Tag Archive for: Lifenotes

Misc: Bob Willis Lifenotes, Propeller Goes Green, Beer At The Ballet


Bob Willis

Lifenotes: Songwriter Bob Willis, best known for penning the ’70s hit “Guilty Of Love (In The First Degree),” passed away July 10, 2009 at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Louisville, KY. He was 75 years old. Willis recorded 15 albums throughout his career, and wrote over 1000 Country-Gospel songs, 15 of which were cut by Jimmie Davis. The Florida Boys and The Happy Goodman Family recorded “Guilty Of Love (In The First Degree)” on Canaan Records. In recent years, Willis was working with producer Doug Johnson and singer Marty Brown. His family also sends special thanks to Little Jimmy Dickens for his help through the years. An online memorial guest book is at BobWillismusic.com.


solarPropeller, a marketing and branding agency in the faith and family market, is going green with a  new solar power system. Lightwave Solar Electric recently installed a 15 kilowatt photovoltaic system with 64 panels on the roof of the historic building where Propeller is headquartered in downtown Franklin, Tenn. Community leaders, building tenants, and those who worked on the project recently gathered for a “Making the Switch” ceremony celebrating the transition. The panels are supposed to offset energy costs, at current rates, by at least $3,850 annually.


In the most unlikely pairing of the week, Friends of Nashville Ballet is hosting a new event called “Beer at the Ballet” on Friday, August 21 at Nashville Ballet Studios from 6:30 – 9:30 PM. Celebrating 24 years of dance in 2009/2010, Nashville Ballet will open the season with Giselle (Oct. 23-25). Other highlights include the new Nashville based Nutcracker (Dec. 11-13, and 18-20), a Hal Ketchum performance, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (April 23-25, 2010). www.nashvilleballet.com


LifeNotes: Ellen Wood Hospitalized, Tim Nichols’ Mother

Get well wishes to former BMI publicist and Music City News writer Ellen Wood, who is in the hospital following surgery to repair a broken shoulder. The operation was complicated by Wood developing pneumonia. She is recuperating slowly at St. Thomas Hospital.

Condolences to Grammy winning songwriter, Tim Nichols, on the loss of his mother, Janet Nichols, on Saturday, July 18 to lung cancer. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 21 in Springfield, Missouri. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Alive Hospice, 1710 Patterson Street, Nashville TN 37203.

Lifenotes: Mel McDaniel Hospitalized; More


Mel McDaniel

Mel McDaniel has been hospitalized in Nashville after suffering a heart attack, reports the Tennessean. The Grand Ole Opry member is known for hits including “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On,” “Stand Up” and “Louisiana Saturday Night.”
Pam Green, Westwood One’s Director/Artist Relations, has been released from the rehabilitation center and is back home at her condo in New York following injuries to her arms. During the next few weeks she’ll be recuperating and continuing physical therapy. Well wishes can be sent to [email protected].
Billy Lee Riley, Sun Records artist and house band member, is battling stage four bone cancer. Though he and his wife Joyce are receiving assistance from MusiCares, they are still suffering financially. Riley, a rockabilly singer and multi-instrumentalist, was a sideman on numerous classic Sun sessions, and his band the Little Green Men eventually became the studio’s house band. Donations can be sent to Billy Lee Riley, 723 Crest Drive, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401.

Updates: Gina Hilburn, Laura Huie, Heather and Bobby Young, Beckett Service

Pictured from left: Patrick Davis, Gina Hilburn, Harley Allen, Lisa Carver and Marv Green

Pictured from left: Patrick Davis, Gina Hilburn, Harley Allen, Lisa Carver and Marv Green

Songwriters Patrick Davis, Harley Allen, Lisa Carver and Marv Green came together for a recent benefit show to help longtime Warner Music Group employee Gina Hilburn in her fight against cancer. The event took place Friday, June 26 at the Bluebird Café, and raised nearly $4,000 which included contributions from friends and co-workers, ticket sales, auction items and a matching gift contribution from the Roger Jennings Davis Memorial Fund. To make a donation, please send a check to 
Roger J. Davis Memorial Fund, 1708 2st Ave South #101, Nashville TN 37212, and indicate “For Gina.”


Nashville-based media coach Laura Huie has changed her contact info. She can now be reached at [email protected] or 615-415-2460. Laura is owner and operator of Huie Media, a company that specializes in artist media training. She has worked with artists on major labels including Sony/BMG, Warner Bros. and Lyric Street Records, as well as independent artists. She also continues to work as a television producer/writer for various media outlets and just wrapped working as a segment producer on the fifth season of “Gospel Dream,” which airs on the Gospel Music Channel.


