1) I enjoyed watching the Porter Wagoner Show when I was young, and wonder if you were ever a guest on his show? Porter also recorded some of your songs. Did you write those for him or did he ask you to? Do you have a favorite among the ones he performed?
Back in the sixties if an artist wanted to appear on nationwide television he or she had to be on the Porter Wagoner show. There weren’t many other opportunities out there, and I appeared with him several times. It was always a fun and lively experience. He recorded quite a few of my songs over the years, and we had three big hits together: “I’ve Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand”, “I’ll Go Down Swinging”, and “The Cold Hard Facts Of Life.” He only asked me to write one song specifically for him, the title song to his album, “Confessions Of A Broken Man.” I like all the records he made on my songs, but “Cold Hard Facts,” is probably my favorite. It took a lot of nerve for him to cut that one!
2) Will you be making any more Family Reunion videos? We hate that they took them off RFD-TV. How could we go about ordering some more copies?
I combined two questions into one here which I hope the writers don’t mind. No, I don’t think we’ll be making any new CFR shows anytime soon. We hate that they are not on RFD-TV anymore too. Larry Black tells me that they sold all the remaining DVD’s and cleaned out the warehouse and even sold it too. The only way to see those shows today, unless you have the DVD’s or VHS tapes at home, would be to subscribe to Country Roads TV which is owned and run by Larry’s three sons. Larry says all the shows are available to watch there.
3) I heard Connie Smith say that your drummer, Snuffy Miller, played on her original cut of “Once A Day.” Did your other Po’ Boys play as well?
At the time Connie recorded “Once A Day,” I only had a 4-piece band, and three of the four played on her first session. Snuffy did play the drums, Jimmy Lance played rhythm guitar, and Weldon Myrick created the record’s signature musical lick on the steel guitar. Weldon, in fact, became such a big part of Connie’s overall sound that she hired him away from me and he became part of her band. Jimmy Gateley was the only Po’ Boy who didn’t play on Connie’s early sessions, and had she used a fiddle, I’m sure he would have chimed in too.
Quickies: Someone told me that the famous weightlifter, Paul Anderson, was your brother. Is that true? No. Paul Anderson was from Toccoa, Georgia, not far from my adopted hometown of Commerce, but we were not related. I just watched a recording of your 40 Years on the Opry, and I wonder if the guitar player with you was the same man who played in the Opry staff band? No, but a lot of people used to think that Les Singer, my guitar player, looked a lot like Jimmy Capps, who played in the Opry band. They were good friends, both great musicians, but not related at all. Did you lose many songs in the Universal fire of years ago? I’ve never been told exactly, but most of my recorded masters seem to still be in tact, so I can only assume that the answer is no. Did you ever sing “Still” to a real still the same way Elvis Presley once sang “Hound Dog” to a real hound dog? This may well qualify as the wackiest question I’ve received in a long time…and maybe ever. The answer is no. Where do you folks come up with stuff like this?
Well, wherever it is, this is your invitation to come up with some more questions next month. Remember, beginning in November, we will select a “Question Of The Month,” and award a prize from our online store to the person who submits it. The winner will be chosen on the basis of the question’s content, originality, and aptness of thought. (The question above about my singing “Still” to a real still might well have won this month had we started the contest earlier!) If you are curious about something to do with country music, send your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and watch for the answers in this space. Thanks, and I’ll see you back here in November.