Country Music News

By United Press International  |  June 19, 2002 at 8:03 AM
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(June 19)

Lester Flatt born (1914) in Overton County, Tenn.

Riders in the Sky joined the Grand Ole Opry (1982)

DeFord Bailey debuted on the Grand Ole Opry (1926)



Look for more from country music newcomer Brad Martin, who is a newcomer in name only.

The 29-year-old Martin has been around Nashville since 1994, playing bars and honky tonks, while doing freelance grip work on video shoots for Tracy Lawrence, Marty Stewart and Vince Gill, using his knowledge from broadcast engineering and audio-video production courses at Hocking College in Ohio, where he comes from.

He has used his experiences both in music and video production to produce his first video from his album "Wings of a Honky Tonk Angel" which is out this week.

The song he chose for the video is "Before I Knew Better" and it was shot in January in the Holly Desert outside Palmdale, Calif.

"We actually got out there at 4 in the morning, and it was 29 degrees," Martin told "I'd never been to California before, and I've always associated Southern California with hot weather, bathing suits, that kind of deal. Of course I've always associated the desert with being hot as well. We'd gone out there in the winter, and 32 degrees was the high the whole day."

But martin says he wasn't nervous about the shoot, because his technical know-how let him concentrate on before camera work, instead of wondering about what was going on.

When Martin was 21 and new to Nashville he hooked up with Noel Haggard, son of Merle, playing first at Gilley's, now gone, on Music row, and later at Barbara's on Printers Alley and Maggie McGee's on Lower Broadway.

All the while he was writing songs, eventually landing with Mike Curb Publishing.

"I think I fit more on the traditional side of things. When I put the album together, my whole objective was to go with the traditional base, with more of a hip edge to it," Martin says. He takes traditional country themes (drinking, good times, love, more drinking) and tunes them to a contemporary audience.

It's the familiar faces of his barroom audience that inspired his songwriting on his debut album, Wings of a Honky Tonk Angel. "You see what goes on in their lives," Martin explains. "And in a sense, you become a part of that, because if you're playing there regularly, you know how many people come in there, how often and what songs they like to hear.

Martin appeared on the Grand Ole Opry May 3 and will reappear on June 29, when he will have his dad alongside of him.


Fifty years ago the country music world was entranced by the song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" a tune that caught the ear and had everyone singing. This coming Sunday Kitty Wells, who made that song a hit on the Billboard country chart June 19, 1952, will be honored at the Junction Jamboree, a benefit concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. A long list of country and bluegrass entertainers including Porter Wagoner, David Ball, Jerry and Tammy Sullivan, Vassar Clements and Danni Leigh, will pay tribute to the 82-year-old Wells on the occasion of the song's anniversary. Also, the C.F. Martin Guitar Company will unveil the "Honky Tonk Angel" signature series guitar, and Tennessee state Sen. Joe Haynes will read a resolution from the State of Tennessee. Proceeds will go to NashvilleREAD and the Alzheimer's Association of Middle Tennessee.


A record label spokeswoman confirms that Mary Chapin Carpenter married contractor Timmy Smith June 1 in Batesville, Va. Rock musician Dave Matthews and actress Sissy Spacek were among the guests in attendance, and recording artist Robin Williams (Robin and Linda Williams) performed the ceremony. The couple is on honeymoon somewhere in the United States.

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