70 years ago today, Sally Gayhart of Louisville, KY and Eddy Arnold were married. Pee Wee KIng was his Best Man. Check out this telegram wishing them well. We miss you both.
In honor of all veterans, please take a look at this letter from Sgt. John Arnold, Eddy’s brother, who was member of the 82nd Airborne, 325th Glider Unit. He was killed the morning after D-Day. This letter is dated May 25th, 1944 and could be one of the last ones he sent.
Did you know Eddy Arnold was the first CMA Entertainer of the Year? Click here to read more about that night in 1967.
Happy Birthday SaSa! Today Sally Arnold would be 91. Here is a photo of her in the “old house” in the living room/kitchen combo that housed their first color TV and a parrot. It’s possible she had just been golfing. We miss you.
As many of you know, Roberta Edging, Eddy Arnold’s assistant for over forty years has had recent health problems that have kept her in either the hospital and/or a nursing facility over the last two weeks. Remember the Source Award she received in August that I posted about? I have been making regular updates on her status on the Official Eddy Arnold Facebook Site which you can get to by clicking here. I visited her yesterday at the nursing facility and she seemed to be improving but this morning she had to return to the hospital for more tests after she feinted. I will keep you posted but please feel free to leave well wishes to her on this website or the Facebook site as I will show them to her when possible. Thank you and please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. - Shannon
Update 10-14-2011: Mrs. Edging has left the hospital and is now back at the nursing rehab facility. I don’t know for sure how long she will be there but again please keep her in your thoughts. – Shannon
I have not had a chance to hear Hank III’s new cd set which includes one titled Cattle Callin’ but as a longtime fan of the grandson of Hank Williams and son of Hank Jr., I am looking forward to it. Please click here to read Peter Cooper’s review which includes several mentions of Eddy Arnold.
Last night I had the honor of accepting a Source Nashville award on behalf of Eddy Arnold’s longtime assistant and friend, Roberta Edging. Mrs. Edging started working for Mr. Arnold in 1967 and continued to assist the family after Mr. Arnold’s death in May 2008. She is definitely considered a member of the Arnold family. The Source Awards are given to women in the music business who made notable achievements and pioneered in a business that has not always recognized the women behind the scenes. Mrs. Edging certainly did her share for Mr. Arnold and we are so proud that she received this honor.
The legendary “Mayor of Music Row”, Charlie Monk made some wonderful remarks about Mrs. Edging and I was delighted to make some remarks as well. We were so glad she was able to attend and was able say a few words of thanks to the audience which led to two standing ovations. Some other 2011 recipients at last night’s ceremony included the legendary studio singer Millie Kirkham, who worked with Eddy Arnold and Elvis among scores of other stars, Barbara Orbison, Evelyn Shriver and Janice Wendell. Click on this for a link to the Source website. Please enjoy some photos of last night’s ceremony and join us in congratulating her for this achievement.
Excerpt From “Bobby Karl Works The SOURCE Awards”
Roberta Edging was saluted first. The Nashville native ran Eddy Arnold’s business office for four decades. Jeannie described her as “true family friend, even beyond the Country Music Hall of Famer’s death in 2008.” To the end she typed Eddy’s correspondence on a manual typewriter and took dictation the old fashioned way. And, as Jeannie noted, Roberta always referred to her boss as “Mr. Arnold”
Roberta kept him functional, “ noted Charlie Monk. “It was a little hard to keep his office tidy. It looked like the set of Sanford & Son.”
“That office looks exactly the same, by the way,” said Arnold’s grandson Shannon Pollard. “We’ve kept it that way….I have literally known her my entire life. I consider her to be a grandmother to me, in many ways.”
“I appreciate all the kind words,” Roberta responded. “ I appreciate the almost 43 years I spent with a gentleman, Eddy Arnold.”
