From Chicken Soup for the Country Soul


Bill Anderson is a nationally known television personality, star of the Grand Ole Opry and member of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. He has released over fifty albums, written over one thousand songs, and authored two books. He can be reached at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN 37076.

H. R. Ayers is a practicing attorney, with home and offices in Goodlettsville, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville). He was born in Alderson, West Virginia, and is presently working on a book of stories, true and almost true, about his early life in the mountains of West Virginia during the forties and fifties. The book will be entitled Tale s from the End of the Bridge.

Jonnie Barnett is a songwriter whose songs have been recorded by major artists in the blues, R&B, country, jazz and rock categories. He has acted in major motion pictures and television. In 1997 he was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award for Blues Song of the Year. He owes all his success to his beautiful wife. He can be reached at [email protected] t.

Rita Batts is a housewife and mother, who lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Rita and her husband, Greg, have been married for twenty-six years. They have been blessed with two daughters, Kelly, age twenty, and Carrie, age seventeen. “My family is my constant source of strength and inspiration.”

Paul Brandt is a Reprise Records recording artist. His debut album Calm Be fore the Storm has sold in excess of 1 million copies in North America. His second release is entitled Outside the Frame. Paul is best known for his hits “I Do,” “My Heart Has a History,” “What’s Come Over You” and “I Meant to Do That.” Paul can be reached at Paul Brandt Fan Club, P.O. Box 57144, Sunridge Postal Outlet, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T1Y 5TO, or at [email protected]

Kippi Brannon was signed to MCA Records at the age of fifteen. As one of the youngest signees, she had two Top 40 hits and was nominated in 1982 for Top New Female Vocalist Award by the Academy of Country Music. She toured with such acts as George Strait, Alabama, Bob Hope, and others until making the decision to lead a more normal life and pursue a college education. However, in 1997, she returned to the music industry with “Daddy’s Little Girl,” which was a Top 40 hit.

Bruce Burch is a songwriter with two number-one songs to his credit, “Rumor Has It,” and “It’s Your Call,” both recorded by Reba McEntire. He is also the author of Songs That Change d Our Live s, inspirational stories of how music has touched people’s lives. Bruce can be reached at 119 Bowling Ave., Nashville, TN 37205.

Monty Byrom is one of six members of the band BIG HOUSE. Monty is the lead singer and guitarist; David Neuhauser and Chuck Seaton on guitar; Sonny California on harmonica and percussion; Ron Mitchell on Bass and Tanner Byrom on drums. The band hails from Bakersfield, California. BIG HOUSE’s sparse productions, including their first release, “Cold Outside,” leaves the listener moved, but still feeding good. The BIG HOUSE name? David explains, “If all of our musical influences came to spend the night, we would need one.”

Jean M. Calvert is John Berry’s Fan Club manager. For membership information, please write to John Berry’s Fan Club, The Pack, 1807 N. Dixie Ave., #116, Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Martha Campbell is a graduate of Washington University St. Louis School of Fine Arts, and a former writer/designer for Hallmark Cards. She has been a freelance cartoonist and book illustrator since 1973. She can be reached at P.O. Box 2538, Harrison, AR, 72602, or [email protected] or by calling 870-741-5323.

Dave Carpenter has been a full-time cartoonist and humorous illustrator since 1981. His cartoons have appeared in Barron’s, the Wall Stre e t Journal, Forbes, Better Homes & Gardens, Good House keeping, Woman’s World, First, The Saturday Evening Post and numerous other publications. Dave can be reached at P.O. Box 520, Emmetsburg, IA 50536, or by calling 712-852-3725.

Gary Chapman is the multi-talented host of Prime Time Country, seen nightly by millions of people on The Nashville Network (TNN). In addition, Gary is an award-winning singer/songwriter with seven records to his credit, including his most recent recording, The Gift. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Amy Grant, and three children. He can be reached c/o Friends of Gary, P.O. Box 3627, Brentwood, TN 37024-3627.

Dan Clark is the international ambassador of the “Art of Being Alive.” He has spoken to over 2 million people worldwide. Dan is an actor, songwriter, recording artist, video producer and award-winning athlete. He is the well-known author of seven books, including Ge tting High—How to Re ally Do It, One Minute Messages, The Art of Being Alive and Puppies for Sale and Other Inspirational Tale s. He can be reached at P.O. Box 8689, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, or by calling 801-485-5755.

Robert Crum, a writer and photographer, lives in Corvallis, Oregon. He has written and photographed two children’s books with Simon & Schuster: Le t’s Rod e o, about kids who compete in rodeos, and Eagle Drum, on Native American powwows. He has also written articles for such magazines as Sierra, Wild life Conservation and Harvard Magazine.

