Kimmie Rhodes : Blog

Belfast Newsletter – The Guide – April 13, 2018

The Birthplace of Country Music

Radio Dreams Project – visits Johnson City, TN,  Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA –  April 4-7, 2018

I just spent a great week with John Gardner (my fave drummer who has played on many of my recordings since the mid 90s) and his wife Jennifer. John, who teaches music at ETSU University in Johnson City, TN,  hosted songwriting and music business lectures with me at the ETSU Reese Museum and the Appalachian Studies Department. We played “live” shows on NPR Radio WETS-FM ‘Studio One’ (hosted by Dave Carter) and I did an interview with Susan Lachmann for WETS-FM “Women on Air.” Also did a live show on WBCM Radio at The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia “Early Morning Americana” (hosted by Josh Littleton.) Then we ate a burger at the famous Burger Bar (claim to fame being the last place Hank Williams ate.)

Happy to say that my Radio Dreams book is now in the book shop at the Birth Place of Country Music Museum where plans are now in the works for future events there.

We played a private house concert and book signing and  then a gig at the famous Down Home venue with a stellar band of players John put together. The audience was fantastic.

Links and pictures are posted below along with excerpts from a couple of the radio shows.




Logo: The Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest V. Stoneman, and others – recordings that were influential in shaping the sounds and practices of early commercial country music. The museum explores how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music, and how music from our region continues to influence music around the world.

Early Morning Americana

Join Josh Littleton every weekday morning from 7:30am to 9:00am Eastern for “Early Morning Americana” featuring a wide variety of the most recent Americana releases with a healthy dose of bluegrass and classic country mixed in ensuring you’ll wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed.




Radio Bristol host Josh Littleton & Kimmie Rhodes                     Kimmie playing “live” with John Gardner


WETS-FM – ‘Studio One’ NPR – Johnson City, TN

(l-r) Mike Strickland, Kimmie Rhodes, Dave Carter (host) John Gardner


To listen to the entire WETS – FM show interview with DaveCarter and songs wit John Gardner press play below:



WETS-FM ETSU University “Women on Air”

This program, hosted by Susan Lachmann, promotes, supports and illuminates women’s voices.  Now in its 27th year, the program features guests ranging from regional musician Amythyst Kiah to author Adriana Trigiani.

“Women On Air” previously aired on WETS-FM’s HD2 Americana stream on Sunday evenings and overnight on Fridays.

Listeners may tune to WETS-FM 89.5 or visit to listen to the HD1 live stream.



Susan Lachmann with Kimmie Rhodes


To listen to “Women on Air” WETS-FM phone interview with host Susan Lachmann press play below:



One Foot in Virginia and one foot in Tennessee









Country Music Hall of Fame Archives Moving Day

Nothing like making some closet space!

The Country Hall of FameMuseum movers came last week and with the help of our dear daughter, Jolie Goodnight Gracey ,helped us to place 3o boxes plus of archives where they belong. Its an honor to have placed not just Joe Gracey’s legacy but to have his many archives find a home at the museum;  periodicals, artifacts and especially a vast number of rare reel to reel recordings done by Gracey in the 70s in Austin. Way before digital recording existed he dragged his 4 track TEAC recorder all over Austin and captured the spirit of what The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is calling “Country’s Roaring 70s” in their “Outlaws and Armadillos” exhibit which opens May 25 and will run for 3 years.

I also sent my Christian Lacroix dress I wore on the cover of my album “Angels Get The Blues” (recorded at Sun Studios with Cowboy Jack Clement) multi-tracks and archives that had to do with my “Outlaw Sweetheart” days working with Willie and Waylon and “the boys” and some platinum records I have received for my songs. It was an especially poignant moment to let go of my Rosewood D28 CF Martin guitar but I am happy and honored to have it there where it will also receive some badly needed repair.

Here below are some pictures of the big moving day and links to Rolling Stone, CMT and other articles announcing the opening of the exhibit. I’m excited to have been asked to perform at the big opening concert, which unfortunately is already sold out, especially because Delbert McClinton agreed to join me to sing his great song that was Emmylou’s first hit, “Two More Bottles Of Wine.”

Thanks so much to all of you who contributed to the Radio Dreams project to help make these promises to place these archives in safe-keeping where they can be properly catalogued and available for research for future generations of music lovers.

Onwards and upwards!




