Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Trisha Yearwood to Join The Opry

When the long-running radio program The Grand Ole Opry returned to its historic former home, the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville on Sat., Jan. 16, it was a very special night for the multi-award winning reigning Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Trisha Yearwood. Trisha holds the Ryman Auditorium very near to her heart as she and The Mavericks' bassist Robert Reynolds were married in the newly renovated auditorium in May 1994. Now she has yet another reason to love "The Mother Church of Country Music" as it was on that historic stage that she was invited to become the 73rd member of the Grand Ole Opry after her guest performance last month.

The big question came following Trisha's performance of "Wrong Side Of Memphis," which includes the lines "I've had this dream from a tender age/Calling my name from the Opry stage." Kentucky boy Ricky Skaggs had the honor of surprising Trisha with the invitation as he said, "On behalf of the Gaylord Entertainment Company and the Grand Ole Opry staff and family, we'd like to invite you to become our newest member. All those in favor, say `Aye.'" The audience thundered with approval and Trisha happily replied, "That's a yes!"

Trisha Yearwood's official induction into the Grand Ole Opry will take place at the Grand Ole Opry House at the Opryland complex during her next scheduled performance on March 13. Trisha will be the first new member added to the cast since last April when Diamond Rio joined the legendary country music family.

Congratulations, Trisha!

Garth Is Once Again People's Choice

Country music mega-star Garth Brooks can decorate practically his entire house with People's Choice Awards alone. The Garthmeister picked up his eighth consecutive trophy for Male Musical Performer during the 25th Annual People's Choice Awards ceremony held on January 10th. Canadian pop songstress Celine Dion took home the trophy for Female Musical Performer.

Congratulations, Garth and keep up the good work!

Country Shined at American Music Awards

Country music was well represented and greatly accepted at last month's American Music Awards, despite the fact that country diva Shania Twain was nominated in a whopping five categories (Favorite Country Female, Country Album, Pop/Rock Female, Pop/Rock Album, and Adult Artist), but only took home one trophy-Favorite Female Country Artist. Garth Brooks took home both awards he competed for-Favorite Male Country Artist and Favorite Country Album for Sevens-bringing his total number of American Music Awards trophies up to 13.

1980's Artists of the Decade, supergroup Alabama made American Music Award history by capturing their record-breaking 22nd trophy for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group. And the Dixie Chicks' winning streak continued as the trio was named Favorite New Country Artist.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Look For The Judds In K-Mart

If you are a big fan of Ashland, Ky. natives Naomi and Wynonna Judd, better known as The Judds, then you'll have to travel no further than your local K-Mart store to see the award-winning country duo. The two red-headed divas recently announced that they are replacing actress/producer Penny Marshall and actress/comedienne/talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell as celebrity spokespersons for the popular chain of discount stores. So, the next time you are in K-Mart, keep your ears open for the familiar harmony of this mother-daughter duo, and keep your eyes open for television commercials throughout the next few years. The next time you go chasing after a "blue-light special," you just may be fighting Naomi for that last sale item.

Country GRAMMY Nominees

When nominees were announced recently for the 41st Annual GRAMMY Awards, Canadian country superstar Shania Twain tied with rocker Sheryl Crow for having the second-highest number of nominations-six each-being beat out by hip-hopper Lauryn Hill, who captured 10 nominations. Shania will vie for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Song, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year, all for "You're Still The One," and Best Country Album and Album of the Year for Come On Over. Crooner Vince Gill follows Shania in the country category with four nominations (including Best Male Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, Best Country Song, and Best Country Instrumental Performance), followed by Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Ricky Skaggs, and Trisha Yearwood, each having garnered three nominations. A special best wishes to the Dixie Chicks who will compete for the Best New Artist trophy along with the Backstreet Boys, Andrea Bocelli, Lauryn Hill, and Natalie Imbruglia.

