I'm starting this column early, in hopes I won't be in the crush by deadline time. New Year's resolution? Sounds good, but absolutely not. Just don't want to forget anything I probably would have included and forgot! Knowing me, that probably ain't gonna work either.
New Year's Day I had my annual Hank Williams SR. show/tribute. I always look forward to that. You never know what reactions you'll get to something like this. Good comes in many ways and forms sometimes. I have a very good example I want to share here.
At the few opportunities I have had to share a few experiences with youngsters, I have tried to impress upon them that you don't have to be a part of the so-called "in crowd." It will be short lived at best, so don't compromise your interests for the sake of someone else's. As an example, it's alright to like country music - real country, that is.
Here is a note I received from what would now be a new listener to my show because of ¼ well read for yourself.
Being from Tennessee, I grew up with Hank Williams music, but being a rebellious child, I refused to pay much attention to it, because it was the music of my parents and I was far too cool for that. Today I was scanning through the stations on the radio in the car and came upon your show. After I got home, I came and put my home radio station on your show to continue listening. I never knew what I was missing and because I refused to listen to it before, I never realized what a great literary and musical genius the man was. His music is so simplistic and moving, especially the Luke the Drifter pieces. I guess my parents were cooler than I thought. Thank you for this programming, and this will be a New Year tradition for me from now on.
The point so well made here is don't let "peer pressure" or the not-cool thing or the rebellious thing with parents deny you. In time, a look back will sometimes make missed opportunities so painfully clear, and they cannot be resurrected. Thank you, Vickie, for an excellent lesson.
RalphI and II
Dr. Ralph kicked off the 2005 bluegrass at Shepherdsville Music Show. Had a very good turnout, as usual, although not full due to weather. I always enjoy seeing and visiting with Ralph as time allows. I enjoy the rest of the guys as well.
Good to see Jimmie - that's Mrs. Ralph - this time. Let me tell you, Two - that's Ralph Stanley II - is really going strong. His latest CD is nominated for a Grammy. Actually, this is the second nomination he has had. Here's hoping you get it this time, Ralph. I have a lot of folks calling and e-mailing, commenting on how well you're doing. In fact, one caller asked, "Is that Ralph's son?" Yep, it sure is. Well he's going to do OK.
Might remind those of you who are interested, Dr. Ralph's birthday is coming up. The 25th is his 78th. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sir, and we hope you'll have many more.
I got one of those really good surprise calls Sunday, the 16th. I have referred to surprise calls before. Our dear friend Wade Maine called. Just checking up on me. He hadn't heard from us for a while and just wanted to make sure we were okay. I have been trying to set me down and write them. As usual, something always comes up and it just takes time. Still going to do that. I am.
Who'sPlaying Where and When
n SHEPHERDSVILLE, Feb. 4, Larry Sparks. Feb. 11, Pine Mountain Railroad. Feb.18, Gerald Evans & Paradise. Feb. 25, True Gospel Echos.
Well, hope your New Year is off and running as you like it. There's a lot ahead for the year and we'll just have to take it as it comes. Begin making your festival plans and stay with Sunday Bluegrass, 91.9 FM, WFPK. On the stream live at WFPK.org . Pass that on to your e-mail friends out of our area. Gotta go, deadline time. Oh, don't forget that Special Valentine!