A new year brings the promise of starting over. Many folks see it as a point to make a resolution to complete or change things in their life. Perhaps coming out of the Christmas season gives them hope to make their lives better.
In reality, each new day brings us the chance to improve our lives.
What have you wanted to do? We can start that landscaping project we always wanted to do by researching, formulating a plan and making sure we are going to be adding the new plants at the most optimum time for successful growth.
We can visit with people we care about for whom we never seem to find the time. Perhaps there is an old friend from school, a friend or family member that you feel disconnected with. A short phone call or just visit might help to bring new life to that relationship.
Remember that long list of repairs on the “Honey do” list for quite a while. I am sure there are an abundance of those items that can be found inside the house away from the cold. There’s nothing like a feeling of accomplishment to help improve the way you feel. Maybe you can get them done and if you are afraid you might miss something on television, they make those things in all sizes, I bet you can find one that can be plugged in nearby the place where you are working so you can listen as you work.
We do not need special days like New Year’s to re-create ourselves but they do give us a moment to pause and think about what things we could do everyday to make our lives and surroundings into what we really want them to be.
Life is an experience in constant growth and learning. When we stop such growth we are stuck in a rut. I once heard a wise man say a rut is the closest thing to a grave.
Now I’m not advocating you go out and buy a Ferrari and spend a $1,000 for a luxurious day at a Palm Springs spa. While I am sure all of us might enjoy driving through town in one of those luxurious autos waving to all those we wish to impress or feeling so pampered after we leave the spa, we all have to live within our means and meet our responsibilities, that is what being an adult is all about. There are people depending on us and often times we have to pass on those types of dreams to make sure there is food on the table, heat in the house, and a roof over our heads.
Limits of budget and responsibility do not preclude people from improving themselves and learning throughout life.
Improvements can be little things. We do not have to take huge steps; many baby steps are still going in the right direction.
It may be as simple as getting up off the couch and taking a leisurely walk with your love ones around the block; turning off the television and reading a good book to your children; finding out more about the community you live in and as a family enjoying all the sites, sounds, and activities including entertainment, politics, clubs, volunteer organizations and church activities.
Surprise the people in your life with something they would not expect you do. Do something that you generally depend on another family member or employee to do. Give them a break, a day or an hour or two off to do something they enjoy while you look after their responsibilities.
A New Year’s resolution to lose weight, quit smoking or take better care of yourself through exercise are important worthy goals for anyone who truly wishes to attain them but many times these are such huge tasks we can fall short and slip back into our previous habits becoming discouraged. The point is we keep trying even though we might falter. It is the small victories that eventually lead to winning the war.
Sometimes it is the simple things that really make a difference in life. What will be remembered by those we encounter? Have we really done our very best with every task today?
Life can grow on you if you let it but the funny thing is it helps to be a participant. After you grow up though, you have to be your own coach and cheerleader, otherwise, you won’t know when to get off the sidelines and get in the game.
What’s great is God put us in the driver’s seat; it is up to us to put the car in gear and drive. Just remember the goal is not to see how many folks we can run over rather it’s to see how many we can give a lift along the way.
The new stove
The family had already gathered in the valley below the Gravelly Spur for an unbelievable feast of ham garnished with pineapple, green beans in a dish surrounded by little pearl onions, mashed potatoes and gravy, and dandelion greens seasoned with just the right amount of pepper and fresh churned butter.
The dinner was topped off with one of Grandma Kitty’s pumpkin pies.
She carefully prepared each item in her cast iron pots over the open flames of the hearth. She never complained about all the work that was involved in keeping the fire stoked and having to keep such close tabs on each item to make sure they were just right.
The days following Thanksgiving always meant there would be some leftovers for the family to enjoy in a variety of creations that she would lovingly craft to give the family the illusion that they were not eating the same dishes each meal.
For years, she toiled to make the three meals a day for her ever-growing family. One day when the family went to town that summer, Grandpa Bill noticed her lingering in Ollison’s General Store around a catalog with pictures of some new wood cooking stoves.
