october 2009

Charlie Daniels: Ho-ho-ho, who wouldn’t go?

A Right Jolly Old Elf, Charlie Daniels Brings Christmas To Kids Again

Charlie Daniels is revving up his annual Christmas For Kids Concert for November 23 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. This year he’ll be joined by Gretchen Wilson and Phil Vassar, among others to be announced later. The Charity event raises money for the Christmas For Kids, Inc. organization. Tickets for the best available seating may be obtained by visiting www.Christmas4kids.org. Other reserved seating will be available  October 26th through any Ticketmaster Outlet, or through www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

The Christmas For Kids Organization has been in existence for over 25 years providing special children the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season. Each year, the organization brings the spirit of Christmas to hundreds of children throughout Middle Tennessee, allowing them to participate in festive activities organized just for them. Other events like the Tour Bus Show raise money by allowing visitors to tour the home-away-from-home of more than 60 stars. Fans may actually meet many of the artists who bring their buses to the Hendersonville Wal-Mart from 5-9 p.m. The date for the Tour Bus Show is Monday, December 14.

Funds generated by the Concert and The Tour Bus Show are used to treat children from 28 different schools, a total of 400 children, to a day-long excursion. The special day consists of a chauffeured trip from their school aboard an entertainer's luxury tour bus, lunch and a party hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus at College Heights Baptist Church, and finally a trip to the Hendersonville, TN, Wal-Mart where they are accompanied by a volunteer to participate in their very own Christmas shopping spree.

The Christmas For Kids Concert is sponsored in part by 95.5 The Wolf, the Sumner County office of Bob Parks Realty, and coach manufacturer, Prevost Car Inc.

Barbara Mandrell Inducted Into Steel Guitar Hall of Fame

Barbara Mandrell became the first woman to be inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame at the International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis, MO on September 5. Known as the "Sweetheart of the Steel," Mandrell was a multi-instrumentalist by the time she was 10. Her work on steel guitar while touring with Patsy Cline led the legendary vocalist to extol Mandrell in a letter to a friend back home as “a 13 year old blonde doll that plays the steel guitar out of this world! What a show woman!” Also at 13 she toured with both Johnny Cash and George Jones. Her first Billboard chart him came in 1969, with a remake of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” produced by Billy Sherrill. After moving to ABC/Dot in 1975 and working with producer Tom Collins, she began appearing regularly in the Top 40; in 1978 she hit Number One for the first time with “Sleeping Single In a Double Bed.” Her signature song is one of her 1981 Number Ones, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” which is also the title of a 2006 tribute album featuring her most famous songs as performed by Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney & Reba McEntire, Lorrie Morgan, Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Sara Evans and others. Her NBC variety show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, drew nearly 40 million viewers weekly and expanded country music’s audience in the early 1980s (it ran from 1980 to 1982). In May, Mandrell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She is the only female artist in country music history to win the CMA’s “Entertainer of the Year” (1980 and 1981) award twice, and she has also been named CMA “Female Vocalist of the Year” twice (1979 and 1980). All told she earned over 75 major awards, including ACM Top Female Country Music Vocalist (1980 and 1986), NARAS Grammy Award for the Best Inspirational Performance (1983), Dove Award for Gospel Album of the Year (1983), a Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance (1984) and nine People's Choice Awards (1983-1987). Her autobiography, Get to the Heart: My Story, debuted on The New York Times Best Sellers list and remained there for six months.

Barbara Mandrell, ‘I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool’

Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (www.johnmendelsohn.com)
Website Design: Kieran McGee (www.kieranmcgee.com)
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY; www.flickr.com/audreyharrod), Alicia Zappier (New York)
E-mail: thebluegrassspecial@gmail.com
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024