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COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS (And Other Bits & Pieces/General Information) FROM AROUND THE WORLD................. 04/2012
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Plus Pop-Country and a Touch of Bakersfierld

That's BACM's Kind of Country Music

 At first glance it might appear that BACM is strictly old-timey and although it regularly releases such music - what other labels can offer such vintage delights? - there's much, much more to the Kent based record company. With a catalog that now approaching 400 cd releases, the music horizons are wide taking in such as Western Swing, Cajun, Gospel, Cowboy Songs, Duets and Record Label compilations.

Averaging three new cds a month, featuring a range of artists from the obscure to the famous that originally saw the light of day on similarly rated record labels, the past few months have seen varied releases certain to appeal to all manner of country music enthusiasts.

Looking through the recent BACM cd’s, Western Swing is well represented with compilations from several of the leading performers of the genre. Among the most legendary of all the bands was the Lightcrust Doughboys (with Milton Brown and Bob Wills being among the original members) and the label’s second Doughboys release covers the period 1933-41, from early string band to full blown swing, among the tracks the tribute Memories of Jimmie Rodgers. Roy Newman & His Boys are commonly regarded as one of the most important swing bands pre-WWII, although their music was heard more on radio rather than in the dance halls. Another prominent pioneer was Bill Boyd (not to be confused with the “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd) with his music also leaning towards country and cowboy material. Featuring his band the Cowboy Ramblers, this collection mainly spotlights recordings from the mid/late 1930s and includes duets with brother Jim (inc.When The Sun Goes Down, Watching The World Go By). A much overdue cd from Jim Boyd is also available which includes Truck Driver’s Boogie and Dear John as well as a couple of duets with Dallas radio’s Terry Lea, culled from the RCA Victor archives and airchecks.

More deep roots of country music can be heard on Old Time Tunes & Songs (Vol 2). Featuring recording from the late 1920s and ‘30s, this collection introduces many unfamiliar names to the record collector although several of songs (Golden Slippers, Arkansas Traveller, BlueMountain Blues among others) will not be. Also from the same era, the Shelton Bothers, Bob and Joe, presented their South-eastern flavoured harmonies in a varied song repertoire mostly recorded for Decca.

Delving into cowboy territory, the Cass County Boys – who extensively toured with Gene Autry as well as appearing in his movies – are heard on a generous 32 track cd that includes such classics Don’t Fence Me In, Along The Navajo Trail, I Ride An Old Paint and Cool Water. Another outfit which mixed western and swing music were the Tune Wranglers from San Antonio: although their recording career only lasted three years, they gained a reputation as one of the most popular Texas fiddle bands of the era.

Among the recent releases representing post WWII country music comes cds from Cowboy Copas, Leon Payne and Jack Rivers. Copas’ music ran the gamut of country styles, enjoying his greatest chart success on King Records and among the 27 tracks in this selection is a duet with his daughter Kathy, You’ll Never ever See Me Cry. One of country music's finest singer-songwriters was Leon Payne (I Love You Because among his credits) and his new release is a real collector’s items, the rarely heard Lang-Worth Transcription recordings. Jack Rivers, who was active in the post-war LA scene (before moving to Seattle), recorded for a variety of labels and is heard as a fine singer, songwriter and hot guitarist in his representation on BACM. Also a member of the West Coast country fraternity was Cousin Herb Henson, who was encouraged to move to Bakersfield by the town’s music founding father Bill Woods. One of the pivotal figures in what became known as the “Bakersfield Sound”, he brought touches of humour into his music and recorded for such labels as Tally and Capitol.

Arguably more pop than country, Jeannie Black enjoyed massive 1960 crossover success with He’ll Have To Stay (an answer to Jim Reeves’ He’ll Have To Go). Her cd release features Capitol recordings of several hits of the period as well as a handful of tracks with sister Janie. And more females are featured on the compilation Country Ladies Of The 1950s, which takes in the talents of Louise Duncan, Alvadean Coker, Margie Bowes, Harvie June Van, Helen Carter, Carolyn Bradshaw and Myrna Lorrie.

Finally the latest compilations spotlighting record labels – this time 4 Star and Dot. Although many of the names on the former maybe be unfamiliar to the majority of contemporary country music – Stuart Hamblen being the most well known – this collection provides an entertaining introduction to artists like Don Whitney, Merle Lindsay, Jack Tucker and the McQuaig Twins (later gaining immortality as the Holly Sisters, on Liberty, when they recorded I Want Elvis For Christmas in 1956) who enjoyed success in several different US regional areas. Much more well known will be the line-up appearing on Tennessee’s Dot outlet and include Don Reno & Red Smiley, Jimmy Work, Mac Wiseman, Wade Ray and Bonnie Guitar.

All cds come with booklets featuring detailed biography information penned by much respected country music historians, journalists and writers. They are available from the British Archive of Country Music, post free, and each cost £10.00 (UK), $16.00 (USA) or €14.00 (Europe) - or, at half price, for regular buyers thanks to a special subscribers scheme.

BACM Records was created by collector/archivist David Barnes and stalwart country musician Brian Golbey, and is an offshoot of Barnes’ British Archive of Country Music, a vast museum of recordings and artefacts that matured out of his exhaustive 60 year personal collection. The Archive has over 500,000 recordings and everything, including artists and songs, is listed on its extensive database. The Archive is available for use (by appointment) by the media, record, TV & film producers, serious collectors and university students.

