Tag Archives: Buddy Cannon

2014 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees: Hank Cochran, Ronnie Milsap, and Mac Wiseman

Ronnie MilsapGood news for three legends of the genre, one of whom we lost to cancer only four years ago:

Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman and the late Hank Cochran are the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Wiseman got his start in music after contracting polio as a child, which kept him out of the fields in his native Virginia. He was an original member of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys, made his Grand Ole Opry debut with Bill Monroe, was an executive with the influential Nashville independent label Dot Records and a founding board member of the Country Music Association.Milsap, inducted in the modern era category, was an established talent by the time he arrived in Nashville in the 1970s. He’d played in J.J. Cale’s band in the early 1960s and moved to Memphis to work with Chips Moman at the hit-making American Studios, where he worked with Elvis Presley, among others, before accepting an invitation to go to Nashville to record for RCA Records.

It was something of an experiment for Milsap, known as an R&B and rock singer, but he made sure he had a regular gig before he hit town, playing nightly at Roger Miller’s King of the Road Hotel.

He found country fans were open to his style, and he went on to win several Grammy Awards, the CMA’s entertainer of the year award in 1977 and four album of the year awards between 1975 and 1986.

Cochran, who is being inducted posthumously in the songwriter category, probably secured his place in country music history when he got Willie Nelson a songwriting job at Pamper Music by forgoing his own raise.

He wrote the Ray Price standard “Make the World Go Away” and Patsy Cline’s second most-memorable song, “I Fall to Pieces” (following Nelson’s own “Crazy”), among many others.

He died in 2010 of pancreatic cancer shortly after a touching bedside singalong that included friends Jamey Johnson, Buddy Cannon and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Source: Associated Press via CBS News

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Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews, “I’m Alive”

kennychesneydavematthewsApparently, Kenny Chesney really believes in his new single, “I’m Alive.” Not only is it one of the new songs on his Greatest Hits collection, it can also be found on his previous album, Lucky Old Sun. Furthermore, it was already recorded by Willie Nelson for Moment of Forever, the album that Chesney co-produced with Buddy Cannon.

Co-written by Chesney and sung with Dave Matthews, “I’m Alive” is a laid back acoustic affair that simply celebrates being alive. The song’s title may suggest that this will be another one of Chesney’s party anthems, but it is, instead, another one of his efforts to be reflective while seeming complicated. At least, this time, the lyrics are poetic enough to be interesting, if not still putting on the air of moodiness that Chesney likes to exude: “It’d be easy to add up all the pain and/All the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames/Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain/But not me/I’m alive.”

Much like Chesney’s prior duet with Mack McAnally, “I’m Alive” is very easy on the ears, with its acoustic coffee shop vibe, but still lacks a good enough delivery for a true connection to be made, both by Chesney or the famed Dave Matthews, in this case. While Matthews performance is a bit more engaging than Chesney’s, the two singers still manage to sound both so lethargic that this song may work as good background filler for a dinner party, but not as a memorable tune in everyday life. The instrumentation is less cluttered on Kenny Chesney’s version of the song than Willie Nelson’s, but Nelson at least sounds like he means what he’s singing, instead of sounding as though he’s trying to convince himself of it.

Grade: B-

Written by Kenny Chesney, Dean Dillon and Mark Tamburino

Listen: Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews, “I’m Alive”


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