Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Girls Night Out: The Judds

"If it's not one thing, it's your mother."
"Friday finally came around
This girl's ready to paint the town
Tonight ain't nothin' gonna slow me down
I did my time workin' all week
Tonight's all mine, tomorrow I'll sleep
I wanna hear a band with a country sound."
-The Judds
-"Girls Night Out" (1985)

My mom is an avid concert-goer from way back. Although she'll be the first one to point out that all my physical appearances come from my dad, this little passion for seeing live acts, without a doubt, stemmed from her.  This is why it surprised me so much whenever we were talking about the Judds one night and she admitted to never getting the chance to see them.  I knew that Wynonna and Naomi had recently announced plans for their 'Last Encore' tour which would include eighteen dates and cities.  Having this little bit of knowledge, I decided to get my mom tickets for Christmas since one stop on their route would be just thirty miles away in Louisville, Kentucky.

From 1983 until 1991 when Naomi Judd was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Wynonna pursued a solo career, the hit duo, The Judds, were considered country music royalty.  In the eight years they were together they released six studio albums and put sixteen number one hits under their belt.  Along with their chart topping songs, they picked up eight Country Music Association awards and five Grammy awards; enough to show that their fans love was alive, indeed, and that they were respected in the industry.  As a solo-artist Wynonna grabbed four more number ones and was a staple figure in country music.  Getting together again to tour after a few year absence was a dream come true for any true 'Judd-head' out there.

The newly-opened KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky was sold at half-house and an eager audience awaited what turned out to be an amazing show.  Going through a wide array of songs in their set list, Naomi, at sixty-four, appeared just as light and bubbly as she's always been and Wynonna's voice still held the edge and power that has made her so distinctive over the last twenty-five plus years.

They put on a show for the audience and playfully bantered back-and-forth between songs.  Wynonna told her mother, "Don't forget I'm the lead, you're just backup," as Naomi made 'praise' gestures toward her daughter.  Naomi danced around on the stage and allowed fans to reach up their hand to the stage and dance with her and sometimes, even to sing.  Actress and die-hard Kentucky Basketball fan, Ashley Judd, was on hand in the audience to cheer for mother and sister and gave a little wave to fans during the song "Why Not Me" during the line "Your Kentucky girl's been waiting patiently."

During the song "Mama He's Crazy" Naomi took the time out to invite a little boy up on stage to be with them.  He introduced himself as Aidan and "Wynoda," as he called her, joked around with this young cowboy and then sang the rest of the song while Naomi stole some kisses.  "What started off as a family celebration of my twins birthday turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity when my four-year-old son Aidan was invited onstage by Naomi," Aidan's mother Tina said of the experience,  "For the little boy with the big dream of one day being a singing cowboy, this was his little taste of fame. Naomi and Wynonna thanks for the memories!"

"Where would she be without rhinestones?" -Wynonna
about Naomi.

This packed arena, filled mostly with females, rocked it country-style with these two living legends to all their greatest hits and even to some of Wynonna's solo material.  For an encore the two performed some Christmas songs and closed the evening by asking the fans to sing the rest of the song back to them so they could get the chance to listen.  Overall an amazing night for any fan who was able to attend this unforgettable concert.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hello Darlin'

Rockin' some seriously bad bangs in front of Conway Twitty's
house dubbed "Twitty City" in Hendersonville, TN.
Take time to note the Tweety Bird on my shirt. Oh yeah,
I thought I was awesome.
"Hello darlin' nice to see ya
it's been a long time
you're just as lovely as you used to be."
-Conway Twitty
-"Hello Darlin" (1970)

It's no secret that I love Conway Twitty.  I love his voice: that deep groan, the crackle, the sincerity.  I love his songs: fifty-five #1 hits to his name and was named "the best friend a song ever had."  He comes in  second only to George Strait who passed him up in 2006 with fifty-six chart toppers.  I obviously love his duet partner and their award winning songs: best friend-soul mate Loretta Lynn.  And--of course, I love that sleeked back awesome head of hair.  I remember riding around in my grandpa's old Lincoln with my parents and listening to Conway on 8-tracks and I've never lost that admiration for him or his impeccable melodies.

Harold Lloyd Jenkins was born in Mississippi in 1933.  There are many accounts as to how he came about his stage name of Conway Twitty.  Probably the most well-known is that Jenkins, while looking over a map, saw the towns of Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas and joined the two together to form the name that is associated with both a career in rock and roll and more famously, country music.  In 1993 Twitty fell ill in Missouri and it was at a hospital there that he died of an aneurysm.

Never one to disappoint, I know you'd miss my list-writing obsession if I didn't do one this week.  So here are my top Conway songs...are you excited? Get ready.

1.) "Tight Fittin' Jeans"
2.) "Hello Darlin'"
3.) "The Grandest Lady of Them All"
4.) "I'd Love to Lay You Down"
5.) "Linda on My Mind"
Honorable mentions: "You've Never Been This Far Before" and "Georgia Keeps Pulling on my Ring."

A vest belonging to Conway on display
 at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop #2
in Nashville.
1.) "Lovin' What Your Lovin' Does to Me"
2.) "Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries"
3.) "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"
4.) "After the Fire is Gone"
5.) "Can't Love You Enough"
Two more I love but couldn't fit into the 'top five' category: "As Soon as I Hang up the Phone" and "Don't Cry Joni" which was recorded with daughter Joni Lee.

Trivia: How many times does Conway say "Hello Darlin'" in the song by the same name?

I wanted to take time out to mention my new found love for The Band Berry.  Siblings Kimberly, Neil, and Reid Perry are pretty new to the Nashville scene as their self-titled record was just released in October of this year but are already climbing the charts.  Two singles "If I Die Young" and "Hip to My Heart" have came off of it so far.  I'm also currently crushin' on their song "Independence."  Great little band to check out if you love laid back music and country voices.

Also, a special Happy Thanksgiving shout out to Willie Nelson who was arrested this week on charges of marijuana possession after his bus was searched by police in Texas.  You little outlaw...

So, didja figure out the answer to my earlier trivia question? How many times does Conway say "Hello Darlin" in his song....answer?  Just once.  Good luck getting that one out of your head after you go Youtube searching to try to prove me wrong.  Or--did you already take a listen before you got to the end of this to see the answer? Cheaters.