Although she never said a word, he saw in her eyes the desire she had for a wrought iron Home Comfort stove.
He decided then and there that she would have one. So he made an arrangement with Mr. Ollison to buy the stove, paying a bit at a time through the rest of the year to have it arrive just before Christmas.
Grandpa Bill had managed to keep the purchase a secret from the entire family. He even arranged for everyone to be gone to visit Cousin Winfrey Small so that when Mr. Ollison arrived in his wagon on Dec. 23, with a tarp covering the contents, no one could see.
Mr. Ollison and Grandpa Bill unloaded the stove and set it in the kitchen. He had worked all morning preparing the stove pipe so he could get it hooked up and have it ready when she returned.
He was making the last adjustment as he heard the wagon pull up in the yard. He quickly pulled a bit of red ribbon into a bow and set it in the middle of the stove. He sat down quietly at the table with his newspaper in his hand as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
As the kids rushed into the house, they did not even notice the large stove in the kitchen until Grandma Kitty dropped the pail she was carrying with her Christmas cookies inside. She stood in the middle of the kitchen floor, her hand over her mouth, holding back a flood of tears as she saw the stove.
The sound of the pail hitting the floor brought all the kids to the kitchen, and they began hovering around the stove.
Pearl said, “Did Santa come early?”
Grandpa Bill said, “Yes, he said he would be back in a couple of days, but he thought your mother might like to have her present early.”
Grandma Kitty had moved quietly to her kitchen chair, sitting down slowly, never taking her eyes off the stove except to wipe away the tears of joy flowing down her cheek.
Pearl said, “Why are you so sad about getting a present?”
“I’m not sad dear, I am just so happy I could not help crying,” she said.
“So you like the new stove?” she asked.
“I have never gotten a better present from Santa in my life,” she said.
She rose and gave Grandpa Bill a big hug.
“Thank you for telling Santa what I wanted,” she said.
“If he could, he would give you so much more,” he said.
“I have everything I need right here,” she said, as she gathered all her children close and hugged them tightly.
From the book "A Mountain Pearl: Appalachian Reminiscing and Recipes" by Randall Franks and used by permission.
Political service, not for the faint of heart
I like so many others have wondered why are there not more good people serving politically.
I come from a family that has always been politically active. As a
child, I helped to go door to door as my mother encouraged people to
vote for a particular candidate she and my father were supporting. I
have helped hand out buttons, stickers and everything in between.
In many communities, it is the voters themselves who are often doing the
campaigning for the candidates, because it is simply an improbability
for the candidate to reach each and every person’s home.
After years of service to my community being a watchdog reporting upon
the actions of government as a journalist, I decided to run for council
in my hometown. I was honored to earn the trust and respect of the
voters reflected through three elections.
I have worked with some talented, thoughtful people who have an earnest
desire to see the community thrive in business development and prosper
while fostering a sense of community among the residents and business
Through community comes strength. Strength and success in business and
in everyday pursuits and activities help to make the quality of life
something to entice people and business to come to your town.
These things are often achieved through a process crafted by our
founders called representative government. This process is sometimes
referred to as a sausage factory. After seeing it made, you are not as
inclined to want to eat the sausage. Local elected officials who take
what they are elected to do seriously, study through accredited classes;
learn their charter, the laws, the ordinances and the rules under which
they govern. They seek to know what other similar cities are doing and
often try to apply new ideas and approaches based on what they learn.
The purpose of local representative government is not to create harmony
among the elected officials, it is to create a forum for the free
exchange of ideas that streamline the operation of government and thus
provide better more economical services to its residents and businesses
while helping to create economic growth to pay for those services.
In most cases, I have seen local elected officials think through every
action they take, the issues have been deliberated, financial aspects
have been reviewed down to the penny sometimes for months and even
years, and then when approved, it moves forward.
If an elected official is trying to do something, one person does not do
it; it is approved by the majority and then becomes the objective of
all as the policy of the local government. You can bet your boots in
most situations, even if some or a majority of elected officials oppose a
motion, there is likely merit to what is trying to be accomplished.