Credit: Music Row Magazine
Author: Bobby Karl
For those of you curious as to Mrs. Edging’s biography-this is the exact text of the biography I wrote for Jeannie Seely and the program booklet:
Roberta Gantzer Edging
Roberta Gantzer Edging was born in Nashville in 1925, graduating from David Lipscomb High School, where she excelled in the lost art of stenography. Following graduation, she found work as a secretary at a collections agency and later at the Dobson/Bainbridge Agency. She married Roy Edging in 1946, and for the next 18 years, she alternated between working at Guaranty Insurance/Mortgage Company and Bransford/Sharp Insurance Agency and rearing the couple’s four children. On June 5, 1967, Roberta went to work for the legendary Eddy Arnold at his Brentwood office. Every single day since, Roberta not only cared for her four children and endured the loss of her husband, but she showed her acumen in the music industry time and time again as a loyal employee, a confidante and, most importantly, a true family friend to the Arnold and Pollard families, even beyond the Country Music Hall of Famer’s death in 2008. Although she proudly wore the title of secretary to Mr. Arnold for more than 40 years, Roberta kept his music career and various other business endeavors running like clockwork. From handling the books, interfacing with the record companies, publishers and managers, to fulfilling fan requests and all other forms of correspondence, managing calls to and from celebrities and high-ranking government officials, Roberta did it all single-handedly with just a phonebook, a two-line telephone, a shorthand tablet, a typewriter and a great deal of pride. And even though they were of the same generation, she never referred to him as anything other than “Mr. Arnold.”
I just had a wonderful email exchange with legendary artist, songwriter and award winning producer Rik Tinory who was a colleague and friend to Eddy Arnold. Mr. Tinory’s credits are extensive, including Aerosmith’s Pump album, among many other classics. Click here to view his website. In his email, he shared with me a couple of insightful, huourous and emotional stories and I decided to post, with his permission, the content of the email. Please enjoy and visit his website. Mr. Tinory-Thank you so much for sharing this:
“Amazing just this week in my attic I found a book that Eddy gave to me. We have many pictures over many years of Eddy with my family, out on my boat, Etc . Eddy will be a special part of my book I am working on. I recall being with Eddy in New York negotiating a deal with RCA.we sat in this huge conference room with the RCA execs . We went to so many venues in Mass, Cohasset, Hyannis , Rhode Island, Maryland and other’s .After one of many Eddy Arnold shows in Cohasset many years ago , Eddy asked me to fetch a flashlight after the Theater turned off the lights backstage . Eddy insisted on signing an autograph for each and every fan, it was a very long line.. .we stood in the darkness with me holding the flashlight, ,at the end of the line was a toothless man from Maine , a farmer, he had a huge box with every album Eddy ever made. Eddy signed each and every one. After the last person left, Eddy and I stood in the darkness alone , Eddy gave me an intense look and said, “you know Rik when it’s so dark and the lights go down. it seems like it’s all over ” , It made me very sad, the next day he phoned me from his room to take a walk, I noticed his eyes had a glaze, he was tired. Eddy was especially sad after Richards car crash and broke down , it took a lot out of him and myself. We hugged often during that time, He told me he played James Taylor songs to Richard and it helped bring him out of a coma, it so happened at that time I was producing a Taylor family album. I also have a son Richard. After the show we went back to my house to cook up a big bag of shrimp a fan gave to Eddy, Gerard Purcell, Gabe, and my family.sat around our table, After dinners end, Eddy saw my wife Claire washing the dishes by hand, he got up and put on an apron and helped Claire wash and dry the dishes, he really loved Claire,Eddy turned to me, ”Rik you have to get this little lady a dishwasher” , I was supporting 4 little ones , but I got the money to by Claire her very first dishwasher a Kitchenaid. Each time we load the washer I think of Eddy. There are so many fond memories, It’s very important that you are keeping Eddy’s memory alive.”
Folks, click here to read an article describing yesterday’s fire at Cowboy Jack Clement’s home and studio. Eddy Arnold recorded his last album at this studio and he truly enjoyed spending time there with Mr. Clements and his cats. Cowboy Jack is a national treasure and the loss of many items in his collection at his home is immeasurable. Luckily he was able to save some of his most treasured instruments. We are very sorry for his loss but glad no one was injured.
Here’s a long lost photo of Eddy Arnold with an unknown child. Note the title of the magazine as well as Wanda Jackson on the cover and Buck Owens on the back.