Last night, Charlie Louvin was the host of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. As many of you know, Charlie had surgery just several weeks ago for pancreatic cancer, and as Charlie himself said last night, the surgery was not successful. So for him to be hosting this show last night was just amazing and what an event it was.
For those who did not see it, Charlie spent the entire show sitting in a chair at the center of the stage. He did sing several songs and sounded pretty good. With the camera a bit far away, it was hard to tell how he looked, but he did take off his hat and mentioned about his lack of hair. Charlie was also very engaging with the guest stars that came out for the show. And, what a group of stars it was. Among those singing were Grand Ole Opry members Jean Shepard, Bill Anderson, Jan Howard and Carol Lee Cooper. Bill Anderson did an absolutely awesome, "I Think I'll Go Somewhere And Cry Myself To Sleep." Also performing were Glen Davis, Jennifer O'Brien and many more of his friends. Many of the songs performed were gospel numbers and they seemed to be sung at the request of Charlie, or with the mention on how much they knew Charlie loved this particular song. He did mention that Sonny Osborne was backstage and looking great and he said a special hello to his wife Betty, who was sitting in the first row, although the camera did not show her.
Normally the Midnight Jamboree lasts a little more than an hour. Last night, after 90 minutes, the show was still going strong with more artists to appear. The show really turned into a Charlie Louvin tribute and I think many of those who came to perform, did so to honor Charlie as their friend.
Charlie gave the impression that he really wants to keep going and remain active, even with the upcoming cancer treatments. But, with pancreatic cancer and the fact that the surgery was not successful, the options are limited and I am sure that at his age, it will be tough. Hopefully, he will be strong enough to do the Opry soon. And, speaking of the Opry, and I hate to do it in a bad way, they should also be planning a special show featuring Charlie. He has been a member for over 50 years, and in fact, I do believe he has been a part of the Opry longer than any current member. (Remember that Jimmy Dickens was gone from the Opry for a number of years).
If you missed it, the show will be on WSM next Saturday night at midnight and also the show will be posted on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop website, both in audio form and I think the video of the show will be there also. Usually they get it posted pretty quickly.
Finally, a special thanks to the folks at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, and to owner David McCormick for asking Charlie to host the midnight jamboree and for letting Charlie invite to be on the show whoever he wanted and allowing them to sing and perform. It is shows like this that makes the midnight jamboree special.