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 #2

2003 Bluegrass Convention Line Up Started
           More than 30 bluegrass acts are lined up to perform at the 2003 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America convention. Rhonda Vincent, the Country Gentlemen and J.D. Crowe and the New South are among the artists per- forming at the event to be held Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 in Nashville, Tenn., reports. The gathering includes a contest for best bluegrass band, as well as workshops, exhibits and other attractions.

Patsy Cline Costumes, Letters Auctioned
           Costumes owned and worn by Patsy Cline and 21 letters she wrote to a friend will be auctioned off on Dec. 19. Among the outfits on the block - a sky blue cowgirl skirt and matching vest worn early in her career and a gold dress with black lace overlay worn at Carnegie Hall in 1961, according to memorabilia dealer Profiles in History. Cline's letters to a friend, dated from October 1959 to February 1963, chronicle a career that ended when she died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963. Most of the items will be on display in Nashville in the weeks leading up to the auction, and bids can be made via the Internet. Proceeds go to the estate of Patsy's mother, Hilda Hensley.

Runnin' On Empty
           Just when you think Tradition and Creativity had dwindled away from country music, think again! The best way to describe Phil McGarrah and his Runnin' On Empty Band is Traditional and Original. With a natural born knack for writing songs and performing, this up and coming act is making the waves really bounce!
           Having learned to play guitar and a variety of other instruments at an early age, Phil says "When I write a song, the music is right there with it, I can hear every note on every instrument that I want in the arrangement. I want my music to be distinctly different! The musicians in the Runnin' on Empty Band help bring my songs to life. They are awesome players. I use my ears -- if it don't sound like country, it ain't country, guess that's what separates me from a lot of other entertainers.' The Legendary Freddie Hart announced publicly that he compared Phil's song writing to everybodyís all-time hero, Hank Williams, saying, "I was best friends with Hank in the early days, holding his hand down to his knee saying jokingly, I must not have been over this big, but Hank wrote a lot of songs. He wrote awful close to paper and so does my dear friend, Phil McGarrah." You will find Freddie doing a duet with Phil, called "She's the One that Keeps me "HOLDIN' ON," which will be on an upcoming album of Phil's. 'I'm very proud of this song,' Freddie told the audiences on the 'Legends of Country Music Tour' which he and Phil performed on in 2002 in Arkansas, along with Country Music Hall of Fame member Hank Thompson.
           Thompson, while on the Legends Tour, spoke highly of Phil and the R.O.E. band, saying it was 'a pleasure to entertain with them. Everything went smoothly, everybody did their homework, and most of all, we had fun.'
           Phil said, 'Hank is one of my heroes, and I hope to have him on the duet album with me -- we talked about it, and I think he will do it-heck, I get excited just thinking about it!' The 1981 country billboard artist of the year, Razzy Bailey, said that Phil's song writing was 'phenomenal,' comparing him to Bill Anderson, or as a carbon copy of Harlan Howard. Said Bailey, "Phil writes the kind of songs that make you want to sing along.
           "BAD CASE OF THE BLUES" is a perfect example. This song would not have been any better if Willie (Nelson) himself had written it -- it has a lot of taste! 'Razzy is a very good friend of mine.' Phil said, and I'm glad I wrote a song that we could do together! Razzy is in the Blues Hall of Fame in Georgia, next to Otis Redding--what an honor.'
           "SOMETHING NEW FROM HANK" is a song Phil said he wrote out of a dream. 'I stumbled out of bed and started writing this song like the Lady in my dream (Ms. Audrey) told me to do. I started writing it on an envelope with one eye 'bout half open. I thought to myself, 'What time is it?' I looked at the clock and it said 3:57 a.m. Then everything went blank. I had written about half of the song on the envelope and wondered if I would ever finish it. About two weeks went by and I had the same dream again, and I got it finished! I still have the same dream from time to time and you'd never believe who's singin' with me.' This song is going to be on Phil's duet album with the legendary Vernon Oxford performing it with him -- it's too cool.
           With the duet project underway, you'll just have to wait and see who all is going to be on it; but, Phil said, 'You're going to be surprised!!' 'I have played a lot of shows and have been a lot of places, but there is nothing like seeing someone in the crowd singing along with you on a song that you wrote.' Phil told a DJ in Wisconsin, where he was entertaining at "Country Fest" in Cadott. Phil said, 'I would love to play the Grand Ol' Opry, and I believe once they heard my songs, they would invite us.
           To find out where Phil and Runnin' on Empty is entertaining next, check out all the large festivals including the Route 66 Music Festival in Joplin, MO. which Phil and R.O.E. will be on the main stage next year! You can also log on to their website,

Juice Newton Aids Fire Victims
           WALKER, CA., October 13th - Grammy Award winning singer Juice Newton sang for an audience seated on hay bales to raise money for this quiet Sierra town ravaged by two wildfires last summer. "I was asked if I would come to do a show to try to raise the awareness, to raise some money."
           Newton, fighting a cold, sang for more than an hour to a crowd of about 200 in a dusty field a few hundred yards from where an air tanker crashed while fighting a June blaze, killing all three men on board. A second fire in July burned 9,866 acres and forced the evacuation of the Topaz Lodge, a hotel-casino and recreational vehicle park on the California-Nevada line.
           Topaz Lodge owners Bob and Rob Cashell organized the weekend concert and craft fair to raise money for the local Chamber of Commerce (news - web sites) and to show that the fires had not wiped out the hamlet. "We're all part of California, and we all are sensitive as to what can happen with fires" said Newton. (AP)

NASHVILLE - Posted Oct. 5, 2002
Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story. Celebrating the heart and heartaches of the "First Lady of Country Music." From the daughter of a sharecropper to the "First Lady of Country Music," Tammy Wynette led a life as spectacular as her dreams. Filled with fame, family and five husbands along the way, Tammy took both her triumphs and tragedies and wove them into a tapestry of songs she shared with the entire world. Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story takes us through Tammy's private and professional life, celebrating the heart and heartaches that, like her music, will touch and thrill new and old fans with a celebration of Tammy Wynette, lady and legend. Now through October 26 - Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m.

November 17th - India.Arie with special guests Floetry and Slum Village. TICKETS GO ON SALE NOW!

Call (615) 255-9600 or visit the Ryman Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet, except where otherwise noted:

Sun. Oct. 13 7:00 pm - Junction Jamboree - 50th Anniversary of ³Honky Tonk Angels² with Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Randy Kohrs, Lari White, BR549, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Jack Greene, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jean Shepard, Jerry and Tammy Sullivan with Andy Griggs, Donna Fargo, The Whites, Beth Neilson Chapman and more, $15, $10 for groups of 20 or more.

Nov. 1, 2002 ­ March 1, 2003 - Fridays & Saturdays Opry at the Ryman, $37.50 & $27.50. For schedule & tickets log on to, call (615) 871-OPRY or visit the Ryman Box Office 9 am ­ 4 pm

Tues. Nov. 19 8:00 pm - Cumberland Heights Benefit with John Hiatt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rodney Crowell and Roseanne Cash, $34.50 & $29.50 - On Sale Sat. Oct. 12th 10 am!

Sun. Nov. 24 7:00 pm - Christmas for Kids Concert with Sawyer Brown, Charlie Daniels and surprise guests, $50 & $25

Tues. Dec. 10 - Wed. Dec. 11 8:00 pm - Handel¹s Messiah, George Mabry conducts The Nashville Symphony and Nashville Symphony Chorus, $40, $30, $20 & $10

Charlie Daniels Museum: "Must See" for Country Fans
Nashville - The Charlie Daniels Museum, with its own gift shop, located in the high visitor district of Second Avenue North next to the Hard Rock Cafe, is a fascinating retrospective of one of the most colorful careers ever to emerge in country music. Housed in the displays are such treasures as Daniels' collection of gold and platinum records, part of his collection of industry awards - including the CMA Award, ACM Award, and Dove and Grammy accolades - his first royalty check from Elvis Presley, personal guitars and gold fiddle, UT, NFL and major league baseball memorabilia personally collected by Charlie, as well as a collection of guitars owned by Daniels himself as well as fellow southern legends as the late Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

7 Tried and True Travel Tips from Willie Nelson
by Robert Huber - If anybody knows the road, it's Willie Nelson. As he once remarked to Bill Wittliff, a Texas buddy and movie producer who worked with Willie on Honeysuckle Rose and Red Headed Stranger, "I like to ride on a bus or in a car. I like to jog and walk. I like to fly. And when I'm not moving, I like to play music."
As a kid, Willie would hop freights or hitchhike to anywhere just to be on the move, and for a while, many years later, he zipped around in his own jet. But Willie's preferred mode of transportation the past few decades has been Honeysuckle Rose, his bus. In fact it's Honeysuckle Rose III now, to the collective tune of a few million miles; it's really, more than anywhere, his home.

