Look for "Sherwin Linton & The Cotton Kings" on the "Mid-West Country Show" on RFD-TV each Saturday at 7:30 PM and Thursday at 11:00 AM Central Time. Direct-TV Channel 345 - Dish Network Channel 231.
Pioneer Public TV Presents – “Sherwin Linton – Forever On The Stage”
Pioneer Public TV is in the midst of making a new documentary "Sherwin Linton: Forever on the Stage" featuring the 58 year career of the county fair circuit musician. Linton, 74, will be appearing live in the Pioneer Public TV studios in Appleton to talk about his life on the road on Sunday March 16 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. A sneak preview of segments of the documentary, which is scheduled to be released in October 2014, will be broadcast in between the live interviews.
"As one of the longest touring musicians in the Upper Midwest, Sherwin Linton is a living legend," stated Pioneer Public TV's Production Director Tim Bakken. Bakken says that the documentary will feature archival footage of Linton's performances dating all the way back to the 1950's,. Pioneer's production crew traveled with Linton's to his boyhood home in Watertown South Dakota in the summer of 2013 to capture footage for the documentary. The finalized broadcast will also include Linton's original music recordings and his reminiscences about the history and evolution of country western music in the Upper Midwest.
Plans call for the completed special to be broadcast starting in the Fall of 2014 as an hour long feature presentation on several public television stations in the region. A 90 minute DVD will also be produced for sale and distribution with the broadcast, according to Pioneer officials.
Pioneer is currently conducting a Spring Pledge drive to raise funds to support programming costs. Pioneer first went on the air as a viewer supported, locally owned and governed TV station in February 1966. Pioneer serves the region with three towers broadcasting programs to 45 rural counties that are home to 1 million people in western and southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and the eastern Dakotas. In 2013, there were more than 148,000 views of videos posted by Pioneer Public Television online through the station's website and youtube channel. For more information, visit www.pioneer.org or call 1-800-726-3178.
Pioneer Public TV Presents – “Sherwin Linton – Forever On The Stage”
Pioneer Public TV is in the midst of making a new documentary entitled “Sherwin Linton – Forever On The Stage,” and we're going to give our viewers a sneak preview of it on Sunday March 16 th at 7:00 PM on Pioneer 10 HD as part of our March Festival pledge drive.
Sherwin will be in the studio to talk about his 58-year career as a performing artist. We encourage you to tune in and hear the stories about Sherwin's life, interlaced with videos from past shows and perhaps even a live studio performance! As one of the longest touring musicians in the Upper Midwest, Sherwin Linton is a living legend and his talent, wit, determination and generosity have made him a favorite to thousands of fans in the Pioneer Public Television viewing area.
The complete 60-minute documentary is schedule to air on Pioneer Public TV in October 2014. We are currently working to arrange theatre releases of the 90-minute documentary, which will happen prior to the October television release. For those who would wish to have a copy to view again and again we hope to have this project available on DVD in early 2015.
Pioneer Public TV – KWCM-TV and KSMN-TV is broadcast in Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota. In South Dakota it is also available to satellite subscribers in Sioux Falls and Mitchell. KWCM is currently working to make programming available to satellite subscribers in the Minneapolis, St. Paul market.
Pioneer Public TV Presents - "Sherwin Linton - Forever On The Stage"
Sherwin - "Mr. 1975" in South Dakota 125!
2014 will mark South Dakota's 125th year of statehood and South Dakota Magazine has produced a photographic history coffee table book of this fascinating state. One picture represents each year, beginning in 1889 and continuing to today. This past August Sherwin was excited when Bernie Hunhoff, editor of South Dakota Magazine phoned him requesting permission to publish a photo of Sherwin to commemorate the year 1975 in this very special book. The photo was taken in the little town of Hazel, SD. This special photo comes with a story. In 1975 Sherwin produced a best selling album "Dusty Roads and Prairie Towns." The record label exec's wanted a cover image depicting Sherwin in a ghost town. Sherwin asked them how many they would want, "I'll go back to the towns I grew up in in South Dakota, they look like ghost towns!" Sherwin did just that. He hired photographer James MacKay from Pollock, SD and they spent several days taking photographs and journeyed to his boyhood home, the disappearing railroad town of Hazel, with it's diminishing building facades and shot the cover photo. Sherwin submitted the photos to the record company but they had rushed the record release and used a line drawing instead. The photo, which looks like it's right out of a Hollywood movie, was never published until now. So, how exciting it is that this photo taken in 1975 is now being appreciated by so many! The book shows the buffalo ranchers, bridge builders, cowgirls, war heroes, artists and many famous political figures and celebrities who's roots are in South Dakota and all who make South Dakota unique ... plus histories of each decade.
This "Coffee Table" quality, 220 pp., black and white book is an artistic souvenir of the states quasquicentennial and a great gift!
Sherwin - Hazel, South Dakota 1975
Some Snapshots From The Rio Grande Valley 2014
60 Ton Sand Castle - South Padre Island, TX
Performing At The Rio Grande Music Fest 2014
Performing At The La Copa Hotel Pool Party!
La Copa Hotel Pool Party
We have had a very exciting few weeks. Fall is in the air and the oak trees in our yard are beginning to change color. They seem to be a little late this year but spring was definitely late so maybe they are right on time! Our Nashville bus tour was a huge success. A big “Thank You” to Ernie and Georgia Hart and Hart Travel, LLC for being such gracious hosts to our friends and fans! We know many of you followed the tour on Facebook. If you are not a Facebook user here are a few highlights!
We were at the Fairfield Inn Opryland to greet our friends & fans on the “Hart Travel Bus.
We were excited to have the “Hart Travel Group” spend their first evening in Nashville in our audience at the Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theatre. The next day’s events included a Nashville City Tour, a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and some free time downtown Nashville to visit the sights on “Broadway.”
We were excited to share the stage at the Nashville Nightlife Theatre with our friend, Grand Ole Opry Star Jeannie Seely.
Sherwin & Pam Backstage at the “Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theatre” with Brenda Best from the Nashville Nightlife Show!
It was so much fun to join the Hart Travel group on-board the General Jackson for a lunch cruise down the Cumberland River that included lunch and the “Steve Hall and Shot Gun Red Show!” Sherwin and Pam did a guest shot on the show singing “Jackson!”
Sherwin on-board “The General Jackson.” Lunch is served in the lower level dining room.
From Left: Kenny Jansen – Owner Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theatre, Jason, Holly and Delaney Johnston and Ernie and Georgia Hart, Hart Travel, LLC. Sherwin and Pam were in good company for lunch on the General Jackson!
We took a very interesting tour of Hendersonville, TN, the home of many Country Music entertainers. This included seeing Marty Stuart and Connie Smith's home, William Lee Golden's home and the remains of Johnny Cash's home and a visit to the Carter and Cash graves.
The Hendersonville Tour included many trips on and off the bus!
Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash Grave Site.
The remains of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s home. The home was destroyed by fire April 10, 2007.
Tommy Cash greeting fans at the Johnny Cash Museum.
They are standing in front of the original “House of Cash” sign which Tommy has donated to the museum.
The tour trip came to a perfect close with everyone visiting the Saturday night performance of the Grand Ole Opry.
Sherwin and Pam were backstage guests of George Hamilton, IV who was hosting the Opry that night!
Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry – From Left: Jimmy Fortune from “The Statler Brothers” (Wearing Sherwin’s Hat), Sherwin and “Too Slim” from the “Riders In The Sky”.
Our friends on the Hart Travel Bus headed back to the hotel for a good night's sleep as they had to return to Minnesota.
Sherwin and Pam still had two more shows! It's always fun to be a guest on the Ernest Tubb “Midnight Jamboree.”
The show airs on WSM Radio Saturday nights beginning at midnight!
Sherwin singing “The Mom and Dad’s Waltz” on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. To our surprise our friend and fellow South Dakota Rock-N-Roll Hall of Famer Myron Lee told us he was listening at 1:00 AM in Sioux Falls, SD.
JoAnn Cash and her husband Dr. Harry Yates host “The Nashville Cowboy Church” in the Texas Troubadour Theatre each Sunday morning. Sherwin and Pam have been guests of JoAnn and Harry and were honored to again be a part of the Sunday morning service.
Sherwin and Pam with JoAnn Cash Yates and Dr. Harry Yates – Nashville Cowboy Church.
By the time Sherwin and Pam left Nashville the Hart Travel Bus was already about 6 hours north. Sherwin and Pam’s frequent calls to the bus seemed to always report that they were having a great time! We hope to have many more of our friends and fans travel with us again soon!
We're Headin' To Nashville
We are so excited to be hosting our first luxury motor coach bus tour along with Hart Travel, LLC and we are heading to Nashville October 13-20. We'll be doing four performances while we are there. If you live in the vicinity or are traveling through you might like to take in one of our shows. Below is information about each of the venues. If you are unable to travel with us follow our trip on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SherwinLintonMusic.
October 16-17 – Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theatre
The Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theatre is one of the five star highlight attractions in music city. The show will feature the “Nashville Nightlife Show Band,” Sherwin & Pam Linton, 10 Year Old Delaney Johnston and Grand Ole Opry Star Jeannie Seeley. The theatre is beautiful, the dinner and cuisine excellent and the ninety minute show will be a non-stop musical treat from start to finish. For more information visit the theatre web site: http://www.nashvillenightlife.com/ or phone the theatre at 1-800-573-7973.
October 18 – General Jackson Showboat
My friend Steve Hall and “Shot Gun Red” host a jaw dropping, gut bustin’ Country Music stage show as you cruise the Cumberland River. Pam and I will make a guest appearance on the mid-day show. For information and tickets visit the showboat web site: http://www.generaljackson.com/ or phone 615-458-3900.
October 20 – “Nashville Cowboy Church”
This interdenominational service is held every Sunday at 10 AM at the “Texas Troubadour Theatre.” This fast paced service features many Country Music artists performing their Gospel Music favorites combined with the music and ministry of Dr. Harry Yates and Dr. Joanne Cash Yates. Pam and I will be one of the Country Music guests. Everyone is welcome to attend free of charge. We have included the web site if you would like more information http://nashvillecowboychurch.com/index.html or phone 615-859-1001. To listen to a live audio broadcast of the Nashville Cowboy Church Click Here. To view the live video broadcast Click Here.
Here Are A Few Photo Snapshots From Our Summer Fairs and Festivals
The Grandstand of the 125th Clay County Fair in Barnesville, MN. From Left: Tom Burke, Director American Angus Association, Sherwin, Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson and Brian Halverson, President of the Clay County Fair.
Pam, helping judge the “Cupcake Wars Contest” at the Norman County Fair in Ada, MN – June 2013.
Sherwin & “The Cotton Kings”
An “Old West Photo “taken at the Red River Valley Fair
in West Fargo, ND – July 14, 2013.
From Left: Sherwin, Pam, Pete Brooks, Alex Nyhus, Kenny Wilson,
Rick Johnson and In Front: Delaney Johnston.
10 Year Old Delaney Johnston gets her first standing ovation
at the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen, SD! Good Job Delaney!
Rainbow over the St. Louis County Fairgrounds in Chisholm, MN.
Sherwin Linton & "The Cotton Kings"
The Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA.
Sherwin's 1975 Photo Selected By South Dakota Magazine
The state of South Dakota will celebrate its 125th Anniversary in 2014. South Dakota Magazine will be publishing a 125th Anniversary Photo Book. They have requested, and been granted permission to have Sherwin represent the year 1975 with a dramatic photo shot on Main Street of Hazel, SD to promote his LP "Dusty Roads and Prairie Towns." Look for the book to be released in November of 2013. We'll post purchasing details when we receive them from South Dakota Magazine.
My Friends Marvin Rainwater & Johnny White
We were deeply saddened recently by the deaths of two very long time friends Marvin Rainwater and Johnny White. Sherwin had known and worked with Marvin many times since their first meeting in 1960. Sherwin remembers seeing Marvin singing his signature hit "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird" on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957. Marvin played "The Flame" in Minneapolis frequently, toured the US, Canada and Europe until his recent declining health. Marvin was 88 years old. We plan to do a special "Tribute to Marvin Rainwater" soon at the St. Croix Casino in Danbury, WI. Johnny White had helped Sherwin greatly when he hired him as a featured performer with his band at his "Club Cabana" in Sioux Falls in the summer of 1956. Johnny was a Country Music icon in the mid-west with his "Sons of the West Band." Sherwin was proud to induct Johnny into a "South Dakota Legends Hall of Fame" in 2011. Johnny had moved to California in the late 1970's and had a successful night club there and continued to perform until his death at the age of 88. We will surely miss Marvin & Johnny.
Nashville Bus Tour
We are excited to invite friends and fans to join us in Nashville, Tennessee - October 15-21! We have joined forces with Hart Travel, LLC to plan a Country Music entertainment filled seven-day luxury motor coach tour! You will spend four nights at the “Fairfield Inn” Opry Land in walking distance of the famous “Opry Land Hotel.” Upon arriving in Nashville on October 16th Sherwin and Pam will welcome their mid-west friends to the Nashville Night Life Dinner Theatre where they will be performing that evening! Included in this seven day – six night tour are your lunch, show and cruise ticket on the famous “General Jackson Showboat.” This 300-foot paddlewheel riverboat cruises the Cumberland River and is famous for its live music shows. You will have tickets to tour the “Country Music Hall of Fame Museum” dedicated to the preservation of the history and identity of Country Music and “The Grand Ole Opry” the “Mother Church” of Country Music and America’s longest running radio show. We have step-on guides for city tours of Nashville and Hendersonville, TN (the home to many of Country Music’s notable performers.) This tour package includes six nights lodging with luggage handling, six breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner and admission to four attractions.
Price Per Person:
Double Occupancy: $850
Single Occupancy: $1150
We’d love to send you an official tour brochure by US Mail. Just click the link below and include your mailing address in the e-mail message and we’ll have a brochure on it’s way to you!
We look forward to sharing this wonderful fall trip with our many fans and friends!
Sign up soon, it’s sure to fill quickly!
Pioneer Public TV “Post Cards” TV Show
Our friends at Pioneer Public TV produced a wonderful eight-minute segment about Sherwin for their TV show “Post Cards” which aired on May 5th. For those of you who were not able to view the show we have included the link so you can view on-line. Sherwin’s friend Johnny Holm and Minnesota Pop Music icon Michael Johnson were also featured so it’s a great Minnesota music production!
