Warmest greetings, friends!
Well, here is number four in “The Nashville Years” segment. Not too long after my very first Nashville album project was completed and our very first single was released and began getting radio airplay, I was backstage at the Grand Old Opry hanging out with the legendary Mr. Roy Acuff in his dressing room. As was a tradition, if Mr. Acuff was available, he loved to meet and greet new and upcoming artists personally and introduce them to some of the Opry legends and stars who would stop by to pay their respects; he had an open door policy…very friendly, supportive, kind, hospitable, and almost ‘family-like’. Being introduced to Mr. Acuff by my producer and publicist (at the time), I was warmly invited to ‘hang’ with The Man and meet his peers! Now…how cool is that?!
The list is long, but over time I had the honor of meeting such artists as: Eddie Raven, Hank Snow, Little Jimmie Dickens, BOX (Box-Car Willie), McBride & The Ride, Skeeter Davis, Warner Mack, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Monroe (Father of Bluegrass), Jeanne Pruett, Sons of the Pioneers, Tommy Cash, et cetera.
In fact, the wonderful Carol Lee Singers (long time backing vocalists for the Grand Old Opry) did all of the backing vocals on my very first Nashville album project!
One night at the Opryland Hotel at an Awards Show for Indie Artists, I was nominated for two awards; song of the year and new male vocalist of the year. Seated next to my table was a hot new artist quickly taking Country Music by storm…one who would soon dominate the Country Music Industry and set new records. That person was Mr. Garth Brooks! Well, my producer handed him a copy of my new album and the next time they crossed paths, Garth told my producer that he and the boys had taken it with them on the road and listened to it on their bus and loved it! Now…how cool is that?!
Here is another story you may find interesting. Prior to an upcoming and new photo shoot in Music City, I stopped by a hair salon on Music Row. The lady who began styling my hair was very nice, very friendly, and very personable. She asked me about the occasion and I told her I was headed to the studio for a new photo shoot as I had just recorded and released a new album. I’ll never forget it. She said, “My Dad writes a few songs, now and then”. I said, “Wow, that’s cool”. She went on to say, “Yeah, and he’s done a little recording himself, from time to time”. I said something like, “Sweet!”. She said, “You may have heard of him…his name is Johnny Cash?”. I nearly fell out of her chair! I was having my hair styled by none other than Ms. Cindy Cash! Well, one of the songs on the album is “Feed The Children” and was written and recorded in honor of that organization. When I handed her a copy of my cassette (yes, I said cassette…this was in the late 1980’s), she noticed this song. She asked, “May I give a copy to my Dad? You know, he is with The Highway Men (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, & Waylon Jennings) and they heavily promote this fine organization”. I almost fell out of her chair again! I said, “Of course!”. Well, it was a few months later when I finally had a couple of charted records that the legendary Country Radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana had me do an on-air interview…they played “Feed The Children”…promoted my album…promoted the concert…and they asked every ticket buyer attending ‘The Highwaymen Concert’ that evening in Shreveport to bring at least one non-perishable food item to the show and that the Feed The Children transport truck would be there to pick up the donations! I was honored, beyond words! Again, how cool is that?! 🙂
<As a side note, for those who may not be aware, KWKH Country Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana is legendary because of its ties to the former Louisiana Hayride and all of the legends who got their start there (such as Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and many, many others)!
Well, friends, that’s enough for now. I’ll write number 5 in the near future.
Love and God Bless,
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