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All posts tagged "Ray Stevens"

Apr 26

Alan Jackson, Keith Urban & More Stars Remember George Jones

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

Following the announcement of George Jones‘ death on Friday, April 26 in Nashville, many of George’s fellow country stars offered their thoughts. Visit our George Jones photo gallery for photos spanning his legendary career.

Remembering George Jones: Photo Gallery >>

Keith Urban tweeted, “If I’m blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!!”

Alan Jackson released this statement: “Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music. While George was known for his wild and crazy days, I’ve known him for 25 years as a friend. He had grown into a real good man. Of course, he’ll always be the greatest singer and interpreter of real country music – there’ll never be another. Like the song says, ‘You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing. Imagine life without them…Who’s gonna fill their shoes.’”

Blake Shelton tweeted, “Really REALLY bad news. We’ve lost a country music legend. And I’ve lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones…”

“I believe if you ask any singer who was the greatest country music singer of all time, they would say ‘George Jones’,” said Barbara Mandrell in a statement. “He was without question and by far the BEST! I first met and worked with him when I was 13 years old; I am so very grateful that he was my friend.”

Loretta Lynn said, “It’s a sad day for country music and a great loss for those of us who knew him. I was blessed to call George my friend. He was one of the best country singers there ever was. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Nancy, and all of his family. It’s a sad, sad day.”

George Strait shared this memory: “The most special memory was when he gave me my medallion at the Hall of Fame Ceremony. He actually was the one that did the actual induction. And what a special night that was. We’re just gonna miss George so much. This came as a total shock to me. I didn’t even know that George was in the hospital. To the whole music industry, it’s gonna be a big void not having George out there. But you know, we’ve got his music — and that music will live forever. He did a lot of crazy things in his career and no matter how crazy he got, everybody still loved him because that’s just the kind of guy that George was. We’re just all gonna miss him. It’s a sad day for the music business, for sure.”

“My friend, the greatest singer of all time, has passed,” tweeted Brad Paisley. “To those who knew him, our lives were full. To those of you who don’t: discover him now.”

Brad also released this statement: “George Jones’ life is an example of so many wonderful things. How someone’s God-given gifts can make this a richer, better place.  How one human being can overcome adversity, addiction, and life threatening obstacles time and time again.  That it is not the stumble or fall that counts, but the willingness to stand again. How a keen sense of humor and a twinkle in a person’s eye can still prevail even after all of life’s hard knocks.  How mistakes, missteps, and bad choices are not the end of the world if a person chooses to turn them into something good. And George’s life is above all the strongest example of how the love of a great woman can get a man through anything. All of this made its way beautifully into every note of the greatest voice country music will ever know.  And one of the greatest friends you could ever have. We miss you already, George.”

Dierks Bentley, who is still a member of George Jones’ fan club, said he’s “heartbroken,” and tweeted, “nancy and @gjpossum had a beautiful marriage and special relationship. love you nancy. long live the possum. gonna miss my buddy. real sad.”

Vince Gill
tweeted, “There aren’t words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness. I’ll miss my kind and generous friend.”

Little Big Town said, “There will never be another George Jones. You are and always will be country music. Rest in peace. #GeorgeJones

“He had a voice that was the truth, raw and unfiltered,” said Kenny Chesney. “You cant get any realer, any more tortured or any more alive. No one can do what George Jones does, and that’s why 50 years later, he still stands out as one of the greatest singers in any genre of all time.

“We were great friends, but it was really more like a father/son relationship,” added Kenny. “He even showed up in Lexington, Kentucky two years ago to surprise me onstage for my birthday… all the way from Nashville, to surprise me and sing ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ with me, which will be one of the greatest memories of my life.”

“When I was just staring out, and I was picked to open the George Jones/Tammy Wynette Reunion Tour, I thought I’d made it,” continued Kenny. “Then one night, George asked me if I was heading home because he and Nancy had a plane, and they’d take me,” Chesney recalls. “I remember sitting there on that jet, thinking, ‘This can’t be happening…’ because he was George Jones, and I was some kid from nowhere…’ I’m sure he knew, but he was generous to kids chasing the dream, and I never forgot it.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 11:08 am | Permalink
Jan 24

Blake Shelton Explains His Controversial Comments

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Nashville.