Sherwin and Pam have been busy in the recording studio the past few weeks. They are producing a CD for ten-year-old Delaney Johnston from Summit, SD. This is Delaney’s first CD and Sherwin and Pam are excited to be a part of it! Delaney has selected 10 songs, which include “I’m Little But I’m Loud,” and by special request “Jackson” as a duet with Sherwin! Another highlight of this CD will be Pam and Delaney’s duet version of the classic Kitty Wells song “How Far Is Heaven.” Sherwin met Delaney two years ago at a music festival in LaBolt, SD when Delaney approached the stage and requested the song “Jackson” for her Grandma. Sherwin somehow sensed that this little girl knew the song and invited her on stage to sing it with him. Delaney did a fantastic job and received a standing ovation when the performance was over! Delaney will be appearing as part of Sherwin’s show at many fair and festival through the summer.
Sherwin, Pam & Delaney - Track Record Studio - St. Paul, MN
From Left: Pam, Norton, Pete, Kurt, Kenny, Sherwin, Rick & Delaney
"The Band" - Track Record Studio - St. Paul, MN - May 2013
Pioneer Public TV's "Post Cards Show"
Sherwin has just completed the filming for an eight minute segment of the "Post Cards" show produced by Pioneer Public TV in Appleton, MN. The "Post Cards" show features the art, history and cultural heritage of Minnesota. Sherwin's segment is set to air on May 5th. Also featured on this show will be Sherwin's friend, the ever popular Johnny Holm and Minnesota Pop Music icon of the 1970's and 80's Michael Johnson. Friends in western, southern and central Minnesota will be able to view the show locally. South Dakota fans east of the Missouri River will see the show on Satellite Channel 20. For folks outside the viewing area it is possible to view the show on-line at the Post Cards web site http://www.pioneer.org/postcards.php beginning on May 6th.
2013 Texas Tour
It is always great to return home after being away for a long period of time. Such is the case with our yearly Texas "Rio Grande Valley" tour. We are usually away about two months through the heart of the cold snowy season in Minnesota. We usually arrive home to at least one snow event so "Mother Nature" can prove to us we can't miss them all! This year has been something else. The snow just keeps coming! Our performances in the "Winter Texan" parks and also for our sponsor "La Copa Corporation" in their Hilton Garden Inn, La Quinta and La Copa hotels across the Rio Grande Valley including South Padre Island went very well. We have renewed our corporate contract and booked many shows in the parks for next season. Our complete schedule is available on our web site. We hope to have even more of our mid-west friends in our audiences next season! On our way north we took some time to visit our friend Dallas Wayne in Austin, TX. Many of you XM Radio fans might tune in to "Willie's Road House" on occasion. Dallas is the afternoon personality we all enjoy listening to. We met Dallas about 30 years ago when he had the house band in a club "The Nashville North" near Chicago. The "Willie's Roadhouse Studio" is housed in the "Austin City Limits" theater complex downtown Austin. It's easy to find, just look for the bronze statue of Willie Nelson!
Sherwin with Dallas Wayne
2013 Spring CD Special
This is a fantastic "Five CD Collection!" Included is Sherwin's four part historic CD series celebrating rural small town centennials. Each is a time capsule that preserves the memories of times gone by. Truly a celebration of our American roots. CD's include dialog from Sherwin, Pam and local residents. The warmth of these songs and stories flow like a gentle river as you listen . Included are the titles "Heartland Centennial," "Last American Frontier Centennial," "Dakota Railroad Town Centennial," and "Town Of Dreams Centennial." The final CD included in the package is "Driftwood On The River" a 1996 tribute to Folk singer Jimmy Driftwood. This CD includes interview segments in which Jimmy Driftwood and his wife Cleda tell the stories of the Ozarks of Arkansas and the many songs he wrote. A total of 112 songs on five CD's all with beautiful insert booklets.
Our Price: $40.00
List Price: $75.00
S & H: $10.95 (Priority Mail)
Send your order to:
Black Gold Records
P.O. Box 48100
Minneapolis, MN 55448
South Dakota Icon Sherwin Linton's "Ghost Riders" Coat Disappears
South Dakota Country Singer Sherwin Linton has been a regular performer at the South Dakota State Fair since the 1970’s. Linton is also known for his very personalized unique and sometimes garish stage wardrobe. One of these costumes is a “Black Long Rider Duster Coat” with a very intricate depiction of “The Ghost Riders In The Sky” painted on it by Award Winning Western Artist Billye Jane Kruse. Kruse used acrylic paint to create an amazing dimensional and eye catching portrayal of cowboys chasing long horn steers through a stormy sky filled with glowing reflective lightning bolts. Linton has recorded “The Ghost Riders “ song and often opens his show wearing this coat. During an intermission between shows at the 2012 South Dakota State Fair Linton opened his large Anvil Wardrobe Case located in the back-stage area and found the coat was missing. Linton appraises the value at $1200.00—$1500.00. Having had it for nearly 20 years and wearing it on several TV shows and major stages Linton also has a strong sentimental bond to it. Linton hopes that someone will come forth with information regarding this special part of his stage wardrobe and is offering a substantial reward for its return.
Linton requests that anyone possessing this item or with information about it please contact Sherwin Linton Entertainment by e-mail using this address:
A cash reward will be delivered in exchange for the undamaged coat.
State Fairs Here We Come
Sherwin, Pam and "The Cotton Kings" have enjoyed two months of county fairs, festivals, city celebrations and performing arts concerts! The summer schedule culminates with the state fair circuits. Sherwin, Pam and "The Cotton Kings" appeared on the KARE-11 TV "Morning Show" live from the Minnesota State Fair on August. 27th. Click here for a portion of their performance!
After finishing at the Minnesota State Fair the group heads west for five days at the South Dakota State Fair performing on the "Centennial Stage" located on "Cotton King Avenue" on the northwest corner of the grounds. Shows are at 11:00 AM, 2:00 & 4:00 PM daily!
Highway Headin' South Heads Into The "New" Digital Age
Music media and technology continues to change. Someday in the future the compact disc (CD) as we know it today will go by the wayside joining its predecessors the 78 rpm and 45 rpm record, 8 track tape and cassette tape. The newest technology on the market is the "Digital Download Card." Black Gold Records has partnered with "Soundtrax" to produce Sherwin's first release in this media form. Sherwin's new CD "Highway Headin' South" retails for just $10.00 when purchased on a digital download card. How does it work? When you purchase the digital down load card, which looks like a credit card, you sign on to the "Soundtrax" web site on your computer and enter the code on the back of the card. The music selections will download to the computer desktop. Then you can play them on their computer, move them to your favorite MP3 player, or burn them to CD. Each download card allows the buyer two complete title downloads. The buyer gets all the music but does not get the CD booklet, a gel box or a digi pack!
Sherwin Linton Crib Rods and the Origins of the B-Bender Continued
Many of you are familiar with the story of the origins of the “B” String bending device attached to Sherwin’s guitar. (The funny looking metal bar that extends from the headstock above and along the neck of Sherwin’s guitar.) Premier Guitar Magazine has documented it in a March 2010 article (click here to read it). Well the story of this unique device continues! We’ll quickly refresh your memory and bring you up to date!
Sherwin’s idea for his “B – Bending” invention came while working at the “Flame Café” with Carl Perkins in 1961. Carl was playing an Earl Scruggs Bluegrass Banjo classic “Flint Hill Special” on his Gibson guitar. As he played it he would use his index finger to stretch the “B” string behind “the nut” (bridge located at the base of the guitars headstock) on the guitar to change its pitch in the song. Needless to say this was causing some uncomfortable wear to his finger. In the dressing room following the show Sherwin and Carl visited about a better way to bend the “B,” possibly with a mechanical solution.
The next night Carl arrived at the Flame with a small piece of coat hanger attached to the “B” string at the headstock. Using the hanger as a lever Carl showed Sherwin how it would move the “B” string up and down. Because of the weakness of the hanger the contraption did not function with any exactness. Sherwin headed home following the show that night determined to fashion a more reliable version. Removing the metal rods from the underside of one of his children’s baby cribs, and with minimal tools Sherwin fashioned a rough bender that worked! Sherwin attached the crude device to his guitar and several years later hired a machinist to craft the long lever that extends along the neck of his guitar. The use of the device is evident in Sherwin’s 1971 live recording “Hello, I’m Not Johnny Cash.” After years of use the “Plever” as Sherwin affectionately called it, began to wear out and not operate consistently. About three years ago Sherwin was forced to discontinue its use.
With the help of design engineer Alex Nyhus, plans for a new “Plever” to be called “The Linton Lever” were drafted and printed. Those plans were submitted to Tom Hargreaves at RothGreaves & Associates, Inc. in Long Lake, MN for manufacture of a prototype. Sherwin’s 1959 fender Jazz Master Guitar has spent several days at RothGreaves for measurements and fittings. On August 15th Sherwin picked up his guitar with the new “Linton Lever B-String Bender” ion place. The familiar sound from the past has returned to Sherwin’s guitar style! Sherwin now plans to update the patent of this unique invention and market it for other guitar players to enjoy.
1966 Promotional Photo
Sherwin with the doubleneck guitar he built. Notice the "B" Bender Lever along the top of the upper neck.
Spring has sprung early here in the mid-west. With the mild weather in Minnesota there would have been no reason to escape winter here this year, but we did have commitments and engagements in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. There has been a lot of new good news. We were so busy with our heavy performance schedule that we have not been in good communication with everyone, so here are some updates!
“Hillbilly Heaven” CD Update
Yes, it was just one year ago this month that we released the CD “Hillbilly Heaven.” This great Historic collection of duets with many of Sherwin's Country Music friends has been very well received. In November 2011 Sherwin was notified by NARAS (National Academy of Performing Arts and Sciences) that this CD had received three first round Grammy nominations! We were delighted to be included among the nominees for “Country Music CD of the Year,” “Country Music Song of the Year” for the title cut “I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven” and “Country Music Duet of the Year” for the song “I Would Be In Love Anyway” recorded with Brittany Allyn. Sherwin did not make the top five nominees on the second ballot so we were not in Hollywood for the awards event. We were very excited as Sherwin continues to receive more national recognition in his 56 year career. Starting mid April “Hillbilly Heaven” will be marketed nationally in a TV offer which will air on the RFD-TV Network.
Sherwin & Pam Linton and “The Cotton Kings” New CD “Highway Headin' South”
Our newest CD “Highway Headin' South” was released in February of this year. This project was developed with so many of our “Winter Texan” friends in mind. Sherwin penned the lyrics to the title cut “Highway Headin' South” in January of 2011 while driving from Minneapolis to McAllen, TX.
“On a highway headin' south to the Rio Grande Valley”
“Where the bougainvilleas bloom and the snow don't fly”
“I'm gonna rest my chilly bones in the Texas sunshine”
“And be a Winter Texan till I die”
Because so many mid-westerners make the trip each winter for the southern climate the song caught on quickly and was a nightly request. Sherwin decided to record it and eleven other songs including some Tex-Mex songs, love songs, novelty songs and Gospel songs all on one CD! We recorded this project at Track Record Studios in St. Paul with Sherwin's band “The Cotton Kings” also featuring special guest Dick Moebakken who adds his vocals to several of the selections and delivers the “love story,” Allis Chalmers in the style of Grandpa McCoy. Several selections take the listener on a heartwarming romantic trip to “Old Mexico” and days gone by.
Titles Include: Highway Headin' South, Spanish Two Step, Livin' With The Mexicans, Mexican Joe, Do You Remember These, Hot Rod Race, Hot Rod Lincoln, Allis Chalmers, Love Me Forever Today, The French Song, Clinging To A Saving Hand, Heaven
New CD "Highway Headin' South"
For our on-line friends we are offering Sherwin's two new CD's for just $30.00 plus shipping or $18.00 each. Simply send your Name, Shipping Address and Payment of $35.00 ($21.00 for one CD – Please include the CD title you wish to order “Hillbilly Heaven” or “Highway Headin' South.) Prices include first class shipping. Allow 14 days for delivery.
Black Gold Records
Hillbilly Heaven – Highway Headin' South Package Offer
P.O. Box 48100
Minneapolis, MN 55448
Rio Grande Valley Tour – F.A.M.E. Awards 2012
Our energetic 2012 Rio Grande tour included 39 shows between the dates of January 20 th and March 13 th ! There never seemed to be a dull moment and some days there were two performances in a day in two different locations! This made for lots of time spent setting up, tearing down, and loading and unloading equipment. Our thanks to the many friends who seem to always be there to lend a hand when our schedule was tight! We had warm enthusiastic audiences everywhere we went so it seemed like every day was a party! All of our hard work was recognized at this year's F.A.M.E. Awards. (Families Advocating Moral Entertainment) On February 27 th the F.A.M.E. organization awarded Pam Linton 2012 “Female Vocalist of the Year” and Sherwin Linton was recognized for his ongoing contributions to the Entertainment Industry with the 2012 “Entertainment Legend of the Year Award.” Sherwin and Pam were both greatly humbled by this recognition. Pam thanked the audience and asked that everyone in attendance find the time in their busy lives to mentor a child in whatever vocation they could. She credited those who had taken the time to mentor her as being responsible for her receiving this award.
Sherwin & Pam Performing - 16th Annual F.A.M.E. Awards - Pharr, Texas On stage with "The Link Family"
Pam Linton 2012 F.A.M.E. “Female Vocalist of the Year”
Sherwin Linton 2012 Recipient F.A.M.E. “Entertainment Legend of the Year Award”
(Families Advocating Moral Entertainment)
There is so much to look forward to in the months ahead. If you wish to follow Sherwin's career activities more closely we encourage you to join us on Facebook. Just search for “Sherwin Linton Music.” We would love to have you among our Facebook friends!
Merry Christmas 2011
This has been a year with much to be thankful for. Sherwin's health is very good despite the twenty-two trips we have made to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to recover from a dislocated shoulder, vocal surgery and a sinus procedure. With the repairs in place we head into 2012 with the energy to get a lot accomplished!
Sherwin's latest CD “Hillbilly Heaven” received three first round Grammy nominations. Being a small independent record label we were thrilled for this. The CD was also awarded the 2011 Rural Roots Music Commissions “CD of the Year” award. At age 72 and with 55 years in the industry Sherwin continues to be recognized for his talent as a composer, performer and producer.