Heather Young, Director of Radio Marketing for Dierks Bently, and Bobby Young, Director of National Promotion/Republic Nashville, welcomed daughter Addison Lea Young today, July 6. Proud Daddy reports that she was born at 1:52 PM, “with 10 toes, 10 fingers, and 2 beautiful eyes,” weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz.


Reminder:  The memorial service for famed musician/producer Barry Beckett will be this Sunday, July 12 at 5 PM at the Musicians Hall of Fame.

Brotherly Love w/ Bellamys & Bacons; Plus Artist LifeNotes


Pictured (L-R): David Bellamy, Kevin Bacon, Howard Bellamy and Michael Bacon.

The Bellamy Brothers have released a new single and video with The Bacon Brothers titled “Guilty of the Crime.” The song is currently in medium rotation on CMT Pure and featured worldwide on CMT.com. Directed by Laura Lyness, the video was shot in a single day inside a prison in Memphis.  The video features both sets of brothers and former Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty. “Guilty of the Crime” is the first single from the Bellamy Brothers’s forthcoming album, The Anthology, Vol. 1.  It will be available Aug. 1 on their Web site (www.BellamyBrothers.com) and at iTunes. The collection will be released in stores on Sept. 29.


MCA recording artist Josh Turner and his wife Jennifer welcomed their second son, Colby Lynch Turner, to the family on Friday, June 26. The Turner’s are also parents to two-year-old Hampton. “I’m just a proud daddy right now,” says Turner. “Jennifer gave birth to another healthy baby boy. Hampton loves being a big brother and we’re just one big happy family.” Turner has spent the last several weeks in the studio recording his fourth album. “My producer, Frank Rogers, jokingly told Jennifer that she needed to wait until we finished my record before she had the baby,” recalls Turner. “We finished the album last Thursday at 6:00pm. After I got home, Jennifer went into labor and we were at the hospital by 10:30pm that night. Now that’s what I call perfect timing.”
SheDaisy’s leading lady Kassidy Osborn became the bride of longtime boyfriend Derek Williamson recently in a private ceremony in San Diego, California. Joined by their families, the couple exchanged vows at the LDS Temple. SheDaisy is gearing up for the release of its fifth album on Lyric Street Records. The multi-platinum sister trio is in the midst of summer tour dates.

Revolving Door: Stoney Creek, Sony, LifeNotes


Ash Bowers

Stoney Creek Records, the new label founded by Broken Bow owner Benny Brown, has signed Ash Bowers. and is planning the release of his first album. The Buddy Cannon produced project contains seven songs penned by Bowers, as well as the new single, “Stuck,” which was written by Billy Montana and Frank Myers and goes for adds Aug. 17. Bowers is managed by Shawn Pennington of Matchless Management.
Sony Music Nashville announces that Jon Elliot, VP, Artist Development & Marketing, and Christian Svendsen, Director, Strategic Marketing, are departing the company to form a new venture. Exact exit dates are pending. Interested persons may submit resumes at www.sonymusic.com once the position is posted.
The Lost Trailers’ Stokes Nielson and his wife Maria are proud parents of a healthy baby boy born Mon., June 22 in Nashville. Weighing in at 7.7 lbs, both the little one and his mom are doing well. He is also happily welcomed by a big sister.

Cindy Watts, entertainment writer at The Tennessean, and her husband Richard Kimzey welcomed their first child together on Thurs., June 25. Kansas May Halcyon Watts-Kimzey weighed 7 lbs 12 oz, and was 21 inches long. Baby and mother are happy and healthy. Kansas joins nine-year-old half-sister Madison.

Lifenotes: Tim Krekel (updated)

Arrangements: On Sunday, June 28th, at 3:30 PM a public jazz funeral procession will start at James Lee Presbyterian Church, 1741 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY and walk to the memorial service at The Vernon Club, 1575 Story Ave., Louisville.

The family wishes that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to The KREK fund, c/o ear X-tacy Records, 1534 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205. The official press release says, “Don’t forget your colorful umbrella!”

Tim Krekel debuted songs from his Natchez Trace Records release, Soul Season, at the Bluebird Cafe on Feb. 1, 2008 with noted songwriter / artists Bill Lloyd, Marshall Chapman, Peter Holsapple, Darius Rucker, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Sam Bush. (L-R): Krekel's producer Mike Webb, Bush, Krekel, Chapman, Rucker, Chapman, Holsapple and Lloyd.

