Front Page News

A site devoted to returning country music back
to its roots - that traditional sound

TO CONTRIBUTE NEWS, E-mail the News Editor

For More NEWS ITEMS, visit ... PAGE 2

Front Page News, Archive #2

Together: Hank Jr. & Hank III
           NASHVILLE (Nov. 22, 2002) The Grand Ole Opry will, on Saturday, January 4, host a special performance honoring Hank Williams on the 50th anniversary of his untimely death. During the show, Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III will perform together for the first time ever. The performances can be seen on "Grand Ole Opry Live" on CMT - 8:00 - 9:00pm ET.
           Hank Williams, who died at age 29 on New Year's Day 1953, has long been considered country music's greatest singer and songwriter, tallying up 11 #1 singles, 16 Top 5's and 9 Top 10's in his short but legendary career. Williams made his Opry debut on June 11, 1949 at the young age of 26 and was so well received he was brought back to perform six encores. Some of Williams' most famous songs are "Move It On Over," "Cold, Cold Heart," 'Lovesick Blues" and "Your Cheatin' Heart."
           "It was a year ago that I made my first performance on the Grand Ole Opry in over 17 years. And boy, it was a sad night as I honored my brother Waylon Jennings. This time I will be honoring my father and who better to be performing with but my own son, Shelton (Hank III)," says Hank Williams Jr.
           Hank Willams Jr., like America, has and will survive. With 2002, comes the resurgence of the man and his music, and never has there been a time Hank Jr. and his national anthem of 'country boys can survive' seemed more relevant to world headlines and musical tastes. A renewed Americanism and a pride in self sufficiency as a national art form can only spell out his name in bold relief - be it carved in a tree in rural Alabama or spray painted on a dilapidated ghetto sidewall in Brooklyn.
           Hank Williams III, has a unique ability for digging into the family history. His take on traditional country music is authentic and gritty yet, it also comes replete with musical strains reminiscent of Hank Sr., right down to the signature yodeling that Senior made famous. Since his debut album in 1999, Hank III has received critical acclaim for his contemporary maverick talent from such publications as Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and GQ magazine.

Hag Questions Medical Procedure
           Wed Nov 6 (AP) - Country music legend Merle Haggard believes he may have been one of the patients who received unnecessary procedures at a Redding hospital, which FBI agents raided last week. Federal authorities are investigating whether Dr. Chae Moon, director of cardiology at Redding Medical Center, and Dr. Fidel Realyvasquez Jr., chairman of the center's cardiac surgery program, ordered costly surgeries for healthy patients and then billed Medicare. Neither physician has been charged.
           Haggard, 65, returned home to Redding after being on tour and found the town in an uproar over the allegations. The musician said he had a pair of heart stents put in by Moon and was suspicious of the operation at the time. "I suspected when it was done to me that I didn't need" an operation, Haggard told the Los Angeles Times for Wednesday's editions. "The whole thing has made me mad. I'm just waiting here for the FBI to contact me."
           Haggard, whose hits include "I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can," said he underwent angioplasty in 1995 in Nashville, Tenn., to open his clogged arteries. Afterward, doctors gave him a clean bill of health, so he was surprised when he went to Redding Medical Center two years later and Moon told him his heart was failing. Haggard said he had emergency surgery the same day he consulted with Moon but always felt something was amiss. "It just didn't hit me right," he said. The musician said he talked again with Moon, who told him he should be placed on blood-thinning medication, and said he'd be a candidate for open-heart surgery in five years. Haggard declined to take the medication.

Danny Gatton CDs Available
If you've heard him ... we need say no more. If not, you are in for a rare treat. See why guitar giants such as Les Paul, Eric Clapton, Joe Pass, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Scotty Moore and many others are so amazed by the "Worlds Greatest Unkown Guitarist". CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

Carlisle and Porter to CMA Hall
           By Edward Morris - NASHVILLE, November 3, 2002 - Grand Ole Opry stalwarts Bill Carlisle and Porter Wagoner will be welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame Wednesday (Nov. 6) during the CMA Awards show special on CBS-TV.
           Now nearing 94 and confined to a wheelchair, Carlisle explored many styles of music - from blues to gospel - before settling into the comic routines that gave him an image and his greatest chart successes. Wagoner, who is 75, remains the nimble, dapper, bespangled icon of the Opry -- as well as the man associated with discovering Dolly Parton (who preceded him into the
           According to George Riddle, who plays in Carlisle's band, the elderly Kentuckian found out about his honor from Grand Ole Opry manager Pete Fisher the evening before it was officially announced.
           Speaking through Riddle, Carlisle said, "I want to dedicate my induction to my late brother, Cliff, who was my singing partner for years. Thanks to the members of the CMA who voted for me. I've tried always to entertain my fans and make new friends. Having them see me as a member of the Hall of Fame is very satisfying. I'm honored to be in that elite circle."
           Carlisle performed and recorded with his older brother, Cliff, from the early 1930s until 1950, although he often worked during this period with his own band. Like most country performers of that era, Carlisle moved from one live radio show to another as he built his reputation, playing at stations in Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee. The Carlisle Brothers scored their first chart hit - Rainbow at Midnight" - in 1946.
           Carlisle's biggest records as a solo artist came during the early '50s when he posted such novelty hits as "Too Old to Cut the Mustard," "No Help Wanted" and "Knot Hole," all of which he wrote. He also wrote "Gone Home," which has now become a gospel standard. Carlisle joined the Opry in 1953. His habit of leaping into the air while he was singing earned him the sobriquet "Jumping Bill." Late in the 1990s, he would delight his audiences by shuffling onstage with a "walker" and then thrusting the device jubilantly over his head as he became involved in his song. Riddle says he expects Carlisle to be on hand to accept his honor.
           "The first I heard about [being inducted]," says Wagoner, "was on the Grand Ole Opry - from the Dixie Chicks. Pete Fisher had told me that they wanted me to be there to introduce me during their spot, but he didn't tell me what for. It startled me. I had no idea what they were talking about, because you couldn' t hear the monitors where we were, over by the backstage area. When they called my name and introduced me, I went up there, and they said, 'What do you think about that?' And I said, 'Well, I think that's really great.' I didn't know what they were talking about, but I didn't know any other answer."
           Wagoner grew up poor in and around West Plains, Mo. While he was still in his teens, he met Grand Old Opry megastar Roy Acuff, who encouraged him to pursue his interest in music. In 1952, he signed to RCA Records but did not chart his first single for the label until 1954. The next year, he achieved his first No. 1, "A Satisfied Mind." Among the No. 1 and Top 5 hits that followed were "Misery Loves Company," "Sorrow On the Rocks," "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Skid Row Joe," "The Carol County Accident" and "The Cold Hard Facts of Life."
           He launched his syndicated television series, The Porter Wagoner Show, in 1960. It soon became a showcase for most country artists on their way up. In 1967, Wagoner's "girl singer," Norma Jean, left the show and was replaced by rising star Dolly Parton. From that point on, Wagoner was instrumental in Parton's career, mentoring her on the show, on the road as a part of his band and in the recording studio. Beginning in 1967, they recorded a torrent of hit duets, including "The Last Thing on My Mind," "Yours Love," "Just Someone I Used To Know," "If Teardrops Were Pennies," "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" and "Making Plans." In 1968, they won the CMA's vocal group of the year trophy and in 1970 and 1971 the top vocal duo prize.
           Of the many songs Wagoner wrote or co-wrote were "Highway Headin' South," "Pain of Lovin' You," "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" and "The Right Combination." Parton and Wagoner discontinued their professional relationship in the mid-'70s, but his television showed continued until 1981. During the '90s, he served as Opryland USA's "goodwill ambassador" and as a spokesman for the Grand Ole Opry. He has won three Grammys, all for gospel recordings.
           Earlier this year, Wagoner released a solo album, Unplugged, and, more recently, a duet collection, Porter & Penny, with his current singing partner, Penny DeHaven. Next year, he says, he may put together a video package of performances from his old TV shows.
           Wagoner admits he views his induction as a bit tardy. "I felt like I should have been in a few years back because I've done a lot for the music business, done a lot for country music and the Grand Ole Opry. And that's really what it's all about, I think."
           Famed for his tailored, ornately decorated stagewear, Wagoner offers little detail on what he'll be clad in when he accepts his prize. "I'm going to wear a brand new suit that's made by the guy who makes all my clothes for the stage," he says. "You'll just have to look in that night to see what it is."

