Howdy Top-Rail Bunch!
Looks like Spring has finally sprung upon us. Here's just a short recap and/or update on what's been going on around here at Roughshod Records. Since January 2018, Mike Johnson has been rather busy trying to keep up editing and archiving his huge video footage collection. A number of new edits have been added to our YouTube Channel, which now hosts about 893 video clips. Incidentally, if you happen to be any of our videos, be sure and share them with your family, friends, and other contacts.
Veteran's Affairs Hospital Drama:
Earlier during the year Mike had a dramatic experience at the VA Hospital while undergoing a heart scan. The procedure had to be terminated because he developed a severe allergic reaction to the iodine in the contrast dye. This was a first, and he put off any more tests until about a month ago. There were some issues with the monitoring set-up procedure, and after about four failed attempts, Mike pulled the plug on that and got dressed! He told them there would be no more tests for at least a year, if ever!
Make no mistake about it, Mike has always received excellent care and treatment from the VA, and this incident in no way diminishes his feelings about them. In fact, he has several upcoming appointments which he will most definitely keep. Unlike most, Mike is not afraid to speak up and cut things off, if he perceives something isn't working the way it should.
Mike's best friend Rocky Guttmann, one of the most successful solo acts in Northern Virginia has semi-retired from music to spend more time with his wife, Mary Anne, and the grandkids. But he still does every other weekend at Fiona's Irish Pub in Alexandria, and is building up a following in the Richmond area, where he now resides.
Mike's veteran buddy Roy Jobber is out of the hospital and recovering from an infected foot injury. Mike and Roy served on a local police department during the 1970s. Roy is also one of the label's music sponsors. Leo Maimone, a childhood Boy Scout friend from the 1950s is currently in the hospital undergoing treatments for a reoccurring hernia incident. Mike turned a couple of Leo's poems into songs and recorded them. "Pigtails and Bubblegum" and "Liquid Hell." "Liquid Hell" was also recorded by James Adelsberger, who laid some exciting foot-stomping tracks to it. It was released on James' "Old Time Country Songs Are They Really Dead and Gone?" CD in 2014 and received the Rural Roots Music Commission's "Pure Country CD of the Year" Award in 2015 at the Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa.
Kitty Creek Records Production:
Mike produced this new, and very first CD for Dale Heeren on Heeren's own Kitty Creek Records. It was released on 13 March 2018, and a CD Sampler, containing excerpts of the 7-song release, on 14 March 2018. Dale was very excited about this project which actually began formulating around November 2017. Originally Mike rejected the notion, us having a full plate of our own around here. Then, around mid-January 2018, Mike revisited the idea and made a proposal. He would provide a release that Dale could post on CD Baby, and then take over additional productions.
Agreed, Dale sent Mike the song files, and we converted them from MP3 128-kbps to MP3 320-kbps format. We then created a Master CD Disc, encoded it with artist, label, title information, a barcode and ISRC Codes for each track. Dale provided a photograph for his CD cover and Kitty Creek Records logo, and we did everything else. The graphic designs for the cover, the CD label and tray liner. The CD Cover layout was sent to our printer, Tyler Print in Alexandria, Virginia, and when they arrived, me and Mike inserted the tray liners and covers into the jewel cases and shrink wrapped them and sent 30 copies off to Dale! We also created and produced his CD Sampler. Dale electronically registered his new CD with the Copyright Office and Mike Johnson delivered Dale's deposit copies to the Copyright Office on Good Friday, 30 March 2018.
Unfortunately, in various interviews and comments about his new release, Dale gives the impression that he did everything and that Mike Johnson 'assisted' him and 'helped me step by step trhough the processes necessary in today's music world' instead of acknowledging and naming Mike as the Producer. We also paid all of the production expenses. This basic violation of music protocol, wherein a new release always names the artist, label, and the producer, was further perpetuated by Bob Everhart's review of Dale's CD [April 2018 Issue of TRADITION Magazine and Country Music News International] in spite of the fact that he was given detailed information about Dale's CD during its production!
Into American Music History Again! Recorded Sound Reference Center at Library of Congress:
While at the Library of Congress, Mike stopped by the Recorded Sound Reference Center to drop off additional material for their "Mike Johnson" collection. He also discovered that Reference Librarian, Ms. Janet McKee had retired. McKee spearheaded this venture back in April 2007, when she voiced a concern that their collection didn't have a lot of Black Yodelers' yodeling songs. She and Acquisitions Technician Peter L. Stark, [also retired] acquired 114 of Mike Johnson's yodeling songs, his first two CDs, and a 45-page soft bound biography, for the Recorded Sound Reference Center's permanent music collection.
Over the years the Center acquired more materials including 16 DVDs of Mike's performances for the Library's Motion Picture Division. So, Library Technician Bryan Cornell, Janet McKee's co-worker, accepted our 5 latest CD productions, along with their spec sheets for easy cataloging and a number of photographs of Mike & James' awards and being awarded. Also included were two DVDs for the Motion Picture Division. Mike is currently editing and preparing a clip of these new acquisitions presentation for posting on our YouTube Channel. Library Technician, or more correctly, Reference Librarian Harrison Behl took over Janet's spot, and was otherwise engaged during our Good Friday presentation and videotaping. We'll definitely include him the next go round. Be sure and visit the Roughshod Records Photo Gallery and our YouTube Channel to see photos and live footage of the presentation.
The new acquisitions are;
1. DVD: Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger Awards Ceremony & performance at the 2016 41st Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, where Mike receives the Lifetime Achievement Award and James receives the Instrumental CD of the Year Award.
2. DVD: Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger 2016 Main Stage performance with Mike's old friends, Terry Smith and Bill Lear. This was a particular treat for James' Grandparents who are die-hard Terry Smith fans.
Roughshod Records CDs:
51st CD "Let Me Die In a Honky Tonk" 2016 * Mike Johnson (Received the 2017 "Legendary Honky Tonk CD of the Year" Award)
52nd CD "My Heart Still Sees" 2016 * James Adelsberger (Nominated for 2017 "Original Classic Country CD of the Year" Award)
54th CD "Covering James Adelsberger 2017 * Mike Johnson
You and Me Records CDs:
3rd CD "Going Places" Instrumental 2017 * James Adelsberger
4th CD "Here We Go Again" Instrumental 2017 * James Adelsberger
For those of you who don't know, both of Mike Johnson's labels, and You and Me Music Publishing, were created on 13 June 1987 by Mike during his Nashville recording days. However, the songs that should have been released on You and Me Records were released on the Roughshod label. Mike has always been busy, but he simply had too many irons in the fire, including his full-time job as a long-distance trucker, to be juggling two labels and two publishing companies, magazine publishing, etc. He was retired from trucking when he signed up James Adelsberger in 2012 and saw this gifted musician's versatility as the perfect vehicle to produce You and Me Records material.
So, that's it in a nutshell. Make no mistake, we're still plodding along, a little slower albeit, but still moving forward. And we hope to see some of you at this year's 43rd Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa!
Adios, from myself and Mike Johnson. And, Happy Easter 2018!
Joe Arnold, manager, Roughshod Records