Helen - Would you share an update on Jake?
I’m glad you asked. I spoke with Jacob last night. He’s doing very well. He’s still on a cane and he’s still in rehab, but he’s doing so much better and intends to make a full recovery eventually. Thank everybody for their prayers. It is truly a miracle! Huge!
(Jake is Wade’s nephew, who while serving in the Navy, fell into a lengthy coma on a ship in the Pacific. Given little chance to live, he was life-flighted to a hospital in South Korea. After emerging from the coma, he was moved to San Diego for rehab, then to Oklahoma.
You and Randy Lanham go way back. You have a very strong relationship and he’s tested that quite often with skits (chuckling) every time you’ve been at Lanham Brothers Jamboree.
Randy has been one of my dearest friends for a long time - since about 1993. We first met and became friends instantly and have remained close all these years. He’s the only person on this planet that I would let make a big a fool of me as he does every time I’m on the Jamboree. Of course, this year was no exception. I didn’t know what to think when I saw the long handles hanging there and he expected me to be in those on stage. I did it and he again owes me big time!
Of all those skits he’s had you do, which one did you enjoy the most?
I’d have to say this one My least favorite was the rapper. I never felt more stupid in my life. This one was my favorite. I thought the story he put together was cute and all of the “kids” out there in their onesies, and especially the big bearded guy. That was pretty funny seeing him in pajamas. A lot of nice people. This year was probably my favorite show I’ve ever done with him.
(This year’s skit required Wade to wear red long johns and read a redneck version of “The Night Before Christmas” to all those “kids” in onesies.)
This year, you did more Christmas songs than I’ve ever heard you do.
Yes, I wanted to do that. It was actually Randy suggested it, and I thought it would be a great idea. It was fun to brush up on all those old songs and play them like the old school guys would, playing all the weird chords. It was a lot of fun, I really, not to repeat myself, enjoyed this year’s show more than any we’ve ever done.
(The Christmas songs he performed: Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, I’ll Have a Blue Christmas, Jingle Bells.)
It was a packed house.
Yes and he raised a lot of money for his community outreach program (VolunteerOwensboro.com). He places volunteers in community help organizations all over. He’s done a lot of good for his community there in Owensboro. So that’s what we were raising money for.
He’s an amazing man, not just his music talent, but his creativity to come up with these skits. And there’s a gentleness and kindness that comes through.
You’ll rarely meet somebody as tender hearted as Randy is. He’s an incredible guy and I love him like a brother. That IS Randy, he’s not just show. He’s that way all the time and he’s always been that way. He’s turned into a bigger softie as he’s gotten older and has a houseful of girls. (Laughs) His heart’s in the right place and he truly wants to serve God and help other people. That’s what it’s all about for him.
The 2018 Country Music Cruise is coming up.
One of my very favorite acts is going to be on there - Asleep at the Wheel and I’m very stoked about seeing those guys. And this year, I’m hoping to get to play more with T Graham Brown. I love that man. He’s another tender-hearted guy. He still sings so great. And of course, Johnnie Lee - I’ll get to do all the shows with him again. You never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. It’s always so much fun. I love that guy and I’ve known him as long as I’ve known Randy. We all played in Johnnie Lee’s band back in ’93, ’94. Johnnie still texts me. I texted him yesterday, as a matter of fact. He’s always fun. Somebody else that does a great job is Lorrie Morgan. I don’t know her that well, but I do remember what a good singer she is live.
You do realize that you and Chuck Meade are the only artists that have been on every one of these StarVista cruises.
Yes, and we’re planning on doing 2019 as well. We’re talking about that already and I love Chuck, too. That guy’s good. He’s a lot better than folks realize - a very good singer and a walking encyclopedia of old music. He’s a real neat guy. (Talking about the hour long Opry-like show that’s on the cruise.) That’s a really neat show. Jeanie Seeley is going to host it just like the Grand Ole Opry. She’s a very nice lady. I like her a lot, too. I’m tickled to death she’s coming. It’s going to be more like the Opry you’d go see here in Nashville ever this year.
What’s keeping you busy lately?
Right now, I’m sheet-rocking the whole downstairs. I tore it all out to the studs. You have to understand it’s a big house and it’s way too big for a guy and 2 dogs. I always jokingly say that 3 filthy beasts live in that house. (Laughs) I’ve got the whole downstairs torn out and almost got it all sheet-rocked back. I’m looking for a smaller house and more land. And I’ve been trying to write songs. I’ve got a new song I’m working on and I’m about half way finished with. It’s coming along, I’m excited about it. I love to do something kind of menial, stuff like the house and mowing the yard, where it doesn’t take a lot of thinking. I work on songs while I’m doing that. It’s a good time. It’s always a productive time for me.
Thanks for dropping by. Merry Christmas!