Sadly, in many communities there are those who do not wish to see a
community thrive, in fact, they desire to see people, initiatives or
Armed with a misconception, an untruth taken out of context, or
sometimes simply a lie about an action or an inaction that has been
reported inaccurately in media or by another authority of note, people
proceed to spread the word about an elected or appointed official’s
actions without knowing, asking or understanding the purpose or intent.
We all do this; often our frustration is aimed at people we will likely
never meet, and have no way to watch the sausage being made at the
national and state level.
In many cases the real problem is with all of us. We do not take the
time to know what a wonderful opportunity our forefathers gave us with
representative government. We do not take the time to go and watch the
sausage being made even when it is produced in our own back yard. We
would often rather stand at a distance, shake our heads, and spread a
negative thought or deed rather than finding something good to share
about what is happening in our community.
That is why more good people do not serve. Elected officials have to put
on emotional armor as they hear and see their positive intentions
twisted and turned for another’s political benefit or someone’s personal
satisfaction. No matter how well intentioned, eventually the battle
will grow heavy on those who have the kindest hearts and they will grow
weary and go home. They leave behind the politicians whose armor is
strong enough to weather the attacks and often their heart is hardened
through the process.
I would rather see my community represented by elected officials with a
heart to serve, with open minds willing to listen, learn, and share their
knowledge and experiences while sitting around the table. But until we
as people change our approach to representative government and realize
that government is what we make it, especially at the local level, we
will continue to chase away many of the best candidates and all they
have to offer.
"Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" Airs December 10 at 8 p.m. CST / 9 p.m. ET on NBC
Probably one of my favorite Dolly Parton songs of all time is her 1971 “Coat of Many Colors.” It evokes images of my own families’ Appalachian roots and I am pleased to share with you will be able to watch the movie based on the song Dec. 10.
I am sure there won't be a dry eye in many American living rooms when "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" airs December 10 on NBC.
“My favorite song that I’ve ever written tells a true story from my childhood about a little coat that my mama made for me,” Parton said.
Parton’s mother initially sewed the the jacket as a blanket for her unborn baby, but she reworked the piece for her youngest daughter.
The upcoming primetime special, which showcases Jennifer Nettles in the role of Parton's mother, Avie, was inspired by a series of events Parton endured when she was 9 years old growing up in East Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.
The family-oriented, faith-based movie profiles the loss of Parton’s unborn sibling, the family struggles to keep it together while grieving and the bullying the 9-year-old endured when other children criticized the quilted coated.
As one of the executive producers, Parton herself was very hands on in the making of the film – especially when it came to casting her family members.
"She told me, 'I loved your little eyes," says Lind of auditioning in front of Parton.
Jennifer Nettles plays Parton's mom, Avie Lee Parton, and Ricky Schroder plays her dad, Robert Lee Parton.
“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” is the first in a series of television movies developed by Parton that are expected to be released through 2016.
I am honored to know and have co-starred with Dolly and I am thankful that she is using her star power to create positive uplifting family entertainment with stories that share a lesson in life for those young and old.
“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” airs Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. CST / 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
For more information on Dolly Parton please visit:
Crystal Gayle honored with some Wabash recognitions
Throughout my career in music, one of my favorite singers is Crystal Gayle. Crystal’s legacy continues to have a lasting impact in her childhood hometown with the unveiling of a theater named in her honor and an exhibit profiling her iconic career.
The Wabash County Historical Museum in Wabash, Indiana named its theater the “Crystal Gayle Theater” to honor her influence and connection to the small town in Northern Indiana.
“It’s so humbling to return to Wabash and feel the love from the community. They always welcome me home with open arms. I’m so proud to be here and be part of this incredible museum,” Gayle said.
The youngest of eight children, including Loretta Lynn, Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, Kentucky. As the coal mines closed, her family left the area to find work and moved to Wabash, Indiana.
The updated exhibit features a replica of Gayle’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1986 American usic Award for Favorite Female Country Vocalist, “When I Dream” gold album, tour gown and tour book, 2005 Indiana Living Legend Award along with various pictures and memorabilia.