Recent CDs issued by BACM Records:

JEANNIE BLACK: He’ll Have To Stay  (24 tracks) – BACM CD D354

LEON PAYNE: Lang-Worth Transcriptions Vol. 2 (28 tracks) – BACM CD D355

DAVE STOGNER:  Western Swing Time (28 tracks) – BACM CD D356

VARIOUS ARTISTS: 4 Star Roundup Vol. 2 (25 tracks) – BACM CD D357

COWBOY COPAS: Blues In The Moonlight (27 tracks) – BACM CD D358

KERAY REGAN & The Peace River Rangers (25 tracks) – BACM CD D359

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Classic Country Music On Dot (26 tracks) – BACM CD D360

JACK RIVERS: Navy Hot Rod (27 tracks) – BACM CD 361

BILL BOYS & COWBOY RAMBLERS: When The Sun Goes Down (26 tracks) – BACM CD D362

LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Roll Up The Carpet (24 tracks) – BACM CD D363

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Tunes & Songs From Golden Age (22 tracks) – BACM CD D364

BOB ATCHER: Vol 2 (23 tracks) – BACM CD D365

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Country Music ladies Of 1950s (26 tracks) – BACM CD D366

ROY NEWMAN: Round The World on A Dime (29 tracks) – BACM CD D367

CASS COUNTY BOYS: More Western Classics (32 tracks) – BACM CD D368

JIM BOYS: Texas Moon Waltz (29 tracks) – BACM CD D369

SHELTON BROTHERS: Beautiful Louisiana (24 tracks) – BACM CD D370

COUSIN HERB HENSON & The Trading Post Gang (25 tracks) – BACM CD D371

TUNE WRANGLERS: Drivin’ The Dogies Along (23 tracks) – BACM CD D372

For details of the complete BACM catalogue, together with purchasing information, can be found on the association’s website - Catalogues are available from the British Archive of Country Music (address below) - please enclose a large first or second class stamp when requesting a catalogue.

Just released: the latest from BACM ........


The second BACM collection from a hillbilly outfit that provided an entertaining mix that included gospel, country and comedy songs, enjoying a 40 year popularity stretching from Kentucky to Chicago.


For the collectors of Canadian recordings, this 24 track collection features such artists as Betty Cody, Hal Lone Pine, Willie Lamothe and Wally Traugott - some pretty obscure!

*** MARGIE SINGLETON: She Will Break Your Heart - BACM CD D375

A chart artist from the 1960s, this 26 track cd includes Margie Singleton's debut hits (on Starday), Nothin' But True Love and The Eyes Of Love alongside her first ever recordings made in 1958.

For more information, please contact David Barnes at B.A.C.M., 451 Folkestone Road, Dover, Kent CT17 9JX.  phone - 01304 205000; email -

April 16, 2012



OXFORD, OH – Singer Lisa Biales (pronounced “Be-Alice”) has announced the June 5 release of her new CD, Just Like Honey, produced by EG Kight and recorded, mixed, mastered ands co-produced by the legendary Paul Hornsby (The Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels, etc.) at his Muscadine Studio in Macon, Georgia. The CD is being released on her own Big Song Music label and will be available through CD Baby, iTunes and Lisa is backed on the sessions by a host of stellar musicians, including former Capricorn Records’ mainstays Tommy Talton on guitar and Bill Stewart on drums, as well as heralded fiddle/mandolin player David Blackmon (Jerry Reed, Widespread Panic, Blueground Undergrass). Both EG Kight and Paul Hornsby join in the fun, too: Hornsby plays keyboards throughout, and EG Kight not only lends her perfect harmony vocals on a number of tracks, but also joins Lisa in a beautiful duet of the Delmore Brothers classic, “Blues Stay Away from Me.”

“EG Kight’s vision for this project was to put together original songs with some of my early musical influences,” says Lisa Biales about the sessions. “In the studio, we figured out each song in the control room gathered around Paul’s mixing board. When we’d all get into the feeling of the song, someone would say, ‘That’s It!,’ and we’d all rush with excitement into the recording room and cut the tune.”

Kight’s “vision” of the album is a perfect match for Lisa Biales’ superb vocals, which - like the title track says - drip “Just Like Honey” over a wide range of rootsy musical influences, including Americana, blues, folk and old-timey music. Just Like Honey features Lisa’s sultry takes on Memphis Minnie’s “Call the Fire Wagon,” Candye Kane/Jack Tempchin’s “Gifted in the Ways of Love” and Ma Rainey’s “Yonder Come the Blues;” plus a powerful version of one of Lisa’s favorite singers – Etta James – on “Damn Your Eyes”, and another personal favorite – Bonnie Raitt – on “Give It Up.”

The CD also includes several Lisa Biales and EG Kight originals, as well as a song from Tommy Talton.

Lisa’s song, “I Believe,” was featured in the TV show, Girlfriends,on the CW Network; and a previous CD, Closet Hippie, was played extensively on Sirius XM’s “The Coffee House” channel. She also lends her voice and guitar to the soundtrack of Sarah Knight’s new documentary film, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, a portrait of Nicole Sherry, head grounds-keeper for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards (one of only two women in that position in Major League Baseball). Lisa Biales makes her film debut in Academy Award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola’s new film, Twist. Inspired by the gothic horror of Edgar Allen Poe, Coppola's latest tells the tale of a burnt-out mystery writer (Val Kilmer) who gets mixed up in murder and evil in a California town. Lisa portrays a waitress named Ruth, who appears in a dream of the tortured writer, she lures (Kilmer) into a hotel for a drink while her husband (Don Novello) tinkers with a broken clock. When Lisa picks up the guitar to sing for her guest (the classic, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”), the ghost of a girl (Elle Fanning) appears and gets seduced by Lisa’s voice. To view the trailer for Twixt, click on

Ohio-based Lisa Biales has spent a lifetime making music. Her diverse musical influences drive her to continue to evolve as an artist, singer and guitarist. Just Like Honey showcases the gift Lisa has for writing a great song, and making the ones she covers all her own. She sings with a crystal pure voice and writes music about the simple things in life. Lisa grew up in a musical family and began her career as a performing songwriter at an early age. She’s independently released six albums of music under her own Big Song Music label, and is heard on radio stations around the world. Her song “Playing With Angels” went to #1 in Australia and “Where The Buckwheat Blooms” hit #32  on the folk radio charts in the U.S.

