- MS Doesn’t Stop Clay Walker From Hitting All the Right Notes
- Raising Awareness and Money for MS
- 11 Celebrities with Multiple Sclerosis
- 1. Joan Didion
- 2. Rachel Miner
- 3. Jack Osbourne
- 4. Clay Walker
- 5. Ann Romney
- 6. Jamie-Lynn Sigler
- 7. Richard Pryor
- 8. Frasier C. Robinson III
- 9. Gordon Schumer
- 10. President Bartlett from ‘The West Wing’
- 11. Jason DaSilva
- Cultural Divide: Frank Ray is a Latino former cop changing the face of country music
- Clay Walker’s Early Life and Aspirations on Becoming a Musician
- Clay Walker’s Early Career as a Recording Artist During the 90’s
- Clay Walker’s Continued Music Career in the Later Years
- What’s Clay Walker Doing Now in 2018- Recent Updates
- Follow Us
- Multiple sclerosis
- Clint Walker Inspiration (Expanded Edition) CD
MS Doesn’t Stop Clay Walker From Hitting All the Right Notes
To counter spasticity — the muscle stiffness or spasms common with MS — Walker learned simple stretches and exercises in therapy, which he says made a huge difference in just a few weeks. Walker urges all people with MS to consider neurologic physical therapy, but cautions them to check with their doctors first.
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet are important, too, Fallis says. Although there’s no specific diet for MS, Walker focuses on a diet that includes foods that fight inflammation, like avocados and green vegetables.
Raising Awareness and Money for MS
Walker finds it frustrating that the cause of MS remains a mystery. “I don’t think it’s because of a lack of effort, but I think if more people were involved in the task, we’d be farther along than we are,” he says.
To that end, Walker works to raise money to fund research and raise awareness through Band Against MS, a charity he founded in 2003, and to which Teva is one of many contributors.
For others with MS, he has this advice: “The worst thing you can do for MS is nothing at all. The second worst thing you can do is guess.”
He suggests that people listen to their neurologists for good information and not rely on alternative treatments that aren’t proven to help.
“Nothing right now is more effective than the conventional therapies,” he says. “If there was, I’d be doing it.”
Strong family support, plus his faith in God, also help Walker live successfully with MS. “Spiritually, I’m at a fantastic place; emotionally, I’m at a great place,” he says. “With exercise, diet, and my career, things are really good at this moment.”
11 Celebrities with Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord. These are the main components of the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls nearly everything we do, from walking to doing a complex math problem.
MS can manifest in many different types of complications. It affects the coverings of nerve endings within the central nervous system. This can result in diminished vision, motor function, tingling, and pain in the extremities.
MS can be a challenging condition, but many people with the disease lead healthy and active lives. Here’s what some celebrities have to say about living with MS.
1. Joan Didion
Joan Didion is an award-winning American author and screenwriter. Known for her vivid descriptions, biting irony, and candor, Didion wrote about her diagnosis in “The White Album.” The essay is from her nonfiction collection “Slouching Toward Bethlehem.” She wrote, “I had … a sharp apprehension of what it was like to open the door to the stranger and find that the stranger did indeed have the knife.”
Didion’s work was a channel for the uncertainties she felt while adjusting to her condition. At 82, Didion is still writing. In 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.
2. Rachel Miner
Rachel Miner is an American actress who is best known for her portrayal of Meg Masters in The CW Network series “Supernatural.”
Miner spoke out about her diagnosis at the Dallas Comic Convention in 2013. She continues to manage her symptoms, but in 2009 had to leave the show due to the physical complications of MS. “The physical constraints were at the point that I feared I couldn’t do Meg or the writing justice,” she told a fan blog.
Although she maintains she didn’t officially leave the show because of the disease, she also asserts the importance of knowing your limits and listening to your body.
3. Jack Osbourne
Jack Osbourne, son of British rock star Ozzy Osbourne, was introduced to American audiences in the early 2000s as a teenager on the MTV reality show about his family. He publicly announced he has multiple sclerosis in 2012.
Since his diagnosis, Osbourne’s motto is “Adapt and Overcome.” He uses the hashtag #Jackshaft on Twitter to talk about his experience with MS. “I will never say that I am thankful for MS,” he said in an open letter. “But I will say that without MS, I don’t know if I would have made the necessary changes in my life that have changed me for the better.”
4. Clay Walker
At age 26, country music star Clay Walker received a diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis after experiencing tingling and twitching in his face and extremities. Walker says he struggled after he was first diagnosed: “I realized that I needed to stop dwelling on being diagnosed with a chronic disease, and instead focus on finding a groove.”
He spent some time working with his neurologist. And with the help of his family, he’s settled into a routine that enables him to better manage his symptoms.
Activism is one important component of Walker’s routine. He started Band Against MS, an organization to help educate others with MS.
5. Ann Romney
Ann Romney is the wife of politician Mitt Romney. In her book “In This Together: My Story,” she shared that her life changed in 1997 when she was diagnosed with MS. Since then, she works hard not to let her condition define her.
