Music Row, in Nashville in the early 60’s was really just getting started good and consisted of mostly refurbished old houses on 16th and 17th Avenues that had been turned into offices and music hangouts. In 1963, if you started at the corner of Demonbruen Street and 16th Avenue South, and started walking toward the South, you would first come to the Wilburn Brothers and Don Helms Wil-Helm Artists Agency building where Teddy and Doyle … CONTINUE READING

Pee Wee and Smoky

15 July, 1957…on the Main Deck of the USS Bryce Canyon (AD-36), Long Beach Naval Base. I’m standing, with all my gear resting on the deck by my feet, saying goodbye to my shipmate, fiddle player and best friend, Pee Wee Garrison. Standing by Pee Wee is Smoky Rogers, another friend, shipmate and the big Dog House Bass player and harmony singer of the Bryce Canyon Troubadours. After three years of service on the Bryce … CONTINUE READING

Country Music Roots in Middle Tennessee – Hawthorn Hill State Historic Site

In the days of tearing down historic sites, toppling historic statues and trying to rewrite history, it was so fulfilling to come together and dedicate the birthplace and boyhood home of Doctor Humphrey Bate, founder of The Possum Hunters and first String Band to broadcast, in 1925, on what was then called the “Hayride”, before the name was changed to “Grand Ole Opry” in 1927. We had a great turnout, with some of the Bate … CONTINUE READING

Staley Walton, the first guitar player on the Opry

  The old man was cold, on this December day, even in his long johns and wool socks, under his old bib overalls, he just couldn’t seem to get warm anymore. His old house, which started out being a log cabin that somebody built back before the War For Southern Independence, had been closed in with rough cut lumber, through the years, but the cold wind still found the holes and cracks, and sometimes, of … CONTINUE READING