Tag: Country

Sunday 1/24/2021 12pm ET: Max Country Sunday with Ron Kovacs

In Memoriam: Jimmie Rodgers (1933 – 2021) Singer

James Frederick Rodgers (September 18, 1933 – January 18, 2021) was an American singer. Rodgers had a run of hits and mainstream popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. His string of crossover singles ranked highly on the Billboard Pop Singles, Hot Country and Western Sides, and Hot Rhythm and Blues Sides charts; in the 1960s, Rodgers had more modest successes with adult contemporary music.

He is not directly related to the earlier country singer Jimmie C. Rodgers, who died the same year the younger Rodgers was born. Among country audiences, and in his official songwriting credits, the younger Rodgers is often known as Jimmie F. Rodgers to differentiate the two.

In the summer of 1957, he recorded his own version of “Honeycomb”, which had been written by Bob Merrill and recorded by Georgie Shaw three years earlier. The tune was Rodgers’ biggest hit, staying on the top of the charts for four weeks. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. Over the following year he had a number of other hits that reached the Top 10 on the charts: “Kisses Sweeter than Wine”, “Oh-Oh, I’m Falling in Love Again”, “Secretly”, and “Are You Really Mine”. Other hits include “Bo Diddley”, “Bimbombey”, “Ring-a-ling-a-lario”, “Tucumcari”, “Tender Love and Care (T.L.C)”, and a version of Waltzing Matilda as a film tie-in with the apocalyptic movie On the Beach.

In the United Kingdom, “Honeycomb” reached number 30 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1957, but “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” climbed to number 7 the following month. Both “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” and “Oh-Oh, I’m Falling in Love Again” were million sellers.

The success of “Honeycomb” earned Rodgers guest appearances on numerous variety programs during 1957, including the “Shower of Stars” program, hosted by Jack Benny, on October 31, 1957, and the Big Record with Patti Page, on December 4, 1957. Rodgers also made several appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, including on September 8, 1957, and November 3, 1957. In 1958, he appeared on NBC’s The Gisele MacKenzie Show. Also in 1958, he sang the opening theme song of the film The Long, Hot Summer, starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Orson Welles. He then had his own short-lived televised variety show on NBC in 1959.

His biggest hit in the UK was “English Country Garden”, a version of the folk song “Country Gardens”, which reached number 5 in the chart in June 1962. In 1962, he moved to the Dot label, and four years later to A&M Records. He also appeared in some films, including The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, opposite Neil Hamilton, and Back Door to Hell, which he helped finance.

In 1966, a long dry spell ended for Rodgers when he re-entered the Top 40 with “It’s Over” (later to be recorded by Eddy Arnold, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Mason Williams, and Sonny James). In 1967, he changed record labels, signing with A&M Records. It was with that label that Rodgers had his final charting Top 100 single, “Child of Clay”, written by Ernie Maresca, (who had a top-40 hit back in 1962, “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)”.) He performed the song on several television variety shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, but it never became a big hit; it only reached number 31 on the Billboard charts.

On December 1, 1967, Rodgers suffered traumatic head injuries after the car he was driving was stopped by an off-duty police officer near the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles. He had a fractured skull and required several surgeries. Initial reports in the newspapers attributed his injuries to a severe beating with a blunt instrument by unknown assailants. Rodgers had no specific memory of how he had been injured, remembering only that he had seen blindingly bright lights from a car pulling up behind him.

A few days later, the Los Angeles Police Department stated that off-duty LAPD officer Michael Duffy (at times identified in the press as Richard Duffy) had stopped him for erratic driving, and that Rodgers had stumbled, fallen and hit his head. According to the police version, Duffy then called for assistance from two other officers, and the three of them put the unconscious Rodgers into his car and left the scene. This account was supported by the treating physicians who had first blamed the skull fracture on a beating; by the latter part of December, they concluded that Rodgers had in fact fallen and that had caused his injuries.

The following month, Rodgers filed an $11 million lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles, claiming that the three officers had beaten him. The police and the L.A. County District Attorney rejected these claims, although the three officers (identified in the press as Michael T. Duffy, 27; Raymond V. Whisman, 29, and Ronald D. Wagner, 32) were given two-week suspensions for improper procedures in handling the case, particularly their leaving the injured Rodgers alone in his car. (He was later found by a worried friend.) Duffy had had a previous four-day suspension for using unnecessary force; he had used a blackjack on a juvenile.