“Finding joy in your life is another really important component,” she said in an interview with PBS. “And losing yourself in doing something else, and not always dwelling on your illness is very important.”
6. Jamie-Lynn Sigler
“The Sopranos” star was diagnosed with MS in 2002 at just 20 years old. She didn’t make her diagnosis public until 2016 after becoming a new wife and mother.
Today, Sigler wants to be an MS advocate. “I think a lot of the time when people are dealing with any chronic illness you can feel very isolated, you can feel alone, you feel like people don’t understand,” she said in an interview. “I wanted to be somebody that says, ‘I get it, I feel you, I hear you, I go through what you go through, and I understand.’”
She shares personal experiences on Twitter, using the hashtag #ReimagineMySelf.
She’s also partnered with Biogen on the Reimagine Myself campaign, which seeks to show how people living with MS lead fulfilling and productive lives.
7. Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor gets credit for being a source of inspiration for many of today’s most successful comedians. In the last three decades, he has widely been recognized as one of the greatest comedic voices of all time.
In 1986, Pryor received a diagnosis of MS, which slowed his comedic career until he retired for health reasons. In 1993, he told the New York Times “… I do believe in God and the magic and the mystery of life, it’s like God says: ‘You slow down. So what you walk funny. Take five.’ And that’s what I’m doing.”
He died of a heart attack in 2005 at the age of 65.
8. Frasier C. Robinson III
Former first lady of the United States and health and fitness advocate Michelle Obama’s father lived with multiple sclerosis. During her 2014 Reach Higher campaign, Mrs. Obama toured high schools throughout the United States and spoke candidly about witnessing her father struggle with MS. “Seeing my father in pain, seeing him struggle, watching that every day, it broke my heart,” she said. Mrs. Obama credits her father as her inspiration to achieve the success she enjoys today.
9. Gordon Schumer
Gordon Schumer is the father of comedian, actress, and writer Amy Schumer. He received a diagnosis of MS in middle age. Colin Quinn portrayed him in Amy Schumer’s 2015 debut film “Trainwreck.” Schumer speaks and writes frequently about her father’s battle with the disease, so much so the MS community now recognizes her as an important activist. She cites her father’s good sense of humor and biting sarcasm in the face of his condition as inspiration for her own comedy. “I love to laugh. I seek laughter all the time. I think that’s something that also comes with having a sick parent,” she said in an interview.
10. President Bartlett from ‘The West Wing’
Hollywood and the media have long struggled to accurately portray people with disabilities. But the long-running political drama, “The West Wing,” seems to have gotten it right.
The main character, President Josiah Bartlett, has MS. The show chronicles his tribulations with the condition as he juggles his very successful political career. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society gave the program an award for its depiction of the illness.
11. Jason DaSilva
Jason DaSilva is an American documentarian and creator of “When I Walk,” a documentary that follows his life after his diagnosis at age 25. DaSilva has primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Unlike other forms of MS, primary progressive MS has no remissions. He started filming his life to capture all of his triumphs and struggles, embarking on a new life as a filmmaker. As a wheelchair user, he uses his platform as a documentarian to address the stigmas of disability. His work helps him cope with the challenges of MS. “It is all about freedom,” he told New Mobility. “As long as I can keep doing things creatively, or making things, I’m OK.”
Cultural Divide: Frank Ray is a Latino former cop changing the face of country music
The pickup raced along scrub, mesquite and creosote. A cold wind scattered dust beyond the onion factory. The cotton fields were empty, and Frank Ray, who was christened Francisco Gomez, remembered his boyhood when migrants arrived at first light, filling sacks and stripping fields from white to brown again.
He drove a few more miles and crossed into Palomas, Mexico. The air stung and the streets turned ragged. His ancestry began on this side of the border, stitched into promises of riches to the north. He ate lunch and bought a guitar for his daughter. He returned to Columbus carrying bits of history and things that may one day fit into a song like “Different Kind of Country,” an anthem to undocumented and working-class Latinos he wrote to protest President Trump’s anti-immigration speeches.
“Seems like every damn day they want to send us all away,” Ray sings on his first EP. “But if you see it my way / Don’t give a damn about white or blue collar / Worried everyday about finding good work / Trying to make a living for our sons and daughters / Do our very best before they put us in the dirt / If you think that ain’t American / Let me tell you something / We are just a different kind of country.”
The word country is double-edged. It speaks to the nation, but also to country music, which for generations has been a white bastion distilling Southern and heartland notions of America. Ray’s music and legacy embody the fastest growing demographic in country music: young Latinos. His voice and rhythms imbue Nashville, Tenn., and San Antonio, but Ray, a bilingual former cop, is a singer-songwriter looking to stretch country music’s cultural boundaries beyond the tinge of political conservatism.
