Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jack Blanchard's Column - January 15, 2019



  Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.





RAILROAD DAYS

A long time ago
we were on our way to do a national television show
from the PBS main studio in Pittsburgh,
and then to a Nashville recording session.
Tennessee Birdwalk had become a surprise hit.
Sometimes life can be good.

The porter showed us to our compartment and stowed our luggage.
Orlando was sliding away past our windows,
so we settled down, propped our feet on our suitcases,
and waited for snow.

An official voice over the PA system:
"You're invited to the dining car for the hospitality hour",
Free coffee and orange juice".
Misty said, "Let's live a little",
and we staggered forward with the sway of the train.
Passing through the club car, the train rounded a curve,
and Misty sat on an elderly man's lap.
His wife said, "Well, I never" and glared out the window at nothing.
She failed to see the humor in it.

The best part of the dining car
is watching the scenery fly by in sunset colors.
Telephone poles tick away the time,
and up ahead the train whistle adds to the adventure.
At every road and city street, cars are lined up
waiting for us to pass by.
Make way for the train, the biggest thing that moves on land!

We stayed awake most of that night
wiping our breath steam from the train window,
and watching the sparkling towns and moonlit woodlands
fall away behind us.

Washington DC was having a brisk morning
as we left our luxury train
and boarded a coach bound for Pittsburgh,
which wove slowly through the gray land Appalachia.
There were untidy traces of leftover winter,
dingy crusts of snow and slush.

Smoky air had left its film on town and country alike,
dulling the colors.
Trees, houses, factories, cars, dogs, cats, grass, and people
all blend to a drab tannish gray.

Men in work clothes stand in the cold rain
waiting for the train to take them home after another hard day.

A pregnant woman
struggles to get a baby carriage over the curbside slush pile
without dropping her bag of groceries.
Clothes are functional.
No time for style.

A gang of workmen lined up in the aisle waiting to get off,
whisper and snicker at our haircut and clothes.
We must seem outlandish to them.
Misty and I smile at each other, taking no offense.
The train stops and they file off,
lunch boxes under their arms,
heads bowed against the gray rain,
each seeking out the dreary street that leads home.

The train was owned by The Baltimore and Ohio/Chesapeake
and Ohio Railroad,
and the train staff was proud of it:
R.G. Whitling, Conductor; L. Boone, Flagman,
and E.A. Popp, Baggageman.
Their hospitality brought color back to this leg of the journey.
Nature soon followed suit, producing a beautiful rocky river
that wandered for miles through scenic hill country.

Journeys can remain
after destinations fade from memory.



Jack Blanchard





Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists


© Jack Blanchard, 2019









Monday, January 7, 2019

Jack Blanchard's Column January 7, 2019


Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers



SOME MUSIC MEMORIES

We were doing a Southern tour with Leroy van Dyke,
and at one place they didn't have enough electricity to run to the flatbed for our show.
Leroy offered to let us plug in to his bus generator.
It worked fine. People share on the road.
Merle Haggard used our PA system when his wasn't working. 

Walt Disney World put on a Country Cavalcade.
The three acts were in three sections of the park and we alternated show times,
so the crowd would move from one stage to the next to see all the shows.
Roy Clark was at the front by the castle.
Hank Williams, Jr. was at the opposite end of the Park,
and Misty and I and our band set up in the center near the big merry-go-round.
Our section was called Vanity Fair.
It was a great day to be in show business.

We got some celebrities in our club in Orlando.
Roni Stoneman would come in and play her banjo with us.
One night she finished an amazing solo and the audience stood and cheered.
She said, "I bet you thought I was just a pretty face."

Fabian was in the audience a lot, always with a good looking date.
He didn't sing, but we'd sit and talk with him.

The first time Ferlin Husky came in he sat at a corner table to the right of our stage.
We loved Ferlin. He was such a classy guy.
When we introduced him to the crowd he stood up
and almost knocked himself out on a TV platform over his head.
We felt bad about it.

In the 1970s we did "The Three Couples Tour":
with Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely, George Jones and Tammy Wynette,
and Misty Morgan and me.
Good times.


Jack Blanchard.


© 1/5/2019.


 
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Home Page:
http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists



© Jack Blanchard, 2019.




