Artist of the Week for April 29, 2013: Don Williams

While watching the Stagecoach Festival on AXStv this past weekend I was reminded that while I do enjoy some of today’s country music, I really enjoy the older stuff better. The passing of George Jones combined with seeing Don Williams on television really drove home the point that older, traditional country music and today’s country music are related in name only. I was also disappointed to see so many of the artists on the Stagecoach festival – the younger ones in particular – covering classic rock songs as opposed to the older generations of country music. Instead of covering Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings they covered Led Zeppelin and Kiss.

I do like some of today’s country music and I know that these younger artists grew up with a wide variety of music, but I am one of those people that wishes they spent more time paying tribute to the older artists of country music in addition to their influences. That’s why this week’s artist of the week is Don Williams. His set at Stagecoach was filled with songs I knew every word of, songs that made me miss older country music and he performed them so effortlessly and without much fanfare.

Don Williams is a true legend and I think he music needs to be shared with the world. I don’t think we should wait until they pass away to pay tribute to them, we should pay tribute to them while they are still alive and can appreciate the well-deserved accolades.

“Tulsa Time” –

“Amanda” –

“Lord I Hope This Day Is Good” –

“I Believe In You” –



Source: Webster PR Press Release


The Randy Rogers Band, Josh Abbott Band, Wade Bowen, Stoney LaRue and more join Texas Thunder festival to donate 100% of net proceeds to West, TX schools and first-responders

TexasThunderLogo_hiresGardendale, TX (April 24, 2013) – In response to the recent tragedy in West, TX, Texas Thunder festival organizers have teamed up with fellow Texas music artists to support the West, TX community.   The Texas Thunder music festival, running May 17-19 and taking place in Gardendale, Texas, will feature The Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Casey Donahew Band, Josh Abbott Band, Stoney LaRue and many more and will raise funds for those affected in the tragic explosion last Wednesday.

“For 13 years now our band has been traveling I-35 and stopping in West, TX along the way to sample the good food,” said Randy Rogers. “It’s become a staple on our tour. Now it’s time for us to give back.”

“We are disheartened by the tragedy in West, Texas.  Texans are passionate about their communities and upon hearing of this tragedy, the Texas music community reached out to lend a helping hand,” says event organizer Brian Andrews.  “100% of net proceeds from the Texas Thunder music festival will benefit the schools and first-responders of West, Texas.”

Texas Thunder presents an all-star, all-Texas line-up, with both musicians and fans coming together to help bring support to those who need it most.  Weekend passes are available for a discounted price of $65 with camping starting at $110.  A very limited number of single-day tickets are available for $35.

Texas Thunder tickets are now available for purchase at Graham Central Station in Odessa, Rockin’ Rodeo Midland and Arriba Midland. For more information or to purchase tickets and camping, please visit or call (855) 362-0535.

For the most up-to-date information on Texas Thunder, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @txthunderfest.

Texas Thunder Line-Up:


3:00-4:00pm Bri Bagwell
4:30-5:30pm Curtis Grimes
6:00-7:00pm Micky and the Motorcars
7:30-8:30pm Charlie Robison
9:00-10:00pm Aaron Watson
10:30-12:00am Josh Abbott BandSaturday:
1:30-2:30pm Kimberly Dunn
3:00-4:00pm Johnny Cooper
4:30-5:30pm Brandon Rhyder
6:00-7:00pm Whiskey Myers
7:30-8:30pm Turnpike Troubadours
9:00-10:00pm Wade Bowen
10:30-12:00am Randy Rogers Band

1:00-2:00pm Jake Kellen
2:30-3:30pm Kyle Bennett
4:00-5:00pm William Clark Green
5:30-6:30pm Brian Milson
7:00-8:00pm Stoney LaRue
8:30-10:00pm Casey Donahew Band
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Linda Davis and George Hamilton IV to Host 34th Annual Sunday Mornin’ Country®

Source: Webster PR Press Release
Linda Davis and George Hamilton IV to Host 34th Annual Sunday Mornin’ Country®
June 9th at Grand Ole Opry House
Tickets Now On Sale!



Nashville, Tenn. (April 25, 2013) –  Sunday Mornin’ Country®, the annual Country and Gospel music show, is pleased to announce that the GRAMMY award-winning country artist Linda Davis and veteran country singer and hit songwriter, George Hamilton IV will host this year’s show, to be held June 9, 2013 at 2:30 PM at the Grand Ole Opry House.  Named a Top-20 Tourism Society Event, Sunday Mornin’ Country®, now in its 34th year, has been traditionally an outlet for many country music fans that are in town attending the CMA MusicFest to come and see one final show featuring over a dozen country and Gospel artists. Over the upcoming weeks, Sunday Mornin’ Country® will announce their headliners, as well as the rest on their line up. For more information on Sunday Mornin’ Country®, please visit  Advanced tickets are on sale now for $18 and can be purchased at, the Opry Box Office, by visiting or by clicking HERE.“Sunday Mornin’ Country® provides great entertainment for the whole family. It is a truly unique opportunity for fans to hear their favorite artists share personal stories about what their faith means to them in their daily life,” states event co-producer Lorrie Babcock Hendrickson. “It’s not just a Concert and it’s more than a Church service; It’s a time of Celebration and Inspiration you won’t want to miss!”Linda Davis is a GRAMMY winning singer/songwriter, inspirational motivator, devoted wife and mother. She has built a reputation as a world-class entertainer and is considered one of the best female vocalists in the business by some of her most well known peers. Davis landed her first record deal with CBS/Epic Records. Davis went on to collaborate with Reba McEntire on her single “Does He Love You.” This track became a #1 hit and earned a Grammy award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. Throughout the years, Davis has played to sold out crowds with heavy hitters including Garth Brooks, George Strait, Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers just to name a few. Davis is a huge supporter of several philanthropic endeavors and elated to be part of Sunday Mornin’ Country® this year.

George Hamilton IV began his career in 1960 when he was signed by Chet Atkins and became   an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. Hamilton enjoyed success from several breakout songs including “Before this Day Ends,” “Abilene,” and “Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston.” Touring across the Soviet Union, Australia, the Middle East and East Asia, Hamilton earned himself the title, “The International Ambassador of Country Music.” Hamilton is still a regular at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and performs in country shows throughout the U.S. and the U.K. In 2010, Hamilton released Old Fashioned Hymns, a transatlantic recording produced by Dave Moody in Nashville and Colin Elliott in Ireland. Hamilton was joined on the 28-track collection by a number of musical guests including Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, Marty Stuart, Gail Davies, Pat Boone, Del McCoury, Tommy Cash and many others.

Sunday Mornin’ Country® continues to be one of the best tickets in town. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets now to ensure the best seating.

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George Jones Passes Away at 81; Reactions from the Music Community; Funeral Open to the Public

Source: Webster PR Press Release
Celeb Q&A George Jones
Nashville, Tenn. (April 28, 2013) – George Jones’ funeral will take place on Thursday, May 2nd at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, starting at 10 am and will be open to the public.

