Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Sugarland Dominates 2009 CMT Music Awards Nominees

When the final nominees were announced late last month for the 2009 CMT Music Awards, Sugarland topped the list with five nods, followed by Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift with four each. Sugarland will vie for Video of the Year for "All I Want to Do," Duo Video of the Year for "All I Want to Do" and "Already Gone," and "Life in a Northern Town," along with Little Big Town and Jake Owen, is up for Collaborative Video and CMT Performance of the Year.

And the nominees are: Video of the Year: Sugarland's "All I Wanna Do," Kid Rock's "All Summer Long," Kenny Chesney & The Wailers' "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," Rascal Flatts' "Every Day," Toby Keith's "God Love Her," Carrie Underwood's "Just a Dream," Lady Antebellum's "Lookin' For a Good Time," Taylor Swift's "Love Story," Brad Paisley's "Waitin' on a Woman," and Trace Adkins' "You're Gonna Miss This"; Female Video of the Year: Kellie Pickler's "Don't You Know You're Beautiful," Taylor Swift's "Love Story," Miranda Lambert's "More Like Her," and Martina McBride's "Ride"; and Male Video of the Year: Toby Keith's "God Love Her," Keith Urban's "Sweet Thing," Brad Paisley's "Waitin' on a Woman," and Trace Adkins' "You're Gonna Miss This."

Group Video of the Year: Rascal Flatts' "Bob That Head," Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried," Rascal Flatts' "Every Day," and Lady Antebellum's "Lookin' for a Good Time"; Duo of the Year: Sugarland's "All I Wanna Do," Sugarland's "Already Gone," Brooks & Dunn's "Put a Girl in It," and Montgomery Gentry's "Roll with Me"; Collaborative Video of the Year: Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire's "Cowgirls Don't Cry," Kenny Chesney & The Wailers' "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," Sugarland, Little Big Town & Jake Owen's "Life in a Northern Town," and Brad Paisley & Keith Urban's "Start a Band"; and USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year: Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried," Jamey Johnson's "In Color," Lady Antebellum's "Lookin' for a Good Time," and Julianne Hough's "That Song in My Head."

CMT Performance of the Year: Alan Jackson, George Strait, Brad Paisley & Dierks Bentley's "Country Boy," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss's "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)," Sugarland, Little Big Town & Jake Owen's "Life in a Northern Town," and Def Leppard & Taylor Swift's "Photograph"; Wide Open Country Video of the Year: Kid Rock's "All Summer Long," Rehab & Hank Williams, Jr.'s "Bartender Song," Def Leppard & Taylor Swift's "Photograph," and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss's "Please Read the Letter"; and Director of the Year: Trey Fanjoy, Deaton Flanigan, Roman White, and Peter Zavadil.

Fans can vote for their favorite country artists through June 15 by logging on to .www.cmt.com The winners will be revealed live on CMT on June 16 during the awards ceremony to be held at downtown Nashville's Sommet Center. Final nominees for the Video of the Year category will be announced at the beginning of the show and fans will vote for that category throughout the show. Artists currently scheduled to perform during the ceremony include Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Def Leppard, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Country's Most Beautiful Women

People magazine's annual edition including its Most Beautiful List is currently on sale and as you flip through the pages of beautiful celebrities, three of country music's young ladies grace the pages. Country's favorite American Idol, Carrie Underwood, is rightfully listed as one of the most beautiful celebrity smiles. Country teenage sensation Taylor Swift made the magazine's cut and is included in the Under 21 most beautiful people category. And last, but definitely not least, two-time Dancing with the Stars champion and country songstress Julianne Hough was also recognized as one of the most beautiful celebrities, for obvious reasons.

Country Singing Competitions Abound!

Two fan-favorite singing competition shows are returning to Country Music Television this month. First of all, Can You Duet, the search for the next great country duo the next George & Tammy, Porter & Dolly, or Conway & Loretta returns for its second season at 9 pm on June 20. This competition was created by the producers of a little known singing competition called American Idol. CMT personality Lance Smith will assume the role of host and country fans' favorite mama, Mama Judd, aka Naomi Judd, will return as a judge on the show that produced last year's winning duo Caitlin & Will, as well as Joey + Rory and The Coppola Twins, Kate & Kacey.

