl Perkins: Honey Don't, Daddy Sang Bass, Matchbox, Dixie Fried, Let Me Tell You About Love (co-written with Paul Kennerley and Brent L. Maher, and recorded by the Judds), Rise and Shine, Silver and Gold. Some of the artists who recorded Carls songs: The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Arlene Harden, Tommy Cash, Dolly Parton, and many others.
      Carl became a part of the Johnny Cash Show in 1965, and remained with his friend for the next ten years. It was Cash who suggested to Carl that he write a song about blue suede shoes.
      Carl Perkins was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1985. Blue Suede Shoes won Grammy's Hall of Fame Award in 1986, and the following year Carl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Carl is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame (induction year unknown.)
      Carl Perkins died in Jackson, Tennessee, on January 19, 1998. Every night at bedtime, for the rest of her life, Carl's wife (and best friend) Valda placed Carl's pajamas on his side of the bed next to her. On November 17, 2005, Val was laid to rest next to her darling companion in Jackson's Ridgecrest cemetery.

Did You Know?

Gene Vincent was in the Navy in 1955, and he had just signed on for another six year hitch, when he was involved in a traffic accident while riding a motorcycle. This accident ended his military career and hospitalized Gene for an extended period of time. As a result of this accident, Vincent was required to wear a a brace on his crippled leg every day for the rest of his life. While recuperating in the hospital he played his guitar and wrote several songs. One of the songs he called Be-Bop-A Lula. This song that Gene co-wrote with another hospitalized serviceman, would eventually  become his career song. Early in his music career Gene billed himself as Gene Craddock and the Virginians. Gene Vincent's first recording session in Nashville in 1956 included; Be-Bop-A-Lula, I Sure Miss You, Woman Love, and Race With The Devil. The rest, as they say - is history. Gene Vincent was the first artist to be inducted into the "Rockabilly Hall of Fame."

Ricky Nelson's first single "I'm Walkin'" sold an amazing 68,000 copies the first week of it's release. The flip side "A Teenager's Romance," climbed the chart to #2. The pride of Teaneck, New Jersey, was on his way. When Ricky Nelson was inducted into the "Rockabilly Hall of Fame" a few years ago, his twin sons accepted the Induction Certificate from Bob Timmers in Memphis.

Prior to the funeral of Elvis Presley, there was a private viewing of the body, at Graceland for the press, and invited guests. All of Elvis' friends and employees wore black suits, and ties. Col Tom Parker wore a Hawaiian floral shirt, and a baseball cap. And not one time did he go anywhere near Elvis' casket, or display any emotions.

Quote: "He lived in constant physical pain for the last ten years of his life. He struggled with it for a long time, and it got to the point where you never heard him complain. There was a great sadness inside him but at the same time a great strength. He would never draw attention to himself. He owned those pains. He took them all on as his own, and he didn't blame anybody for it." --John Carter Cash speaking about his father's outer weakness, and inner strength.

If you like Traditional Country Music and would like to know more about the genre from the 20's through the 80's, including the people who wrote, and sang it, here's a suggestion - why not subscribe to the best FREE Classic Country music newsletter in the world? To to receive your FREE subscription send an email to: with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject box. It couldn't be any easier than that. You might just find some information by Bill Morrison from time to time.

RCNV Websites Of The Month

Book Of The Month
"The Man Called CASH-The Life, Love, and Faith of an American Legend."
-Steve Turner © 2004 Turner Publishing Group

News Notes

Grant Grieves member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, is back in the studio again. Grant has completed 8 of the CD cuts, "Be Bop A Lula" "Suzy Q" "Train Of Love" "Down The Line" & "Golden Rocket" along with three original numbers; "I Grew Up To Play The Guitar" "Ridin' High Flyin' Low" & "Nobody Wants To Rock With Me."  With each new release by Grant, I continue to be amazed by the fact that this man doesn't age. He sings, and plays as well now as he ever has. When I play his new releases for the first time it makes my old heart jump with joy, I think to myself; How does he continue to do this? Well, I don't know the answer to that question. If I did, there is one thing for certain. I would still be doing it myself - and the first thing I would do is hire his son Dug Grieves to produce my albums too. Both of Grant's sons play on his sessions, and all of the session players are Nashville regulars. What a great sound. I'll let you know when the CD is ready for marketing, and where you can buy it. Grant, if you'll send me a brief catalog of CD's, Albums, and 45's, that are still available, and where they can be ordered I'll be happy to provide the RCNV readers with all of that information in next months edition.

Al and The Black Cats have been asked to return to Afghanastan, and Iraq, to entertain the troups again before they return home to the states. Of course these fine gentlemen agreed to return. Please join me in a prayer for their safe return to the U.S.A., and for God's blessing on our troops, and their loved ones.

From The Wisdom Desk
Children spell love (T-i-m-e).

Well, thanks for dropping by RCNV, it's always good to cyber-see you. As you can tell - I'm feeling a little better now, getting a little stronger day-by-day. Good Lord willing I'll see you here next month. If not - it's to a much better place I go. I hope I see you there too. But that's up to you - Shalom

Bill's Favorite Music Links:

"August/September 2006"
Volume 36.5
Bill Morrison ©2006

Quote of the Month

"If I don't get August & September's article to Bob Timmers pretty soon he's going to think I don't love him anymore."  --Bill Morrison

Thanks to everyone for being patient with me. I've had some health, and other family issues to deal with. But as you can plainly see - I'm back. The issues remain, but it's all part of life. So here we go - let the music begin.

September Highlights

Elvis Presley went to work recording his second album at Radio Recorders in Los Angeles on September 1, 1956. Elvis played piano on some of the tracks which included covers of Little Richard hits including: "Long Tall Sally," "Ready Teddy," and "Rip It Up." Later in the day, 'E' gave his mother a brand new pink Cadillac.

Connie Smith and Bob Luman joined the Grand Ole Opry on September 2, 1965. Bob Luman was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2005.

Debbie Boone daughter of Pat Boone, and granddaughter of Red Foley, debuted on the charts with "You Light Up My Life" on September 3, 1977. The song climbed to the top of the charts. Debbie won the Best New Artist Grammy Award in 1977, and in 1979 married Gabriel Ferrer, son of singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer.<

Dottie West died in a Nashville hospital on September 4 1991. Dottie died as a result of injuries received in a car wreck on August 30th near the Grand Ole Opry House. Dottie was the first female Country Artist to win a Grammy. She won for "Here Comes My Baby."

Dolly Parton debuted on the Porter Wagoner Show September 5, 1967. Dolly agreed to remain on the show for five years. She satayed for seven years, and Porter sued her for leaving the TV show, and his road show.

Tom Fogerty brother of John Fogerty, died on September 6, 1990 as a result of tuberculosis. Tom was 48 years old. He left Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1971 because he and brother Tom could not get along.

Charles Hardin Holley, a.k.a. "Buddy Holly," was born in Lubbock, Texas, September 7, 1936.

Buck Owens played lead guitar on Tommy Collins first recording session, at Capitol Records Melrose Avenue Studios, in Los Angeles on September 8, 1953. The first song recorded was "You Better Not Do That." The single became Collin's first hit, reaching No. 2 on the charts.

Elvis Presley made his debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show at CBS Studios, Los Angeles, on September 9, 1956. As the result of injuries sustained in a car wreck, Ed Sullivan was replaced as host for that show by actor Charles Laughton. CBS set the record for most ever viewers on a TV show that night, when 50 million people tuned in to see Elvis.

Rosie Flores, Rockabilly singer/guitarist, was born in San Antonio, Texas on September 10, 1956.

"Lest We Forget"

Billy Ray Cyrus' PAX-TV show "Doc" is filmed in Toronto, but the setting is New York City. While filming skyline footage of NYC on September 11, 2001, cameras were pointed at the World Trade Center when the plane crashed into the south tower. The footage was provided to government officials, and media outlets.

David Skepner, age 63, manager of Loretta Lynn, and Riders In The Sky, died of a heart attack on 9-11-2001, after the attack on the Twin Towers, and Pentagon.

On 9-11-2001, The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) were scheduled to present Garth Brooks with their Golden Note Award, at a dinner with members of Congress. As a result of the terrorist attacks on America the dinner was canceled, and Garth was stranded in New York City.

Rodney Crowell's daughter Carrie lives with her mother Rosanne Cash, in New York City. Eleven-year-old Carrie was at school on 9-11-2001, when the plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center, a mere 15 blocks away. Rosanne retrieved Carrie, unharmed, a few hours later. 2001.

Carolyn Mayer Beug, 48, filmmaker who produced several music videos for Dwight Yoakam, died in New York City on September 11, 2001. She was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 that was crashed into the World Trade Center by terrorists.

Johnny Cash, age 71, died in Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, on September 12, 2003. John has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Between November 26, 1955, when John debuted on the Country Charts with the self-penned, "Cry! Cry! Cry!" and March 8, 2003 when "Hurt" became his last chart single; Johnny Cash had placed 136 singles on the Country Charts. To put that number in perspective: Lefty Frizzell had 39; Hank Snow 85; Kenny Rogers 74; Webb Pierce 96; Dolly Parton 108; Don Gibson 82; Glen Campbell 75; Loretta Lynn 78; Jerry Lee Lewis 65; Waylon Jennings 100; Willie Nelson 122; Sonny James 72; and David Houston 61. Only George Jones 167, and Eddy Arnold 146, placed more singles on the Country Music charts than "The Man In Black." We miss you John.

The new U.S. postage stamp honoring Roy Acuff as "The King of Country Music," was unveiled on stage at the Grand Ole Opry on September 13, 2003. U.S. Postmaster General John Potter presided.

John Wayne Hill, singer/songwriter/guitarist/fiddler, was born September 14, 1964. John is married to Nashville songwriter Susan Hill. Honesty compels me to report that John is my son-in-law, and Susan (Susie) Hill is my beautiful daughter, who was born at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, on what seems like just yesterday. Every one I know loves both of them very much.

Dolly Parton was fined $20,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor on September 15, 1990. Evidently one of the supervisors was requiring the teenage staff to work longer than 8 hours per shift at Dollywood.

Ralph Mooney steel guitarist/songwriter/session musician, was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, on September 16, 1928.

Carl Perkins attended a concert by Elvis at the high school gym in Bethel Springs, Tennessee, on September 17, 1954. Carl spoke to Elvis after the show, and as a result, the door to Sam Phillips' Sun Records was opened to Carl the following month. The rest, as they say, is history. Connie Smith joined the Grand Ole Opry September 18, 1965.

Gram Parsons died in Joshua Tree, California on September 19, 1973, from a drug overdose. A few days later Gram's manager "Phil Coffman," stole the body from the local airport. The body was driven to Joshua Tree National Park by Coffman, soaked in gasoline, and cremated on the ground. (Parsons made Coffman promise that he would do that if anything ever happened to him). Coffman was arrested, and paid a $300.00 misdemeanor fine, for the theft of the casket.

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, sons of Rick, were born on September 20, 1967.

Don Felder of the Eagles was born September 21, 1947.

Irving Berlin one of America's great composers died on September 22, 1989. Irving was 101 years old. One of his many hit songs was "White Christmas."

Ray Charles was born Ray Charles Robinson on September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia. Ray was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and won Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. He made his debut on the Country Music chart in November 1980, with "Beers To You" a duet with Clint Eastwood.

Hank Williams signed a three-year contract with the Louisiana Hayride, on September 24, 1952. Three months and one week later - Hank Williams was dead.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan were inducted into the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame on September 25, 2004.

Carlene Carter was born "Rebecca Carlene Smith," in Madison, Tennessee, on September 26, 1955. Carlene is the daughter of Carl Smith, and June Carter.

Randy Travis and wife Lib were traveling in a limo, from LAX to their California home, when the limo driver suffered a heart attack and died while driving, on September 27, 1998. Randy climbed into the front seat and brought the vehicle under control. All attempts to revive the driver were unsuccessful.

George Jones opened a show in Conroe, Texas, for Elvis Presley on September 28, 1955. Hoss Logan, hired Jones after the show to become a regular on the Louisiana Hayride.

Jerry Lee Lewis shot his bass player, Norman Bush, in the chest with a 357 magnum on September 29, 1976. Norman survived the gunshot, and "The Killer" fired him. The police charged Lewis with a misdemeanor charge, of discharging a firearm within the city limits. Go figure.

Roy Orbison filmed "A Black and White Night Live" at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, on September 30, 1987.

Check out "Bill Morrison's Country Music Calendar" at:

Rockabilly Comes to Kornfield Kounty

Archie Campbell, singer/songwriter/comedian/script writer/sculptor/poet/artist, was born Archie James Campbell on November 7, 1914, in Bulls Gap, Tennessee. He married Mary Lee Lewis and they had two children. Archie joined the U.S. Navy in 1941, and served until the end of World War II. Archie Campbell was a cast member of HEE HAW, and one of the script writers from1969-1987. The story below "The Story of Rindercella" was written by Archie Campbell, and he told the story to audiences during most of his career. What you are about to read is a sequence of spoonerisms, and Archie was the master.

The Story of Rindercella
By Archie Campbell
      "Once apon a time, in a coreign fountry, there lived a very geautiful birl; her name was Rincercella. Now, Rindercella lived with her mugly other and her two sad bisters. And in this same coreign fountry, there was a very prandsom hince.
      And this prandsom hince was going to have a bancy fall. And he'd invited people from riles amound, especially the pich reople. Rindercella's mugly other and her two sad blisters went out to buy some dancy fesses to wear to this bancy fall, but Rindercella cound not go because all she had to wear were some old rirty dags. Finally, the night of the bancy fall arrived and Rindercella couldn't go. So she just cat down and scried. She was a kitten there a scrien, when all at once there appeard before her, her gairy fodmother. And she touched her with her wagic mand - and there appeared before her, a cig boach and hix whicte sorces to take her to the bancy fall. But now she said to Rindercella, "Rindercella, you must be home before nidmight, or I'll purn you into a tumpkin!"
      When Rindercella arrived at the bancy fall, the prandsome hince met her at the door because he had been watchin' behind a woden hindow. And Rindercella and the prandsom hince nanced all dight until nidmight - and they lell in fove. And finally, the mid clock strucknight. And Rindercella staced down the rairs, and just as she beached the rottom, she slopped her dripper!
      The next day, the prandsom hince went all over the coreign fountry looking for the geautiful birl who had slopped her dripper. Finally he came to Rindercella's house. He tried in on Rendercella's mugly other - and it find't dit. Then he tried it on her two sigly usters - and it find't dit. The he tried it on Rindercella - and it fid dit. It was exactly the sight rize!
      So they were married and lived heverly ever hapwards. Now, the storal of the mory is this; If you ever go to a bancy fall and want to have a pransom hince loll in fove with you, don't forget to slop your dripper!"
Archie Campbell died on August 29, 1987, at the age of 72. "SA-LOOT!"

Book Of The Month

"Roy Orbison's Life and Legacy - Only The Lonely"  by Alan Clayson © 1989
- this book is available at

Did You Know?

  • Marijuana was not illegal in the United States until October 1, 1937, when Congress passed the "Marijuana Tax Act." Total debate time on the House of Representatives floor concerning this issue: 90 seconds. This act did not actually ban the substance - it simply said that one could not sell marijuana without a license. Of course, Congress refused to issue any licenses. Congress finally banned marijuana outright in 1970. -- Source: The Unbelievable Truth! by Jeff Rovin, 1994, Signet Books

  • There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants!

  • In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.

  • In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men at 25 cents.

  • In Kentucky, it's the law that a person must take a bath once a year.

  • In Virginia, the Code of 1930 has a statute, which prohibits corrupt practices or bribery by any person other than political candidates.

  • A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue.

  • If you spend 5 consuctive hours working on an overdue column, without a break - it makes your body hurt, and you get really grouchy.

    News Notes

    Al & The Black Cats have taken Europe by storm. Their new CD is now at #4, their tour has been extended from six-weeks, to possibly 5 months. They have been invited to return to Afghanastan, and Iraq to entertain our troups, and they are filling up their concert dates for next year with some of the biggest shows, and venues in Europe. It couldn't happen to a nicer group of musicians. Nol and Wies Voorst in the Netherlands have been to see them twice this summer. Nol says they are HOT. One of the best Rockabilly groups to come along in years. Way to go Black Cats!!! Stay safe, and tell the troops we're praying for them every day.

    From The Wisdom Desk

    The communist founded ACLU is a bigger threat to the American way of life than Germany and Japan was in World War II, and all of our enemies, from all of the wars this One nation under God has ever had to fight and destroy. Political correctness is the tool being used around the world to bring down nations one at a time - from within. The desired result - a one world government. And in case you haven't noticed, it's working. Why not get involved, and stop our enemies at the ACLU in any way you can think of. They are now hleping organizations hold protests at the funerals of our troops who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanastan. The protesters carry signs saying "Were glad your son is dead, he was a baby killer." And many other hateful and ignorant statements. They disrupt the burial service by hollering and screaming at the relatives of the dead hero's. Back in the 40's and 50's had anyone done something that despicable, they would not have survived the protest. What has happened to this once great nation? Is it worth saving? If so, somebody better get busy. One thing is certain, the Democrats and Republicans don't have a clue. The ONLY thing they care about is power, and being re-elected. I'm looking for a way to put an end to the God haters at the ACLU. If you have any suggestions drop me a line at: If you're a member of the ACLU don't bother sending me any mail unless you include your home address.

    Good Lord willin' I'll see you folks next month. If not - good luck, America's going to need it.

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:

    "July 2006"
    Volume 35

    July 2006 - ©Bill Morrison

    Quote of the Month

    "My biggest memories of Maybelle (Carter) are of sitting on her front porch and eating sliced tomato sandwiches and her homemade pickles. And watching her play on stage. When You're 8 years old, you sort of take it for granted, you know, 'That's my grandma.' It didn't sink in to me that she was this great figure in American Music. She was very humble and didn't realize that she was that revered." -John Carter Cash talking about grandma

    July Highlights

    Wolfman Jack a.k.a. Robert Smith died in the driveway of his home after kissing his wife on July 1, 1997. The legendary deejay played himself in the hit movie American Graffiti. Smith was 57 years old.

    Elvis Presley took control of his recording session, for the first time in his career on July 2, 1956. The result - recording "Don't Be Cruel" to the King's satisfaction required twenty-eight takes; and "Hound Dog" required thirty-one.

    Jim Morrison leader of "The Doors" was found dead in his bathtub in Paris, on July 3, 1971. Morrison was 27 years old, the same age as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix when they died. The French authorities listed "heart attack" as the official cause of death.

    Willie Nelson staged his first 4th of July Picnic on this day in 1973.

    Merle Haggard's debut #1 single "Working Man's Blues" charted July 5, 1969.

    Bill Haley was born "William John Clifton Haley Jr.," in Highland Park, Michigan, July 6, 1925. Inducted R&RHOF in 1987 and the RHOF.

    For the first time in history, CD's began to sell more units than vinyl LP's, on July 7, 1989.

    ABC-TV debuted "The Everly Brothers Show" July 8, 1970.

    President George Bush presented Roy Acuff with the "National Medal of Art" July 9, 1991.

    Marizona Robinson, age 70, widow of Marty Robbins, died in Brentwood, Tennessee, July 10, 2001.

