Keeping one’s word

I placed the call and said, “I know you stole the money, you were the only one that had access to it. It better find its way back here by 5 o’clock or you will be dealing with a greater worry.”

Of course, the person denied the charge, but amazingly, the money found its way back where it belonged and that person was never again welcomed into my home.

Have you ever noticed that there seems to be a shift in honesty that is now reaching into our lives?

My parents, who were part of the greatest generation, taught me plan and simple, as their parents did before them, all you really have in the world is your word. By keeping your word, you show others you have integrity. By having integrity, then you gain the power of others’ trust.

“Your word is your bond,” my grandfather would say. And if someone lied to you, or lied to someone else about you, those were offenses that required quick and stern retribution against the other party.

In my grandfather’s day, let’s just say sometimes that included some fist to cuffs.

Now, let me be the first to say, I would not advocate for violence in this instance, but in my grandfather’s day fist to cuffs was the lesser means of regaining one’s honor considering many still had a gun on their hip or within reach.

Never the less, I carry the same attitude that when someone tells you something, it is the gospel and I am finding more and more as I deal with folks today, that sadly, keeping their word is not a requirement for life. In fact, to many who are part of the millennial generation, the truth is an abstract that moves and flows depending on whatever is best for their situation.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not painting an entire generation with this brush, I have found those who do keep their word, are punctual, proficient in their efforts and desire to have a good reputation.

Sadly, though, there are many who are drawn more to saying and doing what is convenient at the moment.

So I don’t leave anyone out, I am sure that we can find large numbers of baby boomers and Gen-Xers who also are dishonest, just as the childhood acquaintance mentioned above. I just seem in my own personal experience to find fewer of them. Sometimes I wonder if all the generations have adopted these traits as they have watched the permeation of reality TV and the train wrecks of lives that entertain millions often propelled by the drama of a liar, a cheat or some other malcontent.

While these are simply meanderings of my thoughts influenced by my experiences, I hope your life is less impacted by lying.

If you have influence over some younger person, teach he or she by example. Treat others with the respect of being honest and share a lifetime of integrity with them. I pray that for all of you and your families, the truth will always set you free.

Country legends Bobby Bare reflects how “Things Change”

Bobby Bare

Country Music Hall of Famer and GRAMMY® award-winning legend Bobby Bare will releaseThings Change” on May 26 featuring a collaboration with Chris Stapleton. The album is Bare’s first studio project in five years and is available for pre-sale now at and all CD’s purchased through Bare’s website will be autographed.

Things Change” features 10 tracks written by Bare, Mary Gauthier, Guy Clark and the producer of the project, hit singer/songwriter Max T. Barnes. “Things Change” will be released by Hypermedia Nashville and BFD through RED Distribution. The album will include “Things Change,” which will be the first video by the 82-year old. Bare will also return to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, where he was once a member from 1964-1974, on May 27.

The album features a special collaboration on Bare’s iconic hit, “Detroit City” with Chris Stapleton adding vocals. The 1963 song was written by Mel Tillis and Danny Dill. It became Bare’s most highly requested songs and won a GRAMMY® in 1964 for Best Country/Western Recording.

Stapleton, the two-time reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, says working with Bare was too good of an offer to pass up.

“I think it’s important to show up and do things like that. Plus….it’s ‘Detroit City.’ Man, why wouldn’t you do that. I just served as a background singer to Bobby,” he said. “That was my goal. You get to be a kid again in those moments. That was a song that I heard on the jukebox when I was a kid. My dad and granddad liked this song. Those are cool things. That kind of stuff is as cool to me as anything that I get to do.”

Bare said he is excited about the collection of songs he has assembled.

“This is a special collection of songs to me, not just another record,” he said. “Great songs from Mary Gauthier, a song I co-wrote with Guy Clark that turned out to be his last and a song that my buddy Hoyt Axton inspired me to write called ‘Things Change.’ That’s the title of the album and the first single. Things do change but my love for songwriters and the fans never, ever will!”