We recently received a very special telephone call from Sherwin's friend Marty Stuart. Sherwin and Marty have known each other since the early 1980's when Marty was playing lead guitar in the Johnny Cash Show. Marty called to congratulate Sherwin on his great “Hillbilly Heaven” CD. He asked Sherwin for his e-mail address saying, “ I want to send you something you can use in your promotion and share with your fans.” Here's what Marty wrote:
"Sherwin Linton has been a great correspondent for country music for many years. He is the go-to guy for all things concerning authentic country music. In the midwest, Sherwin is a larger than life country singing, string bending, rhinestone wearing, boot heel dragging, fancy car driving, cowboy hat wearing, state of the art country music star if there ever was one. Most of all, he's my pal. I always enjoy his work." - Marty Stuart
For those who were not able to see our Christmas Show we've included a seven minute segment. Just click the “Play” arrow in the screen below.
We'll depart for two months and forty shows in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas in mid January. We hope to see you at one of our mid-west shows before we leave and for those visiting us in Texas we look forward to seeing you there.
May each of you be blessed with a very joyous Christmas filled with peace and love and prosperity in the New Year!
Sherwin & Pam Linton
Minnesota's Biggest Country Music Star Releases His 25th Album in His 55th Year in Music
Sherwin Linton's new “Hillbilly Heaven” CD features an array of Country Music Stars, down-home studio dialogue and tender lifelines to some of the genere's best; CD Release Party set for “The Fine Line Music Café” November 2, 2012. Sherwin is also scheduled for an acoustic in-store FREE performance at Cheapo Records on October 30th.
If there were a Mount Rushmore of legendary Minnesota music stars, Country Music singer, story teller and folk historian Sherwin Linton would be up there in his broad brimmed cowboy hat, finely chiseled in stone. The South Dakota native and long time Twin Cities resident proves again he's deserving of such grandeur in his new album, “Hillbilly Heaven” (Black Gold Records.) Loaded with guest Country Music stars ranging from George Hamilton IV, Williams and Ree, to Dawn Sears to Johnny Cash's and Lefty Frizzell's next-of-kin, singers Tommy Cash, David Frizzell and others, Linton's 25th album is the latest cherished milestone in a storied career as he celebrates his 55th year in music in 2011.
Sherwin and his band “The Cotton Kings” will celebrate the release of the new CD with a concert November 2nd at “The Fine Line Music Café” in Minneapolis (318 North 1st Ave. Minneapolis, MN – 612-338-8100.) Tickets are $10.00 at the door. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with featured bluegrass guests, “The Platte Valley Boys” at 7:00 PM, followed by Linton and closing with the Folk-Blues Rockers, “The Melvilles.”
Sherwin will also be doing a FREE in-store performance Sunday, October 30th at Cheapo Records (1300 West Lake Street – Minneapolis – 612-827-8238) starting at 2:00 PM.
It's almost like being in the studio….. “Hillbilly Heaven” offers endearing songs, down-home dialogue and fond reminisces with featured artists. Linton's collection of 14 tunes was recorded in November 2011 in Nashville, TN with longtime friends he's known since he first set foot onstage in Watertown, South Dakota in 1956. Just as he's done with a series of “Centennial Albums” he recorded in various railroad and farming towns throughout the Midwest, the new disc combines the singing of new numbers and many well known standards, interspersed with friendly dialogue that puts songs like Johnny Cash's “I Still Miss Someone” in perspective. (It was written at a family gathering one Sunday afternoon!) The listener almost feels he is in the studio as Linton jokes with “Williams & Ree,” talks excitedly with George Hamilton about their mutual love of Bob Dylan's songwriting, and George's bear trap memory of Minneapolis' notorious “Flame Café” before the duo covers “Forever Young,” and fondly comments on David Frizzell's story about his brother Lefty's hugely sentimental classic and hit, “Mom and Dad's Waltz.”
Other CD highlights include a stand out performance of “I Would Be In Love Anyway,” a heartbreaking Frank Sinatra song sung with Brittany Allyn, Sherwin's daughter in-law and vocalist with the George Jones Show. Linton's own composition “Jimmie Rodgers Memories & Me” with some unforgettable lines of Rodgers' best known songs, sung by Roy Harper. The charged opening number, “Neon Moon,” written by Cowboy Joe Babcock, originally pitched to Sherwin in 1966 who heard it twice way back then, memorized it and remembered it! Linton is joined by Babcock and Jim Glaser from “The Glaser Brothers” who produced Linton's big hit, “Cotton King.” The CD closes with Linton's re-write / update of his friend Tex Ritter's classic 1960 hit, “I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven.” In Linton's version Johnny Cash meets him at the gate for “Heaven's Music Tour!”
Friends & Fan's won't want to miss these special music events! Add the dates to your calendar!
November 2, 2011 Sherwin Linton's - Hillbilly Heaven CD Release Party Fine Line Music Café 318 North 1st Ave. Minneapolis, MN 612-338-8100
October 30, 2011 Sherwin Linton's Hillbilly Heaven In-Store Concert Cheapo Records 1300 West Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 612-827-8238
Rural Roots Music Commission Selects Hillbilly Heaven “Traditional CD of the Year”
It's exciting to announce that Sherwin's new CD “Hillbilly Heaven” has already received its first award! The Rural Roots Music Commission selected it for its “2011 Traditional CD of the Year Award” an honor Sherwin received on August 30th at the National Traditional Country Music Festival in LeMars. IA. When presenting the award NTCMA President Bob Everhart stated, “Sherwin Linton might be the last of the mavericks and even the last of the “Hillbilly Heaven” troop. The whole concept of this production is an impressive collaboration of songs, artists, musicians and memories. The CD insert is just about as interesting as the CD itself.” Thank you to Bob and the rest of the voting members of the Rural Roots Music Commission for the award and your kind words.
Sherwin receiving the "2011 Traditional CD of the Year" awarded from Bob Everhart, Rural Roots Music Commission
Sherwin, Pam & Maggie Mae, LeMars, IA. Fans can see all of us on the "Mid-West Country TV Show!"
Sherwin's Vocal Recovery, A Total Success
Many of you will remember that Sherwin had vocal surgery at the Mayo Clinic last April. We are pleased to say the surgery and recovery have gone very well! Sherwin has completed all of his post surgery vocal therapy and has been released by his surgeon Dr. Dale Ekbom. Sherwin continues with vocal lessons from his therapist Dr. Diana Orbello. With the help of Dr. Orbello, Sherwin hopes to become a better singer! Dr. Orbello challenges him with new material outside the Country and Folk Music genres and is hoping to have him singing in Italian someday soon!
Sherwin does deal with chronic sinus issues and is very susceptible to sinus infection. On October 6 th Sherwin and Pam were back at the Mayo Clinic for surgery to open the sinus passages above Sherwin's eyes. This was done with a procedure similar to an angioplasty of the arteries around the heart. Sherwin was conscious during the two hour operation and was able to tell the doctor when the passages were opened as he felt better immediately! These sinus issues are something Sherwin has dealt with for years and will continue to monitor and treat for the rest of his life.
We are so blessed to have a medical facility and doctors of the quality of the Mayo Clinic so convenient to access. We need to say “Thank You” and “A Job Well Done” to Sherwin's vocal surgeon Dr. Dale Ekbom, his vocal therapist Dr. Diana Orbello and his sinus specialist Dr. John Pallanch. You are all very special to us! Thank You!
Another Story From The Past …….. “That Sherwin Linton Scammed Me”
Sherwin has enjoyed writing stories from years past for the web site. Many fans have told me he is on the way to writing the book he has been encouraged to write hundreds of times. If that be the case, this story writing is probably a good thing, but as many of you know Sherwin just enjoys sharing the memories. This story does not reach back as far as some of the previous entries. It takes place in 2000.
“That Sherwin Linton Scammed Me”
In the 1980's and 1990's music festivals became in-vogue and Sherwin and “The Cotton Kings” were booked as part of many of these multiple day weekend events. The most famous of these in the mid-west is probably “We Fest” in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Many of the events now occur annually but equally as many were one time shots that failed and usually lost the buyer / sponsor a lot of money. When I'm called on for my thoughts about producing a festival I have one standard message I convey to the probable buyer. “If you can lay $100,000.00 in cash on your driveway, soak it with gasoline, light a match to it and walk away unbothered then you have what it takes to produce a festival. If you can't do this flush the idea from your brain and move on.” This was the advice given to a ballroom owner in Browerville, Minnesota in 2000. The owner of the establishment phoned me about helping him produce a Traditional Country Music festival “Memorial Day” weekend of that year. I explained to him that this was not a good choice of dates as it's considered the first weekend of summer and many families have annual plans to open cabins, visit cemeteries etc. I thought it would be better to wait until later in the summer. The buyer disagreed. I then explained advertising costs and needs and the other incidental costs of bringing in small national acts, hotels, meals, ground transportation etc. He assured me he could comfortably cover all of this. His mind was set on “Memorial Day” weekend and we should proceed. Using my band “The Cotton Kings” as a back-up band I booked our show and Stonewall Jackson for the Friday evening. A Minneapolis, Minnesota band, “The White iron Band” would back Marvin Rainwater on Saturday afternoon and my show with Tommy Cash for Saturday night. We would open Sunday with our Gospel Show, a Country music set and then welcome Michael Twitty doing a “Tribute to Conway Twitty” his father Sunday evening. This was not a large or expensive line-up of talent but a lot for a small buyer. The contracts arrived for the Nashville acts and the required deposits were sent. All seemed in order until about two months prior to the date when I started inquiring about ticket sales and realized there were none because an advertising program had not been started. I began to hear from the buyer about the high cost of advertising. I reminded him that we had discussed this prior to booking the event and that he was way behind schedule and really had no choice but spend the advertising dollars if he hoped to have a crowd.
As I suspected this Traditional Country Music Festival was the best kept secret that “Memorial Day” weekend. Each act played to a nearly empty ballroom. I hoped somewhere the buyer had the funds to pay the balance due each of the Nashville acts. Sunday night after Michael Twitty and his group had left and my sound production equipment was packed and loaded the buyer handed me a check for the three days of services my band and I had provided and then explained that there were no funds to cover it and he did not know when he could make it good. All the Nashville acts had been paid. It was the “White Iron Band” and my checks that were NSF. The White Iron Bands check was good when presented the second time. I was very pleased about that, but the picture was not so bright for me. After many telephone calls over the next week we were forced to deposit the check and have it stamped NSF on both the first and second presentations. Once this was completed we were forced to file suit in Todd County, Minnesota small claims court. We were awarded a date in August. Pam meticulously prepared our court case and would represent Sherwin Linton Entertainment in court. I don't think she left a stone unturned or a detail un-addressed. We drove to Long Prairie, Minnesota for our afternoon assigned time in front of the judge. About thirty minutes prior to our appointed court time we were asked to exchange evidence with the other party in hopes of coming to a resolution on our own. Pam offered her files asking for his materials. We were informed he had none, not even his copy of the contract! With that said Pam kept her files and we headed into court. I placed my large black hat on the table on the left side of the courtroom and took a seat next to Pam. The plaintiff took his place on the right side of the room. We stated our names and the judge invited Pam to explain what had brought her to Todd County Court that day. Pam articulately presented our case along with evidence including photos of the establishment and its parking lot and our signed contract. The judge looked over the items and then asked the plaintiff to rebut Pam's claims. In response he stood, pointed at me and shouted, “That Sherwin Linton scammed me!” The judge re-phrased his statement holding up the contract and asked the plaintiff, “Is there anything in this contract that these people did not do?” The plaintiff stood again and shouted, “That Sherwin Linton scammed me! He booked all his friends who could not draw a crowd and charged too much to come and scammed me!” The judge smiled and looked down at the contract for a moment. He then looked up and told the plaintiff that he was familiar with every name on the contract. Had he known about the event he might have come himself! He told the plaintiff that he could possibly have booked “The Dixie Chicks” because they were really popular at the time, but he doubted he could afford them! The judge slammed the gavel down and announced, “Ruled for Linton Entertainment!” I think the plaintiff left the court room by sky hook because he just vanished!
We now had a judgment and could attempt to collect our money. The court documents listed the plaintiff with a contract for deed arrangement for the ballroom property. The property owners were really excited to meet Pam by phone the evening she introduced herself as the party with the new lean on the property! With one acre of lakefront land adjacent to the property the ballroom was on, we thought we might get paid in land! After two years of negotiations and two sale attempts our lien was finally satisfied in cash when the complete property sold!
I've been asked what I learned from this whole ordeal. I guess that is, “You can't save someone from making a mistake when their so set on the idea!” Throughout my career I have experienced a few situations with buyers who were unable to fulfill their contractual financial commitment for my services. If I assemble these stories they would probably compose a fairly long chapter in a book.
Here are a few favorite photos from the past few months!
Special Guest, Eight Year Old Delany Johnston Singing “Jackson” with Sherwin – South Dakota State Fair
Sherwin & Pete Brooks "Rockin Out" - South Dakota State Fair
Sherwin playing the pump organ - Sunday Morning Gospel Show - South Dakota State Fair
Clay County Fair - Spencer, IA
Sherwin Recovering Well……
As many of you know Sherwin took a nasty fall last September, injuring and dislocating his left shoulder. His rotator cuff was torn severely as well as supporting tendons and ligaments. Because of substantial scar tissue from many previous injuries Sherwin's doctor felt that surgery may not be successful. Following the advice from his doctor, Dr. Sperling at the Mayo Clinic Sherwin began a regiment of therapeutic exercises. Sherwin is happy to report that the therapy has worked amazingly well! He has regained more motion than had been predicted and can now lift his arm directly above his head. There is still some discomfort but he continues to pursue the therapy on a daily basis and is encouraged and happy that he did not opt for the surgical repair. Sherwin feels that his ongoing faith in God and prayer has been a big factor in his recovery from what could have been a devastating injury.
With his shoulder on the mend it became necessary to address a vocal issue that Sherwin and his doctors had been monitoring for the past two years. Sherwin has had three vocal surgeries for vocal polyps in 1986, 1994 and 2000. Each of these surgeries was to remove a fluid filled polyp from the base of his vocal cords. Two years ago at a regular examination doctors at the Mayo Clinic became aware that a blood vessel in Sherwin's vocal folds was again appearing to surface. This was again examined in October 2010 and January 2011 without change. On April 11 th Sherwin was back at the Mayo Clinic for an examination. This time the vessel appeared to be taking on a slight firmness. Because of his light performance schedule in the spring of the year it was decided to surgically address this issue before it was able to progress to something larger and at this early stage when the recovery process could be less. Surgery to remove the 1 mm callous was performed on April 18 th . Sherwin is observing silence and will have his first vocal therapy appointment on May 2 nd . With the help of Sherwin's vocal therapist Dr. Orbello and surgeon Dr. Ekbom at the Mayo Clinic, Sherwin should be back singing by May 26 th ! We're all excited to hear that great deep voice again!
