News And Notes

All posts tagged "Chet Atkins"

Sep 26

GAC Album Review: Steve Wariner’s It Ain’t All Bad

GAC Album Review: Steve Wariner's "It Ain't All Bad"

Steve Wariner’s 2013 album, It Ain’t All Bad. Photo by Joe Hardwick, courtesy of Essential Broadcast Media.

On his first vocal album in eight years, Grand Ole Opry member Steve Wariner quickly makes up for lost time to cover subjects ranging from old school country loneliness to the thrill of dropping the hammer in a classic 1940s Ford. Writing or co-writing every song on It Ain’t All Bad, which is available now, Steve emphasizes vocals and story song lyrics as he moves through the new 12-song set.

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Posted at 3:52 pm | Permalink
Nov 7

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to Open Dottie West Exhibit

Dottie West


Promotional studio portrait of American country singer Dottie West (1932 – 1991), wearing cowboy boots and seated on a Western desert backdrop, circa 1979. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will open a special spotlight exhibit dedicated to Dottie West on November 9. Dottie West: Country Sunshine will include costumes and relics spanning Dottie’s four-decade career and be housed within the museum’s permanent exhibit on the second floor. It will run through May 2, 2013.

The exhibit will trace Dottie’s journey from her humble beginnings in Tennessee and an abusive father to an award-winning member of the Grand Ole Opry, culminating with her death in 1991. Dottie charted dozens of singles, was the first female country artist to win a GRAMMY and helped launch artists such as Larry Gatlin, Jeannie Seely and Steve Wariner.

Born Dorothy Marie Marsh on October 11, 1932 in Frog Pond, Tennessee, she was the oldest of 10 children. She grew up playing guitar, even fronting a band with high school classmates. She married steel guitarist Bill West in 1952 and the couple moved to Nashville with their two children in 1961. Continue Reading

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Posted at 2:28 pm | Permalink
Nov 2

Songwriter Liz Anderson Dies at 80

Liz Anderson

Photo courtesy of Showboat Records.

GAC extends condolences to the family, friends and fans of songwriter Liz Anderson, mother of “Rose Garden” singer Lynn Anderson. Liz passed away October 31 at the age of 80 from complications of heart and lung disease. Liz and her husband Casey were successful songwriters, with Merle Haggard’s “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and “(I’m A Lonesome) Fugitive” among their compositions.

Born in Roseau, Minnesota, Liz played mandolin as a child and sang in her local church choir. At 13, her family moved to Grand Fork, North Dakota and at 16, she married husband Casey. Lynn was born a year later. In 1957, the family moved to Sacramento, California where the limited popularity of country music led Liz to start writing songs. Casey was a member of the Sherriff’s Posse which was going to take part in the National Centennial Pony Express Celebration . He convinced his wife to write a song in honor of the Pony Express, which went on to be named the celebration’s official song.

Liz began publishing songs and made friends with the growing country music community in Bakersfield during the early 60s. Some of her earliest hits were “Be Quiet Mind” recorded by Del Reeves and “Pick of the Week” recorded by Roy Drusky. Many artists in the 1960s recorded at least one of her songs on their albums, including Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Kitty Wells, Connie Smith and Bill Anderson. She went on to publish more than 260 songs during her career and earned five BMI Awards. Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:04 am | Permalink
Sep 28

Country Star Johnnie Wright Dies at Age 97

Johnnie Wright & Kitty Wells

Johnnie Wright & Kitty Wells

GAC extends condolences to the family, friends and fans of Johnnie Wright, who passed away at his home in Madison, Tennessee on Tuesday morning, reports the Tennessean. Johnnie was known as both a solo artist and as a member of the innovative duo Johnnie & Jack. He was married to country music legend Kitty Wells for 74 years. He was 97.

As a member of Johnnie & Jack, Johnnie introduced Latin rhythms into country music with hits like “Ashes of Love,” “Poison Love” and “(Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely.” As a solo artist, he was known as ‘Johnny Wright’ and had a No. 1 hit with “Hello Vietnam,” written by Tom T. Hall.

When Johnnie married 18-year-old Muriel Deason in 1937, he was already an integral part of her career. He gave her the stage name of ‘Kitty Wells’ and brought the hit “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” that launched her career. He also offered her headline status when females were routinely regulated to supporting acts.

Johnnie grew up in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee listening to the Grand Ole Opry on WSM. As a child, he would often see Opry star Uncle Jimmy Thompson put on impromptu performances at a Mt. Juliet feed store. He met Kitty when his sister Bessie married and moved in next to Kitty’s family. The pair bonded over their love of music – and the fact that Johnnie had a car. Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:09 am | Permalink
Aug 2

Singer-Songwriter Jack Barlow Dead at 87

Jack Barlow

Jack Barlow

GAC extends condolences to the family and friends of artist Jack Barlow, who has passed away at the age of 87. He died July 29 at Jackson Memorial Hospital following a long illness. Jack began working as a singer/songwriter in the mid-1960s, releasing his first single “I Love Country Music,” which reached No. 1 on the charts.

