March 1, 2012
And welcome to our March fan club newsletter.
Most of you know by now that our overseas trip was successful and that we’re home safe. But I have a few observations that I’d like to share:
First, I had forgotten just how loyal and enthusiastic the audiences in England and Ireland can be. The venues were packed-out, and we even had fans travel from as far away as Germany to catch our show in Dublin, Ireland. Check that on a map…it’s not exactly a Sunday drive through the park. They applaud loud and long over there at the end of the songs they enjoy, and they’re not afraid to sing along on the ones they know. They request their favorites and, in some cases, I had the feeling they would have still been calling out titles into the wee hours if we could have stayed there and played for them.
I knew I was on foreign soil, though, when I saw signs in the airport that read “Baggage Reclaim.” In this country, we just say “Baggage Claim,” but, you know, they really have it right. We are RE-claiming our luggage, not claiming it.
I also knew I was a long way from home when I saw pork ‘n beans on a breakfast buffet. The waiters and waitresses would come to the table and ask if you wanted “sparkling” water or “still” water. I told them I didn’t know they had named their water after one of my songs!
The people-moving belts in the airport had signs above them that read, “Face the way you are travelling.” That puzzled me, because what other way would you face? And if you did decide to ride backwards, you couldn’t see the sign anyhow.
Oh well…I’m sure our friends from other lands find some of our customs strange, too. I can see them trying to figure out grits.
I’ll be home most of March and will appear on the Opry for eleven shows. I have some songwriting sessions booked, and I plan to take my usual time-off the middle of the month to head south for a little baseball Spring Training. You know I can’t live without that.
I talked to my former singing partner, Mary Lou Turner, yesterday after I got word of the tornadoes ripping through Branson, and she assured me that she and her family were all fine. There was obviously a lot of devastation, though, and my condolences go out to all who are suffering. Mary Lou said the RFD Theater, where we are scheduled to perform in September, escaped any damage, so as far as I know our plans are still intact.
I hope you’ll check out our new “Gone Away” video that should be popping up on YouTube any minute now, and that you’ll want to share it with your friends. People who have seen it say that it adds an extra dimension to the song, and I agree.
That about wraps it up for now. Thanks for everything, and we’ll see you back here in April.