A Mixture of News Tidbits, Reviews, Events and Photos

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

E-mail Us with Your Contributions

Page 2, Archives #1

Two Great Country Events

Nashville TN - June 13 - June 16, 2002
A four-day musical celebration combining star-packed concerts with more than 200 artist expected, 30 hours of concerts, 20 hours of autograph sessions, the popular photo line at Adelphia Coliseum (open to all seats), and one cool city. Call toll-free in the US 866-FAN-FAIR (326-3247). After a 17-year run at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, the 30th annual conclave for Country Music's faithful moves to Downtown Nashville, the heart of Music City, USA.

Nashville TN - June 22, 2002
Take part in the Junction Jamboree which is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Kitty Wells' 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels'. The event will be held on June 22nd at Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville,TN. The event will include a contest for country artists, a performance by Junction Records artist Randy Kohrs with Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, and other special guests. For more info visit our website

Fiddle Fest 2002, June 6 - 9

This year's Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest promises to be the best contestever! We hope you can join in this year JUNE 6-9, 2002. Competitions are JUNE 7 & 8. The contest will always be during the FIRST FULL WEEK IN JUNE in an effort to coordinate with Weiser!
- $1,000 Grand Prize - Cash prizes in all divisions
- Standard National Rules - Five nationally recognized judges

OPEN Division $15 entry fee before May 15, $25 after May 15.
Other Divisions $5 entry fee before May 15, $10 after May 15.
-Pee Wee (6 and under)- NEW this year!
-Junior Junior (10 and under)
-Junior (15 and under)
-Adult (16-60)
-Senior (60 and over)

All other Contests $5 entry fee each
-Flatpicking, Dobro, Banjo, Mandolin -Hot Fiddle, Twin Fiddle, 'Take Me Back to Tulsa' (Bob Wills tunes), 'Honeycreek Special' Gambler's Contest

Welcome party and jam on the scenic banks of Grand Lake. Bring your pickin'friends and enjoy!

Registration opens at 800 A.M. Competitions begin at 1000 A.M. with Senior Division; Open Div at 200 P.M.
Special Entertainment at various times throughout the day.

700 P.M. Barbecue dinner with plenty of performing and jamming throughout the evening.
Fiddlers Gambler's Contest--great fun and great music! No admission charge;food $5.00 per person.

Registration continues at 800 A.M. Competitions begin at 900 A.M.
Special Entertainment at various times throughout the day.

700 P.M. begins a great evening with the best of the best!
ALL COMPETITION FINALS and GUEST ARTISTS After-concert jam at Snider's Camp.

Enjoy Gospel, Bluegrass, and more.
Whitewater Boys begin at 900 A.M. Don't miss this one!

Music-related displays are accepted--tell good music or fiddle-related vendors, violin makers, video and cassette vendors, etc. A part of the American Heritage Music Festival, included will be traditional clogging at its best in competition, sanctioned by Maggie Valley, NC. The Fiddle Contest is certified by Weiser, ID

For contest information and a printable registration form, maps, motels, restaurants, RV and tent camping information, please visit or mail entry fee to Grand Lake Festivals, Inc., P.O. Box 451590, Grove, OK, 74345. Help spread the word and pass this message along to pickin' friends--See you there! Call 800-526-2523 for further information

Barbara Mandrell's House For Sale

Barbara Mandrell's massive log mansion and the 141 wooded acres surrounding it are going on the auction block May 30. The estate -- located at Whites Creek, Tenn., just outside of Nashville - has been on the market for some time, accord- ing to, at an asking price of $7 million plus. The house was built in the late 1980s at a cost of about $6 million. The Wall Street Journal notes that a major sell- ing point may be the large central column in the great room that is inscribed with autographs of the famous who have partied there -- among them Dick Clark, Minnie Pearl, Bob Hope, Sheena Easton, Gladys Knight and Rush Limbaugh.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's
'Will the Circle Be Unbroken,' Reissued

The next step for fans turned on to American roots music by 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' could be the new reissue of a 1972 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. An expanded version of 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' (Capitol Nashville) arrived in stores Tuesday, April 2nd, with vastly improved sound compared with the first CD that was released in 1987. Guest artists include country and bluegrass stars Roy Acuff, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Doc Watson and Maybelle Carter.

The original 'Circle' is a bonanza of traditional American music. Highlights include Maybelle Carter - a member of the Carter Family group whose recordings started the country music industry - singing 'Keep on the Sunny Side.' Members of the youthful Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - then in their early 20s - acquit themselves admirably with their heroes. For example, Jimmy Ibbotson stands in for Hank Williams on an impassioned 'Lost Highway.' The West Coast-based band members wanted to do the album because they loved old country music. United Artists agreed to the project, which was budgeted at $22,000, because of the success of the band's pop hit 'Mr. Bojangles' and the 'Uncle Charlie' album.

CMT Resurrects 'Glen Campbell'

CMT will begin airing 'The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,' nearly 30 years after it originally went off the air. The show, which will begin its weekly reruns on CMT starting Tuesday, April 2, features appearances by recording artists such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Stevie Woner and Liza Minnelli. According to CMT, a recent show on Campbell's life received strong ratings in the 18 to 49 demographic and the hope is that the 'Goodtime Hour' will continue the trend.

When the show originally aired from 1969-1972 it had a weekly audience of about 50 million viewers. Campbell, who is now 65 and lives in Phoenix, recorded a number of popular songs during his career, including 'Gentle on My Mind' and 'Rhinestone Cowboy.' He also costarred with John Wayne in the film 'True Grit.'

Here are the guests listed for the first 8 shows:
4/2 - Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl and Mel Tillis
4/9 - Liberace, Neil Diamond and Linda Ronstadt
4/16 - Johnny Cash and Bob Newhart
4/23 - Cher, Don Ho and Cliff Arquette
4/30 - Merle Haggard, Ken Berry, Leslie Uggams, Flip Wilson, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
5/7 - Liza Minnelli, Righteous Brothers and Waylon Jennings
5/14 - Stevie Wonder, Roger Miller, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and Arte Johnson
5/21 - Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Ella Fitzgerald and Raymond Burr
5/28 - John Wayne, Tim Conway and Three Dog Night

Worth a Click ...

The Country Music Country Radio Ignores by Neil Strauss.

The Ryman's Goodbye to Waylon

Courtesy PETER COOPER, Tennessean, Staff Writer - Sunday, March 24, 2002 - NASHVILLE - The Ryman Auditorium was the setting for a tribute to departed country music superstar Waylon Jennings last night, as Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams Jr., Travis Tritt, Charley Pride and others offered a sendoff that mirrored Jennings' idiosyncratic manner. There was heavy-handed rock 'n' roll from Kid Rock (via videotape), and from Jennings' son Shooter. There were replications of Jennings' stomping, signature songs from Tritt, Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Cross Canadian Ragweed (a favorite of Shooter's) and David Lee Murphy.

Williams offered a self-penned song called The Eyes of Waylon, Pride enlisted Jennings' Waymore Blues Band for a version of Good Hearted Woman, and frequent Jennings co-writer Tom Douglas sat alone on stage and accompanied himself on keyboard. There was even a public reconciliation, as Jennings' buddies, former rivals Tritt and Billy Ray Cyrus, hugged after a version of Amazing Grace.

Throughout, a portrait of a gaunt, wild-eyed Jennings hung high over the stage, seeming to peer down on the proceedings. Though the family had originally asked that media members (aside from one Associated Press journalist) not report on the celebration, by yesterday afternoon they dropped that request. Such organizational details were not the event's only changes: Johnny Cash ‹ Jennings' onetime roommate and one of the Highwaymen group that included Jennings, Kristofferson and Willie Nelson ‹ was scheduled to appear as the evening's first performer, but Shooter Jennings advised that health concerns had kept Cash at his Jamaica home.

In lieu of an appearance, Cash sent a telegram. Radio personality and close Jennings friend Carl P. Mayfield, who served as an endearingly discombobulated master of ceremonies, read numerous well-wishes from celebrities including Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Hetfield, the lead singer of heavy metal rock band Metallica. The Rev. Will D. Campbell provided some of the evening's poignant moments in his remembrance from the podium. He noted that Jennings' 64 years were too few, but said, 'The sweetness of a visit is not measured in terms of its longevity.'

Cyrus took center stage to sing Amazing Grace. He was joined halfway through the song by Tritt, and later by Kristofferson. After that trio left the stage, son Buddy Jennings introduced Waylon Jennings' final recording: a self-penned song called The Dream. Jennings' resonant, world-weary baritone commanded the audience's full attention as the old Outlaw's lyrics weighed his realized dreams of fame against truer accomplishments of love and family. 'All I can say, I've had it both ways / And the dream could never compare,' he concluded.

With that, Shooter Jennings reappeared and offered a parting note: 'Thank you for coming,' he said. 'Now go out and raise some hell.'

Birthday CD Will Honor Buck Owens

by Jay Orr - Rodney Crowell, Jim Lauderdale, David Ball and Rosie Flores are among the friends and colleagues of Buck Owens contributing to a tribute album in honor of the Country Music Hall of Fame member. To be titled Happy Birthday Buck, the CD will be released the first week of August by label Texas Music Roundup to coincide with the 11th annual Buck Owens birthday celebration at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas. The project is being co-produced by local guitarist Casper Rawls of the LeRoi Brothers and the Toni Price band and by David Sanger, drummer for Asleep at the Wheel. 'We want to honor our friend Buck Owens and keep this music alive,' Rawls explains.

The producers encouraged contributors to pick their own favorites. They went deep into Owens' considerable catalog to come up with some obscure gems. Crowell does 'Second Fiddle,' a modest hit from 1959. Ball, with the Tosca String Quartet and current Buckaroos Jim Shaw and Terry Christofferson, revisits 'Made in Japan' from 1972. Original Buckaroos Doyle Holly, Tom Brumley and Willie Cantu have chosen 'Before You Go,' a No. 1 song from 1965, and Owens' son, Buddy Owens, will do a duet with Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson on 'Think of Me,' a chart-topper from 1966.

'People picked the songs they love,' Rawls says. 'Some of these have sort of gotten passed over or forgotten because of all the great hits Buck had. There are some great songs that are less well known on the CD.' The set also will honor Owens' guitarist and creative partner, the late Don Rich. 'He was a great influence on country music,' Rawls says, 'and remains so to this day.'

Owens will be 73 on Aug. 12. He was born in Sherman, Texas, grew up in Mesa, Ariz., and has lived in Bakersfield, Calif., since 1951. He was a guest at the annual celebration in 1995. A portion of the proceeds from the album will go to the Travis County Children's Advocacy Center in Austin. Contributors to Happy Birthday Buck, in alphabetical order, include:

David Ball with the Tosca String Quartet, Terry Christofferson and Jim Shaw, 'Made in Japan'
Libbi Bosworth, 'Palm of Your Hand'
Rodney Crowell, 'Second Fiddle'
Rosie Flores, 'Down to the River'
Geezinslaw Brothers, 'We Split the Blanket'
Doyle Holly with Tom Brumley and Willie Cantu, 'Before You Go'
Jeff Hughes, 'Storm of Love'
The Cornell Hurd Band, 'Big Game Hunter'
Jim Lauderdale, 'Sweet Rosie Jones'
LeRoi Brothers, 'Flash, Crash and Thunder'
Buddy Owens/Ray Benson with Flaco Jimenez, 'Think of Me'
Toni Price, 'Hot Dog'
Ted Roddy featuring the Jordanaires and Millie Kirkham, 'Tall Dark Stranger'
Rick Trevino, 'How Long Will My Baby Be Gone'
Susanna Van Tassel, 'You're for Me'
Monte Warden, 'Hello Trouble'

Bu˘k Owen$

MORE 'BUCK NEWS' - 'Crying Time'? Not for Buck Owens. The country singer, 'Hee Haw' star and entrepreneur finds himself in good company in the March issue of Worth magazine, which features an intriguing ranking of America's wealthiest citizens. The 'richest person in town' list names the most affluent resident in each of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas, and Owens takes the title for Bakersfield. Add up royalties from years of songwriting and four dozen Top 10 country hits (among them 'Crying Time,' 'Act Naturally' and 'Together Again'), the paychecks from his 15-year run on 'Hee Haw' and--most important--his profits from buying and selling radio stations, and the 72-year-old Owens ends up with a net worth of $125 million, the magazine reports. No matter how many bucks he has in the bank, Owens told Worth he's been happy to call Bakersfield home for 50 years. 'There ain't,' he said, 'no better place to live.'

