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Comments Impress This Blogger

April 28, 2007

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Opry Legend Jean Shepard and ‘Dekerivers’

I only write about things here that interest me, but am never sure what will ‘sell’ until my readers react. So when my post this week about ageism on the Grand Ole Opry generated over 400 hits, and many heartfelt comments, I knew I had connected with my readers.  While current events and politics dominate my posts I also add other topics that are the spice of my life.  After a major Nashville blogger recommended my Opry post not only did the readers show up, but many left comments that impressed me.  I offer a sampling.

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I have been a drummer for many years. I used to appear on the “Opry”, with many of the people named above. Now, when my name is mentioned, a lot of the current “stars” say….JIM WHO? It’s tough being a “side man”, in the present state of things. Here’s hoping things change for the better soon!

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Wonder what Hank and Lefty would have to say about “demographics.” I don’t want to hear songs about love and loss from someone in a Guns’n Roses T-shirt who just lost their pet turtle or skinned their knee falling off their bicycle. Gaylord neither knows nor cares about the legacy of Nashville’s once-great country music community, it’s all about the money and Gaylord’s pimps don’t give a damn how they get it or who gets hurt in the process.

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I personally have not yet been to the Grand Ole Opry…It is one of my dreams yet to be fulfilled, but let me tell you, that when I see the show on TV, it just isn’t the same when you see all the new age groups of country singers…Just like the rest of us TRUE “COUNTRY” fans, I most love to see shows with LORETTA LYNN, GEORGE JONES, DOLLY PARTON, and all of the LEGENDS…after all, isn’t that where the Grand Ole Opry began?

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As a “Western” music performer, I primarily appear at concerts, dinner shows and Cowboy Poetry/Entertainer Gatherings all around the Northwest. I even do a few bar-gigs once in a while. And, a prevelant opinion from my audience is that shown here…REAL country Music seems to be gone. What is left is music that appeals more to the City ideas of what Country is. Most of what I hear today seems to be along the lines of what we called “soft rock” when I was a kid.

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What’s happening to the great stars of the Grand Ole Opry is a travesty. I’m a DJ (in my 60’s) on a classic radio station in Lewiston, Idaho. In the past couple of years I have had the great pleasure to meet some these performers at the Casino in Worley, Idaho. Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jean Sheppard, Stonewall Jackson, Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Bobby Wright, Tommy Cash, Doug Kershaw and Ralph Emery. Let me tell you, these are the friendliest, most talented and down to earth people you would ever want to meet.  These people paved the way for the “so called” country entertainers of today. To be given crumbs by the Opry when they should be in the forefront until those new country entertainers earn their way on that stage is an absolute slap in the face!

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