Roots Radio News

Between 1963 and 1966, country music enjoyed one of its earliest and most prominent showcases on national television from a studio in the heart of Manhattan. The Jimmy Dean Show, a prime-time, hour-long series launched on Sept. 19, 1963. It was an ambitious Broadway style production, says series co-producer Steve Boyle.

“These were shot at West 77th Street in New York City in ABC Studio One, which is about two blocks from Julliard and three or four blocks from Lincoln Center. It must have seemed like a UFO landing in the middle of Manhattan.”

meltillis.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mel Tillis, the affable longtime country music star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, has died.

A spokesman for Tillis, Don Murry Grubbs, said Tillis died early Sunday at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. He was 85.

Grubbs said Tillis battled intestinal issues since 2016 and never fully recovered. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure.

 

It’s a soundscape unique in and to Nashville: the cascading fountain in the atrium of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, mingled with the floating country jazz guitar of David Andersen. He’s played here six days a week for a good while. Five thousand days, as of this week. He started more than 16 years ago.

“May 1, 2001. That’s right when they opened the building,” he said on Wednesday.

 

Americana En Francais from Brace and Hoffman

Nov 14, 2017

 

Songwriter Eric Brace, founder of the band Last Train Home and Nashville’s Red Beet Records, has a pedigree of pure Americana. But if you scour his catalog deeply, you’ll see that he very much enjoys singing songs from France.

Compass and Red House Join Houses

Nov 9, 2017
Compass Records

 

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams are among the prominent folk and Americana artists whose record label will soon be moving from St. Paul Minnesota to a new home in Nashville.

Nashville’s Compass Records announced this week that it has agreed to acquire Red House Records, a folk label launched in 1983 by DJ and music advocate Bob Feldman.

 

 

Acoustic music legends David Grisman and Tommy Emmanuel released Pickin’ last Friday, marking their first-ever duo album. And it would be hard to find anybody more excited about that than guitarist and singer Trey Hensley. Because he and his duo partner Rob Ickes were invited to join the ongoing album-inspired tour.

 

 

Last Friday, about a month after the untimely death of beloved rock and roller Tom Petty, Canadian folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys released Fifteen, their first album in six years. Track two is one of Petty’s most intimate songs, “Wildflowers.”

“I remember jamming it in a hotel room a few years ago and it came together really naturally. And then we started performing it and people just loved it.”

Folk Anthems, Free At Last?

Oct 27, 2017

 

 

Folk anthems “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land Is Your Land” are on their own road to a particular kind of freedom. Separate lawsuits claim the songs should not be under copyright but in the public domain, and one has been decided.

 

'Galax' Is A Homecoming For The Wild Ponies

Oct 19, 2017

Galax is a town of about 7,000 people on the southern border of Virginia on the edge of the Appalachian mountains. For music lovers, its name conjures up one thing - the Old Fiddler’s Convention a premiere contest and roots music gathering that’s taken place in Galax since 1935. For married musicians Doug and Telisha Williams, who perform under the name The Wild Ponies, the Galax area is also their old home place. It’s where they grew up, dated as high school sweethearts and launched their music career.

 

The office of the Music Health Alliance in a Green Hills office building is bustling with activity on a typical weekday afternoon. The non-profit helps self-employed music professionals - about three fourths of the industry they say - negotiate the complexities of the health care system and take advantage of laws and programs that often go unnoticed or unexploited in times of health crises.

Rhiannon Giddens Eyes New Medium With MacArthur Fellowship

Oct 18, 2017

 

 

When Rhiannon Giddens won the Steve Martin Banjo Prize in 2016, it was a validation of the North Carolina musician’s contributions to old-time, string band and bluegrass music. But her MacArthur Fellowship, announced last week, propels Giddens into a creative and intellectual future that promises to shape society itself.

 

Ruston Kelly 'Black Magic'

Oct 17, 2017

Ruston Kelly performed his song, Black Magic, for WMOT's Wired In session May 25, 2017. Kelly is a Nashville based singer-song writer.

A half a dozen guys are wrestling with the poles of a big canvas tent in a field in Kingston Springs, TN. We're at Hayshed Farms, and the goal is to be ready by Friday for the second annual Hoedown on the Harpeth. Organizer Robert Dunn takes a break to describe what to expect over two days and nights this weekend.  “We’re trying to reflect on that 1925 to 1975 era of classic country music," Dunn said. "And back in those days was when you had a festival like this at the local farm or down the street. Everything was homemade. Just to give that down home feel of the working man’s festival.