Gill Is New Hall President

NASHVILLE - March 20, 2002 - Vince Gill is the new president of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's board. E.W. 'Bud' Wendell, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, continues as board chairman. Gill replaces Marty Stuart, who served for six years as board president. Stuart remains an officer on the board.

Earl Scruggs Goes on Tour

Earl Scruggs continues to excite his fans by doing various tour dates throughout the United States. Following his Grammy Award win, Scruggs set out to Knoxville, TN for the first of these dates. The 78-year-old performed a 90-minute set with an all-star group. The sold-out event was at the Tennessee Theatre, the site of Scruggs' first performance in Knoxville in 1945. The Knoxville News-Sentinel stated, 'If you missed it, you missed a piece of history.' Other upcoming dates to look for are in Dayton, OH at Wright State University on Sunday, April 14 and Wilkesboro, North Carolina at Merlefest on Friday, April 26. More are being scheduled. For other information visit Scruggs' current release, Earl Scruggs And Friends, which includes his Grammy Award winning song 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown' is in stores now.

Current Grand Ole Opry Members

Nashville - March, 2002
- Bill Anderson
- Ernie Ashworth
- Clint Black
- Garth Brooks
- Jim Ed Brown
- Jumpin' Bill Carlisle
- Roy Clark
- John Conlee
- Wilma Lee Cooper
- Skeeter Davis
- Diamond Rio
- Little Jimmy Dickens
- Joe Diffie
- Roy Drusky
- Holly Dunn
- The Gatlin Brothers
- Don Gibson
- Vince Gill
- Billy Grammer
- Jack Greene
- Tom T. Hall
- George Hamilton IV
- Emmylou Harris
- Jan Howard
- Stonewall Jackson
- Alan Jackson
- Jim & Jesse
- George Jones
- Hal Ketchum
- Alison Krauss
- Hank Locklin
- Charlie Louvin
- Patty Loveless
- Loretta Lynn
- Barbara Mandrell
- Martina McBride
- Mel McDaniel
- Reba McEntire
- Melvin Sloan Dancers
- Ronnie Milsap
- Lorrie Morgan
- Jimmy C. Newman
- The Osborne Brothers
- Bashful Brother Oswald
- Brad Paisley
- Dolly Parton
- Johnny Paycheck
- Stu Phillips
- Ray Pillow
- Charley Pride
- Jeanne Pruett
- Riders In The Sky
- Jeannie Seely
- Ricky Van Shelton
- Jean Shepard
- Ricky Skaggs
- Connie Smith
- Mike Snider
- Ralph Stanley
- Marty Stuart
- Pam Tillis
- Randy Travis
- Travis Tritt
- Ricky Van Shelton
- Porter Wagoner
- Charlie Walker
- Billy Walker
- Steve Wariner
- The Whites
- Teddy Wilburn
- Trisha Yearwood

History of the Academy of Country Music

FEATURE - The ACM's original name was the Country & Western Music Academy, and in 1965 dues were only $10. As the organization grew, the name was changed, and the ACM Awards were established to honor the best performers in the business. During the first awards ceremony, Buck Owens was named Top Male Vocalist, and Merle Haggard was named Most Promising New Artist. In 1968, the Academy adopted its trademark hat-shaped trophy, and four years later the awards show was broadcast nationally for the first time through syndication. The gala event was picked up by ABC from 1974 through 1979, until the ACM joined forces with dick clark productions. The show then moved to NBC for a time and has now found a home on CBS. The annual broadcast -- featuring some of country's brightest stars -- continues to be one of the most watched shows in its time slot.

Merle Haggard, 1965's Most Promising Artist
The founding members of the academy knew that country music and its celebrities had a broad enough appeal to be an integral part in promoting products to the audience that other businesses were trying to reach. In the early days, the ACM began participating or sponsoring community events like the Country Music Caravan (1970), Concern for Prisoners of War benefit (1971), and Country Stars concert at Dodger Stadium (1975) to bring attention to the country field. Today, the Academy is still searching for new ways to educate people about country music's viability in the marketplace, using seminars like 'What's This Country All About' to give an overview of the music and its status in a rapidly-changing business world.

The Academy has also used its name and connections to support worthwhile charities. In 1983, a celebrity golf tournament was created to both raise money and to allow business people in the Los Angeles area to mingle with stars and business people from the country music community. Charities benefitting from the tournament have included the American Heart Association, Shriners Children's Hospital, T.J. Martell Foundation/Neil Bogart Memorial Laboratory for Cancer, Leukemia and AIDS Research, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas. In 1996, the tournament was renamed the Bill Boyd Celebrity Golf Classic in honor of the longtime ACM executive director, who died in 1995.

Boyd, a radio man who later journeyed into television, tirelessly promoted country music around the world during his 30 years in broadcasting and his 13-year tenure in the ACM's top post. Shortly after his death, his wife Fran, herself a champion of country music, succeeded him as ACM executive director and continues in that position today.

Academy members realize that well-informed people within the industry are vital to country music's continued growth. Members are kept abreast of legislation that could affect them and are made aware of new opportunities for country music in radio, television, movies and touring. The Academy also helps newcomers become better known to their peers, the media and the general public through new artist showcases. -

The ACM 'Hat Trophy'
The ACM continues to be involved with the Country Radio Seminar each spring in Nashville. The Academy sponsors the Super Faces Show. In addition to promoting country music and its stars throughout the world, ACM members have the privilege of voting for the annual awards as well as electing board members. The Academy offers a chance to network within an exciting industry that continues to evolve and expand. The hard-working people who strive for peace and happiness will always be at the core of the heartfelt spirit that is known and loved as country music. The ACM will be there to support them and their music.

Johnny Cash Among Medal Winners

Friends of Johnny Cash say he recently got a surprise phone call from the White House. The legendary singer/songwriter was told that he had been chosen as one of President Bush's recipients for his first time at awarding the National Medal of Arts. The medals will be presented in special ceremonies next month. According to the White House's Web site, others who will be honored include actor Kirk Douglas and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, as well as the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, writer Rudolfo Anaya, painter Helen Frankenthaler, choreog- rapher Judith Jamison and producer-director-comedian Mike Nichols. The arts medal was established in 1984.

BR549 Call It Quits

Michael Gray -
After five albums and years of nonstop gigs, Nashville's favorite hillbilly band, BR549, might be throwing in the towel. Co-frontman Chuck Mead says the band officially remains on Sony's Lucky Dog roster but is on an 'extended hiatus.' Mead will not elaborate further on the band's status until contractual and legal issues are resolved.

'It's complicated,' he told Thursday morning (March 7). 'There's so many factors involved with so many people. ... You have to tell certain people certain things at a certain time. I just don't know what to say right now. There's a ton of rumors flying right now. Until we get things worked out, no one knows what's going to happen.' Rumors of the honky-tonk band's demise have percolated for months in the music industry and among the group's loyal fan base. The band built grassroots momentum when it began playing seven years ago at Robert's Western World on Nashville's Lower Broadway. They played four nights a week at the shotgun bar, drawing overflow crowds and creating a buzz to rival the one that greeted Jason & The Scorchers a decade earlier.

'The basic truth of the situation [is] there are some guys in the band that don't want to travel anymore,' Mead says. 'If you're working as a music entity, you have to go out and play for the folks.' BR549 have not toured since November. Bandmates Mead, Shaw Wilson (drums) and Don Herron (fiddle, steel guitar) play regularly with other musicians as The Hillbilly All-Stars at the Bluegrass Inn on Lower Broadway.

Gary Bennett (vocals, guitar) and 'Smilin" Jay McDowell (bass) are not playing with the other members, and attempts to reach them by phone were unsuccessful. 'We just go down there and play for tips because we're jonesing to play,' Mead says. 'Anything can happen [on stage], just like when [BR549] originally started down there. You go back to what you know. We're not making tons of money or anything; we're just playing down there because we like to play and we want to keep our chops up.

After losing their first record deal when Arista Nashville was folded into the RCA Label Group, BR549 signed to Sony's Lucky Dog imprint and released their fifth album, This Is BR549, in June. The disc reached No. 54 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. Without any Top 40 country hits, their album sales range from about 25,000 to 200,000, according to SoundScan figures.

'The band worked for seven years together,' Mead says, 'and that's a long time for five guys to stick together. We had a certain amount of success. It wasn't like Garth Brooks' success, and I'm not saying we ever wanted that. But we didn't have any hit records or anything and it was real hard [work]. We had to go out and play a couple hundred dates a year. After a while, it starts to get to people. It's totally understandable.'

Willie Tribute at the Ryman

Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, and Emmylou Harris are among the artists that have signed on to salute country legend Willie Nelson at a special April 14 concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The event will be taped for May 6 broadcast on cable network A&E and will find the guest artists backed by Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and his band.

Bill Anderson's Festival Lineup

Vince Gill, Ray Price and Jimmy Dean are among the stars who will join the Grand Ole Opry's Bill Anderson for the sixth annual City Lights Festival, June 20-21, in Anderson's adopted 'hometown' of Commerce, Ga. It was in Commerce, where he was then working as a disc jockey, that Anderson wrote his first hit song, 'City Lights.' Price's 1958 recording of the song stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 13 weeks. The festival begins Thursday morning, June 20, with a celebrity golf tournament (list of players not yet completed) and continues that evening with a 'Dinner With the Stars.' Participating in the latter event will be Anderson, Dean, singer Donna Meade Dean and Grand Ole Opry regular Jan Howard. On Friday evening, Anderson and his Po' Folks band will headline a concert that also will feature Gill, Price and his Cherokee Cowboys and comedian George 'Goober' Lindsey. Information and tickets are available through the festival's toll-free number, 1-877-826-8482.

Abe Mulkey RIP

To All: Crockett Frizzell here. I have the sad job of telling all that the great Singer/Songwriter Abe Mulkey passed away this Morning (March 10th) in his sleep. As some of you may know Abe Mulkey worked with my Dad for many years. He wrote, sang, Recorded with and was my Dad's right hand man for the last 15 years of Lefty's life. Abe also sang background for some of Country Music's greatest artist including Bob Wills, Buck Owens and of course Dad. He wrote hits for Dad, Hank Williams, Jr., Merle Haggard, Freddie Hart and others. He was the greatest match for Dad's voice. His High Harmonies can be heard on great songs Like 'She's Gone Gone Gone',' Hello to her, Good-bye To Him', and 'Saginaw, Mich' He CO-wrote many songs with Dad including 'Hobo's Pride', 'Hello to Her, Good-bye to Him', 'Its Bad when It's Thataway' and Many other Great Lefty Tunes. Vicki and I had the pleasure of spending three days with Abe and His wife Joanne in there home in Washington State a couple of years ago. Abe and I spent hours playing guitars and he would let me take Dad's parts in Singing and he would do those great Harmonies. It was one of the greatest highlights of my life. Abe presented me with some songs that him and Daddy had started but never finished because of Daddy's sudden death in 1975. He told me he had been holding on to those songs for the last 25 years. He said that he thought I was so much like Dad in my songwriting and my mannerism, that he wanted me to try and finish the songs. I was floored and overwhelmed that a songwriter of the caliber of Abe Mulkey who wrote with and for the best that country music has to offer was giving me a chance to write with him and my Dad. Abe Mulkey was and always will be one of the classy is acts to ever grace the stage of any country music event including the Grand Ole Opry. He is a close to Family to me as can be without being blood related. He has retaken his place next to my Dad singing sweet Harmonies once again. Rest well my Friend, we all will miss you Crockett Frizzell -

Harlan Howard Fund

If you'd like to make a donation in Harlan Howard's memory, send it to the Harlan Howard Music Scholarship Fund, SunTrust Bank, Music Row Branch, 1026 17th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212 USA.

Waylon Memorial Set

Waylon Jennings will be honored at 7:30 p.m. March 23 in a memorial tribute at the Ryman Auditorium. Limited balcony seating will be available to the public. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The event is still in the planning stages, according to a statement from Jennings' spokeswoman, Schatzi Hageman.

Jennings died in his sleep at his Chandler, Ariz., home on Feb. 13 at age 64. He was buried Friday, Feb. 15, in a private, graveside service attended by family and close friends including Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams Jr. The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Sue Brewer Fund (c/o Songwriters Guild Foundation, 1222 16th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212) and/or The Mayo Foundation (13400 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85259). Jennings established the Brewer Fund in October 1984 to provide music scholarships for students at Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities. The Mayo Foundation provides funding to children needing prosthetics. Donations should indicate clearly, 'In memory of Waylon Jennings.'

