News And Notes

All posts tagged "Dallas"

Dec 16

Jimmy Wayne Thanks His Hero with a Spot on the Grand Ole Opry

Jimmy Wayne

Jimmy Wayne performing in the GAC studio.

Twenty years ago, Jimmy Wayne was in high school listening to Jody Lee Hager, an inmate from the local prison in Dallas, NC, talk to his class.

“The prison would send him around to the schools to tell the children, ‘Think smart. Don’t be like me,’ Jimmy recalls.

Hager also had a guitar. He picked it up and played an original Christmas song called “For Days Like This.” It was a song about what it’s like to spend Christmas behind bars. Jimmy was was transfixed — and transformed. The troubled kid who’d spent most of his childhood either in foster homes or living on the streets was all too familiar with the pain he heard expressed in the song. Suddenly, he had a new reason for being: music.

“Immediately that weekend, I bought my first guitar at a yard sale for forty bucks,” he says. “I noodled around with it, but I wanted to learn so much from this guy. I contacted the prison warden and begged him to let me inside the prison just to sit down with this convict, to learn. And eventually, he did. So I would be in this prison surrounded by murderers and life-timers. We would sit there in the prison yard and he would talk to me about songwriting.”

In a twist of fate that sounds straight out of Hollywood, prison officials recorded Jody playing guitar and took his cassette tape to Nashville. He met Kix Brooks, who played the tape for producer and Asylum Records president Kyle Lehning. Lehning flew to North Carolina, saw Jody play live and offered him a record deal.

Jimmy Wayne & Jody Lee Hager

Bottom: Jody Lee Hager signs his publishing and record deals in 1992. Top left: In 1997, budding artist Jimmy Wayne works as an officer at the Dallas, NC Correctional Facility where Hager once was an inmate. Top right: Jody watches Jimmy performing in Dallas, NC on Friday, December 14, 2012.

But Hager never recorded an album. “Under some very unfortunate circumstances, he Continue Reading


Posted at 10:22 pm | Permalink
Dec 7

Alan Jackson Showcases New Album

Alan Jackson photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

When Alan Jackson reeled off bits and pieces of a bunch of his hits in a medley on the American Country Awards, he ended up providing a sort of mini-commercial for his latest album.

Alan was given the inaugural ACAs’ Greatest Hits Award for his body of work, and it dovetailed with the November release of 34 Number Ones, which debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country Albums chart. Alan’s awards medley included some of the most memorable hooks of the last 20 years — “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” “Remember When,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” “Chattahoochee” and “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning).”

There are plenty more songs on 34 Number Ones that country music newcomers might not know, or that longtime fans might have forgotten. “There Goes,” “Dallas,” “Tonight I Climbed The Wall” and “Right On The Money” were all No. 1 singles at some point in time but don’t get the attention anymore that some of Alan’s other titles do. As it turns out, Alan’s challenged by a few of them, too.

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Posted at 12:22 pm | Permalink