Sorry the newsletter is late this month, but I stayed out in California between our show in Modesto on the 1st and our festival appearance in San Francisco on the 7th in search of a little rest and relaxation. I needed it, and I got it.
I left just in time, though, what with all the fires now burning through the area where I was staying. I sure hope they can get them under control before they destroy some of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.
It’s been a tough time for all of us in country music following the senseless shooting in Las Vegas. Going onstage outdoors in San Francisco wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but if we give in, then the crazies win. And none of us want that to happen. Fortunately, the fans were great, the security folks did an outstanding job, and the three-day Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival came off without a hitch.
It was a different type audience for us, but I think they liked our music, and hopefully we’ll get invited back. It’s an annual event that’s been going on out there for 17-years. Lots of folks from Nashville took part…including Emmylou Harris, Jamey Johnson, Bobby Osborne, Steve Earle, Jon Randall, Kevin Welch, Buddy Miller, and others. The music was wonderful, the weather was spectacular, and best of all…It was totally FREE to the public!
And speaking of out west, our scheduled September 29th date in Palmer Lake, Colorado, was postponed and has been rescheduled for May 19thof next year.
I’ve had lots of ups and downs in my personal life these past few weeks, and my having taken a little time off is going to help me deal with them better now that I’m home. My daughter, Terri, came through her back surgery all right, but a few days after going home she developed an infection in her abdomen and had to return to the hospital. After a few days of testing, the doctors decided they needed to operate again, and they did. Two major surgeries in less than a month is tough, and Terri will be continuing to recuperate for several more weeks. Thanks to so many of you who have told me that you are keeping her in your prayers.
My grandson, Gabe, and my friend, Vickie, are continuing their fights against cancer, and again your prayers mean more than you know. Thank you.
On a happier note, my book, “Whisperin’ Bill – An Unprecedented Life In Country Music,” has been given a wonderful honor that I want to share with you. The Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) has named our book the winner of their 2017 Best History in Recorded Country Music Award “in recognition of exceptional achievement and significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge of the history of recorded sound.” That’s a lot of fancy language, but basically I think they liked what Peter Cooper and I wrote. There will be an official presentation next Spring up in Baltimore, and I hope my schedule will allow me to go there. It’s always nice when you can thank folks in person.
We’ll be easing up on our 2017 tour season the middle of this month which will give me time to hopefully write a few new songs and get back into the recording studio. I’ve finished a couple of new sides, but I don’t have enough information as to when they will be released to talk about them just yet. We’ve got some new merchandise (newly designed t-shirts already available and some new hats on the way) as well as our new music. Don’t do all your Christmas shopping until you see what we have. We’ll be announcing the rest of it soon.
If you’ve followed me and our newsletters for any time at all you know that this is my favorite season of the year. Football is in full swing, the baseball playoffs are underway, the leaves are beginning to show off their color, and the temperatures are giving us some good sleeping weather. I hope each of you has a colorful, peaceful autumn and that the Good Lord blesses you with the health to enjoy it to its fullest. Thanks for everything you continue to do for me, and my best to you all.
1) Acuff-Rose publishers kept little scraps of unfinished songs by Hank Williams, and they had other artists such as Bob Dylan and Vince Gill try to finish the lyrics and provide melodies to the songs. Do you have notebooks of unfinished songs that may get left behind for future songwriters to try and complete for you in a similar way?
I’ve got hundreds of unfinished song ideas lying around, but who is to say whether or not any of them are worth finishing? Styles change, trends and fashions change, and what I wrote years ago might well be out of style by the time somebody uncovers it. Everything of mine will be left to my children and grandchildren. Maybe one of them will inherit my creative itch and want to scratch it.
2) Do you get credit for the songs of yours played on the Echo Dot?
Oh yes, I get CREDIT. I get all the credit I can eat! But do I get any royalties? Maybe a few pennies, but nothing to write home about.
3) Can you give me an update on Mo Pitney? The first time I saw him he reminded me of what country music used to be.
He reminded me of the same thing which is one reason I tried to help jump-start his career. I don’t see him as often as I once did, but so far as I know he is still recording and touring. He told me he was going on his first overseas tour not long ago and sounded excited about that. He was planning to take his family, including his young wife and their baby daughter. He is also going with us on our Country’s Family Reunion cruise in January.
4) After your concert in St. Petersburg, Florida, got canceled earlier this year I’m wondering if you will be coming back here.
Sometimes when shows get canceled they are rescheduled for a later time. We had that happen twice this year, but I have no idea whether the folks in St. Pete will do that or not. I do know we’ll have other shows in Florida next year, including one in The Villages on March 1st. Come see us over there. It’s just a few hours away.
Thanks for all your questions, and keep ’em coming. Send yours to email@example.com or to me at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076, and I’ll do my best to answer. Stay curious.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than having time to spend with my grandkids. I thought you might enjoy seeing Hallie’s reaction to a personally autographed picture of Dolly Parton that I gave her recently. Hallie is only eight years old, but her two favorite country singers are Dolly and Loretta Lynn. Somebody is raising that kid right! Sophie likes to cut up and have fun, as you can see in these pictures with the funny-looking glasses. She liked wearing them herself, but she really got tickled when PawPaw put them on. Special kids and special memories. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
So many of you continue to ask about my grandson, Gabe, and how things are progressing in his battle with cancer. I received this letter from his mom, Beth, while I was on vacation, and I want to share it with you.
Thank you SO much for your continued prayers and concerns. Please don’t stop now!
Our trip to Stanford went extremely well. Jamey and I were impressed with all of the doctors and how kind and loving they were toward Gabe. Our doctor at Vanderbilt and Stanford have come up with a treatment for Gabe that they feel good about.
He will start this new treatment this Friday. Please pray that the side effects will be minimal and that he will respond well to it.
Thanks so much,
I can only add a heartfelt “Amen!”