TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
(Fri., March 15)
Carl Smith was born in 1927.
Elvis Presley's drummer D.J. Fontana was born in 1931.
Banjo player Raymond Fairchild was born in 1939.
Flatt and Scruggs released "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" in 1950.
Hank Thompson's first No.1 single, "Wild Side Of Life," made its chart debut in 1952.
Col. Tom Parker became Elvis Presley's personal manager in 1956.
Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958.
Roger Miller won six Grammys, giving him a total of 11 in two years, in 1966.
The Opry's final Friday night performance at the Ryman Auditorium was held in 1974.
Barbara Mandrell was named All-Around Female Entertainer by the People's Choice Awards in 1987.
Anne Murray's "A Little Good News" album was certified gold in 1985.
Bill Monroe's final performance on the Friday Night Opry was in 1996.
MORE COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY FOR THIS WEEKEND
(Sat., March 16)
Buddy Starcher was born in 1910.
Jerry Jeff Walker was born in 1942.
Shug Fisher, a one-time member of the Sons of Pioneers, died in 1943.
Grandpa Jones debuted on the Grand Ole Opry in 1946.
Ray Benson, founder of Asleep at the Wheel, was born in 1951.
Tim O'Brien was born in 1954.
Stan Thorn, keyboard player with Shenandoah, was born in 1959.
Ronnie McCoury, mandolin player for the Del McCoury Band, was born in 1967.
The Grand Ole Opry held its first show in the new Opry house at Opryland USA in 1974. In the audience -- President Nixon.
George Strait's "Ocean Front Property" album was certified gold in 1987.
Seven members of Reba McEntire's band were killed in a plane crash in Southern California in 1991.
(Sun., March 17)
Lily May Ledford was born in 1917.
Dick Curless was born in 1932.
Susie Allanson was born in 1952.
Paul Overstreet was born in 1955.
Hugh Farr, an original member of the Sons of the Pioneers, died in 1980.
Eddy Raven's first No.1 single, "I Got Mexico," made its chart debut in 1984.
Jimmy Gately died at age 53 in 1985.
Anne Murray's "Country" album was certified gold in 1987.
Songwriter Terry Stafford ("Amarillo by Morning") died in 1996.
MUSIC AND MORE
Toby Keith and Brooks & Dunn top the list of nominees for the 37th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, with six nods each, country.com reports. The nomination were announced Thursday in Los Angeles.
Keith and Brooks & Dunn will be competing in the high-profile entertainer of the year category against Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw. Last year's winner, the Dixie Chicks, are up only for top vocal group.
Other multiple nominees include Jackson, Travis Tritt and McGraw, with four nominations each; Diamond Rio and Tammy Cochran with three apiece; and George Jones, Brooks, Trick Pony and Nickel Creek with two each. The recent multi-Grammy-winning soundtrack "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" garnered two ACM nods.
The awards will be presented May 22 in Los Angeles in ceremonies airing live on CBS-TV (8-11 p.m. ET).
Many of the nominees:
Entertainer of the Year -- Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw
Top Male Vocalist -- Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt
Top Vocal Duo -- Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, The Bellamy Brothers, The Kinleys, The Warren Brothers
Vocal Group of the Year -- Diamond Rio, Dixie Chicks, Lonestar, Nickel Creek, Trick Pony
Top New Female Vocalist -- Tammy Cochran, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Cyndi Thomson
Top New Male Vocalist -- Chris Cagle, Blake Shelton, Phil Vassar
Top New Vocal Duo or Group -- Nickel Creek, Sons of the Desert, Trick Pony
Video of the Year (Awards presented to the producer(s), director(s) and artist)
"Angels in Waiting" -- Tammy Cochran; Producers: Jamie Amos and Patrick Kenendy; Directors: Deb Haus and Tammy Cochran
"I Wanna Talk About Me" -- Toby Keith; Producer: Mark Kalbfeld; Director: Michael Salomon
"I'm Tryin'" -- Trace Adkins; Producer: Jeff Cowan; Director: Steven Goldmann
"Only in America" -- Brooks & Dunn; Producer: Stephanie Reeves; Director: Michael Merriman
"Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly" -- Aaron Tippin; Producer: Baquas; Directors: Dermott Downs and Trey Fanjoy
Album of the Year (Awards presented to artist(s), producer(s) and record company)
Down the Road I Go -- Travis Tritt; Producers: Billy Joe Walker Jr. and Travis Tritt; Record Company: Columbia
O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- Soundtrack; Producer: T Bone Burnett; Record Company: Mercury
Pull My Chain -- Toby Keith; Producers: James Stroud and Toby Keith; Record Company: DreamWorks
Set This Circus Down -- Tim McGraw; Producers: Byron Gallimore, James Stroud and Tim McGraw; Record Company: Curb
Steers & Stripes -- Brooks & Dunn; Producers: Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn and Mark Wright; Record Company: Arista
Single Record of the Year (Awards presented to artist(s), producer(s) and record company)
