Monday, November 30, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

How did your favorite country stars spend their Thanksgiving weekend?

Rascal Flatts is working on a new cd now, though they weren't last weekend. Jay DeMarcus was spotted getting all of his Christmas shopping done at Lenox Square in Atlanta.

Billy Currington and Reba were part of the Macy's parade in New York City.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman did a little Christmas shopping at the Home Depot in LA, near their home there.

Josh Gracin was part of Detroit's Thanksgiving Day parade, then went home to Nashville for the rest of the day. On Black Friday, while the rest of the world was shopping, Josh was hunting.

Brad Paisley played the Grand Ole Opry over Thanksgiving weekend, and played lead guitar while Bill Anderson was singing. While singing "Mud On the Tires," he forgot the words. OOPS!!

And Sugarland's Kristian Bush threw down the gauntlet to Brad Paisley, to see who's Christmas tree would be up and decorated first. No word so far on who won that contest.

What is Kristian Bush of Sugarland thankful for? "I am thankful for music, headphones, children's smiles, turkey, balsawood airplanes, wind, Charlie Brown specials and a good laugh"

Taylor Swift spent some time with her "red haired friend Abigail" driving around Nashville and shopping. While they were driving, they heard "15" on the radio. Can you imagine the giggles and squeals?

Chris Young took in a movie yesterday afternoon, and the movie was The Blind Side. He said afterwards, "Wow. Just saw The Blind Side... Hands down one of the best movies I have ever seen."

Don't forget to watch Oprah today to see Tim McGraw and Sugarland.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

What did some of your favorite artists do for their Thanksgiving yesterday? Tim McGraw says that he and Faith have the same sort of day that most people do - they either travel to relatives' homes or have everyone over to theirs. Taylor Swift spent the day with her Mom's extended family, mostly women, who Taylor says "have this genetic cackle, and they stand in the kitchen and it's the loudest sound. It like breaks sound barriers. It's like out of a movie." Lee Ann Womack enjoyed eating her hubby, Frank Liddell's cooking, saying he's an amazing cook. Blake Shelton confesses that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday, because it happens in the fall, which is his favorite season, and involves eating a lot of food, and he really chowed down. Chris Young said the family always splits up - women inside, talking, men outside, shooting. Martina McBride just loved spending a no-stress day with her family.

On the strength of his new song, "Everywhere I Go," Phil Vassar has moved up the release date of his next cd by two months. "Traveling Circus" will be out on December 5th, about two months earlier than planned. Phil produced all of the music himself, he uses his road band on it, and his friend and high school art teacher Jason Erwin painted all of the album art. He and Kenny Chesney co-wrote one of the tracks, "I Will Remember You," and the cd also includes "Bobby With an I."

What did Tim McGraw think of working with co-star Sandra Bullock? He said, "She's just a very cool, friendly, down-to-earth person. For me, she always reminded me of like my best friend's little sister." He also enjoyed being clean-shaven for the part, removing his trademark goatee. He said the maintenance time was less and the chore of shaving was much easier. If you haven't seen "The Blind Side" yet, take a break from shopping today and go see it.

Carrie Underwood was named one of the best-dressed people of the week in People magazine for her new, shorter hairdo and the beautiful blue dress she wore at the AMAs last Sunday.

Kenny Rogers kicks off his annual Christmas concert tour tonight in Louisiana, and will be on the road until December 23rd. He says, “I’ve always loved this season, because people, in general, are truly different. Look around . . . they smile more, they’re more gracious and generally seem happier.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are surrounded by family and friends today, that you have plenty to eat, that you have shelter and that you have love.

If you are working today, thank you for providing the services that your town needs to be safe. Police officers, fire fighters, hospital and emergency workers, convenience store clerks, gas station attendants, radio and tv station employees and members of the military all provide vital services 24/7/365, and I am thankful for you and grateful to you.

Country music artists are very grateful to have the best fans in the world, and they show it in many ways. Most will sign autographs until the last person is served. Many host special events for their fans at each stop on their tour. And some are using the internet to bring their fans up close and personal. If you particularly like a singer or group, look them up on YouTube. Chances are, you'll find sneak peeks behind the scenes, like this one from Lady Antebellum. In it, they give their fans a sneak-peek of the music on their upcoming cd, "Need You Now."

Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser are taking today off after playing Huntsville, AL last night. They'll stuff their faces, then it's on to Tupelo, Mississippi tomorrow.