Monroe Mandolin Not Sold
           ROSINE, Ky. (AP) - Nov. 1, 2002 - A foundation's plan to buy bluegrass founder Bill Monroe's mandolin has fallen through, and the instrument will be sold on the open market, says an agency representing Monroe's son.
           The Bill Monroe Foundation had planned to return the 1923 Gibson F-5 orchestral mandolin to a museum at Monroe's Rosine home. The foundation was to have completed the $1.125 million purchase from Monroe's son, James Monroe, Wednesday morning. It had given Monroe a 10 percent down payment plus a second smaller payment.
           A spokeswoman for Buddy Lee Attractions Inc. of Nashville, Tenn., which represents James Monroe, told the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press the deal was off. "We were there. They weren't. They didn't show up with the money," said Diane McCall. "That was the end of the contractual agreement. It's for sale on the open market."
           "It's totally out of our hands," said Campbell Mercer, executive director of the Bill Monroe Foundation. The foundation struggled Tuesday to put together a coalition of investors to guarantee about half of a $962,500 bank loan. The bank required proof the instrument was free and clear of any tax or other liens. Foundation attorneys said a search of the singer's estate probate records would take several days. Monroe had already extended the deadline from Saturday to Wednesday.
           Bill Monroe purchased the mandolin in 1943. He died in 1996 and is buried in the community cemetery at Rosine.

Opry Returns to Ryman
           NASHVILLE - October 31, 2002 - The Grand Ole Opry will return to the Ryman Auditorium this weekend. Opry at The Ryman will run November 1, 2002 through February 22, 2003. Additional Friday night shows and Saturday matinees have been added to the Opry's November and December schedule to accommodate anticipated sell-out. Performers this weekend include Terri Clark, Kevin Denney, Andy Griggs and Opry members such as Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, Steve Wariner and more. Additional performers scheduled to appear during the Opry at the Ryman run November 1 to February 22 include Trace Adkins, John Anderson, Kellie Coffey, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Lonestar, Patty Loveless, Brad Martin, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Patti Page, Charley Pride, Jeannie Seely, Anthony Smith, Travis Tritt, Keith Urban, Rhonda Vincent, Porter Wagoner and The Whites to name a few.

Statler Brothers Retire From Road
           By Chris Kahn (AP) Oct. 26, 2002 ‹ Along the way there have been countless concerts at school gyms and churches and county fairs, flat tires in the middle of Wyoming and pre-dawn searches for good takeout. After 38 years on the road, the Statler Brothers have trouble remembering specific days on tour, except the one that really got things going.
           "March 9, 1964. Canton, Ohio," says founding member Harold Reid, nodding his head with certainty. It was a blustery afternoon, and the four boys from Augusta County pulled up in a black 1952 Cadillac limousine. They wore matching suits and sang This Land Is Your Land. Reid did some of his goofy impressions.
           The main act, Johnny Cash, liked their style so much, he made the Statlers ‹ Don and Harold Reid, Phil Balsley and Lew DeWitt ‹ his regular opening band.
           "He said, 'You guys did a good job. You want to finish this tour with me?' " lead vocalist Don Reid remembers. "We said, 'You betcha.' " Since then, the Statlers have been just about everywhere, touring two out of every three weeks at their peak in the 1970s and 1980s, producing their own cable TV show for several years in the 1990s and recording more than 50 albums.
           Now their long ride through America is ending. After they play Salem, Va., they'll retire as one of country's most successful quartets. "We've been blessed," says Harold Reid, seated in his office adorned with framed gold records. "There's a lot of people out there with more talent than us who have not been able to show what they could do."
           The Statlers, named after a tissue box Harold Reid found in a hotel room, have spent their career singing schmaltzy ballads about drive-in theaters, lemonade stands and backyard baseball. "Ah, do you remember these?" they sang.
           But the sentimental stuff has never been an act. The subject of their songs has always been their hometown of Staunton, a city of old brick cottages and narrow streets wedged between the mountains of western Virginia. Founding members Harold Reid, DeWitt, Balsley and Joe McDorman grew up there in the 1950s.
           "We played ball together, we double dated," Harold Reid says. Later, on the road, they revived their past with memory games, humming back and forth and writing songs on restaurant receipts as their old Cadillac limousine lumbered along the interstate. "We thought we were the only ones who cared about that stuff," Harold Reid says. "But then the mail would flood in from people who said, 'I've been thinking about that for years.' We would hear from people who never did those things, but literally enjoyed the thought of it."
           The Statlers signed with Columbia Records and released Flowers on the Wall in the mid-1960s. They later recorded hits such as You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith, Too, Carry Me Back, The Class of '57 and Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott. The simple lyrics and easy style were comfort food for a country struggling with the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.
           Don Reid, Harold's younger brother, replaced McDorman in the early 1960s, and Jimmy Fortune took over for the ailing DeWitt in the 1980s. DeWitt, who suffered from Crohn's disease, died in 1990.
           All the while, the group spent much of their time crisscrossing the country in the old Cadillac. Two would sit up front and the other two would stretch out on suitcases stacked in the back. "We were able to see the world," Don Reid says.
           They won numerous awards, including three Grammys, but the constant touring began taking its toll. They got tired of the endless diners, the loading and unloading of equipment, the hotels they'd check into in the middle of the night. "You'd see the same cities over and over," Don Reid says. "But all you see is the hotel and the back door of the theater."
           "I always thought of it like having a husband that drives a truck," says Joyce DeWitt, who married Lew in 1973. "I did some crazy things back then when he was gone. I knitted an afghan once and it might as well have been a highway because it went on forever."
           The Statlers are all married with children now, and the touring has been taking away the things they reminisced about in their songs. "When you have kids, you miss those little school plays, those church pageants," Don Reid says. "The first 'A' on a report card. The baseball games. You weren't there for any of that."
           The Statlers still live in Staunton and spend much of their time in an old brick schoolhouse they renovated 21 years ago. The striped suits stitched with American flags are behind glass, and the quilts, paintings and other knickknacks from their fans are stored in a special room. Sitting on a plush leather couch, Harold, 63, and Don, 57, say they haven't had time to think about retirement.
           "Is it going to be like jumping off a ledge, like being really heavy and then just nothing?" Harold Reid says. "I don't know what to expect. Right now, I think it's going to feel good not to have any obligations."
           The group still plans to record. They've just released Amen, a collection of gospel songs. Will they miss being on the road? "Probably," Don Reid says. Touring hasn't been so bad in recent years. When they arrived in Salem, Va., they pulled up in a luxury bus with satellite television to entertain a crowd that snapped up all available tickets in just hours. "I guess you could say that's success," Harold Reid says.

Three Songwriters
Headed for Hall of Fame

           By Edward Morris - The Nashville Songwriters Foundation will induct three new members into its Hall of Fame during ceremonies at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza on Nov. 3. One inductee will be chosen from each of three categories.
           Nominees in the pre-1971 category are Jim Anglin ("Ashes of Love," "Down South in New Orleans," "Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide"); Hal Blair ("My Lips Are Sealed," "Please Help Me I'm Falling," "Ninety Miles an Hour Down a Dead End Street"); Jan Crutchfield ("Going Going Gone," "It Turns Me Inside Out," "Tear Time"); Earl Montgomery ("We're Gonna Hold On," "One of These Days," "What's Your Mama's Name"); and Shel Silverstein ("Boy Named Sue," "Queen of the Silver Dollar," "The Cover of the Rolling Stone").
           In the 1971-81 division are Dean Dillon ("Best Day," "Tennessee Whiskey," "Unwound"); Larry Henley ("Lizzie and the Rain Man," "The Wind Beneath My Wings," "Til I Get It Right"); Layng Martine Jr. ("The Greatest Man I Never Knew," "Rub It In," "Way Down"); Dennis Morgan ("I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," "I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World," "Smoky Mountain Rain") and Thom Schuyler ("16th Avenue," "Long Line of Love," "Love Will Turn You Around").
           Contending in the songwriter/artist list are Rodney Crowell ("Til I Gain Control Again," "Song for the Life," "Please Remember Me"), Bob Dylan ("Lay, Lady, Lay," "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"); Freddie Hart ("Easy Loving," "Loose Talk," "My Hang Up Is You"); Paul Overstreet ("All the Fun," "Love Can Build a Bridge," "On the Other Hand"); and Jerry Reed ("East Bound and Down," "When You're Hot You're Hot," "U.S. Male").

