Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Wynonna ‘Touched By An Angel' & Headed to Splitsville

Ashland, Ky. native Wynonna made her acting debut just last month on the 100th episode of the popular CBS television series "Touched By An Angel," starring Della Reese and Roma Downey. Also featured in the ratings-grabbing episode was songstress Celine Dion. And speaking of these country and pop divas, the two can be heard on the Touched By An Angel soundtrack album along with country gals The Kinleys, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Deana Carter.

And while we're on the subject of Wynonna, it appears that her days as a married woman are numbered. After three years of marriage, Wynonna vowed that she could no longer "Stand By Her Man" Arch Kelley III when the couple recently filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences." The parents of Elijah and Grace, Wynonna and Arch, according to a Nashville newspaper, are not actually separated and hope they can work their differences out, despite filing for divorce.

Billy Ray Cyrus Honored By Hometown

The folks in Ashland, Ky. showed their favorite country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus, who is from the nearby town of Flatwoods, just how proud they are of the superstar two days before Thanksgiving. Billy Ray served as Grand Marshall of the annual Christmas Parade, but the accolades didn't stop there. The mayor proclaimed the day as Billy Ray Cyrus Day and presented the singer with a key to the city. In addition, Flatwoods honored their hometown boy by dedicating Billy Ray Cyrus Boulevard.

Billy Ray fans can pick up the singer's brand new, critically-acclaimed album, titled Shot Full Of Love, at their favorite record store just in time for Christmas.

Randy Travis & Linda Davis Pair Up

Traditional country crooner Randy Travis and his Dreamworks label-mate Linda Davis took the spotlight during half-time of the Dallas Cowboy's Thanksgiving Day game to help out the needy this holiday season. Randy invited Linda to join him to sing "I Did My Part" as he was asked to officially kick off the Salvation Army's national fund-raising kettle drive which collects money at retailers and on street corners across the nation to brighten up Christmas for the less fortunate. "I Did My Part," which can be found on Randy's latest album, has been selected as the theme song for this year's kettle drive, just as Reba McEntire's "What If" was chosen as last year's theme.

Randy and Linda have been quite busy as a pair these days. Not only has Linda had the great opportunity to open some concerts for Randy recently, but the duo can be heard singing "Make It Through" on the brand new album The Prince Of EgyptNashville, the country record inspired by the sure-to-be classic animated movie "The Prince Of Egypt," which will hit theaters on December 18. This album also includes Wynonna, Alison Krauss, Clint Black, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, Alabama and Toby Keith.

Shania to Play Nobel Peace Concert

Canada's hottest country songstress Shania Twain will be among legends as she is tapped to perform at the Nobel Peace Concert in Oslo, Norway this month. Shania will join Elton John and Phil Collins for this special concert slated to air on the Fox Family Channel at 8:00 pm December 20.

Garth & Martina Help Light Up The Season

Garth Brooks and Martina McBride will help light up the season this Christmas. Garth will head to Rockefeller Center along with singers Cyndi Lauper, Babyface and Jewel to appear on the NBC special "Christmas In Rockefeller Center," which will include the 66th lighting of one of the world's most famous Christmas trees. This first-annual hour-long special will be hosted by Jane Pauley, Al Roker and Matt Lauer.

Martina McBride, who released her very first holiday album just this year, will be heading for the nation's capital to perform for President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 13 for the NBC special "Christmas In America." Martina will be joined by the "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin. Martina fans will also want to be sure to tune in to "The Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade," which will air on ABC on Christmas Day.

Reba Receives Yet Another Honor

Country music's most successful female, Reba McEntire, recently roped in yet another honor when she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in Tulsa, Oklahoma during a ceremony at the Performing Arts Center. Reba, who was born and raised in Chockie, Okla., was honored to help the Oklahoma Hall of Fame celebrate its 70th induction ceremony. Other country artists to have been bestowed with this same honor include Gene Autry and Roy Clark.

Reba recently had the opportunity to try something the muliple award-winning singer and actress had never done before. Be on the lookout for Reba this month on ABC Television's Disney's animated series "Hercules." Reba can be heard as the voice of the goddess Artemis, who protects animals.

Congratulations Reba, and keep up the good work.

Country Wedding Bells

There are several wedding bells preparing to ring throughout the country music community. Although Kenny Chesney and his fiancee Mandy Weals were not married on their scheduled wedding date Thanksgiving weekend, things aren't looking down. The couple has merely postponed the exchanging of their vows because they haven't had quite enough time to plan.

New country crooner Gary Allan, who was recently labeled one of People magazine's Top 10 Sexiest Men, tied the knot November 28 with model Danette Day. The two met when Gary approached Danette following a concert. They exchanged vows in Danette's parents' hometown of Aiken, South Carolina.

Also scheduled to walk down the aisle next Spring is Dixie Chick Emily Erwin, who is engaged to artist Charlie Robison. Charlie can soon be seen along with ER actress Julianna Margulies in the movie "The Big Day." Although no date has been set, country music's wild child and long-time bachelorette, "Texas Tornado" Tanya Tucker has finally decided to settle down and marry. Tanya recently announced her engagement to songwriter Jerry Laseter.

Congratulations to all and best wishes!

Watch Out For Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood fans will be on cloud nine as their favorite songstress will be popping up all over their television screens. The reigning Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year can be seen performing along with opera great Luciano Pavarotti on PBS December 2 on "Great Performances: Pavarotti & Friends."

Trisha was recently bestowed with yet another well-deserved honor as she was named one of the "Most Fascinating Women of 1998" by Ladies Home Journal magazine. She will appear on a CBS special of the same name on December 28.

And speaking of awards, Ms. Yearwood will be the recipient of the Nashville Symphony's 1998 Harmony Award this month for her contributions to Nashville's music community. This award, which has been presented to Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins, Naomi Judd and Barbara Mandrell, will be presented during the Nashville Symphony Ball.

Country Baby Watch

Country artists have been very busy in the baby department lately. Mark Chesnutt and his wife Tracie recently welcomed their third child, Cameron Zane Chesnutt, who weighed in at 8 lbs, 7 oz. and measured 21 inches long. First-time dads Nicholasville, Ky. native John Michael Montgomery and Travis Tritt will each be headed to the delivery room for the second time next year. John Michael and his wife Crystal will welcome their second child in February, while Travis and Theresa Tritt are expecting a sibling for nine-month-old Tyler Reese in June.

Congratulations to all of the parents and parents-to-be!

Well, that's it for this month, and this year. I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Always remember, "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, ‘cause country music is comin' your way."