“Our community has a strong affection for Crystal Gayle and her connection to many local families and this will be a great event for them to reconnect with her and enjoy the museum,” said Mitch Figert, Executive Director.
The expanded exhibit will allow the museum to further highlight Crystal Gayle’s accomplishments which will also include memorabilia to be added inside the theater.
Crystal Gayle is an award-winning country music living legend whose reign in the music business includes 20 number one country hits, six albums certified Gold by the RIAA and the first female artist in country music history to reach Platinum sales with her 1977 album, We Must Believe in Magic. Her her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” became an iconic staple and solidified her as one of the top female vocalists during the 1970s and 1980s. Her list of platinum and gold was to be matched only by her awards and accolades. CMA's "Female Vocalist of the Year," for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for "Best Female Vocal Performance," thanks to her beloved "Brown Eyes" - a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing. Crystal swept the Academy of Country Music Awards for three of their "Top Female Vocalist" statuettes. She is the recipient of three "American Music Awards," voted by the nation as America's "Favorite Female Artist."
Perhaps nothing sums up Crystal's career achievements as well as being awarded with a star on the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame in October 2009. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister (by 19 years) of singer Loretta Lynn, and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless. Gayle also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame near Lynn's star. Crystal is making appearances in December in Minn., Iowa and Mo., check her website for more information, crystalgayle.com.
A leaf of strength
The leaf swayed hanging on to the lonely limb tightly. As if, to say to the world “I am not done and you are not going to make me fall down no matter what you throw at me.” All of its fellow leaves had given up the ghost blowing in whatever direction the wind desired them to go. Some managed to find a resting place at the foot of the majestic oak tree to spend the winter becoming the woodland blanket upon which the rain would fall before soaking into the ground.
My Grandad sat quietly on the porch staring at the leaf bobbing in the wind.
He had come back from a tremendous stroke that took the wind from his earthly sails. The man who seemed would not bend to nothing could now barely lift himself from the chair in which he sat.
On this fall day though spying that lone leaf seemed to fortify him more than anything that anyone had to bolster his spirits. He stared endlessly watching its fight and as the fight struggled on from one day to two, to a week, his personal strength seemed to grow.
He managed each day no matter how the wind blew or what elements forced themselves past the mountain homestead, he walked himself out to the porch to spend some time sitting, later leaning against the porch post, and then standing as upright as the years would allow. He was always looking off towards the oak tree and its one hold out to the whims of the world saying nothing that revealed the focus of his internal thoughts.
As the winter came on strong, he would rise up and with his cane in hand, he eventually walked off the porch and towards that mighty oak tree going as far as he felt comfortable then returning to the porch. With each trip he got closer to his goal and he soon reached the tree looking straight up towards the hanging leaf.
There were a few times he would take one hand lean against the trunk of the tree and with the other lift his cane as far as he could trying to hit the leaf that centered his focus. He was just shy of reaching it and he would eventually tire and return to the warmth of the fireplace inside.
The light covering of snow did not even dissuade him to making his trek to the oak and returning home and with each passing day he grew stronger.
By the first signs of spring, he no longer limited his walking to just the tree and he was taken on even more of the activities that made his day sing around the farm.
It was on a spring day that the tree had refilled all its limbs and the greenery made it full and majestic. Grandad could no longer see the lone leaf from the porch so he decided to make another trek to see what had become of his now old companion who he fought alongside against the world’s elements.
As he reached the tree, he looked upon the ground to find it to no avail so he turned his gaze upward and amongst the lush green leaves there it was – one brown leaf still holding on to its place amidst the green youngsters around it.
Grandad’s face seemed to change as his face fought back the effects of the stroke moved to show a smile.
He raised his cane, almost in a sense of a salute to the lone leaf, then turned and walked down the trail towards the valley store. Emboldened by the lone leaf, he was figuring to hold on to his place in the world and stand as the man he was inside, no matter what nature threw against him.
