Country Beat: Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson ...

Brooks abandons museum plans; Parton back to school; Stars picked for Willie Nelson's Picnic.

Garth Brooks has decided not to pursue plans to turn his Nashville home into a Graceland-like attraction. Neighbors spoke out against the idea at a private meeting last week and Brooks reportedly became disillusioned after speaking with representatives from Elvis Presley's home-turned-museum, Graceland, about the magnitude of such an operation. ...

Dolly Parton went back Saturday (Aug. 19) to her alma mater, Sevier County High School in Sevierville, Tenn., to announce plans for a scholarship fund and to congratulate the football team on winning its first state championship. ...

Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams III, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Anderson and David Allen Coe have been added to the lineup for Willie Nelson's Picnic to be held Oct. 8 in Spring, Texas, near Houston. ...

Country veterans the Oak Ridge Boys began as gospel group the Oak Ridge Quartet in 1945 and have maintained their gospel influence in such songs as "Each Step I Take." The Gospel Music Hall of Fame will honor the Oak Ridge Boys by inducting them in ceremonies on Oct. 30 in Nashville. ... Travis Tritt performed at a rally for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, on Friday (Aug. 18) in Bartlett, Tenn. ...

RCA will reissue the album Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 12 to coincide with the Opry's 75th anniversary. The project features performances by Vince Gill, Hank Snow, Martina McBride, Jimmy C. Newman and a new duet by Brad Paisley and Chely Wright. The two aspiring Opry members co-wrote "Hard To Be a Husband/Hard To Be a Wife" and debuted the song on the Opry stage in June. Interviews conducted by Bill Anderson with Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff also are included in the reissue. ...

Buddy and Julie Miller have been tapped to open for Emmylou Harris for dates in San Francisco (Sept. 26); Portland, Ore. (Sept. 28); Seattle (Sept. 29); and Vancouver, British Columbia (Sept. 30). Buddy, alone, will then open several October dates for Harris, including: Denver (Oct. 3); Minneapolis (Oct. 5); Chicago (Oct. 6); Grand Rapids, Mich. (Oct. 7); and Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 11). ...

Nashville is the subject of a new book of photographs. "Nashville: The Pilgrims of Guitar Town" includes photo studies of such Nashville residents as Chet Atkins, Earl Scruggs, John Hiatt and Steppenwolf's John Kay. French photographer Michel Arnaud said he was so taken by Nashville on his first visit that he decided to devote a picture book to its musical community. Nashville music publisher Robert Hicks wrote the text. ...

Brad Paisley, the Dixie Chicks and Trisha Yearwood (performing with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kim Richey) are among artists slated to sing at the Country Music Association Awards to be held Oct. 4 at the Grand Ole Opry House. Lee Ann Womack and Montgomery Gentry also are scheduled to appear. ...

Lambchop, the Nashville alt-country ensemble behind such tracks as "You Masculine You" (RealAudio excerpt), will be included in the documentary "How To Live a Normal Life," airing on British television in September. The film will follow the daily lives of the group's 14 members, who hold day jobs while recording and performing. Lambchop will head overseas for dates in London (Sept. 23), and Dublin, Ireland (Sept. 24). ...

George Jones, Marty Stuart, LeAnn Rimes, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Dolly Parton and Vince Gill are among artists telling personal stories for "The Stars That Shine," a book by Brenda Lee's daughter, Julie Clay, due later this year. Proceeds from the project will benefit St. Jude's Hospital. ...

The Grand Ole Opry will add a two-hour 3 p.m. matinee to its set of shows for its 75th Anniversary Birthday Bash Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 14. Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Porter Wagoner and Steve Wariner are among performers who will perform on that day. ...

Ricochet will host their fifth annual homecoming benefit, the Green Country Jam, on Aug. 27 in Vian, Okla., at the Vian Football Stadium, to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The 5 p.m. show will include Ricochet, fellow Oklahoman Bryan White and new duo James/Dean and Katrina Elam. ...

Historical reissue albums Hank Williams: Rare Demos, Webb Pierce: King of the Honky Tonk, Faron Young: Live Fast, Love Hard and Johnny Paycheck: The Real Mr. Heartache are planned as the result of an agreement between the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville's Audium Entertainment. ...

The TV series "Live From the Bluebird Café," which features singer/songwriter performances at the legendary Nashville venue, will return for a second season on Turner South cable network. Kevin Welch, pop-rock singer Shawn Mullins, Collin Raye, Delbert McClinton and Kieran Kane are among artists slated for the new season, which kicks off Sept. 26 and airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EDT. ...

Hank Williams Jr.'s three-CD Bocephus Box Set (Curb) will be reissued Aug. 29 with bonus tracks including "A Country Boy Can Survive (Y2K version)," which features George Jones and Chad Brock. ...

The children of the late country-rocker Rick Nelson have agreed to let Elvis Presley Enterprises take over licensing and marketing of their father's name and image. EPE, which runs Graceland as well as controlling all things Elvis, took control of Presley's estate in 1982, when it faced financial calamity, and made it hugely profitable. ... >

Willie Nelson says he's going to finish his long-awaited reggae project. He and producer Don Was plan to include Ziggy Marley and members of the Wailers on the album, which Nelson hopes to finish this fall in Jamaica. ...

With this year's Farm Aid concert set for Sept. 17 in Bristow, Va., a new CD compilation, Farm Aid Live: Keep America Growing Vol. 1 (Redline), is due Sept. 12. It will highlight Farm Aid performances from 1986 to 1999. The songs to be included are: "Peach Pickin' Time Down in Georgia" by Beck & Willie Nelson, "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, "Crash" by the Dave Matthews Band, "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle, "City of New Orleans" by the Highwaymen, "One Time One Night" by Los Lobos, "Safe in My Arms" by Martina McBride, "Paper in Fire" by John Mellencamp, "Just Like You" by Keb' Mo', "Yellow Moon" by the Neville Brothers, "Love Letter" by Bonnie Raitt, "Now That's Country" by Marty Stuart, "It Hurt So Bad" by Susan Tedeschi, "Wrong Side of Memphis" by Trisha Yearwood, "Guitars, Cadillacs" by Dwight Yoakam, and "Homegrown" by Neil Young. ...

Mercury will release an album of rare demos and radio appearances by Hank Williams titled Alone With His Guitar on Sept. 19. Included are 18 songs broadcast in 1949 on radio station KWKH in Shreveport, La., when Williams was on the "Louisiana Hayride" barn dance show there. Colin Escott, co-producer of the Grammy-winning The Complete Hank Williams Box, compiled the collection. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report