“Lisa’s soul stirring voice and unique guitar has created her signature sound.” – Cincinnati Enquirer

Lisa Biales (Pronounced Be-Alice)
Ohio Arts Council Fee Supported Artist
Find Lisa's Music at CD Baby

Rhythm Records is proud to announce the highly anticipated new album release, LIFE GOES ON by the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer® is now released. This new 2 CD set is now available for purchase at, County Sales, Ernest Tubb Records Shops, the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer website, Rural Rhythm Records, directly through the participating artists and many more locations. LIFE GOES ON was recorded live during the annual MACC festivals from 2006 – 2011 with the exception of the new single “Life Goes On” that was recorded at Randy Kohrs’ Slack Key Studio in Nashville, TN.
Rural Rhythm Records will soon release a new music video of the first single, “Life Goes On.” The song is currently #8 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart.

The VIDEO was filmed at Liberty Church in Gallatin, TN during the week of the 2012 SPBGMA convention and features Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Rickey Wasson, and directed by brothers, Sammy Passamano III and Anthony Passamano of Rural Rhythm Records.

Darrell and Phyllis Adkins founded Musicians Against Childhood Cancer in honor of their daughter, Mandy who lost her battle with cancer on November 25, 2000. Proceeds from the annual festival benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.


Nashville, TN: Indie roots rock band, Yarn, has announced the March 20th release of their new album, Almost Home. Thanks to Kickstarter, an online funding platform, and the band’s huge fan support, Yarn surpassed their goal, and are now able to super charge their promotions for the new record.

Yarn’s loyal fan base was integral in the collaboration with avid independent music supporters, Firefly Distilleries. Firefly has provided Yarn with their “On the Fly” RV that will be keeping them out on the road to evangelize about music and good times for their 2012 tour schedule.

The group was recently featured on the January, 23rd CNN exclusive segment, Erin Burnett Out Front, showcasing their music and partnership with Firefly Vodka. They will also be making their first appearance at SXSW in March to play the New Frontier showcase. Their SXSW appearance coincides with the release of their new record, produced by the legendary Bil VornDick, who has worked with Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Bob Dylan and many others. His credits appear on No. 1 albums in five different musical genres.

Yarn’s new release continues to live up to their band name, weaving together the fibers of roots music into songs that are passionate and resonate with audiences across America.

The Brooklyn born sextet- Blake Christiana ( Vocals, Guitar), Trevor MacArthur (Vocals, Guitar), Andrew Hendryx (Mandolin, Harmonica), Rod Hohl (Electric Guitar), Rick Bugel (Bass) and Robert Bonhomme (Drums) - are known for calling out the overproduced pop music of the day and revolutionizing roots music styles, transforming them into a fresh sound.

Christiana, an impressive songwriter and lead vocalist, confesses universal tales of life on the road that will appeal to edgy music hopefuls as well as fans of more traditional country music. They draw up the best of America’s past and charge it with the insurgence of Americana’s present. Yarn excels at unraveling their own blend of peaceful alt-country, indie-rock with a raw sound that begs for repeat listens. “Growing up as a kid listening to Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley, I built my own musical taste,” Christiana says.

The album pulls from the inspiration of the greats but is amplified by what each band member uniquely brings into the studio from the streets of New York.Hendryx’s crafted Mandolin riffing takes control while Christiana, MacArthur and Hohl’s harmonious thirds echo volume building melodies. Bugel’s unwavering bass and Bonhomme’s driving beats punctuate the band’s emotion provoking authenticity.
In 2007, Yarn’s self-titled debut album peaked at No. 14 on the AMA and R&R Radio Charts, and ranked No. 79 on the AMA’s Top 100 Albums of that year.
In 2008, the band’s second record, Empty Pockets, spent months in the top 5 on the AMA chart and garnered them eight, first round 2009 Grammy nominations. Yarn’s 2008 released album, Come On In, reached #25 on the top 100 Americana chart of 2010.

Christiana beams, “I like to think America is in the midst of a musical revolution, revolting against the candycoated, over-produced [stuff] being spoon-fed into our earholes. Revolt, America, and we’ll see you at our shows.” Yarn is definitely a band that earns musical converts with their live performances. Check out their upcoming tour dates in support of their latest album along with CD release parties happening across the country. In addition to performing at SXSW in March, they will be featured alongside Allison Krauss and Union Station at California’s Strawberry Music Festival.


Country fans will always remember Levon Helm for playing Loretta Lynn's father in the 1980 movie "Coal Miner's Daughter."

Helm died yesterday of complications from throat cancer. He was diagnosed in 1998. Helm was the son of an Arkansas cotton farmer. The Band started out as Bob Dylan's backup group. Helm played drums and sang on classic rock songs like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "The Weight" and "Up on Cripple Creek." He was 71.


Dick Clark died earlier today. The famed TV producer was 82.
Paul Shefrin, a rep for the entertainment legend, told ABC News his client suffered a “massive heart attack.”

The Mount Vernon, N.Y., native, who was born Richard Wagstaff Clark, became a breakout star after being tapped to host “American Bandstand,” an afternoon dance show for teenagers, which debuted nationally in 1957.