The entire list of country nominations is as follows: Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Emmylou Harris' "Love Still Remains," Faith Hill's "This Kiss," Shania Twain's "You're Still The One," Lee Ann Womack's "A Little Past Little Rock," & Trisha Yearwood's "There Goes My Baby"; Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Clint Black's "Nothin' But The Taillights," Garth Brooks' "To Make You Feel My Love," Vince Gill's "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind," & Steve Wariner's "Holes In The Floor Of Heaven.:

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Alabama's "How Do You Fall In Love," BR5-49's "Wild One," Dixie Chicks' "There's Your Trouble," The Mavericks' "Dance The Night Away," & The Wilkinsons' "26 Cents"; Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt & Dwight Yoakam's "Same Old Train," Vince Gill & Patty Loveless' "My Kind Of Woman/My Kind Of Man," Faith Hill & Tim McGraw's "Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me," Reba McEntire & Brooks & Dunn's "If You See Him/If You See Her," & Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks' "Where Your Road Leads."

Best Country Song (Songwriter Award): Billy Kirsch & Steve Wariner's "Holes In The Floor Of Heaven," Vince Gill & Troy Seals' "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind," Beth Nielsen Chapman, Robin Lerner & Annie Roboff's "This Kiss," Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love," & Robert John "Mutt" Lange & Shania Twain's "You're Still The One"; Best Country Album: Garth Brooks' Sevens, Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces, Faith Hill's Faith, Shania Twain's Come On Over, & Trisha Yearwood's Where Your Road Leads; Best Country Instrumental Performance: Doc & Merle Watson with Sam Bush, Marty Stuart, T. Michael Coleman & Alan O'Bryant on "Reuben's Train," Jerry Douglas with Bela Fleck on "The Ride," Randy Scruggs, Earl Scruggs & Jerry Douglas on "Lonesome Ruben," Randy Scruggs & Vince Gill on "A Soldier's Joy," & Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder on "Get Up John."

The 41st Annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony will be hosted by talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell and will air live on CBS at 8pm on Wed., Feb. 24. Good luck to all the nominees!

Country Family News

There is an abuandance of family news within the country music community these days. "On A Good Night" singer Wade Hayes is recently engaged to Danni Boatwright, who just so happens to play his love interest in his brand new video for "Tore Up From The Floor Up." Following in Wade's footsteps, country heart-throb Bryan White reportedly became engaged to "One Life To Live" actress Erika Page during the recent holidays at New York's Rockefeller Center. And lastly, but definitely not least, Nan Sumrall, TNN's "Prime Time Country" host Gary Chapman's new sidekick, is engaged to Charlie Kelley, a former member of the now disbanded country group The Buffalo Club.

And while we're on the subjaect of engagements and marriages, country music's "wild child," Tanya Tucker was to walk down the aisle for the very first time Jan. 29 (the date of her parents' 56th wedding anniversary) as she was to wed songwriter Jerry Laseter. To accommodate the couple's family and closest friends, Tanya had a chapel built on the property of her home for the ceremony. The "Two Sparrows Chapel" was built by songwriter/carpenter Mark Alan Springer, who wrote Tanya's smash hit "Two Sparrows In A Hurricane." In addition to Tanya's recent nuptuals, singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell recently married new Reprise Records recording artist Claudia Church.

And while we're talking about family, we can't leave out the babies. Hot new country artist Lee Ann Womack gave birth to her second daughter, Anna Lise at 6:50pm on Jan. 3. Anna weighed in at 6lbs, 11 ozs. and measured 19 inches. Anna has a seven-year-old big sister named Aubrie, whose father is Lee Ann's ex-husband, singer Jason Sellers.

Congratulations to all!

Fan Fair Tickets Now On Sale

If you are interested in attending the 28th International Country Music Fan Fair this June in Nashville, Tenn., then you had better act fast as tickets are already on sale for this frequent sell-out event. Tickets allow fans entry to a week's worth of live country concerts by all of today's hottest artists, as well as admission to the exhibition hall to meet their favorite performers, get their autographs, and have their picture taken with them. Tickets cost $90 each and can be purchased by calling the Country Music Association at (615) 889-7503, or by writing to: Fan Fair, 2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214.

Attention All Shania Fans

Shania Twain fans will want to be sure to pick up the February issue of Cosmopolitan magazine as the country/pop diva's mug will don the cover. In addition, mark your calendar for March 3 as Shania will have her very own television special on CBS, which will include interviews, live performances, and duets with surprise guests. Also, be on the lookout for Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, an album of Elton John duets with the likes of Shania, LeAnn Rimes, James Taylor, and Tina Turner.

Well, that's it for this month. For all of you fans (including myself) of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt's critically-acclaimed Trio album, the threesome will release their second album on Feb. 9. Always remember, "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."