<3 Kellie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Listen to the Radio

Annoying everyone on the bus with the Spice Girls,
I am sure.

"I smell the Pontchartrain
I hear Silver Wings
then away Merle Haggard flies
That good ole boy will find a Band of Gold on the stereo
Hey, then my Mama's gonna call and say,"Where's she gone?"
He'll say ,"Down the road with the radio on."
-Nanci Griffith
"Listen to the Radio"

It's 12:36 a.m. and I'm up doing a blog that I really have no motivation to write.  I could make a list of all the things that's keeping me busy lately but there's no point of boring everyone with the luv-er-ly details.  I've noticed recently how easily it is to get caught up with the chaos of life that one forgets to slow down and actually live.  Let me rephrase: when is the last time you took a moment to take in a sunset, to sit outside on the porch and read a book, or enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon cruise? 

Lately I've done a little too much worrying and not enough trusting; too much singing and not enough listening.  Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my 9:30 a.m. - 7:15 p.m. school day is the knowledge that once I get to my car I can plug in my iPod and release my frustrations by singing my guts out during the thirty minute ride home. (Side note: you've never experience strange looks until you're sitting at a red light with the windows down as Johnny Cash or Conway Twitty blasts from your car.)  Maybe it's the fact that my brain is slowly succumbing to sleep as I sit and type this, but I'm going to be philosophical for a second.  Even with the wide array of tunes I have, I know the words so well that I don't even soak in the lyrics anymore, I just sing without thinking.  Isn't this kind of how life goes for us most of the time?  We learn our routine and we go through the motions without ever taking time to listen and enjoy the things around us.  Turn the radio up, turn your voices down, listen to the words and you just might pick up on things you never knew existed, even in the songs you know by heart.

I'd never get anything done if I lived in Nashville, I'd be
attending music-related things always.

Maybe none of this makes any sense.
Oh well.
So sue me.
It's two in the morning.

There were so many other things I wanted to write about tonight but I couldn't get inspired enough to even do any of them justice and I try to never just half do something where my writing is concerned.  Finals are rolling around and I'm getting busier and stressed.  However, when I feel that I am having a bad day or getting down on myself I try to make a list of three things (here we go again with my OCD list making) that could be worse than whatever is happening.  Here goes, three things that are worse than finals:
1.) Being forced to listen to Taylor Swift non-stop for an entire day.
2.) A continuous loop of Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue".
3.) Death.

It's way past bedtime. I think I'll load up some radio on my computer and listen to the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, the second longest running radio program in history.  It can still be heard every Saturday night on Nashville's very own WSM.  Oh, what a tradition. :)


Sunday, November 14, 2010


From the Courier Journal, Louisville paper:
HullabaLooking Back
(A Good first Year but the Heat Hurt)
"...Kentuckians loved jamming the stage to cheer Loretta Lynn on through the heat and hear some of the finest songs in country music history."
Crowd Estimate of 78,753.

Caroline, Tayla, & Jennifer
The other day I found the Twitter page of the spunky and talented Stealing Angels, a great little up-and-coming country band.  They've been around for a few years and just released their first single "He Better be Dead" in July. I got the opportunity to see them around this time at the Hullabalou festival in Louisville, Kentucky.  The band consists of Jennifer Wayne (granddaughter to John Wayne), Caroline Cutbirth (descendant of Daniel Boone), and Tayla Lynn (granddaughter of Loretta Lynn), quite the heritage. 
This was taken by one of the band members of Stealing Angels from the VIP seats.  When I saw this pic it wowed me because I hadn't realized there were so many people behind me around that stage.

Hottest. day. of. my. life.

 I'm in the front row (left hand corner) behind the camera people, can you find me? :) Click on the pic to make it bigger.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CMAs Honor Coal Miner's Daughter

Photo Credit Getty Images

"Well, I was born a coal miner's daughter,
In a cabin, on a hill in Butcher Holler,
We were poor, but we had love,
That's the one thing my daddy made sure of,
He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar."
-Loretta Lynn
"Coal Miner's Daughter" (1970)

"In 1980 I had the honor of playing Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter," Sissy Spacek said in front of a thunderously applauding crowd at Wednesday night's 44th annual Country Music Awards, "But let's face it, Loretta didn't need any actress to turn her into a great character, she was born one."

Celebrating her fiftieth anniversary in the music industry this year, Lynn has been busy as ever.  She continues to tour across the country to sold-out arenas, was recently commended at an all-star Grammy Salute at Ryman Auditorium, and also held a special event at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.  Her 1976 autobiography "Coal Miner's Daughter" has been re released with a special forward in it by Lynn who reflects upon her many years in the business and an audio version of the book also became available this month with Academy Award winner Spacek serving as narrator.  On November 9th a tribute album was released in accolade to the seventy-six-year-old living legend with some of Loretta's songs being performed by artists such as Reba, The White Stripes, Gretchen Wilson and many more.  Lynn, Sheryl Crow, and Miranda Lambert teamed up to cut the title track "Coal Miner's Daughter" and later made a music video to go along with it.

The latest of this long string of festivities occurred at Wednesday night's CMAs.  Spacek was introduced and spoke kind words about the singer and touched upon some of her amazing achievements. "Loretta Lynn defines down home excellence and that's why in 1972 she was the first woman ever named Entertainer of the Year by the CMAs," she proudly expressed before introducing Lambert and Crow to do their rendition of Lynn's signature song.  With photos and video clips of Loretta playing behind her, Lambert began the first couple stanzas before being joined by Crow.  However, it was during the last chorus that undoubtedly one of the best moments of the evening took place.  Lynn emerged from the wing in a sparkling gold princess dress to sing and was greeted by an instant standing ovation.  Never leaving their feet from the time she stepped on stage, the audience at the sold-out Bridgestone Arena gave the Queen of Country Music a well-deserved cheer at the end of the song.

By this point it was time for Sissy and Loretta to announce the winner of the 2010 Female Vocalist of the Year which fittingly went to Miranda Lambert.  After hugging fiance Blake Shelton, Lambert ran up the stairs and straight into the arms of the lady she was just paying tribute to.  "The woman that paved the way for all females ever in country music is standing here beside me and handing me this award. And I'm proud that I can now call her a friend," Lambert stated, the emotion apparent in her voice. "Thank you so much.  Thank you for everything you've done," she said to Lynn whom Lambert hadn't let leave her side, "Thank you, Reba. I'm going to keep going for all the other women in this industry, I promise."