Dick Clark with Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan, who said.......

Dick Clark has died and it saddens us. He was always good to us.
At a restaurant, many years after we were on Bandstand, he came over to our table and talked with us while his dinner got cold. A really nice guy. One in a million.

He went on to form his own production company and put out many popular shows, from the hidden camera series “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” to game show “$25,000 Pyramid.” He also produced many TV award shows, including the Golden Globes.

In 1972, he hosted “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” for the first time, helping Americans countdown to midnight as the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square. He continued to helm the special until 2004 when he suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. After Regis Philbin stood in for him the first year, Clark passed the baton to “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest and, after recovering, made an annual appearance to address the audience.

Clark’s first time back in 2006, he had the same boyish spirit people had grown to know. Although he clearly struggled with his speech, sounding hoarse and sometimes indecipherable, he candidly addressed the audience, saying: “Last year I had a stroke. It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It’s been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I’m getting there.” Noting, “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”

Following the news of Clark’s death, Seacrest offered condolences. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark, he tweeted. “He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Other celebrities expressed their sadness over the passing of Clark as well. Jenny McCarthy, who appeared on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” tweeted: “RIP dick Clark. You were amazing to work with. U will be missed. Xxxoo.” Joan Rivers chimed in, writing: “Very sad to hear about Dick Clark. What a great life. What a great career. Relevant until the end. He will be missed!” Even Snoop Dogg remembered the TV man, posting: “REST IN PEACE to DICK CLARK!! U were pioneer n a good man!! Thank u sir.”

Clark is survived by his three children and his third wife, Keri Wigton, to whom he has been married since 1977.


Actor Matthew McConaughey, Pat Monahan from the GRAMMY-winning band Train and GRAMMY-winning artist Shelby Lynne have been added to the stellar lineup for the “We WPosted on April 4, 2012 by Dan Harr Walk The Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash” concert on April 20, 2012 in Austin, TX. McConaughey will host the event; Monahan and Lynne will join previously announced music stars and friends performing including: Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Ronnie Dunn, John Hiatt, Amy Lee, Shooter Jennings, Lucinda Williams, Jamey Johnson, Rhett Miller, Andy Grammer and Carolina Chocolate Drops to celebrate the life and legacy of Johnny Cash.

In the year that would mark his 80th birthday, the concert, which will take place at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theatre, will not only pay tribute to Cash and his music, but also to his roots and his heritage.
Tickets are on sale now to the general public.

An all-star band led by GRAMMY Award-winning Don Was – which includes Buddy Miller, Kenny Aronoff, Ian McLagen, and Greg Leisz– will back these once-in-a-lifetime performances. The concert event will be produced by Keith Wortman. Was, who worked with Cash on an album for The Highwaymen, will serve as musical director. Tisha Fein and Chantel Sausedo will serve as talent producers. A percentage of the net proceeds will be donated to Charley’s Fund, to help in the fight to find a cure for the fatal children’s disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

“As an artist who has been doing this for awhile, I love and respect Mr. Cash more than ever,” commented Pat Monahan.  “His music, his story and his great love for his wife and children continue to inspire me and I am honored to be a part of this beautiful tribute.

“Johnny Cash made being a rebel majestic,” commented Shelby Lynne.

“We Walk The Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash” will be produced and distributed in conjunction with Legacy Recordings, the division of Sony Music Entertainment that serves as the home of Johnny Cash’s music catalog.

Legacy Recordings is set to celebrate this landmark Johnny Cash year with a full slate of projects to be released throughout the next 12 months. First up is “Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth,” a 2-CD, 51-track collection which comprises gospel and spiritual recordings made by Cash in the 1970s and ‘80s, to be released on April 3, 2012.

Show tickets are on sale now to the general public and can be purchased at, at Waterloo Records or charge by phone 877-4-FLYTIX.

For more information about “We Walk The Line” please visit

For more information about Charley’s Fund, please visit

Posted on March 28, 2012 by JaimieWard
The Americana Music Association is proud to present the closing night screening of Big Easy Express at the 2012 Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) presented by Nissan, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Regal Green Hills Cinema.

Directed by Emmett Malloy, Big Easy Express captures the incredible musical journey of  three bands on one train over thousands of miles of track through six cities. Harkening back to the days of jubilant railroad revivals, of steam and steel, three bands — L.A.’s Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Nashville’s Old Crow Medicine Show, and Londoners Mumford & Sons — climbed aboard a train in April 2011 amid the massive rail yards of Oakland and set out for New Orleans on a “tour of dreams.” Stopping along the way to play sold-out shows in spots as diverse as San Pedro, California, and Marfa, Texas, the film documents the bands’ vibrant railway adventures; the high canyons, joyous crowds, blasted skies, late-night laughter, endless music … and a train that was bound for glory.

Tickets for the screening, and the films at the 2012 Nashville Film Festival presented by Nissan, which runs April 19-26, go on sale at to NaFF members on April 9, laminate holders on April 10 and the general public on April 11.

Watch the Trailer now:


Posted on April 16, 2012 by Dan Harr

A new album from outlaw country legend Waylon Jennings will be released this September, filled with recordings the icon made during the last few years before his death in 2002.

Jennings spent hours in a recording studio with his longtime accompanist, Robby Turner and together they laid down twelve tracks using just Waylon’s guitar and vocals and Turner’s bass.  All songs were personally selected by the country star, ones that resonated in a deeply personal way and reflected his state of mind, his passions, and important statements he wanted to make about his life.  The duo planned out the future instrumentation that would be added to the tracks, but Jennings was never able to complete them.