Sherwin’s New CD “Hillbilly Heaven”
It's finally arrived! Sherwin's new duet CD “Hillbilly Heaven” is a great collection of stories and songs featuring many of Sherwin's Country Music friends.
The opening song “Neon Moon” written by Cowboy Joe Babcock was originally pitched to Sherwin in 1966. Sherwin heard the song twice way back then, memorized it and remembered it! Sherwin is joined by Jim Glaser from “The Glaser Brothers” who produced “Cotton King” and Cowboy Joe Babcock. Jim and Joe both toured with Marty Robbins so their wonderful harmony is evident on this recording.
George Hamilton IV reminisces about his years working with Sherwin at “The Flame Café” in Minneapolis. He then joins him on the Bob Dylan classic “Forever Young.” David Frizzell joins Sherwin in the singing of his brother Lefty Frizzell's monster hit “Mom & Dad's Waltz.” David talks about Lefty writing the song at the family home in Snyder, TX. Tommy Cash and Sherwin selected the Johnny Cash song “I Still Miss Someone.” Tommy visits with Sherwin about being present when Roy Cash, Jr. and Johnny Cash wrote the song.
Sherwin has known the Country Music comedy team “Williams & Ree” for 40 years. The Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley song “Just Good Old Boys” fits this trio perfectly. Terry Ree shares his memories of being in the audience the night Johnny Cash removed his boots and presented them to Sherwin on stage.
The title song “Hillbilly Heaven” is Sherwin's re-write of his friend Tex Ritter's classic hit from 1960 “I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven.”
Here is a complete list of all of the songs included. Sherwin Linton fans will want to add this classic CD to their collections!
Neon Moon – With Guest Performers Jim Glaser & Cowboy Joe Babcock
Hank Williams Will Live Forever – With Guest Performer Dawn Sears
Drifting Apart – With Guest Performer Dawn Sears
Just Good Old Boys – With Guest Performers Bruce Williams and Terry Ree “Williams & Ree"
Mom & Dad's Waltz – With Guest Performer David Frizzell
Jimmie Rodgers Memories & Me – With Guest Performer Roy Harper
I Still Miss Someone – With Guest Performer Tommy Cash
I Was There When It Happened – With Guest Performer JoAnn Cash Yates
Forever Young – With Guest Performer George Hamilton IV
Spanish Guitars – With Guest performer Cerrito
As Long As I Live – With Guest Performer Pam Linton
I Would Be In Love Anyway – With Guest Performer Brittany Allyn
I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven – Sherwin Linton
Many radio DJ's have already given the project a big thumbs up as one of Sherwin's best!
“It is great! I must say that I have always enjoyed the old Tex Ritter song “Hillbilly Heaven.” The new re-write with the additional names…wow! I wept as I listened each time. Dave Carlson
Music Media Technology
STEP – Anoka Technical College
As always, I am impressed with the authenticity of what you write and record. Congrats on another release in the line of many other good ones over your venerable career. Ken Abdo
Lommen, Abdo, Cole, King & Stageberg
This album is a really fine project, and I can tell that you and Pam and everyone involved put a lot into it. I will be spinning “Drifting Apart” and “Forever Young” (and the dialog tracts) on this Saturday’s “Good and Country” show on KFAI. Ken Hippler
Good and Country
KFAI Radio – Minneapolis
Great job Sherwin! I’ve already played three cuts on my show! I’m a big Dawn Sears fan. I never realized you had her on stage with your show first. I love the Grand Forks story! Joe Morrison
KXRB Radio – Sioux Falls
What a hell of an album, some of the best you’ve ever done. Every cut is great Brittany’s “I Would Be In Love Anyway,” “Mom & Dad’s Waltz” I love it! Bob Becker
Syndicated Radio Host
God has given you wonderful gifts Amigo. I am very honored to be part of your amazing vision! Cerrito
I think it sounds great! I think you have a project that you can really be proud of. Gregg Galbriath
Hillbilly Heaven Session Leader
The new CD “Hillbilly Heaven” is available online at www.CDBaby.com or can be ordered from Black Gold Records for $21.00 which includes the shipping charge.
Please send orders to:
Black Gold Records
P.O. Box 48100
Minneapolis, MN 55448
Sherwin’s Image Part of Shania Twain’s “Why Not?” TV Show Set
The 1980's and 1990's found Sherwin and his group “The Cotton Kings” making frequent trips to Canada with their music show. One of the more memorable locations was the “Maple Leaf Hotel” in Timmons, Ontario, Canada. Timmons is a small mining town that has annexed about fifty mining camps that encompasses many square miles allowing the city to collect revenue from the mines. The “Maple Leaf” was a very quaint hotel with a dark wood paneled lounge. The lounge was made popular by the music stylings of “Stompin' Tom Connors.” Tom stomped his foot on a board while accompanying himself on the guitar which ended up giving him the “Stompin Tom” moniker and he is a Canadian music icon. Little did anyone know that the cities most famous music entertainer was just beginning her music career at that time.
Timmons is also the birthplace and childhood home of Shania Twain. Shania has had a very popular music career and also a very tumultuous past few years since she learned of the infidelity of her husband / producer Mutt Lang. This brought about the end of their 14 year marriage and she has now remarried in 2011. Shania is making her return to the public eye with a new TV show “Why Not?” on the Oprah Winfrey Network “OWN.” Why is this important to Sherwin Linton fans? The show producers have recreated the lounge at the “Maple Leaf Hotel,” where Shania's career began, as the stage set for this TV show. We have just granted permission to the producers to use the framed image of Sherwin and his group that has hung in the hotel lounge all these years as part of the stage set. Here's the photo to be looking for! “Why Not” premiers Sunday, May 8 th at 10:00 PM Central on OWN!
Photo featured in the new Shania Twain TV show “Why Not?”
Saying Goodbye To Our Friend Johnny Harra
We were saddened to hear from our friend Ron Anderson of the recent death of Johnny Harra on March 30, 2011. For those who are not familiar with Johnny he was acclaimed by many, fans and critics alike as the best vocal impersonator of Elvis Presley.
Sherwin had known Johnny for more than 50 years. They first met when Johnny showed up for a talent contest at the “Savoy Tavern” in Minneapolis, MN where Sherwin and his group “The Fenderbenders” were playing. Sherwin recalls that he didn't think Johnny was old enough to be there but he came on stage looking quite a lot like Elvis and kicked into “That's Alright Mama.” He definitely had the sound. Johnny won first place and would show up there and other places “The Fenderbenders” played in the Twin Cities for the next several years. In 1965 & 1966 Johnny was hanging out around “The Frontier Club” in Fridley, MN. He asked Sherwin if he would help him with his career. Sherwin actually signed Johnny to a contract and became his personal manager. Sherwin featured him regularly with his show and booked him for guest spots in other places as well. At that time Johnny went by his real name “Harry Jay” dropping his last name Lavett. Harry was having problems with a separation from his wife so he stayed at Sherwin's home from time to time. Somehow Sherwin's wife Mary Ann did not object as their three children just loved him and he would even babysit occasionally, allowing Sherwin and Mary Ann an evening out for a movie. Sherwin recalls returning home to find the living room stereo cranking loud, playing a sound track album from an Elvis movie and the kids, Buddy 5, Leilani 4 and Melody 3 following Harry around the coffee table singing with him like the girls in the movies doing songs like “Girl Happy,” “This Is Livin,” or “Viva Las Vegas!” Now grown, the kids still have fond memories of these times. It was like they had Elvis himself for a babysitter!
One Saturday night at “The Frontier Club,” Harry had parked his pride and joy 1957 Chevy convertible right in front of the club. In 1966 a 1957 Chevy was a nice car, but not vintage, just a nice old car but Harry was very proud of it. The club was packed at 10:00 PM when Harry was scheduled to do his guest performance. Sherwin recalls Harry suddenly bursting through the front door and hollering loudly as he strutted across the dance floor, “Hey Sherwin, ya gotta come help me, my wife is in my car and has a knife, she's gonna cut up the upholstery and the top. She thinks I've been chasing another woman! Ya gotta help me!” Well naturally the packed club emptied into the parking lot to watch an enraged woman cut up the top and seats of a classic 57' Chevy, and she did. Johnny was devastated and Sherwin really could not help him. The club owner said he could not use Johnny anymore because he emptied his club. Sherwin understood, but did book Johnny with his show in other upper mid-west venues however in the late 1960's Elvis impersonators were not a hot item.
Harry Jay went his own way and then in the early 1970's a Las Vegas management agency took him under their wing, changing his name to “Johnny Harra.” They began booking him in big rooms in Las Vegas. Following Elvis's death in 1977 Johnny actually was booked in Las Vegas for an extended stay doing a complete Elvis show with the entire orchestra and band that had backed Elvis including “The Imperials” and “The Stamps Quartet.”
After Elvis died one of the movies about him was titled “This Is Elvis.” Johnny Harra was selected by Colonel Tom Parker to portray Elvis near the end of the film. By then Johnny had gained weight and truly looked like “The King” in his last years. Johnny later told Sherwin that Elvis's costumes which he wore in the movie fit him perfectly. Longtime friends and fans of Sherwin's will no doubt remember Red Freeman who fronted Sherwin's show for more than ten years in the 1960's and 1970's. After leaving Sherwin's employ Red had taken up locksmithing and moved to Memphis, TN. One night Red received a call from Graceland. He was told that Johnny Harra was there filming a movie and was to drive Elvis's 1956 Cadillac through the gates. They were not able to locate a key for the car and were wondering if Red would come out and assist them by making a key. Red remembered Johnny from “The Frontier Club” days when he was “Harry Jay.” Red put his guitar into his van and drove to Graceland. When he pulled onto the grounds and saw Johnny Harra he jumped out and hollered, “Harry Jay!” Johnny retorted, “How do you know me by that name?” Red broke into a chorus of “Cotton King!” They had a nice visit, a few laughs and Red made the key for the car and Johnny drove it!
Sherwin occasionally heard from Johnny in the 1980's and 1990's. About ten years ago Sherwin and Pam attended the annual MSRA “Back to the 50's” car show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds where Johnny was performing. Sherwin and Johnny had a nice long visit to share old memories. Johnny sent Sherwin home with several of his amazing CD's. Johnny had put on weight but still looked and sang well.
Johnny had a true talent. Sherwin likes to remember his humble nature and Christian values and is glad he was able to help him in a small way in his early career. We will miss him…..
Sherwin & Harry Jay (aka Johnny Harra) 1966
This month’s career story takes us back to April 1961 and answers a lot of questions on how Sherwin and “The Fenderbenders” brought their music to the famous “Flame Café” in Minneapolis.
“I Don’t Know If You’ve Got Enough Class To Make It In A Whiskey Joint”
In late July of 1960 my band “The Fenderbenders” and I were playing our first date in the “Savoy Ranch Club” on Nicolet Ave. in Minneapolis, MN. This was a dimly lit popular tavern that sold 3.2 (low alcohol) beer and was just one half block south of the famous “Flame Theatre Café,” where all the Grand Ole’ Opry stars played. The Savoy was owned by Ben Steinman. His twin brother Harold owned the big “Variety Ranch Bar” on 6th Street downtown Minneapolis. (Interstate 94 now runs under where the Savoy once stood.) I remember Ben telling me on our opening night, “You start exactly at 9:00 PM and do 45 minute sets with 15 minute breaks. Be back on stage right on the hour. Open each set with a fast song. Play until a quarter to 1:00 AM. No Encore! We have to get the people out by 1:00 AM. When a fight breaks out play loud and fast and look the other way.” He didn’t say, “If a fight breaks out,” he said, “When a fight breaks out!” It didn’t take long into the first night for that to happen on the crowded little dance floor. We had a great time there though. I guess fights were broke up pretty quick by a big bar tender / bouncer named Jim. Jim could jump across the bar and get everything quelled rather quickly; nevertheless I think Jim took quite a few punches doing his job. We built a big following while playing at this bar six and sometimes seven nights a week. There were a large number of young people who were regulars that were there every night and some of them had nickname monikers that were quite memorable like “Sputnik,” “Scooter,” “Crowbar,” and “Rocket 88.” Looking back it probably was something like the T.V. show “Cheers” and whenever I hear the song “Those Were The Days” the Savoy comes to mind.
Sherwin & “The Fenderbenders” Cal Houle & Bob Trebus “The Savoy Ranch” 1960
In late February 1961 after playing there for seven months, I asked Ben’s brother Harold Steinman if he would consider bringing us to his “Variety Bar” (Which sold hard liquor not just 3.2 beer.) downtown. Liquor places could pay more money as the musician’s union scale was higher. Harold was a big man with a Humphrey Bogart look and demeanor. He replied to my question in his bar owner raspy gruff voice, “I don’t know if you’ve got enough class to make it in a whiskey joint.” I thought to myself, “Well Harold, if you have enough class to own one I have enough class to play it!” I realized we were doing very well at “The Savoy” so they didn’t want to move us. I said, “Well, then I am going to see if we can get into The Flame.” Together Ben and Harold said, “No band from here ever went to The Flame! They hire stars and some top bands from Vegas and Canada!” The next day was Saturday and very snowy. Too snowy to drive, so I took the city bus from my home near Cedar Lake down to the “Flame Café.” I walked in and asked to see Ray and Abe Perkins, the owners. They took me into their little office and I told them who I was and that I would like to play “The Flame.” They surprised me by saying, “We know you, we like you and your band. We have been down the street to see you several times.” Ray said, “Could you start in two weeks?” I said, “Great!” They immediately wrote me a contract for a six week stand.
“The Fenderbenders” were a Rock-A-Billy trio with Cal Houle on bass, Bob Trebus on rhythm guitar and me playing lead. I used to jump on a railing at the front of the stage then fly off onto the dance floor landing on my knees, lay back and play then get up and do a Chuck Berry “Duck Walk” across the floor and then jump on tables and play. Naturally this did draw some attention and get the crowd going. Well, that Saturday night and the following Sunday night I recall I really gave em’ my best performance at “the Savoy.” I was excited that we would be going to “The Flame!” On Sunday night when we were through it was customary for Ben and Harold Steinman to meet with me in a back room of the bar and pay me. Their Uncle Jack would always be there too and he had a strong Polish Jewish accent. Jack often gave me a special tip which was a jar of his homemade kosher pickles. After I was paid I said, “Well Harold & Ben, I really appreciate that you have had our band here at “The Savoy” for such a long stand. In four weeks from now I will have been playing in “The Flame” for two.” Harold said, “Huh,” so I repeated myself and Harold said, “Whadda ya mean?” His Uncle Jack piped up and said, “He means dat he es’ givin you hiz two veek notice!” Harold grumbled a bit and I left and went home to tell the exciting news to Mary Ann, my wife. So we played two more weeks at “The Savoy” and went to “The Flame.”
