Once you get to the 3rd floor of the Country Music Hall of fame, and I really hope you do, you will find there a few key exhibits which will explain why country music is so popular and so rooted in the story of working people in America.

There is one little stop….shrine?…..along that top floor which caught my eye and, because I spent so long watching and re-watching, took up the time I’d meant to spend elsewhere. So even though I had to hurry through ‘Dylan and The Nashville Cats’ I don’t regret lingering awhile in front of a screen showing an excerpt from a 1950s music TV show introduced by June Carter. It featured The Three Musketeers; Webb Pierce, Carl Smith and Marty Robbins…..all singing George Jones’s, ‘Why Baby Why.’ There’s nothing particularly special about Webb and Carl – though there’s nothing wrong with any of it – but what kept me watching and listening was Marty Robbins. Seeing him in that TV clip I began to understand why he had been this great figure in country music. My eyes didn’t lie and I couldn’t take my eyes of Marty.


It was the Mid 50’s when this clip was filmed and many things would happen to popular music in the years between this and Marty’s death in 1982 aged 57. We don’t really need to make an excuse to celebrate Marty’s music but we should say he is probably one of the first country artist to make a ‘concept’ album. ‘Gun Fighter Ballads and Trail Songs’ from 1959 is a must-have in any country collection. It’s also 90 years since his birth and on Another Country this Tuesday we’ll celebrate his music through his own brilliant recordings and listen to the effect his music has had on Country Music. We’ll he’ll some great interpretations of his recordings from Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Johnnie and Jack and even the late Kirsty MacColl.

We will also have plenty new music to play you too. Currently I’ve been smitten by the new Dave Rawlings Machine, ‘Nashville Obsolete’ album which finally was released on Friday. We’ll hear from Low, Noah Gunderson, Joe Pug, Betty Soo, Neil Young on fine vinyl form…..and lots more.

Join me from five past nine this Tuesday evening.

On Sunday

I will be spending most of the first hour with a broadcasting legend. Gloria Hunniford knows a thing or two about TV and radio and her own faith has been severely tested in recent years. I will be asking the woman who has heard so many tales of others where she goes to reflect on her own story.

We’ll be speaking to Alistair McIntosh about a book he’s co-written with Matt Carmichael. “Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service”  He’ll tell us what he means by this and explain how over the past half century the issues facing activists have changed, as has our understanding and awareness of spirituality. For activists, spiritual philosophy is rising up the agenda because it offers distinct, tried and tested approaches to deep questions: Where did it all go wrong? What does it mean to be human? What is the place of leadership? What is the nature of power?


Plus we’re off to the movies to see ‘Captive,’ in which a woman taken hostage and reads Rick Warren’s ‘A Purpose Driven Life’ to her captor.  Warren’s book is one of the biggest selling Christian books of all time. Spolier alert? We’ll try not to!

Music from Hem, Sandy Denny , Feist and Willie Tee and The Staple Singers.

It all starts at five past ten and both shows are on BBC Radio Scotland.