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Gill At Clapton’s Crossroads Festival

Vince Gill performs with Albert Lee at the Crossroads Guitar Festival. Photo: Vince Cunetto.

Vince Gill was among the guitar gods who took the stage at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival over the weekend. He joined fellow headliners B. B. King, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Buddy Guy and, of course, Clapton at the Chicago event.

Sheryl Crow performed as well, pairing with Gill for the Clapton classic “Lay Down Sally.”

Gill’s A-list band backed up sets by guitar slingers Keb’ Mo’, Earl Klugh and Albert Lee. And Clapton’s band was comprised of guest stars Beck and Steve Winwood.

Pete Huttlinger was also among the 24 musicians on the line-up for the day-long event at Toyota Park.

It was the third festival Clapton has organized to benefit his Crossroads addiction treatment facility in Antigua.

Gill and Clapton onstage at Clapton's Nashville concert in March. Photo: Danielle Pope

Veteran Nashville Broadcaster Norm Ray Passes

Noted Nashville instrumentalist and veteran radio and television broadcaster Norm Ray died Saturday, April 17, at age 73.
He is perhaps best remembered for the wit and humor he displayed for 20 years on the Ralph Emery Morning Show, WSM’s The Waking Crew and for the 10 years he spent in the house band on TNN’s Nashville Now. For a time, he was also the host of WSMV’s The Saturday Morning Show.

A native of Hamtramck, Michigan, Norm Ray began playing saxophone at age 5. He started his recording career in the Motown studios in Detroit, backing The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Martha & The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and other r&b stars. He moved to Nashville in 1965, joining Orchestra XII, one of the city’s last big bands.

In 1967, he broke into recording-studio work on Music Row by performing on the Elvis Presley soundtrack for Clambake. He subsequently recorded with Chet Atkins, Ray Stevens, Boots Randolph and others. He also played saxophone and flute in Randolph’s nightclub band.

Norm Ray is survived by his children Sherry Rau Carver, Norman Rau and Andrew Rau and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

“Scene” Digs Into McGraw Movie

Nashville Scene writer D. Patrick Rodgers on the local songwriters and musicians featured in the upcoming Gwyenth Paltrow, Tim McGraw flick, Love Don’t Let Me Down.

A Hollywood feature employs locals to tell a Music City story the right way — for once

It’s a Thursday night at Skyline recording studio, just off Eighth Avenue, a recording and rehearsal space much like any other in Music City. A few 12-packs of Coors Lite sit nearby, casually offered to visitors. A crop of young studio players has gathered to practice some songs. They’re cruising through a pop-country number called “Words I Couldn’t Say,” no sweat. It sounds like it could be a Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood tune — the sort of sugar-sweet, radio-ready gem these guys could track in a pass or two on any given day.

But they aren’t playing it live. They’re playing along to a track. All the pristinely pre-recorded parts are issuing forth from the P.A. speakers: drums, steel, bass, guitars, keys, a crystalline female lead vocal. The boys are just miming along.

Skylar Wilson barks out chord changes in the Nashville number system. This is his family’s studio, and, though he’s playing drums on these numbers, he seems to know every chord. He’s typically more of a keyboard guy, but like most everyone else in the room, he can get by pretty well on just about anything he picks up.

So why are they playing along to tracks? They’ve been cast as the backing band for two of Love Don’t Let Me Down’s lead characters, and they’re making sure they have all the changes just right for when they film a performance scene in the morning. This song, penned by Greg Becker, Tammi Kidd and Steve Robson, is to be performed by Chiles Stanton, a somewhat Taylor Swiftian up-and-coming singer played by Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester.

Keep reading.

ACM Noms: Industry, Musician, Radio

MUSICIAN/BANDLEADER/INSTRUMENTALIST (MBI) AWARDS (MBI awards are presented to honorees at “ACM Honors,” an annual event held in Nashville in the fall.)