    Kenny Rogers formed "The First Edition" on July 11, 1967.

    Carl Perkins appeared in Maryland, at the Carrs Beach Amphitheater on July 12, 1956. 8,000 fans had tickets and enjoyed the show - over 10,000 were turned away.

    John Denver's DUI trial in Colorado, resulted in a hung jury on July 13, 1997.

    Natalie Maines gave birth to her second child, Beckett Finn Pasdar July 14, 2004. When not engaged with ACLU activities, Maines sings with an all girl band from California - when they can find work. It has been reported that the girls may move to Canada, where they are very popular. Isn't that surprising? No, I don't think so either.

    Columbia Records released Johnny Cash from his recording contract July 15, 1986, after 28 years on the label.

    Harry Chapin was killed in a traffic accident on the Long Island Expressway, in New York on July 16, 1981. This very talented singer/songwriter was 38 years old.

    Don Rich, age 33, of the "Buckaroos" died in a motorcycle accident in California, July 17, 1974. Buck Owens never recovered from the loss of his best friend, and retired from touring.

    Roger Miller's single "Dang Me" became his first #1 hit on July 18, 1964.

    Lefty Frizzell, age 47, died July 19, 1975, after suffering a stroke. Lefty joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1951. Lefty was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982.

    Sleepy LaBeef was born Thomas Paulsley LaBeef, in Smackover, Arkansas on July 20, 1935.

    Bobby Vee who replaced Buddy Holly at a Fargo, North Dakota, show the night after Buddy's death in a plane crash, had his debut chart single "Suzy Baby" on July 21, 1959. Bobby was 15 years old at the time he filled in for Buddy Holly.

    Ralph Peer of the "Victor Talking Machine Company," now known as RCA Victor Records, arrived in Bristol, Tennessee, on July 22, 1927. He constructed a temporary recording studio at 408 State Street. During the next two weeks, Peer, and two engineers, Lynch and Echkart, recorded 19 solo artists and groups. A total of seventy-six recordings were made. Johnny Cash said about the Bristol Sessions: "The recordings in Bristol in 1927, are the single most important event in the history of country music."

    Eddie Shuler, age 92, record label owner/producer, died in Atlanta, Georgia, July 23, 2005. Shuler released Dolly Parton's first single "Puppy Love," on his Goldband Record label in 1959. Dolly was 13 years old at the time.

    The Crook Brothers debuted on WSM's "Barn Dance" July 24, 1926. Shortly thereafter, the show was re-named the "Grand Ole Opry." Almost every Saturday night for sixty-two years the Crook Brothers were on stage, entertaining another Opry audience.

    Tommy Duncan, age 56, front man for Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, died from a heart attack after a show in San Diego, California on July 25, 1967.

    Gene Autry joined the U. S. Army Air Corp July 26, 1942.

    LeAnn Rimes, age 13, recorded her debut album "Blue" on July 27, 1996. The album went to #1, and remained there for twenty-eight weeks.

    Ralph Emery conducted his last all night radio show on WSM July 28, 1972.

    Patsy Cline on July 29, 1961, made her first public appearance on stage, since the automobile accident that seriously injured her earlier that same year. Patsy used crutches to reach the microphone, and thanked her fans for the thousands of cards, and letters that she had received. Patsy was almost killed, when she was thrown through the windshield of the car, which was driven by her brother.

    The WLS National Barn Dance road show played to a crowd of over 50,000 fans in Noblesville, Indiana's Forest Park, on July 30, 1939. No seating was provided and the fans sat on the grass.

    Jim Reeves, age 39, was killed in plane crash near Nashville, on July 31, 1964. Jim was flying the plane. Also killed in the crash was his pianist Dean Manuel. Reeves was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1967.

    Check out "Bill Morrison's Country Music Calendar" at:

    RCNV Songwriters Spotlight


    Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry
          Chuck Berry was born in St. Louis, Missouri, October 18, 1926. Attended Cottage Avenue Elementary School, and Sumner High School. (Chuck graduated from high school while in prison,) and later graduated from Poro College in 1952. In that same year he formed the Chuck Berry Combo, and played bars and nightclubs in the St. Louis area.
          After meeting Muddy Waters in Chicago, Waters arranged for Chuck to audition for Chess Records in 1955. Chuck Berry was immediately signed by Chess to a long-term record deal, and his first single "Maybellene" was released the following year. Ten years later he signed with Mercury Records, but by 1970 Chuck was back at Chess Records. The biographical concert film, "Hail! Hail! Rock 'N Roll," was released in 1987. Chuck performed for his good friend Bill Clinton's Inauguration in 1993. There are those who claim the two men are related, however I have not been able to confirm that information.
          The following songs, written by Chuck Berry are but a sampling of this mans work: Back in the USA * Brown Eyed Handsome Man * Nadine * Reelin' and Rockin' * C.C. Rider * Back to Memphis * Roll Over Beethoven * Johnny B. Goode * Maybeliene * Rock and Roll Music * Sweet Little Sixteen * School Day (Ring Ring Goes the Bell) * Too Much Monkey Business * Memphis * Little Queenie * No Paticular Place to Go, and many more.
          Chuck Berry published his autobiography in 1987; for a period of time studied cosmetology; and appeared in the following films: "Rock Rock Rock" (1957) "Mr. Rock 'N Roll" (1957) "Go Johnny Go" (1959) and "Jazz On a Summer's Day" (1960).
          Chuck Berry was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1982.

    Rockabilly Comes to Kornfield Kounty

    June 15, 1969 future Rockabilly Hall of Fame member Buck Owens, and Roy Clark, debuted their co-hosting skills on "Hee Haw." In addition to the regular cast members, that first show featured guests Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, and the Hager Twins. The final Hee Haw episode would air on May 30, 1992, and was the 585th episode to be aired. Guests on the final show included Gary Morris, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, and Hal Ketchum. Then - came the reruns.

    In coming months we'll take a look behind the scenes at Sam Lovullo's brilliantly produced Hee Haw, and find out how he kept the egos, jealously, and the demanding artist managent teams, from killing the show before it had a chance to become the longest running syndicated TV show in history. By the way, I'll bet you didn't know that at one time, Kathie Lee Gifford was one of the lovely Hee Haw Honeys.

    Did You Know?

    Roy Orbison played his last show on December 4, 1988, in Akron, Ohio. Roy told his fans that night at the sold out venue , that they made him feel young again. Roy was 52 years old. Elvis once told an interviewer: "Roy Orbison is the greatest singer in the world." I believe "E" was absolutly correct.

    Porter Wagoner's stage suits weigh approximately 40 pounds each. In the 50's Porter paid an average of $350.00 per suit. Today they cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 each. Porter has over 50 of them.

    Dwight Yoakam's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located in front of 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Prior to finding fame and fortune, Dwight use to pick-up, and deliver, air freight to the businesses located in that block. Author's Note: I have been involved, in one way or another, with the music business for 50 years. During this period of time Dwight Yoakam is the strangest, weirdest, and the rudest artist I have ever come in contact with, and that takes into consideration Faron Young when he was drunk. At least I never wanted to deck Faron - well, not very often anyway.

    Charley Daniels debut chart single was "Uneasy Rider."

    Gene Watson's
    CD "Then and Now," was released by Kock Records in Nashville, on June 21, 2005. This was Gene's 37th album. What a shame that an incredible talent like Gene Watson can't get any airplay, on todays so called Country Music Stations.

    Lefty Frizzell was arrested in July of 1947 and charged with statutory rape. He was convicted of the crime in August, and while serving out his jail sentence wrote "I Love You a Thousand Ways" for his wife.

    The Grand Ole Opry's Marty Stuart owns the largest collection of music memorabilia in the world. At last count - over 20,000 items.

    Maybelle Carter was honored by the International Fan Club Organization in 1974 as the first winner of their prestigeous Tex Ritter Award.

    Duane Eddy was born April 26, 1938, in Corning, New York. Duane has been Inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

    Bill Haley & The Comets made their debut appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show April 28, 1957.

    Beatle assistant, Mal Evans was shot and killed by police in Los Angeles, on January 5, 1976. Don't ask - don't know.

    Mama Cass Elliot died July 29, 1974, in England.

    RCNV Websites Of The Month

    Book Of The Month
    "Johnny Cash-The Life of an American Icon"  --Stephen Miller ©2003

    News Notes

    Al & the Black Cats have resumed their European tour, after having being secretly flown into Iraq, and Afghanistan, for the purpose of entertaining our troops. Al recently emailed me from the home of Nol and Wies Voorst in Maastricht, Netherlands. This couple has done more for American artists in Europe than anyone else I can think of. I envy Al and the young men who make up this great Rockabilly group. They enjoyed entertaining the troops, and told me they were the best audiences they have ever played for, and I would have loved to share that experience with them. I would also like to meet Nol and Wies, so I could thank them personally for all they have done for our artists, and our music, in such a far away place. The band returns to America in August. This is a group you'll be hearing from folks. I agree with the European fans and our troops - the Black Cats ROCK. I believe we should support our Rockabilly bands. Check out these new guys at:

    And - if you'd like to tell Nol & Wies thank you for what they have done over the years to help our artists, and music in Europe - you can email them at:

    From The Wisdom Desk

    When it comes time to leave this world someday. The only things you get to keep - are the things you gave away.

    Good Lord willin' I'll see you next month - and please don't forget; the Ten Commandments are not recommendations.

      - Bill Morrison

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:

    "June '06"
    Volume 34

    June 2006 - ©Bill Morrison

    Quote of the Month

    Quote: "Something I never said before, maybe I couldn't, but I think my music life ended when his (Don Rich's) did. Oh yeah, I carried on and I existed, but the real joy and love, the real lightning and thunder is gone forever. But I'll see him over there."
    - Buck Owens, October 2000

    Bonnie Owens, former wife of Buck Owens (and Merle Haggard,) died April 25, 2006, at the age of 76, as a result of Alzheimer's disease in Bakersfield, California. Bonnie's remains were placed next to Buck's in the Owens family mausoleum. Bonnie Owens was a very special lady. She raised Merle Haggard's and Leona Williams Haggard's children as if they were own.

    June Highlights

    Doug Supernaw was arrested for bail jumping and locked up in the Potter County jail in Texas, for the third time in the past week on June 1, 2004. He was arrested twice at a Ramada Inn in Amarillo. Once for marijuana possession, and later for Criminal Trespass. The bail jumping charge was filed by the state of Washington.

    Helen Carter, age 70, died in Nashville, on June 2, 1998. She was the daughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, and sister of June Carter Cash.

    Presley Elvis graduated from Hume H.S. in Memphis, on June 3, 1953.

    John Hartford, age 63, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist died June 4, 2001.

    The Grand Ole Opry moved for the fourth time in nine years, leaving the "War Memorial Auditorium" for the "Ryman Auditorium," on June 5, 1943. The Opry remained at the "Mother Church of Country Music," for the next thirty-one years.

    Grant Turner debuted as a WSM announcer on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His career at WSM, and the Opry, led to membership in the CMHF.

    Claudette Orbison, first wife of Roy Orbison, was killed in a motorcycle accident on June 7, 1966. Roy was riding his cycle a short distance behind Claudette when she was killed.

    Mack Vickery, singer/songwriter, born Town Creek, AL on June 8, 1938.

    Jerry Lee Lewis paid for a full page ad in Billboard Magazine on June 9, 1958. The purpose of the ad, was to explain how he happened to marry his thirteen year old cousin Myra, six months prior to divorcing his second wife.

    Steve Sanders, age 45, died in his Florida home, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 10, 1998. Steve had recently quit the "Oak Ridge Boys," after a fifteen-year association.

    George Jones topped the charts with "She Thinks I Still Care" June 11, 1962.

    Charlie Feathers, Rockabilly singer-songwriter, Sun recording artist, born Myrtle, Mississippi, June 12, 1932. Member RHOF.

    The final broadcast of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour aired June 13, 1972.

    Patsy Cline was seriously injured in a car wreck on a Nashville street on June 14, 1961. Patsy went through the windshield and received a dislocated hip, broken wrist, and serious lacerations on her face, and cracked ribs. Patsy was unable to sing for the next eight months.

    Jack Clement went to work for Sam Phillips at Sun Studio's in Memphis, June 15, 1956.

    Jack McFadden, age 71, died June 16, 1998. Jack was the talent coordinator for "Hee Haw," and managed Buck Owens career for three decades.

    Minnie Pearl suffered a serious stroke on June 17, 1991, and spent the remaining years of her life in a nursing home in Nashville.

    The L.A. Times reported, the following country music stars, were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 18, 1998: Reba McEntire, Charlie Pride, Freddy Fender, Alabama and Patsy Cline.

    Bobby Helms, age 63, died on June 19, 1997. Inducted RHOF 2003.

    Ira Louvin, age 41, and wife Anne, died in an automobile accident near Williamsburg, Missouri on June 20, 1965. Member Grand Ole Opry. Inducted NSHF 1979, CMHF 2001.

    Johnny Cash released his first single "Hey Porter," on Sun Records June 21, 1955.

    The seating capacity of the Ryman Auditorium was increased, when the construction of the balcony was completed on June 22, 1897. The extra space was needed for an upcoming Confederate Veterans convention.

    At the invitation of Pete Drake, Ringo Starr of the Beatles arrived in Nashville to cut a solo country album on June 23, 1970. The session included Drake, Jerry Reed, Charlie Daniels, and The Jordanaires. "Beaucoups of Blues," was released before the end of the year.

    John Anderson recorded the last session at Owen Bradley's legendary studio "The Hut" on June 24, 1982. The Music Row studio was once home to Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins, Loretta Lynn and may others.

    Jenifer Strait, age 13, only daughter of George and Norma Strait, died in a car wreck in Texas, on June 25, 1986.

    Elvis Presley gave his final concert in Indianapolis, on June 26, 1977.

    Wanda Jackson released "Let's Have A Party," June 27, 1960.

    The Country Radio Broadcasters awarded Buck Owens their Career Achievement Award on June 28, 2001. Brad Paisley made the presentation.

    Brenda Lee released her first #1 record "I'm Sorry" on June 29, 1960. The song was written by Rockabilly legend Ronnie Self. Brenda received a gold record and was nominated for a Grammy.

    R. W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles, of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, were killed in a plane crash in Clanton, Alabama on June 30, 1954.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    RCNV Songwriters Spotlight

    John Barlow Jarvis
          The release of the new John Barlow Jarvis CD "View From a Southern Porch" marks the latest step in a musical journey TIME magazine describes approvingly as, "traveling without a map."
          John Barlow Jarvis's musical journey began in 1968 in Southern California at the age of 14, when, after winning numerous classical competition awards, he was signed as a staff songwriter and studio musician at Edwin H. Morris Music. By the age of 18 John was already playing piano on hits by such artists as Ringo Starr, Diana Ross, Leo Sayer, John Mellancamp, The Miracles, Art Garfunkel, Stephen Bishop (a fellow E.H. Morris writer) and many others.
          In 1974, at the age of 20, John joined the Rod Stewart Band, where his honky tonk licks can still be heard on such classics as "Hot Legs", "Tonight's the Night" and "You're in My Heart". In addition to touring with Stewart, John continued to be one of the most in demand recording musicians in Hollywood up until 1982, when he decided to move his family to Nashville, Tennessee.
          In Nashville John simply picked up where he left off. For the last 20 years, he has continued to hold his place at the very pinnacle of studio musicians, playing with virtually all the artists who led the country music explosion of the late 1980's and early 1990's. His studio credits range from Vince Gill to Brooks and Dunn, from Faith Hill to Shania Twain, and from George Strait to Reba McEntire. That's John's wild honky tonk piano intro on the Hank Williams Jr. Monday Night Football show, and it's also John's heartbreakingly minimalist piano on the Mary Chapin Carpenter classic "I Am a Town."
          In addition to his studio work, John has somehow found time to keep writing songs. The results have been 2 Grammies, both for song of the year, for his compositions "I Still Believe in You", recorded by Vince Gill, and "Love Can Build a Bridge", recorded by the Judds. His composition "The Flame" was sung by Trisha Yearwood at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics. He has won both the CMA and ACM awards for his writing, and has been nominated for an Emmy.
          In 1985, John was approached by MCA to be a flagship artist on the new "Master Series" label. His first 5 CD's, from 1985-1993, were universally acclaimed and all of them reached the top 10 in the new jazz category. PEOPLE magazine has called "So Far So Good" "the best solo piano since Keith Jarrett." TIME magazine picked "Whatever Works" as one of the 10 best record releases in ANY category for 1989. CBS news spotlighted John on their New Year's Eve broadcast of 1989.
          It was at the urging of friends like violin virtuoso Mark O'Connor and Universal South Records President Tony Brown that John decided after a 10-year hiatus to once more return to the studio and play his OWN music. The results can best be described as a homecoming, and a celebration of friends. With guests Aubrey Haynie, Brian Sutton, Eddie Bayers, Mike Henderson, and David Hungate. "View From a Southern Porch" has a warmth, an organic energy, and a joy that can only come from people who love to play music for music's sake, friends who, like John Barlow Jarvis", lead with the heart and continue to "travel without a map" as they join him along his musical journey.
    John sent me an autographed copy of his latest CD last year, and it is a treasure.

    Here is a partial list of John Barlow Jarvis' songwriting credits:


  • "I Still Believe in You"/ Vince Gill/ 1992 Grammy Song of the Year
  • "Love Can Build a Bridge"/ The Judds/ 1991 Grammy Song of the Year
  • "The Flame"/ Trisha Yearwood / 1996 Olympics Closing Song
  • "The Flower That Shattered the Stone"/John Denver/ Emmy Nomination
  • "Small Town Girl"/ Steve Wariner/ #1 Country Song
  • "Julia"/ Conway Twitty/ #1 Country Song
  • "Working Without a Net"/ Waylon Jennings/ Top 10 Country Song
  • "I Wish I Was Still in Your Dreams" / Conway Twitty/ Top 10 Country Song
  • "Guardian Angels"/ The Judds/ Top 10 Country Song
  • "Hard Headed Woman"/ Mark Collie/ Top 20 Country Song
  • "When It All Goes South"/ Alabama/ Top 20 Country Song
  • Life's Too Long to Live Like This"/ Ricky Skaggs/ Top 20 Country Song
  • "Crash Course In The Blues"/ Steve Wariner / Top 20 Country Song
  • "The Greatest Gift of All"/ Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton / Million selling CD
  • "Born and Raised in Black and White"/ Brooks and Dunn / Million selling CD
  • "Battle of the Dragon"/ Stevie Nicks / Million selling CD
  • "River of Time"/ The Judds/ Million selling CD
  • "Cadillac Red"/ The Judds/Million selling CD
  • "If There's Anything I Can Do" / Vince Gill/ Million selling CD
  • "One Bright Star" / Vince Gill / Million selling CD
  • "Till the Season Comes Round Again/Amy Grant/Million selling CD

    A Few Things You should Know About

    One of my favorite authors, Craig Morrison, has a new project on the market. The author of "Go Cat Go!" Rockabilly Music and Its Makers, sent me the following email, and I thought I would share the information with you:

    Hi Bill,
    Well finally I have a new book out. It's an A-to-Z encyclopedia called American Popular Music: Rock and Roll, published as part of a 7-volume set by Facts On File of New York. All books are available separately or as a set.
    I worked super hard on it and I'm proud of it. My book covers, in individual articles, the major figures in rock and roll from the '50s to today, plus the styles and main instruments. There are lots of articles (of decent length) on the '50s stars, a detailed chrononolgy, and 60 photos from the Michael Ochs Archives.
    I have a few for sale but it's also available at lots of places on the internet, such as Amazon.

