New releases from Opry’s Jeanne Pruett and Del McCoury

Two of my long-time Grand Ole Opry friends have new projects that everyone is sure to enjoy.
Jeanne Pruett, an accomplished musician, author, and restauranteur, has completed her new book “Jeanne Pruett: Miss Satin Sheets I Remember.”
She shares her memories good, great and even bad as she focuses on decades of music and music makers.
“(I am) the author and publisher of four best-selling cookbooks in a series entitled Feedin’ Friends, she said. “(I also) had a successful restaurant of the same name in the Opryland theme park, Jeanne Pruett’s Feedin’ Friends. (I) was, for years, a regular on the Ralph Emery television show Nashville Now. (I am) a museum curator, a producer of country music shows, a mother of two, a happy wife, and the author of this book, ‘I Remember’.”
Jeanne Pruett’s riveting work from Page Publishing of New York includes many recognizable characters, who are not only superstars, but also personal friends. Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Nancy “Mrs. George” Jones, Bill Anderson, Don Williams, Ronnie Milsap, Rhonda Vincent, and dozens more are the author’s country music idols, and they’ve all played a great part in her life.
Pruett shared that since her retirement, that the great lyrics in good country songs mean even more to her than ever before.
She reminisces over the love and friendships of her music friends, the love of her worldwide fans, and the love of everyday people are the fabrics that hold her life together.
“Jeanne Pruett: Miss Satin Sheets I Remember” is available bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.
Bluegrass mainstay and two-time Grammy winner Del McCoury is assuring folks in his upcoming CD that Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass.
From the nascent sound of bluegrass that charmed hardscrabble hillbilly honkytonks, rural schoolhouse stages, and the crowning glory of the Grand Ole Opry to the present-day culture-buzz of viral videos and digital streams, Del is the living link.
“What I like in a record is variety of moods, of tempos,” Del said. “I consider myself traditional at heart, but I don’t have any boundaries. I’m just a guy that likes to sing and play music. Whatever strikes me to do I’ll do it. Without wrecking things.”
His new album will debut May 25 with 14 songs brimming with hot licks, classic songcraft, even some boundary-stretching electric guitar, and once again, Del’s matchless vocal delivery.
The album features his fine band (Ronnie McCoury on Mandolin, Rob McCoury on Banjo, Jason Carter on fiddle, Alan Bartran on bass) with a guest electric guitar from his grandson, Heaven McCoury, on a kicking cover of Shawn Camp’s tune “Hot Wired.” Del noting that having Ronnie’s son, Heaven, on the record playing electric guitar reminds him of the Del McCoury Band playing with Phish and how well Trey Anastasio’s guitar blended with bluegrass.
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Do we struggle each day with finding the future?

When you got up this morning, did you wonder what you were going to do today?

Most of us have a routine that we are locked in, work, school or family activities.

Each day is almost a reflection of the one before and these days sometimes seem like they stretch on year after year without much change.

It’s like we are living in Bill Murray’s film “Groundhog Day” with some slight deviations each day.
But the repetitive nature of life is somewhat a fallacy. Even though our course is familiar and similar to the previous day, in actuality every day is different.

God provides us endless opportunities on each day by allowing new and different people to cross our paths. Of course it is up to us as to how we receive these encounters and whether they will make a difference in the day that is positive or negative.

Each morning as I come to my computer, and sit down at my desk, I am hopeful that there will be a call or an e-mail that will change the direction of one of the aspects of my career.

That does not mean I just sit and wait on such things, you have to get after them and help create opportunities for yourself.

But that to me is what makes each day different even though I sit in the same chair, type on the same keyboard and try to reduce the same piles of things to do that are scattered around my office.

I realize since my career crosses several areas of interest that some folks find of interest – acting, music, and writing, some might see a deviation in my norm as more exciting than one in their own life.

I am here to tell you, that is not the case. Excitement in life comes from being engaged in an activity, vocation, or endeavor that you love – one that brings your passion from your heart and places the smile on your face.

The other day I celebrated during Christmas with some friends, as the evening progressed laughter permeated the group lifting our hearts in the activity we shared. I realized as I came back to my home, how long it had been since I laughed like that, since a continuous smile had radiated from my lips.

Despite my doing what I love, the enthusiasm, the fervor for each day had subsided into a level of quiet doldrums. Sometimes holidays of any nature seem to even make it more pronounced.

While it shouldn’t be a revelation, I decided to declare a resolution to use each day to remember the joy, the hope, the love in the gifts that God has shared with me and to reflect that in my walk, my work, my life as I share and experience life with all those that I encounter.

If I can do that in 2013, it will be the best year ever, no matter what other excitement or problems may come my way.

So, put a smile on your face, a song in your heart and a lilt in your step as you glide gracefully through the rest of the year.


A view from on high

I slid around the edge of the roof of the house removing the gunk that had collected in the gutters. Being a musician my hands were such a vital part of my life, I always came away with them skinned up from the adventure.

Cleaning out gutters didn’t phase me at that time and I often hopped right up there no matter how high it was moving around easing the path for the rain water.

It had become a nice supplementary business to the lawns I mowed as a kid. I started those when I was around 10 and pretty much continued through college.

Even as I had achieved some notoriety performing for the Grand Ole Opry and major concert events around the country, I still mowed, raked and cleaned gutters for those long established clients I had built up through the years.

I once heard Tennessee Ernie Ford say as his career was developing, one of the criteria he looked at before moving on from something to bigger pastures, was to make sure that there was more cows in that field than the one he was already in.

I don’t think that is what kept me doing for those folks. Many of them were like family, some older and I knew it would be hard for them to find someone to replace me after so many years of my helping them. But eventually I did have to phase out of all those extra jobs and move on in life.

I even recall feeling a bit of guilt in leaving a couple in particular to find someone else to meet those needs.

While I think back fondly on those times sitting up on the roofs working with my thoughts about what I would do with my life flooding through my mind as I looked out around the neighborhood, unlike my younger self, I am no longer anxious to jump up on the roof to think.

However, I still spend time each day, thinking about what God has in store for me in life.

Dreams never seem to fade; there is always something new that is just over the horizon.

A new record, a new book, a new job, a new friendship, a new way to serve and accomplish something for someone else.

These days I still like to look out over the neighborhood as I think. Instead of sticking my hands down in the muck and filling up a bucket with it, now I find a high point on a mountainside, sit there with God’s word and take in the beauty all around me as I read, think and pray.

Perhaps it is something in the genes that I discovered as a kid looking out from those roofs, that there is an almost innate desire within me to be high up – in the mountains looking out and drinking deeply from God’s creation. It seems to renew my soul and provide a perfect backdrop to dream and ask for God’s guidance and His inspiration to know how to illuminate the path that He has in store.

Have you found your rooftop? Do you know where you can be inspired to make a difference?

If you do not have a place, I hope this week you will take some time and find a place to restore your soul as you dream for your future and what you can make happen in your family and community that will make our world a better place.