Country Music News - May/June 2004 -Page 7
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May / June, 2004 Issue

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Country Music News From New Zealand
Country music fans have fire in their bellies

Friday, 4-June 2004

   The Gore Country Music Club is not about to let a devastating fire at its headquarters put a dampener on its biggest weekend of the year. The town known as the home of New Zealand country music is already well into celebrating the 31st New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards and nothing is going to spoil the party.

Clutha reporter GLENN CONWAY previews Gore's big weekend.

   You can already sense that Gore is in the mood to party this weekend.
   After being held to ransom for most of last month at the hands of a serial arsonist, the home of New Zealand country music is breathing easy again.
   The fires came at a great social and personal cost. The town was on edge for weeks as police tried to catch the person behind a series of suspicious fires that claimed motor vehicles, a second-hand store, the home of an elderly woman and the Gore Country Music Club rooms, just weeks out from its biggest weekend of the year.
   Gone the building may be but the fighting spirit and positive attitude of club members remains as strong as ever.
   The New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards is their show and they are not about to let some firebug ruin it.
   The six-day program is already well under way with the Hands of Fame induction show on Tuesday night and the 2004 Miss Gold Guitar Queen crowned on Wednesday night.
   Last night, the MLT Songwriting Awards were dished out but tonight is what many regard as the start of the weekend for real.
   Country music lovers are spoilt for choice with two massive shows at two different venues on at the same time.
   The Gore Town and Country Club stadium - host to the two big weekend shows - will host The Wolverines from Australia while the New Zealand Country Music Tui Awards blast out of the St James Theatre.
   The Tuis have got everyone talking, it seems.
   A joint venture between the Gold Guitar organizing committee and the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand aim to raise the profile of New Zealand country music while fostering the talent out there.
   It will create a valuable platform for recording artists to showcase and get important recognition for their work.
   Tonight, 16 CDs will compete for best country music album and 12 singles will vie for best country music song.
   Country music's best Kenny Rogers-look-alike, Gary Morris from Southern Colorado, will be the guest artist at the Tuis and his performance in Gore will be his New Zealand debut.
   Boasting 12 albums which have produced 16 top 10 singles, including five that went to the top of the charts, Morris has also made his mark on Broadway and the Grand Ol' Opry.
   This man is not just a country music star. He turned his talents to opera and starred opposite Linda Ronstadt in Puccini's La Boheme, which sparked a flurry of offers. He became the first American to play Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
   That performance snared him a Best Actor nomination and one of the singles, Bring Me Home , is just one of several popular tracks on the musical's platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning album.
   A multitalented performer, Morris' list of achievements even stretches to television, where he had recurring roles in programs such as The Colbys , Designing Women and Mike Hammer.
   The two-hour show will be a lavish occasion with pre-show drinks, performances from the finalists, Morris' performance and the presentation of the awards themselves.
   Hot on the heels of this big night is the junior and intermediate finals tomorrow night with the showcase event - the senior final - set down for Sunday night.
   Country music fans everywhere will tell you there is a reason for their annual pilgrimage to Gore.
   This weekend, the town lays out the welcome mat.
   But deep down, organizing committee members will be thinking about what the future holds for the Tamworth Lane site that was their home for the past three decades.
   What will happen there? There will be thoughts of rebuilding and what else can be done to repair the heartache, anger and despair many in the world of country music are still feeling.
   But the emotions will be set to one side for the next few days.
Gore is in party mode and nothing is going to ruin these celebrations.

Randy Thompson’s "Sound Of The Rain"
Issues on Today’s CDX

COUNTRY MUSIC TODAY MAGAZINE - "Pulsating, cut-to-the-chase tales of love, regret and moving on, delivered with grit, swagger and a touch of class."

WASHINGTON POST – "Superb disc."

NASHVILLE CITY PAPER –"Thompson's writing has an honesty and directness that makes his compositions fresh and appealing. ..Whether you consider it traditional country, roots or Americana, there's no question his work has a singular sensibility and quality."

Nashville, TN (June 1, 2004) - - Pulsing with primal energy, Randy Thompson’s "Sound Of The Rain" is a pounding up tempo with fierce power. From the lanky Virginian’s third album, THAT’S NOT ME, the single will ship to radio via the CDX today.