Joe Diffie is a Sony recording artist who has sold 5 million albums in the country music field over the last seven years. Known for his soulful and distinctive vocals, he has had numerous chart-topping singles, 25 million radio spins, and was named the 1997 Humanitarian of the Year for his extensive charity work.

Robert J. (Jack) Duncan is a freelance writer whose work has been published in Re ad e r’s Dige st and elsewhere. A believer in lifelong learning, he recently earned a second master’s degree. He is a former president of the Texas Folklore Society. His manuscript on Southwestern artist/illustrator Ben Carlton Mead has been accepted for publication by the University of North Texas Press. He works as an employment/training specialist for Goodwill Industries. Jack is married to his McKinney (Texas) high school sweetheart, Elizabeth. They have two grown sons and three small grandsons. Their Duncan Enterprises is a mail-order book business specializing in rare Southwestern history and folklore. Duncan can be reached at 1801 Erwin Place, McKinney, TX 75069, or je [email protected]

Barry Ettenger is a writer/photographer with over ten years of experience in the entertainment industry. His current projects include screenplays and children’s books. Originally from the Northeast, he now resides in Nashville, Tennesse. Barry can be reached at 615-383-0075.

Kathy Fasig is a public school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee. She has taught kindergarten and first grade since 1976. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education. She and her husband, Trice, have two children, Amy and Jacob. “Grandfather’s Clock” was written in the memory of her grandfather, Roy Wooten.

Fred Foster is the founder of Monument Records and The Combine Music Group. He discovered and/or produced such artists as Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Boots Randolph, Ray Stevens, The Gatlins, Kris Kristofferson, Grandpa Jones, Charlie McCoy, plus many others. Fred has produced 136 Top 20 records in all fields of music; many were number one, most were Top 10. Fred can be reached at 1103-B 17th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212, or by calling 615-327-0031.

Victor Fried’s unique artistry combines storytelling with poetry demonstrating inspirational truths that have moved audiences across the nation. If you are interested in having Victor come speak to your church or civic organization, write to The Dreamwaver Project, 9 Music Square South, Ste. 181, Nashville, TN 37203, or call 615-331-6758.

CarlaM. Fulcher co-owns E.S.P. Corporation, an entertainment labor provider for the music industry headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Though poetry, compositions and technical writings are her specialties, she will soon begin the third volume of a trilogy of light-hearted and warm short stories from childhood for possible future publication. Carla can be reached c/o E.S.P. Corporation, 301 Preakness Dr., Antioch, TN 37013.

Oliver Gaspirtz is an award-winning cartoonist. His work has been exhibited at numerous cartoon art museums around the world. His cartoons have appeared in countless magazines and in over a dozen books. His latest book, A Treasury of Police Humor, is available at Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher at Lincoln-Herndon Press, 818 South Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62703, or by calling 217-522-2732.

Merilyn Morris Gilliamis the vice president of the Cheatham Co. Right to Life. “The love for children and their future inspire me, not only my own, but my families, friends and even those children I have never met.” Merilyn can be reached at P.O. Box 141, Ashland City, TN 37015.

T. J. Greaney publishes a country lifestyle publication called Country Line Magazine, in central Texas. He is also an avid outdoorsman and outdoor writer. He is married with three children. He can be reached at P.O. Box 17245, Austin, TX 78760, or by calling 512-292-1113. His Web site is You can send him e-mail at [email protected]

Lewis Grizzard was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and author of numerous books. He died in 1994. The Grizzard Sample r, a collection of his work, can be ordered by contacting Peachtree Publishers at 800-241-0113.

Jonny Hawkins is a long-time freelance cartoonist whose work has been seen in over two hundred publications, including Barron’s, Boy’s Life, Air and Space and many others. His services and his latest book, He aling Humor, are available by writing him at P.O. Box 188, Sherwood, MI 49089. He can be contacted by phone or fax at 517-741-3668.

Ty Herndon is an Epic Records recording artist. His first album, Living in a Moment, explored the depth of an artist who’s been nominated for or won just about every Best New Male Award of the last year. Born in Meridian, Mississippi, and raised in Butler, Alabama, he was bit by the music bug in his youth. At an early age, he headed out for Nashville to try and make it. Sidelined by bad business dealings, he set out to do the honky-tonks-and-icehouses circuit of Texas where he finished his musical education and graduated with honors by winning the Texas Entertainer of the Year in 1993. His new album, Big Hope s, was just released in May.