Here are his 7 fundamental rules of the road:
1 - Turn your vehicle into a refuge - not just a functional form of transportation. It should be a place where down time is comfortable (hint: try living in it before you hit the road). The back of Willie's bus has a huge bed and a TV and guitars and a killer sound system, but what really stands out are the Native American paintings and the beaded necklaces, breastplates, and feathers that create a curtain around the bed, closing him in. "My bus is like a cocoon," he wrote in his autobiography. "I can be close enough to the so-called real world that I could reach out and touch it, yet I can be as quiet and alone as I wish."
           2 - Compatibility is more important on the road than romance. Whoever you travel with, you'll be spending a lot of time with them. Willie is famous for his life on the road breaking up several marriages (his own, mostly); but it's also the case that his entire band has been with him more than three decades and counting. "I've known him since 1955," his best friend, drummer Paul English, reminisced before a concert in New Hampshire last winter. "I started with him in 1966, been with him ever since, and we've never had a cross word. Isn't that amazing?"
(By the way, Willie even seems to have figured out the marriage thing. Wife #4, Annie, stays in Maui with their two teenage sons. Willie gets there when he can, and that's more or less okay with everybody. "She's about as independent as I am," Willie says. "And she's very tolerant of me being on the road. We allow each other to be ourselves - and I like having a home to go home to.")
           3 - Celebrate the ordinary. Sure, part of traveling is taking in views like the one Willie describes in The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes, his best-selling travel journal, as he heads to Salt Lake City: "I could see patches of blue snow in the fields. Crowns of snow looked like starched white nurse caps - like most musicians, I owe my life to nurses and waitresses- - and the jagged rocks turned purple in the rising sun." Breathtaking.
But Willie's a master at enjoying small-town life, Waffle House and Denny's restaurants, and cornfields. There's lots of that stuff on the road, so you'd better enjoy it all.
           4 - Have plenty of diversions. On the road, Willie plays chess, dominoes, computer golf, reads the daily paper, watches Westerns, writes music, sleeps, practices Tae Kwon Do - he's a black belt, and for a while he was fond of kicking his microphone off its chin-level perch at shows - listens to lectures on the creative imagination by Father A.A. Taliaferro of St. Alcuin's Church in Dallas, and encourages his roadies to tell him bad jokes that can't be repeated here. "I don't have any problem finding things to do," Willie says.
           5 - Have a hobby that requires random stops (and that has nothing to do with being on the road in the first place). For Willie, it's golf - he's hopelessly addicted. Willie used to call it "chasing a little white pebble around a cow pasture." Then he went out with Paul one day. Willie took five swings before he even hit it, and by the 3rd hole it was raining. "Want to call it quits?" Paul asked. "No!" That fast, Willie was hooked, and now most of the band plays.
           6 - Listen. For what? Whatever's calling you. "When my mind is open and receptive," Willie once said, "it will pick up radio waves from somewhere in the universe, and a song will start. A line, a phrase. You don't call up creativity; it's just there." Back in the late '50s, the 30-mile roundtrip from Willie's apartment to the Esquire Club just outside of Houston, where he was playing in a band, produced "Night Life." Okay, so you're not Willie Nelson - but his point is really opening yourself to possibility, and hitting the highway is a great way.
           7 - Know when to go home. Even for Willie, being on the road eventually reaches a point where it's more chore than rejuvenator. "There are times," he wrote, "when so much energy has built up over a long road trip and the glands are pumping so much juice that even a 2,000-mile ride on Honeysuckle Rose won't bring me back to earth. When I feel this happening, I know I must go home.

Forbert Pays Tribute to Blue Yodeler
By JIM PATTERSON (AP) - Oct. 2 - The Father of Country Music was actually a rock 'n' roller ahead of his time, argues a folk-rocker who's recorded a tribute album to "Singing Brakeman" Jimmie Rodgers. "Any Old Time" by singer-songwriter Steve Forbert will be released Tuesday by KOCH records. It's the tenth studio album by the 47-year-old Forbert, who, like Rodgers, is a native of Meridian, Miss. Rodgers, also known as "America's Blue Yodeler," was 35 years old when he died in 1933. Although his recording career was brief ‹ just six years ‹ he set the tone for the early country music industry. Suffering from tuberculosis, he was forced to give up railroad work in 1924. His big break came when he was recorded by talent scout Ralph Peer. Rodgers became a major star with songs such as "Blue Yodel (T for Texas)," "Waiting for a Train" and "TB Blues."
           "Jimmie was called a hillbilly singer, but that was not his attitude," Forbert said. "He really had kind of a Gene Vincent attitude, and kind of an Elvis attitude. He was drinker and partied and he had that joy for life, and he wasn't interested in being like Fiddlin' John Carson." One of the songs on the album, "My Rough and Rowdy Ways," is a galloping Buddy Holly-style romp. And, to Forbert, it's a small leap from "Ben Dewberry's Final Run" to Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode."
           Rodgers was the first artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. Twenty-five years later, he was inducted as a founding father at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Growing up in Meridian, Forbert took guitar lessons from one of Rodgers' relatives and played in a band with another. But he doesn't see any parallels with Rodgers' career or identify with him. Doing a relevant tribute album to Rodgers was tricky because many of the songs are dated, trading on things such as the romance of hopping trains.

Worth a Click ...
Veteran Opry Members Fuming Over Changes.

Worth a Click ...
HANK SR., Lack of star power at tribute is a disappointment at rock hall.

The Briar and the Rose:
Where Music and Literature Meet

One of the most beloved ballads of all time is "Barbara Allen". The tragic story of lovers Barbara Allen and Sweet William has been sung throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales since at least the 17th century, possibly earlier, and was brought to America by imigrants.
           Throughout the centuries, this haunting ballad has been handed down from generation to generation. In modern times, "Barbara Allen" has been recorded by some of music's most highly acclaimed artists, including Dolly Parton ("Heartsongs") and Emmylou Harris ("Songcatcher Soundtrack").
           A fan of Country Music, historical fiction author Laura Mills-Alcott first heard "Barbara Allen" on Dolly Parton's "Heartsongs" CD. Parton's version of the ballad included Gaelige lyrics by Irish group Altan, that, according to Mills-Alcott, "gave 'Barbara Allen' an even more haunting quality".
           Touched deeply by the heartrending story of the ill-fated lovers, Mills-Alcott began to research the ballad of "Barbara Allen". Her imagination was fueled by both the ballad and its history, and this ultimately led to her writing the historical fiction novel "The Briar and the Rose", set in Regency era Ireland and England, and based (loosely) on Parton's rendition of "Barbara Allen".
           Six months after it was written, "The Briar and the Rose" was named "Story of the Month" by St. Rose Press. In spring 2003, "The Briar and the Rose" will be published in trade paperback, amidst rave reviews.
           Mills-Alcott remains thrilled by the book's reception. "'The Briar and the Rose' was my first book. I had no clue what I was doing when I sat down to write it. I only knew I had to get it on paper - had to tell the story."
           While the "impact" of the book can be attributed, in part, to readers' love of "Barbara Allen", Mills-Alcott's unique voice, and the story she weaves around the ballad, must be given credit, as well.
           As Shadoe Simmons of "The Best Reviews" says: "A definite five stars, and a long satisfied sigh for the characters, and the writer who brought both a heartbreaking ballad and a love for all time together with a masterful stroke of pen and imagery, leaving the reader well-satisfied and definitely wondering what this amazing writer will come up with next."
           And Susie Burkett, reviewer from "" adds: "The imagery in this book is phenomenal. From the Irish countryside to the streets of London, Laura Mills-Alcott paints vivid pictures of the scenes and characters with a seamless romantic flair. Her grasp of human emotion is strong and dead on, keeping the reader enthralled until the end!"
           Though she is now a writer of historical fiction, short stories, articles and the occasional celebrity interview, Mills-Alcott's first writing experience was Country Music songs, beginning at the age of twelve. After high school, she moved to Nashville, where some of her songs were published. She also wrote a few jingles for television commercials. Family responsibilities called her back to her native Ohio, where she continued to write music. It was her love of words and music that led her to try her hand at writing full-length fiction, and "The Briar and the Rose", a beautiful tale of love, forgiveness and destiny (Thea Candee, "Romance Reader's Connection"), was born.
           Laura Mills-Alcott's second full-length work of fiction is "The Locket", and she is currently working toward completion of a third novel. Readers can read more about her and her books by visiting

Schlotzsky's Underwrites Austin City Limits
AUSTIN - Former Texas Governor Ann Richards will make the announcement today: Schlotzsky's Deli will become a national underwriter for AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, the award-winning, landmark PBS live-music series, as it begins its 28th season. Schlotzsky's, Inc. is the first Austin-based company to become a major national underwriter of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, which airs weekly on 97 percent of the country's PBS stations, serving 93 million households.
           In another first for PBS, the Schlotzsky's Deli underwriting credits will be performed and sung, in keeping with the musical spirit of the show. AUSTIN CITY LIMITS features live musical performances by artists and songwriters with authentic American roots, in every genre, performed in an intimate concert setting. For its AUSTIN CITY LIMITS underwriting credits, Schlotzsky's Deli created four original spots featuring Austin musicians who sing the underwriter language ("Schlotzsky's Deli is proud to bring you...").
The 28th season of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS debuts October 5 with a one-hour performance by blues rocker Bonnie Raitt with special guests slide guitarist Roy Rogers, Zimbabwean pop star Oliver Mtukudzi, and legendary singer-songwriter John Prine.
           The 28th season of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS also will feature Robert Plant, Jackson Browne, Alison Krauss, The Flatlanders (Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock), Los Lobos, RatDog with Bob Weir, Chris Isaak, Norah Jones, The Wallflowers, Blind Boys of Alabama, Beck, The Pat Metheny Band, Ralph Stanley, Toby Keith, and Fats Domino.

