Country Music News - May/June 2004 -Page 10
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Country Music News From Down Under
"Tamworth Camerata Student's Shine"

Click on pictures to enlarge.
Close pictures to return here.

June 9, 2004 - NEW Zealand's Gold Guitar Awards held in Tamworth's sister city of Gore, was the arena where a significant number of Tamworth Camerata students shone.

A 2002 graduate, Cameron Clayton, from Pakuranga, Auckland, sponsored by George, Pam, Dale and Darren from Edwards Printing Service, was the Overall Senior Winner (18 years and over).

Graduates from Camerata 2003, Melissa Partridge from Fairfield, Dunedin, sponsored by Lyn Baldock and daughters Lisa and Jodie at Nectar Body Care and Beauty on White, was the Intermediate Winner (13-18 years) and Anna Macdonald, sponsored by Alan, Christine and Lucy Taylor from Eyecatcha Promotional Products, was the Junior Winner (under 13 years).

Gemma Griffin, a 2002 graduate who hails from Westport, and was also sponsored by Nectar Body Care and Beauty on White, didn't want to take any chances missing out for the following Camerata.

Gemma enjoyed her Camerata experience so much that once home, she negotiated, through New Zealand's Buller Country Music Club, a scholarship to Tamworth Camerata 2004. This is the only New Zealand direct entry scholarship to be awarded at the Best of the West Awards in Westport.

Just last month, 18-year-old New Zealander Luke Herlihy won the scholarship to attend the third Tamworth Camerata from July 2-8. Luke was a first time entrant at the Best of the West Awards winning all of his classes as well as the versatility trophy, senior lucky draw and the coveted Senior Overall title. Luke will be sponsored by Wests' Diggers when he attends Camerata 2004.

Fourteen-year-old Taylor Cairns from Gore, New Zealand was successful in her application to attend Camerata this year. It was Taylor's first year at the Buller Country Music Festival where she achieved top three status in the Intermediate section also winning the highest scoring local entrant.

Continuing Tamworth's goodwill relationship with Gore, Taylor will be sponsored by Tourism Tamworth at Camerata 2004.

It's an exciting time for young people in country music with so many resources at their fingertips. Tamworth Camerata precedes the Hats Off to Country Festival incorporating the CCMA 12th Winter Junior Talent Quest.

For more information contact
Cheryl Byrnes, Tamworth Camerata
Landline: 02 6765 4875
Mobile: 0428 413 809
cherylbyrnes@thepub.com.au
www.thepub.com.au/camerata


Reading, Writing & Rhythm Benefit Hugh Success

June 8, 2004 - Tuesday night's, Reading, Writing, and Rhythm Benefit hosted by Chely Wright and Friends was a huge success. Chely was joined by icon Ronnie Milsap, who made a surprise guest appearance, along with special guests Martina McBride, Big & Rich, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, SheDaisy, Rachel Proctor, Jimmy Wayne, and Jenny Gill. The Wildhorse was filled to standing room only capacity with over 2000 in attendance. Once again, this year's event was a sellout and raised over $135,000, bringing the total funds raised to date to well over one million dollars.

In addition to the concert, an auction was held of music and sports celebrity memorabilia. All ticket proceeds went to benefit the Reading, Writing & Rhythm Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Chely Wright to raise funds for and awareness of public school music education.

Top selling auction items in this year's event included:

  • Harley Davidson Fat Boy Motorcycle donated by Cool Springs Harley Davidson
  • American Airlines Flyaway for two to a Tim McGraw Concert
  • Flavour Boutique Shopping Spree with Chely Wright
  • Two All Access Backstage Passes to the event
  • Tammy Wynette Dress from a 1970's CMA Awards Show

These 5 items alone netted over $35,000. Auction items ranged in value
from $20 to $20,000.

For additional information, checkout chely.com and RWandR.org on the web.

Press Release submitted by:
Kathi Atwood - Email: k
atwood@aristomedia.com
Web site: www.aristomedia.com


TOWN HALL PARTY
Bear Family Release 3 More Shows On DVD

Jim Reeves, Wanda Jackson, Tex Ritter, Carl Perkins & Bob Luman Among The Guest Star Names

The latest releases in Bear Family’s coverage of the West Coast’s famed Town Hall Party TV series are complete programs, conjuring up the atmosphere and excitement of these historic 1950s shows. In additional to its regular cast, there are several guest stars, top names from the realms of country and rockabilly.