Loretta Update

Loretta's 'Intimate Portrait' on the Lifetime Network, is now set to air on April 9th. Check local listings for time and channel. Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee reopens on April 14th, Lynn's birthday. Many concerts and events are scheduled for 2002. For tickets and information, call (931) 296-7700 or log on to Lynn will be on the road in 2002 performing several concert dates as well as appearing at in-store book signings for her new book 'Still Woman Enough.' The Opry legend will be on hand at the Opry March 23 for the Opry's tribute to the women of country music.

Country Legends Weekend

The Country Legends Weekend will take place at the Kempton Community Center, Kempton, PA (Krumsville Exit I-78, just west of Allentown) September 6, 7, 8, 2002. Featuring Billy Walker, Hank Thompson, Leona Williams, The Hagers, Jett Williams and Connie Smith + many local and regional traditional country bands. Emcee: Tom Wardle of WDVR-FM and TopTrax. All shows under cover. Camping available. Check out the web site for more information and tickets!!

Marvin Rainwater at Oaktree Opry
Bluebird Fest, April 19-20-21

As Bob & Sheila Everhart conclude their 5-month tour of Europe performing their 'Prairie Music Tour' they return to their home in Anita, Iowa, to host the first 'Springtime Bluebird Mini-Festival' featuring the great Marvin Rainwater on April 19-20-21. Anita, Iowa is just off Interstate-80, at Exit-70, with beautiful Lake Anita State Park less than a mile from the opry house where the mini-fest will take place. Great lakeside camping, fishing, sunning, and swimming all available out your camper's back door. There are four shows scheduled with Marvin Rainwater taking the stage on Friday, April 19. There will be a matinee show on Saturday, April 20 featuring the great 'Nebraska's Daughter' Pat Boilesen, and Saturday night features the great Patsy Cline tribute show by Jackie Shewey. Bob &Sheila Everhart will also perform their great 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou' tribute on Saturday night. Cousin of Bob Wills, the great Tom & Nancy Wills perform on Sunday morning with a great gospel show. Tickets are $6 per show, or a special all-four for $4. The Everharts are also gearing up for their 27th National Old Time Country and Bluegrass Festival August 26-Sept 1, and as always are looking for fine new talent that can perform 'real' country and bluegrass music. It's an all-acoustic festival, and attracts as many as 50,000 people with well over 600 performers on 10 stages. Get more information about this amazing event at

The Best of Austin City Limits

Country Star Charlie Robison To Host CMT Weekly Series BEST OF AUSTIN CITY LIMITS - CMT's Debut Episode Is AUSTIN CITY LIMITS 1975 Pilot Starring A 42-Year Old Willie Nelson

The most memorable performances from the critically acclaimed concert series AUSTIN CITY LIMITS debut on CMT: Country Music Television beginning Friday, March 15 at 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT. The new CMT weekly series BEST OF AUSTIN CITY LIMITS will offer viewers the opportunity to relive, or experience for the first time, performances spanning the last 27 years by country's elite including the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, George Strait, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, and many more. Hot country star Charlie Robison will host BEST OF AUSTIN CITY LIMITS on CMT. The Friday, March 15 debut episode was the 1975 pilot episode for the world famous PBS series and stars a 42-year old Willie Nelson.

Robison, a Texas native, says CMT's weekly series featuring the best episodes of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS will help introduce a whole new generation of country fans to the genre. 'Having grown up watching AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, I'm completely excited about it,' Robison says. 'AUSTIN CITY LIMITS had such a big influence on me being a musician and now I get to be on the set introducing these episodes to CMT viewers. It couldn't be cooler.'

CMT's March episodes of BEST OF AUSTIN CITY LIMITS include:
* Friday, March 15 -- Willie Nelson (1975 series pilot program)
* Friday, March 22 -- Dixie Chicks / Charlie Robison (1999 performance)
* Friday, March 29 -- Allman Brothers Band (1996 performance)

The original showcase series, taped before a live audience in Austin, Texas, has been a springboard for some of music's brightest stars since it debuted 27 years ago on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) offering gratifying programming to the discerning ear. Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, Charlie Daniels, Jimmy Buffett, Ricky Skaggs, The Judds, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, George Strait, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson and a score of others have appeared, many still new to the music scene at the time; all will be featured in upcoming CMT episodes.

Since its premiere in January 1976, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS has been a showcase of musicians and songwriters in and out of the mainstream, including artisans from folk, blues, country, rock 'n' roll, and Zydeco. Produced by KLRU-TV in Austin, Texas, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS has featured more than 400 artists. KLRU will continue to produce new episodes of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS for distribution to public television and these new episodes will continue to be seen exclusively on PBS.

'Down from the Mountain' Tour

On the heels of the five Grammy Award wins for the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack, as well as the sold-out success of the 'Down From the Mountain' winter tour, the Coen Brothers and Grammy-winning Producer of the Year T. Bone Burnett have announced a summer tour. The five-week road trip highlighting the music from the film will kick off June 25. Dates will be announced shortly. The talent lineup will include Alison Krauss & Union Station, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley, The Del McCoury Band, Norman & Nancy Blake, Ricky Skaggs, Dan Tyminski, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, The Whites and Jerry Douglas. The concerts will include individual as well as collective performances. The first leg of the tour -- which ran Jan. 25-Feb.20 -- stopped in 17 cities from Lexington, Ky., to San Francisco.

Country's Night at the Grammys

The 44th Annual Grammy Awards turned out to be a big night for the old-time sound of bluegrass as the soundtrack from the Coen brothers movie 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' grabbed five awards, including album of the year. 'O Brother' also won for best compilation soundtrack album and its producer, T Bone Burnett, was named non-classical producer of the year in ceremonies held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Two songs from the album were also singled out. Ralph Stanley, the 75-year-old bluegrass legend, won for male country vocal performance for 'O Death,' and Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen and Pat Enright -- The Soggy Bottom Boys -- won for country collaboration with vocals for 'I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.' Burnett also picked up a traditional folk album Grammy for 'Down from the Mountain.' Asked backstage to explain the popularity of the 'O Brother' soundtrack, Burnett said it isn't that easy. 'Really, this is music for people who like music,' he said. 'Not everybody does. Music annoys some people. They just don't care for it. But if you do like music, then chances are you like this record.' The Recording Academy on Wednesday night showed a lot of love for bluegrass music all around -- awarding three prizes to Alison Krauss & Union Station. They won for best bluegrass album ('New Favorite') and best country song and Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for 'The Lucky One.' Dolly Parton won for best country female vocal performance for 'Shine.' Comic actor Steve Martin won a Grammy as part of the music ensemble on 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown,' which was named best country instrumental performance. Martin played banjo with a lineup that also included Earl Scruggs, Glen Duncan, Randy Scruggs, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Gary Scruggs, Albert Lee, Paul Shaffer, Jerry Douglas and Leon Russell. 'Timeless -- Hank Williams Tribute' won for best country album.

President Presley

Aren't American Presidents (other than Susan B. Anthony on the dollar coin) the only faces we put on our coins? Then, when was Elvis elected President? You see his face will soon appear on the Quarter, well, not all quarters...only those in Tennessee, well just some of those. Elvis Presley Enterprises has licensed a company to replace George Washington on some of Tennessee's 2002 quarters with a color illustration of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. AP reports that the coins, minted as souvenirs honoring Presley on the 25th anniversary of his death, went into production this month through the International Collector's Society. The process fuses a color portrait of Elvis over Washington's face. Pete Davidson, EPE's senior licensing manager, said the British colony of Gibraltar mints Elvis coins as part of its currency, but the refaced quarter is the only option in U.S. currency.

Country Classics Go Into Grammy Hall of Fame

Willie Nelson's 1975 album, Red Headed Stranger, is among this year's inductees into the Recording Academy's Grammy Hall of Fame. Among the 50-plus recordings are a number of country-related songs, including Johnny Horton's 'The Battle of New Orleans,' Roy Orbison's 'Crying,' Elvis Presley's 'Don't Be Cruel,' Hank Williams' 'Jambalaya (On the Bayou),' the Sons of the Pioneers' 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds' and Janis Joplin's 'Me and Bobby McGee' (written by Kris Kristofferson). A song or album.

Gibson Will Honor Scotty Moore, Earl Scruggs.

Scotty Moore, who played guitar for Elvis Presley, and Earl Scruggs, a bluegrass and banjo pioneer, will accept the Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award Feb. 26 at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. The honors are part of the annual Orville H. Gibson Guitar Awards presented by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. Winners also will be named in 10 categories during an awards luncheon. Nominees for best male country guitarist are Vince Gill, Buddy Miller, Brad Paisley, Marty Stuart, Dan Tyminski and Keith Urban. Nominees for best country guitarist female are Emmylou Harris, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Emily Robison, Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams. Willie Nelson is nominated for best male acoustic guitarist, and Lee Roy Parnell is up for best blues guitarist.

The Loss of a True Country Music Friend

Mattie Belle Gates
By Peter Cooper - Feb. 19, 2002 - NASHVILLE - The musicians of Lower Broadway will tell you Waylon Jennings wasn't the only country music legend to pass away last week. Mattie Belle Gates spent four decades around the Lower Broadway scene, playing rook with performers now in the Country Music Hall of Fame, serving drinks to tourists, offering advice to upstarts and settling down unruly drunks with an icy stare that belied her slight size. She is believed to be the inspiration for Marty Robbins' Smokin' Cigarettes and Drinkin' Coffee Blues, but she was more important to most Lower Broadway denizens as a supporter and confidante.

'She was our Nashville mom,' said BR549 member Chuck Mead, whose band became the most popular act in Lower Broadway history while Mattie worked behind the counter at Robert's Western World. 'She's a fixture, and part of the lore,' Mead continued. 'It just blows me away to think she's gone. She was one of the true spirits of Lower Broadway. Now I guess she's one of the ghosts hanging around down there.'

Gates died last Tuesday after a long battle with emphysema, and many of her musical friends will perform Sunday at a benefit to offset funeral costs. The benefit takes place noon-midnight at Robert's.

Beginning in the late 1950s, Gates could be seen regularly on Lower Broadway, listening to music, eating (or just, as Robbins documented, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee) at now-defunct Linebaugh's or working.

'I met her in 1978, when she was a bartender at the old Merchant hotel,' musician Don Kelley said. 'I got a job, doing a single act in the daytime and playing in a band at the Merchant at night. Mattie took me under her wing from day one. I was scared down there: that place was rough back then. But she'd stand up in people's face in a heartbeat. When I'd get off work at night, she'd come to the front door and watch me until I got down the street to my car.

'She wasn't but 90 pounds, I don't think,' Kelley said. 'Little bitty frail lady, but you didn't want to get on her bad side. She took zero crap, but she had a heart of gold. If you were a straight-up person and down on your luck, there wasn't anything she wouldn't do for you.'

Gates often worked for Robert Moore, who went on to found Robert's Western World and who worked with current Robert's owner, Jesse Lee Jones, to organize the Sunday benefit. According to Jones, Gates helped convince Moore to book music at Robert's. She also took an active part in negotiating Kelley a performance slot at the club. 'Really, she's the one who made it all happen down here,' Jones said.

Nashville bass player Dave Roe knew Gates for 20 years. Roe became a member of Johnny Cash's band, and Gates would often tell him about her Lower Broadway days around Cash, when the Man in Black was younger and more wildly tempered.

'She told me once about making him go sit up in the balcony at a Printer's Alley club, because he was getting unruly,' Roe said. Gates was a Broadway mainstay back when Cash was still a Memphis rockabilly. She sat at Linebaugh's when some of the biggest names of country called each other by odd nicknames (Ralph Emery was 'Moncrief,' Ray Price was 'Guthrie,' Chet Atkins was 'Prentice,' etc.) and wrote songs on napkins. Gates treasured those days, holding onto one of those song napkins (a Justin Tubb composition) until her death. But she enjoyed recent times as well, attending industry functions with her 'sons' in BR549 and taking an active part at Robert's until bout a year ago, when her emphysema became too debilitating.

'She was a character,' Jones said. 'There's a story of her grabbing one guy by his shirt collar, actually lifting herself up off the floor and telling him to get out of there.' But around those she cared for, her sometimes harsh talk and actions were means to a favorable end. 'It was for your own good,' Jones said. 'It was her way of saying, 'I care about you, I love you and you're going to do the right thing.' '

Getting there: Robert's Western World, 416 Broadway, will have a tribute to Mattie Gates on noon-midnight. Performers will include Brazilbilly, Don Kelley Band, members of BR549, Rob Ryan Band, Colonel J.D. and Joe Buck, John Shepherd, Joe Diamond and many surprise guests. For more information, call 615-256-7937.