Marquee of the famous “Flame Café” with Tex Ritter, Ardis Wells & The Fenderbenders 1961
“The Flame” had two entertainment rooms, a large center stage bar in the front and then a huge dining room with a concert size stage in back. Two bands alternated 30 minute sets in the “Front Room” and the house band led by Dave Dudley and Dick Van Hale played the dining room and a featured Country Music star did three 30 minute shows each evening. “The Flame” was a nationally famous venue and we would also be featured as an opening act for everybody from Stonewall Jackson and Kitty Wells to Carl Perkins and Tex Ritter.
On April 1, 1961 during intermission I got a call that my wife Mary Ann had been taken by a neighbor to Mount Sinai’ Hospital and our second child, daughter Leilani had been born. I couldn’t wait to get out of “The Flame” that night to rush to the hospital and see “Sweet Lailani!”
Up until this time I had been working a day job as well, doing IBM computer programming. Well, it was the computers of those days. I felt I was going to be secure in my music career so I gave my notice and left that job so I could devote my full energy to music.
By the time I had been in “The Flame” for two weeks Harold Steinman was there nearly every night offering me a 1 year contract to play at his “Variety Bar” downtown. I just held out and stayed at “The Flame” for five months and then accepted Harold’s offer to double what “The Flame” paid.
In March, April and May, the spring of each year, I can’t help but reflect back to those good times when I was having such excitement playing the music I loved at “The Savoy” and “The Flame.” I remember Country super star Webb Pierce parking his custom Pontiac Bonneville convertible along the curb in front of “The Flame.” This car had “six guns” for door handles, long horns on the hood and a hand tooled leather interior with hundreds of real silver dollars placed into the dash and seats. This car had every garish feature possible! People loved to look at the car, but no one bothered it! During this time Ray Perkins also invited me to join him and Abe at a table where he introduced me to a friend of theirs named Isadore Blumenfeld. Mr. Blumenfeld bought me a drink and visited. He told me how he liked my voice and music. He came back at least two more times to see the show and visit with me again. Later I learned that he was also known as “Kidd Cann,” and was a major crime figure in Minneapolis. Blumenfeld was later arrested in Nevada and sent to prison for 25 years. Well, he was nice and pleasant to me. Everywhere I go, people still reminisce about “The Flame.” Several years later when I had a national hit “Cotton King” Ray and Abe Perkins booked me as a featured attraction in “The Main Room” at “The Flame.”
February / March 2011
Sherwin and Pam enjoyed being back in Minneapolis for a few days and performing at the “North Dakota Winter Show” in Valley City, North Dakota. They enjoyed a sunny drive to Valley City on February 28th. The trip became exciting when they started receiving calls from friends and fans congratulating them on the five F.A.M.E. Awards they had received at the awards show in Pharr, TX that afternoon. Because of their North Dakota Winter Show performance they were unable to attend the awards presentation this year. Pam’s parents Tom & Nettie Trobec accepted Pam’s award for “Vocal Performance of the Year.” Dick Moebakken received “Bassist of the Year” and was able to accept Sherwin & Pam’s awards for “Duo of the Year,” “Show of the Year,” and Sherwin’s award for “Showman of the Year.” We feel very blessed to be so highly recognized. Sherwin and Pam flew back to McAllen, TX for their final three weeks of engagements and to enjoy a little more warm weather!
This has been a winter to remember with so much snow in the mid-west and unusual weather patterns all across the country. With this in mind we’d like to share another of Sherwin’s career stories.
The Blizzard of ‘66
In the final days of January 1966 Sherwin & “The Fender Benders” finished a two month engagement at “The Flame Café” in Minneapolis. They played one week at “The Garden Supper Club” in Hutchinson, MN and then a Sunday night at “The Pelican Club” in Watertown, SD. They loaded their equipment into Sherwin’s 1965 aqua green Dodge van. Leaving Watertown on a cold Monday morning Sherwin recalls driving over snow packed highways traveling through southwest South Dakota, across the Nebraska panhandle into Wyoming and then to their next date at “The Covered Wagon” in Fort Collins, CO. This was a big supper club with dancing and entertainment. The club structure was a large domed top Quonset building with exterior decorations that made it look like a covered wagon complete with wheels and the ends of the building appearing as if you were looking inside the wagon. The owners had well furnished living quarters for the band on the property and Sherwin, Arlon Austin, Bob Trebus, and Roger Mews enjoyed their stay. With three weeks behind them in Colorado the group headed to Billings, MT and “The 17 Bar” for a two day stay and then to “The Little Nashville” in Mandan, ND for the first week of March. As the group headed into the club for their first night at “The Little Nashville” it had begun to snow. By the time the evening was over the light snow had become a raging blizzard. The band returned to the “White Fence Motel” and Roger Mews borrowed the van to take a friend back to Bismarck. Once in Bismarck, Roger was not able to return to Mandan because of the driving conditions. The blizzard continued for four days. The motel owner came several times each day to shovel the snow away from the cabin doors so the guys could get out if they needed to. Finally on Friday night the blizzard subsided. Sherwin, Arlon and Bob bundled up and walked downtown Mandan where the snow drifts were over the top of two story buildings. On Saturday afternoon Roger Mews began his efforts to get back to the “White Fence Motel.” Roger’s friend lived in the middle of a city block so Roger shoveled the van out of the driveway and then shoveled down the street to the plowed cross street. Once there he was able to drive back to the motel. Sherwin had contacted the club owner and he had arranged to have the parking lot plowed. By late afternoon “The Fenderbenders” were loading their equipment into the van with plans to depart for Minneapolis. The sunny cold following the storm lead to a very cold night. About midnight with Sherwin at the wheel they began the slow drive down the single plowed lane of the highway. Approaching each shelter belt and bridge with caution the van would enter a now tunnel as the plows had cut a passage through the large drifts. As Sherwin made the drive across the snow covered countryside weaving through stalled and abandoned vehicles he began to notice cattle standing along the fence lines. After several occurrences of this Sherwin’s curiosity forced him to pull the van to a stop on the edge of the road. He walked through the ditch across the top of the hard compacted snow to the fence line and observed a herd of cattle frozen from the effects of the storm but still standing up. An estimated 190 thousand head of cattle were lost in North Dakota due to this storm, which is still considered North Dakota’s worst blizzard in history.
At about 4:00 AM and four hours into the trip Sherwin navigated the van into another long drifted snow tunnel near a rest area 10 miles east of Valley City, ND. Unknown to Sherwin the snow plow had not cut a straight path through this large drift. About 100 feet into the drift the path veered right. Sherwin, not able to negotiate the curve ran the passenger side of the van up on to the edge of the snow bank flipping the van on to the driver’s side. With the van lying on its side across the single lane of traffic about 1/5 of the way through the snow drift tunnel the group exited the van climbing out the front passenger door. Not sure what to do the group walked down the road out of the tunnel, climbed the snow drift and walked to the shelter building of the rest stop. Finding it locked the group headed back to the van. As per Sherwin’s direction Bob, Arlon and Roger climbed back inside the van while Sherwin stood outside near the now exposed engine trying to keep warm and watching for any possible sign of traffic entering the tunnel. After about 45 minutes Sherwin heard an engine and began to see headlights reflecting on the bright snow walls of the tunnel. He ran toward the lights in hopes of flagging down the vehicle before it would hit the precariously positioned van. The Minneapolis Star Tribune delivery truck with two men inside came to a slow stop. Happy to see some help the now group of six analyzed the situation. The delivery driver suggested that with all of their efforts they could possibly pull the van back up on to its wheels. With care they unloaded all of the music equipment from the van, stacking it in the snow. They attached a tow chain from the delivery truck to the van and with five men pulling up and the help of the delivery truck they managed to get the van upright on its wheels. There was damage to the exhaust system which they wired up temporarily but the van started and was drivable with heat too! The Star Tribune driver had no choice but to back up to the east end of the tunnel to allow Sherwin and his Dodge van to some through. The group loaded the music equipment back into the van and with the Star Tribune delivery truck behind proceeded the remainder of the way through the long snow tunnel. “The Fenderbenders” made it to Fargo where the exhaust system was repaired and they could all get a hot meal. They made it back to Minneapolis by late afternoon Sunday. “Sherwin Linton & The Fenderbenders” were back on stage at “The Garden Supper Club” in Hutchinson, MN on Monday night!
Last December Bob Trebus was in the audience for Sherwin & Pam’s Christmas Show. While reminiscing Bob seemed to shiver as he said the coldest he had ever been was during “The Fender Bender’s” vigil in that snow bank near Valley City, ND.
Sherwin took an amusing Polaroid photo as "The Fender Benders" stopped to check out the ghost town of Carter in southwest South Dakota.
Sherwin playing the double neck guitar he built and was able to assemble during the days he spent in "The White Fence Motel" while waiting out "The Blizzard of 1966."
The Christmas holiday is behind us and we're heading strong into Sherwin's 55 th Year in Entertainment! The year started with a live guest appearance on KFAI Radio's “Live from Studio Five.” This is a great two hour show hosted every Wednesday by Doug “The Thug” and M.J. Gilmore. Doug became a Sherwin Linton fan when he was working as a camera man at WTCN-TV Channel 11 in Minneapolis, MN in the 1960's and 70's and Sherwin was a frequent guest on shows hosted by Nancy Nelson and Mel Jass. Sherwin and Doug had a lot of stories to reminisce about! Sherwin and Pam performed a few selections live on-air and Sherwin was able to tell a few stories and share some obscure classics from his mammoth record collection! Sherwin even played one of his own early records a cover version of Chuck Berry's “Maybelline” which Sherwin recorded in 1956. You can stream the show live from the archive files on the station web site. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the program “Live from Studio Five.”
A portion of the show is also filmed. Click on the start button below to view the video.
Last month in celebration of Sherwin's “55 th Year in Entertainment” we started a series of Sherwin's career stories and facts. This month let's go back to January 1958.
A Life Time Decision
In the spring of 1957 Sherwin graduated from Watertown High School in Watertown, South Dakota. He worked the summer on the “extra gang” for the Great Northern Railroad. In January 1958 Sherwin headed for Minneapolis, Minnesota where he had enrolled at Brown Institute of Broadcasting. Having had his own radio show on station KWAT in Watertown since the age of sixteen Sherwin had decided to pursue a career in radio. With about $300.00 in his pocket and some stern advice from his father Harry, “Sherwin, your job when you get to Minneapolis is to GET A JOB and not depend on your railroad unemployment.” Sherwin set out for Minneapolis in his yellow and black 51 Chevy hard-top. Pulling away from the family home at 527 West Kemp Sherwin headed through town and to the intersection of US Highways #81 and #212. There he pulled to the side of the road contemplating his future. Should he head east to attend radio announcers school in Minneapolis or should he turn south and go to Memphis, Tennessee. Though he was only 18 Sherwin knew from his radio experience that the best producers and songwriters were in Memphis turning out the great new “Rock-N-Roll” recordings at Sun Records. Could he join the ranks of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and some of the other Rock-A-Billy stars? After contemplating for an hour or more, parked there on the side of the road, Sherwin pointed his car east toward Minneapolis fulfilling a promise to his mother Perline to attend school. The loud glass packed mufflers on his Chevy echoed through the coteau hills of South Dakota on that day.
That one hour in his car is still a vivid memory for Sherwin. “I've never regretted my choice.” Sherwin says, “If I'd gone to Memphis I wouldn't have met the people I've met. I might have made it big, or I might have become a victim of the drug culture. Many of the Sun Records stars I admired have struggled with substance abuse and the trials of fame. Some, like Elvis Presley died young. Of all of the Sun Records super stars the only one still living is Jerry Lee Lewis. I'm still able to do what I love with people I love! I continue to be blessed!
Merry Christmas 2010
It's a cold, snowy December here in the mid west. Sherwin and "The Cotton Kings" are busy with their 2010 Christmas Show Tour! We always enjoy seeing so many of our friends and fans through the holiday season. We invite each and every one of you to join us for this special family show packed with classic favorite holiday songs and many of Sherwin's originals!
We've gone back through the years and pulled out some of the photos we've used to promote our holiday tours. We thought you would enjoy seeing these once again and seeing how we've changed through the years!
Sherwin has just completed recording a new duet CD with many of his "Grand Ol' Opry" friends including Tommy Cash, JoAnne Cash Yates (Johnny & Tommy's sister), David Frizzell, George Hamilton IV and many more. The CD will be titled "Hillbilly Heaven." We hope to have it packaged for release in February 2011!
2011 will be Sherwin's 55th year in Entertainment and the new CD will be a great way begin this milestone celebration in music! Each month in 2011 we will feature a bit of Sherwin Linton trivia! Here is the first entry. We found it fitting to start at the very beginning!
Is Sherwin Linton His Real Name?
The answer is Yes! We are often asked how Sherwin began his music career and about the origin of his name. Sherwin was named after his father Harry Linton's boyhood friend Sherwin Shank. Sherwin Shank had a farm north of Anoka, Minnesota near what is now Ramsey. Sherwin and his father would travel by train from Watertown, SD to Willmar, MN and then on to Minneapolis to visit Harry's friend. It was during one of those visits that Sherwin Shank gave young Sherwin Linton a birthday gift. While walking near the barn Sherwin Shank slipped a tightly folded bill into little Sherwin's hand. Sherwin unfolded the bill to find $10.00. Sherwin had been saving for the purchase of his first guitar and with this $10.00 gift he finally had enough money. Sherwin remembers running to catch up with Sherwin Shank and his father and jumping into Sherwin Shanks arms thanking him for the wonderful gift!
Sherwin Shank passed away several years ago but his home has remained along Minnesota Highway 10 for many years. This past summer Sherwin and Pam made an afternoon trip to take a few photos of Sherwin near the home of the man for whom he was named and where he had many boyhood memories. We were saddened to find the house was removed when Sherwin and Pam returned from Nashville in November. The photos taken this summer are now a real treasure!
