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Traditional Country And Gospel Important

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week. This past week hasn’t been to great for me as I seemed to have been afflicted with the virus that seems to have visited everyone I know. Dr. Hall told me that in four or five days it should be over. So, at least I have something to look forward to. 

Did you ever stop and think that we seem to go from one election to another every year? Every day I’m so glad that I was never bitten by the political bug. Like Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that for now.

Since I’ve been appearing with the Rainbow Valley Singers helping to carry on the tradition set down by our good friend, Hubert Sanders, it has brought me back to the traditional country music of my youth. 

Long time country sing-er/songwriter Bill Anderson has a program on the RFD channel called Family Reunion that brings together gospel, blue grass, western swing and traditional country artists with songs and personal recollections. They all agree with what George D. Hay, who started the Grand Ole Opry in the 1920s, “Keep it country, boys.” 

The other night Ronnie Reno did the “Freight Train Boogie” written by the Delmore brothers in 1946 and, as many believe, was the first Rock and Roll song ever recorded, but they still kept it country. As many of you know, I played in a country band in my teens and my mother, grandmother or preacher would be comfortable listening to it. 

At first it was “crossover,” when country artists moved into the pop field: Eddy Arnold, Ray Price and the Oak Ridge Boys to name a few. Although Ray Price came back to his roots in later years.

After singing back up for Elvis for years, J.D. Sumner, on his death,  brought the Stamps Quartet back to gospel. But it was never the same as the Stamps brothers had it in the beginning. 

Some of you are probably saying “Cooper is trying to live in the past,” but when we do a traditional country or singing convention gospel song and see the reaction to our audience you would understand what I’m saying. 

I really don’t know why I got on this track unless being  house confined makes me reflect. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to keep some interviews, which I’m sure you will enjoy. 

Let me hear from you as your input has kept this column going all these years.  My email address is or write me c/o The Herald and have a great week. 


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