Advertisement It’s been a pretty long time since a Hispanic artist has risen to the top of country music. Why is that?” Frank Ray
“I want to be the face of country music for Hispanics,” said Ray, 32, a member of the Country Music Assn. “I look back at Freddy Fender, who paved the way for me, and I want people to say that about Frank Ray. Music is universal, but the state of the nation and identity politics concerns me. No one seems to want to find common ground anymore. It’s been a pretty long time since a Hispanic artist has risen to the top of country music. Why is that?”
Frank Ray performing at Whiskey Dicks in Las Cruces, N.M. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
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Ray is on the ascent. In the last two years, he had a No. 1 song in Texas, competed in the USA Network’s “Real Country” reality show and was named by Rolling Stone as an artist to watch. He collaborates with Nashville producers and musicians Frank Rogers and Steve Dorff — who has written hits for Dolly Parton and Dusty Springfield — and this year will release his second EP. Eight labels, including Sony, have expressed interest in signing him.
There are moments, though, like that night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when Ray confronts the nation’s acrimonious divides. A Trump supporter, who preferred his country singers white, heckled him and his bandmates when they took the stage.
“It was weird,” said Ray. “It caught me off guard. I tried a joke. I said, ‘Yea, I picked these guys up behind Home Depot and asked them to come play country music.’ It worked and things calmed down. The guy asked to buy me a drink after the show.”
Country songs, notably in the Southwest, have long been influenced by mariachi music and Mexican fiddles. Latino country stars like Fender and Johnny Rodriguez have been followed by artists including the Tex-Mex inspired Last Bandoleros and Rick Trevino, a Grammy Award-winning third-generation Mexican American, who in 2017 paid tribute to his heritage with an album that featured the lyrics “she says I’m a wetback / I say it’s honest sweat” in the song “I Am a Mexican.”
Ray grew up in Columbus but lives in Las Cruces. The city lies about 50 miles north of El Paso, where the high plains meet the Organ Mountains and the Rio Grande runs dry in the hot months. Mercurial and boy-faced, Ray wears turned-around ball caps and hunts elk with a bow. He was a cop here for a decade, talking people out of doing things they’d regret. His wife, Emily, whose father is a Trump man, runs marketing for a truck company. She leaves Post-It notes around the house telling Ray how much she believes in him and his music.
Country singer Frank Ray, center, poses for a photo with Alex Solis, left, and Joseph Daniels, both of Las Cruces, N.M., at a concert at Whiskey Dicks nightclub. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
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He packed the Las Cruces country music nightclub Whiskey Dicks last month, playing past midnight as couples in cowboy hats two-stepped on the dance floor and his manager, Oscar Chavira — who after he heard Ray sing two years ago, said, “Jesus, I gotta sign this guy” — looked on from the wings, knowing that in a few days, they were heading to Nashville for record company auditions. The crowd cheered and held up smartphones as Ray sang his country hits “The Drive” and “Tequila Mockingbird,” and glided through covers of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love.”
“We come from all kinds of music,” Ray’s bass player, Mario Saucedo, said before the show. “We all played in Latino churches, and when you play in church, you play gospel, mariachi, pop. You improvise. I’m a ’90s grunge guy with a little funk. Our drummer is more of a jazz guy. He was in a marching band for four years.”
Frank Ray performing with his band at Whiskey Dicks nightclub in Las Cruces. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times) With all this talk of Trump’s wall, Frank’s music is relevant to what’s going on. Stephanie Carabajal, police officer, Las Cruces N.M.
Ray’s voice has quick power. It can dip deep and fly, and with the twist of a syllable, he can sound like a grown-up Backstreet Boy or Vicente Fernández, the Mexican king of ranchera music. He roamed the stage as if set loose at recess. The crowd swayed beneath the American and New Mexican flags. Their faces — white, Latino and Native American — were a different portrait from Trump’s vision, living at the border’s edge, a mix of cultures and rhythms bound and tempered by dust storms, day laborers and children fleeing violence in Honduras and Guatemala.
“Frank has the Hispanic taste no one else has. He ties in the fields and farms with Mexican and country music all in one sound,” said Stephanie Carabajal, a police officer who once rode with Ray. “What other country artists can do that? George Strait, maybe. With all this talk of Trump’s wall, Frank’s music is relevant to what’s going on. All his songs are in my phone.”
Dancers take to the floor at Whiskey Dicks nightclub in Las Cruces, N.M. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
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The crystal ball over the dance floor kept spinning, but Ray, whose songs were mostly about love, was done. He left the stage and walked over to the T-shirt table, posing for pictures with cops and locals who said he was going to make it. They were sure of it. They put their arms around him and smiled. He got home just before 3 a.m. Emily had left a Post-It note: “P.S. I Love You.” She could do things like that; make him stand there in the dark, believing, in the quiet of a sleeping house.
