Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Tim McGraw Tops List of 1999 CMA Nominees

Country Music Hall of Famer Brenda Lee and country newcomers Sherrie' Austin and Brad Paisley were very familiar with Tim McGraw's name by the time they recently finished announcing the nominees for the 33rd Annual Country Music Association Awards. Tim was nominated in six categories, including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, Album of the Year for A Place In The Sun, Video of the Year along with wife Faith Hill for "Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me," and Single and Song of the Year for "Please Remember Me." Vince Gill, who has won more CMA trophies than any other artist (17 in all), follows Tim with five nominations, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Album for The Key, Song of the Year for "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind," and two nominations in the Vocal Event category: "No Place That Far" with Sara Evans, and "My Kind Of Woman/My Kind of Man" with Louisville's own Patty Loveless. The Dixie Chicks garnered four nods, while George Strait captured three.

The entire list of nominees is as follows: Entertainer of the Year: Garth Brooks, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, George Strait, and Shania Twain; Female Vocalist of the Year: Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, Shania Twain, and Trisha Yearwood; and Male Vocalist of the Year: Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, George Strait, and Steve Wariner.

The Dixie Chicks did a session at Melody Hill Studios in J-town following their appearance at the George Strait Festival. From left Melody Hill engineers Joseph Castriola and Vince Emmettm DC Emily Ewin, producer Peter Asher, CD Marti Seidel and engineer Nathan Kunkel. Read more in this month's Down On The Corner

Vocal Group of the Year: Alabama, Diamond Rio, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, and the Wilkinsons; Vocal Duo of the Year: Brooks & Dunn, The Kinleys, The Lynns, Montgomery Gentry, and The Warren Brothers; and Horizon Award: Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Jo Dee Messina, the Wilkinsons, and Chely Wright.

Album of the Year: Tim McGraw's A Place In The Sun, George Strait's Always Never The Same, Vince Gill's The Key, Steve Wariner's Two Teardrops, and Trisha Yearwood's Where Your Road Leads; Single of the Year: Lonestar's "Amazed," George Jones' "Choices," Mark Wills' "Don't Laugh At Me," Tim McGraw's "Please Remember Me," and Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces"; and Song of the Year: Allen Shamblin & Steve Seskin's "Don't Laugh At Me," Roger Miller's "Husbands and Wives," Vince Gill & Troy Seals' "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind," Rodney Crowell & Will Jennings' "Please Remember Me," and Beth Nielsen Chapman, Annie Roboff & Robin Lerner's "This Kiss."

Video of the Year: Mark Wills' "Don't Laugh At Me," Kenny Chesney's "How Forever Feels," Alan Jackson's "I'll Go On Loving You," Faith Hill & Tim McGraw's "Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me," and Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces"; Vocal Event of the Year: Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare & Jerry Reed's album Old Dogs, Sara Evans & Vince Gill's "No Place That Far," Vince Gill & Patty Loveless' "My Kind Of Woman/My Kind Of Man," Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt's album Trio II, and 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"; and Musician of the Year: Brent Mason on guitar, Eddie Bayers on drums, Paul Franklin on steel guitar, Dan Huff on guitar, and Randy Scruggs on guitar.

Crooner Vince Gill will host this year's awards ceremony for the eighth consecutive year. Be sure to catch the awards on CBS Television on Sept. 22, broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry House. International superstar Dolly Parton and the late Conway Twitty and Johnny Bond will each be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during this ceremony.

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

Heavy Contenders in CCMA

There were some pretty heavy contenders when the nominations for the 1999 Canadian Country Music Awards were recently announced. Newcomers the Wilkinsons, as well as Shania Twain and Terri Clark, each received six nominations. Paul Brandt of "I Do" fame received five nominations and will serve as master of ceremonies when the awards are handed out. The Wilkinsons will vie for the Wrangler Rising Star Award, Duo or Group of the Year, Album of the Year for Nothing But Love, and Single, Video, and SOCAN Song of the Year for "26 cents." Terri Clark and Shania Twain are each up for the CMT Maple Leaf Foods Fans' Choice Award, Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Video of the Year, while Terri will also compete for Top Selling Album and Album of the Year for How I Feel, while Shania is also in the running for Vocal/Instrumental Collaboration of the Year along with Bryan White for "From This Moment On" and SOCAN Song of the Year for "That Don't Impress Me Much." Paul Brandt was nominated in the following categories: CMT Maple Leaf Foods Fans' Choice Award, Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for That's The Truth, and Single and SOCAN Song of the Year for "That's The Truth."

The 1999 CCMAs will be handed out at Ottawa's Civic Centre on Sept. 13. You can catch the CCMA Awards on The Nashville Network at 9:00 pm EDT on Sept. 29.

