Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Brad Paisley Top Winner at ACM Awards

When the 41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were handed out May 23, West Virginia native Brad Paisley was the big winner, taking home three trophies. Paisley's Time Well Wasted was crowned album of the year, while his runaway hit "When I Get Where I'm Going," featuring Dolly Parton, captured the Vocal Event of the Year and Video of the Year trophies. Joining Dolly with two trophies each were country music's "American Idol," Carrie Underwood and eternally top duo Brooks & Dunn. Underwood was named Top New Female Vocalist and her smash debut single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel," was named Single of the Year, while Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn were named Top Duo of the Year (for the sixth consecutive year) and their "Believe," which was written by Ronnie and Craig Wiseman, was named Song of the Year. Sara Evans received the long overdue Top Female Vocalist crown while the "wonder from Down Under," Keith Urban, held onto the title of Top Male Vocalist for the second consecutive year. "Mr. Caribbean Country Mon" himself, Kenny Chesney, was rightly honored as Entertainer of the Year.

Vince Gill works harder than most any other country artist when it comes to charity and he was bestowed with The ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award for all his tireless efforts in helping others. Pioneer Awards were presented to Little Jimmy Dickens, Kris Kristofferson, Earl Scruggs and the late "Father of Bluegrass," Bill Monroe.

And the winners are: Entertainer of the Year: Kenny Chesney; Top Female Vocalist: Sara Evans; Top Male Vocalist: Keith Urban; Top Vocal Duo: Brooks & Dunn; Top Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts; Top New Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood; Top New Male Vocalist: Jason Aldean; and Top New Duo or Vocal Group: Sugarland.

Album of the Year: Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted; Single Record of the Year: Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel"; Song of the Year: Brooks & Dunn's "Believe"; Vocal Event of the Year: Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton's "When I Get Where I'm Going"; and Video of the Year: Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton's "When I Get Where I'm Going."

Producer of the Year: Buddy Cannon; Audio Engineer of the Year: Justin Niebank; ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award: Vince Gill; Pioneer Award: Little Jimmy Dickens, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs; Jim Reeves Memorial Award: Louise Scruggs; and Tex Ritter Award: Walk the Line movie.

Radio Station of the Year: WFMS in Indianapolis (major market), WUSY in Chattanooga (medium market) and WGSQ in Cookeville, Tenn. and WYCT in Pensacola, Fl. tied (small market); On-Air Personality of the Year: Blair Garner for "After MidNite" (national), WSIX's Gerry House & the House Foundation (major market), WYNK's Scott Innes (medium market) and WLUR's Becky Austin & Brad Austin (small market); Nightclub of the Year: Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, Tex.; Venue of the Year: Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.; Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year: Suzanne Wilson of Wilson Events, Inc.; and Promoter of the Year: Louis Messina of The Messina Group.

And the Musicians of the Year are: Pat Buchanan (guitar), Shannon Forrest (percussion/drums), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Michael Rhodes (bass), Mike Rojas (piano/keyboards), Bryan Sutton (specialty instrument) and Jonathan Yudkin (fiddle).

Congratulations to all the winners!

Keith Urban Saying "I Do"

Well, by the time this edition goes to print, country crooner and guitarist extraordinaire Keith Urban will have reportedly said, "I do," to the Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman. At the time of this writing, the happy couple was in their native Australia preparing for their much talked-about nuptials. In a statement Kidman released to the Australian Associated Press, she said, "We have come home to celebrate our wedding with our family and friends." Exact details of the ceremony were kept under tight wraps to avoid a media fiasco. The couple reportedly told their wedding guests to keep the entire weekend of June 23-25 open as they would not be told exact details of the time or location of the ceremony until 24 hours before it was to take place, which was thought to be at a Catholic church near Sydney on Sunday evening, June 25.

The future Mrs. Keith Urban spent a quiet birthday with her family the week leading up to her wedding, even greeting paparazzi at her front gate as they sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Following the encounter, Kidman sent bottles of water and a case of beer out to the media with a note stating: "Enjoy! Nicole & Keith."

Congratulations and best wishes to Keith and Nicole!

"Coal Miner's Daughter" Breaks Shoulder

The "Coal Miner's Daughter," Butcher Holler, Kentucky native Loretta Lynn, suffered a setback last month when she broke her left shoulder in a fall at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She underwent shoulder joint replacement surgery at a Nashville hospital on June 8. As a result of this injury, Loretta was forced to cancel nine concerts throughout the months of June and July, including stops in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and even a show at her ranch in Hurricane Mills.

Best wishes to Loretta for a speedy recover!