Hours later, he was on the road to Columbus, where his father, Robert, director of public works, lost an eye years ago when a nail flew up while he was working at Holy Family Catholic Church. The town was a flashpoint in U.S.-Mexican history when Pancho Villa’s army raided it in 1916. President Woodrow Wilson responded by dispatching troops to the border. Not a lot has happened since. The town — Robert calls it a village (population 1,600) — recently proclaimed Aug. 1 to be “Frank Ray Day.”
Frank Ray poses for a selfie with fan and former co-worker Stephanie Carabajal at Whiskey Dicks nightclub. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
“Francisco Gomez is my real name,” said Ray, acknowledging that sometimes a man must obscure one part of himself to reveal another. “That wasn’t going to fly from a marketing perspective. Ray is my middle name. It drops off the tongue a little easier.”
The white pickup headed southwest. Emily was in the back with their 2-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, and Robert, who Ray was driving home after the Whiskey Dicks show. A dust storm threatened. Ray pointed to the Three Sisters mountain, and Robert told him that his great-great grandfather came from Mexico with his family, settling in Oxnard and then moving to Columbus. Robert grew up on a big farm, but after years of hail and bank loans, the family quit the fields and sold the livestock. Ray has paid homage to that legacy by having the family’s cattle brand tattooed on his bicep.
The wind kicked up. A border patrol helicopter flew low and cut north in the distance. Tumbleweeds danced over the blacktop, and beyond the windshield, except for cars passing, it seemed from another time; copper and scrub for miles, an expanse where a soul would find it hard to hide. Ray mentioned that he spent some of his childhood in San Antonio with his mother, a nurse and part-time gas attendant, after she and Robert split. That’s where songs by Strait and Tracy Lawrence told Ray what he was going to be.
Frank Ray meets fans Gina French, right and Shaunna Beakley at his show in Las Cruces, N.M. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
“Country was where it was at for me,” he said. “The music tells a story in the most genuine way possible. I want to tell stories of people who aren’t heard. I was a cop. I know there are criminals and cartels. But most people crossing the border are trying to make a life for their families. It’s wrong to demonize them.”
He so far has not included Spanish lyrics in his music. His upcoming EP is drawn from the catalog of Dorff’s son, Andrew, who wrote hits for Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts, and died in 2016. Ray said his own songs about Latino culture have to be calibrated to bring the audience along, which is why his sets have a little bit for everyone, including Hank Williams fans. “I don’t want to be known as ‘the Mexican guy,’” he said. “I want to be a great country singer who happens to be Hispanic.”
Frank Ray at Whiskey Dicks in Las Cruces. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
The horizon swirled gray and yellow. Emily leaned forward from the back seat. “When someone has the limelight, they should do something with it,” she said. “As long as he does that — this guy from Columbus, New Mexico — no matter what happens, it’s not a bad thing if you’re known as that guy. You could inspire another Hispanic kid.”
Ray sat with that thought for a while; it was Emily after all who told him to quit the police force and chase what he was meant to do.
She met Ray four years ago when she booked him to play at a truck expo.
“He’s a terrible negotiator,” she said.
“I am,” he said.
“I asked what he charged. He said, ‘$200.’”
They both laughed.
“Best $200 I ever spent,” she said.
That price these days can rise to $10,000.
Fans line up to see country singer Frank Ray for his Feb. 21 show at Whiskey Dicks in Las Cruces, N.M. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
They drove to Columbus, and then a few miles on into Mexico. They ate lunch. Mackenzie twirled in a cowboy hat and played a small guitar. A mariachi band appeared. Ray handed over $3 and asked them to play “Sabor a Mi.” He was across the border but he was home, speaking Spanish, drinking Dos Equis and recalling when his grandfather would bring him to Palomas and let him run free while the old man went and did things men do.
Ray paid the bill, bought the guitar. The pickup headed back to Columbus and then to Las Cruces. Ray mentioned that his birthday is Jan. 8 — the same day as Elvis. He scrolled his phone and put on his new song, “American Daydream,” with the lyric: “Bumper sticker telling everyone who you voted for …”
Mackenzie sang along to her father’s voice. The plains stretched cold and wet to the mountains.
This story is the latest in Jeffrey Fleishman’s Cultural Divide series, tapping into the American conversation at a time of restlessness and deep political fault lines.
The marquee outside Whiskey Dicks nightclub in Las Cruces, N.M. (Rudy Gutierrez / For The Times)
Clay Walker is an American singer who entered the country music scene during the 90’s with his singles, Live Until I Die and What’s It to You. Given his first guitar by his father at the age of nine, Walker spent much of his early years playing and listening to music. Finding himself gravitating towards a career as a recording artist, he performed at various venues full-time after graduating from high school. It wasn’t long before his talents brought him to the attention of a music producer, who later offered the aspiring singer a recording contract with Giant Records. Devoted to his music, it wasn’t long before Walker released his debut single in the summer of 1993; instantly a chart-topper, the record would ultimately act to kick-start his career as a professional artist.
