1) Did you ever consider setting up shop in Branson, Missouri? A lot of country music performers have over the years, and some have had a long presence there.
Yes I did. When I was the spokesman for the PoFolks restaurant chain back in the 80’s, we seriously considered opening a PoFolks Dinner Theater in Branson. We would have served up country food and country music, which would have been unique to the area at that time. I was excited about the possibilities, but the powers-that-be ultimately decided against it and I stayed rooted in Nashville.
2) I was one of the regulars who came to your TV show tapings at CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I wonder if you have access to any of those tapings.
No, but I wish I did. Those black and white shows were recorded in 1966-67, and I’m sure the tapes have all been erased or destroyed by now. We didn’t have adequate ways of preserving them back then, and we certainly didn’t realize the wisdom in not letting them get away. They would be priceless treasures today.
3) Do you know if Mike Johnson still has a band? I have seen them on Country’s Family Reunion and they were the best!
Mike, who was the steel guitar player and band leader on CFR and in my PoFolks Band for sixteen years, is now touring with Reba McEntire, continuing to work as many recording sessions as his schedule will allow, and has a band called 45 RPM that plays great country music at the Station Inn in Nashville whenever they can. It’s not the exact same band as you saw on CFR, but they play the same style music and play it extremely well. If you’re ever in Nashville and find that they are performing while you are here, don’t miss the opportunity to see and hear them. You will not be disappointed.
Our Question Of The Month comes from Britt in Texas: Throughout the years you have been outstanding…touring, making records, hosting game shows, writing songs, playing the Grand Ole Opry etc., and you never missed a beat. What a wonderful life you have lived. I want to know how you want to be remembered?
Wow…thank you. Mac Wiseman had an old song called, “Tis Sweet To Be Remembered,” and I guess just BEING remembered should be at the top of anyone’s wish list. You’re right in that I have been very blessed in this life, but I think I’d rather be remembered for the person I was than for anything I might have accomplished. I’d like for my children to say I was a good father, my employees and co-workers to say that I treated them fairly, and for my friends to say I was a friend in return. Of course, if somebody were to sing one of my songs a hundred years from now and give me credit for writing it, that would be pretty special too.
Quickies: A few years ago you did a song with Tracy Byrd called “You Lied To Me.” Did you write it?? Yes, and Tracy was one of several artists who recorded it. He invited me to sing it alongside him one night on the Opry. Although I never recorded it, I also sang it there one night myself just for fun. And Steve Wariner surprised me the other day when he told me it was the first song he ever sang in public. I had no idea. What performer do you think influenced your music and songwriting the most? No doubt but what it was Hank Williams. What year was the CFR taping done of “Unbroken Circle?” That was the last series we recorded, and it was done in 2018. I have been watching your Family Reunion shows on Tubi. Do you have any more coming up? There won’t be any more new shows as they are no longer in production. I am not familiar with the schedule on Tubi, however, so perhaps they will be airing some of the older ones. I’m glad to know you enjoy watching. Did Country Family Reunion get took off of RFD? It’s not on there anymore, so I guess it got “took off”.
I appreciate all your questions, and invite you to send me any that you might have rolling around in your mind. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and be watching for yours in an upcoming newsletter. If your question is chosen our Question Of The Month, you will win any item of your choice from our online store completely free of charge…and that includes shipping. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and stay curious!