“George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family,” said publicist Kirt Webster.

“Thanks to George’s friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time,” said Nancy Jones. “I love you all.”

A private visitation for family, friends, and fellow performers will take place on Wednesday evening.

“The Voice” of Country Music fell silent with the passing of the iconic legend, George Jones in Nashville at the age of 81.   Long recognized as country music’s most indescribable voice by not only the fans, but critics in all genres, the music world continues to mourn the loss  of its’ finest stylist, who was considered the greatest living country singer.

A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956, George Jones achieved perhaps his greatest personal honor when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992.

More than 35 years ago, as noted in his discography, George Jones recorded “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”, a song that posed the question of whether music newcomers would come along that could possibly walk in the steps of the progenitors and giants of country music.  In light of the loss of this legendary voice, the question has never seemed more poignant.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry trust fund:

Opry Trust Fund
2804 Opryland Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214

or to the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum at

# # #
“My heart is absolutely broken.  George Jones was my all time favorite singer and one of my favorite people in the world.  My heart goes out to Nancy and all his family and friends.”
— Dolly Parton

“The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen.”

“Today is a sad day in Country music.  We have lost another piece of history.  George Jones was not only a good singer, but was a good friend.  He will be missed by many.”
— Hank Williams Jr.

“I am very thankful I got to know George, he’s one of the greatest singers that ever lived.  I actually loved the man and really enjoyed the time I got to spend with he and Nancy.”
— Randy Travis

“George Jones will always be one of the most amazing singers who ever lived.  He was a true Country Music legend who made music very personal to the listener – I think more than anyone else.  He will be dearly missed, but always remembered.”
  — Kenny Rogers

“Country music and the world will miss George Jones.  He was someone who set a high standard in our industry for great music and lyrics that tapped into the emotions of the human heart at a very deep level.  His music has touched the lives of country music lovers for over five decades. My prayers are with his family and I pray for the repose of his soul.  May you rest in peace, brother.”
  — Collin Raye

“There’s a huge emptiness in the music world today from the passing of our good friend George Jones. But, the void is filled with the many memories that will be with us forever. We love you, George.”
  — The Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen

“I believe if you ask any singer who was the greatest country music singer of all time, they would say ‘George Jones’. He was without question and by far the BEST! I first met and worked with him when I was 13 years old; I am so very grateful that he was my friend.”
  — Barbara Mandrell


“There aren’t words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness. I’ll miss my kind and generous friend.”
  — Vince Gill

“I am just devastated by the news that George Jones has passed away! The music world has lost one of the most original and innovative talents that the world has ever known. I feel such a personal loss of not only one of the greatest vocal influences of my life, but also I’ve lost a dear friend. Visits with George have always been full of joy and laughter. Every time I would see him, George would always greet me with a funny story or a joke! His legacy will put his name at the top of the most influential artists in history, right along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. His voice will be influencing singers 100 years from now and beyond! I’m reminded of the lyrics that Waylon wrote in the tune ‘It’s Alright.’ ‘If we all sang like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones!'”
  — Travis Tritt

‘We are deeply saddened by the news this morning of the passing of ourfriend, George Jones. Our company was privileged to have represented George Jones in the 1980’s, most notably during the critically acclaimed ‘Reunion’ tour of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.  We will miss this ICONIC songwriter and his unmistakable voice, but he will live on in our hearts.’
  — Jim Halsey, Impresario 

“I’m shocked and saddened at the passing of my friend and hero George Jones. I was honored to have toured and recorded with him. Our hearts go out to Nancy and the entire family. ‘Now I Wonder Who’s Gonna Fill his Shoes?’”
— TG Sheppard

“I was saddened to learn of George’s passing.  Along with being one of the greatest singers of our time, he was a sweet man who was always kind to me.  Please know that I am praying for you during this special time of loss.  If there is anything at all that you need from me please let me know.  Our prayers will continue for you throughout the days ahead.”
— Guy Penrod

“Today is a dark for country music and music in general.  George had become a friend and mentor to us. We will always remember touring with him and how both he and Nancy were so welcoming to us.  Rest in peace George… No one will ever fill your shoes!”
— The Roys

“Country music has lost one of the great ones today with the passing of George Jones. Rest in peace ‘Possum’, heaven has a new angel.”
— Lisa Matassa

“George Jones was just as impressive as a person as he was as an entertainer. He was ‘the ordinary, down to earth guy that happens to live down the road’ and a super star entertainer of which there will never be an equal.” His passing is a sad day and a great loss for us all.”
— Michael Bonagura of Baillie & The Boys

“His voice will live on forever in my heart. There will never be another!”
Kathie Baillie of Baillie & The Boys

“George was the greatest country singer of all time and was featured in my NANCY comic strip many times. I’ll find the words….along with the pictures…to pay tribute to George in the comic strip soon, but today, I join all of Nashville and the Country Music world in sending prayers of comfort and love to Nancy and the Jones family.”
— Guy Gilchrist

“George Jones was one of the most endearing, warm and friendly people I have ever had the privilege to meet. I have been lucky enough to work with George and Nancy and I am so blessed to have been a small part of their lives for a short time. While I am deeply saddened, I know his legend will live on.”
— Janie Fricke

“I have no words to express my admiration and love for George Jones. To say he was my ‘hero’ does not do justice to the lifetime impression he made on me, both personally and professionally.  George Jones is the foundation of country music and he’s the reason I wanted to perform.  He’s the reason I’m still here in this business… out there on the road.  He was my mentor and my teacher; George was my friend.  He paved the way for so many and I was one of the lucky ones to have enjoyed the opportunity to not only sing beside him, but just ‘sit and visit’ with him.  When I was just starting out, we toured together; he was the headliner. After a few shows, he told me that I was going to close the shows (because he wanted to watch “Andy Griffith”).  For a newcomer, it was intimidating to open for him; there was even more pressure to close for him. George gave me strength and encouragement; he kept telling me ‘you can do it, son.’  George Jones is the Father of Country.  We will all miss his voice, and I will miss his voice to call me ‘son.'”
— Mark Chesnutt 

“I’ll never forget the incredible experience of singing with George and I will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and down to earth soul. Before I wrote the liner note for his Ladies Choice album, I said a prayer for the right words to a worthy quote that would come close to reflecting the way I feel about George. Here is that quote and it will always be true.
“We are all God’s own individual works of art. In country music, George Jones is his masterpiece…”
  — Deborah Allen

“Country music lost an icon today and I have lost a dear and beloved friend. With tear-filled eyes, I’m reminiscing this morning about all that I learned from and loved about George Jones.  He was part of my ‘country music education;’ he made country music history and, in my opinion, George Jones is a song’s best friend.  No one will leave an imprint on my life like George did.”
— Lorrie Morgan 

