When I first talked with Larry Massey it seemed like a normal conversation between friends of traditional country music. I knew Larry was an artist, and he simply said “I have a CD that’s getting some air-play in Dallas and Tyler Texas, Kentucky, Florida, and Sweden.” Then Larry Massey told me he has worked for the Postal Service for almost twenty-eight years, and said “It’s never been about the money. I just want people to hear my CD and hopefully like it.”
Our conversation continued, while honesty and integrity became clear and I discovered that Larry Massey plays his music at assisted living homes, leads singing at church, and, as he says it, “plays opry’s sometimes.” I didn’t know it at the time, but that would be like Ray Price claiming one hit with “Crazy Arms” while failing to mention the rest of his career. Here at the Country Classics we try to manage press releases, music submissions, Facebook, requests for articles, all while keeping our finger on the pulse of traditional country music. Larry Massey said he would mail a CD, and I decided to wait until it arrived.
I wasn’t in the office when Larry’s CD came in the mail, but Nancy opened it and typed a rough draft about Larry. After Nancy listened to the entire CD – all 22 tracks – I received a phone call from her, and she started with “You’ve got to hear this”. With two more days on the road before my return I sent an email to Larry Massey on Facebook, told him the CD arrived, and I looked forward to writing an article soon. In replying to my email Larry simply said thank you, followed by “My band and I opened for Heather Myles when she came to Dallas in 2002 at the Lone Star Cafe.”
Nancy sent an email to Larry and received the following reply, with a very humble “Here is a little bit more info I failed to mention” :
My brother Jimmy Massey plays lead guitar and that is the way it was for 35 years. I was on drums and we played together pretty solid for 20 years. Then we started playing with different bands in the Dallas area. That was when I began to grow as a drummer playing with great bass players. We got back together the last few years I still played clubs. That was when we opened for Heather Miles. We were kinda the house band at “Lone Star Cafe” in Dallas.
My brother Jimmy is currently playing guitar at the Wylie Opry just north of dallas. I go sing there every other month. I am 55.
I found out a little more about “Louise Massey” I called my aunt Lenora, my dad’s sister. As far as she knew Louise was my grandad’s cousin or second cousin. My grandad and grandma lived in New Mexico for a while, Louise lived in Roswell, New Mexico. My aunt Lenora says she remembers Louise coming to their house and staying a few days with their band and rehearsing. My aunt remembers how short louise was and how tall her husband was. My aunt also said she remembers going to the movies and seeing “Louise Massey and The Westerners” in between the movies on a short reel. Louise’s brother Curt Massey went to hollywood and was successful. His name is on the credits of the Beverly Hillbillies and Peticoat Junction for the music. I remember seeing that myself.
Before I continue with this story I want to tell you how to listen to Larry Massey on Myspace. There are two pages – one for Larry’s country music, and one for Larry’s Gospel music. These pages will open in new windows so you can listen to the music while you read. Larry’s music is also available on Buck-A-Tune, where you can also hear every track. Keep in mind that I didn’t know what awaited me when I returned to my office, and hadn’t heard any of Larry Massey’s music.
When I returned to the office I had over 100 emails waiting for me, and spent the first hour listening to songs sent to me by a music delivery service. I consider myself pretty tough on country artists, rejected almost all the new submissions because they were not country music. Then I moved to a stack of mail, processed and published a few press releases, and returned some phone calls. As I headed for the truck Nancy gave me Larry Massey’s CD and told me to listen to it.
This is part of what Nancy wrote as a draft:
Larry Massey grew up in Garland Texas and played drums for approximately 30 years or more. He began writing songs in the early-90’s, and after hearing his songs on the radio was inspired to write more. Massey recorded his first album in 1998 and received local airplay on 95.3 The Range, and on KNON in Dallas. In 2002 Massey recorded a second CD titled “Jim Beam In My Glove Box”. His brother Jimmy and Jimmy’s wife Mary sing backup on all of his songs, and in recent years the band called “The Massey Brothers Band”.
Learning to play drums at the age of eighteen, it wasn’t long before Larry and his brother were playing as many places as possible in Dallas. His heartfelt love for traditional country music make performing a joy, and it runs in the family. Larry performs at the Wylie Opry from time to time, while Jimmy and Mary perform at the Wylie Opry every week. Visit the Wylie Opry website to learn more about this venue.
Featured here are Jimmy and Mary Massey
Larry Massey’s songs also receive airplay on Live365 Internet radio, and his Gospel songs were received by Carol Lynn of WQAH, recent recipient of the Southern Gospel Music Association’s DJ of the year.
When I finally had time to listen to Larry Massey’s CD I was amazed. Every song was new to me, all written by Larry, and performed to perfection as true traditional country music and Gospel music should be. I knew right away that it was time to get listener reaction from folks at the Wagon Wheel Cafe here in Windsor Missouri, and customers were as pleased and thrilled as I was. Nancy was smiling because she had already became one of Larry’s newest fans.
The last eleven tracks are Gospel songs, and one woman said she sings at Church every Saturday night but never heard such wonderful new music. I replied “I’ve been listening to country music for over fifty years and never heard anything quite as fine as this. It’s like listening to music for the first time”.