10 years after his passing, Turner returned to the recordings, finishing each song to honor Waylon’s vision of what would turn out to be his very last album.  Bringing in musicians who had long worked with Waylon, such as Reggie Young, Richie Albright and tour mate Tony Joe White, Turner painstakingly created the album that Waylon set out to make.  “Waylon knows he’s surrounded by friends and all that hear this will feel as if they know Waylon in all his authenticity,” explains his widow, country singer Jessi Colter.  With his family’s blessing, Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings will be available on September 11 (Saguaro Road Records).  No one has ever heard these performances before; they are Waylon’s last gift to his fans.

Saguaro Road Records’ Senior Vice President, Retail, Mike Jason explains, “I remember when Waylon was revolutionizing country music and when we heard about these recordings, I knew we had to have them. To me, this is classic Waylon music every bit as good as his ‘70s classics but his singing bears a vulnerable and deeply personal touch. Waylon still has many fans, but with these recordings I’m confident that we’ll introduce him to a new generation in the same way that Johnny Cash’s last recordings found him an entirely new audience.”

Jennings wrote 11 of the 12 songs that appear on the new album, a testament to the personal nature of the recordings, and they reveal an artist in the midst of a final creative peak.  In addition to his own songs, the album includes Tony Joe White’s “Goin’ Down Rockin’” (on which White himself is a guest). In all, the album will feature eleven songs that have never been released before.

One of the all time greatest country music vocalists, Jennings was also the founder of the Outlaw movement, received two Grammy Awards, and multiple Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards.  11 of his albums hit #1 on the country charts, with 16 #1 singles.  In all, 54 of Jennings’ albums have charted and more than 100 singles cracked the country and pop charts.  He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.




From the pages of Mary O’Hara’s popular novel My Friend Flicka, the year’s most inspiring coming of age story arrives just in time for Mother’s Day when Flicka: Country Pride gallops on to Blu-ray and DVD May 1 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Directed by Michael Damian (Flicka 2, Marley & Me: The Puppy Years), Flicka: Country Pride stars country music superstar Clint Black (Flicka 2), Lisa Hartman Black (“Knots Landing”) and Kacey Rohl (“The Killing”) in a heartwarming adventure for the entire family.

When Toby (Black) takes on a job at a stable with Flicka in tow, the owner’s teenage daughter Kelly (Rohl), quickly bonds with the wild horse. A budding equestrian rider, she hopes to break Flicka for an upcoming competition, despite her mother’s (Hartman Black) disapproval. With the competition approaching, a rival trainer stealing business, and a growing fear they may be forced to sell the stable, Toby steps in to turn things around for Kelly and her mother.

Grammy Award® Winner Clint Black is one of country music’s superstars with over 20 million albums sold worldwide. Having written over 100+ songs including 23 #1 songs Clint is an active philanthropist overseeing numerous charities.

Not only is the story filled with good family values, but according to Director Michael Damian, working behind the scenes was just as rewarding. Damian commented, “Directing Flicka: Country Pride was a wonderful experience for me! Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black poured their hearts into the characters they played and brought genuine warmth and deep emotion to the film. My wife Janeen and I are blessed to have an incredible professional relationship, which is a rare and precious thing. So for us, it was wonderful to see a celebrity couple like Clint and Lisa working together with such love and respect. Their high regard for Christian values and dedication to their family is an inspiration. They are a true Hollywood success story.”

The Flicka: Country Pride Blu-ray and DVD has two behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film and a never-before-seen music video. Available at 4,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations nationwide and in Canada, both the Blu-ray and DVD are now available for pre-order exclusively at Prebook is April 4.

Flicka: Country Pride Blu-rayand DVD Special Features
•    The Making of Flicka: Country Pride – The Legend Continues
•    Black is Back – The featurette focuses on the character of Toby, played by Country Music Superstar Clint Black, his return to the Flicka franchise and how Flicka: Country Pride truly became a family affair.
•    Full-Length Music Video

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Dan Harr

New Single, "Calls I Haven't Made,"  Impacting Country Radio Today 
Nashville, TN (March 19, 2012) -- Todd Fritsch is back in the saddle - and Country radio - after a roping accident on the family cattle ranch left him with a crippling leg injury three years ago.  "It was a long road to recovery," says the engaging Texan. 

"It's a little bit more of a 'Nashville sound' than anything I've done before," admits Fritsch, who enjoyed a string of hits with his previous Country singles (What's Wrong With Me, Small Town Radio, I Don't Live Here Anymore, I Got Mexico, and a duet with Texas legend, Gary P. Nunn, Every Honky Tonkin' Hero (Has His Day).

"Calls I Haven't Made" was produced by respected Nashville insider, Butch Baker.  The track is from Todd's upcoming CD, UP HERE IN THE SADDLE, due later this Spring. "I think 'Calls' will give radio a good idea of what the new album has in store," says the amiable entertainer.  "There are a few surprises and a little more polish on this project; fans are loving the new songs and they're going over well at my shows."


Todd's appeared on radio and television, played honky tonks, festivals and fairs throughout the Southwest and in Europe, appeared in a movie (PALO PINTO GOLD, starring Trent Willmon and Kinky Friedman) and graced the pages of Country Weekly, Best In Texas, Open Range and Texas Music magazines. He juggles his music career with his responsibilities on the family cattle ranch in Willow Springs, Texas. and 


In 2000, young singer Billy Gilman exploded onto the music scene as a 12-year-old with a killer voice and the musical chops to take him places. He released a debut record called ‘One Voice,’ sold more than 2 million copies and then had to take a step back from the industry when puberty put a crimp in his vocal style. Now, almost 12 years later, Gilman has found his voice again, and he’s choosing to use it for the sake of others.