“The first 8-tracks that I owned were recordings by Conway Twitty and George Jones.  Long before my career got started, I was at a concert (TravisTritt’s homecoming show) and George Jones performed.  I sat there and sang along to every word that George sang. A lady, who sat in front of me, turned around and said, ‘do you know George Jones’ music?’  When my reply was, ‘heck yeah,’ she introduced herself; it was his wife, Nancy.  Nancy brought me backstage that night to introduce me to George.  That was three years before I signed my record deal and we’ve remained friends and stayed in touch since then.  Right or wrong, in good times and in bad, people loved George Jones–he made an impression.  His music is his legacy and he will not only be remembered as the best country singer this world will ever know, but a great man that we all will truly miss.”
— Mark Wills
Keith Urban ‏@KeithUrban
If I’m blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!! –KU

  Urban Chat: Video 51: Rest In Peace George Jones
Grand Ole Opry ‏@opry
The music will never stop playing. Thank you, George and we will miss you.@gjpossum  #RememberingJones

Lee Brice ‏@leebrice
Country music lost a great one today! @gjpossum will be missed…

Mark Chesnutt ‏@MarkChesnutt
My heart goes out to Nancy and the family. I’m gonna miss him.

Toby Keith ‏@TobyKeithMusic
George Jones has passed. Damn. Thought he’d live forever. Let’s break out his catalogue and play it all day Godspeed possum and family. – T

Clint Black ‏@Clint_Black
@gjpossum Very sad farewell to George Jones. Deepest sympathies to Nancy and the family.

Lee Greenwood ‏@TheLeeGreenwood
Blessed 2 have worked with heroes like Conway, Cash & @gjpossum. Their star burns so bright. When it goes out, there’s a void in our hearts.

Ricky Skaggs ‏@RickySkaggs
“THE Country Music singer of all time. The words ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes’ has never been more true than today.”-Ricky Skaggs @gjpossum

ALABAMA ‏@TheAlabamaBand
We’re very saddened to hear of the death of our amazing friend George Jones.

Shooter Jennings ‏@ShooterJennings
Nothing to say except George Jones will be missed. He was an incredible soul, inspiration, friend. Greatest singer of all time.

Little Big Town ‏@LBTmusic
There will never be another George Jones. You are and always will be country music. Rest in peace. #GeorgeJones

Gloriana ‏@glorianatheband
Sad day for country music. Rest in peace, George Jones.

Michelle Branch ‏@michellebranch
George Jones :*( R.I.P.

Tracy Lawrence ‏@tracy_lawrence
I am so saddened by the news of George Jones’ passing.I will always treasure our times together.  RIP @gjpossum

Clay Aiken ‏@clayaiken
Sad to hear of the passing of the great George Jones, Soundtrack to much of my childhood. We’ll lay a wreath upon his door. Rest in peace.

Easton Corbin ‏@eastoncorbin
What a sad day for country music. George Jones was one of my heroes.

Merle Haggard ‏@merlehaggard
The world may have lost the greatest country singer that ever

Joe Bonsall ‏@joebonsall
Goodbye Possum 

Kenny Rogers ‏@_KennyRogers
Sad morning losing the great George Jones. He will always be one of the most amazing singers who ever lived. …

EliYoungBand ‏@EliYoungBand
RIP George “Possum” Jone

Rodney Atkins ‏@RodneyAtkins
Sending prayers & love to Nancy & the whole Jones family & all of@gjpossum‘s fans & friends. George Jones was a true country music legend

ali landry ‏@alilandry
RIP George Jones. His music was the soundtrack of my childhood. My wholefamily were huge fans. What a legend:(

Johnny Knoxville ‏@realjknoxville
George Jones R.I.P. You will be missed. xoxo

Dolly Parton ‏@Dolly_Parton
My heart is absolutely broken. George Jones was my all time favorite singer… 

Rob Thomas ‏@ThisIsRobThomas
R.I.P. to a true country/american legend, George Jones. thanx for the music.

Billy Ray Cyrus ‏@billyraycyrus
I’m stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend George Jones.The very definition of a legend. Thoughts and prayers

Sara Evans ‏@saraevansmusic
So saddened to hear of George Jones’ passing. He was an idol of mine and a true legend! One of the best voices of a… 

Luke Bryan ‏@LukeBryanOnline
George. You will be deeply missed. Thanks for the beautiful memories.

Neal McCoy ‏@NealMcCoy
We lost a great man today,, but his Music and his Spirit will live forever Go get some Rest now George Jones,,, you deserve it

The Band Perry ‏@thebandperry
Country music and the world lost a true legend today… Mr. Jones, you will be greatly missed.

Hillary Scott ‏@HillaryScottLA
Saddened by the passing of George Jones. Sending prayers up for his wife and family. Country Music will never be the same.

Troy Aikman ‏@TroyAikman
Country music legend George Jones has passed away at 81. “The Possum” was one of my favorites…had the pleasure of meeting him years ago.

Lance Armstrong ‏@lancearmstrong
RIP George Jones

Alan Jackson ‏@OfficialJackson
Heaven better get ready for George Jones. He will always be the greatest singer of real country music – there’ll never be another.

The Oak Ridge Boys ‏@oakridgeboys
We are devastated this morning … We have lost The Possum… Legend and Friend… RIP George Jones

LeAnn Rimes Cibrian ‏@leannrimes
So sad we lost “the possum” today. R.I.P George Jones and know we didn’t stop loving you today. You will live on forever in our hearts.

Dierks Bentley ‏@DierksBentley

Charlie Daniels ‏@CharlieDaniels
Rest in peace George Jones There will never be another one like you and we’ll miss you a bunch Buddy.

Blake Shelton ‏@blakeshelton
Really REALLY bad news. We’ve lost a country music legend. And I’ve lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones…

Darrell Waltrip ‏@AllWaltrip
this is one of the saddest days in the history of country music, George Jones is a national treasure, he was a friend, God Bless the possum

Martina McBride ‏@martinamcbride
So sad to hear about George Jones . His voice and music will be with us forever. Thoughts go out to all his family, friends and fans.

Larry The Cable Guy ‏@GitRDoneLarry
RIP George Jones. Who’s gonna fill your shoes? You will be missed. Thank you for your awesome music.

Craig Morgan ‏@cmorganmusic
We will miss our friend Mr George Jones RIP

John Rich ‏@johnrich
Every serious country artist in the past 30 years has some #georgejones dnain their blood and music. My God. We’ve lost our Elvis.

Tim McGraw ‏@TheTimMcGraw
Gone …… George Jones … he was country music

Faith Hill ‏@FaithHill
We lost one of the best voices God created this morning. Our hearts are saddened to hear that George Jones has passed away…
…. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy and all of the family.

Bo Bice ‏@OfficialBoBice
@gjpossum gonna take the day off from tweeting in memory of George, breaking out my Vinyl GJ & jam till midnight.