Hank's Vase Stolen ... Again
Sept. 25th - A large marble vase has been stolen from the gravesite in Montgomery, AL where legendary country singer Hank Williams is buried. The manager of the Hank Williams Museum, Beth Birtley, said the vase was made from Georgia marble and was engraved with the initials H.W. She said the vase was apparently stolen sometime Saturday night. She said no other damage was done to the gravesite, w here Williams and his wife, Audrey, are buried.
           Williams' grave and memorial, in Oakwood Cemetery near the state Capitol, is a frequent stop for country music fans visiting Montgomery. Birtley said the vase, which was connected to a base, was also stolen about three years ago, but was found undamaged at that time. "We don't want to prosecute. We don't have to know who took it. We just want it back," Birtley said.
           The vandalism at the gravesite came just a few days after the museum wrapped up activities marking Williams' birthday. He would have been 79 on Sept. 17. A native of Butler County, Williams died on New Year's Day 1953 on his way to a concert in Ohio. He was 29.

Steel Guitar Association Convention
Information on the Steel Guitar Association Convention in Connecticut: if anyone's interested, see - November 9th and 10th, 2002 at the Doubletree Club Hotel, 789 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk, Connecticut. Phone: 1-203-853-3477. Make your plans now to attend. Room reservations @$80.00 per night must be made before Nov. 1st, 2002. Request the Pedal Steel Guitar Association rate.

Hank Jr.'s Upcoming Tribute Album
MJI broke the news that Hank Williams JR will get a tribute album, with his music sung by some great performers. Alan Jackson, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Aaron Tippin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band and 38 Special will all take part. No release date has been set for the 16-song album, but here's a track listing:
Blake Shelton covers "Young Country" (with Trick Pony and Darryl Worley)
Montgomery Gentry does "Women I've Never Had"
Trick Pony tackles "All My Rowdy Friends"
Tracy Lawrence sings "Outlaw Women" (a late 70s album cut)
Lynyrd Skynyrd serves up "Born to Boogie"
Chad Brock's 2000 cover of "A Country Boy Can Survive" resurfaces
Newcomer Dusty Drake sings "Heaven Can't Be Found"
Aaron Tippin digs into "Family Tradition"
Alan Jackson sings "The Blues Man" (originally done for his Under the Influence album and recorded by Hank Junior more than 20 years ago)
John Michael Montgomery does "Major Moves"
Trace Adkins handles "11 Roses"
Rocker Dan Baird sings "Whisky Bent and Hell Bound"
Andy Griggs covers "Old Habits"
Marshall Tucker does "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down"
Rock group 38 Special covers "If It Will, It Will."
           Hank himself closes the disc, joined by the stars of the album for "Outlaw's Reward" (a track from his Five-O-Five album).

Bass Player Jimmy Stoneman R.I.P.
By PETER COOPER Tennesseean Staff Writer. His music kept 'family's feet jumping,' sister says Oscar James "Jimmy" Stoneman, the singing, playing Stoneman Family's frenzied upright bass player, died Sunday, Sept. 22, 2002 from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease. Mr. Stoneman was 65 years old. He was living at a nursing home in Smyrna, TN.
           "His bass playing is what kept the family's feet jumping," said sister Patsy Stoneman, who performed with her brother until the country music family retired from the road in 1994. "Everybody on stage was moved by Jimmy's bass."
           Mr. Stoneman was a son of musicians Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman and Hattie Stoneman. With his father and four siblings, he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 and recorded albums for labels including Starday and MGM. In 1967, the Stonemans won the Country Music Association's Vocal Group of the Year Award.
           After Pop's death in 1968, sister Patsy replaced the elder Stoneman and the group recorded on RCA Records. Later editions of the Stonemans worked without sisters Roni and Donna, and non-family members filled in the spaces. Mr. Stoneman leaves behind wife, Mary; brother, Gene; four sisters, Grace, Patsy, Donna and Roni; and stepsons Tom, Willie and Jim Urich.

Dirt Band on Letterman, Oct. 3rd
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, featuring original members Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmy Ibbotson, Jimmie Fadden and Bob Carpenter (with special guests to-be-announced) to perform on the Late Show with David Letterman, Thursday October 3rd. The band will play a song from their upcoming Capitol Nashville release, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken Vol. III," in-stores on Tuesday, October 1st. To pick up an Autographed copy of this incredible new 2-CD release, including guest artists & pics, just click on the HOT PICK from the home page at!

Willie & Friends Stars & Guitars CD Released on Nov. 5
On November 5, Lost Highway Records will release Willie Nelson & Friends: Stars & Guitars for the first time on CD. Recorded live at Nashville's legendary Ryman Auditorium, Willie Nelson & Friends: Stars & Guitars had its network television debut on May 31 on the USA Network. This special broadcast event featured performances from a wide-range of artists, including Ryan Adams, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Bill Evans,Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Vince Gill, Patty Griffin, Norah Jones, Toby Keith, Matchbox Twenty, Dave Matthews, Brian McKnight, Aaron Neville, Ray Price, Keith Richards, Richie Sambora, Rob Thomas, Hank Williams III and Lee Ann Womack.
           Willie and his guests performed some of his most memorable songs, as well as a variety of others, including The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers", Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come", The Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and Hoagy Carmichael's classic "Stardust". The 17 tracks chosen for Willie Nelson & Friends: Stars & Guitars capture the finest moments from this extraordinary evening. This release serves as a testament to the fact that Willie Nelson has, and continues to, cross countless musical boundaries and has touched artists and fans of all genres.

More Willie ...
SoundWorks Entertainment, Inc. will produce a TV commercial for a Willie Nelson CD, a collection titled "16 Biggest Hits". The TV commercial will air nationally, both in 60-second and 120-second versions. It features a CD produced for SoundWorks Entertainment by Sony Music that includes 12 #1 hits recorded by Willie Nelson. Titles include "On The Road Again", "Always On My Mind" and "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain". Nelson has sold in excess of one hundred million records and his multi-faceted career spans several decades.

Charlie Daniels Off to Japan
The crew flew to Japan Thursday, Sept. 19th, where they'll tape the premiere edition of a new series of specials titled "Country On The Move." They will be giving performances in Mt. Arai, Japan, then Seoul and Pyongtaek, Korea. The specials will be telecast over the Great American Country network and will feature professional and personal highlights of country music artists on tour. The shows will be shot both in the U.S. and abroad. The idea is to bring viewers all aspects of life on the road ‹ dining, sightseeing, interacting with the locals, and performing their concerts. While in Asia, Daniels will also perform a series of concerts for U.S. troops at several military bases throughout Korea.

The End of an Era
           Most of you know and/or know of "Conway Twitty" and his bands. This report is about his band called "The Lonely Blue Boys. They traveled around during the '60s as Conway was climbing up the ladder from "Rock and Roll" to becoming a "Country Music Artist and eventually a "Country Music Legend."
           "BIG JOE" LOUIS was the front man and picked the electric bass guitar and sang tenor harmony with Conway.
           "PORK CHOP" MARKHAM was Conway's drummer. "Pork Chop" was one of the best drummers in rock and country music. After "Big Joe" died, "Pork Chop" became the front man for Conway.
           LEW HOUSTON was Conway's steel guitar picker. Lew was a fantastic steel guitar man. He could back up any artist and play any song and could immitate and sing like many other artists. He has a rich deep voice like Jim Reeves.
           Conway went on to form another band called the "Twittybirds" and later on to Nashville stardom with many #1 hits and also stardom with many #1 hits singing duets with Loretta Lynn.
           One by one they have all died. First it was "Big Joe" and then Conway. Then "Pork Chop" and Lew Houston died in 2001. The end of an era has come and gone.
           People come and go and most make some sort of impact on most everyone's lives - I an sure most of you will always remember Conway Twitty ... his music ... and his band members.
           They are gone now. And it is the end of an era. But many will follow in thei footsteps and many will also become stars.
God loves you and so do I - Kitty Houston

Ban Dar R.I.P.
"Well another country honky tonk is no more. The Ban Dar in Ventura, CA home of Johnny & Jonie Mosby and host to some of the best in country music fell to the wreckers ball on Monday. Owner Ken Luper said he had no choice but to tear down midtown's Ban-Dar nightclub, where generations of Venturans have gone to dance and drink their cares away. 'It would have cost too much to renovate,' said Luper, who bought the old nightclub on East Main Street for $650,000 four months ago. 'The roof is about to fall in. It's in pretty bad shape.' Luper said he bought the Ban-Dar because 'it's a honky-tonk joint and I'm a honky-tonk guy, so what the heck," although he suspected he would have to tear it down. Luper first went to the Ban-Dar in 1960 soon after moving to Ventura. 'There are a lot of memories and a lot of ghosts there,' he said. Those memories include country legends Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, who would show up at the Ban-Dar unannounced during its heyday and perform. Legend has it that Cash, who once lived in Ojai, also liked to get a little rowdy at the Ban-Dar. Luper said he may replace the Ban-Dar with a medical office building or an apartment complex for seniors, although he's still unsure exactly what he wants to do." -Lance -

Real Traditional Music ...
BARBARA JEAN MORRISON'S "My Heart's With You" CD>. Tennessee's Barbara Jean is a strong advocate for that traditional sound, and she has the voice to back it up. A refreshing change from the current pop country scene - you'll love this disc - we did.