Longtime Acuff Sideman Dead at Age 90
"Bashful Brother Oswald,"
Beecher "Pete" Kirby R.I.P.

           CMT.COM, 10/17/2002 - Known for decades to his legion of fans as "Bashful Brother Oswald," Beecher "Pete" Kirby died Thursday (Oct. 17) at his home near Nashville following a lengthy illness. The Grand Ole Opry star and longtime member of Roy Acuff's legendary Smoky Mountain Boys was 90 years old.
           "Os", as he was affectionately known to his friends and fellow musicians, joined Acuff's troupe in January 1939 and helped to define the sound of Acuff's music in the 1940s and 1950s with his wailing Dobro and open-throated tenor singing. Following Acuff's death, Os became a full-fledged member of the Grand Ole Opry in his own right - at age 84 - in 1995 and continued to work the show until declining health forced him into retirement in 1999.
           It is impossible to imagine Acuff's music without Os' distinctive Dobro work on songs including "Wreck on the Highway," "Precious Jewel," "The Wabash Cannonball," "Fireball Mail" and "The Great Speckled Bird." Virtually every Dobro player from Josh Graves to Jerry Douglas owe some of their respective styles to that of Os' pioneering work on the instrument.
           Oswald was born Dec. 11, 1911, in Sevierville, located in Eastern Tennessee. Growing up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Os, one of eleven children, was exposed to music at a young age. His father taught at shape-note singing schools and played the guitar, fiddle and banjo. By the time Os reached his teens, he too, was playing the banjo at local square dances while also holding down a day job at the Appalachian Cotton Mill in nearby Knoxville.
           In 1929 Os set out for Detroit in hopes of finding a job in the automotive industry, but the Great Depression quelled all hopes of landing such a position. The move north, however, was not in vain, for Os landed a job on radio station WFDF. It was there that he acquired his first Dobro - to meet the station's manager demands -- to capitalize on the then-popular musical trend - that of Hawaiian music. Os expanded his musical repertoire to include that instrument and by the time he returned home to East Tennessee in the mid-1930s, he had become quite adept at the instrument and was able to find work in a series of bands, including an early configuration of Acuff's Crazy Tennesseans.
           After Acuff was hired by the Opry in 1938, he reformed his group - renamed the Smoky Mountain Boys - and recruited Os into his organization. Until Acuff's death in 1992, Os was a mainstay in the group, both as a musician and comedian, and was the sole constant in the band and on Acuff's recordings for more than 50 years.
           In the early 1960s, Os embarked on his own recording career including the Starday release, Bashful Brother Oswald in 1962 and the 1972 Brother Oswald album on Rounder Records. Os was a featured artist on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1972 watershed album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, that also featured Acuff, Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Norman Blake and Merle Travis.
           After the now-defunct Opryland theme park opened its doors, Os and fellow Smoky Mountain Boy guitarist Charlie Collins were among the featured performers in the park, playing down-home rustic numbers to the delight of the park's visitors.
           In the 1990s, Os recorded a pair of albums Carry Me Back and Heart Songs, Hymns and Friends. Both albums featured performances by guest artists and included among them Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones. Os also published his memoirs, That's the Truth If I Ever Told It, in which he reflected upon his career as a member of Acuff's band and included anecdotes about many of his Opry co-stars.
           Os' wife of nearly 50 years, Lola, died in 1981, and he married Euneta Phillips, who survives him, in 1983. He is also survived by a son, Billy Kirby. A daughter, Linda, preceded him in death.

Walking Encyclopedia of Country Music
Ralph Carlson R.I.P.
           Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen - Friday, October 11, 2002 Ralph Carlson died yesterday afternoon at the General campus of the Ottawa Hospital after a brief battle with leukemia. He was 61. Most of us have enough trouble with one job. Try seven jobs. That's just about how many Ralph Carlson held, usually simultaneously, over his 40-year career as a major Ottawa Valley country and bluegrass artist. Songwriter, guitarist, singer, bandleader, recording artist, broadcaster and record producer - Mr. Carlson did them all. Oh yeah, he also co-ordinated bus tours to Nashville for a few years.
           Born in Montreal and raised in Shediac Cape, N.B., Mr. Carlson arrived in Ottawa as a teenager with his parents in 1953. At the time, the Valley's love affair with country music was hotter than a cheap motel room in July. Area artists such as Mac Beattie, Orval Prophet and The Happy Wanderers were household names on the Valley's entertainment roster, and both CFRA and CKOY hosted country music programs.
           Eatons supplied Mr. Carlson's first guitar, while The Jive Rockets, a high school rock 'n' roll band, supplied his first real taste of stage work when the group landed a two-year gig at Aylmer's Chamberlain Hotel in 1959 (Bob Anka, Paul's cousin, and Dewey Midkiff, later known as Dewey Martin and part of the original Buffalo Springfield, were fellow Jive Rockets).
           By 1961, The Jive Rockets were history and Mr. Carlson had signed on with Ron McMunn and His Country Cousins. Fast forward to 1966 and Mr. Carlson had already recorded his first solo album, The Game Is Love, and was heading up his own band, Ralph Carlson and Country Mile.
           Nine years later, he packed in his day job as a purchasing agent with the Carleton School Board, where his wife Elayne continued to work, and the band became regulars on the cross-Canada club, rodeo and fair circuit.
           Mr. Carlson recalled that frantic road life, and two Ottawa country hotspots, during an interview with the Citizen last year: "You could just make it back from the west for a Tuesday start at the Silver Dollar, and if you were in the Maritimes you could make it back for a Monday start at the (Golden) Rail. Very often we pulled in with just enough time to grab a quick shower and hit the stage."
           During its 30-plus year life span, Ralph Carlson and Country Mile released such Canadian hit singles as Lights of Denver, The General Store of Silas McVie, Mr. Carlson's signature song Thanks for the Dance, and the Barry Brown composition Don's Barber Shop, a toast to small-town life and impromptu musical afternoons at Don O'Neill's barber shop in Kemptville.
           Big country awards, television and radio appearances, and overseas tours rounded out the group's profile.
           Ottawa Valley country musician Howard Hayes, who first met Mr. Carlson in the mid-1960s, remembers his friend and frequent concert mate's work ethic: "People used to say Ralph had a problem with his timing. 'Well,' said Ralph, 'I worked at that to fix it and I think it's on the money now.' That's the way he was - if there was something that needed fixing, 'Let's fix it'."
           Mr. Hayes also recalls his buddy's prodigious musical memory. "He was a walking encyclopedia of country music. When we were doing shows, someone would ask Ralph, 'Who sang that song?' And bingo! He'd know it."
           Mr. Carlson - intense, focused, a veteran chain-smoker - was always delighted to share his memories country music.
           Those contacts stood the performer in good stead in the early 1970s. That's when, in partnership with Family Brown member Dave Dennison, he built a full-scale recording operation, Snocan Recording Studios, along with a record label, to give Canadian artists the promotional and distribution opportunities that were missing in a Nashville-dominated marketplace. Musicians from Hugh Scott to Anita Perras recorded in the Holly Lane studio.
           Although Mr. Carlson co-hosted country music shows on CJET in Smiths Falls and CHIP-FM in Fort-Coulonge during his career, it was as host of The Fifth String, a weekly bluegrass show on CKBY-FM (now Y-105) in the 1970s and '80s, that Mr. Carlson the broadcaster shone. Spotlighting both international and area bluegrass artists, Mr. Carlson gave the kind of thoughtful commentary on music now considered passé by hyperactive DJs.
           The Fifth String was unceremoniously dumped in 1989 to make way for a more contemporary format.
           Mr. Carlson never forgot that bit of callousness, nor the way Y-105 steadfastly ignored the Valley's country music heritage once it switched to New Country programming in the mid-'90s. Larry Delaney, publisher of the Canadian country music monthly, Country Music News, notes that when the station invited prominent Valley musicians to its 30th-anniversary celebrations in 2002, Mr. Carlson "refused to go on air and say nice things about them."
           Until diagnosed with leukemia in mid-2002, Mr. Carlson continued to play regularly at Canadian Legion dances, clubs and special events in the Ottawa Valley, either solo or as part of the trio WRD.
           His last of 12 albums, two of which were with his bluegrass band, Bytown Bluegrass, was released in 1996, but Mr. Carlson was a featured artist and guest musician on many other Valley-based disks. Inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, Mr. Carlson also was curator of the Hall's collection of memorabilia and served as president.
           "A lot of people really looked up to Ralph for his diversity," says Larry Delaney. "He was the guy who was able to do it all."

