Poets and Prophets
May 18, 2013
Nashville songwriter Tom Douglas quoted a famous line by Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim-"God is in the details"-when pinpointing what makes certain song lyrics stir an emotional response in a listener. In discussing several of his own country music hits, Douglas repeatedly honed in on specific, personal details in his songwriting, saying those are the lines listeners tend to connect with most strongly. Watch the complete program video here.
May 11, 2013
Four generations of female vocalists addressed the enduring influence of the late Patsy Cline in song and in personal remembrances during a ninety-minute concert before a sold-out crowd at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
April 27, 2013
Charley Pride kept encouraging Wendy Suits Johnson-whom he called "Buster"-to sing in a higher key. A member of the vocal group Nashville Edition, Johnson eventually raised her vocals an entire octave while blending with her singing partners on Pride's recording of "My Eyes Can Only See as Far as You." On the recording, Johnson's beautiful high pitch comes through clearly, adding an additional element of beauty and drama to the track, which went to #1 in 1976.
March 30, 2013
As songwriter Red Lane discussed collaborating with the late country star Dottie West on what he estimated to be "about forty or fifty songs," he interjected, "I'll tell you what: I was in love with her." Grand Ole Opry singer Jeannie Seely, seated next to Lane, quickly added, "We all were." Watch the complete program video here.
March 30, 2012
Red Lane wrote classics such as "Miss Emily's Picture" (John Conlee); "New Looks from an Old Lover" (B.J. Thomas); "'Til I Get It Right" (Tammy Wynette); and "The World Needs a Melody" (The Carter Family with Johnny Cash). Lane also collaborated with Dottie West ("Country Girl") and Merle Haggard ("My Own Kind of Hat"). More recently, his songs have been recorded by George Strait ("Tell Me Something Bad about Tulsa") and Lee Ann Womack ("He'll Be Back"). Lane is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and a highly regarded session guitarist. Watch the complete program video here.
March 23, 2013
Paul Franklin thoroughly enjoyed the three-and-a-half years he spent as pedal steel guitarist in the Statesiders, a highly admired road band led by country star Mel Tillis. Franklin would have stayed much longer with the band had it not been for the intervention of another country star, Jerry Reed. Watch the complete program video here.
March 2, 2013
Though the reason for the gathering was to mark the tragedy, fifty years ago, of the airplane crash that took the lives of Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Randy Hughes, host Eddie Stubbs told the capacity Ford Theater audience, "We're going to celebrate today." Watch the complete video of this program.
December 15, 2012
Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard, asked why her family moved from Oklahoma to California in the 1940s, replied bluntly: "Starvation." Like all five participants in the panel discussion California Angels: Women of West Coast Country-a program held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum-Shepard was not born in the state where she recorded her initial hits. Her family relocated there in search of opportunities, a common theme among residents of Southern California, especially at the time. "We needed a better way of life," Shepard explained. Watch the complete program video here.
December 3, 2012
Anyone familiar with Nancy Shapiro knows she doesn't fit the profile of a heavy metal music fan. But anyone familiar with Shapiro also knows she would not let personal preference keep her from advancing the cause of the Recording Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives and careers of those involved in making and recording music. Watch the complete program video here.
November 17, 2012
As Billy Sanford listened to John Conlee's #1 country hit "Lady Lay Down" he held up one finger at the sound of an electric guitar note he contributed to the beginning. He raised a second finger when a similar note rang out a few beats later. Watch the complete program video.