In true ‘We Are the World’ collaborative style, Gilman gathered up 18 of country music’s top names to sing on a song called ‘The Choice,’ which he co-wrote with songwriters Dan Murph and Philip Douglas to benefit Soles4Souls. The charitable organization works to provide shoes to people across the world who don’t have any. Gilman says he didn’t even realize all the limitations of not having shoes until he familiarized himself with the organization.

“I couldn’t imagine not having a pair of shoes, not just for the sake of being comfortable and looking cool, but I never thought until I got really involved that shoes enable you to get a job,” he said (quote via CBS). “It really is more than giving a pair of shoes so the kid can look hip and cool. It’s a way of life.”

To help change that life for people across the world, Gilman didn’t hold back when asking celebrity singers to get involved in the cause. The stars who eagerly got on board include Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, LeAnn Rimes, Rodney Atkins, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Montgomery Gentry, Steve Holy, Wynonna Judd, Richie McDonald, Ronnie Milsap, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler, Diamond Rio, Randy Travis, Josh Turner and even Kenny Rogers, who was involved in the original ‘We Are the World’ recording.

“It’s amazing to see the camaraderie,” said Gilman, explaining that artists like Urban and Rimes responded to his request immediately, saying, “Tell me when.” Gilman is hoping to send half a million shoes across the world with sales and donations resulting from the song. The song is available for download on iTunes now, and the full music video premieres on CMT April 16.


Posted on March 29, 2012 by Dan Harr

Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs passed away yesterday morning in a Nashville area hospital. He was a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee as part of pioneering duo Flatt and Scruggs. He was 88.

Earl Eugene Scruggs was born in Flint Hill, NC on Jan. 6, 1924. His three-finger style of banjo playing revolutionized the genre and influenced countless musicians. His achievements earned numerous accolades including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Scruggs was sick on and off in recent years, including a September 2010 hospitalization in North Carolina for an undisclosed illness.

He was preceded in death by his wife Louise Scruggs, who was a pioneering female in the music industry and helped guide and build her husband’s career.


Nashville, Tenn. (April 19, 2012) - Last week while vacationing on the Gulf Coast, country music star Billy Dean rescued a Great Blue Heron, a protected species, from an abandoned fishing line and lures. The bird was trapped in a fisherman’s line, leaving it immobilized with multiple lures in its wings.

Dean had just finished a three day concert series at his farm and was spending time with family members on the coast. Dean and his wife Stephanie were walking along Mexico Beach when they noticed a group of teenagers in deep water, attempting to cover the injured bird with a towel and bring it to shore. Dean went out to the group of high school students and with the bird biting his hands, grabbed it by its feet and carried it out of the water.

“The bird was live but had several cuts and was clearly distressed," says Dean. "A fisherman must have cut the line but it was hard to determine how long it had been trapped. Though we did get the bird to safety, I did end up with a nice gash on my pickin' finger... those Blue Heron bites aren't pretty."

Dean was proud of the young students who went out to rescue the bird. “The girls of Port St. Joe High School and a few other vacationers were the true heroes but I was fortunate to have been there to help them untangle the bird and bring it to shore,” he notes.

Dean and his wife called the local wildlife management who took the protected species to treat its multiple wounds and rehabilitate it back to health before releasing it back into the wild.

For additional information on Billy Dean, visit


Erin Gannon Simms from Pontypool Wales UK, has taken the judging panel of the UK’s biggest original music competition by storm and is now just one good performance away from playing at London’s O2 in the Grand Final of Live and Unsigned which is part of Live Fest; London’s biggest indoor festival. Erin will now be competing in Area Final Showcase on Sunday, May 27th, in Reading, England at 8.30pm for the opportunity to progress to the National Grand Final at The O2 in London.

To read full press release, please visit link below. talent-shines-in-the- largest -uk-largest-music-competition 1332408597.html


 The Country Music Association has announced  that Garth Brooks, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Connie Smith will become the newest members of the  Country Music Hall of Fame.

Brooks will be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category, while Smith will be inducted in the "Veterans Era Artist" category. Robbins will be inducted in the "Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980" category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the "Non-Performer" and "Songwriter" categories. Brooks, Robbins, and Smith will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 115 to 118 inductees.

"There are great artists and talents, and then there are Connie, 'Pig,' and Garth," said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "Connie has been one of the most celebrated female voices in music for more than 45 years, setting a golden standard for the thousands of female vocalists who came after her. 'Pig' overcame adversity to become one of the most sought-after session musicians in the industry, contributing his considerable talents to classic songs that have been treasured by fans all over the world since the late '50s. And, Garth led modern Country Music to unbelievable heights of commercial success and pop culture relevance after bursting onto the scene as part of the now-legendary 'Class of 1989.' These three artists are more than just performers...they are forces of nature who are deservedly entering the Country Music Hall of Fame."

"I am astounded and honored to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Brooks. "At the same time, I can't help but feel guilty going in when there are so many deserving artists that came before me who are yet to be inducted."

"I just couldn't believe it the other day when Steve Moore called and informed me that I had been chosen to become one of the new members of the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Robbins. "All I could say was 'thank you, thank you, thank you!' Well, I have always considered myself lucky, and I guess my good luck has struck again. I am so honored to be named one of the new members."

"I've had the privilege of participating in several Hall of Fame inductions," said Smith. "They were all very special. But now to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame myself is an honor for me and my family. So touching, it's difficult to find the words to express my gratitude."

