Country, Western & Gospel Music

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frustrated in any medium like picture-making, where there is no audience). Possessed of no remarkable voice, he still puts over a song as few can. For he won't sing any song that he doesn't believe in, and the sincerity in his delivery registers immediately. For three years he couldn't sing a doleful ballad called "Sad Memories," he says, "because it made me cry." And Roy feels equally strongly about the religious sentiment in the country-music sacred songs which he sings with fervent simplicity. "I won't sing a religious number when people are drinking," he declares. "I didn't at the Astor and I don't at Dunbar Cave."
Acuff referred to the four weeks the Grand Ole Opry played the Hotel Astor Roof in New York this season. It was originally scheduled to run with Grand Ole Opry stars through September as a change of pace to name bands which had not been drawing full houses the summer before, but the deal was called off after a month by mutual consent. Said Roy: "They tried to make a New York show out of us, and we won't change the Grand Ole Opry for anybody."
WRONG SHOWCASE: Country-music entertainment at its uninhibited best depends on an artist-audience rapport next to impossible to pry out of a New York night-club din­ner crowd. Just as the little hymn singer said, the country musicians want to be loved. At home in Nashville, they know they draw their kind of audience. On the road where, at popular prices, they pull in anywhere from 2,000 to 43,000 a night, they also know they are wanted.
In Nashville, the Astor experiment was controversial from the beginning. Most of the older and wiser hands called it a mistake from the start. But many of the young­sters wanted a New York showing. They felt that it was their big chance for television, for WSM does not as yet have facilities for nationwide telecasting. Acuff, Williams, and Smith had been smash hits as guest stars on the Kate Smith show. Eddy Arnold and Pee Wee King had also proved that country music had its place on television, and Arnold had landed the important spot as the summer re­placement for Perry Como. The Astor just wasn't the right showcase.
SCOUTS AND TALENTS: Right along with wanting to be loved, country-music people want to do business with
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III