Musician and songwriter Tim Krekel died yesterday, June 24, at his home in Louisville after a battle with cancer. The 58-year-old was much loved in Nashville, and became well-known as the pen behind songs such as Crystal Gayle’s No. 1 “Turning Away.” He also wrote two hits with Matraca Berg, “You Can Feel Bad” which was recorded by Patty Loveless, and Martina McBride’s “Come Around.” He toured with Jimmy Buffett for several years as lead guitarist and played on Buffett’s famous songs “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Livingston Saturday Night.” The Louisville native was born October 10, 1950.

According to his Web site, Krekel’s “health took a drastic turn for the worse these last few weeks. At the final stages of what he described…as, ‘A most wonderful life!’ Tim was able to die at home under the loving care of his family and hospice.”

Following time in Buffett’s band in the ‘70s, Krekel signed a solo deal with Capricorn and released Crazy Me in 1979. Then, as part of the Sluggers, he released two albums on Arista in the eighties.

He also performed with Bo Diddley, Delbert McClinton, Pam Tillis, Sam Bush and Billy Swan; and had songs recorded by Rick Nelson, Jerry Reed, Kathy Mattea, Delbert McClinton, B.J. Thomas, Vern Gosdin, Jason and the Scorchers and Aaron Tippin.

In the early 1990s, Krekel returned to Louisville, and performed and recorded with his bands Krekel and the Groovebillies and the Tim Krekel Orchestra.

He is survived by wife Debora Cooper Krekel, his longtime partner that he married earlier this month; as well as his children, Jason, Nathan,  Katy and Anna Krekel. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.

For more, visit The Courier-Journal.

Tim Krekel debuted songs from his Natchez Trace Records release, Soul Season, at the Bluebird Cafe on Feb. 1, 2008 with noted songwriter / artists Bill Lloyd, Marshall Chapman, Peter Holsapple, Darius Rucker, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Sam Bush. (L-R): Krekel's producer Mike Webb, Bush, Krekel, Chapman, Rucker, Chapman, Holsapple and Lloyd.

Pictured Feb. 1, 2008: Tim Krekel debuted songs from his Natchez Trace Records release, "Soul Season," at the Bluebird Cafe with noted songwriter / artists Bill Lloyd, Marshall Chapman, Peter Holsapple, Darius Rucker, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Sam Bush. (L-R): Krekel's producer Mike Webb, Bush, Krekel, M. Chapman, Rucker, B. Chapman, Holsapple and Lloyd.

Fans Mourn Jackson, Fawcett

As the nation was hearing news of the expected passing of actress Farrah Fawcett, word began to spread that Michael Jackson had been hospitalized for suspected cardiac arrest. Soon after, it was confirmed that he too had died.

Fawcett, 62, had recently gone through a very public battle with cancer, and had faced the disease with grace and courage. She was the much loved beauty best known for her role in the hit ‘70s TV show Charlie’s Angels.

Jackson’s death at 50 was more shocking, leaving his fans and friends devastated, and the media scrambling to piece together the story of his legendary life and career. As a child star and member of the Jackson 5, Michael eventually broke out on his own and rose to worldwide superstardom. Famous for astounding dance skills as well as groundbreaking music, he invented the moonwalk and became known as the “King of Pop.” He also paved the way for many black musicians. However, the latter decade of his life was marred by scandal, speculation, and courtroom drama. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Service Scheduled For Barry Beckett


Barry Beckett 1943-2009

As arrangements for a memorial service are announced, the recent passing of acclaimed musician/producer Barry Beckett continues to be felt throughout Nashville’s creative community. Musician Steve Nathan and producer Steve Buckingham offer their remembrances below.

The memorial service will be Sunday, July 12 at 5 PM at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. If those who knew Beckett would like to send a statement to be used as part of the service, they can email it to Steve Buckingham at [email protected].

Respected studio musician Steve Nathan had this to say:
Just weeks before MusicRow magazine’s annual awards honoring studio musicians and others, we lost Barry Beckett, one of the best there ever was. I’ve been fortunate to receive a number of those awards over the years, thanks in no small part to the skills I learned working with Barry.

From the first session, when he told me (with his characteristic lack of any sugarcoating) that I’d “stayed a little too close to the chart,” I saw that there’s more to being a “studio musician” than knowing how to play an instrument. At the time he wanted me to realize that any monkey can tuck his elbows in and follow a chord chart, maybe even do it in tempo, but I needed to bring more, dig down and put my heart and soul into every record. Thankfully, he didn’t give up on me then and there.

