The SRO Awards honoring the best of the country music touring industry were handed out last month in Nashville. While Garth Brooks was named Touring Artist of the Year, Louisville's own 97.5-FM WAMZ was crowned Radio Station of the Year. LeAnn Rimes was named New Touring Congratulations to Coyote and the gang at WAMZ! Keep up the good work.
Country-folk singer John Denver, born John Henry Deutschendorf, Jr. on December 31, 1943, was killed in an ultraplane crash Oct. 12. Denver is best known for country hits such as "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1975, he is survived by his wife, Cassandra Delaney, one son, Zachary, and two daughters, Anna Kate and Jesse Belle.
Louisville's own Patty Loveless is burning up the radio air-waves and is rapidly climbing the country charts with her brand new single, a duet with George Jones, "You Don't Seem To Miss Me," which can be found on Patty's newly released Long Stretch Of Lonesome album. Patty says recording this song with The Possum moved her to tears. She says, "He just tore me up - he's such an amazing singer. Thank God he doesn't sing the same way every time, 'cause it makes it interesting."
Kentucky country superstar Wynonna kicked off the release of her fourth original solo album last month atop downtown Nashville's Hard Rock Cafe with a special mini-concert. Wynonna performed "When Love Starts Talking," the first single from The Other Side, as well as a few of her greatest hits, including her smash "No One Else On Earth." Nearly three-thousand fans packed the streets of Nashville to take in Wynonna's very first roof-top concert.
Following the concert, Wynonna was joined by her little sister, actress Ashley Judd, inside the Hard Rock as she celebrated the release of The Other Side along with friends and fans.
And speaking of the Judds, Ashland, Ky. native Naomi Judd is really cooking these days with her brand new book, titled Naomi's Home Companion: A Treasury Of Favorite Recipes, Food For Thought, And Kitchen Wit And Wisdom. This, Naomi's second book, is a collection of her reflections about life, recipes for living, and her favorite recipes from her own kitchen. She tells about the dishes she learned from her mother Polly, who was a river boat cook, the quick-to-put-together meals she prepared for her growing children, and the first meal she ever prepared for her husband and manager Larry Strickland.
This 224-page book, which retails for $25.00, is also filled with Naomi's revealing anecdotes and practical wisdom, gathered from her own incredible life experiences, and should be in every family's kitchen. After all, Naomi says, "My solution to America's problems is the kitchen table."
Loretta Lynn's twin daughters Peggy and Patsy, who make up the new country duo The Lynns, just might get upset over what their legendary mother has just done. Butcher Hollow, Ky.'s "Coal Miner's Daughter" is so impressed by hot newcomer Lee Ann Womack of "Never Again, Again" and "The Fool" fame, that she has written a song especially for Lee Ann. Loretta even performed a first by recording the demo of the song herself. Fans can expect to hear Lee Ann's rendition of this Loretta-penned tune on her sophomore album.
Some of the biggest names in country music and television will band together Nov. 12 for an all-star tribute to the late great "King of the Road," singer/songwriter Roger Miller, who passed away from throat cancer five years ago Oct. 25. Celebrities scheduled to participate in this tribute include Roger's son Dean Miller, Clint Black, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, John Goodman, Waylon Jennings, The Mavericks, and Lyle Lovett.
Fans unable to attend this event need not fear as it will be taped for a TNN special to air next March.
Hot Canadian songstress Shania Twain is ready for a huge comeback with her new album, titled Come On Over, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 4. Shania says, "The album has 16 songs. I think it's a wider variety of music than The Woman In Me. The songs are more up-tempo and cheerful and even a little comic, but there is an underlying message there." She feels this album really exposes the inner-being of Shania Twain.
Grand Ole Opry stars Jim & Jesse headed to the nation's capitol Sept. 23 to receive a National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and NEA chairperson Jane Alexander bestowed the honor in a White House ceremony. Jim & Jesse also received a $10,000 monetary award with the honor.
Country and Bluegrass legend Doc Watson was among selected artists who received the prestigious 1997 National Medal of Arts Sept. 29. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton bestowed the honors during an awards ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.