Blake Shelton has been getting heat for some comments he made during GAC’s updated Backstory: Blake Shelton. In the special, Blake discussed his 2010 CMA award for Male Vocalist of the Year and what it meant to him in the context of country music’s evolution.

“If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on,” said Blake. “Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.”

When various websites began posting that portion of Blake’s interview, some country fans and artists were offended by Blake’s comments. Country legend Ray Price posted this statement on his Facebook page:

“It’s a shame that I have spend [sic] 63 years in this business trying to introduce music to a larger audience and to make it easier for the younger artists who are coming behind me. Every now and then some young artist will record a rock and roll type song, have a hit first time out with kids only. This is why you see stars come with a few hits only and then just fade away believing they are God’s answer to the world. This guy sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him. Stupidity Reigns Supreme!!!!!!! Ray Price (CHIEF “OLD FART” & JACKASS”) ” P.S. YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY AS US OLD-TIMERS. CHECK BACK IN 63 YEARS (THE YEAR 2075) AND LET US KNOW HOW YOUR NAME AND YOUR MUSIC WILL BE REMEMBERED.”

Soon after, Ray Stevens’ representative released this statement from the country comedian: Continue Reading

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Posted at 5:36 pm | Permalink
Oct 9

The Grand Ole Opry Celebrated 87th Birthday with Star-Studded Weekend

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean helps the Grand Ole Opry celebrate its 87th birthday on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Hollo, courtesy of Schmidt Relations.

The Grand Ole Opry celebrated its 87th birthday on Saturday with a star-studded lineup that included Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins, Little Jimmy Dickens, Casey James, Ray Stevens, Steve Wariner and more as well as a larger-than-life birthday cake. Throughout the weekend, the Opry hosted backstage tours, star-packed shows and a special Opry Plaza Birthday show.

The party will continue throughout October with a schedule full of special shows and events. On Tuesday, October 16, Darius Rucker will be inducted into the Opry. You can watch his induction ceremony live on GAC’s Noteworthy at the Opry at 9/8 p.m. CT. Clint Black, Vince Gill and Martina McBride are also scheduled to perform. Continue Reading

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Posted at 1:55 pm | Permalink
Sep 14

Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins & More to Help Celebrate Opry’s 87th Birthday

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean photo by James Minchin III.

The Grand Ole Opry will celebrate its 87th birthday October 5-6 with star-studded Opry lineups, backstage tours, free music in the Opry Plaza and more! On October 5, Rodney Atkins, Steve Wariner and more will take to the Opry stage. The next night, the Opry will welcome Jason Aldean, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Stevens and more for two Opry shows.

Besides a larger-than-life birthday cake during the night’s Opry shows, there will be a special Opry Birthday Party concert at 1 p.m. on October 6 featuring Ricky Skaggs. After his performance, Ricky will sign his new album, Music To My Ears, in The Opry Shop. The Opry Plaza will be busy with games, food and free music throughout the day. Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:16 am | Permalink
Aug 7

Curb Records Celebrates 50 Years

Curb Records, founded in 1963 by Mike Curb (while he was a student at California State University), is celebrating 50 years in the music business. Born with American ingenuity, Curb Records’ independent spirit lives on. In celebration, Curb Records is announcing its 50 albums over 50 years feature on iTunes today.  To see it click here: http://bit.ly/Curb50

Throughout the early years, Curb scored success with artists as diverse as the Stone Poneys (featuring Linda Ronstadt), the Osmond Family, (including Donny & Marie), Lou Rawls, Exile, the Righteous Brothers, Solomon Burke, Debby Boone, and Roy Orbison.

