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furor raised by Nashville country music superstar, Blake Shelton, when
he complained that fans of older and more traditional sounding country
music were not attending his concerts or buying his CD’s, has a
response.  He publicly called them ‘old farts and jackasses.’  There has
been a response all right, in Miami, Florida, of all places.
     “We took immediate offense,” said Bob
Everhart, president of the National Traditional Country Music
Association since 1976.  “There’s a tremendous difference in the
‘country’ music of today, compared with ‘country’ music of the past. 
These are two very distinctly different genres of music.  Neither are
related to the other.  For Mr. Shelton to call me, and all of us who
genuinely care for country music of the past ‘old farts and jackasses’
because we don’t care for his music, is an insult mightly hard to
ignore.  America has always been a ‘free’ country where opinion, values,
likes and dislikes are freely spouted, ignored or paid attention to. 
We are paying very close attention to Mr. Shelton’s insults.”
     “Tom & Bernie Worrell started planning a
benefit concert for “Horse Country” in Miami, last year.  It was
originally called a “Tribute to Ed Sullivan,” in an effort to raise
money for the legal defense of “Horse Country,” to stop condos,
high-rises, huge shopping malls, and other huge construction efforts to
deprive them of their ‘grandfather- claused’ property in Miami.  The
entire area is set aside to raise families and horses, not cement urban
sprawl.  So far the area has maintained its existence, but every year
more and more intruders appear on the scene.  Legal defense costs
continue to rise.  The concert set for February 23rd at the
German-American Club in Miami, has had a name change, honoring Mr.
Shelton.  It is now called “A Tribute to Classic Country Music,” and Tom
& Bernie have arranged a huge program featuring some of the best
old-time country artists living today.”
     Tom & Bernie have lived in “Horse
Country” for over 35 years.  “It’s why we invested our savings in this
Miami neighborhood.” said Bernie, a Delta Airline employee.  “We wanted
to raise horses, and we still do.  My husband Tom is a computer
specialist, and together we quickly changed the name of our upcoming
all-day music festival fundraiser to one more in keeping with what we
stand for.  A “Tribute to Classic Country Music” is exactly what it
means, and we are happy to say, Blake Shelton has not been invited.”
     “We’ve gone to a lot of extra work, expense,
and time, to find some of the very best ‘classic’ country artists
available,” Tom added.  “Terry Smith is sort of our headliner.  He’s
from Nashville, and one of their most prolific ‘real’ country music
songwriters and performers.  He wrote “The Far Side Banks of Jordan” for
Johnny and June Carter Cash, which was their signature song before they
passed away.  It’s such a meaningful song, with words that reflect
exactly how long-time married couples feel toward each other.  I’ve
never heard anything recorded by Blake Shelton that can come anywhere
close to this.  Terry Smith songs have been recorded by a massive number
of country music stars, starting with Roy Acuff, The Oak Ridge Boys,
Kitty Wells, Allison Krauss, The Cox Family, Chris LeDoux, The Statler
Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Patty Loveless, George Hamilton IV, The
Lewis Family, and many many more.  We are very pleased he will be in
Miami to help us with this benefit show.”
     “We were also very fortunate to get one of
the most highly travelled Smithsonian Institution recording artists,”
Bernie added.  “Bob & Sheila Everhart travel the world performing,
promoting, and preserving America’s great traditional country music. 
They were just in New Zealand, performing with the New Zealand
Symphony.  Their songs, and the stories of their songs, inspired the
Smithsonian to have them take their show on the road, calling it a
‘Traveling Museum of Music.’  Bob is president of the National
Traditional Country Music Assn., http://www.ntcma.net/ and is very disturbed at the slander of Blake Shelton.  What a crude and cruel man Mr. Shelton is.”
     “It’s going to be an all-day double-whammy
classic country show,” Tom added.  “Jackie Shewey, known as the ‘Pride
of the Prairie’ will be with us from Nebraska; Rick & Harriette
Andersen, noted musicians from Iowa; Lee Muller known as the Kansas
Tornado for his strong stand on keeping traditional country music soft,
tender, and real.  Bob Keim is also coming from the sand-hills of
Nebraska to make it a perfect ‘old-time’ gathering.  I think perhaps the
one act I am most excited about is one my wife performs with.  They are
called the Mescher Bones.  Bernie, her brother Jerry, and Jerry’s wife
Sharon, all play two-handed bones.  So capable is their work preserving
this oldest form of percussion sound, they were written up as a PHD
thesis by a professor from Ireland.  Jerry Mescher was on the Ted Mack
show, a winner, performing with his father
     The German-American Club in Miami is located
at 11919 SW 56th St.  10-person tables can be reserved by calling
Bernie Worrell directly at 305-342-6795
The program will begin shortly after noon on February 23rd, with two
shows offered.  Food and beverages are available at the club.
 Bob Phillips

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