We waited until after the July 4th holiday to get our newsletter out, figuring that you were too busy grilling out, shooting off fireworks, and celebrating our nation’s birthday to read about the wanderings of a whisperin’ hillbilly singer. I hope each of you had a great holiday…but I guess it’s time now for all of us to get back to work.
We had one of the busiest months in recent years in June, touching down for shows in Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. We met lots of nice folks, and hopefully entertained those of you who came to see us. In the midst of it all, I took a little personal time to fly to Chicago and spend a couple of days with my granddaughter, Rae, who has lived there for the past three years. We did everything from taking in a Cubs game to stuffing our faces with Chicago-style pizza. I’ve attached a couple of pictures you might enjoy.
I also took time while we were on tour down in Georgia to visit the Ty Cobb baseball museum in his hometown of Royston, and in Elberton, I got to stand in the pulpit of the church where my granddaddy preached back in the 1920’s. Things like that make travelling up and down the highways much more special and enjoyable.
July won’t be as busy on the road, but I’ve got several songwriting sessions booked, Opry appearances on the 9th, 19th, 20th, 23rd and 30th, and I’m being honored by some special folks from my home state on the 17th.
For the past six years, a group of prominent country music songwriters, whose roots are in Georgia, have been holding a benefit concert at the Ryman Auditorium to celebrate their Georgia heritage and raise money for The Georgia Music Foundation and its related charities. It’s a night called “Georgia On My Mind,” and this year they have asked me to come accept their “Flamekeeper” Award in honor of my longtime efforts to keep the flame burning for Georgia music. What a super nice thing for them to do. I hope some of you can be there. The following night I’ll be joining Erin Enderlin, Matraca Berg, and Jeff Hanna for what promises to be another fun songwriter night at the Bluebird.
Many of you have asked me in recent years if there will ever be Volume II of a box set featuring my music, and you might be interested to know that Bear Family Records, who issued a set featuring songs from the first ten years of my career, has recently reached out to me expressing an interest in doing a follow-up collection. It’s only in the talking stage right now, but I’m hopeful something good might come of our discussions. Cross your fingers.
Thanks for continuing to ask about my family, and in particular my grandson, Gabe. He is still taking treatments for his cancer, but so far things are about the same. He recently got to spend a week at camp with other kids who are going through similar things as he is, and although he came home tired, it’s always one of his favorite weeks of the year. That camp also offers a week for the brothers and sisters of children with cancer, and Blake and Hallie participated in that. My grandson, Nick, is working at WalMart this summer, saving some money, and preparing to head off to college in the fall.
I appreciate more than you know your continued support of me and my career, and here’s hoping I’ll be close enough to thank you person sometime soon. Our tour schedule continues to evolve, and we’re starting to book shows all the way into late 2020.
Enjoy these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, and we’ll see you back here again next month. My best to you all.
1) I often buy the autographed items you have on your website. Is there a way that you can offer an autographed set list from one of your concerts? Or maybe an autographed Hatch Show Print poster?
I don’t see any reason why not. Frankly, I never thought of it. The band and I can easily sign some of our set lists, and I’ll have our people check and see what prints Hatch might have available. Thanks for the suggestion.
2) Were you ever in an episode of “Alias Smith & Jones?”
Yes, I had a small role playing the part of a card dealer in an episode called, “The Men Who Corrupted Hadleyburg.” It was filmed sometime in the seventies if I remember correctly, and sadly was the last episode featuring actor, Pete Duel, prior to his death. I often hear from folks who have spotted this show online or on TV somewhere in the middle of the night. I never fancied myself as an actor, but being on this show was a fun experience.
3) I am a huge Mother Maybelle fan. Did you work with her much, and was she as kind as she seemed to be on stage?
Mother Maybelle (or “Mommie Mothball” as her daughter, June, used to call her) was a beautiful, kind, and special lady. I didn’t work with her as much as I would have liked to, but I recall several occasions where our paths crossed. She played her famous autoharp on my recording of “Candy Apple Red” years ago, and we once toured eastern Canada together. It was on that tour that my bus broke down as we were trying to drive it onto a ferry boat. In my mind I can still see Mama Maybelle and the Carter girls out in the early morning daylight standing behind my bus and literally pushing it onto the boat. I wish they had had cell phone cameras back then. That picture would be a priceless treasure today.
Thanks for your questions. Please don’t stop sending them. You can write me at email@example.com or use snail mail at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. See you back here next time. Stay curious.
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.