Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day



Memorial Day is always a very special holiday for me. I've been frustrated in recent Memorial Day Celebrations because at times it seems like it's nothing more than a three day weekend to many Americans. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much public awareness and television time was dedicated to truly honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice--to keep us and others free and safe. Who knows, maybe a new tide toward patriotism could be starting to develop. No one would be happier than I. I am, and always will be ridiculously proud of the military history of our great nation, especially in the 20th Century. It is absolutely inexcusable to not teach generation after generation how America came to be, what it has taken and continues to take to maintain our sovereignty and freedom, as well as what we have done for other nations in our stormy, but proud history. I received a lot of praise, but even more criticism for writing and recording World History 101. I guess that just stems from the times we live in, but I will be proud of that song until the day I die. We must also continue to really and truly support our troops who are deployed today around the world, doing the same thing that we've been doing for a long, long time--protecting and defending those who cannot defend themselves. There are those who say that it's all about oil. I say to them, there's no oil in Afghanistan. There's nothing there we want or can use. Our troops are simply doing the right thing. God bless each and every one of them and the families at home that share them with us. I hope and pray you all had a happy, safe, and proud Memorial Day Weekend.

As General Petraeus just said, "Our troops today are the NEW 'Greatest Generation.'

And as one of my true heroes, General George S. Patton, once said, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived."

God bless our sovereign nation!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"She's With Me"



I am sure by now most of you are used to me apologizing for letting so much time go by between each post. But the reason for this most recent time lapse has been the most life changing thing that has ever happened to me or my family. Many of you know about my granddaughter Haley and the neurological condition which she has had for most of her 9 years on this earth. We knew her condition was fatal, but nobody had any clue how long she would suffer with the disease. The day I have been dreading for the past several years has finally come and gone. Our sweet baby angel Haley left this earth the day before Easter, April 3, 2010. Words cannot express the pain and sorrow that her passing has brought. We miss her every second of every day, and I will always feel like a big part of my heart is missing. I have met, and continue to meet, people with a similar story such as ours, whether it be backstage at my shows, and on and off the road. Parents and grandparents who have lost a child have told me that it is the hardest thing to live with and go through, and that you can only try to move through each day. It is not something you ever "get over," and we will have good days and bad days. But with this extreme sadness comes extreme joy. I know she is not suffering any longer and she is experiencing a pain-free, joyful, and peaceful existence and is surrounded by God and angels. Haley is a perfect soul. She was perfect in every way while she was with us, and continues in her perfection today. She has brought nothing but joy and happiness to our family and to all that have met her. She has taught us many lessons, and even though she is not physically on this earth, she still continues to guide and bless our lives.

Thank you to all who have expressed sympathies and condolences during this tough time. I have and still continue to receive cards, letters, and emails, and want those of you who sent these things to know that I have read every word, and each of you have touched my life. I am so fortunate to have been able to talk about Haley during my shows, television shows, and radio interviews. I am especially grateful for Mike Huckabee, who called me out of the blue just because he felt compelled to get Haley's story on his show so people would know of her and her condition. I have received hundreds of emails since being on his show, and it is my intention to respond to each one. You all know how slow I am with technology, so it could take awhile, but please know that there isn't one email that was sent in vain. It has touched my heart to know how many good people there are in the world. I think many of us have a tendency to get down with all the evil, disasters, and troubles in the world. But hearing from these wonderful people strengthens my faith in humanity and reminds me of how great the hearts of the people in our country are.

Thank you, as always, for your continued love and support. We have felt the presence of the thousands of prayers offered in our behalf. We need all the help we can get, so please keep those prayers coming! For any of you that may have a sick child, my heart aches for you. Parents of children like Haley understand how blessed they are to have such a child. Spend every moment with your children that you can and never take anything for granted, whether your child is sick or not.

Shortly after Haley's passing, a dear friend left me a sweet message. Those of you that are familiar with the tribute I wrote for Haley, "She's With Me," will understand. We had so many miracles during the last week of Haley's life that we can't count them all. In all my sadness, I was brought great peace when my friend said to me--Collin, now we can rejoice. God has Haley and everything will be alright because he is now saying, "She's With Me."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hello from NYC!!!



Hey everyone! Just an update from the road--we had a great show a few weeks ago in my home state of Arkansas! I was fortunate to play a beautiful venue in downtown Fort Smith at the convention center on Feb. 13. Melanie and I performed our acoustic set and were honored to share the night with two great acts - The Swon Brothers and Hillbilly Vegas. Thanks to everyone that came out to the show. I hope every one of you had a wonderful Valentine's day and weekend and were able to spend time with those you care about.

More recently, some of you may have caught the Huckabee show last night on Fox where I had the privilege of talking about my granddaughter's neurological condition. I also performed the song I wrote as a tribute to her, "She's With Me." The video and single are available on iTunes if any of you haven't had a chance to see or hear it yet. I am so blessed to have such a sweet angel in my family, and I had no idea how many other families like mine there were out there with kids in a similar situation. This song is not only meant for healing for our family, but for all the families out there that understand the joy and pain that comes with caring for a sick child. God bless those children and those that take care of them.

Thanks again to all of you for your continued support. If you weren't able to catch the Saturday night viewing of me on the Huckabee show, it will play again two more times today (Sunday).

Hope everyone has a great day and is enjoying the weekend! Let's hope for some spring weather to come SOON! I don't know about most of you, but I feel like it's been winter for way too long!

Collin

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And.....we're back!



