Mar. 21, 2016

My feelings on being indicted to the BC Country Music Hall of Fame

The Call of the ‘Hall’ by Grizzly Ramsay                                                         March 6/16

            I’ve been asked to put my thoughts to paper addressing my feelings about being inducted into the BC Country Music Hall of Fame, in 3 short sentences, so...here goes!

            The phone modulated at me.

            Phones don’t ‘ring’ so much anymore, they ‘tone’, and when our landline phones ring (There’s one in every room so we don’t miss anything) it’s bedlam cuz someone with a more than passing resemblance to me was on their own one day and got bored and set them all to different ringtones, so now it sounds like a warning that our house is approaching an iceberg OR, there’s a Prison Break.

            I always check Call Display to see if it’s a disgruntled Creditor or another Jackass pretending he’s from Microsoft (or Jamaica, judging by the accent, Mon.) to tell me he’s calling to save me from some intrusive Virus or possibly a Yeast infection, and that for a small ransom, he’ll make it go away, so last time, I made HIM go away, I just said ‘computer? WHAT computer? What Computer mean Kemo Sabe?!’ there was a pause, could have been pregnant, ‘you don’t own a computer?’ he asked incredulously, obviously seeing the lucre draining away. ‘Not even a laptop? He asked hopefully. ‘Nope, but I do have an Abacus,’ I offered, ‘That any good?’ I said to a dead line, and he hasn’t called back since.

            So, the number, being new to me, I took the call and it was the effervescent BCCMA VP Linda Corscadden calling to advise that I had been nominated to be inducted into the BC Country Music Hall of Fame (p’ar me?) and would I accept....well, I was stunned (making several people momentarily right) and realizing my attempt to respond was resulting in animal sounds (I’m a GOOD little doggy!), and after a lengthy pause, and considering the call wasn’t collect, I managed a YES! (Hoopty Hoopty!)

            Having recovered from my momentary shyness, we chatted for a bit about the details, the Devils IN them y’know.

            After the call, I sat down to think about what I’d just heard...(insert pages flying off a calendar and the hands on a clock flying round the face, here and Jacob Marley with a guitar and Dreadlocks...what, too much?)

            I think it was 1980, at the end of that nights Danny Awards, that I decided to take my leave after about 2 years’ service, an intense 2 years, and it was a relief, like I had an Albacore lifted off my shoulders.

            I had enabled two televised award shows they hadn’t had before, the original Tribute to Ray McAuley, and had expanded the Country consciousness by hosting showcases in the BC interior, as it was the BC CMA, and that’s a lot.

            Time went by (get that thing away from me, we just DID that time flies bit! Are you the smart one or just the one that lived?) and it wasn’t until the late ‘90’s (At an awards show at the BELL Centre in Surrey) that I’d been asked to present an Award (I was still in the Dogs House, that is to say RCA Records) and this resulted in being taken backstage, where I saw SoCred Minister Jim ‘Lefty’ Nielsen (Minister in charge of being punched by married ladies husbands...sound of clearing throat here) icing a shiner (that’s SHINER, not SHRINER, people!) and then I was deposited on the wrong side of the stage, causing me to trip over the snake-pit of wires strewn across the stage, finally making it to the correct Podium side where I read off the Nominees for some category or other and then came to a full, cold stop, as I hadn’t been given the envelope with the Winners name, and just about when I was going to ask the audience who THEY thought should win..the envelope was swooshed into my hand like it was Zorro delivering it (pause to check for paper cuts) and I announced the name forthwith.

            My duty done I made a grand exit along with several bottles of Budweiser (my Favorite wine), a bag of beer Nuts and a Urinal cake.

            The BCCMA and I didn’t cross Happy Trails again until 2011 when I was asked if I would Induct Jess Lee into the hallowed Hall of Fame..would I?? Just try and stop me! No problem with Jess, I knew him quite well as he and Surreys Six String Savant Ed Molyski were the core of MRB (Midnite Rodeo Band) which I had the pleasure of signing to RCA Canada, it was FUN!

...and now, some 36 years (over 48 in Music) down this Country roadappHHHH Hhhh                    they’re running me to ground, and there’s quite few Crosses at the side of this road, like the Multi-Instrumentalist Mark Telford, Marilyn Ann Taylor, Peter Hamlin (Stand/Sit in Drummer for MRB), Rick Sims, Ray McAuley and John Ford to name only a few.

            I’m somewhat proud to see the BCCMA has risen beyond its humble origins of what was a well-intended gaggle of Country Music fans, Writers and Performers, Managers and Booking Agents, some with a lot of sniping, back-biting/stabbing (that your knife?), enviously rabid fans, (a couple of whom could spit venom further than a Cobra, I seen it!) with a sprinkling of Music Industry people, to the Organization it’s become today; I like organization, in fact, I’m so organized my DAYS are numbered!

            These people have a LOT to be proud of, today there are a number of highly credible BC Artists that are recognized nationally and Internationally and that’s saying something, I like to think I had a hand in that if only formatively and....Hey! Where’s my PANTS!? I SAID I wanted to pass along my GENES!!

            While I Raytired in 2004 from BMG Music (Formerly RCA, RCA/Ariola, THEN BMG and that no longer exists being swallowed headlong by Sony in a merger, altho there still IS an RCA Label....Good Dog!) I NEVER retired from MUSIC (it’s my DNA7th) and in the Fall of 2014 after being awoken by a song in my head that would not let go, I went back to writing songs and called my former band-mate (BigFoot) co-writer/Guitarist Down Home Jerome to help me finish the song and all the others since; we hadn’t written in 45 years!

            I hope you’ll be hearing the ‘Waitress (The Dream) soon, which IS a Country song (or Country Rock depending on which version you prefer) and we consider this a kind of Anthem for and Tribute to Servers, Waitresses, Bartenders, everywhere, and I know of what I speak as I’ve not only worked in bars myself but both my Starter AND Keeper wives did the same.

                                                                                    Gr

The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay / ALadinLadner Publishing:The Written Werd and Dirty Book Store is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.