Kickin' Country 

Twang tackles the NFL

Twang tackles the NFL

Details are still sketchy, but several country singers are pairing with current or former football stars to record an album, NFL Country, due out in October. It will be released on the New York-based Gridiron Records. Each recording session is being filmed for a “making of” documentary and possible music video spin-offs.

Participants confirmed so far are John Anderson and Mike Young; Jamie Warren with Steve Tasker and Chris Moore; Steve Azar and Brett Favre; Doug Supernaw and Herschel Walker; Lari White and Esera Tuaolo; and Glen Campbell and Terry Bradshaw. Most of the artists are producing their own sessions.

In addition to being sold in the 30 NFL stadiums around the country, the album will be available through regular retail record stores and other outlets. It will be promoted on MTV, CMT, and TNN.


♦ On Sept. 17, Columbia/Legacy Records and Sony Music Video will release The Best of Austin City Limits: Country Music’s Finest Hour in both album and home video formats. The releases correspond with the PBS special The Best of Austin City Limits, which began airing in August and will continue through mid-September. With performances from 1975 to 1996, the collections spotlight Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dwight Yoakam, Alison Krauss & Union Station, The Mavericks, Patty Loveless, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, The Judds, Waylon Jennings, Trisha Yearwood, k.d. lang, and Asleep at the Wheel. Willie Nelson wrote the liner notes for the project. A part of the proceeds will be donated to Austin City Limits and the Capital of Texas Public Telecommunications Council.

♦ Imprint Records has reached an agreement with Paradoxx Music to license its albums in Brazil. Paradoxx will release Gretchen Peters’ The Secret of Life and Al Anderson’s Pay Before You Pump in the next 60 days.

♦ DasBro Enterprise, a Bronx-based company heretofore known for selling country and bluegrass records by mail, has branched into the Canadian country music market. And it has set up a plan that might serve as a model for breaking new and developing acts anywhere. DasBro’s Canadian operation will include not only a quarterly mail-order catalog with an accompanying cassette sampler, but also a package tour of the artists featured in the catalog. DasBro’s partners in the new enterprise are singer Larry Mercey, consultant Michael Ardenne, and CMG Productions, an independent production company in Toronto.

The first catalog and sampler spotlight Mercey, Coda the West, Trina, Sam Crosby, Curtis Grambo, and Rachel Matkin. Country fans can subscribe to the catalog for free, but the annual subscription to the sampler will cost a maximum of $20 Canadian. To be considered for inclusion in the catalog, an act has to have commercially available product, be performing “frequently,” be receiving radio and/or video airplay, be willing to travel, and be a member of the American Federation of Musicians through a Canadian affiliate.

DasBro will organize and promote the package tours, working with radio stations in each market to include a performance by a local act. The first tour is expected to start early next year. The company is also looking for corporate sponsorships.

♦ Nearly a dozen stars—many of them Belmont University alumni—will perform at the “Driven By Music” concert Sept. 9 to raise money for Belmont’s School of Music and the Mike Curb Music Business Program. The event will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House. Alumni Steven Curtis Chapman, Lisa Bevill, Larry Stewart, Little Texas, and Trisha Yearwood will join Amy Grant, Gary Chapman, Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald, and Donna Summer for the show. Spearheading the benefit are Michael and Stormie Omartian. For an additional fee, concertgoers can attend a supper and reception at the Opry House just before the show. Tickets are on sale at TicketMaster.

♦ They’re calling it the “Concert For Manglerdesh.” Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Trisha Yearwood, and Rodney Crowell will headline a concert at the Ryman Auditorium Oct. 8 to raise funds for famed road manager Phil Kaufman. Kaufman, who has no medical insurance, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The money will be used to send him to Seattle for brachytherapy treatment, which involves the implantation of radioactive seeds. Doctors say Kaufman’s prognosis for recovery is good.

Known as the “Road Mangler Deluxe” and the author of an autobiography by the same name, Kaufman has spent more than 30 years as road manager for the Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons, Frank Zappa, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, and Rodney Crowell. Backing the headliners will be an all-star band comprised of Glen D. Hardin, Steve Fishell, Mike Bowden, Frank Reckard, Billy Thomas, and Buddy Miller. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.


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