    Also, my friend Al Krivoy is on the road in Europe, with his band The Black Cats, and has completed his tenth show in Holland and Beligum. They've already sold out all of the groups CD's, T-shirts, and souviners, and there are several more shows to do. Al says more of the items are on the way from the good old U.S.A. The tour will conclude in Iraq and Afghanistan entertaining our troups.
    Al reports all of the shows have been sold out, and they have signed contracts with promoters for some huge shows next year (and they'll be the headliners) on all of the shows. Great news - from a great friend.

    Did you know that you can make a tax-deductable donation to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame? It certainly would be a huge help. Contact for the details.


    Fats Domino has never been a huge fan of Rockabilly music, but most folks in New Orleans aren't. He is however, a wonderful talent, and a plesant and friendly man. I opened for Fats Donino at the Corpus Christi, Texas, Coliseum in the late 50's. The following information was provided by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

    Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr.
          Antoine Domino Jr., who brought a richness all its own to the music known as rock and roll, was born in New Orleans on February 26, 1928, and ever since, through his first 70 years, he has remained a member of the Crescent City's musical elite.
          One of eight children in the Domino clan, Fats, as he came to be called, followed the musical lead of his father, a violinist and an uncle, a horn player. At a very young age, he showed an interest in an old upright piano that a cousin had left with the family for safe-keeping, and soon he was playing it well enough to become a very young keyboardist in local honky tonks. As a teenager he took a factory job but continued playing piano whenever he had the chance. He was a regular at The Hideaway, a local music spot, where he was noticed by a trumpeter named Dave Bartholomew, who offered him an opportunity to sit in with his band one evening. Domino jumped at the chance. Soon, the new Domino-Bartholomew songwriting partnership was born and would prove to be one of the most successful from the earliest years of the Rock N' Roll era.
          Together, they created a new sound with new musical accents and produced some extremely memorable rock and roll hit songs as well. Their first collaboration was on the song "The Fat Man" in 1949, followed by several other distinctive and memorable collaborations including: "Ain't That a Shame," "All by Myself," "Bo Weevil," "Going to the River," "I'm Walkin'," "I'm in Love Again," "My Girl Josephine," "Walking to New Orleans" and "Whole Lotta Loving." "The Fat Man" was recorded in a post war blues style known then as "jump blues." Typical jump bands featured a strong rhythm section of piano, bass and drums with a singer or saxophonist, and sometimes both, up front.
          The piano, interestingly, became almost a percussion voice in a style similar to that of Cuban bands in vogue at the time. Domino's musical signature, however, drew less on Latin flavors and more from a cross-section of different elements familiar in New Orleans. His music borrowed from the rich musical backdrop of the city-cajun blues and zydeco, the creole accent in the vocal style and the overriding French influence, still a dominant force in the music culture of the region. Fats Domino was the foremost exponent of the resultant rocking blend of the truly distinctive styles of the midfifties.
          Recording man, Lew Chudd, was brought to the club, The Hideaway, by Dave Bartholomew to see Fats Domino and immediately signed him to his label, Imperial Records. There were many rhythm and blues hits, but in 1955, the white market also began to catch on to the phenomenon that was Fats Domino. The first major crossover recording was "Ain't That a Shame," which later also opened the doors to a movie career, with appearances in "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Jamboree." The movie successes sparked one-nighters throughout the nation, a virtually unending series of them, including engagements with other rock and roll heroes like Danny and the Juniors and Jerry Lee Lewis at the vaunted New York Paramount Theater in Times Square.
          During this later period in his burgeoning career, Fats Domino continued his songwriting, this time on his own, without benefit of collaborator. Among the important and lasting output of this period were "I Want to Walk You Home," "Please Don't Leave Me," "Three Nights a Week," "Be My Guest" and "Goin' Home."
          Domino remains a principal musical spokesman for a distinctive adjunct of the rock and roll literature, with jumping songs and recordings emblematic of the great culture of New Orleans.
          Note: Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Domino residence in New Orleans last year, and almost took his life. It is my understanding that he lost all of his awards, certificates, etc., as well as most of his belongings. Fats and his family were fortunate to escape with their lives. Fats was missing for several days after the storm struck. Fats Domino - thanks for the memories.

    One Flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation, evermore!
    --Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Oliver - I'm glad you can't see us now!!!

    See you next month folks - Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    (Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar)

    "May '06"
    Volume 33

    May 2006 - ©Bill Morrison

    May Highlights

  • Elvis Presley Married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas, NV 5-1-1967.

  • Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records, signed Sonny Burgess to a recording contract, and recorded Sonny and his band "The Pacers," on the same day on 5-2-1956. Sonny was a singer/songwriter/lead guitarist, and went on to become a Rockabilly legend.

  • Dave Stogner, Texas Swing bandleader, Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee, died 5-3-1989.

  • Gene Vincent recorded "Be Bop A Lula," in Nashville, 5-4-1956.

  • Ace Cannon, of Bill Black's Combo, saxophone/songwriter/session musician, born Grenada, MS on 5-5-1934.

  • Songwriter Otis Blackwell, age 70, died in Nashville, on 5-6-2001. Otis was inducted in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1986.

  • Roy Hall, Rockabilly pioneer, born James Faye Hall in Big Stone Gap, VA 5-7-1922.

  • Rick Nelson born, "Eric Hilliard Nelson" Teaneck, NJ 5-8-1940.

  • Sonny Curtis "Crickets" born Meadow, TX 5-9-1937.

  • Mother Maybelle Carter born 'Maybelle Addington' Nicklesville, VA on 5-10-1909. Inducted Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970.

  • Ritchie Valens received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on 5-11-1990.

  • Jerry Lee Lewis was granted a divorce from cousin Myra, on 5-12-1971.

  • The Everly Brothers debuted on the charts with "Bye Bye Love" 5-13-1957.

  • Buddy Holly's optometrist gave him contact lenses for his 20/800 eyesight on 5-14- 1956. Buddy was not comfortable wearing them, so he wore the trademark glasses the rest of his life.

  • Buck Owens moved his family from Phoenix, AZ to Bakersfield, CA on 5-15-951. From September 1951 through May 1958, Buck played at the Blackboard, Bakersfield's top Country Music nightclub. Bob Timmers inducted Buck Owens into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in November 2005, at Buck's Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, along with Mayf Nutter.

  • Dr. George C. Nichopoulous was indited in Memphis on 14 counts of over-prescribing drugs for Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and numerous other patients on 5-16-1980.

  • Ray Price debuted on the charts with "Talk To Your Heart," on 5-17-1952.

  • The funeral for June Carter Cash was held at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN on 5-18-2003. June was buried in the Hendersonville Memory Gardens next to her mother Maybelle, her father, Ezra, and her sister, Anita. 1800 people attended the ceremony.

  • Roy Orbison released "Ooby Dooby," 5-19-1956.

  • Carl Perkins topped the charts with "Blue Suede Shoes" 5-20-1956.

  • Marty Robbins topped the charts with "A White Sport Coat" 5-21-1957.

  • Jerry Lee Lewis opened a tour in England on 5-22-1958. Against the advice of Sam Phillips at Sun Records, Jerry took his new bride along. When the English press discovered that Jerry had married his 13 year old cousin, before divorcing his second wife, the tour was not allowed to be completed, and his career was almost brought to a close. The Killer's nightly fee went from $10,000 per show, down to a low of $250.

  • Rex Gosdin, age 45, of The Gosdin Brothers, died on 5-23-1983.

  • Taylor Ray Jennings, age 22, and his girlfriend, were killed near Dallas, TX by a drunk driver on 5-24-2003. Taylor was the grandson of Waylon Jennings.

  • Jessi Colter born "Mirriam Johnson," in Phoenix, AZ on 5-25-1947. Married to Duane Eddy and Waylon Jennings.

  • Onie Wheeler, age 62, died on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, during Jimmie Snow's "Grand Ole Gospel Show," in Nashville, TN 5-26-1984.

  • Buddy Holly released "That'll Be The Day" 5-27-1957.

  • Sonny Burgess, singer/songwriter/lead guitarist, and SUN Records artist, born Newport, AR on 5-28-1931.

  • Del Reeves went #1 with "Girl On The Billboard" 5-29-1965.

  • Dolly Parton married Carl Dean in Catoosa County, GA 5-30-1966. They're still married - but I'll bet you've never seen Carl.

  • Lloyd Perryman, age 60, Sons of the Pioneers, died Colorado Springs, CO 5-31- 1977.

  • Check out "Bill Morrison's Country Music Calendar" at:

    Quote of the Month

    "Dad lived in a complex balance. It would tear our hearts to see him struggle with sadness and personal demons, all the while trying to be the very best father and husband he could be. And he was just as devoted to his music. On the way home from my mother's funeral, just four months before he himself died, Dad told me, 'I Have to get to the studio.' And I understood why. Music was his healer."
    --John Carter Cash

    RCNV Spotlight

    Cindy Walker 1918 - 2006

                 Cindy was born on July 20, 1918 in Mart, Texas. By the age of twenty-one Cindy was an accomplished songwriter. Bing Crosby recorded one of Cindy's earliest efforts in late 1940 titled "Lone Star Trail." Decca released Bing's record in February 1941 and it went to No. 23 on the Pop charts. 1941 continued to be a banner year for Cindy. Decca singed her to a five-year recording contract as an artist, and Bob Wills recorded four of Cindy's songs later that year. The Wills recordings were so successful that Cindy was assigned to write all of the songs Bob sang, in the eight movies he made for Columbia Pictures, between 1942-1944. There were 39 songs in all.
                 Cindy's first Country hit was Bob Wills' recording of "You're From Texas." The song made the top ten in 1944. Success also came to Cindy as a recording artist when her "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again," reached the top ten on the charts in 1944.
                 When her Decca recording contract expired in 1947, Cindy decided to concentrate full time on songwriting. She didn't record again until 1960, when she released a biggest hits LP "Words & Music By Cindy Walker," on the Monument label.
                 Cindy Walker was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1970. When she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997 she made her famous "Red Dress" speech, which brought tears to everyone's eyes. Cindy has won dozens of BMI Awards, and dozens of America's major recording artists have recorded her songs over the past sixty years. 

    Here are just a few examples of a Cindy Walker songs:
                 Cherokee Maiden * When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again * Warm, Red Wine * Take Me In Your Arms * You Don't Know Me * Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) * Distant Drums * This Is It * In The Misty Moonlight * Lone Star Trail * Dusty Skies * Miss Molly *

    Who recorded Cindy Walkers songs?
                 Bing Crosby * Vaughn Monroe * Bob Wills * Merle Haggard * Mel Tillis * Elvis Presley * Spade Cooley * Johnny Bond * The Sons of the Pioneers * Smokey Rogers * Tex Williams * Leon McAuliffe * Asleep At The Wheel * Billy Mize * Charlie Walker * Roy Rogers * Ernest Tubb * George Jones * Johnny Bush * Wes Buchanan * Hank Snow * Eddy Arnold * Jim Reeves * Deborah Allen * Les Paul & Mary Ford * Billy Walker * Jo Stafford * Webb Pierce * Faron Young * Ricky Skaggs * Carmen Mc Rae * Patti Page * Jimmy Dean * Jim Nabors * Vic Damone * Floyd Cramer * Dottie West * Nancy Wilson * Henry Mancini * Eydie Gorme * Bobby Goldsboro * Ray Charles * Don Gibson * Mickey Gilley * Jerry Vale * Ray Pennington * The Wilburn Brothers * Jerry Wallace * Dean Martin * Bill Anderson * George Anderson * Kitty Wells * Slim Whitman * Skeeter Davis * Al Dexter * Mary Ford * Ed Ames * Jim Ed Brown * Roy Orbison * Tex Ritter * Charley Pride * Glen Campbell * Lacy J. Dalton * Waylon Jennings * Cher * Del Shannon * Jerry Lee Lewis * Perry Como * Al Hurt * Sonny James * Jerry Wallace * The Ames Brothers * and Jack Greene, to name a few.
                 Cindy Walker - thanks for the memories, and for teaching us "It all starts with a song."

    Did You Know?

  • For twenty-five consecutive years, WLS's National Barn Dance in Chicago performed two sold-out shows per week for 1,200 people per show. At a time when movie tickets cost ten cents, Barn Dance tickets sold for ninety-cents, and reservations were made seven months in advance.

  • Elvis Presley was voted "Most Promising Country and Western Artist," by Billboard magazine 1955.

  • After Hank Williams died, Audrey and Hank Jr. split the royalties from record sales 50-50 for the next twenty years. It is estimated that both received $125, 000 per year.

  • Buck Owens moved his family from Phoenix, AZ to Bakersfield, CA in 1951. From September 1951 through May 1958, Buck played at the Blackboard, Bakersfield's top Country Music nightclub.

  • Tanya Tucker and her piano player (Tony Brown,) were drinking in a Nashville bar on November 25, 1976. After a few hours, Tanya left the bar and wrecked the car she was driving almost killing herself. Tanya's father fired Brown, and a few days later Tony Brown was Elvis Presley's piano player.

  • Linda Gail Lewis, the younger, singing sister of Jerry Lee Lewis, was born on July 18, 1947 in Ferriday, Louisiana. Linda married her second husband when she was fifteen years old. Then #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8. It's either the water in Louisiana, or the DNA in Lewis. The saga continues -
  • The Glen Campbell's "Goodtime Hour" featured guests, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Johnny Cash on January 11, 1972.

  • Charlie Daniels was honored by his hometown Wilmington, NC, when his name was added to the city's Walk of Fame in 2001.

  • Marvin Douglas Brown, age 53, died in Brushy Mountain State Prison on January 8, 2003. Brown was one of two men sentenced to life in prison, for the murder of Opry star Stringbean, and his wife Estelle, on November 10, 1973.

  • Elvis Presley and his parents signed a one-year contract with the Louisiana Hayride on November 6, 1954. Elvis would receive $18.00 for every Saturday night, and Bill Black and Scotty Moore, would receive $12.00 each. Elvis' parents were required to sign because Elvis was not old enough.

  • Jerry Lee Lewis debuted on the Grand Ole Opry, January 20, 1973.
  • Slim Whitman, and Johnny Horton, both turned down invitations to join the Grand Ole Opry. Neither artist is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Music City politics is alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Reba McEntire and her husband were passengers on a private plane that crash-landed at Nashville International Airport on November 6, 1992. In 1991, Reba lost her road manager, and seven members of her band, in a plane crash near San Diego, California. There were no injuries as a result of the Nashville incident.

  • Barbara Mandrell performed her first show after her near-fatal car accident, at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheater on February 28, 1986. Barbara's friend Dolly Parton insisted that she be allowed to open that show for her. Dolly knew how nervous Mandrell was about going back on stage.

  • On May 7, 1940, Roy Acuff, was in Hollywood filming "Grand Ole Opry." That day, Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons wrote; "Roy Acuff, young hill-billy brought here by Republic Pictures from Nashville, is suffering from appendicitis and will be operated on as soon as the picture is finished." Roy had seen enough of Hollywood by the time the movie was completed. He packed the Smokey Mountain Boys in the car they drove to Hollywood in, and returned to his beloved Tennessee. Immediately upon his arrival in Nashville, Roy was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital, and his appendix was removed. A short time later a Nashville reporter asked Roy how he liked Hollywood. Roy told him that the folks out there treated us very good. But that place just isn't for folks like us.

    A Few Things You should
    Know About The Grand Ole Opry

  • November 28, 1925 George D. Hay presented the debut broadcast of "The WSM Barn Dance," later to be re-named "The Grand Ole Opry."

  • The Grand Ole Opry began paying their performers in 1930. Every Saturday night, each member received five dollars apiece.

  • In 1932 WSM became one of the superstations of the radio industry. The power was increased from 5,000 watts to 50,000 watts, and they were assigned a clear-channel frequency. The Grand Ole Opry could now be heard on 650 WSM everywhere in America, east of the Rocky Mountains.

  • October 27, 1934 the Grand Ole Opry moved from WSM's Studio C, to Nashville's Hillsboro Theatre. The Hillsboro seated 2,400 people, and for the first time the stars would have dressing rooms. At this time the artists were instructed to wear costumes on the show. The opening night at the Hillsboro Theatre was Vito Pellettiere's debut as the Opry's first stage manager. Mr. Pellettiere's contribution to the success of the Opry over the next forty years cannot be over stated.

  • The Grand Ole Opry moved again in 1936, from the Hillsboro Theatre, to the Dixie Tabernacle, on Fatherland Street in East Nashville. The Tabernacle seated one thousand people. The Opry audience was removed at the end of every hour, to make room for another audience.

  • The Opry consisted of three one-hour segments. As always, the tickets were free. The National Life and Accident Insurance salesmen handed out all of the tickets to the Opry, the week prior to the show. The Grand Ole Opry tickets came in three different colors. One color for each of the three segments of the Saturday night show.

  • In July of 1939, the Grand Ole Opry moved from the Dixie Tabernacle, to the 2000 + seat War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. For the first time, the audience was charged an admission fee of twenty-five cents per ticket.

  • In 1943, the Grand Ole Opry moved into the Ryman Auditorium, where they would remain for the next thirty-one years. The Ryman was, and remains today, the finest showcase for the art form we known as Country Music. On July 25, 2001, the National Park Service officially named the Ryman Auditorium a National Historic Landmark. In 1943 a ticket to see the Grand Ole Opry cost seventy-five cents. The Ryman Auditorium seated approximately 3,500.

  • WSM debuted the "Friday Night Frolics," later called the Friday Night Opry, in 1948. This decision was made after Eddy Arnold quit the Grand Ole Opry, and was about to start his own Saturday night show on another Nashville radio station. Arnold quit the Opry after his manager, Col. Tom Parker, demanded a percentage of the Opry gate be paid to his client, and the Opry refused.

  • In 1953 Grand Ole Opry manager Jim Denny branched out in his music career. Jim organized Driftwood Publishing for Carl Smith and Troy Martin, and Cedarwood Publishing, a partnership between Web Pierce and himself.

  • A short time later, Web and Denny purchased three radio stations in Georgia, and opened Jim Denny Music, another publishing company. Jim Denny was eventually fired by WSM as manager of the Opry. The reason given by WSM - conflict of interest.

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    (Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar)

    "March '06"
    Volume 32

    March 2006 - ©Bill Morrison

    March Highlights

    Rockabilly Hall of Fame member Buck Owens signed with Capital Records 3-1-1957.

    Hank Ballard lead singer of the Midnighters, wrote "The Twist and "Finger Popin' Time" died in Los Angeles 3-2-2003.

    Boudleaux and Felice Bryant inducted into the National Songwriters Hall Of Fame, In New York City, 3-3-1986.

    Minnie Pearl, age 83, died in Nashville 3-4-1996.

    Patsy Cline, age 30, was killed in a plane crash near Camden, TN on 3-5-1963. Patsy was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Elected CMHF 1973. Also killed in the crash were Cowboy Copas, age 49, Hawkshaw Hawkins, age 41, and Patsy's manager, Randy Hughes, age 34. Hughes was flying the plane.

