Big Names at 1999 IBMA Awards

Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, the Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize, Lonesome River Band, Blue Highway and IIIrd Tyme Out are among the legion of fan favorites set to perform on the tenth annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Show, Oct. 21, at the Palace Theater in Louisville, Kentucky.

A number of country and bluegrass stars who served as hosts on past shows will also perform. Among these are Joe Diffie, John McEuen, Tom T. Hall, Tim O’Brien, Laurie Lewis, John Hartford and Rhonda Vincent.

The band Hot Rize, which won the first IBMA entertainer of the year award, will reunite to play on the two-hour radio special. Peter Rowan will fill in for original Hot Rize member Charles Sawtelle, who died this year.

A tribute to women in bluegrass is expected to involve all this year’s women nominees as well as other significant figures. “Special moments” from past shows will be spotlighted throughout the production.

A new album A Decade Of Excellence: A Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary IBMA Awards will be unveiled at the awards show. It contains 20 cuts by all former major award winners. “Although I hesitate to call it this,” says Dan Hays, executive director of the IBMA, “it’s something of the greatest hits of the ’90s, at least from the awards standpoint.” The songs, however, are not from the actual shows but from other albums.

While the commemorative album will be on sale at the awards ceremonies, Hays says it will not be available in record stores until after Christmas. It will be distributed by Sugar Hill/Welk Music.

Hays estimates that 350 to 400 radio stations in the U.S. will air the awards show. It will also be recorded on two CDs and sent to radio stations within a week of the live broadcast.

Orchestra and balcony seats are still available for the awards show, an IBMA spokeswoman says. They can be ordered at 1-888-438-4262.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to