Bo Bice ‏@OfficialBoBice
George Jones passed away this morning. We will miss ya Possum. There will never be another!! Make them angels weep up there GJ.

Brad Paisley ‏@BradPaisley
My friend,the greatest singer of all time,has passed.To those who knewhim,our lives were full. To those of you who don’t: discover him now.

Jason_Aldean ‏@Jason_Aldean
So sad to hear abt the passing of George Jones. Country music has lost one of our pioneers & legendary icons. You will never be forgotten.

Kix Brooks ‏@KixBrooks
Possum, angels got a serious lead singer today – God bless Nancy his loving wife – what a guy- what a voice – that was one hell of a show!

Dierks Bentley ‏@DierksBentley
nancy and @gjpossum had a beautiful marriage and special you nancy. long live the possum. gonna miss my buddy. real sad.

Bob Kingsley ‏@bobkingsleyct40
RIP @gjpossum All of us at CT40 express our deep sorrow to his wife Nancy & to his family, his friends, & his fans. …

Sheryl Crow ‏@SherylCrow
Such a sad day… May you Rest in Peace George Jones. @gjpossum

bretmichaels ‏@bretmichaels
#RIPGeorgeJones … – My heartfelt prayers go out the family, friends and fans of George Jones. @gjpossum

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Nashville, Tenn. (April 26, 2013) – Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member, and Kennedy Center Honoree George Glenn Jones died Friday, April 26, 2013 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He was hospitalized April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.

Born September 12, 1931, Jones is regarded among the most important and influential singers in American popular music history. He was the singer of enduring country music hits including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour,” “Walk Through This World With Me,” “Tender Years” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” the latter of which is often at the top of industry lists of the greatest country music singles of all time.

“A singer who can soar from a deep growl to dizzying heights, he is the undisputed successor of earlier natural geniuses such as Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell,” wrote Bob Allen in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Encyclopedia of Country Music.”

Jones was born in Saratoga, Texas, and he played on the streets of Beaumont for tips as a teenager. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before returning to Texas and recording for the Starday label in Houston, Texas. In 1955, his “Why Baby Why” became his first Top 10 country single, peaking at number four and beginning a remarkable commercial string: Jones would ultimately record more than 160 charting singles, more than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.

Jones’ first number one hit came in 1959 with “White Lightning,” a Mercury Records single that topped Billboard country charts for five weeks. He moved on to United Artists and then to Musicor, notching hits including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Race Is On,” “A Good Year for the Roses” and “Walk Through This World With Me.”

Jones signed with Epic Records in 1971 and worked with producer Billy Sherrill to craft a sound at once elegant and rooted, scoring with “The Grand Tour,” “Bartenders Blues” and many more. Sherrill also produced duets between Jones and his then-wife Tammy Wynette, and in the 1970s they scored top-charting hits including “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”

By the time “Golden Ring” and “Near You” hit in 1976, Jones and Wynette were divorced, and Jones was battling personal demons. His solo career cooled until 1980, when he recorded “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” a ballad penned by Curly Putman and Bobby Braddock that helped Jones win Country Music Association prizes for best male vocal and top single. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” revived a flagging career, and Jones won the CMA’s top male vocalist award in 1980 and 1981. He also earned a Grammy for best male country vocal performance.

In 1983, Jones married the former Nancy Ford Sepulvado. The union, he repeatedly said, began his rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol and prolonged his life. He signed with MCA Records in 1990 and began a successful run, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. His guest vocal on Patty Loveless’ “You Don’t Seem To Miss Me” won a CMA award for top vocal event in 1998, and it became his final Top 20 country hit.

In 1999, Jones nearly died in a car wreck, but he recovered and resumed touring and recording. He remained a force in music until his death, playing hundreds of shows in the new century and collecting the nation’s highest arts award, the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement, in 2008. In late 2012, Jones announced his farewell tour, which was to conclude with a sold-out, star-packed show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013. Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Sam Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys and many others were set to perform at Jones’ Bridgestone show.

Jones is survived by his loving wife of 30 years Nancy Jones, his sister Helen Scroggins, and by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

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Source: Webster PR Press Release


Masterful Collection of Love Songs Promises Musical Seduction


kelly1 kelly2Nashville, Tenn. (April 29, 2013) –This Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7 PM,recording artist and acclaimed songwriter, Kelly Lang, will take the stage at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley to perform songs from her newest album release, Shades Of Ka masterful collection of love songs, which was released in early April. Tickets for Wednesday night’s show are $10 and are available in advance at and at the door. Singer/songwriter Jacy Dawn will open the show. Doors open at 6 PM.

Lang, whose sultry voice once made her the winner of the television show “Ed McMahon’s Star Search,” has earned fans worldwide and performances alongside Barry Gibb and on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. As a songwriter, her music has been recorded by numerous artists, including George Jones,Lorrie MorganJerry Lee LewisCrystal Gayle, The Oak Ridge Boys and husband TG Sheppard. Her last single, “I’m Done,” became a breakthrough video on The Country Network (TCN), and has received over 220,000 YouTube hits. For more information on Kelly Lang, please visit

Shades of K is Lang’s latest album release from Leopard Entertainmentfeaturing nine classic love songs originally made popular by the biggest names in music. Also included is the original song, “The Next One,” co-written with Country superstar, Lorrie Morgan and Mark Oliverius, which will be supported by a forthcoming video, now in post-production.

1.     You Don’t Know Me
2.     If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)
3.     Bluer Than Blue
4.     Run to Me
5.     I Don’t Need You
6.     The Next One
7.     You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
8.     I Can’t Make You Love Me
9.     You Are So Beautiful to Me
10.   My Love

“As I listen to her sing, songs like ‘You Don’t Know Me’ and ‘Bluer Than Blue,’ it brings to mind an era when there were true ‘torch’ singers. Kelly’s vocals are stronger than ever, and you can actually feel her emotions as she sings the lyrics to each song. The beautifully orchestrated arrangements and her sultry voice, will seduce you into wanting to hear it over and over again.” —Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees

“Kelly Lang delivers her finest album yet. A collection of classics that have inspired her, she has never sounded better. She adds just the right amount of polish to great songs like ‘My Love’ and ‘I Don’t Need You,’ but still is that Oklahoma girl on her stunning take of ‘If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right).’ She will have you falling in love with these songs all over again!”
—Chuck Dauphin, Billboard Magazine

Kelly Lang will also appear on 650 WSM-AM’s “All Nighter with Marcia Campbell” at midnight on Monday, April 30 and Fox 17’s “Tennessee Mornings” on May 1, as well as the legendary Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboreeon May 11 with TG Sheppard and Jacy Dawn.  Fans can also connect with Kelly Lang at www.kellylang.netFacebook and Twitter.

