Willie Nelson, Johnny Gimble, Lukas Nelson, Austin
Archive for the ‘Passings’ Category
This was from a show at Carl’s Corner, Texas, @WilliesPlace. Dandy at the table, with someone I don’t know, I’m sorry, and Janis from Texas and me.
Gwyneth “Dandelion” Seese passed away, after a long illness. Dandy, as many of us fans and friends shortened her name too, was a great friend of Willie Nelson, his family and fans. Fans, historians, archivists, we all have a lot to thank Dandy for. Before the internet and Willie Nelson’s websites, and before FaceBook, that’s how we found out tour schedules, heard about new albums coming out, and saw pictures and read stories of other fans. Her “Willie’s World”, published by her and her niece, were anticipated monthly, by fans around the world:
Willie would send her letters to his fans to publish:
Willie Nelson and family posted this on his website:
Gwyneth “Dandalion” Seese passed away yesterday after a long and painful illness. Fellow country disc jockeys, once Willie and Dandalion they met they hit it off right away. She was also a genuine fan of his music, playing his songs regularly on the air.
Dandy became the first official president of the Willie Nelson Fan Club, and remained with the fan club until her death. She kept thousands of fans in touch with Willie Nelson and Family long before social media made it easy. She was old school; writing articles, reading fan mail and caring about the fans. She typed, cut and pasted all the fan club newsletters and faithfully mailed them out to fans for over 30 years.
Dandalion was loved by many who knew her and she will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
One of my favorite Dandy and Willie Nelson stories is this one she told:
Dandy said that on the day that Selena (famous Texan, “The Queen of Tejano music,”) got shot in 1995, she got a call from Willie.
“Dandy. Willie,” he said, very serious.
“Hi Willie, how are ya?,” Dandy said.
“Dandy, how are you and I doing? We’re doing all right, aren’t we?”
“We’re doin’ fine, Willie. Why?”
“Well, you’re my fan club president, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Well, I just heard Selena’s fan club president shot her, so I wanted to see if you and I were doing okay, or if I needed to worry.”
We lost one of the greats. B B King passsed last night, in Las Vegas. He has been off the road from his tour since April, because of illness. He was 89.
Rest in Peace Johnny Gimble.
We received sad news today. Ira Doyle Nelson, Jr., younger brother of Bobbie and Willie Nelson, passed away today, April 15th, 2015, of natural causes. He was 77 years old.
Doyle spent his life in many transportation related jobs including driving tour busses for folks such as Jon Bon Jovi, Van Halen, John Fogerty and his brother Willie. He spent several years serving transporation needs for the television and film industry.
Doyle was a gentle man, who will be dearly missed.
Doyle is pictured here with Bobbie and Willie Nelson and families.
by: Kevin Curtin
Bill Arhos, the man who built the stage television viewers have experienced Austin music on for over 40 years, died on Saturday afternoon following a long illness. He was 80.
Arhos, a longtime executive at KLRU (formerly KLRN), worked at the public broadcasting station beginning with its local launch in 1961. In the fall of 1974, he created Austin City Limits, whose pilot episode starred Willie Nelson. At the time, a live music show starring hippie musicians from Texas was a left-field concept.
“Back then, stations were education focused and the idea of doing a music show didn’t fit into what public broadcasting could be,” said Terry Lickona, who succeeded Arhos as Austin City Limitsexecutive producer in 1999. “KLRU thought he was crazy.”
Arhos ensured the show’s sustainability by convincing PBS affiliates nationwide to pick up the program and thus fund it year after year. Four decades after the fact, it’s the longest running music show on television. More than simply Arhos’ legacy, it’s Austin’s.
“Bill was a great friend to Austin Music. He loved the music of Texas and created Austin City Limits to showcase it,” says Ray Benson, whose Asleep at the Wheel became ACL’s second taping. “When we met in 1975, I was a young 24-year-old living in South Austin with dozens of other aspiring musicians. Bill recognized the great potential in all of us and created a show that gave us worldwide exposure.”
Lickona describes Arhos, who was from the tiny East Texas town of Teague, as a classic Texan who chewed tobacco, fished, told great stories, and loved country music.
“Bill couldn’t be a guitar-playing country singer, so he lived vicariously through them,” he states.
Arhos’ affinity for Lone Star singer-songwriters like Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt forged Austin City Limits’ identity and remained a guiding creative force throughout his career.
“I couldn’t book a show until he approved,” admits Lickona.
His sense of humor also livened up the workplace. When Austin City Limits archivist (and Chroniclemusic scribe) Michael Toland began working at KLRU 20 years ago in shipping and receiving, Arhos liked to assist with the morning mail call.