Loretta has New Management Team

NASHVILLE - There's a lot of new in the "Country" surrounding Hall Of Fame music legend Loretta Lynn. Her latest release on Audium Records "Still Country," is opening Loretta's horizon to a whole new generation of fans. That horizon is about to get wider with the announcement of a new management team for "The Coal Miner's Daughter." Loretta's oldest son, Ernest Ray Lynn and noted industry attorney, F. Keith Adkinson, have assumed co-management of the legend. Contact information below.
          PHONE: (931) 296-0010
          FAX: (931) 296-0014
          PHONE: (615) 655-5549
          PHONE: (615) 655-5267
          FAX: (615) 655-5525
For booking information on Loretta, contact:
          PHONE: (615) 963-3000

MERLEFEST 2003 Announces Super Line-Up

AUGUST 30, 2002 - Ticket sales for MerleFest 2003 will begin on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at 2:00 PM EST. Wilkes Community College will present MerleFest 2003, the 16th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson, on its campus in Wilkesboro, NC on April 24 27, 2003. Those joining Doc Watson and Merle¹s son Richard Watson for MerleFest 2003 will include Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Hornsby, Belá Fleck & the Flecktones, Hot Rize, Laura Love Band, Asleep at the Wheel, Leahy, Donna the Buffalo, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Sam Bush Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Guy Clark, Paul Geremia, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Vassar Clements, Tony Rice, Tim O¹Brien, Del McCoury Band, the Whites, Norman Blake, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Eustace Conway, and the Waybacks. Special performances will include Vassar¹s 75th birthday jam, the Acoustic Blues Showcase, the Midnight Jam, and ³Follow Me Back to the Fold: A Tribute to Women in Bluegrass.²
           Starting on November 12th, those with Internet access may acquire their tickets easily by visiting and, if purchasing assigned seats at the Watson Stage, actually pick their seat location on line. Those without Internet access may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-343-7857 (US only) or 336-838-6267 (non-US) from 10 AM through 4 PM, EST, weekdays. Tickets may also be ordered by fax (336-838-6263) and mail (MerleFest; P.O. Box 120; Wilkesboro, NC 28697). Those interested in volunteering for MerleFest should call 336-838-6292. Vendor info: 336-838-6292. Sponsorship inquiries: 919-542-3997.
           MerleFest 2003 has also confirmed appearances by Louisiana Red, Peter Rowan, Red Stick Ramblers, Laurie Lewis Trio, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Lynn Morris Band, New Southern Broadcasters, Don Edwards, Nashville Bluegrass Band, the Jerry Douglas Band, Polecat Creek, Psychograss, Mark Newton Band, Tony Trischka, George Hamilton IV, Etta Baker, Mountain Heart, Jack Lawrence, Darrell Scott, Mark Schatz & Friends, Kathy Kallick Band, Pete Wernick, Roy Book Binder, David Holt, Jim Lauderdale, Zoe Speaks, Todd Phillips, Sally Jones & the Sidewinders, Phillips, Grier, Flinner, Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek, Patrick Sweany, Del Rey, Dianne Hackworth, Laura Boosinger & Timmy Abell, Steve James, R.G. Absher & Extra Measure, Dixie Dawn, Bob Hill, Joe Smothers, T. Michael Coleman, Common Ground, Pine Mountain Railroad, Tut Taylor, Mitch Greenhill, the Local Boys, Charles Welch, Billy Jonas, Bill Mathis, the Cockman Family, Andy Owens, Andy May, Shana Banana, Jake & Sara Owen, Brack Llewellyn, Gary Johnson & the Brushy Mountain Boys, and Alberti Flea Circus. All bookings are subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond our control.
           Finals of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest for 2003 will take place at MerleFest on April 25th. Entries must be received by March 18, 2003. For more entry information, please call 800-799-3838 or visit our web site ( MerleFest also hosts instrument contests for Mandolin (4/24), Guitar (4/25), and Banjo (4/25). Registration for 20 entrants these will take place on site at the festival approximately 90 minutes before the start of each contest. The popular Songwriters¹ Coffeehouse again happens on Friday evening. Songwriters selected from registrants on site will share the stage with singer-songwriters performing at MerleFest.
           MerleFest 2002 established new records for participation. MerleFest 2002 attendees came from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and at least ten foreign countries. Total paid attendance increased 2.8% over 2001 to 36,714. Overall festival participation, including ticketed participants, artists, volunteers, children admitted free and community outreach, totaled 78,294 for MerleFest 2002. MerleFest 2002 gross revenue exceeded $2.4 million. Funds generated by the festival enabled Wilkes Community College to contribute more than $699,000 toward scholarships, salaries, program enhancements, and capital improvements. Over its 15-year history, MerleFest has contributed more than $3.8 million to the college. Using guidelines recommended by the College of Business at Appalachian State University, the total regional economic impact of MerleFest 2002 was estimated at $15,045,673, exceeding 2001 by some $2.3 million. The direct economic impact on Wilkes County alone from the festival was estimated at $8 million. MerleFest 2003 will take place on April 24 27 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
           MerleFest has continued to evolve, grow, and improve since 1988, becoming one of the most important annual events in the Southeast. In so doing MerleFest has defined and led the way for the emerging field called Americana music. MerleFest offers a generation and genre crossing mix of traditional and contemporary roots music, bringing together the very best of bluegrass, contemporary acoustic, Celtic, blues, folk, old-time, Cajun, j azz, and singer-songwriter musics, along with traditional dance and crafts.
           Major MerleFest 2003 sponsors include Lowe¹s Companies, Inc, Charter Communications, Tyson Foods, Gibson USA, Burger King, Sprint, Fishman Transducers, John Pearse Strings, Hardees/Dermox, Sugar Hill Records, Pepsi, J D¹Addario, JBL, G&B Energy/C&J LP Gas, Homespun Tapes, This Week in Americana, WNCW Public Radio, and WWCC/Classic County 94.5.
           MerleFest Information: 800-343-7857 or

Yoakam's Biscuits Now in Wal-Mart

Dwight Yoakam's Bakersfield Biscuits are now available in Wal-Mart Supercenters across the southern United States. They are expected to be sold in Southern California supermarkets later this fall. Other Yoakam food products include Lanky Links sausage, as well as biscuits with sausage gravy, chicken stew, country style gravy, beef stew and beef chili. "I was inspired to create the recipe for the biscuits by the memory of the delicious 'hillbilly' biscuits I ate as a child in Kentucky," Yoakam said. "Not in my wildest thoughts did I expect to see my name in supermarkets across the country."

Charlie Daniels, Jett Williams Lend a Hand

Nashville, TN - The Bellamy Brothers are taking another spin on the awards merry-go-round with their 15th nomination for the Country Music Associations "Duo of the Year." While most artists busy themselves with details such as what designer they're going to wear to the awards program, or who they should thank, the Bellamy Brothers are approaching the event with nostalgia.
           "We were nominated in the "Group of the Year" category back in 1981, then the CMA instituted the "Duo of the Year" category and we were nominated in 1983, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, stated David Bellamy. "Even though we have never made that famous walk to the stage to accept the award, it proves to us that, although times change, our music consistently is judged to be amongst the best. We tour more than 250 dates per year worldwide, and the demand for our sound is still out there; and yes, we're a duo."
           Despite their lack of receiving the CMA Award, their trophy cabinet is far from empty. As songwriters, the Bellamy Brothers have received 17 ASCAP Awards for "Among The Most Performed Songs" and 6 awards for "Outstanding Country Songs," all dating throughout the last two decades; songs with memorable titles such as "Old Hippie," "For All the Wrong Reasons," "Redneck Girls," and "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)" a song that was even included in David Letterman's 'Top 10 Pickup Line List,' have kept the Bellamy's rolling. SESAC honored their writing with "Country Single of the Year" in 1981 for "Do You Love As Good As You Look."
           They've received various honors from everything from the State of California to the country of Germany as inductees to the German Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2001. Most recently they were listed amongst the "Grammy Artist Committee Honorees in 2000 and saw platinum sales on their "Greatest Hits, Volume I" in 1998.
           Pick any year over the last 20 and you'll find a Bellamy Brothers hit. Where would country music be without the contributions of the Bellamy Brothers? Maybe the time has come for 2002 to be the year we see them walk onto that stage and grasp the CMA's "Duo of the Year" award.

Charlie Daniels, Jett Williams Lend a Hand

August 28, 2002 - Aunt Fritzi, a character from the comic strip "Nancy", will be sporting a Jett Williams T-shirt in the column later this week. Charlie Daniels and Jett Williams will be adding their talents with the many celebrities scheduled to participate in the 2nd Annual Mudpie-Tim Rosenthal Cartoon Invitational to be held at the Canton Golf Course on Monday, September 16th, 2002 in Canton, Connecticut.
           The invitational was started in memory of Tim Rosenthal, head of the syndicate services department at American Color in Buffalo, NY. Rosenthal passed away as a result of scleroderma, an autoimmune disease for which there is currently no cure. Cartoonist Guy Gilchrist (whose credits include Nancy, Night Lights, Mudpie, and Your Angels Speak) and his wife, Angie, created the tournament to raise awareness of the disease. Many celebrities will be on hand as well as original drawings, strips and prints donated by world-famous cartoonists. For more information, contact Katy Bonnin at 1-800-722-4673 or email
           Country superstar Charlie Daniels, known to millions for his song "Devil Went Down to Georgia," will be working on both of his swings - teeing up for the cause during the day and "swinging it" on the fiddle during the jam scheduled immediately following the tournament. Jett Williams, long-time fan of the Gilchrist cartoon Nancy, will also be participating in the evening concert. "I am not a golfer," stated Williams, "but I am very aware of how an illness can affect an entire family." Her famous father, Hank Williams, passed away from complications due to spina bifida only days before Jett was born. "I keep his memory alive through performing his traditional style of country music and am proud to participate in such a worthwhile event in any way I can, even if I don't golf."

