Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Local Radio Ratings

The third-quarter Arbitron radio ratings for Louisville were recently announced and country radio was well represented. Five country stations appeared in the list of the top 24 stations. The "Country Leader" 97.5-FM WAMZ was once again the keeper of the top spot. Coyote Calhoun and his bunch at WAMZ, along with second-place WHAS have almost 27 percent of the listeners over 12-years-old.

98.9-FM WHKW landed at #13, 101.7-FM WTHQ at #18, 1080-AM WKJK came in at #21, followed by 620-AM WTMT at #22.

Congratulations to all the country stations and keep the country music comin'!

Princeton's Mila Mason Worked Her Way to Radio

Hot newcomer Mila Mason worked hard to make her way to radio with her debut single, "That's Enough Of That." Born in Princeton, Kentucky, Mila was working at a fragrance counter in a mall before making it to Music Row. An associate across from Mila would see her go to pitch songs every day when one day she told Mila that her sister-in-law is Blake Mevis' daughter. The associate took a tape and he loved Mila's music.

Soon thereafter, Mila was signed to Atlantic Records. Her days as a perfume salesperson, a waitress, a house cleaner, and a video extra seem to be over as her debut album and single, both titled That's Enough Of That, climb the country charts.

Ricky Skaggs To Honor Bill Monroe

Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs is in the process of organizing a tribute album to the late, great "Father of Bluegrass," Rosine, Kentucky's Bill Monroe. Response has been overwhelming for the project with stars such as Louisville's own Patty Loveless, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Marty Stuart, and Joe Diffie planning to lend their talents.

Ricky plans to produce this possible 30-song collection himself, but must first find a record label interested in the project.

Kentucky's Tom T. Hall Lands Two Songs On Country Charts

You may not be hearing any new songs on the radio these days sung by Olive Hill, Kentucky's Tom T. Hall, but he actually has two on the country charts right now. "The Storyteller" wrote Alan Jackson's latest chart-topper, "Little Bitty." This little ditty is Alan's highest entry on the country singles chart and the fasest rising hit of Alan's career.

In addition to "Little Bitty," Tom T. Hall's "That's How I Got To Memphis," which was originally cut by Bobby Bare, is once again on the charts thanks to newcomer Deryl Dodd.

Tom T.'s phone is ringing off the hook these days by top artists looking for new songs.

Wynonna Charged with Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Ashland, Ky.'s Wynonna and husband Arch Kelley III, as well as Wynonna's company, Wynonna, Inc., were recently charged with a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint by former Judd farm manager Andria Surles. Andria is seeking $800,000 in compensatory impunative damages claiming that Wynonna and Arch made sexually suggestive comments to her and that she wasn't paid as well as male farm managers prior to and following her two-and-a-half year stint as farm manager.

Wynonna's publicist released a press release stating: "Wynonna is shocked and saddened to learn of the allegations made against her. She categorically denies all charges. Wynonna's lawyers are in the process of filing counter claims against Andria Surles, whose claims are completely without merit."

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Country Winners at 1996 Billboard Music Awards

Cowboy crooner George Strait was the big winner at last month's 1996 Billboard Music Awards handed out at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. George, who has earned more than 30 number one hits on the Billboard country music charts, was named Country Artist of the Year. Shania Twain's The Woman In Me album, which has now sold an amazing 10 million copies, was named the Country Album of the Year. The "dynamic duo" Brooks & Dunn were on hand at the awards show and performed their hot single "My Maria," which was awarded the Country Single of the Year.

A Little McGraw On The Way

Country newlyweds Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have announced that they are expecting a baby McGraw next summer. The two were secretly married in October in Rayville, Louisiana before Tim's annual Swampstock fundraiser, which included a charity softball game. The young lovers and parents-to-be recently enjoyed a belated honeymoon and closed out their "Spontaneous Combustion Tour" New Year's eve in Nashville.

The Loss of a Legend: Faron Young Passes Away

64-year-old Country legend Faron Young, known for hits such as "Hello Walls" and "Alone With You," died in a Nashville hospital December 10. A band member had found Faron in his home the day before with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Nearby was found a scribbled suicide note. It is believed that Faron had been depressed over recent prostate surgery and his battle with emphysema.