Remembering: Hank Williams in 1952

NOTE: The following is a reprint from Country Song Roundup put out a few months after Hank's death. This contained a rare interview with Hank. Compliments of Bill MacEwen & Bill Watson.

Q. How many songs do you have in your repertoire?
A. 500.

Q. For how long have you been singing folk music?
A. 15 years.

Q. What is your all-time favorite song?
A. 'Death-is-Only-a-Dream.'

Q. Do you have a record collection?
A. Yes.

Q. What is your favorite record among your own records?
A. 'Cold-Cold-Heart.'

Q. What are your hobbies?
A. Writing songs.

Q. What are your favorite sports?
A. Boxing, Wrestling, Baseball.

Q. Who are some of your favorite entertainers?
A. Moon Mullican, Johnny Ray.

Q. What was the biggest thrill to you in your career?
A. Homecoming day in my home town of Montgomery, Alabama, and winning a cup in 1949 for the top tune, 'Lovesick-Blues.'

Q. What was the most discouraging point in your career?
A. I wrote a song for Hank Snow once and he didn't record it.

Q. What kinds of work have you done besides singing?
A. None

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Fried chicken.

Q. What is your favorite colour?
A. Blue.

Q. Who are some of your favorite motion picture stars?
A. John Wayne and Jane Wyman.

Q. How did you happen to learn to play the guitar?
A. An old Negro taught me.

Q. What folk artist, if any, influenced you when you were beginning your career?
A. Roy Acuff.

Q. Who gave you your first big break?
A. Fred Rose.

Q. Who are some of the people who have helped your career?
A. Fred Rose, Jim Denny, Oscar Davis and Henry Clay.

Q. Do you come from a musical family?
A. No.

Q. What are some of your vital statistics?
A. I'm six feet tall, weigh 160, brown eyes and black hair.

Early Waylon Jennings Sides Reissued.

Waylon Jennings' early recordings for Brunswick, Vocalion, Trend and A&M are gathered on a new CD, Phase One: The Early Years 1958-1964 (Hip-O Records) coming March 5. The set includes "Jole Blon" and "When Sin Stops," produced by Buddy Holly for Jennings' first single. The collection also contains early Jennings covers of Buck Owens' "Love's Gonna Live Here," Holly's "It's So Easy," Roy Orbison's "Crying" and Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All right."

Grammys to Honor "Oh Brother"

The soundtrack from the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" has become so phenomenally popular that the producers of the Feb. 27 Grammy Awards have decided to devote a special segment to it. A group of established country stars will join in a tribute to the album, which has brought the sound of "roots country" to a wider audience. Among those who will perform are the Soggy Bottom Boys, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris and Gilian Welch. Meanwhile, the CD is up for Album of the Year. Several performances from the compilation have also been nominated for the pres- tigious award -- including Stanley's "O Death" for Best Male Country Vocal and the Soggy Bottom Boys ("I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow") for Best Country Collaboration. The soundtrack's producer, T Bone Burnett, is up for the Best Non-Classical Producer award. CBS will air the Grammys from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Cancelled Cash Tribute May Still Happen

All Music PLC, presenters of the three-day London Music Festival which was to take place over the Easter weekend, have regretfully announced that the event is cancelled. The Festival was to include a Tribute to Johnny Cash in honour of his 70th Birthday. All Music are still hoping to present the tribute to John later this year and a full three day festival in 2003. In a statement on the presenters' website it says: "Owing to the extreme and adverse circumstances of 2001 it has not proved possible to stage the Easter 2002 Festival as planned. The company made strenuous efforts to keep to its plans despite the events of 2001, but in the end time was insufficient. We regret greatly the disappointment to the many supporters who were pleased when we announced this event and promised to come and support it.

The State of the Union According
To Country Comic T. Bubba

Jan. 30, 2002 - Bubba's Of America" collected in the afterglow of the recent 'State Of The Union' address by President Bush to get the real spin on national issues: "The State Of The Union According to T. Bubba."
Like Groundhog Day, T. Bubba's Post Union Statement is a highly anticipated event for the faithful. Famous for his political savvy, "the Bubba with a brain," MCA Records, T. BUBBA BECHTOL President and CEO of "Bubbas Of America," rose to the occasion as he issued his statement from his Florida white house.
Bubba's policy statement, as usual, was aimed at America's funnybone. Excerpts included classic Bubba-isms:
"The State Of The Union speech was unreal! I know it's hard to believe but I think that President Dubya is actually more popular in America than Bill Clinton is in Harlem!"
On the response: "Seventy-five applause interruptions - wow! I haven't heard that much applause since my wedding night!"
A look across the aisle: "Ted Kennedy has become a full fledged Bubba. He looks like he swallowed a football and it got stuck in his face."
A word of Bubba to ponder: "The new interim president of Afganistan is Hamad Korzi. Car-zi - don't that sound like a Moslem automobile to you? I hope it ain't a lemon!"
A Bubba point of view: "The President's speech really got the Congress to stand up more than I ever saw them! It looked like they were doing "The Wave" from one side to the other, and neither team won!"
With that T. BUBBA saw his shadow and retreated back into the Florida white house to count the number of laughs before his next State Of The Union.
In the meantime American's needing a belly laugh can pick up a copy of T. BUBBA's new CD project, "I'm Confused." on MCA.

Gene Watson's American Working Man's Song

Gene Watson to release a new Positive, American Working Man's Song. Gene Watson's second single, "The Man An' Me And You" will be released to radio on Monday, February 4, 2002. This single, on his RMG CD, "From the Heart", has been called a "Positive, American Working Man's Song". The single will appear on CDX #284 that is being mailed to radio on January 28th, 2002. The video for "The Man An' Me And You" will be shot in Ft. Worth, TX in late January and will be released to Great American Country and CMT on February 14th, 2002. Gene's RMG Records CD, "From the Heart" (#8202) is in stores now and is distributed nationally through Navarre Distribution. For more information, contact Steve Baker at RMG Records 615-320-3009, 1010 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212. 615-320-3009. fax 615-320-3032

McCoy Will Sub for Wayne Newton in Vegas

Wayne Newton has invited country singer Neal McCoy to fill in from time to time at Newton's regular gig at the Stardust in Las Vegas. The entertainers met during the Christmas "Deliver America" USO tour to entertain troops in Afghanistan. McCoy was a guest performer with Newton at the Stardust's New Year's Eve show.

Riders Have ŚKings' Ready for Feb. 19

Western music favorites and Grand Ole Opry stars Riders in the Sky will release a new studio album, A Pair of Kings, Feb. 19 on Oh Boy Records. Tracks include "I'm an Old Cowhand," "Don't Sweetheart Me," "How High the Moon" and "The Bunkhouse Race."

Merle Haggard Joins Chester Smith for Gospel CD

First Single "Wreck On The Highway" Being Shipped Internationally.
NASHVILLE, Jan. 26, 2002 - If you like hard-core country music with a good old gospel feel, then you are going to love the new album and single from Chester Smith and Merle Haggard. The current single release, titled "Wreck On the Highway" is from the album California Blend, a collection of songs that not only blend country and gospel music, but also blend the talents of two men who have been friends since 1963.  With 39 number one records to his credit, Merle Haggard needs no introduction, but "Who is Chester Smith?" you may ask. Like Haggard, Chester was born in Oklahoma and migrated to the area around central California as a child. Chester had a wonderful voice and at age nine his father got him a job singing on the radio in Fresno, California. In his teens he became a well-known singer and disc jockey in the area and before he finished high school he had a recording contract on Capitol Records.

Although he played dance halls all over California, it was a gospel song, the 1955 hit, "Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus" that put Chester on the map internationally. Ironically, rock and roll started to invade the world, and Chester decided to get out of the music business as an entertainer and he started buying and establishing radio and TV stations. He has amassed a small fortune over the years as a businessman but in the back of his mind he always thought he would like to record again. It was old friend Merle Haggard who talked him out of retirement and back into the studio.

California Blend was recorded and recently released, garnering accolades from music lovers around the world. The project was nominated for four Christian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards. For more information on the California Blend project please contact Jim Pierce in Nashville at 615-824-5900 or via email at

Capitol Records Mourns Miss Peggy Lee

The Legendary Singer, Who Died at Age 81, Recorded More Than Two Dozen Hits for the Label. Jan. 26, 2002 - Her distinctively haunting, come-hither croon graced such hits as her 1969 Grammy-winning version of the Leiber-Stoller composition, "Is That All There Is?" and her smoldering '58 recording of Little Willie John's "Fever." Miss Peggy Lee, who died this week at the age of 81 of a heart attack in her Bel Air home, was the prototype of the sophisticated pop-jazz diva, a pioneer who infused her songs with a smokey sophistication and seductive simplicity that drew the listener into her sphere.

Capitol Records was the singer's home for many of her hits from 1945-'51 and then again from '58-'69. The label released Lee's "Rare Gems and Hidden Treasures" in July 2000, marking her 80th birthday. It included liner notes by Paul McCartney, a fan since he first heard her sing as a teenager, who wrote: "She has the power to move the heart and soul quite unlike any other artist. Her music has always given me a thrill."

EMI VP Catalog Marketing Group Tom Cartwright said: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a legendary talent. Is that all there is? Certainly not, as the music she left us will live forever."

Miss Peggy Lee's remarkable 50-year-plus career is the stuff of legend. Her elemental, cool, intimate delivery led Duke Ellington to dub her "The Queen" and disc jockey William B. Williams to call her "The Elegant One." She earned a Grammy in 1969 for "Is That All There Is?" and a nomination in 1989 for her album "Miss Peggy Lee Sings the Blues." Miss Lee recorded more than 600 songs and wrote many others, including themes for movies like "Johnny Guitar," "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" and the 1955 Disney cartoon hit "Lady and the Tramp," for which she provided the voice as well. As an actress, she nabbed a supporting Oscar nomination for her role as a boozy blues singer in the 1956 film "Pete Kelly's Blues."

Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, on May 26, 1920. Her father worked as a handyman and part-time railroad station attendant and her mother died when she was 4. Abused by a stepmother, she became a singer at age 14, earning 50 cents a night performing for local PTAs. She traveled to Fargo, where she auditioned for prominent local station WDAY, where the program director convinced her to change her name to Peggy Lee.

Lee used the big bands of the era as a training ground and a launching pad, recording hits with Benny Goodman, including the 1942 version of Lil Green's "Why Don't You Do Right?" She met her first husband, guitarist Dave Barbour, in Goodman's band, and briefly left show business before she was convinced by Capitol Records' Dave Dexter to contribute to a compilation album, "New American Jazz." Lee was signed to Capitol Records, starting with the July 30, 1945, session that produced her first solo success, "Waiting For the Train to Come In." The singer went on to record more than two dozen hits for the label before leaving for Decca in 1951, including self-penned tunes like "I Don't Know Enough About You," "It's a Good Day" and the chart-topping "Manana."

Miss Lee returned to the Capitol Records Tower on Vine in 1958 with a new maturity in her sound, occasionally affecting a world-weary persona and a jazzier bent best exemplified by her recording of "Fever," for which she added new lyrics without ever receiving writer's credit. Her '69 Grammy winner, "Is That All There Is?" is Miss Peggy Lee's signature song, a heart-wrenching ode of survival.

Lee once stated that overcoming adversity "was, and remains, a central theme in my life." A savvy businesswoman, Lee arrived in Hollywood with $18 in her pocket, supporting herself as a waitress between nightclub jobs, but she always fought to gain control of her career. Her most lasting monument will be the lingering pleasure her work has brought and will continue to bring to generations of admirers.

