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Goodbye, Troy Gentry

(April 5, 1967 – September 8, 2017)

Country music singer Troy Gentry died today in a helicopter crash in New Jersey. The Montgomery-Gentry star was born in Lexington, and the duo was honored by the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

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Goodbye, Glen Campbell

(April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017)

Country Music Hall of Famer and Grammy Award winner Glen Campbell passed away today. He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The iconic singer sold more than 45 million records in his career, which began in the early 1960s. His final studio recording, Adiós, was released this June.

Goodbye, Merle Haggard

(April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016)

Country music icon Merle Haggard passed away today on his 79th birthday. He had been battling illnesses for quite some time, and cancelled several concerts recently due to bouts with pneumonia. I was going to see Haggard several years ago in Gatlinburg during a Duke of Hazzard fan festival, but he was forced to cancel that performance as well due to health issues. His brand of classic outlaw country will be sorely missed.

This is a reminder to enjoy our legends while they are still with us, and to take advantage of the opportunities you have to see them perform.

On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys by Joseph S. Bonsall (2015)

Oak Ridge Boys book

On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys
by Joseph S. Bonsall
Harvest House Publishers, 2015
272 pages

I fondly remember listening to the Oak Ridge Boys with my sister as she drove me around in her Mercury Lynx when I was a little kid. Songs such as “Elvira” and “American Made” remind me of a simpler time. Tenor Joseph S. Bonsall reminisces about some of the Boys’ biggest songs, best fans, and blessed moments in his recently released memoir, On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys.

Bonsall covers a number of topics in the memoir, from the Boys’ non-musical interests and the state of country music today to the viral nature of their 1981 hit “Elvira” and the group’s friendship with the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush. He relates interesting anecdotes about playing in the Astrodome in Houston, and singing the National Anthem before a variety of sporting events.

On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys is a light read and will be of special interest to fans of the group.

Learn more about Harvest House Publishers.

Learn more about The Oak Ridge Boys.

Purchase On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys by Joseph S. Bonsall.

All-Star Duets by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time (2014)

cordle

All-Star Duets
by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
Mighty Cord Records, 2014
44 minutes

The list of artists who have recorded songs written by Larry Cordle reads like a who’s who of country music royalty. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Travis Tritt, the Oak Ridge Boys, Reba McEntire, and the late George Jones are just a handful of the household names that have recognized Cordle’s enormous talent and used his songs on their records. On his latest release, All-Star Duets, Cordle calls in a few favors and some of those legends join him on his most popular songs.

One of Cordle’s earliest compositions, “Highway 40 Blues,” was recorded by Ricky Skaggs and went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1983. George Strait’s rendering of Cordle’s famous composition, “Murder on Music Row,” reached #38 on the Hot Country Songs chart despite never being released as a single. In addition to the unsolicited radio airplay, the song was named CMA’s Vocal Event of the Year in 2000 and Song of the Year in 2001. Both songs are included on this release, Skaggs joining Cordle to sing his #1 hit, while Daryle Singletary and Kevin Denney team up with the songwriter to tackle the song made famous by George Strait over a decade ago.

Another high-charting song featured on All-Star Duets is “Mama Don’t Forget to Pray For Me,” which peaked at #9 in the early 1990s for Diamond Rio. Marty Roe, Gene Johnson, and Dana Williams reprise their vocal parts during the chorus of the re-recording, with Cordle himself handle vocals during the verses.

Each of the twelve tracks on All-Star Duets is a reminder of Cordle’s abilities as a songwriter, and displays his ability as a singer as well. There is no doubt that he deserves induction into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, and honor that will be bestowed on him April 10 in Lexington. Country music fans would do well to recognize the talent behind some of their favorite songs as displayed on Larry Cordle’s All-Star Duets.

Tracklist:
1. Against the Grain (with Garth Brooks)
2. Mama Don’t Forget to Pray For Me (with Diamond Rio)
3. Highway 40 Blues (with Ricky Skaggs)
4. Lonesome Dove (with Trisha Yearwood)
5. The Bigger the Fool (with Del McCoury)
6. The Fields of Home (with Kenny Chesney)
7. Lonesome Standard Time (with Kathy Mattea)
8. Murder on Music Row (with Daryle Singletary and Kevin Denney)
9. You Can’t Take it With You When You Go (with Dierks Bentley)
10. Cure for the Common Heartache (with Terri Clark)
11. Rough Around the Edges (with Travis Tritt)
12. Two Highways (with Alison Krauss)

Learn more about Larry Cordle.

Purchase All Star Duets by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time.

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