Since his debut back in the early 1990’s, the country singer has released a dozen full-length albums and over thirty singles. Out of his twelve albums, half have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA while thirty of his singles have made its way on to the US charts; to date, he has achieved six number one singles on the Top Country Songs Chart. One of the most talented country musicians in the country, Walker has received several industry awards throughout his multi-decade long career. To date he has won a Radio & Records Award for “Best New Male Artist”, a Country Song Roundup Award for “Best New Male Vocalist”, A BMI Award for his single Won’t Be Lonely Long as well as a Shell Legacy Award, to name a few. Known for being an advocate of Multiple Sclerosis awareness, he was also honoured with the Hope Award for “Outstanding Civic and Community Service” by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2009.
Besides his work as a recording artist, Walker has also ventured briefly into acting. He made his debut on the big screen in the feature film, Clay Walker: Jesse James in 2012. Since then he has also appeared in the 2013 historic movie, Alone Yet Not Alone which starred Kelly Greyson, Natalie Racoosin and Jenn Gotzon, amongst others. In addition, he has also been invited into multiple American talk shows over the past years including The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2007), The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet (2009) and Rachel Ray (2011). In 2012, he was also featured in an episode of the reality dating series, The Bachelor.
But what has Walker been busying himself with for the last little while? What has he been up to recently? What happened to Clay Walker? Where is he now in 2018?
Clay Walker’s Early Life and Aspirations on Becoming a Musician
Born on August 19, 1969, in Vidor, Texas, Ernest Clayton Walker Jr. is the son of Danna and Ernest Walker; he is the oldest out of five siblings. Raised in a small farm community in the area around Beaumont, Walker was exposed to country music early on. When he was nine years old, he was given his first instrument, a guitar, by his father. Besides his love for the tunes, Walker was also into sports as a child and spent much of his time playing basketball or hiking outdoors with his cousins. As a teen, he attended Vidor High School which was located in western Orange County; during that time, he often competed in various local talent shows. One day after signing off of his nightly part-time job, Walker delivered one of his self-recorded tapes to a radio station nearby, in hopes that they’d play his music on air. Although he’d ultimately be turned down due to their policy of not playing self-submitted tapes, the disk jockey at the time was said to have commended and praised his music greatly.
After graduating from high school, Walker worked briefly at a tire and rubber company before making his mind up on pursuing a career in music. When he was nineteen, he began touring and performing at various venues around the country; not long after that, he found work as a house singer at a local bar known as the Neon Armadillo. One fateful day while singing at the club, he caught the attention of music producer, James Stroud. Having heard his moving vocals, Stroud soon asked Walker if he would be interested in working together. Eager to take his music further, the aspiring singer agreed and later signed a recording contract with Giant Records.
Clay Walker’s Early Career as a Recording Artist During the 90’s
Shortly after signing on with the label, Walker released his debut self-titled album, Clay Walker in August 1993. Produced by James Stroud, the album featured eleven songs, four of which were written by the singer himself; the rest were either co-written by Walker or other musicians. Described to be an “impressive debut album” by The Washington Post, Clay Walker was praised for its lyrical detail and arrangement. Well received, the album peaked at number two on the US Top Heatseekers Chart and at number eight on the Top Country Chart; it eventually made its way up to number fifty-two on the Billboard 200. Overall a success, it was certified Platinum by the RIAA in August 1994 upon selling over a million units.
Rising in popularity after the release of his first album, Walker released his second studio album entitled, If I Could Make a Living in September 1994. Met with generally favourable reception upon its release, the album settled in at number four on the US Top Country Albums Chart and at number forty two on the Billboard 200 Chart. Over towards the north, it was also warmly received where it topped the Canadian RPM Country Chart and ranked in at number fifty-eight on the RPM Top Albums Chart. If I Could Make a Living later spawned three individual singles, two of which would go on to become chart toppers.
Carrying on with his recording, the singer released his next album, Hypnotize the Moon in October 1995. Noted for its traditional country sounds and contemporary ballads, the album was considered by many to be a strong follow-up to his earlier records. Entering the charts at number eleven, Hypnotize the Moon saw over 20,000 sales during the initial week of release; it later peaked at number ten on the US Top Country Chart and at number fifty-seven on the Billboard 200. The album lead to the release of four separate singles: Who Needs You Baby, Only on Days That End in “Y”, Bury the Shovel and Hypnotize the Moon. As Walker’s third consecutive RIAA certified album, it received Platinum Status in 1996 after selling over a million copies across the country.
Two years later, Walker released his fourth studio album entitled, Rumor Has It in April 1997. Designed to feature more rural sounds according to the singer, the album consisted of a ten song track-list which included the eventual hits, One Two I Love You, Then What? and Watch This (which would later rank in at number one, number four and number two respectively). Despite a handful of mediocre ratings, the album sold over 30,000 copies within the first week and made its way up to the number four position on the Country Albums Chart; it eventually peaked at number thirty-two on the Billboard 200. Rumor Has It received Platinum accreditation from the RIAA in April 1998, marking it to be Walker’s fourth album in a row to achieve such a status.
