Bill Phillips was born in 1936.
Elvis Presley made his national television debut with Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey on "The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show" in 1956.
Buck Owens recorded the No.1 singles "Together Again" and "My Heart Skips A Beat" for Capitol in 1964.
Jimmy Fortune gave his first performance with the Statler Brothers in Savannah, Ga., in 1982.
Earl Taylor, bluegrass bandleader and mandolin player, died at age 54 in 1984. The same day saw the death of Al Dexter at age 81.
Fiddler and banjo player Tommy Jarrell died in 1985.
Reba McEntire won two awards at the American Music Awards in 1991.
MUSIC AND MORE
Travis Tritt leads with nine nominations on the first ballot for the 37th annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards. Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, and Tim McGraw were close behind with eight nods, while Alan Jackson and Diamond Rio garnered six a piece, Billboard.com reports.
Tritt will battle for entertainer of the year, top male vocalist, album of the year for the Columbia set "Down the Road I Go," and song of the year for "It's a Great Day To Be Alive," among other nominations. Brooks & Dunn's Arista set "Steers and Stripes" is also up for album of the year, with "Only in America" earning a song of the year nod. As co-composer of that track, Kix Brooks earned a solo nomination as well.
Garth Brooks and Lonestar each was nominated in four categories, while Tammy Cochran garnered five separate nominations in three categories. Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Cyndi Thomson, Aaron Tippin, and Trisha Yearwood each pulled in four nominations in three categories. Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, and Brad Paisley scored three nominations each, while Carolyn Dawn Johnson picked up three nominations in two categories.
Other double nominees include Jessica Andrews, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Steve Holy, George Jones, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina, Nickel Creek, Jamie O'Neal, Buck Owens, Blake Shelton, Trick Pony, and the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack.
The final five nominees for 15 of the 18 ACM categories will be announced during the week of March 11. Three nominees in the top new female, top new male, and top new vocal duo/group categories will also be unveiled at that time.
The awards will be presented May 21 in Los Angeles in ceremonies airing live on CBS-TV.
FREDDY FENDER DOING WELL AFTER TRANSPLANT
Doctors in San Antonio, Texas, confirm that kidney transplant surgery for singer/songwriter Freddy Fender went smoothly. The kidney was donated by his 21-year-old daughter Marla Garcia of Jacksonville, Fla. The operation lasted several hours.
Fender had been on regular dialysis for more than a year awaiting a suitable donor organ. The singer may be hospitalized for some time while he gains strength.
Fender is now 64 and is up for another Grammy this year for a CD containing music from his Hispanic roots in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
CONCERT FOR ARTISTS' RIGHTS
The Dixie Chicks are among the entertainers who'll perform in concert Feb. 26 in Los Angeles to support the Recording Artists Coalition. The country trio will share the stage at the Universal Amphitheatre with Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood and Dwight Yoakam, according to Billboard magazine. Other Los Angeles area concerts will take place simultaneously at the Wiltern Theater (Eddie Vedder, Beck, Mike Ness), The Forum (Eagles, Billy Joel, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks) and Long Beach Arena (No Doubt, Offspring, Weezer). Proceeds will support artists' rights causes.