Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Jo Dee Messina To Celebrate 4th of July In Style

The Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Vocalist Jo Dee Messina will be celebrating Independence Day in style this year in our nation's capitol. Country music's hottest new redheaded firecracker will perform with Nashville's Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. as part of the Capitol Fourth music ceremony. Fans can tune in live to PBS on the 4th of July (check listings for exact time) and celebrate with Jo Dee. When asked about this great honor, Jo Dee said, "To be in our nation's capitol on our nation's birthday is an amazing honor. I still can't quite believe they've asked me to be a part of this incredible event."

You go girl, and God bless America!

Faith Sweeps TNN Music City News Country Awards

When the 33rd Annual TNN Music City News Country Awards were handed out last month at the Nashville Arena, Faith Hill was the brightest star of the evening, walking away with a whopping five trophies, including Female Artist of the Year and Single of the Year and Video of the Year for "This Kiss." Hubby Tim McGraw didn't do too bad himself as he captured three trophies, including Male Artist of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year and Song of the Year (also going to songwriter Diane Warren), both for the duet "Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me" with his lovely wife. Following the awards ceremony, when asked if he was going to cook a celebratory meal for his wife as he did last year following Faith's CMA win for Video of the Year, Tim quipped, "I'm going to be cooking, but it won't be food."

Country music's hottest new group, The Dixie Chicks, was also well represented at the awards, although they weren't on hand due to a European tour. Natalie, Martie, and Emily were named Vocal Band of the Year, as well as Star of Tomorrow-Female. Neal McCoy held onto his title of Entertainer of the Year, a title he first garnered just last year, while Brooks & Dunn held onto their long-running Vocal Duo/Group of the Year crown. In addition, Charlie Daniels was surprised with the Living Legend Award, while Roy Clark was presented the Minnie Pearl Award for humanitarian contributions to the community. Although not a trophy winner this night, the "King of Country Music,""No-Show" George Jones was a true winner as he made his first live television performance following his recent and near-fatal auto accident. He paid tribute to the new Country Music Hall of Fame Museum by performing his current new single "Choices."

The entire list of winners is as follows: Entertainer of the Year: Neal McCoy; Male Vocalist: Tim McGraw; Female Vocalist: Faith Hill; Vocal Band: Dixie Chicks; Vocal Duo/Group: Brooks & Dunn; Star of Tomorrow-Male: Michael Peterson; Star of Tomorrow-Female: Dixie Chicks; Vocal Collaboration: Faith Hill & Tim McGraw's "Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me"; and Single of the Year: Faith Hill's "This Kiss."

Song of the Year: Faith Hill & Tim McGraw's "Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me"; Video of the Year: Faith Hill's "This Kiss"; Album of the Year: George Strait's One Step At A Time; Living Legend Award: Charlie Daniels; and Minnie Pearl Award: Roy Clark.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Hall of Fame Inductees-To-Be Announced

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the brand-new Hall of Fame facility at Fan Fair last month, The Country Music Hall of Fame announced that the three artists to be inducted into the Hall of Fame Sept. 22, during the annual Country Music Association Awards ceremony scheduled to air on CBS-TV, are international superstar Dolly Parton and the late Conway Twitty and Johnny Bond.

When informed of this great honor, Dolly said, "I thought I'd have to be as old as Roy Acuff or as ugly as Willie Nelson to get in the Hall of Fame." Of course, she continued to assure Willie that she was only joking. Dolly went on to say, "The only thing that I can think of that's more exciting than being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is that I'm still alive and kicking and able to enjoy it. I am very honored and very thrilled."

As for the groundbreaking ceremony, the Hall of Fame, which has been located on Music Row since 1967, will move to a brand new 136,000 square-foot, four-story facility in May 2001. The new state-of-the-art Hall of Fame and museum will be located in downtown Nashville across from the Nashville Arena at the corner of 5th Ave. S. and Demonbreun St.

Jerry Reed Undergoes Heart Surgery

62-year-old singer and actor Jerry Reed, best known for songs such as "She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)" and "East Bound And Down," and movies like "Smokey & The Bandit," underwent emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery last month at a Nashville area hospital. Reed had been complaining of chest pains during a recent concert in Illinois but went home afterward and told no one of the pain. Band members informed Jerry's wife of his condition and she immediately took him to the hospital. It has reportedly been said that, "The doctors thought he'd have a heart attack before he left the hospital." After a more than weeklong stay at the hospital, Jerry headed home to spend six weeks recovering.

If you wish to send your well-wishes to Jerry, I'm sure he could use the lifting up. Cards and letters can be sent to: P.O. Box 334, Kingston Springs, TN 37082. Get well soon, Jerry!

Tammy Wynette Died of Natural Causes

After an ongoing legal battle to determine the exact cause of the "First Lady of Country Music's" death, it was recently announced that Tammy Wynette did indeed die of natural causes last April. Nashville metro medical examiner Dr. Bruce Levy stated that a recent autopsy proved that Tammy passed away of heart failure, likely brought on by complications from a chronic blood-clotting condition. Dr. Levy determined that Wynette did not die of a blood clot in her lung as was originally speculated, but of natural causes.

Tammy's daughters had requested an autopsy to be performed on their famous mother's body to determine if their mother's family physician and their step-father, George Richey, had caused her death due to poorly monitoring her frail condition and for wrongfully administering medication.

In Dr. Levy's concluding statements, he said, "If I were asked to testify in court whether I'd classify this as a natural cause - yes, I would. I'm very satisfied, based upon the autopsy, that we have as good a picture as we ever are going to have about what medically caused her death."

Reba Busy These Days

Country superstar Reba McEntire is busier than ever these days. She's done just about everything an entertainer could do, except ... build a hotel. Well, never dare Reba to try a new adventure, because she and her husband/manager Narvel Blackstock will jump on the bandwagon quicker than "who'd have thought it?" According to the Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean, Reba and Narvel's company, Starstruck Entertainment, is teaming up with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain to build a luxury hotel on Nashville's famed Music Row. This exciting new venture is reportedly scheduled to open in 2001.

As if building a new hotel weren't enough for one person, Reba is currently filming a Christmas western movie in Vancouver, Canada. This made-for-television movie is currently slated to air Thanksgiving night, with a brand-new Christmas album to be released in conjunction with the movie.

And while we're on the subject of Christmas (since it is a mere five months away), mega-star Garth Brooks is reportedly scheduled to host his very own --and first- Christmas special this winter on CBS-TV. Keep reading in future months for further details about this special, which is tentatively titled "The Colors of Christmas."

$22,000 For Heap of Country History

If you happen to have an extra $22,000 stuffed under the mattress, then you can own a heap of country music history ... literally. Fann's Auto Salvage in Manchester, Tenn. has purchased the wrecked 1999 Lexus LX470 SUV country legend George Jones was driving when he crashed into a concrete bridge which almost took his life March 6. George's wife Nancy has joked that maybe she needs to buy the vehicle, which was sold at an insurance auto auction and keep it as a reminder to George what drinking while driving can cause.

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