Country Gold with Leroy Van Dyke, David Frizzell, Lacy J. Dalton and Bobby Bare
Country Gold with Leroy Van Dyke, David Frizzell, Lacy J. Dalton and Bobby Bare
“Hello. This is Bobby. Yeah, I’m on the road, headed to South Dakota for a Show”.
The drawl is unmistakeable and immediately conjures song like “Marie Laveau”, “Detroit City”, “Margie’s At the Lincoln Park Inn”, “The Winner and the unforgettable “The Giving Tree”.
It’s a voice that’s been missing too long off the airwaves except for the local stations or satellite shows that play classic country and include Bobby Bare songs on their play list.
Fact is, Bare hasn’t had a new solo CD out since the 1980’s, when he chose to quit recording instead of putting out albums that weren’t exactly what he wanted to do.
That’s all changed with the release of The Moon Is Blue on Dualtone Records, Bare’s recent release of some of his favorite songs from as far back as 1908 and as recent as the 1990’s.
The CD marks the first time Bare and his son, Bobby Jr., have worked together in the studio since the youngster recorded with his dad on “Daddy, What If?” “Bobby Jr. had been trying to get me to go in the studio and do stuff with his pickers”, Bare tells how the CD came about. “We went in the studio with Mark Nevers of Lambchop, an engineer who worked for years with (producer) Scott Hendricks. Then he just decided he didn’t like new country music anymore and he went into the opposite thing.
“So we went into Mark’s Studio and the first thing I did was “Are You Sincere” and then I did a couple more things. I enjoyed it; I got in there and thought “This is fun”. I’d play chords on the guitar and the band would fall in and just start playing with me. I hadn’t doe that since (the album) Lullabies, Legends and Lies, and I thought “This is great, it felt good”.
Father and son went in the studio in the fall of 2004, and in January Bare went to Florida, where he goes to fish while cold weather wraps Nashville in its heavy cloak. While he was gone, Bobby Jr. took what they had recorded to Scott Robinson at Dualtone Records. Before Bare knew it, he was getting calls form his son and from Robinson. “Scott loved it and so I said, “when we get back we’ll finish it out”. I didn’t have anything to do with the music. I told them I’ll just show up to sing and you guys do whatever you want to do, musically. If I insert myself into this you’ll have another country record.”
The Moon Is Blue is not exactly another country record, but it is a Bobby Bare record. The songs are some of his favorites, “Songs I’ve loved over the years and I never got around to recording, probably because a lot of them are pop songs”, he says by way of explanation. “I remember Guy Mitchell singing “My Heart Cries For you” back in the late 40s, and I remember Charles Asnavour singing “Yesterday When I Was Young”, before Roy Clark. I always loved Wayne Walker’s “Are You Sincere”, I loved the Max Barnes song “I Am An Island” when I first heard it. Max lived over next to me; he’d come over to the house for breakfast. I’d call him every once in a while and ask him for some of his songs so I’d have something to play in the truck. I’d do the same thing for Harlan (Howard) and some of the rest of the songwriters. That song was in the last bunch Max gave me.
“And I wanted to do the old Ink Spots song, “Shine On Harvest Moon”. It was written in 1909; I didn’t’ know it was that old. “Fellow Travelers” is an Allen Reynolds song that I heard when he produced me and I always remembered it”. Of course there’s a Shel Silverstein song, “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan”, recorded by Dr. Hook and Tompall and the Glaser Brothers. And Bare recalls hearing Mac Wiseman singing “Love Letters in the Sand” before Pat Boone recorded it. “That’s how Pat Boone happened to do it, he was on Dot Records and Mac ran Dot for a while out in Los Angeles,” Bare supplies a bit of musical history while talking about the songs he recorded.
Bare tells about wanting to record “Everybody’s Talking” back in the 1960s, a couple years before Midnight Cowboy came out. “I got hold of a Harry Nilsson album and took it to Chet (Atkins) and told him I wanted to record that song and Chet said “That song doesn’t make much sense”. Of course he was right, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I still loved it. But Chet was always right. The audience I had then probably wouldn’t get it. I finally got to do it this time.”
