When the 36th Annual Country Music Association Awards are handed out at the Grand Ole Opry House on Nov. 6, several of the biggest names in country music will be on hand to perform as part of the three-hour program which will air live on CBS-Television (beginning at 8 p.m. EST). Shania Twain will make her first appearance on national television since 1999 as she opens the show with "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," the first single from her brand new CD, Up! Brooks & Dunn will perform "Every River" along with the help of singer/songwriters Bekka Bramlett and Kim Richey. Also performing will be Kenny Chesney, host Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Toby Keith, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Martina McBride, Nickel Creek, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Travis Tritt, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar, and Darryl Worley.
If the nominations are any sign, this awards show will be dominated by the gentlemen of country music this year. Alan Jackson, who enjoyed great exposure from his American anthem "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)," broke CMA records when he received 10 nominations this year. Toby Keith landed an impressive six nominations, followed by Brad Paisley and George Strait with four each, and Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss each with three.
Congratulations to all the nominees, and good luck!
McGraws' Television Specials
With the highly-anticipated release of her new CD, Cry, Faith Hill and hubby Tim McGraw have nothing to cry about these days. Each of the two is making a huge comeback with a brand new album and their very own television special. Cry, which includes Faith's current title-track single, is burning up the charts, while Tim's new album, the 15-cut Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors will hit stores on Nov. 26, along with a brand new book, "Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors: This Is Ours." Filmed at C.W. Earle's Cotton Gin in his hometown of Start, Lou., Tim's debut network television special, "Tim McGraw: Sing Me Home" will air on NBC on Thanksgiving Eve at 8 pm est. This special will feature live concert performances as well as behind-the-scenes footage filmed during Tim's last nine years on the road with his band, The Dancehall Doctors.
Tim's sweetie will star in her very own sophomore television special the following night. Once you've stuffed yourself with all of the Thanksgiving fixin's, park it on the couch and tune into NBC for an hour of Faith music. This special will include live concert performances filmed in the El Rey Theater and The Palace, both in Los Angeles.
Trace Adkins Involved In Farm Accident
Long and lanky country crooner Trace Adkins had a little more down time last month than scheduled. Trace spent a few days in a Nashville-area hospital after being pinned under the tractor he was using on his farm when part of a gravel road he was building collapsed. His chest was partially crushed and he suffered bruises on his shoulder and pelvis. Fortunately, Trace was carrying a cell phone in his overalls and was able to call for help.
His accident and resulting hospital stay forced Trace to cancel a few concerts in Tex., but he was able to resume his "Big Men Of Country Tour" with Darryl Worley a mere nine days following the accident.
Best wishes to Trace on a continued speedy recovery.
Cyndi Thomson Kisses Recording Career Goodbye
Droves of aspiring singers and songwriters pack up and head to Music City, U.S.A., Nashville, Tenn. in hopes of fulfilling their dream of becoming a country music star. Georgia native Cyndi Thomson, with her angelic voice and model looks, was one of this great number to emerge on Nashville in recent years, but unlike so many others, she was fortunate enough to get that big break to fulfill her dream. Unaware of the many demands on a country recording artist, Cyndi is abandoning her dream and her recording career after recording just one record. My World was certified platinum for selling half a million copies, and it produced the #1 debut hit "What I Really Meant To Say." Cyndi followed with less-successful singles "I Always Liked That Best" and "I'm Gone."
In a letter to fans describing this shocking decision, Cyndi described the music business to be "overwhelming." She longs for a more normal life and a family with her musician and producer husband, Daniel Goodman. She writes in this letter: "Being in the music business necessitates change in the life of a person in ways that can only be realized through experience. I made those changes to become successful. Now I have come to a crossroad. The next step in my career would be to make a new album, thus making a commitment to see the project through with the many obligations that go along with it. I have now realized that I cannot commit to those obligations. I love music; I love the way it makes me feel, but the timing is right for me to walk away from being a recording artist. My plans are to continue writing music and creating music. Respecting music is of the utmost importance to me-as it is one of God's gifts." As she closed this letter to her many fans, she stated: "Your faces are burned in my memory!"
Best wishes to Cyndi in her future endeavors.
