Well, the calendar says it’s October, but you’d never know it by the 90-plus degree temperatures that we’re still having here in Nashville. It feels more like the Fourth of July!
Fortunately, I was able to spend last week up in Maine, enjoying cooler temperatures, lower humidity, nice breezes, and fresh lobster. You’ve heard me say many times over the years that the coast of Maine is one of my favorite go-to places in late summer/early fall, and it still is. I got to visit with some longtime friends, do some serious shopping, boating, and eating, and came home refreshed. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I got to see the final episodes of Ken Burns’ magnificent documentary on country music while I was away, and was so proud of the way this talented man and his staff presented our music and our way of life to the world. He treated country music with so much respect, and I can’t begin to tell you how many people have come up to me over the past couple of weeks saying the very same thing. I hope you got to see it and that you enjoyed and appreciated it as much as I did. I was honored that he used so many of my observations and comments within the various episodes.
Looking at the month ahead I’m going to be quite busy, although we’ll only be on the road for four concert dates this month….the 3rd of October in Loudonville, Ohio, the 4th in Marion, Illinois, and the 21st and 22nd with our Country’s Family Reunion shows in Branson. I hope we’ll see lots of you along the way.
My Opry appearances in October will be on the 11th, 12th, 19th, and 26th (2 shows each date). I’ll be appearing at the annual Dottie West Birthday Celebration here in Nashville on the 9th, inducting my friend and co-writer, Sharon Vaughn, into The Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame on the 14th, and watching my friends Ray Stevens, Jerry Bradley, and Brooks & Dunn become the newest Country Music Hall of Fame members on the 20th. In my “spare time,” I have several songwriting sessions booked as well.
I’ll be spending my November 1st birthday doing a show in Scottsburg, Indiana, and the following day the band and I will be performing in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. It’s probably a good thing I came home from Maine well rested!
I just learned that a song I co-wrote with Jamey Johnson and Buddy Cannon called “South Alabama Christmas,” will be part of the Oak Ridge Boys new Christmas album coming out shortly. William Lee Golden, who hails from the south Alabama town of Brewton, sings lead on the song as well he should. As always, the Oaks put their undeniable touch on it, making all us songwriters proud.
From the personal corner of my world, my grandson, Gabe, has had a couple of rough weeks dealing with side effects of his cancer. I hope you’ll continue to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Granddaughter, Rae, has the lead role in her first play since moving to Chicago to pursue an acting/dancing career. I had hoped to fly up and surprise her, but that’s looking less and less likely. Hopefully, there will be many more plays and lead roles in her future and I can be there cheering her on.
In spite of the hot weather, October is still my favorite month of the year. My Braves are in the baseball playoffs, my Georgia Bulldog football team is undefeated so far, and life is good. Enjoy the month wherever your road takes you, and we’ll see you back here in November.
Thanks for continuing to be such wonderful fans and friends.