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Buddy Cannon

Nathan Chapman

Dann Huff

Frank Liddell

Frank Rogers

AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

Ben Fowler

Steve Marcantonio

Justin Niebank

Ed Seay

Clarke Schleicher

TOP BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Dennis Crouch

Mike Brignardello

Mark Hill

Michael Rhodes

Jimmie Lee Sloas

TOP PERCUSSIONIST/DRUMMMER OF THE YEAR

Eddie Bayers

Mark Beckett

Chad Cromwell

Shannon Forrest

Chris McHugh

TOP GUITARIST OF THE YEAR

Pat Buchannan

J.T. Corenflos

Kenny Greenberg

Brent Mason

Bryan Sutton

TOP FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Stuart Duncan

Larry Franklin

Rob Hajacos

Deanie Richardson

Jonathan Yudkin

TOP PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Tim Akers

John Hobbs

Charles Judges

Steve Nathan

Michael Rojas

TOP SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Nashville String Machine

Randy Scruggs

Bryan Sutton

Ilya Toshinsky

Jonathan Yudkin

TOP STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Bruce Bouton

Paul Franklin

Mike Johnson

Gary Morse

Russ Pahl

INDUSTRY AWARDS (Industry awards are presented to honorees at “ACM Honors,” an annual event held in Nashville in the fall.)

VENUE OF THE YEAR

BOK Center – Tulsa, OK

Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion – Gilford, NH

Sommet Center – Nashville, TN (effective March 2, 2010, this venue was renamed the Bridgestone Arena)

Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO

Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion – Raleigh, NC

NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR

Billy Bob’s Texas – Ft. Worth, TX

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace – Bakersfield, CA

Cotton Eyed Joe – Knoxville, TN

George’s Majestic Lounge – Fayetteville, AR

Wild Bill’s – Duluth, GA

CASINO OF THE YEAR

Agua Caliente Casino – Rancho Mirage, CA

Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino – Las Vegas, NV

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel – Prior Lake, MN

Peppermill Casino – Wendover, NV

WinStar World Casino – Thackerville, OK

DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR

Todd Boltin – Variety Attractions, Inc.

Jimmy Jay – Jayson Promotions, Inc.

Gary Osier – Gary Osier Presents

David Snowden – Triangle Talent, Inc.

Suzanne Wilson – Wilson Events, Inc.

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR

Brad Garett – Police Productions

Ali Harnell – AEG/The Messina Group

Darin Lashinsky – Outback Concerts of TN, Inc.

Brian O’Connell – LiveNation

John Ruffino – Red Mountain Entertainment

RADIO AWARDS (NOTE: Radio awards nominees were previously announced. Winners will be presented awards at a reception in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 17, prior to the ACM Award telecast.)

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – NATIONAL

Blair Garner After MidNite with Blair Garner

Cody Alan  CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan

Crook & Chase Crook and Chase Countdown

Kix Brooks   American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks

Lia The Lia Show

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – MAJOR MARKET

KNIX-FM (Phoenix, AZ)    Ben Campbell & Matt McAllister

KSONFM (San Diego, CA)  Cliff & Company: Cliff, Morgan, Tanner       and Tori

KYGOFM (Denver, CO) Kelly Ford & Rider

WIL FM  (St. Louis, MO) The Cornbread Show featuring: Cornbread, Pat James, Annie Henson, Harry Schroeder, Mac Douglas

WSOC-FM  (Charlotte, NC)                       Catherine Lane

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – LARGE MARKET

KUBL-FM (Salt Lake City, UT) Tommy & Joe Johnson

WFMSFM  (Indianapolis, IN)  Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt & Kevin    Freeman (Jim, Deb & Kevin)

WSIX-FM  (Nashville, TN) Gerry House, Mike Bohan, Al Voecks, Duncan Stewart, Richard Falken

WTQRFM (Greensboro, NC) The Jeff Roper in the Morning Show (Jeff Roper, Angie Ward & Adam “Flash” Dellinger)

WUBEFM (Cincinnati, OH) Chris Carr & Company (Chris Carr, Statt &  Maverick)

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM MARKET

KIIM-FM   (Tucson, AZ)   Buzz Jackson

WBBSFM   (Syracuse, NY) Tom and Becky B104.7 Morning Show (Tom Owens and Becky Palmer)

WKSJ-FM  (Mobile, AL) Dan Brennan & Shelby Mitchell, The 95 KSJ Breakfast Club

WPCV-FM  (Lakeland, FL)  Roger Todd, Tom O’Brien & Melissa Moran

WYRK-FM (Buffalo, NY) Clay and Dale

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – SMALL MARKET

KCLR-FM (Columbia, MO) Scotty & Carissa in the Morning

KKNU-FM  (Eugene, OR) Barrett, Fox & Berry

WFRE-FM  (Frederick, MD)  Jess Wright

WGSQ-FM  (Cookeville, TN)  Gator & The Styckman

WKSF-FM (Asheville, NC) Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – MAJOR MARKET