Minutes after Lynn's performance her Facebook page was already filling up with compliments and Twitter was bombarded with comments. Before long the name 'Loretta Lynn' was the fifth most tweeted about topic on the popular site.  With this wonderful lady's charm and talent it's no wonder than Lynn has held strong after fifty years as she's as relatable to today as she was back in 1960 when she first came onto the scene with her single "Honky Tonk Girl." No one is going to stop her from doing anything she sets her mind to.  As a song she wrote on her album "Blue Kentucky Girl" says:
"I've been up to the top of a heartbreak mountain
I've been down in the valley of the blues
 I've been down the road of loneliness and back again
I've been down in the dust of broken mem'ries
And I've been up on the clouds of happiness...
And I've got farther to go than I've been
Yes, I've got farther to go than I've been."

Farther to go than where she's been? We can't even imagine.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two Dollar Hat

Minnie Pearl's famous hat.  Smithsonian Museum,
Washington D.C.
"Year after year. Every week at the Ryman
She had 'em laughin' 'til she had 'em cryin',
Fate had a star; the world had a diamond
In a two dollar hat."
-"Two Dollar Hat"
Pam Tillis
My Mam's house was a treasure trove of all things old and amazing.  She never threw anything away, which I believe is the case for many in the older generation who grew up without much during the Great Depression.  From Avon perfume bottles, newspapers, and costume jewelry all the way to old Opry programs and ticket stubs, she had everything a kid could possibly want to rummage through.  One day, when I was about ten or so, I went digging through some of her books and came across a little thin one entitled "Minnie Pearl's Diary".  Upon opening it I immediately knew it was going to be one of those books I just had to read. Published in the early 1950's, the description of Miss Pearl says "She's in her early flirties--young enough to wink at the fellers; too old to have them wink back."  From the laughs escaping my lips during the first few pages, Mam could tell she wouldn't be getting her book back anytime soon. The dust that was collected between its two covers was decades older than me so she couldn't understand why I'd want to read it. But, as most things went with Mam when it came to me, she let me have the book, no questions asked.  However, she probably snuck in a story about the great Minnie Pearl in there somewhere. Yes, I'm sure of it.

Minnie and Roy Acuff 1980's at the Opry.
Photo by my dad.
Since then I've loved this little lady who brought so much joy and laughter into the homes of millions of radio listeners during her fifty year stint on the Opry.  Sarah Colley was born in the small town of Centerville, Tennessee in 1912.  In college she majored in theater, an interest that eventually led to a job with a production company that toured the United States where she aided in directing plays.  It was during a promotional appearance for this company that she created her character of Minnie Pearl.  She developed several aspects of her persona such as family, home life, and quirks like her accent and plain clothing to go along with it.  In 1940 executives from "The Air Castle of the South" 650 AM-WSM saw her perform and asked her to appear on the Grand Ole Opry.  Little did she know at the time of the long career that would flourish from their offer and the influence that she would have over all that knew or admired her.

Look what I found!

She served as comic relief and opener for the stars who played the stage of the Opry every week.  She'd come out and instantly get the crowd involved by shouting "Howdeee, I'm jes' so proud to be here" with the audiences usually yelling "howdy" back to her.  She told jokes and stories that were built around the town and people of Grinder's Switch, a little one horse place that actually existed right outside Sarah's own Centerville.  She's speak in thick country accent and recollect advice that kin folks would give to her.  "Uncle Nabob don't encourage folks to get married--he says marriage is like gettin' in a hot tub of water--after you get used to it, it ain't so hot."  But despite what "Uncle" said, Minnie was constantly on the chase of nabbing herself a feller and kept everyone in stitches along her journey to not become an old maid.  She became so popular, in fact, that the real Grinder's Switch began getting trampled by fans and tourists to the point that the highway department requested the road sign into the town be changed. 

It's a thousand wonders she didn't drive off
and leave me here.
 I went to Nashville this past summer to stay a few days with my parents god-daughter, LeAnne.  We went to the Loretta Lynn Ranch and on the way back we saw that traffic was back up for miles on the interstate.  We decided to get off at an exit and hit the detour button on her GPS.  That GPS took us down one country road after another and sometimes back again.  It had us going down pathways that weren't even paved and we even ran into a nice looking black snake that I'm positive had a better sense of direction than we did at that moment.  We ended up finally locating a good solid road that was named The Minnie Pearl Memorial Highway.  We joked of how it was in the middle of no where and about why in the world they would pick there of all places to dedicate to her.  By the time I saw a sign that read 'Centerville-5 Miles' I knew right where I was and that the ones who had named the road had known exactly what they were doing.  "We're getting close to Minnie's hometown!" I squealed so loud it probably made LeAnne want to hurl me from the car straight into the 100 degree heat.  Grinder's Switch isn't anything more than Minnie spoke of but I sure was thrilled to have gotten lost and ended up there.

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon suffered a stroke in 1991 which put an end to her career in Nashville.  She died in 1996 at the age of eighty-three but continues to live on in the hearts of everyone who hears her stories, sweet voice, and familiar "Howdy!"  Before being honored at the Opry for her fiftieth anniversary there she told an interviewer, "Somewhere along the line I got hooked on laughter.  The sound of people laughing, is to me now, the very nicest thing of all."  She certainly knew how to keep folks rolling in laughter with a pure, clean jokes, a quality that comedy writers should step up and take notice of today. :)

<3 Kellie

Monday, October 25, 2010

Johnny and June

"They don't make love like that anymore
Is that too much to be asking for?
I wanna love like Johnny and June
Rings of fire, burning with you
I wanna walk the line, walk the line
'Til the end of time."
-"Johnny and June"
Heidi Newfield

My cousin and I lived for the days when his parents both got called out on truck runs at the same time.  Normal teenagers would throw a party or invite friends over to go wild.  Us?  We wanted the house to ourselves so we could make music videos and duet.  We'd grab the microphones and rock out like the best of them.  He'd introduce himself, "Hi, I'm Johnny Cash," which obviously made me June Carter Cash. We'd sing "Jackson" and "If I Were a Carpenter" in character until our throats hurt and then sometimes even past that point.  Our parents ran across song videos we'd made one day and all their questions about why we wanted alone time were finally answered.  I'm not much of a singer unfortunately, but there aren't a lot of things in life that makes me happier than belting out a good duet with someone.  That, of course, can only be trumped by listening to a good duet song by someone.

