Field Reportings from Issue #36
FESTIVE FARE: The second annual conference of the AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION, originally scheduled for September 14-15, was rescheduled for November 2-3 at the Hilton Suites in Nashville. Among the artists scheduled to perform at the conference’s evening showcases are Guy Clark, Delbert McClinton, Lee Roy Parnell, Tift Merritt, Blue Highway and the Drive-By Truckers….
The Barbican Centre in London, England, is presenting “BEYOND NASHVILLE: THE TWISTED HEART OF COUNTRY MUSIC” from October 26 through November 12, featuring more than a dozen performances by left-of-center American country and roots artists. Among the participating acts are the Jayhawks, Steve Earle, Earl Scruggs, Lyle Lovett, Blind Boys Of Alabama, Alejandro Escovedo, Handsome Family, Jim White, Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, Evan Dando, and Peter Bruntnell. For more information, visit www.barbican.org.uk….
Ticket sales for the 2002 MERLEFEST music festival begin on November 13. Performers at the Wilkesboro, North Carolina, event on April 25-28 will include Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Nickel Creek, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Blue Highway, and dozens more.
TV & RADIO: Country legend MERLE HAGGARD will perform at this year’s Christian Country Music Awards, to be telecast November 1 from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium….
Stan Hitchcock, a former CMT executive, plans to relaunch AMERICAN MUSIC TELEVISION as a digital and satellite channel devoted to roots music. The new AMT will be based in Nashville….
On September 25, XM SATELLITE RADIO launched its X Country Channel (pronounced “cross country”), which is devoted to Americana music.
9-11 AFTERMATH: Part of the proceeds from this year’s FARM AID concert, which was held September 29 in Noblesville, Indiana, will help restore five farmers’ markets in New York City. The markets were displaced after the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings….
The terrorist attacks left many radio programmers in a quandary over what songs to play once their stations returned to somewhat normal programming. Employees at Clear Channel Communications, a conglomerate that includes over 1,000 stations, circulated a list of over 100 songs with lyrics that might offend listeners in the wake of the tragedies. On September 18, Clear Channel issued a statement that described the circulation of this list as a “grassroots effort” and “not a mandate from corporate headquarters.” Included on the list were Skeeter Davis’ “The End Of The World”, John Mellencamp’s “Crumblin’ Down”, Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'”, and Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”….
One of the passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, was executive producer CAROLYN MEYER BEUG, 48, whose past projects included videos for Dwight Yoakam. She also worked on the 1996 album The Best Of Country Sing The Best Of Disney, featuring George Jones, Alison Krauss, Shelby Lynne, and Lee Roy Parnell.
FARTHER ALONG: Guitarist BILLY BYRD passed away on August 7 at age 81. Byrd is most famous for his 1949-59 stint with Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours, but he also recorded with Jimmy Dean, Johnny Horton, and Webb Pierce. Along with Hank Garland, he designed the Byrdland model guitar for Gibson….
EDDIE STONEMAN died from a cerebral hemorrhage on September 14 at age 81. A member of the Stoneman Family, Eddie played banjo on the 1934 recordings by his legendary father, Ernest “Pop” Stoneman.
ALL THE FIXINS: A photograph accompanying a story on the Renfro Valley music venue in ND #35 incorrectly identified the performer onstage as Pam Gadd. The performer was, in fact, Pam Perry….
A review of Radney Foster’s new disc Are You Ready For The Big Show in ND #35 correctly stated that the album is available on the Dualtone label, but Foster is also selling it independently through his own website, www.purespunk.com; copies purchased via the website are autographed by Foster.