THIS WEEKEND IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
Guitarist Clarence White born (1944)in Lewiston, Maine
Elvis Presley's Memphis home, Graceland, opened for public tours (1982)
Alan Jackson joined the Grand Ole Opry (1991)
Johnny Cash's No. 1 single "Ring of Fire" charted (1963)
Roba Stanley, the first woman to record country music, died (1986) in Gainesville, Fla. at the age of 76
Les Paul born (1915)in Waukesha, Wis.
The Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream" goes to No.1 (1958)
Johnny Rodriguez's "You Always Come Back (to Hurting Me)" goes to No. 1 (1973)
OF MUSIC AND MORE
SPOTLIGHT ON CLEDUS T. JUDD
Life is rocking along for comedian Cledus T. Judd these days, and he's loving every yuck of it. He's the crowd-pleasing pop-up face who sets the mood for Brooks & Dunn's Neon Circus & Wild West Show tour -- a distinction he has held now for two seasons. He has also just released his second album for Monument Records, a cluster bomb of parodies, barbs and sly observations called "Cledus Envy." And "Breath," his first music video from the new album, is up for a CMT Flameworthy Video Music Award in the "Laugh Out Loud" category.
Judd was spotlighted on CMT's revealing "Inside Fame" series last week and the one-time hairdresser from Georgia says the show both sums up and validates his personal and show business struggles. "It covers me from the time I was born until the present," he said. "It gives me a chance to share a side of me that the general public has never seen."
Judd first hit the spotlight in 1995 with his video "Gone Funky," a parody of Alan Jackson's "Gone Country." Because radio essentially ignored him, Judd pinned his hopes for stardom on music videos. They have served him well, and in them fans have seen his comic persona evolve from an overweight, overalls-wearing rube into a hip, svelte fashion dude.
"I know that CMT wanted me to get away from the hay bales and the overalls and that sort of thing," Judd said. "For so long, I was told I had to be fat to be funny. It was part of the image -- don't lose the weight. But that's not true. Hell, look at (Jeff) Foxworthy. He don't weigh but 80 pounds, and he's worth about $20 million."
Judd aspires to more than just an image change, however. A competent vocalist, he admits he would like to make occasional forays into "serious music." As an example, he cites "Leave You Laughin'" from his current album. Here, instead of trolling for chuckle, he sings poignantly of creating a legacy that will survive the evanescent performance. He co-wrote "Leave You Laughin'" with Paul Overstreet and enlisted Vince Gill for vocal harmonies.
Fans needn't fret, though. Comedy is still Judd's primary passion.
SCRUGGS AND URBAN JOIN FLAMEWORTHY CAST
Earl Scruggs, Keith Urban and previously announced performers Alison Krauss & Union Station will be featured in a special bluegrass segment on the CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards this coming Wednesday on CMT. All have Flameworthy nominations. They'll do back-to-back bluegrass performances.
LONESTAR RECEIVES FATHERHOOD AWARD
Lonestar will be honored this coming Tuesday with the 2002 Fatherhood Award. Their recent hit, "I'm Already There," tells of a father who can't be home with his child but still reaches out with telephone calls. Keyboardist Dean Sams said, "No matter how much we may achieve, our families will always be the greatest rewards of our lives. As fathers, we have had to balance our careers and family lives for years." The award will be presented by the National Fatherhood Initiative at a dinner in San Antonio. Tim McGraw won the same award in 2000.