Bare knows what he’s talking about when he talks about great songs, having recorded compositions from fellow legends as Tom T. Hall (“Margie’s At The Lincoln Park Inn”), Ian Tyson (“Four Strong Winds”), Kris Kristofferson (“Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends”), and several compositions from the late Shel Silverstein – including his 1974 chart-topper “Marie Laveau.”

“I hit the road as a lead guitar player with Bobby Bare when I was 20 years old, ,” said Max T. Barnes, President of HYPERMEDIA Nashville. “To imagine I would produce my hero all these years later is a dream come true. We had so much fun touring the world in the 1980s. We laughed until we hurt! That’s what it was like in the studio with Bare on this album. He has a wicked smart song sense, and a delivery that will cut you to the bone. Bare is a true giant.”

For more information on Bobby Bare visit

New music from bluegrass legends Lawson and Williams

Two masters of bluegrass bring their next installment of the music that helped make them legends. Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams present Chapter 3 from Mountain Home. It’s the style they first learned together as members of Jimmy Martin’s influential band years ago before labels were differentiating Country, Western and Bluegrass music and songs of heartbreak stood side by side with inspirational Gospel numbers
It’s classic Country and Gospel Music with the natural blend of unsurpassed brother style vocal harmonies. Songs of longing over lost love and of hope found by looking to the hereafter. Nearly all from the pen of a single writer, making them deeply personal, and each reminding us of what Country music, in terms of style, used to be.

The lead-off song is a vintage Dolly Parton number, “Til Death Do Us Part.” A cautionary message about vows of love. Next, comes Bluegrass with “I’ll Still Write Your Name in the Sand” and a banjo kick from guest, Joe Mullins, a man skilled in this classic style of the early form. It gives Williams the lead vocal duties and demonstrates that he is still in his prime at 83.

The album continues with selections handpicked by Doyle Lawson from his mental vault of curated rare gems he has always kept in mind for a special recording like this. Duet style vocal arrangements like in the gospel song “I Feel Better Now” and unique rhythmic phrasing heard in “Big Fool of the Year” give these heart-tuggers a treatment that makes evident they were chosen for emotional impact and because they are a natural fit for these two.
It also boasts three tracks written by Williams including the recently penned “What I’m I Gonna Do with This Broken Heart” which shows how naturally this classic style comes to him.

It takes a studio band that can capture the soul of the Classic Country intention and the players here do just that. Tim Surrett on bass, Josh Swift on resonator guitar and drums, Stephen Burwell on fiddle, David Johnson on pedal steel and the aforementioned Joe Mullins on banjo. Lawson and Williams command the two instruments they have mastered, guitar and mandolin respectively.

Chapter 3 is a continuation of a legacy series of recordings that began with Old Friends Get Together (2010) and was followed by Standing Tall and Tough (2014) which included Lawson, Williams, and now retired banjo legend J.D. Crowe. This new release pays tribute to the music that shaped the style as well as the careers of these men. It is this early style that gave form to so much of what today’s Bluegrass and Roots Country music is. Rest assured the story is not over, just beginning a new chapter.


For more information, visit, and

The father of bubblegum pop – Tommy Roe


As I was growing up around Georgia Music Hall of Famer Cotton Carrier, a name which often came up was Tommy Roe, a fellow Atlantan who Carrier had worked with through Bill Lowery Publishing.

Roe is now in his 55th year in the music business, an achievement not many artists can brag about. He celebrated his first No.1 single in 1962 on the Billboard charts with the release of “Sheila,” a song he wrote when he was only 14 years old.

“It’s hard to believe it has been 55 years since “Sheila” topped the charts and after all these years it still brings a smile to the face of my audience when I sing it at one of my concerts,” said Roe, known as being the “Father of Bubblegum Pop.”

Roe, who turns 75 years young on May 9, recently released his autobiography, “From Cabbagetown to Tinseltown,” featuring co-writer Michael Robert Krikorian. The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, various independent book stores, and online at and

In his book From Cabbagetown to Tinseltown, Roe correlates his journey to Hollywood with the historical events of that time period that were changing and shaping America and, in turn, the music industry. In this autobiography, Roe doesn’t hold back. He uses his down-home humor and unique perspective to share about his years and experiences both inside and outside of music.

