Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Southern Quotables - Dolly Parton

"It takes a lot of money to look this cheap."
-Dolly Parton

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Grand Ole Opry

85 years ago yesterday the WSM Barn Dance aired on AM 650 in Nashville, Tennessee.  That may not sound very exciting, but on December 10, 1927, it was renamed The Grand Ole Opry.  Before doing a little research I had no idea that after an artist passes he or she is no longer a standing member of the Grand Ole Opry.  I assumed it was like a Who's Who or a Hall of Fame, but Nashville already has the Country Music Hall of Fame.  At one time they had to make 26 appearances a year and only got paid $44 which made being a member a hardship on some performers.  Things have changed since then.

Anybody that has been to Nashville knows that the Ryman Auditorium is the most famous former home of the Grand Ole Opry.  If you know that you probably also know that there is a circle of the stage, about 5 feet in diamater, that was taken from the Ryman and was installed on the current Grand Ole Opry House stage.  That circle, as well as the rest of the stage, was submerged under 46 inches of water during the May 2010 flood.  The circle had to be refurbished but was reinstalled on August 25, 2010 with help from Little Jimmy Dickens and Brad Paisley.

Speaking of Little Jimmy Dickens he is the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry.  The Opry website says his mailbox is the only one out of alphabetical order at the Opry House to cater to his 4'11" stature. You probably saw him at the 2010 CMA's and if not check out the YouTube video.

Other members include, but are not limited to (in no particular order): Garth Brooks, Clint Black, Trace Adkins, Loretta Lynn, Blake Shelton, Vince Gill, Roy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton and many more.

Shows are still played at the Ryman and of course you can see a show at the Grand Ole Opry House too.  Click the links, take a visit to Music City and take in a show or two while you are there.

Got a Nashville or Opry story, or see something I overlooked/left out/got wrong?  Lemme know about any and all in the comments.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

The Great (cheap) Bourbon Discovery

I'm cheap and I like bourbon, and I was out to find the bourbon that gave me the best bang for the buck.

Jim Beam 750mL - $14.99
Jim Beam is the old standby; currently the most popular bourbon in the U.S.  For smoothness and all around flexibility Jim beam is pretty awesome, but I was interested in how some cheaper alternatives tasted.

Evan Williams (Black Label) 750mL - $11.99
Evan Williams was just a little to harsh for me.  Something didn't hit me right, it would probably work well as a mixer.

Old Grand Dad 750mL - $11.49
Old Grand Dad had some kind of interesting character that I couldn't put my finger on, but it wasn't a good kind of interesting.  It reminded me of amaretto or some other kind of nutty liqueur.  I say pass.

Old Crow 1 Liter - $10.29
For my money Old Crow is the winner.  It's a little harsh if you drink it straight (I still do it after adding a touch of water) but it is awesome when mixing with coke and probably even with Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale (I'll have to try that combo soon).  It was once the most popular bourbon in the U.S.

Bourbon facts from Wikipedia:

  • Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn (maize).[1]
  • Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).
  • Neither coloring nor flavoring may be added.
  • Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels[1]
  • Bourbon must be entered into the barrel at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).
  • Bourbon, like other whiskeys, may be bottled at not less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume.)
  • Bourbon that meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.[2]
  • Straight Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
  • If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.
  • Only whiskey produced in the United States can be called bourbon.[3]

All whiskeys reviewed above are legally bourbon.

*All prices are from the Alabama Beverage Control Board PDF.

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