KKGO-FM                 (Los Angeles, CA)                  Southern California’s Country Station

KMPSFM                  (Seattle, WA)                          Today’s Country

KSCS-FM                   (Dallas, TX)                            The Texas Original

KYGOFM                 (Denver, CO)                         Denver’s #1 For New Country

WUSN-FM                 (Chicago, IL)                          America’s Country Station

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – LARGE MARKET

KNCI-FM                   (Sacramento, CA)                   News Country 105.1

WFMSFM                 (Indianapolis, IN)                   The Country Station

WQDRFM                 (Raleigh, NC)                          Today’s Best Country

WUBEFM                 (Cincinnati, OH)                     Cincinnati’s Country!

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM MARKET

KIZN-FM                   (Boise, ID)                              Kissin’ 92

KUZZ AM/FM           (Bakersfield, CA)                   Bakersfield’s Best Country

WGNAFM                (Albany, NY)                          Country 107.7

WKSJ-FM                   (Mobile, AL)                           95 KSJ

WYRKFM                 (Buffalo, NY)                                     Today’s Country & Your All Time Favorites

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – SMALL MARKET

KMDL-FM                 (Lafayette, LA)                       Acadiana’s Best Country

WGSQ-FM                 (Cookeville, TN)                     The Country Giant

WKSF-FM                  (Asheville, NC)                       99.9 Kiss Country

WKXCFM                 (Augusta, GA)                        Number One for New Country and More Variety

WUSY-FM                 (Chattanooga, TN)                  Chattanooga’s Best Country & The Legends!        

Joe Chambers on “Fox and Friends”

Joe Chambers, founder of the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, was on Fox News’ Fox and Friends this morning (2/22) discussing the recent eminent domain ruling that caused the Museum to shut its doors to make way for a new Nashville convention center. See the video.

The museum closed on Saturday, February 13th after Judge Barbara Haynes ruled in favor of the Metro Development and Housing Authority (MDHA), ordering Chambers and company to be out of The Musicians Hall of Fame within seven days.

The museum represented a key piece of property that the MDHA needed in order to move forward with the construction of the Music City Center.

Although the museum’s new physical location is currently undecided, The Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Awards Show will take place once again in Nashville in the fall of 2010. Further details will be announced at a press conference in late spring.

NashvillePost: Gibson goes on defensive against price-fixing claims

From the NashvillePost.com:

Iconic Nashville-based guitar manufacturer Gibson said claims it colluded with other manufacturers and a retailer in a price-fixing scheme are “wholly without merit.” Gibson, along with competitors Yamaha and Fender, retailer Guitar Center, and the National Association of the Music Merchants, an industry group, are charged in a number of lawsuits in California and Washington, D.C., alleging a conspiracy to secure higher retail prices. The suits are filed under the names of various purchasers of guitars and are expected to be treated as a class action. Read more here.

Gibson Luthier Hutchins Passes

gibsonOne of Gibson Guitar’s most accomplished and dedicated luthiers, James “Hutch” Hutchins, passed away last night, Jan. 25. He was 72 and had been battling an undisclosed illness.

Hutch’s career with the company spanned 45 years, two states, three changes of ownership, and thousands of guitars. He joined Gibson on March 25, 1963 in the original Kalamazoo, Michigan plant, making a name for himself there before transferring to Nashville in 1983.

The company says he worked every job from maintenance to pattern making with an unflinching attention to detail and an abiding pride in the Gibson name. Gibson says he helped define its legacy, heritage and tradition through the many guitars and people he worked with.

gibson 2Hutch became the plant’s liaison for legendary artists who wanted custom guitars. He was integral to designing the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman, and became friends with Atkins in the process. Hutch retired March 31, 2008.

“Hutch was a remarkable man, with a talent all his own,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO and Chairman of Gibson Guitar. “His light will shine forever through every corner, every hall and with every team member of the company. His legacy will live on.”

Hutch loved to hunt and fish and spend time with his three grown sons, all of whom live in the Nashville area. He is survived by his wife his sons and wife Gail.