Alabama: 2003 Album and Farewell Tour

RCA Records Label confirms that super-group Alabama's next album, In The Mood: The Love Songs, will be available to consumers on Tuesday, February 4, 2003. This hits-packed collection of romantic ballads will include two newly-recorded tracks - "I'm In The Mood," the band's 61st single, and "The Living Years."
           In The Mood: The Love Songs, the band's 24th album, will release around the launch of Alabama's "The American Farewell Tour." Plans for this up-to-40-market concert series were announced by the best-selling country group of all time to millions of surprised fans during the "Academy of Country Music Awards" telecast on May 22. The tour will start off with two major events in the winter, followed by the bulk of dates in the summer and fall of 2003. Country Weekly magazine has been named the "Official Information Source" for "The American Farewell Tour." For updated concert details, as they are confirmed, fans will find information in the magazine - with two issues published each month - and also on its website,

Track Listing For Alabama's In The Mood: The Love Songs (* indicates newly-recorded material) "In The Mood"*
"The Living Years"*
"When We Make Love "Touch Me When We're Dancing"
"Feels So Right"
"How Do You Fall In Love"
"Fallin' Again"
"Lady Down On Love"
"The Closer You Get"
"If I Had You"
"We Can't Love Like This Anymore"
"Then Again"
"Here We Are"
"Face To Face" "Take Me Down"
"In Pictures"
"Close Enough To Perfect"
"Forever's As Far As I'll Go"
"Love In The First Degree"
"There's No Way"
"God Must Have Spent A Little More Time on You" ('N SYNC background vocals)
"Nothing Comes Close"
"Once Upon A Lifetime"

Lovin' From Hank's Oven

The kitchen has just officially become a "man's man world" with the re-release of HANK WILLIAMS JR.'s personal ode to good eatingóhis own kitchen handbook with the bend of the family tradition title, "Hey, Good Cookin'!"
           Probably the man in country music least likely to be spotted in an apron, Hank has a total 'no nonsense' approach to vittles. "I just threw together a collection of the favorite food I like to eat," drawled Hank from his favorite easy chair with the view of the kitchen. "A lot of the recipes came from friends, fans, and my longtime family cook who fed me when I was growin' up. It's what I know best down home country cookin'."
           Names of the recipes alone are like a virtual tour of HANK's world: "Super Bowl Salad," "Monday Night Cheese Ball," "Chicken A-La-Hank," "Mary Jane's Potato Pie," and "Merle Kilgore's Wolverton Mountain Sweeter Than Honey Kisses," are among the dishes included to tempt the rowdy friends and gourmets among us. So - when mom's trying to throw dinner on the table so dad won't miss HANK intoning his opening lines of the national anthem to Monday Night Football on ABC-TV will she need a silver spoon in the art of kitchen duty to replicate HANK's goodies in her own home? "Hey, Good Cookin'" comes with a personal word from Hank about the recipes: "I won't be responsible for the way yours turn out, but when I fix 'em they're bodacious!"
           A suggestion for Hank's next arsenal of kitchen tips: the ultimate outdoorsman's cookbook on bagging and cleaning your next meal during football season. To order the "Hey, Good Cookin' cookbook" visit or call 731-642-7455.

  • AARP COVERS JOHNNY CASH. Click here for a larger view.

    Gerald Curry Tape: "Reflections"

    Produced in Nashville by Steven K. Brown for SKB Nashville Productions. For more information and bookings, contact Gerald Curry, Rt. 2, Box 269-C, Michie, TN 38357.

    Worth a Click ...

    "Johnny Cash: The Spirit Is Willing" - The Journal of Country Music Interview - Part I.

    Light Crust Doughboys Book

    Fans of Texas-style country music, electric guitar pioneers, Texana, and the culture of the southwest will enjoy checking out the new history book just released at ... titled: THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS ARE ON THE AIR! Swing and rock on, Art Greenhaw - -

    Letter to the Editor: RE Bobby Braddock

    Greetings, My name is CJ Hughes and I own and operate, a tribute to the legendary country music songwriter. The word floating aroung music row is that he and Curly Puman's eternal classic, "He Stopped Loving Her today" has been slated for inclusion into the songwriter portion of the Country Music Hall of Fame, an act deemed overdue by thousands of country music fans and professionals. This is a step in the right direction for what several also deem appropriate and well deserved, Bobby Braddock's full induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. To that effect I have started an online petition requesting that the Hall of Fame and it's board of directors put in to action the events which would culminate in Bobby Braddock's induction in the near future. The petition may be accessed by visiting -
    Bobby Braddock has penned over 30 top ten hits and over half a dozen #1s. He is responsible for such country music classics as Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E", Tammy and George Jones' "Golden Rings" Tracy Lawrence's monster hits "Time Marches On" and "Texas Tornado" as well as Mark Chesnutt's "Old Flames Have New Names" and Toby Keith's five week #1 "I Wanna Talk About Me."
               Please tell everyone you can about the online petition. We are hoping for thousands of signatures. Once several have been collected they will be bound and presented formally to the director of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Kyle Young. Thank you for your time and effort. Please contact me for more information. Best Regards,
    Cj Hughes
    (615)-834-5125 Nashville, TN. -
    Note: Bobby Braddock does not in any way endorse This website is privatly owned and operated and any and all views expressed are solely those of it's owner and operator, CJ Hughes. 615-834-5125.

    Another Nitty Gritty Circle

    The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will release Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. III Oct. 1. Randy Scruggs and the band produced the set, which will include contributions from Sam Bush, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Iris Dement, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Taj Mahal, Jimmy Martin, The Del McCoury Band, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Tony Rice, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson and Dwight Yoakam. The original Circle album, from 1972, was recently reissued in a 30th Anniversary Edition.

    Clement Plans New CD

    "Cowboy" Jack Clement is working on a new CD with Cowboy's Ragtime Band. Clement is a Nashville legend whose writing credits include the Johnny Cash hits "Ballad of a Teenage Queen" and "Guess Things Happen That Way" and the Porter Wagoner/Dolly Parton classic "Just Someone I Used to Know." He has produced Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Lee Riley and U2, among many others. With Bobby Wood, Dave Roe, Kenny Malone, Billy Burnette and Shawn Camp, Clement will appear July 10 at Douglas Corner Café in Nashville for the third in a series of live recordings.

    Worth a Click ...

    'O Brother' Phenomenon Rolls On

    Charlie Daniels Pulls Plug On
    TV Appearance After Song Banned

    Charlie Daniels recently pulled out of a scheduled appearance on PBS's A Capitol Fourth in Washington, D.C. after one of the songs he wanted to perform was banned from the show's lineup. Daniels wrote "The Last Fallen Hero" as a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks, and felt it was an especially appropriate holiday to remember those Americans whose lives were taken. The show's producers, however, did not agree, so Daniels canceled his performance.
               "I'm not on a star trip," Daniels tells LAUNCH. "I'm not being egotistical or petulant. I'm not trying to hold up this TV show or anything like that. It's just that, doggone it, Fourth Of July in the United States of America should be a flag-waving time. That's what it's all about. It's not about 'everything's fine, I'm fine, you're fine' touchy-feely 'I'm okay, you're okay, we have nothing to worry about'-type situation. We're involved in a very, very dangerous war and we gotta start realizing it or we're gonna be in big trouble."
               Daniels was particularly outraged by the fact that a public television network was censoring his music. "You know, PBS really is kind of a left-wing organization anyway, but what aggravates me ... I just did a thing with them a while back called 'Speaking Freely,' which is about free speech, but now here they come with, 'You can't do this.' For a publicly funded television network, I just think it's ridiculous. They're not willing to stand up for the country who funds them," he says. "America is not a politically correct country. We have some very high up people in the American hierarchy and in the media who are, but the people out here are not."

    Worth a Click ...

    Mississippi Songwriter's Association

    Rayburn Anthony CD

    Rayburn Anthony, who got rave reviews on his Vampirella rockabilly CD "Jackson Was Jumpin'", shows the other side of his talents on a brand new all country CD "Everything's Bigger In Texas." Title track shows some rare humour as Rayburn laments he keeps losing out because "His is bigger than nmine." A great ballad "Yes Love" is getting lots of play on the Country Bear station. All tracks are co-written by Rayburn and other titles include "You Can't Go Wrong With Love," "Thank God It's Monday" and "Thank You Very Much" a tribute to Elvis. Dj's; e mail Rayburn at to get a copy and fans can buy it direct. See his website for details or e-mail him.

