Superstar duo Big & Rich and country legend George Jones honour war heroes from recent international conflicts on Nu Country TV on Saturday - 1st September.

Big & Rich recruited Rhodes Scholar and former helicopter pilot Kris Kristofferson to introduce its video for 8th of November - an award winning song about wounded, long retired Vietnam War veteran
Sgt Niles Harris.

The Purple Heart winner was a 19-year-old army private when shot in a jungle battle on November 8, 1965, during the Vietnam War.

Big Kenny Alphin, 49, and former Lonestar singer John Rich, 39, met Harris when they played his tavern in Deadwood, South Dakota, and became immediate friends.

The duo was honored for its song with the President's Award for Excellence in Arts at Vietnam Veterans of America's 13th biennial National Convention in Springfield, Illinois.

8th Of November was a hit for the Muzik Mafia duo on its 2005 album Comin' to Your City.

After performing the song at the convention's opening ceremonies, Big & Rich invited the wheelchair bound Harris onstage, where he was honored with a Vietnam Veterans Of America Achievement Award.

Big Kenny thanked Harris for "coming into our lives with this amazing story that became this amazing song. Without you, we never would have written 8th Of November."

Harris replied "John and Kenny are genuine artists and true friends, who not only embraced the 173rd Airborne veterans but embraced all veterans across the US."

Big & Rich revolutionised Nashville's mainstream at the start of the new millenium by injecting rap and hip-hop into their music.

The duo is also pro-active in the huge success of Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and Florida born stone country singer John Anderson's latest disc Easy Money.

The song airs on Nu Country on Saturday at 8 p m and is repeated Monday at 6.30 am and Thursday at 2 am.

Big & Rich has since released third album Between Raising Hell And Amazing Grace that enjoyed huge sales after scoring a #1 hit Lost In The Moment.

CLICK HERE for a Big & Rich CD review from the Diary.
CLICK HERE for a previous Big & Rich feature from the Diary on July 18, 2006.


Texan legend George Jones also honours fallen heroes with a video for Jamie O'Hara song 50 Million Names.

The song is on Cold Hard Truth - the 1999 album by Jones who turns 76 this month.

O'Hara, who penned Jones' album title track, previously released the song as a single on his first solo disc Rise Above It in 1994.

The video features the War Memorial in Washington - inspiration for the Iris De Ment tune There's A Wall In Washington on her third album The Way I Should.

O'Hara was a member of eighties hit duo The O'Kanes with Kieran Kane - frequent Australian tourist with Kevin Welch.

The O'Kanes released three acclaimed albums before O'Hara and Kane embarked on solo careers.

Jones was recently honoured with George Jones University established in his name in Civil War town Franklin.

But The Possum is accident-prone - he crashed his car into a bridge a few moons back and broke a wrist in a fall in his studio less than a year after a pneumonia bout.

The singer recently released a double DVD with bonus CD - George Jones & Friends 50th Anniversary Tribute Concert at the Roy Acuff Theatre in Nashville.

The concert featured artists diverse as Alan Jackson, Aaron Neville, Trace Adkins, Connie Smith, Emmylou Harris, Amy Grant, Tanya Tucker and Wynonna.

Other recent releases include lauded 2006 duet disc with Merle Haggard - Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again and George Jones and Friends - God's Country.

The Jones CD flood includes 11 compilations already released this year.

George is now driving Keith's Urban's former 1994 Chevy Impala that Urban traded in for a Bentley.

"I paid too much for it, but it was Keith Urban's and I said, 'I want it,' " Jones joked.

"He's supposed to come by and autograph the dash for me."

CLICK HERE for a Jones feature in The Diary on February 25, 2006.


Illinois born former child prodigy Alison Krauss returns to Nu Country this week on a video duet with John Waite who made his name with seventies English pop band the Babys.

The 20-time Grammy winner joined with Waite for two songs on her compilation CD A Hundred Miles Or More - A Collection that also features rare new material.

Krauss, 36, recently finished recording a duet album Raising Sand with Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.

The album, Krauss's 13th, will be released by Rounder on October 23, was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles.