In 1969, Curb merged his young label with MGM Records and became the President of MGM. Under his reign, he boosted MGM’s war chests with a litany of hits, some of which he produced.  His signings brought a new emphasis on Nashville-based artists including Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Hank Williams Jr., Don Gibson, Mel Tillis, Ray Stevens, and Eddy Arnold.

During the same period, Mike Curb went on to receive the Billboard Overall Producer of the Year Award, and he acquired the highly coveted BMI Award for writing Hank Williams Jr’s first No. 1 single, “All For The Love Of Sunshine.”

In the ’80s, Curb Records signed such emerging artists as Lyle Lovett, The Judds, Don & Phil Everly, Sawyer Brown, Continue Reading

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Posted at 4:15 pm | Permalink
May 7

“Andy Griffith Show” Actor George Lindsey Dies

George Lindsey

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 7: Actor George Lindsey of 'The Andy Griffith Show' attends the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held on March 7, 2004 at The Hollywood Palladium, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

GAC extends condolences to the family, friends and fans of actor George Lindsey, who died Sunday in Nashville after an extended hospitalization, reports The Tennessean. He was 83. Lindsey was most widely known for playing Goober Pyle on the iconic television series The Andy Griffith Show.

One of Lindsey’s last appearances was at Ray Stevens’ CD release party Feb. 28 at The Rutledge in Nashville to lend support to his good friend and fellow comedian.

“He was in a wheelchair that night and he was really going out of his way to show up for that,” said Stevens to The Tennessean. The two were friends with Lindsey for 35 years. “That’s the kind of friend he was. He was on his last legs that night.”

In a statement released today, Stevens added: “George Lindsey was an excellent actor and comedian as well as a great humanitarian and my good friend. He will be missed by millions and especially by me and the other members of a little group he was a part of that we call the ‘Nashville Breakfast Club.’ We had breakfast together every Saturday morning for years. I remember once when it was Goober’s turn to pick up the check, he studied it carefully for a long time and then asked ‘Who had the jelly?’”

Actor Andy Griffith said in a statement that accompanied the family’s Sunday-morning announcement of Mr. Lindsey’s death: “George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago. We would talk about our health, how much we missed our friends who passed before us and usually about something funny. I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, ‘I love you.’ That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. ‘I love you.’ ” Continue Reading

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Posted at 7:13 am | Permalink
Dec 23

Top 10 Country Tweets of the Week

Country music stars sure love Twitter! This week, the Grand Ole Opry celebrates Little Jimmy Dickens’ 91st birthday, Martina McBride ponders her youngest daughter’s Christmas list, Chris Young and Frankie Ballard face last minute Christmas shopping and funny man Ray Stevens puts a certain 91-year-old on his list to Santa. Here are our picks for the Top 10 Country Tweets Of The Week.

Grand Ole Opry's photo Breaking News: @opry star Little Jimmy "Tater" Dickens parties with his Mr Tater Head birthday cake celebrating 91 years tonight!
Grand Ole Opry on WhoSay

Opry – Opry: Breaking News: @opry star Little Jimmy “Tater” Dickens parties with his Mr Tater Head birthday cake celebrating 91 …

Martina McBride: MartinaMcBride – On Ava’s list to Santa: chocolate fountain, popcorn machine, dippin’ dots maker, cotton candy machine! What the heck????

Chris Young – ChrisYoungMusic: Going Christmas shopping…. Someone pray for me…

Dierks Bentley's photo merry christmas from @bradpaisley and me. that was special brad...
Dierks Bentley on WhoSay

Dierks BentleyDierksBentley: merry christmas from @bradpaisley and me. that was special brad… Continue Reading

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Posted at 11:00 am | Permalink
Oct 26

GAC’s Top 10 Most Haunting Country Videos

Ghosts, graves and tormented souls are found throughout the songs of country music. Through the years, music videos have served as a great compliment to depict some of the stories in these songs. In no particular order, here is our list of the Top 10 Most Haunting Country Videos. When you’re finished watching these videos, check out your favorite stars recalling their most memorable Halloween HERE. And if you’d like to have Brad, Carrie, Kellie, Dolly or Jason sitting on your front porch this weekend, check out our pumpkin carving templates and carve a star HERE!