    Admirers Will Salute Cash on Two Discs

    Two Johnny Cash tribute albums will be released in the fall. Dressed in Black, produced by Cash bass player Dave Roe and BR549's Chuck Mead, features Mandy Barnett, Rodney Crowell, Hank Williams III, The Reverend Horton Heat, Raul Malo, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, among others. DualTone Records will release the album Sept. 10. Kindred Spirits: A Tribute to the Songs of Johnny Cash boasts performances from Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Keb' Mo', Little Richard, Bruce Springsteen and Dwight Yoakam, among others. The Marty Stuart-produced album will be released Sept. 24 on Sony Nashville's Lucky Dog.

    Worth a Click ...

    Surviving members of Drifting Cowboys among those who knew Williams best.
    From the Mobile Register: By GERALD HODGES, Correspondent

    The Gatlin Brothers return to the Opry!

    Nashville - The renowned country music trio, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers will appear at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, June 8th. It's been 3 long years since the brothers have performed together in Music City and their reunion has been eagerly anticipated. The Gatlin's will perform two shows at 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM. Contact the Grand Ole Opry for ticket price.

    The Grand Ole Opry will present the Gatlin's with the 2001 Member Award, a 14-inch replica of the Opry's vintage mic stand. This award is a token of the Opry's appreciation to its elite group of members and it provides a way for them to express how vital the members are to this American Institution. "We're thrilled that Larry, Steve and Rudy have chosen the Grand Ole Opry stage to come together once again to share their wonderful brand of country music with our audience. In addition, we look forward to presenting each of them their Opry Member Award as a way for the Opry to say thank you for all of the contributions they have made to this institution and to country music," said Pete Fisher, general manager, Grand Ole Opry.

    1992 was the last time The Gatlin Brothers were on the touring circuit until now! After 25 years of planes, trains and automobiles, the Gatlin's took a sabbatical and went home to spend some long overdue time with their families. In the following years, all of the brothers have kept very busy. Larry Gatlin in particular, an avid golfer, spends a majority of his time out on the golf course and when he is not doing that he is on the road as entertainer, musical theater star and motivational speaker. The Will Rogers Follies, The Civil War and The Music Man are all acclaimed theatrical shows in which Larry found himself crossing the Broadway stages. His aptitude for musical theater came just as naturally to him as his songwriting, and critics agree that whether it is Larry on Broadway or Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers, his knack for entertaining the masses is undisputable.
    For interviews or more information please contact RPR Media. (615) 297-2316.

    Lionel Delmore RIP

    Lionel Delmore, who co-wrote the hit song, "Swingin'" with John Anderson, has died of cancer in Celina, Tennessee. He was 62. Delmore's credits also include Anderson's hits "Low Dog Blues," "The Girl at the End of the Bar," "I Wish I Could Write You a Song" and "Bend It Till It Breaks." Lionel Delmore was the son of Alton Delmore, of the Delmore Brothers, a popular singing duo in the 1930s, who were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. "Swingin'" was the CMA single of the year in 1983.

    Alabama Farewell Tour In 2003

    May 23, 2002 - Alabama, one of the top country acts of all time, will embark on a farewell tour next year before retiring. "After long thought and thinking very deeply, and while we still love one another, while we still care very deeply about one another, we want to announce to the fans all across the world that starting next year in 2003, it will be our farewell tour," lead singer Randy Owen said

    New Magazine for the UK

    AAG Publishing has announced the launch of "Maverick", a new monthly country and roots music magazine. The past couple of years has seen a surge of interest in the UK of acoustic-based, rootsy music that encompasses country, hillbilly, gospel, western swing, bluegrass, blues, folk, boogie and Appalachia., and this magazine aims to be sympathetic to these brands of music.

    Editor Alan Cackett says: "Maverick will be breaking the mould of how country music is perceived in the UK. The emphasis will be firmly on music - no linedancing, an absence of MOR pap, glitter, belly buttons and other clutter that gets in the way of the music. The focus will be on today's music in the firm knowledge that all music has to continually evolve, move forwards, without ever losing sight of the roots.

    "There will be an extensive album review section and features on performers, songwriters, musicians, etc. who are on the cutting edge. You are likely to find such diverse musical practitioners as Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams, Gram Parsons, Alan Jackson and Nickel Creek all sharing space in the magazine. In many ways, all of these acts have approached the music and their careers in a kind of maverick way, refusing to be tied down to the confines of how the men in suits think the music should be produced and marketed."

    Alan Cackett was previously the senior writer for Country Music International. Prior to that, for 20 years, he was one of the main contributors to Country Music People, authored the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, and recently wrote the artist biographies on the BBC Radio 2 Country Music website. The first issue of Maverick will be published in late June with a July cover date, and will initially only be available by subscription or through selected retail outfits.

    The cover price of the magazine will be £2.20, with an annual subscription of £24 (incl. p&p). Alan concluded "This represents outstanding value for what will clearly be the most informed and relevant magazine for today's discerning country and roots music fan."

    You can subscribe direct to AAG Publishing, Unit 2 Kings Row, Armstrong Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6AQ.

    Kindy Hosts Bush Bash

    Country singer and mystery author Kinky Friedman is hosting a fundraiser in Austin with first lady Laura Bush and White House dog Barney, the black Scottish terrier. "It's Reign- ing Cats and Dogs: Lunch with Laura and Barney" will be May 29 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. The event will benefit the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, which rescues and houses stray animals of many kinds.

    Artists Unite to Honor Patsy Cline'

    What do Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Lee Ann Womack, Michelle Branch and k.d. lang have in common? For starters, these platinum-plus selling singers each list Patsy Cline as one of the most important female vocalists in the history of recorded music. So, it was no surprise that when they were asked to join a very special tribute recording being put together by Cline's label, MCA Nashville, they jumped at the opportunity.

    In what may be the most exciting and talked about recordings of the year, MCA Nashville has banded these artists, and more, together to pay homage to the original diva, Patsy Cline. Recorded in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York, the tribute album, Remembering Patsy, will be released later this year. The songs selected for the tribute album reflect all of the titles included on Cline's nine million-plus selling Greatest Hits CD. Artists and the songs they have chosen to record include: Natalie Cole performing "I Fall To Pieces"; Lee Ann Womack singing "She's Got You"; Diana Krall performing "Crazy"; Michelle Branch singing "Strange" and k.d. lang performing "Leavin' On Your Mind."

    According to Bruce Hinton, Chairman of MCA Nashville, the label was trying to think of something special to do to honor Cline and acknowledge the incredible staying power of her Greatest Hits package, which has spent an incredible 500 plus weeks (and still counting) on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. -Neil Haislop

    Hank Williams Festival to feature 'Drifting Cowboys'

    The 23rd Annual Hank Williams Festival held in Hank Williams' boyhood home of Georgiana, Alabama, will be highlighted by the appearance of the 'Drifting Cowboys.' The three day event which runs from May 30 thru June 1 this year, will feature many of the former band members that played with Hank Williams throughout his career. Scheduled to perform will be Clint Holmes, Braxton Schuffert, Pee Wee Moultrie, R.D. Norred, Bernice Turner, Lum York and Don Helmes, who regularly performs with Jett Williams. The Moore Brothers, a band making a name for themselves with the song, 'Hank is Dead,' will provide the backup for the Cowboys. The Moore Brothers will open Saturday's show that will conclude with performances by Hank Williams' daughter, Jett Williams, David Ball and legendary performers Don Williams and Gene Watson. Friday's show will feature T.G. Sheppard and Billy Joe Royal. The festival starts Thursday with the Hank Williams song writers contest and concludes with a performance by George Hamilton IV at the local church where Hank Williams attended and sang in his youth.

    Kenny Rogers' Photography Exhibit

    A Chronology of Country Music Opens at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. On June 11, 2002, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil a collection of photographs taken by Kenny Rogers culled from his latest photography book, This is My Country, available exclusively through the entertainer's website ( The exhibit will feature stunning black and white celebrity portraits of such country greats as Tammy Wynette, Minnie Pearl, Dolly Parton, Little Jimmy Dickens, Willie Nelson, Bill Monroe, Charley Pride, Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, to name a few, as well as many of today's country superstars including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Alan Jackson.