Induction ceremonies for Brooks, Robbins, and Smith will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum later this year. Since 2007, the Museum's Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members


Nashville, Tenn. (April 19, 2012) - Last week while vacationing on the Gulf Coast, country music star Billy Dean rescued a Great Blue Heron, a protected species, from an abandoned fishing line and lures. The bird was trapped in a fisherman’s line, leaving it immobilized with multiple lures in its wings.

Dean had just finished a three day concert series at his farm and was spending time with family members on the coast. Dean and his wife Stephanie were walking along Mexico Beach when they noticed a group of teenagers in deep water, attempting to cover the injured bird with a towel and bring it to shore. Dean went out to the group of high school students and with the bird biting his hands, grabbed it by its feet and carried it out of the water.

“The bird was live but had several cuts and was clearly distressed," says Dean. "A fisherman must have cut the line but it was hard to determine how long it had been trapped. Though we did get the bird to safety, I did end up with a nice gash on my pickin' finger... those Blue Heron bites aren't pretty."

Dean was proud of the young students who went out to rescue the bird. “The girls of Port St. Joe High School and a few other vacationers were the true heroes but I was fortunate to have been there to help them untangle the bird and bring it to shore,” he notes.

Dean and his wife called the local wildlife management who took the protected species to treat its multiple wounds and rehabilitate it back to health before releasing it back into the wild.

For additional information on Billy Dean, visit


(Austin, Texas) - Pierre Bensusan, Chris Hillman, Country Joe MacDonald, Spencer Bohren, Laurence Juber and Frank Vignola!

This amazing array of artists and more will perform, teach and be jammin' at Fur Peace Ranch, the guitar school Jorma Kaukonen started in southern Ohio. For details and registration please go to

In 1989, Jorma and Vanessa Kaukonen conceived what Jorma calls "a ranch that grows guitar players." Not a fantasy camp, but a place where both budding and seasoned musicians could immerse themselves and emerge with renewed inspiration and tangible progress in their playing.

"Focus on the things you love, listen with an open heart, and the music will speak for itself!” - Jorma Kaukonen
2012 Workshop Schedule

APRIL 13  - 16
Jorma Kaukonen w/Marjorie Thompson, Keys to the Highway, Full
Happy Traum, Blues & Country Fingerpicking
Larry Campbell, Fingerstyle Guitar, Full

APRIL 19 - 21
Fur Peace on The Road @Wanee, Live Oak, FL
APRIL 27 – 30
Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, Playing As A Duo
Laurence Juber, Beatles, Wings and Six Strings
MAY 11 – 14
Jorma Kaukonen, David Wolff, Marjorie Thompson
The Entrance Ramp Workshop, Full

JUNE 1 – 4
Tommy Emmanuel, Master Guitar, By Audition, Full
JUNE 15 – 18 2012
Country Joe McDonald, Songwriting
Pierre Bensusan, Acoustic Guitar

Spencer Bohren, American Roots Music Songbook

AUGUST 10 – 13: Couples' Weekend
Jorma Kaukonen, Moving On Down the Road
Jack Casady, Bass Guitar Proficiency
Jill Sobule, Acoustic Guitar & Songwriting
The Persuasions, The Persuasions Street Corner Harmony Workshop

AUGUST 24 – 27
Jorma Kaukonen w/Marjorie Thompson, Shifting Gears
Woody Mann, Country Blues & Ragtie Improvisation
SEPTEMBER 7 – 10: Pick & Putt
(motorcycle adventures included)
Jorma Kaukonen, Moving On Down the Road, Full
George Porter, Bass Guitar
Steve Kimock, Electric Guitar, Full
Marjorie Thompson, Crafting Songs: Fingerstyle Gtr Toolkit

Roy Book Binder, Country Blues Licks & Tricks
GE Smith, Electric Blues & Rock: Electric Guitar, Full
Tim Thompson, Intro to Fingerstyle Guitar

OCTOBER 12 – 15
Verlon Thompson, Songwriting for Guitarists
Herb Pedersen, Banjoville
Chris Hillman, Hillman’s Mad Mountain Rangers:
     Adventures in Mandolin, Songwriting & Vocal Techniques

OCTOBER 26 – 29: Tribute to the Rev. Weekend
Jorma Kaukonen w/Marjorie Thompson, Keys to the Highway
Stefan Grossman, Rev. Gary Davis: Old Fashion Picking to Rags & Marches, Full
Ernie Hawkins, Blues & Rags: Gary Davis & the Piedmont Tradition

Jorma Kaukonen w/Marjorie Thompson, Carnegie Hall
Jack Casady, Bass Guitar Fundamentals
Bill Kirchen, Hammer of the Honky Tank Gods: Elec. Gtr, Full


Nashville, TN - International award-winning recording artist, Stella Parton, released her inspirational memoir, Tell It Sister, Tell It last year, but it’s more than the book that is raising eyebrows.

While promoting her book at book signings, speaking engagements and concerts, Stella often speaks of the domestic violence situations she has faced in her life including being kidnapped and taken out of the country - startling revelations, even to family and friends closest to her.   Her message to those listening, “Don’t be a victim and don’t let the hardships and struggles you face define your life!” 

Stella has also released a companion CD with Tell It Sister, Tell It, comprised of self-penned songs written at different stages in her life.  Like her diverse life, Parton’s music is just as diverse, blending her influences of gospel, country, blues and Appalachian music into her signature sound. 

From the miracles and childhood stories to the spine-chilling and terrifying real-life nightmares, Stella opens her soul with her trademark straight to the heart honesty.  While she notes that writing this book was difficult yet self-healing, she hopes it will help others find the strength and faith to overcome their own struggles. 

Sharing this little bit of hope and inspiration as well as raising awareness has been her goal all along.

