TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
Dock Boggs was born in 1898.
Wilma Lee Cooper was born in 1921.
Warren Smith was born in 1932.
Donna Stoneman was born in 1934.
Tony Booth was born in 1943.
Marty Robbins joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1953.
Garth Brooks was born in 1962.
Eddie Rabbitt's first No.1 single, "Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)," charted in 1976.
John Conlee joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1981.
MUSIC AND MORE
TY HERNDON'S NEW SINGLE
"Heather's Wall" is the first single from Ty Herndon's still-untitled new album, which is due out March 26.
The singer tells country.com that while he initially liked the song, he really wanted nothing to do with it when his producer, Paul Worley, first played it for him. "I said, 'This is way too heavy,'" he recalled.
At the time, Herndon had grown weary of the record business and was planning to audition for a part in a Broadway production of "Urban Cowboy." Ultimately, though, he bowed out of the audition. Had he kept that appointment, he said, he would have been in the World Trade Center the morning terrorists brought it to the ground.
The Sept. 11 disaster sent Herndon back into the studio with a renewed sense of purpose. He dropped three songs originally recorded for the album and cut three more -- one of which was "Heather's Wall."
Herndon has been touring radio stations to promote "Heather's Wall." He was touting the song at a station in Minneapolis, he recounted, when a woman called in crying. "I thought, uh oh, I've really offended her." It was quite the opposite. She told him it was the first time she had felt at ease since her husband had been killed in a botched bank robbery -- just as the figure in the song is. The woman went on to explain that a desperate homeless man -- whose family was waiting outside for him -- had gone into a bank and drawn a gun. When a guard tackled him, the gun discharged and fatally wounded her husband. She said she felt sympathy for the robber's family and helped them out while he served his prison term -- and that she had then met and forgiven him. When the conversation ended, Herndon says he asked her her name, and she said "Heather."
Herndon's label, Sony-owned Epic Records, plans to use the song's story and characters to create a video trilogy. The woman's story helped form the plot of the first music video and will be woven into the remaining two. The other songs picked for the trilogy, Herndon said, are "Heaven and Earth" and "Stones." Actress Donna Scott -- who starred opposite Herndon in such music videos as "Living in a Moment" and "Hands of a Working Man" -- will play Heather throughout. Herndon said he likes the idea of "being Patrick Swayze (as in 'Ghost')" as he watches over Heather from his celestial perch.
'WE WERE SOLDIERS'
Montgomery Gentry, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rascal Flatts, and duets by Jamie O'Neal and Michael McDonald, and Johnny Cash and Dave Matthews are among the tracks on the soundtrack album from the upcoming Mel Gibson movie "We Were Soldiers."
The CD -- "Music From and Inspired By 'We Were Soldiers'" -- hits stores Feb. 26. Each track was written specifically for the album.
The first single released from the project will be "Didn't I" from Montgomery Gentry.
The film opens nationwide March 1.