    Freddy Fender To Perform on ALMA Awards for ABC

    Freddy Fender, known for cross-over million selling hits "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", will perform a song from his Grammy award winning album "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta" on the upcoming ALMA Awards. The ALMA Awards will be the first publicly televised appearance since his kidney transplant surgery this past January. The awards show will tape on May 18, 2002, in Los Angeles. The ALMA Awards were created in 1995 as part of NCLR's strategy to promote fair, accurate, and balanced portrayals of Latinos in television, film, and music. Born out of a direct response to negative stereotyping of Latinos in entertainment, these awards honor Latino performers for their outstanding artistic achievement, impact, and enhancement of the image of Latinos. This show, airing on ABC on June 1st, is the only two-hour Latino-themed prime-time awards special produced on any of the four major English-language networks. The show was named "ALMA" (Spanish for "spirit" or "soul") which represents the determined spirit of the Latino people in an effort to reflect the spirit as well as the scope of the awards program. Others joining Fender on the show are:
    Paul Rodriquez, host
    Juanes & Nelly Furtado
    Benjamin Bratt, "Pi'ero"
    Matt Cede'o, "Days of Our Lives"
    Michael Delorenzo, "Resurrection Blvd."
    Hector Elizondo, "Tortilla Soup"
    Andy Garcia, "Ocean's Eleven"
    Nicholas Gonzales, "Resurrection Blvd."
    Laura Elena Harring, "Mulholland Drive"
    Jay Hernandez, "Crazy/Beautiful"
    Esai Morales- "NYPD Blue"
    Shelley Morrison, "Will & Grace"
    Jacqueline Obradors, "NYPD Blue"
    Edward James Olmos, "The Judge"
    Elizabeth Pe'a, "Tortilla Soup"
    Tony Plana, "Resurrection Blvd."
    Freddy Rodriguez, "Six Feet Under" Jamie-Lynn Sigler, "The Sopranos"
    Marisa Tomei Wilmer Valerramma, "That '70s Show"
    Raquel Welch, "American Family"

    Jett Williams, Ferlin Husky, Jeannie Pruett and
    Johnny Counterfit: Law Enforcement Shoot Out

    More than campfires will be burning when country music's Jett Williams joins forces with the NRA to host the First Annual Jett William's All American Law Enforcement Shoot Out. The event will be held in Lafayette, Tennessee on May 11th, 2002 and benefit the Fred and Ruth Clark Scholarship Fund "I never dreamed that I would be in a position to be able to raise money for such an important cause. Education is such an important issue and it makes all the time I devote well worth it," exclaims Jett Williams. The Fred and Ruth Clark Scholarship Fund enables both children and adults to continue their education pending qualification. The late Mr. Clark was a former County Commissioner whose dream was to be able to make higher education available to those who could not afford it on their own. Members of Law Enforcement may register to participate in the event by contacting Wally Ethridge at 615/699-3871. The registration fee is $25 for a single and $40 for a double. The general public is invited to watch and $30.00 tickets are available to have dinner with the celebrities following the competition at 5:00. The competitions starts at 10am. At 7PM there will be a free concert featuring Jett Williams, Ferlin Husky, Jeannie Pruett and Johnny Counterfit. Though all shooters keep and "eye-to-the-sky", there will be no lack of friendly competition for this great cause!

    Worth a Click ...

    Second time around
    Chester Smith revives his music career after nearly 40 years

    Joel Selvin, SF Chronicle Staff Writer

    Willie Will Play for Nebraska Farmers

    Willie Nelson will help ranchers and farmers in Dawes County, Neb., with a benefit concert Aug. 31, the Associated Press reports. "Legends Beneath the Buttes 2002" will be held on private land near Crawford, in northwest Nebraska. Dedicated to the memory of Waylon Jennings, the concert also will feature Billy Joe Shaver and Hank Williams III.

    Haggard Blocks Sale of Unreleased Songs

    Lawyers for Merle Haggard on Wednesday (May 1) slapped a court order on a Texas music promoter to block the sale on eBay of unreleased Haggard songs, according to the Dallas Morning News. Lawyers said Kathy Schroeder, 48, has filed a lawsuit against Haggard for failing to appear at a Schroeder-promoted concert last October in Fredericksburg, Texas. Although Haggard did not appear at the show because of chest pains, his musicians did. Haggard lawyers say that Schroeder boarded the Haggard tour bus at that show. It was subsequent to that, they say, that a cassette of new Haggard recordings was discovered missing from the bus. When a cassette listing those same songs was advertised on eBay with an asking bid price of $325,000, Haggard's lawyers say they traced the eBay offer to Schroeder. The case against Schroeder will be heard in state district court in Kerrville, Texas, on May 13. Haggard's court order asked for withdrawal of the auction offer, a ban on duplication of the cassette and return of the original cassette. Haggard likened the missing songs to his "kidnapped children." eBay immediately withdrew the offer.

    WSM Program Director Resigns

    May 3, 2002, NASHVILLE - The program director at WSM-AM 650 has resigned to take a similar post in Huntsville, Ala., a city where he spent many years on the air. John Malone will be vice president of programming at WRSA-FM, a family-owned station with an adult contemporary format. He also will be on the air in the mornings, he said. Malone, who held a brief, part-time position at WSM in the 1980s, rejoined the venerable station from Huntsville in 1999 as program director. WSM general manager John Padgett said the resignation was entirely for personal reasons, and he praised Malone for his almost three years of leadership. WSM-AM had a banner winter quarter in the Arbitron ratings, roughly doubling its audience share after a blast of winter speculation that the station would drop its long-standing classic country format. WSM operations manager Kyle Cantrell will assume Malone's programming duties. -TWANGTOWNUSA.COM

    Worth a Click ...

    Exhibition Seeks to Reinstate
    Banjo to Its Rightful Place

    by Theo Emery (AP).

    Acclaimed Guitarist Gene Moles Dies

    Courtesy: The Bakersfield Californian - Gene Moles, widely regarded as one of the best guitarists to come out of the Bakersfield Sound era of country music, died Sunday, April 28th at his home in east Bakersfield. He was 73. Moles suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease.

    The "doctor of guitars," as he called himself, played with Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Red Simpson, Tex Ritter and many others. He also wrote surf-rock instrumentals for The Ventures. He was the quality control man for Bakersfield-based Mosrite, which manufactured guitars for several country music stars of the late 1960s, and over the last 30 years he operated a guitar repair shop that traded on his nickname. "He was the most highly thought-of musician in Bakersfield," said Sandy Holly, a Bakersfield singer who fronted bands that often featured Moles. "People loved him."

    Denver Eugene Moles Sr., the sixth of seven children, was born in June 1928 in Wetumka, Okla., 16 miles from Henryetta. His family moved to Selma, just south of Fresno, in 1936. He got his first guitar seven years later at age 15.

    Moles got his first nightclub job in 1946 at Paris Gardens in Selma, where he made $3 a night working for a matronly boss he knew only as Texas Mom. He moved to Bakersfield in September 1949 to play in Tex Butler's band at the Blackboard, alongside pianist George French, for $10 a night.

    "The Jimmy Thomason Show" made him a regional TV celebrity in 1953, and also earned him a solid reputation as a musician. In 1959 that reputation got him into Capitol Records' Hollywood studios, where he helped Owens cut "Sweet Thing" and other tracks.

    In 1961 he met Nokie Edwards of The Ventures, and the two co-wrote three songs eventually recorded by the surf-sound legends: "Sunny River," "Night Run" and "Scratch." He and Edwards, performing as the Marksmen, cranked out "Scratch" one Saturday on "American Bandstand."

    The Ventures were one of several prominent acts using Mosrites, which were built in a small plant near where Centennial Garden stands today. Moles worked the assembly line as chief inspector, plucking the first notes on guitars that ended up in the hands of people like Barbara Mandrell, Little Jimmy Dickens and Joe Maphis. After Mosrite went out of business in 1969, Moles opened a guitar-repair shop known as Gene Moles/Doctor of Guitars. The store settled on Niles Street in 1991.

    Moles is survived by his wife of 46 years, Joan Moles, and four children: daughters Cathy Sheer and Marisa Blomberg, and sons Eugene Jr. and Jody. Both sons are guitarists: Eugene, who has played at the Grand Ole Opry and on "Hee Haw," lives in Tennessee and Kansas; Jody will continue to run the Doctor of Guitars repair shop.

    RE: Eddie Arnold

    International Fans for Eddy Arnold Kennedy Center Honors
    5250 Simpson Ferry Rd. PMB #365
    Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

    Mr. James A. Johnson, Chairman
    The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    2700 F. Street N W
    Washington, DC 20566

    Dear Mr. Johnson:
    Following is a list of those esteemed individuals, their comments and desires to have Dr. Richard Edward (Eddy) Arnold honored by your Center. He has earned the title, The Ambassador of Country Music - President Clinton. I appreciate your contacting me in behalf of this fine singer and great American
    Honorable Trent Lott, U. S. Senate

    We will be pleased to do what ever we can to have Mr. Arnold be recognized.
    Honorable Fred Thompson, U. S. Senate

    I will be happy to forward a letter of support to the Kennedy Center requesting honors for his many accomplishments
    Honorable Bill Frist, MD, U. S. Senate

    Because of continued devotion to fans, his fan base around the globe remains loyal and strong after 55 years in the music industry. "Congressional Record"
    Honorable Bob Clement, U. S. House of Representatives

    Eddy Arnold is deserving of recognition at the 2002 Kennedy Center Honors. We are proud of this outstanding Tennessean.
    Honorable Don Sundquist, Governor of Tennessee.

    His fans, as well as his peers, hold him in great esteem as an individual and for his accomplishments. He has brought much pleasure and happiness to millions across the world".
    Mrs. Fran Boyd, Academy of Country Music

    Eddy Arnold is loved and admired by not only the Country Music industry but by artists and fans of every genre of music".
    - Ed Benson, Country Music Association

    I am impressed that Mr. Arnold means enough to these personages to take their valuable time to endorse Eddy, I too add my name and address




    More information: Frank Cunningham -

    Hank Jr. and Madden Record Monday Night Football

    Hank Williams Jr. and sports announcer John Madden were in Nashville the week of April 15th to record this season's series of theme songs for Monday Night Football on ABC. This is Williams's 14th year as the voice behind the theme song. Williams won four sports Emmys for his contribution to Monday Night Football.