Becky Hobbs has written songs for Alabama, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Helen Reddy, Shirley Bassey and others. As an artist, she’s recorded eighteen chart singles, six albums and has performed in over thirty-five countries. She can be reached at P.O. Box 150272, Nashville, TN 37215.

Jan Howard is a long time Grand Ole Opry member. She and Bill Anderson were honored with Duet of the Year from the Country Music Association. Jan has received numerous awards including Top Female Artist and Most Promising Female Artist, along with several awards for her songwriting. Her singles, “Evil On Your Mind” and “My Son,” were nominated for Grammy Awards. Jan has a saying by which she has tried to live: “This is not a rehearsal . . . this is the show, and there are no retakes . . . the time is now.” Her highly successful autobiography, Sunshine and Shadow, published in 1987, is true. Jan lived and wrote every word herself. She deserves to be where she is today, and wears her success well.

John Jarrard’s history as a Nashville songwriter dates back to 1982 and includes more than one hundred of his songs and eleven number one singles by such artists as George Strait, Pam Tillis, Tracy Lawrence, Collin Raye and Alabama. His work has appeared on records that have sold more than 60 million copies.

Floanne Kersh, known in her hometown as “Showanne,” is creator/writer/ director of The Entertainers, a musical-comedy team of performing retirees. Floanne writes for several papers, special programs and events. Her favorites are comedy-skit writing and “poetry from the heart.” She can be reached at 809 Pineview Dr., Hattiesburg, MS 39401.

Rory Lee is a staff songwriter for the legendary Harlan Howard. He has had many songs recorded, one of which, “Someone You Used To Know” is on Collin Raye’s latest album. He is hailed as one of Music Row’s best storytellers, and as a writer of songs of virtue. Rory is a single father of two daughters, Heidi and Hopie. He can be reached at 412 Erin Lane, Nashville, TN 37221, or by calling Harlan Howard Songs at 615-321-9098.

Merlin Littlefield began his music business career in 1967, after graduating from Texas Christian University with majors in radio-TV-film and sociology. His career spans from Capitol Records, RCA, Stax and Capricorn Records, to his own management and publishing companies. He moved to Nashville in 1974, where he held the position of associate director of ASCAP until 1994. While at ASCAP, he signed such writer/artists as Reba McEntire, George Strait and Lyle Lovett. He has produced the ASCAP Awards for fifteen years and is the recipient of the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award. He has served as a board member on numerous music industry associations and committees. Merlin is presently president and owner of Nakomis Publishing. He can be reached at P.O. Box 25166, Nashville, TN 37202.

Walter W. Meade started writing at the age of fourteen. His first story was published in Collie rs magazine when he was twenty-two. He wrote short fiction for the Saturday Evening Post, Gentlemen’s Quarterly and several others. He then turned to writing nonfiction for magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Re d book and the Re ad e r’s Dige st. Later he took a position in the publishing world and became the managing editor of Cosmopolitan and then the managing editor of the Re ad e r’s Digest Book Club. His last position in publishing was president and editor in chief of Avon Books, a position he held for ten years. Today, Walter is retired and writing articles for Re ad e r’s Dige st as well as many other magazines and periodicals. He can be reached at 4561 N.W. 67th Terr., Lauderhill, FL 33319.

Walter Moodie is a disabled Vietnam veteran. He is married to Marlis and has a daughter, Sarah, and son, Joshua, who is in heaven. He is a writer of narrative poetry stories, none of which are published for monetary gain. He writes for the pleasure it brings to others. His story about Kathy Mattea was for her, and the money is being donated to a charity of her choice (AIDS).

Emilio Navaira is a native Texan who records country Tex-Mex Music. He also has a foundation for Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Emilio is also a winner of many Latin awards and Grammy nominations. He performs around the world. For more information on Emilio or his fan club call 210-923-7191, or write to 719 W. Vestal, San Antonio, TX 78221.

Luke Reed is a native Oklahoman who now makes his home in Dickson, Tennessee. He is married to Carol Chatham-Reed and they have two sons, Austin and Sawyer. Luke has been a working cowboy, agriculture teacher, and horticulturist. He now makes his living as a songwriter. George Strait, Randy Travis, Red Steagall, The Crickets, and others have recorded his work. In 1996, he received the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists.

Susan Wells Pardue is the award-winning author of children’s stories and fiction that celebrates Southern folklore. Susan teaches creative writing and she promotes her innovative ideas through workshops and motivational lectures. She may be reached by fax at 615-758-5645, or by calling 615-758-5606.

