During my early years, I attended many country music shows with my parents. My grandmother was a big fan of a radio show in Knoxville, TN called “The Midday Merry Go Round.” It was an audience show, and her one desire was to go to see the show. My mom and dad took her, and my sister and I tagged along. It was fun watching stars that later became big names. Every day at noon, Granny would listen to that show. We ate before it came on because like we sit in front of a television now, we sat in front of the radio.
One of my cousins wanted to write country music. His name was Kim Williams, and Kim was in a terrible electrical accident as a young man. He was burned over 75% of his body and had a lot of skin grafts and other surgeries. He was lucky to survive the injury. We were at his house after the accident, and he was waiting for the settlement from the insurance company. He said, “You remember the Merle Haggard song, If I Make It Through December? That’s how I feel now.” He did make it through December, and he went to Nashville to start writing songs. He was inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame with several number one hits.
He passed away suddenly several years ago. His music has lived on with hits by Garth Brooks, Joe Diffie, and I don’t know how many others. At his memorial service, Garth Brooks spoke. He said, “When my manager told me I was getting a new song writer by the name of Kim Williams, I said,’I hope she’s pretty.'” Kim’s face was scared from the accident, but he had a big heart.
This brings me up to Friday night. Kim’s first number one hit was, “If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets” recorded by Joe Diffie. It was also Joe Diffie’s first number one hit. We are lucky to have the Kentucky Opry very close to our house. Last year when Joe Diffie was here, I didn’t get to go back stage, didn’t know I could, but this year I did. He was very nice, and we talked and laughed about some of Kim Williams stories.
Even though it snowed Saturday and Sunday, I had a great weekend.
Kathy Cretsinger, Mantle Rock Publishing