Country Music News

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Jan. 23, 2002 at 1:30 AM
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(Wed., Jan. 23)

Polly Lewis, of The Lewis Family, was born in 1937.

Johnny Russell was born in 1940.

T. Texas Tyler died at age 55 in 1972.

Ricky Skaggs' first No.1 single, "Crying My Heart Out Over You," debuted on the charts in 1982.

The IRS began auctioning off Willie Nelson's property to satisfy the $16.7 million in back taxes owed by the country singer in 1991.

Songwriter Thomas A. Dorsey died in 1993.

Wayne Raney, "The Harmonica Wizard," died at age 71, also in 1993.



The Dixie Chicks, LeAnn Rimes, Rita Coolidge and The Deseret String Band/Bunkhouse Orchestra will take part in opening ceremonies Feb. 8 for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

"We're looking for artists that have agreed to put themselves in the Olympic context and perform music that helps us in terms of what we're doing on the field," executive producer Don Mischer told "We are very careful in how artists weave into the show."

Theme for the ceremonies, which will air on NBC-TV, will be "Light the Fire Within." Also scheduled to participate are Robbie Robertson, Sting, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Utah Symphony and the choristers of the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

Coolidge will perform with her Native American ensemble, Walela.


Wynonna Judd is back home in Ashland, Ky., this week for a concert to mark the re-opening of the newly renovated Paramount Arts Center.

According to Cathie Shaffer, writing in the (Ashland) Daily Independent, Judd often reminisces about her early appearances at the Paramount. "I was 8 years old," she tells the reporter. " ... and we were doing the can-can." She remembers that somehow she got out of line and when the curtain fell, she was outside of it.

Proceeds from Judd's hometown concert will go to help keep the old Paramount going.

By the way, Judd will also be a part of the pre-game pro-America concert prior to the Feb. 3 Super Bowl. She will join Paul McCartney, Yolanda Adams, James Ingram, Patti LaBelle and Barry Manilow, among others.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


Collin Raye's final album for Sony Music Nashville hits stores this week.

Raye and Sony Music's Epic Records have parted ways, but reports the company is proceeding with the release of his new album, "Can't Back Down." During his years with Epic, Raye had hits such as "Little Rock," "One Boy, One Girl," "I Look at You" and "My Kind of Girl."

Raye co-wrote "Young as We're Ever Gonna Be" on the new album with his brother, Scott Wray. (Collin's real name is Floyd Collin Wray; he and Scott started as the Wray Brothers Band and had considerable success in the 1980s.) Other cuts come from songwriters such as Michael McDonald, Billy Montana, Rivers Rutherford, Karen Taylor-Good, Kim Carnes, Brent Maher and Thom Schuyler.

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