June is finally here, which means the release of our new album is only a few days away. And I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am.
In all my years in the music business, I have never felt the love and support from a record company and a promotion team that I’m feeling right now from Team BA and the folks at UMG Records. They have set me up with media interviews all around the world, an hour-long appearance on Talk Shop Live, CD covers to autograph, promotional t-shirts, an upcoming appearance at Fan Fair X during CMA Fest, ads in the Opry souvenir programs, and other things I have never received before. Plus, a few days ago I got to film a video with Dolly Parton to promote the first single from the album, “Someday It’ll All Make Sense.”
I can only say that everyone should have the experience of working with Dolly, the consummate professional in everything that she does. She has mastered the art of being serious when need be and being loose, and wacky, and funny anytime she can. Like during the filming when our award-winning director, Trey Fanjoy, was calling out instructions to us across the studio. Dolly interrupted her by yelling, “Speak louder, Trey. Bill is hard of hearing and I’m hard of listening.” Dolly takes her work seriously, but never seems to take herself too seriously. I don’t have the words to describe my love and admiration for this incredibly special woman. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the video when you see it.
May was a special month in Whisperville any way you slice it. Not only did I jump headfirst into working to promote my new record, but I got to help shine the spotlight on my friend, Jamey Johnson, when I inducted him into the membership of the Grand Ole Opry on May 14th. By now I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures and heard the soundtracks, but suffice it to say I was almost as excited as Jamey was. He and I have been friends, fellow recording artists, and songwriting partners for 25-years or so, and I’ve known the entire time how badly he wanted to be an Opry member. I’m happy for him, and I’m equally happy for the Opry. They just gained a wonderful new member.
Going back to speaking of Talk Shop Live, I had a great time spending an hour there with my buddy, Bill Cody, back on May 25th. We talked about my upcoming record, laughed a lot, took messages from viewers (they told us folks were watching all around the world), laughed some more, and hopefully sold a few copies of the new album. If you have pre-ordered your copy, thank you very much. I hope you will enjoy it. And in answer to many questions, yes, we will have them for sale through our office beginning on June 10th.
Lots of you seem to be finding music from my very first albums in the digital world these days as well. As I told you earlier this year, Universal has uncovered 31 of my records that have never been released on Spodify, YouTube, Pandora, Tidal, and other streaming formats, and they are making them available a few at a time. The first four are out now, and I’ve seen some awfully nice comments that you’ve left for me on the various sites. Thank you…I appreciate your kind words very much.
May was also a sad month on several musical fronts with the passing of Naomi Judd, Mickey Gilley, and arranger and keyboard maestro, Bill Walker. I had the pleasure of working with each of them over the years, and they will all be missed.
On the personal side, I guess many of you have heard that my grandson, Gabe’s, cancer is finally in remission, and he was able to go with his family on a week’s vacation in California. So many of you have lifted Gabe and the family up in your prayers, and those prayers are definitely being answered. This is not the end of Gabe’s journey, though, so don’t stop now. Thank you so much and God bless.
I’ll be on the Opry June 9th, 10th, and 11th during CMA Music Fest, and will be signing autographs in the Universal/UMG Fan Fair X booth the afternoon of the 10th. Come see us if you’re planning to be in Nashville.
Thanks for everything, have a great month, stay cool, and we’ll see you back here again in July.