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Independent Superstar News From Allan Watkiss

EXTRACTS FROM UK COUNTRY RADIO.COM LISTENERS’ CLUB NEWSLETTER MARCH 2012 ABOUT OUR INDEPENDENT SUPERSTARS FEATURED ON WILDHORSE ENTERTAINMENT

Welcome to our Listeners’ Club Newsletter for March. It’s a busy month as always on UKCountryRadio.com, and in our Newsletter we have details of special programmes coming up 

GETTING TO KNOW ALLEN KARL

There’s a chance this month to find out more about Allen Karl – “The Good Guy In The Black Hat”. Allen is a member of the Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame in America. He has played the Grand Ole Opry and opened shows for the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Johnny Rodriguez. He is a former US Air Force pilot and last year was named Male Vocalist of the Year by the European Country Music Association after repeatedly topping several independent country music charts. Allen has lots of stories to tell and a great way of telling them. You can find out more by joining Liz Hill for “Allen Karl In Conversation” at 3pm on Wednesday 7th March, 7pm on Thursday 15th March, and 9am and 9pm on Saturday 24th March on UKCountryRadio.com. And tickets are now on sale for Allen’s first ever UK tour when he will be fronting a seven-piece line-up playing traditional country music. The supporting band includes members of the UK band Red Rock County and our own Lynne Butler on harmony vocals. The tour dates are as follows….. 

Wed 4 Apr: The Clear Cut Country Music Club, Leeds
Thu 5 Apr: The Nightriders Country Music Club, Renishaw, Sheffield
Fri 6 Apr: The Brook, Soham Cambridgeshire
Mon 9 Apr: United Services Club, Widnes, Cheshire.

 

In addition, there’s a special evening of country and bluegrass with Allen Karl and Lynne Butler jointly headlining a superb show at Harpsden Hall, Henley-on-Thames on Saturday 7th April. Tickets are available now from each venue or online at http://www.ukcountryradio.com/AllenKarlUKTour.php

 

WAYNE JACOBS FINDS NEW SONG THROUGH FACEBOOK

I am always fascinated by the inspiration behind songs, and how different songwriters use different techniques to come up with masterpieces. It’s something I cannot do and I am a great admirer of those who can. This month we have been playing a new song by our good friend Wayne Jacobs which has a particularly good story behind it. “My Texas Queen” was inspired by a woman who contacted Wayne through Facebook. As he got to know her, he uncovered a bit about her life story. It turns out she had been cheated on, ran away from her husband with her baby and lived in a run-down car in the car park of a diner. She worked hard at the diner day and night until she finally made enough money to fund an apartment. Cue Wayne to turn that story into a song and he duly did with “My Texas Queen”. As with all of his recent songs, Wayne has had a professional demo made in Nashville. He’s now looking for someone to turn the song into a hit.

THIS MONTH’S SPOTLIGHT UK ARTIST LINDA WELBY

Here is the schedule for our Spotlight UK Artist Linda Welby for the weekend of March 16-18: Linda Welby’s music will be playing  throughout the weekend. You can hear her in conversation and there’s also a very good chance to win some Linda Welby music.

Wildhorse Entertainment thanks Allan Watkiss of UKCountryRadio.com for granting us permission to publish extracts from his amazing monthly UK COUNTRY RADIO newsletter. You can contact Allan at admin@ukcountryradio.com for more of the latest news on UK Artists not featured on Wildhorse Entertainment

 

Ron Thompson Sings By The River With Late Dad

Ron Thompson’s latest Gospel release “Singing By The River” is intended as a memorial to his dad “Tompy” who wrote this song round about 1954. It was included in the J. T. Vaughn convention series song book in 1955. He wrote only two verses and Ron has added a third verse to the song. Here is some history behind the song and Ron’s Dad, affectionately known as “Tompy” Thompson by his friends, as told by his son Ron:
 
Most people are not aware of the music tradition of the southern U.S. so I will provide some background for you. My dad was born in 1919. He and his siblings grew up attending Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in McMinn County,Tennessse. In those days the churches had singing schools and taught their members the techniques of using shape notes and the timing that was associated with the music. Usually singing school teachers would make the rounds of the various churches at least once per year. My dad and his siblings were well versed in music and the only entertainment they had at night as children in their home was by singing. My aunts were excellent alto singers and my dad and his brother sang as well. Dad played the guitar, self taught. When he wrote the song I’m certain he had in mind the many hours that he and his siblings spent singing in their home growing up as children, as singing was the focus of the song.
 
