Country Music People October 2017 - Page 7

16th AMERICANA Honors & Awards Farewell Party Albert “Sonny” Burgess, leader of the 1950s Memphis rockabilly group The Pacers, died Aug. 18 at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, Ark. He was age 88. Sonny started off in his native Arkansas, fronting the boogie band Rocky Road Ramblers. After an Army stint during the Korean Conflict, he returned home, a farmer. Nights and weekends he played guitar, for a time leading a dance band The Moonlighters. In 1955, he turned his full attention on to music, especially excited about the new sound emanating from Sun Records and a Bill Haley movie Rock Around The Clock. Inspired, The annual Americana Music Festival went down in Sonny’s new band The Pacers incorporated hip new Nashville last month with showcases being held at various sounds into their act, and while opening for newcomer venues across town, including Basement East, Station Inn, Elvis Presley, was encouraged by the rockabilly pioneer to Family Wash and 3rd & Lindsley. Some 300 performers see Sam Phillips in Memphis. Sam signed them to Sun, were scheduled throughout the week including CMP releasing their 1956 debut disc Red-Headed Woman, favourite Zephaniah OHora. with a flip-side featuring We Wanna Boogie. Additional Margo Price and Brent Cobb were among the performers presenting new material at the awards show but Buddy Miller, usually to be found in the house band, Sun records by The Pacers included Thunderbird, Ain’t Got a Thing and Sadie’s Back in Town. In 1965, the band scored again via The Short Squashed Texan on Razorback Records. and Rodney Crowell, winner of the Song Of The Year Fellow Pacers included Bobby Crafford, Jim Aldridge, Fred Douglas, Kern Kennedy and honour were both sick. J. C. Caughron. Pacer LPs include They Came From the South, Live In Sweden and Still Rhiannon Giddens reportedly captivated the audience, and John Prine, popular winner of the Artist Of The Year Rockin’ And Rollin’. In 2002, Sonny & The Pacers were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in award introduced Iris Dement (above). Americana golden- Jackson, Tenn., and also The Arkansas Entertainers’ Hall of Fame in Pine Bluff. Burgess is boy Jason Isbell saw his wife Amanda Shires pick up the survived by a son John Burgess. Emerging Artist trophy while Sturgill Simpson snatched the Album Of The Year award but was absent due to New Musician Leon Douglas, 78, died Aug. 18. A member of the York tour dates. WWVA Wheeling Jamboree in West Va. for 30 years, he also The winners were: performed with Cousin Jody on WSM’s Grand Ole Oprystarting Album of the Year: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth - Sturgill in the 1960s. As an entertainer, Leon shared the stage with such Simpson - Produced by Sturgill Simpson other notables as Marty Robbins, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard and Artist of the Year: John Prine George Jones. Group/Duo of the Year: Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives Bluegrass veteran Jim Rollins, 54, died Song of the Year: “It Ain’t Over Yet” - Rodney Crowell in a car crash after being struck in the rear (feat. Rosanne Cash & John Paul White) - Written by by another vehicle speeding on I-385 in Rodney Crowell Greenville County, S.C. The banjoist’s car Emerging Artist of the Year: Amanda Shires spun off the road, and Rollins was thrown out Instrumentalist of the Year: Charlie Sexton of the vehicle, hitting his head. According to Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award co- the Greenville County Coroner, death was presented by the Americana Music Association and caused by blunt force trauma. the First Amendment Center: Graham Nash In his younger days, Rollins toured with Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer: Iris DeMent Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys and Lifetime Achievement Award, Songwriting: Van more recently with the West End String Morrison Band, based in North Carolina. Apart Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance: Robert from his music, Rollins was a General Cray Electric Company engineer, who lived in Lifetime Achievement Award, Instrumentalist: Hi Simpsonville, S.C. Reportedly, the driver Rhythm Section of the speeding car has been charged with Lifetime Achievement Award, Executive: Larry Sloven felony DUI in connection with the untimely and Bruce Bromberg death of Rollins. OCTOBER 2017 - cmp 7