Country Music News

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  March 19, 2002 at 4:30 AM
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(Tues., March 19)

Elvis Presley purchased "Graceland," a stately colonial mansion on what was then the outskirts of Memphis, in 1957.

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge opened in downtown Nashville in 1960.

Fiddlin' Sid Harkreader, an early Grand Ole Opry performer, died in 1988.

George Biggar -- director of the "WLS National Barn Dance" in Chicago, an early precursor to the Opry -- died in 1989.

Comedian Speck Rhodes died at age 84 in 2000.



Friends of Johnny Cash say he recently got a surprise phone call from the White House. The legendary singer/songwriter was told that he had been chosen as one of President Bush's recipients for his first time at awarding the National Medal of Arts. The medals will be presented in special ceremonies next month.

According to the White House's Web site, others who will be honored include actor Kirk Douglas and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, as well as the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, writer Rudolfo Anaya, painter Helen Frankenthaler, choreographer Judith Jamison and producer-director-comedian Mike Nichols. The arts medal was established in 1984.

(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)


The music from the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is taking to the road again.

The second leg of the "Down From the Mountain" tour will kick off June 25 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. Artists who'll take part include Alison Krauss & Union Station, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley, The Del McCoury Band, Norman & Nancy Blake, Ricky Skaggs, Dan Tyminski, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, The Whites and Jerry Douglas. The concerts will feature individual as well as collective performances.

The first leg of the tour -- which ran Jan. 25-Feb. 20 -- stopped in 17 cities and sold out 19 shows from Lexington, Ky., to San Francisco.

Tour dates:

June 25: Louisville, KY, Freedom Hall (tickets go on sale April 6)

June 26: Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre (March 30)

June 28: Buffalo, NY, Darien Lake Perf. Arts Center (March 23)

June 29: Philadelphia, PA, Mann Center for the Performing Arts (March 15)

June 30: Boston, MA, Paul E. Tsongas Center (March 25)

July 2: Hartford, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena (March 29)

July 3: Toronto, ON, Molson Amphitheater (April 8)

July 5: Ottawa, ON, Cisco Systems Bluesfest (April TBA)

July 6: Washington, DC, Bull Run Reg. Park Special Events Center (March 29)

July 7: Cleveland, OH, Blossom Music Center (April 20)

July 9: Cincinnati, OH, Firstar Center (March 23)

July 10: Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center (April 5)

July 12: Norfolk, VA, NTELOS Pavillion @ the Harbor Center (March 29)

July 13: Charlotte, NC, Cricket Arena (April 27)

July 14: Raleigh, NC, Entertainment & Sports Arena (April 27)

July 16: Knoxville, TN, Smokies Stadium (March 23)

July 17: Atlanta, GA, Chastain Park (May 18)

July 19: Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center (April 12)

July 20: Dallas, TX, Smirnoff Music Centre (April 12)

July 22: Chicago, IL, Theatre at United Center (April 20)

July 23: St. Paul, MN, Theatre Bowl at Xcel Energy Center (April 20)

July 25: Boise, ID, Idaho Center Amphitheater (April 8)

July 26: Salem, OR, L.B. Day Amphitheater (April 6)

July 27-28: Seattle, WA, Chateau St. Michelle Winery (May 4)

July 30-31: San Jose, CA, Compaq Center @ San Jose (April 21)

August 1: Los Angeles, CA, Greek Theatre (April 28)

August 2: Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Bowl (April 6)

August 4: Denver, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre (April 29)

Certified five-time platinum, the soundtrack for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (Lost Highway/Mercury Records) recently garnered five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.


Stars from the NBC soap operas "Days of our Lives" and "Passions" will, for the second year in a row, take part in the "World's Biggest Country Music Festival."

Fan Fair 2002 will be held June 13-16 in downtown Nashville. A dozen of NBC Daytime's hottest stars are scheduled to appear -- including Peter Reckell ("Bo"), Melissa Reeves ("Jennifer"), Matthew Ashford ("Jack"), Matt Cedeno ("Brandon"), Kyle Lowder ("Brady") and Nadia Bjorlin ("Chloe") from "Days of Our Lives." Lindsay Korman ("Theresa"), James Hyde ("Sam"), Andrea Evans ("Rebecca"), Christopher Douglas ("Brian"), Justin Carroll ("David") and Bruce Michael Hall ("Reese") from "Passions" will also attend.

"The fans love having access to their favorite soap stars and the country artists love hosting the actors," said Country Music Association Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing Rick Murray. "Last year, several friendships were struck up between artists and actors; and in fact, several of the daytime stars have made return visits to Nashville or visited artists backstage at concerts in Los Angeles."

The actors will sign autographs in the Exhibit Hall at the Nashville Convention Center; make appearances at concerts at Adelphia Coliseum; and participate in media interviews. They'll top off the weekend with special musical performances at the official "NBC Daytime Fan Fair After Hours Party" at the Wildhorse Saloon on June 15.

(Web site:


Brad Paisley performs the title track on "Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top." The album, due in stores April 30 (on RCA Records), is a collection of ZZ Top songs sung by country artists in tribute to the famous rock trio. reports Paisley's "Sharp Dressed Man" is one of 15 tracks on the all-male tribute album. Other artists include Alan Jackson, Montgomery Gentry, Brooks & Dunn, Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III, Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam.

The group -- Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard -- was in Nashville during the recent Country Radio Seminar to tape an episode of "CMT Crossroads." They were paired with Brooks & Dunn in a swap of country and rock influences. The show debuts April 21 (at 8 p.m. ET/PT) on CMT.

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