Country music legend Merle Haggard. Haggard has been on the country music scene since the early sixties and has more number one hits than any country music star except Conway Twitty. Recently two tribute albums of the songs of Merle Haggard were released: Mama's Hungry Eyes and Tulare Dust. Haggard was also recently inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. (On 4/6/1994 we boradcast a short interview with Haggard. Today's interview is the longer version.)
Country music star, George Jones. He's widely acclaimed as one of the greatest country singers, but his 40-year career has also been marked by alcohol and drug abuse. He recently published his autobiography, "I Lived to Tell it All" (Villard, New York).
Music legend Johnny Cash. Cash has been recording albums and performing since the 1950's. Representing Cash's varied musical styles, he has been inducted into the Songwriters, Country Music, and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. He's just released an autobiography called "Cash" (Harper) The book tour for the memoir has been cancelled due to complications with Cash's Parkinson's disease.
We remember singer June Carter Cash, who died Thursday at the age of 73. She was a Grammy-award winning singer, a songwriter, musician, actress and author. She was married to the legendary Johnny Cash, and she came from the Carter Family, the country music pioneers. June Carter Cash died of complications from heart surgery. (Original airdate: June 18, 1987.)
When Cash was 18, her father (you know him as Johnny) presented her with a gift: a list of 100 essential country songs to help the budding singer-songwriter connect with and better understand the music that came before her. After holding on to it for the past few decades, Roseanne Cash decided to turn that gift into The List, her new album.
The Grammy-winning country-music fiddler is still recording new tracks 70 years after he picked up his first instrument. Gimble's new album, Playing With Friends, features Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Garrison Keillor.
Born in 1937 in Littlefield, Texas, Jennings was a disc jockey at 14, and had already formed his own band at the age of 12, making guest appearances on local station KDAV's "Sunday Party," where he met Buddy Holly in 1955. Jennings became Holly's bass player. It was Jennings who gave his seat up to the Big Bopper on the plane which crashed later killing Buddy Holly.
Country music singer and songwriter Willie Nelson has written a new book, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart. Nelson has been performing for over 50 years. He's recorded 250 albums and appeared in 25 films. He's also the author of a number of books, including the best-sellers Willie and The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes.
Singer Emmylou Harris. She’s been making records for over 30 years with music that transcends the country-genre she started with, encompassing folk, rock, and pop. After decades of performing others’ songs, she has a new album of her own songs “Red Dirt Girl” (Nonesuch). She wrote 11 of the 12 songs on the CD. “Red Dirt Girl” will be released September 12. It’s her first solo album since her 1995 “Wrecking Ball” record. (THIS INTERVIEW CONTINUES INTO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHOW).
She made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in 1959. Since then shes written thousands of songs, including the hits Coat of Many Colors, Jolene, and I Will Always Love You. And shes had hits on both the country and pop charts. Parton wrote her autobiography in 1994, My Life and Other Unfinished Business. Her new all-accoustic CD is Little Sparrow
Earl Scruggs, who turned 80 on Jan. 6, originated the staccato three-finger, five-string banjo technique that became known as the "Scruggs style." He got his start playing with Bill Monroe's band in the 1940s, and then teamed up with guitarist Lester Flatt (fronting The Foggy Mountain Boys). The two penned and recorded the tune "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" which was used on the Bonnie and Clyde film soundtrack and was one of the first crossover hits of the genre.
In the 1950's, Louvin and his brother Ira were were regulars at the Grand Olde Opry. Ira was later killed in a car accident. Charlie has recently re-recorded many of their hits, which are featured on his new CD "The Longest Train."
Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s "Resistance" podcast explores different aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement. The podcast has been mostly devoted to the protests that started last summer after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but it also chronicles Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s personal history.
The story of the Sackler dynasty--the family that owns Purdue Pharma, which created oxycontin, the drug marketed to relieve acute and chronic pain, that played a major role in creating the opioid epidemic. Patrick Radden Keefe's new book is Empire of Pain. It’s based in part on leaked documents and private emails that reveal the Sacklers knew about how addictive oxycontin is--before they admitted it, and they used deceptive practices to keep selling more of the drug.