Clay Walker’s Continued Music Career in the Later Years
Walker’s sixth studio album, Say No More was released in March 2001. His last under Giant Records (the label closed its doors shortly afterwards), the album saw eleven tracksーone of which was a cover of La Bamba by Ritchie Valens. A successful charter, the album peaked at number fourteen on the US Country Albums Chart and at number 129 on the Billboard 200. Applauded by critics for its melody-heavy ballads, Say No More led to the release of two singles, If You Ever Feel Like Lovin’ Me Again and Say No More. However despite its ranks on the chart, it would be Walker’s first album not to receive RIAA certification.
The artist released his next album entitled, A Few Questions in September 2003ーit would be his first and last for the label, RCA Nashville. One of Walker’s most diverse albums, it was commended for its crowd-pleasing tracks. Comparable to his earlier albums, A Few Questions climbed up to number three on the Top Country Albums Chart and at number twenty-three on the US Billboard 200. At the end of the year, the album ranked in at number seventy-four in 2003. A few months after its release, the album saw the release of two singles, both of which would reach the top ten in the Hot Country Songs Chart.
Since then, Walker has released two more studio albumsーFall in April of 2007 and She Won’t Be Lonely Long in June 2010. Released under the recording label, Asylum-Curb Records, the two peaked at the same position of number five on the US Country Chart.
What’s Clay Walker Doing Now in 2018- Recent Updates
When Walker was twenty seven years old, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosisーan autoimmune condition which affects the central nervous system. This February, the country singer opened up about his condition in an interview with LA Times; in the exclusive dialogue, Walker revealed that he first noticed that something was wrong when he noticed himself stumbling and falling while playing baseball back in the day. What the young man was told subsequently by doctors was nothing but frighteningーthey had told him that he’d be sitting in a wheelchair in four years and “dead in eight.” However despite the grim diagnosis, Walker has achieved and enjoyed many decades in his lifeーsomething which he attributes to his regular stretches and exercise. When asked what kind of exercises he’s been doing doing, Walker said that he “does everything.”
In terms of music, the country singer has been on tour for the last few months. In one particularly heartfelt performance, Walker performed a rendition of American singer, Merle Haggard’s signature song, The Way I Am. In front of the crowd onstage, Walker described the close connection which he shared with the late singer, explaining that “ dad loved Merle and brought up on his music.” Scheduled to carry on with his trek across the country, Walker will be touching down at the Grizzly Rose in Denver on November 4, 2016; the tour is currently set to conclude at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth in November 19, 2016.
Want to keep yourself updated with the goings around the country star? Now you can do so easily with social mediaーyou can find Clay Walker fairly active on Twitter under his handle @ClayWalker. Alternatively, you can also read some of the latest news on his official Facebook Page (@officialclaywalker) or on his website!
For Walker, the key for MS patients is to stay as active as possible. It’s the one way to feel good about yourself, he emphasized over and over.
“I’m touring a lot, I’m active. I’ve never missed a show in my life. I’ve never called in sick, not once,” he said. “I stay active, I do believe that’s important. I do it largely to stay moving, to stay walking. The doctor has his part to do, but it’s not his job to tell me to get out there and keep moving or to get out there and lose weight. That is mainly the patient’s job.”
“In MS patients, they get this idea from their own community that all they can do is go down,” he said. “I’m almost in the best shape of my life right now.”
Walker is very involved with the MS community and is eager to offer inspiration to those living with the disease. “Most people who I see who are depressed with MS are people who can’t or don’t move around a lot. The immobility has depressed them. I personally believe that if they can start digging themselves out of that hole with encouragement, because it takes encouragement – my wife helps me – it’s those gentle nudges that help,” he said.
“My encouragement to people who have MS is that the simple things are not always easy. If you are in a wheelchair, if you have one limb that works, use it,” Walker said. “I just have to believe that if they see some improvement, it will lift them. And you keep building on those small successes until you reach your maximum potential.”
Diet is also important to stay healthy, the country singer said. “It’s so easy to reach for the wrong thing. I’m terrible about it. It’s so dag-gum hard to be that disciplined. But I believe that people who have MS have to be,” he concluded.
You can follow the action live on social media with both the #CMSC16 and #msnewstoday hashtags or here: http://bit.ly/1QN5JzQ
Congratulations are in order for Clay Walker and his wife Jessica, who are expecting their fourth child.
Clay and Jessica, who are celebrating ten years of marriage in September, let the cat out of the bag as they talked to the media on the ACM awards red carpet Sunday night (April 2).
“Jessica and I are beyond excited to be expecting a new addition to our loving family,” said Clay. “There is no greater challenge nor achievement than being a father and I am beyond blessed and humbled to be one six times over. 2017 is certainly going to be a great year filled with our family growing and new music and I am ecstatic about both!”
