Hi Friends – The band and I are about to arrive at Pace, FL for tomorrow’s show. There’s two words an entertainer likes to hear and that’s “Sold Out” — heard that today and that’s exciting. You know we’ve been coming to this area of Florida for many years and nothing gives us more pleasure than seeing so many friends and familiar faces.
My office is going to add a video here below that they took of an impromptu rehearsal backstage at the Ryman for the Jack Greene Memorial . I’ll be seeing it for the first time with you here so let’s keep our fingers crossed! I think it was shot blindfolded on an old I Phone but they convinced me you’d want to see how we sort of get a song rehearsed on the fly, so to speak. It’s definitely easier on me when I know I’m going to be working with the very best musicians like the great Jimmy Capps (guitar), Tim Atwood (piano)and Penn Pennington (Upright Bass). Then we had Moore & Moore plus Michele Capps singing beautiful harmonies. We had Jeff Cook from Alabama visiting so he jumped in at rehearsal too. Carrie Moore is my booking agent and Jimmy and Michele Capps are TV stars on Larry’s Country Diner (when they aren’t working at the Grand Ole Opry!). Penn was very close to Jack and produced at least one album for him. So we did this quick little run through, then sang it for the service. I just want to say how much I appreciate everyone shown in this video for a beautiful job, done in honor of our friend, Jack Greene.
Hi Friends – The band and I are in Ft. Smith, AR for tonight’s show . Just finished soundcheck and we’re now just shooting the breeze as they say. Talking about a lot of great songs and how I decide on certain songs and pass on others. You know it’s tough but usually after hearing a song, I’ll sit and try to sing it as I would do it. I have to really “hear” myself singing it. If I can’t do that, I’ll pass. Sometimes there might be a few lines written that I would never hear myself saying or occasionally, a song will be written from a point of view that is just not my point of view. If a singer’s lucky, he’s got to live with a song a very long time so it ought to be one that holds great meaning or has a melody you love or some redeeming value. Of course I always say if I’d known I’d still be singing the great song ”Farewell Party ” for all these years maybe I wouldn’t have jumped so many octaves on that ending! But then it wouldn’t be the same would it? But a song like “Farewell Party” is just a rare gift. It was written by the great songwriter Lawton Williams and the words are powerful. Several other artists had already recorded it before me but in different tempos. I just knew I was meant to record it and it certainly has become my most requested song — and it’s a song I never tire of singing. I’m glad it brings you as much pleasure as it has me all these years. I appreciate all of you that request that song and I’ll keep singing it every night for as long as the good Lord’s willing. Hope you have a great week and stay in touch, Gene
I’ve been hearing from a lot of fans that have followed my music from all the way back to when I was just trying to make a living playing Houston clubs at night and working on cars during the day. It made for some long hours but I wouldn’t take anything for those days. I was just glad someone wanted to hear me sing and I still feel that same way today. I’d sing if there were just two people in the club (and I’ve played some dates where you could run a train through and not hit a body). There’s always something that comes along to keep it fresh and new. One of the “new” things is the fun we have on the Country Family Reunion shows and cruises. It’s always great to see my friends on the show and catch up with their news. Of course I just enjoy hearing the stories and listening to everyone sing just like you do. I don’t think artists in the other styles get to bond like we do in country music. It’s just something really special. Today I’ve been listening to some old Louvin Brothers. What great harmonies they had. I like hearing the old classic Everly Brothers too. They were “pop” music when they first came out but today their music would probably be released as country. Great family harmonies. Thanks to all of you that have sent me some of your photos from the old shows. Thought I’d share this one from around 1980. If you’ve got one you want to send me, just send to Artist@Lytlemgmt.com . Take care, Gene
Happy Friday! It’s a weekend of music with our Farewell Party Band plus Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. We’re doing shows in Bremen, GA and Palatka, FL together and it will be fun I know. I’m sorry for everyone in the midwest suffering through snow and ice. Even heard there was Thunder-Snow going on. Snowing and thundering at the same time. Now that’s just messed up! Hoping by next week when we’re at the Strawberry Festival in Florida that it’s full on sunshine. After all, they call Florida the “Sunshine State” so it ought to live up to its name or we’re gonna have something to say about that. Listening to some old classics on the bus today and it reminded me of my early days playing the clubs. We always ended every night with this song : ”Funny How Time Slips Away”. That was written by Willie Nelson and was probably who I heard sing it first in the early 1960′s but actually if I remember right, Billy Walker had the very first recording of it. Of course the song has gone on to be recorded by everyone from Elvis to George Jones . That’s what we love about great songs and I think those of us that love country music appreciate lyrics more than any other format. Keep on listening and keep country music alive and well, Gene
Hey Friends – Like Willie sings “We’re Back on the Road Again”. It was a nice road trip from Texas to NC – beautiful weather all the way. We’re all just sitting on the bus playing some old tunes and talking about old friends we’ve known in the business. All of us have too many favorites but I used to sing all the early George Jones songs and of course lots of Ray Price. Can’t play in Houston nightclubs and not sing a Ray Price song. Then there’s all those great Merle Haggard songs. I’m sure I must’ve sung every Merle Haggard song that was out in the days I was playing the Houston clubs. Mel Street’s “Borrowed Angel” and Gary Stewart ‘s ”She’s Acting Single (and I’m Drinking Doubles” are some favorites from the band . If you’re reading this I know you appreciate the good stuff, the truly classic country songs. Thankfully there are so many great songs and I can appreciate YouTube more now because you can pull those up when you want to hear an original. When that YouTube first started I wasn’t sure I needed to see every performance I ever made up there but I get it now and it’s great to be able to go back and look at some of those classic TV shows . If you’re around NC come see us this weekend we’re in Breman, GA and Palatka, FL so hope we’ll see you there. Have a great weekend, Gene