1) Can you tell us about your first ever tour bus? When did you purchase it and how much did it cost? How many miles did you put on it? Have you ever purchased an RV Diesel Pusher for your personal and private pleasure?
I got my first bus in late 1965, and after several years of travelling the highway in a car pulling a trailer, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The bus I purchased (for something like $4500) was a GMC Silversides, often called “Old Frog Eyes” because of the two small windows high in the back. I think it was made in the fifties. There’s no telling how many miles it had on it when I bought it (it had been operated by Greyhound), but I added several thousand more. I put a bunch of additional money into it, too, adding bunks, a bathroom, carpeting, new tires, and the like. The two happiest days of my life were the day I bought Old Frog Eyes and the day I sold her. I’ve often thought I would enjoy having an RV for my own pleasure, but I’ve never owned one.
2) Why do all the singers have these ear phones in their ears? They can surely hear the music, or is someone telling them the words?
Those little “ear phones” are actually what we call “in-ear monitors” or “ear buds.” They enable us to hear not only our own vocals, but the instruments that we want to hear at the volume we want to hear them. Singers who perform at the big outdoor stadiums and arenas use them to also help block out echo and crowd noise. Ear monitors can keep a singer from trying to sing too loud and risking injuring their voice. Trust me, they are for hearing the level and the balance of the vocals and the music. Nobody is feeding us the words!
3) QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Since it’s your birthday November 1st, if you could go back in time, what age would you like to be? And career wise, would you do anything different going forward again? Or do you like the age you are now and you wouldn’t do anything different?
(Our panel chose this as our first Question Of The Month because of its timeliness and its general level of interest. The prize goes to Ed from New York.)
There are days when I wake up and wish that I was 21 again (like in my song), because young people in our business have so much to be excited about in terms of their music being heard by more people now than ever before. With steaming and all kinds of audio and video technology already here and on the horizon, I get excited just thinking of all the possibilities. At the same time, I’ve always felt I got into the business at the perfect time…the years at the end of the “hillbilly” era and on the cusp of country music’s golden age. Like everyone, I’d probably handle a lot of the smaller things in my life differently, but nothing major. Things have turned out pretty well, and I’m happy right where I am. I have been very blessed.
Quickies: If offered, would you ever take on another game show like Fandango or a talk show? I try to never say “never,” but at this point in my life, I don’t see myself hosting another television show. What channel does Country Road TV come on? It does not come on a regular television channel, but is a subscription service that you have to order and sign up for. You can do that by going to www.countryroadtv.com. With Thanksgiving coming up this month, what food items would you include with your dinner? Oh golly, there are so many foods that I like. Turkey and cornbread dressing with giblet gravy would have to lead off the menu, followed by a sweet potato & marshmallow casserole, green beans, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, and cranberry salad. For dessert, lemon ice box pie and/or carrot cake. Actually, I am not a picky eater. I’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat me first!! How does it feel to be where your dream took you? I’m sure music was your dream. Music was certainly one of my dreams, and obviously, the one that came true. It feels wonderful to have succeeded in something that I love so much. I feel extremely thankful and blessed.
I’m thankful for all your questions, too, and just wish I had space to answer them all. Don’t forget our monthly prize – your choice of any one item from our online store absolutely free including shipping – if your question is chosen as our Question Of The Month. Send yours to me at email@example.com and we’ll see you back here in December.