If that right mix of chemistry and vocals can be achieved then sky's the limit when it comes to music making.  It takes a special pair to not only convince the listener of what they are singing, but also to tolerate the changes that comes with being partners instead of flying solo.  I know I've left out a ton of impeccable duets and songs throughout genres and times but here are my favorites (and trust me...even these weren't easy to pick out).

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
A love that lasted more than thirty-five years and inspired millions.  Songs have been written about them and a movie have been made about their story of tribulations and triumphs.  Generally when I think of terrific singers June is not the first that comes to mind but what she lacks in vocals she makes up for in sass and humor.  The way Johnny's face lights up when she walks on stage is enough for me to know how much he cared for her and it's evident in every song they sing, no matter what the subject matter is.  They died nearly four months to the day apart and left the world in wonderment of their music and love.
"Jackson"- One of my all time favorite duet songs. Period. It's fun to sing and it's witty.  This song about a couple whose fire has gone out won a Grammy award in 1968
"Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man"- I love the lyrics and the fact that it's "leg-ged" and not "legged". :)
Johnny: Well I bought you a first class ticket / for a luxury liner cruise
June: I got out in that ocean / looked around and there was you
Johnny: Oh, you big mouthed woman
June: You long-legged guitar pickin' man
Both: Well, we can work this out
Johnny: Uh-huh, yes ma’am, I think we can.

Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn
The pure electricity that flows from the mouths of these two musical geniuses is enough to make me call them my favorite duo in country music.  Recording their first album in 1971, they followed up with a string of hit records and amassed a number of awards to match.  Miss Loretta found her singing soul mate in lifelong friend Conway Twitty.
"After the Fire is Gone"- I just like pronouncing 'fire' as 'far'. :) But really, I love this song; they act out the lyrics beautifully and it was the pair's first #1 hit.
My Loves.
"Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"- This is the song I sing loudest to in my car.  I sit up straight and sing at the top of my lungs as cars pass and stare at the strange girl in the silver Mustang.  This 1973 duet also became a #1 song for the country bumpkins.
"As Soon as I Hang up the Phone"- Love, love, love the emotion that was put into this song.  The hurt is apparent in their voices as a breakup occurs over the phone.  Loretta and Conway went to the measures of recording this in the studio with Twitty on an actually telephone in another room to get the right sound.  On the first take, Conway slammed down the phone a little too hard for Lynn's taste, who was so into character that she busted out of the recording room and yelled at him for hanging up in such a way.

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
"Island in the Stream"- This 1983 melody was voted by CMT as the Best Country Duet of All Time.  I beg to differ, but I believe I am a little partial.

George Jones and Tammy Wynette
With his gruff voice and her sweet one, the two combined and shined on stage and off.  Their songs far exceeded their mere six year marriage and produced three #1 hits.
"Golden Ring"- The classic country song about falling in and out of love and how much meaning the golden wedding bands hold for this couple.
"The Jet Set (We're Not)"- Ohhhh the love, ohhhhh the irony of towns in Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas that share the names of major tourist cities throughout the world...
"By a fountain back in Rome//I fell in love with you
In a small cafe in Athens//You said you loved me too
And it was April in Paris //When I first held you close to me
Rome, Georgia//Athens, Texas
d Paris, Tennessee."

Loretta Lynn and Jack White
A twenty-eight-year-old rock-and-roller and a sixty-nine-year-old country legend got together and produced a little album that won two biggie.

2005 Grammy Awards for Best Country
Album and Best Country Collaboration
With Vocals.  Nominations: 5,  Wins: 2.
"Portland Oregon"- Just one of the dozens Lynn has written based off real life experiences.  With rumors going around about her and friend/guitarist Cal Smith, the two take action and decide if rumors are going to be spread then they are going to be the ones doing it.  After a golf tournament in Portland, Loretta and Cal went into a bar and acted just as close as can be in front of everyone there.  The two left the bar together and acted as though they were heading to the same room, much to the astonishment of Miss Lo's band.    "...Cal went to his room, and I went to mine.  Doo got all that information straight away.  But the part he didn't hear was this: I went to my room laughing to beat the band, then sat down all alone and started writing a song about drinking sloe gin fizz in Portland, Oregon--"Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love, then tell me what is."  I was probably writing that song at the very minute Doo's ears was burning from somebody's phone call." --Loretta Lynn, Still Woman Enough.

Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings
"Good Hearted Woman"- Was a #1 smash for these two outlaws in the year of '76.
"Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to the Cowboys" - This song of warning stayed #1 for four weeks on the chart, earned the pair the 1979 award for Best Country Performance by a Duo...and more importantly,  a spot on my iPod.

Reba McEntire and Linda Davis
"Does He Love You"- Reba and this practically unknown (at the time) cut this single together in 1993 which rose to #1 and won a Grammy, CMA award, and the TNN/Music City News Award.  The sheer power behind the two voices is spine-tingling. Poor Linda sound so much like Reba, but to know you'll forever be in the shadow. -sigh-

Patty Loveless and George Jones
"You Don't Seem to Miss Me"- Jones only sings backup vocals and doesn't even appear in the video but for a brief second when a flier for one of his concerts is showed, but that doesn't stop this song from being amazing.  About the realization that the love of her man is slowly dying out, even though hers stands strong. I literally listened to this song so many times I thought my mother was going to kill me.

These people are my favorites and for all the reasons given.  They stood the test of time and fame to produce some aweeeeee-some recordings.  But if there was ever a prime example of a  pair of anti-duet singers it's Porter Wagoner and Dolly.  Law suits, fights, and a friendship down the drain all over a business split, this backwoods Barbie and flashy-suited singer made headlines.  The album Porter & Dolly came out in 1980 when they were no longer speaking and the album cover had to be edited to make it appear that they were together when it's actually two separate photos placed together.  One good thing did come out of their whole debacle, though.  Parton wrote her unforgettable "I Will Always Love You" to former partner Porter and added another tally mark to her list of #1s.  The rest, my dear, is Whitney Houston history.

