February 8, 2023
Well, I had hoped to start off our February newsletter by telling you that I was safely home from California with my first-ever shiny new Grammy Award tucked up under my arm. But, alas, a funny thing happened on my way up to the podium.
They gave “my” Grammy in the American Roots category, where I had been nominated for my performance on “Someday It’ll All Make Sense” featuring Dolly Parton, to Aaron Neville. Aaron is a great artist, very deserving, and I offer him my congratulations. Sure, I’m disappointed, but I’m not heartbroken by a long shot. It was a thrill to have been nominated.
Had I won the Grammy I had planned to thank a whole bunch of people who contributed so much to the effort. Since I didn’t get to do that onstage, I’ll do it here: Dolly, you made the record come alive with your great voice and styling, and I can’t thank you enough for laying it all on the line for me. Cheryl Riddle, thank you for making sure Dolly heard the song in the first place. Thomm Jutz, thank you for producing a great record. Bobby Tomberlin and Ryan Larkins, thanks for allowing me to co-write this amazing song idea with you. Rusty Gaston, from Sony Music Publishing, thank you for believing enough to take the record to Cindy Mabe at UMG Records…and, Cindy, thanks to you and your incredible team for working so hard to get us the Grammy nomination. It was a team effort from the get-go, and I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful to you all.
And to each of you, my fans and my friends, thanks for your love and support. I’m just sorry I couldn’t have rewarded you with the prize you were helping me seek.
My trip to the west coast was not a wash-out by any means. My son, Jamey, found an empty seat on a Delta airplane and flew out to join me for the festivities. Between his hectic schedule and mine over the years, we haven’t had the chance to do many things like this together, and it was a hoot sharing such a special time with him. Now I’ve just got to go to work and try to create something good enough to get another nomination next year!
In other news, I’m anxious to go back to the Opry House this month for my first shows there since the new backdrop and new sound system have been installed. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the upgrades, and I’m anxious to see and hear them for myself. We have two scheduled appearances this month, on Valentine’s Day Tuesday the 14th and the following Saturday February 18th. Come see us if you can…tune us in if you can’t.
I feel I should mention that our exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame is heading into its home stretch with a closing date of Sunday March 19th. Many of you have said you still hope to come see it before it closes, so I’m just reminding you. It was open the entire year of 2022, and I’m happy to tell you that more people attended the museum this past year than any year in history. I’m proud to have perhaps been a small part of that.
I won’t be performing anywhere in March due to a minor elective surgical procedure I have scheduled for February 27th. If all goes as planned I will only be in the hospital overnight, and will be recouping at home for a few weeks after that. So I’m stacking up on books to read and movies to watch. As always, your positive thoughts and prayers on my behalf will be most appreciated.
Enjoy as best as you can these final few weeks of winter, keeping in mind that Spring will be here before we know it. Thanks for all of your continued kindnesses to me, and I hope to see you back here as early in March as possible. My best to you all.
February 8, 2023 @ 3:02 pm
Thanks for the wonderful news letter James! I’ve been waiting and waiting to find out if you got the Grammy because I know you deserve it as much as anyone else. OK, I feel sad that you didn’t get it but mostly sad for you and your disappointment. I can see that in your writing. Right now you are the backbone of country music and you never disappoint those of us who follow country music. I’ve watched your TV program “Country Family Reunion” shows so much over and over again that people around me think I’ve gone senile. Well, I haven’t and I love to see my old favorite artists come on and perform the old classics. It’s my life, I wouldn’t change it if I could. I haven’t missed any of your classics James, I know you wrote most of them and that makes it even more special. I remember when everyone introduced you as “whispering Bill” and at the time I didn’t understand why. I’m happy to know you and thanks for what you do for country music. My prayers will be for you and your family during your hospital stay and recovery. Continue to be you and your fans will stay happy. That’s the cold hard facts.