1) I am absolutely crazy for the new single, “The Country I Grew Up With.” Since this is a digital download only, there are no credits listed. Could you please give the credits in your newsletter?
I’ll try…and hope I don’t leave anybody out. The songwriters are myself, Bobby Tomberlin, and Lance Miller. The record was co-produced by myself and Thomm Jutz, who also played both lead and acoustical guitar. The great steel guitar work was provided by Scotty Sanders. James Freeze played bass, Dirk Johnson played piano, John Gardner played drums, and Tammy Rodgers played fiddle. Thomm Jutz mixed the record and it was mastered by Ed Seay. Vocals, of course, belong to Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Vince Gill, Jimmy Fortune and myself. I’m glad you like it.
2) For many years I had the pleasure of seeing some of the greatest acts in country music when Ed Gregory brought Grand Ole Opry Night to the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach. One year I counted 27 artists on the show which was MC’d by you, Jim Ed Brown, and Little Jimmy Dickens. These were mind-blowing events. Was this an annual event that held special memories for all of the performers as well as the fans?
The late Ed Gregory put together some of the biggest and best country music shows that I’ve ever been a part of….not only at the South Florida Fair but at the Florida State Fair in Tampa and the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix among others. These shows brought us together in warm weather climates in the wintertime, and we all loved them. Artists like Bobby Bare and Little Jim would turn the trips into combination work & play vacations with fishing trips booked in between the concerts. Yes…those events created some very special memories for everyone involved.
3) Do you ever make a New Year’s resolution concerning your music?
No. In fact, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions at all.That way I don’t have to worry about keeping them or breaking them.
4) Our Question Of The Month comes from someone who did not sign their name or give their address, so I don’t know whom to credit. I tried reaching out to the e-mail address from which it came, but I received no reply. If the person who submitted this question would like to claim their free merchandise, please contact me. The question is: “Do you miss the 70’s tour life?”
Once the “tour life” has been as big a part of someone’s life as it was mine (and not just in the 70’s but over parts of eight decades), it’s very hard to close the door on it and pretend you don’t miss it. At the same time, there’s a difference between missing it and wanting to go back to it. I miss the fans, I miss performing the music on stage, I miss the camaraderie with the band and the other artists, and heck there are times I even miss the motels, the truck stops, the greasy food, and the tour bus rolling through the night. But do I want to return to it? No, I can honestly say I don’t. I was blessed to have traveled all those thousands of miles without having had a serious accident, and I don’t relish the thought of tempting fate any further. I’ve stood on the biggest stages, smiled into the lenses of cameras transporting my picture and my voice into millions of locations around the world, and I’ve seen this great land of ours from sea to shining sea. And as wonderful as it was, none of it compares to hugging my kids and grandkids at bedtime, sitting down to a home cooked meal with the people I love, and sleeping in my own bed every night. I’m thankful for what was, but I’m even more thankful for what is….and for the fact that I’m still healthy enough to enjoy it.
Quickies: How is Les Singer’s health and is he still working? No, Les who began playing guitar in my band in 1981, retired a few years ago due to his ongoing health concerns. I think his health has improved somewhat, but he no longer plays or performs. Have you ever been to Australia on tour? Yes and no. I’ve never performed for the Australian public, but I once spent a week on board a cruise ship that docked in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. What a beautiful country, and the people I met were so friendly, kind, and gracious. I’d love to go back. I saw an old episode of “Columbo” recently where the guest was Forest Tucker. Columbo went to his house, and went through his record albums. Two of your albums were on top of the pile. Did you ever see that episode and what did you think? No, I never saw it but I’d love to. If anyone knows how I might access it please let me know. How much coffee do you drink on an average day? I don’t know because I’ve never had an “average day.”
As always, thanks so much for your questions. Wish we had time and space to get to them all. Please keep them coming here in 2024, remembering if yours is chosen our Question Of The Month you’ll win any item of your choosing from our online store absolutely free. My mailing address is email@example.com. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.