What a thrill! I am a featured artist on RFD TV's smash hit television series Larry's Country Diner. I can not begin to tell you what an honor that is for me to say. This is a show that begins each and every taping with a public prayer for all those in attendance. The cast and crew of The Diner aren't ashamed to share their faith and their love in Jesus Christ. They are my kind of people.
They also give country music artists a family friendly vehicle to promote their songs and stories. Without a doubt, I was surrounded by friends the day we taped the show!
I've probably known “The Sheriff” longer than anyone on that set. As a nineteen year old kid, Jimmy Capps was one of the first people I met when I moved to Nashville so many years ago. I used to watch Jimmy play guitar on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry, never dreaming that I would one day play beside him as a member of The Grand Ole Opry Staff Band. This Musicians' Hall of Fame member is a mentor of mine. I love Jimmy Capps, and I thank him for all he has taught me over the years—about music and life.
Keith Bilbrey, Larry's announcer on The Diner, is another long time friend. We go back to the days of “The Morning Show” on WSMV-TV. I played piano and sang on that show; Keith did the weather. Let's just say, he is a better disc jockey than he was a weatherman(kidding, Keith!). I continued to work with Keith at The Grand Ole Opry where he served as an Opry announcer every Saturday night. Like me, The Opry was Kieth's dream job. I think I can safely say that we BOTH loved and will always love the institution of The Opry and those artists who paved the way to make her what she is today. Keith and I had the honor to work with so many country music greats. We stood shoulder to shoulder with the LEGENDS.
Yes. My day on the set of Larry's Country Diner was special. Ever since Larry Black, host and creator of the show, did his very first taping of Country's Family Reunion years ago, he has made it part of his life's mission to give country music artists, writers and storytellers a platform to share their music with the fans. Larry's Country Diner is an extension of that mission.
I have been fortunate enough to play Larry's Country Diner a couple of times in the past—playing piano and singing some harmony with one of my dearest friends and perhaps my greatest ally on this planet next to my wife—Jeannie Seely. Jeannie's friendship is one of my most cherished gifts. But...this is a first time for me to actual BE the featured artist on Larry's show. I hope I made Larry and the cast proud, because they certainly made me feel welcome. I can't explain it, but I felt like I was home—for the first time in a very long time.
Larry, thank you, sir, for your hospitality, generosity and opportunity to share some of my music and stories with your fans. I hope some of those fans become some of my friends after they watch your show. Larry, I understand what you do is a business, but you conduct that business with heart...and it shows.
Nadine, if I wasn't married, and Homer wasn't in the picture, I'd make a play for you. You got it going on, girlfriend, and you know how to rock those 1950 hats you wear. Thank you for making me smile, but the best smile on set has to belong to Renee; it lights up the screen. Renee, thank you for making me feel so at ease. Michele, thank you for lending your voice to my music. You're so good. Paula Winters and Phil Johnson, I appreciate all you do...and Terry Choate, when I picked up the phone and you were on the other end of it, you have no idea how good you made me feel. Thank you and Larry for giving me a chance.
For those of you tuning in to Larry's Country Diner. My episode airs this week on the RFD network, September 7 at 8pm/et with a re-air of the first run on September 9. I'll let you know when the show is scehduled for additional dates.
You can see from the pictures I've included on this post, I had a BLAST!
I've worked hard all my life—playing music behind the best of the best, but I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to sit out front and introduce MY music to the friends and neighbors. I am who I am. I love what I do, and I hope it shows. God bless you all.