    George Jones purchased a pint of vodka, and headed for his home near Nashville on 3-6-1999. A short distance from his home, he reached for something inside his SUV while talking on his cell phone. George crashed his new Lexus SUV into a concrete bridge. George's heart stopped beating twice in the ambulance enroute to the hospital. He spent the next eleven days in ICU, near death. Jones told CMT in an interview, that a short time prior to this accident, he had asked God to do to him, what ever it took to make him stop drinking.

    Jack Anglin, age 46, of Johnnie & Jack, was killed in a traffic accident while en route to Patsy Cline's memorial service on 3-7-1963. Jack was the fourth member of the Grand Ole Opry cast to die in the past 48 hours.

    Bob Timmers, founder of the "Rockabilly Hall of Fame," born Appleton, Wisconsin on 3-8-1941. Happy 65 chief.

    Kevin Hughes, age 23, was shot, and killed as he left the Nashville, Music Row office of Evergreen Records, on 3-9-1989. Hughes' friend Evergreen recording artist Sammy Sadler, age 22, was shot twice, and critically wounded as he left his Nashville office. At the time of this ambush, Hughes was about to go public with information regarding an elaborate chart-fixing scheme at Cash Box magazine. Fourteen years later, on November 7, 2003, Richard D'Antonio, age 56, was convicted of murder, and sentenced to life in prison.

    James Brown made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on 3-10-1979. The King of Country Music was not amused.

    Seeburg debuted their first jukebox in California on 3-11-1927.

    Ralph Sloan, age 55, founder of the Grand Old Opry dance troupe, the Tennessee Travelers died 3-12-1980.

    Dick Curless debuted on the charts with "A Tombstone Every Mile," 3-13-1965.

    Bill Haley's movie "Rock Around The Clock" premiered in Washington, D.C. on 3-14-1956.

    Heirs of Buddy Holly's estate filed a suit charging MCA Records for allegedly not paying all royalties, forging contracts, and illegally producing albums without their consent on 3-15-1999.

    Seven members of Reba McEntire's band, and her tour manager, died in a plane crash near San Diego, California on 3-16-1991. The crash was attributed to Pilot error. Musicians who died: Chris Austin, Kirk Capello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kaye Evans, Terry Jackson, Michael Thomas, and Tony Saputo.

    Terry Stafford singer/songwriter died in Amarillo, Texas on 3-17-1996.

    Bill Haley & The Comets completed a very successful world tour on 3-18-1957.

    Ray Price was arrested by Mount Pleasant, Texas, police for possession of marijuana on 3-19-1999. Ray was released from custody after posting a $500 bond, and paying a $200 fine, after pleading no contest to one count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

    The Judds performed their first concert in Omaha, Nebraska, when they opened for the Statler Brothers 3-20-1984.

    Bob Timmers founded The Rockabilly Hall of Fame 3-21-1997. Thank you Bob!

    Carl Perkins and his brother, Jay, were seriously injured in a car crash en route to New York City, for an appearance on the Perry Como Show on 3-22-1956.

    Willie Nelson appeared in a Texas court to answer charges of possession of marijuana on 3-23-1995. The judge threw out the evidence, and dropped the charge. The arrest took place on May 10, 1994.

    Toby Keith's father, age 67, was killed in a hit & run auto accident on 3-24-2001. The incident occurred on I 35 outside Norman, OK. The female driver of the hit & run vehicle was located and arrested.

    Bill Anderson arrested in Wilson County, TN, on a charge of Aggravated Assault on 3-25-2003. The charges were filed by Anderson's girl friend, Deborah Marlin. Anderson was released on $1500.00 bond.

    Jan Berry, age 62, of Jan & Dean died on 3-26-2004.

    Billy Gray, Western Swing singer/guitarist died during heart surgery on 3-27-1975.

    Rusty Draper, age 80, died in a Seattle, WA hospital 3-28-2003. The singer/ Songwriter/guitarist, suffered from heart disease and cancer of the throat.

    Texas Ruby, age 52, died in a trailer fire near Nashville, TN 3-29-1963.

    George Jones hospitalized on 3-30-1963, after being injured in a tour bus accident in Oregon.

    Brenda Lee sang professionally for the first time on Red Foley's Ozark Jubilee TV Show 1956. Brenda was eleven years old.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    Whatever Happened To

  • Clarence "Pine Top" Smith
    found stardom in 1928 after the huge success of his single "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie." One year later on March 15, 1929 Clarence was dancing with a friend in a Chicago nightspot when a fight broke out at the bar. One of the waiters fired a shot while attempting to break up the fight. The poorly aimed bullet struck and killed Chicago's newest recording star. Clarence Smith was 25 years old.

  • Bobby Ramirez
    member of Edgar Winter's White Trash band was beaten to death in a Chicago bar on July 24, 1972 because the patrons thought his hair was too long. Bobby was 22 years old.

  • Tammy Terrell
    the talented duet partner of Marvin Gaye, died on stage March 16, 1970 while Marvin held her, and attempted to resuscitate his friend. It was later determined that Tammy died as the result of a brain tumor. Tammy was 24.

  • Terry Kath
    guitarist for the group "Chicago" was shot and killed on January 23, 1978 while playing Russian roulette. Terry was 32 years old.

  • Selena Quintanilla Perez (Selena)
    the Grammy winning artist from Corpus Christi, Texas was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, 32, the president of her fan club on 3-31-1995. The shooting occurred at a Corpus Christi motel, after Selena confronted Saldivar with proof that she had been embezzling funds from the fan club account. A Houston jury found Saldivar guilty in October 1995. Selena known to her fans as the "Queen of Tejano" was 23 years old.

  • Mike Bloomfield
    lead guitarist for The Electric Flag died of a drug overdose on February 15, 1981. Mike was 38.

  • Brian Jones
    the original lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones, drowned in his swimming pool on July 3, 1969.

  • Richard Manuel
    singer and piano player for "The Band," took his own life by hanging on March 4, 1986. Richard was 42 years old.

  • Michael Rudetski
    keyboardist for "Culture Club," died of a heroin overdose on August 6, 1986. Michael was 26 years old.

  • Doug Stegmeyer bassist for Billy Joel,
    The Carpenters and Hall & Oates, shot and killed himself on August 25, 1995. Doug was 43 years old.

    "All fame is written in ice, and eventually the sun comes out."

    RCNV Websites Of The Month

    Another good website for lyrics:

    WLS National Barn Dance:

    Great American Country "GAC" Cable Network home of the Grand Ole Opry:

    How much time do you have left?

    Documents proving guilt of the famous:

    Did You Know?

                 Kim Carnes' single "Betty Davis Eyes," was her biggest selling record. The song went to #1 in 1981, and held that spot for nine weeks. Prior to starting her solo career Kim was a member of The New Christy Minstrels with Kenny Rogers. Kim placed nineteen singles on Billboard's Top 100.
                 Buddy Holly & the Crickets appeared at Liverpool's Empire Theater in March 1958. A group that called themselves The Quarrymen were in the audience that night. The group would eventually change their name to The Beatles.
                 Archie Bleyer founded Cadence Records in the early '50's. Several of the Cadence artists were very successful, and they included The Chordettes, The Everly Brothers, Andy Williams, and others. Archie retired and closed the label in the '60's after marrying Janet Ertel, one of the Chordettes. He died at the age of 79, as the result of Parkinson's disease.
                 Speaking of the Everly Brothers, Phil Everly celebrated his 67th birthday on January 19, 2006. Brother Don turned 69 on February 1st. Where have all the decades gone? It seems like only yesterday that - well; you know what I'm talking about.
                 The Mason City, Iowa Police Department announced on February 29, 1980 that a file containing The Big Bopper's watch, and Buddy Holly's glasses had been found in their evidence room. The items had been mis-filed 21 years ago after the plane crash investigation.
                 Kentucky born Rosemary Clooney placed twenty-nine hits on the Billboard charts from 1951-1960.
                 Bill Haley & the Comets were booked on a twenty-one-show tour in 1956. They were guaranteed a quarter of a million dollars to work the dates. That was an amazing amount of money in 1956.
                 Chuck Berry was released from prison in November 1979 after completing his sentence for tax evasion.
                 Steve Wariner played in Bob Luman's band early on in his career. One of Bob's biggest hits was a song called "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers." Steve liked this 1972 hit so much that the first time he had the opportunity he recorded the same song. His 1983 release was a Top 10 hit for Steve. Both artists were huge hits with Grand Ole Opry audiences over the years.
                 Hank Williams recorded "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Kaw-Liga," and "Take These Chains From My Heart," in late September 1952, more than a month after being fired from the Opry. It would be Hank's last recording session. In Hank's career he recorded two albums and 50 single songs. During his last session for MGM, Hank was so weak he had to lie down between songs, in the studio.
                 Freddie Hart was born Frederick Segrest on December 21, 1926 in Lochapoka, Alabama. Freddie served in the U. S. Marines during WWII, and was involved in the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinaw. Prior to stardom, Freddie taught Karate at the Los Angeles Police Academy. How fitting that this war hero would record a song called "Easy Lovin'" and watch as it took him to #1. Easy Lovin' was the CMA song of the year in 1971 and 1972. Where have all our hero's gone?
                 Bill Haley and the Comets, one of rock and roll's pioneer groups actually began their careers as Bill Haley's Saddle Pals - a country music act.
                 Disc jockey "Cactus Jack Call," was killed in a car wreck on January 25, 1963. On March 3rd, a fundraising show for his family was held in Kansas City. It was on the trip back to Nashville on March 5th, that Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes, were killed in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee. Randy Hughes, the pilot, was Patsy's manager, and Cowboy Copas' son-in-law. Randy's wife lost her husband, and her father, in the crash.

    On a personal note:

    For the first time in almost three years I am late posting a column. My health is beginning to accurately reflect my age. I am recovering from numerous operations on my spine, and hip, which I have had in the past few years, in addition to Degenerative Disk Disease, and Osteo arthritis. I'm getting stronger day by day, and I'll get caught up as soon as possible. Thank you for understanding my tardiness.
    Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar

    "February '06"
    Volume 31

    February 2006 - ©Bill Morrison

    RCNV Spotlight

    The following artists and musicians were left off the list of "Friends We Lost In 2005," published in last months RCNV. Thank you Rod Pyke, and others, who provided these names. They will be added to January's column.

    Johnnie Johnson, pianist for Chuck Berry, died in St. Louis 4-13-2005.

    Rick Lewis, of the Silhouettes died in Philadelphia, 4-26-2005.

    Shirley Goodman, of Shirley & Lee died in Los Angeles 7-5-2005.

    Little Milton died in the Windy City (Chicago, Illinois) 8-4-2005.

    Sonny Fisher, died in Houston, Texas 10-8-2005.

    Al Frazier, Lamplighters / Sharps / and the Rivingtons died in Las Vegas 11-13-2005.

    Tony Meehan died in London, England 11-28-2005.

    Joe Jones died in Los Angeles 11-30-2005.

    Quote of the Month

    Richie Valens was one of the featured acts on the ill-fated "Winter Dance Party" tour of 1959. He won a coin toss with guitarist Tommy Allsup, to see who would get the last seat on the plane with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. Richie won the coin toss and said - Quote: "Man, that's the first time I ever won anything." - Richie Valens

    February Highlights

    Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' only child, born Memphis, TN 2-1-1968.

    Clarence Quick of the Dell Vikings was born 2-2-1937.

    Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens, were killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa on 2-3-1959. Waylon Jennings, bass player for Buddy Holly, gave his seat on the plane to The Big Bopper, due to the Bopper's illness. Waylon's kindness saved his own life.

    Karen Carpenter died on 2-4-1983, as the result of a heart attack. Karen was 32.

    Petula Clark became the first British female artist to have two #1 chart hits in The U.S. when "My Love" went #1 on February 5, 1966.

    Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys died as the result of lung cancer in Los Angeles, on 2-6-1998.

    King Curtis was born Curtis Ousley in Fort Worth, Texas on 2-7-1934.

    Roger Schutt, a.k.a. "Captain Midnight," age 73, Nashville disc jockey, and friend of Music Row outlaws, died in Nashville 2-8-2005.

    Bill Haley, age 55, member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, died at his home in Harlingen, Texas, of a brain tumor, on 2-9-1981.

    Ral Donner, born Ralph Donner, Chicago, IL 2-10-1943.

    Gene Vincent, member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, born Norfolk, VA 2-11-1935.

    Buck Owens, member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, recorded "Act Naturally," on 2-12-1963. This was Buck's first big hit, and eventually went to #1 on the charts.

    Waylon Jennings, age 64, died in his sleep in Chandler, AZ 2-13-2002. CMHF 2001, NSHF 1995. Texas CMHF 1999.

    Buddy Knox, age 65, member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame died of cancer 2-14-1999.

    Merle Kilgore's funeral was held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville 2-15-2005.

    Bill Doggett, "Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2)" born Philadelphia, PA 1916.

    The Beach Boys very first single "Surfin'," charted 1-17-1962.

    Bill Haley & the Comets "Rock Around the Clock" became the very first rock album to make the pop album charts, 2-18-1956.

    Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones died 2-19-1998. Member Grand Ole Opry, CMHF 1978. Hee Haw cast member.

    Cher filed for divorce from Sonny Bono on February 20, 1974.

    Jerry Lee Lewis, member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, married his first wife Dorothy Barton, age 17, on 2-21-1952. The Killer was 16 at the time.

    Florence Ballard, age 32, one of the founding members of The Supremes, died broke, living on welfare, raising her three children alone, on 2-22-1976. Cause of death was a heart attack.

    Eddie Cochran's 2-album set "Singin' to My Baby/Never to be Forgotten" was released by Capitol Records on 2-23-1993, thirty-three years after his death in a London car crash.

    Johnny Cash, member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, recorded "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" on 2-24-1969.

    Buddy Holly recorded "That'll Be the Day" at Norman Petty's New Mexico studio on 2-25-1957.

    Tina Turner won Best Female Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year at the Twenty-seventh Grammy Awards Show on 2-26-1984. All three awards were the result of her single "What's Love Got To Do With It."

    Walter Bailes, age 80, died Sevierville, TN on 2-27-2000. Walter was a member of the Grand Ole Opry's "The Bailes Brothers."

    Brian Jones, guitarist with The Rolling Stones was born on 2-28-1942. Jones left the Stones in 1969 citing health problems as the reason. Four weeks after leaving the group, Brian's body was found in his swimming pool.

    Henson Cargill's "Skip A Rope" was #1 on 2-29-1968.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    Rockabilly Pioneer

    - continued from last month's issue.

    Elvis Presley

                 Elvis graduated from Humes High School in Memphis, on June 3, 1953. The following year Dixie Locke put a lock on Elvis' heart when she became his first steady girlfriend. In May of 1954, Sam Phillips over at Sun Records took an interest in the potential of Elvis Presley. Sam put Scotty Moore (guitar man,) and Bill Black (bass man,) together with "E" and they began a series of rehearsals at the studio. These rehearsals eventually resulted In the Genesis of Presley's amazing recording career. "That's All Right, Mama" and "E's" version of the Bill Monroe penned "Blue Moon of Kentucky" were recorded on July 5th and 6th. The following day Sam Phillips hand delivered a copy of the 45 to his friend Dewey Phillips at WHBQ, and the D.J. played the record 14 times in a row. The official release of the record came two weeks later.
                 Elvis Presley appeared at his first major concert, at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis on July 30th, and Billboard Magazine gave his first single release a good revue in their August issue. Elvis and his band the "Blue Moon Boys" took their act on the road In August, and Elvis made his only appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, on September 25. It was less than spectacular, and Jim Denny (Opry manager) was rude.
                 Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis met for the first time in October, and "E" made his debut appearance on the Louisiana Hay Ride that same month. Sun Records had released "Good Rockin' Tonight" / "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine" by now, and along with his parents, Elvis had signed a contract to become a regular on the Louisiana Hay Ride. His pay - $18.00 per night. Scotty and Bill would receive $12.00 each.
                 Sun Released "Milkcow Blues Boogie" backed by "You're A Heartbreaker" on January 8, 1955. The record didn't make the charts, and a few days later Colonel Tom Parker sent Hank Snow's son Jimmy, to watch Elvis' in concert. Jimmy reported back to Parker that 'E' entertained the audience in a provocative, sexy manner, and the women were crazy about him. Parker then contacted Steve Sholes at RCA Records in Nashville, and asked if Steve was interested in signing Elvis. Steve called back a few days later and said he was interested, but RCA said no.
                 In March Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys flew to NYC and auditioned for the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts show, they were turned down. They did make their TV debut later that month when the Louisiana Hay Ride was telecast from Shreveport. 'E' met June Juanico after a concert in Mississippi, on June 26th. They dated for the next year. In July the latest release "Baby Let's Play House" makes Billboard's Top Ten. "Mystery Train" charted on Billboard's Country chart August 15th, and stayed there a total of 30 weeks. On September 8th, 'E' renewed his contract with the Louisiana Hay Ride. His salary increased from $18 a night to $200. A great raise for Elvis, but he forgot to tell the Colonel about it.
                 In October, Atlantic Records offered the Colonel $25,000 for Elvis' signature on a recording contract. The offer was refused. Elvis Presley was named Most Promising Country Artist at the D. J. Convention in November. Later that month RCA bought Elvis' recording contract for $25,000, and Hill and Range Music bought Sam Phillip's Hi-Lo music publishing company for $15,000. In hindsight that doesn't sound like much money to pay for what they received in return, but Sam Phillips was in debt, and $40,000 was a huge amount of money in 1955. Elvis' last act of 1955 was to sign a contract with Parker making him his exclusive (50%) manager.

    To be continued -

    Whatever Happened To

  • Sid Vicious a.k.a. John Ritchie
    bassist for the Sex Pistols, and creator of slam dancing, died of a drug overdose on February 2,1979 in New York City. Thirteen days prior to his death, Ritchie woke up to find his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, lying next to him in bed, dead of a drug overdose. Ritchie was 21 years old.

  • Tim Kelly
    guitarist for "Slaughter" was convicted of being a member of a gang that smuggled cocaine. He lost his job with Slaughter, and later his life, when a tractor-trailer hit his vehicle head-on while driving in Arizona, on February 5, 1998.

  • King Curtis
    was stabbed to death outside his New York City apartment on August 13, 1971. Curtis was 37 years old, and one of the most sought after session musicians on the planet.

  • Spade Cooley,
    age 58, died while a prison inmate at Vacaville, California in 1969. Cooley was serving a prison sentence for beating his wife to death (in front of their daughter).

  • Del Shannon (born Charles Westover)
    shot and killed himself at home, in Santa Monica California, on February 8, 1990. One of the top hitmakers of the '60's, and '70's, with hits like "Hats Off to Larry" and "Runaway," Del was 55 years old.

  • Ron Belford "Bon" Scott,
    lead singer for AC/DC died in the backseat of his car after several hours of booze and drugs on February 19, 1980. Scott was 50 years old.

  • Janet Vogel
    vocalist with the Crescents, and later the Skyliners, took her own life while seated in her vehicle with the engine running, in the garage of her home in Pittsburgh, on February 21, 1980.

