TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
(Wednesday, April 30)
Johnny Horton born in Los Angeles, 1925.
Willie Nelson born in Abbott, Texas, 1933.
Darrell McCall born in New Jasper, Ohio, 1940.
Robert Reynolds, bass player with the Mavericks, born in Miami, 1962.
Ray Price's first single "If You're Ever Lonely Darling," is released, 1951.
Merle Haggard records No. 1 single "Old Man From the Mountain," 1974.
MUSIC AND MORE
FALWELL CALLS DIXIE CHICKS 'FRENCH HENS'
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, no stranger to controversial statements himself, said during an appearance in Arkansas he has renamed the Dixie Chicks the French Hens.
"Politics should end at the shore when you leave the country," the Jonesboro (Ark.) Sun quoted Falwell as saying. "You don't talk about your own country, especially during war."
Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines said during a March 10 concert in London that she was ashamed President Bush is from the trio's home state of Texas.
Falwell's choice of French Hens as his nickname for the group apparently stems from France's opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Falwell stirred up a controversy in 2001 when he blamed the Sept. 11 attacks on homosexuals and feminists.
"But I don't sell records," Falwell told the newspaper when asked about his comment. "And I don't do it in England and I don't do it in France. I do all of mine head to head, face to face in America as a taxpaying citizen."
CASH ALBUM GOES GOLD
Johnny Cash's "American IV: The Man Comes Around" on Lost Highway Records has gone gold, the first such certification for Cash in more than three decades, the label says.
The Recording Industry Association of America says the Grammy-winning 2002 release recently surpassed sales of 500,000 units.
Cash has not had a studio recording certified gold since "The World of Johnny Cash" reached that plateau in 1971.
'NASHVILLE STAR' WINNER'S SONG GOING TO RADIO
The winner of USA Network's "Nashville Star" competition will perform his or her debut song during the series finale Saturday night, and the single will be available to radio stations first thing next week.
The song by the contestant chosen by viewers -- either Buddy Jewell, Miranda Lambert or John Arthur Martinez -- will be digitally distributed to country radio for airplay on Monday.
That day also marks the beginning of a media blitz for the winner that includes a satellite TV tour with Clint Black, visits to radio stations, photo and video shoots and a date to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in late May.