August 2010 - Ramsey, Minnesota
Sherwin reflecting on his childhood visits to this home
Sherwin and his Mustang "Big Beat" - August 2010
Fall has arrived and the trees are turning beautiful colors. We have had a wonderful summer that went by very fast. We were lucky to be a part of so many county fairs and great festivals. We are fortunate to have long time friends and fans in our audiences and we're always blessed with new fans too! Here are a few photos you might enjoy!
2010 South Dakota Fair
Sherwin's "Centennial Stage" Audience
Sherwin with Bruce Williams and Terry Ree "Williams & Ree The Indian and The White Guy" stopped by the Centennial Stage for an impromptu visit.
Sherwin & Pam with Bev & Jack Mader and their 1939 Allis-Chalmers "Low Rider" winner of
the Sherwin & Pam Linton trophy in the South Dakota State Fair Tractor contest
Sherwin with "Williams & Ree" - Freedom Stage South State Fair
Spirit of the West - 2010
A very cool & hardy audience for our 11:00 AM show. The temperature did not reach 50 degrees that day
Sherwin with "The Dover Brothers." A great old thyme music group from Deadwood, SD. This group also performs a reenactment of "The Trial of Jack McCall."
Sherwin's really glad he is not on trial.
The Dover Brothers - "Spirit of the West Festival," Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sherwin with fellow South Dakotans "Williams & Ree" - Norsk Hostfest, Minot, ND - October 2010
Sherwin has two new Facebook pages that give everyone the chance to keep up with Sherwin's day to day activities. It you would like to be among Sherwin's Facebook friends go to www.Facebook.com and search for "Sherwin Linton" or "Sherwin Linton Music." We would love to include you as a Facebook friend! Make sure to pass Sherwin's facebook link on to your friends. By doing this you help us build Sherwin's fanbase!
We have some new souvenir items! Here's a look at the artwork on new black t-shirts that include both Sherwin & Pam's images with the caption "The Legend & The Lady".
This fall we have the first item that will commemorate Sherwin's 55th year in entertainment. Soft sweatshirts with a ¼ zipper front are embroidered with a gold logo reading:
Sherwin Linton 55th Anniversary
1956 - 2011
"Forever On The Stage."
The shirts are available in black, navy and brown all with the gold logo. For the ladies light pink “form fitted” zipper front sweatshirts are available by special order. These are embroidered with pink satin thread and the same logo.
We look forward to seeing you in our audience! Check our schedule for dates in your area!
Happy America Month!
Summer is here and there is so much excitement in the air! July is always a busy month for Sherwin and “The Cotton Kings.” (Check the schedule for show dates in your area!) Sherwin and Pam spent the July 4th weekend in Hazel, South Dakota! Sherwin attended elementary school in this quaint little northeast South Dakota town and decided to take the holiday weekend off from performing to attend the “All School Reunion.” It was a great time to reminisce with longtime friends and visit Hazel once again, something Sherwin likes to do. Sherwin always likes to take friends to Hazel and “show them around” the little town he has such happy memories of!
Read on to find all the new news for Sherwin Linton Fans! There are some new snapshot photos to share too!
Twin Cities Metro Magazine
This month open with a real “bang” with Sherwin being featured in this month's issue of “Twin Cities Metro Magazine.” You'll find him right there in the “center fold” section of the magazine in the “Self Styled” feature. Editor Mary O'Regan visits with Sherwin about the development of his stage image and his career history. The Q & A story is complimented by a great photo by Eliesa Johnson from Photogen, Inc. The magazine is available at Border Books, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Cub Foods and most Twin Cities newsstands. For outstate Minnesota friends & fans click here to read the article, I think you'll enjoy it!
Sherwin’s 2nd Annual 70th Birthday Bash
Party preparations are being made for “Sherwin’s 2nd Annual 70th Birthday Bash” at the Cabooze in Minneapolis on July 30th! Sherwin will perform a long set and welcome special guest bands “The High 48’s,” “The White Iron Band,” and “Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers.” The doors open at 7:30 PM and the music begins at 8:15 PM. Gather your friends and join us at “The Cabooze” for a great evening of music and celebration!
Nebraska & Kansas Fan’s To Meet & Greet!
Sherwin, Pam and “The Cotton Kings” are returning to southeast Nebraska July 17th for the Jefferson County Fair in Fairbury, Nebraska! This is a great All-American County Fair with loads of food, fun, exhibits, carnival rides and great grandstand entertainment too! Sherwin’s fans and friends are invited to gather in the Grandstand at 4:00 PM for a meet and greet and a chance to visit with Sherwin and Pam prior to the 7:30 PM show. Bring your favorite old stories and let’s catch up on what we’ve all been doing! We miss the great friends and fans we so seldom get to see!
The Shorewood – Our New Twin Cities Home
You’ll find Sherwin Linton fans and friends gathering at “The Shorewood Bar & Grill” on select Thursdays from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM each month through November. The Shorewood has great food and atmosphere with a comfortable dance area too! Check Sherwin’s schedule for dates.
Get your Christmas Show Tickets Early
Sherwin, Pam and “The Cotton Kings” will present their Branson Style Christmas Show in the Twin Cities in 2010! “The Shorewood Bar & Grill” will host this highly acclaimed holiday event December 16-18, 2010 (Dec. 16 – 7:00 PM, Dec. 17-18 – 7:30 PM.) The 75 minute holiday show will be followed by variety entertainment dance shows that will keep everyone in the holiday spirit! Get your advance tickets at “The Shorewood” beginning July 22nd. Make your plans early as seating for this show is limited.
The Shorewood Bar & Grill – 6161 Hwy. 65 – Fridley, MN – 763-398-0088
Here are a few recent snap shots!
Sherwin & Pam
Minnesota Twins Opening Day – Target Field – April 12, 2010
This is the bronze statue of #34 Kirby Puckett!
Sherwin’s “Big Beat” Mustang lined up for the
Hazel, South Dakota July 4th Parade!
Sherwin – Hazel, South Dakota Gas Station – July 4, 2010
Sherwin & His Brother Gene
Celebrating July 4th – Thomas, South Dakota
We have had a wonderful south Texas winter tour. The weather has not been as warm or dry as in past years but the good news is that south Texas in no longer in a drought! We have had many exciting happenings in the past few months and I’ll share a little about each of them.
We spent a few days on South Padre Island working for the La Copa Hotels. We had a very nice afternoon to walk on the beach. Star fish had washed onto the beach that day. We were able to collect some and dry them. I thought you would enjoy pictures of Sherwin and his stars!
Star Fish Collected on the Beach – South Padre island, TX
Sherwin and One of the Star Fish Collected on the Beach – South Padre Island, TX
We always enjoy Border Fest in Hidalgo, Texas the first weekend in March. Our Nashville friend Cerrito and Internationally Famous Charo perform each year in the “State Farm Pavilion.” Sherwin was able to visit with Charo for a few minutes at sound check. She entertained everyone with a fantastic show of song, dance, comedy and her great instrumental abilities! She is recognized as one of the world’s best Classical and Flamenco guitarists.
Sherwin with Charo – Border Fest – Hidalgo, TX
Charo asked Sherwin to pose for this picture saying, “You’re Really Cute!”
South Dakota Magazine Names Top 25 Unforgettable South Dakotans
2010 marks South Dakota Magazines 25th Anniversary. In their January/February issue they named their “Top 25 Unforgettable South Dakotans.” Sherwin Linton was included in this prestigious list. They refer to Sherwin as “Our Iron Man Entertainer.” The article references Sherwin’s 50 plus years in entertainment without missing an engagement. They quote, “He is as predictable as the Ferris wheel at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, where he performs every year on the “Centennial Stage.”
Sherwin Is Three Time FAME “Entertainer of the Year”
FAME (Families Advocating Moral Entertainment) a national organization recognizing individuals for their entertainment contributions which remain family friendly awarded Sherwin Linton their “2010 Entertainer of the Year” award at the annual awards show held at the International Convention Center in Pharr, TX on February 24, 2010. This is the third consecutive year Sherwin has received this prestigious award. In accepting the award Sherwin quoted 19th Century American Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes:
“Time wrecks the proudest piles we raise.
The Towers the Domes the Temples fall
The Fortress crumbles and decays
One breath of Song out lasts them all.”
Sherwin Accepting His 2010 FAME Entertainer of the Year Award
Presented By Pharr, TX Mayor Pro Tem - Jose Adan Farias
Premier Guitar Magazine – January 2010
Two Necks Are Better Than One: A Brief History of Multi-Neck Guitars
The January 2010 issue of Premier Guitar magazine features an article on the history of the multi-neck guitar. Wallace Marx, Jr. traces the history of these instruments to 1690 where a small-sized guitar with an even smaller, almost ukulele-sized, guitar is grafted to its treble side. The article features music artists who played double neck guitars. A classic photo of Sherwin is included with his six and twelve string electric doubleneck that he built in 1965. Many long time fans still remember when Sherwin performed with this instrument in the 1960's and early 1970's. It became a trademark image for him at that time. To view the article, click here.
Premier Guitar Magazine – March 2010
Sherwin Linton, Crib Rods, and the origins of the “B-Bender”
The March 2010 issue of Premier Guitar magazine features an article recognizing Sherwin for his contributions in the early invention of the “B String Bender.” Watching Carl Perkins play “Flint Hill Special” inspired Sherwin to disassemble his children’s baby crib. Using the metal supporting rods he developed the first “Plever” (peddle-lever) used to successfully bend the “B String.” To view the article click here.
Sherwin is enjoying a little time at home this October! This is a welcome change from the heavy schedule he and “The Cotton Kings” have kept for the past several years! It has been a cold and rainy month with our first two inch snow fall on October 12th. This is a little early for our taste! We went out and took some great photos, white snow and green leaves! We have yet to see the trees changing color and they are not dropping their leaves so they hold much more snow!
Sherwin ready for sledding!
Is this "Global Warming" or "Climate Change?"
Since its beginning to look a lot like Christmas we are getting in the spirit of the season early! We have just been informed that Sherwin’s newest Christmas song “Global Warming Christmas” has been leased to Island View Music and will be included on their newest Christmas compilation CD “Blue Collar Christmas.” If you have not yet heard the song you can download your own copy from iTunes or go to the catalog page of this site and order your copy from CDBaby.
Sherwin enjoys seeing other entertainers perform when he has the chance. We enjoyed “Sugar Pie DeSanto” at the Dakota Jazz Club last week. Sugar Pie is Etta James cousin. She wrote for the Chess record label and toured with James Brown. What a wonderful show!
Sherwin and Pam with Sugar Pie DeSanto
(Sugar Pie is standing up!)
Sherwin has had a very exciting 2009 and there is so much news to share. We thought you would enjoy a slide show to catch up on the happenings of the past few months! Sherwin and “The Cotton Kings” will be back out on the road very soon. November 11 th , “Veterans Days” will be a very special evening of patriotic music in Bemidji, MN and the holiday season is just around the corner so check Sherwin's Christmas Show dates in your area!
Sherwin's 70th Birthday Bash was great fun! Jennifer Markey & Her Buckboard Boys took the stage at 7:30 PM followed by our friends “Trailer Trash.” Following “Trailer Trash” a large group of Sherwin's Twin Cities musician friends took the stage and performed for the very first time the song they had written and recorded “The Ballad of Sherwin Linton.”
You might enjoy seeing this slide show of photos taken by Jenn Barnett and set to the recording of the song.
Sherwin did another indomitable 75 minute performance closing the show with a very powerful version of the Bob Dylan classic “Forever Young.” The music continued until well past midnight with “Paul Metsa”, “Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers” and closing the night, the iron range rebels “The White Iron Band.” At the end of the “White Iron” set, lead singer Matt Pudas invited Sherwin back to the stage to close the night. Stepping to the microphone Sherwin performed “My Rainbow” a song he had written on his 21 st birthday.
There will be more birthday photos posted soon!
We want to remind everyone to visit Sherwin and “The Cotton Kings” at the Heritage Square Stage at the Minnesota State Fair August 31 st and September 1 st – Show Times are 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM. September 2nd Sherwin will receive the 2009 Rural Roots Music Commission's “Traditional CD Production of the Year Award.” This event will take place during the 2009 National Traditional Music Festival held on the Plymouth County Fair Grounds, LeMars, IA. Sherwin and “The Cotton Kings” will perform at 1:00 PM. Then it's off to the South Dakota State Fair September 3-7 with performances on the “Centennial Stage” at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. We hope you can join us for one of these events!
Sherwin's Turning 70 and “Still Rockin!”
Let the Celebration Begin
We just celebrated our nation's independence. This is such an important holiday for every American. It gives us time to reflect on the price that has been paid and is paid every day for our freedom. We are all richly blessed to live in a country where we can truly celebrate “Independence Day.” We hope each and every one of you had a safe and wonderful July 4 th . Independence Day also kicks off a summer of many special events. Sherwin and the “Cotton Kings” have a schedule full of fair and festival appearances. We also have some important celebrating of our own to do. Mark your calendars for two very special events celebrating Sherwin's 70th Birthday!
July 26, 2009 - Anoka County Fair Celebrates Sherwin Linton's 70th Birthday
Join Sherwin and the “Cotton Kings” for a music performance and fun on the “Free Entertainment Stage” at the Anoka County Fair. Two, one hour music shows beginning at 3:00 PM. This is a family friendly event so bring the kids and grandkids for a great day at the fair, great music and some fun surprises. Sherwin wants to remind everyone not to bring a gift. Having you in the audience is the best gift you can give!
July 28, 2009 - Sherwin's 70 th Birthday Bash - The Cabooze - Minneapolis, MN
This is Sherwin's birth date! He'll be celebrating with a whole lot of his musical friends all on stage for a fun filled evening! Sherwin has a special show planned, but he'll be sharing the stage with some other great acts too! Guest groups include: “Trailer Trash,” “Jennifer Markey & Her Buckboard Boys,” “Paul Metsa,” “Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers” and “The White Iron Band.” The doors open at 7:00 PM and the music begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets for the whole evening are just $10.00 and are available first come first served the evening of the show. The Cabooze is located at 917 Cedar Ave. South • Minneapolis, MN. Phone the Cabooze at 612-338-6425 for additional details.