Hall of Fame To Honor Eddie Bayers

Eddie Bayers

Eddie Bayers

Drummer Eddie Bayers will be honored Feb. 13 as part of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s series Nashville Cats: A Celebration of Music City Musicians. Hosted by Bill Lloyd, the tribute to Bayers will include a brief performance and an in-depth, one-on-one interview illustrated with vintage recordings, photos and film clips from the Museum’s Frist Library and Archive. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will also be streamed live at www.countrymusichalloffame.org.

CMHOFServing as a first-call session drummer for over thirty years, Eddie Bayers has contributed to modern country classics such as Vince Gill’s “Liza Jane,” Alan Jackson’s “Here in the Real World” and George Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky.” His credits also include work with pop stars John Fogerty, Elton John, Mark Knopfler and Bob Seger, among others. He was also named one of the “Top Ten Greatest Session Drummers of All Time” by Drum! Magazine, and has recorded on hundreds of gold and platinum selling albums.

Bayers earned the Academy of Country Music’s Drummer of the Year Award a record 11 straight times (13 total) and has been nominated for CMA’s Musician of the Year 10 times. He also received MusicRow’s Top Ten Album All-Star awards from 1989-1995, and another four non consecutive years after that.

Grammys To Honor Loretta Lynn, Harold Bradley, Walter Miller

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn, Harold Bradley, and Walter Miller will be honored by the Recording Academy this Grammy season. They will be feted at a special invitation-only ceremony to be held Saturday, Jan. 30, as part of Grammy week. A formal acknowledgment will also be made during the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards telecast, set for the next day at the L.A. Staples Center.

Lynn, a three-time Grammy winner, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for her nearly 50 years in the music industry. She strutted to the forefront of country music with her 1960 debut single “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl,” and an illustrious career followed. She has had more than 70 hits including the classics “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was also the name of her autobiography that was later adapted into a Hollywood film. Her most recent success came in 2004 when she won a pair of Grammys for her collaboration with Jack White on the album Van Lear Rose.

Harold Bradley

Harold Bradley

Acclaimed musician Bradley and longtime CMA Awards producer Miller will receive Trustees Awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to the industry in a non-performing capacity.

Often called the most recorded musician in history, Harold Bradley and his brother Owen built Music Row’s first recording facility the Quonset Hut in the 1950s. Harold was president of AFM Local 257 for 17 years and has served as its international vice president for the past 10 years. He was the first president of The Recording Academy’s Nashville Chapter and was also a Nashville session musician for more than 50 years, which earned him a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

Walter Miller

Walter Miller

Miller has worked in television for more than 60 years as a producer and director of the Tony Awards, CMA Awards and for the last 29 years, the Grammy Awards. Miller was instrumental in helping shape some of Grammys’ most memorable moments including Aretha Franklin’s last-minute, unrehearsed rendition of “Nessun Dorma”; Bono presenting an award to Frank Sinatra; and Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang’s complex and thrilling piano performance of “Rhapsody In Blue.” The six-time Primetime Emmy® winner remains one of the most respected directors in the industry.

The Lifetime Achievement and Trustees awards are voted on by The Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees. Leonard Cohen, Bobby Darin, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Michael Jackson, André Previn, and Clark Terry will also receive Lifetime Achievement Awards; and Florence Greenberg joins Bradley and Miller as a Trustees Award winner. AKG and Thomas Alva Edison will receive Technical Grammy Awards.

Mac McAnally Co-Produced New Jimmy Buffett Album

Mac McAnally and Jimmy Buffett
Mac McAnally and Jimmy Buffett

Mac McAnally probably doesn’t want 2009 to end. This year he scored his first No. 1 as an artist, and received more awards and nominations than any other time in his career. His most recent feat—yesterday’s release of Jimmy Buffett’s Buffet Hotel, which he co-produced with Mike Utley.

Mac McAnally

Mac McAnally

As a member of the Coral Reefer Band, McAnally has long been a key Buffett collaborator. He has produced a number of Buffett’s studio albums, and has writing credit on three of the new collection’s 12 songs.

McAnally is also a Show Dog Nashville recording artist, touring performer, musician and songwriter. He was most recently honored with a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Kenny Chesney on the song “Down The Road,” and won the CMA Award for Musician of the Year in November.