And welcome to our first newsletter of the brand new year. Let’s hope this is the year when our world returns to some sense of normalcy and we can bid a final and not-so-fond farewell to the coronavirus. Or as comedian Jackie Mason used to say, “May this year be better than last year should have been.”
I had a great Christmas, and I hope you did as well. It didn’t feel a lot like Christmas this year with our Nashville temperatures in the seventies, but I managed to get into the holiday spirit just the same. I was helped by all the beautiful Christmas cards you sent my way along with the e-mails, tweets, and text messages. Thank you for every single one.
As usual, I spent Christmas Eve with my son, Jamey, and his family at their house. Covid kept us away from our usual in person Christmas Eve church service, but we streamed a service from Texas and focused on the Reason for the Season just the same. There were 13 of us sitting around the living room singing “Silent Night,” opening our gifts and enjoying our time together.
On Christmas Day, I gathered with my daughters, Jenni and Terri, at Jenni’s house and we did more of the same. That group is growing what with granddaughter, Rae, getting married in August and “significant others” beginning to move into the family circle as well. So far I’ll have to say my grandkids have all chosen well.
I had fun dusting off some of my Christmas songs at the Opry in December and hearing several of them pop up on the radio during the holidays. Many of you told me that you saw our “Waffle House Christmas” video again this year and that it continues to make you smile. Thank you…that’s why we made it.
I stayed home on New Years Eve and parked my body in front of the TV hoping to see my alma mater, the University of Georgia Bulldogs, advance to the finals of the college football playoffs. They didn’t disappoint me with a big win over Michigan. Now if we can just figure out a way to beat Alabama for the national championship on January 10th….something that’s a lot easier said than done.
As soon as the dust settles from the holidays, my team and I will be hard at work preparing some new audio and video materials for release in early 2022. I wish I could tell you everything that’s in the works, but some other folks want to be the ones to break the news. I will say this much: We’ve got some pretty cool things about to happen in the first quarter of this year. Just when I think things couldn’t get any better in my life and my career they do just that. I am so incredibly blessed.
Quite a few folks tell me they visited our As Far As I Can See exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum over the holidays, and everyone comments on what a great job the Hall did in putting it all together. I couldn’t agree more. If you plan to be in or around Nashville over the next 15-months, I sure hope you’ll stop by for a visit. I’m awfully proud of what they’ve done.
And speaking of The Hall of Fame, they will be sponsoring a songwriter’s showcase during the annual Tin Pan South festival this spring, and they have asked me to host it. Our night is tentatively planned for Friday April 1st at a location to be determined later. The lineup of songwriters who will be performing with me that night is not complete, but I do know that my friends and co-writers, Buddy Cannon and Bobby Tomberlin, will both be taking part. If you’re headed in our direction about that time of year, come spend that night with us. No telling what April Fool’s surprises we might spring on you!
A little sooner, on January 21st, I’ll be taping another guest appearance on Larry’s Country Diner. When I know the air dates I’ll let you know.
On the personal front, many of you continue to ask about my grandson, Gabe, and his ongoing battle with cancer. He joined in on our Christmas activities, but he tires easily and has to pace himself. He appreciates your prayers and your many cards and letters of encouragement. Thank you from him and all the family.
Here’s wishing you and yours a great 2022, and I hope you’ll continue to stay connected to us throughout the year. If you’ve got any country music lovin’ friends who don’t know about our free fan club and monthly newsletters, please pass the word along. The more the merrier!! And thanks for everything…..