Faron's son Robin Young said goodbye to his father, who was a member of the Grand Ole Opry from 1952 until 1964, at the Grand Ole Opry the weekend following his father's tragic death.

Introducing Robin, Opry star Johnny Russell said, "This week we lost a man who was a hero to most of us. If you didn't love Faron Young, you didn't know him."

Johnny then brought out "a young man who's going to sing a song his daddy made one of the biggest country songs of all time." Robin, wearing a sheriff's badge with a small black band across it sang "Hello Walls," sounding much like his famous father.

At the song's end, Robin said, "Goodbye, Daddy. I love you."

Get The Lowdown on Hee Haw

Fans of television's long-running hit series Hee Haw can read all about this classic country comedy in the one and only producer, Sam Lovullo's new book, Life In The Kornfield. Sam was amazed at the show's success after the first five or six years. He says, "I never dreamt this thing would go on for 25 years."

Hee Haw host Roy Clark says that "most people probably don't know that belonging to the Hee Haw cast was like being part of a big family. Each year for more than two decades, we would reunite twice a year in Nashville to tape episodes for the coming season. Most people also don't know that Hee Haw won an Emmy for videotape editing. The show was unique in that we taped all the music performances during a two-week period and the comedy segment within a separate two-week period. From these bits and pieces the 13 episodes for the upcoming broadcast season were edited together."

Life In The Kornfield is in bookstores now. Reruns of Hee Haw can be seen every Saturday night at 7:00 PM EST on The Nashville Network.

Clint Black Receives a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Country singer Clint Black, whose recent The Greatest Hits album was certified platinum in just six short weeks following its release, joined an elite group of stars December 12 when he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Clint is currently enjoying some much deserved time off with his wife of five years, actress Lisa Hartman Black. He began touring in 1989 and played non-stop until last February. Clint doesn't plan another concert tour until the end of this year or the beginning of 1998.

Mr. Black is in the planning stages of an ABC made-for-television movie about 1960's rodeo champion Jack Favor, who wrongfully served eight years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. You can get a preview of the movie by listening to his self-penned "Cadillac Jack Favor" on The Greatest Hits, which tells Jack's story.

American Music Awards Nominees

Dick Clark recently announced the nominees for the 24th Annual American Music Awards. Nominees for Favorite Country Male are:

Garth Brooks

Alan Jackson

George Strait

Nominees for Favorite Country Female include:

Faith Hill

Shania Twain

Wynonna

The Favorite Country Band, Duo, or Group nominees include:

BlackHawk

Brooks & Dunn

The Mavericks

Up for Favorite Country Album are:

Garth Brooks' Fresh Horses

George Strait's Blue Clear Sky

Shania Twain's The Woman In Me

The Favorite Country Newcomer category includes nominees:

Mindy McCready

Terri Clark

LeAnn Rimes

These awards will be handed out on January 27 in Los Angeles and the ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC.

Fans Want Davis Daniel Back

Fans of country musician Davis Daniel, known for his hit "For Crying Out Loud," have gone to extremes to tell Nashville that they want their favorite country singer back since he has lost his recording contract. A 25-foot billboard along Nashville's Music Row reads: "DAVIS DANIEL--WE WANT YOU BACK." In smaller letters at the bottom of the sign reads: "This ad paid for by real country music fans."

And just who was in charge of this billboard? Davis questioned his manager and his fan club director, but both were innocent. After a little sleuthing, the culprit turned out to be fan Sharon Watkins of Lima, Ohio. Sharon began a campaign by calling all her friends, who in turned called all their friends. Before long, fans from 36 states had donated $4,100 to bring back Davis.

Sharon says, "Our plan was to rent several billboards, but this was the only one available, so we got it for 30 days for $1,000." Sharon assures that more billboards will come in the future.

Upcoming Live Country

If tickets for George Jones' Friday, January 17 concert at the Palace Theatre weren't in your stocking Christmas morning, then you're in luck because tickets are still available. The "Possum" will be sure to sing hits such as "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "High-Tech Redneck," "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes," and "The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song)" as he stops off right here in the Derby city.

Well, that's it for now. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year full of country music. Always remember: Keep your hat on straight and your boots shined up, 'cause country music is comin' your way.