Folk Singer, Woodstock Legend & Blackfoot Indian Richie Havens Dead at age 72

Source: Native American Music Awards

Folk Singer, Woodstock Legend & Blackfoot Indian Richie Havens Dead at age 72
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Havens at NAMA Press Conference in NYC & performing a Hendrix Tribute at First Awards Show
New York, NY – Famed folk singer, activist, and Woodstock performer, Richie Havens, who was part Blackfoot Indian, has died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013, Earth Day, at the age of 72.

Richie Havens offered his support and commitment as a performer with Blackfoot Indian heritage during the formation of the Native American Music Awards. He proclaimed his Native American heritage at press conference announcing the launch of the Native American Music Awards in lower Manhattan on April 22, 1998, exactly 15 years ago. He was also asked by the family of the late Jimi Hendrix to perform a musical tribute for Hendrix’s induction into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame at the First Awards ceremony held in May 1998 at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Havens gave a magical and stellar performance of All Along The Watchtower that “catapulted the Awards show into something truly spiritual and spectacular” recalls N.A.M.A. President and Founder, Ellen Bello. His mesmerizing and unforgettable performance included a medley of Hendrix songs. The performance will be posted on shortly.

Havens said his Native American heritage stemmed from his father’s side of the family who came from Montana and the South Dakota areas. In an interview with National Public Radio he stated, “They were Blackfoot Indian. They came with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, got off in New York City, left the show there and ended up on the Shinnecock Reservation in Long Island then moved to Brooklyn. And that’s how my father was born in Brooklyn and how I ended up being born in Brooklyn as well.”

Havens’ Mixed Bag II Cd released in 1974 on his own label, Stormy Forest Productions, also hinted at his Blackfoot heritage. The song, “Indian Prayer” celebrates and embraces his Native American roots. For a preview of the song visit,

Standing at 6 feet 6 inches, Havens was best known for his distinctive, rhythmic guitar style and soulful songs. He recorded 30 albums and toured for over 40 years before retiring from the road three years ago. Those who have met Havens will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humor and his powerful presence.

He told Billboard Magazine that his breakthrough at the 1969 Woodstock music festival came after the opening acts’ equipment got stuck in traffic. He was supposed to be the fifth act. He became the first act and played for almost three hours. Havens remembered, “They’re gonna kill me if I go up on stage first. Give me a break. I need those four people in front of me to warm up the crowd. But the people were great. I was supposed to sing 40 minutes, which I did, and from the side of the stage they go, ‘Richie, four more songs?’ I went back and did that, then it was, ‘Four more songs…’ and that kept happening ’til two hours and 45 minutes later I had sung every song I know.” He played a galvanizing set that included “Motherless Child” that merged into his song “Freedom,” which he said came from “a totally spontaneous place.”

Havens’ Woodstock appearance proved to be a major turning point in his career giving him widespread notoriety and his highest-charting albums — “Richard P. Havens, 1983” in 1969 (No. 80 on the Billboard 200) and “Alarm Clock” in 1971 (No. 29).

Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash said Havens was an inspiration for the natural gravel in his singing voice. “He lit fire when he started playing within the first song and burned exactly the same way throughout his set. And it never stopped, it never changed” Stills said.

Havens is survived by three daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. According to media reports, a public memorial for Havens will be announced at a later date. More information can be found at Havens’s official website,

Here are some comments NAMA members have to share:

Richie Havens was a sincere and gifted soul with a powerful presence. I am honored to have called him a colleague and a friend. We were fortunate to share the same stage from the Native American Music Awards, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. He will continue to inspire us all through his heartfelt and incredible singing and songwriting. – Joanne Shenandoah

Richie’s performance of “All Along the Watchtower” was a perfect example of the simple raw emotion the he always put into his performance. No bells and whistles just an acoustic guitar, a voice and a little sweat. Totally pure music. I will surely miss him. –  Joe Bello, NAMA Music Director

Such a shame. What a great artist and inspiration! I went to Woodstock. My parents brought me. Well….almost. My understanding is that it was pouring down rain. And we had a Volkswagen Bus. They got it stuck in the mud on the way in. I don’t remember if they actually walked in with me or not. I will have to ask them. My folks were total hippies back then. LOL. At that time, my mom’s hair was as long as Crystal Gayle’s! – Mike Johnson, Foxwoods Casino

Native American Music Awards
511 Avenue of the Americas Suite 371  New York  NY 10011
ph 212.228.8300  fax 646.688.6883 email Artist of the Week: April 22, 2013 – NAMA Nominees

Creatively Musical Artist of the Week for April 22, 2013

This week’s feature will be on all of the nominees for the Native American Music Awards being held on May 10 in Niagara Falls, New York.

Samples of all the nominees entries can be found at Click on each of the categories to listen to submitted entries.

Here is a list of nominees in each category (Source


Gary Small & the Coyote Bros (Northern Cheyenne) – Hostiles & Renegades
Jana Mashonee (Lumbee) – Stay With Me Baby
Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida) – Lifegivers
Joseph FireCrow (Northern Cheyenne) – Night Walk
Tony Duncan (Apache Arikara, Hidatsa) – Earth Warrior
Tony Redhouse (Navajo) – Release


Compilation – Marc Brown & The Blues Crew
Dancing In The Rain – Graywolf Blues Band (Yoeme Cherokee/Muskogee)
Sing It Louder – Cary Morin (Crow)
Songs Lived & Life Played – Murray Porter (Mohawk)
Soul Left Blind – Smokestack Lightning (Tohono O’odham)
Up From The Ashes – Mitch Walking Elk (Cheyenne/ Arapaho)


A Tribute To Our Heros – Various Artists
Healing Winds – Various Artists
Native Circle Touch The Earth Festival – Various Artists
The Longest Walk: Reversing Diabetes –– Lorena Windfeather Navarez
The Meherrin-Chowanoke Project – Various Artists (Various)
Written In Blood – Various Artists


Ali Fontaine – Ali Fontaine (Ojibway)
Do It Anyway – John McLeod (Cree)
Living For the Sunny Days – Jim Boyd (Colville)
Forever – C-Weed Band (Metis)
Still No Good The John Redcorn Experience – Graywolf Blues Band (Yoeme Cherokee/Muskogee)
The Foundation of Who I Am – Duster (Cowessess)


Emmanuel Black Bear (Lakota) – Memories
Lena Recollet (Odawa/Ojibway/Pottawatami) – I Am Woman, Kwe
Ryan Little Eagle Molina (Lakota) – Straight From The Heart
Sinuupa (Inuit) – Culture Shock
Smoke/ RedHeadz (Yanktonai Sioux) – Smoke Native Amerikaz Most Wanted
Terry Strongheart (Cherokee) – Tears


Big River Cree (Plains Cree) – The Old Way
Dawa (Hopi/Tohono O’odham) – A Joyful Defiant Tone
Frank Waln & Cody Blackbird (Rosebud Sioux) – Hear My Cry
Honey Dawn Karima and Cloudwalker (Creek/Cherokee/Cree) – The Desire of Nations
Painted Raven (Cherokee/Choctaw) – Mirage
Polar Nation (Lenape/Cherokee) – Polar Nation


