Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Billboard Magazine's Top 10 Country Singles of 1996

Congratulations are in order for Louisville's own Tim Krekel, who co-wrote Billboard Magazine's number eight song of 1996 with Matraca Berg – hometown girl Patty Loveless' "You Can Feel Bad (If It Makes You Feel Better)" The entire list of top 10 singles of 1996 is as follows:

1. "My Maria" – Brooks & Dunn

2. "Blue Clear Sky" – George Strait

3. "Time Marches On" – Tracy Lawrence

4. "Daddy's Money" – Ricochet

5. "She Never Lets It Go To Her Heart" – Tim McGraw

6. "Living In A Moment" – Ty Herndon

7. "No One Needs To Know" – Shania Twain

8. "You Can Feel Bad" – Patty Loveless

9. "Hypnotize The Moon" – Clay Walker

10. "No News" – Lonestar

CMT 1996 Top 12 Video Countdown and Special Video Awards

1. "My Maria" – Brooks & Dunn

2. "Rebecca Lynn" – Bryan White

3. "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here!" – Shania Twain

4. "Blue" – LeAnn Rimes

5. "You Win My Love" – Shania Twain

6. "The Road You Leave Behind" – David Lee Murphy

7. "It Matters To Me" – Faith Hill

8. "What I Meant To Say" – Wade Hayes

9. "I'm Not Supposed To Love You Anymore" – Bryan White

10. "No One Needs To Know" – Shania Twain

11. "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down" – The Mavericks with guest Flaco Jimenez

12. "Check Yes Or No" – George Strait

Male Video Artist of the Year: Bryan White

Female Video Artist of the Year: Shania Twain

Video Group/Duo of the Year: Brooks & Dunn

Male Rising Video Star of the Year: Paul Brandt

Female Rising Video Star of the Year: LeAnn Rimes

Independent Video of the Year: Cledus T. Judd's "If Shania Was Mine"

Director of the Year: Steven Goldmann

Amusement Business Magazine's Top 10 Country Music Concert Tours of 1996

Three of the top ten country touring artists of 1996, according to Amusement Business Magazine, were born right here in the Bluegrass state. Pikeville's Dwight Yoakam came in at number eight, followed by Nicholasville's John Michael Montgomery. Ashland's Wynonna Judd rounded out the top ten. The list is as follows:

1. Garth Brooks – Gross: $33,584,636 – Attendance: 1,843,328

2. Reba McEntire – Gross: $21,580,965 – Attendance: 835,042

3. George Strait – Gross: $17,201,806 – Attendance: 767,243

4. Alan Jackson – Gross: $15,509,697 – Attendance: 715,222

5. Tim McGraw – Gross: $10,575,458 – Attendance: 472,523

6. Brooks & Dunn – Gross: $9,624,424 – Attendance: 478,790

7. Vince Gill – Gross: $7,696,379 – Attendance: 334,894

8. Dwight Yoakam – Gross: $3,579,872 – Attendance: 188,741

9. John Michael Montgomery – Gross: $3,435,020 – Attendance: 156,042

10. Wynonna – Gross: $3,342,830 – Attendance: 154,700

Kenny Rogers to Say "I Do"

Country crooner Kenny Rogers, whose hits include "The Gambler," "Lucille," "Lady," and "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly Parton, proposed marriage to his 30-year-old girlfriend, Wanda Miller before taking the stage for a New Year's Eve concert in Las Vegas. The 58-year-old singer and his new fiancé have been together for three-and-a-half years and they share his 1,200 acre estate near Athens, Georgia.

Kenny was most recently married to Marianne Rogers, a regular on the long-time running country comedy Hee Haw.

Bryan White Celebrates Two Platinum Albums

Country music's hottest new young heart-throb Bryan White had reason to celebrate recently as he attended a Nashville party thrown in his honor to recognize both of his albums being certified platinum, each selling 1 million copies. White, who turns 23 this month, made country music history as the first country artist to have his first two albums certified platinum on the very same day.

Bryan's self-titled debut album and sophomore album, Between Now And Forever, have generated four #1 hits for this young Oklahoma native: "Rebecca Lynn," "Someone Else's Star," "I'm Not Supposed To Love You Anymore," and "So Much For Pretending." In addition to these honors, Bryan was awarded the ACM Top New Male Vocalist Award and the CMA Horizon Award in 1996.

39th Annual GRAMMY Nominees

The 39th Annual GRAMMY Award nominees were announced recently and the hot new 14-year-old country music sensation LeAnn Rimes and her smash debut single "Blue" made a huge splash in the list of country nominations. LeAnn was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. "Blue," which was written by Bill Mack, was nominated for Song Of The Year and Best Country Song.

