COUNTRY BEAT: Bill Monroe, Dale Watson, Kenny Rogers ...

Monroe childhood home restored; Watson in Opry dates; Rogers brings back The Gambler.

Bill Monroe's childhood home in Rosine, Kentucky, has been restored and will be formally opened to the public on August 23. A day-long ceremony will include concert appearances by Ralph Stanley, Mike Seeger, the Sullivan Family, Karl Shiflett and the Big Country Show and other artists. A number of Monroe's former Blue Grass Boys are expected to appear. The home is on the National Registry of Historic Places and a Monroe museum is planned by the Bill Monroe Foundation to be adjacent to the home ...

Dale Watson will make four Grand Ole Opry appearances the weekend of August 3-4. The Texas singer will play the Opry Friday night show and both Saturday night shows, plus a free Opry Plaza concert after Friday night's Opry. His current album, Every Song I Write Is for You, was released in July, and a new holiday CD, Christmas Time in Texas, is due October 9 ...

Kenny Rogers' landmark album The Gambler will be reissued on August 21. Originally released on November 15, 1978, The Gambler earned the CMA's Album of the Year award and gained a CMA Male Vocalist of the Year award for Rogers. The song "The Gambler," a #1 hit on both Billboard's top country and pop charts, yielded a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, and spawned five made-for-television movies starring Rogers ...

LeAnn Rimes has canceled her headlining appearance at this weekend's three-day We Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Rimes had been scheduled to close the mammoth festival on Sunday afternoon, the last day of the event. A Rimes spokesperson said that Rimes is devoting this year to working on a new album and had decided in May to pull out of the fest. Chris LeDoux was booked to fill her Sunday slot. Rimes canceled several concert dates last summer due to throat problems, but her spokesperson said she is fine now. The singer has only one concert date scheduled for the rest of the year, according to Pollstar. She'll play the Texas state fair on October 13. Other artists appearing at the We Fest include Lonestar, Loretta Lynn, Trick Pony, Phil Vassar, Diamond Rio, Billy Ray Cyrus and John Anderson ...

Members of the Nashville bluegrass AC/DC tribute band Hayseed Dixie finally met a member of their favorite group. AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams invited the band to play a party at his place and he joined them onstage for a rendition of "Have a Drink on Me"…

Clint Black's new duet with his wife, Lisa Hartman Black, "Easy for Me to Say," is the first single from

his forthcoming second greatest hits project. The single will ship to radio in September. "Easy for Me to Say" is one of four new songs that will be included on the hits CD, which is slated for a November release. The couple will perform on and he will host the "Family Television Awards," airing at 8 p.m. (ET) August 10 on CBS (MTVi's parent company, Viacom, also owns CBS) ...

Newcomer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is up for 10 Canadian Country Music Awards, including Album of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and the Rising Star Award. Her songs "Complicated" and "Georgia" are each nominated for top single, song and video. Johnson contends in the Fans' Choice Award against Paul Brandt, Terri Clark, Jason McCoy and the Wilkinsons. Clark has six nominations and McCoy and Lisa Brokop each have five. The awards show on September 10 will be broadcast live from Calgary's Pengrowth Saddledome on the CBC in Canada and CMT in the U.S. (MTVi's parent company, Viacom, also owns CMT.) ...

Carlene Carter and her boyfriend, Howie Epstein, are in trouble again. Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, and Epstein, the bass player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, were arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June and charged with drug possession and car theft. Now they're being sued. The owners of Kiki's All Breed Grooming outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, allege that Epstein and Carter owe more than $22,000 in kennel fees for dogs they left to be boarded in 1999 and 2000. ...

"Beer Run," the duet Garth Brooks and George Jones are scheduled to record next week, was written by Kent Blazy and Kim Williams, along with Williams' daughter Amanda, George Ducas and Keith Anderson. Both Blazy and the elder Williams have inked hits for Brooks in the past ("If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Papa Loved Mama") and are featured on the album In the Beginning: A Tribute to Garth Brooks. ...

Country Music Hall of Fame members Charley Pride and Jimmy Dickens will headline the Fifth Annual Grand Ole Opry Caribbean Cruise from December 2-9 on the cruise liner Carnival Victory. Bill Anderson, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in October, and Grand Ole Opry member Jean Shepherd will also perform on the cruise ...

Ralph Stanley will be honored with a special set of hand cancellations issued by ten U. S. post offices in his home area of southwestern Virginia. These are not commemorative stamps, but rather cancellation marks imposed on regular stamps at post offices once the envelopes or post cards to which the stamps are attached enter the mail system. The Stanley markings carry the same design and date — Aug. 2 — for each participating post office, and will be released in conjunction with Dr. Ralph Stanley Appreciation Day, held annually in Dickenson County. Collectors can purchase all 10 cancellations at the postal station at the Dickenson County Fair through Aug. 4, or order them separately from these post offices: Bee, ZIP Code 24217; Birchleaf, 24220; Breaks, 24607; Clinchco, 24226; Clintwood, 24228; Dante, 24237; Davenport, 24239; Haysi, 24256; McClure, 24269; and Nora, 24272. The cancellations will remain available through September 1 ...

Former Boy Howdy lead singer Jeffrey Steele is launching his solo career with the new single "Somethin' in the Water." Also well known as a songwriter (his cuts include "Couldn't Last a Moment" by Collin Raye, "Unbelievable" by Diamond Rio, "Big Deal" by LeAnn Rimes and "I'm Trying" by Trace Adkins), Steele will release his debut album, Tip Your Hat on October 30 ...

