COUNTRY BEAT: Billy Gilman, Raul Malo, Sam Phillips …

Gilman unveiling second album; Malo cutting first solo CD; Phillips speaking at rockabilly fest.

Billy Gilman will premiere cuts from his second album, Dare to Dream, at a fan party and radio broadcast on Monday (May 7) on the outdoor stage at Universal Studios Hollywood’s CityWalk. Gilman will perform the album’s first single, “She’s My Girl,” on the Academy of Country Music Awards show on May 9 at 8 p.m. Dare to Dream, which hits stores May 8, includes guest vocals by Alison Krauss, Leslie Satcher and Little Big Town. Gilman’s debut album, One Voice (RealAudio excerpt of title track), is platinum. …

Mavericks lead singer Raul Malo is recording his first solo album in Los Angeles this month. Steve Berlin of Los Lobos is producing. … Kyle Lehning (Waylon Jennings, Randy Travis) is producing a new Derailers album, due for summer release. …

Sam Phillips, who founded Sun Records and signed Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and many others to their early recording contracts, will speak at a celebrity luncheon on June 30 at Rockabilly Fest 2001 in Jackson, Tennessee. This rare public appearance by Phillips will begin at noon. …

Lucinda Williams will play a rare Nashville concert Sunday afternoon (May 6) at River Stages downtown. Following her on the AmSouth Amphitheatre stage will be Todd Snider and John Prine. Steve Earle plays Friday night, and Meredith Edwards and Bob Dylan are on competing stages Saturday night. …

Evening talent lineups for the major Fan Fair shows at Nashville’s Adelphia Coliseum have been released by the Country Music Association. Scheduled for June 14 (all starting times are 7 p.m.) are, Billy Ray Cyrus, Joe Diffie, Billy Gilman, the Kinleys, Patty Loveless, Montgomery Gentry, Collin Raye, and Travis Tritt. Performing on June 15 are Trace Adkins, Tracy Lawrence, Jo Dee Messina, John Michael Montgomery, Sawyer Brown and Trick Pony. Appearing June 16 are Gary Allan, Jessica Andrews, Terri Clark, Vince Gill, Jamie O’Neal, Rascal Flatts, SheDaisy and Trisha Yearwood. Performing June 17 (starting at 5 p.m.) are Tracy Byrd, Kenny Chesney, Bill Engvall, Sara Evans, Andy Griggs, Alan Jackson, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Lorrie Morgan & Sammy Kershaw, Brad Paisley and Phil Vassar. …

The Oak Ridge Boys will receive the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor in a ceremony on June 1 in Boston where they’ll be given the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to youth. Members of the group serve on the Boy Scouts board and are active in the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Feed the Children and other programs. …

Randy Travis won two Dove Awards at the Gospel Music Association’s 32nd annual Dove Awards ceremony in Nashville on Thursday (April 26). Travis’ Inspirational Journey was named Bluegrass Album of the Year, and the disc’s “Baptism” (RealAudio excerpt) won Country Recorded Song of the Year. Ricky Skaggs won the Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year honor for “Are You Afraid to Die.” …

Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price has most of his strength back after undergoing surgery in February for a stomach aneurysm. Following the operation in Houston, Price returned to his ranch in East Texas to recuperate. “He’s fishing, driving himself around and helped deliver a colt the other day,” his manager, Jim Doran, said. The surgery forced Price to reschedule approximately 15 concerts, Doran said, but he will resume touring with his Cherokee Cowboys in May. Last year Price released Prisoner of Love, with guest appearances by Mandy Barnett and Junior Brown. His recording of “Crazy Arms” was #1 for 20 weeks in 1956. …

The musical “Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” with lyrics and music by Nashville songwriter Don Schlitz, opened Thursday (April 26) on Broadway to uniformly tepid reviews. “Bland, greeting card entertainment,” said the Associated Press. “Good for children,” said the New York Post. Variety thought it “deflatingly bland.” “Twain in Vain” was the New York Daily News headline. The New York Times review found it disappointing that Schlitz “turned his back on what he excels at” — country music. Most of the reviews compared the show unfavorably to Roger Miller‘s “Big River.” …

Trisha Yearwood will make her sixth guest appearance on the CBS drama “JAG” as forensic pathologist Lt. Cmdr. Teresa Coulter. The episode will air May 1. …

Singer/songwriter Deana Carter is working on a new album, but it won’t be released on her longtime label, Capitol Records. Carter said she has been “writing her butt off” for the self-produced new project, but declined to say which label it will be on. “I can’t say just yet,” Carter said. She will debut some of her new material during a 20-city acoustic tour that kicks off May 6 in Chicago. In addition to writing new music, Carter has been splitting her time between homes in Nashville and Los Angeles, where she has written and pitched treatments for a TV game show and a food show. Carter also has landed the small role of a “bimbette Wal-Mart wife” in an upcoming independent film starring Billy Bob Thornton. …