An entertainment career filled with awards, accolades and credits from film and television to the music industry is a blessing she cherishes.  She wrote, produced and released her first hit record, “I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight.”  At that time, few women dared to put on a producer’s hat, but that risk gave Stella her first Billboard hit and propelled her career into the national spotlight.  Obviously, Stella is not one to be held back by the proverbial “glass ceiling,” and while she loves writing and performing, it’s also a tool to get her message out. She comments, “If just one woman can be saved from a domestic violence situation that is my true reward.”

Stella Parton continues her book tour with upcoming stops in Gate City, VA (May 5th), Sperryville, VA (August 11th -12th) and Columbus, GA (September 20th) and numerous other engagements yet to be confirmed. 

Stella’s stories of family, faith and victory are a journey into the strength that sustains her.  “Tell it sister, tell it!”


Posted on March 23, 2012 by JaimieWard

When top entertainers go on tour in North America, they often travel by motorcoach. Scores of celebrity movers and shakers have made converted Prevost coaches their vehicles of choice since the company pioneered its Conversion Coach Division in 1978.

So it’s only natural for Prevost to support the Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy, a program in Nashville, Tennessee—epicenter of entertainment transportation activity—that offers aspiring drivers an opportunity to get on the inside track in this specialized industry.

Steve Zeigler, Director of Conversion Coach Business Development, sees the academy as a valuable initiative that is helping to professionalize the industry. “By supporting the school, Prevost helps educate drivers at a critical time in their careers,” he said. “Becoming more familiar with our brand will better prepare them to work in the entertainment and VIP transportation industry, where Prevost coaches are widely used.”

Co-founded by industry veterans Chip Huffman and Tandy Rice, the academy has graduated approximately 40 students in its first two years of operation. Classes are held at Prevost’s 58,000 sq. ft. Goodlettsville parts and service center, where the first session of 2012 will begin on May 16.

Class sizes will again be kept small, between 10 and 20 students according to Chip Huffman. Instructors and presenters will include “Prevost technician trainers, coach conversion industry technicians, veteran drivers, leasing agents, bus company owners, safety directors, insurance professionals, and security experts, all sharing their collected wisdom about how to break into the industry and secure a coveted position.” Students will also gain hands-on familiarity with the types of vehicles they may drive someday, courtesy of a Prevost converted entertainer coach and a pre-conversion coach that will be on hand.

Answering a “Huge Need For Training”
The Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy’s inaugural session

As former owner and founder of Nitetrain Coach, Huffman knows firsthand the need for competent professional drivers and dreamed for years of putting together a training school. At Nitetrain, he explains, “I was constantly fielding calls from people who hoped to ‘drive for the stars.’ There’s an overwhelming interest in this market, and a huge need for training. We’re pleased to be working with Prevost to help prepare drivers who are highly trained and understand the unique requirements of this business.”

“Many veteran drivers are retiring, leaving the business, or unavailable,” Huffman continues. “I attended two major conferences recently where tour managers asked, ‘What are the bus companies doing to replace the veterans we’re losing?’ In both instances, the companies were able to say ‘We have the Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy for that!’”

The academy also works in conjunction with the Top Billing Driver Placement Agency to qualify participants for elite, highly sought-after positions, and its students have secured full or part time placements with almost every major company in the business, Huffman reports. “Several of our drivers are driving full time on major tours.”

One of them is Mike Riley, who has driven full time for All Access Coach Leasing of Nashville since March 2011. Despite almost two decades of trucking experience, Riley spent over 10 years trying to break into the entertainment field. “Attending the Academy was the critical step,” he recalls. “The program helped me gain a foothold in the industry— and into one of its top companies. There was a great deal of in-depth information presented, including how drivers need to deal with the logistics and complexities of touring. I would most definitely recommend it.”

Neville Shende, lead operations manager for Pioneer Coach, is another veteran driver who has participated in the school and written about how to break into the business. “This occupation is all about service,” he explains, “about being a ‘hotel on wheels’ for the people you’re driving. Professionalism, driving skills, and a safety orientation are paramount—and not every driver can do this. Chip saw the need for this type of program.”

Company owners are as enthusiastic about the program as Huffman’s students are. Mike Slarve, president and owner of Four Seasons Coach Leasing in Lebanon, TN, has served as a guest lecturer and employed some Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy graduates. “This is an excellent school that teaches people who aren’t familiar with the industry the realities of what it’s like to be a driver,” he says. “Its owners have indepth knowledge of the field, as do the speakers and other presenters.”

Eric Blankenship, co-owner of All Access Leasing in Nashville, has served on various Academy panels to provide the bus owner’s perspective and also hired two of its graduates to date. “This is a great program,” he observes, “something the industry has needed for a long time. CDL [commercial drivers license] drivers will come away with considerable insight into the field, which can be a completely different type of driving experience from what they’re used to. Attendees really get an insider’s look, as well as the tools they need to break in and succeed.”

Also participating on Academy training panels was Al Schiltz, an industry veteran with 15 years of road manager experience who is now a partner in The Consortium, a full-service artist management, entertainment, and marketing company in Nashville. “There’s a lot more to working in this capacity than just ‘getting on the bus and sitting in the seat’,” he notes. “Entertainment drivers really have an awesome amount of responsibility. They’re basically driving the homes of these entertainers for a long time, since tours can last anywhere from 30 days to a full year. And with today’s vehicles and electronics, there are lots of complexities, so drivers need to be very well-rounded individuals. Chip Huffman has seen all aspects of the business, which gives him the in-depth experience needed to put this kind of school together.”

For details on the Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy or an online application, visit:

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