June 2, 2014
It’s hot, it’s humid, and the streets of downtown Nashville are beginning to look like a cross between the midway at a county fair and the world’s largest parking lot. That can only mean one thing: It’s Fan Fair time in Music City!
OK, I had to call it by its former name just once to get it out of my system. It’s officially known now as the CMA Music Festival, and methinks the little convention for country music fans that a handful of us started back in the early 70’s has gotten a tad out of hand. We thought 4,000 people was a large gathering back in April of ’72. They tell us over 50,000 people will spend time here this week. You do the math, and please know that we welcome you one and all.
As of now, I am planning to be on the Opry Tuesday night the 3rd, Friday night the 6th, and Saturday night the 7th. I will be signing autographs inside the CMA Booth from 3 until 4 p.m. on Thursday the 5th, and will appear as a panelist on a CMA-sponsored discussion on the history of the Ryman Auditorium immediately thereafter. I’ll look forward to seeing lots of you while you’re in our city.
We have just returned home from a very successful six-show run out in western Canada, and I want to thank all of you who came out and filled the seats in every building we played. Your warm reception always makes us look forward to coming back.
Our tour dates in June include Arlington, Texas, on Friday the 13th (Oh, come on. That does NOT mean bad luck!); Weatherford, Texas, on Saturday the 14th, and The Woodlands, Texas, right outside of Houston, on the 15th. Hope to see lots of you there.
Our Grand Ole Opry dates are scheduled to be the 10th, 20th, and 21st in addition to the dates during Music Fest.
Thanks to all of you who responded to the message from our Fan Club and watched my “Old Army Hat” video over Memorial Day weekend. I heard from SO many of you who said you saw it and found a whole new meaning inside the lyrics and the pictures on such a special day. I was pleased at how well the song was received by our fans in Canada. They have what they call Remembrance Day later in the year, but they didn’t seem to mind acknowledging and remembering our military on our special day. After all, as I reminded them, we fought alongside one another in WWII, and we share the biggest stretch of unguarded border between any two countries in the world. They are truly our “neighbors to the north.”
On the personal side of my life, my granddaughter, Caroline, graduated from high school on May 16th, exactly one month to the day following the death of her father. It was a bittersweet moment for us all, and I know in particular it was both a happy and a sad time for her. In honor of her dad, she wore his shiny Air Force Captain’s bars pinned to the dress beneath her gown.
My son, Jamey, his wife, Beth, and their four kids moved into their new house over Memorial Day, while my daughter, Terri, and her husband, Grant, welcomed Grant’s new granddaughter into the world May 22nd. Today would have been my sister, Mary’s, 72nd birthday.
That’s about it for now. Enjoy Music Fest and all its related activities either in person or via the internet and social media. I’m sure you won’t be lacking for information from all the goings on. We’ll see you back here in July, hopefully with some news about an exciting new project we’ve been working on. Thanks for continuing to be the best fans in the world!