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Contemporary country singer/songwriter Brad Paisley was born October 28, 1972, in Glen Dale, WV; given his first guitar at age eight, he delivered his first public performance at church two years later. With his 50-something guitar teacher Clarence “Hank” Goddard and two of the older man’s seasoned musician buddies, the teenaged Paisley formed his first band, the C-Notes, and at age 12 began writing his own material. After performing in front of the local Rotary Club, he was invited to appear on Wheeling station WWVA’s famed Saturday night broadcast Jamboree USA. Paisley’s debut was so well received that he was invited to join the program full-time, and in the years to follow he opened for the likes of the Judds, Roy Clark, and Little Jimmy Dickens. He later attended Nashville’s Belmont University, serving an internship with ASCAP; the contacts Paisley made there helped him land a songwriting deal with EMI, and he also appeared on countless demos. Signing to Arista, he issued his debut solo album, Who Needs Pictures, in 1999. The record produced two chart-topping singles in “He Didn’t Have to Be,” an ode to loving stepfathers, and “We Danced” and also earned generally positive reviews for its diversity of country styles. In the meantime, Paisley recorded a duet with Chely Wright, “Hard to Be a Husband, Hard to Be a Wife,” for the Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry compilation; the two later collaborated on several songs for Wright’s Never Love You Enough album. The sequel to Paisley’s debut, Part II, was released in 2001 and promptly returned him to the Top Five with “Two People Fell in Love.” “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song)” gave Paisley his third chart-topper, and “Wrapped Around” fell one spot short of becoming his fourth. “I Wish You’d Stay” became the fourth Top Ten hit from the record in early 2003. At the beginning of August 2005, Paisley put together a short “director’s commentary” preview of his next album for his fan base to download. The full album, Time Well Wasted, appeared two weeks later and narrowly missed the top of the album charts, though it did hit number one on the country charts. In 2006 Brad Paisley Christmas, a collection of both originals and covers, came out, followed by 5th Gear in 2007. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
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STUDIO 330 IN THE MORNING SESSION ARTIST OF THE DAY: DOLLY PARTON
Born on Jan. 19, 1946, in Locust Ridge, Tenn., into a poor family that would eventually include 12 children, Dolly Parton learned early to escape the hardships of life through her vivid and far-ranging imagination. Before she learned to read and write, she was “making up” her own songs. She got her first guitar when she was 8 and began singing on a Knoxville, Tenn., radio station at age 11. That same year, she made her first recording on Gold Band Records, a tiny independent label. She made a name for herself locally while still in high school, but she dreamed of a bigger stage. The day after she graduated in 1964, she moved to Nashville.
Her first charting records on Monument Records included “Dumb Blonde” and “Something Fishy,” both in 1967. At about this time, Porter Wagoner was looking for a new “girl singer” for his syndicated television show. Parton accepted the job in 1967, signed with RCA Records in 1968 and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1969. However, she left Wagoner’s show in 1974, as her solo releases — such as “Joshua,” “Coat of Many Colors” and “Jolene” — were out-charting their collaborations. After their split, Parton wrote the song “I Will Always Love You” for Wagoner, and it reached No. 1 for the first time in 1974.
As a solo artist, Parton also snared the CMA’s female vocalist award in 1975 and 1976 and won the entertainer trophy in 1978. Still, her TV variety series lasted only one season, in 1976. Her musical style grew closer to pop music, but fans responded as “Here You Come Again” spent five weeks at No. 1 in 1978.
She also grew more interested in movies, starring in 1980’s 9 to 5 — the title song earned her an Oscar nomination — and 1982’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Taken from the Whorehouse soundtrack, “I Will Always Love You” reached No. 1 again in 1982. A Bee Gees-written duet with Kenny Rogers, “Islands in the Stream,” topped the country charts in 1983.
Parton re-recorded “I Will Always Love You” with Vince Gill, and they won a CMA award for vocal event in 1996. Taken from the album Trio II, a cover of “After the Gold Rush” won a Grammy for best country collaboration with vocals in 1999, and Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later that year.
In 2006, she earned her second Oscar nomination for “Travelin’ Thru,” which she wrote specifically for the film Transamerica. She also returned to No. 1 on the country charts later that year by lending her distinctive harmonies to the Brad Paisley ballad, “When I Get Where I’m Going.”
Parton also changed the landscape of her Tennessee stomping grounds when she opened the Dollywood theme park in 1985. It remains among the most popular vacation destinations in the South. She has also donated more than 1 million books to pre-school children across the United States and provides scholarships to high school students in Sevier County, Tenn. In return, the county honored her with a life-size statue in front of the courthouse.
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