From a strong fiddle intro on the first song until the last song – and there are twenty-two songs on this CD – every single song was amazing. The fiddle player, Milo Deering, played with LeAnn Rimes her first four years and he is the one you hear on those Motel 6 commercials. He also plays steel guitar, and he is great. “Nothing Like You” sold me on Larry Massey’s mastery of traditional country music, and the CD continues to please with song after song.
It was the beginning of track two when I realized Nancy and I had been talking to a very humble modest man with plenty of talent. One photo on Myspace simply says “Larry Massey – Retirement Home Entertainer”. This is a man who is honest as the day is long who produced one of the greatest CD’s we’ve heard in years.
What Radio Professionals Are Saying About Larry Massey:
Ken Bass here at Variety 95.1 FM – KALH – Licensed to Alamogordo, but also serving, La Luz, Tularosa and Holloman AFB, New Mexico.
I just downloaded your CD from Starla at Buckatune.net.
On first review of it’s contents, I’ve made the following ADDS:
‘I Ain’t Got Time’ has been added to the KALH HOT LIST which is a high rotation list of about 25 songs that we consider to be the BEST OF THE NEW from Regional, “New” and Traditional artists. This will get you a schedule of at least 28 spins a week. Songs usually stay on the HOT LIST 8 to 12 weeks, depending on reaction from listeners, then move to regular rotations or go away if we don’t get a good response.
‘My Girl’ has been added to our CURRENTS rotation which will get a minimum of 21 spins a week. I really like your adaptation of this classic oldie. KALH plays very few slow or “nostalgia” songs because we try to maintain an “UP” feel to the programming. After ‘MY GIRL’ comes off the CURRENTS, I’ll put it in our NOSTALGIA rotation which is reserved for those few tunes of that type which do have a positive or “up” feel to them.
“Nothin’ Like You” really strikes my fancy as well. I’m adding it to our CURRENTS rotation as well. It will eventually go into our UP AND ROCKING Country rotation for long term play on KALH.
I also like “Trouble in Paradise” and will hold it to add to the HOT LIST after “I Ain’t Got Time” comes off. The same goes for “Passed Away”, I’ll hold it for introduction later this summer.
“Old Man” will go on hold too for introduction late summer or early fall … my reaction to it is the same as for “My Girl”.
Bye-the-Bye, I consider myself pretty tough on regional artists. I work hard to keep the sounds of traditional and regional music forms alive on the radio in the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico, but nothing turns me off more than stations that program anything just because it falls in their general program lines.
It’s rare for me to pull 6 songs off a CD by somebody other than Willie or Asleep at the Wheel. And I haven’t even started on the Gospel tunes you have yet. Congratulations, you’ve made the mark with me.
I’ll be going through your CD again soon when I set about adding some new material to our CHRISTIAN COUNTRY rotation. I’ll let you know then what I pick to ADD
Ken Bass, Variety 95.1 FM – KALH
It seems Ken Bass is just as tough as I am when previewing country music, and looking for real traditional country music. His input gives readers some great insight into what it takes to get any airplay at all these days. I’m glad he liked Larry Massey’s material as much as we did here at The Country Classics.
Let’s look at the songs of Larry Massey’s CD. Since there are twenty-two songs you only get a sample of this great CD from Myspace.
Here is the total track list for Larry Massey’s great CD titled “Touchin’ Home”:
1. Nothing Like You
2. My Girl
3. 55 More Minutes
4. I’m Through
5. Old Man
6. I Miss You
7. Ain’t Got Time
8. Trouble in Paradise
9. Nashville’s Gone South
10. Passed Away
11. Good Old Days
12. Devil in a High Dollar Suit
13. Well Done
14. In My Heart
15. Living Word
16. Glorify His Name
17. Second Chances
18. Bless His name
19. Greatest Light
20. I Was There
21. Lonely Heart
22. Backslide Believer
Musicians on this CD are:
Milo Deering — Fiddle, Steele, Mandolin
Rocky Gribble-Lead Guitar
Mike McClain —Keyboards, Bass, Drums
Jimmy Massey-Background Vocals
Mary Massey-Background Vocals
Album Photos – Patricia Massey, Larry Ward, WylieTX
Recorded at McClains Recording, Garland TX
Mixed and Engineered-Mike McClain, Garland TX
To Order Contact:
As I mentioned above you can hear tracks from “Touchin’ Home” and get to know singer/songwriter Larry Massey on Myspace, and Larry’s music is also available on Buck-A-Tune, where you can also hear every track.
Larry’s CD is what makes traditional country music and Gospel music enjoyable, made our day much brighter, and I’m sure you’ll agree that “Touchin’ Home” will be a great addition to your music collection. As Ken said “It’s rare for me to pull 6 songs off a CD by somebody other than Willie or Asleep at the Wheel.” Remember that Ken was only talking about the country songs, and when you add the great Gospel songs to this CD it is 22 tracks of pure pleasure.
NOTE: This is a re-post which takes the apostrophy out of the title so Facebook will parse the article addres correctly.