“Whiskey Lullaby” – Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss

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The 2005 CMA Song of the Year is a heartbreaking, traditional country ballad that Brad and Alison recorded for Brad’s Mud On The Tires record. The WW II-era video tells the story of a young soldier returning home from the Army to find his wife in bed with another man, starting the downward spiral of alcoholism that eventually kills him. “I’ll love her ‘til I die,” a note reads by his dead body. If the images of empty bottles and a man out of control weren’t enough, his death sends his cheating widow into her own guilt-fueled spiral as she too drinks herself to death. The video comes complete with two separate funerals. Adding to the haunting nature of the clip, their ghosts meet after she is laid to rest.


“Hurt” – Johnny Cash

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There are several Johnny Cash videos that could have fit this list, but his breathtaking cover of rock band Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” is the most haunting as it features Johnny, just seven months before his death, reflecting on his life. Noted by many as possibly the single greatest music video of all time, the clip features archival footage of Johnny in his younger days against new images sitting alone on his throne, surrounded by decaying riches, pondering if the decisions he made were the right ones. His voice is weak, detailing exactly where he is at that moment in his life, and the raw emotions conveyed are stunning.


“Midnight In Montgomery” – Alan Jackson

Shot in black and white under a full moon amidst the headstones of an empty cemetery, Alan’s “Midnight in Montgomery” music video reaches beyond the grave to beckon the ghost of Hank Williams, Sr. Kneeling by Hank Sr.’s grave in the dark night, Alan smells “whiskey in the air” before seeing the legendary figure before him. The song’s acoustic arrangement and stirring harmonies only add to the haunting nature of the video that won the 1992 CMA Award for Music Video of the Year.


“Gravedigger” – Willie Nelson

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Willie’s 2007 video “Gravedigger” essentially reels off one haunting image after another throughout the black and white clip. The music video details a funeral, where Willie plays multiple characters while the lyrics read through obituaries and ask for a shallow gave so he “can feel the rain.” Willie’s seen behind the wheel of a hearse as the driver, he’s shown as one of the attendees and he also plays a man of the cloth presiding over the burial. While one of the most striking images is Willie as the digger himself, standing three feet down in the grave with a shovel in his hands, make sure to check out the twist at the end for the most haunting image of all. The bluesy acoustic/electric arrangement sets the scene as the music gradually intensifies.


“Barton Hollow” – The Civil Wars

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The first video from Nashville’s The Civil Wars, who are nominated for the 2011 CMA Vocal Duo of the Year, leaves a lot to the imagination, as they never reveal the whole story. “Barton Hollow” features quick camera edits and artistic angles, like the momentary glimpse of a swinging axe or the use of reflections in a river, to create the atmosphere. Shot in black and white, it seems as though Joy Williams and John Paul White of The Civil Wars have committed a crime and are trying to escape, but that redemption is far off as the Southern stomp song ends with the line, “can’t no preacher man save my soul.”


“The Thunder Rolls” – Garth Brooks



Garth Brooks – The Thunder Rolls – MyVideo

Recently ranked as Time Magazine’s No. 7 Most Controversial Video of all time, Garth Brooks’ emotionally charged tale of domestic violence burns with intensity. The 1991 CMA Music Video of the Year opens with an abusive husband leaving his mistress at their motel room in the middle of a storm. Lightning flashes reveal details like his wife’s black eye as she waits at home for his return. However, set against thundering acoustic guitars and pounding drums, a fight ensues upon his arrival and the abused wife pulls a gun. The last shot shows Garth standing across the street from the house as a patrol car pulls up.