  • Cornel Gunter
    vocalist with The Coasters was shot and killed in Las Vegas, just hours before the group was scheduled to perform at a local Hotel on February 26, 1990.

  • Bobby Hatfield,
    age 63, the Righteous Brothers, died in a Motel room in Michigan in 2003. The Coroner confirmed death was the result of acute cocaine intoxication. Hatfield's body was found in the Motel less than an hour, before the first show of a comeback tour was to begin.

    "All fame is written in ice, and eventually the sun comes out."

    RCNV Websites Of The Month

    Just for fun:

    More just for fun:

    Need to copyright something?

    Doing some research? Need to find an article?

    Find out what your old vinyl records are worth:

    Who married who in Las Vegas:

    Did You Know?

                 If you're a fan of country music from the 1950's thru the 1980's-back when country music was REALLY country-then subscribe to Country Music Classics-a free weekly email newsletter all about classic country music ... stories behind the songs-questions and answers ... and much more. For your FREE subscription-send a blank email to: with "SUBSCRIBE" in subject line.
                 Bobby Russell wrote "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," and pitched the song to Cher. Cher didn't like the song. Bobby gave the song to his wife, Vicki Lawrence, who recorded the song and watched it climb all the way to the top of the chart.
                 Buddy Holly had released thirteen chart singles at the time of his death.
                 Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it is known as Tennessee.
                 Bobby Troup, a musician and actor who wrote the popular song "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" and who played a neurosurgeon on the 1970's television drama  "Emergency," died on February 7, 1999. He was 80. Besides "Route 66," Troup also wrote and performed "Daddy," "The Girl Can't Help It," "The Meaning of the Blues," "Baby, Baby, All the Time" and "Lemon Twist." He also wrote songs for Tommy Dorsey and played the bandleader in the 1959 movie, "The Gene Krupa Story." Bobby was married to Julie London the actress and singer.
                 Johnny Ray one of the nation's favorite singers of the '50's died on February 24, 1990 as the result of decades of heavy drinking. Among Ray's hits; "Cry" and "Just Walking in the Rain." Johnny Ray was 63.
                 Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were arrested on drug possession charges, after fifteen Bobbies conducted a raid at Richards home in 1967.
                 T. Tommy Cutrer was one of WSM's Grand Ole Opry announcers. He ran for the Tennessee State Senate and was elected.
                 B. J. Thomas' single "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" has the longest title of any #1 record in history.
                 Pete Drake formed a little band in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1950's. The names of these unknown musicians were: Jerry Reed, Roger Miller, Jack Greene, Joe South, and Doug Kershaw.
                 Chet Atkins played on the Grand Ole Opry for decades, even hosting his own portion of the show at one point in time, however he was never invited to become a member of the Opry. No, I don't know why - neither did Chet.
                 Terri Clark was rushed to an Albuquerque, NM hospital, after a fan dislocated her shoulder at the New Mexico state fair on September 17, 1998.
                 Reba McEntire and her husband were passengers on a private plane that crash-landed at Nashville International Airport on November 6, 1992. In 1991, Reba lost her road manager, and seven members of her band, in a plane crash near San Diego, California. There were no injuries as a result of the Nashville incident.
                 Tanya Tucker and her piano player Tony Brown were drinking in a Nashville bar on November 25, 1976. After a few hours, Tanya left the bar and wrecked the car she was driving almost killing herself. Tanya's father fired Brown, and a few days later Tony Brown was Elvis Presley's piano player. Today, Tony Brown is one of Nashville's most successful record producers and co-owns a record label of his own.

    In case you ever wondered why
                 Elvis Presley completed his military service in Germany on March 1, 1960. The following day the plane that was taking him back to the U.S. landed at Prestwick Airport in Scotland for refueling. Elvis left the plane for a short time and spoke with some of his fans, then returned to the plane for the flight home. This was the only time Elvis was in Britain.
                 Elvis did not appear in concert anywhere outside of North America during his career. Want to know why? Okay - I was hoping you would ask. His manager "50% Parker" was in the United States illegally. He was unable to get a passport, and afraid to leave the country because he didn't know if he would ever be allowed to re-enter. I am convinced that Hee Haw's Junior Samples could have managed Elvis Presley as well as Tom Parker did - and I'm serious about that.
                 Elvis was not allowed to grow, to learn, to mature, to experiment (with the exception of drugs and women) and he never developed or came anywhere near his potential as an entertainer, or as a human being. Elvis Presley never grew up, and never learned how to handle responsibilities and finances. Parker turned down the opportunities that would have been good for Elvis, because Parker's ego dictated as many business decisions as his greed. (Most former carnival hucksters were that way.) Elvis got bored; his fans were subjected to hundreds of worthless movie songs, none of which were worthy of Elvis's talent. And a once in a lifetime artist wasted away in Memphis, in seclusion, unhappy, without hope of change, and hopelessly addicted to drugs.
                 Some of you are thinking - well I never heard about Elvis complaining about Parker, or the percentage he took. That's right - he didn't complain publicly. It has been reported that Parker was able to keep Elvis under his thumb by threatening to expose all of Elvis' activities during the time he spent in California while making the movies. Added to that was Elvis' lack of self-confidence, not knowing if he could be successful without the guidance of Parker. Imagine what Elvis Presley could have been, with a manager that put him first and foremost in every situation. One thing is certain, Elvis could very well still be alive today if the depression, and negative effects of Parker's control had been addressed. And if you really believe that Elvis received 50% of the money that came in - well friend, you're as gullible as the King.
                 Elvis was not provided with financial records. At income tax time Elvis Presley called the IRS and asked them how much he owed them - that was Colonel Tom Parker. A previous client, and business partner of Parkers said many times that he hated Tom Parker more than any man on the face of the earth. That client/partner was Hank Snow. As Eddy Arnold's manager, Parker demanded that the Grand Ole Opry pay him a percentage of every night's ticket receipts, or he would start a radio program on Friday and Saturday nights in competition with WSM. WSM said NO, and Parker insisted that Eddy Arnold quit the Opry. Eddy quit the Opry. He announced his resignation during a live broadcast, and then went backstage at the Ryman and cried. Eventually Arnold fired the Colonel.
                 Tom Parker knew how to make money. He had no idea about how to treat his associates. The day after Elvis Presley was buried the world mourned - Tom Parker flew to New York City to sign contracts regarding future sales of memorabilia related to the death of The King of Rock and Roll. Only the money mattered, and some very talented people paid a very high price to learn that.

    On a personal note:

    1. The Q & A portion of this monthly article has been dis-continued temporarily - I hope. The mail I receive from Europe, Australia, and New Zeland I have been answering privately (one to one.) A good percentage of the mail I have been receiving from America and farther north, has been pretty negative, hateful, and at times threatening. The theme of the haters is pretty much divided between anti-God, and pro-ACLU. In other words, my mail has been accurately reflecting what is going on in America today. A whole lot of HATE. If I respond to all the negative mail I receive there would not be time to complete next months article. Some of you would like that a lot. But here is the point folks; this is my column, authorized by the Hall of Fame. If a large number of people didn't read this column, it wouldn't still be taking up space. I really don't care what you think, how you feel about any particular issue, or how tough you are. I do hope that the people who love the music I write about enjoy the material that I share with them every month. I love the music - and most of the people who've made it. I enjoy sharing with you the things I have been fortunate enough to learn about our music and the people who made it. Some of it is first hand knowledge, because I was there, or I have talked to the people who were there. But there are other things I am passionate about too. My country and my God top that list, and not in that order. When I see and hear things going on around me that I know will result in destruction and decay - I'm going to write about it. I am a Bible believing Christian, who, thanks to the grace, and blessings of God, understands the things the Bible teaches. And I know what God does to people, and nations, who turn their back on Him. I have an obligation to share those things from time to time, and as long as Bob Timmers allows me to prepare this column every month, I will mention the name of Jesus Christ as often as I want to, and identify the enemies of God (and America) at any time I choose. If you can't deal with that - don't read the column.

    2. To the readers who have requested autographed photo's, records, and some other unmentionables: It causes me pain to tell you that I don't have any 8 X 10's, or records to autograph and send to you. If I did have that material available, I couldn't afford the postage. I have been disabled, and unable to work for almost eleven years. I apologize to those of you who haven't received answers to your e-mail requests. After a while it gets too depressing to provide an explanation time after time. Having said all of this let me conclude by saying; I feel that I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth. For the past 3 years since being inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, I have progressed from being a recluse in a North Carolina trailer park, to receiving e-mail every day of my life from around the world. People write and tell me where they were the first time they heard one my records, where they saw me perform (many remind me that in the 50's I use to do a lot of shows on the roof's of concession stands in the middle of Drive-in Theatres.) I hear from a few old friends who use to share a stage, or a tour with me. Most of them are gone now, but it warms my heart to hear from the ones who remain and still remember me. Rockabilly Hall of Fame member Grant Grieves sends me e-mails several times a week. I love that Christian man. There is one new artist who has become my friend; Al Krivoy is preparing to embark on his first European tour. He shares with me what is going on with his career, and his excitement, and occasionally his concerns. Al Krivoy lights up my life when he shares those things with me. I'm still in the trailer park folks, but it's a nice trailer park, and God isn't embarrassed to spend a lot of time here with me. If He's willing - I'll see you here next month with another issue of Rockabilly Country News & Views. God Bless one and all.

    -Bill Morrison

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar

    "January '06"
    Volume 30

    January 2006 - ©Bill Morrison

    Happy New Year from your friends at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame

    RCNV Spotlight
    This months edition of RCNV is dedicated to those who left us in the past year, and their friends and loved ones.

    Friends we lost in 2005
    Jake Hess, age 76, Southern Gospel Music super-star 1-4-2005.

    Carl West, age 69, steel guitarist for Wynn Stewart 1-10-2005.

    James Arthur (Jimmy) Griffin, age 61, singer/songwriter/guitarist 1-11-2005.

    Leslie Wilburn, age 79, member of the Wilburn Family Band, 1-16-2005.

    Art Stamper, fiddle player for Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys 1-23-2005.

    Ray Peterson, age 65, recording artist, "Tell Laura I Love Her" 1-25-2005.

    Connie Sue Landers, age 60, recording artist 1-30-2005.

    Jimmie Crawford, age 69, member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame 2-2-2005.

    Frank Jones, age 76, member Canadian CMHF 2-3-2005.

    Sonny Spencer, age 75, of the "Sons of the Pioneers" 2-5-2005.

    Sonny Day, age 80, original member Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys 2-6-2005.

    Merle Kilgore, age 70, singer/songwriter/baby sitter for Jr. 2-6-2005.

    Keith Knudsen, age 56, drummer/founding member of "Southern Pacific" 2-8-2005.

    Roger Schutt, a.k.a. "Captain Midnight," age 73, Nashville disc jockey 2-8-2005.

    Dean McNett, age 77, of the Doc & Chickie Williams Show 2-12-2005.

    Sammi Smith, age 61, Grammy winner 2-12-2005.

    Larry Kingston, age 63, songwriter 2-20-2005.

    Billy Cochran, age 50, fiddler/guitarist 2-22-2005.

    Goldie Hill, age 72, "The Golden Hillbilly" 2-24-2005.

    Joe Carter,78, son of A.P. & Sara Carter 3-2-2005.

    George Scott, age 75, of the Gospel group "Blind Boys of Alabama 3-9-2005.

    Chris LeDoux, age 56, singer/songwriter/rodeo champion 3-9-2005.

    Saul Holiff, age 79, long-time manager of Johnny Cash 3-17-2005.

    Monty Matthews, age 77, founding member of the Jordanaires 4-5-2005.

    Jerry Byrd, age 85, member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame 3-11-2005.

    Jimmy Martin, age 77, The King of Bluegrass 5-14-2005.

    Elmer Mackall, age 81, Gospel recording artist/musician 5-22-2005.

    Terry Carisse, age 62, Canadian singer/songwriter 5-22-2005.

    Vivian Liberto, age 71, first wife of Johnny Cash 5-24-2005.

    Ben Joseph Peters, age 71, Hall of Fame songwriter 5-25-2005.

    Lloyd Dwight "Doug" Dugger, age 79, singer/songwriter 5-26-2005.

    Kit Johnson, singer/guitarist/record label owner 5-31-2005.

    Noble F. "Smokey" Stover, age 76, singer/songwriter/DJ Hall of Fame 6-3-2005.

    Robert Byrne, age 50, songwriter/producer 6-29-2005.

    Big Al Downing, age 65, singer/songwriter/pianist/member RHOF 7-4-2005.

    Tracy Jones, age 49, Nashville booking agent 9-15-2005.

    Peggy Bradley, age 62, president of Bradley Music Management 7-15-2005.

    John Herald, 65, songwriter/session musician/Greenbriar Boys 7-18-2005.

    Sol Saffian, age 68, booking agent 7-21-2005.

    Charles Donald Bradley, age 77, recording engineer at Bradley Studios 7-30-2005.

    Hal Rugg, age 69, Steel Guitarist/Member Steel Guitar Hall of Fame 8-9-2005.

    Eddie Shuler, age 92, record label owner/producer 7-23-2005.

    Lester Buchanan, age 85, of the Buchanan Brothers duo 8-6-2005.

    Rufus Thibodeaux, age 71, renowned Cajun fiddler 8-12-2005.

    Vassar Clements, 77, world class fiddle virtuoso/A-list studio musician 8-16-2005.

    Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, age 81, killed by Katrina 9-10-2005.

    Rudy Thacker, age 74, songwriter/member WWVA Jamboree September 2005.

    Don Grashey, age 79, member Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame 9-12-2005.

    Benny Garcia, age 78, legendary Western Swing guitarist 9-17-2005.

    Mitchell Burt "Bea" Lilly, age 84, bluegrass guitarist 9-18-2005.

    Baker Knight, age 72, songwriter 10-12-2005.

    Barbara Pittman, age 67, Rockabilly singer 10-29-2005.

    Link Wray, age 76, guitarist, died in Copenhagen 11-5-2005.

    Val Perkins, age 74, widow of Rockabilly Legend Carl Perkins 11-15-2005.

    Wilson "Lit" Waters Jr., age 74, member of The Fairfield Four 11-24-2005.

    Bobby Stephenson, age 71, country artist, died in Smithfield, NC on 12-8-2005.

    Note: If you know of someone who should be on this list - please let me Know. I apologize to the families of the artists who are not on this list - but belong here.

    Quote of the Month
    "Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside us - that does not apply to the 56 names listed above" - Tom & Susie's dad (me)

    January Highlights

    Elvis Presley wrecked his car on Germany's infamous Autobahn on 1-1-59. The soldier survived the crash but his BMW was not so fortunate.

    Buck Owens' released "Foolin' Around / High As The Mountains" 1-2-1961. This was Buck's first #1 record according to Cashbox magazine. Bob Timmers inducted Buck into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2005. The ceremony took place at Buck's Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, and Mayf Nutter was inducted the same night.

    Sam Phillip's Sun Records was opened for business on this day in 1950.

    Hank Williams' funeral held Montgomery, AL 1-4-1953. More than 25,000 people were in attendance at Montgomery's Oakwood Cemetery to say goodbye to the 29-year-old superstar.

    Coral Records released Buddy Holly's last single "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" / "Raining In My Heart" 1-5-1959. Buddy was killed four weeks later in Iowa.

    For the first time in Grammy history, two artists were nominated in the same category, for the same song 1-6-1998. The artists were Trisha Yearwood and LeeAnn Rimes. The song was "How Do I Live." The Grammy can be found at Trisha's house. (Or maybe its already been moved to Garth's house in Oklahoma)

    The Grand Ole Opry returned to the Ryman Auditorium for a two month run on 1-7-2005. The "New" music the Opry describes as country music, can't fill the seats at the Grand Ole Opry house anymore. If you've heard it - you know why.

    Faith Hill was honored as the Pop/Rock Female Artist of the Year, at the American Music Awards Show on 1-8-2001. Favorite Male Artist of the Year in Pop/Rock was Kid Rock (one of Country Music Televisions favorite singers). The AMA is much more honest when associating artists with genres than the CMA has ever been.

    Jimmy Boyd, singer/actor, born 1-9-1940. Jimmy recorded "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" when he was 12 years old.

    Ronnie Hawkins, Rockabilly singer/guitarist born Huntsville, AR 1-10-1935.

    Spencer Dryden, age 66, drummer for New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Jefferson Airplane, died in California 1-11-2005.

    Johnny Paycheck was released from an Ohio prison, after serving two years of a seven year sentence for shooting a man in a tavern. The Governor of Ohio commuted the singer's sentence 1-12-1991.

    Johnny Cash's single "Ring of Fire" became the first country song to go to #1 on the Pop charts 1-13-1964.

    The Music City News, a country music magazine based in Nashville, went out of business after 37 years 1-14-2000.

    Tootsie's Lounge customers had a special treat on 1-15-2005, when Grand Ole Opry stars (and guest artists,) entertained the customers at the worlds most famous country music watering hole, between Opry shows at the Ryman Auditorium. Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Buddy Miller, and Patty Griffin all performed. Terri Clark and Mindy Smith were just a few of the Opry entertainers seen sitting in Tootsie's upper room, enjoying the show, just a few steps from the Ryman's stage door.

    Jamaican drug enforcement officers fired on Jimmy Buffett's private plane on 1-16-1996. Police reports indicate they believed the plane belonged to drug traffickers. Buffett and his passenger Bono, of U2 were not injured.

    Bellvue Street a.k.a. Hwy 51 South in Memphis, was re-named Elvis Presley Boulevard on 1-17-1972.

    Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson 1-18-1996.

    Carl Perkins, age 65, singer/songwriter/guitarist, died following a series of strokes 1-19-1998. Elected NSHF 1985, R&RHF 1987, RHOF.

    Jerry Lee Lewis debuted on the Grand Ole Opry 1-20-1973.

    Colonel Tom Parker, age 87, Elvis Presley's 50% manager died 1-21-1997.

    Red Sovine's "Giddyup Go" was at the top of the charts on 1-22-1966.

    Johnny Carson, age 79, host of NBC's Tonight Show died in a California hospital from emphysema 1-23-2005.

    Hank Williams' MGM single "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" went to #1 on Billboards country chart on 1-24-1953 (3 weeks after Hank died.) This was the last record released during Hank's lifetime.

    Disc jockey "Cactus Jack Call," was killed in a car wreck on 1-25-1963. On March 3rd, a fund raising show for his family was held in Kansas City. It was on the trip back to Nashville on March 5th, that Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes, were killed in a plane crash, near Camden, TN.

    Buddy Holly & The Crickets appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show 1-26-1958.

    Cheryl White of the Whites, born Wichita Falls, TX 1-27-1955.

    Stonewall Jackson recorded "Don't Be Angry," at his debut Columbia session 1-28-1957.

    "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour," debuted on CBS-TV 1-29-1969.

    Sun Records session pianist Jerry Lee Lewis, played on Billy Lee Riley's single "Red Hot" 1-30-1956.

