Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23: Bluegrass-country singer, songwriter and fiddler Alison Krauss is 42-years-old today.

Did you know?

Alison Krauss has won a record twenty-six Grammy Awards over the course of her career as a solo artist, as a group with Union Station, as a duet with Robert Plant, and as a record producer. This is more than any other female artist and is the third most won by any artist overall.

Alison Maria Krauss was born in Decatur, Illinois. She has released twelve albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, and helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the U.S. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album also credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards.

The Recording Academy  presented her with a special musical achievement Grammy Award honor in 2005. She has also won 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, eight Country Music Association Awards, two Gospel Music Association Awards, two CMT Music Awards, two  Academy of Country Music Awards, and a Canadian Country Music Award.

Country Music Television ranked Krauss 12th on their "40 Greatest Women of Country Music" list in 2002. At the time of her first award, at the 1991 Grammy Awards, she was the second youngest winner ever.


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Paper AirplaneWhen You Say Nothing At All

Alison began studying classical violin at age five but soon switched to bluegrass. At the age eight she started entering local talent contests, and at ten she had her own band.

At 13-years-old,  she won the Walnut Valley Festival Fiddle Championship, and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America named her the Most Promising Fiddler in the Midwest. Krauss first met Dan Tyminski around 1984 at a festival held by the Society. She met every member of her band, Union Station, at these festivals.

Krauss made her recording debut in 1985 on the independent album, Different Strokes, featuring her brother Viktor, Swamp Weiss and Jim Hoiles. From the age of 12 she performed with bassist and songwriter John Pennell in a band called "Silver Rail." Pennell later formed Union Station, and Krauss joined at his invitation.

Later that year she signed to Rounder Records, and in 1987, at 16, she released her debut album Too Late to Cry with Union Station as her backup band.

Krauss' debut solo album was followed shortly by her first group album with Union Station in 1989 Two Highways. The album includes the traditional tunes, Wild Bill Jones and Beaumont Rag, along with a bluegrass interpretation of The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider."

With Robert Plant
Krauss' contract with Rounder required her to alternate between releasing a solo album and an album with Union Station, and she released the solo album I've Got That Old Feeling in 1990. It was her first album to rise onto the Billboard charts, peaking in the top seventy-five on the country chart.

The album also was a notable point in her career as she earned her first Grammy Award, the single "Steel Rails" was her first single tracked by Billboard, and the title single "I've Got That Old Feeling" was the first song for which she recorded a music video.

Say Goodbye was released in 1992, and she went on to win her second Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of the year. She then joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1993 at the age of 21. She was the youngest cast member at the time, and the first bluegrass artist to join the Opry in twenty-nine years.

She also collaborated on a project with the Cox Family in 1994, a bluegrass album called I Know Who Holds Tomorrow. Later in 1994, Krauss recorded with the band Shenandoah on its single "Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart," which brought her to the country music Top Ten for the first time.

Also in 1994, Krauss collaborated with Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash to contribute "Teach Your Children" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1997, she recorded vocals and violin for "Half a Mind," on Tommy Shaw's 7 Deadly Zens album.

Now That I've Found You: A Collection, a compilation of older releases and some covers of her favorite works by other artists, was released in 1995. the album peaked in the top fifteen on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, and sold two million copies to become Krauss' first double-platinum album. Krauss also was nominated for four Country Music Association Awards and won all of them.

So Long So Wrong, another Union Station album, was released in 1997 and won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Her next solo release in 1999, Forget About It, included one of her two tracks to appear on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, "Stay." The album was certified gold, and charted within the top seventy-five of the Billboard 200 and in the top five of the country chart.

Her latest album with Union Station is Paper Airplane.


For more about Alison, visit her Website at -


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