The three officers and the LA Fire and Police Protective League filed a $13 million slander suit against Rodgers for his public statements accusing them of brutality.

Neither suit came to trial; the police slander suit was dropped, and in 1973 Rodgers elected to accept a $200,000 settlement from the Los Angeles City Council, which voted to give him the money rather than to incur the costs and risks of further court action. Rodgers and his supporters still believe that one or more of the police officers beat him, although other observers find the evidence inconclusive. In his 2010 biography Me, the Mob, and the Music, singer Tommy James wrote that Morris Levy, the Mafia-connected head of Roulette Records, had arranged the attack in response to Rodgers’ repeated demands for unpaid royalties he was due by the label. All of Rodgers’ most successful singles had been released by Roulette, who were notorious for not paying their artists for their record sales.

In 1993, Raymond Virgil Whisman, one of the three officers who were alleged to have assaulted Rodgers, was arrested for assaulting his wife and threatening to kill her. The arrest occurred after sheriff’s deputies stormed his house after being informed that he was holding his wife at gunpoint. Deputies found 11 rifles, 4 shotguns, and two handguns in the home. Whisman was charged with two counts of assault and two counts of making terroristic threats.

Rodgers died on January 18, 2021, at the age of 87.

Sunday 1/17/2021 12pm ET: Max Country Sunday with Ron Kovacs

Return of Max Country Sunday 

Saturday 1/16/2021 12pm ET: Max Country Saturday

The return of Max Country Saturday

Friday 1/15/2021 12am ET: Feature LP: Alan Jackson – Angels and Alcohol (2015)

Angels and Alcohol is the twentieth studio album by American country music artist Alan Jackson. It was released on July 17, 2015 via Alan’s Country Records and EMI Nashville. Jackson wrote seven of the album’s ten tracks. The album was produced by Keith Stegall.

1. “You Can Always Come Home” 5:13
2. “You Never Know” 3:34
3. “Angels and Alcohol” 3:33
4. “Gone Before You Met Me” 3:25
5. “The One You’re Waiting On” 4:13
6. “Jim and Jack and Hank” 4:38
7. “I Leave a Light On” 3:17
8. “Flaws” 4:17
9. “When God Paints”  3:09
10. “Mexico, Tequila and Me” 3:25

J.T. Corenflos – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Stuart Duncan – fiddle, mandolin
Robbie Flint – slide guitar
Larry Franklin – fiddle
Paul Franklin – steel guitar
Tania Hancheroff – background vocals
Tommy Harden – drums
Greenwood Hart – acoustic guitar, hand drum, piano
Hoot Hester – fiddle
Jim Hoke – accordion, harmonica
Alan Jackson – lead vocals
Andy Leftwich – fiddle, mandolin
Brent Mason – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, gut string guitar
Gary Prim – Hammond B-3 organ, piano
John Wesley Ryles – background vocals
Michael Severs – dobro
Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass guitar
Bobby Terry – banjo, acoustic guitar
Jim Vest – steel guitar

Thursday 1/14/2021 10pm ET: Artist Countdown: Trace Adkins Top 30 Hits

Tracy Darrell “Trace” Adkins (born January 13, 1962) is an American country music artist and actor. He made his debut in 1995 with the album Dreamin’ Out Loud, released on Capitol Records Nashville. Since then, Adkins has released seven more studio albums and two Greatest Hits compilations. In addition, he has charted more than 20 singles on the Billboard country music charts, including the Number One hits “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing”, “Ladies Love Country Boys”, and “You’re Gonna Miss This”, which peaked in 1997, 2007, and 2008, respectively. “I Left Something Turned on at Home” went to No. 1 on Canada’s country chart. All but one of his studio albums have received gold or platinum certification in the United States; his highest-selling to date is 2005’s Songs About Me, which has been certified 2× Multi-Platinum for shipping two million copies. Trace Adkins is widely known for his distinctive baritone singing voice.