Over the years, watching Barry, I learned to listen deeper, to hear the subtleties in the music and the lyrics. I learned to pay attention to everyone in the phones, to react to the other players and always give them something to play with. Most importantly, he taught me that “job one” is to come into the room, listen to the artist and producer, and “get” their vision for the record. He said to figure out what they want to say and then use all of your abilities to help bring that vision to the ears of the listener. Have the guts to step up when you have an idea, even if it upsets the apple cart, and have the humility to let it go when you’re wrong. And know that anytime you catch yourself showing off for other musicians, you’ve failed.

Barry didn’t teach me how to play piano, but he taught me how to make records. I wish I’d remembered to say thanks sooner.


Well-known producer Steve Buckingham also has fond memories of Beckett:

I have heard from so many people about Barry’s death. Paul Simon called from his tour in New Zealand to offer his condolences. I asked him to call Diane, Barry’s wife of over 43 years, which he did. The following is something I wrote on the night I was told Barry had died:

Eddie Bayers just called me and said Barry died about 30 minutes ago. Barry Beckett was one of the greatest studio keyboard players in history and a hell of a guy. If you listened to Rhythm & Blues, Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody,” Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome”…and thousands of other records…you’ve heard Barry Beckett.

I first met Barry in 1976 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama when I was still playing sessions and hadn’t yet started producing. Barry and the other members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section…Roger Hawkins, David Hood and Jimmy Johnson…were already legends, having played on records for everyone from Wilson Pickett to the Rolling Stones.

Barry moved to Nashville a few years after I did. The first country artist I produced in Nashville was Tammy Wynette and the first musician I called to play on the session was Barry. I have a great picture of Tammy, Barry and all the other musicians together in the studio. We all look so young…and, sadly, three of those in the photo are no longer with us.

Barry and I worked together a number of times over the following years and even co-produced some artists together. As so many of the other musicians have recalled, the image of Barry holding a cigarette in one hand, elbow on one knee, toothpick in his mouth…staring at the keyboard, waiting to lay just the right 5 or 6 notes in the perfect spot…is indelibly stamped in our memories.

A week ago today, I went to see Barry for the last time with Eddie Bayers and Michael Rhodes. Eddie and Michael played drums and bass on hundreds of Barry’s productions as well as for me. We all consider ourselves lucky to have had him as a mentor…and, especially, a friend.

I will close with this one story. Barry and a group of us studio musicians and producers loved trains. Every year we would charter a steam engine and several cars and go on all-day excursions out of Chattanooga. The cars were the old, luxurious types built in the 1930s. The last car on the train had a platform out back and we all wanted to spend time sitting out there, watching the tracks disappear behind us. This is where Barry would park himself for the entire day, except when it was time to eat. One afternoon I was sitting on the back platform with Barry who, typically, had his elbow on one knee and was holding a cigarette…staring at the tracks. Finally he said: “Buck…listen to that rhythm.” (He was referring to the clickety-clack of the steel wheels on the rails). Barry continued, “That’s a deep pocket (groove)…let’s remember that the next time we’re in the studio.”

Believe me…there are a lot of things I remember about Barry Beckett.


To read more about Barry Beckett, click here.

Lifenotes: Nelson Andrews

nandrewsRespected civic and business leader Nelson Andrews passed away on June 13 after a battle with leukemia. He was 82. As the founder of Leadership Nashville, he was also a  great supporter of Leadership Music. On the business front, he was very successful, including being founder and chairman of the board of real estate firm Brookside Properties. He was a music lover who enjoyed picking guitar and singing harmony with Eddy Arnold.

“His gift of these programs to Nashville and our music community is only one of his many philanthropic endeavors,” recalls Leadership Music Executive Director Kira Florita. “Many of us will agree there is no one we have ever known who more embodied the term ‘leadership’ than Nelson Andrews. He will be greatly missed.”

Funeral and visitation will be at Saint George’s Episcopal Church
Visitation: Monday, June 15, 4-7 PM
Funeral: Tuesday, June 16 at 3 PM with reception following

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Mr. Andrews is survived by his wife, Susan Adams Andrews, daughters Susan Toy and Judith, sons Nelson Carter Andrews Jr., Ladam “Lep” Gillespie Andrews, and Frank Maxwell Andrews.