Bill Monroe‘s 1923 Gibson F-5 mandolin has been bought for more than $1 million, the Nashville Tennessean reports. The famous instrument, used by the late Country Music Hall of Fame member to lay the foundation of bluegrass music, fetched $1.125 million from the Bill Monroe Foundation, a group of 16 investors, who bought the instrument from Monroe’s son, James. The Country Music Hall of Fame had pursued the mandolin but could not meet the asking price, according to the report. The Bill Monroe Foundation is planning a state park honoring Monroe in Rosine, Kentucky, his hometown. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for August 23. …

Atlantic Records announced Thursday (April 26) its Nashville office is closing immediately. Atlantic artists — including John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Craig Morgan, Elizabeth Cook, Kristin Garner, Old Dogs, South 65 and Tim Rushlow — will remain on the imprint but now will be marketed and promoted by the staffs of Warner Bros. Nashville and Atlantic New York. Twelve of the label’s 13 employees lost their jobs, including President/CEO Barry Coburn. Time-Warner’s Nashville labels Giant and Asylum also closed recently. …

Auditions for “Stand by Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story” will be held in New York on May 15 and 16. There are four female and five male roles open for the musical, which will play Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium from September 13 through October 28. Aspiring candidates should send resumes and headshots to Stand by Your Man Auditions, Casting, 165 West 46th Street, Suite 1100, New York, NY 10036. The musical’s title comes from Wynette’s autobiography and signature song, “Stand by Your Man” (RealAudio excerpt). …

Diabetes-related health problems forced Grand Ole Opry star Johnny Russell to have both legs amputated below the knee April 17 at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital. He is undergoing rehabilitation, and recovery is going well, according to a hospital spokesperson. A member of the Opry since 1985, Russell is the writer of such hits as “Act Naturally,” “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together,” “You’ll Be Back (Every Night in My Dreams)” and “Got No Reason Now for Goin’ Home.” Russell also suffers from heart and kidney problems. …

“Mulholland Drive,” a television project Billy Ray Cyrus filmed more than two years ago, will be shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The show, which features Cyrus as a hunky pool man, was directed by David Lynch (“Twin Peaks”) as a pilot episode for an ABC TV series, but the network passed on the project. Cyrus is now starring in the series “Doc” on PAX. …

Elton John has recorded his song “Country Comfort” for an album of classics that bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs is putting together for release later this year. …

Kenny Rogers will receive the Academy of Country Music’s Career Achievement Award on May 9 during the televised ACM awards show. The special award has been given only three times in ACM history — to Johnny Paycheck in 1977, Carl Perkins in 1986 and John Anderson in 1993. Glen Campbell will present the honor to Rogers, who will perform “There You Go Again.” …

Tim McGraw will appear in court on May 14 in Orchard Park, New York, to answer charges of assaulting an officer last year arising from pal Kenny Chesney‘s joyride on a police horse last year. On Tuesday (April 24) he will promote his new album, Set This Circus Down, with an afternoon appearance in New York City and a later gig the same day in Nashville. …

Buck Owens will be honored with the Country Radio Broadcasters Career Achievement Award on June 28. Brad Paisley will present the award during CRB’s annual Country Music DJ Hall of Fame Banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. Loretta Lynn, Chet Atkins and Eddy Arnold have previously been recognized with the honor. …

Some of the artists who created the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack will reconvene June 13 for a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. Alison Krauss & Union Station, John Hartford, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, the Whites and the Cox Family are among the artists who will participate. …

Vince Gill and Nickel Creek will kick off this summer’s Bluegrass Night at the Ryman series in Nashville with a June 21 concert at the Ryman Auditorium. An Evening With Ricky Skaggs will be presented June 28, Sam Bush and Friends will perform July 5, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys and the Del McCoury Band play on July 12, and Rowan, Rice and Clements perform on July 19. The July 26 lineup has not yet been announced. …

Jo Dee Messina was scheduled to sing at the conclusion of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on June 2 in Washington, D.C. But the singer has decided to run in the race as well. The event raises funds for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. … Bluegrass group Hayseed Dixie have been added to the Nashville River Stages lineup. The AC/DC tribute band — formerly known as AC/Dixie — will perform May 4 at the downtown-Nashville outdoor festival. The group’s first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, will be released April 17. It includes bluegrass versions of such AC/DC hits as “Highway to Hell” and “Big Balls.” …

