- DUCK TAKES THE DAY OFF TO TRY AND FILL THE FREEZER WITH FRESH VENISON….THEN THE COMPUTER CRASHES….THEN WALT AND I FIND THAT NEITHER OF US CAN TALK WELL ENOUGH TO EVEN RECITE THE ALPHABET…MISS YOU DUCK, GO LUCK OUT THEIR BRO…..AND SAVE A COLD BUDWEISER FOR ME!!!
Phil Vassar was born on May 28, 1964, in Lynchburg, Va., a picturesque college town that hugs the Blue Ridge Mountains. His mother stayed at home caring for him and his two younger sisters, and his father was a singer who enjoyed local and regional success, performing in a restaurant he owned and at outside venues. Although intrigued by music as a child, Vassar’s interests began leaning more towards playing ball than playing scales. In high school, he began running track, which helped him land an athletic scholarship at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. To appease his father, who was trying to steer him towards a more conventional career, he majored in business. Ironically, it was in college that he started on a path that mirrored his father’s. Indulging his love for music, he took courses in music theory, history and business.
Vassar arrived in Nashville in 1987. He found a furnished apartment outside of town, got a job bartending at night to pay the rent and began knocking on the doors of Music Row during the day. Digging deep in the discipline and focus he developed playing sports, he learned to play the piano, sang in clubs and focused more on songwriting. He saved his money and, in 1995, bought the restaurant and club where he had been performing. A patron of the club asked Vassar to send him a tape of a couple of his songs. He sent a demo that included “Once in a While,” which he had written with another bartender. The song became his first cut when the patron’s father, Engelbert Humperdinck, recorded it.
Suddenly, things began to surge for Vassar. He wrote a song with noted Nashville writer Skip Ewing (“Mary Go Round”) and began writing with other well-known Nashville songwriters that would frequent his club to perform. That attracted music industry professionals, including publishing executive Greg Hill. Hill eventually signed Vassar to a publishing deal with EMI. Penning hits for Alan Jackson (“Right on the Money”), Collin Raye (“Little Red Rodeo”), Tim McGraw (“For a Little While” and “My Next Thirty Years”) and Jo Dee Messina (“I’m Alright” and “Bye, Bye”), Vassar was named ASCAP’s songwriter of the year in 1999.
After years of honing his energetic act in Nashville nightclubs (including one that he owned), Vassar landed a solo deal with Arista Records and released his self-titled debut album in 2000. The album’s first single, the up-tempo “Carlene,” broke into the Top 5 on the Billboard country singles chart. The follow-up, “Just Another Day in Paradise,” became Vassar’s first No. 1 hit as a performer. Just three weeks later, McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years” claimed the top spot. Vassar’s second album, American Child, arrived in 2002. His third, Shaken Not Stirred, led to the No. 1 hit, “In a Real Love,” in 2004.
In 2006, Vassar released Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, which offered his own hits as well as his renditions of hit songs he wrote for other artists. The first single, “Last Day of My Life,” reached No. 2 at country radio.
“NEW MOON HONEYMOONERS”
Birthdays for 11/20/09
Norman Greenbaum 67/singer, “Spirit In The Sky”
Joe Walsh 62/singer-guitarist, The Eagles, James Gang and solo
Dierks Bentley 34/country singer, “What Was I Thinkin’,” “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes”
Josh Turner 32/country singer, “Long Black Train,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance”
And the late:
Duane Allman–1946-1971/lead guitar, Allman Brothers Band
Richard Dawson 77/actor, TV’s Hogan’s Heroes, former host of Family Feud
Dick Smothers 71/actor-comedian-musician, The Smothers Brothers
Bo Derek 53/actress, 10
Ming-Na 46/actress, TV’s ER
NEW SONG FOR THIS WEEKENDS PREMIERE OF “NEW MOON”… “REDNECK VAMPIRE”
“DOC~N~DUCK’S VIDEO OF THE WEEK” – JOE NICHOLS “GIMME THAT GIRL”
STUDIO 330 IN THE MORNING SESSION CUT OF THE DAY: JAMEY JOHNSON
Jamey Johnson was raised in Montgomery, Ala., and grew up influenced by that state’s famous country musicians such as Hank Williams Jr., Vern Gosdin and the band, . He first picked up the guitar when he was around 10 years old when his uncle taught him to play Alabama’s “My Home’s in Alabama.” As a teenager, he saved enough money to buy an Epiphone guitar he dubbed Old Maple. On Saturday nights, he and his friends would go to the grave of Hank Williams on the hill above Montgomery to drink beer and sing the legend’s songs. One night he dropped Old Maple on the tombstone and splintered its bottom. The instrument bears that scar to this day.
He began his singing career in the clubs of Montgomery. His father thought his son might become a music teacher or a band director. But after two years of college, Jamey abruptly quit school in 1994. For the next eight years he served in the Marine Corps Reserve and perfected his country singing style. The same week he was discharged, the rest of his unit was ordered to Iraq.
Having paid his dues in the honky-tonks of Alabama, Johnson gave Nashville a try. He arrived on Jan. 1, 2000, and took a job as a salesman for a sign company. Then he worked for an industrial pumping company. From 2001 until 2004, he helped run a construction firm, restoring buildings devastated by fires, hurricanes or tornados.
In time, he started singing at songwriter nights and met other songwriters. When those writers got publishing deals, they hired Johnson to sing demos. (His first one was a duet with Gretchen Wilson, also a demo singer at the time.) One of those writers, Randy Hardison, praised his talent to producer Buddy Cannon. They decided to co-produce some demos for Johnson, but Hardison was murdered in 2002. The sudden loss brought Johnson and Cannon closer together.
Proceeding with their goals, Cannon produced some demos for Johnson and helped secure him a publishing deal. (He co-wrote the Trace Adkins hit, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.“) Johnson struggled to find a record deal, though, until his seventh audition for RCA Records in April 2005. The label released his debut album, The Dollar, in early 2006. In 2007, he won a CMA Award for co-writing George Strait‘s “Give It Away.” His 2008 follow-up album is on Mercury Nashville.
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