Bare may have been familiar with the songs but he wasn’t familiar with most of the musicians before he started recording the project. “Most of them were pretty new to me. Now I had known Tony Crow, because he’s part of Bobby’s circle. But I just let’em roll and do their thing in the studio. For instance, on “Are you Sincere”, the bass player was doing a walking bass on that, which is something that I would never have done with that song. But it feels good when you’re singing it. On “Am I That Easy to Forget”, that middle break is some kind of distortion; I don’t know what it is. The intro to “Everybody’s Talking” is really strange.” “I would ask them about these things and they would say, “It sounds cool” and I’d say “alright, this is a cool experience”.
Bare is aware that he probably won’t be played on Billboard’s top 100 stations, but he says he’s been doing a lot of interviews with deejays around the country who are playing songs off the new project. He’s also finished a video for “Are You Sincere”. It’s all visual now,” Bare admits. “If you kick that back to the 1950’s, if it was visual then, we might never have heard Hank Williams or Hank Snow and probably not Marty Robbins.”
What it may not be now is as much fun as it once was for the singers and entertainers in country music. Before Waylon died, we were talking about that, and Waylon said, “You know all these new acts, they’re not having any fun; hell, we had fun.” And we did. We’d sit around and pick guitars and sing new songs and we loved the music. And we played pin ball. Now I get the feeling that none of these acts even know each other. You don’t get to hang out on the road like we did. If some big star has somebody open for them you might get to know them a little but that’s about it. They might meet in the hallway at some awards show but you don’t’ really know anybody, you don’t have fun with them. “Young people have energy, drive and they are willing to do anything to get on record. The record companies love it, because these young artists are ignorant. I was ignorant too. A lot of times it’s an asses, it allows you to do things, keeps you in the business. If your young and know the odds and have any sense at all, you probably wouldn’t do it. When you get older you know what the odds are.”
Bare thinks most of the popular artists are sincere about their music, and he says a lot of it is very good. “I don’t know how it can sound any better,” the singer says, acknowledging that the technology allows the artists to sound the best they can be. “Tim McGraw come sup with a lot of great songs. Of course when Garth was with Allen Reynolds’ Allen is a great song person and he’s got a handle on those songs. I loved “Almost Home” by Craig Morgan. That was a great song. I loved “The Cowboy In Me” that Tim McGraw did. I Love Keith Urban. And Kenny Chesney comes up with some great songs, but of course his producers are great songwriters. Buddy (Cannon, Chesney’s producser) is what I consider a version of Allen Reynolds, as far as knowing great songs. And he’s a great person. When he gets a song he respects it and does it right. That’s important.”
Though country music has fallen from its height of popularity in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Bare is sure that it will come back around. The world loves country music. America loves country music. We’ve gone through this before with Elvis- people thought country music was dead. It came back in the 1960’s with a new batch of young people. I was a part of it.”
“Then in the 1970’s came disco and it took over and then it go boring and then all of a sudden, bam there was Randy Travis and a whole group of new country artists and they had a big ride.
“Now that’s evolved into a great pop sound and again, it’s become boring, which means that right around the corner there’s another group of young people waiting in the wings to start a brand new cycle. It’s just a matter of a year or two.”
LEROY VAN DYKE
Leroy Van Dyke, of “Auctioneer” and “Walk On By” fame, star of the movie, “What Am I Bid?” is known around the world as an entertainer, recording artist, radio and television star, actor, auctioneer and veteran of the Nevada circuit. He has recorded over 500 songs, and probably holds the record for most repeat-performance bookings of any working, name country music entertainer. He has worked 40 to 70 fairs and livestock events per year for over five decades, in addition to a great variety of other engagements.
He was born on a farm (not in a hospital) in rural Pettis County, Missouri, without the amenities of running water and electricity. He was reared on a 3,000-acre ranch southeast of Sedalia and became fully conversant in all aspects of farm/ranch operations. His father was also the pioneer truck line operator in central Missouri, and Leroy became an expert over-the-road driver, hauling furniture, livestock, freight and farm commodities. This early training developed in Leroy diverse occupational abilities and a work ethic that has served him well in every aspect of his life.
Elementary schooling for Leroy was in one-room country schools, then to high school at Sedalia, where he ranked third in a class of 180 graduates.
Leroy is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a dual major: Animal Husbandry and Journalism, with a minor in Speech. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, did one semester of graduate work, and was a member of both the junior and senior University of Missouri intercollegiate livestock judging teams. Between his junior and senior years at the University of Missouri, Leroy attended and graduated from Reppert’s School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana.
