Country Freedom Concert
The tragic terrorist attacks on our great nation on September 11 remain in the forefront of the minds of every American, including the members of the country music family. The roster of the October 21 Country Freedom Concert held at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center was a Who's Who List of country stars. Artists who participated in this three-hour mega concert benefiting the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund included Clint Black, Brooks & Dunn, Diamond Rio, Sara Evans, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Toby Keith, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Earl Scruggs, George Strait, Keith Urban, Hank Williams, Jr., Lee Ann Womack and Trisha Yearwood. Highlights of this concert included Martina's rousing rendition of her anthem "Independence Day," Tim McGraw's cover of Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven," and Hank's revamped "A Country Boy Can Survive" appropriately titled "America Can Survive."
The Country Freedom Concert was broadcast live on Country Music Television as a telethon fundraiser for the Salvation Army and was simulcast on nearly 700 radio stations around the globe. Due to deadline, I am unable to report the financial total that was raised from this awesome event, but keep reading in future months to find out more details.
Hats off to all the country stars for donating their talent, as well as each and every individual who has helped the numerous victims in any way.
Country Stars Record For Red Cross
Nothing helps heal a broken soul like music. In addition to the Country Freedom Concert, other country artists are recording special tunes to benefit victims of September 11. Natalie, Martie and Emily, better known as the Dixie Chicks, recently recorded an a cappella version of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," which they are offering as a free download on their website, www.dixiechicks.com. The Chicks urge fans who download this priceless recording to make a donation to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund. They have said, "In this time of great need, together let's celebrate America's heroes by donating to the American Red Cross. Let's support the families of those who gave their lives to preserve our wide open spaces."
Nineteen-eighties country traditionalist Randy Travis has also recorded a new song to benefit the American Red Cross. The song, titled "America Will Always Stand," was co-written by Randy and will be available as a CD single along with "Point Of Light," of which all proceeds will benefit the Red Cross. Speaking of the song, Randy recently said, "We pray that it will help America and its people, in the worst of times, to stay brave and united."
Hats off to the Chicks and Randy for helping out in a time of need!
Dolly To Sing for the "Red, White and Bluegrass"
International superstar Dolly Parton announced last month that she will host a bluegrass and roots music concert New Year's Eve at the Grand Ole Opry House to benefit the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund headed by former President Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Dolly will headline the "Red, White and Bluegrass Concert" along with an "all-star acoustic band," as well as some of the biggest names in bluegrass and roots music. The artist lineup and ticket information will be announced soon. Dolly has enjoyed great success in the past few years in the bluegrass field as her 1999 album The Grass Is Blue was named the 2000 IBMA album of the year and 2001 saw the release of her critically acclaimed "blue mountain music" album titled Little Sparrow.
Dolly released a statement saying, "I wanted to show my true colors, which are red, white and blue, by being a good American and a good Samaritan."
Opry Members to Aid Terrorist Victims
Members of the legendary Grand Ole Opry are also banding together to help victims of the terrorist attacks. Artists such as Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Porter Wagoner will perform a special benefit concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Veteran's Day, November 11. Additional artists are expected to be announced in the near future.
Country On The Tube
Temperatures are dropping as winter approaches, meaning there's no better time than the present to start practicing your annual couch potato career. And the perfect way to give your career a kick-start is to tune in to the 35th Annual Country Music Association Awards program airing `live' on CBS Television on November 7. Country crooner Vince Gill will host the program for the tenth consecutive time and the show will include performances such as Jessica Andrews' "Who I Am," Brooks & Dunn's "Only In America," Diamond Rio's "One More Day," Sara Evans' "Born To Fly," Toby Keith's "I Wanna Talk About Me," Lonestar's "I'm Already There," Martina McBride's "When God-Fearin' Women Get The Blues," Tim McGraw's "The Cowboy In Me," Willie Nelson & Sheryl Crow's "I'll Be There For You," Blake Shelton's "Austin," George Strait's "Run," Cyndi Thomson's "What I Really Meant To Say," Keith Urban's "Where The Blacktop Ends," Phil Vassar's "Just Another Day In Paradise," and Lee Ann Womack's "Does My Ring Burn Your Finger?" The Dixie Chicks will also offer a surprise performance.