Rick Trevino explores his Mexican-American roots on Mi Son, a 10-song album due May 10. Trevino has showed his Spanish-speaking side before, in his role as vocalist with Los Super Seven. The new set includes two performances with Los Lobos and a duet with Ruben Ramos of Los Super Seven. Los Lobos member Steve Berlin produced. …

Junior Brown will open for the Dave Matthews Band on July 25 at Antioch, Tennessee’s AmSouth Amphitheatre. …

Patty Loveless and husband/producer Emory Gordy Jr. are putting finishing touches on Loveless’ return-to-roots album, Mountain Soul, due June 26. Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt and Jon Randall guest on the album, which mixes traditional and contemporary songs. Kentucky-bred Loveless re-recorded “The Sounds of Loneliness,” which she wrote at 15 for her debut album. Mountain Soul features covers of Reno & Smiley‘s “I Know You’re Married,” Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner ‘s “Someone That I Used to Know,” Melba Montgomery‘s “Raging Fire,” and Darrell Scott‘s “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” “I’ve been wanting to do this record since 1992, when Emory and I put a little group together to go play the Carter Stanley Memorial Festival,” Loveless said in a statement. Loveless will tour this summer to support Mountain Soul and Strong Heart, her current mainstream country album. …

Trace Adkins will host the BellSouth Senior Classic golf tournament at Opryland’s annual Celebrity Kids Classic event at Nashville’s Springhouse Golf Club on May 27. The event raises money for charities including Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Tennessee Lions Charities, Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley and Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. Artists taking part include Chris Cagle, Mark Collie, Clay Davidson, Vince Gill, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Sonya Isaacs and the Wilkinsons. …

Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, John Prine, Guy Clark and the Cowboy Junkies are among the artists on Poet: A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt, honoring the late singer/songwriter. The album is due in late July. …

Rodney Crowell is contributing a guest column about a song cycle on his new album, The Houston Kid, for the May issue of the magazine The Advocate. In his “My Perspective” column for the gay and lesbian magazine’s annual music issue, Crowell writes about his songs “Wandering Boy” (RealAudio excerpt) and “I Wish It Would Rain” (RealAudio excerpt), which examine the relationship between twin brothers — one a bisexual street hustler with AIDS, the other homophobic. Crowell will appear on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect” on April 9. …

Dolly Parton and a host of other women singers will grace the soundtrack album for the upcoming film “Songcatcher.” The album, due May 8, also includes songs by Patty Loveless, Julie Miller, Deana Carter, Allison Moorer, Gillian Welch, Sara Evans, Rosanne Cash, Maria McKee, Iris DeMent, Hazel Dickens and Emmylou Harris. DeMent also appears in the film, which is about a musicologist in Appalachia. It’s set for a June release. …

Mary Chapin Carpenter‘s upcoming album will be titled Time Is the Great Gift; Sex Is the Great Equalizer; Love Is the Great Mystery, which will be shortened to Time * Sex * Love, her record label reports. The long title is a quote from her guitarist John Jennings. The album, due May 29, was recorded at London’s Air Studios in November. Song titles include “The Dreaming Road,” “Slave to the Beauty,” “Whenever You’re Ready,” “The Long Way Home,” “Swept Away,” “King of Love,” “This Is Me Leaving You,” “Someone Else’s Prayer” and “In the Name of Love.” “Simple Life” will be released as a single in April. …

Mandy Barnett has recorded “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read” (RealAudio excerpt of Asleep at the Wheel version) with Asleep at the Wheel for their upcoming The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel. Brad Paisley recently recorded Hank Garland‘s “The Sugar Foot Rag” with the group for the album, due in late spring. The Wheel opened the George Strait Country Music Festival tour Saturday (March 24) for the fourth consecutive year. …

Slaid Cleaves and a number of other alt-country luminaries are scheduled to play Twang Fest 5, to be held June 6–9 at Blueberry Hill in University City, Missouri. Acts include Deke Dickerson, Roger Wallace, the Domino Kings, Ass Ponys, Charlie Chesterman, Elizabeth Cook, Fear and Whiskey, Rockhouse Ramblers, Star City and the Tarbox Ramblers. …

Brad Paisley has recorded Hank Garland‘s signature song, “Sugarfoot Rag,” with Asleep at the Wheel. The song will appear on the album The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel, due in April or May. “Not everybody knows that Brad’s a good fingerpicker,” says the Wheel’s Ray Benson. …

Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and John Prine have been added to the lineup for River Stages 2001, an outdoor festival to take place in downtown Nashville on May 4-6. They join previously announced acts Bob Dylan, the Wallflowers, Blues Traveler, Joan Osborne, the Black Crowes, Cheap Trick, the Dickey Betts Band, Evan & Jaron, Meredith Edwards and two dozen or so other groups and artists. …

— sonicnet.com staff report