Singers and players from Kentucky have been mighty busy of late. Here's a little catch-up:
· Steven Curtis Chapman garnered a stack of awards at the 22nd Annual Dove Awards show in April, staged by the Gospel Music Association. His trophies: Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.
· Louisville's Larnelle Harris' "Mighty Spirit" from his I Can Begin Again album was chosen as the theme song for the Points of Light campaign. You can hear it on radio and network television spots for the Points of Light campaign.
· Getting back to hot Kentuckians, Springfield's Charlie Walls is burning up the airwaves these days with his songs. Walls got a great write-up about his "Ten Thousand Miles from Home" in Kentucky Living magazine, a publication of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives with a readership of about three million. The song, about the departure of the reserves from Springfield, got considerable airplay around the Southeast and elsewhere. Walls has just completed a follow-up tune called "Comin' Home."
He also has a song that is scheduled to be in John Mellancamp's new movie. The song, entitled "The Proof's Here in My Hands," was co-written by Sammy Reid, Walls' writing and business partner. Both men are on the Board of the Louisville Area Songwriters' Cooperative.
· Prince Phillip Mitchell's new album, The Loner, on Ichiban Records, has been released. Mitchell's "Starting All over Again" has started to earn him money all over again with the cover version recorded by Hall and Oates.
· David La Duke reports that he has signed an exclusive management contract with Back Door Management of New York. He has also gotten a cut from his Have Rock Will Travel on another compliation CD, World Talent Hunt CD, this one to be issued by CD Reviews magazine.
· New Albany, Ind., resident Terry Tyler has a tune out called "Welcome to America," written by Mark E. Smith of Bullitt County, Ky. The tune has been pitched to the USO and there is a chance of some national recognition.
· Got a package with a new video from Michael Johnathon, who has been working his "Troubadour Project" for some time now. Glad to see things continue to progress, Michael.
· And, of course, The Kentucky HeadHunters picked up another Grammy. Let's see, what was this one for? It's gettin' harder to keep track, guys. We know they've made it to the Big Time 'cause they were on the Jay Leno, er, Johnny Carson show on April 30. Their second album scooted right up the charts to the #3 spot. At one point, both of their albums were in the top ten.
· Mike Murphy of Murphy's Law has gone on the road with Hank Williams Jr. Murphy's Law's John Burgard said Murphy was going to be making "a lot of money" on the road with Hank. Mark Stein of Mark Stein and the Steamrollers has replaced Murphy. Murphy's Law will be doing more "rock and blues" and less jazz, according to Burgard. Stein will also continue to do the occasional gig with the Steamrollers.
· Got word that P. S. Dump Your Boyfriend has relocated from Indianapolis to Louisville. The four-piece college and classic rock group is in the studio working on a CD, scheduled for an early fall release.
· Ran into Curtis Marlatt of Curtis and the Kicks at the Air Devils Inn the other evening. Marlatt says he's working on a new album. Blues fans will be anxiously awaiting the release.
Jazz pianist Rahn Burton is back in town. Burton, who spent many years with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, is a Louisville native who gets back to town every now and then. Willie Little of the band Axis is fellow who brings him in.
· Speaking of Points of Light, New Kidder Donnie Wahlberg, who managed to spread a few points of light himself on the Seelbach's carpet, has some Public Service Announcements to do. Of course, Wahlberg's spots tain't exactly voluntary.
· Word came from folks who went to Nashville for the NSAI spring event that Crowe Johnson, publisher of Zassafras Music News, has been battling a serious illness. ZMN is dedicated to promoting the individual performer and/or small groups, with a focus on folk and acoustic. You can drop her a get-well card at P. O. Box 1000, Gravatte, AR 72736.
Get well soon, Crowe.
· Hardly a Surprise Dept.
Fans of Shaking Family have heard that Tim Chewning has a new Top 40 group, Mr. Popular; lead singer Barbara Carter has moved to Nashville to be with hubby Kurt Denny and Vince Emmett is doing some recording. Do you suppose it signifies something?
Watch the next couple of issues of LMN for more details.