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Nancy keeps up with her fans these days through video blogs and general silliness at www.myspace.com/nancyapple.
July 29, 2003
A bunch of us went bowling last night and what a blast... all musicians out there slammin' balls down the lane, Cowboy Bob was the fastest, Myra and Susie the best... Good times like these are few and far between!
July 27, 2003
It's about noon, the day after our big CD release party at Kudzu's and I'd thought I'd get off my rear and make my first journal entry... at least get caught up on what has been going on. Oh my God, what a blast we had last night. It was the highlight of what has been a whirlwind (literally) week for us. Jay Harrington and I started the big "pimpin the new record" campaign on Fox 13's morning show last Friday, the 18th. We mustered up out of bed to be on Beale Street by 5:30 am, and since I hung out Kudzu's till after midnight that was pretty rough. Not only did I hang at the Pickin Party longer than I planned, but I had to change guitar strings when I got home and wash clothes to have something pretty to wear on TV... Ahh yes, the glamour of show biz.... Lucky for me I got a wake up call from my manager, Myra Sellers at 4:30 am since I had to leave the house at 5. I ended up wearing my cleanest dirty shirt (just like the Kris Kristopherson song).
So, Jay and I had a big time playing on TV, it was the first time we had done a morning show like that together, and I was sure happy to have him along to make the morning (and music) brighter. I just love Leon Griffin, who is the weather guy/host of the show, along with Ron and Val. Leon and my sister Sherry used to work together before, so he's known me since I was a snotty brat in PJs. Anyway, long story short it was a great kick off to getting the word out about our CD release party. Jay and I played about 13 parts of songs going in out and of commercials etc., and had time to squeeze in about 3 or so full length tunes ("Shoulda Lied About That," "Mama's Stories" and "Angel Fire"). Chris Jones even drug it out early to keep us in line and on time.
After the morning show, Jay went home and back to bed while Chris (Ringo Records hardest working promo guy) went to the Flynn Broadcasting / Memphis PIG radio offices. I was on the morning show with Tater Red, aka Leo, and got to talk to Leo some about our new record and play a few songs live. Myra called it the Leon and Leo tour! I think I played "Mama's Stories" and "Shoulda Lied." I got to talk about Lamar Sorrento and Leo played the song Lamar wrote on the radio, got to plug all my friends, Keith Sykes, Cordell Jackson and my Queen Reba Russell. I'm really liking the fact that so many people like the Stories song, because I know that if Deb Smith, my co-writer is out there listening her face turns beet red if I mention her name... Sick I know, but I get a kick out knowing that. Was I ever tired when I got home though, I worked a few hours in my hot attic office and called it a day! Did I mention that Chris and I have been sticking stickers on CDs and mailing them out to about 500 radio stations and countless press people???? I am surprised I can even still move my fingers to play guitar (no comments from the peanut gallery about my playing!)...
Saturday the 19th I did some more pimpin' the new CD on the radio on the Memphis Juke N Jam Show on WQOX-FM. Bob and Joe over there are so damn cool, I was on the radio a long time, and played a bunch of songs! (I only remember Mama's Stores and Shoulda Lied though). They are such good guys, even mentioned the Blues on the Bluff concert that WEVL was having later that night, which I was the volunteer stage manager for. (The concert was great too, Sid Selvidge, Kenny Brown and Joyce Cobb).... I have no idea what time I drug in from Blues on the Bluff, but it was late, hot and I still could not sleep... excited about everything!
The next few days were crazy, Sunday did the Sessions gig at Dan McGuinness then slid by Kudzu's to help celebrate their 13th year in business. On Monday Bob Livingston rolled into town and played on my radio show down at WEVL (every Monday from 4-6)... he was GREAT, and we played later that night at the Blue Monkey. It was a special show for Cordell Jackson's 80th birthday, which was actually the week before on the 15th, but we celebrated anyway. All the musicians in the house got up and sang happy birthday accapella, led by Becky Russell (Reba)... heck, I hope Cordell was moved cause I sure as hell was. It was a fantastic show too, Cordell was full of fire, (and she said I was full of smoke!)
Tuesday the 22nd was my birthday, and the date that the new CD was to hit stores. I had all these big plans to drive around to record stores and give them in-store copies to play... forget that. I woke up at 6 am (after going to bed at 4) because Mark was getting ready to go to work but wanted me to know about a big storm coming through town. Heck, I love sleeping when it's raining, so as soon as he left I turned that TV off and me and Sparky spent some quality time snuggled up. When I woke up, I grabbed a cup of coffee and checked messages (the phone had been ringing like crazy)... it turns out that all hell had broken loose in Memphis. 320,000 people were without power, trees down on churches and houses everywhere. I for one was spared, maybe because I had a tree take out my roof a few years earlier.... but everywhere I looked outside was destruction. The Asian Temple across the street had a roof blown off, a big tree down next door and crap slung everywhere. Me and Sparky picked up sticks, and I counted my blessings. I never lost power, cable or road runner.... woo wooo
Needless to say though, I never made it out to any record stores. The streets were (and still are crazy). Lights out, gas stations closed, no ice in the city. It felt like typhoon season when I lived in the Philippines. I spent the next few days calling people to make sure they were ok, phones are down in so many areas, and cell towers fell. The WEVL tower was damaged and I was not able to do a live radio thing there, but I am hoping we can do it down the road. The Pickin Party was happening though, Kudzu's was one of the few places that still had power (aka air conditioning) and food. Jim Photoglo of Run C&W and Dan Fogelberg fame played with us at the Pickin Party that night too.
