Here’s a look at some of them: January: After 12 consecutive years hosting the CMA Awards, Vince Gill announced he would not host the 2004 event. Reba Mc Entire announced plans for her first tour in three years. Chris Cagle canceled all concert dates through June 1 because of vocal cord problems. Comic-musician Rodney Carrington signed to tape the pilot episode for his ABC sitcom, Rodney. Toby Keith was joined by Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and others in Houston for a live session of CMT Crossroads coinciding with Super Bowl XXXVIII. Preston and singers Vestal Goodman, Sandi Patty and the Rev.
Gill said he needed a break from the high-profile post, adding that he did not view his departure as permanent. Al Green were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Tim Mc Graw confirmed his role in Brian Grazer’s film, Friday Night Lights. Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy — who first appeared together on the Blue Collar Comedy tour — announced plans to launch Blue Collar TV, a comedy series for The WB network.
However, Twain’s Greatest Hits CD sold 530,000 in its first week, followed by sales of 435,000 for Keith’s Greatest Hits 2, to immediately account for a big part of country music’s overall sales in 2004.
Behind the sales, however, are lots of smaller stories that made up the year in country music.
April: Toby Keith won three trophies to lead the field of winners at the CMT 2004 Flame Worthy Video Music Awards in Nashville. won a Juno Award — the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy — for country recording of the year during ceremonies in Edmonton, Alberta. May: Toby Keith picked up four trophies, including the entertainer of the year honor, at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas. George Strait, Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett performed their first concert together on May 29 at Texas Stadium near Dallas. Mark Chesnutt signed to the new independent Vivaton label. Dream Works Nashville, label home to Toby Keith, merged with Mercury and MCA Nashville as part of downsizing within the Universal Music Group. The multi-day festival was previously known as Fan Fair. The Del Mc Coury Band, the Sam Bush Band and Gillian Welch were among the roots-oriented acts performing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Terri Clark was inducted as a Grand Ole Opry member.