He has also made several appearances on television, including as a panelist on the game shows Hollywood Squares and Pyramid, as a 2008 finalist and as the 2013 winner on The Celebrity Apprentice, as the voice for recurring character Elvin on King of the Hill, and in television commercial voice-overs for the KFC fast food restaurant chain. In addition, Adkins has written an autobiography entitled A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Free-Thinking Roughneck, which was released in late 2007. He has appeared in numerous films, including The Lincoln Lawyer.  Source: Wikipedia

1 You’re Gonna Miss This
2 Honky Tonk Badonkadonk
3 The Rest of Mine
4 Every Light in the House
5 (This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing
6 I Left Something Turned On at Home
7 Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone
8 Big Time
9 I’m Tryin’
10 There’s a Girl in Texas
11 Til the Last Shot’s Fired
12 Hot Mama
13 Then They Do
14 Songs About Me
15 Swing
16 Ladies Love Country Boys
17 Just Fishin’
18 More
19 Chrome
20 Marry for Money
21 Rough & Ready
22 Help Me Understand
23 This Ain’t No Love Song
24 All I Ask For Anymore
25 Arlington
26 Muddy Water
27 I Wanna Feel Something
28 I Got My Game On
29 I’m Gonna Love You Anyway
30 Million Dollar View

Thursday 1/14/2021 12:45am ET: Feature LP: Josh Ritter – Fever Breaks (2019)

Fever Breaks is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Josh Ritter. The album was released on April 26, 2019, by Pytheas Recordings

Fever Breaks received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 75, which indicates “generally favorable reviews”, based on 7 reviews.

1. “Ground Don’t Want Me” 4:18
2. “Old Black Magic” 4:46
3. “On the Water” 3:31
4. “I Still Love You (Now and Then)” 4:53
5. “The Torch Committee” 5:43
6. “Silverblade” 4:04
7. “All Some Kind of Dream” 4:18
8. “Losing Battles” 4:22
9. “A New Man” 4:29
10. “Blazing Highway Home” 4:58

In Memoriam: Ed Bruce (1939 – 2021)

William Edwin Bruce Jr. (December 29, 1939 – January 8, 2021) was an American country music songwriter, singer, and actor. He was known for writing the 1975 song “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and recording the 1982 country number one hit “You’re the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had”. He also co-starred in the television series Bret Maverick with James Garner during the 1981-1982 season.

Bruce was born in Keiser, Arkansas, United States, and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1957, at the age of 17, he went to see Jack Clement, a recording engineer for Sun Records. Bruce caught the attention of Sun owner Sam Phillips, for whom he wrote and recorded “Rock Boppin’ Baby” (as “Edwin Bruce”).

Bruce died of natural causes in Clarksville, Tennessee, on January 8, 2021, at age 81.

Friday 1/1/2021 12pm ET: MaxCountry with Joseph Fenity

Encore of the Joseph Fenity from June 2020

Thursday 12/31/2020 1am ET: Feature Artist – Suzy Bogguss

Susan Kay Bogguss (born December 30, 1956) is an American country music singer and songwriter. She began her career in the 1980s as a solo singer. In the 1990s, six of her songs were Top 10 hits, three albums were certified gold, and one album received a platinum certification. She won Top New Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music and the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association.

In 2001, Bogguss founded her own record label, Loyal Dutchess. The label’s first album, Live at Caffé Milano, documents three separate 1999 performances at the Caffé Milano in Nashville. This release is only available for purchase at Bogguss’s official website. In November 2001, she released the holiday album, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a compilation of new and previously available material included through a special licensing agreement with Capitol. In addition to being available at her website, the album was also offered through Amazon.com, select retailers, and at her live performances.

In March 2003, Bogguss and Loyal Dutchess Records signed a deal with Compadre Records. Her first release on this label was the Western swing album, Swing, that she had been recording with producer Ray Benson, the bandleader of Western swing group Asleep at the Wheel. Although the album saw only lukewarm sales (it reached No. 6 on the jazz album charts, but failed to appear on the Billboard 200), it was well received by critics. Bogguss’ next album, Sweet Danger, was released in 2007. The album peaked at No. 4 on the jazz charts. In July 2011, Bogguss released her twelfth studio album, American Folk Songbook. The album consisted of renditions of several American folk songs, such as “Red River Valley”. In addition to the CD, Bogguss and husband Doug Crider also produced a companion hard cover song book that included lyrics, sheet music, and a short history of each song. A paperback version of the songbook became available in 2015.