Allison Moorer Will Be Featured During
The Chieftains 40-Year Anniversary U.S. Tour

Universal South artist Allison Moorer will be one of the featured guest artists during a 40-year celebration tour (dates below) of the world's most famous proponent of Irish music, The Chieftains. This critically acclaimed cast is being led by the legendary Paddy Moloney on uilleann pipes, The Chieftains' Sean Keane on fiddle, Derek Bell on harp, Kevin Conneff on bodran and Matt Molloy on flute which is hailed by The Houston Post to be the most "beautiful musical sound in all the world." The New York Post also writes, "If there is a heaven, and if there is music in it, the music probably sounds like The Chieftains." The new album tentatively scheduled for late spring was produced by R.S. Field (Sonny Landreth) and was mixed by George Massenburg. It is not uncommon for The Chieftains, when touring the U.S., to invite special guest artists to perform with them. Previous artists included Joan Osborne and Dadua. Joining Moorer on this tour are Natalie McMaster, Richard Woods, and Jeff White.
The Chieftain's 40th Anniversary Tour:
January 26th - Kalamazoo, MI - Miller Auditorium
January 27th - Ann Arbor, MI - Hill Auditorium
January 28th - Fort Worth, TX - Ball Hall
January 30th - Houston, TX - Jones Hall
January 31st - San Antonio, TX - Laurie Auditorium
February 26th - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theater
February 27th - Columbia, MO - Jesse Auditorium
February 28th - Louisville, KY - The Palace Theater
March 2nd - Danville, KY - North Center @ Centre College
March 3rd - Cincinnati, OH - P&G Hall
March 5th - Rochester, NY - Eastman Theatre
March 7th - Akron, OH - E.J. Thomas Hall
March 8th - New Brunswick, NY - State Theater
March 10th - Philadelphia, PA - Regional Performing Arts Ctr.
March 11th - Washington, D.C. - Concert Hall-Kennedy Center
March 12th - Baltimore, MD - Meyerhoff Hall
March 15th - Boston, MA - Symphony Hall
March 16th - Newark, NJ - NJ Performing Arts Center
March 17th - New York, NY - Avery Fischer Hall

Bluegrass Convention, Jan. 31 - Feb. 3

NASHVILLE - More than 30 bands are scheduled to perform during the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America's annual convention and awards show Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville. Bands will showcase each day of the event. The awards show is set for Sunday, Feb. 3, beginning at 7 p.m., with Ronnie Reno as host. Performing on the show will be Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, the Lewis Family, IIIrd Tyme Out, Mountain Heart, Rarely Herd and the James King Band.

Other acts to be spotlighted during the four-day gathering are Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition, the Country Gentlemen, David Parmley & Continental Divide and the Larkin Family. Also in the lineup are the Larry Stephenson Band, the Lonesome River Band, Eddie & Martha Adcock, Tina Adair & The Adairs, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Rigsby/Duncan & Rock County, Wildfire, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, Jeanette Williams & Clearwater, the Marksmen, The Chapmans, Kentucky Blue, Bluegrass Brigade, the Mark Newton Band, Open Highway, Tim Graves & Cherokee, the Josh Crowe Band, Appalachian Trail, First Impression, Special Consensus, Gerald Evans & Paradise and Arlington (formerly Second Exit).

Nashville's WSM-AM, which has won the station of the year award for five years, will be given SPBGMA's Masters Gold award. Chuck Stearman, who heads SPBGMA, says last year's convention drew an average of 2,000 paid registrants each day. He reports that registration for the upcoming event is running ahead of that for last year. A spokeswoman for Sheraton Music City confirmed that all its rooms are sold out for this period.

Johnny Cash Teams Up With Dave Matthews

Johnny Cash and rock's Dave Matthews are recording a duet, "For You," that may be included on the soundtrack for an upcoming Mel Gibson film, We Were Soldiers, reports. Cash cut guitar and vocals for the song Sunday (Jan. 13) at his home studio in Jamaica. Matthews will add his vocal tracks. The two met in 1999 when Matthews appeared on the cable television special An All-Star Tribute to Johnny Cash. We Were Soldiers, due in March, may include music from other country stars. The soundtrack will be released by Sony. Cash also is working on a new album, tentatively titled American IV, with producer Rick Rubin. The Country Music Hall of Fame member reportedly has completed 10 songs and hopes be finished by spring.

Dove Award Nominations

The Oak Ridge Boys are among Dove Award nominees for country recorded song of the year and country album of the year. The quartet's "Write Your Name Across My Heart" is up for country song. Also nominated: "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," Dave Moody; "Come Spring," Jessica King; "Goin' Away Party," Jeff & Shari Easter; "I See," Lord Song; and "Thank God for the Preacher," Mike Bowling. Album nominees include: From the Heart, The Oak Ridge Boys; God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions, Ann-Margret, James Blackwood, The Jordanaires and The Light Crust Doughboys; Inspired, Lulu Roman; It Feels Like Christmas Again, Jeff & Shari Easter; and My Gospel Hymnal, Susie Luchsinger. Steven Curtis Chapman is up for eight awards including artist of the year. The Gospel Music Association will hand out its Dove Awards April 25 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Emmylou Gets Her Own Gibson

The Gibson Montana division of the Gibson Guitar Corporation has created the Gibson L-200 Emmylou Harris guitar, a slightly smaller version of the classic Gibson SJ-200 that Harris has played throughout her career. "I love the size of this guitar," the singer says in a news release. Harris' black J-200, with a red rose inlaid in the top, appears on the cover of her 1979 release, Blue Kentucky Girl. A pink J-200 is a central image for her 1985 album, The Ballad of Sally Rose. The SJ-200 was introduced in 1937 as the Super Jumbo and was a favorite of singing cowboys.

Chat with Mark Knopfler, Feb. 1st

NASHVILLE - None other than Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits fame, but also a much-admired composer and songwriter, will discuss his craft on Feb. 1 at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. Part of Blair's "Conversations Series," Knopfler, a star musician who hasn't often spoken in such settings about his art of choice, is to appear with moderator Deanna Walker, an adjunct Blair instructor who also will field questions from the audience. Blair officials say it's possible that Knopfler, a former collaborator and friend of the late, great Chet Atkins, will bring along musician friends and offer up some live performance, but the focus is mainly on hearing him speak. Showtime is 8 p.m. in Blair's spankin' new 620-seat Ingram Hall. It's free and open to everyone. Info: 615-322-7651.

Reba will Not Tour in 2002

With her sitcom continuing production for this season all the way into March, with a possible CBS movie version of "Annie Get Your Gun" starring Reba on the horizon, and the new season "Reba" set to begin filming in late August, it means that Reba will not be going on tour this year. What about an album? We asked and were told that they are trying to work out the schedule to where Reba may go into the studio between March and August to work on a new album, but nothing is set yet.

In spite of her busy schedule, Reba continues to pay attention to her music career. Next week Reba McEntire will take a break from her recently renewed for a year sitcom, "Reba," to face cameras for her new video of "Sweet Music Man." The song recently got this praise from Music Row Magazine, "one of the most subtle, shaded and emotionally effective performances of her career."

ALSO, WATCH for Reba
to be the sole feature in a CNN piece, PEOPLE IN THE NEWS airing February 2 and 3. The CNN program will trace Reba's life and career from her childhood cattle ranch days, to her current life on a sitcom.

Fan Fair 2002 Ticket Prices

June 13-16, 2002, Fan Fair 2002 four-day passes prices are divided into three categories. Each category corresponds to a different level of RESERVED seating at Adelphia Coliseum. For a second year, CMA is also offering a CHILD discount price for children 18 and younger, making Fan Fair 2002 your family vacation destination.
Platinum (Floor)
$145.00 adult
$100.00 child
Gold (Lower & Club)
$125.00 adult
$86.00 child
Sterling (Lower Endzone)
$100.00 adult
$65.00 child
Prices include tax. Children 3 years and younger are admitted FREE.
Fan Fair 2002 four-day passes include:
Main Stage Shows at Adelphia Coliseum
Riverfront Stages
Exhibits and Autograph Sessions
31st Anniversary Program Book
Special discounts to area attractions, restaurants and shops.
Call the Fan Fair Box Office at: 866-FAN-FAIR (866-326-3247) to order. Buy your tickets online at! A limited amount of four-day parking passes for Adelphia Coliseum are available by PHONE ORDER ONLY. Call 866-FAN-FAIR (866-326-3247) to order.
$20 for cars
$60 for van/shuttle
$120 for RVs/motorcoach

LineUp for Charlie Daniels 12th Annual Jam

On Sunday, January 27th, Clearwater's Coachman Park will welcome the 12th Annual Charlie Daniels/ Suncoast Eye Center Angelus Jam. This year's celebrity line-up is great ... JO DEE MESSINA, TRACE ADKINS, MONTGOMERY GENTRY, JEFF CARSON, BLACKHAWK, CHAD BROCK, CONFEDERATE RR, CLAY DAVIDSON, CRAIG MORGAN, MARSHALL TUCKER BAND and more. Including of course, the Charlie Daniels band. In his 12th year as our headliner, legendary Charlie Daniels will host this star-studded extravaganza to raise money for The Angelus. The Angelus is a home for very special individuals. This non-profit organization provides a residence, education, physical therapy, training, fun activities, and a loving environment for people in wheelchairs with physical or mental disabilities.)

Jett Williams to be Inducted by NACMAI

Jett Williams, daughter of country legend, Hank Williams Sr., will be inducted into the North American Country Music Association Hall Of Fame. The ceremonies will be held March 17th at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Other 2002 artist inductees will include Stonewall Jackson, Jack Greene, Jan Howard, Dave Rowland, Jo-El Sonnier, and Hank Locklin. Academy Of Country Music Executive Director, Fran Boyd, is scheduled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Past NACMAI inductees include Lynn Anderson, Jeannie C. Riley, Janie Fricke, Donna Fargo, and Freddy Fender, among others. Jett termed the induction, "A major thrill! I am totally supportive of any organization that devotes itself to traditional country music, as NACMAI does, so to be honored by them is a very special event to me." Jett is looking at one of her busiest tour seasons to date this year. Fueling her road work is her current album project, "You Are On My Lonely Mind," which has received critical acclaim since its release.

Singer Peggy Lee Dies at Age 81

Art Greenhaw: collaboration with Ann-Margaret up for Grammy.

Olivia Newton-John's Greaest Hits Collection

A dozen of her greatest hits are featured on "The Best Of Olivia Newton-John," the latest in the 20th Century Masters/ The Millennium Collection series being released by Hip-O Records. The CD reaches stores Feb. 5. It includes Newton-John's first big hit, "Let Me Be There," which won her the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal, as well as "Hopelessly Devoted To You," from the 1978 movie musical "Grease." "The Best Of Olivia Newton-John" is the latest release in an on- going series in conjunction with the singer, which began in September and will stretch over the next two years. Among the upcoming releases will be the U.S. debut of a 2000 live album; first-time compilations of her dance, country-pop and love songs; reissues with bonus tracks, and a box set.

Eddie Jackson Dies at Age 75

"Eddie Jackson, Detroit's "Golden Boy" of country music from 1940's - 1980's, passed away in the early afternoon Monday, January 14, 2002. Eddie was a good friend and I can't tell you how much he's gonna to be missed. Always jovial, smiling, and quick witted, he was a joy to play with and I'm proud to be on his last few recordings. He taught Bones and I much about playing, performing, and being a gentleman. Among Eddie's hit songs were ROCK n' ROLL BABY, BABY DOLL, I'M LEARNING, and YOU PUT IT THERE which was covered by Marti Brom on her Snake Ranch CD. Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press was kind enough to include a piece in today's obits, which is below. I'm a better person having been associated with Eddie. Thank you, Eddie Jackson, for leaving the world so much better than you found it. May your soul rest in peace."
-Kenny Bruce

  • Eddie Jackson Country Music Star
    When Detroit was still packed with fresh Southern transplants half a century ago, the local country music scene was thriving. And Eddie Jackson was right on top. Mr. Jackson, who delighted decades of audiences with his blend of Western swing and rockabilly, died Monday in Warren of Complications from pneumonia. He was 75. Born in Cookesville, Tenn., James Edward Jackson moved with his family to Detroit as a child. He learned to play guitar in his teens and backed up such groups as Evelyn Hare's Swingtime Cowgirls and Paul Perry's Ramblers. After a stint in the Navy during World War II, Mr. Jackson returned home to forge a music career. With his ensemble, the Swingsters, he became a regular at such Detroit venues as the Deauville Bar and Caravan Gardens, where he performed through the 1970's. Big-time guests often stopped in to join him on stage, including Lefty Frizell, Webb Pierce and Red Foley. Mr. Jackson was also a member of the house band on the "Michigan Barn Dance" program, a 1950's TV variety show. His music was revived in the 90's with a release of an LP compiled from his decades-old studio sessions. His work influenced Craig Maki, who founded Woodward Records. "He opened up a whole new world for me. Whenever I pick up the guitar I'm playing exactly like he taught me to play", said Maki, 31. Mr. Jackson was a full time musician who supplemented his income with investments in the auto parts business. He moved to Warren in the mid-1970's. He is survived by his wife, Edith Jackson; a son, William Jackson; a daughter, Vicki Cartwright; a brother, and six grandchildren. Funeral services were held Wednesday at Rudy's Funeral Home in Center Line.
    Courtesy: Brian McCollum

    Willie's Latest CD

    Even the most avid Willie Nelson fan would have a hard time remembering just how many albums the country icon has put out over his long career. He has had more than 70 do so well they hit the country album charts. Now his latest, "The Great Divide (Lost Highway)," is on music store shelves this week. The news provider says it's an eclectic compilation with a variety of motifs and textures. That means it's the kind of compact disc that Nelson's fans have come to expect. During the past decade or so, Nelson has expanded his catalog, proving that his one-of-a-kind voice lends itself not only to country songs but to old standards and Broadway ballads. Nelson's latest effort includes several duos with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Lee Ann Womack and Sheryl Crow.

