Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

National Tragedy Affects Country Music

Our nation has joined together in prayer and song since the tragic terrorist attacks on our great nation last month. Needless to say, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The U.S.A." has been filling the airwaves and has been the most-played tune on radio stations of all genres of music. This moving tribute to the United States of America makes every citizen proud to be an American and sparks great love and respect for the Red, White and Blue.

In addition to Lee Greenwood's now classic tune, several other country artists have shared their music during these trying times. The day following the attacks, Martina McBride joined artists such as Phil Vassar at a candlelight vigil at Nashville's Centennial Park during which she sang a rousing rendition of "The National Anthem," as well as an appropriately acoustic version of her smash hit "Independence Day." The Sunday following the attacks, Wynonna and jazz guitarist Larry Carlton performed at "Jazz On The Lawn" in Leiper's Fork, Tenn., which raised money to assist victims of the attacks.

A few days following the attacks on our nation's capitol and New York City, Aaron Tippin went into the recording studio and recorded a song he had co-written 2 ½ years ago, titled "Where The Stars and Stripes And the Eagle Fly." Aaron says, "We thought [this song] might be an inspiration to people at this difficult time. This song is an opportunity to speak to people. I hope it will be an inspiration to the soldiers, the men and women about to be and the Americans at home." This song is being released as a single along with "You've Got To Stand For Something" and all proceeds from the two-song disc will be donated to the American Red Cross to help victims of this horrible crime.

During the attacks on the morning of September 11, Garth Brooks was in Washington, D.C. in preparation for a dinner hosted by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. During this dinner, which was to be held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Garth was to receive the ASCAP Golden Note Award, recognizing his accomplishments as a performer and songwriter. Needless to say, the event was canceled and Garth was safe from the attacks and safely left Washington unharmed.

Our thanks to all the artists in country music, as well as each and every American who is holding out a helping hand during these times of need. God bless America and each and every one of us!

Sara Evans Dominates CMA Nominees

When Jo Dee Messina and Brooks & Dunn recently announced the nominees for the 35th Annual Country Music Association Awards, "Born To Fly" singer Sara Evans dominated the list of nominees with a whopping five nods. Come Nov. 7, Sara will vie for the following trophies: Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Born To Fly and Single, Song and Video of the Year for the album's title track. Riding on Sara's heels with four nominations each are Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? motion picture soundtrack. Brooks & Dunn are in the running for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year, Album of the Year for Steers & Stripes and Single of the Year for "Ain't Nothing `Bout You," while Alan Jackson will vie for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for When Somebody Loves You and Video of the Year for "www.memory." The O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack landed nominations for Album of the Year, Single of the Year for The Soggy Bottom Boys' "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow," and Vocal Event of the Year for Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, & Gillian Welch's "Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby" and Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch's "I'll Fly Away."

And the nominees are: Entertainer of the Year: Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, & George Strait; Female Vocalist of the Year: Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack and Trisha Yearwood; Male Vocalist of the Year: Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and George Strait; Vocal Group of the Year: Alabama, Diamond Rio, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar and Nickel Creek; and Vocal Duo of the Year: Bellamy Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, The Kinleys and The Warren Brothers.

Horizon Award: Jessica Andrews, Nickel Creek, Jamie O'Neal, Keith Urban and Phil Vassar; Vocal Event of the Year: Dwight Yoakam & Buck Owens' "Alright, I'm Wrong," Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, & Gillian Welch's "Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby," Brad Paisley & Chely Wright's "Hard To Be A Husband, Hard To Be A Wife," Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch's "I'll Fly Away," and Brad Paisley, George Jones, Bill Anderson, & Buck Owens' "Too Country"; Song of the Year: Sara Evans' "Born To Fly," Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?," Lonestar's "I'm Already There," George Strait & Alan Jackson's "Murder On Music Row," and Diamond Rio's "One More Day"; and Single of the Year: Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing `Bout You," Sara Evans' "Born To Fly," The Soggy Mountain Boys' "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow," Lonestar's "I'm Already There," and Diamond Rio's "One More Day."

Music Video of the Year: Lee Ann Womack's "Ashes By Now," Sara Evans' "Born To Fly," Trisha Yearwood's "I Would've Loved You Anyway," Jamie O'Neal's "There Is No Arizona," and Alan Jackson's "www.memory"; Album of the Year: Sara Evans' Born To Fly, O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, Tim McGraw's Set This Circus Down, Brooks & Dunn's Steers & Stripes and Alan Jackson's When Somebody Loves You; and Musician of the Year: Stuart Duncan, Paul Franklin, John Hobbs, Dann Huff and Brent Mason.