TOWN HALL PARTY – November 29, 1958 (Bear Family BVD 20028 AT)

Introduction (JAY STEWART); Rainin' On The Mountain (JOE MAPHIS & ENTIRE CAST); What Am I Doing Here (SKEETS MacDONALD); Tell Her Lies And Feed Her Candy (JOE & ROSE LEE MAPHIS); Wagon Train (JOHNNY O'NEILL); Tom Dooley (JOHNNY O'NEILL, BILLY MIZE & CLIFF CROFFORD); Lookin' Back To See (NORMA & LINDA); The Wayward Wind; Jealous Heart (TEX RITTER); Mean Mean Man; Pick Me Up On Your Way Down; Rock Your Baby (WANDA JACKSON: Fiddle Instrumental (FIDDLIN’ KATE); Sweet Georgia Brown; St. Louis Boogie (JIMMY PRUETT); Way Down Yonder In New Orleans (MERLE TRAVIS); Gotta Travel On; Gotta Travel On (2) (BILLY MIZE & CLIFF CROFFORD); The Day The Rains Came (JEANNIE STERLING); Rockin’ Robin; A Lover’s Question (BOB LUMAN); Alone With You; Queen For A Day; Hard Headed Woman (WANDA JACKSON); Maiden’s Prayer (FIDDLIN’ KATE); Conversation (TEXAS TINY, JAT STEWART, JOHNNY O'NEILL, TEX RITTER & WANDA JACKSON); Goin' Down That Road Feelin’ Bad (JOE MAPHIS & ENTIRE CAST); Rye Whiskey (TEX RITTER)

TOWN HALL PARTY – February 14, 1959 (Bear Family BVD 20030 AT)

Introduction (JAY STEWART); Take Me Back To Tulsa (JOHNNY BOND & ENTIRE CAST); Baby Wait (SKEETS McDONALD); Charlie Brown (BILLY MIZE, CLIFF CROFFORD & QUINCY SNODGRASS); Stupid Cupid (JEANNIE STERLING); My Adobe Hacienda; Roly Poly (TOMMY DUNCAN); Billy Bayou; Waltz Medley (Kentucky Waltz / I Really Don't Want To Know / Tennessee Waltz / Four Walls); Bimbo (JIM REEVES); Broken Doll (Johnny Bond); JOHNNY BOND talks to TOMMY DUNCAN & JIM REEVES; Guitar Instrumental (JIMMY PRUETT); Mean Mean Woman; Johnny B. Goode (THE FLAIRS); Every Step Of The Way (ROSE LEE MAPHIS); That Lucky Old Sun; Marianne (JOHNNY O’NEILL); You Ain’t Gonna Bring No Trouble Anymore (JOHNNY BOND); Blue Boy; Am I Losing You; Anna Marie (JIM REEVES); What A Lonesome Life It’s Been (SKEETS McDONALD); There Goes My Heart (JEANNIE STERLING); White Silver Sands (JOHNNY O’NEILL); SKEETS McDONALD talks to TEXAS TONY & SUSIE GUTHRIE; Which One Of Us Is To Blame (CLIFF CRAWFORD & BILLY MIZE); Guitar Instrumental (QUINCY SNODGRASS); Ida Red; Birth Of The Blues (TOMMY DUNCAN); Rebel’s Inn (THE FLAIRS)

TOWN HALL PARTY – June 6, 1959 (Bear Family BVD 20029 AT)