Ali Fontaine (Ojibway) – Ali Fontaine
Callie Benett (Navajo) – Glorify
Fawn Wood (Cree) – Iskewewak: Songs of Indigenous Womanhood
Kelly Jackson (Lac du Flambeau) – Spirit of a Woman
Radmilla Cody (Dine’) – Shi Keyah – Songs For The People
Terri-Lynn (Haida Nation) – New Journeys


D.R.U.M. – Wind Spirit Drum (Mic Mac/Lenapa/Cherokee)
Michael Bucher – Michael Bucher (Cherokee)
One Shot – Josh Halverson (Mdewakanton Dakota)
Reach Within – Howard Lyons (Mohawk)
Spirit of a Woman – Kelly Jackson (Lac du Flambeau)
The She Wolf – Jimmy Lee Young (Maya)


Bryson Meyers (Chippewa/Cree) – White Elk Music Sounds of Heavan & Earth
Douglas Blue Feather (Cherokee) – Flute Medicine
Joseph FireCrow (Northern Cheyenne) – Night Walk
Ryan Little Eagle Molina (Lakota) – Straight From The Heart
Terry Lee Whetstone (Cherokee) – Peace 2 Love
Tony Duncan (Apache Arikara, Hidatsa) – Earth Warrior


A’BA – Cheryl Bear (Dene/Nadleh Whut’em)
Glorify – Callie Benett (Navajo)
Rain Holy Spirit Rain – Yvonne St. Germaine (Cree)
Simple Things of Life – Stan Summers (Paiute/Miwok)
The Desire of Nations – Honey Dawn Karima and Cloudwalker (Creek/Cherokee/Cree)
On The Silent Night – Sayani (Cherokee)


Big City Indians (Navajo) – Tuwa
Bluedog (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) – Just Living The Blues
Graywolf Blues Band (Yoeme Cherokee/Muskogee) – Dancing In The Rain
Nake Nula Waun (Rosebud Sioux) – The Definition
Pipestone (Ojibwe) – Tribute To The Old Timers
Tha Tribe (Various) – Warriors in the Mist


Celebrate – Kalan Wi (Salish)
Deers R Us – Deer Clan Singers (Tuscarora)
New Journeys – Terri-Lynn (Haida Nation)
Preserving The Heritage: Insights & Songs – Kevin Locke (Lakota/Anishinabe)
Spirit of a Woman – Kelly Jackson (Lac du Flambeau)
Tali – SilverWolf: AdelaunegvWaya (Cherokee)


Native Colors: Homeland Nation Soundtrack – Rickey Medlocke (Lakota/Choctaw)
North West Voyage – Metis Fiddler Quartet (Metis)
Open Your Heart – Mark ThunderWolf (Lakota/Eastern Band of Cherokee)
String Theory – Joseph Strider (Apache)
Tribal Fusion – Cal Silverfox (Apache)
Wind Dreamer – Jan Michael Looking Wolf (Grand Ronde)


Cheevers Toppah (Kiowa/Navajo) – True Melodies Harmonized Songs From The Heart of Native America
JJ Kent (Oglala Lakota) – Owayanka Wastelo
Jan Michael Looking Wolf (Grand Ronde) – Wind Dreamer
Jim Boyd (Colville) – Living For The Sunny Days
Terry Lee Whetstone (Cherokee) – Peace 2 Love
Wayne Silas Jr (Oneida) – True Round Dance Songs


Among The Ancients – Rushingwind & Mucklow (Cahuilla)
Earth Songs – Douglas Blue Feather & Danny Voris (Cherokee)
Journey – Gvwi (Cherokee)
Medicine Crow & The Sandhill Band – Carroll Medicine Crow (Lenape/Cherokee) & Aki Red Bird
Release – Tony Redhouse (Navajo)
Walking From The Roots – Coyote Jump (Mescalero Apache)


DEEP Soul Chants & Hollers – Mwalim DaPhunkeeProfessor (Mashpee Wampanoag)
Indian E – CC Murdock (Shoshone/Paiute)
Shawn Michael Perry & Only The Brave – Shawn Michael Perry (Salish/Myan)
Stay With Me Baby – Jana Mashonee (Lumbee)
Supernation – Vince Fontaine’s Indian City (Ojibway)
The Art of Peace – Michael Jacobs (Cherokee)


The Old Way – Big River Cree (Plains Cree)
Drum Boy – Mistikwaskihk Napesis – Northern Cree (various)
Horse Dance – Mistation Simoowin – Cree Confederation (Cree)
Memories – Emmanuel Black Bear (Lakota)
Tribute To The Old Timers – Pipestone (Ojibwe)
Warriors in the Mist – Tha Tribe (Various)


Francois Couture – Yahndawa’
Gabriel Yaiva– Written In Blood
John Avila – Shawn Michael Perry & Only The Brave
Kelly Parker – The Old Way
Peter Blackwell – Homeland Nation Soundtrack
Stefan Galfas – Stay With Me Baby


Alienated – Chase Manhattan (Muscogee Creek/Leech Lake Ojibwe)
B of Dakota South Records – B of Dakota South Records (Yankton Sioux)
Love Me Down – Ralphael Deas (Apache)
Smoke Native Amerikaz Most Wanted – Smoke/RedHeadz (Yanktonai Sioux)
The Definition – Nake Nula Waun (Rosebud Sioux)
Trouble – Tha Native (San Manuel)

RECORD OF THE YEAR (Traditional & Contemporary)

Earth Warrior – Tony Duncan (Apache Arikara, Hidatsa)
Lifegivers – Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida)
Shi Keyah – Songs For The People – Radmilla Cody (Dine’)
Spirit of a Woman – Kelly Jackson (Lac du Flambeau)
Supernation – Vince Fontaine’s Indian City (Ojibway)
Tribute To The Old Timers – Pipestone (Ojibwe)


A Joyful Defiant Tone – Dawa (Hopi/Tohono O’odham)
Find My Way – Saving Damsels (Navajo & Hopi)
Just Living The Blues – Bluedog (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate)
Forty Years – Original Xit Ox Boyz (Yazzie/Navajo)
The Joint Effect – The Joint Effect (Muscogee/Seminole/Cherokee)
Wrong Side of Salvation – Arcane Belief

SONG/SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Contemporary / Traditional)

Every Rez! – Johnny Oberly (Eastern Shashone)
God Bless The Whole World – Michael Jacobs (Cherokee
Hear My Cry – Frank Waln & Cody Blackbird (Rosebud Sioux)
Lac du Flambeau Reservation – Bobby Bullet (Lac du Flambeau)
Rez Bluez – Murray Porter (Mohawk)
Stay With Me Baby – Jana Mashonee (Lumbee)


