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Blue Highway's Wayne Taylor Newest Member of Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame

Wayne Taylor, by Tom NetherlandChesterfield, VA -- Blue Highway's beloved bass player, songwriter, and vocalist Wayne Taylor was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame in a ceremony held on Saturday, October 8, in Chesterfield, VA.

Donna Ulisse Named 2016 Songwriter of the Year

Donna UlisseDonna Ulisse left Raleigh last week named the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association's Songwriter of the Year. It is an award she had been nominated for the past four years in a row with 2016 making it her fifth nomination. Having never won, it caused her to often joke that she was the IBMA's Susan Lucci, in reference to Lucci going nineteen years before winning an Emmy for best Daytime Soap Actress. When former winner Becky Buller announced the award, she smiled at Ulisse's table and said, "You are no longer the Susan Lucci of this award."

Rhiannon Giddens Wins Steve Martin Prize For Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass

Los Angeles, CA -- Critically acclaimed singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is the recipient of the seventh annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Described by T Bone Burnett as one of the “most profound musicians active today,” Giddens is the co-founder of the GRAMMY Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she sang and played banjo and fiddle. That group has long investigated and promoted the foundational role African-American performers and songwriters have played in folk-music history, while making recordings that are vital, contemporary, and exuberant.

Grand Master Fiddler Championship Crowns 2016 Master

Maddie Denton Receives Grand Master Fiddler AwardThe Grand Master Champion for 2016 is Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Denton took home $1,200 in cash, a $500 gift certificate courtesy of D’Addario, a Grand Master Fiddler plaque, and will appear on the Grand Ole Opry. The two-day 45th annual Grand Master Fiddler Championship is the nation’s premier championship event held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on September 3 and 4, 2016.

Ricky Skaggs to be Honored with ASCAP Founders Award

Ricky SkaggsASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, will present acclaimed bluegrass and country music songwriter-artist and Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs with its prestigious Founders Award at the 54thannual ASCAP Country Music Awards. The exclusive, invitation-only gala, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed country songs of 2015, will take place at the historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee on October 31st.

Randall Franks Honored at 42nd Annual A.S.E. Awards

Randall Franks and Georgia Mafia Bluegrass Band, J.Lynne PhotographyEntertainer Randall Franks, of Ringgold, was among the recent honorees at the 42nd annual Atlanta Society of Entertainers Awards receiving the Bluegrass Band of the Year Award with his Georgia Mafia Bluegrass Band. Franks, who is best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from the TV series “In the Heat of the Night,” starred in three TV series and 15 films. Musically, he is recognized as an International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend and Independent Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.

Monroe Mandolin Camp 2nd Annual Video Scholarship Competition Winner Announced

Dylan Ferris//Mandolin Cafe/ Nashville, TN -- The Monroe Mandolin Camp, a traditional roots based music camp offering world class instruction on the music of the Founder of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, is proud to announce the winner of the 2nd Annual Video Scholarship Competition, generously underwritten by Intelometry.

Knight Family Wins Rural Roots Music Commission Album of the Year

The Knight FamilyFall Branch, TN -- For the second year in a row, East Tennessee Mountain Gospel artist, The Knight Family will receive Vintage Gospel CD of the Year honors. The group was informed this week that the Rural Roots Music Commission will bestow the honor in LeMars, IA in September at the National Traditional Country Music Association Convention.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum Receives Merit Award

American Association for State and Local History AwardBristol, TN/VA -- The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is the recipient of an Award of Merit for their permanent exhibits on the history and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 71st year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Barry Mitterhoff Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Barry MitterhoffScotch Plains, NJ -- Mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd Annual New Jersey Folk Festival. “I’m honored and excited about getting this Lifetime Achievement Award for playing and teaching bluegrass music in New Jersey over the last 47 years,” says Barry.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners Announced

MerleFest 2016 congratulates the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Here the finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson.Wilkesboro, NC -- The Austin Stage was packed for MerleFest 2016’s 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC). The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale. Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.

David Naiditch Wins the 14th Independent Music Awards for Bluegrass Album

Bluegrass in the BackwoodsDavid's "Bluegrass in the Backwoods" is an instrumental CD that features dazzling solos by Stuart Duncan, Sierra Hull, Rob Ickes, Ron Block, Jake Workman, Dennis Caplinger, Christian Ward, and other topnotch virtuosos. David Naiditch won the 14th Independent Music Awards (IMA) for Bluegrass Album. The surprise is that David Naiditch plays the chromatic harmonica, an instrument that is used in jazz but that, as far as we know, hasn't been recorded in bluegrass since Jimmy Riddle of Hee Haw fame released his "Country Harmonica" LP in 1964.

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris & Grand Ole Opry to be Honored

Vince Gill, Emmylou HarrisNashville, TN -- The National Music Council will bring its annual American Eagle Awards presentation to Nashville, Tennessee, for a second year in a row on Saturday, June 25, 2016. The highly prestigious Eagle Awards are presented each year in national celebration of an individual’s or an organization’s long term contribution to America’s musical culture and heritage. This year, music legends Emmylou Harris and Vince Gill will be honored, along with the iconic Grand Ole Opry.

Dolly Parton Honored with MovieGuide Most Inspiring TV Program

Dolly Parton with MovieGuide AwardNashville, TN -- The Movieguide® Awards honored international entertainment icon Dolly Parton with the Epiphany Prize for the Most Inspiring TV Program of 2015 for her NBC TV movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.”

The McLain Family Band Honored with 2016 Lifetime Achievement LEXI Award

McLain Family BandThe Lexington Music Awards seek to honor the present and past glory of Lexington's entire music industry. With 31 categories spanning the music industry including best female vocal artist, best male vocal artist, Song of the Year, best music venue, and best educator, this is truly a comprehensive awards program. The McLain Family Band was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Also included are J.D. Crowe, Ricky Skaggs, Vince DiMartino, and J.P. Pennington. The awards took place Sunday, January 31st.


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