Mary Chapin Carpenter told a Las Vegas audience that she may update the lyrics to one of her older hits, "I Feel Lucky,'' reports the Associated Press. The 1992 song, written by Carpenter with Don Schlitz, features the names of Dwight Yoakam and Lyle Lovett. "After years of singing this song, they just aren't doing it for me anymore,'' Carpenter said. She said new names to replace Yoakam and Lovett must be available, recognizable, and Carpenter must think they are "cute." "I've had audience members volunteer their names, but 'Bob Smith' isn't going to cut it,'' she said. From polling audiences, the two names that are in the running now are actors John Cusack and George Clooney ...

Hank Williams Jr.'s 3rd Annual Rolling Titan Thunder Rally is scheduled for September 8 at Nashville's Riverfront Park. Confederate Railroad and Lee Roy Parnell will also perform at the show, which marks the opening of the Tennessee Titans' football season. ...

Robert Earl Keen's Lost Highway debut album Gravitational Forces has been set for a September 11 release. He is said to be re-recording "The Road Goes On Forever" for the album. Gurf Morlix is co-producing with Keen. ...

Gordon Lightfoot and Gary Buck have been elected to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Association announced Thursday (July 26). The entertainers will be inducted into the hall during the September 7-10 Canadian Country Music Week celebrations in Calgary, Alberta. ...

Willie Nelson's next album, The Great Divide, is scheduled for release October 2. Guest artists are said to include Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Brian McKnight, Lee Ann Womack, Alison Krauss and Kid Rock. Thomas also wrote songs for the album, as did Bernie Taupin. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus, on hiatus from his television series "Doc," is in Nashville working on a new album with Dixie Chicks co-producer Blake Chancey. Cyrus has also recorded "Let's Go to the P-B-R," the title track to a Professional Bull Riders Association album to be released in September. Cyrus' disc is due next year. ...

Wayne "The Train" Hancock's new Bloodshot album, A-Town Blues, was produced by Lloyd Maines and is due September 4. ...

Trace Adkins' court appearance for his July 5 arrest on drunk-driving charges has been delayed until September 26. He had been due in Williamson County (Tennessee) General Sessions court on Monday (July 23). Adkins is now wrapping up the loose ends on Chrome, his fourth album for Capitol, due October 9. "I'm Tryin'," the album's first single, has just been released. ...

Renowned Texas swing fiddler Johnny Gimble will give a presentation and concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame on August 18. His appearance is the first big event in support of the yearlong run of "Nashville Salutes Texas! — Country From the Lone Star State," the museum's first special exhibit in its new building. Gimble played fiddle in hall of famer Bob Wills' Texas Playboys and went on to win the Country Music Association's musician of the year award five times between 1975 and 1990. Gimble will discuss his life and work and will give a performance demonstration at 2 p.m. in the hall's Ford Theater. Gimble and his band — featuring his son, Dick Gimble — will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the hall conservatory. ...

The Oxford American — author John Grisham's "Southern magazine of good writing" — has published its fifth annual music issue. As in previous years, a sampler CD comes with the magazine, giving readers the opportunity to hear many of the artists featured in the periodical, which runs more than 200 pages. Recordings by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Kevin Gordon, Steve Young, Deborah Allen and collaborations by Ralph Stanley with Bob Dylan and Earl Scruggs with Billy Bob Thornton are among the country-related tracks on this year's 22-song disc. Marty Stuart contributes an article about Scruggs, and in a forum, Hank Williams Jr., Pam Tillis, Rosanne Cash, Del McCoury, Allison Moorer and others sound off about their favorite Southern tunes, performers and records. ...

Tim McGraw has added a stop to his Set This Circus Down tour. The date is in Columbia, Maryland, on August 11 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. After the tour — which also features Kenny Chesney and Mark Collie — ends in Nashville on August 25, McGraw will play the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on August 27 ...

T Bone Burnett, producer of the platinum-selling movie soundtrack album, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, will deliver the keynote address October 1 at the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass Trade Show in Louisville. Keynote ceremonies will begin at 6 p. m. ...

The 2001 World of Bluegrass will be held October 1-7, with the IBMA Awards Show set for October 4. ...

Bluegrass greats Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs and Stuart Duncan, blues legend James Cotton and Cajun accordionist Marc Savoy will record the theme for the upcoming PBS documentary series "American Roots Music" on Thursday in Skaggs' studio. The four-part series — which will touch on folk, country, blues, gospel, Western swing, bluegrass, Cajun, zydeco, Tejano and Native American music — will begin October 29. Like Ken Burns' recent jazz series, "American Roots Music" will feature companion CDs, video box sets and a coffee-table book. ...

Billy Gilman will be the only country artist taking part in a tribute to Michael Jackson at New York's Madison Square Garden on September 7 and 10. Gilman will sing a song more than three times older than he is — the theme from the 1972 movie "Ben," for which Jackson received an Academy Award nomination. ...

Country Music Hall of Fame members Ray Price and Hank Thompson will headline the sixth annual Frizzell Festival on Pawnee Bill's Ranch in Pawnee, Oklahoma, on October 13. The all-day music celebration, hosted by David Frizzell, will include performances from Freddie Hart, Wanda Jackson, Claude Gray and Tommy Cash. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report