The new baby will join Clay and Jessica’s three older children, William Clayton (8), Mary Elizabeth (7) and Elijah Craig (3), as well as Clay’s two daughters from a previous marriage, MaClay DaLayne (21) and Skylor ClayAnne (17).
Congratulations to the happy couple and their growing family.
Guess what:)…really…guess what..you’re the first to know:)!
Photo by © Tammie Arroyo / AFF-USA.com
Clay Walker battles MS with wife by his side
Country crooner Clay Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago. He credits his wife and caretaker, Jessica, for keeping him healthy and relapse free for the past 18 years
Twenty years ago, country star Clay Walker was playing basketball with friends while on tour in Canada when he started feeling sick. He couldn’t keep his balance, was having trouble seeing and had numbness in his extremities. While he jokes that his original thoughts were that he had too much wine the night before, the reality was much more serious. Walker was suffering from symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, incurable disease that attacks the central nervous system.
“When I was first diagnosed I was told I’ll be in a wheelchair in four years and dead within eight,” Walker told FoxNews.com.
Walker didn’t take the devastating news at face value, and took advantage of new drugs and information that were becoming more widely available. He has now been relapse-free for 18 years.
Walker has sold over 11 million albums throughout his career, has 11 No. 1 singles to his name and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. In fact, he is getting ready to release his first album in over six years called “Long Live the Cowboy.”
In order to balance his hectic life with MS, Walker depends heavily on his wife and caretaker, Jessica. Playing such a large role in her husband’s health while also maintaining their home has helped Jessica to better understand the importance of becoming a caregiver, and how to successfully keep the ones you love well and healthy.
“We definitely needed to get a plan for what would work for us best, every journey is different,” Jessica, who has three children with Walker, told FoxNews.com.
For her family, she said it’s important to keep a healthy, organic diet and exercise, meaning the family makes an effort to cook together and tries to work out for at least 10 minutes per day. For times when Walker’s career takes him on the road and Jessica is unable to join him, she depends on a strong support team, including her husband’s bandmates, to pitch in and make sure he’s keeping up with medications, diet and exercise.
“Although there are over 90 million nationwide, it can be a lonely position at times,” she said. “Knowing that you can reach out and create your own support team is really important.”
What Walker appreciates about Jessica’s role as a caretaker is intangible. He credits her for making the home a happier place where the focus isn’t his disease.
“It’s not a home of desperation or despair. It’s really a place where we call can grow and feel good,” he said.
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It was 1996, and Clay Walker was in Calgary, readying for the last show of a three-month tour, when the first symptoms hit: dizziness, facial spasms, loss of limb function.
Walker soldiered on, though the performance wasn’t his usual lively affair. Typically in constant motion during concerts, Walker stood the entire show, the curtain only opened after he slowly made his way to the microphone, drawn before he’d walk off stage. The next morning, he headed back to Houston to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Walker learned he had multiple sclerosis, the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system. In the disease, damage to the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of symptoms. He was 26 at the time.
He’s been in remission for nearly 19 years, but was initially reluctant to speak about the disease. He then went public and formed Band Against MS to raise money for the cause, including $500,000 for the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, but he never talked in-depth about his experience. Recently, in Houston for a benefit dinner for MS, he spoke with Chronicle medical reporter Todd Ackerman. Edited excerpts of the interview follow.
Q: What do you remember about the initial diagnosis?
- A disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. The cause is not clear.
- The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the U.S. have MS. The disease usually begins between the ages of 20 and 50 and is twice as common in women as in men.
- Symptoms, severity and duration vary from person to person. They can include vision loss, pain, dizziness and impaired coordination, loss of limb function, slurred speech, fatigue and problems with bowel and bladder function.
- There is no cure, but there are an increasing number of medications to manage the disease.
- The two primary types of the disease are relapsing-remitting MS, in which the patient suffers attacks of symptoms followed by periods of recovery; and progressive MS, in which the disease gradually gets worse over time.
A: I’d never heard of MS at the time. I thought the doctor said MD and initially thought of muscular dystrophy. He explained what it was, then gave me a pretty horrific prognosis. In his opinion, with the amount of lesions on my brain and brain stem, he told me I was probably looking at being in a wheelchair in four years and that I could be dead in less than eight.
Q: How’d you react?
A: I was in denial at first. I thought it was a misdiagnosis – that I really had a pinched nerve or something – so I went for a second opinion. When I got the same diagnosis, it was pretty scary. I was devastated.
Q: How bad were the symptoms?
A: I was falling-down dizzy. I lost the use of my right leg and right arm, I couldn’t hold a guitar pick in my hand. I had uncontrollable facial spasms. They were the worst. They made my eyeball very raw and red and horrendous looking.
Q: These were the flare-ups of remitting-relapsing MS, not progressive MS?
A: Yes, though my first doctor thought my remitting-relapsing MS was going to turn into progressive MS very quickly.
Q: What treatments have you been on?