We need more people in this world who work to overcome what they face finding the inner strength that God placed within each of His creations.
T.G. Sheppard brings together some duets with friends
It’s been nearly 13 years since country legend T.G. Sheppard released his last commercial album, and now he is back and better than ever with Legendary Friends & Country Duets. The star-studded project features collaborations with icons like George Jones, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, Lorrie Morgan and many more. Legendary Friends & Country Duets, released via Cleopatra Records, is available on iTunes, Amazon, and in music retailers nationwide.
“It was such an honor to have this multitude of iconic artists joining me on this new album. Every singer always looks for validation in their career, and after recording with these legends and friends, I have finally been validated,” said T.G. Sheppard. “Singing with each artist was truly a magical moment in my career.”
The late George Jones collaborates with Sheppard on “It’s a Man Thing,” which happens to be one of The Possum’s final studio sessions.
“This album has so much sentimental value to me,” said Nancy Jones. George’s widow. “Not only because T.G. was a dear friend to George, but also because 'It's a Man Thing' is one of George's last recordings. It's a beautiful project.”
Recently releasing a single to country radio, the smooth track of “100% Chance of Pain,” features vocal contributions from B.J. Thomas and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmy Fortune. Each artist brings their own signature style to the song, making it one of the standout tracks from Legendary Friends & Country Duets.
“When T.G. asked me to record on this project, I was honored,” Fortune said. “The song had an Orbison-feel to it, and when I found out that it would feature BJ Thomas, I was even more excited.”
Sheppard, who is credited with 21 number one hits, is featured in the latest online syndicated video series, “The Test Drive,” where T.G. cruises through historic Music Row and talks about his brand new album in the must-see episode.
T.G. Sheppard has always had an unstoppable passion for music. This passion along with 21 number one hits and being ranked as one of the top artists in all of country music, has made him one of the most popular live performers on tour today. It's only natural with a show chock full of chart topping hits like "Last Cheaters Waltz", "I Loved 'Em Everyone"," Do You Wanna Go To Heaven", and "Party Time" that TG has developed a reputation as a solid performer who delivers exactly what audiences want. All this and more combined with a steadfast dedication to entertainment has truly made him one of the great Legends in country music.
T.G. Sheppard's ardor for life and unceasing energy allow him to fulfill his unrelenting passion for music. "Legendary Friends & Country Duets" is the latest means by which he shares that passion with the rest of us. For more information, visit tgsheppard.com.
A mouse in the house
In the valley below the Gravelly Spur sometimes life was lost in the living, but at times circumstances would change that for a while.
Billy Thurston lived in a sharecropper’s house with his mother Alma and father Fred. Although Billy was just eight-years-old, he already had performed almost every task it took to help run the farm and help his parents scrape a meager living on shares.
He plowed and planted, tended to animals, and walked a few paces behind his father as they hunted to add a bit of meat to the table.
Each fall when it came time to cut the corn and tie the stalks together, in the mist the stands of corn stalks looked as if an army had left the field and propped its rifles there.
At this time of year an army of mice which made the field a home would tend to run for the cover of whatever building they could find.
This year Billy’s father told him it would be his job to place the mouse traps around the house and keep them clean of whatever they might catch.
Being mindful of his father, he went about his chore and kept each trap ready and waiting for the next offensive.
One afternoon one of the traps did not hold a dead mouse but one whose leg was caught and broken.
Billy did not have the heart to end the little one’s life. So, he cut some small branches and took a few threads from the ragged area of his overalls and tied upon the mouse’s leg a splint.
Billy carefully carried the gray field mouse to the edge of the cornfield which lay between their house and my Grandma Kitty’s and released it.
After a couple of days, my Grandma Kitty was sweeping off the front porch. As she turned and opened the screen door, in scurried a little mouse which she promptly followed with broom in hand. After quite a chase around the old butcher block table, she finally had the little critter cornered.
As she was about to bring the broom down with all her might, she saw the splint upon its leg. The sight of that little splint reminded her that every life has value no matter in what form it is carried. She could not bring herself to end this one.
