Ask Bill – January 3

1) How are the Country’s Family Reunion participants chosen, and do they get paid/stipend/travel?

Our producer, Larry Black, works with our talent coordinator, Terry Choate, in selecting the people you see on the screen. Many more are invited than are able to appear due to scheduling conflicts, etc. And, yes, the artists do get paid.

2) Will the old Fandango shows ever be released online anywhere? There are a few on YouTube, but I’d love to see them all.

Allen Reid, who produced the game show, Fandango, tells me that the master tapes have all been destroyed which is a shame. The ones you’ve seen on YouTube were most likely posted by the contestants themselves. Each contestant received a VHS copy of the show after their taping, and many have shared them. Unfortunately, that’s about all that is left.

3) What can you tell us about your first guitar and about your current performance guitar?

Like almost everybody, I started out on a very cheap flat-top guitar with a neck about the size of a telephone pole and strings a good half-inch off the fret board. I thought my fingers would never stop hurting when I was first learning to play. The guitar I currently play on stage was a gift to me years ago from a Japanese artist/manufacturer named Max Yasuda. It bears his name.

4) I saw Vickie mentioned in your last fan club newsletter. I’d like to know how the two of you met.

When Vickie and I first met almost 45-years ago, she was married to Gregg Galbraith who, at the time, played guitar for George Hamilton IV and later for me. She and Gregg divorced, she remarried, and spent 17-years in Washington, D.C. We lost touch, but when that marriage dissolved in 2007, she came back to Nashville to be close to her two sons. The day she got to town, my picture was on the front page of The Tennessean newspaper. She saw it and reached out to congratulate me on an award I had recently won. We met at a Mexican restaurant not long after, and we’ve been a couple ever since. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and is currently undergoing treatment.

And a few quickies:

5) Why is Jan Howard not in the Hall Of Fame?

Because, like many others, she has not yet been voted membership by the panel of electors.

6) Do you have any stories not known about Jim Ed Brown?

Yes, but they are better left unknown!

And a question left over from Thanksgiving:

Do you put oysters in your dressing?


Thanks for your questions. Keep ’em coming. Write and I’ll try to answer soon as I can.