    Father and Son Stampley Single

    Critter Records announced that their latest Joe Stampley single, "If It Ain't One Thing (It's Another)," is available on CDX, Vol. 282, and the Joe Stampley CD, "Somewhere Under The Rainbow." The single features a rare father/son performance with Joe and his son, Tony (who appears courtesy of Dreamworks Records). Joe Stampley has long been a rebel with a cause and this tune typifies Stampley's rockin' rebel attitude. "Every father wants to have his son follow in his footsteps," said Stampley. "I am so proud that Tony could join me on this project."

    FEATURE: Remember "Tennessee Birdwalk"?
    Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan
    Awards and Credits

    It's been brought to our attention that there are a lot of younger people around now who might not know their background, and we'd like to bring them up to date

    Number one in Billboard. (Tennessee Birdwalk)
    Billboard's country Duet of the Year (1970).
    Grammy Nominees.
    CMA Duet of the Year finalists.
    Multiple BMI Awards.
    ASCAP Award.
    Golden Eagle Legendary Entertainer(s) Award, 1999.
    Misty Morgan, Country's pioneer woman producer, first woman to co-produce a #1 record.
    Country Music Halls of Fame in New York State and other places.
    Duet of the year in three top trade publications.
    119 weeks in the top half of the Billboard chart.
    Over 40 Billboard picks.
    On national TV with Jackie Gleason, Mike Douglas, Mama Cass Elliot, Frank Fontaine, Ralph Emery, Tina Turner, and many others.
    Recorded on: Epic, Columbia, RCA, United Artists, Mercury, Vick, Phillips, Bear Family, Mega, Rhino, Starday, Gusto, and other major labels.
    Current singles released on Stardust Records.
    Current CD albums on Velvet Saw Records.
    Write, produce, and perform their recordings

    Jack & Misty

    Visit their web site. Tennessee Birdwalk, The Jack & Misty Home Page:

    "Back From the Dead, Vol.2" (23 songs) Review and samples on MKOC:
    "A Little Out Of Sync" (19 songs) Review and samples at Ray Grundy's Metro Country (U.K.): Review and samples at Rose-Mar:
    "Masters Of the Keyboards" (10 instrumentals) Samples at
    Also "Jack & Misty Are Crazy" (17 funny songs), and "Back In Harmony" (10 songs).
    TO ORDER: Song lists, pictures, and information:

    United Kingdom:
    Czech Republic:

    MP3's: WRMI Country Radio Top 50, "Call On Me":
    On Stardust, "Call On Me":
    WRMI Radio, The Jack & Misty Show:
    BOOKINGS: Donahue Management Group, 407 321 5361.
    Mail: P.O. Box 470121, Lake Monroe FL 32747-0121.
    Phone: 407 321 5361.
    VINYL CLINIC: (Ultimate audio restoration):
    The Voice of Jackie Burns on MKOC:
    on Rose-Mar:

    Waylon Jennings Released from Hospital

    Jan. 15, 2002 - Waylon Jennings has been released from a Phoenix, Ariz., hos- pital after surgery to remove one of his feet. The amputation of his left foot became necessary when blood flow could not be restored after complications from diabetes. The surgery took place Dec. 19. Fitted with a prosthesis, Jennings has been doing some walking at his Phoenix-area estate and is regaining his strength. His publicist says his client plans to resume touring as early as March or April. You may remember that Jennings quipped a couple of days ago that it was funny that he had been hobbling around on two feet for years and now, with only one and a prosthesis, he's walking better than ever.

    George Strait to Return to Arenas

    George Strait is returning to headlining arenas this year after heading four consecutive multi-artist stadium tours. Billboard Bulletin reports that in his first arena dates since 1997, Strait will play the Cajundome in Lafayette, La., on Feb. 28 and the Pyramid Arena in Memphis on March 1, followed by a March 3 return to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Strait will then take the summer off before returning to the road this fall for 20-25 arena dates, mostly on Thursday-Sunday strings, with an opening act to be determined. Strait grossed more than $158 mil- lion in the 1990s, making him one of the decade's top touring artists. His latest MCA Nashville album, "The Road Less Traveled," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums and No. 9 on The Billboard 200 last November.

    Gordon Wilcox

    Canadian country artist Gordon Wilcox is schedued for open heart surgery. Get well cards would be appreciated. Send to: Gordon Wilcox, 40 Wiley Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4J 3W4 Canada. His latest CD is "Somewhere a Jukebox is Playing."

    George Jomes Brings Billy Sherill Back

    On March 4th George Jones will go into the studio once again with man who produced some of his greatest hits, "The Grand Tour," and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," the legendary Billy Sherill. According to a Hazel Smith tip to the Tennessean Sherill will work with Jones on a new gospel album. "He's retired, but he's coming out of retirement for this," George said. "He won't do it for me, but he'll do it for Nancy (George's wife)."

    Brenda Lee News

    (Jan. 14, 2002) - This year is already shaping up as a high profiler for BRENDA LEE. Busy doing media set-up for the support of both her induction into the 'Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame' (March 18th), and the release of her much anticipated autobiography, "Little Miss Dynamite: The Life & Times Of Brenda Lee," (March 6th), BRENDA got the news during a headlining performance at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas that she is part of a Grammy nominated album project.

    "I did a vocal cameo on a polka project that Jimmy Sturr released last year," BRENDA noted by phone from Vegas. "I was really surprised - and thrilled - when my publicist called from Nashville to tell me the album is on the NARAS ballot for a Grammy! Bring it on!"

    BRENDA is also preparing to do a audio book of her new autobiography, which reveals the never told stories of her unique rise from rags to rock & roll riches while still in her teens. "As one reviewer put it, I was Britney Spears in the '60's. I guess I just never put it in that context until we started working on research for the book."

    BRENDA will appear on national television again on March 7th, when she guests on ABC-TV's, "Good Morning America."

    Alan Jackson's 'Drive"

    Pre-order Alan Jackson's 11th album, Drive, at - - today to have it sent to you on the day it releases, January 15, 2002. Featuring 9 self-penned songs, a duet with George Strait and a bonus live recording. You'll want to push the pedal to metal to pre-order this award-winning superstar's latest. You can listen to the hot hit "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" - as well as other pending releases from "Drive" at - AOL Members can also listen to the entire album beginning January 14th at KEYWORD: Alan Jackson. To see what's happening with Alan, visit

    Eddie Zack Dies

    His friend Matt Connelly informs us: "I wanted you to know that Eddie passed away today, 1-09-02. He was a great man, a class that few ever achieve. He helped many musicians, myself included, along the way. I am honored to have been one of Eddie's friends. He was so proud to have been a member of the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. For that, I want to thank you. Eddie will be truly missed." Sincerely, Matt

    Cash Does America Proud

    By Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Sun - Enter the New Patriotism. You know its symbol, the bold American flag. It's everywhere you look, magazine covers, restaurants downtown and, of course, for a while, stapled to our music. Ryan Adams just put it on his album cover, upside down, mind you (printed before September). The Strokes removed a song about New York City cops being dumb, a very un-American thing to push in these times of being "careful what you say."  And maybe you've noticed the score of tribute albums splashed in red, white and blue. This is probably just the beginning, at least for a while, of turning up American iconography on the world, so get used to it, especially in country music, its roots and HQ dug deep into the South.  You can't accuse Johnny Cash of anything with this re-release, however. America is a great album, dealing with some very American concepts. Indeed, pretty much every song has some reference to the blazing gun as he slowly goes through the nation's history. Here's Lincoln getting shot, now a song about the Alamo. Mind you, Cash also makes mention of the natives who had his country before the cowboy came along with his own weapons.  Before each sung history, Cash gives a spoken preamble, his quavering take on the events since 1776. Mister Garfield is an excellent tune, full of fire, and while Cash's stab at The Battle of New Orleans isn't quite as heavy-metal as Johnny Horton's, it fits in well. As much poetry as music, this has the feel of something lodged right in between a clever kid's social studies essay and an A&E documentary, not too full of propaganda.   If nothing else, it illustrates the rise of a country that even though the most powerful on the planet, nonetheless claims a certain victim status when justifying its massive need for defence, ever since Paul Revere rode through town with his bullhorn.

    Track Listing: 1. Opening Dialogue
      2. Paul Revere
      3. Begin West Movement
      4. The Road To Kaintuck
      5. To The Shining Mountains
      6. The Battle Of New Orleans
      7. Southwestward
      8. Remember The Alamo
      9. Opening The West Webster
      10. Lorena
      11. The Gettysburg Address
      12. The West
      13. Big Foot
      14. Like A Young Colt
      15. Mister Garfield
      16. A Proud Land
      17. The Big Battle
      18. On Wheels And Wings
      19. Come Take A Trip In My Airship
      20. Reaching For The Stars
      21. These Are My People

    Other upcoming Johnny Cash titles for 2002 (more details coming soon) include:

    FEBRUARY 12 JOHNNY CASH - "The Essential Johnny Cash"
    (Columbia/Legacy/Razor & Tie)
    This 2-CD set will be the cornerstone for Columbia/Legacy's year-long celebration of Cash's 70th birthday. The set includes 36 tracks drawn from Cash's tenure at Sun, Columbia, and Mercury. Also included is his 1993 collaboration with U2, "The Wanderer."

    MARCH 12 FIVE NEW CASH TITLES IN THE "AMERICAN MILESTONES" SERIES: None of these titles have been previously on CD in the U.S. All will be expanded editions featuring bonus tracks, new liner notes, and classic archival photography.
    "The Fabulous Johnny Cash" 1958
    "Hymns By Johnny Cash" 1959
    "Johnny Cash - Ride This Train" 1960
    "Carryin' On With Johnny Cash and June Carter" 1967
    "Johnny Cash - Orange Blossom Special" 1965

    Also coming up in the American Milestones series:
    MARCH 19 - JOHNNY PAYCHECK - "The Soul & Edges: The Best of Johnny Paycheck" (Epic/Legacy) Tracks include working man's country classics like "Take This Job and Shove It," "She's All I Got," "Mr. Lovemaker" and "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets."

    Soul Café in the UK

    The new venue for live country, roots-rock, just 35 miles south of London. The Soul Cafe, in the centre of Maidstone, and only 10 minutes from the M20, is set to become the most prestigious new venue for internationally-renowned country, Americana and roots-rock acts. Major acts, who usually only play London venues, will now be appearing at the Soul Cafe, saving mid-Kent music fans the hassle of trying to get into central London. The new programme of shows will be launched with a special invitation-only opening night on Friday February 1st that will feature live music from Flaky Jake along with several surprise guests. That will be followed by a series of special shows, initially once a month, but as and when attendance builds, more frequently. Nashville-based singer-songwriter Gail Davies, will be stopping off at the Soul Cafe on Sunday February 24 during her latest European tour. One of the pioneering modern female country singers, Gail has enjoyed a string major hits including Blue Heartache, Round The Clock Lovin', Singing The Blues and Jagged Edge Of A Broken Heart. Her most recent album, Caught In A Web, for release in January, is an all-star tribute to flamboyant 1950s country star Webb Pierce. Among the many stars singing on the album are George Jones, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Crystal Gayle, Dale Watson, Rosie Flores, Kevin Welch, Pam Tillis and Guy Clark. The album has already been hailed in America as one of the finest tribute albums of all time.

    A pair of Nashville-based stars, Suzi Ragsdale and Joy Lynn White, are teaming up for a short UK tour and will be at the Soul Café on Tuesday March 12th. A couple of weeks later Austin-based singer-songwriters Karen Poston and Penny Jo Pullus will be embarking on their first UK tour and will be at the Soul Café on Thursday March 28th. Texas-based singer-songwriter Tom Russell, who was special guest on the Nanci Griffith tour at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre last October, will be stopping off at the Soul Café on Tuesday April 30th with his regular guitar partner Andrew Hardin. As the year progresses, we anticipate seeing more similar type acts booked to appear at the Soul Café, the home of the Maidstone Country & Roots Music Club. For more details of these exciting shows at the Soul Cafe and to be placed on the mailing list, you should phone 01622-751425 or 01622-765014

    WORTH A CLICK: Payola Talks, Talent Walks. "The fact of the matter remains that 99% of songs you hear on commercial FM radio have been bought and sold."

