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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Pickin’, singin’ and a lot of grinnin’

While America’s media concentrated upon candidate negatives and battles in community streets, I was honored to spend some amazing hours away from these talking heads and among some of our country’s most amazing people.

They had not gathered over political policies, perceived injustice had not placed them on opposite sides of a demonstration.

Music had brought them together, from seniors to children, black, white, brown, and all shades in between, representing races and people from countries around the world. I stood in the hallways of the Raleigh Convention Center in North Carolina and its neighboring hotel, listening to various languages being spoken as they prepared to jam playing yet another tune or sing another song.


Randall Franks and Grand Ole Opry star Del McCoury pause backstage at the IBMA Awards Show.

They held banjos, fiddles, mandolins, guitars, and basses among others. They sang songs from the repertoire of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Jim and Jesse, the Stanley Brothers, Alison Krauss, Doyle Lawson and many others.

The International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass including their annual awards filled thousands of people’s faces with smiles and the hearts with a song. While there was a long list of artists who went away smiling holding awards which makes them the leading of their genre in the coming year, the greatest smiles were on the musicians which simply came to jam and make new friends.

Some key winners were The Earls of Leicester, Entertainer of the Year; Becky Buller, Female Vocalist; Danny Paisley, Male Vocalist; Flatt Lonesome, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year; Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Instrumental Group of the Year; and Mountain Faith, Emerging Artist.

Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers took the Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year with “All Dressed Up.” Guitarist Clarence White and Rounder Record founders Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton-Levy and Bill Nowlin were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine; Boston Bluegrass Union; Bill Emerson; Jim Rooney and SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction.

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When I left the IBMA event, I made my way to the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.


Randall Franks visits with Mark (right) and Kenneth Bishop at National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Once again I found thousands gathered, smiles on their faces, and a song in their heart as the brightest stars of gospel music shared their latest songs and the biggest hits.

The Singing News awarded this year’s leading performers and the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame inducted their latest honorees. Some of the winners were Ivan Parker, Favorite Soloist;

Goodman Revival, Favorite New Artist; Kingdom Heirs Band, Favorite Band; Collingsworth Family, Favorite Mixed Group; Booth Brothers, Favorite Trio; and Triumphant Quartet, Favorite Traditional Quartet.

Among the new SGMA Hall of Famers were Carroll McGruder, Lari Goss, Peg McKamey Bean, and Ronny Hinson. Music agent Ed Harper was presented the Southern Gospel Music Guild Lifetime Achievement Honor.

Fans visited with their favorites and enjoyed an uplifting song-filled experience that will continue in Pigeon Forge annually for several more years. Find out more at visit