Dolly Parton, throughout her career that has spanned decades, has contributed countless treasures to the world of music and entertainment. In 1993, the Country Music Association honored Dolly with a special television tribute and its first ever Country Music Honors Awards for her accomplishments as a performer, songwriter, actress, recording artist and humanitarian. She is a four-time Grammy Award winner and has earned eight Country Music Awards. Dolly is the recipient of three Academy Of Country Music awards and three People’s Choice awards.

Reverend Malcolm Patton is currently pastor of Gallatin First United Methodist Church. He has been serving churches since 1957. He is married to Barbara who is an English teacher and they have two sons, Christopher and Timothy, and a grandson, Blake. Reverend Patton enjoys jogging, weight lifting and collecting antiques. He is on the board of directors of Cumberland Mental Health and member of the Lions Club.

Michael Peterson is a Reprise Records recording artist. With his debut album, Michael Peterson, he is Billboard ’s Most Played New Artist in 1997. He is nominated for Academy Country Music and TNN/Music City News Awards and is the top-selling new male artist of 1997. “I can’t remember one moment in my life when music wasn’t my friend, my favorite source of entertainment, my comfort and my encouragement.” He is an artist driven with desire to invite us all to laugh, dance and consider our own lives—often simultaneously.

Joe M. Pritchard has worked with troubled kids and families for twenty years. Now pursuing a lifelong dream of writing, his first book, Step father’s Anonymous Playbook, was published in 1997. His second book, Of Mustard Se e d & Men, is forthcoming. To order his book, call 615-847-2066, or write to P.O. Box 367, Old Hickory, TN 37138.

Roxane Russell is from Hammond, Louisiana and graduated from Texas Christian University with a BSA in radio, TV and film. She is currently a feature producer for TNN working on such shows as Opry Backstage. A country music fan and historian, she has been a country music radio disc jockey, as well as a television news anchor and talk show host.

Phil Thomas’s philosophy on life is reflected in the verses he writes. He has recited stories like “Raymond,” and the more humorous, “Colorado Cool Aid,” from the ELKO, Nevada, poet gathering, the San Antonio Stock Show, to the Italian Street Fair in Nashville, Tennessee. Phil is currently working on a children’s story album. He can be reached at Route 4, Box 197 B, Linden, TN 37096, or by calling 931-589-5788.

Randy Travis is a Grammy Award-winning country artist and the first country artist signed by Dreamworks SKG. Gentle humility, musical integrity and easy-going humor are a combination that makes Randy one of the most charismatic stars of his generation. He has sold more than 20 million records, placed twenty-five brilliant singles in the top ten and paved the way for Garth Brooks, Clint Black, Alan Jackson and the rest of his multi-platinum contemporaries.

Richard Tripp is the founder and director of Care of Poor People (COPP) Inc. He is a man who has one main dedicated goal—to get the homeless and hurting brothers and sisters off the streets of America and back into housing and employment. He is a self-made man taking on the system by coming up with original ideas for housing and employment training—ideas that he got from living it himself. He has published a book, It’s Hip to Help the Home less: How to Give a Hand Up Instead of a Hand out. If you would like to support Richard and the work that he is doing or start you own organization, please contact him at 816-483-4081. 2432 Chelsea, Kansas City, MO 64127.

Porter Wagoner is a veritable icon in the country music industry. He is widely acknowledged by new country performers as the epitome of showmanship. His career was launched in 1955 and just two years later, in 1957, he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. He started the syndicated “Porter Wagoner Show” in 1960 and it remained on the air for twenty-one years. Porter has a big presence on TNN as one of the regular hosts of Opry Backstage on Saturday nights.

Billy Walker is an Opry legend who was born in Ralls, Texas, and was one of eight children. At the age of fifteen, he gave his heart to the Lord. “If God does not guide your life, regardless of your field of endeavor, success is shallow. We are to let our lights shine to all the world. My desire is that God be glorified in everything I do.”

Lari White began performing as a child with her brother and sister as the White Family Singers. She went to Miami University on a full academic scholarship majoring in music engineering, before winning first place on TNN’s You Can Be A Star show in 1988. She signed to RCA Records in 1992 and has charted several hits from her four albums. Married to songwriter Chuck Cannon she now has a new baby and a new label. She is the first artist on Disney’s fledgling record label, Lyric Street. Her new single and album entitled Stepping Stone s will be in stores this July.

John and Audrey Wiggins are brother and sister from the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. They’ve been performing together for last nineteen years. In January of 1987, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue their love of music. After many ups and downs, they remain in Nashville writing and performing, finally living out their dream.

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