She reached down, picked the animal up and carried it to the edge of the corn field to release it.
Twice the little mouse got a reprieve. The yellow barn cat Grover was not so kind-hearted.
A story from the book "A Mountain Pearl" Appalachian Reminiscing and Recipes by Randall Franks. Order Yours in time for Christmas on the Store Page.
New music from Jimmy Fortune and ICM Awards
Country Music Hall of Famer and Statler Brothers member, Jimmy Fortune, continues his successful career as a solo artist with the release of his latest project, Hits & Hymns, available for purchase now in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations as well as music retailers nationwide. Hits & Hymns is also available online at iTunes, Amazon.
The star-studded project, released via Gaither Music Group, features collaborations with Vince Gill, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs and more.
“Teaming up with Bill Gaither has been one of the best moves that I’ve made since beginning my solo career,” said a humble Jimmy Fortune. He adds, “Ben Isaacs did a wonderful job producing this. I hope everyone has a chance to check this out, and it will inspire people the way that it has inspired me.”
Since his start with the iconic Statler Brothers more than 33 years ago, Fortune has transitioned from group member to a successful solo artist. Fortune, who is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame, looks to build on this momentum with the release of his brand new album Hits & Hymns.
The highly anticipated album is accompanied by a Bill Gaither-hosted TV special and is currently airing on various television networks and channels throughout November (check local listings).
Included in the Jimmy Fortune special are performances off of the new album, including the #1 Billboard self-penned tracks “Elizabeth” and “Too Much on My Heart,” as well as some of Fortune’s favorite gospel songs like “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” with special vocal appearances by Dailey & Vincent and Bill Gaither on select songs.
Fans looking to make this special a part of their DVD collection can purchase it at ChristianBook.com, SpringSide.com and FamilyChristian.com, or pick up the CD + DVD combo at JimmyFortune.com.
The 21st Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards were held on Oct. 22nd at Cornerstone Nashville. Bluegrass duo, The Roys took home “Inspirational Bluegrass” Award for the fifth consecutive year.
“To say it was an honor to capture our 5th ICM Bluegrass Artist award in a row is an understatement, said Lee Roy. “We are truly Blessed and honored to have our peers pat us on the back and say your music matters! God is GREAT!!”
The popular Bluegrassers were previously honored with the following ICM Awards: 2014, 2013,2012 & 2011 Bluegrass Artist of the Year; 2012 #1 Inspirational Country Single ("I Wonder What God's Thinking"), and the 2010 & 2009 Duo of the Year.
Winners also included T. Graham Brown for “Mainstream Country Male Artist,” Joey+Rory for “Mainstream Country Duo or Group” and Carrie Underwood, who received the most awards of the evening for “Mainstream Country Female Artist,” “Mainstream Song” and “Video of the Year” for her inspirational hit “Something in the Water.” Inspirational Country winners included Steve Richard for “Entertainer of the Year,” Chuck Hancock, who claimed both “Songwriter” and “Song of the Year,” Wade Hammond for “Inspirational Male Artist” and Kali Rose “Inspirational Female Artist” of the year. Slated for broadcast on the The Family Channel, Heartland, NRB Network, TCT Networks, The Worship Network, Lifestyle/CTN Network and Total Living Network in the upcoming months. For more information on the annual awards show, please visit: faithfamilycountry.com.
Karen Peck wins Dove Award, Oaks launch Christmas show
Karen Peck and New River won the Southern Gospel Album of the Year for their newest CD titled Pray Now. The Award was presented at the 46th Annual GMA Dove Awards Ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee on October 13th. Wayne Haun produced the project.
"We are deeply honored and thankful,” Karen said. “Pray Now is a very special album that resonates where we have been spiritually this year. Each song is a statement of faith and encouragement. The Lord sent these songs at the right time in our ministry and we are grateful that they are drawing people to Him. We are blessed beyond measure."
The title cut of the album "Pray Now" hit the number one spot on numerous charts and echoes the feelings of so many people dealing with life's struggles. This is the fourth Dove Award win for the group.