Friday the 25th we had an in-store scheduled for Cat's Records midtown. I spent the morning buying and putting in a new air conditioner in the Ringo offices (upstairs at my home)... that is the one thing that the storm did wipe out for good. Jay and I were prepared to play in the parking lot if need be, but lucky for us Cat's got their power back on the day before. We brought the staff some hot dogs and soda pops and we played some tunes "unplugged" from the record. The turnout was fair, but not what I had hoped we could bring into Cats... (if you have not bought a record yet and are thinking about it, go there!) We bought some ads in the Memphis Flyer to let people know, but the Flyer is still without power and did not print this week... Never underestimate the power of the press. Bernice Turner who used to play with Hank Williams came out though, and that was a highlight for me and Jay. She is such a sweet lady, and she gave me an autographed photo. Her son, Robbie, plays with the Dixie Chicks. Heck, I should have asked her to play on a tune with me, but I forgot to even ask.
Saturday, (yesterday), was the BIG CD RELEASE PARTY day... poor Myra (as well as about 200,000 people in Memphis) are still without power, but Kudzu's was kickin, and rockin. Me and the guys met at the bar in the afternoon to set up, and Susie Salley, Chris, Myra and Linda came down to help too. And Kenny Busick also came and helped get the PA sounding good, even had extra mics and cables and stands and everything that dumb ass here forgot to bring! Steve was so nice to open the bar early to let us do all the pre-gig prep. Linda has a friend in West Memphis with a party store who made these great balloons that looked like apples. We had apple stuff everywhere! I'll post pictures soon. We even rearranged the tables in case we had a crowd so we'd have a little more room. Well, we had a crowd all right, and even with the new Susie Salley arrangement it was packed. There were people I had not seen in years, and since Bill Ellis gave us a fantastic review in the Commercial Appeal the same day and mentioned the party, we had a lot of new people come out too. I have not seen that many folks packed into Kudzu's before, and in all honesty I was afraid no one would come! The guys sounded so good, Reba Russell sang backup, along with Chris Jones and Gary Allen. James Cunningham kicked ass on drums, Jay Harrington blew the roof off on guitar (he had been singled out for his stellar playing in the Bill Ellis review)... Keith Sykes came and played on a couple tunes, Wayne Russell stepped up and played bass since Ronnie was not able to come (he was making some money playing a wedding gig at Graceland). John Fitzgerald played the accordion parts for me (how hard is it for a girl to sing, play guitar, accordion and harmonica at the same time!) Bob Salley played the gitjo and some harp and mandolin, and of course sang on "Fruit of the Vine." I feel like I am forgetting someone important, oh... MARK! He played the lap steel on "My Boyfriend" and was such a good sport to let us tease him about the Redneck Luv Song... overall, it was the best night a girl could ever hope for with a CD release party... I want to thank all of you who came (and anyone else who is reading this crap now)... We could not have pulled it off without all the help that was so graciously given. Cowboy Bob and his wife Leslie make a big sheet cake that looked like the record cover, and even brought a fan to help cool the place down... not to mention Bob made a ton of t-shorts to give away as door prizes... my God, I can not tell you how much I appreciate these people who have become my friends and just help do anything. I am the luckiest girl in Memphis! I thought I'd mention a few names of people who came and made the party special, my mom, my sister Cindy (who sang on Mama's Stories), Deb Smith, Myra, Chris, Nell and Eldon (Mark's folks) and his brother Matt and Sabina. Johnny Surber, Cordell Jackson (damn Cordell Jackson came to the party!)... Ward Archer, Cheryl Bader, Ric Haworth, Susie and Bob Salley and Sheila and her man (they won the boppin' head dog door prize)... can I say again what a blessing Chris Jones is? He ran the door prize contest and pimped CDs hard. I think we sold about 25 of those suckers. Ken and Allen from Millington came out, Jim Cox, Spud and Angela, Kim Richardson, Molly Ray Oken, Pam and Terry, Susan Marshall and Jeff Powell, the MadJack king Ronny Russell and his wife Susan, Nora, Deb Smith, Geo Holmes, Terry and a whole bunch of people that I wish I had more time to hang out with, but this girl was working the room. My niece was even there... (taking a break now to go to my Sunday gig)...
... back from the gig, worn down and put up wet...
It was a great night, I did not have a drop to drink last night at the party but feel hungover from all the buzz of the night. Today's gig at Dan McGuinness was fun too, even with a screwed up microphone and PA gremlins (got to figure out where that damn buzz is coming from)...
So, I am tired as hell, and Myra, who has been working in the Ringo Records office today since her electricity is STILL OFF AFTER 6 DAYS just reminded me we hit the road in a week, so that's it for me right now. Mark's fixin us tacos, and I need to get packing since I have all this spare time tonight... Adios. And to my Memphis friends, take care, I hope the effects of hurricane Elvis have not been too hard on you.
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© 2003 Nancy Apple / Ringo Records Memphis, Tennessee