As I indicated in my letter, October was a month full of special moments for me, my family, and friends. When former President Carter and his wife visited the Opry, we were fortunate enough to have them pause for a picture with me, Eddie Stubbs, and Emmylou Harris. The next night my granddaughter, Hallie, thought she had died and gone to heaven when she got to meet her idol, Dolly Parton backstage. Dolly autographed a boot for Hallie, which I’m sure she will keep forever and never wear again. Another granddaughter, Greta, celebrated her 15th birthday last month and I was able to have dinner with her on her big night. Then later when we went to Branson, Mickey Gilley and I got to not only have a great visit, but we sang “City Lights” together onstage. Mickey had a #1 hit on my song in 1974, and it was a thrill to have him come forward and join me when I started singing it on our show. It was unrehearsed and a little ragged, but it was fun.
I was extremely saddened by the news of Mac Wiseman’s passing over the weekend. My relationship with him went all the way back into the late fifties when he was an executive with Dot Records and called me at WJJC in Commerce wanting to buy my master recording of “City Lights” for his label. When I told him Ray Price had just covered it for Columbia Records, he laughed and said, “Well, never mind!” I worked with Mac when he ran the Wheeling Jamboree, toured with him on many occasions, and welcomed him several times to the circle on Country’s Family Reunion. He probably knew more songs than anyone in country music, and he loved to share them with his friends. He was truly a gentleman in every sense of the word. We’ll miss you, Mac. Thanks for blessing us with your music…and for allowing me to be a small part of your world.