“My journey from a working class section of Atlanta called Cabbagetown to the glamour that is Hollywood was anything but easy. I stuck by my principles and values making a name for myself that I could be proud of. Writing this book was sometimes a struggle for me and very cathartic indeed. It took the better part of three years, and brought back a lot of memories, the good and the bad. I have been truly blessed to live this life, and I’m glad that I can look back with no regrets.” said Roe.

One of the most influential and foundational figures in popular music, Roe has had four Gold Records: “Sheila,” “Dizzy,” “Sweet Pea” and “Jam Up and Jelly Tight.” He has also had 4 Billboard top 100 Albums. He is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, The Iowa Rock and Roll Association Hall of Fame, as well as the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Tommy Roe is a multifaceted, international artist who wrote, co-wrote, and recorded six Top 10 hits between 1962 and 1969 more than any single artist/songwriter during that period of the sixties. With a total of 11 records reaching the Billboard Top 40 and 23 Billboard Top 100 chart records, Tommy is considered one of the early pioneers of the American Pop music culture.

In the spring of 1966 with his release of the smash hit, “Sweet Pea,” spring breakers started to hit the beaches in Florida, and they embraced the new sound that Tommy had created called Bubblegum. However, the media was not as receptive as his fans were to the new genre Roe had created. They began voicing their opinion by malevolently labeling him “The King of Bubblegum.”

More recently, Roe scored big with his hits, “Devil’s Soul Pile” and “Memphis Me.” His new music parts ways with his expected style instead showcasing his talent as both a singer and a songwriter.

Roe hasn’t let the success of his career stop him from doing what he loves. He continues to write new songs and perform around the globe.

For more information and tour dates, or to purchase “From Cabbagetown to Tinseltown,” please visit

A little funny never hurts



One of my readers said that I needed to share a bit of comedy in my column to raise the spirits of the folks back home. Well I don’t know if I can do that but I’m willing to take aim at it.
One of my favorite places to find funny comments or situations is in church and sometimes the funniest thing you find relates with youngin’s and church thinkin’
I remember a few years ago my nephew asked me if he had a guardian angel. I told him ‘Sure you do. Your guardian angel is always with you.”
“Does he eat with me?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said.
“Does he sleep with me?”
“Sure,” I said.
“That must have been who kicked me out of bed last night,” he said.
Now I won’t take credit for this next one, its one I heard from an older feller which will remain nameless:
Do you know where radio was invented?
The Garden of Eden.
God took Adam’s rib and made the first loudspeaker.
A little known fact about Noah’s Ark:
There were three camels on board.
The first was the camel many people swallow while straining at a gnat.
The second was the camel whose back was broken by the last straw.
And the third was the one who shall pass through the eye of a needle before a rich man enters the kingdom of Heaven.
Farmer Jud and his wife Jeweldine, a childless farm couple prayed to have a child.
As an answer to the prayer, the couple received the blessing of triplets.
The preacher commented as to how their prayers were answered.
Jud said, “Yep, but I never prayed for a bumper crop.”
A lady searched endlessly to find the love of her life with no success so she finally turned to prayer:
“Oh Lord, I am not asking for a thing for myself but please send mother a son-in-law.”
A father asks a prospective son-in law “Can you support my daughter in the manner she is accustom to?”
He replies “ She ain’t gonna move is she?”
I have always heard that bread cast on the water always returns. Bread cast on the water, may return but all the bread we send overseas sure doesn’t.
Laughter has always been an important part of life in our family mainly because of the nature of our ancestors to lean towards being stoic in their approach in life. That approach comes even more naturally to me than laughter does. I am often asked “Why don’t you smile more.” My answer is sometimes “I am smiling on the inside.” Moments of joys and laughter are even more cherished to me. May laughter always fill your days because God does have a sense of humor otherwise, he would have never made someone quite like us, would he?