Veterans to Honor Emmylou Harris
           October 11th, 2002 - Emmylou Harris is about to get an award that's possibly even more precious than a Grammy. Next month, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation will present her with the Patrick J. Leahy Humanitarian Award for her work to bring attention to the situations of land mine survivors worldwide.
           A watchdog group, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, reported that more than seven million stockpiled mines were destroyed by states last year, bringing to 34 million the number destroyed since a 1997 treaty. The number of countries exporting land mines has dropped to 14 from 55. The number of land mine accidents also has fallen, to around 15,000-20,000 per year, the report said. A total of 125 countries have ratified the land mine treaty, and another 18 have signed it but have not yet ratified. The United States is not one of those countries.
           Harris will be honored on Nov. 12 at a benefit event in Washington by musical guests including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin, Buddy and Julie Miller, Jamie O'Hara and John Prine. All proceeds from the event will support the VVAF's assistance programs.

Musicians Union Extravaganza
           By Edward Morris, 10/08/2002 _ NASHVILLE - One can argue about the musical high point of a concert that lasted for four hours, but there's no question that the emotional peak of the Nashville Association of Musicians' 100th anniversary show Monday night (Oct. 7) came when 84-year-old Eddy Arnold wept onstage.
           Local 257 of the American Federation of Musicians held its "Big 100" celebration at the Grand Ole Opry House. It featured the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and dozens of international stars, including Brenda Lee, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Ray Price and some of the most revered members of the Grand Ole Opry.
           Still handsome and ramrod straight, Arnold walked onstage late in the first half of the show to the strains of his 1965 hit, "Make the World Go Away." As the crowd stood (for the first of three times during his appearance), the singer's voice broke at this prolonged display of affection. "I'm very sentimental," he said, "so please bear with me." Once composed, he continued, "I'm not a great fan of unions, but this union has been a great thing for this community."
           Arnold told the audience that he joined the Nashville outpost in 1940, "when I was just a pup." He explained, "In many cities, particularly Chicago, they wouldn't let country boys be in their union." When the crowd laughed, Arnold added, "I'm serious." He thanked the audience for attending, noting that "the money you've spent tonight will go to fellows who haven't prepared for disaster." Proceeds are earmarked for the Vic Willis Emergency Relief Fund and the Opry Trust Fund.
           Harold Bradley, legendary guitarist and president of Local 257, then joined Arnold in the spotlight. He recounted that he was just 17 when he first met the singer and that the two aspiring but poor musicians used to ride the streetcar together in their ramblings about Nashville. Bradley said one of his most vivid memories of the day in 1944 when he was leaving town to join the Navy was watching Arnold as he trudged away from him. Before his tour of duty was over, he said, his sister was writing him to tell him how big a star Arnold was becoming.
           After reciting some of Arnold's many achievements during his 55-year recording career, Bradley presented him with the union's Artist of the Century award. "I've been getting a lot of awards here lately," Arnold responded. "I retired three years ago. I said to my wife, 'They must think I'm gonna die.'" With that, he walked off to another rapturous round of applause.
           One would have to sit through a year's worth of TV specials to get as much varied and memory-tugging music as this one show provided. The full Nashville Symphony was onstage throughout the concert, except for the Grand Ole Opry salute, and accompanied most of the main performers.
           While the tilt was toward country music, there were also nods to pop, rock, gospel, bluegrass and classical. Vestal Goodman and the Happy Goodman Family sang "Peace in the Valley" and Ferlin Husky "Wings of a Dove"; the Osborne Brothers reeled out three bluegrass standards (including the wistful "Kentucky" and the raucous "Rocky Top"); Dobie Gray gave a dreamy, ethereal reading of "Drift Away"; the Jordanaires, who were frequent backup singers for Elvis Presley, sang a medley of his signature hits; Raul Malo, late of the Mavericks, tastefully covered the Roy Orbison tunes "Crying" and "Oh, Pretty Woman."
           Although it was a sizable audience, there were still hundreds of unoccupied seats in the house. Few faces in the crowd looked to be under 50, and a great many were clearly 60 or older. It was not an assembly that leaped to its feet on whim. But they were up and cheering wildly for saxophonist Boots Randolph. His orchestra-backed excursions through "King of the Road" and "Yakety Sax" drew louder and more sustained cheers than any other act.
           During the symphonic tribute to Hank Williams, Don Helms, the last living member of Williams' Drifting Cowboys band, took center stage to play steel guitar on "Cold, Cold Heart." It was the same instrument he had used when touring with the band.
           Ray Price, the penultimate act of the evening, was spellbinding in his renditions of "Crazy Arms," "For the Good Times" and "Danny Boy," displayed that same rich, resonant, old-wood voice that has made him one of country music's best stylists for the last half-century.
           Price's one-time band member, Willie Nelson, closed the show, backed by the orchestra and his harmonica player, Mickey Raphael. With no "Whiskey River" intro to get his steam up, Nelson pretty much floated on his own relaxed rhythms through three pop standards he's by now branded as his own - "Georgia on My Mind," "All of Me" and "Stardust." The entire cast reconvened onstage to usher the crowd out he door with "On the Road Again."
           The Grand Ole Opry staff band and background vocalists also accompanied several of the acts, including all those who sang truncated versions of their hits on the "Opry Salute" segment of the program - Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, Jan Howard, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jeannie Seely, Billy Walker, Jack Greene, Connie Smith and Porter Wagoner.
           In addition to spotlighting musicians and vocalists, the show also drew attention to arrangers and conductors. Various of these waved the baton throughout the evening, including Byung Rhee, Jim Gray, Lloyd Wells, Buddy Skipper, Tony Migliori, Hank Levine, Bill Walker, Jeff Steinberg, Bergen White and Bobby Ogdin. Radio station WSM announcers Keith Bilbrey, Kyle Cantrell, Hairl Hensley, Eddie Stubbs and Jennifer Herron were the masters of ceremonies.

Stuart to Tour with New Band
           The country singer says he's played everything from cornfields to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His new band, The Fabulous Superlatives, will travel with him in 2003 on his first tour in years, to support a new studio album due out this winter on his new label, Sony Records.
           Stuart's last record was 1999's "The Pilgrim," which received critical praise but not much commercial success. Stuart left MCA Records shortly after its release.
           Stuart tells Nashville newspaper The Tennessean he meant to take a year off after "The Pilgrim," but his planned fishing trips never materialized. Instead, he composed film scores in Hollywood for "All the Pretty Horses," wrote songs with his wife Connie Smith, and produced the new Johnny Cash tribute album, "Kindred Spirits."

