Dallas Wayne, Lee Ann Womack and Johnny Bush backstage at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Austin, TX.
Thanks to Andy Bush, from Georgia, for his photo of Johnny Bush and Ben Dorcy, who kindly posed for him, at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic Saturday. Nice to meet you, Andy!
Andy said this about the show:
“The 3rd song (actually 2nd of the three) they sung together was “Reasons to Quit.” What a thrill it was to stand there a few feet from the stage and watch my favorite two singers together. I’ve seen them both dozens of times, but together only once before on the “Last of the Breed” tour. This was my first picnic and I got to meet Linda Banks to boot!
One funny thing that happened during their set together took place during “Poncho and Lefty.” Willie is so used to singing the song by himself every show now (I believe in the old days, Jody Payne sang Merle’s lines with him), he just went ahead and sang Merle’s line. Figuring out what he’d done, he just looked over at Merle and gave that priceless Willie Nelson smile. They laughed it off, no egos, just two class acts.
God thank you for such a great day!”
Andy and I took a selfie, too.
Johnny Bush was at Willie Nelson’s first 4th of July Celebration — and he will be there Saturday, July 4th, 2015 in Austin.
by David Scarlett
Johnny Bush’s career as a solo artist was taking off in the early ’70s when he came to a disc jockey convention in Nashville to sign a deal with RCA records. That’s where the Texas native met RCA executive Jerry Bradley, who planted the seed for “Whiskey River,” a song that would blossom into one of the best-loved — and most recorded — in all of country music.
At the time, Johnny had already experienced sucess with a series of hits including, “You Gave Me a Mountain” and “My CUp Runneth Over.” Still, Jerry wanted him to write a very special song.
Johnny picks up the story.
“Jerry told me, ‘Johnny, what we’ve got to do now is, you’ve gotta write a hit.’ And I said, ‘Jerry, with all the songwriters in Nashville — Harlan Howard, Willie Nelson, Hank Cochran, Bill Anderson and people like that we can draw from — you want me to write the song?.”
But Jerry knew Johnny had a hit in him, and put the ball back in Johnny’s court.
“On my way back to Texas from Nashville,” continues Johnny, “I was on my tour bus and when I woke up in Texarkana, I had the idea about ‘Whiskey River.’ And by the time I got home, I had it written.”
Johnny’s recording of the song went on to becoem a Top 15 hit, but his longtime Texas buddy, Willie Nelson, recorded it and made it a huge hit in 1978 — and his signature tune. In fact, Willie has recorded the song over twenty times.
And it’s a good thing. The royalty checks from the song helped sustain Johnny through some lean years that resulted from a rare vocal disorder.
“I’d jsut released ‘Whiskey River’ and it was climbing the charts when it struck,” he recalls. As a result, Johnny’s career took a serious downturn and it would be years before his vocal problem was correctly diagnosed and treated. Now he’s got a new album, Green Snake, and is back working as many dates as he wants to.
But ‘Whiskey River’ and his pal, Willie, were always there for him. Willie even joined Trick Pony in recording the tune for the group’s upcoming album.
“I just hope it makes the cut,” says Johnny modestly. “You know a lot of time songs are recorded that never make it onto the album.”
Don’t worry Johnny. It’ll be there.
— David Scarlett
Thanks to Sue Mayfield Geiger, for sending along the video. Check out her website here:
photo credit: www.txmusicgroup.com
The “Country Caruso” Johnny Bush celebrates his new album “Reflections” by looking back over his impressive 60-plus year music career, including tales from his days on the road with Willie Nelson and, in this extensive two-hour interview with Dallas Wayne airing over Labor Day Weekend: Saturday 8/31 Noon ET; Sunday 9/1 10 am ET and Monday 9/2 3 pm ET.
For information on how you can hear this: www.Sirius.com
The walls of Ernest Tubb Record Store in the Stockyards at Forth Worth are covered with Johnny Bush memorabilia, and the guy working there had stories galore. Besides posters, pictures, records, and posters about his upcoming performances, including Picnic on Thursday, there is a giant photo album full of pictures of Johnny with other artists.
Maybe you noticed, but early news releases and posters about this year’s Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic in Fort Worth had a glaring omission — JOHNNY BUSH!
Just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that he will once again perform at Willie’s Picnic. Willie Nelson’s friendship with Johnny Bush goes back decades, and Johnny has responded to Willie Nelson’s invitation to play at every picnic since Willie started gathering family and friends and fans to celebrate the nation’s birthday in the ’70’s.
Johnny Bush is a fan favorite, can’t wait!
photo credit: www.txmusicgroup.com