All is not clear-cut in the camp of country and western music. Within. exists a mountain-range ofstyles. the experts in which. are probably also proud holders ofquantum physics degrees — or so it would appear. Across the ocean it has sailed. and country and western music and it‘s associated culture is now as popular in Scotland as Freemasonry. But. like Freemasonry. whilst we all know it exists. only a few are familiar with its rites ofpassage. But gee, there's a whole new experience waiting out there, so get your spurs on (horse optional), follow Susan Mackenzie's trail and transform yourself into a real pard'ner.
When embarking on any new interest, the advice is. don‘t part with too much dosh initially — just in case you take a scunner to it. So why not get a taste of C&W for free by turning to your trusty tranny. Don‘t touch that dial! — here‘s what‘s on offer:
Radio Forth AM
I Sunday 3—6pm. Dick Barrie hosts three hours of across the board country plus local club news (clubs? — more on them coming up!).
I Friday loom—1am. Forth stalward Ken Haines with oodles of foot tappin‘ music. lively chat and a ‘radio game‘ which. like all radio games. bears little relation to the programme.
Radio Clyde AM
I Mon 8—10pm. Bill Black spins the best of new country. letting opportunity knock for aspiring stars. (Yes. they DO come in more youthful guises than Messrs Rogers and Devine).
I Thurs 8-10pm. Bill Black. Clyde‘s country expert. gets back to basics. with two hours of traditional country.
I Fri 8-9.55pm. Scotland‘s answer to Johnny Cash. Gerry Ford (yes. that is a familiar name — as ex-pres of the USA!) presents Country Corner.
I Sat 7-7.45pm. The weekend rolls on. as do Radio Scotland‘s rather uneven time slots with Ruby Rendell and The Other Side of Country. Radiol
I Sun 9-11pm. For the slightly more adventurous. Andy Kershaw spoons
FEATURE LIST | PENICUIK
N nogﬁ‘ 3’s.
‘.‘;fé'v‘s xx ‘ ‘ Don William
a liberal dose ofalternative (and
downright obscure) country into his
If your passion for C8; W makes you feel like a National Front supporter at the ANC Christmas party. then the answer is to join a group of like minded people. A warren of C&W clubs exist — too numerous to mention comprehensively— consult your tranny or the press for further info. Meanwhile. here‘s a taster of what‘son offer:
IThe Grand Ol' Opry Club (Fri. Sat. Sun). Contact the city of Glasgow Municipal Club. 2 Govan Road. G51 . (141 42‘) 5396. A famous venue for all mannerofshenanigans. It has existed for 10 years and Mr Fleming. the president feels that the popularity ofC&W is set to rise as ‘Glasgow‘s year as City of Culture is widening people's horizons‘. Boasting around 1200 members. the doors are open 6.3(lpm—midnight with a licensed bar. top name live bands. dancing and a terrific atmosphere. Records are also sold here. Membership £2 and Silp on the door. Guests permitted. JOHNSTONE
I Yellow Rose CWC (Suns). Keanie Club. Auchenlodment Road. Intriguingly. this club has an award-winning dance team coached by Liz Clark. Bit more lively than ‘Come Dancing'. I’ll be bound. DUMFRIES
I Double K. Hotel Embassy. Newbridge. Lots ofspecial events organised for club nights.
I Southern Star CWC. (Weds). Europa Lounge. New Road. EDINBURGH
I Tuscon CMC. (Mons) The Berry Suite. Abbey Lane. Abbeyhill. Contact Jackie Blair on (131 556 (1702. The Tuscon has been going for eight years providing all-live English and American bands for the Edinburgh crew. Their members are of mixed aged groups and the club also provides a record stall. Membership is £2 per annum and
£2.25—£2.5() on the door according to the evening‘s entertainment. Guests I
6 The List 23 February — 8 March 1990
I Texas Rangers CMC LIVINGSTONE
I Flag and Saddle CMC ROSLIN
I Pennville CMC
The majority of record shops have a Cé’tW section but unfortunately the specialist C&W shops seem to have disappeared of late. It is with some bewilderment and concern that we recommend Woolworths. home of the ‘useless plastic kitchen object‘ as the best for scope and sheer value for money.