Rumors have been confirmed that country music's two hottest newcomers, heart-throb Bryan White and 15-year-old country sweetheart LeAnn Rimes, will be touring together next year. Bryan and LeAnn's "Something To Talk About" Tour will stop off in 100 cities across America and Canada beginning New Year's Eve at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The pair hinted at a possible tour when they first performed together at CountryFest '97 in Texas and Nashville's Fan Fair both in June.
And speaking of LeAnn, her parents, Wilbur and Belinda Rimes, are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. Wilbur is LeAnn's manager and producer, while Belinda runs her daughter's fan club. Rumor has it that LeAnn and Mom are planning to move from Texas to Nashville.
On a positive note, LeAnn recently broke Flatwoods, Ky.'s Billy Ray Cyrus' record of having the highest country entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the 1990's. LeAnn's "How Do I Live" recently landed at #3 on the chart, topping Billy Ray's "Achy Breaky Heart," which topped out at the #4 position.
Doug Supernaw, known for hits like "Reno," "I Don't Call Him Daddy," and "Not Enough Hours In The Night," turned himself in to Lubbock, Texas police recently over a child support issue. While separated from his first wife, Doug had a one-night stand with a woman who claimed she could not bear children, but it turned out she could. Doug says, "She claimed she wanted nothing at all, that the baby was her reward. I told her that I would do anything I could for the child as I would for any child, but that I did not want her to see any financial reward for her action." Doug offered to set up an account for the child for support, but a judge ruled that he pay the mother $700 per month, which Doug responded to by turning himself in to the police.
Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks continues his tradition of treating each millionth concertgoer on his current mega-tour. At a recent concert in Lincoln, Nebraska, Garth's 3-millionth concertgoer, Chad McClintock of Essex, Iowa, who had celebrated his 27th birthday the day before, was surprised when he was escorted backstage to meet Garth, at which time Garth proceeded to award him with 10 dozen roses, a video camera, a 35-mm camera, and three shopping sprees of $3000 each. As if that were not enough, Garth went on to offer Chad and his wife Amy the choice of driving home a brand new BMW Z3 convertible roadster or a Chevrolet pickup truck. After much debate over which vehicle to choose, Garth surprised Chad and Amy by giving them both the BMW AND the pickup. In addition, Garth supplied hotel accommodations for these two lucky fans who had driven two hours to enjoy his concert.
The plot thickens with the recent announcement that Tracy Lawrence and his wife of six months, Stacie Drew Lawrence, are divorcing due to irreconcilable differences. In a Sept. 12 Nevada police report, Stacie claims that Tracy hit her with his fist three times, pulled her hair, and tackled her following an argument between the two concerning Tracy's gambling habit. Stacie also claims that Tracy threatened to kill her if she attempted to leave.
Stacie, who left her job as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader when she married Tracy, did not press charges against her husband at that point, although she says this was the second time Tracy had abused her.
Country crooner extraordinaire Vince Gill will host his 8th Annual Vince Gill Celebrity Basketball Game and Concert to benefit Belmont University on Nov. 3. Artists scheduled to participate in this game include Mark Miller, Kix Brooks, Bryan White, Tracy Lawrence, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Deana Carter, Terri Clark, and many more. VIP tickets are $45 and general admission is $25. Tickets can be purchased by calling (615) 460-VINC.
Singer/songwriter Mark Collie won his very own race for the first time at his 4th Annual Mark Collie Celebrity Race For Diabetes Cure last month. In the women's division, TNN's This Week In Country Music co-host Lisa Stewart took home top honors. The event raised an estimated $400,000 for diabetes research at the Vanderbilt University Hospital.
Newlywed country star Hoyt Axton, son of the late songwriter Mae Boren Axton, who is known for writing Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel," pleaded guilty last month to possession of drugs when officials found more than a pound of marijuana in his western Montana home last Feb. Hoyt is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19, at which time he could receive a five and a half year prison term. Hoyt's wife, Debra Hawkins, has already received a one-year deferred sentence for administering the drugs to Hoyt.
"Ten Thousand Angels" singer Mindy McCready, who is recently engaged to actor Dean Cain of The New Adventures of Lois & Clark, will undergo throat surgery to remove her tonsils on Nov. 19. Mindy has recently been suffering severe sore throats and fatigue. The surgery will not allow Mindy to return to singing until after the New Year. In the meantime, Mindy's second album, titled If I Don't Stay The Night, will hit stores Nov. 7.
That's it for now. Always remember: Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way.