Pretty World Records Keepin’ It Country

 

by
Brenda L. Madden

Country
music is engrained in the very soul of
America with a history beginning in the
1920s and encompassing everything from the
Appalachian music of The Carter Family, the
lonesome cry of Hank Williams, Sr., to the
Western Swing refrains of Bob Wills and the
“Bakersfield Sound” of Buck Owens. Although
country music has grown to include an ever
widening variety of styles, the sweet sound
of traditional country is very much alive
and well – and one of the main contributors
in keeping that sound on the airwaves is
Pretty World Records. With an astounding
roster of artists including such notables as
Jack Greene, Leon Everette, Leona Williams,
and Freddie Hart, along with newcomers,
Nathan Osmond, and Robyn Young, the
continued success of Pretty World Records is
assured.

Charlie Ammerman, founder of
Pretty World Records, once managed the
legendary Wynn Stewart, who is best known
for his 1967 hit song, “It’s Such A Pretty
World Today” and is credited for being a
distinctive influence on the “Bakersfield
Sound” along with Buck Owens and Merle
Haggard. In 1984, after Wynn had been
released from RCA Records, Charlie formed
Pretty World Records and promptly signed
Wynn as his first recording artist. The name
for the label was derived from Wynn’s
classic song, “It’s Such A Pretty World
Today.” When asked about his most memorable
moment at the helm of the recording company,
Charlie comments, “Having the great Wynn
Stewart say, ‘I’m on the label.’ That was
probably one of the greatest moments.” The
first single released, “Wait Till I Get My
Hands On You” propelled Wynn back onto the
Billboard charts, but unfortunately, Wynn
died a week later. That single, however,
began a long string of successful releases
for Charlie and Pretty World Records.

Over the years, Charlie managed such artists
as Bobby Helms (“Fraulein” and “My Special
Angel”), Johnny Paycheck (“Take This Job And
Shove It”) and Leon Everette (“Hurricane’),
all of which at some point released music on
Pretty World Records, not to mention artists
such as Claude Gray (“Family Bible”) and
Bobby Barnett who also found a home for
their music there.

After taking a few years’ hiatus, Charlie
Ammerman and Pretty World Records have come
back with a vengeance – so far securing the
#1 position twelve times on the Indie World
chart and three times on the New Music
Weekly chart! Charlie comments, “When I
decided 3 years ago to reactivate the label,
the first artist I signed was John Long.
John was around Nashville for years and a
heck of a writer and picker and fronted for
Johnny Paycheck and Barbara Fairchild, and
several others.” His song, “I Wish I Had a
Job To Shove” caught Charlie’s ear and was
soon on it’s way to radio and garnering
himself and Pretty World Records much
deserved recognition. Since signing with the
label, John has had two #1 indie records!

Shortly
thereafter, Grand Ole Opry member, Jack
Greene, signed with Pretty World. Jack’s
career has spanned over 40 years and during
his amazing career in country music, he has
released such standards as “There Goes My
Everything” and “Statue Of A Fool.” Since
signing with the label, Jack has scored #1
songs with the duets “Two Old Cats Like Us”
(Jack Greene & George Jones) and
“There’s a Whole Lot About A Woman” (Jack
Greene and Nathan Osmond). Quite an
accomplishment at the age of 80!

With their success continuing to grow,
Charlie states, “We decided to keep it
country. There’s still a ton of country
stations out there that play traditional
country.” And true to his word, they are
keeping it country with a lot of new
releases. “You Weren’t There” by Leona
Williams just recently shipped to radio.
Leona is often touted by her piers as one of
the best traditional country female
singer/songwriters of our time.

Also on the release schedule is an upcoming
album by Leon Everette, former RCA and
Mercury Records recording artist, who had
several #1s and Top 10 songs. Since joining
the label, he has released a patriotic
anthem entitled, “United States of America”
– a song about unifying our nation – a theme
that is striking a chord with people all
across America.

In addition to the legends, Pretty World
Records is also helping the next generation
keep the music alive. Nathan Osmond, son of
Alan Osmond, is slated to have a new album,
Climbing Fences, released soon. Although more contemporary,
his music has a traditional edge, scoring
Nathan numerous indie hits. Jack Greene
recently passed on his title of “The
Gentlemen of Country Music” to Nathan and
while truly humbled, it’s an honor he
doesn’t take lightly. Another artist
carrying on the family tradition is Robyn
Young, Faron Young’s son, who has now been
signed to the label. With the release of his
new single, “Young, Fun And Foolish,” Robyn
is keeping it country just like his famous
father.

What’s in the future for Pretty World
Records? They plan to release more of the
older products on CD as well as continue
releasing new music from their current
roster which includes John Long, Jack
Greene, Leon Everette, Leona Williams,
Kristen Cady, Freddie Hart, Nathan Osmond,
Robyn Young, Billy Joe Burnette, Janet
McBride, Vern Stovall, Billy Keeble, Jolie
Holliday, and Meah Faith. One thing is for
sure, if the label says Pretty World
Records, it will be country!

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