Read all about it here at the links below:


Rolling Stone:

CMT News:

Austin 360 – Peter Blackstock:

The Nashville Tennessean:

NewsOK Blog:


Country Music Magazine – Feature article by Jack Watkins – Spring 2018

RADIO DREAMS PROJECT – Crossroads of Music Archives/Southwest Collections Library – Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

What an adventure! I just spent last week in my hometown Lubbock, Texas with some really great people getting a LOT of good work done on the Radio Dreams Project, working in the Crossroads of Texas Music archives department at Texas Tech, helping hand over many pictures, recordings, writings, memorabilia, costumes, original scripts and drawings from theatre productions. I also visited and lectured a 20th Century Music, Texas Music Race Class and Gender, Women’s Studies and songwriting class.

One of the biggest highlights of the week was “Women and West Texas Music” a Lubbock community event, hosted by Dr. Curtis Peoples, at the International Cultural Center featuring a panel discussion and some music… Guests: Kimmie Rhodes (Musician, playwright, and author), Amy Maner (Producer, designer, and Lubbock Lights documentarian), Kathleen Hudson (Educator, and author of “Women in Texas Music” and “Telling Stories, Writing Songs: An Album of Texas Songwriters”), Tamara Saviano (Grammy Award winner, Guy Clark biographer, and manager for Kris Kristofferson’s record label, among other things) and Diana Finlay Hendricks (Delbert McClinton biographer, educator, writer.) It was a real honor to share the stage with such talented writers and producers. The first session was a 45 minute on stage discussion about my new book “Radio Dreams,” which included some songs. The second session was all women on stage discussing their careers and ties to West Texas music. For more information contact Curtis Peoples 806-834-5777,

As an ambassador for The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation  I performed and told stories at a book signing event hosted by The Buddy Holly Center.

Thanks to all of you who made this possible by supporting the Radio Dreams Project! Below are some pictures taken of the work and events.

Stay tuned for the next phase… The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum comes to our home in Austin to pick up all the tapes and many other precious things we are donating to the museum in anticipation of the “Outlaws and Armadillos: County’s Roaring 70’s” exhibit that opens May 25 and runs through February 14, 2021. Here’s a link to that for details>

Love and happiness,


PS Special thanks to Curtis and Amber Peoples, Jim and Kathy Gilbreath and Bella and Grant Gerlich for feeding us and making us feel welcomed!

Texas Women in Music Panel (L-R) Kathleen Hudson, Kimmie Rhodes, Amy Manor, Curtis Peoples, Diana Finlay Hendricks, Tamara Saviano. (Photo by Jim Eppler)


Working with Jon Holmes, the archives manager, was a lot of fun and a real education in how to do it right.  He’s the most organized human on the planet! We told LOTS of stories. He made me remember and label the date of everything. He even brought down the Jesse Taylor photographs so Diana Hendricks and I could help identify the people in them.


Archives 20% processed after one week of work.


Three decades of my writing journals, finally dated and in chronological order. Many unfinished songs in there!


Dr. Curtis Peoples, historian and head of the department, checked in on us regularly. His dedication and passion for preserving and recording the history is an inspiration. I’m very grateful for his interest and his help placing these archives in a permanent place where they can be used for education and research. Curtis not only booked all the events for the adventure and arranged scheduling but also escorted me to all of the classes I visited and lectured during the week.


John Holmes, Kimmie Rhodes & Curtis Peoples in the archives department.


Journals and lyrics dated and labeled and filed in acid free materials ready for processing and cataloguing.


Thanks to the good folks at The Buddy Holly Center for hosting a successful book signing for “Radio Dreams” that included a tour, performance and storytelling. I also had a chance to discuss my treasure I have placed there on loan for the next few years… my autographed lyric sheet from the day Waylon Jennings and I wrote our song “Lines” and sing the song. Here’s what it looks like below…


Kimmie Rhodes and Diana Finlay Hendricks at The Walk of Fame in Lubbock, Texas


Celebrated local, Shere Forkner with Kimmie and C.B Stubblefield bronze memorial that was sculpted by Terry Allen and placed in the location where Stubb’s famous restaurant once stood.