Krauss said the genesis of the project came from her collaboration with Plant during a Leadbelly tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where she and the Led Zeppelin vocalist sang together for the first time.

CLICK HERE for a review of the new Krauss CD from The Diary.
CLICK HERE for a previous feature on Krauss from the Diary on January 23, 2005.


Former Louisiana petroleum engineer and oil rigger Trace Adkins performs a video of Ladies Love Country Boys from his eighth album Dangerous Man.

The father of five daughters reached #1 on country charts in February with the song written by Jamey Johnson, George Teren, and Rivers Rutherford.

Adkins, 45 and thrice wed, gave up oil drilling for music in the nineties after earning a degree at Louisiana Technical College.

The baritone has had more luck with women since marrying third wife Rhonda - a former record company publicist.

His second wife shot him in the heart and lung on the final day of their marriage in 1994.

At 6 ft 6 and a former sports star Trace was a big moving target.

It's all in his book A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions of a Freethinking Redneck.

It's scheduled for an October 23 release by Villard Books - an imprint of Ballantine Books.

"This book has been knocking around in my head for a while now," Adkins said.

"It's not exactly a memoir, but more of a look at the state of the country as I've seen it through the lens of my admittedly colorful life."

Book topics include the environment, immigration and the war on terror, according to a press release.

Adkins dedicated his 1996 debut disc Dreamin' Out Loud to his brother, Scott, who was killed in a truck wreck at 21.

"He wrecked his truck and it killed him when he was 21. He was a great, great, great kid.

He was my first fan," says Adkins.

CLICK HERE for an Adkins story from the Diary on August 2, 2006.


Sara Tindley has vivid memories of her childhood on a farm near Camperdown on Highway 1 in the Western District of Victoria.

Tindley showcases a video clip for Paulie's Last Ride - a tune she wrote about her revisiting her childhood town - for her second album Lucky The Sun, produced by Bill Chambers.

Sara utilised memories of the historic 1886 courthouse, now an arts-crafts centre and tourist information HQ, and the Commercial Hotel - landmarks in the dairying and sheep town.

Producer Chambers also plays dobro, slide and lap steel on the disc that features the art work of Stuart Eadie - drummer for her road band The Kingfishers.

Tindley, mother of a 10-year-old daughter, now lives in the tiny town of Meershaum Vale near Ballina, also near Highway 1, on the north coast of NSW.

Tindley toured the outback in 1993, hit Byron Bay in 1994 and landed Staying In The Shack in Sea Change in 1997.

CLICK HERE for a Tindley CD review from the Diary.


Prolific Golden Guitar winner Melinda Schneider returns to Nu Country with the title track of her fourth album Stronger.

Melinda wrote three of the album's songs with East Nashville singer Elizabeth Cook.

Cook and Schneider have been nominated for an Americana award for Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman - title track of Cook's fourth album produced by Rodney Crowell.

Melinda, 36, also included the song on her Biff Watson produced album that featured the Cook-Schneider co-writes Men In Trucks and Rest Your Weary Mind.

CLICK HERE for a Melinda story from the Diary on August 9, 2006.


We also feature a preview for Series #9 in December with cameos by latter day Texan hell-raiser Jason Boland & The Stragglers and Billy Joe Shaver.

Boland was born in Harrah, Oklahoma and raised in nearby Stillwater - launch pad for semi-retired superstar Garth Brooks.

Ironically the singer, who spent time in rehab in 2005, is promoting fifth album The Bourbon Legend.

Former Dwight Yoakam guitarist Pete Anderson produced the disc and wrote songs with the former University Of Oklahoma student who played the same Okie circuit as Brooks in his student days.

Boland, 33, has been co-writing with Texan Sunny Sweeney who is touring here in January with Dallas Wayne and Becky Hobbs.

Shaver, 68 and on bail for shooting a man outside Papa Joe's Texas Saloon at Lorena near Waco, has just released new gospel album Everybody's Brother on Compadre Records in Houston.

CLICK HERE for a Boland feature from the Diary.

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