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Dr. Harry Yates & Joanne Cash Yates Inducted into Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame

By: May. 24, 2013
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"It is with a great deal of pride, and certainly affection, that we announce the second and third inductees into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame for 2013." Bob Everhart is the president of the National Traditional Country Music Assn., and has been since 1976. "We received our 501(c)3 status in 1982 and have been working hard keeping traditional and classic country music alive." Everhart said. "Part of that 'genre' of early country music has certainly been Gospel music. It is a stalwart here in the upper Midwest, especially in our rural areas, but it seems to be somewhat diluted in large urban areas. Perhaps that is why we have selected two incredibly deserving individuals for Hall of Fame honors this year."

"Quoting Donna Campbell Smith," Everhart noted, "is probably the easiest way to begin this story. "For those who don't know what Cowboy Church is, I'll share a little history. In the city of Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Harry Yates, and his wife Joanne Cash Yates (Johnny Cash's younger sister), felt led to a new ministry that would serve the thousands of tourists that flocked to the Country Music Capital of the World every year. In keeping with the country-western theme of Nashville, Dr. Yates started the cowboy style services in the Silverwater Lounge of the Holiday Inn. Show business folks in the city found this simple come-as-you-are form of worshipping comfortable as well. Soon Cowboy Church outgrew their meeting place and they moved to a larger venue (today it is held at the Texas Troubadour Theater every Sunday at 10am), and from there more Cowboy Churches were organized across the country and internationally as well."

According to Everhart, "Dr. Yate's Cowboy Church is broadcast into more than 110 countries through WSM Radio; Serius/XM; and WWCR. That amounts to several million listeners. Dr. Yates is an incredibly professional Evangelist, and has ministered in all 50 states and in 34 countries. His devout dedication to Jesus Christ has been with him all his life, and we are very pleased to be able to induct him into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame, not only for his Cowboy Church work, but for his musical abilities, especially the more than 50 albums he has produced for singing artists and groups."

"Dr. Harry Yates married Joanne Cash in 1971, and the couple soon dedicated themselves to full time music ministry, traveling with her two daughters. As the younger sister of the legendary Johnny Cash, Joanne has certainly made her way in the music industry. With 26 historic recordings, and her acclaimed autobiography "My Fears Are Gone" as well as her many concert appearances, and having spent several years working at the historic House of Cash (Johnny Cash's publishing company) the singer-songwriter is driven by a deeper sense of eternal purpose. According to Ms. Cash, "My main purpose in this music is to win the lost and uplift the downtrodden. I don't think we have much time left before Christ comes again and I want to be everything I can be for Jesus. I've seen so many people try and build their kingdom in music, but I don't worry about any of that earthly gain. When you let God do it, that's when the real effectiveness happens."

Growing up in the Cash family alongside Johnny, plus fellow siblings, Reba, Jack, Tommy, Roy, and Louise, some of her earliest memories from their Dyess, Arkansas upbringing was singing spiritual standards in the cotton fields while working in the steamy sun, after which the family would convene inside for old time radio programs. Joanne still clings to those precious memories of her formative years on that Arkansas cotton farm. "I lived there the first 17 years of my life. I know where every table was, every lamp, the piano, the pictures. What a joy it is going to be for Tommy and me to go back in that house like it was when we lived there. They say you can't go back, but Tommy and I are gonna get to." Joanne is referring to the restoration of the Cash home, which will be open in 2014. "The two major things about our home I remember most was the love of God that my family had. My mother was a very godly woman, and the Bible was read in our house on a daily basis. Daddy worked hard. Everybody had a job to do. I have compared our family life to the TV program The Waltons, except they had a large house. Growing up on The Farm, going to Dyess Central Baptist Church, praying about everything, singing in the cotton fields, singing at night when we would come home after supper, after the dishes were washed. We'd gather around mother's old upright piano. Mama played the piano. She didn't know a note of music, but she could hear a song once and play it. She taught Johnny his first three chords on a Sears-Roebuck catalog guitar."

Joanne Cash has an extremely good album out today, called simply 'Joanne Cash - Gospel' much of it recorded with her brother Johnny. Both Joanne and her husband Harry perform on Nashville's Cowboy Church, and both have repeatedly performed on the Grand Ole Opry, and many other venues around the world.

Dr. Harry Yates, and Dr. Joanne Cash Yates will be inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame onFriday, August 30th, 8pm at the 38th annual National Old Time Country-Bluegrass-Folk Music Festival, Contest and Pioneer Expo of Rural Lifestyle, in LeMars, Iowa. According to Everhart, "This acoustic musical event now consists of seven days (Aug 26-Sept 1, 2013) and has no less than ten stages with well over 650 performers, singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, and bands. One of our stages is a Gospel stage, which we simply call "Jesus's Church." Another stage is located in an old-time fur-trader rendezvous village, which is actually set up in an old Pioneer ghost town. Another of our stages is a dance hall where we have musical shows in the daytime, and old-time rural dances in the evening, even including a polka dance. Another stage is where we conduct workshops in the day time and contests on the weekend. An interesting non-amplified stage is the front porch of an old log cabin. Stages everywhere, from the most professional participants to those just beginning, we make a place for anyone that wants to perform old-time country or bluegrass, and even folk music. It's also an event intended for everyone. Our elderly come from around the world, and our young come mostly from Iowa. We do not allow any liquor or illicit drugs, so I suspect it won't be for everyone, but we still maintain a Christian atmosphere, and sing praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, which is why it is so important for us to have Johnny Cash's sister Joanne with us, and her very dedicated husband Dr. Harry Yates. Our first selection this year is for Ed Bruce, an incredible songwriter, and a very strong Christian. We will be making more announcements later on for additional inductees."


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