Rural Roots Selects “Town Of Dreams” CD of the Year
Sherwin's 2007 centennial CD “Town Of Dreams” tells the story of the small town of Lake Norden, South Dakota. This CD is a collection of 20 songs and significant historical dialogue from the local residents. On September 2 nd during the 2009 “National Traditional Music Festival” in LeMars, IA Sherwin will receive the “Traditional CD Production of the Year” award presented by the Rural Roosts Music Commission. Sherwin and “The Cotton Kings” are slated for a 1:00 PM performance on the Main Festival Stage. They will perform many favorites from this CD including “That Old Gravel Road,” “Mom & Dad,” “Thank You For Serving,” “Comin' To America,” “Ivory Tower,” “No Charge,” “Allis Chalmers,” “Life's Railway To Heaven” and others. If you wish to purchase this CD it is available at www.CDBaby.com . The presentation will take place following the performance. For more information on the “National Traditional Music Festival” visit their web site at www.orgsites.com/ia/oldtimemusic .
South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame
Sherwin will be inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame September 13 th . The event will take place at the VFW Club • 3601 South Minnesota • Sioux Falls, SD. • Show Time 2:00 PM. Admission is free. Please bring a non-perishable food item for donation to a local food shelf. Contact Wini Iverson at 650-310-2441 for additional information. Find the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame on the web at: http://www.southdakotacountrymusichalloffame.org/home
I'm Cookin' Arriving Soon!
Five years in the making Pam Linton's new cookbook titled by her niece Lydia, “I'm Cookin'” will be available in late August. This colorful book includes over 300 recipes Pam has created, cooked and collected plus stories and childhood photos. We're going to begin celebrating Pam's 30 th anniversary with the Sherwin Linton Show a little early with this very special and personal souvenir item. Books will be available by mail beginning September 1 st for $15.00 each plus $3.00 shipping.
Sherwin formed his first band “The Rocketeers” and began performing live concerts and on his own live radio show on station KWAT in 1955 and 1956 in Watertown, South Dakota. On May 24, 2009 Sherwin walked on stage to a standing ovation of over 1000 people attending the first induction ceremony of the newly formed South Dakota Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. This event was held at the former “Arkota Ballroom” in Sioux Falls, SD. Fellow inductees Bobby Vee, Myron Lee, Gary Mule Deer and other classic 50's and 60's bands rocked for five hours following the inductions.
Sherwin, Pam & “The Cotton Kings” with Bobby Vee 2009 South Dakota Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.
Sherwin & Pam May 24, 2009 South Dakota Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame
Sherwin outside the entrance to what once was “The Ditty Bop” where Sherwin & The Rocketeers and other Rock-A-Billy bands performed in Sioux Falls, pioneering the Rock-N-Roll Music genre in South Dakota in the mid 1950's. Sherwin says, “The Ditty Bop” was probably similar to the famous “Cavern” where the Beatles got their start in the early 1960's in Liverpool, England.
It is really hard for me to believe it is already May! We have had a very fun filled and busy four months with a whole lot of new news to report. Our two months in south Texas just flew by and it was great to have time to visit with many of our mid-west friends. We also hosted many first time visitors to the Rio Grande Valley. Everyone who makes the trip agrees it is a great break from what has been a very long Minnesota winter.
2009 FAME Awards
February 25th found us spending the afternoon at the International Convention Center in Pharr, Texas. Now in its 13th year, FAME (Families Advocating Moral Entertainment) recognized entertainers in thirty categories at their annual “Awards Show & Ceremony.” Sherwin was greatly honored to be chosen as the FAME 2009 “Entertainer of the Year.” When accepting his award Sherwin stated, “There are so many fantastic entertainers who are considered for this award, that it’s very humbling to be honored two years in a row.”
Sherwin's new press photo
Before we departed Texas we spent an afternoon taking new promotional photos. The boganvelia were in full bloom in a deep rich pink and we found several locations where they mixed with the palms and cactus to make very bright and interesting backdrops. We arrived back in Minneapolis in late March in time to enjoy two snow storms and have our tour schedule adjusted by the Red River flooding in Fargo, North Dakota. Our engagement at the IAFE Zone Four Conference was moved from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Grand Rapids, Minnesota so convention goers could avoid passing through Fargo! We kept telling ourselves winter would be over soon and we were fortunate, our basement was not full of water!
Sherwin & Pam Linton - March 2009
South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction
We are looking forward to Sherwin’s May 24th induction into the “South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” Sherwin was honored to be among the first inductees into this prestigious hall. Sherwin is recognized as “South Dakota’s First Rock & Roller” having started his music career in 1956 with his touring group “Sherwin Linton & His Rocketteers” and his own live radio show on station KWAT in Watertown, South Dakota. There is still time to get your tickets for this exciting event. Sherwin has been invited to do a 30 minute performance and the complete induction show will be filmed for South Dakota Public Television. I’ve included details of this fun filled day below with a link to the South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association web site.
2009 Rural Roots Music Commission – Traditional Production CD of the Year
We were very honored to receive notification that Sherwin’s CD “Town of Dreams Centennial” has been selected the Rural Roots Music Commission’s “2009 Traditional Production CD of the Year.” The Commission honors and rewards those that continue to create and perform “traditional acoustic rural music.” Sherwin will receive this award at the annual National Traditional Country Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa on August. This will be a quick trip to Iowa between our engagements at the Minnesota State Fair and the South Dakota State Fair.
Johnny Cash Tribute Show to Air on Metro Cable Network Channel 6
The 2009 Anoka, Minnesota Lions Club fundraising music show featured Sherwin Linton and Tommy Cash and a “Tribute to Johnny Cash.” The two sell out performances brought over 2000 people into the auditorium at Anoka High School. Metro Cable Channel Six filmed the two hour show and is presently airing it. Twin Cities residents can phone Metro Cable Network www.mcn6.org – 612-339-3221 for scheduled air times.
Sherwin & Tommy Cash • Anoka, MN • April 4, 2009
With the very much appreciated help of our web master Mark Wearsch we are proud to say our new web site “The Johnny Cash Story” is taking shape. Last June Mark began re-working parts of the Sherwin Linton web site to bring things more up to date. He has been an invaluable aid and advisor. In January Mark began developing www.TheJohnnyCashStory.com. This site highlights Sherwin's association with Johnny Cash and also Sherwin's highly recognized “Tribute to the Man In Black.” When you visit the site you'll see lots of live performance photos as well as a gallery of photos of Sherwin with John and members of his family through the years. There is a nine minute video clip of Sherwin's “Cash Only” performance in 2008. We will be adding more video, song files, and photos in the near future. Keep watching and a “Big Thank You” to Mark Wearsch at Wearsch Web Design! Find out all the great things Mark is doing at www.inappropriatehappiness.com or visit Mark's web site www.Wearsch.com.
Long Live American Music!
During our November visit to Menominee Nation Casino in Keshena, WI, artist Anthony Gauthier sent his business card to the stage with this line drawing of Sherwin on the back.
I wonder if anyone remembers the year 1938. I don't, I was not born until July 28, 1939. That means that on that date in 2009 I will turn 70. When I was 10, 20 seemed to be adult maturity, 30 was adult well settled and 40 was nearly my parents age and anything beyond that was as incomprehensible as the distance to the stars. I think most people my age agree that time really passes faster each year.
We had a very exciting and truly fantastic 2008. We enjoyed our engagements in Texas which included an appearance at the Texas FAME Awards Show where I was honored by being voted 2008 Texas FAME “Entertainer of the Year.” We returned home to Minneapolis in mid March to face about two more months of chilly, inclement Minnesota weather before spring came sometime in late May. Well, that's Minnesota and though we look forward to our time in Texas each year we always look forward to returning home!
After performing a heavy schedule of dates in April, May and early June, Pam and I managed to find a few days to take a trip that we had talked about for many years. You see, in 1948 when I was just nine years old my Mom & Dad took my older brother Gene and I on a trip to Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. At that time we lived in the little town of Hazel, SD, southwest of Watertown. We took a puddle jumping train called the “Galloping Goose” to Willmar, MN, then boarded a bigger train to Minneapolis. In Minneapolis we boarded the famous streamlined “Great Northern Empire Builder” riding all the way to Seattle, up to Vancouver, BC and then back across Canada on the Canadian Pacific to Winnipeg and back Minneapolis and then to Willmar. Once in Willmar we again boarded the “Galloping Goose” for our return to Hazel, SD. This was about a two week trip that I remember so well. One of the highlights was Glacier National Park and the huge lodge at East Glacier. I have longed to take this trip again and share it with Pam. We had a five day window of time open on our calendar between performance dates in late June. Our reservations were made a couple of months ahead giving us some time to look forward to our little vacation get away. After doing a show in Turtle Lake, WI on June 22 nd, we returned to Minneapolis, got in our car and drove to St. Cloud, MN where we boarded the Amtrak “Empire Builder” at 1:00 AM on June 23 rd . Our sleeping berth was ready for us and after settling in we woke at about 9:00 AM in Minot, ND. The food and service on the train was excellent and we enjoyed scenery and small towns in North Dakota and Montana arriving in East Glacier at about 7:00 PM that evening. What a special and spectacular sight it was for me to step off that train and see the huge log lodge off in the distance just like I had remembered from 60 years ago in 1948. It was a very spiritual experience for me remembering this trip and so many good times with my parents when I was growing up. Pam and I checked into our hotel and made plans to enjoy three days of sights and some relaxing time in this beautiful National Park. We enjoyed a boat tour on St. Mary Lake in the heart of the mountains, a trip on the 75 year old restored “Red Buses” and also driving up to Waterton, Alberta on the Canadian side of the park. We enjoyed some super dining at the historic “Glacier Park Lodge” (where nine presidents have stayed) and our time went very fast! We returned home June 28 th in time for our show at “Blaine's Blazin' 4 th Celebration” on June 29 th . We are booked for this event for the third year running on June 28, 2009.
Sherwin with the “Great Northern Empire Builder” 1948.
Sherwin with the Amtrak “Empire Builder” 2008.
Sherwin & Pam St. Mary Lake – Glacier National Park – June 2008
Somehow in June we also managed to arrange music and produce a new CD for a very talented young lady, Kristi Goldade from Wishek, ND. Kristi has appeared with our show many times and her new CD “Dakota Prairie Yodelin'” features several yodeling songs as well as Classic Folk, Country and Patriotic selections.
Our summer schedule was very full with little time at home between dates. Most of our fair dates went well. We did fight the weather a couple of times like at the Chippewa County Fair in Montevideo, MN where it rained more than two inches with hail in three hours. We finally were able to do an acoustic show under the grandstand. To describe our whole experience that day would take several pages! The next day, in Aberdeen, SD, at the Brown County Fair things went much better until a tornado funnel dropped down just above the tent we were performing in. It was a bit scary, but after minimal damage to garbage cans and RV awnings the funnel lifted and our biggest problem became getting our vehicle towed out of the wet fairgrounds following about two inches of rain. The same towing company had towed my bus after a breakdown back in 1975. I think there may be a picture of that 1975 event on our web site.
In late August we played the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD. We had the opportunity to visit Mount Rushmore again and spend some time in the southern Black Hills. A friend of mine Johnny Butten from England accompanied us on this tour. Johnny is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World's Fastest Banjo Player” and he definitely is! Johnny was very impressed with the vast wide open spaces of South Dakota's endless western prairies and landscapes, the Badlands, the Black Hills, and the cowboy lifestyle. We also took time to visit the South Dakota Citizens Hall of Fame in Chamberlain where they had a large memorabilia display of many of my career items. I was inducted into this hall in September of 2007. This display has now been moved to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in New Ulm, MN. They will be having a special “Sherwin Linton” day which will kick off the opening of this display later this year. We'll keep you posted with details and event information.
The South Dakota State Fair has been a highlight and homecoming engagement for me since 1973. Doing three shows a day under the massive tent at the “Centennial Stage” is always a great reunion of long time friends and fans and we once again had many guest performers on each of our shows. This year we were invited to open the George Jones Show in the Grandstand. Much to the audiences surprise we also closed the show with George, Brittany and “The Jones Boys” with the song “Rockin Chair.” We will be back at the South Dakota State Fair September 3-7, 2009.
Sherwin & George Jones – South Dakota State Fair – August 29, 2008
Pam and her sister Brittany Allyn on the George Jones Show - South Dakota State Fair – August 29, 2008. Brittany has been George's featured vocalist for the past three years.
After playing several more fairs and special events in September and October including Norsk Hostfest in Minot, ND we journeyed to Nashville for a recording session. A friend of mine Glenn Dykstra from Missouri had submitted to me a song he had written, “There Is No Snow in Kalamazoo.” I liked the song's idea and sent it to Pam's sister Brittany Allyn in Nashville for her opinion. After some discussion between Glenn, Brittany and myself, Brittany re-wrote the verses to the song keeping Glenn's original chorus. I then made a few lyric modifications and we came up with a clever topical Christmas song “Global Warming Christmas.” We recorded the song October 25 th at Hilltop Studios in Nashville. The song is arranged in a Caribbean/Reggae rhythm style combining steel drums and Hawaiian guitar. The song was released by CDX Records in Nashville to 2300 radio stations, and Poetman – Acoustic Rainbow Records in Lexington, KY to 1400 stations internationally and also on our own Black Gold label as a special issue CD single to an additional 650 stations. The special artwork prepared by illustrator Bill Hauser from St. Paul depicts Santa at the North Pole lounging and shaving his beard surrounded by partying reindeer and confused penguins co-mingling with flamingos as the ice melts. All of this brought enough attention to draw strong response to the record in its first year as a new Christmas entry. We were invited to perform the song live on the Minnesota Public TV show “Almanac” hosted by Eric Eskola, Kathy Wurzer, and Mary Lehammer. You can view our performance by clicking here.
Thank you to all of you who have requested this song on your local radio stations during the holiday season.
On the same recording session we also recorded three duets which will be on a new project that we hope to complete this year. Our friends David Frizzell and Tommy Cash each came to the studio and recorded with me. Pam and I recorded a favorite love song “As Long As I Live” and several other friends and artists have agreed to duet appearances. When we get this project completed it should be very exciting!
On December 1 st Pam and I were at the KATO Ballroom in Mankato, MN for the taping of several episodes of the TV show “Bandwagon” which aired during the month of December on network affiliates in the Mankato area of southern Minnesota. We were the guests of the Wendinger Brothers Band and the Bruce Bradley Orchestra. What a fun evening!
In early December I received a call from Don Fritz in Sioux Falls, SD informing me that on May 24, 2009 I am to be among the first inductees into the newly formed South Dakota Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. This event will be held at the old “Arkota Ballroom” in Sioux Falls. We'll keep you posted with event information.