<3 Kellie

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Old Kentucky Home

Map of where musical stars were born in KY.
 Located in the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.

"Weep no more my lady
Oh! weep no more today!
We will sing one song
For My Old Kentucky Home

For My Old Kentucky Home, far away."
-Stephen Foster (1853)
Official state song of Kentucky

Every time I hear "My Old Kentucky Home" being played after a University of Kentucky basketball game or on Derby Day I get tears in my eyes.  It's a song of simplicity: the moon shining down on families as they tend to their crops and sleep in their homes, of how hard times might come and they may have to part ways, but they'll forever have their old Kentucky home.  I was born in the very northern part of the blue grass state in Louisville; far disconnected from the rolling hills and mountain ways, but that doesn't change the proud feeling that I have for being born there.  Even though I live in Indiana, I feel very much more attached to the ways of life and customs of those who live south of me.

In the 1940's and 50's many a'person left their homes in Eastern Kentucky and flocked to little ole Scott County Indiana where jobs awaited them at the Morgan Packing Company and other factories in the area.  Tagging along with them were their traditions, accents, and down-to-earth manners and views.  My Great-Aunt Hazel and her best friend, Callie, were among those in search of a better means of income and made the northern journey.  When they had saved enough money they sent for Hazel's siblings, this including my grandmother, to join them.  This outpouring into my hometown earned us the nickname of 'Little Hazzard' because it was as though a chunk of Kentucky existed right here in southern Indiana.

By the time I came along all of my grandparents were already deceased but their sayings and folkways were very much alive.  Callie, who I nicknamed 'Mam', lived across the street from my parents and I and became the grandma I never had.  It wasn't uncommon to go to her house on an ordinary day to see a feast fit for Thanksgiving sitting in her kitchen.  Chicken'n'Dumplins, mashed 'potaters', homemade corn bread, and soup beans with onion was a typical meal in her house.  She was never married or had any kids but she played mother and grandmother to more people than can possibly be counted.  She told us stories about her one roomed school house, the creek they had on her farm, and of how her dad delivered mail while riding an old mule around their holler.  She taught us how to cut up the dumplins and drop them into the boiling broth, how to get lard from the drippins' can, and about all the things in life we shouldn't take for granted.  Along with all these good things, she also--unintentionally--taught us how to pronounce words like she did through heavy accent. 

Mam in the kitchen, of course.
She would say zank (sink), flaurs (flowers), rinch (rinse), pank (pink), year (ear) and a wide array of other words that we grew used to and also repeated without realizing all the time.  This was also the case with all of my neighbors, aunts, uncles and the rest of the older generation that I grew up knowing.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I was around fifteen before I became aware of the fact that when I wanted a drink of water I should ask for a "sip" and not a "sup".  It took me even longer to comprehend that red eye gravy and what Mam called "red sop" were the same things.  "Sop" because, you know, a person 'sopped' up the gravy with their biscuit.  There are so many words and saying that I picked up from these folks that I don't even notice I say until someone points it out to me.  Kids at school question why I live farther north than them and still have a thicker accent, mystery solved. :) Sometimes I get tired of getting poked fun at so I break into business-voice and try to hide it...but after awhile it gives me a headache and I have to go back to the way I grew up talking. ha!  When I get excited or talk fast my I's get dragged out, no endings exist on any of my words,  and my accent runs as thick as molasses.

Aside from teaching me incorrect English, Mam would 'learn me' little songs: "You get a line, I'll get a pole, honey//You get a line, I'll get a pole, babe//You get a line, I'll get a pole, we'll go down to the crawl-fish hole//honey, babe of mine," and we'd dance around the house.  John Anderson's "Swingin'" was also a favorite to sing while sitting outside on the glider.  Her little battery radio only got one station and that was our local country one so we would sit around the house listening to Hank Sr. and Tennessee Ernie when they decided to play the classics.

Speaking of classics...I read this the other day in the Loretta Lynn cook book (yes, I realize I'm a nerd) and it reminded me so much of Mam that I cried:
"I love pies and cakes--don't get me wrong.  But over all the sweets in the world, I would much rather have a tall glass of milk with a big old piece of cornbread inside.  Just give me a spoon and I'm in Heaven." -'You're Cookin' it Country'
I can remember sitting in Mam's lap with a tea cup full of buttermilk and spooning out the crumbled up cornbread that was inside; there isn't anything better.  She and Loretta's accent were so similar that it makes me feel as though a small part of Mam is still alive inside Lo. When I search videos on youtube of Ms. Lynn it helps me remember how Mam sounded so I don't forget, as silly as that sounds.

This blog tonight was more a way for me to be nostalgic than anything.  A music-loving friend of mine burnt me some DVDs over the weekend and when I watched them I couldn't help but wish Mam could enjoy them with me; she would have loved all the music and people on them...and I betcha she could have told me a story about each one.

Downtown Nashville
She could have told me all about all the Opry shows she'd been to and probably each and every person she's  seen on it's stages.  She, too, would have been happy that earlier this month they celebrated their 85th birthday.

I couldn't tell you what Indiana's state song is, or much else about it for that matter, and maybe that's ignorance on my part.  But I can tell you what Decoration Day and a cemetery meeting is, the area code and prefix to a Jackson telephone number, and that "I swany", "I declare", and "Well, I'll be" all mean the same thing to a good ole Kentuckian.  These things are slowing dying off in my little Indiana town as people of that era begin to pass on and this saddens me to no end.  But I know where my heart lies and that I will pass these things on to my future children with pride.  While everyone else is mocking this way of life, I'll be the one over there on her soap box defending it 'til the end.
"All that matters in this life is love, and love is home," -'Me and Ole Crazy Bill'

It's pert ner (pretty near) time for bed.  Until next time...
<3 Kellie

PS. Some little gal from Butcher Holler made her Opry debut singing the single "Honky Tonk Girl" fifty years ago October amazing is that?  The epitome of country music, she is. 
   "Now I cain't help the way I talk, I wouldn't change it if I could. Sophisticated ain't my style but country fits me good." -Country in my Genes

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blue Kentucky Girl

Standing in front of Miss Lo's bus.
"I swear I love you by the moon above you
How bright is it shinin' in your world
Some mornings when you wake up all alone
Just come on home to your blue Kentucky girl."
-Loretta Lynn
"Blue Kentucky Girl" (1965)

"I'm not the Queen of Country Music, that's Kitty Wells," Loretta Lynn stated on stage during her October 9th concert at Renfro Valley, Kentucky.  The hundreds of people who waited outside her tour bus just to catch a glimpse of her and the thousands more who were present for the concert would probably dispute her modest comment.  It was her second show of the week at the country music capital of Kentucky and a blue grass carpet was laid out for Lady Loretta in every corner of town.  Her records were front and center in all the shops around the venue and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame--located directly down the road, offered fans many items available to buy and was even showing Lynn's autobiographical film "Coal Miner's Daughter" on their gift shop television.  Attendees of all ages were in store for a concert that they wouldn't soon forget.

