Friday, July 24, 2009

Jim Dickinson benefit

He's a friend of mine and one of the leading lights of modern music

Friends, family will host benefit for ailing star Jim Dickinson

By Bob Mehr

Friday, July 17, 2009

For more than 50 years, Jim Dickinson has been helping a wide range of artists create some of the most memorable music of all time. Now, local and national music communities are rallying around the venerable Memphis pianist and producer as he recovers from a series of life-threatening health problems.

During the course of his half-century career, Dickinson has built a reputation as a session player for the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, a producer for Big Star and the Replacements, a sometime solo artist, and patriarch of a small musical dynasty that includes sons Cody and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.

But over the last couple months, the 67-year-old Dickinson has undergone several major medical procedures, including triple bypass surgery, that have kept him in the hospital.

As he continues to recover, a group of fans and fellow musicians will be honoring and aiding him with a series of benefit concerts in Memphis and Los Angeles.

The Memphis concert will be at The Peabody Skyway on Aug. 8 and will feature singer/songwriter John Hiatt, Amy LaVere the North Mississippi Allstars, Sid Selvidge and Jimmy Crosthwait, Shannon McNally, and Jimbo Mathus, among others. Tickets go on sale today.

Dickinson's health woes began following a high-profile performance with Elvis Costello at the Beale Street Music Festival in May.

After a physical revealed serious cardiac issues, Dickinson was immediately sent into surgery where doctors at Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital in Germantown put in a pair of stents, then sent him home to rest up for bypass surgery.

Dickinson was in good health and spirits when The Commercial Appeal caught up with him at his Coldwater, Miss., home in late May, to talk about the release of his new album, Dinosaurs Run in Circles. He remarked that he was feeling like "a new man" and that the stents had actually helped the flow of blood and oxygen and decreased the arthritis in his hands, making piano playing a joy once again.

However, just before he was to celebrate the CD release with a show at Huey's on May 31, he had to be rushed back to the hospital with complications.

He remained there before finally undergoing triple bypass surgery on June 24. Two days later he went into cardiac arrest. He was revived and spent the past few weeks recuperating in the cardiac intensive care unit.

Earlier this week, Dickinson was relocated to a rehabilitation facility. He's expected to make a slow, but full recovery under the watchful eye of his wife, Mary Lindsay Dickinson, though no timetable has been set for his return home.

"He's feeling better," says his son, Luther Dickinson. "We're maybe hoping he can get back home in the next few weeks, and that he'll be back to his normal self before too long. That's what we're all praying for."

Given Dickinson's mounting medical bills and the fact that he will be unable to work indefinitely, a group of family, friends and fellow musicians -- led by Luther Dickinson and Memphis International records head David Less -- have banded together to stage a pair of benefit concerts in Memphis and Los Angeles.

The Memphis benefit in August will be held under the aegis of Sid Selvidge's nonprofit Beale Street Caravan Foundation.

"Everybody was real enthusiastic about being a part of it," says Luther Dickinson of the artists involved.

A Los Angeles benefit for Dickinson is being planned for later this year, or possibly in early 2010, with performers yet to be announced.

Jim Dickinson Benefit Concert

Featuring John Hiatt, North Mississippi Allstars, and Amy LaVere, among others. 6 p.m. Aug. 8, at The Peabody Skyway, 149 Union Ave. Tickets go on sale today. Single tickets start at $125; tables for 10 are $1,000 and "Golden Circle" tables cost $2,000. Checks are tax-deductible and can be made out to Beale Street Caravan Inc., and mailed to: Ardent Records, 2000 Madison Ave. Memphis, TN 38104. For more information or to purchase, contact Elizabeth Montgomery Brown with Ardent Studio at (901) 725-0855.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cowboys Stadium - Size Matters

Join me on the tour of the new Cowboys Stadium. It really is bigger than Dallas.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Joe Nick and the Goose

Linda Banks posted this on the wonderful Willie Nelson web site
so I had to put it up here.

She wrote: "I have wanted Goose Gossage’s autograph for a while, he’s a Colorado hero, and so I try at Willie’s shows here in Colorado, Red Rocks, but have always just missed him. I almost did in Austin, but he was so busy.

"Then I look up on the stage in Austin at Poodie’s Picnic, and there’s Joe Nick Patoski hanging out with him!"

Next time, Linda, we'll both yak with him.

Janis from Texas y yo

Monday, July 13, 2009

Join Joe Nick at the Summer Writing Retreat in Far West Texas

With pen in hand, or keyboard at the fingertips........

Two weeks from today, on July 27, I'll be leading a weeklong writers' workshop as part of the Writers' League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat at Sul Ross University in Alpine.