After serving as a special agent, U. S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, in Korea, Leroy was catapulted into show business while working as a fieldman in the purebred livestock advertising department of the Cornbelt Farm Dailies, a chain of livestock newspapers, when his self-penned “Auctioneer” recording went a million-plus just weeks after its release. He then joined Red Foley’s ABC-TV Network “Ozark Jubilee” in Springfield, Missouri, as a regular member, and continued in that position for three years until the show left the air.
He again had a multi-million seller with “Walk On By,” a record that stayed in the charts an incredible 42 weeks, nineteen in the number one position, and was later named by Billboard Magazine as the biggest country music record in history! In 1961, Leroy moved to Nashville, Tennessee, then, in 1962, became a regular member of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry.
Music industry experts named Leroy Van Dyke as the Country Music Entertainer of the Decade for the 1960s. He had the starring role in the 1967 movie “What Am I Bid?.”
Leroy was a founding co-host of “Country Crossroads,” the most widely syndicated show in radio history; he hosted his own syndicated television series, “The Leroy Van Dyke Show;” he hosted the 1965 Country Music Association Awards Show at which Ernest Tubb was inducted into the Hall of Fame; he was the first entertainer to receive the prestigious Country Music Association Founding President’s Award for contributing to the advancement and improved image of country music; he served on the board of directors of the Country Music Association, and on the board of the International Entertainment Buyers Association.
He was selected by the Country Music Association to represent it in showcase situations at the Waldorf in New York, The Monteleone in New Orleans, The Edgewater Beach and the Conrad Hilton in Chicago, The Ambassador in Los Angeles and numerous Country Music Association functions in Nashville.
Van Dyke is considered by industry moguls and by his peers to be the entertainer who put professionalism in country music. He was the first to blaze a trail and take a staged, produced, choreographed, self-contained country music show to the “Strip” in Las Vegas. He was the first to take country music to Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter. He was the only country music performer ever to open a show for Marilyn Monroe.
Leroy is a 2001 inductee into the North American Country Music Association, International, Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2007, Leroy was the recipient of the Missouri Country Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, Leroy was inducted into the International Entertainment Buyers Association’s Hall of Fame.
Also, in 2008, Leroy was named the Alumnus of the Year by the University of Missouri (Columbia) College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. After more than five decades as an entertainer, Leroy has not missed a performance, and still travels in excess of a hundred thousand miles yearly around the world . . . he performs in all facets of show business, including fairs, festivals, concerts, rodeos, supper clubs, conventions, radio, television, recordings, the Nevada circuit, livestock events, agricultural shows and private functions.
On a personal note, should you ask, Leroy will tell you that there are only four things he ever wanted to do: sing, sell, write, and raise livestock. He is living his dream. His name is a household word in country music circles around the world. He is an auctioneering Hall of Fame member. He was a successful journalist, and is the author of “Auctioneering, Motivation, Success,” a work that is rapidly becoming the textbook of the auction profession. His Arabian mules are developing a reputation from New England to California and from Canada to the Deep South.
His life and his career are tightly woven into the fabric of country music history and lore. He is both legacy and legend with an unmistakable voice and a captivating style.
David Frizzell is one of the greatest voices in country music with a haunting resemblance to his older brother, the ultimate stylist, Lefty Frizzell. Both share that raw, forlorn quality that is essential to the interpretation of traditional country themes, but David’s voice is even more resonant and nuanced; a perfect instrument for conveying the deepest emotion of every lyric.
While still just a teenager, David Frizzell left home to perform and tour with his legendary brother, working the concert circuit with many of the mightiest names in country music. By his 18th birthday, Frizzell was recording country and rockabilly albums for Columbia Records. A four-year hitch in the military slowed his burgeoning musical career, but upon his discharge, Frizzell was immediately re-signed to Columbia.
David emerged from the significant shadow of his brother to create his own artistic identity. He recorded and charted the first country version of “L.A. International Airport” (months before it became a hit by Susan Raye) and followed that song with a Top 40 rendition of “I Just Can’t Help Believing.” Frizzell parlayed his recording success into headlining country shows in Las Vegas, a bold move that paved the way for other country acts in Las Vegas.
