Chicken in the country and a Tennessee Moon

Great Country Moments is a special internet production of Springer Mountain Farms® that in January will feature episodes with Janie Fricke, Oak Ridge Boys, Rex Allen Jr., Mark Chesnutt, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Confederate Railroad, Charley Pride and Ronnie McDowell. The program is available online at
Through the one-of-a-kind story segments, the featured country stars will take viewers through some of the best times of their career and reveal emotional, exciting, and memorable moments that fans have never heard first-hand. Along with the videos will be trivia questions that viewers can answer to enter a contest to win a variety of prizes. A grand prize of a free freezer full of chicken will be given away to one lucky winner who participates in the trivia contest.
The “Great Country Moments” series features a new video being released each week. The recipe segments will reveal the artist’s favorite homemade recipes using Springer Mountain Farms® chicken, along with a written recipe that will be available to viewers. Some of the stars featured in the series include Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker, Ronnie McDowell, Deborah Allen, Jimmy Fortune and many more.
“Springer Mountain Farms enjoys many wonderful partnerships with the country music community. Great Country Moments is another great outlet to feature some of country music’s finest with an added bonus, their favorite chicken recipe! We have created a living cookbook that fans and Springer Mountain Farms® chicken lovers can follow along with. I can’t wait to try the recipes out in my kitchen!” said Gus Arrendale, President of Springer Mountain Farms.
On the bluegrass front, check out the new Pinecastle release Jan. 17 from Ray Cardwell called Tennessee Moon
Tennessee Moon has a clear New Grass influence in producer Pat Flynn. However, with nine out of twelve tunes written by Cardwell, the album is his own take on that classic sound.
“I feel my music is based upon the traditional style of bluegrass and old timey music my parents raised me on, and the collection of musical experiences I’ve had in my journey through life, Cardwell said. “My songwriting is a direct reflection of new ideas balanced with the traditions of the past.”
Flynn also adds his talents on guitar and harmony vocals to the album along with fellow New Grass Revival alum John Cowan lending tenor and harmony vocals on many of the tracks. Cardwell has already built a touring band of incredible musicians to take his music on the road as Ray Cardwell & Tennessee Moon.
Ray honed his musical chops playing in The Cardwell family bluegrass band in the late 1970’s. In the ‘80s he spent time playing rock and reggae before moving to Nashville in the ‘90s to be a member of the bluegrass band, the New Tradition. He returned to his home state of Missouri a few years later to raise a family while teaching vocal and instrumental ensembles. Along the way he has had experience with an eclectic mix of musical genres from bluegrass and Americana to musical theater and Motown. Now living in Nashville,  Cardwell has returned to his musical roots while blending in his varied influences to create a style all his own. For more information, visit

Bill Anderson and Charlie Monk reflect on life in the country

Songwriting icon and legendary performer “Whisperin’ Bill” Anderson released his new autobiography Whisperin’ Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life In Country Music recently.

AndersonCompA2.indd In addition, listeners can sit back and enjoy a NEW audio book narrated by Bill Anderson. The audio book bundle also includes a Bonus CD featuring 10 never-before released self-penned acoustic recordings by Anderson, including smash hits like “Whiskey Lullaby” (Brad Paisley/Alison Krauss), “Give It Away” (George Strait), “City Lights” (Ray Price) and seven more.

Whisperin’ Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life In Country Music is a representation of Anderson’s journey, and published by University of Georgia Press. Read by Bill Anderson himself it features eye-opening personal stories from his nearly eighty years of living – from early days of radio broadcasting in Georgia, to standing alongside the greatest country music stars in the world onstage at the Grand Ole Opry, to meeting Elvis Presley, to being named BMI’s first ICON Award winner in the country music genre.

The book is a 360-page reflection of Anderson’s journey includes Peter Cooper as a contributing writer. It includes rare, never-before-seen photos and eye-opening personal stories from Anderson’s nearly eighty years of living – from early days of radio broadcasting in Georgia, to standing alongside the greatest country music stars in the world onstage at the Grand Ole Opry, to being named BMI’s first ICON Award winner in the country music genre.

With the 2015 success of Mo Pitney’s “Country,” Anderson has become the only country songwriter to tally a Top 40 hit in seven consecutive decades, and he stands today a legendary performer, who recently celebrated his 55th Anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
The book is available for $29.95 at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, various independent book stores, and online at and

If you work in the Nashville music business and don’t know the name Charlie Monk, you probably haven’t been around very long.  After all, he is the “Mayor of Music Row.”  This year, Monk is celebrating six decades of blood, sweat and tears in show business.

“When I started out in 1956, I wanted to be a radio or TV star or maybe an actor,” recalls Monk.  “I found out when I moved to Music City that I was a lot better at nurturing other talented people which got me into the management, publishing and production side of music.  I’m proud that I have made a good living for my family, had a lot of fun hanging with super talented folks and doing a lot of different things in the entertainment world.”

Monk recently attended his 60th high school class reunion in his hometown of Geneva, Alabama.  During his visit, the town presented him with his very own roadway, “Charlie Monk Lane.”

“Everybody in Geneva, Alabama, population 4,500, knew that I was the poorest kid in town but they knew that I was a hard worker and many of them gave me jobs and encouragement,” he says.  “It took a village to raise me. I am unbelievably honored with this recognition and thank the mayor and city council for having the ceremony during a reunion of my 1957 high school graduating class. ‘CHARLIE MONK LANE’… that’s pretty cool.”

Charlie Monk may know everyone working in Nashville’s music community. Outside of that community, Monk may very well be Nashville’s most influential unknown. Whether entertaining America on his daily SiriusXM radio show, managing Monk Family Music or hosting a major music event, he is honest and frank in everything he does. It’s his unique personality, combined with 60 years experience in show business, that has made Monk one of the most respected executives on Music Row.

Through the years, Monk has developed strong instincts. In 1983, for example, Monk signed a young singer/songwriter named Randy charlie-monkTraywick — now known as Randy Travis. He signed Kenny Chesney to his first songwriting deal and negotiated his first record contract with Capricorn Records. Songwriters Monk has signed “off the street” include Marcus Hummon, Holly Dunn, Jim McBride, Keith Stegall, Aaron Tippin and Philip Douglas.

Monk Family Music Group published songs have been recorded by Travis, Tippin, Led Zeppelin,  Lonestar, Reba, LeAnn Rimes, Tracy Lawrence, The Mavericks, Cheap Trick, Kenny Rogers, Sandi Patti, Glen Campbell, Otis Redding, Louise Mandrell, Trick Pony, Carolina Rain, Ike & Tina Turner, Jeff Treece, and John Michael Montgomery.

Monk’s entertainment career began in 1956, sweeping floors at WGEA in Geneva, Alabama. He landed a weekend air shift at the station and remained throughout his high school years.
A founder of the Country Radio Seminar, Monk produced and hosted the annual New Faces Show for over 40 years. He is an alumnus of Leadership Music, lifetime Director of the Country Radio Broadcasters, a member of the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and the Gospel Music Association. He has served as VP of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, VP of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, VP of the Gospel Music Association, Board of Leadership Music, and local President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (now known as AFTRA-SAG).  Monk was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
This year, Monk is nominated for induction into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame as well as the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame.