Tomorrow (10/13) I'll be hosting Back to the Country again on WORT 89.9 FM from 9am to noon and the theme this week will be the elusive and fantastic Starday Extended-Play (EP) Series.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Friday, October 1, 2021
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that my friend Betty Amos passed away yesterday morning. Betty was an accomplished singer, hit songwriter, and just the second woman recorded playing three-finger Scruggs-style banjo. She was a member of the Carlisles in the early '50s and sang on many of their hit records like "Knot Hole," "Iz Zat You Myrtle?," "Rattlesnake Daddy" and others. She was a solo star on the Louisiana Hayride in the mid '50s and made it very clear to me that Elvis Presley was a guest on HER segment of the Hayride and not the other way around. In the early '60s she formed a trio with her sister Jean and best friend Judy Lee (and sometimes a quartet with Gloria Belle) and recorded several incredible bluegrass and fuzz-country sides for Starday Records.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Tomorrow morning is the 2nd Wednesday of the month which means I’ll be back on WORT hosting Back to the Country from 9-noon CST. This week I’ll be taking an in-depth look into one of my very favorite record labels—EVENT RECORDS from Westbrook, ME. Operating from 1956-1961, Event captured some of the best bluegrass ever made by The Lilly Bros w/ Don Stover and Charlie Bailey, made some of the earliest (and best) recordings of Dick Curless and 15-year old guitar phenom Lenny Breau, and brilliantly documented a vibrant New England country music scene in the late ‘50s that included artists like Roy Aldridge, Hal Lone Pine, Betty Cody, Slim Coxx, Curtis Johnson, Harold Carter, Smokey Val, Clyde and Willie Joy, Gene Hooper, Jimmy Copeland, and many more.
Bear Family Records has released deep dives into the early music career of Event co-founder Al Hawkes (see: Allerton & Alton—Black, White & Bluegrass) and the extensive Event Records rockabilly catalog (see: That’ll Flat Git It Vol. 20), but Wednesday’s show will focus on the rich country music contributions of Event Records with many released and unreleased gems from the Event vaults.
Al was a dear friend of mine, a pioneer bluegrass musician, an electronics wizard, and a passionate country music collector and archivist. I’m mighty honored to present a show that focuses on his recorded country music and bluegrass legacy and hope y’all can tune in to hear more of my very favorite records! Tune in via 89.9FM in Southern WI or streaming live via wortfm.org
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Tomorrow morning I'll be back on the radio hosting Back to the Country on WORT 89.9 FM from 9:00-noon CST (and streaming at wortfm.org). What's the theme this week, you ask?
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Hodag Illustration by Fred Chao
Event sponsored by WUD Music
More details at: https://union.wisc.edu/events-and-activities/event-calendar/event/nate-gibson-and-the-honky-tonk-hodags/
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Howdy Friends, tomorrow is the 2nd Wednesday of the month which means I'll be back on WORT 89.9fm hosting Back to the Country. This week's theme is the Country Music Jingle--exploring 100+ years of country music and corporate sponsorship. I'll be playing 3 hours of rarely heard jingles by Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, George Jones, Johnny Horton, Merle Haggard, Bill Monroe, and whole bunch more including some Starday jingle demos never before broadcast and some rare Rex Trailer jingles, too!
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Howdy Friends. Tomorrow is the 2nd Wednesday of the month which means, I'm back on the air, baby! I'll be hosting Back to the Country again from 9am-noon CST and this time around I'll be playing and discussing my very favorite Starday Custom Pressings!
From 1954-1966, Starday Records ran a country-oriented vanity pressing service that released some really raucous rockabilly, boppin' country, drivin' bluegrass, wild western swing, and some of the earliest recordings of Willie Nelson, Link Wray, J.J. Cale, Lonnie Irving, The Lewis Family, and many more. I know I say it all the time, but these are REALLY my favorite records. Check it out in Southern Wisconsin via WORT 89.9 FM or streaming via wortfm.org
Photo of Willie Nelson and I discussing his Starday custom release at Summerfest 2019 in Milwaukee, credit Kevin Smith