What a difference a month makes!
This time last month I was telling you about the recent Nashville tornadoes and asking you to keep our city and our people in your thoughts and prayers. Then I told you that I was heading into the studio to record some new music, preparing for my annual trip to Florida for baseball Spring training, and looking forward to a busy month of April out on the road.
Obviously, those plans got turned upside down…just as so many of your plans did…by this terrible “invisible enemy” we’ve all had to face and are still facing. It’s hard to believe so much has happened in such a short time.
In addition to everything else, I’m sure you know by now that my longtime friend and singing partner, Jan Howard, passed away on March 28th, just fifteen days after her 91st birthday. A bunch of us had planned to go celebrate with her on the 12th, but the assisted living place where she lived had closed down by then due to the coronavirus. I didn’t get to say goodbye, but she knew I loved her because I told her every time we spoke. We made a lot of music together and made even more good memories. She will forever be a special part of my life, my career, and my heart.
And then losing our buddy, Joe Diffie, a few days later was tough as well. This coronavirus is serious stuff, folks, and I hope you’re all staying in and staying safe.
Many of you have written asking what I’ve been doing during this down time. For starters, I’ve been brushing up on my cooking skills and, like many of you, working from home. My manager, Lee, and I have been e-mailing back and forth attempting put together a new CD that we’ll be releasing soon, and I’m excited about it. It’s called “The Hits – Reimagined,” and it’s acoustical recordings of some of my best known songs. PLUS, not only do we have the vocal performances, but all ten songs have instrumental versions as well. You can sing along, hum along, or simply listen to some of the best Nashville pickers do their thing. Hopefully, the record will be available soon.
I’ve also been spending some time working on a new book, an updated collection of funny, crazy, wacky stories from inside my world of country music. Our “High On The Hog” book continues to sell after 25-plus years on the market, but this quiet time has given me the opportunity to begin organizing all the additional little silly notes and memos to myself that I’ve been gathering over the years and to start putting them into book form. Going through all the material again has given me lots of reasons to laugh, and I’ve needed that. Stay tuned.
Our booking agent has been busy rescheduling the concert dates that we had to cancel, and hopefully we won’t have to postpone any of them a second time. We’re giving you the updated list here, but asking you to remember that, in these uncertain times, everything is subject to change. The pilot for our proposed new television show has been moved from May into July.
My family is hunkered down just like everyone else, even though Jamey has had to fly a few trips for Delta. He told me the other day that on his last trip they carried only 14 passengers going out and 9 coming back. These are unprecedented times for sure.
My wish for you is that you stay safe, healthy, and connected to the ones you love. It’s a good time for all of us to realize the things that are important and the people who are important in our lives. Tell your friends and your family members that you love them…do for them what you can…wash your hands, say your prayers, and don’t take any unnecessary chances.
Someday it’ll all make sense.