The Day Tammy Wynette kissed me

When I was getting my feet wet within the music biz I would do anything for anyone it seemed.  I was lucky enough to work for the record division of Acuff-Rose called 16th Avenue records. 

Well I let it be known that I was interested in recording and producing.  Jerry Bradley, the president of this whole operation was also a record producer & Nashville legend.  I was asked if I wanted to be the second engineer on a Tammy Wynette session.  YES!!  What do I do?  Turn the 2 inch tape around, move mics, make and get coffee, that’s about it.  COOL!! 

Tammy and her (shall I say) eccentric husband George Richey came to the studio one summer day, 1000 degrees Nashville hot. Tammy was looking beautiful and graceful, perfectly dressed, and George in a full length fur coat…. 

Anyway, hugs, handshakes and intro’s all around and we went to work.  Tammy sang 2-3 songs, usually 1 take of each, and George said that’s enough for today and they left.  When Tammy sung she took her gigantic hanging earings off and put them on her music stand. Well she forgot them and as she left and I noticed.  I asked Bill the engineer what should I do, he said ‘go get ‘em and chase ‘em down.’  So I grabbed her earrings and chased them down. 

‘Excuse me Ms Wynette, you forgot your earrings,’ I said.  ‘Oh thank you sweetie’ she said, and kissed me on the cheek.  I really don’t think we have such country music royalty anymore.  She really left an impression on me to say the least…  

Jeffrey Steele, Airplanes & Grape Nehi

In 2002 or 2003 I was working at Monument Records and I got introduced to our new artist, Jeffrey Steele. I didn’t know who he was but we immediately hit it off and we’re laughing and having a great time.

Anyway, he had recorded a record and hit the road. We used to do things called Promo Tours, where we went to a couple hundred radio stations playing the same 3 songs a couple hundred times. It was planes, trains and automobiles to say the least.

We laughed so much that we would have to go to separate ends of our bus because we both had sore throats. Well, planes were the worst and the best. We would sit across the aisle and wait for the drink cart. The flight attendant would politely ask “would you like something to drink?” I would say, Grape Nehi? “We don’t have that sir.” Diet Mountain Dew? “We don’t have that sir.” Shasta Root Beer? “We don’t have that sir.” This went on until I could hear Jeff laughing on the other side then I’d cut loose. I would play, crying like a little baby. As loud as I could.

Soon enough people were spinning their heads around and staring then laughing. I just love how kids cry like it’s the end of the world, so I did it too! I’ve had more fun with that guy and probably written 30-40 songs with him. Thanks Jeffrey…

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