Slim Whitman's Early Cuts
Slim Whitman "Earliest & Rarest Recordings" Debuts This Week Includes Just Discovered First Recording From 1948
           Fans of country crooner Slim Whitman whose name and recordings were popularized to the nation in a series of legendary TV commercials in the early 1980's will have something new and exciting to add to their collections in the coming week. British-based TKO/Magnum Enterprises in association with Music Mill Entertainment of Nashville and the Louisiana Hayride Archives announces the forthcoming release of Whitman's earliest and rarest audio recordings to coincide with Slim's final tour of Great Britain which kicks off next month.
           The CD opens with Slim's very first recording, a demo song he cut when just starting out in Tampa, Florida in the spring of 1948. Entitled "Way Down In Florida (That's The Only Place To Be)", the song was recorded at Florida Music Enterprise and fifty copies were pressed for distribution to local and regional radio stations. One copy managed to survive the ages and surfaced recently on the auction website eBay where it was purchased by longtime Whitman fan Loren R. Knapp. Loren is the president of Slim Whitman Collectors International (formerly the Slim Whitman Appreciation Society) and is pleased to share the first of what would become 540 Whitman songs spanning more than 45 years.
           In the early fifties, Slim left his native Florida and ventured first to Nashville before heading to Louisiana to join the cast of the Louisiana Hayride where he found international fame while holding down a job as a local postman. Several of Slim's early efforts from the Hayride show are included in the CD, showcasing appearances from 1951 through 1968. Slim yodels his way through "Rose Marie", "Cattle Call", "I'm Casting My Lasso", "Indian Love Call" and "I Remember You" plus a self-penned rarity "Whippoorwill Yodel". Rounding out the collection are two recordings from a 1965 tour Slim made of South Africa featuring vocals in the local Afrikaans language.
           The CD concludes with a short narrative piece by Louisiana Hayride announcer Frank Page that details the story of Slim's association with the Hayride show. Offering many unreleased and rare recordings, this retrospective spans twenty years in the career of America's most popular crooner, Slim Whitman, and charts his growth from crooner to legend. European release of the 14-track CD entitled "The Only Place To Be - Slim Whitman's Earliest & Rarest Recordings" is scheduled for September 27, with a US debut through Griffin Music on October 22. The product may be ordered direct from TKO or will be available through most internet retailers and US record outlets.
           For more information contact: Joey Kent - The Louisiana Hayride (318) 797-8975 -

Mickey Newbury Passes Away
Sunday, September 29, 2002 - Last night Mickey Newbury passed away in peaceful sleep. He struggled with great courage for years against his illness, (emphysema) but his body finally gave in and he nows rests in ease and peace ... His legacy is great and will remain long after he and we are gone. He was a dear man, great friend and an artist of the highest order. We will all miss him but we also take comfort in knowing he is at last free of pain and resting at peace. We send our love to Susie and his family. (Posted by Bill Littleton)

Mickey Newbury - Born May 19, 1940 in Houston, TX
Courtesy TWANGTOWNUSA.COM - Along with fellow songwriters such as Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Tom T. Hall, Mickey Newbury helped revolutionize country music in the 1960s and '70s by bringing new, broader musical influences as well as a frank, emotional depth to the music - while at the same time never losing respect for tradition. Newbury infused his country music with haunting beauty and spiritual melancholy, creating an impressive collection of introspective, emotionally complex songs that are more spiritual cousins of the work of Leonard Cohen than that of Roy Acuff. (Newbury, in fact, calls himself a folksinger, and has never toured with a band, prefering the ambience of a quiet coffeehouse.) The fact that many of his songs became hits for singers from Don Gibson to Elvis Presley was proof that the industry and the public were hungry for a change.
           Like many of his generation, however - such as his friend Townes Van Zandt Newbury is better known as a songwriter than as a singer. Newbury has recorded 15 albums over a nearly 30 year period - right up to 1996's "Lulled By the Moonlight, " a limited-edition release sold by mail order - but his soft, beautiful tenor voice has rarely reached the charts.
           Newbury spent his teens in Houston absorbing a wide range of music, learning to play guitar, and writing poetry, which he began reading in local coffeehouses. Folk music was on the rise at the time, and he soon turned to writing songs. He sang in a vocal group called the Embers during this time (they were briefly on Mercury), and played and hung out in Houston's black R&B and blues clubs, where he was nicknamed "The Little White Wolf" by Gatemouth Brown.
           Newbury joined the Air Force and was stationed in England. After his discharge, he turned back to music. In 1963, a friend of his landed him a writing job with Acuff-Rose, and Newbury moved to Nashville. During the next several years, he became friends with such singers as Roy Orbison, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, and Townes Van Zandt. He was also instrumental in getting both Kristofferson and Van Zandt - among others - noticed in Nashville.
           In 1966 Don Gibson had a Top 10 hit with Newbury's "Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings, " and Newbury's writing career was off and running. A long string of hit songs followed, recorded by such artists as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition ("Just Dropped In"), Eddy Arnold ("Here Comes the Rain, Baby"), and Andy Williams ("Sweet Memories").
           Newbury's first album of his own was Harlequin Melodies for RCA in 1968, recorded in RCA's big Nashville studio (it's an album he now detests). He quickly got out of his RCA contract and instead turned to a small four-track studio run by engineer Wayne Moss in a converted garage (becoming, before the word "outlaw" ever became fashionable, one of the first Nashville artists to work outside the studio system). It was here that he recorded some of his best solo albums, starting with Looks Like Rain for Mercury; this contained initial versions of two of his most enduring songs, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" (which he's recorded several times more) and "33rd of August."
           But Mercury didn't support the album, and so Newbury switched to Elektra in 1970. With this label, he released a string of superb albums, including Frisco Mabel Joy, Heaven Help the Child, and the acoustic Live at Montezuma Hall; the latter was paired with a rerelease of Looks Like Rain. These contained such songs as "Cortelia Clark" (about a blind street singer), the almost painfully lonely "Frisco Depot, " and "Heaven Help the Child, " a sweeping mini-epic of a song that makes references to Fitzgerald and Paris in the 1920s. In 1972 Newbury had a Top 30 hit with "American Trilogy, " a suite-like arrangement of "Dixie, " "Battle Hymn of the Republic, " and "All My Trials." The song later became a major hit for Elvis Presley and a standard in his repertoire.
           Newbury recorded three albums for ABC/Hickory in the late 1970s, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1980, but he was more and more becoming something of a recluse. He had given up concert touring some years before, and also had moved to Oregon. In the 1980s, he only released two albums. In 1994 he resurfaced with Nights When I Am Sane, an acoustic album recorded live with guitarist Jack Williams; Lulled by the Moonlight followed in early 2000. Since he's been out of the spotlight for more than a decade, though, and his catalog is largely out of print, he's little known in contemporary country circles. People familiar with his work, however, recognize Newbury as one of country music's most inspired and moving artists. -Kurt Wolff

Ray Price Joins George Jones &
Willie Nelson For Special Performance

Nashville, TN - Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price, will perform as part of the celebration for the 100th anniversary of the Nashville Musicians Union on Monday, October 7th at the Grand Ole Opry House. The event "Music of Music City - Celebrating a Century of Musiciansî will be benefiting the Opry Trust Fund and the Vic Willis Emergency Relief Fund. Also scheduled to perform at this star-studded event are Ray Stevens, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells, The Jordanaires, Raul Malo, Mandy Barnett, Boots Randolph, the Nashville Symphony any many notable Opry members.
           Price's new album, Time, is already gaining acclaim from music lovers. Price recaptured his classic sound by working with some of the same musicians who participated on his original hits, many who are members of the famous Nashville ěAî team session players. Vince Gill stepped in and added harmony vocals to ěWhat If I Say Goodbyeî a song written by Harlan Howard.
           Nashville-based Audium Records is a wholly owned subsidiary of KOCH Entertainment LLC, the leading and fastest-growing independent music company in the U.S. KOCH's operations encompass record labels and distribution companies in the U.S. and Canada. Artists on Audium Records include Rhett Akins, Bonnie Bramlett, The Charlie Daniels Band, Steve Ripley, The Tractors, Daryle Singletary, the Kentucky HeadHunters, Dale Watson, Ray Price, Danni Leigh, Rodney Redman, Doug Stone, and Confederate Railroad.

