Entertainment for the 2016 TBA Convention

George Jones Museum

The George Jones Museum

(From People Magazine) -- Mingled with the rows of awards, citations, and gold and platinum albums at the George Jones Museum are relics and descriptions of Jones's checkered past, including a corner dedicated to his failed marriage to fellow icon Tammy Wynette. Most chilling is the leather jacket that paramedics had to cut off the singer after his near-fatal one-car accident in 1999; that episode led Jones to finally swear off drinking for good. 

Other artifacts show the many facets of the man: the home barbershop where Jones' stylist maintained his perfect coif; the mink coat he promised his mother once he got rich; his bowling ball and shoes; the military trenchcoat he wore during his stint in the Marine Corps; his collections of guns, belt buckles, and autographed footballs. 

Of course there are all the sights and sounds needed to attest to Jones's six decades of making classic country music, including an astonishing array of stage wear: sparkling Nudie stage suits and cowboy boots in a rainbow of colors. 

A generous space is also dedicated to honoring the 30-year marriage that turned into the centerpiece of Jones' life. Among the keepsakes Nancy Jones chose to put on display are the couple's matching diamond-studded wedding bands. Yes it was a hard thing to do, she says, but "like George told me when he knew he was going to heaven, he said, 'I wrote a book and you helped me write a book, and when I'm gone, I want you to turn a page.' " 

Songwriters

Brett and Brad Warren

Brett and Brad Warren play arena tours with superstars like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Brooks & Dunn, have their songs recorded by some of the biggest acts in the business and have made a dent as producers -- but most fans recognize these two brothers from their not-so-famous role in the cult classic CMT reality series, Barely Famous.

Their songwriting earned a buzz in 2003 with a string of cuts starting with McGraw’s “Who Are They” and quickly followed Lynyrd Skynrd “Red, White & Blue”, more McGraw “Blank Sheet Of Paper”and Van Zant “I Can’t Help Myself."

Faith Hill released two of the duo’s co-writes as singles: “The Lucky One’ in 2006, and “Red Umbrella” in 2007. Also that year, McGraw performed “If You’re Reading This” at the Academy of Country Music awards then released as a single and was also nominated for a Grammy Award.

Martina McBride released two Warren Brothers co-writes from her 2007 album Waking Up Laughing: “Anyway” and “How I Feel” the former of which was also the first co-writer’s credit of her career. McBride released a third Warren Brothers song, “Wrong Baby Wrong,” in January 2010. The brothers also co-wrote McBride’s 2011 single “Teenage Daughters."

In early 2009, the Warren Brothers received their first #1 with Dierks Bentley’s hit “Feel That Fire,” which he and the Warrens wrote with Brett Beavers. The Warrens along with Brett Beavers and his brother Jim Beavers, co-wrote both Tim McGraw’s 2010 #1 “Felt Good On My Lips” and Toby Keith’s 2011 single “Red Solo Cup”. In 2013, they received their fourth #1 with Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care” featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.

They have also had rock hits such as Hinder’s “All American Nightmare” and “Save Me”, Joss Stone’s single “Karma”, and Nickelback’s “Trying Not To Love You”.

Wynn Varble

Wynn Varble admits he must have been destined for a career in country music. Wynn was raised in the small town of Ellenwood, Georgia, where music was a central part of his life. He recalls his father’s collection of country LP’s and the hours he spent listening to the legends: Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, and Jimmie Rodgers, whom Wynn credits as being his primary musical influences. He says he did just about anything to hear the newest country record – even if it meant trading in his big brother’s rock albums and catching trouble for it afterwards!

Wynn picked up a guitar for the first time when he was 15 and taught himself to play. He remembers picking out his first original melodies soon after he mastered basic chord progressions. The creative sparks started flying, and Wynn formed a bluegrass band when he turned 16. After graduating high school, Wynn started on the path to musical success playing the club circuit. His talent playing bluegrass landed him gigs from Austin to Ft. Lauderdale; during this time he was perfecting his style, not only as a country artist but also as a songwriter.

In 1982, Wynn visited some friends in Nashville. He spent several months writing with an up-and- coming singer/songwriter named Dave Gibson. It was this collaboration that proved to be Wynn’s ticket out of the club scene and into the Nashville music community.

Varble completely relocated to Nashville in 1992. Gibson introduced him to Cliff Williamson, then- director of Starstruck Writers Group, and Wynn was signed to the publisher in 1994. After Starstruck was sold to Warner/Chappell Music, Wynn joined the Warner/Chappell writing staff.

Wynn had his first #1 song "Have You Forgotten" with Darryl Worley in 2003. The song was nominated for SONG OF THE YEAR by the CMA. In 2008, Waitin' on a Woman, which Wynn co- wrote with Don Sampson was nominated by the CMA for SONG OF THE YEAR. His most recent #1,  I'm a Little More Country recorded by Easton Corbin, was also nominated by the ACM for SONG OF THE YEAR.

Wynn’s songs have been cut by a range of great artists, including Easton Corbin, Garth Brooks, Lee Ann Womack, Brad Paisley, Darryl Worley, Kellie Pickler, Montgomery Gentry, Jason Sellers, Gary Allan, Trace Adkins, Clint Daniels, Kevin Denney, Tracy Byrd, The Kinleys, Chris LeDoux, Danni Leigh, Mark Chesnutt and Sammy Kershaw.

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