Hello everyone!!! Wow, it has been WAY too long since my last post--it's amazing how time flies!! The holidays were busy and exciting for me and my family, and I am having a great 2010 so far. I hope all of you are too! We had our first show of the year last night in Lake Jackson, TX (about 50 miles from Houston) at an amazing theater at Brazosport College. Chris, Melanie, and I performed our acoustic show for a wonderful audience and we had a lot of fun! I was also able to meet some of the great people that came out to the show, and it just reminded me of what I already knew--the people of Texas are some of the best people on earth. Not to brag or anything, but I am positive that I have THE best audiences out there! I am so grateful to continue to meet so many down to earth, positive people no matter where I travel. Thank you to all who share your spirit with me! I have many new and exciting things that are already in the works this year and am looking forward to all that 2010 will bring. We have also added a lot of new shows for the year at www.collinraye.com, so if you haven't already, please check it out. I just might be coming to your town! If not, keep checking--we are continually adding shows! Thank you to all of you for reading this and for supporting my attempts at being technology saavy (as you can see, I still have a long way to go. ha ha!)

I hope this week is a good one for all!

Collin

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Technology?!?!






Hey everyone! Hope everybody is having a great week so far and getting in the spirit of Christmas!  I've recently received several inquiries as to whether or not I am actually involved in this blog, and  some have complained that the posts are not happening as often as they'd like.  I'm here to tell you that YES! It is definitely me behind all the posting.  Those who know me well know that I am not technology saavy (ha ha) and even though I am slow with it, I am determined to figure it out and not let it get the best of me! I am doing my very best to post as often as I can, but I do work and travel quite a bit, and am trying to stay on top of everything. Thanks to everyone for your comments and for reading my blog!  Have a great week and spend lots of time with family!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Serengeti Resort



One of our most recent shows was at the Serengeti Resort in Bergheim, TX.  I had heard this place was great, but I had no idea just how amazing it was until we arrived!  As we were driving to the resort, the scenery became quite different from what I am used to in Texas.  The trees started to seem more and more like the trees you see in nature documentaries of Africa, and as we got closer, we began to see zebras, ostriches, a camel, and even a giraffe! 

The show that night was a benefit for battered women's shelters.  I've always had a soft spot for charities like this one and have always tried to help support them in any way I can over the years.  A special thanks to Lori Hagee at the resort for putting this together and for treating us so well.  I met a lot of great people that night that shared their stories with me, and even made a new buddy--a little girl named Brenna who has Rett Syndrome.  Thanks to those who made the trip out to Bergheim to see the show and support a great charity.

I met one more special guy at the resort, and here is a picture of the two of us.




More to come--

Collin

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Grand Ole Opry






A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to play the Opry at its original home--the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I consider it a great honor to be able to play on a stage that has so much history.  The likes of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, etc. have all performed there, which means the Ryman has the coolest stage in all of music!  Before the show, I got to spend some time backstage with one of my heroes, Little Jimmy Dickens.  He's always such a pleasure to be around, and I'll never forget that he was the first person to introduce me on the Opry in 1991.  He is one of a kind and one of the last "greats" still among us. The Opry is great, except for the fact that they only let you play three songs!!  (ha ha). That night, we played three of our best--I Can Still Feel You, That's My Story, and She's With Me (my newest single and tribute to my granddaughter).  Thank you to all who attended!!  I am looking forward to more Opry performances in the future and hope to see you there!



Backstage at the Opry with the band.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!






Hello everyone!  Just wanted to say a quick hello and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope this day finds you and your family and friends in good health and good spirits!  I also hope that each of us can take a few moments and reflect on the things we are most grateful for.  I am so blessed to have the support of so many wonderful friends and fans.  Without all of you, I would not be where I am today.  I am thankful for my sweet family and for the love and joy that they bring.  I don't know what I would do without them--they are what life is all about!  I am also grateful for the men and women that have selflessly served our country so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we have today.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart--our country would not be what it is today without you. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have fallen, and also with the men and women who continue to serve today.

There are so many things that I am thankful for that it would take all day to write down everything, and I don't know about all of you, but I am ready for some TURKEY!!!  Spend time with those you love, and enjoy this great day! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

More to come soon....

Collin

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Let the blogging begin!





Hello friends!  Welcome to my official blog!  I am going to give this technology thing a try, and share with my wonderful friends and fans the experiences I have while on the road.  Enjoy the blog, and I hope to see you at a show near your hometown soon!

Collin

 Just for a quick recap, here are the happenings of the past few months.   We had a great run in September at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, The Woodlands TX, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.  We had some great crowds and had a lot of fun!  Here is a killer video from that run--hope you like it!



Next, I headed off to Branson where Melanie and I played with the incredible Country Tonite Band in the Oak Ridge Boys Theater. We had a great time playing with such talented musicians and performing in a state-of-the-art theater. The Country Tonite performers and staff made us feel like family and we made some friendships that will last a lifetime.




After Branson, we headed off to Colorado Springs and Denver and had a great couple of shows.  We played at Cowboys and at the Grizzly Rose, and both nights brought a lot of energetic fans!  It was great to be out West in the mountains again.  After Colorado, Chris, Melanie, and I headed to Salt Lake City and performed our acoustic show for an entire week at the Desert Star Playhouse.  I had fun at every single one of these shows--great food, great fans, and great music!! I felt like I was performing in my living room in the 200-seat theater, and was able to play many of my hits, new songs, and even some covers of artists that have influenced me and my music over the years.  Thank you to all who attended these shows, and to those who have expressed appreciation for my music.

 

The three of us onstage at Desert Star.



Me with my AMAZING guitar player, Chris Raspante.  What a player!!!



Me and my girl, Melanie Shore. I am grateful to have a piano player that can play ANYTHING!

Well, that's the end of the "quick" recap.  Hope you all enjoyed this first post!

More to come........

Collin