Country Music News

Dec. 6, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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(Thurs., Dec. 6)

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1876.

Hugh Farr, a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, was born in Llano, Texas, in 1903.

Jim Eanes, bluegrass singer and songwriter, was born in Mountain Valley, Va., in 1923

Ernest Tubb's first Bluebird record, "The Passing of Jimmie Rodgers" and "The Last Thoughts of Jimmie Rodgers," was released in 1936.

Helen Cornelius was born in Hannibal, Mo., in 1941.

After 20 years with the label, Roy Acuff left Columbia Records in 1952.

Eddy Arnold's RCA recording of "I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows (for Just One Yesterday)" charted in 1952.

Buck Owens recorded "Kickin' Our Hearts Around" for Capitol in 1961.

Tex Ritter was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1964.

President-elect Nixon reportedly sent a letter to Elvis Presley, asking for "The King's" support in his first term in the White House, in 1968.

Roy Orbison died at the age of 52 in Hendersonville, Tenn., in 1988.

Lorrie Morgan's Something in Red and Dolly Parton's White Limozeen were both certified gold in 1991.

Mary Chapin Carpenter earned a platinum album for Stones in the Road in 1994.


Q: What artist wrote "Right on the Money" for Alan Jackson, "Little Red Rodeo" for Collin Raye, Tim McGraw's "For A Little While" and Jo Dee Messina's "I'm Alright" and "Bye Bye"?

A: Phil Vassar, who visits the Opry during Opry at the Ryman Jan. 18-19.



Acclaimed guitarist Grady Martin passed away Monday of congestive hear failure at Marshall Medical Center in Lewisburg, Tenn. He was 72. Martin was most recently a member of Willie Nelson's road band. His session credits include Red Foley's "Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy," Merle Haggard's "That's the Way Love Goes," Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman," Marty Robbins' "El Paso" and "Don't Worry," Nelson's "On the Road Again," Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter," Sammi Smith's "Help Me Make It Through The Night," Lefty Frizzell's "Saginaw, Michigan" and Ray Price's "For the Good Times" and hundreds more.

Martin was a member of the original A-Team, a group of session players that included Chet Atkins, Hank Garland, Floyd Cramer and Buddy Harman. He played on recordings by the Johnny Burnette Trio, Conway Twitty, Janis Martin, Buddy Holly and others.

On April 5, 2000, at the Ryman Auditorium during Chet Atkins' Musician Days, Martin was honored with the "Chetty Award." Martin was unable to attend due to health problems and the award was presented to his son by Willie, Vince Gill and Marty Stuart.

Services will be held at Lawrence Funeral Home in Chapel Hill, Tenn.


The lawsuit against an ex-bodyguard of singer LeAnn Rimes has been settled with the personal assistant getting probation. The news provider says Robert Lavetta was indicted several months ago by a grand jury for allegedly attempting to extort $2 million and luxury cars from the country singer. He was reportedly fired by Rimes last summer after she noted some personal items missing. In her official statement, Rimes claimed Lavetta had threatened to take some of the items -- photos and video tapes -- to the tabloids. Lavetta will serve 18 months of probation in Los Angeles.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


Alan Jackson is among the celebrities who'll be on hand at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles next Monday when Bob Costas hosts "Sports Illustrated's Night of Champions" -- honoring some of the biggest names in sports.

Among those being honored are three-time NBA Most Valuable Player Earvin "Magic" Johnson and seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. Also, Sports Illustrated will announce its 2001 Sportsman of the Year award winner. The list of past winners includes Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali. The magazine has already announced that tennis star Jennifer Capriati is its 2001 Sportswoman of the Year.

The event will be televised over NBC on Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. (EST/PST).

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


Opry member Loretta Lynn will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on Feb. 28, 2002, in Lexington. She is one of the first 12 inductees into the hall, which opens in the spring of 2002. Other inductees include Bill Monroe, The Everly Brothers, Red Foley, Tom T. Hall and Rosemary Clooney.

Lynn has been named an advisor for the entertainment at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington by President Bush. Log on to for details.

Loretta also has been chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it passes through her home state of Kentucky. She will carry the torch for half-a-mile on Dec. 16 in Louisville.

Lynn is included on a Canadian CD titled Frank Sinatra and Friends taped from a 1977 CBS special. She sings a duet with Frank as well as a solo and is pictured on the CD cover.

Lynn is taking to the road next February. Tour dates include Lula, Miss., at the Isle of Capri Casino on Feb. 16; in Bossier City, La., at the Horseshoe Casino on Feb. 21-22; The Grand Palace in Branson, Mo., on April 20; and at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., on May 25.


Kathy Mattea recorded a Public Television Christmas special at the Renaissance Center in Dickson, Tenn., last year. "Sounds of the Season" has been nominated for an Emmy Award by the Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The show includes song selections from Mattea's Grammy-winning Christmas album "Good News."


Clay Walker will participate in the 7th annual Celebrity Cutting 2001 Star Spangled Round-up, to be held at Fort Worth's Will Rogers Coliseum in Texas Friday. The event is part of the Fort Worth National Cutting Hors Association Futurity and raises funds for need cancer patients in North Texas. Fans can hear Clay's latest single, "If You Ever Fell Like Lovin' Me Again," on his current Warner Bros. album Say No More.

Coming Soon To The Opry Stage:

Dec. 7: Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Dobie Gray, Darryl Worley, Mel McDaniel, Jim Ed Brown

Dec. 8 (1:00 p.m. Matinee): Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Chalee Tennison

Dec. 8: Travis Tritt, Diamond Rio, Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison, Darryl Worley, Mel McDaniel, Jim Ed Brown

Dec. 14: Jeff Carson, Charley Pride, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider

Dec. 15 (1:00 p.m. Matinee): Jeff Carson, Mandy Barnett, Ricky Van Shelton

Dec. 15: Tracy Lawrence, Jeff Carson, John Prine, Charley Pride, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider

Dec. 21-22: Dale Watson, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar, Ricky Skaggs

Dec. 28: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum, BR549, Ricky Skaggs

Dec. 29: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum, BR549, Ricky Skaggs

Jan. 4-5: T. Bubba Bechtol, Andy Griggs, Blake Shelton

Jan. 11-12: Mark Wills, Terri Clark

Jan. 18-19: Phil Vassar

(For Opry tickets, log on to or call 615-889-3060 or TicketMaster at 615-255-9600. Artists and schedule subject to change.)

By Opryland USA in Nashville and UPI

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