Andy Griffith Gets Highway Named
MOUNT AIRY, N.C. - Andy Griffith is coming back to Mount Airy. The 76-year-old actor, who brought fabled Mayberry to life on "The Andy Griffith Show," will make a public appearance Oct. 16 for the dedication of a section of U.S. 52 in his honor.
           "He is probably one of the most recognized people, most recognized actors in the country because he's just got that charm," said David Bradley, the president of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce. "This is a great opportunity." Gov. Mike Easley will be the keynote speaker, with Griffith scheduled to speak afterward.
           Griffith's visit comes just three weeks after the 13th annual Mayberry Days, a festival scheduled to run Friday through Sunday that celebrates the characters and spirit of The Andy Griffith Show. The three-day festival attracts fans of the show as well as those in search of the simpler living along Mount Airy's Main Street. More than 20,000 people attended last year. Griffith usually skips Mayberry Days and has been reluctant to make a public appearance in his hometown. The last time was June 1, 1957, when he was greeted with a parade for his movie "No Time For Sergeants." (AP)

Merle Cancels Eleven Shows
September 24, 2002 - Country singer Merle Haggard canceled 11 concerts this month because of back trouble, a spokesman said. "Merle said he is sorry about this inconvenience ... and he hopes everyone understands," said Lance Roberts, his booking agent.
           Haggard, 65, has four herniated discs in his back and is at home in California resting and getting medical care, Roberts said Friday. More concerts could be canceled, depending on what treatment is prescribed. September concerts had been scheduled in Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn.; Washington; Atlanta; and other cities.

Tanya is Back With New Album
Tanya Tucker's first album in five years hit retail outlets Tuesday, September 24. Simply titled Tanya, the album is the first release on Tucker's own Tuckertime Records, distributed through the singer's former label, Capitol Records.
           Tucker has certainly been no stranger to the road over the last few years, and it was her personal encounters with people across the country that inspired her to record this new album. "We had so many requests along the way," she says. "I mean, anytime I'd run into anybody in radio, anyone from the fan club or just fans in general, they were always sayin', 'What's goin' on with you? Why aren't you makin' records?' I even had George Jones call me up and say, 'What are you doin'?' He said, 'How come my favorite female singer isn't - I don't hear her on the radio? How come she doesn't make any records?' It got to the point where it started to be ridiculous, you know, so many requests. I thought, 'Well, maybe out of sight out of mind is not always the case.'"
           For the first time in her lengthy career, Tucker served as co-producer on the album, along with her fiance, songwriter Jerry Laseter and Barry Beckett (Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Hank Williams Jr., Dire Straits). In addition, Tucker co-wrote one song on the project. The singer will perform on the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry Saturday (September 28) beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Dolly Parton Is New Tenn. Ambassador
NASHVILLE - Dolly Parton has been named Tennessee's ambassador for film and music by Gov. Don Sundquist. The country singer-actress, who will promote shooting movies and producing soundtracks in the state, will be the centerpiece of an advertising campaign. "Dolly exemplifies the total spectrum of Tennessee's extraordinary talent," Sundquist said Friday. "Her involvement in promoting Tennessee's film and music industries will be a tremendous asset to our economic development efforts." Parton, 56, called the state "a one-stop location for filmmaking, film scores and soundtracks." Her hits include "I Will Always Love You" and "Jolene." She starred in the films "9 to 5" and "Steel Magnolias."

WSM, Grand Ole Opry on Satellite Radio
           Sirius Satellite Radio, the premier satellite radio broadcaster, and Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment announced on September 19th that a new national country entertainment channel created jointly by Sirius and Gaylord. Debuting in October month on Sirius channel #164, "WSM Entertainment," the newly created channel, will feature music, performances and special features from WSM-Radio, America's country music station, and the Grand Ole Opry, America's most famous and beloved country music show.
           "WSM Entertainment" will broadcast each Grand Ole Opry performance, including the Grand Ole Opry's weekly Friday show (8:30-10:30 p.m. EST) and its weekly Saturday show (7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. EST). Seasonal performances, which run for six months from spring to fall on each Tuesday, will air from 8-10 p.m. EST. Listeners will also have access to special features from the Grand Ole Opry and WSM archives throughout the day.
           "WSM and the Grand Ole Opry, which both started in 1925, have been at the forefront of new technology across many generations," said Steve Buchanan, Gaylord Entertainment Senior Vice President of Media and Entertainment. "We were again pioneers of cable television in the 1980s, and in June 2000 we began streaming WSM and the Grand Ole Opry on the Internet. Today, in 2002, we are taking the next step in connecting new fans to country music by broadcasting nationwide on Sirius Satellite Radio. And we are working hard to find even more innovative ways to connect new and existing fans to the Grand Ole Opry and country music."

Austin City Limits' 28th Season:
Innovators In American Music

AUSTIN, TX - Sep 10, 2002 -- AUSTIN CITY LIMITS presents the power and passion of live music on PBS this Fall with a new season starting October 5 (check local listings) featuring an electric one-hour performance from Bonnie Raitt and special guests. The show The New York Times calls "the standard bearer for music on television" returns for its 28th year, exploring newmusical territories with diverse artists ranging from Norah Jones to Chris Isaak and from Jackson Browne to Beck.
           AUSTIN CITY LIMITS has a long history of bringing the nation the best in American music. The series' pilot episode featured Willie Nelson and aired on PBS stations across the country in 1975. Today, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is the only showcase for American roots music of all genres on television.
           "It's roots music, it's country music," said Producer Terry Lickona. "It's rock, blues, bluegrass, folk, Latino, jam bands, virtuoso pickers, world-class singers and songwriters. It's authentic, original American music. Doesn't matter where it comes from, whether it's old or new. It's music for people who won't accept bland boundaries and stereotypes. We even stretch the limits sometimes to include our musical neighbors to the north and south or Brit cousins to the east. It's eclectic, but it's accessible. It moves you. It makes you think; sometimes it makes you cry. Sometimes you get up and dance. It's music for all ages."
           Each week on PBS, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS presents original American music from pop to blues, bluegrass to alternative rock, mountain roots to psychedelic jams and much more. The series has long been one of the few broadcast outlets on national television to present innovators in Hispanic music. On October 12, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS presents the first theatrical production in the show's history with "By the Hand of the Father." This special production features selected songs and stories of the unique 20th century journey of the Mexican-American father from the stage production of the same name, with music by Alejandro Escovedo and featuring Rosie Flores and Ruben Ramos
           The new season will also include legendary artists Alison Krauss + Union Station performing songs from their newest release and the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack followed by the West Texas country sounds of The Flatlanders ‹ Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore ‹ on October 19.
           Rounding out October are appearances by East L.A. band Los Lobos ‹ performing songs from their newest release, Good Morning Aztlan ‹ and Grateful Dead legend Bob Weir and his jam band RatDog. This episode airs October 26 (check local listings).
           Other highlights this season include performances by pop visionary Beck, sultry songstress Norah Jones, blues-rock bad boy Chris Issak, legendary singer/songwriter Jackson Browne in a rare television appearance, alternative rock's next big thing Ben Kweller, mountain music icon Ralph Stanley, and Led Zeppelin-ex Robert Plant.
           AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is a production of KLRU-TV, Austin, Texas. Funding for AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is provided in part by Chevrolet, Schlotzsky's, Michelob Light and the Austin Convention Center Department.

Slim Whitman's UK Farewell Tour
3rd - Guildhall, Portsmouth 0239 282 4355
5th - Congress Theatre, Eastbourne 01323 412 000
6th - Princess Theatre, Torquay 08702 414 120
7th - City Hall, Salisbury 01722327 676
9th - Fairfield Hall, Croydon 0208688 9291
10th - Royal Centre, Nottingham
11th - City Hall, Hull 01482 226 655
12th - Opera House, Newcastle 0191 232 0899

14th - Civic Theatre, Darlington 01325 486 555
16th - Victoria Hall, Stoke-On-Trent 01782 213 800
17th - Hexagon, Reading 0118 960 6060
18th - Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool 0151 709 3789
19th - Rialto, Derry 028 7126 4455
20th - Waterfront Hall, Belfast 028 9033 4455 22nd - Corn Exchange, Cambridge 01223 357 851
24th - Pavilion Theatre, Worthing 01903 206 206
26th - Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow 0141 332 1846/ 28th - Theatre Royal, Norwich 01603 622 777
Slim Whitman Collectors International

R&R Hall of Fame 7th Annual
American Music Series "Honky Tonk Blues:
Music, Life, legacy of Hank Williams"