Lynn is celebrating her fiftieth anniversary in the country music industry and many events are taking place this year in honor of this living wonder, including an all-star salute at the Ryman Auditorium set to occur this week.  Her humble beginnings, witty ways of writing about real hardships, and gentle manner make her all-the-more relatable to people from all walks of life and backgrounds.  Loretta's down-home accent and humor makes her followers feel as though she's an ordinary person they could take home to share some chicken and dumplins' with and talk to for hours.  Sometimes one has to be reminded that this gal from Butcher Holler is anything but ordinary; she's the most awarded lady in country music history. 

Waiting for their lady to emerge from her bus.
Lynn has recorded over a hundred albums in her career and was the first female to become Entertainer of the Year at the CMA's.  Her awards are endless: artist of the decade, vocalist of the year for most of the 1970's, numerous for her work with partner Conway Twitty, album of the year...the list could continue for ages.  She charted sixteen number one hits and has had over fifty top-ten hits in her career span.  She wrote a best-selling book which later turned into an applauded, award winning movie and paved the way for female country singers in decades to come.  More recently in 2004 she was back in the spotlight with a new cd entitled 'Van Lear Rose' which won two Grammy Awards, including best country record of the year.  And still--even with this background, she continues to come across as the country girl next door when she puts on a show. This attitude was forever present on this Saturday night, hour and a half long concert.

 Daughter, Patsy Lynn, came out first to tell the audience about merchandise they could purchase and then sang two songs, "Oh Lonesome Me" and one by her namesake "Walkin' After Midnight".  Then Lynn's band The Coal Miner's and son, Ernest Ray, introduced the 'Decca Doll' and she appeared in a sparkling pink dress regal enough for the queen she is.  She performed three or four songs before taking a break to speak to the crowd and thank them for coming out to see her.  Lynn then directed the audience to "Just shout out what you want to hear.  This is your show and you paid for it, I just snuck in the back way."  With the conglomeration of titles ringing through the air, Loretta managed to hear a request for her hit "One's on the Way".  "One is not on the way," she replied, feigning hurt, "I just gained weight." 

Lighthearted banter such as this continued throughout the night as Ms. Lynn told stories about her songs, life, and upcoming tribute album featuring the likes of Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Paramore's Hayley Williams and even Kid Rock.  She told a story of Garth Brooks calling up her and asking to sing with her at the upcoming salute at the Ryman. Lynn said he asked to sing her and Twitty's hit, "After the Fire is Gone" and she proceeded to sing a verse of it a cappella.  Even though it was brief, it was still a treat to hear it since she hadn't performed it live in so long.  She said that Garth had told her something about pronouncing "fire" correctly instead of her usual thick accented "far".  She got cheers and yells from the audience upon saying that, "Fire might be how you say it where you're from, but where I'm from it's 'far'."

Photo taken by Bill Hoover. Thanks so much for allowing
me to use it.

 Ernest Ray and "Mama" joked throughout the night as Loretta threatened to hit him with her microphone and ordered him to get back on his X.  Later, Ernie sang a couple of songs on his own and then joined Loretta to sing her and Ernest Tubb's classic "Sweet Thang".  After his verse was over it was her turn to belt out the famously loud lines of "Welllllllllllllll, has anyone here seen sweet thang?"  Ernie backed away and covered his ears.  The next time this same line was to be sang, Loretta did so very quietly to surprise her son, who had braced his ears for the yell.  She started laughing so hard she had to stop singing and the crowd got a real kick out of it.

Having a history of back pains and problems, Lynn is known more recently to sit during most performances but only did so for a few moments when her backup singers did a couple of songs and then when a video was shown celebrating her fifty years in music.  Otherwise, she was full of life and spunk when singing hits such as "You Ain't Woman Enough" and "Fist City".  Later, flowers were bestowed to Loretta for her achievements in music and a crown was placed upon her head for being 'The Queen of Country Music' and she was awarded a standing ovation.  It wasn't too much longer until she sang her signature "Coal Miner's Daughter" and closed the show as young and old mouthed along her life story of growing up poor and being proud of her roots.

Set list (in no particular order):
1.) Blue Kentucky Girl
2.) Here I am Again
3.) Coal Miner's Daughter
4.) Dear Uncle Sam
5.) Don't Come Home A'Drinkin (With Lovin' on Your Mind)
6.) Gospel Medley: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
Another amazing shot captured by Bill Hoover.
        7.) (medley cont.) Where No One Stands Alone  
        8.) (medley cont.) Title?
9.) Fist City
10.) Honky Tonk Girl
11.) I Wanna Be Free
12.) One's on the Way
13.) The Pill
14.) She's Got You
15.) Sweet Thang
16.) They Don't Make 'Em Like My Daddy Anymore
17.) When the Tingle Becomes a Chill
18.) You're Lookin' at Country
19.) You Ain't Woman Enough

Let me break reviewer mode to say that during this concert I fell in love all over again with the music and legend who is Loretta Lynn.  I've been blessed enough to see her three times this year and all three have been such highlights for me as a longtime fan. :)

<3 Kellie

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Against the Wind

Freedom Hall. Leave those cell phones shut, I'll stick to the old-
fashioned lighter :)

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
Against the wind
We were running against the wind
We were young and strong
We were running against the wind."
-Bob Seger
"Against the Wind" (1980)

I love concerts.  My very first one was the Wrangler wearin', mullet sportin', linedancin' Billy Ray Cyrus, when I was no more than three or four years old. I don't remember much of the show except for crying because I didn't think we were going to find a parking place and thinking life couldn't possibly go on if I didn't hear "Achy Breaky Heart". 