    George Jones Breaks Foot

    The Possum is laid up in his crib this weekend (April 20) after a misstep at a Nashville area fast food restaurant. George Jones broke his right foot Thursday (April 18) when he slipped and twisted his ankle during lunch. Jones didn't realize he had broken the foot until several hours later, when pain and swelling prompted him to have it x-rayed. Doctors ordered the Country Music Hall of Fame member to stay off his feet for a few days. He'll wear a foam boot brace for the next six weeks. Concerts Friday (April 19) in Tyler, Texas, and Saturday (April 20) in Muskogee, Okla., have been rescheduled for May 4 and May 12, respectively. Jones resumes his regular touring schedule next Friday and Saturday (April 26-27) at the Alabama Theatre in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Jones recently played a benefit concert outside Fort Hood, Texas, that raised more than $75,000 for the National Veterans Foundation. He performs a special concert June 11 for troops at Fort Campbell, Ky. Jones current single is '50,000 Names,' a song about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He'll sing the song and the national anthem May 26 at NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C.

    Dooly's New Alum Coming, Tour Possible

    Dolly Parton's newest album, 'Halos and Horns,' is scheduled for a July 9 release, and Dolly says there may be a tour to follow. The project will feature bluegrass-acoustic songs penned by Dolly, as well as some new material. You can also hear Dolly's version of Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven,' and 'If' by Bread. If Dolly decides to tour, it will be her first in a decade. She tells CMT that although the schedule is not confirmed, she's thrilled at the idea. 'We just get thousands of calls a day about when I'll be touring again,' says Dolly. 'I thought, 'If people really want to see me, I think I'll see if I like it again."

    Johnny Paycheck Has New CD

    By JIM PATTERSON, Associated Press Writer, NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Johnny PayCheck, one of country music's true outlaws, is short of breath and struggling to concentrate on the conversation. His emphysema and asthma have worsened, and he's now bedridden in a nursing home. A bout with an infection of his lower intestine a few years ago made it all the way to his lungs, and the 63-year-old singer has never fully recovered, explains his manager, Marty Martel.

    During his up-and-down career, PayCheck has recorded dozens of hits, including 'She's All I Got' and 'Old Violin,' but he's best known for 'Take This Job and Shove It,' which became a national catch phrase in 1977 and was the basis of a 1981 movie. 'Well, I'd like to be remembered by all my work, instead of one song,' PayCheck said. 'But a lot of times you get tagged that way. Maybe with this compilation album, people will hear the body of the work.'

    His new 23-song CD, 'The Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny PayCheck,' is country music at its best, dealing with adult issues such as drinking, cheating and love gone wrong. It includes 'Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets,' 'I've Seen Better Days' and 'Colorado Cool-Aid.' One single from 1977, 'I Did the Right Thing' by Bobby Braddock, deals with the pain of NOT cheating. PayCheck interprets lyrics such as 'I went home to my wife, straightened up my life' into an anguished cry of pain. The song points out that doing the right thing doesn't always make one happy.

    PayCheck was born Donald Lytle in Greenfield, Ohio. He began playing guitar as a child, left home as a teen-ager to wander, and then joined the Navy. He was court-martialed for hitting an officer and spent two years in a military prison. After he arrived in Nashville ‹ where he took the name Donnie Young ‹ he began writing songs and working in the bands of stars such as George Jones, Porter Wagoner and Ray Price. Two record deals came and went. Then Aubrey Mayhew agreed to manage him, and his name was changed to Johnny PayCheck.

    But his career all but disappeared in the late '60s as he sank into alcohol and drug addiction. Tracked down by a record company executive in Los Angeles, he went into rehabilitation and launched a comeback on Epic Records, aided by producer Billy Sherrill. In 1971, 'She's All I Got' made it to No. 2 on the Billboard country singles chart, and PayCheck was a regular hit-maker for the next decade. His addictions and related health problems caused his career to fade again in the 1980s, except for the superlative 1986 single 'Old Violin.' He toured when his health allowed into the 1990s. Through it all, PayCheck's singing has been consistently cited as an influence by older stars such as Jones and Merle Haggard, and younger singers as well. Daryle Singletary recorded PayCheck's 'A-11' and 'Old Violin' for his new album, 'That's Why I Sing This Way.' PayCheck does a short recitation on Singletary's 'Old Violin.' PayCheck says he would like to sing that way again, but isn't sure of the prospects. 'I'm a little sluggish, always tired,' he said. 'I get tired pretty easy.'

    Lawsuit over Tammy Death Resolved

    The remaining legal challenge over the death of country music star Tammy Wynette has been resolved in a secret, out-of-court settlement between her daughters and a Pittsburgh doctor, lawyers for both sides confirmed. The attorneys said Wednesday, April 10th, that they had reached a confidential agreement over claims by the singer's four daughters that Dr. Wallis Marsh contributed to Wynette's death in 1998.

    'Both parties are quite happy that it's over and done with,' said Wilbur McCoy Otto of Pittsburgh, Marsh's attorney. Wynette, best known for her hit 'Stand By Your Man,' died at 55 of heart failure caused by chronic blood clots. She suffered for years with painful stomach ailments and was treated for addiction to painkillers. Marsh prescribed the painkiller Versed to the singer. The daughters were seeking $50 million, claiming that he mismanaged her case. They also sued the pharmacy Care Solutions of Nashville for delivering the painkiller and Wynette's last husband, George Richey, for helping to administer it.

    The daughters - Tina Jones, Jackie Daly, Georgette Smith and Gwen Nicholas - removed Richey from the lawsuit after he asked that Wynette's body be exhumed for an autopsy to help clear up questions about her death. In October, a federal judge dismissed Care Solutions from the case. The trial had been set for May 7, 2002.

    'Dirt Band' is Going Strong

    It's been 30 years since a mostly West Coast aggregation 'invaded' Nashville. When The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came to Music City three decades ago, many locals scoffed. What kind of a future would this thrown-together group have in the world of country music? Well, as they say, the rest is history. In its first years in Nashville, the band released 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken?' -- an ornate, three-album collection of the best songs of 'old Nashville.' It was a classic compi- lation of great songs -- in the words of the news provider -- that brought Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Doc Watson and a host of others to a new generation. Now it's being re-released, this time, of course, on CD. There are 42 tracks on the two-CD set -- four more than on the original vinyl records.

    Early Cash on German DVD

    Germany's Bear Family Records has issued a DVD, Johnny Cash at 'Town Hall Party.' The disc features Cash and the Tennessee Two (Marshall Grant, bass, and Luther Perkins, guitar) in appearances on the West Coast TV show from Nov. 15, 1958, and Aug. 8, 1959. The DVD runs nearly 70 minutes and features 24 performances captured on kinescope including the Cash classics 'Get Rhythm,' 'Folsom Prison Blues,' 'I Walk the Line,' 'Don't Take Your Guns to Town' and 'Big River.' The set also includes Cash imitating Elvis Presley on 'Heartbreak Hotel.' The Bear Family Web site is at

    Nelson Tribute Moves to USA Network

    Willie Nelson: Stars & Guitars will air Memorial Day, May 27, on the USA Network. Early reports had the tribute concert airing on cable channel A&E. The special taped Sunday (April 14) at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with a cast that included Ryan Adams, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Norah Jones, the Mark Knopfler Band, Rob Thomas of matchbox twenty, Dave Matthews, Brian McKnight, Aaron Neville, Ray Price, Keith Richards, Hank Williams III and Lee Ann Womack. Actor Vince Vaughn (Psycho, Swingers, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) will host the show.

    Haggard Publishing Demos Released

    Merle Haggard: The Peer Sessions (Audium), Haggard's recordings of 12 songs from the historic peermusic publishing catalog, hits record stores May 21. Recorded over three years, the album features songs written by Jimmie Rodgers, ex-Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis, Floyd Tillman, Tommy Duncan and Bill Haley. Haggard and Country Music Hall of Fame member Roy Horton co-produced for Peer-Southern Productions. Recording took place at Tally Studios in Palo Cedro, Calif., and at Bradley's Barn in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. Musicians included the late Owen Bradley, Buddy Spicher, Hargus 'Pig' Robbins, Charlie McCoy, Buddy Harman and Redd Volkaert, among others. Among the songs on the set are 'Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia,' 'Miss the Mississippi and You,' 'It Makes No Difference Now,' 'Whippin' That Old T.B.,' 'I Love You So Much It Hurts' and 'Time Changes Everything.'

    James Monroe Opens Bluegrass Museum

    James Monroe, son of late bluegrass great Bill Monroe, was to cut the ribbon Thursday, April 11, opening the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky. 'The site of this new museum in Kentucky, where it all started, would have meant the world to him,' Monroe said in a prepared statement. 'It's a real tribute to the man and his music.'

    Hank Jr. to Tour

    Hank Williams Jr. will kick off The Almeria Club Tour April 19 in Anderson, S.C. Ten stops have been announced with more dates to be added. Other dates and cities: 4/20, Richmond, Va.; 5/3, St. Petersburg, Fla.; 5/18, Hinckley, Minn.; 5/31, Birmingham, Ala.; 6/1, Nashville, Tenn.; 7/19, St. Clairsville, Ohio; 8/23, Sterling Heights, Mich.; 8/24, St. Ignace, Mich.; and 10/12, Dallas, Texas. Almeria Club is the community center in South Alabama where portions of Hank Jr.'s new album, Almeria Club, were recorded. His parents also played at the former one-room school. In January, the album debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Country album chart.

    E-mail "Traditional Country Hall of Fame"