Making Book: Turning Your Nonfiction Idea in to Reality is the subject.

Writing is hard enough. Hopefully, by talking about it, doing some writing, and sharing some experiences, we can all sharpen our game.

It's going to be some kind of fun, concluding with the West Out West Texas Book Festival on Saturday August 1. Come on out and join me where the summer nights are the coolest and the stars are the starriest in all of Texas.

Click on the headline or go to for all the details.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Selena Etc. Boutique Closes in Corpus Christi

The one interview I had with Selena, nine months before her death, all she wanted to talk about was her new boutiques in San Antonio and Corpus Christi and her fashion line. Music was almost beside the point. The boutiques were one of the few things that was not a family enterprise, but rather hers and hers alone. She was clearly proud of being an independent businesswoman. The San Antonio boutique shut down shortly after she was killed. The Corpus boutique however has remained open, largely as a touchstone for Selena fans. Until now. It's another reminder of what once was, and what could have been. There has been no one like Selena, before or since, which makes her passing nearly 15 years ago all the sadder.

from the website, home of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

Boutique and salon named after slain Tejano singer opened in 1993
By Fanny S. Chirinos (Contact)
Originally published 01:51 p.m., June 29, 2009
Updated 05:20 p.m., June 29, 2009

CORPUS CHRISTI — Selena Etc. Boutique and Salon, named after the late Tejano singer Selena, has shut its doors.
The store’s phone number has been disconnected, there no longer is merchandise inside and there’s a for sale sign in the window of the building in the 4900 block of Everhart Road.
Calls and e-mails in the past week to Selena’s family were not returned.
George Clower, vice president of The Clower Co., said the for sale sign went up about a week ago, just after the merchandise was removed. The building is owned by Chris Perez, Selena’s widower, and appraised at $91,454, according to the Nueces County Appraisal District.
Clower said the asking price is $165,000 and he has received several inquiries.
“Some of it could be due to the history of the place, but it’s in a good central location and has plenty of traffic,” Clower said.
Attempts on Monday to reach Perez were unsuccessful.
Selena was killed in March 1995 and at the time of her death was known as the Queen of Tejano Music. She won a Grammy in 1993 and later that year opened two Selena Etc. boutiques, one in Corpus Christi and the second in San Antonio.
The San Antonio boutique closed after Selena’s death.
The stores featured a full-service salon as well as Selena memorabilia and fashions, some of them designed by the artist. They also sold jewelry, hats and other accessories.
Fans still may enjoy her designs and mementos at the Selena Museum inside Q Productions at 5410 Leopard St.

And from the website, home of the San Antonio Express-News:
by Michael Quintanilla, Express-News

The boutique and salon named after Selena, the slain Tejana singer who was killed 14 years ago, has closed its doors, the victim of a slow economy, according to her father, Abe Quintanilla.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times online edition reported that a "for sale" sign for the Selena Etc. Boutique and Salon, owned by Selena's widower, Chris Perez, went up about a week ago. Merchandise has been removed, the shop's phone number is no longer in service and the asking price for the property appraised at $91,454 is $165,000, George Clower, vice president of The Clower Co., a real estate service company told the paper.

The popular singer, who was born in Lake Jackson, a Houston suburb, was killed in March 1995, a month shy of her 24th birthday. At the time of her death she was known as the Queen of Tejano Music, having won a Grammy in 1993 for Best Mexican-American album, "Selena Live!"

Later that year she opened two Selena Etc. boutiques, one in Corpus Christi where the family had moved in 1981, and the second in San Antonio. The San Antonio boutique closed after Selena's death.

Her boutiques featured a full-service salon as well as Selena memorabilia and fashions, some designed by the singer who was known for creating many of her own stage looks, including her famous purple — her favorite color — sequined jumpsuit.

Selena's father, Abe Quintanilla, told KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi that he decided to close the boutique because coupled with a weak economy the boutique was outside of the main focus of "Q Productions" which has always been on the music. He said the family kept the boutique open out of respect for Selena as the shop was her special project.

Quintanilla reported Selena's fans can find some the boutique's merchandise at the gift shop inside Selena's Museum at Q Productions in Corpus Christi.

The songstress was part of a band called Los Dinos that included her brother AB on bass and her sister Suzette on drums. They played in the family's restaurant and later at weddings and parties. The band's big break came in 1987 when, at 15, Selena won the Tejano Music Award for Female Entertainer of the Year. That led to a contract with Capitol Records and six successful albums.

In the early 1990s Selena branched out musically as well as clothing designer with her own line and married Perez, a guitarist.

Selena was murdered by Yolanda Saldivar, her friend and president of her fan club on March 31, 1995, the day she was due in a studio to work on her first English album. Saldivar was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.