A 15-week European chart sensation, debuting at the #1 spot, "Sound Of The Rain" is driven by an outlaw feel and Thompson’s towering vocal. Reminiscent of early Waylon Jennings tunes, the record is gritty, real and moving. Thompson says, "This song is about the feeling that you get driving down the road to somewhere new. It’s about leaving the past behind – leaving the pain behind and moving on with eyes wide open."

A compelling vocalist who wields razor-sharp lyrics along with a lethal Telecaster, Thompson is a force with which to be reckoned. Critical acclaim and impressive sales have focused the spotlight on this talented singer/songwriter – and the spotlight is right where it belongs.

Article submitted by:
Martha E. Moore
so much MOORE media - Celebrating 16 Years!
PO Box 120426
Nashville, TN 37212-0426
ph 615.298.1689
fax 615.298.1446
Web site:

Listen to "Sound Of The Rain"


Country Music Star Clay Walker
Goes To Washington To Support Battle Against Multiple Sclerosis

Will Rally Delegates at National MS Society's 2004 Public Policy Conference

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 06/04/2004 -- Multi-platinum country music star and National MS Society's Ambassador of the Year Clay Walker will be in Washington, D.C. June 4th to support the National MS Society's 2004 Public Policy Conference and heighten awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS) -- a disease that strikes someone new virtually every hour.

"We know that Clay's presence will help rally and inspire our more than 200 delegates to tackle the tough advocacy issues they face when they return home as advocacy reform typically starts at the grass roots level," said Susan Sanabria, vice president Advocacy Programs, National MS Society.

Last year, Walker revealed for the first time publicly his eight-year journey with relapsing-remitting MS and made it his mission to help others living with the disease. His upcoming appearance is not the first time Walker has come to Washington, D.C. to lend his support to the MS cause. He also spoke to members of Congress last year about the need for Medicare coverage of all approved MS therapies.

"Though I certainly never sought recognition for my efforts to raise awareness about MS, being named Ambassador of the Year by the National MS Society was a great honor and made me realize the impact I can have on the MS community," said Walker. "I was shocked last year to learn almost half the people living with MS aren't on therapy. I want to do whatever I can to help people with MS have access to the therapies available because these treatments are the best weapon we have until we find a cure."

Since coming forward last year, Walker has connected with thousands of individuals living with MS by speaking at MS educational seminars, doing TV and radio PSAs to support the MS cause and work of the Society, and helping to raise funds to end the devastating effects of MS.

"Increased funding for MS research is crucial because it not only can help improve the level of wellness for people with MS, but also provides additional inroads to unraveling the mysteries of MS," said Gen. Mike Dugan, president and CEO of the Society. "The more we understand MS, the more opportunity there is to reduce the $20 billion annual economic impact of the disease. The National MS Society and Clay are both dedicated to helping make a difference on those fronts."

Walker has sold more than 8 million albums and recently released his seventh studio album, "A Few Questions." The album was Walker's first for RCA Records and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard country music charts -- the highest debut of his career. With 11 No. 1 singles, five No. 1 videos, and his current single, "I Can't Sleep," in the Top 10 on the country music charts, Walker is a major force in the country music field.

"When I was diagnosed, I didn't know if I would be able to perform or play with my children and eight years later, I still do those things," said Walker. "I never let MS stop me from fulfilling my dream of performing. I'm living proof if you take responsibility, MS doesn't have to take away what you love. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and taking a daily injection has worked for me. It's important for others with MS to work with their neurologist to find what works for them. The worst thing you can do is nothing."

Clay Walker began his life in Beaumont, TX, and was surrounded by music growing up. He landed his first record deal at 23. Now, he holds the distinction of being the only artist to have one of his songs included five years consecutively in Billboard's year-end Top 10 country list. He's also been one of country's Top 10 grossing touring acts.

Note to Editors: For further information about multiple sclerosis and the programs of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, please contact the Society through its 24-hour information line, 1-800-FIGHT-MS or visit its Web site at The National MS Society is dedicated to ending the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. It funds more MS research, offers more services for people with MS, provides more professional education programs and furthers more MS advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world. Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, chronic, and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. For more details on Clay Walker's upcoming tours and albums, visit

Arney Rosenblat
212 476-0436
Cell: 917 613-5711
Annette Larkin

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