Monday, December 31, 2018

Jack Blanchard's Column Being Alive December 31, 2018



  Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

BEING ALIVE

For some people the world changes so slowly they hardly notice it.
Things happen on a small familiar set, like a stage play.
For others of us,
our horizons have grown so far apart it's hard to get our bearings.
If I ever do get back to my old neighborhood
I'm sure I'll run into a guy I used to know
for whom nothing much has changed.

Reality is fluid. The scenery of life changes constantly.
There is only one thing we can depend on,
and that's the thing we fear most: Change.
Relationships change, that's for sure.
If we're lucky they change into something better...
different, but better.

Misty is my full time family.
After all these years we still have lots to talk about,
and we make each other laugh..
Our occasional arguments last only minutes.

We were in a bad hurricane in Miami in the 60's
The metal posts holding our carport were banging up and down
in the 135 mph wind.
A guy on the radio yelled "Holy crap! The back door just blew off!"
I said, "Isn't he supposed to cheer US up?"

I was sitting by the window listening to the sound of emptiness.
This is not like listening to no sound at all,
because the sound of emptiness contains
all the things you hoped would be in it,
and all the sounds that once were.

ROGER MILLER. Roger Miller walked in on our session at Columbia.
I stopped everything and went to meet him.
I put my hand out and was going to say "I'm a fan of yours."
Before I could, he said "I'm a fan of yours."
A high spot of my life.

My grammar school was pretty strict,
but they gave us education on par with today's colleges.
In seventh and eighth grades all us boys had to wear ties.
The result was grotesque but funny.
The most popular style was this:
A blue flannel checkered lumberjack shirt
and a bright red rayon clip-on tie with a picture of Popeye on it.

Make the days a little longer.
I don't know where the time has flown.
Lord, I'm having such a good time,
I don't want to go home.

Jack Blanchard


Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.  

 

© Jack Blanchard, 2018






Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas From Jack And Misty



From: Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan 
Date: Sun, Dec 23, 2018, 5:13 PM
Subject: A Christmas card from Jack and Misty...
To: ALL









                              




Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Is A Time...JACK BLANCHARD'S COLUMN- December 21, 2018





  Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

CHRISTMAS IS A TIME

Christmas is a time of sad happiness.
Bar rooms are lined with the lonely,
clinging to each other... like family.

Bartenders are parent images.
Displaced Yankees dream of gently falling snow
that never turns to slush,
and wandering romeos often come home,
at least temporarily.

Telephone wires hum with long distance calls
between people who care about each other more in December,
which is better than not caring at all.

After-shave lotion is unwrapped with oohs and ahs,
toys are getting ready to be broken,
and puppies inhabit stockings.

Trees are always the most beautiful ever
if you just turn the bare side to the wall,
and eggs flow like nog.

Roaring hearths and good fellowship are for the very lucky,
but some will settle for a bag of groceries.

For certain people, this will be the first Christmas,
for others... the last.

"Merry Christmas" will be said in shacks,
castles, prisons, airplanes, battlefronts,
and churches.

No matter what we say is wrong with it,
Christmas is a time when many people are a little nicer...
and that's something.

Jack Blanchard




Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.








Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Pair Of Christmas Shoes - Jack Blanchard's Column December 12, 2018



  Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers

A PAIR OF CHRISTMAS SHOES






A long time ago Misty and I took a holiday season job in a Miami
department store in a poor neighborhood.
She was the photographer who snapped and sold the pictures of the
children on Santa's lap. I was Santa.
The Santa suit and the whiskers were hot,
but it was an unforgettable experience.

Little poor kids would tell me their dreams,
which I knew could not come true for them, at least this year,
but they had faith in Santa,
and even a "maybe" from me made their eyes sparkle.
Somehow, I felt guilty.

One little boy asked me how come Santa Claus is white.
I told him I hoped he wouldn't hold that against me,
and he assured me he wouldn't.

There were always a few raggedy strays
wandering around the toy department,
giggling and touching all the magical things
that would soon belong to someone else.

Some of them laughed and pointed at me, but never came too close.
Others showed off to their pals by climbing right up on my lap,
as if they weren't scared at all.

One little girl, dressed in filthy rags, was too small to climb up on my knee,
so I lifted her up. She weighed nothing.
I wondered if she was old enough to talk, as she just smiled at me.

Obviously, she was alone and uncared-for.
I asked her where her mommy and daddy were and she said, "Drunk".
Then she confessed her love for me.