“Though he was GM of the station, Bill used to help me put everybody’s mail in the mailboxes,” recalls Toland. “His running joke – and he had a lot of them – was to pick up the envelopes addressed to our development department and say, ‘That’s not a million-dollar check. That’s not a million-dollar check, either.’
“This went on for a couple of years, until I moved up in the organization. I imagine he assisted my successor as well until his retirement.”
That playfulness remained vibrant after his retirement in 1999. When he was inducted into Austin City Limits’ first Hall of Fame class last April alongside Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Darrell Royal, he quipped, “It’s a little intimidating to be in a class of the first inductees [since] three of the four have bronze statues around town!”
“That was a very emotional evening,” Lickona remembers of the April ceremony at Studio 6A, the show’s home before moving downtown to the Moody Theater in 2011. “His health was deteriorating by then and we honestly didn’t know if he would show.”
Two months later, Arhos came to ACL’s new digs for a star-studded 40th anniversary of epic proportions and sat in the front row, no doubt amazed at the cultural phenomenon his creation has become. When Lickona pointed him out, he received a standing ovation.
Bill Arhos will be laid to rest at Texas State Cemetery in a private ceremony. A celebration of his life and influential career is currently being planned. Maybe he’ll even get a bronze statue.
picture credit: www.statesman.com
Still hard to believe, we lost Poodie Locke five years today, and he is still missed, every day.
Mickey Raphael, Mark Rothbaum, Poodie Locke
photo: Cathy Cunningham
Thanks to Margie Lemon, for sharing this picture she took of Poodie at Farm Aid II, in Austin, in 1986. Margie and her family and business continue to support www.FarmAid.org.
Poodie and Chris Nelsen. Grand Rapids, Michigan-1982.
Jason Hardison has written a tribute to Poodie Locke that appears in the Summer 2009 Texas Monthly.
Johnny Knoxville posted this at his site www.jackassworld.com
I had a good friend pass away yesterday. Poodie Locke, Willie Nelson’s stage manager for 34 years, died of a heart attack Wednesday in Briarcliff, Texas. I kept this photo of me and him by my bed up until I moved into our new house. He used to laugh and tell people, “Knoxville keeps a picture of me next to his nightstand.” It was true. He was a tequila swiggin’ big, round, bear of a man and he was as sweet as they come. Poodie was just funny as all hell, too, and the best dancer I ever saw. My cousin Roger Alan Wade and I once had him on our radio show, The Big Ass Happy Family Jubilee, and you can listen to that below.
Most memorably, Poodie was never in bad spirits. I mean, don’t get me wrong, ol’ Poodie was usually in the spirits (and I was right there with him), but he was always positive, always smilin’. “Waco Texas’s Prettiest Baby of 1952? was full of good advice, too. One time, he sagely told me, “It’s alright to step on your dick, Knox, just don’t stand on it.” At his restaurant, Poodie’s Hilltop Bar and Grill in Spicewood, Texas, he put a sign up at the door that said, “There are no bad days.” When Poodie was around there sure wasn’t, but now that he’s passed on I think today is going to be kinda rough.
I love you, Poodie. Rest in peace, buddy.
Steve Fromholz, Farm Aid (7/4/1986) (Austin, TX)
According to Steven’s sister Angela, there will be a short, graveside service at Ft. McKavett Cemetery at Ft. McKavett, Texas at 2:00 p.m. this Friday, January 24th. It is not a private ceremony, and the family welcomes and those who wish to attend. Ft. McKavett is about 22 miles from Menard, TX. There will be a small reception at the McKavett Fire Station which adjoins the cemetery after the services.
Steven Fromholz, a gifted and esteemed songwriter who was named poet laureate of Texas in 2007, has died, according to his family. He was 68.
Fromholz’s “I’d Have to Be Crazy,” which was covered by Willie Nelson, was probably his best-known work, though “Texas Trilogy” – an epic narrative centered around central Texas Bosque County – was his career-defining piece, a richly detailed and characterized trio of songs (“Daybreak,” “Train Ride” and “Bosque County Romance”) that was covered by his admirer Lyle Lovett Lovett, who called Fromholz a “friend and teacher,” said “Texas Trilogy” “isn’t a song, it’s a transcendent Texas bible, a local setting with universal meaning.”
“Steven Fromholz and his work will be remembered, enjoyed and studied as music and literature forever,” Lovett said. “His insight into human nature was equaled only by his ability to write about it in such detail that he made his listeners feel as if they were standing in the shoes of his characters, seeing what they saw, feeling what they felt.”