    Live At Billy Bob's Texas: More Recordings

    Famous Ft. Worth-Based Country Music Club to Host Artists for Live Concert Recordings. Image Entertainment, Inc. has announced the signing of a multi-year agreement that will see the company exclusively distribute a line of Country music concerts recorded live at Ft. Worth's famed "Billy Bob's Texas" club and produced by the Smith Music Group. Billy Bob Barnett, a graduate of Texas A&M University and football player for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears, at the height of the Urban Cowboy craze, partnered with Spencer Taylor in 1980 to open "Billy Bob's Texas" in Ft. Worth's Stockyards Area. The 100,000 square-foot club is by far the largest of its kind in Texas, and perhaps the world, featuring the only indoor rodeo with live bull riding in the world. As the popularity of "Billy Bob's Texas" grew, it was decided to record a number of the acts that appeared there in concert. Lynn Anderson, Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley, Roy Clark, John Conlee, Pat Green, Merle Haggard and Eddy Raven have all recorded live albums at "Billy Bob's Texas" and Image will take over exclusive North American distribution for this product line, known and branded as "Live at Billy Bob's Texas." This year, the "Live at Billy Bob's Texas" line of releases will continue to grow with more titles added to the catalog quarterly. Artists scheduled for release during 2002 include Johnny Lee; Janie Fricke; T.G. Sheppard; a holiday album from Lynn Anderson; breaking Country group, Cooder Graw and more.

    Hank III

    Hank III has a new album coming out January 29, 2002 called 'Lovesick, Broke, and Driftin." Check it out and be sure to get more info at his website -

    Nashville Movie News

    Opry members Jeannie Seely and Jan Howard will appear with Faye Dunaway in a new movie being filmed in Nashville, titled Colored Eggs. Earl and Randy Scruggs appear in a wedding scene in the movie, where they perform "Old County Road" written by Earl. Earl and Dunaway first met when Flatt & Scruggs performed the music for her 1969 movie Bonnie & Clyde.

    John Wayne's "America" CD

    Before John Wayne died, he recorded a series of songs that were a loving tribute to the country he so loved. And now, through this special offer, ten of these rousing songs have been digitally remastered and included in the one-of-a-kind audio. The Duke defined what America's values are all about and now this for the first time ever released you can own John Wayne's America. This CD is only $14.98 (plus s&h). VISIT:

    What Happened to the Legends?

    Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Official Calendar for 2002 Is a Round-up of Fan Favorites. The official calendar of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for 2002 has just been released, and it features 12 of country music's most popular artists: Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson, Jo Dee Messina, Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Lonestar, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks.

    Ricky Skaggs to Host PBS Concert

    On January 16, 2002 the Ryman Auditorium will set the stage for an historic "All-Star Bluegrass Celebration," a major television concert event to be broadcast on public television stations (PBS) nationwide in March 2002. Multi-Grammy Award winning bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs has been selected to host this rare gathering which will feature many of the brightest stars in the genre as well as popular mainstream artists whose roots trace to bluegrass. The live concert event will be taped to air as an hour-long special on public television stations in March 2002.

    Buy your Fan Fair 2002 Tickets Now

    NASHVILLE - Get the best seats! Fan Fair is the entertainment destination for any Country Music enthusiast in 2002. Don't miss it! For additional info or to have a brochure mailed to you, call 1-866-FAN-FAIR (326-3247).

    Honky Tonkin's What Marty Stuart Does Best on
    New 'Best of' Collection of His 12 Biggest Hits

    Marty Stuart is proof that it's possible to succeed performing contemporary country without neglecting country's roots. Freely mixing originals with traditional favorites, the singer-songwriter-instrumentalist has helped introduce the latter to new audiences and along the way earned four gold albums, numerous awards and six Top 10 country hits for his bluegrass-inspired honky tonk.

    His 12 greatest hits, digitally remastered, are heard on his most complete retrospective to date, "The Best Of Marty Stuart" edition of "20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection" (MCA/UME), released January 8, 2002. 11 tracks scored Top 30 country, including a duet with Travis Tritt.

    Stuart was recruited as a 13-year-old mandolinist by Lester Flatt for his Nashville Grass in 1972. After years as a sideman with Flatt and then Johnny Cash, he inked his irst major label deal in 1985 but the resulting album failed. In 1989, he joined MCA and the next year Hillbilly Rock landed him his first Top 10 with the title track and included the Top 20 "Western Girls."

    Tempted in 1991 broadened his commercial exposure as the title song, "Little Things" and "Burn Me Down" hit the Top 10 while "Till I Found You" went Top 20. That year, Stuart teamed with another charismatic performer, Tritt, on the Grammy-winning, #2 hit "The Whiskey Ain't Workin"' (not included on The Best Of Marty Stuart). 1992's "This One's Gonna Hurt You" embraced a Top 20 with "Now That's Country," Top 30 with the traditional "High On A Mountain Top" and second Top 10 duet with Tritt on "This One's Gonna Hurt You (For A Long, Long Time)."

    Satirizing the slew of young, Stetson-wearing hot country singers as "Hat Acts," Marty and Travis then embarked on their No Hats Tour. "Hillbilly Rock," "Tempted" and "This One's Gonna Hurt You" meanwhile went gold. "Kiss Me, I'm Gone" from 1994's "Love And Luck" reached the Top 30 and he won a Grammy for his playing on Asleep At The Wheel's Bob Wills tribute album. After his 1995 "Marty Party Hit Pack" collection went gold, he and Tritt reunited the next year for "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best" (not included here) again Top 30, as was the solo "You Can't Stop Love," both from the aptly-titled "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best." The 1999 story/concept album, "The Pilgrim," that followed crescendo-ed with the epic track "The Pilgrim (Act III)." In 2001, he produced actor Billy Bob Thornton's debut and penned the soundtrack for "All The Pretty Horses."

    "The Best Of Marty Stuart" is a tip of the hat to country's hillbilly rocker.

    The series "20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection" features new "best of" albums from the most significant music artists of the past century.

    Loretta Lynn Carrying the Torch

    Country music legend Loretta Lynn will be one of the official torchbearers for the United States 2002 Winter Olympics on Sunday, December 16. Lynn will receive the torch at 6:05 p.m. (Eastern) at Maylawn Avenue in Louisville and carry it down Crittenden Drive. The flame, which can be seen burning inside the Torch's glass crown, is a metaphor for Olympians' passion for competition and victory. "I'm so excited!" said Loretta, who was recently inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. "This is one of the greatest things I've ever been asked to do!"

    Cajun Music Tribute

    Country singers Linda Ronstadt, Rodney Crowell and pop singer John Fogerty are among the artists who sing in French on a new album paying tribute to Cajun music, due out March 5. Produced by Cajun scholar and musician Ann Savoy, Evangeline Made: A Tribute to Cajun Music, also includes Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, David Johansen, Linda Tompson, Maria McKee and Patty Griffin.

    'Whiskey River' Flows on Nelson Tour

    Willie Nelson traditionally opens his concerts with "Whiskey River." He had a country hit with the Johnny Bush song in 1979. Now, a Kentucky distillery is producing in small batches a bourbon called "Old Whiskey River." The company also is sponsoring the Willie Nelson and Family Tour and mounting a marketing campaign with giveaways that include bandanas, T-shirts, hats and Nelson-style braids. Nelson accepted the first bottle of Old Whiskey River during a ceremony Aug. 21 at Heaven Hill Distilleries in Bardstown, Ky. He also met the farmers who raised the grain for the bourbon. Nelson has a three-night stand at New York's Irving Plaza, Jan. 22-24. His new album, The Great Divide, comes out Feb. 5 on Lost Highway/Island Def Jam Records.

    David Ball's Corvette

    David Ball will recently joined NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Ball performed his hit about a Corvette that belonged to a serviceman, "Riding With Private Malone." The Olympic Corvette will travel to other states collecting signatures before arriving in Salt Lake City for the Olympics.

    Johnny Cash Patroitic Titles Released Dec. 11th

    'America' and 'Old Ragged Flag' appear on CD for the first time Titles for Cash's 70th Birthday Celebration also previewed for February and March

    No other artist embodies the true spirit of America like Johnny Cash. His rugged individualism, restless creative spirit and larger-than-life persona make him the perfect spokesman for our great country in both word and song. While he had always sung songs of America and its people, the impending bicentennial in 1976 gave him a timeliness to record two special albums, "America" and "Old Ragged Flag." On December 11th, Columbia Legacy reissues each title on CD for the first time. Columbia Legacy also plans a series of reissues throughout 2002 to celebrate Cash's 70th birthday (b. February 26, 1932).

    On 1972's 'America', Cash assumes the role of narrator - taking the listener on a 200 year musical and spoken-word adventure, chronicling the history of our nation with great speeches like "The Gettysburg Address" and songs like "The Battle Of New Orleans." Cash also weaves in his own thoughts to complete the story.

    1974's ' Ragged Old Flag ' marked Johnny's very first album for which he wrote ALL of the songs. The result is a wonderful first-person song cycle about life, family and the American dream. Both albums are wrought with an emotional immediacy that comes through in both the lyrical content and the beautifully sparse production.

    Now, Columbia/Legacy is proud to release these two monumental albums on CD for the first time - lovingly remastered from the original source tapes and containing all original album art.

    Other upcoming Johnny Cash titles for 2002 (more details coming soon) include:

    FEBRUARY 12 JOHNNY CASH - "The Essential Johnny Cash"
    (Columbia/Legacy/Razor & Tie)
    This 2-CD set will be the cornerstone for Columbia/Legacy's year-long celebration of Cash's 70th birthday. The set includes 36 tracks drawn from Cash's tenure at Sun, Columbia, and Mercury. Also included is his 1993 collaboration with U2, "The Wanderer."

    MARCH 12 FIVE NEW CASH TITLES IN THE "AMERICAN MILESTONES" SERIES: None of these titles have been previously on CD in the U.S. All will be expanded editions featuring bonus tracks, new liner notes, and classic archival photography.
    "The Fabulous Johnny Cash" 1958
    "Hymns By Johnny Cash" 1959
    "Johnny Cash - Ride This Train" 1960
    "Carryin' On With Johnny Cash and June Carter" 1967
    "Johnny Cash - Orange Blossom Special" 1965

    Also coming up in the American Milestones series:
    MARCH 19 - JOHNNY PAYCHECK - "The Soul & Edges: The Best of Johnny Paycheck" (Epic/Legacy) Tracks include working man's country classics like "Take This Job and Shove It," "She's All I Got," "Mr. Lovemaker" and "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets."

    "Most Wanted Live: Show to Move

    CMT's "Most Wanted Live" is moving to a new location in January. The daily show is currently filmed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. However, on Jan. 5, the show will move to the Gibson Bluegrass Showcase at Opry Mills Mall on Briley Parkway near the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The show will also be changing times, running from Tuesday -- Saturday (at 7 p.m. ET). The Saturday show will lead into the airing of the Grand Ole Opry.

    Grand Ole Opry History

    An entity unto itself. A phenomenon that has lasted through generations. And one that continues today. With almost 75 years under its belt, the Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest running live radio program, shows no signs of slowing. Millions of Americans have been entertained through live radio and television with the best country music has to offer. On November 2, 1920 KDKA in East Pittsburgh became the first radio station with a regular broadcasting service. By 1924, more than 2,500,000 radios were in American homes. And by October of 1925, Nashville, Tennessee was making radio history of its own. That's when the first program to be broadcast over National Life & Accident Insurance Company's new radio station was aired. The station's call letters were WSM, and abbreviation for the insurance company's motto, "We Shield Millions."

    The Opry was born on the fifth floor of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company building. The date was November 28, 1925 and legend has it that the featured performer for that show was Uncle Jimmy Thompson, an 80-year-old fiddler who had the reputation of knowing a thousand fiddle rounds. George D. Hay, one of America's pioneer radio showmen, was the announcer. He proclaimed himself "The Solemn Old Judge" (even though he was merely 30 years old) and launched the WSM Barn Dance, a spin-off of his National Barn Dance program from a previous Chicago radio station. Three years later, he gave it the new name - one that would stick - "the Grand Ole Opry."