I asked her what she really wanted most for Christmas,
and she lisped, "New shoes".
She wasn't wearing any this winter.
"Merry Christmas! Ho-Ho -Ho", I choked,
as she climbed down to be replaced by the next in line.

When business tapered off I searched the whole store for the little girl,
to buy her a pair of new shoes, but I was too late.
She had disappeared and I never saw her again,
except in my mind every Christmas.

Jack Blanchard


Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists. 

© Jack Blanchard, 2018.  





Tuesday, December 11, 2018

This Day in Country Music History...December 11, 2018 Willie Nelson recorded tracks for his forthcoming album Stardust. Produced by Booker T. Jones,+ others)

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November 11th: On this day



1935
Born on this day, was Tom Brumley, American steel guitarist who played with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos in the 1960s, contributing to the group's "Bakersfield sound", and later spent a decade with Rick Nelson. Brumley died on February 3, 2009.

1944
Born on this day in Atlanta, Georgia, was Brenda Lee. At 4 ft. 9 inches tall (approximately 145 cm), she received the nickname 'Little Miss Dynamite' in 1957 after recording the song "Dynamite"; and was one of the earliest pop stars to have a major contemporary international following. In 1997, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.



1946
After signing a deal with Sterling Records, during his first recording session, Hank Williams recorded the songs "Wealth Won't Save Your Soul", "Calling You", "Never Again", and "When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels." 

1949
American old-time fiddler and an early-recorded country musician Fiddlin' John Carson died aged 81. He wrote more than 150 songs in his life but only nine were ever copyrighted which led to several copyright issues with both Okeh Records and other musicians during his active career.

1977
Willie Nelson recorded tracks for his forthcoming album Stardust. Produced by Booker T. Jones, all the songs on the album consist entirely of pop standards that Nelson picked from among his favorites. Executives of Columbia Records were not convinced that the album would sell well, because the project was a radical departure from his earlier success in the outlaw movement. When released, Stardust was on Billboard'sCountry Album charts for ten years - from its release until 1988.

2006
Oprah Winfrey held an iTunes concert featuring Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, and Tony Bennett. Carrie Underwood performed "Jesus, Take the Wheel."

Daily Inspiration for Today... December 11, 2018...(Food for Thought)

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Inspiration for Today

  

Today's Verse:

               ( John 1:1:4 ) 

The Word of Life

      The Word became a human being, full of grace and truth, loved among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father's only Son.

Visit "Country Chapel Service" for a 
spiritual experience every Sunday 

Monday, December 10, 2018

This Day in Country Music History...December 10, 2018 (Garth Brooks was at #1 on the US country album chart + others)

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November 10th: On this day


1927
The phrase 'Grand Ole Opry' was first uttered on-air. That night Barn Dance followed the NBC Red Network's Music Appreciation Hour, a program of classical music and selections from Grand Opera presented by classical conductor Walter Damrosch. That night, Damrosch remarked that “there is no place in the classics for realism,” In response, Opry presenter George Hay said: "Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'."

1949
Billboard launched a "Country & Western Records Most Played by Folk Disk Jockeys" chart - the first chart ever to track a song's popularity by radio airplay. The first #1 song on the new chart was "Mule Train" by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

1951
Born on this day in Sabinal, Texas, was Johnny Rodriguez who became the first famous Latin American country music singer, infusing his music with Latin sounds. He had the 1973 US #1 County hit “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me.”

1970
Born on this day in Redding, California, was Kevin Sharp country music artist and author who made his debut on the country music scene in 1997 with a cover of R&B artist Tony Rich's single "Nobody Knows", a cover which topped the Billboard country charts for four weeks. Sharp died on 19th April 2014 after a long-running and high-profile battle with cancer.

1990
Garth Brooks was at #1 on the US country album chart with his second studio album, No Fences. The album remains Brooks' best-seller to date with 17 million copies sold in the US alone.

1996
Faron Young, American singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s shot himself after apparently being depressed that the music industry had turned its back on him. He died in Nashville the following day. His hits included "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" and "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young." His ashes were spread by his family over Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville at Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's home while the Cashes were away.

Daily Inspiration for Today... December 10, 2018...(Food for Thought)

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Inspiration for Today

  

Today's Verse:

               ( John 1:1:4 ){b}


The Word of Life

      The Word became a human being, full of grace and truth, loved among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father's only Son.

Visit "Country Chapel Service" for a 
spiritual experience every Sunday