Fromholz was born in Temple. He attended North Texas State before joining the Navy. After his discharge he headed to California, where he started writing poetry and fell under the spell of folk music in the ’60s, which is when he formed the duo Frummox with Dan McCrimmon in Colorado. The duo recorded one little-heard album called “Here to There,” which was released in the late ’60s. It included Fromholz’s enduring “Texas Trilogy.”
After a pair of albums, the duo split, and Fromholz began recording as a solo artist. In addition to his work as a songwriter, Fromholz became a beloved river guide in Big Bend, where his gift for storytelling made him a popular navigator.
He drew renewed attention in 1998 when Lovett covered “Texas Trilogy” as well as Fromholz’s playful “Bears.”
Fromholz suffered a severe stroke in 2003, which pulled him away from the stage for several years. But he recovered and continued to write, record and perform until the end of his life.
By Lou Antonelli
Hundreds of people – including colleagues from the music industry – crowded the First Baptist Church for a memorial service Saturday afternoon honoring County Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price.
Price died Monday in hospice care Dec. 16 after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 87.
Pastor Clint Davis noted the large number of people who were willing to brave the cold, wet weather to attend the memorial.
The event, noted Davis, was to “celebrate a life well lived on this very sad and special day.”
“He left a deep and indelible imprint on our culture,” added Davis.
Long-time country radio personality Bill Mack of Fort Worth, who knew Price for 60 years, said he asked him many years ago why he settled down in Mount Pleasant.
He said Price told him, “It’s a pleasant town, how do you think it got that name?”
Mack brought greetings from Willie Nelson, who had called him that morning. He said Nelson told him to say “Without a Ray Price, there wouldn’t have been a Willie Nelson.”
Nelson noted Price gave him his first big break when he was hired to play bass in Price’s band, The Cherokee Cowboys, after Don Young (whose stage name was Johnny Paycheck) quit.
“He asked me, ‘Can you play bass?’” wrote Nelson. “I said, ‘Who can’t play bass?”
“Well, he found out I can’t play bass,” said Mack as he finished Nelson’s anecdote.
Mack spoke of his long and deep friendship with Price, who made him his official spokesman. “He was a marvelous pal, just a good man to be around.”
Mack as well as the other eulogists praised Price as down-to-earth. “He never seemed to realize he was a start, he just knew people liked to hear him sing.”
The interludes in the memorial service were filled by a country music quartet playing songs such as “In the Garden”, “Danny Boy” and “Let’s Make a Memory Today” – all Price songs – on a stage before a large display of poinsettias, floral tributes, and photos of Price and his wife of 45 years, Janie.
Eddie Stubbs, a radio host with the Grand Ole Opry, came from Nashville to offer condolences from the county music industry.
“He was as good as any of his contemporaries,” said Stubbs, “and no one was his superior.”
Price was responsible for the last major musical innovation in classic country music, the 4/4 shuffling beat, noted Stubbs.
Over his 65 year career, Price earned the respect of his colleagues by constantly perfecting his craft, said Stubbs. “As a result, his voice is just as fresh today as it was 65 years ago.”
Mack agreed that Price retained his vocal skills until the end, “He just got better as time went by.” His last album is yet to be released.
Both Mack and Stubbs spoke of Price’s deep religious faith. Mack pointed out that both Faron Young and Marty Robbins has died in December, and he added – somewhat choked up – that perhaps Jesus brought him home to heaven “to sing for him on his birthday.”
Stubbs added that Price’s religious conviction was quiet but sincere, and mentioned that one time he learned Price supported a charity that helped elderly Jews immigrate to Israel from Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Stubbs said he expressed some surprise at Price’s support of a Jewish charity. He said Price’s opinion was that more Christians should feel the same way, “I plan on spending eternity with one of them.”
“Ray Price was just a country boy who spent a third of his life in Mount Pleasant, but was known around the world” said Stubbs.
Another eulogist, Dallas Wayne – the Sirius XM radio DJ for the country channel Willie’s Roadhouse – said Price was a gentleman off the stage as well as on, possessing “heart and soul, grace, dignity, elegance and character.”
He credited Price’s music for drawing him to his career. “He had that kind of voice that sang from the heart, you know he put his heart and soul into his music.”
A natural gentleman, Wayne said – reflecting on his given first name – “He was the epitome of the word “noble”.
Other speakers included Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass – a member of the extended Price family – and former District Judge Lanny Ramsay of Mount Vernon, who got to know Price as he prepared his will.
Bass said Price was the same as a family member as he was in public, “he was a very umble man and down to earth.”
