In the summer of 1978 my father, Sam Pickett, and I took a trip to Nashville. Also with us was the owner of the small record label, GM Records, out of Gladewater, Texas, whom I was signed with at the time. Only in my teens I was very excited about being in Nashville. The owner of the record label, Gerone Mills, knew this man who had a music magazine that had charts for independent record labels. He took us around to several recording studios that were having sessions. We went to Music City Recorders studio where he was doing a session with 3 artists. Playing fiddle on the session was Jimmy Bryant. There was 15 minutes left in studio time so I recorded a song a friend, Jim Ivy, had written for me. After the session, as we were mixing the song, Jimmy Bryant called my dad out in the hallway and said " You look like nice people and you really shouldn't get involved with this guy. " My father and Jimmy started a friendship at that point. When we returned home they spoke frequently on the phone. Jimmy Bryant set up a session for me to record an album in Nashville. He arranged for the top session players in Nashville to play on the recording, including Buddy Emmons, Leon Rhodes, Zeke Dawson, Joel Sonnier, Walt Cunningham, Tony Harrell (who was in my band at the time), Buddy Harmon, Curly Chalker and the Buddy Hardin Trio.
Jimmy Bryant produced the album and also played fiddle. Jack Logan as engineer.
The night before the session as we were in our hotel room the phone rang and it was Joel Sonnier. He said " Jimmy Bryant told me you were recording an album tomorrow and I've just written a song I'd like you to hear. " He came to our hotel room and played " Blue Is Not A Word " and we recorded it the next day. It was the single off the album and also got me a recording contract with Paula Records. We also recorded a song written by Jimmy Bryant called " Make It Come Together Tonight. " After the session he took us around to several clubs and Jimmy and I sat in with the band. He also took us backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and introduced us to all the stars performing on the show. We watched the Opry from the side of the stage. He invited us to come back and stay at his house but he passed away before that trip happened. As I've gotten older and more experienced in the music business I now know what a huge gesture Jimmy Bryant offered us and also who he really was and is in country music history. My husband, Jerry, has taught me so much about his legacy and I feel honored to have known him and recorded with him. My father and I were so fortunate to have been friends with Jimmy.
We have a cassette tape of Jimmy Bryant jamming in our hotel room. With my friend Jerry Webb playing rhythm.
The point of my story is Jimmy Bryant's true quality was not only his immense talent but his character. What a great experience to have had as a teenager. He really helped form my foundation as a musician as I am still a professional singer and musician.