Ali Fontaine (Ojibway) – Ali Fontaine
Cheryl Bear (Nadleh Whut’em) – A’BA
John McLeod (Cree) – Do It Anyway
Leon Skyhorse Thomas (Navajo) – Lost Tapes
Peter Sackaney (Constance Lake) – Where Love Belongs
Tash Terry & Elena Higgins (Navajo &Maori) – Grandmother Earth Grandfather Sky


6 Directions – Janet Rogers (Mohawk)
Got Your Back – Janet Rogers and Alex Jacobs (Mohawk)
I Am Woman, Kwe – Lena Recollect (Odawa/Ojibway/Pottawatami)
I Know This Man – The Sampson Bros (Seneca)
Long Long Ago – The Story Tellers (Abenaki)
Preserving The Hertiage: Insights & Songs – Kevin Locke (Lakota/Anishinabe)


A Tribute To Our Heros – CC Murdock
Do It Anyway – John McLeod (Cree)
Horses Thunder – Big City Indians
It’s About Time– Shane Yellowbird (Samson Cree)
Polar Nation – Polar Nation (Lenape/Cherokee)
Trouble – Tha Native (San Manuel)”


Desert Woman- Yolanda Martinez (Apache)
Frank Waln Common Man Nake Nula Waun – Randy Eriksen Films
Homeland Nation (Various) – Rickey Medlocke
Sacred Ground Extended – Michael Bucher (Cherokee)
The Making Of A Joyful Defiant Tone – Dawa (Hopi/Tohono O’odham)
Wicohan – Cody Blackbird (Cherokee)


Eastern Wind, Northern Lights – James Stephenson (Plains Cree)
Emotions – Randall Paskemin (Cree)
It’s A Love/Hate Thing – Dearly & Denny (Lakota Sioux/Menominee)
Shi Keyah – Songs For The People – Radmilla Cody (Dine’)
Tsionathonwisen – Akwesasne Women Singers (Mohawk)
Warfield Moose – Warfield Moose Jr (Lakota)


In Loving Memory – T.O. Combo (Tohonor O’odham)
Chapter Four – Juanios Boys & Familia (Tohono O’odham)
Lesson 1 – Mumsigo Tribe (Tohono O’odham)
Musicians In Harmony – Gertie & The T.O. Boyz (Tohono O’odham)
With All Our Love…Catherine Conde – Carl & Buddies (Tohono O’odham)


Celebrate – Kalan Wi (Salish)
Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen – One Nation (Algonquin)
Hostiles & Renegades – Gary Small & the Coyote Bros (Northern Cheyenne)
Tuwa – Big City Indians (Navajo)
Written in Blood –Casper Loma Dawa/Various
Yahndawa’ – Andree Levesque Sioui, Akienda Laine, Franceis Couture (Huron)


Michael Longrider – Endless Time
John Two Flutes Fields – Creekside
Scott Tweedie – Opening Sound
Steven Graves – Matter of Time
Sybille Hummingbird – Serenity
Terry Frazier – The Awakening

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Celebrates Contributions of 2013 Honorees to Sold Out Crowd

Source: Webster PR

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Celebrates Contributions of 2013 Honorees to Sold Out Crowd

Class of 2013 Includes Exile, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Hilltoppers, Skeeter Davis, Old Joe Clark, Emory & Linda Martin and Steven Curtis Chapman 

Lexington, KY (April 18, 2013) – Kentucky music’s finest were honored at the 2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at Lexington Center’s Bluegrass Ballroom on Friday evening, April 12, to a sold out crowd. The event, sponsored by Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center and UK HealthCare, recognized the accomplishments of Exile, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Hilltoppers, Skeeter Davis, Old Joe Clark, Emory & Linda Martin, Halfway to Hazard, Josh Bleidt and Steven Curtis Chapman. To view additional photos from the event, or for more information on the 2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, please visit:

The highlights of the evening included: a chorale tribute to the Hilltoppers by the Western Kentucky University RedShirts; a tearful remembrance of Skeeter Davis by brother James Penick and his wife, Peggy; and powerful performances by Exile and The Kentucky Headhunters.

Exile, who closed the show, expressed their deepest gratitude to all the previous members of their group, including the great Jimmy Stokley, who was recognized posthumously. Kim Owens, Jimmy Stokley’s cousin, accepted the award on Stokley’s behalf.

“It’s such a great honor and such a highlight to be recognized,” expressed a humble Les Taylor, lead singer of the group Exile.  “But it’s even more of a highlight to join our friends, The Kentucky Headhunters, Richard Young and the boys, in this honor.”  This year, Exile celebrates their 50th year.

Kentucky, which is known as the “Bluegrass State,” is rich in its musical heritage across all genres including pop, rock, country, Gospel and folk. Since its founding in 2002, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame has inducted over 40 of Kentucky’s most notable musicians including Dwight YoakamThe Everly BrothersRicky SkaggsJohn ConleeWynonna and Naomi JuddFlorence HendersonPatty Loveless and Steve Wariner, to name a few.  For more information on the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, please visit:

About Exile:
Exile burst onto the music scene in 1978 with their hit “Kiss You All Over” from Mixed Emotions, which sold five million copies. Following the departure of lead singer Jimmy Stokley, in 1983, the band re-invented themselves and signed to Epic Records. With a new country twist, the group enjoyed wild success landing nine consecutive No. 1,  singles including “I Don’t Want To Be A Memory,” “Give Me One More Chance,” “Woke Up in Love,” and “I Can’t Get Close Enough.” In the decades to follow, the band’s achievements include three gold albums, two greatest hits CDs and several multi-platinum singles including 11 No. 1 hits.  The band received 13 award nominations from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA). For more information on Exile, please visit:

About The Kentucky Headhunters:
The Kentucky Headhunters, best-known for their blues and rock infused country fried sound, exploded onto the charts in 1989 with their tongue and cheek album, Pickin’ on Nashville which hit No. 2 on the U.S. Country Charts. Fans clamored for the perfect marriage of country and rock, propelling the Headhunters’ rendition of the Don Gibson’s classic, “Oh Lonesome Me,” to No. 8 on the Country Billboard chart. Other fan favorites included “Dumas Walker,” “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Angel.” The band was awarded a GRAMMY award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.” Their sophomore album, Electric Barnyard, hit No. 3 on the U.S. Country Chart, which included another fan favorite “Only Daddy That Will Walk the Line” Prior to their chart success, The Kentucky Headhunters had a rich history dating back to 1968 when they originally formed as the Itchy Brothers, enjoying regional success throughout the state of Kentucky. The Kentucky Headhunters still enjoy an active touring schedule and are a cult favorite of fans that enjoy country and rock. For more information on the Kentucky Headhunters, please visit:

About The Hilltoppers:
The Hilltoppers started out as a vocal trio at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.  Don McGuire, Jimmy Sacca and Seymore Spiegelman soon welcomed Billy Vaughn;  Although Vaughn was considerably older than the trio of friends, he fit their vocal style well perfectly thus becoming their fourth member. He brought with him a song he had written called “Tryin,” which the foursome recorded, and through this single the group attracted the attention of Randy Wood, the head of Dot Records in Nashville, Tenn.  Without hesitation, Wood signed the Hilltoppers to the label.  The single peaked at No. 7.  After “Tryin,” a the Hilltoppers produced a series of top 10 hits including “PS I love You, “ “I’d Rather Die Young,” “To Be Alone,” “Love Walked In” “From the Vine Came the Grape” and “Till Then,” and “Marianne”  making The Hilltoppers one of the top U.S. vocal groups of the 1950s.