Brad Paisley's Life & Career Soar
Thirty-year-old newcomer Brad Paisley is one of the hottest artists to hit country music in several years and things just keep getting better for the singer/songwriter. Just last month in Los Angeles, Brad was honored with the Country Music Association's Connie B. Gay Award, which is given to "someone not currently serving on the CMA board who has rendered outstanding service during the past year." Brad received the honor for his great support and promotion of the CMA Awards and the International Country Music Fan Fair festival.
Despite the fact that he is currently touring the country as the headliner of the "CMT Most Wanted Live Tour," he recently directed the video for his new single, "I Wish You'd Stay," and he is in the process of recording his third album, Brad has had a little bit of personal time-at least enough to become engaged. That's right, one of country music's most eligible bachelors is no longer on the market. Brad recently proposed to his girlfriend, actress Kimberly Williams, best known as Steve Martin's daughter in the hit comedy movies Father Of The Bride, parts I and II. No wedding plans have been released at this time. The future Mrs. Paisley appears in Brad's Lipton iced tea commercial filmed on the set of CMT's Most Wanted Live. As paybacks, Brad recently filmed a guest appearance on his fiancé's sitcom, According To Jim.
Congratulations to Brad on this award and his recent engagement!
Upcoming Live Country
Despite the fact the touring season is about to wrap up for the year, we're lucky to have several great concerts rolling into town this month and next. First of all, Blake Shelton, who has enjoyed great success from his recent hit "Ol' Red," will play Coyote's on Nov. 7. Country outlaw Travis Tritt will play The Palace Theatre on Nov. 15 in support of his brand new album, Strong Enough. The controversial David Allan Coe will return to Coyote's on Nov. 21, and BR549 will play Headliner's the following night.
Hot new Canadian country group Emerson Drive, which has been climbing the charts with "I Should Be Sleeping," will perform at Coyote's on Dec. 5, while Pinmonkey, of "Barb Wire And Roses" fame, will take the stage the following evening. And country fans won't want to miss the incredible Martina McBride's Christmas production which will blow into Freedom Hall on Dec. 14. Look for more details on Martina's holiday show in next month's .
Sixty-two-year-old singer/songwriter Mickey Newbury died at his home in Vida, Ore. on Sept. 28 following a long battle with a blood disease. Newbury became a staff writer for Acuff-Rose Music Publishing company in 1964 and wrote hits for country artists Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Rogers, as well as the likes of Ray Charles, Tom Jones, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Andy Williams. As a recording artist, Newbury is best known for "An American Trilogy," his medley of "All My Trials," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and "Dixie."
Eighty-six-year-old Horace Logan, who produced and emceed the long-running historic "Louisiana Hayride" country radio show, passed away Oct. 13 following a long illness. With his work on the Hayride, Logan helped launch the careers of artists like Jim Reeves, Hank Williams, Sr., and even Elvis Presley. Logan is even credited for creating the phrase, "Elvis has left the building" in his attempt to calm the frenzied audience following one of Elvis' early performances.
Ninety-year-old Beecher "Pete" Kirby, best known as "Bashful Brother Oswald," a longtime member of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys band, died at his Nashville-area home Oct. 17 following a long illness. He played dobro and sang tenor in Acuff's band for more than 50 years until Acuff's death in 1992, and he became a member of the legendary Grand Ole Opry in 1995, where he performed regularly until his 1999 retirement due to failing health. In addition to his work as a Smoky Mountain Boy, Oswald enjoyed a moderate recording career of his own, was a regular performer at Nashville's former Opryland theme-park, and he even wrote the story of his life as a musician and Opry member in his autobiography, That's The Truth If I Ever Told It.
Our condolences go out to the families of Mickey Newbury, Horace Logan, and Bashful Brother Oswald!
Name That Country Tune
I know you've all received the email poking fun at country music with some very redneck and off-the-wall possible titles of country songs. Well, I've done my research, and, believe it or not, several of the titles are real country songs. I've put together the following quiz to see if you can match the song title in the left to the artist who performed it in the right . Once you've finished, just for kicks, call up Coyote Calhoun at WAMZ and see if he has any of these old tunes in the vinyl archives, and if so, if he'll dust one off and give it a spin for old time's sake! Good luck, and NO CHEATING (although answers are provided)!
ANSWERS: 1g 2t 3u 4p 5d 6x 7o 8f 9s 10c 11n 12w 13y 14j 15e 16a 17r 18l 19m 20i 21h 22v 23b 24q 25k
Well, that's all the scoop I have space for this month. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."