October 1, 2008, my life changed forever. My son, Dane, was born. I had waited a long time to become a father so this was extra special for me. That day brought a new definition to the word "love." This little boy took that word to a whole new level. He still does 11 years later. Being a father is the greatest gift I could ever have. There are numerous challenges and self doubts but they are outweighed but the joy and love he gives in return. We have been close since the day he was born but losing his mom to cancer in 2017 has made us inseparable. I pray daily that I can be the best parent I can be. I want him to always know how much I love him and how proud of him I am.
His birth, and the years that followed, gave me a strong appreciation of what my dad must have felt when I was born. I'm sure he had the same combination of excitement and fear I had and continue to have on a daily basis. I think he did a pretty good job with me and I hope Dane feels that...
This time every year, I'm taken back to the days when I was still a young man and living at home with my parents. When I was 9 years old we moved to North Seneca Road in Oak Ridge. I was excited to be moving into a new home but also knew I would miss living two doors down from Merle and Chris Keever and so close to Cedar Hill park. I didn't know if there were any kids in my new neighborhood or not. Thankfully, I found out pretty quick.
The street was full of kids and young adults too. There was never a lack of anything to do or anyone to play with. This move changed my life so much and in such a positive way. This was well before the days of video games and such. You had to create your own fun. That is what we did on a daily basis.
Down the street there were the Asquiths, the Wormsleys, the Fordes, the Leetes, the Lees, the Dresners, the Byrnes and a few others. All had kids. I spent many hours with Leslie and Scott Asquith and their awesome parents (Don and Pat). One year, their cousin, Jackie...
Memorial Day weekend is upon us. It is a time set aside to honor those brave men and women who gave their life while serving our country in the Armed Forces. It should not to be confused with Veteran's Day which occurs in November and honors everyone who has served our country.
My family includes many former members of the military. Thankfully, they all made it home safely once their service ended. I do think of friends who weren't as fortunate. I can only imagine the pain their families have faced. One of my friends and former co-workers, Tommy Spakes, lost his dad in Vietnam when he was just a small child. Another friend I grew up with, Wayne HIbbard, lost his brother, Ronnie, also in Vietnam. Other friends have lost loved ones in places like Afghanistan, Korea, Iraq, and even in the United States. We should never forget these soldiers nor their families.
Memorial Day used to be known as Decoration Day and came about after the Civil War. It was always celebrated on May 30. However, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which moved the holiday to the last Monday in May. That law also established Memorial Day...
Music has been a huge part of my life since I was born. Mom tells the story that I would be in my playpen and certain commercials would come on the television. If it had a catchy jingle, I would try to pull myself up and see where the music was coming from. I remember mom listening to Elvis Presley's music when I was probably five or six. I loved it. It made her happy and that made me happy. I learned at an early age that music is indeed good for the soul.
I spent many hours during the mid 1970's laying on the floor in front of our big console stereo listening to all kinds of music. Elvis, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Merle Haggard, Johnny Mathis, a box set of songs from the 1950's, John Denver, and many others. As I got a little older, I discovered some other artists I loved. Being one of the younger kids in my neighborhood, I listened to stuff the older kids liked. Jimmy Buffett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dan Fogelberg, Marvin Gaye, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, and Bachman Turner Overdrive just to name a few.
I entered Oak Ridge High School...
I proudly call myself a Mama's Boy. I always have been and always will be. I love my dad, too, but my mom is special. This Sunday is Mother's Day. I try my best to treat every day as Mother's Day. Every day should be.
My mom (Judy Kelly) has always been there for me as long as I can remember. I was her shadow. I remember going to Manager's meetings at JC Penney when I was a little kid and running around a closed store until she was finished. I remember growing up at Central Baptist Church in Oak Ridge. She worked in the nursery and then taught Sunday School to little ones like me. She was at all of my ball games, my chorus concerts, and school functions. She walked all over town with me each Halloween until I got a little too old to go anymore. She was an amazing artist. She inspired the love of art I have today. She was Super Mom to me. When I was 13 I begged her to take me to see Jimmy Buffett in concert. She had no idea who he was but took me anyway. I have never forgotten how cool that...
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! That is a huge accomplishment and one of many milestones you will see in your life. Several of the friendships you forged in school, both with fellow students and even a few teachers/staff members, will continue to grow while others may not. It's part of life. You will experience change in the days, months, and years to come. You will even cause these same changes in some instances. Just know the world is out there waiting for you. Chase your dreams. Who knows, you many actually catch them. Find something you are passionate about and do it. Dreams and passions can change. Don't be afraid to follow a new path if that is what is best for you. Good luck in your endeavors.
The Class of 2020 has experienced a year like few classes before them. I do know during periods when our country was involved in war several young men left school early to enter the military and missed part of their Senior year. To those who did, thank you for your service to our country. Other individuals may have missed part of their Senior year due to illness. However, the entire Class...
What a difference a month or so can make. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. While the virus still has a grip on the world, things are slowly improving depending on who you talk to, We are nowhere close to things returning to normal but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some businesses will be reopening soon while others are choosing to wait until they feel it is safe for their workers and patrons. I applaud their decision. It is not an easy choice either way.
I am challenging you to remember any positive changes you were forced to make during this last month and incorporate them into your post virus life. I also ask you to remember what you truly missed during this time of social distancing and make up for it. I will be doing that myself.
My daily life is usually pretty hectic to say the least. Eating meals out became routine. It was easier, faster, and the clean up took very little time. I was willing to sacrifice the quality of some of those meals for the ease of ordering them. Don't get me wrong, I still plan on eating out...
Faith, hope, and love are three major parts of my life. They always have been and always will be.
I grew up going to church and attending Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, revivals, and any special events we held. My mom taught Sunday School. I would even go to two or three different Vacation Bible Schools some summers. I loved it. I learned about the Lord my Mamaw talked about all the time, and I got to make some cool things like miniature bibles out of black construction paper, pasta, glue, and empty match boxes. Bible markers were also a big hit. My Mamaw always made me feel like I was giving her the most special gift whenever we would make new ones in Sunday School. As you can see, it left a lasting impression on me.
As I became an adult, going to church became a totally different, though equally fulfilling, experience. Instead of wondering what snack we would have in Sunday School, or what we would be making, I became focused on the weekly message and the songs from our hymn books. The prayer requests and special projects the church was involved in became part of my thoughts and...
The COVID-19 Coronavirus has changed our lives. What once was a daily routine is currently a thing of the past for most of us. We miss the days of being able to shop, eat in restaurants, visit loved ones face-to-face, attending sporting events and concerts, worshiping in our church, and numerous other things. Even going to work has changed. Many people are working from home. Others have seen their hours severely reduced, while more have lost their jobs altogether.
It is up to us to help find a way to make it through this awful time. This pandemic is causing many of our families, friends, and neighbors to worry. That is totally understandable. Remember them in your prayers and let them know you are doing so. It could provide some much needed comfort.
We are being asked to stay home, limit our interactions with others, and visit the grocery store only when it is absolutely necessary. Some of us are more susceptible to this virus than others. Please remember those individuals if you are healthy enough to go out for groceries. Make a call. Check on those who might need you. They may be well-stocked with food, but hearing a friendly voice and knowing someone cares might make all the difference in the world.
Find a way...
The Coronavirus epidemic is affecting billions of people throughout the world. Everyday life as we know it has changed for the time being. Included in this is the way people worship.
The majority of churches in East Tennessee are finding non conventional ways to continue services. Some churches are breaking into smaller groups and gathering at member's homes while others are providing online only messages from their pastor. We all pray this epidemic will be over soon and our lives, including the way we worship, can return to normal.
In the meantime, I would like to invite you to join me every Sunday morning on 96.7 Merle for Sunday Morning in the South. It's the best in bluegrass and country gospel music. Songs about family and faith. Many listeners already tune in as part of their "getting ready for church" routine. Others consider it as their church service. The show begins at 8 am eastern. I would love to have you join me. You can listen online, through Amazon devices such as Echo, or in the Knoxville area at 96.7.
One goal for this blog is to be able to bring you information of gospel and bluegrass concerts in the area. If you would like to contact me with information about...
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We are the only place on radio where you will find your forgotten favorites that other stations simply don’t play anymore and only the new country you love.
For a long time Knoxville radio stations seemed to be telling you what you will like. Now we are going to listen to you and play what you crave to hear on the radio all the time.
Now you won’t have to swim through a river of songs you don’t know or like to hear a few songs you do like. And we constantly kick off our famous hour long commercial free playlists all day long, every day. Thanks for sharing us with a friend.
Your Forgotten Favorites & Only The New Country You Love. That’s us. We’re Knoxville’s original 96.7 Merle.