Telling the story of Radio Dreams and how the book and project began at the Women and West Texas Music event. (photo by Jim Eppler)


Singing the song “Radio Dreams” written with Gary Nicholson at the Women and West Texas Music event. Press play to hear it and read the lyrics below. (photo by Jim Eppler)


Radio Dreams 

by Gary Nicholson & Kimmie Rhodes


With my little transistor hid under my pillow I drifted away in a dream

Where rock ‘n’ roll and Memphis soul showed a whole new world to me

I’d wake up with a song rollin’ round in my head

Feeling a groove I’d never forget

I felt a change coming over me

Dreaming my radio dreams


Radio Dreams, Radio Dreams

I’ve been tuning in all of my life to my radio dreams

Radio Dreams, Radio Dreams

I’ve been tuning in all of my life to my radio dreams


I got a guitar and played Beatles and Stones

Soon I was making up songs of my own

I started to be who I wanted to be

Dreaming my radio dreams


Radio Dreams, Radio Dreams

I’ve been tuning in all of my life to my Radio Dreams


From the dashboard speakers of my Chevy one day

The magic came drifting in on the airwaves

I heard my own voice coming back to me

singing my radio dreams


Radio Dreams, Radio Dreams

I’ve been tuning in all of my life to my radio dreams

Radio Dreams, Radio Dreams

I’ve been tuning in all of my life to my radio dreams


(photo by Jim Eppler)

RnR Magazine Feature – UK – March 2018 Outlaws & Cowgirls


This is beginning to be a lot of fun!

Pending licensing clearances still underway for the Audio Documentary Companion we hope you’ll enjoy a “sneak peek” preview via the EP we recently produced to promote the upcoming Radio Dreams Launch tour beginning in London Spring 2018! It features a new song co-written with my friend Gary Nicholson just for the occasion… you guessed it… Radio Dreams! It also has an excerpt of the intro to the Audio Documentary (coming soon!) that was produced by Bob Harris, a rare vintage recording of Joe Gracey singing a Jack Cowboy Clement song “I Guess Things Happen That Way”, an archival clip of the traditional ending of Joe Gracey’s radio broadcasts and the title track from my 1996 album West Texas Heaven. Many exciting promotional plans are in the works for the coming year including concerts, book signings, university lectures & storytelling, songwriting workshops hosted by our sponsor The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, museum exhibits, television appearances and even a RADIO DREAMS radio broadcast, so please visit and get the details as they are added to the list of events. The first copies of the book have been sent to all of those who supported the Radio Dreams project and it is a real joy to already be getting those “book reports” back from friends and fans! Keep ’em coming and thanks so much for your encouragement and support for this labor of love! It really means a lot to me! Please stay tuned!

Personally autographed copies of the book can be ordered here on the website at this link until I hit the road in April at which time the physical sales will have to move to worldwide. Digital versions are available also here on the website and at Amazon for all reading formats.

Louve & Happiness Painting Live with Kimmie

What a fantastic start! Half way in and we’re half way to the goal! Please help us keep our momentum going! Please click here to support the Radio Dreams Project >


Kimmie goes LIVE on Facebook Oct 26th!





Kimmie entertains us going “live” on Facebook, Thursday 8pm (CST) while painting an oil on canvas original in celebration of her duet memoir, Radio Dreams, the love story of an outlaw DJ and a cosmic cowgirl. She also promises to play and sing a couple of her favorite songs penned by Joe Gracey. So, tune in, ask questions, become part of the creative process and tell her what color YOU think the roses should be! Click here to watch and comment!

Once the painting is finished we will spit it again. This painting is the “Louve & Happiness” incentive for the Radio Dreams project fundraiser. Limited edition signed and numbered Valentines cards based on the painting are also available.

For more information on how to purchase this original work of art click here >



Here’s a sneak peak of Kimmie reading one of her memoirs from the book:




Hello out there in Radio Land!

This is such a wonderful journey already and it’s just beginning! Many many many of Gracey’s friends from the past, childhood friends, his high school buddies, his KOKE-FM radio days fans, have  reached out to share old Austin and Ft. Worth stories! I can see that I’m truly in for a great year ahead once this book and audio documentary are out and the events surrounding the release begin!

Booking is underway for a tour with Bob Harris (who produced the companion audio CD to the book) and my virtuoso son Gabriel Rhodes, to tell tales and sing and play songs. Special thanks to The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation for pledging some tour support!  I’m thinking this might just turn out to be the most fun and creative adventure ever!

So thanks to all of you who are helping fund our  Radio Dreams  project! With your support we will soon be able to place some really wonderful archival documents and recordings and artifacts in The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and The Wittliff Museum in San Marcos so they will be available for research and keep Texas music and legendary musicians we love in the hearts and minds of future generations. Everything is being  preserved in acid free paper and plastic and the recordings are being backed up digitally. As the momentum of the project grows people are continuing to offer buried treasures to us for safe keeping knowing we will make sure they are placed where they belong in music history. The lyrics draft of the song “Lines” that Waylon Jennings autographed to me the day we wrote the song has found a perfect home at The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock and that makes me very happy. It’s so much better for it to be where the folks who pass through there can glimpse the creative process we went through that day than it would be for it to have stayed hidden away in a dark closet.

