Thursday, September 20, 2007

Charlie Hosts Anti-bullying radio program

Montana's News Station, Fair. Accurate. To the Point. -Anti-bullying effort gets radio program: "Associated Press - September 19, 2007 6:05 PM ET CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A host of country music performers are participating in an educational radio program to reduce bullying in schools and help bullied kids cope without resorting to violence.

The one-hour radio program hosted by country artist Charlie Daniels will be available to radio stations nationwide next month. During the program, country artists, including Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Joe Nichols, Trisha Yearwood, Trent Tomlinson, Tracy Lawrence and Jason Michael Carroll, voice their concerns and share personal experiences with bullying.

The radio program is a new feature of an ongoing Wyoming-based education effort called Bullying Hurts that a professional rodeo clown from Cheyenne has been promoting and teaching in schools and community organizations around the country for the last several years. The Bullying Hurts Program stresses positive youth development and prevention to combat bullying."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Southern Rock Pioneer Hughie Thomasson Dies in Florida

Guitarist Founded the Outlaws and Later Joined Lynyrd Skynyrd
By: Chet Flippo

One of the pre-eminent Southern rock guitarists has died. Hughie Thomasson went out to dinner with his wife Mary on Sunday (Sept. 9), went home, got comfortable in his favorite chair to watch football and then passed away from a heart attack during a nap. He was 55 and lived in Brooksville, Fla., near Tampa.

Born Hugh Edward Thomasson Jr., Hughie Thomasson joined a fledging Tampa-area bar band named the Outlaws in the late '60s. With David Dix on drums, Thomasson quickly made a name for himself as a no-nonsense guitar master. The group disbanded, but Thomasson reformed the Outlaws in 1972 with guitarist Henry Paul, drummer Monte Yoho and bassist Frank O'Keefe. (Paul later enjoyed a successful country career as a member of BlackHawk.) Guitarist Billy Jones joined in 1973.Known as the "Florida Guitar Army" for their triple-lead guitar attack, the Outlaws were the first group signed to former Columbia Records head Clive Davis when he formed Arista Records. Davis signed them on the spot when he saw them play a small Georgia club.

Their 1975 debut album The Outlaws quickly sold gold, and they were signed as the opening act on the Doobie Brothers' Stampede tour. The band went on to record 13 albums in all, with such hits as "Green Grass and High Tides" and "Hurry Sundown," both of which Thomasson wrote. His signature Fender Stratocaster guitar sound and vocals came to define the group.

The Outlaws disbanded in the mid-'90s when Thomasson joined Lynyrd Skynyrd. He added his distinctive guitar sound to Skynyrd's robust lineup and co-wrote many of the band's later songs. In 2005, Thomasson left Skynyrd and reformed the Outlaws with drummers Yoho and Dix, bassist Randy Threet and guitarist Chris Anderson.

They toured extensively this year and performed with the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band and Dickey Betts and also played a festival in Amsterdam with Aerosmith.

The Outlaws' last concert took place Saturday (Sept. 8) at a casino in Nevada, and they had 15 concert dates scheduled through mid-December of this year.

A final, completed album, tentatively titled Once an Outlaw, which Thomasson produced, has not yet been scheduled for release.

Thomasson had also planned to re-release his solo album, So Low, under the new title, Lone Outlaw.

Memorial plans were incomplete as of Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 11).