by Kent Whitaker I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and often visited the Tennessee State Fairgrounds for events including NASCAR racing. Stock car racing has had a long history with fair grounds and it continues to this day. The Fairgrounds in the Music City still host several races at the track yearly with visits from sanctioning bodies such as the ARCA Racing Series. NASCAR is a sport that ties in perfectly with home town fans and it has the history to go along with the thrill of racing! Back in the day, during Prohibition, booze runners used their modified cars to outrun authorities from the local police to Federal Tax officers. Naturally, when you have a select group of people that can drive fast and have a competitive nature – some sort of contest is going to take place. Since they were driving fast cars to out run the authorities the chance to claim bragging rights came from winning informal races. Those races began to become popular and drivers outside of the moonshine industry started joining in. Soon, regional tracks were hosting stock car races across the south. A driver could drive his car from the house, paint a number on the side, race and hopefully collect a few dollars in winning without damaging his car. Modern NASCAR Racing Back in the 1940’s Bill France, the founder of NASCAR, saw the need for a more organized form of sport of stock car racing. He proposed a legitimate sanctioning body that would set specific rules. At the time, it was a common practice for a promoter to skip out with the money made from selling tickets without paying the drivers. And, there were little or no rules governing cars or track safety. France, also known as Big Bill, organized a meeting of drivers, car owners, mechanics and other people involved in racing at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., on December 14, 1947. This marks the official date that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, now known simply as NASCAR, was born. On February 15, 1948, about two months after the meeting, became the winner of the first sanctioned NASCAR race which took place on the beach in Daytona. France went on to incorporate NASCAR and the France family has held its leadership ever since. The sanctioning body is recognized as the worlds leader in stock car racing as well as other forms of racing including the International Motor Sports Association known as IMSA. In [...]
The Grand Ole Opry will honor George Jones on May 2nd with a public funeral. CMT will televise the service Thursday (May 2) at 10 a.m. CT. Was George Jones the greatest living country singer ever? George was born on September 12, 1931, in Saratoga, Texas. His family was quite poor. He was one of eight siblings. His father was an alcoholic. Many do not know he taught himself to play guitar. George has had amazing longevity in a business famous for 'here today gone tomorrow' country singers. In 1955 he made the country charts with "Why Baby Why". He sang under the name of Thumper Jones in 1956. He had a chart hit every decade since he began recording. There wer 14 total hits from 1959 to 1983. In 1980 he recorded a song called 'He Stopped Loving Her 'Today'. George was also famous for his drinking and drug habits in the 1970s through the 1990s. As we all know it takes something serious for a drinker to stop entirely drinking and that happened to George in a car crash in 1999. How many albums did George Jones make? Good question? 140 singles and 25 collaborated albums He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957 and wrote songs in the 1980s. If you are into country music you have to honor George Jones for his contributions. He will be very missed.
article by -John Nova Lomax You wouldn't need to know anything about JUBAL LEE YOUNGs background to hear that THIS IS A CAT WHO HAS THE PROVERBIAL “IT.” But heritage he has indeed! On his third album “The Last Free Place in America”, the only son of outlaw country-rock/Americana royals Steve Young (“Seven Bridges Road,” “Lonesome On’ry and Mean”) and Terrye Newkirk (“My Oklahoma”, “Come Home, Daddy”) comes ever more into his own. Young’s smoky molasses-rasp of a baritone sounds both familiar and new at the same time on this collection of eleven originals and one cover (Richard Dobson’s “Piece of Wood and Steel.”). Along the way, Young conjures the spirits of everyone from John Lee Hooker on drone-y blues like “Boom, Boom, Boom” and “Dead Miners” to the classic rock of Bob Seger (“Piece of Wood and Steel”) to the sort of snakey-fiddle, cracked shot-glass outlaw country-rock Hank Jr. made back when he was still cool. (“Justice or Death.”) Young has survived some dark times – when not working in radio (for Nashville’s once-ubercool WKDF), he spent his 20s drinking, drugging, and wrestling with his legacy by rocking way harder than was entirely necessary, and you can hear that era distilled to its purest essence in the midnight malevolence of “Animal Farm.” And on the jaunty, hilarious “I Refuse,” you can hear him exult in his relatively new found comfort in his own skin. Nowhere is Young’s soaring voice or sharp songwriting skills displayed in bolder relief than on the title track, which was inspired by a passage in the Woody Guthrie biography _Ramblin’ Man_. Late in his life, the disease-wracked and bottle-wrecked Guthrie had been institutionalized in a Brooklyn nuthouse, where at last he found relief from J. Edgar Hoover’s black-suited Red Scare inquisitors. “They decided he was probably harmless if he was in the nuthouse, so they kinda wrote him off,” says Young. “A couple of his Communist friends came by and were expressing concern for his well-being, and Woody said, ‘Y’all don’t worry about me. I’m okay. In here, I can stand up and say “I’m a Communist,” and they just look at me and say “Aw, he’s crazy.” This is the last free place in America.’ That whole book was a good read but that one story just jumped out at me – I thought ‘_that’s_ a song.’ “It’s kinda still true,” Young continues. “We claim this is a free country and it’s not in a lot of ways. Whether the Constitution [...]