Well after midnight on Thursday at World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, North Carolina, Molly Tuttle and her quartet took the stage of the Lincoln Theater for a surprise show. The room quivered with anticipation because, a few hours before, Tuttle had been named the IBMA Guitar Player of the Year -- the first woman to ever be nominated for the prize.

 

Last weekend in Raleigh, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn brought their intimate banjo-centric duo to several thousand people at World of Bluegrass, because they’re among the biggest stars in the genre. This week though, Béla and Abby, as they are affectionately known to the bluegrass community, will scale down and give back in a series of benefits shows in Nashville, starting on Tuesday evening.

“October 3rd at the Basement we are going to be working with the Tennessee Environmental Council, which is a group that Bela in particular has worked a lot with.”

Youth Brigade Brings Change to the IBMA Awards

Sep 29, 2017

RALEIGH, NC (Havighurst)  -- The premium prizes at this year’s International Bluegrass Music Awards were bound to go to industry veterans based on the nominee pool, but an insurgent slate of young and first-time winners in the instrumentalist categories sent a signal Thursday night in Raleigh, NC that bluegrass in the coming years will be defined at least as much by a new generation as by the seasoned artists that have tended to win prizes year in, year out. Serial winners have been a source of frustration within the bluegrass community for some time.

Elizabeth Cook on Wired In

Sep 27, 2017

Elizabeth Cook wrote El Camino in Shelby Bottoms Park in East Nashville. Cook performed El Camino during WMOT's May Wired In session from Thiel Studio.

Mama's Funeral is Cook's personal account of her mothers death and funeral.

Diving Deep at the Musicians Hall of Fame

Sep 26, 2017
Olivia Ladd

 

A Santana drum kit and a pivotal mobile recording studio are among the new items at Nashville's most geeked out music museum.

 

 

 

The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum might be the most out of the way, centrally located attraction in Nashville. Six blocks from the tourist throngs on Lower Broadway, next door neighbor to the Tennessee State Capitol and the Davidson County Courthouse, it’s easy to miss.

 

thecharlesbradley.com/

Charles Bradley, the "Screaming Eagle of Soul," whose late-blossoming career was built on fiery performances that evoked his idol, James Brown, died in Brooklyn on Saturday, Sept. 23, according to a statement by his pu

blicist. In 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver. He was 68 yeas old.

Josh Ritter Live Video on WXPN Free at Noon

Sep 22, 2017

Josh Ritter performs live on our NPR partner station WXPN out of Philadelphia, Friday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. CST.

A Feast of a Fest: Americana 2017 in Review

Sep 19, 2017
Jacqueline Justice

The best way to approach an oncoming juggernaut like AmericanaFest is a delicate balance of reckless ambition and meticulous planning. That, in any event, is one of my takeaways from observing how WMOT and Music City Roots made the scene and flew their flags amid this year’s city-wide roots music extravaganza.

WMOT's 1st Birthday Bash Live

Sep 16, 2017

WMOT hosts its first birthday bash at 6th & Peabody in the Yee-Haw Tent with a amazing lineup of Americana artists. If you can't make it in person watch it live here on WMOT.org.

11:00   Paul Thorn

12:00   Reckless Kelly

1:00     Whitney Rose

2:00     The Secret Sisters

3:00     The Deep Dark Woods

4:00     The O’Connor Band

5:00     Lilly Hiatt

6:00     The Texas Gentlemen

7:00     Aaron Lee Tasjan

8:00     Katie Pruitt

9:00     Vandoliers

10:00   Mike Farris 

WMOT presents a special AMERICANAFEST 2017 edition of Wired In with Brent Cobb, Tony Joe White and Lori McKenna live from Thiel Studios.

And The Americana Awards Go To...

Sep 13, 2017

Veterans of roots music fared well at the 2017 Americana Music Honors & Awards, with John Prine and Marty Stuart accepting hand-made trophies for Artist and Group of the Year respectively. The 16th annual ceremony again offered resonant performances and speeches at the Ryman Auditorium on a night that showcased the diversity and mutual admiration of the musical format and its community.  

 

WMOT AMERICANAFEST 2017 Line-Up

Sep 12, 2017

  Wired In AMERICANAFEST 2017 EDITION

Thursday, Sept. 14 at Thiel Studios 150 3rd Avenue South, Suite 108 from 4 to 7 PM

4:00 PM Tony Joe White

5:00 PM Brent Cobb

6:00 PM Lori McKenna

WMOT members and AMERICANAFEST Badge Holders are welcome.

Music City Roots

Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Yee-Haw Tent on 6th & Peabody from 7 to 11 PM

Pony Bradshaw, Angaleena Presley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Cactus Blossoms, John Paul White and a special after show performance by Lee Ann Womack.

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