Last week we focused on the importance of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Joe Gracey’s story. Without the care he received there in the 70’s he would have missed 30 years of amazing life, so we will continue to work with their PR department to offer up our story to encourage and comfort those whose lives have been affected by cancer. I even loaned his  Making Cancer History  t-shirt he liked to wear to treatments to The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum along with his Ernest Tubb autographed cowboy hat!  To read the first letter Gracey wrote me, which is also now on loan there click here > 

So stay tuned everybody and please continue to share our social media posts with your friends and keep those stories and comments coming! It feels so great to know that people love and remember Gracey and to know that so many people have pre-ordered the book and CD so he will soon be able to speak for himself once more and even tell you some of his great stories too!

Love & happiness & much gratitude,

Please click here to support the Radio Dreams Project >




Radio Dreams MD Anderson Cancer Center Story

“Joe Gracey’s time as a patient at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, both in the 1970s and later in 2009, when his cancer returned, made his treatment and survival experiences important to the research department. He was a willing participant, happy that through his experiences he was able to help towards meeting the goal stated by MD Anderson: “Making Cancer History.” These days it’s difficult to find someone whose reality has not been touched by cancer in some way. It is our sincere feeling that by sharing our many musings on the subject of cancer as patient and caregiver we might help those who have been affected by the disease and loss find kinship, courage, and peace.”

Joe and Kimmie’s duet memoir, “Radio Dreams” offers hope and comfort to others whose lives have been affected by cancer. Honor Joe Gracey’s courage and join the effort to fund this project. Visit the Kickstarter here –


Joe Gracey was proud of his role in helping the research department at MD Anderson.  Kimmie remains active with the public relations department at MD Anderson. Below, see a video and an interview she did for them on caregiving. Also, read an excerpt from “Radio Dreams” of a letter Joe Gracey wrote at the request of the speech pathology department to a fellow patient who was about to lose his voice.

Finding comfort in Making Cancer History®


“You don’t have to think about cancer all the time.” – Kimmie Rhodes, Caregiver

A caregiver’s advice for preserving quality of life

By Cynthia DeMarco


Singer Kimmie Rhodes had been married to legendary music producer Joe Gracey for 28 years when he died of metastatic esophageal cancer in Nov. 2011. The couple met in 1979, after Joe completed treatment at MD Anderson for his first bout with cancer — which involved the complete removal of his tongue.

“I was actually married to a man who didn’t speak,” Kimmie says. “In a way, I became the voice he lost, but he could communicate very well without speaking.”

The couple married in 1982, and Joe reinvented himself as a record producer, while Kimmie kept performing. They enjoyed almost 30 years together before Joe’s cancer returned in the spring of 2008.

A long-time Austin resident, Kimmie had never heard of MD Anderson before meeting her husband. But once here, she learned a lot about being a caregiver to a cancer patient.

Here’s Kimmie’s advice for other caregivers.

1. Take care of yourself

The first thing Kimmie learned was the importance of taking care of herself.

“People caring for cancer patients can get hyper-focused, but you don’t have to let yourself be consumed by it,” Kimmie says. “Shift your attention and think about something else for a while. Ask for help if you need it. And have hope. That’s what MD Anderson is all about.”

2. Make plans

Kimmie maintained the couple’s quality of life by planning activities around town — both solo and together — while her husband was receiving treatment here.

“You don’t have to think about cancer all the time,” she says. “You can still have fun. So look around and find things that feed your soul. There are so many places around Houston to see and do interesting things. It has art galleries, science museums, restaurants and parks. In the spring, you can even tour homes with azaleas blooming.”

3. Express gratitude

For Kimmie, finding things to be thankful for every day was the key to maintaining an upbeat attitude. This philosophy even proved useful after her husband had died.

“The answer to grief is gratitude,” Kimmie says. “I lost Joe to cancer, but I don’t look at it as a failure. You can either be sorry for what you didn’t get to have, or thankful for what you did. I had Joe for 28 years, and we had a great life together.”

Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.




Excerpt from Radio Dreams Chapter 8: The White Moth


The following is a letter Joe Gracey wrote at the request of his speech pathologist to a patient who was about to permanently lose his voice to cancer and was preparing to undergo a total glossectomy and laryngectomy at MD Anderson Hospital.