Ramsay said Price never stopped being a gentleman, and even in his last days, when they were discussing his estate, he apologized as he had to blot his nose because of an oxygen tube.
Price lived in Mount Pleasant for 31 years; he was born in Wood County, in the small community of Peach outside Perryville.
The benediction at the end of the service was given by Shiles Hubbell, chaplain of the Cypress Basin Hospice, which cared for Price at the end of his life.
A funeral is planned for Dec. 28 in Dallas by the Restland Funeral Home.
by: Calvin Gilbert
When Ray Price died Monday (Dec. 16), the world lost one of the greatest singers in the history of country music — or any other genre, for that matter. Aside from his smooth, effortless vocal style, his greatest talent was recognizing a great song when he heard it.
The world eventually came to understand the magic created by songwriters such as Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, Bill Anderson, Roger Miller, Mel Tillis, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Price identified it immediately, recording “Heartaches by the Number,” “Night Life,” “For the Good Times” and other songs that became country music standards.
Price recorded for several labels during his lengthy career, but his work for Columbia Records serves as the cornerstone of his discography. For those wanting a solid introduction, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings imprint offers The Essential Ray Price, a two-CD set containing 40 tracks. Legacy’s 16 Biggest Hits package features a basic overview of his key Columbia tracks. Completists — or fans with plenty of disposable income — might consider The Honky Tonk Years 1950-1966, a 10-CD set released by the Bear Family Records, a German label.
In assessing Price’s vast catalog of recordings, a list of 10 definitive hits only scratches the surface, but here’s a quick recap of some of his most memorable recordings:
“Release Me” (1954)
Price first appeared on the country chart in 1952 with “Talk to Your Heart” and scored two additional Top 10 singles before recording “Release Me,” a song written by Eddie Miller and William Stevenson. The musical influence of Hank Williams was still firmly intact, and “Release Me” became a classic. By the ’70s, it had been recorded more than 200 times, including crooner Engelbert Humperdinck’s version which became an international pop hit in 1967.
“Crazy Arms” (1956)
With its shuffle beat, “Crazy Arms” spent 20 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s country songs chart and essentially defined Price’s early sound. The song was written by Ralph Mooney, a steel guitarist who later spent many years playing in Merle Haggard’s band, and Chuck Seals.
“My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You” (1957)
Texas swing legend Bob Wills had a profound influence on Price and his Cherokee Cowboys band, so it’s somehow appropriate that Price’s second No. 1 single was written by Wills and Lee Ross. It remained at the top of the country chart for four weeks.
“City Lights” (1958)
In addition to being Price’s third single to top the chart — a position it retained for 13 weeks — “City Lights” also launched the career of songwriter Anderson, another future member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“Invitation to the Blues” (1958)
Long before Roger Miller became a superstar in the ’60s with hits such as “Dang Me” and “King of the Road,” he was a member of Price’s band. Originally recorded by Rex Allen, Miller convinced his boss to record it, too. Price’s version was on the flip side of “City Lights” and peaked at No. 3.
“Heartaches by the Number” (1959)
Oddly enough, one of Price’s signature songs didn’t top the country chart, but it made it to No. 2 and helped establish Howard’s songwriting career. Price didn’t reap the rewards of a crossover hit, unfortunately. Guy Mitchell’s cover version spent two weeks at No. 1 on the pop chart later in 1959.
“Heart Over Mind” (1961)
Although Tillis was already enjoying success as a songwriter, Price’s recording of “Heart Over Mind” came two years before Bobby Bare released Tillis’ classic “Detroit City.” It’s another shuffle song with the fiddles kicking things off through a by-then familiar riff.
“Night Life” (1963)
At this point, “Night Life” is widely identified as a staple of the original song medley Nelson performs during the opening segments of his concerts. Even late in his career, it remained one of Price’s signature songs, too, even though the single only peaked at No. 28 on the country chart.
“Danny Boy” (1967)
With somber lyrics set to the tune of the Irish folk song, “Danny Boy” was a departure from the other country music on the radio in the mid-60s. Even though Price had already started moving to a more polished sound, the lush orchestration turned out to be an indication of the musical direction that led to his biggest hit, “For the Good Times.”
“For the Good Times” (1970)
The recording of the Kristofferson song was a defining moment for Price. With a shimmering violin section backing him, “For the Good Times” hit No. 1 on the country chart and No. 11 on the pop chart. The success resulted in a wider audience and more opportunities for appearances on national TV shows. He continued the direction with three subsequent No. 1 country hits — “I Won’t Mention It Again” (1971), “She’s Got to Be a Saint” (1972) and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (1973).
Lou Reed, Farm Aid 2015