In the early 1980s, Frizzell founded the musical duo of Frizzell & West with the gorgeous and gifted Shelly West, daughter of country superstar Dottie West. Their recording of “You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma” made its way to Clint Eastwood, who insisted on adding the tune to the soundtrack of his forthcoming film, Any Which Way You Can … despite the fact that every major label had previously passed on the song and the duo. This vote of confidence earned Frizzell & West a contract with Viva/Warner Bros. and the wheels began to turn quickly. A small radio station in Tulare, California began to play the album track. Other stations followed, prompting Warner Bros. to release the song as a single. Soon, the song that nobody wanted became a smash hit.
Frizzell & West remains one of the most-awarded acts in entertainment; one that sold out arenas worldwide and produced five albums. The duo twice won the Country Music Association’s Vocal Duo of the Year award, twice won the Academy of Country Music award for Vocal Duet of the Year and were awarded the ACM Song of the Year award. They also received the Music City News Award for Duet of the Year twice and Song of the Year as well. During his duet years with West, Frizzell continued a vibrant solo career. He scored a huge chart-topping hit with “I’m Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home.” The record is a country music standard, and has been featured on CMT’s 40 Greatest Drinking Songs in Country Music, making #17 in the countdown. Also, making #6 in CMT’s countdown of the 100 Greatest Duets is “You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma.”
Along with his CMA awards, Frizzell has won numerous performing and recording trophies from the Academy of Country Music, Billboard and Music City News. He has been nominated for three Grammys, both as part of Frizzell & West and as a solo artist.
As producer of the popular Frizzell & Friends series of projects, David brings together some of the top performers in the business for both live and recorded projects. On his own Nashville America Records label, Frizzell & Friends guest performances have included Merle Haggard, Crystal Gayle, Johnny Lee, Gene Watson, Joe Stampley, Jeannie Seely, T. Graham Brown, Lacy J. Dalton, Bobby Bare, Helen Cornelius, Jimmy Fortune (Statler Brothers), John Cowan (New Grass Revival), Johnny Rodriguez, Amy Clawson, brother Allen Frizzell and niece Tess Frizzell.
In 2011, David released his long awaited book, a tribute to the life and career of Lefty Frizzell. “I Love You A Thousand Ways: The Lefty Frizzell Story” features a forward by Merle Haggard and chronicles the turbulent life and career of one of America’s most influential voices. The book was named by CMT as one of the Best Music Books of the year. An audio book is in production and David is working on a screenplay of the story.
A star-studded 70th birthday celebration at Nashville’s Hard Rock Cafe was no mere milestone in 2011. More of a stepping stone, the event marked the entry to 2012, the year Frizzell calls his “year of giving back.” In addition to the Lefty project honoring the brother who loved, taught and inspired him, David has plans to give back in other ways. He has teamed up with M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) to raise awareness of the dangers of driving impaired, and of the tremendous service provided by the organization. The Frizzell family itself was touched by loss in the wake of an accident with a drunk driver and this project is one way for David to both thank MADD, and strive to help and inspire others. With the moving song, “Say Hello To Heaven,” set for release in early 2012, David paints a story of loss with the palpable emotion that only his inimitable voice can deliver. The song and a segment focused on MADD will be part of a Frizzell & Friends television show on the RFD network.
Writing, producing, touring and performing… David Frizzell is not one to rest on his many accolades. This timeless entertainer continues to share his gifts to the delight of fans old and new across the US and throughout the world.
Lacy J. Dalton
Hailing from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania Lacy is an American country singer and songwriter. Starting her singing career in 1978 as Jill Croston, with Harbor Records, she was signed by Columbia Records in 1980 and quickly rose to national prominence with “16th Avenue” a song that raced to #7 on the BillBoard Country Charts.
Her gritty, powerful vocals, which People Magazine likened to a country equivalent of Bonnie Raitt, Lacy had a number of other hits through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, including “Takin’ It Easy”, “Crazy Blue Eyes”, “Black Coffee”, “Slip Away”, and “Next To Me”.
Now living in Virginia City, Nevada where she is a wild horse advocate and the president of her own not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization to help these endangered creatures, she continues to record and perform. Lacy has recently released three independently recorded albums, “Wild Horse Crossing” on Shop Records in 1999; “The Last Wild Place”, on Song Dog Records in 2004; and her 2010 self-released “Here’s To Hank”.
When asked about her musical influences, she is quick to reply, “Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Karen Dalton, Fred Koller, Big Mama Thorton, Billie Holliday, Hank Williams, Sr., Tammy Wynette and J.J. Cale.”
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