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

WTVC Anchor Sarah Jennings To Leave NewsChannel 9

WTVC morning anchor Sarah Jennings has announced her resignation effective Dec. 31.  “Leaving my wonderful co-workers at the end of the year to spend more time with my family is a bittersweet decision, but one which I'm so grateful God has given me,” Ms. Jennings said. A native of Cleveland, Ms. Jennings began her TV career in 2003 as a traffic reporter for WTVC. She ... (click for more)

Closed Door Entertainment's I Wish Talent Showcase Is Dec. 17

Closed Door Entertainment will present the I Wish... Talent Showcase on Saturday, Dec. 17.  The event includes dinner. There will be performances from various members of the CDE family, as they perform songs or dances from shows or roles they've dreamed of doing, alongside performers who have talents they want to share with audience. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speek and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

Curtis Coleman Sentenced To 144 Months For Dealing Heroin

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by Federal Judge Travis R. McDonough for heroin distribution in Chattanooga. Coleman pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute heroin.  According to information on file with the United States District ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)