RIP Mike Hays, founder TwangCast, RealCountry.net

TCB was saddened today to learn of the passing of Mike Hays.

Mike was the founder of RealCountry.net and TwangCast. TwangCast was cyberspace’s revered and ground-breaking internet station created to showcase independent real country music that wasn’t been heard anywhere else at the time. Traditional country artists such as Dale Watson and Heather Myles reached a brand new audience. Countless artists were discovered via TwangCast’s influential and innovative programming. Mike’s passion for the music stemmed from his core, being a musician and singer himself. He knew first hand about the hurdles in the way of good music getting to the ears of willing listeners but instead of sitting back and accepting it as a given, he chose to make a difference. He was an active supporter of independent music and took that passionate drive to the floors of Congress to testify against the initial internet radio royalty fiasco.

Below is Mike’s obituary.

TCB extends their sincerest condolences to his family and friends as well as our gratitude for the impact his life has had far beyond the public person we knew.

Written by Gardiner Jones   

Michael L. Hayes

On Wednesday, November 14,one of Tennessee’s most respected Freedom Fighters, Michael L. Hays (Twanger), died at his home in Nolensville of a heart attack. Mike was born in Pulaski, TN on June 17, 1955 to Harold Dean Hughes and Doris Ellen Baker Hughes Hays, who have both preceded him in death, as well as his respected step-father, Freeman C. Hays, M.D.An avid motorcyclist, he was the State Legislative Corporate Director for CMT/ABATE, the state-wide motorcyclists rights organization, as well as that organization’s lobbyist. He was also a member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation in Washington, DC, and recently lobbied on their behalf in the US Congress. Mr. Hays was also the sole proprietor his agency, Midsouth Talent & Booking. Prior to living in Nashville, Mike had been a radio announcer in Orange, VA, toured with his band, Mike Hays and the Haybailers, and prior to that had spent many years selling specialty audio equipment. Michael entered the US Navy in 1974, served honorably, and at the time of his discharge 1978 was a member of the Admiral’s band as singer and saxophonist.Mike is survived by his immediate family: one brother; Paul M Hays (Cindy), Washington, DC and three sisters; Barbara Thomas (Cam), Underwood, WA, Pamela Johnson (Shannon), Elizabethton, TN, and Patricia Ruth Emory (Jimmy), Richmond, VA. Also surviving are his daughter, Michelle Diana Williams (Indianapolis, IN), two granddaughters Savannah & Taylor, and grandson Bishop. Mike will also be deeply missed by his life partner, Carol Simpson of Nolensville, her three children and six grandchildren, and additionally, by a true army of Brother & Sister Freedom Fighters and many of his friends in the music industry.Visitation will be Monday, Nov 19,from 3pm to 5:45pm at Woodbine Hickory Chapel, 5852 Nolensville Road. The funeral service will be held at the same location beginning at 6pm. A buffet remembrance reception , hosted by brother Paul will be held at Mike and Carol’s home immediately following the service.On Tuesday, Nov 20 a procession led by the Patriot Guard will take Mike’s remains from Hickory Chapel at 9:00 a.m. to Maplewood Cemetery in Pulaski where he will be laid to rest at 11 a.m. near to his father, Mr. Hughes, and his paternal grandparents.Mike Hays was a man of faith, and had been close to the Methodist Church throughout his lifetime.Special memorials may be made to CMT/ABATE, Mike Hays Freedom Fighter Fund, P.O. Box 160223, Nashville, TN 37216-0223

One Response to “RIP Mike Hays, founder TwangCast, RealCountry.net”

  1. R.W. Shamy, Jr. TwangCast Media Says:

    Thank you for the post Laurie. Yes, I am saddened too to get this news.

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