Then again. shops be damned. Look through the music press and you'll find a whole conglomeration of mail order companies offering everything from ‘My Bucket‘s got a Hole in it‘ to ‘Stand By Your Gherkin' (probably).
The Scottish specialists are Nashville UK. who are contactable at PO Box 92(). Edinburgh. EH16 6YA. The company also travels round the clubs. setting up stalls. Another good reason for joining your local club.
I Western Mail Order Ltd. Mansware Farm. Kilbarchan Road. Bridge of Weir ((1505) 612 565. For the fanatic it is possible to order hats. chaps. shirts. holsters. in fact all clothes and accesories and beyond. eg Cadillacs. diversifying to the realms of Buddy Holly memoribilia. from the above company. run by knowledgeable enthusiasts. Horses unfortunately aren't on offer and a good plastic surgeon is probably your best bet for the Dolly Parton chest.
It must be said that the best hoe-downs with today's professionals. take place in the clubs. with no public venues catering exclusively for C&W music. However. the pub circuit offers a few flowers in the midden — check The List for details. Meanwhile. here are a few regular. younger names to look out for:
I The Refugees: country and blues fronted by Fjaere Nilssen.
I The Liberties: Edinburgh country under The Proclaimers management.
I Tex Fillet 5: Sinisterly described as ‘Spoof country‘.
I The Humpil Family: Prolific.
()K. you've got the gear— and the swagger - and you're so fired up on those ol‘ camp fire beans that you've put a band together and want to hit the road. Well. help is at hand from Square Deal Promotions. 56 Kilmuir Road. lnverness. 1V3 6EP (0463) 221 268. Scotland‘s only specialist C&W promoter run by Ann (‘armody. a Country Music Round Up journo to whom ‘country music is her life‘. Square Deal promote all types of C&W. organising tours for their acts and happily taking orders for one-off bookings. Adntirably. they'll also accept your demo tapes
BRITISH COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION
BMCA. PO Box 240. Harrow. Middx. HA3 7PH. An alternative. or for the fanatical an extra. to your local club. is the wonderful service offered by the BCMA. Fora quirky membership fee of£4 pa (£5 for a married couple) you receive a bi-monthly newsletter and an annual year book — a Bible ofclubs. magazines. records etc. Also on
offer is a members‘ query service and
the chance to join their annual USA trips. usually to Nashville (where else‘.’). And in true Hughie Green style. it‘s your votes that count folks. with the annual BCMA awards. nominated by members and presented over a specially arranged wild and wacky weekend.
All the effort involved in becoming a
C&W expert seem a bit much? Fear not. Gerry Ford is one of Scotland‘s most popular acts. involved in the club scene and radio. and here‘s his classic C&W hitlist. gleaned from the most requested songs on his ‘Country Corner‘. his Radio Scotland programme.
1. You‘re My Best Friend: Don Williams.
2. I Love You Because: Jim Reeves. 3. Chrystal Chandelier: Charlie Pride.
4. DcarJohn: Jean Sheppard and Ferlin Huskcy.
5. Blanket on the Ground: BillyJo Spears.
6. Lucille: Kenny Rogers.
7. Jolene: Dolly Parton.
8. Okie From Muskogee: Merle Haggard.
9. Rhinestone Cowboy: Glen Campbell
10. Your Cheatin‘ Heart (ofcourse): :
Hank Williams. And ifyou‘ve taken a real liking to Gerry. well he‘s got his own fan club. Contact The Gerry Ford Fan Club. (3/0 Joan Ford (Secretary) 13 Winton Place. Edinburgh. EH 1() 7EX.