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Former Drifting Cowboys member dies

Monday, October 26, 2009 – Steel guitarist Robert D. Norred, one-time member of Hank Williams' backing band for a short period in the late 1940s, died Sunday, Oct. 25.

Norred was born Jan. 16, 1919 in Sylacauga, Ala. Norred was a band member of the Drifting Cowboys from late 1947 until early 1948, playing on Wiliams' radio show on WSFA in Montgomery, Ala. along with Joe Penny, Lum York, and Winston "Red" Todd.

Norred worked in the cotton mills of Talladega, Ala. For seven yearse and played music on the side. For 10 years, he played with Hal Howard and the Pearl River Boys. He later was as a member of Mac Sanders' Troubadores and was heard on WRBL Radio in Birmingham, Ala. Norred eventually opened his own TV sales and service business.

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The Garden Spot Program 1950 CD review - The Garden Spot Program 1950
In a career that spanned a mere six years - a minuscule amount of time compared to those who are today celebrating anniversaries of 40, 50 or even 60 years of more - Hank Williams established himself as an abiding influence on all those who followed, a man whose music is as relevant and revered today as it was when it was originally recorded. Indeed, what Williams accomplished in that scant amount of time still resonates nearly 70 years later. There's been an abundance of compilations, »»»
The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams CD review - The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
"The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams" is a great story before you even start playing the music. Williams, according to the story, used to write down his lyric ideas in notebooks. When he died, there were four notebooks of unreleased or unperformed songs. Over the years, the notebooks remained in the possession of Williams' publishers Acuff-Rose and few knew of them. One who did, however, was longtime Nashville executive Mary Martin, who shepherded this project to its eventual light-of-day. »»»
Revealed The Unreleased Recordings CD review - Revealed The Unreleased Recordings
After his death in 1953, Hank Williams, became less a performer than a post-mortem brand name wherein his basic personality as an artist was increasingly downplayed and diminished. This remarkably enjoyable three-CD set, drawn from warmly remastered acetates - featuring occasional surface noise - of the old Mother's Best radio show, showcases much of that nearly lost essence. Supported by his regular collaborators the Drifting Cowboys, Williams brings surprising drive to live renditions his »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Surly Gentlemen prove anything but – For about the past six months, veteran bluegrassers Clay Hess, formerly of Kentucky Thunder, and Tim Shelton of NewFound Road, along with Clay's son Brennan, have collectively been The Surly Gentlemen. The trio's sound is probably best described as stripped down bluegrass meets singer/songwriter. These Surly Gents have been playing small... »»»
Concert Review: Isbell shines – Jason Isbell was in a jubilant mood shortly after taking the stage at the Anaheim House of Blues' recently relocated new location. Now situated in a shopping strip called the GardenWalk, yet still close to the Disney theme parks, Isbell later humorously noted how the area is so clean. He even referred to it as a "tiny Toronto.... »»»
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