My father passed away this morning @ 6:07 AM so I am re-posting this in honor of my very talented and creative father ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY EVERYONE !!
In honor of ST. Patrick's Day ................
My post today is to honor my Dad, James O'Gwynn
who in the Country Music world is affectionately known as:
" The Smiling Irishman of Country Music"
My Dad turned 81 on January 26, 2009. Last year on his
80 th we threw him a surprise birthday party at my brother
Robert's house in Jackson, MS. This is a picture of his cake.
This was made the same day. Hubby, Dad and me.
My profile picture of Dad and me singing a duet was
also made that day.
This is one of his portfolio pictures of his
early days in the music business.
He was so handsome, all my friends would
get crushes on him and tell me they were
going to "marry him" making me furious!
Here he is performing on the Grand Ole Opry
in the early 1960' s
He had many friends who were often visitors in our home
for jam sessions and songwriting!
Here he is backstage with Johnny Cash when they were
on tour together...........
He and George Jones are close friends as they started
in the business together on the same record label and
with the same manager........
George Jones was a frequent guest at our house my
entire childhood as he and my Dad also wrote songs together.
This picture was made in 1975 when Dad and I attended the
Grand Opening of George's Possum Holler Club in Nashville.
He's pictured here with the late Jim Reeves
who got him to move to Nashville and join the Opry
Backstage at the Opry horsing around with 4 foot 7 inch
Little Jimmy Dickens...........
I had a very interesting childhood being surrounded by
so many very talented, creative, songwriters and musicians.
It gave me a first hand view from a very young age of how
full filling creativity can be to the soul...........
It also gave me a deep appreciation of all people who are blessed
with the ability to create music, songs, poetry, books and art!
P .S. I received an e-mail a few minutes ago asking me if I could provide more details about
my Dad and my life growing up in Country Music? So I will add a few more details.
When Dad first started in the business I was a toddler and we moved from Hattiesburg to Houston, Texas for my Dad to play at Magnolia Gardens, a weekend outdoor music venue.
Elvis Presley also played there and my mother told me stories of how he would sit down on the pallet with her and me and play with me while he waited to go on stage. I met Elvis many years later in the early 70's and we talked about it. I made some pictures with him but unfortunately they burned in my Feb.1986 house fire.
I believe it was 1958 when we moved from Houston to Shreveport, Louisiana, My Dad was a member of the Louisiana Hayride and he had been performing there for several years. We were living there when his good friend, singer Johnny Horton was killed in a car wreck. Johnny was the first corpse I ever saw. In 1960 we moved to Nashville for my Dad to be on The Opry.
I spent summers in Mississippi with my maternal grandparents then we moved back here to Mississippi in 1964 and I stayed here until 1974 when I moved back to Nashville where I lived
until 2003. While living in Nashville( and on a farm outside Nashville) I raised my three children, wrote songs, short stories, poems, newspaper articles and had many friends in the music industry.
I hope all of you have a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!
And even if you are not Irish, may you be blessed with
" The Luck of The Irish"!