My dad was known by his friends as “Tompy” Thompson. In 1954 and 1955 he and his brother Jimmy Thompson sang with gospel quartets over WLAR radio station in Athens, Tennessee each Sunday morning. My dad’s brother sang with the East Athens Quartet at that time and later with the Harmonares. Over the years the Harmonares sang at hundreds of funerals because they were a popular group and much in demand. My dad sang with Jim Kennedy in a thirty minute program which was sponsored by Baine and Holden Tire Company at 9:00 a. m. each Sunday morning. Dad sang tenor in the quartet but could sing lead or bass parts as well.
 
I can remember going with my dad to the radio station on Sunday morning. In those days WLAR was located on Depot Hill at Athens, Tn. Streets were not “one way” in those days and a person could park in front of the station. Sometimes I would go in and sit outside the studio section while the live broadcast took place. At other times I would sit in the 1953 Ford car and listen. On one such occasion I sat in the car and played the radio for thirty minutes. When dad came out the battery was dead. The 53 Ford had a six volt system and the radio had a multivibrator (aka chopper) that chopped the d. c. current into alternating current and fed it into a step-up transformer. A tube rectifier would convert the 150-300 vac to between 150 and 300 volts d.c. for plate voltage. The bottom line was that those old tube type radios would eat up a battery charge in no time at all. Fortunately we were parked on a hill and the d. c. generator would produce voltage when the straight shift vehicle was rolled off and the clutch popped to turn the engine over.
 
My dad could sight read a song and sing it in time and pitch the way it was written in a song book. Being a regular pianist in a church I can identify with that because I often was required to pick up a book and play a song that I had never seen before, of course with the entire church looking on. Dad ould also sing the shape notes in pitch and time in place of the words. Today, that is a lost art and there probably aren’t a dozen people in the world who can do that.
 
His friend, Jim Kennedy, taught singing schools in the McMinn and Meigs County, Tn. area. Each year Stamps-Baxtor and Vaughn would produce new convention books and those were the source for the singing school. So dad would buy the new books and go through them looking for tough songs to sing. When he found one he showed his friendship to Jim Kennedy by calling that song to be sung during the singing school. He liked to put his friend “on the spot” by those tactics. It was all in jest and for fun.
 
Most people don’t understand that the music heritage for which Bill Monroe and others are credited actually came from Scotland with the early settlers. The proof of that is found in the Flat Creek Baptist Church minutes documented about 1840 when a Thompson cousin was brought before the church for “frollickin before the fiddle.” And there are pictures of Thompson cousins playing the banjo, fiddle, and guitar taken about the time that Bill Monroe was probably in diapers. But what is called “bluegrass” today actually came from Scotland with the Thompsons and the multitude of other Scotts/Irish descendants.
 
In the early 1900’s each year the North Carolina Thompsons would take a trip to McMinn County, Tn. after their crops were up in the fall. They would sit on the porch of my great-grandpa’s home and play bluegrass music. The same thing was true of the Kentucky Thompsons as well. Playing music under the shade tree and on the front porch is probably a lost art or recreation today.
 
Ron has released this song in memory of his Dad “Thompy” Thompson and hopes that DJ’s worldwide would consider “Singing By The River” for airplay. Wildhorse Entertainment is proud to announce that we will be releasing  this historical recording by Ron Thompson as a free promotional download for all Ron Thompson fans, friends, family and DJ’s worldwide Friday. “Singing By The River” has also been released on a new Gospel CD “Glory Train Records Compilation 81”.

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