Our speech pathologist told me about you last time I saw her. I assume you will be having a total glossectomy (tongue) and laryngectomy (larynx) like I did thirty years ago. Couple of things I can tell you based on my experience, for what it may be worth:

1) Squamous cell carcinoma is very slow to spread, if at all, so your chances of long-term health are extremely good. I am living proof of this.

2) Not being able to speak has its advantages as well as its frustrations, of course. I do miss singing, which is a *&&^%$%$ drag, but on the other hand I almost never say anything I wish I hadn’t said, because by the time I write it down I have edited myself. And, people think I am wise because I don’t rattle on about stuff like most people. I am not.

3) Now they have ways to give you a pretty good voice back, such as TEP, which I am myself about to try out, and which seems to hold real promise for most of us.

4) You will still be able to eat and taste food. The only flavor I don’t really taste is sweet, which means I don’t care much about dessert, but I still love and enjoy ice cream. This is because most flavor actually resides in the sense of smell, not in the tongue. I’d say about 95%, in fact. At first it may not seem that way to you, but as time goes on you will begin to sense aromas and tastes more fully. I also seem to have some residual ability to taste bitter and even sour, because I have the feeling that there are a few taste buds that reside in other parts of the mouth and throat besides the tongue. So, don’t mourn the loss of food and it’s pleasures . . . they will still be there. In fact, one of my jobs is as a food and travel writer, and I love good wine and food.

5) You will have to get used to the whole thing, of course. I live with a certain amount of frustration and I think you have to go through a period of mourning for the loss of your voice, but life does go on and eventually you figure out ways to cope. Therapy is good. A supportive spouse is good. A sense of humor and a willingness to adapt and not sulk or throw tantrums is good. I wish I had something wise and terrific to tell you that would fix everything and make it ok, but I think the thing to remember is that the human spirit is very able to handle setbacks and problems, much more than you may know right now. I would rather have lost my voice than my sight, or my hearing, or my legs. It is in fact almost a minor handicap when you get right down to daily living, far as I am now concerned. There are many ways to cope, and deal with it, and laugh at it, if you just plow ahead and figure it is just a minor test of your will to live fully and well and happily.

I wish you all the luck on earth, and if meeting me personally would help you of course we can do that. I am out here in Spicewood west of Austin on 71. I am in fact going to MDA to have some more stuff done, the TEP insertion and some dental work, from the 13th to the 23rd, so perhaps we can even meet there before they haul you in for your fun and games.

Yours Sincerely,

Joe Gracey

P.S. The MDA team are the greatest people on earth. Lean on them- they can help, too…


Visit the “Radio Dreams” Kickstarter Here –


























Join Kimmie Rhodes Live on Facebook


Kimmie Rhodes will be going live, on Facebook, Tuesday, Oct. 10th, 7:00 PM (United Kingdom) 8:00 PM (Europe) 1:00 PM (CST) USA, to discuss Radio Dreams, her memoir and companion audio documentary. She will also be answering your questions, singing your favorite songs and reading and playing excerpts from the project. 

“This is the story of two great people – Kimmie Rhodes and the late Joe Gracey, told through the lens of Kimmie’s memory and Gracey’s writing. It is a trulyinspiring account of their love and strength together, withstanding challenges that would have defeated all but the most resilient souls.”
Bob Harris OBE – BBC Radio 2

“I am delighted to endorse this excellent book, as Kimmie is a highly respected and much loved artist/songwriter hailing from Buddy’s birthplace, Lubbock,Texas…. It gives me great pleasure that she has joined our close knit family as an ambassador of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.”
Maria Elena Holly – The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation

“Kimmie’s West Texas Heaven album should be handed out to every aspiring vocalist to offer lessons in tone, taste and phrasing. When she wasn’t out there singing, she was completing Radio Dreams, a book that reveals an extraordinary love story, accompanied by a sound track filled with great Texas music.”
Peter Cooper – Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

“I believe that Radio Dreams is really a cultural touchstone that poetically weaves together the humorous, heartfelt and heart-wrenching stories of two “Super Roper” soul mates set against the eclectic backdrop of Austin’s “cosmic” music scene. No doubt that “Willie, Waylon and the boys” are proud of their “Outlaw Sweetheart” Kimmie Rhodes, for her courage in pouring her heart into these pages as only a true artist can.”
Eric Geadelmann – Filmmaker & Author “They Called us Outlaws”