MUSIC CITY WALK OF FAME PRESENTED BY GIBSON GUITAR ANNOUNCES INDUCTEES
Bill Anderson and Keith Urban Earn Stars on Nashville's Music Mile
Nashville, Tenn. - Music City, Inc. today announced the newest inductees into the Music City Walk of Fame, presented by founding sponsor Gibson Guitar: country music legend Bill Anderson and four-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban. The honorees will be recognized officially with the unveiling of commemorative sidewalk markers on Sunday, May 15, beginning at 2:30 p.m. in Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville. The induction ceremony, which is sponsored by Great American Country (GAC), is free and open to the public.
The induction of Anderson and Urban will bring the total number of stars along the Walk of Fame to 50, marking a significant milestone for the Walk. Created in the fall of 2006, the Music City Walk of Fame, on Nashville's Music Mile, is a landmark tribute to those from all genres of music who have made significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration.
Permanent sidewalk medallions with each honoree's name displayed in a star-and-guitar design will be installed in the sidewalk along the Music Mile. The plaques for this class of inductees will be inlaid in Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun, between 4th and 5th Avenues South.
"We are honored to induct these amazing artists into the Walk of Fame," said Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. "They represent the immense talent and creativity that make Nashville, Music City."
The Music City Walk of Fame is an official project of Music City, Inc., the charitable foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau (NCVB), and is produced with the support of presenting sponsor Gibson Guitar and sponsors GAC, Durango, the City of Nashville and Metro Parks.
Nominations were open to the public and were accepted in the categories of Artist, Musician, Songwriter, and Producer/Music Industry Executive. Application forms were reviewed by the Music City Walk of Fame anonymous selection committee.
Music City Walk of Fame Inductees:
Bill Anderson If you want someone's attention, whisper. Bill Anderson's been using that philosophy for almost fifty years to capture the attention of millions of country music fans around the world, en route to becoming a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and one of the most popular, most enduring entertainers of our time.
He's known, in fact as "Whispering Bill," a nickname hung on him years ago as a result of his breathy voice and his warm, soft approach to singing a country song. His credentials, however, shout his prominence: one of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music, a million-selling recording artist many times over, and a consummate onstage performer. His back-up group, The Po' Folks Band, has long been considered one of the finest instrumental and vocal groups in the business.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Bill Anderson worked his way through college as a radio disc jockey, and began performing and writing songs at the same time. At the age of nineteen he composed the country classic, "City Lights," and began rapidly carving his place in musical history.
He moved to Nashville, secured a recording contract, and began turning out hit after hit with songs like "Po'Folks," "Mama Sang A Song," "The Tips Of My Fingers," "8X10," and the unforgettable country and pop smash, "Still." His compositions were recorded by such diverse musical talents as Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, James Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Kitty Wells, Faron Young, Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, and Walter Brennan.
Bill has been voted Songwriter of the Year six times, Male Vocalist of the Year, half of Duet of the Year twice, hosted and starred in the Country Music Television Series of the Year, had his band voted Band of the Year, and in 1975 was voted membership in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2001, he received the ultimate honor, membership in Nashville's prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame.
An entertainer in every sense of the word, Bill Anderson was the first country artist to host a network game show, "The Better Sex." He also appeared for three years on ABC's Daytime soap opera, "One Life to Live."
Bill Anderson continues to paint a broad stroke across the Nashville music scene. He has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1961 and performs there regularly.
In 1995, Billboard magazine named four Bill Anderson compositions - "City Lights," "Once A Day," "Still," and "Mama Sang A Song" - among the Top 20 Country Songs of the past 35-years. No other songwriter had as many songs listed.
Anderson closed out the 20th century with a pair of #1 hits, "Wish You Were Here," by Mark Wills and the Grammy nominated "Two Teardrops" by Steve Wariner. His song, "Too Country," recorded by Brad Paisley along with Anderson, Buck Owens and George Jones, won CMA Vocal Event of the Year honors in 2001. The following year, Kenny Chesney soared with his version of the Anderson-Dean Dillon masterpiece, "A Lot of Things Different."
But between November 2005, and December 2007, Anderson enjoyed perhaps the most fertile period of his songwriting life. He won CMA Song of the Year honors for his and Jon Randall's poignant ballad, "Whiskey Lullaby," recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for co-writing with Tia Sillers the Country/Gospel Recorded Song of the Year, "Jonah, Job, and Moses," sung by the Oak Ridge Boys, and his first ACM Song of the Year Award for "Give It Away," recorded by George Strait and written with Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson. "Give It Away" went on to win the CMA Song of the Year, as well as affording Anderson his fourth Grammy nomination.
In 2002, Broadcast Music, Inc. named Anderson its first country music songwriting Icon, placing him alongside R&B legends Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and James Brown as the only recipients of that prestigious award. In 2008, the Academy of Country Music honored him with their inaugural Poets Award.
Keith Urban In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Keith Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future. He is the first Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA's Male Artist of the Year, a title he's captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year.
Nine years and more than 15 millions albums later, Keith is a four-time Grammy Award winner, who has also won a People's Choice and American Music Award. He's won five Academy of Country Music Awards, had 12 #1s, including 22 Top 5 hits and two consecutive #1 CDs. His latest CD, Get Closer comes on the heels of his fifth consecutive platinum/multi-platinum release.
In 2009, Urban was named the year's most played country artist (at radio) thanks to #1 hits such as "Sweet Thing," "You'll Think of Me," "Only You Can Love Me This Way," "Better Life" and "Days Go By." In addition, his 2002 smash "Somebody Like You" was named the #1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS (based on radio airplay and audience impressions).
But Urban's reputation as an elite songwriter, musician, vocalist and virtuoso guitarist is no more evident than when he is onstage. His electrifying concerts have played to sold-out venues from Australia to Germany to England to Canada and The United States and he's received high praise from critics. In fact, 2009's Escape Together World Tour, as well as 2007's Love, Pain & the whole crazy World Tour, were both, according to Pollstar, one of the top grossing tours for their respective years.
Urban will be back out on the road this summer with his "Get Closer 2011 World Tour", which opens on June 16th. ###
About the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVB's website at www.visitmusiccity.com.
About Gibson Guitar Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Gibson's HD.6X-PRO Digital Guitar, the Gibson Robot Les Paul and the Gibson Dark Fire guitar represent the biggest advance in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Maestro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Gibson Baldwin Music Education, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Oberheim, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, Baldwin, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson's website at www.gibson.com or www.gibson.com/press.
About Great American Country Great American Country is America's main street for the widest variety of country music, its artists and the lifestyles they influence. In addition to country music videos, GAC features original programming, special musical performances and live concerts, and is the exclusive television home of the Grand Ole Opry. GAC is available in more than 44 million households and online at www.GACTV.com.