    Jimmy Rodgers recorded "T.B. Blues" 1-31-1931.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    Rockabilly Pioneer
                 On June 17, 1933 Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith were married. Eighteen months later, on January 8, 1935 at the Presley home, 306 Ole Saltillo Rd., Tupelo, Mississippi, Gladys gave birth to twin sons. Jesse Garon Presley was stillborn, placed in a shoebox and buried near the home. The surviving twin, Elvis Aaron Presley would live long enough to change the history of our world, and our music. If you're reading this, you already know the "Elvis" story, the characters, the locations, the loves, the hates, the happiness and the sorrow in the life of "Elvis the Pelvis," "The King of Rock 'n' Roll." In this, and in future articles, I'll be telling you about some of the events in the life and career of the man who changed the way we listened to music. After hearing Elvis for the first time we listened not with just our ears, but with our hearts, our minds, our souls and our feet - and you better believe - we loved the beat. Had it not been for Elvis Presley, I would never have stepped on stage for the first time. The list of artists who became artists, because of this man, would fill a book.
                 Elvis' father was tried, and convicted on a felony charge of Check Forgery on November 10,1937. Six months later Vernon was sentenced to serve three years in a Mississippi penal institution. During his time in jail Vernon's wife and baby son lived on welfare. As a result of an early release for good behavior, Vernon was released from prison on October 10, 1940.
                 "E" received his first guitar on his 10th birthday, and nine months later on October 3rd, made his public debut as a singer by winning second prize at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair & Dairy Show, which is held every year in Tupelo. The prize for second place was $5.00 cash and free rides at the fair. The song sang by the future King of Rock 'n' Roll was "Old Shep."
                 Vernon Presley was identified as one of the truck drivers who hauled illegal whiskey for a bootlegger in 1948. During the night-time hours of September 12th, the Presley family packed their few belongings, left the home that Vernon had built in Tupelo, and quietly moved to a new life, and a fresh start in Memphis, Tennessee.
                 Life in Memphis was not any easier for the Presley's than it was in Tupelo. One year after arriving in Memphis, Vernon moved his family into a federally funded housing project, and financially, things improve a little. Vernon works as opportunities present themselves, and in 1951, Elvis is hired by a Memphis tool company. He is fired four weeks later when the company discovers that Elvis lied about his age on the application, and is not old enough to be working there.
                 1953 was a big year in the life of Elvis Presley. On his 18th birthday, Vernon and Gladys gave their son his first automobile, a 1942 Lincoln Coupe. His reputation as a talented singer was established at Humes High School, when he sang "Keep Them Icy Fingers Off of Me" at a school show, and after his fellow students gave him a standing ovation Elvis sang "Old Shep." Elvis graduated from Humes High on June 3, 1953. A short time later he went to Sam Phillip's Memphis Recording Service and recorded his first songs. "That's When Your Heartache Begins" and "My Happiness" were placed on a master disc, and Elvis took it home to Gladys. No copies were ever made. To be continued -

    Whatever Happened To

  • Lenny Bruce
    died in his home in Hollywood, California from a heroin overdose on August 3, 1966. Leonard Alfred Schneider (his real name) was 40 years old.

  • Chris Farley
    died of a drug overdose in an apartment unit of the John Hancock building in Chicago, on December 17, 1997. He was 33 years old.

  • Phillip Lynott
    lead singer and bassist for "Thin Lizzy" died of a drug overdose on January 4, 1986. He was 34.

  • Lindsay Crosby
    son of Bing Crosby used a shotgun to take his own life on December 11, 1989 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Dennis Crosby
    son of Bing Crosby used a shotgun to take his own life on May 4, 1991 in a boarding house in California.

  • Wendy O. Williams
    of the Plasmastics shot herself in the head near her home in Storrs, CT on April 4, 1998. Wendy was 47 years old.

  • John Bonham
    drummer for Led Zeppelin, passed out and choked to death on his own vomit on September 25th 1980, following an all-day drinking binge. John was 32 years old. Three months after his death, in December,1980 Led Zeppelin announced that they were retiring because they were unable to work with out Bonham.

  • Dennis Wilson
    drummer for The Beach Boys, jumped over board from his yacht at Marina Del Ray Harbor in Los Angeles and drowned, on Dec. 28th, 1983. He was 39.

    "All fame is written in ice, and eventually the sun comes out."

    RCNV Websites Of The Month

    Radio Hall of Fame

    The "Farm Aid" website may be found at:

    The official Bob Wills website is at:

    Country Music News:

    How Stuff Works is one of the most helpful websites on the Internet:

    Did You Know?

                 Songwriter Ben Weisman wrote a total of 57 songs that were recorded by Elvis Presley.

                 Paul McCartney flew to Japan in 1980. Upon arrival at the Tokyo Airport, authorities found a half pound of marijuana in his luggage. He was immediately arrested and taken to jail. Ten days later, McCartney was escorted from the jail back to the airport, and deported back to England.

                 Rod Stewart was one of the inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Prior to finding fame as an entertainer Stewart earned his living digging graves.

                 Alan Freed "The Founding Father of Rock 'n' Roll" is credited with coining the term "Rock and Roll" in 1946. By far the most popular disc jockey of the '60's, Freed died in 1965, out of work, and out of money, as a result of the Payola scandal, and the fact that he was made a scapegoat. Alan Freed was 43 years old.

                 Roy Orbison, Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran and Carl Perkins were among the stars who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

                 Bill Haley traveled to England for the first time in 1957. As he arrived at Victoria Station in London, he was mobbed by his British fans.

                 The first gold record ever presented went to Band Leader Glenn Miller in 1942 for "Chattanooga Choo-Choo."

                 It was Roy Orbison who talked Buddy Knox into recording at Norman Petty's Clovis, New Mexico studio. The result "Party Doll" Buddy's biggest hit. Buddy Knox died in Bremerton, Washington in 1999.

                 Not one of Elvis Presley's Sun recordings had drums in the background. Carl Perkins was the first Sun artist to use drums in the studio.

                 Wilbert Harrison the singer who made "Kansas City" a hit, had 22 brothers and sisters in his North Carolina family.

                 SSgt. Barry Sadler, age 49, the Green Beret who wrote and recorded the 1966 hit "The Ballad of the Green Berets"  died November 5, 1989 from a gun shot wound to the head. He was assassinated while riding in a taxi cab in Guatemala City. Sadler was in Guatemala training, and arming the Contras. Now - you know the rest of the story.

                 Fourteen percent of the one million citizens of Nairobi, Kenya carry the AIDS virus. Some 20% of the Kenyan military was infected as of 1997. Many villages in Africa are occupied by only the very young, and the very old. The rest of the population has died as the result of AIDS. Africa provides these figures from time to time, in order to receive financial aid. Most of the countries with the highest number of AIDS victims, do not truthfully report their figures to the World Health Organization.

    From The Wisdom Desk

    If we didn't know better we would have to conclude, that America's former leaders could see the pathetic future of this once great nation, and then - left us the following bits of wisdom, in the hope that we would not force God to destroy America.

    "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."
    Abraham Lincoln
      Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer April 30, 1863

    "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature. - I never doubted the existence of the Deity, that He made the world, and governed it by His providence. The pleasures of this world are rather from God's goodness than our own merit - .Whoever shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."
    Benjamin Franklin

    "The God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "The almighty God has blessed our land in many ways. He has given our people stout hearts and strong arms with which to strike mighty blows for freedom and truth. He has given to our country a faith which has become the hope of all peoples in an anguished world."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Fourth Presidential Inaugural Address
    January 20, 1945

    "It is extremely important to our nation, in a political as well as religious view, that all possible authority and influence should be given to the Scriptures, for these furnish the best principles of civil liberty, and the most effectual support of republican government. The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations, are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer."
    Noah Webster

    "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christian; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
    Patrick Henry

    "Men must choose to be governed by God, or condemn themselves to be ruled by tyrants.
    William Penn

    Bill's Tip Of The Month
    Our politicians are out of control - our government barely functions anymore. Hatred of the other party, not wisdom and common sense rules the Senate and the House. The only thing that gets the attention of our power-hungry thieves in Washington D.C., is the threat of retaliation at the polls by the voters. If you stand by and let this continue, you will be deserving of the consequence of your laziness and stupidity. I tell you America is on the brink of destruction. This is more important than our music folks. God destroys nations that turn their back on Him. Talk to your representatives, tell them to stop the hate, and start representing you in a manner that all American's can be proud of - regardless of what political party is in power. And pray that God will forgive America for the sins that we now allow by some of our godless laws. You cannot say that you were not warned.

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar

    "December '05"
    Volume 29

    December 2005 - ©Bill Morrison

    Merry "Christmas" to one and all from the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

    This months column is dedicated to the newest members of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Mayf Nutter and Buck Owens, were Inducted at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California, on November 5, 2005, by the Founder and Director of the Hall of Fame Bob Timmers.

    Quote of the Month
    Quote: "The Grand Ole Opry is 80 years old because of DeFord Bailey and his contributions."
    -Vince Gill after inducting black harmonica player DeFord Bailey into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005
                 Note: No one appreciates the many talents of Vince Gill more than I do. But the above statement, which he made to the CMA Awards Show audience after inducting Deford Bailey into the Country Music Hall of Fame, was at best - not accurate, and at worst - a lie. Mr. Bailey was terminated from the Grand Ole Opry for refusing to learn any new material. Roy Acuff argued against inducting the man into the Hall of Fame for years. DeFord Bailey was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame because of his skin color. His relatives have been bad-mouthing the CMA for years because they haven't inducted him earlier, and the pressure was mounting. If you watched the telecast of the show from New York City last month, you saw two rows of Bailey's relatives near the front of the stage. I don't know this for a fact, but I'll bet-you a dollar to a donut, that the CMA paid their expenses to come to New York and attend the show. Only God, and Ed Benson knows if, or how much cash went to the relatives along with the decision to induct. To say that the Grand Ole Opry could not have lasted eighty years without Mr. Bailey, sounds like something the not-so reverend Jesse Jackson might have concocted. I've heard recordings of Mr. Bailey's work on the harmonica. I've heard Charlie McCoy's work. If any harmonica player would deserve to be a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame it would certainly have to be McCoy. But anyone who would consider inducting either one of them before Jean Shepard has to be nuts. I find it very disturbing that "Political Correctness" has raised it's ugly head in Nashville again, and caused such a miscarriage of truth, and justice. I said I was disturbed - not surprised. Welcome to the all "new" Music City - what's your dream?

    December Highlights
    Joe Heathcock, age 66, singer/fiddler/movie, and TV actor, died in Nashville, TN 12-1-1980.

    Jerry Lee Lewis checked into the Betty Ford Clinic, for treatment of an addiction to painkillers 12-2-1986.

    Thomas "Grady" Martin, age 72, ÎA' Team session guitarist/session leader, died from a heart attack 12-3-2001. Grady was one of the most influential guitarists in country music history. Prior to his death, Martin was asked who was the most important and interesting person he had ever met. His reply, "Jesus."

    Roy Orbison gave his final concert in Akron, Ohio 12-4-1988. He died two days later.

    George Morgan, Don Gibson, Billy Grammer, Johnnie Wright, Kitty Wells, The Jordanaires, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Justin Tubb, Stonewall Jackson, and Ray Price, were dismissed from the Grand Ole Opry in 12-5-1956. This occurred after they refused to sign a new contract, which required them to appear on the Opry a minimum of 26 weekends per year, at union scale. The dispute was eventually resolved.

    Roy Orbison, age 52, died in Hendersonville, TN 12-6-1988.

    June Carter performed for the first time on the Johnny Cash Show in Dallas, Texas, on 12-7-1961.

    Marty Robbins died in Nashville, TN in 12-8-1982, after suffering a heart attack. Marty was a member of The Grand Ole Opry/Movie and TV actor/NASCAR Driver. Inducted CMHF 1982. NSHF 1975.

    Faron Young, age 64, shot himself in the head at his home in Nashville 12-9-1996. He died in the hospital, the following day.

    Faron Young, age 64, died 12-10-1996 as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, sustained the previous day in Nashville. As per his request, Faron was cremated, and his ashes spread over Old Hickory Lake, near the Cash residence. Inducted CMHF 2000.

    June Carter married Edwin Nix 12-11-1957.

    Elvis made his last Las Vegas appearance at the Las Vegas Hilton on 12-12-1976.

    Hank Williams had surgery on his spine 12-13-1951. The surgery was the result of an injury he received while hunting in September with Jerry Rivers. The surgery was not successful, and Hank suffered a great deal of pain until his death.

    Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" was certified gold 12-14-1961. This was the first ever country single to be certified gold by the RIAA, (Recording Industry Association of America.)

    Ernie Ashworth, a.k.a. "Billy Worth," singer/songwriter, born Huntsville, AL 12-15- 1928. Member Grand Ole Opry.

    During Brad Paisley's 36th guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Jeannie Sealy, extended an invitation to Brad to join the Grand Ole Opry 12-16-2000. Brad was inducted on February 17th, 2001.

    Nat Stuckey born Cass County, TX 12-17-1933.

    Elvis Presley recorded "Milkcow Blues Boogie/You're A Heartbreaker" for Sun 12-18-1954.

    Johnny Paycheck shot a man in Hillsboro, OH 12-19-1985. He served two years in an Ohio prison, prior to being pardoned by the Governor of Ohio.

    Grant Grives was Inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame 12-20-2004.

    Mack Vickery, age 66, singer/songwriter, died Nashville, TN 12-21-2004. Inducted Alabama Music Hall of Fame 2003. Mack recorded under the names; Atlanta James, Vick Vickers, and Mack Vickery.

    Dave Dudley, age 75, died of a heart attack 12-22-2003.

    Ray Cash, age 85, father of Johnny Cash, died 12-23-1985.

    Willie Nelson's home in Nashville destroyed by fire 12-24-1969.

    Billy Nelson, age 33, son of Willie Nelson, hung himself on Christmas Day 1991.

    Rattlesnake Annie born Ashville, NC 12-26-1941.

    Bob Luman, age 41, died in Nashville, TN 12-27-1978. Bob was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in October 2005.

    Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys drowned while swimming in the harbor at Marina del Ray, California 12-28-1983.

    Buddy Knox released "Party Doll," 12-29-1956.

    Brenda Lee's home was destroyed by fire 12-30-1962.

    Rick Nelson, age 45, his fiancee Helen Blair, and all of the members of Rick's "Stone Canyon Band," were killed in a plane crash near DeKalb, TX 12-31-1985.

    Col. Robert Morris, Rockabilly and Traditional Country Hall of Fame inductee was born Dec. 12, 1951 in Memphis, TN.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    Rockabilly Pioneer

                 Rockabilly legend Carl Perkins married the love of his life Valda Crider on January 24, 1953. Throughout Carl's career his biggest fan and supporter was always "Val." Through good times and bad, their love never wavered. Carl spent ten long years on the road with the Johnny Cash Show. Those were mostly painful years for Carl. His career as a recording artist had cooled off, and he appreciated the offer from his friend to join his show, and play guitar for him, but Carl Perkins was born to be the focus of an audiences attention. They were lonely years of too much travel, being away from Val and the children, and large amounts of alcohol. With the help of his best friend Val, and the help of his God, Carl Perkins overcame his personal problems. Early in Carl's career he had worked in a band with two other Perkins men. Now, after leaving the Johnny Cash Show, Carl would once again form a band with two other men named Perkins. This time they weren't his brothers, they were his sons. Carl Perkins died on January 19, 1998. His darling Val, age 74, followed him on November 15, 2005. Carl's favorite redhead joined him in the mausoleum of Ridgecrest Cemetery two days later. It was reported at Val's funeral that every night since Carl died, Val had taken Carl's pajamas and laid them on the bed beside her. Val Perkins will be missed.

    Stage Names
    "Country Artists"
    Jean Arthur - Gladys Greene
    Chris Cagle - Christian Cagle
    Junior Brown - Jamieson Brown
    Simon Crum - Ferlin Husky
    Pete Drake - Roddis Franklin Drake
    Billy Crash Craddock - William Wayne Craddock
    Bonnie Guitar - Bonnie Buckingham

    "Hollyweird Heroes"
    Bruce Willis - Walter Bruce Willis
    Audrey Hepburn - Edda Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston
    Christian Slater - Christian Hawkins
    Vivian Vance - Vivian Jones
    Leslie Howard - Leslie Stainer
    Jackie Gleason - Herbert Gleason
    Vincent Gardenia - Vincent Scognamiglio

    Adam Ant - Stuart Leslie Goddard
    Brook Benton - Benjamin Franklin Peay
    Caesar & Cleo - Sonny & Cher (early stage names)
    Little Eva - Eva Narcissus Boyd
    Tab Hunter - Andrew Arthur Kelm
    Jewel - Jewel Kilcher
    Frankie Laine - Frankie LoVecchio

    Q. & A.
    Ed Willis wrote from Gainesville, Florida, with the following question:
                 Q: Bill, my first question is about Kitty Wells. Can you tell me how she got into the music business? And do you think being born in Nashville helped her in any way? My second question is, what happened to real country music? You sure can't find it on the radio anymore. Is it that way in Tennessee too?
                 A: Hi Ed, thanks for the question'(s). The answer to question #1 is easy, Muriel Deason (Kitty Wells' birth name), learned to play guitar from her father at an early age. As a teenager Muriel and her sisters formed a group they called The Deason Sisters, and they soon were playing and singing on a local radio station. She married Johnny Wright in 1937, and joined her new husband and his sister Louise, in a group they called Johnny Wright & The Harmony Girls. When Louise's husband Jack Anglin joined the group two years later, they renamed the band The Tennessee Hillbillies, and eventually The Tennessee Mountain Boys, and then they became Johnny & Jack, with the newly named Kitty Wells singing backup. That's how Kitty got into the business. Being from Nashville didn't help or hinder Kitty's career. It's all a matter of being in the "right place" at the "right time." The importance of timing in an artists career cannot be overstated.
                 Now for question #2 - (deep breath) The FCC laws were changed in the '90s, to allow a corporation to own up to eight radio stations in any given market. This made a few corporations very powerful. So powerful in fact, that the country radio station owners began telling the major record companies what kind of music they would accept for air play. They now target a much younger audience, and pop-rock sells better to young listeners than traditional country music does so - .the radio stations dictate to Music Row what kind of music is acceptable. And everyone knows that radio air play dictates which records sell, and which records don't. In addition, the Gaylord corporation in Nashville bought up the Grand Ole Opry, WSM AM, WSM FM, the musical catalog of Acuff Rose Publishing, the Ryman Auditorium, and built Opryland, and the new Opry House. They have no desire to preserve traditional country music, their agenda is totally profit driven, and they have hurt traditional country music. They closed Opryland to open a shopping center. Never mind that Edward Gaylord promised that things would remain the same, and that nothing would change at the Opry or at WSM, after the purchase.
                 And last, but certainly not least, the traditional country music fans must accept much of the blame. It should not surprise anyone to learn that our music has been destroyed. A country that lets a few demented dummies like the ACLU, and a few activist judges, take God and prayer out of our schools and public buildings, is also going to be complacent about a few rich men robbing us of our kind of music. Americans don't stand up for anything anymore. The average person is afraid of being called one of the new politically correct "hate names" that are used to describe people who disagree with the New World Order of "anything goes." Racist, homophobic, racial profiling, alternative life styles, are terms that have fostered a society that is afraid to stand up for anything they believe in. So I guess I'm telling you Ed, that the traditional country fans got what they deserve. They don't stand up to the politicians that are suppose to represent them. They don't stand up to black leaders who lie, and become millionaires by pretending to help their people, while in fact they are to blame for much of the hatred (and there's a lot of that going around) between the races. And the God haters laugh, while the Ten Commandments are torn down from the walls of courtrooms, and schoolrooms, and prayer is banned in public, and meanwhile - country music fans worry about loosing their music, while children are murdering their classmates and teachers in school. The fact of the matter is, the whole country is being lost to people who care nothing about America's traditions and values. Federal Judge Stephen Reinhardt, of the 9th Circuit Court in California, is the worst of the activist judges with personal agendas, who are attempting to reinvent the constitution of the United States. He is married to Ramona Ripston, who just happens to be the head of the ACLU in southern California. Does that sound like a conflict of interest to you? President Jimmy Carter was the dummy who appointed Reinhardt to the federal bench. Who is crying out about that? I suppose I feel a stronger urgency about this problem than most. I've read the Book, I know what God does to cities, and countries that turn their back on him. We are going to lose a lot more than our music. And you know what Ed - we deserve every bit of it.
    Thanks for the questions Ed. Stay safe in Florida.
    If you have a question (related to MUSIC) send your e-mail to:

    Whatever Happened To
  • Bobby Bloom
    died on February 28, 1974, the victim of a gun shot wound. Bobby's biggest hit was "Montego Bay," he was 28 years old.