In addition to these nominees, Lexington's own Karl Shannon and Missy Ward of WVLK Radio have been nominated as Broadcast Personality of the Year in the Small Market. WFMS Radio in Indianapolis received two nominations: Station of the Year in the Large Market and Vicki Murphy, Broadcast Personality of the Year, Large Market.

Congratulations to all the nominees. Be sure to tune into the 35th Annual CMA Awards, as they will be broadcast live on CBS-Television at 8 p.m. EST on Nov. 7.

Newcomer Carolyn Dawn Johnson Dominates CCMA Awards

When the Canadian Country Music Association Awards were handed out last month in Calgary a mere 12 hours prior to America's terrorist attacks, newcomer Carolyn Dawn Johnson was the star of the show as she captured five trophies. Carolyn's U.S. album debut, Room With A View, was released a few months ago and her career got a real boost as she opened for the recent "Girl's Night Out" tour starring Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Sara Evans and Jamie O'Neal. Carolyn was named Female Artist of the Year and the Chevy Truck Rising Star, while her debut album was named Album of the Year and "Complicated" was named Single and SOCAN Song of the Year.

The Wilkinsons were named Group or Duo of the Year, while Terri Clark captured the TELUS Mobility Fans' Choice Award and Video of the Year Award for "No Fear." Faith Hill's Breathe was named the Top Selling Album.

And the winners are: TELUS Mobility Fans' Choice Award: Terri Clark; Female Artist of the Year: Carolyn Dawn Johnson; Male Artist of the Year: Jason McCoy; Group or Duo of the Year: The Wilkinsons; Roots Artist or Group of the Year: Natalie MacMaster; Chevy Truck Rising Star Award: Carolyn Dawn Johnson; and Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees: Gordon Lightfoot and Gary Buck.

Album of the Year: Carolyn Dawn Johnson's Room With A View; Single of the Year: Carolyn Dawn Johnson's "Complicated"; SOCAN Song of the Year: Carolyn Dawn Johnson's "Complicated"; and Video of the Year: Terri Clark's "No Fear."

Independent Female Artist of the Year: Lisa Brokop; Independent Male Artist of the Year: Duane Steele; Independent Group or Duo of the Year: Poverty Plainsmen; and Independent Song of the Year: Lisa Brokop's "Something Undeniable."

Backup Band of the Year: Jason McCoy Band; and All Star Band: Drums-Matthew Atkins, Bass-Barry Murray, Guitar-Keith Glass, Keyboards-Dan Nadasdi, Fiddle-Natalie MacMaster, Steel Guitar-Doug Johnson and Special Instrument-Ken Johner on Mandolin.

Country Family Album

Trace Adkins is busy singing lullabies again these days. He and his wife Rhonda welcomed their second daughter into the world on September 4. Brianna Rhea weighed in at 6 lbs., 6 ozs. and measured 19 ½ in. long. Trace and Rhonda have one other daughter, three-year-old Mackenzie and Trace has two daughters, named Tarah and Sarah, from a previous marriage. Congratulations Trace and Rhonda on another bundle of joy!

Congratulations are in order for country newcomer Chris Cagle as he married a schoolteacher named Elizabeth Flier last month in Houston, TX. Things sure are looking bright for Chris these days with a new bride and hits such as "My Love Goes On And On," "Country By The Grace Of God," and "Laredo."

Although everyone is keeping a tight lip, it has been confirmed that Mary Chapin Carpenter is engaged to be married. Her fiancé reportedly popped the big question following Mary Chapin's concert in Vienna, Va. on September 2. No further details have been released. Congratulations to Mary Chapin and the unnamed husband-to-be!

Country Condolences

Seventy-four-year-old singer / songwriter Cecil Null, who is best remembered for writing the Davis Sisters' #1 hit "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know," lost his battle with cancer at the Bristol Regional Medical Center in his hometown of Bristol, Va. on August 26. Cecil began performing publicly and songwriting while in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was laid to rest in Bristol, Tenn. and is survived by his wife, two stepsons, two sisters and one brother.

Country music manager David Skepner passed away in Nashville on September 11 from a heart attack. David began his career at MCA Records in 1960, later leaving the company to become Loretta Lynn's manager. He helped put Loretta, as well as country music on the map. He went on to manage acts such as Riders In The Sky and the Dixie Chicks prior to their current record deal. He also taught artist management courses at Belmont University and Trevecca University. David is survived by one sister.

Eddie Stoneman, 81, the eldest child of the late Ernest "Pop" Stoneman of The Stoneman Family fame, died September 14 in Charles County, Md. from a cerebral hemorrhage. Eddie played banjo with his father's band.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of each of these who have passed on!

Well, that's it for yet another month. Please continue to pray for peace during these difficult times and continue to show your support for our great nation! Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."