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Country Music News

By DICK KELSEY, United Press International   |   April 23, 2003 at 5:00 AM   |   Comments

TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY

(Wednesday, April 23)

Roy Orbison born in Vernon, Texas, 1936.

Roland White born in Lewiston, Maine, 1938.

Ocie Stockard of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, dies at 78 in Fort Worth, Texas, 1988.

Eddy Arnold's Top 10 singles "In Time" and "Two Kinds of Love" hit charts, 1955.

Tracy Lawrence's "Alibis" went to No. 1, 1993.

Reba McEntire's "Rumor Has It" album goes platinum, 1993.


MUSIC AND MORE


'WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE' WRITER BRYANT DIES

Felice Bryant, who wrote some of the biggest hits in country and rock 'n roll music, died Tuesday at her home in Gatlinburg, Tenn., at the age of 77.

Bryant and her husband, Boudleaux Bryant, penned an estimated 800 recorded titles that sold more than a half-billion copies, songwriters' licensing agency BMI said in a news release.

The couple's biggest hit songs include "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Bye Bye Love," recorded by the Everly Brothers, and "Raining In My Heart" by Buddy Holly.

The Bryants wrote songs for a wide range of artists -- Eddy Arnold, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Tony Bennett, Simon & Garfunkel, Sarah Vaughan, the Grateful Dead, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, Count Basie, Dean Martin, Ruth Brown, Cher, R.E.M., Ray Charles and others.


VINCE GILL WINS PGA'S SERVICE AWARD

Country music superstar Vince Gill's passion for golf has earned him the 2003 PGA Distinguished Service Award to be presented at the PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., on Aug. 13.

The award "honors outstanding Americans who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf," the PGA said in a news release.

In 1993 Gill founded the Vinny Pro-Celebrity Golf Invitational to benefit the Tennessee Golf Foundation. The tournament has raised nearly $3 million for junior golf.


FAITH AND THE KIDS JOIN TIM FOR SECOND LEG OF TOUR

Tim McGraw resumes his "Dancehall Doctors" tour this week with his wife, Faith Hill, and their three daughters -- aged 5, 4 and 16 months -- and he expects his spouse to join him on stage at times, too.

After a well-deserved break, McGraw launched the second leg of his tour in New Orleans Tuesday night, planning stops in 12 cities. McGraw says he and Hill probably will sing a few duets.

"I'm sure she'll come out and sing," he told the Minnesota Star-Tribune earlier this month. "She can hardly stand it to sit there and have all these people screaming."

© 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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