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Country Music News

By DICK KELSEY, United Press International   |   Feb. 26, 2003 at 5:00 AM
TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY

(Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Johnny Cash born near Kingsland, Ark., 1932.

Paul Cotton, guitarist for Poco, born, 1943

The Louvin Brothers debut on the Grand Ole Opry, 1955.

Webb Pierce begins 21-week run atop Billboard country chart with "In the Jailhouse Now," 1955.

Marty Robbins records No. 1 single "Just Married," 1958.

Tom Jones scores No. 1 Billboard country hit with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow," 1977.

Charley Pride's "Why Baby Why" reaches top of the Billboard country charts, 1983.

Kathy Mattea's "Collection Of Hits" album goes gold, 1991.

Toby Keith's first single, "Should've Been A Cowboy," debuts on charts on its way to No. 1, 1993.

The Desert Rose Band gives its final concert in Indio, Calif., 1994.

LeAnn Rimes becomes first country performer to win Best New Artist Grammy, 1997.

Lonestar's "Amazed" hits No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, 2000.


MUSIC AND MORE


CLAY WALKER FORMS GROUP TO FIGHT MS

Multi-platinum country artist Clay Walker, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, has formed an organization to help find a cure for MS.

The non-profit Band Against MS Foundation aims to provide information about living with MS and fund research and programs, a news release said.

"Living with MS hasn't been easy, but I feel blessed to continue to be so healthy," Walker said. "I know not everyone who is diagnosed with MS is as lucky as I am. Maybe by being more public about how I cope will inspire others and help raise money to find a cure for this disease."


GRAND OLE OPRY TO LAUNCH WEEKEND SHOW

This spring The Grand Ole Opry and Westwood One launch a two-hour syndicated radio show, "America's Grand Ole Opry Weekend," featuring live performances by country artists recorded from the Opry stage in Nashville.

Affiliates of the show will also get "Backstage at the Opry," daily behind-the-scenes stories about Opry artists and audiences, the Opry said on its Web site opry.com.


TOBY, PAMELA TO CO-HOST CMT VIDEO AWARDS

Toby Keith and actress Pamela Anderson are set to co-host CMT's fan-voted Flameworthy music video awards from Nashville in April.

Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Shania Twain are signed up to perform.

Anderson is best known for her roles in TV's "Baywatch" and "VIP."

The Flameworthy awards will be aired on CMT April 7 at 8 p.m. EST.


ROSANNE CASH, STEVE EARLE ON LITERACY CD

Artists for Literacy, a non-profit that promotes reading and adult literacy, will release a second benefit CD on March 12 that features the work of Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle and others.

"Songs Inspired by Literature Chapter Two" is one of the group's projects to help readers of all levels through music, community outreach, and special events.

"The SIBL Project is an inspiring and soulful way of encouraging literacy and a love of reading," Cash said in a news release. "I am delighted to communicate my own love of reading through my music."

The CDs are available at siblproject.org, with proceeds going to adult and family literacy programs nationwide.

© 2003 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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