"We know what we do is a calling and it’s about seeing people saved and hearts touched and turned toward the Lord, she said. “That’s the number one goal, but nights like tonight was the Lord encouraging us. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary that Susan and I started this group and we’re so thankful we’re still out here after all these years.”
To learn more about Karen Peck and New River go to http://www.karenpeckandnewriver.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Peck-and-New-River.
Grammy Award-winning music legends, The Oak Ridge Boys, will once again celebrate the Christmas season with timeless hits and holiday classics on their 26th Annual Christmas Night Out Tour, coming to a city near you. The almost two-hour holiday show transports concertgoers into Winter Wonderland with fan-favorite hits and Christmas tunes new and old, beautiful sets, falling snow—and even a special visit from Santa Claus himself.
“There is nothing quite like an Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show. This tour has become an Oak Ridge Boys tradition and is a tremendous experience for the entire family. With a revamped stage and a fresh approach, this year’s show will be a dynamic mix of music representing every aspect of Christmas from presents and snow, to romance and Santa Claus, on to the real meaning of the season celebrating the birth of Jesus,” said The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall.
Each year The Oak Ridge Boys’ Christmas tour plays to packed houses across America. The 2015 Christmas Night Out Tour will take the group to more than two-dozen cities in nineteen states, from the East to West Coast, mid-November through December 23.
The group — Richard Sterban, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Joe Bonsall — have earned prestigious membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame (2015 Inductees) and Grand Ole Opry, among other designations. Known worldwide as one of recording history’s most extraordinary musical successes, they have charted single after single and album after album, celebrating over 41 million records sold, two double-platinum albums, and more than 30 Top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” among dozens more.
The tour begins Nov. 17 in Branson, Mo. For more information on The Oak Ridge Boys, please visit oakridgeboys.com.
Pat Boone and Ray Stevens have a brand some brand new adventures ahead
Pat Boone is expanding his horizons by recording his first ever R&B album. And not one to do things in a small way, he was thrilled to work with some of the genre’s biggest superstars of all time! He has powerful duets with James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind & Fire, The Four Tops, and KC & The Sunshine Band plus members of Kool & the Gang, and Sister Sledge and even Hip Hop legend Kool Moe Dee. By joining with Cleopatra Records, this stunning album now has national distribution is available to his legion of fans worldwide.
"This classic, ultimate party record fulfills a career long desire to record with many of my most favorite artists, bringing me back full circle to my first R&B million sellers,” Boone said.
With a career that has spanned over sixty years, Pat Boone has achieved an amazing number of accomplishments. He has been a successful singer, composer, actor, writer, television personality, motivational speaker, and spokesman. He is one of rock & roll’s best-selling artists and has sold over 45 million albums, had 38 Top 40 hits, and appeared in more than 12 Hollywood films. He still holds the Billboard record for charting consecutive weeks by spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with one or more song each week. He has hosted his own TV show and has written a number of books including 2 million - plus sellers that have been translated into many languages. Currently, he continues to perform for an audience of millions on both TV and radio, has just completed 2 films. Find the project on Amazon, iTunes and at cleorecs.com.
Singer, songwriter, entertainer and comedian Ray Stevens will soon add national television talk show host to his career highlights. The Grammy Award-winning comedy and country music legend announced the premiere of Ray Stevens' Nashville, a regular/weekly 30-minute music show debuting on RFD-TV on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8:30 Eastern.
"I'm so excited about my new show on RFD-TV!" Stevens said. "It's music from some of Nashville's best writers, artists and musicians and it's full of comedy. Hey, music and comedy... it's what I do and I'm having a ball doing it!"
From the heart of Nashville at the legendary funnyman's Music Row television studio, Ray Stevens' Nashville will spotlight some of country music's most well-known singers and songwriters. The first season will feature appearances and performances from many of Stevens' friends including Larry Gatlin, Bobby Bare, Tanya Tucker, Lee Greenwood, Aaron Tippin, Darryl Worley, Steve Wariner, John Conlee, T.G. Sheppard and more.