The Front Porch Go to Mickey Newbury Back Porch
Back Porch


Author:  Joe Z
E-mail:  not available
Date:  9/10/2014 3:21:42 PM
Subject:  Re: Question
Message:  A few excerpts from C&S:

When depression from pulmonary fibrosis hit Mickey, he reached out electronically, via the virtual dimension known as cyberspace. His first website was located at www.songs.com, and the Front Porch “chatroom” was born. Songs.com was owned by Gaylord Entertainment, proprietors of the Grand Ole Opry, the Opryland Hotel and radio station WSM. Initially envisioning the Internet as a sales outlet for his music, the “place” would become a popular hangout and a refuge for Mickey.

On Newbury’s Front Porch, fans throughout the world became pals. Not just pen pals, but best friends. A few of the Front Porch pioneers include Rick Brashear, Dave Franklin, Jim Gatti and Bobby Freeman. Newbury’s buddy, Ernie Bunch wrote, “We begin to learn the power of the Internet for bringing like minded individuals together. I still marvel at the sheer number of people who think the same way about our friend as we do; voices in the wilderness brought together to this very special place by technology, and our love for a friend.” Mick answered with, “The purpose of the Porch is to bring friends together,” and his music was the vehicle, not the journey. Old friends would post messages to Mick, such as Paul Colby who wrote: “I saw Kristofferson last month at Town Hall in New York. I asked about you and just realized you would be on the Internet. P.S. Bitter End is still kicking ass!”


As Nashville was prospering, Mick transferred his website to his proprietary domain name, mickeynewbury.com, explaining he left songs.com due to “a conflict of interest with the Nashville based Gaylord Corporation.” Though not as crowded as Shop-ryland, the new website would soon average hundreds of “unique” visitors per day. Guests were made to feel at home on the Porch and were greeted by a Tiffany lamp, which clicked ON and OFF. Tupper Saussy remembered, “The lampshade theme of his website reminded me of Mickey’s enthusiasm over the first Tiffany lampshade he'd ever seen (in 1968), the one that hung in the sunroom just off our library.”

Mick loved communicating with “Front Porch Friends” and did his best to reply to questions and salutations. Besides posting under his name, he also used Poe and ~*~ Confined to bed in his Springfield home, the conversations provided him with a much-needed focus beyond his four walls. Discussions ran the gamut from birthday wishes to grandchildren to Monet to music to prayer requests. Soon ~*~ would have an opportunity to meet a few of the new cyber-voices.   


Susie appreciated her husband’s new friends. “I’ve been very, very grateful,” she explained, “for the chatboard and for his fans... I mean friends... fans is not the right word... because as he’s been ill and in a situation where most people would be very isolated and very homebound... he has not been. He has felt the wonderful love and support of these people, and it has been an encouragement to him to go ahead and write. On this last album that he finished, he probably wrote enough material in two to three weeks to do three more albums. Well, he wouldn’t have done that if he had been isolated, you know if he had been totally cut off. He’s still communicating with people. That’s what songwriting is all about.”


During the Gathering, Mickey stated, “All these people basically have the same personalities... A psychologist would have a ball with the friends of mine on that chatboard... And it’s meant a lot to me because since I’ve been inactive you know... It’s more of a support group... It’s not like a fan club... We have become friends.”

It was easy to become his friend. “Mickey was always freely accessible to everyone,” Marty Hall explained. “He built no fences, no walls. His telephone number (541-726-4173, now disconnected) and name were in the phone book. He did not have a firewall separating him from his fans, or from those who sought to take him to task. This is a huge statement given the dimension of his professional accomplishments and sheer number of people who desired access to him on a daily basis. It also demonstrates a huge and shared commitment by Susan and the children, to whom the extended family of Newbury fans and I owe a huge debt of gratitude.”

 Question by mark foster  at 9/3/2014 6:22:45 AM
 Re: Question by Ernie at 9/3/2014 3:13:23 PM
 Re: Question by Dave at 9/3/2014 4:33:01 PM
 Re: Question by Larry Moore  at 9/3/2014 8:44:07 PM
 Re: Question by Egbert at 9/3/2014 11:40:49 PM
 Re: Question by Da Sheriff at 9/4/2014 12:26:55 PM
 Re: Question by Larry Moore  at 9/5/2014 1:33:20 PM
 Re: Question by Egbert at 9/5/2014 2:15:52 PM
 Re: Question by Larry Moore  at 9/6/2014 7:54:52 AM
 Re: Question by Bill Smith  at 9/10/2014 6:10:45 AM
 Re: Question by Dave at 9/10/2014 8:57:28 AM
 Re: Question by Joe Z at 9/10/2014 3:21:42 PM
 Re: Question by ~*~ at 9/10/2014 5:34:41 PM
 Re: Question by Bill Smith  at 9/10/2014 7:55:09 PM
 Re: Question by Ro at 9/11/2014 7:18:30 AM
 Re: Question by Joey L. at 9/11/2014 12:52:45 PM
 Re: Question by mark foster at 9/13/2014 12:44:11 PM
 Re: Question by Jonmark at 9/14/2014 9:03:53 PM