CLEVELAND, OH (September 9, 2002) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has announced the details of its seventh annual American Music Masters program. Hank Williams will be honored in a week-long tribute September 24 - 28, 2002. Williams was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
           "This year, our American Music Masters Series is honoring one of the legends of modern music," said Terry Stewart, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "In his tragically brief career, Hank Williams created a body of work that sounds as vital today as it did fifty years ago. His stature as a songwriter is still unparalleled and has greatly influenced the work of numerous rock and roll giants."
           In a career that barely lasted a decade, Hank Williams charted 36 Top 10 country hits, including such classics as "Lovesick Blues," "Cold, Cold Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin" and "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)." Unfortunately, Williams' career came to a tragic end, when he died of a heart attack on January 1, 1953, at the age of 29. He scored three posthumous Number One hits in 1953 - "Kaw-Liga," "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Take These Chains from My Heart" - and he has continued to inspire subsequent generations of rock and rollers and country musicians.
           The highlight of the series is the Tribute Concert at the State Theater, Playhouse Square Center on Saturday, September 28, 2002 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for this concert are $20, $30, and $50. The format for the show will tell the story of Williams' life through performance. The narrator for the evening will be Billy Bob Thornton.
           Performers will include Jett Williams, Marty Stuart, Brett James, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Joe Grushecky, blues-rocker Bonnie Bramlett and other artists to be announced. Participating in the house band will be Don Helms who played the steel guitar in Williams' original band. Advance tickets for the tribute concert are on sale to members now. Tickets will be available to non-members starting September 9. Tickets are available through or at the Museum box office.
           An interdisciplinary conference on Williams' music, life and legacy, sponsored by Case Western Reserve University, will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2002 at 9:00 a.m. at CWRU's Thwing Center. The conference will include an artist panel with Jett Williams, Tommy Shaw and Don Helms. The keynote speaker is Colin Escott, the author of Hank Williams: The Biography. The cost of the conference is $25 and includes lunch. Continental breakfast will be available for purchase. CWRU students are free with a valid student I.D. Register for tickets online at and be eligible to win an electric guitar. Space is limited. For more information, please call 216.368.3836.
           The Museum opened a Hank Williams exhibit on September 1 in the Circular Gallery in the Ahmet M. Ertegun Exhibition Hall. This is the largest artifact-based exhibit in Museum history focused on an early influence inductee. Artifacts in the exhibit include clothing worn by both Hank Williams and his wife Audrey, numerous original handwritten lyric manuscripts, recording and publishing contracts, three of his guitars and rare memorabilia.
           There will be a special Members Night presented by Plugged In, the Museum's official affiliate membership group, on September 22 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The evening will include a chance to view the new Hank Williams exhibit, a curator's lecture, entertainment, cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, and a raffle featuring Hank Williams posters and CD's. Tickets are $10 and are available through Ticketmaster and the Museum box office. Please bring your membership card to show at the door.
           The Cleveland Play House presents "Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams." The play opens on September 24 and runs through October 20. Tickets are on sale now and are available through or by calling 800.287.1CPH.            All American Music Masters Series tickets are currently on sale to members. Tickets go on sale to non-members on Monday, September 9. Tickets are available at the Museum box office and through Ticketmaster at 216.241.5555. Please note the Tribute concert tickets are available through

Alan Jackson Sets Record
NAHVILLE, August 29, 2)02 - Alan Jackson set a new record today receiving 10 CMA Award nominations in one year ­ besting Merle Haggard's long-standing record of nine nominations in a single year set in 1970. Surprise guest Brad Paisley made the historic announcement at a press conference hosted by SHeDAISY and Rascal Flatts to announce the finalists for "The 36th Annual CMA Awards" at the Coliseum in Nashville. The CMA Awards will be broadcast live Wednesday, Nov. 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST) on the CBS-Television Network from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Jackson wasn't the only artist collecting multiple nominations. Twelve artists received multiple nominations including Toby Keith with six; Paisley and George Strait with four; Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss with three each; and Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Nickel Creek and Rascal Flatts each receiving two nominations.

40 Greatest Women of Country Music
Debuting Friday, August 29th on CMT

Three-Hour CMT Special Illustrates the Depth and Breadth of Country Music.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - August 29, 2002 - CMT: Country Music Television reveals the elite list of the "40 Greatest Women Of Country Music" in anticipation of the network's upcoming historic television event. The 40 GREATEST WOMEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC were selected by hundreds of artists, music historians, music journalists, and music industry professionals - looking at every aspect of what a great artist is - from her musically groundbreaking body of work to her overall contributions to the ever-changing world of country music. Viewers will have to tune in to this three-hour documentary special to find out where their favorite artist ranks on the list. The special, hosted by actor Billy Campbell ("Once & Again" and "Enough") will air Labor Day weekend, debuting on Friday, Aug. 30 at 9:00 PM-12:00 Midnight, ET/PT (repeats Saturday, Aug. 31 at 4:00-7:00 PM, ET/PT; Sunday, Sept. 1 at 12:00 Noon-3:00 PM, ET/PT and 11:00 PM-2:00 AM, ET/PT; and Monday, Sept. 2 at 8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT).

           The 40 "greatest women of country music" come from every corner of country music including the very roots of the genre. The list illustrates the enormous depth and variety that country music embodies. These 40 women have blazed trails on Broadway, in comedy, rock & roll, bluegrass, alternative country, film, and television - all while making indelible marks on the face and sound of country music.

           The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, according to singers, songwriters, music critics and music industry professionals all over America, are (in alphabetical order):

Lynn Anderson
Reba McEntire
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Patsy Montana
Maybelle Carter
Lorrie Morgan
June Carter
Cash Anne Murray
Roseanne Cash
K.T. Oslin
Patsy Cline
Dolly Parton
Dixie Chicks
Minnie Pearl
Dale Evans
LeAnn Rimes
Crystal Gayle
Linda Ronstadt
Emmylou Harris
Connie Smith
Faith Hill
Pam Tillis
Wanda Jackson
Tanya Tucker
The Judds
Shania Twain
Alison Krauss
Cindy Walker
kd Lang
Kitty Wells
Brenda Lee
Dottie West
Patty Loveless
Lucinda Williams
Loretta Lynn
Lee Ann Womack
Barbara Mandrell
Tammy Wynette
Martina McBride
Trisha Yearwood

           40 GREATEST WOMEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC will include interviews with celebrities talking about the impact these women have made on country music, how they feel when they hear one of these women sing and the emotions that are evoked when they think of the contributions these specific women have made to country music. The special will also include video footage, historic photos, and the timeless music these women have made over the years that will create the exciting three-hour countdown from No. 40 to No.1. Each hour will draw CMT viewers closer to knowing which artist will be honored as the Greatest Woman of Country Music.

Georgette Jones ...
Daughter of George Jones and
Tammy Wynette Debut Concert

Every year there is a country music event that leaves a buzz in the industry. This year that event will be the upcoming debut concert of Georgette Jones. Georgette, daughter of country music superstars George Jones and Tammy Wynette will be introducing her own talent to an anticipated large crowd in Talladega, Alabama. Georgette has made several television appearances including Gabriel Productions Country's Family Reunion series: The Young 'uns.
           For several years she sang background vocals for her mother and has made several concert appearances with her father. Now Georgette plans to step from behind the shadow of her parents and makes a name in country music for herself.
           The show is part of the Davey Allison Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony. An annual ceremony where fans of racing get the opportunity to vote in their choice for the Walk of Fame.
           Sharing the stage with Georgette are two other names that music fans will be hearing a lot more of as well. TCMA's Traditional Country Male Vocalist of the Year 2002, Denzel Crabtree will be winning over both the new and the seasoned country music fans. Denzel's talent brings traditional country back to the stage with enough passion for country music to capture the heart of all country music fans. Denzel will be introducing a lot of his original work which will be available on CD at the show.
           And just when you think that one show cannot possibly deliver a more impressive lineup, "N"Session Entertainment will be introducing their Female Vocalist of the Year, Ms. Haley Baird. When Haley performs, her energy and love for the music radiates thru her voice. Bringing crowds to their feet, always leaving them wanting more. Haley delivers a high energy show that will leave you singing long after her last number. What else could make this show even better? How about the fact that it is free? Never again will this happen. This show is country music history in the making.
Date: October 5, 2002
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Davey Allison Memorial Park, Talladega, Alabama
Admission: Free
Online Concert Info

Texas' Country Hall of Fame Reopens
The Tex Ritter Museum and Texas Country Music Hall of Fame reopened on Friday (Aug. 16, 2002), in a new building dedicated to the Lone Star State's country music pioneers. And on Saturday night, Tanya Tucker, Gene Watson and the late Nat Stuckey were inducted before a sold-out audience as this year's Hall of Fame honorees. CountryNation reports Tex Ritter's sons, John and Tommie, attended the weekend's festivities along with the Grand Ole Opry's Charlie Walker and songwriter Cindy Walker.
           The Tex Ritter Museum started in 1993 to display memorabilia donated by his relatives. And in 1998, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame was founded as part of the Ritter museum. Ritter's wish for a "Hall of Fame with gold guitars and fiddles a-hanging on the wall" has come true with the new $2.5 million building.

