I told Jeannie Seely the other day that the twenty dollars I paid for my 2020 Monthly Planner was the biggest waste of money I could ever remember!
Almost everything I wrote down beginning in March and running through December has been erased. Nothing that I planned on has happened and most of it never will happen. A little thing called the Coronavirus has seen to that. I don’t know what kind of calendar you keep for your schedule, but I’m sure you’ve experienced a similar feeling. Thank goodness I wrote it all in pencil.
By now you probably know that our December Country’s Family Reunion cruise has been cancelled. The Salute To The Grand Ole Opry that Dailey & Vincent had planned for us in Hiawassee, Georgia, in September has also been cancelled. When these and several other of our scheduled concerts began falling like dominoes, I told my agent to simply clear the slate for 2020 and start focusing on next year which is what he has done. Like most artists in our business, we won’t be touring the rest of this year, but the majority of our dates have been rescheduled for 2021. When the dust settles, we’ll post a revised lineup.
Good things are still happening, though. Jeannie’s new album is coming out this month and she asked me to be part of it and sing “When Two Worlds Collide” with her…the song Roger Miller and I wrote together back in the early sixties. I hope you’ll enjoy our duet version. I’m proud to have three songs on Moe Bandy’s upcoming album due out August 28th. He cut “City Lights,” a new song Bobby Tomberlin and I wrote called “What If,” and the title track, “A Love Like That,” which I co-wrote with Bobby and Mo Pitney. Moe’s records are always country and always among the best.
John Berry’s recording of a song we co-wrote, “Don’t Think I Ain’t Country,” hit #1 on the Country Christian Music charts in late July. It’s not a “Christian” song as such, but it has a positive message which, fortunately, that audience can relate to. And our own album, “The Hits Re-Imagined,” continues to receive some wonderful reviews and comments, and I thank you for those. If you haven’t added a copy to your collection I hope you will do so.
We’ve had to face some sadness over the past few weeks with the passing of some of our good friends and co-workers. Our former road manager and souvenir salesman deluxe, Robbie Wittkowski, who rode a whole bunch of rivers with me back in the 80’s and 90’s, died of double pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Arizona. He was 64.
Everybody’s buddy and longtime radio personality, Bill Mack, passed away down in Texas last week. Bill gave so much to our business, and will certainly be missed. And of course we all continue to mourn the loss of Charlie Daniels, a great American and a kind, giving human being. What a hole all these deaths have left in the fabric of our musical family.
We had to postpone recording the pilot episode for the proposed new TV game show, “Name That Country Tune,” that I was scheduled to host in late July. Hopefully, we can get that back on the books sometime soon. It’s a really fun show that I think our fans will enjoy once we can get it on the air. I’ll keep you posted.
One thing that didn’t get postponed was my 59th Anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry which took place on July 15th. We couldn’t go out and celebrate, of course, but thanks so much for your many congratulatory messages. They were all most appreciated. I just hope we can celebrate big next year on #60!
On a personal note let me add another warning to all the other warnings you are getting these days: Don’t peel a fresh peach directly over your garbage disposal! I tried it, dropped the peach down the drain, and nearly broke my wrist trying to get it out. Peach pits (seeds) and disposal units are not designed for each other, so it had to come out. No harm was done, but I wouldn’t want to have to go through fishing it out again. It was awkward and extremely messy. Men aren’t supposed to be in the kitchen anyway!! (Oh boy, that’s bound to stir up a hornet’s nest!)
Take care…stay safe…keep smiling…and I’ll see you back here again in September. Thanks a BILL-ion for everything…