The top photo was taken the day Jeannie Seely and I recorded “When Two Worlds Collide” for her upcoming album, and it just happened to be the day after Ray Stevens learned he had been voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. We cut our vocal tracks at Ray’s studio, and it gave us a chance to congratulate him on his great honor. The second picture was taken the day Hall of Fame songwriter, Bobby Braddock (seated), joined me and singer John Paul White for an interview. John Paul, formerly of a duet called The Civil Wars, is an incredible young singer/songwriter from the Americana genre who reached out and asked me and Bobby to join him in writing some songs for his new project due out this month. One of our tunes, “I Wish I Could Write You A Song,” is getting airplay and good reviews around the country. And in the bottom photo, I’m with granddaughters Hallie and Sophie following their elementary school performance of “Mary Poppins.” I guess there weren’t enough boys in her class, so Hallie put on a wig and a mustache and played the part of a man. The girls had their own cheering section in the audience…twelve family members were there to cheer them on.
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.