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BR549 (originally spelled BR5-49) was an American country rock band founded in 1993. It originally consisted of Gary Bennett (lead and background vocals, acoustic guitar), Don Herron (steel guitar, resonator guitar, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar), "Smilin'" Jay McDowell (upright bass), Chuck Mead (lead and background vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar), and "Hawk" Shaw Wilson (drums, background vocals). Bennett and McDowell left the band in 2001, with Chris Scruggs and Geoff Firebaugh respectively replacing them. Both Firebaugh and Scruggs later left the band as well; Mark Miller has become the band's third bassist. The name of the band is taken from a mangled phone number from Hee Haw comedian Junior Samples' car salesman skit.BR549 released six albums and two EPs, including three albums on Arista Nashville and two on Dualtone Records. The band's self-titled debut album produced three singles on the Billboard country charts in 1996. The band was nominated three times for the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, in 1996 ("Cherokee Boogie"), 1997 ("Wild One") and 1999 ("Honky Tonk Song"). As well as a nomination for the Top New Vocal Duo or Group award from the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1997.

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Stan B.
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