Born in Moline, Illinois in 1924, Jack served in the Navy during World War II. After leaving the Navy, he worked on a farm before quickly becoming a popular mid-west disc jockey. After “I Love Country Music” hit No. 1, he moved to Nashville where he worked with artists such as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Lefty Frizzell, Dottie West, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Porter Wagoner, Chet Atkins and Boots Randolph. He went on to record 4 albums and numerous singles including “Catch the Wind,” a Top 10 hit. Continue Reading

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Posted at 3:01 pm | Permalink
Jul 8

Chet Atkins Exhibit to Open in Hall of Fame

Chet Atkins photo courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will honor Chet Atkins with an exhibit about his music and his life. Made possible with the support of the Gretsch Company and additional support provided by GAC, the Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player exhibit will open Friday, August 12 for a 10 month run in the Museum’s East Gallery.

“Chet Atkins was country music’s ultimate Renaissance man, one of the greatest instrumentalists in American music history and a true musical savant,” said Museum Director Kyle Young.  “His signature guitar licks shaped recordings by scores of legendary artists, including the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and Kitty Wells, and his playing influenced future rock gods Duane Eddy, George Harrison, Mark Knopfler and many more.  As a producer, Chet was an architect of the ‘Nashville Sound’; he was also a brilliant record executive who signed and propelled a generation of country artists – including Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and Charley Pride – to fame.  Chet’s guiding hand shaped much of the bedrock of country music, and we’re honored to tell his story, one we know will resonate with country fans old and new.”

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Posted at 10:34 am | Permalink
Jul 19

Guitarist Fred Carter Jr., Father of Deana Carter, Passes

Guitarist Fred Carter (circa early 1970s) and daughter Deana Carter.

Guitarist Fred Carter (circa early 1970s) and daughter Deana Carter.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family of Fred Carter, Jr., legendary Nashville guitarist, who passed away on July 17 from stroke-related causes at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Carter was the third of seven children born to Fred and Hattie “Tillie” Carter of Winnsboro, Louisiana.  A loving husband and father, Carter is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anna; his sons, Ronnie and Jeff; his daughter, recording artist Deana Carter (singer of ”Strawberry Wine”); and his five grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 20 at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home in Nashville.

Born in the Louisiana delta, Fred Carter, Jr. cut his teeth on country, blues, gospel, and jazz, combining them all into the art form that would later become Rock and Roll. Carter began his career as staff guitarist on the legendary Louisiana Hayride, working alongside Horace Logan and a revolving cast of country hitmakers. After leaving the Hayride, Carter played a significant role in the development of Rockabilly and Rock and Roll through his guitar work with Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison, Dale Hawkins, and Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks.

Settling in Nashville in the late 1950s, Carter quickly moved into the “A-Team,” first-call session work that defines the Nashville recording industry. There, Carter worked with a steady stream of legendary recording artists, including country greats such as Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson, as well as contributions to the classics of Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and Muddy Waters. Throughout his career, Carter maintained a lifelong association with Levon Helm, including Helm’s RCO All-Stars, which included Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Booker T. and the MG’s, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, and the Saturday Night Live Horns. 

Carter was also a prolific songwriter, writing alongside the likes of Harlan Howard, Willie Nelson, and Hank Cochran.  Carter’s songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Dean Martin, Chet Atkins, and Burl Ives.

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Posted at 4:59 pm | Permalink
Jun 28

Vince Gill Collaborations Abound With Clapton Fest

Vince Gill photo courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Vince Gill photo courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Vince Gill made his way to Chicago this weekend to take part in Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, and he was surrounded by some pretty impressive players.

John Mayer, B.B. King, Steve Winwood, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top were all there, and Vince’s set found blended him with some very respected fellow musicians. Acoustic bluesman (and new Nashvillian) Keb’ Mo’ joined Vince along with Earl Klugh, a jazz guitarist who recorded with Chet Atkins; and Albert Lee, who appeared on Brad Paisley’s Grammy-winning “Cluster Pluck.” Vince also got an on-stage visit from former Elvis Presley sideman James Burton, whose collaboration on “Mystery Train” was one of the highlights of the day, according to The Chicago Tribune.

As if that weren’t enough, Sheryl Crow popped out to join Vince on a version of Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally,” Premier Guitar reported.

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Posted at 11:51 am | Permalink
May 28

Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson: Hall of Famers Get More Honors

Country Music Hall of Fame member Chet Atkins.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Chet Atkins.

When Ferlin Husky and producer Billy Sherrill were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, CMA Chairman Steve Moore called Hall membership “the highest honor in country music.” But the rewards don’t stop coming just because you’ve reached the pinnacle.

In fact, several members of the Hall of Fame — including Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Chet Atkins — continue to be remembered for their impact on American culture.

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Posted at 11:48 am | Permalink
Mar 17

Steve Wariner, Patty Loveless Lead Kentucky Hall of Famers

Steve Wariner at the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy® Grammy Nominee party. Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy® 2009 & Rubin Media. Photograph by Rick Diamond/WireImage.com.

Steve Wariner at the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy® Grammy Nominee party. Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy® 2009 & Rubin Media. Photograph by Rick Diamond/WireImage.com.

Four country acts that launched a series of hits in the 1980s and ‘90s — Steve Wariner, Patty Loveless, John Michael Montgomery and the late Keith Whitley — are set to enter the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame when it holds its next induction ceremony in April 2011 in Lexington.

They’ll be joined as new members by bluegrass duo the Goins Brothers; gospel singer Larnelle Harris; and Molly O’Day, a country vocalist who left a critically acclaimed body of work in a short five-year recording period in the late 1940s.

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Posted at 2:37 pm | Permalink