Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – I Sure Hope Country Music Didn’t Die Today

Friday, April 26, 2013 - by Bob Payne

You know this old world is full of singers
But just a few are chosen
To tear your heart out when they sing
Imagine life without them
All your, radio heros
Like the outlaw that walks through Jesse's dream

No, there will never be another
Red-headed stranger
A Man in Black and Folsom Prison Blues
The Okie from Muskogee
Or Hello Darling
Lord I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes

This song, written by Troy Seals and Max Barnes, and released by George Jones in 1985 describes the terrible scenario of life without our favorite country performers.  Now we are faced with life without George Jones, as only his memories and recordings are left. George Jones died in Nashville this morning at Vanderbilt University. He was 81 years old and had just played Chattanooga last month.

Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and so many legends of country music are now gone. One is left to ponder who will, or could, take their place. A few still remain, with Merle Haggard, Ray Price, and Willie Nelson immediately coming to mind, but they are getting on up there in age. These country music giants still perform, but even their days on stage are limited.

That leaves us with a whole bunch of “new country” artists, such as Blake Shelton and Luke Bryant. Yes, it’s true, that is who is selling all the records today and packing the mega-concert venues. What is not true is that their music is necessarily “country music”. When Merle and Johnny and Waylon came along they also changed country music, but they did so with reverence and respect for their elder performers that blazed the trails of the business before them. That is where Mr. Shelton seems to have lost his way – his lack of respect for those that made country music a thriving business.

In Chattanooga we are lucky to have some performers that keep traditional country music alive – Channing Wilson, Nathan Farrow, Davey Smith, and a few others respect the trail-blazers like Merle and Waylon. I suspect that many of the original artists they cover would be proud of our local boys renditions and proud of their original songs as well.

Who's gonna fill their shoes
Who's gonna stand that tall
Who's gonna play the Opry
And the Wabash Cannonball
Who's gonna give their heart and soul
To get to me and you
Lord I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes.

Maybe it will be Nathan, or Channing, or Davey.

For local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com or www.chattanooganightscope.com. They both have great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.

Email Bob Payne at davrik2000@yahoo.com or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000.

Bob Payne
Bob Payne
- Photo2 by Davey Farrow

Heritage House In Heritage Park Announces 2 ‘Seasonal Film Screenings’ For The Month Of October

Heritage House Arts and Civic Center in East Brainerd will be showing two films officials say are guaranteed to get you into the proper ‘spirit’ this fall season. The first film to be shown is VIY (aka:  Spirit of Evil, 1967) presented in conjunction with Chattanooga's Russian Film Club. Considered the first horror film of the modern Soviet era, VIY tells the story of ... (click for more)

Chien And Shifrin To Open String Theory’s Eighth Season

String Theory founder and Artistic Director Gloria Chien, pianist, and guest artist David Shifrin, clarinetist, will be the first performers of the 2016-17 season on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Hunter Museum of Art.   String Theory at the Hunter brings celebrated chamber musicians from around the world to perform in the intimate setting ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 2.0 Embarrassment

Let’s pretend you are coming to a new and exciting world. You are on the jolly good ship “Mayflower” when some Miles Standish-type of a guy (he was the Pilgrim’s first cop) calls you into is presence and says, “Within two hours we are expected to stand on Plymouth Rock. Please come up with ten primary goals we should have in our public schools.” I believe you could do it within ... (click for more)