  • GORDON STOKER'S (JORDANAIRES) FORMER HOME FOR SALE. The house was built by Gordon Stoker Nashville in 1958 - quite a mansion back then! (Gordon hasn't owned it for many years). The current owner is looking for someone who would appreciate this home's musical heritage - Elvis visited there too! 3228 sq. ft., spectacular hilltop view, 4 BR, 2.5 BA - a super home on a great piece of land in Green Hills, TN. Contact: - Info page on this house.

    Jonnie Barnett, Dead At 56
    Jonnie Barnett, co-writer of the Clay Walker hit, "The Chain Of Love," died Sunday (Aug. 18) at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. According to information provided the Tennessean newspaper, Barnett was 56 and died of a stroke. In addition to "Chain," a 2001 BMI award-winner, Barnett also co-wrote "One Foot In The Blues," which was recorded by Johnny Adams and nominated in 1997 at the W. C. Handy Blues Awards for blues song of the year.
               Born Jonathan Barnett Kaye in Sumpter, SC, Barnett broke into the entertainment business as a performer, sharing the bill with such acts as Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Cheech & Chong, Howlin' Wolf, Eric Burdon and Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry. However, he was primarily a songwriter for the last 20 years of his life. Among those who recorded his songs were Hank Williams Jr., Etta James, the Holmes Brothers, Joe Simon, Eric Burdon, Irma Thomas and his sometimes co-writer Dan Penn.
               Occasionally doubling as a movie actor, Barnett had small parts in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975) and Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980). Barnett and his co-writer, Rory Lee, wrote a short-story version of "The Chain of Love" that appeared in the inspirational book Chicken Soup For The Country Soul before Walker released it in song form. Survivors include Barnett's mother, his wife, a sister and a brother. -Edward Morris, CMT

    Don Winters, 'The Yodeling King,' RIP
    Country music singer Don Winters, 73, known to fans as "The Yodeling King," died yesterday at his home in Nolensville after a yearlong battle with liver cancer. Born in Tampa, Fla., and raised in southern Georgia, Mr. Winters began his musical career with his father's band, Pop Winters and the Southern Strollers, in the late 1940s. He moved to Nashville in the 1950s to launch his solo career, recording on RCA and Decca Records labels. He showed up on the Billboard charts with songs Too Many Times and Shake Hands with a Loser.
               In 1960, country music legend Marty Robbins asked Mr. Winters to join his band, a move that launched a lifelong friendship between the two entertainers. Together they serenaded audiences, along with Bobby Sykes, as the Marty Robbins Trio. Mr. Winters and Robbins collaborated until Robbins' death in 1982. Don Winters recorded the classic rockabilly song "Pretty Moon".
               Mr. Winters' sons, Donnie and Dennis, represent the third generation in the Winters family musical legacy, with their recording career as The Winters Brothers. Burial site: Nolensville Cemetery.

    "CMT Honky Tonk Sound"
    Two-Hour CMT Original Special to Debut on Friday, August 16
    Nashville, Tenn. - August 8, 2002 - Honky tonk music takes center stage with the two-hour original documentary CMT HONKY TONK SOUND, debuting on Friday, August 16 at 8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT on CMT: Country Music Television. Hosted by country star Trace Adkins, the special will track honky tonk music from its origins in the roadside saloons of yesteryear to the biggest stars in country music today who carry on the tradition of the honky tonk sound.
               Performance clips from honky tonk pioneers such as Ernest Tubb, as well as modern day survivors of the honky tonk circuit will show how the sound revolutionized country music. The special will visit the top honky tonks in Texas, hopping from historic Greune Hall to The Broken Spoke and then to the most famous of them all, Billy Bob's. CMT HONKY TONK SOUND will also feature The Cowboy Palace in Southern California where patrons still ride their horses to their neighborhood honky tonk just outside of Los Angeles. The CMT documentary will explore the roots of the steel guitar and discover how it created a signature country sound. CMT HONKY TONK SOUND will also feature designer to the stars, Manuel, whose dazzling rhinestone suits first graced the early honky tonks and are still worn by today's hottest country stars.

    Joe Allison RIP
    AUGUST 3, 2003 - Courtesy ROBERT K. OERMANNf or The TennesseanNashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Joe Allison died yesterday afternoon in Saint Thomas Hospital. Mr. Allison, 77, died of respiratory failure after a long battle with lung disease. He is remembered as the composer of such hits as the Jim Reeves' classic He'll Have to Go and Faron Young's Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young. His contributions to the music world were many. In addition to writing hits, Joe Allison was a recording executive, radio personality, song publisher and record producer. He worked with Willie Nelson, Bob Wills, Tex Ritter, Hank Thompson and numerous other top stars. He was also a founding board member of the Country Music Association (CMA).
               Born in McKinney, Texas, on Oct. 3, 1924, Joe Marion Allison initially made his mark as a radio broadcaster in the Lone Star State. He moved to Nashville in 1949 to become a disc jockey at WMAK. He eventually worked in television and radio in Music City for WSM and WSIX. In 1953 he was among the co-founders of the Country Music Disc Jockey Association, the forerunner of today's CMA.
               His first big success as a songwriter was when Tex Ritter recorded the top-10 hit When You Leave, Don't Slam the Door in 1946. Mr. Allison also won BMI Awards for It's a Great Life (recorded by Faron Young, 1956) and Teen-Age Crush (Tommy Sands, 1957). His biggest success came with He'll Have to Go (1960), which not only topped the country charts, but was a major pop hit as well. His fifth BMI Award came for its "answer" song, He'll Have to Stay (Jeanne Black, 1960). Other notable songs included I'd Fight the World (Jim Reeves, 1974) and Love Is Just a State of Mind (Roy Clark, 1969).
               Allsion moved to Los Angeles to produce the 1957-60 television show Country America. On the West Coast, he became the professional manager of the Central Songs publishing company. Writers there included Harlan Howard, Bobby Bare, Tommy Collins and Buck Owens. Then, as a talent scout for Liberty Records, Mr. Allison produced the early recordings of Willie Nelson and Hank Cochran. He also helped revive the career of western-swing king Bob Wills while at Liberty. He continued working in radio, creating a long-running country show that aired over the Armed Forces Radio Network in the 1960s.
               In Nashville, he was instrumental in establishing the CMA and the Country Music Foundation (CMF). His sales presentations for the CMA helped convince advertisers and broadcasters to support country as a musical style, long before it became fashionable. He persuaded the city to donate land for the CMF's original Country Music Hall of Fame. In recognition, the CMA gave Mr. Allison its Founding President's Award in 1964.
               Mr. Allison moved back to Nashville in 1965. He produced hits for Dot Records such as Roy Clark's Tips of My Fingers (1963), Hank Thompson's Smoky the Bar (1969) and Roy Clark's Yesterday When I Was Young (1969). Those successes led to his appointment as the head of the Paramount Records office in Nashville, 1970-72. There he groomed such hit makers as Tommy Overstreet and Joe Stampley. In 1972-74 he was with Capitol Records, developing cowboy star Red Steagall and producing his old friend, Tex Ritter.
               Mr. Allison was inducted into the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1976 and into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978. In the 1980s and 1990s he remained active on the boards and committees of various music organizations in Nashville. In later years, he became a successful antiques dealer. Joe Allison is survived by wife Rita; by sons Gregory Joe, Brian James and Mark Woodward; and by brother Jerry, all of Nashville.



    E-mail "Traditional Country Hall of Fame"