Since then, I am glad to say, I have been to many more--and better--concerts than Miley's good ole dad.  A concert is to me, one of the most exhilarating, sing-a-long(ing), dancetastic things ever.  To be in a venue with thousands of other people who share the same love for that particular artist and know all the lyrics to their songs is a feeling like no other.  It's a spectacle that cannot possibly be explained to a non-concert goer.  The rush that comes when you first set eyes on the person whose songs you echo in the shower and whose videos you watch on tv is unbelievable.  My little neighbor, Daniel, put it best the other day when we were discussing this particular subject.  He said that when you see an artist in concert for the first time it's so unreal because you're actually seeing them for yourself and they suddenly become real people whereas before the seem like such stars and so far away from where you are.

Narrowing down my choices of top concerts were hard but here is what I finally decided:
1.) Reba McEntire (Lexington, KY) - By far the best concert I've ever been to.  This country girl is a true performer and gets into character for each song that she sings.  Best concert songs: "The Greatest Man I Never Knew" - if you didn't know the back story, this song is about her father.  She held everyone in the palm of her hand as she sat on a stool and sang...many a tear was shed, I guarantee it.  "Does He Love You?" -Duet with LeeAnn Womack.  Live was even better than the recorded version because of how much power Reba put behind every word.  "Fancy" - What's not to love about this song? This was her encore and she was driven to the stage in a taxi cab like in the music video, where she emerged from the door in her red dancing dress and took stage.

2.) Bob Seger (Louisville, KY)  -(See my concert review at the bottom). Top Songs: "Turn the Page" - That lone saxophone playing was enough to send chills down your back as Seger tells of life on the road.  "Against the Wind" - could you not love Bob Seger singing it live? "Night Moves" - The music goes down to Bob's lines "Woke last night to the sound of thunder, how far off I sat and wondered..."  The crowd singing in unison to Seger was absolutely amazing.


3.) Loretta Lynn (Louisville, KY) - With temperatures in the mid-nineties and the heat index even higher, the Coal Miner's Daughter performed her heart at at the Hullabalou Festival.  She allowed fans to shout out what they wanted to hear and told stories to them about the songs which allowed for a very personal feel.  If a fan would yell their admiration she'd reply back in her eastern Kentucky twang, "I love you too, honey." Top songs: "Fist City" - She's got just as much spunk singing this song of whippin' an old gal for messing with her man as she did when it was recorded in 1968. "You're Looking at Country" - words never rang more true.  "Coal Miner's Daughter" - Does this even need an explanation? :)

4.) Billy Joel and Elton John (Cleveland/Cincinnati, Ohio) - Two superpowers taking the stage for three hours of pure joy.  Sir Elton and the Piano Man put on a heckuva show and sold out to whole-house audiences.  One of them alone would have been a treat but to have them both in front of you was insane. Best songs: "Piano Man" - they shut off the music and quit singing a whole verse to let the fans sing. To hear everyone knowing the words and to think of how many times they've sang along is always a highlight for me at any show. "Bennie and the Jets" - B-b-b-Bennie and the Jets...try getting that one out of your head.  "Only the Good Die Young" - It makes me dance a little, what can I say?

5.) The Spice Girls (Chicago, Illinois). Random, right? This concert was a blast.  It had nothing at all to do with singing ability or how good the songs were...because let's face it, the Spice Girls are lacking a little in both departments.  But this did have everything to do with being nostalgic, jumping around like little kids, and singing at the top of our lungs.  :) Top Songs: "Stop" - knew all the dance moves and totally impressed the kids in front of us. "Lady is a Vamp" - It's just plain fun to sing.

Runners up: Alison Krauss, Ben Folds, and Celine Dion.

Here is a concert review I found that I had written for the school paper while I was in high school:

He’s the man who caused Tom Cruise to dance in “Risky Business” and the one who gave Forrest Gump music to run by.  He’s a multi-platinum album seller and has sold nearly fifty million records worldwide.  He’s the ‘ramblin’ gamblin’ man himself: Bob Seger.

Louisville, Kentucky 2006

After being in retirement for ten years to spend time with his children and not releasing any new material, Seger is back and better than ever.  After his new CD “Face the Promise”, which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard chart, hit the shelves in September, fans knew a tour was long past overdue.  The excitement spread like wildfire when the Hall of Famer announced tour dates and cities and when tickets went on sale people scrambled to buy them.  One concert in Seger’s home state of Michigan sold out within four short minutes, another sold out in seven.  Yes, one could definitely tell that the tour and CD were going to be smash hits, something Bob Seger is quite familiar with.
The three concerts taking place closest to Austin? Indianapolis. Cincinnati. Louisville.  When Bob rocked Freedom Hall he proved to fans that at sixty-one, he hadn’t lost his touch.  When the saxophone sounded, the crowd went wild as Seger wowed them with “Turn the Page” and then brought the house down with “Old Time Rock and Roll”.  Lighters and cell phones illuminated the arena when “We’ve Got Tonight” was played and excitement was in the air as young and old alike sang with Seger in overpowering unison.  The echoes  of the amplifiers rang in everyone’s heads at the end of the night as well as a replay of Seger’s spectacular performance.
“He was amazing,” concert attendee Charlie Fraley commented, “I was afraid that he would come out and do all his new stuff but he mixed the hits in with it. I especially loved when he sang “C’est la Vie.”
Plans to film some of the performances to make a DVD and live CD are underway.  “Face the Promise” as well as his older hits can be found in stores near you.
<3 Kellie

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ole Days)

"Grandpa, everything is changing fast
We call it progress, but I just don't know
And grandpa, Let's wander back into the past
And paint me the picture of long ago."
-The Judds
"Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ole Days)"
(Rockin' With the Rhythm, 1985)
I've always been older than my actual age. I was born with what my mother likes to call an "old soul".

While all my other elementary school-aged friends couldn't wait to get home to watch cartoons and superhero shows, I was busy pondering what was going to happen on my soap operas that were taped and waiting in the VCR for me.  Would Bo figure out that Hope wasn't Hope but actually Princess Gina?  Would Stefano come back to life for the tenth time and go after the Brady's? Oh what thoughts would entertain my seven-year-old mind. 