A: I was initially put on steroids, but I still had all my symptoms for about eight weeks – fortunately, we were off for the next three months so I didn’t have to cancel any shows. Then I found (UTHealth’s) Dr. Jerry Wolinsky, one of the foremost experts on the disease, who found the right medication for me, Copaxone. I haven’t had a flare-up since, not one. I’ve never had to cancel a show.
Q: Wow. That’s quite a contrast
A: Yes. I remember calling Jerry from a hotel room in LA four years ago and saying, “I gotta ask you, that original prognosis I got – wheelchair in four years, dead in eight.” Before I could finish, he said, “You know, I always knew we were going to have this conversation, I just didn’t know when it was going to come.” He said to me, “To be honest, if I would have diagnosed you, I don’t know that I would have given you a much different prognosis. You were not supposed to do well.” That stunned me. It took me a few minutes to digest it.
Q: So does the disease affect your day-to-day living much? Are there any lifestyle changes you’ve had to make?
A: There were changes I chose to make, rather than that I had to make. My diet is impeccable. I grow at least half the vegetables I eat and buy organic. I do a lot of exercise, lots of stretching, lots of reps to cause my neurological system to fire more times. I’m bigger on exercising my neurological system than my muscles. This isn’t guidance readily available, I’ve had to scratch it out of dirt. I’m hoping to make it more available, it’s become a kind of mission to me.
Q: How much has the disease changed your perspective on life?
A: In every way. When I was first diagnosed 20 years ago, it felt tragic. I was devastated. Today, I would tell you it’s made me better at everything. I feel like a better husband, singer, father. Are there things I can’t do as well? Sure. But I don’t focus on the things I can’t do. I really focus on the things that I love doing, like golfing, riding horses, cooking. Life definitely tastes better having being diagnosed with MS.
Q: Does a disappointing chart number seem less important?
A: Yes, it’s brought home the importance of appreciating life on a daily basis. The things that bring the most joy to me are seeing my children grow in different areas. At this point in life, I do really want to have a hit song more than I’ve ever wanted to have a hit. I want my kids to see me on top, to see what it means to be committed to a dream and stay with it. I want my kids to find something they’re passionate about, like I’ve done with music.
Q: Have you written or recorded anything about your experience with MS?
A: Everything I record has to do with MS because I don’t record music for the sake of being heard in some particular genre and format. I record music that touches me. If it doesn’t strike a chord with me, I don’t record it. MS has helped with that, made me be more real. Being told, on the heels of a spinal tap, you’ll probably be in a wheelchair in four years makes everything more real.
Q: Do fans know about your MS?
A: Not really. I’ve never opened up about it in an interview before this.
Q: Why now? Do you feel a responsibility to be a public face of the disease?
A: I think it’s taken 20 years for me to have a potent voice. You don’t just learn this stuff overnight. But as soon as a friend or an acquaintance or a friend of a friend of a friend asks if I can talk to someone who’s just being diagnosed, I pick up the phone immediately. Patients need someone to talk to, someone to tell them they’re going to be OK. The first person that said that to me was two years after my diagnosis. Imagine a newly diagnosed cancer patient not meeting anyone with cancer. You can’t. But that’s what it’s like for some MS patients.
Clint Walker Inspiration (Expanded Edition) CD
The Multi-Talented Clint Walker Took a Break from His Starring Role in the TV Western Cheyenne to Record This 1959 Album
Quite Respectable Crosby-Like Crooning on Country Gospel Material
Backed by Arranger-Conductor Ralph Carmichael, Vocal Arranger Jimmy Joyce and Hollywood’s Top Session Men Including Organist Buddy Cole
Expanded Edition Adds the CD Debut of Clint’s Single-Only Rendition of “Silver Bells”
Notes Feature Quotes from Clint Himself
Much like his namesake Clint Eastwood (whose sole album is also a Real Gone release), Clint Walker was the star of a TV western (Cheyenne) who parlayed his TV stardom into a recording contract, and, like Clint, being a TV cowboy he went country on this 1959 Warner Bros. release. Or rather country gospel, for Clint’s Crosby-like croonings reveal a somewhat gentler soul than his steely-eyed counterpart. In fact, Clint is a heck of a singer, and the label surrounded him with top-notch talent, in this case arranger/conductor Ralph Carmichael, vocal arranger Jimmy Joyce and Hollywood’s finest session men including organist Buddy Cole for what is an unexpectedly musically satisfying affair that has since become something of a cult classic. And for this Expanded Edition, we’ve added Clint’s single-only rendition of “Silver Bells!” Notes by Todd Everett featuring quotes from Clint plus photos round out the set.
1. With These Hands
2. Without a Song
3. Whispering Hope
4. Bluebird of Happiness
5. Love’s Old Sweet Song
6. I Believe
7. The Kentuckian Song
8. Twilight on the Trail
9. Love at Home
10. When Day Is Gone
11. America the Beautiful
12. My Kind of Country
13. Silver Bells