Thursday, July 16, 2009

White House Music Series to Highlight Country Music Talents

On Tuesday, July 21st, the White House will continue its music series celebrating the arts and demonstrating the importance of arts education by featuring Country Music and its stars Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and Union Station. Paisley and Krauss will participate in an educational workshop from 2-3 PM where 120 middle and high school students from across the nation will come to learn about the craft of songwriting and country’s musical traditions. The musicians will then perform at 7:30 PM – President Obama will make remarks at this evening event.

The Country Music Celebration is presented with assistance from The Country Music Association, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and produced by the Grand Ole Opry and Great American Country Television. The event will be held in the East Room and is pooled press.

The First Lady launched the White House Music series to encourage arts and arts education. The White House featured Jazz last month and will feature Classical music this fall.

See below for more information on event participants.

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley is a consummate singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer, which has earned him three GRAMMY’s, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards and 11 Country Music Association Awards. He has released eight critically acclaimed studio albums that have accumulated sales of over 10 million units, including 2x-Platinum 2005 ACM and CMA Album of the Year, Time Well Wasted. His most recent album, American Saturday Night, released on June 30 debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums sales chart. Paisley has 14 #1 singles – the last 10 consecutive – extending a streak already unmatched by any other country artist in the 19-year history of Nielsen BDS- monitored airplay. Paisley is a West Virginia native that currently lives on a farm outside of Nashville with his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and two sons, Huck and Jasper.

Alison Krauss and Union Station

Alison Krauss and Union Station is the most prominent band in contemporary bluegrass music. Over the past two decades, Alison and her bandmates – Barry Bales (bass), Ron Block (guitar/banjo), Jerry Douglas (Dobro) and Dan Tyminski (guitar/mandolin) – have brought a modern sophistication to the genre through their song selection and arrangements, but have never lost respect for bluegrass traditions. Individually and collectively, they have left an imprint on nearly every genre of music, not only through their own recordings, but also through producing, songwriting and various collaborations, such as the renowned soundtrack to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Alison has won 26 Grammy Awards, the most of any female artist in Grammy history, 8 Country Music Association Awards, 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards and has sold more than 11 million records worldwide. Raising Sand, her recent collaboration with Robert Plant, received the prestigious Record and Album of the Year awards at the 2009 Grammys.

Eddie Stubs, Performance MC

Eddie Stubbs is a native of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Born on November 25, 1961, he began playing the fiddle at the age of four under his father’s instruction. Eddie joined the highly acclaimed bluegrass band, the Johnson Mountain Boys, and played with them from 1978 to 1996. He moved to Nashville on March 21, 1995 to play fiddle for Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright. A week after moving to town, Eddie was hired part-time by WSM. On June 23, 1995, he became an announcer on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry.

Jay Orr, Workshop Moderator

Orr holds a B. A. in English from the College of William & Mary (1974) and an M. L. S. in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1981). Orr worked at the Center for Southern Folklore in Memphis and as a consultant to the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center before moving to Nashville in 1984. From 1984-1989 he served as a librarian and researcher at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. For ten years, beginning in 1989, he covered music and the music industry for daily newspapers the Nashville Banner and The Tennessean. In 2000, he became managing editor for CMT News and, the Web site for cable channel CMT: Country Music Television. Orr has authored liner notes for more than twenty-five albums by artists such as Patsy Cline, Vince Gill, Elvis Presley, and Earl Scruggs, and for the Down from the Mountain concert album featuring the cast of O Brother, Where Art Thou? In 2007, he won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual award for best liner notes, for Sugar Hill Records: A Retrospective. He contributed to the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Encyclopedia of Country Music and Country on Compact Disc: The Essential Guide to the Music. From 1994-2004, Orr wrote the “popular music” entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica’s annual yearbook. His writing has been published in Billboard, Oxford American, the Journal of Country Music, the Journal of American Folklore, Request, Music Row, Bluegrass Unlimited, No Depression, and BMI Musicworld. Orr is a member of the Country Music Association and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and is an alumnus and former board member of Leadership Music.


Country Music Association

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 6,000 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives –t he CMA Awards, and the CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education for Nashville public school children.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to saving America’s songs of home. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Museum takes as its mission the preservation of country music and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. Through exhibits, publications, and programs, the Museum teaches its audiences about the enduring beauty and cultural importance of country music.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Words & Music program provides students with an extensive lesson plan which highlights the lyric-writing process. Teachers assist students in writing or co-writing lyrics in the classroom; the lyrics are then sent back to the museum, and are given to one of the museum’s professional songwriter volunteers, who refines the students’ lyrics and adds melodies. Finally, students visit the museum for a tour and a performance of their songs by their participating songwriter. More than 4,300 2nd through 12th-grade students at 45 Tennessee, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky schools wrote songs that were put to music by 46 professional songwriters throughout the 2008-09 school year.

Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is known around the world as the show that made country music famous. The show first hit the radio airwaves on WSM over 80 years ago, introducing America to voices that helped define a musical genre. Today the magic continues as hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages to Nashville, Tennessee every year to see and hear some of the greatest stars in Country Music, while countless others tune in to enjoy the Opry on the radio, satellite radio, and the Internet.

VH1 Save the Music Foundation

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America’s public schools and raising awareness about the importance of music as a part of every child’s complete education. The Foundation was started due to the body of research that consistently shows children who have access to a sequential music program, do better in their academic and life endeavors. Since 1997, The Foundation has provided $43 million worth of music instruments to 1600 public schools nationwide.

This list is not comprehensive.
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