Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Alan Jackson Breaks CMA Record

When SHeDAISY, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts announced the nominees for the 36th Annual Country Music Association Awards last month, fan favorite Alan Jackson set a brand new record. Alan received a record-breaking 10 nominations, unseating Merle Haggard who received nine nominations back in 1970. Alan will vie for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, while his ever-so-popular self-penned tribute to the innocent lives lost last Sept. 11, "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" and his self-penned tribute to his late father, "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" will each compete in the Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Video of the Year categories. In addition, "Designated Drinker," Alan's duet with George Strait was nominated for Vocal Event of the Year and his multi-platinum selling Drive is up for Album of the Year.

Toby Keith followed in Alan's footsteps with a healthy six nominations, including Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year, Single and Song of the Year for his controversial patriotic anthem, "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)," Video of the Year for "I Wanna Talk About Me," and Album of the Year for Pull My Chain. Brad Paisley and George Strait trailed right behind Toby with four nominations each, followed by Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss with three.

Sara Evans

Vince Gill will resume his duties as host of the awards show for the 11th consecutive year. Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith are currently slated to perform on the show, as well as Shania Twain, who hasn't performed on network television since 1999. During the show, legends Bill Carlisle and Porter Wagoner will also be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The 36th Annual CMA Awards will be handed out Nov. 6 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House and the show will be broadcast live on CBS-Television.

And the nominees are: Entertainer of the Year: Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and George Strait; Female Vocalist of the Year: Sara Evans, Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, and Trisha Yearwood; Male Vocalist of the Year: Chesney, Jackson, Keith, Brad Paisley, and Strait; Vocal Duo of the Year: Bellamy Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Sons of the Desert, The Warren Brothers; and Vocal Group of the Year: Diamond Rio, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Nickel Creek, and Rascal Flatts.

Horizon Award: Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Nickel Creek, Rascal Flatts, Phil Vassar, and Darryl Worley; Song of the Year: Keith`s "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," Jackson's "Drive (For Daddy Gene)," Jackson's "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)," Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," and Soggy Bottom Boys' "I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow"; Single of the Year: McBride's "Blessed," Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," Jackson's "Drive (For Daddy Gene)," Jackson's "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)," and Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)"; and Video of the Year: Jackson's "Drive (For Daddy Gene)," Jackson's "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)," Keith's "I Wanna Talk About Me," Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," and Travis Tritt's "Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde."

Album of the Year: Chesney's No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, Jackson's Drive, Keith's Pull My Chain, Alison Krauss & Union Station's New Favorite, Nelson's The Great Divide, and Strait's The Road Less Traveled; Vocal Event of the Year: Garth Brooks & George Jones' "Beer Run (B-double E-double Are You In?)," Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw's "Bring On The Rain," Jackson & Strait's "Designated Drinker," Krauss & Gillian Welch's "I'll Fly Away" (live), and Willie Nelson & Lee Ann Womack's "Mendocino County Line"; and Musician of the Year: Jerry Douglas-dobro, Glen Duncan-fiddle, Paul Franklin-steel guitar, Dann Huff-guitar, and Brent Mason-guitar.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Keep up the good work!

Kenny Chesney Is "The Good Stuff"

Kenny Chesney's recent smash hit "The Good Stuff" has rung true for the eastern-Tennessee native as it has topped the country charts for a whopping seven weeks. Great music such as this, as well as his stellar performance as the closing concert of the recent Kentucky State Fair proves that he honestly earned his nomination for Entertainer of the Year at next month's CMA awards. In my humble opinion, Kenny has a great chance at winning the coveted trophy and he should! Kenny has emerged as one of the hottest acts in country music today and his sold-out fair show was a true testament of that fact. He hit the stage running with hits "Young" and "The Good Stuff," as well as other material from his new album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, "How Forever Feels," "I Lost It," and "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." His charismatic stage presence and dead-on vocals sent the crowd into a 90-minute frenzy. During his concert, Kenny filmed footage for the video to his upcoming single, "Big Star." Earlier in the day, Kenny filmed additional footage for the video at Colonial Gardens. Keep your eyes peeled to CMT in the coming months for the video's debut.

Kenny brought two of country music's hottest females along with him to open the show. Newcomer Kellie Coffey wowed the crowd with an impressive selection of tunes from her debut album, including her smash debut single, "When You Lie Next To Me." Sara Evans kicked the evening into high gear with a powerful set including "Born To Fly," "I Could Not Ask For More," and "Looking For Something More." Keep your eyes on Sara as I feel her turn to be named Female Vocalist of the Year is just around the corner.

