TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
(Fri., April 5)
Bill Clifton was born in 1931.
"Cowboy" Jack Clement was born in 1931.
June Stearns was born in 1939.
Tommy Cash, Johnny's brother, was born in 1940.
Eddy Arnold's No.1 single, "Easy On the Eyes," debuted on the charts in 1952.
Jimmy Buffett's "Son of a Son of a Sailor" album was certified gold in 1978.
The Mickey Gilley Family Theater opened in Branson, Mo., in 1990.
Clinton Gregory arrived late to the Country Dance Music Awards in Nashville in 1995 because his wife was giving birth to their daughter across town.
MORE COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY FOR THIS WEEKEND
(Sat., April 6)
Vernon Dalhart (Marion Try Slaughter) was born in 1883.
Henry Whitter was born in 1892.
Wade Ray was born in 1913.
Merle Haggard was born in 1937.
Paramount Pictures signed Elvis Presley to a three-picture deal just five days after his first screen test in 1956.
Brenda Lee debuted on the country charts with "One Step at a Time," also in 1957.
Ray Charles' "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2" was certified gold in 1968.
Smoky Mountain Boys guitarist Gene Martin died in 1985.
"Singing cowboy" Gene Autry became the first person ever honored with FIVE stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987.
Hank Williams Jr. was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, also in 1987.
Tammy Wynette -- the "first lady of country music" -- died in her sleep at her Nashville home in 1998. She was 55.
Johnny Cash made an unannounced appearance at his tribute concert in New York City in 1999. He performed his classic hit "Folsom Prison Blues." Other artists at the tribute included Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, U2, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris and Wyclef Jean.
(Sun., April 7)
Jimmie Rodgers married Carrie Williamson in 1920.
Cal Smith was born in 1932.
Bobby Bare was born in 1935.
John Dittrich, drummer with Restless Heart, was born in 1951.
Marty Robbins recorded the No.1 country and pop song, "El Paso," in 1959.
Kris Kristofferson's first No.1 single, "Why Me," debuted on the charts in 1973.
Hank Williams Jr.'s "High Notes" album was certified gold and his "The Pressure is On" album was certified platinum in 1986.
Clyde Moody died at age 73 in 1989.
Farm Aid IV was held at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis in 1990.
Ken Carson, one-time member of the Sons of the Pioneers, died at age 79 in 1994.
MUSIC AND MORE
BLUEGRASS MUSIC MUSEUM TO REOPEN
The International Bluegrass Music Museum is scheduled to re-open next Thursday (April 11) in Owensboro, Ky.
It'll feature a plaque that lists "at least 231" of the most significant members of the "first generation" of bluegrass, CMT.com reports. That generation is defined as the singers, musicians and entertainers who, between 1940 and 1954, collectively created the style now known as bluegrass.
The list is published in the March/April issue of the International Bluegrass Music Association newsletter. Naturally, all the big names are there -- Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Carter and Ralph Stanley, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Sonny and Bobby Osborne, Don Reno, Jimmy Martin and the Stoneman Family.
But there are some surprises, as well. Among the names not generally associated with bluegrass are music publishing magnate Buddy Killen, who got his start as a bass player on the Grand Ole Opry and the Wheeling Jamboree; producer, performer and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Jack Clement; Boudleaux Bryant, a classical, country and jazz fiddle player before he and his wife, Felice, teamed up to become successful country and pop songwriters; innovative guitarists Hank Garland and Grady Martin; multi-instrumentalist and comic Roy Clark; and country singer/guitarist/fiddler Sonny James.
Several pioneering women are also cited -- including Molly O'Day, Sally Ann Forrester, Bessie Lee Mauldin and Wilma Lee Cooper.
Students and long-time fans of bluegrass can use this honor roll as a test of their knowledge of the genre -- and to speculate who else should be on it.
CHRIS CAGLE ON TOP
If Chris Cagle could have three wishes, then they have just come true. The Capitol Nashville artist has had a string of good luck in recent weeks -- which was capped off April 3 when his song, "I Breathe In, I Breathe Out," made it to No. 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.
"I was at home with my family when I got the call that my record had gone No. 1," Cagle, 33, said. "It was a great feeling to be able to share this moment with them since I've been away working so much lately."
The hard work has paid off in other ways. Cagle's album, "Play It Loud" was certified as gold (selling more than 500,000 units) on March 12 and he received his first award nomination -- top new male vocalist -- from the Academy of Country Music a few days later.
Cagle's whirlwind spring continues as he heads out next Friday (April 12) with one of the hottest country music tours of 2002 -- Brooks & Dunn's "Neon Circus & Wild West Show."
(Thanks to UPI's Crystal Caviness in Nashville)
DOVE AWARDS PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED
Jars of Clay and Steven Curtis Chapman will perform on the Gospel Music Association's 33rd Annual Dove Awards, which will be presented April 25 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Also slated to perform -- MercyMe, Delirious, Point of Grace, tobyMac, Third Day, Nicole C. Mullen and Rebecca St. James. New Artist of the Year nominees Sara Groves, Shaun Groves, Downhere, Joy Williams and ZOEgirl will also perform on the show.
(Web site: doveawards.com, gospelmusic.org)