One of our “Ask Bill” letters this month dealt with the late Dave “Stringbean” Akeman, and shortly after that letter arrived this grainy old picture from back in the sixties popped up as well. This was String appearing on my portion of the Grand Ole Opry reading one of his trademark “letters from home.” The audiences loved those, and so did I. In the second picture, you can see how happy Jamey Johnson was after I told him he’d never be a guest on the Opry again…that the next time he walked on that stage it would be the night of his induction as a regular member of the Opry cast. He had been hoping to join for a long time, and lots of us had been wanting him as a member of the Opry “family.” His induction is set for May 14th. It’s always fun to be invited to Larry’s Country Diner, and I figured if I got close to Renee The Waitress that she might save me an extra large slice of her delicious pecan pie. She did, and a good time was had by all. My appearances on the Diner TV show on RFD-TV will be on the 14th and the 16th of this month.
The video for my and Dolly Parton’s duet of “Someday It’ll All Make Sense” centers around the two of us driving an old vintage car from a place of darkness into a place of light…just as the lyric of the song portrays. We used a 1936 Aero 30 convertible, made in Czechoslovakia I’m told, and loaned to us by the same folks who own the automobile museum where Jamey Johnson and I filmed our “21” video a few years ago, the Lane Auto Museum. There are worse things in this world than being cramped inside a small car with Dolly!! It’s a serious song, of course, but as you can tell, we had a few laughs along the way. In the bottom photo, you get the backstage view of my being introduced onstage at the Grand Ole Opry. There’s no thrill in show business quite like the thrill of heading for that special Opry circle. And even as many times as I’ve done it, it never gets old.
“UMG Records wanted my upcoming album to have a “retro” look, so they found this old picture from somewhere back in the sixties to use on the cover. They also wanted the record to tie-in with my current display at the Country Music Hall of Fame, so they titled it after the exhibit, “As Far As I Can See.” Thanks to all of you who pre-ordered copies and made it the #1 most pre-ordered record on Amazon the week it was announced. The official release date is June 10th.The second picture here shows how happy I was to be standing next to the Atlanta Braves 2021 World Series trophy when it was unveiled in Nashville April 26th. I even got a text message from the Braves’ manager, Brian Snitker, saying that he thought I looked good with the trophy. I told him he looked a lot better with it when they won it! I didn’t get to wish Loretta Lynn a Happy 90th Birthday back on April 14th, but better late than never. This picture was taken the last time we were on the Opry together several years ago. What a great lady…and here’s wishing her many more happy birthdays.”