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Top-Rail News Flash! * 21 June 2020 * Happy Father's Day!

Howdy Top-Rail Bunch,

   Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there! I hope you have a pleasant and enjoyable day with your families. Stay Safe and stay healthy.

   On the 13th of June I celebrated my 74th birthday. A birthday video was posted via a request from Donald Ewert of Milwaukee, one of the very first subscribers to my Top-Rail Chatter Independent Country Music Magazine [1995-2003] from its first publication to the last. For being a consistent loyal fan and purchaser of my music, several years ago I told him that his money was no longer welcomed here. That any of Roughshod Records music or other products are his for the asking. He is one of several that I had extended the same privilege to over the years.


Donald Ewert’s “Mike Johnson 74th Birthday Video” Request" target="_blank">


   "Thank You Donald, for all your years of support, and also for the birthday card. Donald, as well as my friend Terry Smith, whom I met in June 1994 at a Jamboree in Michigan have sent me a birthday card ever since.

   "Thanks for the birthday card Terry. And I'm glad you're home safe and sound. We’ll talk when you’re settled." Terry had been out of state to help care for his sister.

   Andy Nocero, a local Northern Virginia music icon recently sent out a notice to us about the Alan Byrd Tribute he was formulating. A tentative date was set for 12 July 2020 at Lorraine Campbell's JVs Restaurant, an iconic music spot in Annandale, Virginia. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 issue he's asking whether or not to keep that date or post-pone it again. Granted, also with consideration for Lorraine's booking schedule, those acts being a major draw to her establishment, which by the way has been there since the 1940s! Alan, another notable musician friend, passed away in February 2020.

   Another iconic music friend Rocky Guttmann is recovering from a thumb surgery and won't be able to play for several months. Fortunately he and his wife are retired so living funds aren’t an issue. Get better Rocky. "Hi Mary!"


   My friend Aharon, who retired early this year from 35 years of running a show repair & dry cleaning business, is once again in a dispute with adjacent Lyon Hall Restaurant, who has once again extended their outside property boundary across his property and the right-of-way between their properties. I’m in the process of drafting his complaint and compiling documents to help him address this issue [again] and file a complaint with the County Zoning Board. Lyon Hall moved next door two years after Aharon opened his new shop and very arrogantly began placing their equipment on some of his property. It was finally resolved and they had to remove their items.

   This time Lyon Hall is using the pandemic and that fact that Aharon’s shop is vacant [space for lease] to justify their actions! They’ve indicated the ‘problem’ would go away if leased some space to them. Aharon is adamant that is never going to happen! So, another addition to my to-do list that basically is now at the top of it. Oh, I’ve known Aharon since 1994 and he has taken very good care of my boots and stage clothes. One thing I can most definitely claim is that at no time in my life have I ever had “nothing” to do!


   One more music thing I don't believe I mentioned in the last newsletter. While checking my CD Baby distribution account I discovered that they had terminated their online CD store. I believe you can still purchase via their downloadable coupons, or something like that? Seems they are engaging more and more into music licensing and royalty collections for its members. I'm not concerned because a lot of my music is available directly from the Roughshod Records webstore.


   So, in concluding this newsletter, I don’t feel there’s a need for me to rehash what is currently going on in the US. I’m sure some of you are getting your share and more from news broadcasts, internet, and social media. Whatever your feelings, the most important thing is to stay informed, stay safe, stay healthy, and take care of your families.

Adios Amigos!

Mike Johnson


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