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Front Page News, Archive #1
Willie Kicks Off PBS Series
A 90-minute documentary film on Willie Nelson will kick off PBS' upcoming "American Masters" series on Oct. 2.
The film is titled "Willie Nelson: Still Is Still
Moving." It covers his growing up poor in Abbott,
Texas, to his legal problems with marijuana and the IRS, up to his current status as an American legend.
Nelson says he's seen the film, and he's pleased.
He had been worried about how his music would sound, but says he's "very happy" about everything from the
music to the people interviewed and what they said.
Nelson isn't just a country star; he has appealed to many different demographic groups. And he says it
may be because of his influences.
"I grew up in central Texas and I grew up listening to all kinds of music. I listened to Spanish music,
Bohemian, Czechoslovakian, waltzes and polkas and country music and pop standards. I seem like I was entertained
by all kinds of music," Nelson said.
IEBA to Honor Johnny Cash
The spotlight of the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA)
will fall upon the legendary shoulders of "The Man In Black" - Johnny Cash - for the presentation of their
prestigious "Founders Award," it's been announced by IEBA President, Judy Ade.
The IEBA Founders Award gives recognition to those whose career ethics and accomplishments within
the industry have made significant contributions to the advancement of the entertainment community and
its audience as a whole. Last year's 2001 recipient was artist manager, Irby Mandrell.
Noted Patti Burgart, IEBA Executive Director: "We taok a lot of pride in the selection of Johnny
Cash as this year's recipient. His career has transcended formats, decades, and musical style changes
to make him a true legend in the entertainment industry."
Cash is expected to be on hand (health permitting) to accept the honor, to be presented by his
lifelong friend, fellow performer, and songwriter of Cash's notable hit "Ring of Fire" - Merle Kilgore,
now manager of Hank Williams Jr.
The Founders Award will be presented as the centerpiece of the 32nd Annual IEBA Conference, which will
be held October 6-9th in Nashville. The Founders Dinner
is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, October 8th at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown.
Comedian Bill Engvall will emcee it. For more information on IEBA resource: www.ieba.org
Alan Lomax, Musicologist, Dead at 87
By Polly Anderson (AP) - Alan Lomax, the celebrated musicologist who helped
preserve America's and the world's heritage by making thousands of
recordings of folk, blues and jazz musicians from the 1930s onward,
died in Florida. He was 87.
Lomax died Friday at a hospital in Safety Harbor, Florida, according
to Lisa Kissinger of Vinson Funeral Home. Kissinger said she didn't
know the cause of death. Lomax moved in 1996 from New York to the
He was the son of folklorist John A. Lomax, whose 1910 book "Cowboy
Songs and Other Frontier Ballads" was a pioneering work in the field
of music preservation. Among the famous songs it saved for posterity
was "Home on the Range."
Alan Lomax was still in his teens when he began assisting his
father's efforts to interview and record musicians of almost every
stripe. Long before tape recording became feasible, the work entailed
lugging around recording equipment that weighed hundreds of pounds.
Lomax said making it possible to record and play back music in remote
areas "gave a voice to the voiceless" and "put neglected cultures and
silenced people into the communications chain."
He also did extensive work in Spain, Italy, Britain and the
Caribbean. He worked to compile a world survey of folk songs, which
deepened the understanding of the links between peoples.
Among the famous musicians recorded by the Lomaxes were Woodie [sic]
Guthrie; Huddie Ledbetter, known as Leadbelly; "Jelly Roll" Morton;
Muddy Waters; and Son House.
As interest in folklore and minority groups' culture has grown in
recent decades, experts and fans alike have been able to draw upon
the recordings made so long ago.
When interest in Cajun music and its cousin, zydeco, exploded in the
1980s, for example, a two-album set of the Lomaxes' recordings from
the 1930s was issued.
In 1994, his book "The Land Where the Blues Began" won the National
Book Critics Circle award for most distinguished nonfiction of 1993.
It documented the stories, musicians and listeners behind blues
In 1990, Lomax's five-part documentary series "American Patchwork"
was shown on public television, exploring such topics as the blues,
Cajun culture and the British roots of Appalachian music. The final
episode, "Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old," featured elderly
balladeers and musicians who pass their music to the young.
"It's not preservation, it's process," Lomax said. "It's keeping
In his research, Lomax would photograph the musicians and record
their thoughts as well as their tunes, asking them where they learned
the songs and what the songs meant to them.
those absolutely important things are ignored, of how we
speciated, how we adapted to the planet, then we're going to lose
something precious," he told The Associated Press in 1990. "There
won't be anywhere to go and no place to come home to."
Lomax is survived by a daughter and a sister.
Sony Buys Acuff-Rose Catalog
Sony/ATV Music Publishing will buy the oldest - and one of the most valuable - song catalogs in country music
from Gaylord Entertainment for $157 million, Gaylord officials announced on July 2nd.
Acuff-Rose Music Publishing, founded by country singer Roy Acuff and songwriter Fred Rose in 1942, includes
classics like "Oh Pretty Woman," "Bye Bye Love," "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Tennessee Waltz." Songwriters
who once wrote for the company include Hank Williams Sr., Don Gibson and Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.
The deal, which must be approved by
federal antitrust regulators, is expected to close in August.
It's part of a drive by Gaylord to narrow its once diverse interests to a core of convention hotels and
entertainment franchises, primarily the Grand Ole Opry country music radio show.
On July 1st, Gaylord announced the
sale of its one-third stake in the Opry Mills Shopping Center in Nashville,
in exchange for $25.8 million in cash from majority owner The Mills Corporation of Arlington, Va. In addition,
Gaylord got sole ownership of a 24-acre tract of land near its Nashville hotel previously owned by the two
companies as partners. Other Gaylord assets include country music standard-bearer WSM-AM radio, the historic
Ryman Auditorium, the Springhouse Golf Club, and a 19.9 percent stake in the Nashville Predators of the
National Hockey League.
Its hospitality interests are the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in
Nashville and the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla.
Another resort/convention center is in the early planning stages in the Washington area.
The Texas property is scheduled to open by June 2004.
Broadcasters Honor Sonny James,
Induct New DJ Hall of Famers
By Edward Morris - Country radio's movers and shakers gathered at Nashville's Renaissance Hotel
Thursday night (June 27) to honor seven of their own and to pay special tribute to Sonny James, the
infinitely versatile artist who provided radio with hit songs for 30 years. The event was the Country
Radio Broadcasters' annual Country Music DJ Hall of Fame banquet.
In addition to James, who was cited for
career achievement, the honorees were Lee Arnold, J. D. Cannon,
Billy Cole, Joe Hoppel and the late Buck Wayne, all of whom were inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall
of Fame; Doug Mayes and the late Jack Cresse, who were added to the Country Radio Hall of Fame;
and Erica Farber, publisher of the trade magazine Radio & Records, who won the CRB's annual president's award.
The evening's high point came when recording
artists Jeff Carson, Steve Holy, Elizabeth Cook and Kaci Brown
performed a sampling of James' enormous catalog of hits. Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records and James'
long-time friend and musical associate, summarized the singer's remarkable career and presented him his award.
Joe Hoppel, who has been the "morning man" on
WCMS, Hampton Roads, Va., for 47 years, gave his definition of
ideal employment: "Find a job you like well enough that you'd do it for nothing and get good enough at it
to make a comfortable living."