Country Music People December 2017 - Page 6

News Merle world Not rockin’ the jukebox Alan Jackson accepted his medal, Oct. 22, officially acknowledging his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, home to many of his heroes, including newly inducted Jerry Reed, who died in 2008, and ace songwriter Don Schlitz, who stated, “It’s overwhelming... It means I’m a part of something that’s bigger than me, and that’s a great thing, to be a part of, something that’s bigger than yourself.” Undoubtedly, each has earned the honour of being enshrined as the Class of 2017, and all three Yet another country music icon’s being celebrated on Nashville’s Lower Broad, this time it’s Bakersfield Sound specialist Merle Haggard. According to Bill & Shannon Miller, the Country Music Hall of Famer’s museum will also include Merle’s Meat & Three Saloon, with a Summer 2018 scheduled opening at 121 Third Avenue South, next to Miller’s Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash museums. Reportedly, the site will exhibit awards, instruments, costumes and other memorabilia of the man who was as famous for his songwriting as for his unique vocals, thanks to such songs as Swinging Doors, Mama Tried, Okie From Muskogee and The Fightin’ Side Of Me. (The Hag died on his 79th birthday, April, 6, 2016.) Incidentally, Merle Haggard was posthumously presented the Country Music Association’s Joe Talbot Award, Oct. 30, by CMA’s Sarah Trahern, chief executive officer, which was accepted by his widow Theresa. The award goes to those who foster “outstanding leadership and contributions to the preservation and advancement of country music’s values and traditions.” Joe Talbot, a steel guitarist, spent his later life working behind the scenes advancing the interests of the country music business community and served as Lifetime Director for the CMA, prior to his passing in 2003. could claim credit as songwriter, as Jackson, 59, wrote his first seven Billboard chartings, including Here In The Real World, Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow, Don’t Rock The Jukebox and Someday. Jerry Reed, like Jackson scored as a recording artist, but wrote his 1967 breakthrough song Guitar Man, reflecting his expertise on the instrument, and his first #1 When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, and co- wrote East Bound And Down, heard in the Burt Reynolds’ film Smokey & The Bandit, in which he played. Schlitz, 65, provided songs for a variety of artists, including The Gambler (Kenny Rogers), which Don himself first cut for Capitol in 1978, Forever & Ever, Amen (Randy Travis), Old School (John Conlee) and Strong Enough To Bend (Tanya Tucker). The Life & Songs of the master Nashville’s 64th annual Christmas Parade. Kris Kristofferson came back to Nashville to help promote the release of a concert film “The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” comprised of footage from a March 2017 all-star tribute at the Bridgestone Arena. Following a telecast Oct. 27 on the CMT cable network, the video will be available in stores nationwide. Kris, 81, was not only born into a military family in Brownsville, Texas, but went on to serve as an Army helicopter pilot reaching the rank of captain before being honourably discharged, much to the chagrin of his dad, who retired from the Army Air Corps a two-star general (and Kris’ Swedish granddad had also been an officer in the Swedish army). A Pomona College graduate, in 1960, Kris obtained a Ph.D in English literature and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in the UK. Anxious to jumpstart his music career, primarily as a songwriter, he relocated to Nashville, where to feed an empty stomach, he took a job as janitor sweeping floors at Columbia Records, until Dave Dudley gave him his first success singing his Vietnam Blues (#12, 1966), followed by Roy Drusky’s smooth vocal on Jody & The Kid, a 1968 Top 20, Roger Miller’s Me & Bobby McGee (#12, 1969), and Faron Young’s Your Time’s Coming” (#3, 1969), though 1970 was the year that sealed his fate as writer, when Jerry Lee Lewis had a near chart-topper with Kris’ Once More With Feeling, and Sunday Morning Coming Down (Johnny Cash), For The Good Times (Ray Price) and Help Me Make It Through The Night (Sammi Smith) all hit #1, earning him beaucoup best writer awards. It’s likely the first time a hockey hero has CMP price rise been invited to do the honours, but Mike’s From next month the cover price of CMP will rise to £4.75. It is two years since the last increase but in a glad to take on the challenge, noting a post-Brexit world of ever increasing costs is unavoidable and we thank readers for their understanding and portion of the proceeds from the event will dedication. We like to think that CMP is still the best place to keep abreast of all things country and is better benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s now than it has ever been. The price rise equates to just under 6%. Subscription prices will also increase Hospital at Vanderbilt. slightly to reflect the rise. Carrie Underwood’s hubby Mike Fisher has been invited to serve as Grand Marshal of 6 cmp - DECEMBER 2017