Country Western Archives

The Bristol Sessions -The Big Bang of Country Music

Great observations on real country music. It's like the difference between locally produced vegetables sold at the family grocery and Walmart with their grapes from Chile.
Nice work Les
Ray Istre
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Herbie Howell

I was a filmmaker who made Nashville Sound and who found Herbie Howell and who filmed him. What a beautiful moment in time and what a beautiful guy. I lost touch with him unfortunately and cannot answer your query regarding what ever happened to him. Nashville was a hard place back then and those recording execs were tough guys. We got them to pay attention. We never heard the results.
David Hoffman (

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What ever happened to Herbie Howell? I know

I first met Herbie Howell when I was 15 years old and He was 13 , here in Augusta. We began to learn to play Guitar together then. He was known as Emory Howell then. We also called him "Em".That was in 1957. Now he goes by Herb Howell. I am Glad to say he is still living in Augusta - but alone. He doesn't play anymore. His Mom just passed away about 3 months ago. Mrs Kay Howell. I saw him just today. My wife Bonnie and I went by to see him. Today is March 28, 2008. I have shown him the "Nashville Sound" several times. First on a 16mm print I had. Then transferred it to VHS for him and his children, etc. After that Film in 1969 he continued to play and sing in clubs, special events etc. He is very talented. But he has given up on a career. I have a photo of him and me taken today, if you would want it sent via email let me know. I might mention also he was promised a fee for the film but the film Company skipped Nashville before he got paid. This type of thing happens too often. Thanks for your interest in Herbie.
Ray Hutto
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Whatever Happened to Herbie?

Thanks for writing that. We just rented the film "The Nashville Sound" and were also wondering about the eventual fate of Herbie. Has feedback from your article yielded any new info? We'd be curious to know.
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Herbie Howell Picture

Hi Ray, Thanks for posting an update on Herbie. I have a friend in Nashville and I sent him a copy of the Nashville Sound DVD. He said he called Shelby Singleton and asked him if he remembers Herbie. He said several people have asked him about Herbie but he doesn't remember him at all. Which makes me sad. Please e-mail me the photo of you and Herbie. Tell Herbie he has fans out there who wish he had gotten the contract back in 1969, we would love to have heard a record by him. Thank you, Susan-San

Blaze Foley

Les, you did Blaze Foley good. I'll not forget you are the one who introduced me to his music. I'm still listening to him everyday. Songs that have become so much apart of my life, he was a genius and I only wonder what he'd have written had he not left so soon.


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Astral Weeks

Enjoyed the article Les. Need to find this album!

Michele Hartley

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Thank you Les Marcott

I too have just finished watching "The Nashville Sound" DVD and also wondered whatever happened to Herbie Howell. In my search for info I came across Les Marcott's great article. As Les said, Herbie may have just drifted away...I think those guys in charge of "the C & W Business" seemed pretty hard and controlling, I don't think Herbie would have survived long in that cut throat environment. The movie, The Nashville Sound was fascinating, a time capsule of fashions, cars, hairstyles, manners, advertising and performance techniques and most of all full on, wonderful music.
A fun movie and a great story by Les.

Jim Stapleton

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Continue reading "Thank you Les Marcott " »

Herbie Howell redux

Please be aware kind readers that Herbie Howell was actually found by one of our readers. It turns out he has been hiding in plain sight in his home town of Augusta, Georgia all these years. And while he long ago gave up on a musical career, from what I understand has lived a rewarding and happy life. This news was posted here last year (click to read) but since there is such a tremendous interest in his story I deem it worthy to post again.

Les Marcott

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[For other posts on Herbie Howell, search the blog]


What a hoot and at the same time kind of sad and scary. Thanks. I'll stick to watching.

Rad Bennett

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Apologist for the Unapologetic

I love Jerry Lee and all the others you put up as mavericks and rebels and such. Thanks for making this powerhouse story.

Wideye Bill

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Apologist for the Unapologetic

Ditto, ditto and ditto, Les. The Great Ball of Fire is my hero. Tiger's got a bad neck because of all his bending down. Jerry stands up straight as his finger. You nailed it, man. Thanks.

Til Unger

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On Billy Jack

I enjoyed the article, it brought back fond memories of the film, which I've seen several times. As a martial artist, and traveller on the Path, I remember Billy Jack as being inspirational, and true to an enlightened mind.

Ronn Parker

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Dead Dog

Hilarious ain't the word, Les. I couldn't stop laughing, man. It's like right out of a Reality Show. And can I relate to it. Hey, I wish I had this speech a couple of years ago in Spokane. Same deal, same situation, same crazy. You nailed it, brother!

T.J. Michael

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Les Marcott on Madison Cooper

Les Marcott's article on Madison Cooper captures perfectly the flaws and the genius of Waco's most colorful son. Cooper, a remarkably unique individual, skillfully created characters so alive that Waco's residents were convinced they knew the actual people he described. This earned Cooper disdain and dislike. Whether this mattered much to Cooper is unknown; what is known is that Cooper lived his life according to his own rules. His philanthropy to Waco is well-known, but his legacy is much greater than that. Why Sironia, Texas has not been turned into a successful TV mini-series is a mystery. Bravo, Les, for a fine job!

Rosemary Petzold

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Those Wonderfully Weird Band Names

Great article, Les. This took me back to the vinyl days. The Son's of Warren Oates? I love it. Although their music left a lot to be desired, I always loved "The Sex Pistols" for their great Rock&Roll name. It has it all. Sex and violence. As far as weird, Frank Zappa had very few peers.  

Kenneth Sibbett

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Taylor Pie - The Music Never Dies

Thank-you for Les Marcott's article about folk legend Taylor Pie aka Susan Taylor. I'm so excited about the re-issue of her classic album from 1972, "Finally Getting Home" so that was helpful information, but it's encouraging to read about an artist's determination and personal integrity, and to know it is possible to have a successful career in music on your own terms.

Guy Swenson

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Les Marcott's Review

Some people can write reviews that make you want to hear a song. Others a whole album. Les makes you want to know everything there is to know about "Pie". In this short review. He got my curiosity up about Pie and others like Don Williams, who was also a favorite of mine. With writers like Les reviewing you, you can't help but SMILE.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Johnny Cash

American Icons are used far to much in this country. But Johnny Cash was an American Icon, and also an American success story. Fighting off a decades long drug addiction and still having a career is hard enough, but to do it and still be as admired as he was is almost impossible. The Man in Black will be missed, but his music, especially his later recordings done with just him and his guitar, will live forever.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Riding Shotgun With Courtney Joyner

Excellent article, filled with interesting stuff I knew nothing about, the best kind. I have to read this book now. It reminds me of the movie with Yul Brynner in 1973 called Westworld. Brynner was a robot and it is the only western I've ever liked that had anything "Supernatural" about it. But Yul Brynner was an icon. I don't think anyone else could have pulled it off.

Kenneth Sibbett

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If anything it made me curious to read this book, to travel along with the characters and explore, as outsider, this little part of the world. Thank you.

Kim Voloshin

Les Marcott's column: "Homeplace"

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