Don Devaney Passes Away; Another Hank Williams Biopic in the Works; Grammy Awards Add “Best American Roots Performance”

Juli Thanki | June 13th, 2014

  • Songwriter Don Devaney, who penned “Someone Loves You Honey,” “Listening to the Rain,” and many more, passed away last Friday at the age of 78.
  • The Grammy Awards added several new categories, one of which is Best American Roots Performance. The press release notes that this is an artist’s award that will “encompass all of the subgenres of the Field (Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, regional roots music), and recognizes singles/tracks only as well as solo artists/duos/groups/collaborations. This puts the Field in line with the Pop, Rock, Rap, R&B, Country, and Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Fields, all of which have performance categories.”
  • National Geographic ran a feature on “Country: Portraits of an American Sound” photo exhibit.
  • Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) has signed on to play Hank Williams in a forthcoming biopic called I Saw the Light; the screenplay is based on Colin Escott’s fantastic biography of the country legend. Hiddleston will do his own singing.
  • Lera Lynn will release The Avenues on September 9. (via press release)
  • Out September 1: Irish singer-songwriter Ben Glover’s Atlantic, which includes co-writes with Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier. (via press release)
  • Otis Gibbs will release Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth on August 19. (via press release)
  • Amazon launched a music streaming service for Prime subscribers. However, The New York Times reports that Prime Music lacks most new releases as well as Universal Music Group’s catalog.
  • Kenny Chesney on his new album: “We’re in the mixing process now, so that’s exciting…I’ve been in here since October of last year, and we’re still in there…. I made a whole record and mixed it and threw it away. We’ve got a better record now for it.” 
  • Peter Cooper wrote a piece on Mary Gauthier’s songwriting tips for The Tennessean.
  • Dave and Phil Alvin were on NPR’s Fresh Air.
  • The 615 shines their spotlight on Steven Padilla.
  • Bluegrass DJ Carol Beaugard is stepping away from the microphone after 30 years to pursue acting.
  • The T Bone Burnett/Stephen King/John Mellencamp play Ghost Brothers of Darkland County will tour again in the fall.
  • Willie Nelson’s December Day, scheduled for release later this year, will have “eight or nine” originals and a version of Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” Nelson’s Band of Brothers comes out next week.
  • Song/video premieres:

Otis Gibbs “Ghosts of Our Fathers”

Sean Watkins “Since the Day That I Was Born”

Dom Flemons “San Francisco Baby”

Swamp Donkeys Game of Thrones theme song (oldtimey jazz version)

  1. numberonecountryfan
    June 13, 2014 at 10:40 am

    About the American Country Countdown Awards, will Kix Brooks host it? I can see it now. In the middle of the show, he will play a song from ‘x’ many years ago for the hell of it. And don’t forget the ‘Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not’ feature!

  2. Jonathan Pappalardo
    June 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Re Grammys: I take it this new category isn’t to be confused with ‘Best American Roots Song,’ which Steve Martin & Edie Brickell won this past January. It was a brand new category.

    Is the FOX award show replacing the American Country Awards which already air in December on the network or is it in addition to it?

    The Kenny Cheseby news is fishy. It’s almost obvious that the original album was too dark and substantive so therefore the label asked him to go back and record some music row drivel in order to compete with commercial country. Bet that’s the case as I doubt he’d throw away a whole album on his own accord.

  3. Barry Mazor
    June 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    There are song awards in all of the parallel categories, and no, they’re not the same as performance awards.

    Songs do not equal records do not equal performances.

  4. Juli Thanki
    June 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Based on my understanding and the exhaustive 45 seconds of research I just did, the Best American Roots Song award goes to the songwriters; this new performance award will go to the artists.

    I hope that this new awards show takes the place of the ACAs, which were deeply terrible, if I remember correctly, though god knows I’ve tried to forget. If Kix’s show doesn’t include a ventriloquist’s dummy, it’ll be an improvement.

  5. Barry Mazor
    June 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    That’s it, Juli–and the record awards go to the producers.

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