Pikeville's Dwight Yoakam was nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "Nothing" and for Best Country Album for Gone. Kentucky's Patty Loveless was also nominated in the Best Country Album category for The Trouble With The Truth. The country nominees are:

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Let Me Into Your Heart"; Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine"; Alison Krauss' "Baby Mine"; LeAnn Rimes' "Blue"; and Trisha Yearwood's "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)."

Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Clint Black's "Like The Rain"; Junior Brown's "My Wife Thinks You're Dead"; Vince Gill's "Worlds Apart"; Lyle Lovett's "Private Conversation"; and Dwight Yoakam's "Nothing."

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: BR5-49's "Cherokee Boogie"; Brooks & Dunn's "My Maria"; Diamond Rio's "That's What I Get For Loving You"; The Mavericks' "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down"; and the Texas Tornados' "A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada."

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: Jeff Foxworthy and Alan Jackson's "Redneck Games"; Vince Gill and Alison Krauss' "High Lonesome Sound"; Various Artists on "Hope: Country Music's Quest For A Cure"; Lyle Lovett and Randy Newman's "Long Tall Texan"; and Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt's "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best."

Best Country Song: "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)"; "Blue"; "High Lonesome Sound"; "My Wife Thinks You're Dead"; and "Strawberry Wine."

Best Country Album: Brooks & Dunn's Borderline; Vince Gill's High Lonesome Sound; Patty Loveless' The Trouble With The Truth; Lyle Lovett's The Road To Ensenada; Trisha Yearwood's Everybody Knows; and Dwight Yoakam's Gone.

The GRAMMY Awards Show will broadcast live on CBS from Madison Square Gardens from 8-11 PM EST Wednesday, February 26.

Country Music Sweeps People's Choice Awards

The 23rd Annual People's Choice Awards, which recognize achievement in television, music and movies, were handed out last month and country music swept both music categories. Garth Brooks beat out Vince Gill and George Strait to capture the title of Favorite Male Musical Performer. Reba McEntire beat out Whitney Houston and Alanis Morrisette for the Favorite Female Musical Performer award.

The winners of the People's Choice Awards were selected by participants in a nationwide Gallup poll.

Boxcar Willie Continues His Battle With Leukemia

Grand Ole Opry star Boxcar Willie, who is battling an aggressive form of leukemia, has lost all of his hair due to chemotherapy treatments, but he hasn't lost his sense of humor. The illness has brought country music's favorite hobo's family closer together and he says his wife has made him as "comfortable and pleasant as anybody could ever be made, so life ain't so bad."

When reminded of a quotation he often recites, "A rose is never more beautiful than when it's surrounded by thorns," and asked whether there are any roses, Boxcar says "You betcha. If it ended tomorrow, there'd be a bouquet."

When recently asked whether he had discovered a lot of things inside himself that maybe he didn't know were there, Boxcar quipped "Yeah, cancer," proving the legend hasn't lost his sense of humor. "That's what's gonna beat it," he vowed. "I ain't done."

Holly Dunn To Hit The Air Waves

Country singer Holly Dunn, known for hits such as "Daddy's Hands," "There Goes My Heart Again," and "You Really Had Me Going," is preparing to hit the air waves in February. Not only will listeners be able to hear her new single, "Leave One Bridge Standing," but they'll also get to hear Holly as she becomes the morning co-host of Detroit's WWWW 106.7-FM "Country Club." With this steady job, Holly says she will have more time to spend on her songwriting.

Reba And Brooks & Dunn Announce Their 1997 Mega-Tour

Two of the biggest names in country music, Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn, are teaming up for a once-in-a-lifetime 85-city tour this year. Mobil 1 will sponsor this tour, which begins February 28 in Memphis, Tennessee. Crutches or no crutches, Reba assures the fans that she'll be there to wow the crowd.

Reba, Kix, and Ronnie will not only share the bill on this tour, but they will also share a stage. They plan to perform several numbers together during their hit-packed shows, which will feature continuous entertainment with no intermission.

"We feel that putting together a show with Reba, the biggest female in country music, and Brooks & Dunn, the biggest duo in country music, is going to be something that the fans will definitely want to experience," says Narvel Blackstock, Reba's manager and husband. "Their music is different but very compatible, and both acts have always tried to give the fans the most they possibly can for the ticket price. And that's the number one thing that's driven this whole marriage. It's a way that both artists can give more back to the fans."

Hot New Country

Kathy Mattea is finally back with a brand new album this month, titled Love Travels. Look for the self-titled debut album of the female duo known as Regina Regina, made up of a former Reba McEntire backup singer and a former Reba assistant. Ray Stevens is coming out with a new comedy album this month titled Hum It.

Plenty of greatest hits albums are available this month. Among these are collections by Lari White and Collin Raye. Also look for Essentials from Patsy Cline, Guy Clark, Gary Stewart, Bobby Bare, Lefty Frizzell, Charlie Rich, and Flatt & Scruggs.

Well, that's it for now. Always remember: Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way.