About Skeeter Davis:
Mary Frances Penick, better known as Skeeter Davis, began her solo career in the 1950s making her mark as a pop-country crossover artist. From 1960 to 1962, Davis had top-10 hits with the songs “(I Can’t Help You) I’m Falling Too,” “My Last Date (With You),” “Where I Ought to Be” and “Optimistic.” Davis was the first female country singer to be nominated for a GRAMMY for her single “Set Him Free.” Skeeter was also the first female country artist to be featured on the Midnight Special.  Davis went on to receive a total of five GRAMMY Award nominations, including four for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. In 1963 She released her widely-recognized pop classic “The End of the World.” Hailed as an “extraordinary country/pop singer” by The New York Times music critic Robert Palmer, Skeeter Davis continued to achieve major stardom in country music as a solo vocalist and songwriter. Davis penned nearly 70 songs, earning two BMI awards for her songs “Set Him Free” and “My Last Date With You.”

About Old Joe Clark:
As a tap dancing, guitar-strumming, mountain balladeer, Manuel “Speedy” Clark joined the ranks of a local band that was playing the schoolhouses and theaters throughout East Tennessee. After 12 years of learning his craft as an all-around entertainer he made his way to Renfro Valley Barn Dance where Mr. John Lair, Renfro Valley’s founder, recognized this young man’s potential as a full-time comic and helped him develop an old man character he called “Uncle Joe Clark,” named after a popular fiddle song of the day. Old Joe’s fame grew over the radio, television and movies. The character appeared in such classics as “Country Music on Broadway,” “Second Fiddle,” “A Steel Guitar,” “Marshall of Windy Hollow” In addition, he even played the Grand Ole Opry with illustrious performers like Bill Monroe.

Emory and Linda Lou Martin:
Billed as “The World’s Only One-Armed Banjo Player,” Emory Martin emerged as one of the most transcendent and revolutionary musicians Nashville had ever seen. Emory played banjo for Kitty Wells and Uncle Dave Macon’s band as well as performing regularly at the Grand Ole Opry. In 1943, he married Linda Lou Arnold and went on to become a regular at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Emory dabbled in other professions, but his heart always remained with his wife, Linda, and with country music. In 1991 Emory and Linda published a memoir called “One-Armed Banjo Player: Early Years of Country Music with Emory Martin.” Emory Martin died in April 2006 and is survived by his wife Linda Lou Martin.

Jackie DeShannon:
Beginning her professional solo career in the late 1950s, Jackie DeShannon encompassed many different sub-genres of music including teen pop, country ballads, rockabilly, blues and Gospel. Her big break came in February 1964 when she supported The Beatles on their first U.S. tour. Her music was heavily influenced by the American West Coast sounds and folk music. Performing in England led to a songwriting partnership with Jimmy Page, followed by DeShannon’s iconic hit of the Bacharach-David classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love” in 1965. DeShannon scored another smash with her own composition, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” in 1969. Her songwriting skills have delivered hits to other artists including Kim Carnes, Al Green and Annie Lennox, Marianne Faithful, Brenda Lee and others.  Jackie won a Grammy for co-writing “Bette Davis Eyes” and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Jackie DeShannon’s achievements as a singer and songwriter make her a well-deserved recipient of the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Halfway to Hazard and Josh Bleidt:
Country music duo, Halfway to Hazard is composed of singer-songwriters David Tolliver and Chad Warrix. Alongside their manager Josh J. Bleidt, of Average Joes Entertainment, Halfway to Hazard has earned great respect in country music and songwriting. Their debut single, “Daisy”, was a Top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Charts 2007. Halfway to Hazard has toured with heavy hitters like Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and received a nomination from the Academy of Country Music for Duo of the Year. Tolliver now writes full time for Tim McGraw’s publishing company, StyleSonic. Tolliver and Warrix have penned the tracks “Die by My Own Hand,” “Let Me Love It Out of You” for Tim McGraw’s 11th and 12th studio albums. For more information on Halfway to Hazard, please visit:

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Source: NAMA

Niagara Falls, NY – The 14th Annual Native American Music Awards will be inducting the late American Indian activist, actor, and musician, Russell Means, into the NAMA Hall of Fame on May 10, 2013 at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

The NY Times described him as, “the charismatic Oglala Sioux who helped revive the warrior image of the American Indian in the 1970s with protests that called attention to the nation’s history of injustices against its indigenous peoples”. The LA Times called him, “the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.”  Means is remembered as an “Oglala Lakota patriot and freedom fighter” by his family.

An inspirational visionary, Russell Means, passed away in October of 2012 at his ranch in Porcupine, South Dakota at the age of 72. He will remain one of the most magnetic voices in America. His vision was to create peaceful and positive images celebrating the magic and mystery of his American Indian heritage. He was committed to educating all people about the preservation of the earth. He encompassed tremendous character and ability in multiple mediums on all fronts; whether as a co-founder of A.I.M., leading a protest, fighting for constitutional rights, starring in a motion picture, or performing his “Rap-ajo” music.

As a musician, Means released two national recordings, the 16 track Electric Warrior, on Warrior Records in 1993, and The Radical, released on the American Indian Music Company, Inc., in 1995. He described his music as a Tribal Experience that included all genres of music; Classical, Country & Western Rock-n-Roll, Hard Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz and the Blues. He called his own music and words, Rap-ajo because he said, “It’s my version of Rap”.

Means entered the entertainment business in both film and music to try to change mainstream attitudes toward American Indians. His recordings contained songs entitled, “Nuclear World”, “Paha Sapa”, “Wounded Knee Set Us Free”, “Chief Joseph”, “Consipiracy To Be Free” and more. These recordings preserve the life and legacy of Russell Means through music and spoken word and are a reminder of his courage, inspiration and teachings now left behind for us.

His wife Pearl Means will be present to receive the Hall of Fame Induction. A musical tribute, accompanied by images of Means throughout his life, will be performed by Native American Music Award winner CC Murdock.  CC Murdock, who won Best Country Recording in 2011, will be performing the song, Go Rest High On That Mountain. During his final journey, the ashes of Russell Means were spread at Yellow Thunder Camp in the Black Hills.

Copies of Russell Means’ CD recordings will be available at the 14th Annual Native American Music Awards and at: