Country Duo Calls It Quits

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I can’t believe it! Country music is losing its legendary ampersand.

Brooks & Dunn have recently announced on their Web site that after releasing their album “#1s ... and then some” and doing a 2010 tour, they’ll be going their separate ways.

“This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed. But after 20 years of making music and being on the trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it’s time to call it a day,” they say.

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn exploded on the country music scene in 1991 when the first four singles from their debut album “Brand New Man” raced to the top of the country music charts. The album sold more than 6 million copies, the first of many multi-platinum discs. Two of their singles, “My Maria” and “Ain’t Nothin’ ’Bout You,” were the most played country singles of the year.

Neither had been able to break through as a solo act, but together they hit upon a winning formula of rambunctious, rocked-up honky tonk with punchy, danceable beats, and alternated those cuts with smooth, pop-tinged ballads.

The undisputed kings of the ’90s line-dancing craze, Brooks & Dunn are not only the biggest-selling duo in country music history, they’ve also sold more records than any other duo period, save for Simon & Garfunkel.

Over the years, Brooks & Dunn racked up a slew of country music awards, owning the Top Duo category at the Country Music Awards every year from 1992 through 2006 (with the exception of 2000 when Montgomery Gentry briefly broke their hold) and taking home 15 Top Vocal Duo awards from the Academy of Country Music.

In all, Brooks & Dunn charted more than 50 hit singles, of which, 38 peaked in the top 10. Twenty of their hits reached No. 1.

I know that all good things must come to an end; but dang, I’m sure going to miss this highly successful and popular duo.

This week’s music trivia question is: Which of the following songs was not a No. 1 hit for Brooks & Dunn? A) Neon Moon, B) Kickin’ Up Dust, C) Boot Scootin’ Boogie or D) Red Dirt Road.

Be caller number four and have the right answer and you’ll win a CD of Brooks & Dunn’s top hits that I have put together — which includes all 20 of their No. 1 hits.

Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s question, which was: To whom does Johnny Cash, in his 1959 hit, direct the question, “How high’s the water?”

Does he direct it to A) Mama, B) Papa, C) Brother Jed or D) Buzz Walker?

The correct answer was either Mama or Papa. (I originally thought that Cash asked only Mama. But my fiancee Ann, after reading last week’s column online, pointed out to me that Cash asks both Mama and Papa (four times each), “How high’s the water?”

For those who thought the correct answer was D) Buzz Walker, that was a good guess (but not right). Buzz is Payson’s Water Department director, who can often be heard singing, “How high’s the water …” while strolling around Green Valley Lake.

Congratulations to first-time winner (and first-time caller), John Gonsalves, who won a free haircut from Studio B Salon, courtesy of Elaina Kimbrell, stylist.

A little about John: He was born and raised in Fall River, Mass. He has lived in the Rim Country area for the past 26 years.

John met his lovely wife, Teresa, three years ago during the August Doin’s rodeo weekend. On the Saturday night of the rodeo, John and his then-16-year-old daughter, Kia, had stopped in at the Main Street Grille to listen to the band.

Across the room, Teresa had caught John’s eye. It wasn’t long before Kia boldly approached Teresa and said, “My dad’s been checkin’ you out and wants to dance with you.” To which Teresa coyly responded, “Tell your dad to come over and ask me.”

As all good stories end, the two had their first dance together and it wasn’t long before they were off on their first date to Jake’s Corner, to do a little more two-stepping.

John and Teresa tied the knot two years ago and now live with their son in Gisela. He is an area handyman and she is employed as a CNA for Hospice Compassus. They attend the Tonto Valley Bible Church.

In his spare time, John enjoys fishing, camping and dancing. His favorite genre of music is old-time country and he lists Johnny Cash, Bob Seger and Tracy Byrd as his favorite artists.

Have a great week, everyone!

— DJ Craig

Phone: 468-1482

Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com

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