Country Music News

By United Press International
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(June 12)


Ferlin Husky joined the Grand Ole Opry; 1954

Tex Ritter joined the Grand Ole Opry; 1965

Johnny Bond, age 63, died in Burbank, California; 1978



Actress Kathy Najimy is making her first trip to Nashville to host Wednesday night's Flameworthy Video Music Awards.

The show will be on CMT at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Najimy has been seen in "Hope Floats," the "Sister Act" movies and is the voice for Peggy Hill in the FOX TV animated show "King of the Hill."

The show has hosted a number of country stars, including Willie Nelson, Randy Travis and Brooks and Dunn.

"Peggy is such a huge country fan," says Najimy. "In fact, there was a huge storyline where Peggy wrote a country song and Randy heard it and stole the song. The Hill family was at Fan Fair, and he was up there singing it. They are all such good sports to do that. That's another thing that makes (country music) appealing --- it seems like they have a great sense of humor about themselves and the music, which otherwise would be a downer. Peggy is a huge country music fan, so it seems like a natural connection."


About her role hosting the show Najimy said: "I am a little nervous, and I'll tell you why. I'm not afraid about the hosting part because I speak a lot in front of a lot of people, but with this audience, I don't know if they're my audience. I've never dealt with a country audience before."

She says she's a fan of country music but is no expert, and that makes her a little nervous. But she says she's excited about hosting the inaugural Flameworthy show, where the best video winners will be chosen by fan votes during the two-hour show.

"What's cool about the awards show is that it's for the people, by the people," she said. "It's not the jaded people in your business voting, it's the people who sit down and watch you on TV who choose you."


Trisha Yearwood will perform "Could It Be Magic" Thursday in tribute to Barry Manilow. She'll sing at the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductions and awards dinner in New York, at which Manilow is an inductee along with Sting, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman and Nickolas Ashford. Garth Brooks, Yearwood's frequent duet partner, will receive the Hitmaker Award in recognition of his sustained success as a recording artist. Stevie Wonder and Carole King also will accept special honors. Yearwood returns to Nashville in time for her annual Fan Fair fan club party on Friday.



The American Foundation for the Blind will honor country singer Ronnie Milsap at its 2002 Helen Keller Achievement Awards in New York Sept. 24. Milsap will receive the personal achievement award, given for being an "exemplary" model for other blind or visually impaired artists.

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