NASHVILLE - If Garth Brooks is the reigning King of Country Music, D. Brian Williams is the King of Country-Music Banking. The vice president of the Third National Corp. runs Nashville's only bank branch that exclusively serves the country music industry. His roster of star relationships, which includes Mr. Brooks, is the envy of competitors.

But Mr. Williams now faces a challenge for his throne as NationsBank Corp. muscles its way into music industry banking. NationsBank, the nation's fourth-largest banking company, recently, signed a joint marketing agreement with the reigning giant of country music, Gaylord Entertainment Co. The Nashville conglomerate owns the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland theme park, and two country-oriented cable network's: the Nashville Network and Country Music Television.

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