  • John Lennon
    was shot to death in front of his New York City apartment, by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980. The Beatle was 40 years old.

  • Mama Cass Elliott
    born (Ellen Naomi Cohen) of "The Mamas and the Papas" died on July 29, 1974. After having played two sold-out shows at the London Palladium, Mama Cass died of a massive heart attack in a London apartment owned by Harry Nilsson. Original reports indicted she choked to death on a ham sandwich, that proved not to be true. Autopsy reports indicated death was the result of heart failure, brought on by extreme obesity. Ellen was 5'5" tall, and weighed 237 pounds. She was 32 years old.

  • Tim Hardin
    "Bird on a Wire" died of a drug overdose on December 29, 1980. Tim was 39 years old.

  • Freddie Mercury
    lead singer of Queen died from AIDS, on November 24, 1991. Freddie was 45 years old.

  • Donny Hathaway
    took his own life on January 15, 1979, by jumping from his 15th floor New York apartment. Donny was suffering from debilitating depression. Among Donny's credits is the 1972 single "Where Is the Love" recorded with Roberta Flack. Donny Hathaway was 33 years old.

  • Phil Kramer
    of "Iron Butterfly" was found dead in a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, on May 31, 1999. Four years earlier, he called the police to say he was going to commit suicide. Phil was 42 years old.

  • Keith Moon
    drummer for The Who, died of a sedative overdose on September 7, 1978. Keith was 31 years old.

  • Gram Parsons
    founder of The Byrds & The Flying Burrito Brothers was found dead at Joshua Tree, California on September 19, 1973, of an alcohol and drug overdose. Gram was 27 years old.

  • Otis Redding
    died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. Four members of his backup band, The Bar-Kays were also killed. The last song Otis recorded prior to his death was "Dock of the Bay," and it was the first song to go to #1 after his death. Otis was 26 years old.

    "All fame is written in ice, and eventually the sun comes out."

    RCNV Websites Of The Month
    For newcomers to country and those looking for a history course, read Roughstock's History of Country Music detailing the history of the genre from the '20's to the '90's, complete with sound clips.

    The Canadian Country Music Association: www.ccma. org/artists.html

    The "Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame" can be found at:

    The "Country Gospel Connection" is at:

    Front Page Rockabilly News from the Hall of Fame website:

    Did You Know?

                 Buddy Knox was 15 years old when he wrote his #1 hit "Party Doll."

                 Johnny Carroll sang four songs in the 1957 movie "Rock Baby Rock."

                 Hawkshaw Hawkins and Jean Shepard were married on stage, in Wichita, Kansas, in front of 3,600 fans on November 26, 1960. The show promoter Hap Peebles gave the bride away, and Lucille Coats was matron of honor. Ken Nelson of Capitol Records was best man, and Reverend Robert Winger performed the ceremony.

                 The earliest known  Buddy Holly recording is a cover of Hank Snow's "My Two Timin' Woman." The song was recorded in 1949 prior to Buddy's voice change, and doesn't sound like him. Buddy was thirteen years old at the time.

                 Leon Ashley's 1967 smash hit "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)" has since been covered by Marty Robbins, Claude King and Kenny Rogers. All four versions hit the charts, only the original by Leon Ashley went to #1.

                 George Jones' first #1 single was "White Lightning," which was written by J. P. Richardson (the Big Bopper). George Jones did not initially want to record "She Thinks I Still Care." It went on to become his third #1.

                 Bob Wills played the Grand Ole Opry for the first time on December 30, 1944. One of the female fans in the balcony became so excited, she fell over the rail onto the floor.

                 Chuck Berry was arrested for transporting a minor across a state line for an immoral purpose December 23, 1959.

                 Hank Thompson and Eddy Arnold were the only country artists to place their records on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart in six decades (1940's - 1990's).

                 Charles Donald Bradley, age 77, recording engineer at Bradley Studios, and Columbia Studios in Nashville, died July 30, 2005. Charles was the younger brother of Harold and Owen Bradley.

                 Mindy McCready was found unconscious in a Holiday Inn outside Tampa, Florida, after an apparent suicide attempt on July 22, 2005. Mindy, pregnant with the child of the man who is charged with attempting to kill her, has admitted she needs some professional help if she is going to survive, and has promised to seek out that help.

                 Memphis police arrested Jerry Lee Lewis outside the gate at Graceland on November 23, 1976. The Killer was shouting that he wanted to see Elvis, and was waving a gun in the air.

                 Dr. George C. Nichopoulous was indited in Memphis on 14 counts of over-prescribing drugs for Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and numerous other patients on May 16,1980.

    From The Wisdom Desk
    The Prayer
    I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
    I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.
    I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
    I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
    I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
    I was given poverty, that I might learn to be wise.
    I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
    I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
    I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
    I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
    I got nothing that I asked for
    But everything I had hoped for.
    Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
    I am, among all men. Most richly blessed.
    -Authored by an unknown Confederate soldier

    *This poem was read at Conway Twitty's funeral by Ralph Emery.

    Bill's Tip Of The Month
    The greatest wealth is contentment with a little.

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar

    "November '05"
    Volume 28

    November 2005 - ©Bill Morrison

    Happy Thanksgiving America
    This month's RCNV column is dedicated to the newest member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Bob Luman  1937 - 1978. I was proud to call Bob my friend, and open shows for him on the road. Bob Luman was the Rockabilly member of the Grand Ole Opry (joining in 1964) after moving To Nashville, from Southern California. He was never a favorite of Roy Acuff's, but he certainly filled a lot of seats with some very enthusiastic fans every time he played the Opry.
    We miss you Bob.

    Quote of the Month
    Quote: "John R. Cash was one of the greatest human beings who ever walked on the face of this earth, but Johnny Cash was probably the greatest jerk who ever lived."
    -Marshall Grant, bass player and friend of John Cash

    November Highlights
    Roy Acuff visited his friend Minnie Pearl, as she was recovering from a stroke on 11-1-1992. The last words he spoke to Minnie as he left the room were "I'll see you In Heaven, Minnie." Mr. Acuff died three weeks later.

    Johnny Cash spent the night in jail in Lafayette, Georgia, 11-2-1967. It was the only night John ever spent in jail.

    Merle Haggard was paroled from San Quentin Prison, after serving two years and nine months of a five year sentence, on 11-3-1960. The remaining two years and three months of the sentence were served on parole.

    HMG released Jackie Lee Cochran's album "Rockabilly Music" 11-4-1997.

    Johnny Horton, age 35, died in a car wreck near Milano, Texas, 11-5-1960. Horton was hit head-on by a drunk driver while returning home after an appearance in Texas.

    Elvis Presley and his parents signed a one-year contract with the Louisiana Hayride on 11-6-1954. Elvis would receive $18.00 for every Saturday night, and Bill Black and Scotty Moore would receive $12.00 each. Gladys and Vernon were required to sign the contract because Elvis was still a minor. (19 years old)

    Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Dennis Morgan and Freddie Hart were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 11-7-2004.

    Patti Page born Clara Fowler, in Oklahoma, 11-8-1922.

    Vince Gill while performing on the TV portion of the Grand Ole Opry, received an electric shock to his lips from the microphone on 11-9-2002. The show was stopped while technicians checked the well-being of Vince, and the status of the microphone. It was a memorable moment in Opry history, and Vince handled the situation like the true professional that he is.

    David "Stringbean" Akeman and wife Estelle were murdered in a robbery at their rural home near Nashville, on 11-10-1973. The two robbers were waiting for them, as they returned home from an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

    Marshall Crenshaw, Rockabilly singer/guitarist, born Detroit, Michigan, 11-11-1953.

    Elvis Presley was voted "Most Promising Country and Western Artist," by Billboard magazine 11-12-1955.

    Bill Doggett, age 80, died 11-13-1996.

    Wynonna and hubby Arch Kelley III announced that they were divorcing 11-14-1998. The couple was married in 1995, after Wynonna became pregnant with their second child.

    William Fries, a.k.a. "C. W. McCall," born Audubon, Iowa, 11-15-1928.

    Singer/songwriter John Randall married Lorrie Morgan 11-16-1997.

    Eva Overstake, age 33, a.k.a. Mrs. Red Foley, took her own life after learning her husband was having an affair with Sally Sweet on 11-17-1951. Red Foley married Sally Sweet, a short time later.

    Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Myra were divorced 11-18-1970.

    The CMA Awards were broadcast from the Ryman Auditorium, on NBC-TV for the first time on 11-19-1968. The show was co-hosted by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

    Joe Walsh of the "Eagles," born Wichita, Kansas, 11-20- 1947.

    Welcome to the new "Music City USA." On November 21, 2001, one month after the attacks of 9-11, Country Music Television presented their "Country Freedom Concert." Charlie Daniels was booked on the show, and was going to perform his popular "This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag." The politically correct executives at CMT (which is owned by VH-1) told Charlie that he could not sing that song on the show, because it might offend the Muslim community. Charlie Daniels, an American Patriot, cancelled his appearance on the show.

    Wynonna Judd married her former bodyguard D.R. Roach in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee, on 11-22-2003.

    Spade Cooley, age 58, died in Vacaville, California, 11-23-1969, while serving a prison sentence, for beating his wife to death in front of their daughter.

    Glen Campbell, age 67, was arrested by Phoenix police for Drunken Driving, Hit and Run, and Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer 11-24-2003.

    The Carter Family recorded "Lonesome Pine Special," for Victor Records 11-25-30.

    Hawkshaw Hawkins and Jean Shepard married on stage, in Wichita, Kansas, on 11-26 1960.

    Elvis Presley was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame on 11-27-2001.

    Eddy Arnold and Sally Gayhart were married on 11-28-1941.

    David "Butch" McDade, age 52, died in his home from cancer 11-29-1998. Butch, a drummer, was a founding member of the "Amazing Rhythm Aces."

    Jimmy Bowen Producer/Music exec./ Singer/Songwriter, born Santa Rita, NM on 11-30-1937. Formed the Rhythm Orchids at West Texas State University with Buddy Knox, Dan Lanier and Dave Alldred.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    Rockabilly Pioneer
    Sonny Burgess
               Albert "Sonny" Burgess was born May 28, 1931, in Newport, Arkansas. This singer/songwriter/lead guitarist, is a Rockabilly treasure. Like many, or most Rockabilly pioneers, Sonny's early musical interest was country music. In addition to country, Sonny loved the blues. WSM and WLAC in Nashville, and WDIA (a black station) in Memphis provided the music that filled Sonny's spirit as a young man growing up in Arkansas. As a teenager his first success came as lead guitar player in Freddie Hart's band. In 1954, after a hitch in the army, and a tour of duty in Germany, Sonny formed a band with local Newport talent, calling themselves the Moonlighters. They played country music, western swing, and this new stuff called rockabilly. In October, 1955, Sonny's band opened a show for Elvis Presley when he appeared in their hometown. They would open several shows for Elvis in years to come.
               By 1956 the name of the band was changed to the Pacers, and on May 2, they recorded their first single at Sun Studio in Memphis. "Red Headed Woman" and "We Wanna Boogie," sold almost 100,000 records. The Pacers were now a six piece band, (guitarist Joe Lewis came up with the new name), and the group toured with two other Sun artists, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison. Band members included Joe Lewis on guitar, Ray Kennedy on piano, John Hubbard on bass, Jack Nance on trumpet, and Russell Smith on drums.
               Sonny's recording contract with Sun Records expired in 1960. In 1964 he recorded four singles on the Razorback label, with the Kings IV band. Then in 1968 he recorded briefly for Rolando Records, and did not record again until 1976. He became a member of the "Sun Rhythm Section" in the late 1980's. Dave Alvin produced Sonny's "Tennessee Border" record in 1992, and also played guitar on this project. Folks, if you never witnessed Sonny Burgess and the Pacers in person, you missed one of Rockabilly's best stage shows. Sonny Burgess - thanks for memories.
               * Some of the information in this piece came from Craig Morrison's book, Go Cat Go! Rockabilly Music and Its Makers.  Published by the University of Illinois Press

    News Notes
    Congratulations to my friend Randy Kohrs, one of the IBMA's nominees for Dobro Player of the Year. The International Bluegrass Music Awards Show will be held on October 27, 2005, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

    David Zenoff, age 89, a former District Court Judge in Las Vegas from1958 to 1965, died in California, on October 3, 2005. Zenoff married Elvis Presley and Priscilla Anne Beaulieu on May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.

    Stage Names
    "Country Artists"
    Norma Jean - Norma Jean Beasler
    Del Wood - Polly Adelaide Hendricks
    T. Texas Tyler - David Luke Myrick
    Margo Smith - Betty Lou Miller
    Marty Robbins - Martin David Robinson
    Grandpa Jones - Louis Marshall Jones
    Leona Williams - Leona Belle Helton
    B. J. Thomas - Billy Joe Thomas

    "Hollyweird Heroes"
    Gig Young - Byron Ellsworth Barr
    Stepin' Fetchit - Lincoln Perry
    Natalie Wood - Natasha Gurdin
    Andy Devine - Jeremiah Schwartz
    Sigourney Weaver - Susan Weaver
    Joan Crawford - Lucille Le Seuer
    Michael Todd - Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen
    Winona Ryder - Winona Horowitz

    Adam Ant - Stuart Leslie Goddard
    Chad & Jeremy - Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde
    Baby Face Nelson - Lester Gillis
    David Bowie - David Robert Jones
    The Ames Brothers - Ed Urick; Gene Urick; Joe Urick; Vic Urick
    Commander Cody - George Frayne
    Casey Kasem - Kemal Amin Kasem
    Peggy Lee - Norma Egstrom

    Whatever Happened To
  • Sharon Tate
    and five guests were murdered in her home at 10050 Cielo Drive, in Beverly Hills, on August 9, 1969. The residence was demolished and rebuilt in 1994, and the address changed to 10066. Members of the Charles Manson Family were convicted for this slaughter.

  • Tim Buckley,
    a popular performer and song writer during the 1960s and early 70s, died from a drug overdose on June 25, 1975. Tim was 28 years old.

  • Sal Mineo,
    age 37, was robbed and stabbed to death in February, 1976, in the carport of his apartment building, at 8563 Holloway Drive, in West Hollywood.

  • Michael Clarke,
    drummer for The Byrds, died of liver failure on December 19, 1993. Michael was 47 years old.

  • Freddie Prinze shot and killed himself in an apartment at 86575 Comstock Ave, Westwood, California, in 1977. Freddie was 22 years old.

  • Janis Joplan
    died of a heroin overdose in room 105 of the Landmark Hotel, 7047 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, California, on October 4, 1970. The hotel has changed its name to Highland Gardens. Janis was 27 years old.

  • Bobby Darin,
    actor/singer whose hits included, "Splish Splash" and "Mack The Knife," died Dec. 20, 1973 after unsuccessful heart surgery. Bobby was 37 years old.

  • Tom Evens,
    of Badfinger, died November 19, 1983. Like his bandmate Pete Ham, Evens also hanged himself. Tom was 36 years old.

  • John Belushi
    star of such movies as Animal House & The Blues Brothers, died of a drug overdose at 8221 Sunset Blvd., bungalow #3, at the Chateau Marmont in March, 1982. John was 33 years old.

  • Jimi Hendrix
    died September 18, 1970 from what the coroner's report described as 'inhalation of vomit after barbiturate intoxication'. Jimi was 27 years old.

    "All fame is written in ice, and eventually the sun comes out."

    RCNV Websites Of The Month
    Pollstar is where you can find out where your favorite stars are appearing in concert.

    Austin City Limits home page. Lots of information about the shows schedule, news, artists, interviews and more.

    Grand Ole Opry website. Purchase tickets, see photo's of the stars, news, calendar of events and much more.

    Find A Grave: Find A Grave will help you locate the grave site of a friend, or relative, or one of the thousands of Celebrity grave sites.

    Tom Hinders Rockabilly Music Page information and Links galore. This is a very nice Rockabilly website.

    Did You Know?

               Prior to "Rockabilly," it was called "country and western rhythm & blues" and "country and western rock 'n' roll."

               Rockabilly artist Al Ferrier was known as "King of Louisiana Rockabilly."

               It has been called a bass fiddle, stand-up bass, upright bass, bull fiddle, and doghouse bass. And I can tell you that the men who played these things, have called them a variety of other names that cannot be printed. They were just a little difficult to transport from one show to the next.

               The last Ed Sullivan Show on CBS TV was June 6, 1971. Running for more than 20 years, the Ed Sullivan Show was the longest running variety show on TV. Ed's first show was telecast on June 20, 1948.

               After Rick Nelson signed a twenty year recording contract in 1963, he had only two more hits, 1964's "For You" and 1972's "Garden Party".

               The last song that Elvis ever performed publicly was "Bridge Over Troubled Water," at his final concert in Indianapolis in June, 1977.

               Debbie Boone's 1979 hit "You Light Up My Life" became a multi-million selling smash that stayed at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 for ten weeks, becoming a far bigger hit than any song her father, Pat Boone, ever had.

               Disc Jockey Rick Dees, the morning man at WMPS in Memphis, recorded a novelty disco song called "Disco Duck" in 1976. After it became a number one hit, he was forbidden to play the record on his radio show. He simply mentioned the record on the air one day and was promptly fired by the station's manager, who cited him for conflict of interest.

               Glen Campbell had a string of hits that crossed over to the pop charts in the late sixties and seventies. The Rhinestone Cowboy began his career as a highly regarded session musician, playing on hits by the Monkees, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, the Association, the Mamas & the Papas, Rick Nelson, the Beach Boys and many others. In 1969, he sold more records than the Beatles and began a three year run hosting his own TV variety series. Despite all of his musical success, Glen can neither read or write music.

               "The End Of The World" by Skeeter Davis is the only song to make the top ten on four Billboard magazine charts; pop, country, middle-of-the-road and R&B.

               In the early 1960s, Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci was a member of the touring version of Joey Dee and the Starlighters of "Peppermint Twist" fame.

               Despite being known worldwide as The King Of Rock and Roll, the only Grammy Awards that Elvis Presley won during his lifetime were for gospel recordings: the 1967 album "How Great Thou Art", the 1971 album "He Touched Me", and a 1974 live recording of "How Great Thou Art".

    From The Wisdom Desk
    The Touch of the Master's Hand

    Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
    Thought it scarcely worth his while
    To waste much time on the old violin,
    But held it up with a smile.
    "What am I bid, good folks," he cried,
    "Who'll start the bidding for me?
    A dollar, a dollar then, Two? Only Two?
    Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
    Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
    Going for three" But no,
    From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
    Came forward and picked up the bow;
    Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
    And tightening the loosened strings,
    He played a melody pure and sweet
    As a caroling angel sings.

    The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
    With a voice that was quiet and low,
    Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
    And he held it up with the bow.
    "A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
    Two thousand? And who'll make it three?
    Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
    And going, and gone," said he.
    The people cheered, but some of them cried,
    "We do not quite understand
    what changed its worth." Swift came the reply"
    "The touch of a master's hand."

    And many a man with life out of tune,
    And battered and scarred with sin,
    Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
    Much like the old violin.
    A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine;
    A game÷and he travels on.
    He is "going" one, and almost "gone."
    But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
    Never can quite understand
    The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
    By the touch of the Master's hand.

    Myra Brooks Welch

    Thank you for stopping by. Good Lord willing - I'll see you next month.
    Bill Morrison

    Tip Of The Month
    You should always drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar

    "October '05"
    Volume 27

    October 2005 - ©Bill Morrison

    Thank you readers, friends, and fans of Rockabilly Country News & Views, for making this the 6th most visited page on the Rockabilly Hall of Fame website. The RHOF receives thousands of visitors every day (10,000 - 12,000) from all around the world, and it is an honor to be an inductee, let alone be listed in the Top Ten most visited pages. You made that possible, and in the future I will work even harder to bring you the facts, and the history, of the music and it's makers. - Bill Morrison

    August 1, 2005
    1. Stray Cats
    2. Jerry Lee Lewis
    3. Gene Vincent
    4. Rock Around the Clock Tribute
    5. Johnny Cash Tribute
    6. Bill Morrison's RCNV Column
    7. Ritchie Valens
    8. Carl Perkins
    9. Link Wray
    10. Bill Haley
    Find and click on your favorite artist's page!

    Quote of the Month
    Quote: "Drugs are so deceptive. It's like a demon that says, "Hey, I'm so pretty, look at me, I'll make you feel better! Take me." And I do. It's a battle. I've talked to those pills. There'd be six of 'em and I'd say, "I'm just gonna take one of you today, and I could almost hear them saying, 'No, you're gonna take all of us.' Cause when you're on that stuff one is too many and a thousand is not enough." - Johnny Cash speaking about his addiction 1988.

    October Highlights
    Mac Davis, Allen Reynolds, Bill Edd Wheeler, and Randy Goodrum Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 10-1-2000.

    The Everly Brothers were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 10-2-1986.

    Marty Haggard, recording artist, son of Merle Haggard, was critically injured in a head-on automobile crash while driving to a performance in Arkansas, on 10-3-1988. Marty was thrown through the windshield, and it was four years before he could perform again. Seat belts work folks - but ya gotta hook 'em up.

    Ernie Lynn, age 50, son of Loretta, injured in a car wreck near Loretta's Tennessee ranch, on 10-4-2003. A passenger in Ernie's car was killed in the accident.

    Billy Lee Riley, SUN Records/Rockabilly legend, born 10-5-1933, in Pocahontas, AR.

    Jerry Lee Lewis topped the country charts with "There Must Be More to Love Than This" 10-6-1970.

    Johnny Darrell, age 57, died in Kennesaw, Georgia, from diabetes 10-7-1997.

    Anne Murray becomes the first female to win the CMA's Album of the Year award 10-8-1984.

    Elvis Presley debuted on the Louisiana Hayride 10-9-1954.

    Joe Poovey, age 57, recording artist/guitarist/deejay/songwriter, died in his sleep 10-10-1998.

    Roy Orbison appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show 10-11-1964.

    John Denver, age 53, died when the plane he was flying crashed into the Pacific Ocean, near Monterey, California, on 10-12-1997. Seven months earlier, the Federal Aviation Administration refused to issue a pilot's license to John, because of alcohol related problems.

    Horace "Hoss" Logan, the founder of the Louisiana Hayride, died in Victoria, Texas on 10-13-2002.

    The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company purchased a 30-minute segment of the Grand Ole Opry on 10-14-1938. The Prince Albert Show was born, and Roy Acuff was picked to be the host. The NBC radio Red network picked up the show, and broadcast it every Saturday night to twenty-six NBC stations, in addition to WSM. By 1943 the show was featured on the full NBC network, and could be heard coast to coast on 125 stations. Country music was on it's way.

    The audience, at a Madison Square Garden Rock concert on 10-15-1971, booed Rick Nelson. As a result of this incident, Rick wrote "Garden Party."

    Johnny Cash performed at Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Celebration in NYC 10-16-1992.

    Willie Nelson taped the pilot show for Austin City Limits 10-17-1974.

    Hightone Records released Rosie Flores' "Rockabilly Filly" 10-18-1995.

    Grant Turner, age 79, the dean of WSM announcers, died in Nashville 10-19-1991. A WSM and Opry announcer for forty-nine years, Grant was Inducted into the Country Music Disk Jockey Hall of Fame in 1975, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crashed, killing six band members and back-up singers on 10-20-1977.

    Rockabilly legend Gene Vincent, age 36, died 10-12-1971.

    Carl Perkins wrote "Blue Suede Shoes" in his apartment 10-22-1955.

    Mother Maybelle Carter, age 68, died 10-23-1978. Inducted CMHF 1970.

    The Gaylord Entertainment Company came to Nashville, Tennessee on 10-24-1991. Traditional Country Music was immediately exposed to a fatal disease, and slowly died a painful death.
    Johnny Cash played his final concert date in Flint, Michigan l0-25-1997.

    Garth Brooks announced one of his many retirements from music on 10-26-2000. Reporters were not told if Chris Gaines was hanging it up too.

    The Grand Ole Opry moved from WSM's Studio C, to Nashville's Hillsboro Theatre, on 10-27-1934. The Hillsboro seated 2,400 people, and for the first time the stars would have dressing rooms. At this time the artists were instructed to wear costumes on the show. The opening night at the Hillsboro Theatre was Vito Pellettiere's debut as the Opry's first stage manager. Mr. Pellettiere's contribution to the success of the Opry over the next forty years cannot be overstated.

    Brenda Lee recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" at Owen Bradley's Quonset Hut studio on 10-28-1958. The session musicians were; Buddy Harmon on drums, Grady Martin and Hank Garland on guitar, Floyd Cramer on Piano, Bob Moore on stand-up bass, and Harold Bradley on electric bass.

    Slim Whitman left the Louisiana Hayride and joined the Grand Ole Opry 10-29-1955.

    Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman," certified gold 10-30-1964.

    Anita Kerr, "Anita Kerr Singers," born Anita Jean Grilli, in Memphis, TN 10-31-1927. At the peak of their career (early 60's) the Anita Kerr Singers appeared on approximately one out of every four Nashville record releases.

    Check out my entire Country Calendar at:

    Rockabilly Pioneer
    Joe Poovey 1941-1998
               Joe was born Arnold Joseph Poovey in Dallas, Texas, on May 10, 1941. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar/steel guitar/bass guitar,) singer/songwriter/deejay, who recorded his first country music record in 1950, at the age of 9. By age 12 Poovey had formed his first band, The Hillbilly Boys and was hired by the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, to appear regularly on the show as Jumpin' Joe Poovey. During his early teenage years, Joe continued to record (usually at the renowned "Jim Beck Studio" in Dallas). Some of the sessions were released on Rural Rhythm Records. Jim Beck helped the careers of many recording artists, through his recording studio in Dallas. Among them Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price and Jim Reeves just to name a few.

               Poovey switched to Rockabilly after seeing Elvis Presley perform in person, and he remained with the Big D. Jamboree until it was taken off the air. George Jones was among the artists who recorded Joy Poovey penned songs. Many of Joe's songs were co-writes with record producer Jim Shell. If you go looking for Joe Poovey records you might want to look under the following names as well: "Groovey Joe Poovey," Jumpin' Joe Poovey, Texas Joe Poovey and Johnny Dallas. Joe's European fans know him as Groovey Joe Poovey.

               Joe Poovey died in his sleep, at home, on October 6, 1998, he was 57 years old.

    News Notes
    Alabama, Glen Campbell, and the late DeFord Bailey will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at this years CMA Awards Show In New York City.

    BMI will honor Charlie Daniels as a "BMI Icon" at their 53rd annual Country Awards Ceremony on October 18th in Nashville.

    Nashville's Ralph Emery was the host for this years Texas Country Music Hall of Fame's Eighth Annual Awards Ceremony. The newest members of this prestigious group include Jimmy Dean, songwriter Glenn Sutton, fiddle virtuoso Johnny Gimble, and multi-talented Roger Miller. Jimmy Dean's biography "Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham" went on sale last year. You can visit the TCMHOF at: NOT NOW!!! Finish this first.

    Fats Domino, a friend from the 50's, was reported missing shortly after the levees broke in New Orleans last month. The water flooded the neighborhood where Fats' three-story home is located in the 9th ward. The legend was rescued from deep waters in the neighbor-hood by an emergency rescue boat. There was no immediate word on the fate of his wife, children, and grandchildren who rode out the storm in the residence with him.

    Actor Dennis Quaid has written a film about Spade Cooley that he plans to direct and star in, alongside actress Katie Holmes. I'll keep you informed.

    Gary Fjellgaard, R. Harlan Smith, and Paul Kennedy were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame on September 12th, in Calgary. You may visit the Canadian Country Music Association at: (L-A-T-E-R)

    Walk the Line, the new movie based on Johnny Cash's life, will open in the U.S. on November 18, 2005.

    Toby Keith will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on Oct. 27th. Also being inducted are Billy Parker (disc jockey), Tommy Allsup (Buddy Holly's guitarist), Bob Bogle and Nokie Edwards (both of the Ventures) and Cain's Ballroom (a historic western swing venue in Tulsa). Visit the OMHOF AT: but not this very moment.

    The Supreme Court recently ruled that companies that actively encourage file-swapping should be held liable when customers use their sites for piracy. The decision gives movie studios, record labels and songwriters the right to sue Web sites such as Grokster, from which movies and songs can be downloaded illegally, thus violating copyrights. It would seem that even our Supreme Court can get something right once in a while. You can visit the Supreme Court at ... Oh, never mind.

    Stage Names
    "Country Artists"
    Gene Autry - Orvon Gene Autry
    Bonnie Lou - Mary Jo Kath
    Kix Brooks - Leon Eric Brooks III
    Johnny Cash - J. R. Cash
    Jean Chapel - Opal Jean Amburgey
    Terri Clark - Terri Sauson
    Ben Colder - Sheb Wooley
    Spade Cooley - Donnell Clyde Cooley
    Cousin Jody - James Clell Summey
    John Denver - Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.

    "Hollyweird Heroes"
    Joanne Dru - Joanne La Cock
    Douglas Fairbanks - Douglas Ullman
    Jodie Foster - Alicia Christian Foster
    Jean Harlow - Harlean Carpentier
    Louis Jourdan - Louis Gendre
    Veronica Lake - Constance Frances Marie Ockleman
    Vivian Leigh - Vivian Hartley
    Jay Leno - James Douglas Muir Leno
    Marjorie Main - Mary Tomlinson Krebs
    Barbara Stanwyck - Ruby Stevens

    "Rock & Pop"
    Robert Goulet - Stanley Applebaum
    Andy Williams - Howard Williams
    Muddy Waters - McKinley Morganfield
    Junior Walker - Autry DeWalt Waler II
    Bobby Vee - Robert Thomas Velline
    Tina Turner - Anna Mae Bullock
    Ike Turner - Izear Luster Turner
    Booker T - Booker T. Jones
    Sting - Gordon Sumner
    Axl Rose - William Bailey (Guns N' Roses lead singer)

    Whatever Happened To
  • Florence Ballard,
    age 32, died of a heart attack February 26, 1976. One of the original members of the Supremes, she sued Motown Records for 8 million dollars after being fired from the group. She lost the her battle with the record company, lost her husband, and went on welfare.

  • Tommy Bolin
    joined Deep Purple as guitarist in 1975. Tommy died of a drug overdose the following year. He was 25 years old.

  • Gene Clark
    lead vocalist of The Byrds, died as the result of a heart attack on May 24, 1991. Gene was 49 years old.

  • Nat King Cole,
    age 47, died from lung cancer on February 15, 1965.

  • Samuel George Jr.,
    lead singer for the Capitols, who released "Cool Jerk" in 1966, was stabbed to death in Detroit, during a family argument on March 17, 1982. He was 39 years old.

  • Peter Ham,
    age 27, vocalist/guitarist for Badfinger, took his own life on April 23, 1975.

  • Paul Kossoff,
    age 26, guitarist for the rock group Free died in his sleep while on a coast to coast flight. The groups biggest hit was "All Right Now." The official report listed the cause of death as heart failure. Every person who ever died experienced heart failure. Was it possible the air lines had some influence on the coroner's report?

  • Frankie Lymon
    lead singer of "The Teenagers" was found dead in a friends apartment in Harlem, on February 28, 1968. Frankie's biggest hit was "Why Do Fools Fall In Love." The coroner's office listed the cause of death as a drug overdose. Frankie Lymon was 25 years old.

  • Bobby Hatfield,
    one half of The Righteous Brothers, was found dead of a drug over dose in a Wisconsin motel room. The body was discovered a few hours prior to the first show of The Righteous Brothers comeback tour, on November 5, 2003. Bobby was 63 years old.

    "All fame is written in ice, and eventually the sun comes out."

    RCNV Websites Of The Month
    The Grammy Awards website contains enough music information, and history to keep you busy for most of the day. I like it.

    Charts All Over The World, has links to over 1,000 music charts.

    GAC TV is the home of the Grand Ole Opry. They have news, and country music program listings. If you don't get GAC in your home, send me an email and I'll tell you how to listen to the Opry online every Saturday Night.

    "Rockin' Country Style" is the best site on the web to find the artists who started Rockabilly Music in the 50's. The songs, record labels, dates of recording, and much more can be found at this terrific website, compliments of Terry Gordon. I'm there - why not join me at:

    Bill Morrison's Hall of Fame Page. If you have never visited my Rockabilly Hall of Fame Induction page, I encourage you to do so today, now, as soon as possible. You can read about many of the events in my life that shaped this weird, twisted senior citizen. Come visit my page and discover how I met Johnny Cash for the first time - how I saw my friend George Morgan for the last time in a blinding snow storm, while headed back to Nashville - how Tex Ritter and I came to share the same band - the behind the scenes stories about Roy Acuff, Tex Williams, Bob Luman, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many, many more, including the death of my friend Stringbean. It's all waiting for you at:

    Q. & A.
    Hattie Thomas, currently attending school in Paris, France, writes with the following question?
    Q:  Hi Bill. Enjoy your information as much here in France as I did back in the states. The Lonestar State that is. My new friends here in Paris love Rockabilly. One of them has a 45 put out by the King label, the singer is Mac Curtis. My friends say Mac was from Texas, and I never heard of him. Do you know anything about Mac Curtis? Is he from Texas? Thanks a bunch. By the way, one of the girls in my neighborhood has a record you made in Texas called Set Me Free. H.T.
    A:  Hello Hattie, thanks for the question. I didn't remember too much about Mac, other than I did remember he was from Texas. Craig Morrison's book, "Go Cat Go - Rockabilly Music and its Makers" has lots of good information on Mac Curtis. Mac's real name is Wesley Erwin Curtis Jr., he was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 16, 1939. Mac Curtis was raised by his grandparents in Onley, Texas. Like most Rockabilly artists, Mac began his career playing country music. A member of the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, at one point in his career Mac was a popular country music deejay in Los Angeles. He moved back to Texas in 1979, where he managed a radio station. Mac Curtis' last overseas tour was to Japan in 1992.
    If you have a question (related to MUSIC) send your e-mail to:

    Did You Know?
    Rosanne Cash was the only family member to speak at June's funeral service. Laura Cash, the wife of John Carter Cash played the fiddle.

    While attending the University of Georgia, Bill Anderson flunked the only music course he ever took.

    One of Johnny Cash's best years was 1969, when he outsold the Beatles, recorded a novelty song he later came to detest called 'A Boy Named Sue,' and landed a weekly music-variety TV show.

    Ike and Margaret Everly, parents of Don, and Phil, "The Everly Brothers," were country-gospel artists known throughout the South and Midwest since 1930.

    Merle Haggard recorded Liz Anderson's "My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers" in 1964, and it made Billboards Top Ten in 1965. Capitol Records signed Merle to a recording contract and as the result of the success of this record, Merle named his band the Strangers.

    Waylon Jennings, singer, songwriter and guitarist, recorded 60 albums and had 16 No. 1 country singles in a career that spanned five decades. It all began when he played bass for Buddy Holly.

    Jerry Lee Lewis opened a tour in England on May 22, 1958. Against the advice of Sam Phillips at Sun Records, Jerry took his new bride along. When the English press discovered that Jerry had married his 13 year old cousin, and didn't bother to divorce his second wife, the tour was cancelled, and his career was almost brought to a close. The Killer's nightly fee went from $10,000 per show, down to a low of $250.

    Elvis Presley told everyone who would listen, that Roy Orbison was the best singer in the world.

    1954 - 1958 Buck Owens was a session musician at Capitol, and played on sessions for the following artists: Gene Vincent, Stan Freberg, Del Reeves, Tommy Sands, Wanda Jackson, Sonny James, Faron Young and many lesser known artists.

    Grandpa Jones suffered a severe stroke at the Grand Ole Opry on January 3, 1998, at the completion of his show. As many stars of the Opry gather around Grandpa as he lay on the floor, he opened his eyes, looked up and said, "Well, I guess I can still draw a crowd." The Grandpa that we all came to know and love, died a few weeks later after suffering another stroke.

    Like to have your webpage located at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame website? It's now possible. For details, click on:

    From The Wisdom Desk

               Fred arrived at the Pearly Gates ready for his interview with St. Peter. As Peter ran down the questions on his clipboard, he came to this one: "Can you share any experience in your life on earth when you did anything that was purely unselfish?"
               Fred answered quickly. "Yes, I have something you might be interested in. One day I was walking along when I saw a little old lady being attacked by a group of motorcycle thugs. I ran toward her and jerked her from the grasp of a huge, burly, bearded thug. Then I kicked over his Harley to distract him while I hustled her into the arms of another passerby for safety. Then I turned back to the gang and started fighting the whole bunch of them, tooth and nail. I got in some terrific punches. I kicked the ringleader in the shins and gave another a great shot right in the gut with my fist."
               St. Peter was impressed. "Tell me," he asked, "when did this happen?"
               Fred looked at his watch. "Oh, about two minutes ago."

    Bill's Favorite Music Links:
    Visit Bill Morrison's Country Calendar

    Bill's 2nd Set of Columns Here
    Bill's 1st Set of Colmns Here

    Bill's Web Page

    E-mail the Rockabilly Hall of Fame Office

    © Rockabilly Hall of Fame® / Bill Morrison