In February 2014 Bogguss released “Lucky” a collection of songs written by Merle Haggard. To partially fund the promotion of the album she created a very successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaign which raised over $75,000 with the participation of nearly 1000 contributors. The album was promoted through the Americana format and was well received.

During the summer of 2016, Bogguss conducted a celebration via her Suzy Bogguss Music Facebook page, of the 25th anniversary of the release of her Platinum selling Aces Album in 1991. Aces also was her break out album which brought her serious attention on Country Radio and secured her future on Capitol Nashville for several more albums. On August 18, 2016, the actual 25th anniversary of the release of the original Aces album, she released a new re-imagined and rerecorded version of the album entitled “Aces Redux.” A release party and concert was held that night at the “3rd and Lindsley” venue in Nashville. “Aces Redux” was recorded with the help of a number of the musicians that have toured with Bogguss over the years and included background vocals by friends Beth Nielsen Chapman and Kim Carnes along with several others. The album takes a more acoustic and simpler production tack that the original which also reflects her more recent touring approach as a trio with Charlie Chadwick on standup Bass and Craig Smith on lead guitar.

Wednesday 12/30/2020 1am ET: Feature LP: Andy Gibb – Shadow Dancing (1978)

Shadow Dancing is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Andy Gibb, released in June 1978 in the United States and September 1978 in the United Kingdom. It was Gibb’s highest charting album in some countries including America and in Canada. This LP was his only album to chart in the UK. Four singles, including the three US Top 10 singles, were released from the album.

Continuing the momentum of his first successes, notably “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”, he began work with the Gibb-Galuten-Richardson production team on his second album. Although the album is not currently in print, it was released to iTunes along with the other two Andy Gibb albums in 2011.

1. “Shadow Dancing” 4:34
2. “Why” 4:31
3. “Fool for a Night” 3:20
4. “An Everlasting Love” 4:06
5. “(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away” 4:07

1. “One More Look at the Night” 3:45
2. “Melody” 4:00
3. “I Go For You” 4:19
4. “Good Feeling” 3:46
5. “Waiting For You” 4:13

Andy Gibb – lead vocals
Barry Gibb – background vocals on “Shadow Dancing”, “Why”, “An Everlasting Love”, Don’t Throw It All Away”, orchestral arrangement on “Shadow Dancing”, “An Everlasting Love”, “One More Look at the Night”, “Good Feeling” and “Don’t Throw It All Away”
John Sambataro – harmony and backing vocals, slide guitar on “Why”
Joey Murcia – guitar
Tim Renwick – guitar
Don Felder – guitar on “I Go for You”
Jock Bartley – guitar on “Why”
George Bitzer – keyboards, synthesizer
Paul Harris – keyboards on “Don’t Throw It All Away”
Harold Cowart – bass guitar
Joe Lala – percussion
Ron Ziegler – drums
Neil Bonsanti – horns
Ken Faulk – horns
Peter Graves – horns
Bill Purse – horns
Whit Sidener – horns
Stan Webb – horns
Albhy Galuten – orchestral arrangement
Blue Weaver – orchestral arrangement on “Don’t Throw It All Away”

Tuesday 12/29/2020 12pm ET: Sounds of The 80’s

The Sounds of The 80’s return.  Check it out every Tuesday at 12pm ET.

Monday 12/28/2020 7pm ET: Across The Tracks

Part III of Tunes with Baby in the Title.

Monday 12/28/2020 4pm ET: Across The Tracks

Part II of Tunes with Baby in The Title

In Memoriam: Tony Rice (1951 – 2020)

David Anthony Rice (June 8, 1951 – December 25, 2020) was an American guitarist and bluegrass musician. He was an influential acoustic guitar player in bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass and flattop acoustic jazz. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Rice’s music spans the range of acoustic from traditional bluegrass to jazz-influenced New Acoustic music to songwriter-oriented folk. Over the course of his career, he played alongside J. D. Crowe and the New South, David Grisman (during the formation of “Dawg Music”) and Jerry Garcia, led his own Tony Rice Unit, collaborated with Norman Blake, recorded with his brothers Wyatt, Ron, and Larry, and co-founded the Bluegrass Album Band. He recorded with drums, piano, soprano sax, as well as with traditional bluegrass instrumentation.

Tony Rice died at his home in Reidsville, North Carolina on December 25, 2020. He died while making his coffee, according to a statement from longtime friend and collaborator Ricky Skaggs.