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Premiere Episode To Feature Singer/Songwriters Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello

CMT: Country Music Television will kick off the new year with the launch of the network's landmark new monthly series CMT CROSSROADS, a groundbreaking performance program that shows how the far-reaching roots of country music go well beyond the perceived edges of the format. CMT CROSSROADS will team-up country music stars with music stars from other genres - pop, rock, R & B - to play together, swap stories, and share their common love of music. The debut episode of CMT CROSSROADS will feature award-winning singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams and the legendary award-winning Elvis Costello on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT (show was taped on November 5, 2001 in New York City; read more). The debut episode of CMT CROSSROADS will be hosted by drummer, producer, songwriter and one of the founding members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stan Lynch.

photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect

"Great music knows no boundaries," said Kaye Zusmann, Vice President, Program Development and Production, CMT. "In developing this new CMT series, our convictions about the deep influence country music continues to have on other genres has been resoundingly confirmed. This premiere episode of CMT CROSSROADS will feature two of music's best singer/songwriters, Lucinda and Elvis, and when viewers see these two greats perform together they will be blown away. The songs and musical styles of Lucinda and Elvis have crossed many genres but their paths meet at the same point - in country music. CMT CROSSROADS will show the natural coming together of these two musical worlds."

Each episode of CMT CROSSROADS will center on shared performance by the two stars, but will also include behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and brief biographical sketches. The idea is to make viewers hear the music they think they know with new ears, and look at old musical preconceptions with new eyes.

photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect

Lucinda Williams, deemed by TIME magazine as "America's Best Songwriter," dropped out of college to play on the streets of Austin, Texas for quarters in the early 1970s. In 1979, she released her first record "Ramblin' on My Mind," a collection of folk and blues covers. In 1988 Williams gained major attention with her third and self-titled "Lucinda Williams," considered by some to be her breakthrough album. The album included her self-penned "Passionate Kisses," which won her a songwriting Grammy in 1994 when it was a hit for Mary Chapin Carpenter. Williams' landmark success came with the Grammy Award-winning "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road," widely regarded as one of the most influential records of the last half-century. This album also landed her at the top of many critics' Top Ten lists and added to her ever-growing fan base. She says of her musical tastes, "I loved Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams, but also love Bob Dylan and the Doors and Jimi Hendrix." She adds, "I don't see anything wrong with loving all kinds of music."

Elvis Costello, a self-taught songwriter, first performed in public in 1969 and began his recording career in 1976 with his first album "My Aim is True." Since then he has recorded over a dozen solo records including collections of country, soul, orchestral pop and rock 'n roll. Costello's collaborations include some of country music's biggest legends such as Johnny Cash and George Jones, as well as award-winning gospel group The Fairfield Four, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Chieftans, Burt Bachrach, and The Brodsky Quartet.

Costello was a guest vocalist on the Grammy Award-winning record "MTV Unplugged" by Tony Bennett. Costello has often been hailed as one of the most gifted songwriters of our generation. His very first song to be recorded was by country music's legendary George Jones. Many of Costello's 300 songs have been recorded by a wide range of artists including Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield and Chet Baker.

Costello says of his admiration for country music, "[Country music] is a very straight talking kind of music, very direct." He adds, "When [country music] is telling stories and when it's talking about simple but profound human emotions, you can't beat it. You can't really beat a Hank Williams song."

Stan Lynch's career reads like a rock 'n roll fairy tale: from 1975 to 1994, as a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lynch toured around the world, enjoyed a string of hit records, and gained high acclaim as a drummer's drummer among his peers. Apart from the enduring work he crafted with the Heartbreakers, Lynch's stage and studio credits as a drummer also include the likes of Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Aretha Franklin, The Eurythmics, Roger McGuinn, Stevie Nicks, Del Shannon, T-Bone Burnett, and Warren Zevon. Since leaving the Heartbreakers, Lynch has gone on to become a successful producer and songwriter, performing those duties with Don Henley, the Mavericks, Ringo Starr, Matraca Berg, Toto and many others.

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