Merle Haggard Busy These Days

The legendary Merle Haggard is a busy man these days, but first he must recover from pneumonia. The "Okie from Muskogee" recently had to cancel eleven concerts due to his health. Fortunately, Merle was not serious enough to be hospitalized. The legend has run himself ragged promoting his must-have 43-song double CD greatest hits package, Merle Haggard For The Record, touring and preparing for the release of his upcoming autobiography, titled My House of Memories: Merle Haggard For The Record. In addition to checking out his new album and autobiography, fans will want to check with their local cable or satellite provider about purchasing Merle's pay-per-view concert from the Las Vegas Hilton on Oct. 2. This three-hour concert, which begins at 8:00 pm EDT, will include tunes throughout Merle's illustrious career.

And if you can't wait until next month to catch the "Hag," tune in to the CMA Awards show on Sept. 22 as Merle and pop star Jewel are scheduled to perform a duet on "That's The Way Love Goes," which is also included on the new album. And if you are into duets, the album also includes duets between Merle and the likes of Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, and Merle's long-time pal Willie Nelson.

Country Legend Anita Carter Dies

Anita Carter, one-third of the trio known as the Carter Sisters, passed away at the age of 66 on July 29, reportedly from complications from rheumatoid arthritis. Anita and sisters Helen and June Carter Cash (who was reportedly at her sister's bedside at the time of her death, along with brother-in-law Johnny Cash), were the daughters of Mother Maybelle Carter of the pioneering country group The Carter Family. Besides her work with her famous family, Anita is known for hit duets such as "Down The Trail Of Achin' Hearts" and "Bluebird Island" with Hank Snow, and "I Got You" with Waylon Jennings.

Besides her sister June Carter Cash, Anita is survived by a son, Jay Davis, and a daughter, Lorrie Bennett. We would like to extend our sympathies to the entire Carter family.

Other Notable Losses

Our sympathy goes out to mega-star Garth Brooks and his family upon the recent loss of his mother, Colleen Brooks. Mrs. Brooks died in an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma hospital at the age of 70 of throat cancer, a dreaded disease she had suffered from for several years. Garth learned to sing from his mother, who was a recording artist herself in her day, as well as a regular on the Red Foley Ozark Jubilee.

Country singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver also recently lost his wife to cancer. Brenda Shaver, who is also the mother of guitarist Eddy Shaver, died in an Austin, Texas hospital.

Our deepest sympathies go out to the Brooks and Shaver families.

>Dolly Parton: A Country (and maybe Bluegrass) Diva

Singer/songwriter/actress/entrepreneur/author Dolly Parton always has some new trick up her sleeve. Her latest is that of a Bluegrass artist. The country "diva" (which I do not say lightly) recently wrapped the filming of a new movie for Lifetime Television titled Blue Valley Songbird (the title from a tune she wrote on her Hungry Again album), and now she is going to try her hand at Bluegrass music. Bluegrass diva Alison Krauss has recently become one of Dolly's favorite duet partners, as well as backup singers, so Dolly thought it was time for her to cross over into her pal's field of music. Dolly's debut Bluegrass album, which will be on Sugar Hill Records, is slated to hit stores sometime this fall. Nashville's Tennessean newspaper recently quoted Dolly as saying, "This is the most exciting thing that I have done in years." Country fans needn't fear that Dolly is going to leave us standing out in our country field though. After all, she is slated to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during the CMA Awards on Sept. 22.

All I have to say is, "Dolly, YOU GO GIRL!!!!!"

The Country Family Album

Songbird Lari White, of "Stepping Stone,""That's My Baby" and "Now I Know" fame, is busy singing lullabies these days as she and her songwriter husband Chuck Cannon recently welcomed baby #2 into the world. Twenty-month-old M'Kenzy Rayne Cannon is now the big sister to Jaxon Cannon, a whopping 8 lb., 14 oz. 20-inch long baby boy. Congratulations to the happy parents!

Well, all family talk isn't always exactly good news. Sultry country songstress Lorrie Morgan has gone and done it again. Lorrie and fellow singer/songwriter Jon Randall recently filed for divorce in a Sumner County, Tenn. Courtroom after nearly three years together. The duo, who burned up the airwaves with their one-and-only award-winning duet "By My Side" a few years ago, say they will remain friends and will reportedly keep the physical belongings each brought into the marriage. Jon was Lorrie's fourth husband, following Ron Gaddis, the late great Keith Whitley and Brad Thompson.

Well, that's it for another month. Don't forget to catch Farm Aid `99 on CMT on Sept. 12, as well as the 33rd Annual CMA Awards on CBS on Sept. 22. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."