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**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!

**Article written by Brenda L. Madden

 

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