Christian Country Music Association Nominees

Country crooner Collin Raye has been tapped to co-host the 8th Annual Christian Country Music Association Awards along with the 700 Club's Lisa Ryan. The program will be held at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, the "mother church of country music," on Nov. 5. When this year's nominees were announced recently, several mainstream country music artists heard their names included. Alan Jackson's nomination streak continued as his patriotic anthem "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" was nominated for Song of the Year and Video of the Year. Tommy Shane Steiner's "What If She's An Angel" will compete against Alan's song for the Song of the Year trophy. Martina McBride's "Blessed," Darryl Worley's "I Miss My Friend," and Jeff Carson's "Real Life" will also compete for the title of Video of the Year. Mainstream Country Artist of the Year nominees include: Jeff Carson, Larry Gatlin, Stella Parton, Marty Raybon, and Randy Travis. Larry Gatlin is also up for this year's Pioneer Award, and Charlie Daniels will compete in the Musician of the Year category.

Congratulations to all the nominees, and good luck!

Merle Haggard at the State Fair

CDJ Sweeps Canadian Country Music Awards

When the Canadian Country Music Awards were handed out in Calgary, Alberta last month, hot newcomer Carolyn Dawn Johnson was the belle of the ball, capturing three trophies. Besides being crowned Female Vocalist of the Year, her smash hit "I Don't Want You To Go" was named Single of the Year and CMT Video of the Year. Paul Brandt once again captured the Male Vocalist of the Year trophy, as well as Album of the Year for Small Towns And Big Dreams. New group Emerson Drive was named Rising Star of the Year, as well as Group or Duo of the Year. Canadian favorite Terri Clark was honored with the Fan's Choice Award, which is equivalent to America's Entertainer of the Year (but voted on by the fans), and Garth Brooks captured the nod for Top Selling Album of the Year for Scarecrow. Country legend Anne Murray, known for her hits "Snowbird," "A Little Good News," and "Could I Have This Dance," was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Steve Wariner Receives Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award

Grand Ole Opry member Steve Wariner, who has enjoyed recent success with hits "Holes In The Floor Of Heaven" and "I'm Already Taken," received a pleasant surprise during his Opry performance last month as part of a tribute to the late, great country comedienne, Minnie Pearl. Steve was honored for his extensive charity work with the 2002 Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award by last year's recipient, Kathy Mattea. His charity involvement includes Dream Makers of Middle Tennessee, Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Congratulations to Steve for a well-deserved honor!

CMT 40 Greatest Women of Country Music

Labor Day Weekend, Country Music Television counted down the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music. Voted on by fellow country artists, members of the country music industry, journalists, and country music historians, it was no surprise that the late, legendary Patsy Cline topped the list as the most influential female in country music history. There were no surprises in the Top 5 as Tammy Wynette, Butcher Hollow, Ky.'s Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris followed on Patsy's heels, in respective order. Reba McEntire landed at #6, followed by Shania Twain, Maybelle Carter, a surprising Connie Smith at #9, and Trisha Yearwood rounding out the Top 10.

Other notable rankings include Ashland, Ky.'s The Judds at #11, Dixie Chicks at #13, Louisville's own Patty Loveless at #16, Lee Ann Womack at #17, Faith Hill at #19, Tanya Tucker at #20, Martina McBride at #25, Lorrie Morgan at #27, Brenda Lee at #28, Paintsville, Ky. born Crystal Gayle at #33, Barbara Mandrell at a surprisingly low #38, and LeAnn Rimes at #39.

Hats off to country's finest females!

New Byrd In Tracy's Nest

"Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo" singer Tracy Byrd's nest has increased in size as of late. Tracy and wife Michelle welcomed their third child, 9 lb., 1 oz. Jared James (J.J.) Byrd into the world at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Beaumont, Tex. on Sept. 3. For the first two weeks of his life, poor J.J. was simply referred to as Baby Boy Byrd. Struggling with the task of selecting the child's name, Tracy even asked for help from his legions of fans. J.J. joins older sister, 7-year-old Evee, and older brother, 4-year-old Logan.

Congratulations to the Byrds!

Well, that's it for the month of Oct., "Country Music Month." Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."