Pam and I and “The Cotton Kings” again put together a tour doing our annual Christmas Shows in mid December. It was sure an adventure unloading and loading in New Ulm, MN in 35 – 45 degree below zero wind chills and blizzard conditions, but those hardy Minnesotan's in New Ulm still turned out for our show. We also had great crowds for five shows at Royal River Casino in Flandreau, SD. We then returned home to Minneapolis for a sold out performance at the American Legion in Coon Rapids on December 19 th . We want to extend special thanks to our friend Dean Cowan for all his work in helping to promote and make that night a success.
Pam and I took some time during our holidays to be bell ringers for the Salvation Army at the corner of 7 th Street and Nicolet Mall in front of Macy's in downtown Minneapolis on December 22 nd . Wearing our Victorian style attire we enjoy doing this, however on a day when it is 6 degrees below zero it is a bit chilly!
We rang in the New Year 2009 at Black Bear Casino in Cloquet, MN. January 16 & 17 we will be the closing act each evening at the 9 th Annual “Cash Only Show” at the Cabooze in Minneapolis. This show celebrates the vast music catalog of Johnny Cash. If you wish to be in our audience for this high energy rockin' event in a Minneapolis bar packed with 1500 loudly cheering people we would love to have you. For a peak at last year's show visit www.MySpace.com/SherwinLinton and scroll to the video clip on the left side of the screen. Our departure for the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is just a few busy weeks away. Maybe you would like to join us for a little warm weather get away. Our Texas home away from home is “LaCopa Hotel” in McAllen, Texas. Visit our web site for a link to reservation information on the lower left of the screen. We are scheduled for a few performance dates in the lounge on this property.
We need to say a big “Thank You” to Joe, Kathy and Jeff Jensen at Mid-West Country Theatre in Sandstone, MN for airing our performances on their “Mid-West Country Show” on the RFD-TV Network Saturday's at 8:00 PM. Finally we need to thank you our friends and fans for your support and friendship over these many years. We wish you God's Blessings for a very Happy and Prosperous 2009.
Sherwin's New Christmas Single “Global Warming Christmas” Released to Radio November 14th
Global Warming or Climate Change?
The controversy continues and this holiday season Santa finds himself smack dab in the middle of it all! The snows melting at the North Pole, the EPA's checking his factory emissions and even the reindeer will be subjected to emissions tests.
Sherwin's new holiday single “Global Warming Christmas pokes humorous fun at Santa's misfortune without taking a position on this slippery subject. Embarking on his 53rd year in music, Sherwin continues to venture into new musical accompaniment styles as he again enters the holiday music arena with a mellow, yet authorative vocal, surrounded by Caribbean rhythms accented with steel drums.
Penned by Glenn Dykstra, (a South Dakota native living in Missouri) Brittany Allyn and Sherwin Linton, the Caribbean flavor of this little ditty will definitely take the chill out of your holidays! Recorded at “Hill Top Studios” in Nashville, Sherwin called on his long time friends Gregg Galbriath and Sonny Garish plus other members of Nashville's musical “A” Team to lend their expertise to this timely song. Radio release is scheduled for Friday, November 14th . Call your local disc jockey to make your request.
To get your very own CD single enclosed in an artistically humorous picture sleeve designed by renowned illustrator Bill Hauser send $5.00 plus $2.50 shipping to:
Black Gold Records
P.O. Box 48100 Minneapolis, MN 55448
The song “Global Warming Christmas” is also available for download from ITunes. Click here for a sample.
Sherwin's Mastery Bridge Endorsement
Sherwin would like to extend sincere thanks to our friend John “Woodie” Woodland at www.MasteryBridge.com who has done an endorsement install of their new bridge (designed for Fender Jazzmaster, Mustang and Bigsby-fitted Telecasters) into Sherwin's 1959 Jazzmaster. Unlike the previous “rock post assembly” bridges the “Mastery Bridge” posts fit snugly into the diameter of vintage and modern Fender-style thimbles, ensuring the bridge does not change position during performances or between string changes. Sherwin is totally sold and will install this bridge on all of his Jazzmaster models. Sherwin said, “Because of the dynamic transfer of string vibrations directly through the bridge to the body of the guitar there is a much greater tonal spectrum and vibrance emitting from the guitar both acoustically and when electrified. Sherwin said he observed this phenomenon immediately. If you own a Jazzmaster, Mustang or Bigsby Tele this bridge is a must to own!
Summer fairs and festivals
Our summer fair and festival tour is in full swing. Sherwin and "The Cotton Kings" have just finished six days at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, North Dakota. It was great to visit with so many of our North Dakota fans and friends and to have the time to meet a bunch of new ones too! We were excited to visit on air with Merrill Piepkorn on Prairie Public Radio. Merrill has a great one hour show called "Hear It Now" that broadcasts live from the fair and is aired statewide. Prairie Public Radio archives their broadcasts on their web site so take a moment to listen to Sherwin's interview which aired on July 22, 2008. To listen: Click on the following link http://www.prairiepublic.org/programs/hearitnow/ then scroll down and click on the date July 22, 2008. Sherwin is Merrill's second guest.
If you visit this site on a regular basis you have probably already noticed we have begun a much needed update to the sites appearance. Since going on-line in 1998 we've added lots of information and changed some photos but it's time for a real make-over! We need to say a big "Thank You!" to Mark Wearsch at Wearsch Web Design and Photography in Columbia Station, Ohio for taking this little project under his wing! Some of the great new features include accessibility to our venues web sites on the schedule page and just push the "Get Directions" button on the schedule page and you can get "Map Quest" directions from your home to Sherwin's stage! Mark is a great guy with super ideas. Book mark this site to continue to watch the re-design progress!
Hope to see you at one of our upcoming events! Have a great summer!
Sherwin Awarded Texas 2008 FAME Entertainer of the Year
Sherwin, Pam and Dick Moebakken 2008 FAME Awards - Pharr, Texas
Sherwin was named "Entertainer of the Year" at the first ever FAME Awards Show & Ceremony held on February 14th at the International Convention Center in Pharr, Texas. FAME (Families Advocating Moral Entertainment) passed out awards to winners in over 25 categories, honoring country and bluegrass musicians and comedians who perform in Texas's Rio Grande Valley, Nashville, TN, Branson, MO, and Mountain View, AR (a center of music and arts in the Ozark Mountains). Sherwin has performed in Texas for decades including annual tours of the Rio Grande Valley during the past seven winters. Sherwin remarked about taking home the top award, "I love Texas and I thank all the friends and fans for their ongoing support. This was a real surprise and I'm honored."
Other winners of FAME Awards included Ray Benson's "Ride With Bob" (a tribute to Bob Wills) for "Show of the Year" and Jerry Douglas for "Dobro Player of the Year."
Nominees for FAME Awards must meet exemplary standards that are set with the whole family in mind. FAME states that it is "not a religious group, but rather a group who believes in freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness with out suggestive verbal and/or visual presentations."
The inaugural FAME Awards Show & Ceremony featured live performances and presentations of awards, and is scheduled to return for its second annual installment in 2009. Sherwin performed a portion of his popular "Tribute to Johnny Cash" during the show.
Rick Johnson Inducted Into Mid-America Music Hall of Fame
Rick Johnson - November, 2006
We want to congratulate our drummer Rick Johnson on his upcoming induction into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame (Formerly the Minnesota Rock/Country Hall of Fame.) Rick is being inducted with the group C. A. Quintet on Friday, May 2, 2008. The festivities begin at 6:00 PM. The C.A. Quintet will perform prior to their induction on the 9:00 PM segment. C.A. Quintet performed from 1966 - 1971 garnering the hit single "Mickey's Monkey" and the LP "Trip Through Hell." The legendary LP, "Trip Through Hell" recorded on the Candy Floss label in 1969 is recognized world wide for it's collectable value. Most copies sell for $1500.00 - $2500.00 each! For more information on this event visit the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame web site rockcountryhall.com.
Congratulations Rick, it's great to have you as a "Cotton King!"
Cleo Bee & "The Honeycomb" Reunion Show
Many Sherwin Linton fans will remember Cleo Bee who was a very important part of Sherwin's show back in the 1960's and 1970's. Following her tours with the Sherwin Linton Show, Cleo formed her own group "Cleo Bee & The Honeycomb" and had many years of music success. "The Honeycomb" became the house entertainers at the famous "Louie's Inn" in Dresser, WI from 1974 through 1977. After 31 years this group will reunite for one evening of entertainment at the Trollhaugen Ski Resort & Convention Center on August 2, 2008. The music, friends and nostalgia all begin at 6:00 PM. I'm sure there are a lot more event details so visit "The Honeycomb's" newly developed web site www.etribes.com/cleobee for more information.
South Dakota Hall of Fame
It's hard to believe it is already November. Sherwin and "The Cotton Kings" had an amazing summer and fall. A big "Thank You" to the fans across the mid-west for attending the many fairs, festivals and celebrations we had the privilege to participate in.
As many of you know Sherwin was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame on September 8th. I thought it would be important to share a few photos from this big event.
2007 Inductees South Dakota Hall of Fame from left: Monsignor James M. Doyle, George "Sparky" Anderson, T. Denny Sanford, William E. Walsh, Susan Salway (Accepting for Orville Francis Salway, Sr.), Richard A. Cutler, Clark Redlinger, Sherwin Linton, Carole Hillard, Dr. Dwayne L. Beck, Charles E. Clay, Carl & Marietta Soukup
The unveiling of Sherwin's Hall of Fame display. Sherwin with nominators Judy & Bear Toennies and Al & Donna Schulz
Sherwin & Pam with Sherwin's Hall of Fame display.
Sherwin with fellow inductee George "Sparky" Anderson. "Sparky" was born in Bridgewater, South Dakota.
Sherwin & Pam South Dakota Hall of Fame Induction September 2007.
Sherwin and Senator George McGovern.
Sherwin accepting his induction to the South Dakota Hall of Fame from Hall of Fame President Garney Henley.
Dylan the Dinosaur
In July we told you about the Science Museum of Minnesota celebrating it's 100th Anniversary. In honor of this, 60 dinosaurs were produced and placed on the streets of St. Paul. Dino #17, known as "Dylan" was a tribute to famous Minnesota music personalities. Painted on the dinosaur were images and names of famous Minnesota music artists including Sherwin Linton. We requested fans find "Dylan" and take their picture with the bright orange dino just like Sherwin did.
Don & Pam Mathiason from Glenwood, MN
Paul & Effie Stein's Grandson Dylan
Sherwin's "Diggin Dino's"
Music and science are meeting on the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota thanks to a great new walking exhibit sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota in celebration of their 100th Anniversary. Visitors can view the sixty dinosaurs in a walking tour. Each dinosaur has a business sponsor and is displayed near that business. The McNally-Smith School of Music is located at the corner of Exchange Street and Wabasha in St. Paul (19 Exchange Street.) They are sponsors of Dino #17 known as “Dylan.” Painted by Artist Dan Wheeler, “Dylan” is a tribute to famous Minnesota music personalities. Painted on the dinosaur are images of Bob Dylan, Prince, Judy Garland, Paulette Carlson, Bobby Vee, and famous record producers Jimmy Jam Harris & Terry Lewis. With limited space to include everyone's image the rest of the bright orange dino is covered with the names of famous Minnesota music artists. The name “Sherwin Linton” appears to the right of Bob Dylan and just below the image of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis near the dino's neck. Sherwin is in great company along with Owen Husney (Princes first manager.) and the Rock band “Gypsy.” (Gypsy's horn section performed on Sherwin's 1978 recording of “That Kind Of Girl.”)
We took Sherwin's photo with “Dylan” on July 4th. We'd love to add your picture taken with “Dylan” to our web site too! Bring your 4x6 inch photo with “Dylan” to a live concert performance. That photo will be your coupon for $5.00 off any purchase at our souvenir table. (Only one offer per person. Photos will not be returned. Offer good through September 9, 2007.)
The “Diggin Dino's” exhibit runs through Labor Day. The dino's will be sold by auction on September 9th at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul. Proceeds benefit the science museum.
The first United States exhibit of this type took place in Chicago in 1999 where “cows” were decorated. This concept was originally conceived by Beat Seeberger – Quin and presented in Zurich, Switzerland in the summer of 1998. Following the death of Minnesota cartoonist Charles Schultz the city of St. Paul sponsored “Peanuts on Parade” using the images of Snoopy in 2000, Charlie Brown in 2001, Lucy in 2002, and Linus Van Pelt in 2003.
Sherwin with "Dylan" the Dino.
A close-up of "Dylan" the Dino.
Add July 24th to your event calendar
We hope our Minneapolis metro friends will join us July 24th at the “Knight Cap” (1500 N. 4th) in northeast Minneapolis 612-789-5233 for a night of music, fun, and dancing too! We are proud to welcome Jan Whitehill to our group for his first night of performance. Jan is a very gifted upright / string bass player who will be beginning his tenure as a “Cotton King.”
Additional late July engagements include July 27 in the beer garden at the Scott County Fair in Jordan, MN – 8:00 PM and July 28 & 29 the Free Stage at the Anoka County Fair in Anoka, MN. Show times July 28th (Sherwin's 68th Birthday! Cards only please.) are 7:00 PM with a “Tribute To Johnny Cash” at 10:00 PM and July 29th 4:00 PM with a “Tribute To Johnny Cash” at 7:00 PM.
View Sherwin on CTN-TV
CTN-TV, this week completed filming for an eight minute feature story on Sherwin which will begin airing on August 2nd on the program “Talk Of The Town” CTN is a cable access channel located in Anoka County, MN. The segment will begin airing on cable television August 2nd and will play several times daily through the month. For exact cities and air times go to the CTN web site ctnstudios.com and click on “Talk of the Town” followed by “Playback Schedule.” For those outside of Anoka County the piece will also air on CTN-TV's web site beginning August 7th. To view online go to ctnstudios.com and c lick on “watch web video” and then select “Talk of the Town.” You will be able to view the show as a Windows Media File.
Sherwin & Charlie Daniels "Growing Up Country"
Following the April 4th release of the book “Growing Up Country” Sherwin was busy with book signings and media appearances. The book, edited by Grammy Award winning artist Charlie Daniels is a collection of essays authored by sixty of Charlie's friends. Sherwin was honored to be selected as a contributing author for this project. Sherwin and Charlie were finally able spend some time visiting during Charlie's visit to “Taste of Minnesota” in early July. We would like to thank our gracious hosts Ron and Linda Maddox for a wonderful evening at “The Taste!”
Charlie Daniels & Sherwin. "Taste of Minnesota" - July 2007
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