Grand Ole Opry Star Jean Shepard Finally To Be Inducted In Country Music Hall of Fame

One of the true legends of the Grand Ole Opry is about to make news this weekend.

On Sunday night, at the age of 77, Jean Shepard, the “Grand Lady of the Grand Ole Opry,” will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  This has taken more time than it should have, and there are all sorts of reasons why.  But all that can be put aside as a true milestone has been reached; one that Jean Shepard truly deserves.

Jean Shepard and your blogger at the Grand Ole Opry

Jean Shepard was the first woman in country music to have a million seller, and made a hit with “A Dear John Letter,”  which was a 1953 duet with Ferlin Husky.  Shepard tells a funny story of how she became aware of her success.

There was a famous moment when that poor girl from Oklahoma first learned she had a hit with”A Dear John Letter,” an event that would change her life. As Ms. Shepherd tells the story, she and her band were heading to Los Angeles for another recording session. “Buck and all of them were saying, ‘Let’s stop and get a Billboard.’ And I thought, ‘What do you want a billboard for?’ This is how dumb I was. I didn’t know it was a magazine. They said they wanted to check after my record. Well, how would you get that off of a billboard, and how are you gonna get it in the car? They stopped and brought in the magazine; Buck threw it in my lap and asked me, ‘So how does it feel to have a No. 1 record?’ And that’s how they told me I had one.”

In the world of country music that strays far from its roots Shepard never leaves the fiddle, steel guitar, or yodeling far behind.  She is one of those musical figures who understands what brought her to the dance, and she has remained faithful all these decades.  Needless to say the fans over the years have remained alongside her, and never stopped applauding.

It was, however, her honesty about country music that might have cost her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame all these many years.  Her words are ones that I strongly echo, and have stated over and over through the years.

If that makes me a pompus ass, as some have alluded to recently over my promotion of the Opry and classic country, so be it.  I stand in good company!

“You know, when the music just started to change, I knew it was changing—and not for the good of country music. When people couldn’t hear Ernest Tubb or Lefty Frizzell on the radio any more, it broke my heart. I may have made some mistakes when I got up and expressed my opinions on stage, and on the air, and if I hurt anybody’s feelings, I’m sorry, but, you know, if the shoe fits—wear it! To me, you don’t have a country band without a steel guitar and a fiddle; if you don’t want them, you ain’t country. I thank God that I came up in the ’50s and ’60s, because I got to work with the greatest people in the world.”

Parents, Not Ronald McDonald, Responsible For Obese Children

I have never witnessed a car driven by a five-year-old, and loaded up with fellow youngsters pull into a McDonalds and order a boatload of greasy burgers, chicken nuggets, and sugar-laced soda.  Never have I seen a youngster pull a wallet from his jeans and pay for the high-calories found in junk food at McDonalds.  In every case of a young person eating crappy food at a fast food restaurant there is a parent two steps away being more than an accomplice, but actually spear-heading the effort.

Yet we are to believe that Ronald McDonald is the culprit in the world of fast food.  It is as if this clown is forcing calories and sugar down the throats of the nation’s youth.

Baloney!

Parents have to take responsibility for their actions when it comes to the dietary needs of their children.  Too often that does not take place.

When grocery shopping I take note of what fresh vegetables and fruits land in shopping carts of my fellow shoppers, as opposed to pre-made, industrialized products.   It is amazing to watch, and more so when a kid is helping mom or dad shop.  Kids need to be taught about the benefits of healthy eating habits.  But as the national statistics prove, that is not the case.  In many cases it seems the parents are as clueless about healthy eating as the kids are.  It truly is sometimes a case of the blind leading the blind.  That is sad to see.

Now I am not trying to say there is no tug and pull that youngsters feel from watching commercials on television.  I also am aware that advertising works.  I also am not saying that fast food can never be enjoyed.  Everything in moderation works out fine.  The problem is when only the worst foods are consumed by children day in, and day out.  When that happens I think it is a form of child abuse.

At the end of the day parents are still in control of the household budget, meal time, and making sure that children get the food they need, not just what they think they want.

As such leave Ronald McDonald alone and concentrate on where the tire meets the road.

At home, around the dinner table, where homemade food and good conversation makes kids understand all the dynamics that come into play when sitting down for a meal.