Taylor  Swift

We were so excited to have the young gal perform on the Jack Ingram show,

and to see her right when Miss Taylor Swift was just ready to take the

tremendous ride that she is on now in the music business beyond a







CUT TO:  Taylor Swift’s 2018 Reputation Concert LA Rose Bowl From MeandMerle.com

Taylor Swift would kick off her 2018 REPUTATION STADIUM TOUR at the Rose Bowl in Glendale, California on May 8, 2018, with the 53-show tour grossing $345+ million in revenue and becoming her most successful tour and the highest-grossing concert tour in the United States.  The two nights at the Rose Bowl saw more than 118,000 fans earning $16 million.  While I am working on this Jimmie Rodgers to Merle Haggard music chronicle and reading about the show in Rolling Stone and other online publications, she reminds me and the thousands of people after her dynamite opening set had been performed when she took a moment to thank her fans in Southern California saying, “I love a Southern California crowd, there’s nothing like you guys.  I have played this area now 41 times, all beginning with my debut show here at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip back in 2006, when I was only 16 years old, and here I am now with 60,000 of you in the Rose Bowl stadium.”  Welper that night with this sweet teen with superstar vibes sure made her mark on me.  She signed a picture to my daughter Ashley Delsenia, “DREAM HUGE.”  I think back to walking her in the dark backdoor entrance to the Whisky not knowing, but had a feeling about this teen with a huge dream was on a fast track up music mountain.

CUT TO:  The Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip 2006

During the summer of 2006, I was producing a county music night each Monday night at the world-famous Whisky on the Strip.  I teamed up with my saddle pal and partner on the Pioneer Troubadour project Pete Kennedy with acts like Junior Brown, Leon Russell, Rosie Flores, Louie Ortega, Buck Page of the Original Riders of the Purple Sage, Dave Somerville of the Diamonds, and a bandwagon of the local country acts like Austin Hanks,  and on the night that Taylor mentioned I had Texas singer/songwriter Jack Ingram, who was signed by Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Records and was on his way with a number of top ten hits on the country charts.  Jack had also worked with Miranda Lambert back in her teenage and early years touring Texas with her band and was friends with Travis Howard.  Rumor had it there was a picture of Travis, Jack and I was in the back of her bus, then I saw it hanging on the wall at Miranda’s Pink Pistol store in Oklahoma.  I see these things and now write them and feel my life has been a free Saturday matinee at the theater in Weatherford, Texas.  Great synergy between knowing Jack, Travis and Miranda and would again tell stories to Merle.  Things like this would always remind him of something from his past and we jump track and he would tell a great story to me.  Got to see Jack a couple of time on the road with Haggard. 

A week or so before the Whisky show I got a call from Scott Borchetta who was setting fire to a new trail he was cutting with the likes of Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Shania Twain, after signing Jack and really who was Scott’s first signed talent that was getting radio airplay and put a fire under the development of his company.  Jack told me on the call that he had one of his new acts doing a radio tour in California and wondered if I could put her on the show opening for Travis and Jack.  I told him that if Jack was alright with it, and since he (Scott) requested it and was head of Jack's record label, I am a go for it.  Scott then told me there might be a problem in that she is only 16, and we might need to sneak her in the bar.  I said I was game.  He then told me she just had a song released a couple of weeks ago and it is starting to chart called “Tim McGraw” and her name was Taylor Swift.  In that I had KZLA radio as a sponsor of the show and the name venue he thought it be a great press stop for her.  I called Travis Howard who I had opening the show and told him about the addition, and he was ok with it and did not have any idea who she was at the time.  That night I did in fact have to sneak her in the back door when we had Jack’s band come in the back door of the club.  Prior to the gig on her July 22 Myspace page she said, “I’m so excited, we’re going to Los Angeles next week to play at the Whisky a Go Go.  It’s LEGENDEARY and we are so thrilled.  Right now, we’re on the bus on the way to Knoxville for a show, and we are about to practice.  More later!”

Up in the Green Room that was really painted black, I was very impressed with the outgoing young blond and the focus in her eyes and seeing as they say, an “old soul” peeping out.  She was cute and confident and loaded with talent as I watched her play guitar working on a song by Eminem with her two band members.  Jack Ingram, Travis Howard and I knew this gal was on track to be a star is born.  Over a decade later I hear Jack in an interview say, “I knew the moment I met Taylor she knew exactly who she was going to be, and if she didn’t make it, she was going to fail spectacularly.  It is about knowing who you are.”  All five songs that she performed that night went double platinum over the next year.  Her debut album Taylor Swift which hit #1 on the country charts, sold nearly 6 million copies in the U.S., spawned hits like “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Tim McGraw” and “Permanent Marker,” and garnered her a Best New Artist Grammy nomination. 


Just to keep some more of the spirt of Gonzo writing while been writing this part of the Teen Angels track the following Taylor Swift news story came out online at carolinianuncg.com

“One must first acknowledge Jimmie Rodgers and Hank to understand the evolution of the singer songwriter. Roger was one of the first of this kind of musician, playing with his harmonica and guitar. Very simple music and his lyrics and voice touched the hearts of millions across the United States.  Taylor Swift a country singer.  With her first album being self-titled in 2006.  And entirely country music. Then as she progressed, she began to mix country music with pop music and rock music. Producing such albums as Fearless.  Now, however, Red takes country and turns it on its head. Mixing it with not only pop music styles but also with lyrics that go beyond that of the standard country song.  Songs like “All Too Well,” and “I Knew You Were In Trouble” are not country songs but they are soft pop songs.  The songs on this album are based not only in county songs but are based not only in country but also are in the music that came before it, like that of folk music."

So even with this Reading, PA teen some Jimmie Rodgers comes into the story that I am writing about a teenage girl in the Haggard tale I am writing.  Merle love me keeping him up with stories like doing the show where Miss Swift shows up and then for the years we would chat about here super start train ride to the top of music mountain.  MEANDMERLE.COM

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