"Ain't Nothing 'Bout You" -- Brooks & Dunn; Producers: Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn and Mark Wright; Record Company: Arista
"I Wanna Talk About Me" -- Toby Keith; Producers: James Stroud and Toby Keith; Record Company: DreamWorks
"It's a Great Day to Be Alive" -- Travis Tritt; Producers: Billy Joe Walker Jr. and Travis Tritt; Record Company: Columbia
"One More Day" -- Diamond Rio; Producers: Michael D. Clute and Diamond Rio; Record Company: Arista
"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" -- Alan Jackson; Producer: Keith Stegall; Record Company: Arista
Song of the Year (Awards presented to composer(s), publisher(s) and artist)
"Angels in Waiting" -- Tammy Cochran; Composers: Tammy Cochran, Jim McBride and Stewart Harris; Publishers: WB, Cal IV, O'Shaughnessy Avenue, Peermusic III and Wide Ocean (ASCAP/BMI)
"I Wanna Talk About Me" -- Toby Keith; Composer: Bobby Braddock; Publishers: Sony and ATV Tree (BMI)
"One More Day" -- Diamond Rio; Composers: Steven Dale Jones and Bobby Tomberlin; Publishers: EMI April, Sound Island and Mike Curb (ASCAP/BMI)
"Only in America" -- Brooks & Dunn; Composers: Kix Brooks, Don Cook and Ronnie Rogers; Publishers: Sony, ATV Tree, Buffalo Prairie, Don Cook and Route 6 (BMI)
"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" -- Alan Jackson; Composer: Alan Jackson; Publishers: EMI April and Tri-Angels (ASCAP)
Vocal Event of the Year (Awards presented to artists and producer(s))
"Beer Run" -- Garth Brooks with George Jones; Producer: Allen Reynolds
"Bring on the Rain" -- Jo Dee Messina with Tim McGraw; Producer: Tim McGraw
"I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" -- Soggy Bottom Boys; Producer: T Bone Burnett
"Out of Control Raging Fire" -- Patty Loveless with Travis Tritt; Producer: Emory Gordy Jr.
T BONE BURNETT'S NEW PROJECT
Now that they've made the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack one of the more unlikely No.1 albums, producer T Bone Burnett and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen are teaming up again -- this time, they're starting a new record label.
RollingStone.com reports the first album being released by DMZ Records, an imprint on Columbia, will be Ralph Stanley's latest, self-titled album, due out in June.
According to Burnett, the label will likely issue four to six discs in its first year and proceed from there. "We're not gonna do only traditional American music, but we are going to put out some more of these kinds of records," he said.
Burnett describes Stanley's record as "a very intimate look at Ralph" -- with the mountain music legend backed by Norman Blake on guitar and mandocello, Stuart Duncan on violin and banjo, Mike Compton on mandolin and Dennis Crouch on bass.
"It's funny, we were in a big studio room and they went over in one corner of the room in the back and started tuning and playing and we ended up doing the whole album in one tiny corner of this larger room because that's where they were comfortable," Burnett said. "It's basically a string quartet with Ralph singing, very close and intimate."
Burnett laments that bluegrass "has been marginalized for so long. There's a lot of unfortunate things that have happened like the Dueling Banjos and 'Hee Haw,' 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' which was my favorite TV show but it didn't do a lot of good for this kind of music, it stereotyped it."
'BREWED IN TEXAS'
If Texans need another reason to party, "Brewed In Texas" -- the latest release from Compadre Records -- gives them one. With an assortment of Lone Star state-based singers lending their talents, "Brewed In Texas" combines country, rock, Americana, swing, Western and any type of music that might be considered "roots" for a sometimes rowdy, but always authentic, 20-song collection.
"Texas music is not state-specific," said Brad Turquotte, president of Compadre Records and executive producer of "Brewed In Texas." "I consider it more of a genre."
"Brewed In Texas" features a who's who of Texas artists, including nationally known musicians, such as Jerry Jeff Walker and Todd Snider, as well as regional celebrities, such as Wayne Hancock, Beaver Nelson and Cross Canadian Ragweed.
In a nod to the growing popularity of the genre, a new Texas music chart has been established. Featured in the "Best of Texas" magazine, the Web site texasmusicchart.com recognizes those songs receiving the most airplay on the 85 reporting stations in the tri-state (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana) area each week.
The chart gives the artists the opportunity to compete with the likes of Lyle Lovett, Hank Williams Jr., and Willie Nelson, who sits at the top of this week's chart. Cory Morrow and Cooder Graw -- who are featured on "Brewed In Texas" -- are in the Top 10 of the chart this week. "One Bud Wiser" by John Rich, the first cut on the Compadre project, is at No. 10 on the Texas chart.
(Thanks to UPI's Crystal Caviness in Nashville)