Upcoming Live Country Music

Our very own Derby City is enjoying a FEAST of live country music these days with a great portion of it at the right price tag of FREE! If free is in your budget, then take note and mark your calendar. "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" singer Trace Adkins will help celebrate our great nation when he performs a free concert at 9 p.m. at Louisville's Waterfront Park on Monday, July 3 as part of the Waterfront Independence Day Festival. Fireworks will follow at 10:30 p.m.

Photo of Trace Adkins will be appear on the Waterfront on Monday July 3.
Trace Adkins will be appear on the Waterfront on Monday July 3.

Fourth Street Live's "Hot Country Nights" free country music concert series continues throughout the summer with some amazing shows. "Boondocks" group Little Big Town will perform on July 5, followed by David Lee Murphy ("Dust on the Bottle") and Lee Roy Parnell ("On the Road") on July 12, Josh Gracin ("I Want to Live") on July 19, Chas Blakemore and Dan Varner on July 26, Chris Cagle ("Miss Me Baby") on August 2, Trent Tomlinson ("Drunker than Me") on August 9 and "That's What I Love About Sunday" singer Craig Morgan on August 16.

Probably the biggest show of the year will be rolling into town early this month, but, unfortunately, it is NOT free. Kenny Chesney will bring his "The Road & the Radio Tour" to Freedom Hall on Thursday, July 6. Dierks Bentley and newcomer Jake Owen will be along for the ride. Despite ticket prices of $63.50 and $53.50, everybody will have a good time. Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling (502) 361-3100.

"Delta Dawn" singer Tanya Tucker will make a special concert appearance at Coyote's Music and Dance Hall on Wednesday, July 26. Opening for Tanya will be Pure South. Tickets are on sale for $27 ($32 day of show) and can be purchased at Coyote's box office or at Ticketmaster.

And the annual Kentucky State Fair is just around the corner, running August 17-27 at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. Nicholasville, Kentucky's very own rowdy country duo Montgomery Gentry will kick off the fair on August 17 along with Joe Nichols and Jeff Bates. Tickets for MG have not gone on sale yet, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for details, as I'm sure they'll go on sale anytime now. Brad Paisley will heat up the fair on August 19 along with Carrie Underwood and Eric Church. Tickets are $43. And closing the fair this year will be Rascal Flatts with their "Me and My Gang Tour" along with Gary Allan on August 27. Tickets for this show are $48.

And back to some more FREE shows-although no official word has been released yet, me thinks the free concerts (after paying Fair admission) during the State Fair are going to be quite countrified. The Oak Ridge Boys will return on Sunday, August 20, followed by Kentucky natives Dwight Yoakam and Exile on Tuesday, August 22. Lorrie Morgan and Mark Chesnutt will perform in Cardinal Stadium on Thursday, August 24 and rounding out the free shows at this year's fair will be Josh Turner on Saturday, August 26.

Country Baby News

"Wave on Wave" singer Pat Green is wrapped around a girl's finger, but it's not his wife's finger. Green and wife Kori welcomed their first daughter into the world on June 12 in Fort Worth, Texas. Rainey tipped the scales at 7 lbs., 12 ozs. The couple has a son named Kellison. Upon the blessed event, Green stated, "Having our first daughter, I know I'm completely ruined. I can't wait to start spoiling her."

And in other baby news, country baritone Josh Turner will soon add the title of "Daddy" to his resume. Turner recently announced that he and wife Jennifer are expecting their first child this fall. Josh and Jennifer met in college at Nashville's Belmont University and were married in 2003. Jennifer tours with her "Long Black Train" singing husband, singing backup for him and she even appears as the attractive blonde in his recent "Your Man" video.

Congratulations to the Greens and the Turners! Maybe Pat and Josh will release a duet album of lullabies in the near future!

Opry Star Billy Walker, Wife & Band Members Die in Car Crash

Seventy-seven-year-old Grand Ole Opry star Billy Walker, his wife Bettie and band members Charles Lilly, Jr., 44-year-old bassist and Daniel Patton, 40-year-old guitarist, were all killed in an automobile accident on May 21. As Walker was driving on I-65 south of Montgomery, Ala., near Fort Deposit, he apparently lost control of his 1996 Chevrolet van and left the road and overturned, killing the four and seriously injuring his 21-year-old grandson, Joshua Brooks. The group was returning to Nashville after performing a show the previous night in Foley, Alabama. Walker began his music career in 1947, performed on the Louisiana Hayride, toured with Elvis Presley and joined the famed Opry in 1960. He is best known for hits like "Charlie's Shoes," "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Thank You for Calling," and "Cross the Brazos at Waco."

Our condolences to the Walker family, the Lilly family and the Patton family!

Well, that's it for yet another month. Try to stay cool by cranking up the AC and the country music. Remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, `cause country music is comin' your way."