Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Faith's Hot Streak Continues at Grammys

When the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards were handed out in Los Angeles last month, Faith Hill's streak of good luck continued as she was the big winner, walking home with three trophies. Faith won the Best Country Album award for Breathe, the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for the album's title track and the Best Country Collaboration with Vocals along with hubby Tim McGraw for "Let's Make Love." These are the first Grammy's either of the happy couple has ever won. Although it did not win, "Breathe," written by Stephanie Bentley and Holly Lamar, was nominated in the Song of the Year category.

Following are the country winners: Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Johnny Cash for "Solitary Man"; Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Faith Hill for "Breathe"; Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Faith Hill & Tim McGraw's "Let's Make Love"; and Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: Asleep at the Wheel for "Cherokee Maiden."

Best Country Album: Faith Hill's Breathe; Best Country Instrumental Performance: Alison Brown & Bela Fleck's "Leaving Cottondale"; Best Country Song: Mark D. Sanders & Tia Sellers' "I Hope You Dance" (as recorded by Lee Ann Womack); Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder's Soldier of the Cross; and Best Bluegrass Album: Dolly Parton's The Grass Is Blue.

Best Traditional Folk Album: Dave Alvin's Public Domain-Songs From the Wild Land; Best Contemporary Folk Album: Emmylou Harris' Red Dirt Girl; Best Musical Album for Children: Riders In The Sky's Woody's Roundup Featuring Riders In The Sky; Best New Artist: Shelby Lynne; Best Contemporary Jazz Album: Bela Fleck & The Flecktones' Outbound; and Best Classical Crossover Album: Appalachian Journey featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor, Alison Krauss, & James Taylor.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Faith's Future May Get Even Brighter

And while we're on the subject of Faith Hill, as if her career isn't bright enough already, it may be getting even brighter in the near future. Before long, we may just see Faith's name in bright lights in Tinseltown. The buzz around Hollywood, Calif. is that Faith will make her big screen debut in a movie reportedly titled Even Steven. If Faith does indeed land this role, she will play one of two women out to break their ex-boyfriend's heart.

Good luck, Faith!

Songs and Songwriters Honored

Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams were honored recently when they each had a song added to the Grammy Hall of Fame. Johnny's "Folsom Prison Blues," Ray's "I Can't Stop Lovin' You," Patsy's "I Fall To Pieces," and Hank's "Hey Good Lookin'" were just a few of the 31 songs recently honored due to their "enduring quality and relevance or historical significance."

Billboard magazine recently reported that Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with Eric Clapton, Sting and Paul Williams. These inductions will be made in New York City on June 14.

Congratulations to Dolly, Hank, Johnny, Patsy, Ray and Willie!

Brad Paisley Becomes Latest Opry Member

Country music's hottest newcomer, 28-year-old West Virginia native Brad Paisley, fulfilled the dream of a lifetime last month when he became a member of the longest running radio program, the legendary Grand Ole Opry. As the "He Didn't Have To Be" and "Who Needs Picture" singer was officially inducted as an Opry member on the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium (the former home of the Opry), he stated, "This is the most amazing thing I've ever been a part of." Brad was dressed to the nines for this special night decked out in the very yellow western jacket Buck Owens wore on the cover of his album from 1960 titled Buck Owens & The Buckaroos Live At Carnegie Hall.

Upon his induction, Brad became the first recipient of the "Opry Member Award," which features a bronze replica of the historic Opry microphone on a wooden base made from excess original Ryman Auditorium pews following its 1994 renovation. All Opry cast members will also receive this prestigious award in the near future.

Congratulations, Brad! We look forward to many more years of great country music.

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Nominees

When the nominees for the 7th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards were announced recently, Faith Hill once again dominated the music categories, receiving nods in four categories, including Favorite Country Female Artist, Favorite Single for "Breathe," Favorite Pop Female and Favorite Overall Female Artist. Faith will compete against Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina and Lee Ann Womack in the Favorite Country Female Artist category. Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Faith's hubby Tim McGraw, and George Strait will compete for the Favorite Country Male Artist trophy, while the Dixie Chicks, Lonestar and SHeDAISY will compete for the Favorite Country Duo or Group award. LeAnn Rimes will vie for the Favorite Movie Song award for "Can't Fight the Moonlight" from Coyote Ugly, and Billy Gilman is up against rap stars Nelly and Sisqo for Favorite New Male Artist.

Fans can vote for their favorite entertainers by visiting their local Blockbuster store or by visiting Blockbuster's web site. Fans can watch the awards program live on FOX-Television on April 11. Congratulations and best wishes to all the nominees.

Country Family Album

Although 47-year-old songwriter John Jarrard was a diabetic for the majority of his life, he died from respiratory failure in a Nashville hospital on February 1. John is best known for writing hits such as Diamond Rio's "Mirror, Mirror," George Strait's "Blue Clear Sky," and Alabama's "We Can't Love Like This Anymore."

Eighty-five-year-old famed songwriter Hal Blair, a native of Kansas City, Mo., died at his Biggs, Calif. home on February 2. Hal is best known for writing hits such as Hank Snow's "Ninety Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street," Elvis Presley's "I Was The One," and Hank Locklin's "Please Help Me I'm Falling."

The "Queen of the Cowgirls," 88-year-old Dale Evans, died at her Apple Valley, Calif. home on February 7 of congestive heart failure. Dale is best known for starring in nearly 35 movies with her late husband of nearly 50 years, Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Rogers. She also wrote their signature tune, "Happy Trails to You." Dale was born Frances Octavia Smith on Oct. 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Tex. She began her singing career on local radio stations in Memphis, Dallas, Chicago and even Louisville's own WHAS radio, where she adopted the name of Dale Evans.

Congratulations are in order for the Oak Ridge Boys' William Lee Golden and his wife Brenda, as they are expecting their first child in August. Golden has three sons from a previous marriage.

Chad Brock and his wife Marty have reportedly separated. If you'll remember, Chad and Marty were married in Bowling Green, Ky. just last year. Their unusual meeting and marriage were the inspiration for Chad's smash hit "Yes!"

Country Health Watch

The legendary "Man in Black," Johnny Cash suffered a serious bout with pneumonia last month. He remained in Nashville's Baptist Hospital for 11 days. 68-year-old Johnny suffers from autonomic neuropathy and slipped into a near-fatal coma caused by a previous case of pneumonia back in 1997. Johnny was released from the hospital on February 21, the very day his recording of "Solitary Man" captured him a Grammy Award for the Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price underwent an undisclosed stomach surgery early last month in a Houston, Texas hospital. Ray's manager would not divulge the exact reason for the surgery, but stated the surgery was a success. Ray cancelled shows for the remainder of the month and hopes to hit the road again this month.

Upcoming Live Country

As I announced here last month, the George Strait Country Music Festival, featuring George, Asleep at the Wheel, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Lonestar, Brad Paisley and Lee Ann Womack, will roll into town at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on May 27. BR5-49 and the Warren Brothers have been added to this can't miss concert as it has been announced that they will perform on "The Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Live Stage" in Straitland, which will be held outside of the stadium.

Several country acts are heading to town this month, including the Warren Brothers (Coyote's, March 8), Eric Heatherly (Coyote's, March 22) and George Jones (the Palace Theatre, March 30). Be looking for Trick Pony to come to town during the Kentucky Derby Festival. Although nothing official will be announced until early summer, it looks like the Kentucky State Fair in August will include country acts Chad Brock, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys and Travis Tritt. Keep reading in the months ahead for more information.

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