1) I am a big fan of Mel Tillis along with being a big fan of yours. Both of you are fine singers, but when I hear him talk he stutters. Is this part of an act, or does he have stuttering issues?
The answer is yes to both of your questions. Mel has had stuttering issues all his life, but he has used his incredible talent and sense of humor to turn his handicap into an asset. He doesn’t stutter nearly as badly as he once did, and he has sometimes been known to exaggerate the stutter on stage in order to be funny. He’s naturally one of the funniest people on the planet, but right now he needs our positive thoughts and prayers as he struggles with some health concerns at his home in Florida.
2) I was wondering if you will ever manage to come back to the U.K.?
This question came from a fan in Scotland, and I hope the answer is yes. Right now there is nothing definite on the horizon, but I always enjoy my trips to that part of the world. Country music fans in the U.K. are some of the best fans anywhere. Hopefully we’ll get to visit face-to-face again someday soon.
3) I seem to recall that when Eddy Arnold turned 80-years old he said it was time for him to stop touring. Now that you have hit that same mark, do you plan to stop touring as well?
I co-wrote a song one time with the lines: We make plans and God just laughs/Turns us around and heads us down a different path.” I don’t know what He has planned for the rest of my life, but I’ll try to follow wherever He leads. I love performing…in fact, I’ve probably enjoyed it more these past few years than ever in my life. And I don’t have any plans to give it up just because I’ve reached a certain age. I’ve always said that as long as I am in good health and I enjoy it, I’ll keep doing it. I might try to figure out a way to shorten some of our long autograph sessions after the shows, but that’s another discussion for another time. Mostly I’ll keep performing because I don’t know how to do anything else!
We haven’t been getting as many questions lately as we once did, so if you’ve got something you want to ask me, please do. Send yours to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076, and I’ll answer as best as I can. Stay curious.