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Country Music News

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Feb. 15, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY

(Fri., Feb. 15)

Gospel singer/songwriter Wally Fowler was born in 1917.

Hank Locklin was born in 1918.

Don Gibson's No.1 single "Oh Lonesome Me" debuted on the charts in 1958.

Jimmy Martin and his Sunny Mountain Boys joined the Louisiana Hayride, also in 1958.

Dorris Macon died in 1981.

Lee Greenwood's "You've Got A Good Love Comin'" album was certified gold in 1985.


MORE COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY FOR THIS WEEKEND

(Sat., Feb. 16)

Jimmy Wakely was born in 1914.

Jo Walker-Meador, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, was born in 1924.

George Jones and Tammy Wynette were married in 1969.

Johnny Cash recorded his Top 5 single "Man In Black" in 1971.

Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson starred in "The Last Days Of Frank And Jesse James" on NBC-TV in 1986.


(Sun., Feb. 17)

Texas Jim Robertson was born in 1909.

George York of the York Brothers was born in 1910.

Guitarist Billy Byrd was born in 1920.

Johnny Bush was born in 1935.

Buck Trent was born in 1938.

Gene Autry's "Don't Fence Me In" made its chart debut in 1945.

Elvis Presley received his first gold record for an album, a 1956 release titled "Elvis," in 1960.

"Tennessee Waltz" was declared the state song of Tennessee in 1965.

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash collaborated on a recording project at the CBS Studios in Nashville in 1969. Although a number of songs were recorded, only one -- "Girl From The North Country" -- appeared on Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" album, for which Cash wrote the sleeve notes. Another tune -- "One Too Many Mornings" -- appeared in the documentary film "Johnny Cash, The Man And His Music."

Jon Randall was born in 1969.

Bryan White was born in 1974.


MUSIC AND MORE


'HEE HAW' REDUX

The long-running country music-variety show "Hee Haw" may soon be headed back to network TV for a reunion special.

Sam Lovullo -- who created and produced the show on CBS (1969-71) and in syndication (1972-92) -- told UPI he is in talks with CBS and Fox to present a reunion special. He said interest in the project is part of a trend at the networks, following the ratings success last year of a "Carol Burnett Show" reunion special.

"The networks are beginning to see that they need more family programming," said Lovullo. "'Hee Haw is the answer to that."

It's atypical for anyone in Hollywood to speak publicly about a project until the contracts are signed, but Lovullo isn't reluctant to go public about the possible TV project. "If they don't cough up I know where I can go elsewhere," he said.

Lovullo said he intends to bring back hosts Roy Clark and Buck Owens, along with many former regulars from the show -- but he also expects the network that buys the package will want to feature contemporary country stars like Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Reba McEntire.

He said the special would also honor the memory of the many "Hee Haw" cast members who have died -- such as Minnie Pearl, Kenny Price, Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


CHAPMAN'S TV ACTING DEBUT

Singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman branches out into acting this weekend as a man who is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease on the PAX TV drama series "Doc," which stars Billy Ray Cyrus as a small town physician who moves to the big city.

This Sunday's episode -- entitled "Fearless" -- features Chapman as a music teacher who exhorts his students to play "fearlessly" as they strive for excellence. His ideals are put to the test when he is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig┬╣s disease.

Chapman said he was nervous on the set, something he hadn't experienced in music for quite some time. "Every album there's some anxiety," he said. "Are people going to like this? Are people going to like me? But after so many years I get to where I know this is what I can do. Acting is a whole difference experience."

Chapman said he's had "a little bit of a bug" for acting ever since appearing in school plays in the fifth grade. He got the role in "Doc" in much the same way as many roles are assigned in Hollywood -- networking. He had met Dave and Gary Chapman about doing music, and possibly playing a role, in another project. They set him up with a screen test, and subsequently thought of him for the lead in "Fearless."


WAYLON JENNINGS' SERVICES

Funeral services for Waylon Jennings, who died Wednesday at 64, will be private but a public memorial is being planned.

"One of Waylon's final requests was that his burial service be kept private and along with his family, we are honoring that request," said the country legend's longtime publicist, Schatzi Hageman. "Thus, there are no arrangements to be disclosed to the press at this time."

In a statement released from her Nashville office, Hageman quoted Jennings' widow, singer Jessi Colter, promising fans an opportunity to pay their respects publicly.

"I know how very much people loved Waylon and want to pay their final respect," said Colter, "therefore we will be planning a memorial service to take place in Nashville and those plans will be forthcoming."

Jennings -- one of the driving forces behind the so-called outlaw movement in country music three decades ago -- had been in poor health recently, and had undergone surgery in April and November 2001 in connection with treatment for peripheral vascular disease. On Jan. 7, it was announced that the singer's left foot was amputated in December after a diabetes-caused infection set in.

Hageman said her office would release details of the memorial for Jennings in Nashville "just as soon as we have them." She invited fans to send condolences to the family c/o 1117 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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