Introduction (JAY STEWART); Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss (MERLE TRAVISD, JOHNNY BOND & CAST); Glad Rags (JOHNNY BOND); Billy Bayou (BILLY MIZE & CLIFF CROFFORD); Lipstick On Your Collar (JEANNIE STERLING); Your Cheatin’ Heart (CHARLIE WILLIAMS); Guitar Instrumentals (QUINCY SNODGRASS);Matchbox; Boppin’ The Blues; Pointed Toe Shoes (CARL PERKINS); Tell Him No (BILLY MIZE & CLIFF CROFFORD); Piano Instrumental (JIMMY PRUETT); You’re Free To Go (SKEETS McDONALD); Guitar Instrumental (MERLE TRAVIS); That Ain’t Right; I Can’t Stand Up Alone (MARTHA CARSON); What’s A Fool To Do; White Lightnin’; The Battle Of New Orleans; She Knows How To Rock Me (LEE AUSTIN & LAST OF THE REBELS); She Knows How To Rock Me; Y.O.U; Blue Sued Shoes (CARL PERKINS); Nine Pound Hammer (CHARLIE WILLIAMS & MERLE TRAVIS); CHARLIE WILLIAMS talks to SKEETS McDONALD; Guitar Instrumental (MERLE TRAVIS); Mississippi Roll On (JOHNNY BOND); Frankie My Darling (JEANNIE STERLING)

The earliest of these three shows – staged on November 29, 1958 – well mixed the genres, as Wanda Jackson, then riding the waves as the hottest female rock ‘n’ roller, appeared on the same show as movie singing cowboy Tex Ritter, now a top country music attraction. Besides rocking with Mean Mean Woman and Hard Headed Woman, Wanda displays her country roots with such as newcomer Harlan Howard’s Pick Me Up On Your Way Down while Tex goes through his paces with recent hits The Wayward Wind and Jealous Heart, concluding with an old favourite, Rye Whiskey. Then more rocking with a couple of songs from Bob Luman, Rockin’ Robin and St. Louis Boogie.

The February 14, 1959, show provides a rare opportunity to see Jim Reeves in action, by then well on his way to establishing his international reputation. He makes two different appearances, mixing the uptempo novelties Bimbo and Billy Bayou with his inimitable smooth vocals on Am I Losing You, Anna Marie and a waltz medley. He’s also caught in conversation with Johnny Bond and another Town Hall guest Tommy Duncan, who displays his western swing roots with Ida Red, Roly Poly and Birth Of The Blues. Providing a complete contrast are The Flairs, a West Coast rock 'n' roll group of the period.

The third DVD has Carl Perkins as a guest star and, during his two appearances, trends familiar ground with such as Matchbox, Boppin’ The Blues and, of course, Blue Suede Shoes. On the other hand, the highly sprited Lee Austin & The Last Of The Rebels remain pretty unknown (?), though the material– White Lightnin’ and The Battle Of New Orleans – is familiar.

Other artists making appearances include Jeannie Sterling, Norma & Jean, Charlie Williams and Johnny O’Neill, all probably meaning little to audiences some 50 years later but helping to make up the fabric of the 1950s scene on the area’s premier country music show. Frequently providing the backup was a house band best described as a Who’s Who of West Coast country music and, though it might have varied slightly from week to week, included Johnny Bond (leader/guitar), Merle Travis (guitar), Joe Maphis (guitar), Rose Lee Maphis (guitar), Skeets McDonald (bass), Margie “Fiddlin’ Kate” Warren (fiddle), Jimmy Pruett (piano), Billy Mize (steel guitar) and Cliff Crofford (trumpet), several in the spotlight for a number in their own right. Quincy Snodgrass, who provided items of comedy, also proved to be a pretty neat guitarist in his own right.

Running from early 1952 until early 1961, the Town Hall Party was California's largest country music barndance and was broadcasted every Saturday from a theatre in Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles, attracting crowds that numbered up to 2,000. The first hour was broadcast live over KFI and reached a wider audience when NBC syndicated the show on radio. The broadcast was extended to three hours when KTTV-TV televised the show.

These shows were filmed directly off the television screen, a motion picture known as a kinescope, which was the only way to save a “live” television during the period from the late 1940s until the early 1960s. Consequently the quality hardly matches up to current standards but that’s secondary to the great value of the historic material preserved.

All the DVDs have 12 page booklets featuring photographs of many of the artists and musicians associated with the show.

For further information, please contact:
Richard Weize at Bear Family Records, PO Box 1154, D-27727 Hambergen, Germany.
Phone: + 49 47 4882160. Email: bear@bear-family.de

Press release submitted by:
Tony Byworth & Associates
34 York Road, New Barnet, Herts EN5 1LJ, England
Phone: (+44) 020 8440 8884
Fax: (+44) 020 8449 4005
E-mail:
byworth@clara.net
Mobile phone: (+44) 0794 1818446

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