“Kerosene” – Miranda Lambert

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Miranda’s first music video, “Kerosene,” follows her down a path of revenge – pouring out a can of gas along the way. Leaving the house where she lives with her boyfriend, Miranda struts with a don’t-mess-with-me attitude as she creates a trail of gas leading back to their home. Black and white shots of her and the band cranking out the hard-hitting tune are split with scenes of her boyfriend in bed with another woman. “Now I don’t hate the one who left, you can’t hate someone that’s dead,” she snarls just before reaching the cheating couple with a match book in her hand.


“Haunted Heart” – Sammy Kershaw

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Sammy’s black and white 1993 music video features dark alleys, industrial elevator shafts and effecting shadows to depict a man haunted by his lover’s memory. Throughout the video, it’s not so much that Sammy is searching for her, but more that her apparition appears to be around every corner. With a traditional country thump and layered harmonies, moody visuals like cigar smoke and puddles transforming into buckets of dark water create an uneasy scene.


“Jolene” – Mindy Smith featuring Dolly Parton

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We’re going with the Mindy Smith version here due to the moody official music video created that features Dolly throughout. Mindy’s voice is on one hand desperate and the other seductive as she interprets Dolly’s classic song of confronting the other woman. Shots of Dolly writing the lyrics to the song are interspersed with a storyline detailing Mindy searching through dark woods to find the cheating couple. Is this sequence meant as a flashback for Dolly and the inspiration for the song she’s writing? The viewer is left wondering as the haunting acoustic guitars and touches of reverb echo even after the video is over.


“Sittin’ Up With The Dead” – Ray Stevens

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In his humorous 1990 video “Sittin’ Up With The Dead,” Ray tells the story about how where he’s from, because there aren’t mortuaries, the dead would be laid out in their homes for viewings. The thing is, mourners were expected to stay by their side all night because leaving them alone just wasn’t right. Well, when Ray’s Uncle Fred passes away at age 97, a comedy of errors leads to such unnatural events as his lifeless body sitting straight up and Ray falling into an open grave while running through a cemetery. The lyrics are fun, the visuals are campy and the chorus has a sing-along hook.

Country music is full of legends, ghosts and eerie events. This is our list of the Top 10 Most Haunting Country Videos, but there are many more out there. If your favorite isn’t on the list, tell us what it is!

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Posted at 10:14 am | Permalink
Aug 31

Ray Stevens Releases “The Streak” App

Ray Stevens photo courtesy of myspace.com/raystevensmusic.

They call him ‘The Streak.’ Ray Stevens, the artist behind the 1974 No. 1 hit “The Streak,” has released a video game version of the song. The game is available for download through Apple’s iPhone App store now, but Apple initially rejected the app.

“We started developing this thing, modeling it after the original music video,” Ray said. “We got it all packaged up and submitted it to Apple for release and they wound up rejecting it because its content was deemed inappropriate for those under 17 years of age!”

The iPhone game features the original 1974 streaker attempting to outrun the police while gaining followers along the way. The game contains three levels – a grocery store, gas station and gymnasium, all scenes from the original music video. Continue Reading

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Posted at 11:14 am | Permalink
Aug 8

Country Music Hall of Fame Plans August Events Around Chet Atkins, Connie Smith

Connie Smith

Connie Smith is The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum's Artist in Residence for 2011.

The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum has a busy August on tap. Having just announced their plans to expand, the Museum will host live music, launch a new exhibit and allow fans to meet and greet artists.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Harold Bradley, David Briggs and Norbert Putnam will host Legends of RCA Studio B: Conversations with All the King’s Men on August 9. The event is an evening of music and storytelling with DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore, Ronnie McDowell, Millie Kirkham and Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires. Tickets are $100 for Museum Members and $150 for the public. All proceeds benefit the preservation of the Museum’s collection as well as funding for its school, family and public programs.

On August 12, a Museum curator will give an introduction to the new exhibit, Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player. The next day, the Museum will present Music and Memories of Chet Atkins, featuring Ray Stevens, Steve Wariner and Billy Edd Wheeler. The program will be a conversation and music with Chet’s close friends and can be streamed live at CountryMusicHallofFame.org. Continue Reading

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Posted at 12:58 pm | Permalink