Obama Needs Batra
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
To the editor: Great article on Ravi Batra, our “Prophet of Boom (and Bust)” (Dec. 17, 2008). I believe a tipping point is coming from mainstream people who hear Ravi’s solutions. This economic education from Ravi will cause a “people’s revolution” necessary to demand the daring solutions he offers our country. Obama would be wise to have Mr. Batra on his presidential economic advisory council as a counterweight to prevailing wrongheaded policies.
Friends of Roy
To the editor: I was Roy Stamps’ best friend for 30 years, and I want to thank you for the article about him (“Phases and Stages,” Jan. 7, 2009). It displayed the love the man had for “his” music. I was with Roy through most of those things you wrote about, including prison. When he died we were working at the same company with the same friends. Some may not like the article, but I am living testimony that you described him to a tee. He was the greatest friend a man could possibly have, and I miss him deeply each day. Know this: He will be in the hearts of all those he touched for a long time. That is what made my friend immortal. I was truly blessed those many years ago to meet him, and I can’t thank you enough for what you wrote. He was country music’s greatest fan, and I know that today he isn’t in pain, and he and Mickey Newbury are up in heaven writing and promoting new praises to the Lord I know he loved.
To the editor: I read Jeff Prince’s story on Roy Stamps at lunch today and found it to be one of the best pieces he has written in his time at Fort Worth Weekly. It was great that you were able to cultivate this rich local source of information about a great musical era. I was amazed that Mr. Stamps’ memory and mementos were intact after the hard life he had lived.
You should pursue a biography of the Outlaw country music scene of the 1970s in Texas. I have heard so many stories over the years of their gigs, travels, and partying, but it is hard to tell what is embellished and what is true. Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Kinky Friedman, etc., would be great sources to add to the project too, as they all seem to have collided with Willie, Waylon, and others at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin at the height of their careers.
To the editor: That was a wonderfully written piece that Jeff Prince did on Roy Stamps, whom I never knew existed until this morning. I grew up in Houston and then in East Texas in the mid-1960s and early ’70s, and my parents were huge music fans, especially beer joint, honky-tonk music, because they had so little money and these places were all they could afford. They would take me, because they couldn’t afford a babysitter, and I really liked those smoky, beery places with the twangy amps and steel guitars. I would imagine that many a country artist passed through places like those, and it was Roy Stamps — or passionate music lovers like him — who took the artists out of those places and put them onto vinyl and into the airwaves, where millions could enjoy them. When you think of the lives we lead, they are boring and mundane compared to that of Stamps. He was true to himself and loved until the end. I think his story could be a great one for cinema. I think there is definitely something there for you to work with, and there is a ton of interest. I look forward to your next article.
To the editor: Just wanted to let you know how beautiful your story about Roy Stamps turned out to be. Thanks for focusing on the man and not his problems. Roy may not have made a fortune from his endeavors, but he left you, me, and millions of other Texas Music lovers much, much richer. I was aware of the Mickey Newbury gatherings; maybe others will now be able to appreciate his work. No, Mickey isn’t Jesus (that title might go to Guy Clark), but he without a doubt was a songwriter coming from a different level of spiritualism.
P.S. Brett Dillion on KHYI has the best radio program I’ve heard since the old KZEW days ... yes, the real old KZEW days (’73-’75).
Long Live JMT
To the editor: I think James Michael Taylor’s Stranger album is one of the best albums I have ever heard, but without a doubt, it is one of the best “songwriters” albums ever recorded (“Cheer and Jeers ‘08,” Jan. 7, 2009). JMT has so many great albums out it is stunning! The man is in his 60s and looks like he is going on 90, and I think it would be a tragedy for the world to wait until he is gone to discover his great trove of unbelievable music – or worse, to never discover him at all. May I suggest you do (at least) a small segment on a different JMT album each issue? That would give you something like 20 to 25 issues’ worth of pieces, and give the world a chance to know James Michael Taylor.
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