The second show, The Singing Bee, has defected from NBC and landed on CMT and will return with a total facelift. Former boy-bander host Joey Fatone has been replaced by Reba actress and comedienne Melissa Peterman and the karaoke-style singing game show will lean more heavily on country music. Contestants will be quizzed on lyrics to popular songs, 60 percent of the music being country with the remaining 40 percent a mix of hits from other genres of music. The newly revamped The Singing Bee will premiere on CMT at 10 pm on June 20.

And while we're on the topic of singing competitions and karaoke, Rock Band aficionados will be pleased to know that the popular game will release a Rock Band: Country Track Pack on July 21. The song pack will include 21 country tunes, including Jason Aldean's "She's Country," Dierks Bentley's "Free & Easy (Down the Road I Go)," Brooks & Dunn's "Hillbilly Deluxe," Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," Dixie Chicks' "Sin Wagon," Alan Jackson's "Good Time," Martina McBride's "This One's for the Girls," Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang," Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," and Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine." The disc will be available for PlayStation 2, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360, and will cost $29.99.

"The Voice," Vern Gosdin, Passes Away

Seventy-four-year-old singer/songwriter Vern Gosdin, known as "The Voice" of country music, passed away at a Nashville hospital on April 28 after suffering a stroke several weeks prior. Gosdin hosted The Gosdin Family Gospel Show on a Birmingham, Alabama radio station as a teenager and went on to perform with his brother, Rex, as The Gosdin Brothers. The brothers moved to Los Angeles in the 1960's and joined the bluegrass group The Golden State Boys, which evolved into The Hillmen, featuring Chris Hillman, who is best known as a founding member of The Byrds.

Gosdin moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the 1970's and recorded a demo of "Hangin' On" and "Yesterday's Gone" with pal Emmylou Harris, resulting in a solo record contract. Throughout his career, Gosdin hit the top of the country charts with "I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight)," "I'm Still Crazy," and "Set' Em Up Joe," and hit the Top 10 with "Chiseled in Stone," "Today My World Slipped Away," "That Just About Does It," "Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time," "Do You Believe Me Now," and "Yesterday's Gone." Gosdin shared the 1989 Country Music Association Song of the Year award with co-writer Max D. Barnes for "Chiseled in Stone."

Country Honorees

When the Gospel Music Association's 40th Annual Dove Awards were handed out at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House on April 23, country crooner Randy Travis took home his eighth trophy. His Around the Bend was named the Country Album of the Year, beating out former Lonestar front-man Richie McDonald's I Turn to You. Point of Grace's "I Wish" beat out the Oak Ridge Boys' "Did I Make a Difference" and George Strait's "I Saw God Today" as the Top Country Recorded Song of the Year.

International superstar Dolly Parton has worn many different hats in the entertainment industry and she was recently recognized with an award nomination for her latest project. She recently composed the entire original score for the Broadway musical version of her debut 1980 movie 9 to 5, rightfully titled 9 to 5: The Musical. Parton was totally surprised upon hearing the news of her Tony Award nomination, being recognized among some of Broadway's finest. She will compete for Best Original Score along with Elton John and Lee Hall for Billy Elliot, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey for Next to Normal, and Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire for Shrek: The Musical. Look for Parton to perform the movie/musical's title track on the June 7 awards program to be aired live from New York's Radio City Music Hall on CBS-Television.

The latest batch of Country Music Hall of Famers was officially inducted during a ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum on May 17. Guitarist and banjoist extraordinaire Roy Clark, studio musician and harmonica master Charlie McCoy, and retired all-around country entertainer Barbara Mandrell were inducted into the Hall of Fame during the official medallion ceremony. The legends were honored with performances by the likes of Garth Brooks, Rodney Crowell, George Jones, Alison Krauss, Louise Mandrell, Reba McEntire, and Josh Turner.

Congratulations, Randy, Dolly, Roy, Charlie, and Barbara!

4th Street Live! Heating Up with Live Country

4th Street Live! will once again host a series of country concerts this summer. Jake Owen kicked off the series on April 29 and the music will continue to forge full-force ahead all summer long. Fortunately the series has moved from Wednesday nights to the weekend on Friday nights. The next installment will be June 5 when the Eli Young Band heads downtown to perform their breakout country tune "Always the Love Songs." Jamey Johnson will wow the crowd with "In Color" on June 19. Country fans of the early 1990's won't want to miss Tracy Byrd's show on July 24, and Darryl Worley fans will want to take in his August 14 performance.

Well, that's it for another month. Always remember, "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, ‘cause country music is comin' your way."