At night while my peers were snuggled up viewing their favorite Disney movies I was anxiously waiting to see what plot Lucy Ricardo was going to convince Ethel into going along with this time. 

At recess when we'd pretend to be famous singers my friends would pick artists such as Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey.  Me? I was content with being Barbara Mandrell and singing "Crackers" or "I Was Country (When Country Wasn't Cool)" until the kids would squeal for me to stop.

Sometimes I feel so out-of-place with people that are my own age that it's uncomfortable for me.  I don't like many of the same things as them and so it's hard for me to relate to the things they want to talk about, listen to, and watch at the movies.  Going along with this, I also have very old fashioned values and views about things.  This is both a blessing and a curse to me.

LeAnne and I outside the "Mother Church of Country Music".
I miss turning on my battery powered radio to the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman to hear Roy Acuff sing "The Wabash Cannon Ball".

 I miss when Doug and Julie and Patch and Kayla were the supercouples of "Days of Our Lives".

I miss the Glenn Miller Band. Simplicity. Working hard for what you got so you appreciated it. Gentlemen. and classic novels instead of smut.

 The thing is: I wasn't alive to experience these things first hand. Yet, I'll be driving down the road or be at school and get this sudden pang of longing and missing for these things.  Is it possible to miss times you've never lived through before?  I wonder this all the time.

One thing I really miss?  I miss the times when singers could actually and on a stage.  Where they sounded just as good live as they did on a cd.  This used to be something that wasn't even thought about because if you couldn't prove yourself worthy as a singer then you weren't going to get a record deal.  This was way before the times of the lipsynching Milli Vanilli and out-of-tune whining of Taylor Swift.  I want to be able to go to a concert or watch an awards show and not worry about holding my ears because they sound so much different than the records I jam to in my car. Scratch that--sounding different is alright, sounding horrible is not. 

 My iPod is overflowing with old artists and many of the mp3 files that I have are live versions.  These recording stars understood the importance of performing and sounding like their fans expected them to.  Legends like Loretta Lynn still grasp this understanding.  In 2004 when she and the White Stripes, Jack White, cut the album "Van Lear Rose", she didn't record the songs multiple times so they could edit the best from each take to paste together a good version.  Lynn recorded each song just one time and didn't let them enhance her sixty-nine-year-old voice in the least.  What happened in the studio is exactly what a listener hears on the CD: laughing, talking and everything in between and is perhaps one of the rawest and most country albums that's been produced since the genre changed over to pop-country.  This is perhaps why I idolize this lady so much; she's genuine and not afraid to let you hear the real her.

This being said, I don't just stick to the oldies that were produced decades before my time.  I find it impossible to stay still during a Lady Gaga song and am not ashamed to admit that I love her to pieces.  This chick may be a tad flamboyant in her appearance but she's got a true voice that doesn't just come to life behind a microphone in Studio XYZ where producers spend hours trying to alter it.  She proved this when she took stage during the VMAs this month and belted out some of her new song.  Even Kanye didn't dare jump the stage and interrupt this super power mid-line.  Another pure voice emerged on this night, as well: Hayley Williams of Paramore.  She can sing anything live or acoustic and make it sound impeccable.  If you haven't heard her then she's definitely worth looking into.

The only thing that's constant is change, but this IUS history minor is proudly going to keep enjoying the old classics and rolling my eyes at the newbies who can only hope to be one day.

"...crap drives out class, our tastes grow coarse, and the life of imagination grows smaller.  And when the good stuff's gone? It ain't coming back, son.  That's what I'm really afraid of." -Stephen King

<3 Kellie

Sunday, September 19, 2010

All You Need is Love

Signing the wall outside of Graceland in 1996
   "Nothing you can do
But you can learn how to be you in time
It's easy."
-"All You Need is Love"
The Beatles
(Magical Mystery Tour, 1967)

Music has been apart of me since the day I took my first breath of life on a cold January night in 1989.  Born fourteen minutes after midnight, I was just in time to celebrate the birthday of Elvis Aaron Presley, or more simply known as "The King" by millions of his adoring fans.  This coincidence should have been a flash in front of my parents eyes of the years that were to come: forever going to concerts, digging through piles of vinyl records at flea markets to find just the right ones, and putting up with me listening to the same song over and OVER until I had learned every rise and fall of the artist's voice.

If I had to make a soundtrack to my life there is no possible way I could even begin.  Every time I hear one of my favorite songs it brings to mind another memory; a flash of nostalgia that can only be aroused by the cry of that old steel guitar, a saxophone howling into the night, or that singer's lyrics that strike so close to home that it touches my very soul.

Loretta Lynn's "You're Looking at Country"?  Sitting in the Ryman Auditorium where all the greats have played, and being so awe struck that I couldn't even stand up as the one I've sang to, repeated every line to her movie of, and adored since I was a kid: the Coal Miner's Daughter herself started to sing.  Practically crying as this seventy-six-year-old beauty belted out the notes that sounded just as good as the day she recorded them as the audience nearly drowned out the first stanza from their cheers.

Bob Seger's "Night Moves"?  Being in my mom's room listening to old LPs and spinning around so fast that I fell and my tooth decided to take a nice dive into my cousin's forehead. [Que some blood, a killed nerve, and lots of dental work.]  Or to sound like Sophia from the Golden Girls..."Picture it: Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky, 2006.  The lights were low, my heels were high..." [Que a fall  right down the stairs from row J straight to A and a knee so bruised that I had to walk around thug-style with my pants rolled up at school for the next month]. The Ramblin' Gamblin' man has caused me some aches but all have nestled themselves warmly inside the covers of my heart and dang well make for some good stories. =]

Point being, music has always been there for me if I'm lonely, having a bad day, or just need to jam out with my best pals.  My hair brush serves as a microphone, my steering wheel a drum, and the air as a guitar as I show Tom Cruise that he doesn't hold a candle to me when it comes to sliding across a hardwood floor to classic Bob Seger.

This blog is going to be about life, my life, and the struggle for me to 'get rhythm', so to speak, along it's twists and turns.  It's going to be about the things I love and the rants I want to make up on my soap box.  Music, of course, will play an intricate part in my writings because that's just who I am.
The sass of Reba.
A crush on Conway.
And all the upbringing of a child who could match any older generation's knowledge of musical melodies.

<3 Kellie