And while we're on the subject of the CMA awards, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn recently notified this year's broadcast award winners by personally phoning them with the good news last month. The entire list of the broadcast winners is as follows: Radio Station of the Year: Major market - WQYK in Tampa, Fla., Large market - WFMS in Indianapolis, Ind., Medium market - WIVK in Knoxville, Tenn. and Small market - WUSY in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Broadcast Personality of the Year: National - "American Country Countdown's" Bob Kingsley, Major market - Skip Mahaffey of WQYK in Tampa, Fla., Large market - Karen Dalessandro & Scott Dolphin of WMIL in Milwaukee, Wis., Medium market - Paul Koffy of WSSL in Greenville, S.C. and Small market - Darren Wilhite & Tim Wall of KKIX in Fayetteville, Ark.
If you're a Toby Keith fan and a fan of the CBS Television show "Touched By An Angel," then you are in luck. Toby will appear on the November 10 episode of the popular series. He will play a singer at a ten-year high school reunion at which a wealthy businessman and a famous football player dwell on the past.
Lorrie & Sammy Tie The Knot
As I have reported in months past, Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw became engaged last spring following Sammy's divorce. Well, a spokesperson for Lorrie has confirmed that the happy couple was married on September 29, but no further details have been released at this point. Lorrie, who has been married four previous times and Sammy, who has been married three previous times, released a `duets' album titled I Finally Found Someone on the heels of their engagement to be married.
Best wishes to Lorrie and Sammy for a life full of love and happiness!
On October 7, country singer, songwriter and radio and television personality Jimmie Logsdon passed away at his daughter's home here in Louisville. Jimmie once toured with Hank Williams, Sr., wrote songs such as Johnny Horton's "No True Love" and Carl Perkins' "Where The Rio de Rosa Flows," as well as his own rockabilly hit, "I've Got a Rocket in My Pocket," and worked at radio stations in Chicago, Cincinnati and Mobile, Alabama, as well as Louisville. He hosted his very own show on WHAS-Television titled Country & Western Music Show in the 1950's.
Ninety-year-old William E. "Smoky" Dacus, Western Swing King Bob Wills' first drummer, passed away October 9 in Rogers, Ark. Smoky remained a member of Wills' Texas Playboys until Bob went to Hollywood in 1941.
We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of these two.
Country Legal Troubles
Trace Adkins' legal troubles continue stemming from his July 5 arrest for speeding, violating the open container law and driving under the influence. Trace's case went before the grand jury last month and will continue in Williamson County court on November 26.
"I Don't Call Him Daddy" singer Doug Supernaw seems to be in even more hot water than Trace. Doug was arrested last month for failing to pay $135,000 in overdue child support for four children (two biological and two adopted) and contempt of court as he became irate when a Texas judge recently ruled that Doug spend six months in jail.
Doug recently told a Houston television station, "They're suing me for child support when I'm having trouble putting beans on the table, but yet they have money to hire attorneys."
Country Christmas Collections
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, meaning the Christmas season will be upon us before we know it. And what better way is there to celebrate the holiday season than by cuddling up in a blanket with your sweetie under the Christmas tree with a roaring fire in the fireplace and a good ole country Christmas collection in the CD player. Deana Carter offers a holiday collection this year titled Father Christmas, which features ten classics she recorded at home with her guitarist father, the infamous Fred Carter. Capitol Records is re-releasing Garth Brooks' 1999 album titled The Magic Of Christmas, but with three new songs replacing three of the album's original tunes. The new tunes are "Call Me Claus," "Mary Had A Little Lamb," and "'Zat You, Santa Claus?" Also be on the lookout for Aaron Tippin's A December To Remember, Suzy Bogguss' Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Paul Overstreet's My Favorite Time of the Year, Lee Greenwood's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and RCA Records' Country Christmas 2001, which will be sold only at Target stores and features new recordings by artists such as Kenny Chesney, Diamond Rio, Sara Evans and Brad Paisley.
Well, that's it for this month. I would like to wish each and everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving full of food, folks and fun. Always remember, "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."