Garth–BrooksTroyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962) is an American country music singer and songwriter. His eponymous first album was released in 1989 and peaked at number 2 in the US country album chart while climbing to number 13 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Brooks’ integration of rock elements into his recordings and live performances earned him immense popularity. This progressive approach allowed him to dominate the country single and album charts while crossing over into the mainstream pop arena.

Brooks broke records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the 1990s. As of 2013, his recordings continue to sell well and, according to Nielsen Soundscan, his albums sales up to May 2013 are 68,630,000, which makes him the best-selling albums artist in the United States in the SoundScan era (since 1991), a title held since 1991, well over 5 million ahead of his nearest rival, The Beatles. According to RIAA he is the second best-selling solo albums artist in the United States of all time behind Elvis Presley (overall third to the Beatles and Elvis Presley) with 128 million units sold. Brooks is also one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 190 million records (albums, singles, and video).

Brooks has released six albums that achieved diamond status in the United States, those being: Garth Brooks (10× platinum), No Fences (17× platinum), Ropin’ the Wind (14× platinum), The Hits (10× platinum), Sevens (10× platinum) and Double Live (21× platinum). Since 1989, Brooks has released 19 records in all, which include; 10 studio albums, 1 live album, 3 compilation albums, 3 Christmas albums and 3 box sets, along with 77 singles. He won several important awards in his career, including 2 Grammy Awards, 17 American Music Awards (including the “Artist of the ’90s”) and the RIAA Award as Best selling solo albums artist of the Century in the United States.

Troubled by conflicts between career and family, Brooks officially retired from recording and performing from 2001 until 2009. During this time, he sold millions of albums through an exclusive distribution deal with Walmart and sporadically released new singles. In 2005, Brooks started a partial comeback, and has since given several performances and released two compilation albums.

On October 15, 2009, Garth Brooks announced the end of his retirement. In December 2009, he began a five-year concert deal with the Encore Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. In 2014 his contract with Encore ended. On July 10, 2014, he announced his signing with Sony Music Nashville, as well as confirming plans for an upcoming album, world tour, and the release of his music in a digital format.

Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 21, 2012. – Wikipedia

Jerry ReedThis week on Vinyl Country USA – it’s Super-picker Mr. Jerry Reed …. son! including some of the legends of country who took his songs to the top of the charts, including Gene Vincent, Brenda Lee, Porter Wagoner, and the King (Elvis to you slickers)! Live with Willie B 2pm ET and check the schedule for encore performances.

Claude KingClaude King (February 5, 1923 – March 7, 2013) was an American country music singer and songwriter, best known for his million selling 1962 hit, “Wolverton Mountain”.

King was born in Keithville in southern Caddo Parish south of Shreveport in northwestern Louisiana. At a young age, he was interested in music but also in athletics and the outdoors. He purchased a guitar at the age of twelve, and although he learned to play, most of his time was devoted to sports. He received a baseball scholarship to the University of Idaho at Moscow, Idaho.

From 1942 to 1945, he served in the United States Navy during World War II.

King died suddenly at his home in Shreveport on March 7, 2013, at the age of ninety. He is survived by his wife, the former Barbara Coco; three sons, Daune Coco King, Bradley T. King, and Jerome Jay King; along with one niece and three nephews, Barbara Watson, Joseph Brown, Mark Brown, and Chris Aable. He and his wife, Barbara, had just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary a month prior to his death.

Services were held on March 13, 2013, at the Centuries Funeral Home Chapel in Shreveport, with the Reverends William D. “Billy” Franks and Tim Maloy officiating. Interment followed at Centuries Memorial Park. Reverend Franks (born 1925) is the younger brother of Tillman Franks and the retired founding pastor of the Oakmont Church of God in the Cedar Grove section of Shreveport. He also preached at the funeral of Johnny Horton in November 1960. – Wikipedia

LonestarLonestar is an American country music group consisting of Richie McDonald (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Michael Britt (lead guitar, background vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums), and Dean Sams (keyboards, background vocals). Before the group’s foundation, both Rainwater and Britt were members of the group Canyon. John Rich (bass guitar, lead and background vocals) was a member until 1998, when he was fired from the group. Rich later became a solo artist before joining Big Kenny to form Big & Rich, in addition to serving as a producer and songwriter for other artists. Between 2007 and 2011, McDonald exited the band for a solo career, with former McAlyster lead singer Cody Collins replacing him as lead vocalist in this timespan. McDonald has also composed singles for Clay Walker, The Wilkinsons, Billy Dean, and Sara Evans, in addition to releasing two solo albums and singing guest vocals on Mindy McCready’s 1996 single “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now”.

Lonestar has charted more than 20 singles on Hot Country Songs, including 9 that reached No. 1: “No News”, “Come Cryin’ to Me”, “Amazed”, “Smile”, “What About Now”, “Tell Her”, “I’m Already There”, “My Front Porch Looking In”, and “Mr. Mom”. “Amazed” also charted at No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first country song to do so since “Islands in the Stream” in 1983. “Amazed” and “My Front Porch Looking In” were the top country songs of 1999 and 2003, respectively, on Billboard Year-End. The group has recorded seven albums, one EP, and a greatest hits package for the defunct BNA Records, one album for Saguaro Road Records, and one album for 4 Star Records. Three of their albums have been certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). – Wikipedia

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Anita CochranAnita Renee Cockerham (born February 6, 1967), known professionally as Anita Cochran, is an American country music singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer. Signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1997, she made her debut on the U.S. country charts that year with the release of her first album Back to You. It produced the hit single “What If I Said”, a duet with country music artist Steve Wariner, which reached Number One in early 1998, producing not only Anita’s first Number One overall, but also Wariner’s first Number One since 1989. Although she never entered the Top 40 on the country charts again, she recorded a second album for Warner Bros. before being dropped in 2004. – Wikipedia