    The show became very popular and soon even the studio couldn't accommodate the hordes of fans flocking to see the show performed live. The Opry was moved into a succession of three venues, each larger than the next. The Hillsboro Theatre, the Dixie Tabernacle and then the War Memorial Auditorium were all home to the Opry. A 25-cent admission fee was even charge in hopes of curbing the large crowds, but it was to no avail. The numbers continued to average 3,000 or more and the move to the Ryman Auditorium in 1943 was a welcomed necessity. The Ryman, built in 1892, had perfect acoustics and would become the Opry's most famous home. In 1974, the Opry relocated to the 4,400 seat Grand Ole Opry House where it now remains.

    NBC Radio carried the Opry for the first time in 1939. Its sponsor was Prince Albert cigars and the featured artists were Uncle Dave Macon, Roy Acuff, Little Rachel, the Weaver Brothers and Elviry, and the Solemn Old Judge. Through the years, hundreds of artists have entertained as Opry cast members. With cast members that include new stars, superstars and legends, the Opry is poised to take country music into the new millenium.

    Annually, hundreds of thousands of Opry fans travel over oceans and from all 50 states to Nashville to see the weekend performances in person. Through the Opry, WSM created the musical family that inspired former WSM personality, David Cobb, to dub Nashville "Music City, USA."

    The Grand Ole Opry is an omnipresence in the world of country music. It is entertainment, pageantry, comedy and America's music, bundled into one package. The connection between the Opry artists and the audience is unlike anything in the world. Whether part of a live performance at the Opry House, tuning into WSM's cross-country Clear Channel Frequency (650 AM), listening via, or watching "Grand Ole Opry Live" on CMT, fans are entertained by this show called the Opry...a phenomenon that will continue as long as the world lends an ear. Posted by Grand Ole Opry on November 28, 2001

    Tickets Moving Fast for MerleFest

    MerleFest 2002 sold 2,522 of 4,220 assigned seats during the first three days of availability, Nov. 13-15. Set for April 25-28 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event celebrates the music of the late Merle Watson and his father, Doc Watson. Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs and Nickel Creek are among the artists in the lineup. Call 1-800-343-7857 in the U.S. or 336-838-6267 outside the U.S. to buy tickets.

    Jackson's Words Speak to Government

    The words to Alan Jackson's wonderful tribute song "Where Were You (When the World Stop Turning)" became part of American history yesterday by entering the Congressional Record. Georgia Representative Mac Collins opened the session by reading the lyrics to Jackson's song into the Record.

    Kristofferson Receives Award

    Kris Kristofferson was honored by the Multicultural Motion Picture Association with their Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony during its 9th Annual Diversity Awards show last Saturday. Kris was selected by the 1,200 voting mem- bers of the MMPA.

    Caraway Inducted into CMOA Hall of Fame

    Bobby Caraway just returned from the C.M.O.A. awards show in Las Vegas at the Castaway Hotel and Casino. He performed five nights in the Windjammers Lounge with great success, including a standing ovation on a Wednesday night - a tribute show for New York City. Caraway walked away with five awards. His CD "The Man From Texas: won CD and Cassette Album of the Year. His record label "Foundation Records" won Record Label of the Year, Bobby also won record Producer of the Year at C.M.O.A.

    Merle and WIlie

    Merle Haggard's new video for "If You've Got the Money (I've Got The Time)" will feature a guest appearance by Willie Nelson. The video was filmed at Willie's ranch and Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas. Fans can find the duet on Merle's new album, "Roots Volumne 1," was released: Nov. 6th.

    Hank On-Line

    The Timeless Hank Williams Tribute is out and there is a site that you can listen to the tracks first - - Kebmo, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Hank 3 and more do great covers of some of Hanks songs.

    W.E. Dacus Dies

    W.E. "Smoky" Dacus, 90, of Rogers died Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2001, in Kellmark Nursing Center in Rogers, Arkansas. Born July 24, 1911, in Quinton, Okla., he was the son of William Elmer and Hattie Pearl Hames Dacus. He was a retired musician who had played drums for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers. Survivors include two brothers, Jim Dacus of Siloam Springs and Tom Dacus of Emporia, Kan. Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers, with the Rev. Tom Johnson officiating. Burial will be at Benton County Memorial Park in Rogers.

    "Carrot Top" RIP

    Steel guitarist and vocalist Les "Carrot Top" Anderson passed away October the 4th, 2001 at 10:00 am at his home at Olalla BC, with complication from his stroke. He performed and recorded with both Bob Wills and Spade Cooley, as well as appearing as a regular on Town Hall Party (Ranch Party).

    CD Review

    Forever Young / Kitty Wells
    (Junction 1301) -

    Kitty Wells is one of the true Queens of real country music. Her music has always been down home, honest and from the heart. Back in the early 1970's, she went into Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia and recorded a different type of Kitty Wells album. An album featuring some of Southern Rock's finest pickers, along with some of the best, most well written tunes she could find.

    We are quite fortunate that Junction Records has reissued this excellent country album, which combined pure country roots music and Southern Rock long before there was a Travis Tritt or Shania Twain on the charts. Kitty was always an innovator, and her song selections for the record were nothing short of inspired. From the Bob Dylan penned title track, "Forever Young," to the Muscle Shoals/Dan Penn hit "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," the music is excellent. She covers The Otis Redding/Jerry Butler tune "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and does an excellent job of Toy Caldwell's "Too Stubborn."

    The lineup of players on the project reads like a who's who of Southern Rock of the seventies, with Dickey (Richard) Betts from the Allman Brothers on dobro; Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton from Cowboy on guitars and fiddle; Toy Caldwell of Marshall Tucker on guitar; Paul Hornsby on organ and piano; Chuck Leavell of The Allmans, Sea Level and Rolling Stones on piano; Johnny Sandlin on guitar; Bill Stewart on drums; and David Brown on bass. The original release was produced by Hornsby and Sandlin and engineered by Sam Whiteside and O.V. Sparks.

    These musicians knew they were working with a true living legend of country music, and it shows in the precise performances that make up this very excellent CD. A true collector's item for fans of both Kitty Wells and of Southern Rock.

    -Michael Buffalo Smith

    Viewpoint / Gerald Haslam:

    Remember The Blackboard

    Contrary to popular perception, Nashville hasn't always been the heart of country music. Between the mid-1930s and the early 1950s, California was the music's core. The tremendous reach of horse operas, then the explosion of western swing during World War II, gathered entertainers, record labels and associated businesses to the state from all over. But it all slipped away early in the 1950s because in Nashville a slow, steady accretion of talent and promotion created a genuine rival. The California entertainment scene was so rich in options that country was only a small slice; few folks fought to retain control. In Nashville, country mkboard's historic role in its development. Thanks to the likes of Ralph Mooney, Roy Nichols, Bill Woods, Joe and Rose Lee Maphis and especially Don Rich and Buck Owens, what came to be called "The Bakersfield Sound," or "The California Sound" unfolded in and around that club.

    It was a jazzy, rockabilly-influenced style that cut through nightclub smoke with high-pitched, wailing pedal steel runs, staccato, finger-picking on Telecasters, and uptempo bass accompaniment, all often enhanced by vocal "high duets" perfected by Rich and Owens. Yet in Bakersfield some folks didn't get it. And many of us can remember when what was featured at The Blackboard or The Lucky Spot or the Clover Club was dismissed as mere "Okie music," rather than as the radical musical departure it was. Moreover, since this musical breakthrough occurred at the time when Nashville's sound was turning sappy, local music stood in high relief. Owens and the Buckaroos ran off a string of 15 consecutive Number One recordings -- a feat not eqthe embarrassment of the anti-Okie campaign -- should be part of any local history curriculum, since it is all part of our real past. Any impulse to sanitize our past is fundamentally dishonest.

    Fortunately, Bakersfield today has a unique opportunity with the perfect site and the rich tradition necessary for a country-music museum of national importance, one that will offer an alternative to Nashville's cotton-candy version. That the famous old honky-tonk sat adjacent to the county museum is a wonderful coincidence. What an easy and fitting adjunct it would make the museum, what a lure to tourists it would be. And what a loss if we let go of the opportunity to develop a country-music museum at that location. As the late Bill Woods once said, "The Blackboard? Let me tell you, that was the place!"

    A Kern County native, Gerald Haslam retired as an English professor at Sonoma State University. He has written many books and short articles. His book, "Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California."

    CLICK: Roy Nichols' Tribute

    Dolly Will Expand

    Sept., 18, 2001 - Dolly Parton has announced a $10 million expansion for her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Expected to be ready next summer, the expansion will include an interactive museum focused on her career, an action simulation ride and additions to a new water park. Parton also is building a $25 million Dixie Stampede dinner theater near Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. in 2002.

    Folsom Prison Contributes

    Inmates at the prison made famous by country singer Johnny Cash are contributing to the Red Cross and making small American flags to hang in their cells in the wake of the terror attacks. Folsom State Prison inmates have collected about $1,000 in donations so far, a prison spokesman, Lt. Tom Ayers, said Friday, Sept. 14th. "This may not seem like much, but for an inmate that makes 12 cents an hour (at a prison job), it's quite a bit," he said. Ayers said he spotted nearly a dozen cells displaying tiny American flags made from bits of paper and cloth, and the idea seemed to be spreading. During World War II, Folsom inmates made cargo, landing and anti-submarine nets for the Allied navies, Ayers said. The National Guard even trained inmates so they could help defend the state when officials feared California might be invaded, he said. The prison was memorialized when Cash recorded "Folsom Prison Blues" at the prison in January 1968.


    "Mississippi On My Mind" CD Review

    Courtesy: Up & Coming Magazine
    I recently gave a listen to a CD released by a (somewhat) local boy by the name of Bobby Joe Swilley, entitled "Mississippi on My Mind." I took the CD, not really sure what to expect, and popped it into my player and sat back. Though not really a big fan of the "rockabilly" genre of music, I must say that I was pleasantly surprises by "Mississippi On My Mind, and maybe you will too.

    Swilley grew up in Northern Mississippi, where he used to sneak into the "local black church" because he liked listening to the music they sang there. "I loved that gospel rhythm, harmony and emotion in that music." said Swilley, which :influenced me to form my own rockabilly style."

    Swilley's music flowed smoothly, blending obvious elements of blues, country, old-fashioned rock and southern style. Closing my eyes I could easily picture myself sitting in a northern Mississippi honky tonk, tapping my feet after a long, hard dry working in cotton field.

    The Music was technically superb. The instruments blended together seemlessly while Swilley crooned with a smooth voice dripping with natural talent and the superb skill that only a veteran craftsman can master. The music was a reminder of a sound long gone in most of the music on the market today. "Mississippi On My Mind" showcases Swilley's powerful voice and is a must have for any "rockabilly" fan or avid country lover.

    "Mississippi On My Mind" not only play like a normal CD, but it also has a multimedia section when run on a computer as a DD-ROM. This multimedia section contains a photo, artist information, lyrics and downloadable mp3s that will run on any mp3 player. For more information on Bobby Joe Swilley, you can check out "Mississippi On My Mind" at

    Major Labels Developing Copy-Proof CDs to Stop Piracy

    Hoping to crack down on music piracy, five major record labels have quietly begun selling compact discs containing technology that foils attempts by customers to copy the songs onto blank discs or computer hard drives. The new strategy isn't widespread yet and most of the CDs out so far are being sold in Europe. The labels won't say which artists' works have been digitally padlocked. The so-called "stealth CDs" play fine on stereos. But if someone tries to turn the music into MP3 files or copy it onto a blank CD, the copied version either won't work or the result will sound so bad that it isn't worth sharing. Most movie DVDS and videocassettes already use anticopying technology.

    Charlie Danniels' Nashville Museum

    The legendary Charlie Daniels is honored to open the doors of the Charlie Daniels Museum, located next to the Hard Rock Cafe' at 110 2nd Avenue North in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Admission to the museum is $3.00 for adults and free to children under twelve. Admission is free Thursday, June 14. The museum will be open seven days a week.

    Marshall Chapman Site Updated

    Singer/songwriter Marshall Chapman's web presence has been updated, and includes news and current goings on within her life. The songwriter of "Betty's Bein' Bad" and "Somewhere South of Macon" continues to create quite a stir within the songwriting and performing communities.

    Visit Marshall online at

    PHOTOS: Opening New Country Music Hall of Fame.
    Our staff staff was there.

    E-mail "Traditional Country Hall of Fame"