Kudos to Tracy Lawrence and friends, who fried up nearly 500 turkeys and raised ten grand for the Nashville Rescue Mission. Mission: Possible on Tuesday was a huge success.

Don't forget to catch Reba and Billy Currington during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Yesterday afternoon, last night, and into the wee hours of this morning, Chris Young had a party in Nashville. It was his number 1 celebration for “Gettin’ You Home.” He and the co-writers, Cory Batten and Kent Blazy, wrote the song in about an hour. At the time, they wondered if it was brilliant or stupid. Doubt they'll be second-guessing themselves the next time lightening strikes!

Lady A has done a version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" for Verizon V-Cast users. Get it as a ringtone and ringback here.

The details are trickling out about Oprah's show on Monday. It's a holiday duet extravaganza, according to Tim McGraw, who'll be duetting with Alicia Keys. Sugarland teams up with Jennifer Hudson and Andrea Boccelli pairs off with Mary J. Blige. Sounds fun!

Jo Dee Messina has added a second concert to her Harvest Hands Community Development benefit on December 5th. The show is at the Brentwood (TN) United Methodist Church, the tickets are free and you can get them from Jo Dee's website, and the plate will be passed with all of the money going to Harvest Hands.

Jimmy Wayne shared memories of his childhood Thanksgivings, and they weren't all rosy. He and his sister Patricia didn't always get to spend Thanksgiving together because they were in and out of foster homes. When they were home together, they didn't always have food. Now that they're adults, they make it a priority to spend the holiday together as one big, happy family. And the family got bigger this year...Jimmy's sister and her husband adopted a new daughter, 3 year old Charlie Storm.

A Very Special Christmas Volume 7 is the latest in a series of compilation albums that began in 1987 to benefit The Special Olympics. It's in stores just in time for Thanksgiving & holiday shopping, and features great Christmas songs sung by some of today's hottest stars, including Carrie Underwood's "The First Noel," Kellie Pickler's "Santa Baby," Gloriana's "Silent Night," and Miley Cyrus' "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." Over the years, the project has raised more than $100-million.

The Nov. 14 Opry Live webcast featuring Rodney Atkins, Martina McBride, Jake Owen and Carrie Underwood is now available for a limited time on the official Grand Ole Opry MySpace page.

Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson and Sugarland are all part of Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2010. Brooks & Dunn will play July 24, Sugarland on July 30 and Alan Jackson on July 31. Also part of the fun, Neal McCoy, Aaron Tippin, Clay Walker and more artists to be named later. Tickets go on sale Dec. 5.

A big congrats to Donnie Osmond, who was crowned the champion last night on Dancing With the Stars. He slyly said he wanted to do better than his sister, Marie, at the beginning of the competition. Looks like he did!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Today is the day for the annual Tracy Lawrence Turkey Fry in Nashville. Mission: Possible happens at the Nashville Rescue Mission, and he estimates that his team of volunteers, some of them celebrities, will deep fry between 400 and 500 turkeys today, to benefit Nashville's homeless and hungry. Lorrie Morgan, Jason Aldean and Darryl Worley are all expected to show up and help out.

Sprint Sound and Speed tickets go on sale December 2nd through Ticketmaster for the country-music-meets-NASCAR event on January 8th and 9th. Combo tickets will get you in to one of the two Friday night Grand Ole Opry performances which feature Kyle Petty and his band, and the autograph & special events on Saturday. Taking part in the Saturday festivities are singers Jason Michael Carroll, Josh Turner, Chris Young and members of Diamond Rio, along with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson and David Stremme.

As expected, the vampire movie, New Moon, beat the Tim McGraw movie, The Blind Side, but the true-life football story finished a strong #2, taking in 34.5 million dollars over the weekend.

Congrats to Lady Antebellum, who own the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Chart again this week with "Need You Now." Not only is it #1 for the second week in a row, but it's number one with a bullet, meaning that it's still growing in audience.

The Nashville Tennessean has declared 2009 A Year of Swift Success. For photographic proof, check out Taylor Swift's photographic year in review.

Rascal Flatts played a free show in West Virginia last Saturday. If you missed it, here's a little of the show.

Billy Currington is doing a free show in Key West at Sloppy Joe's on December 5th. Road trip!!

Singer Andy Griggs, who had hits with "You Won't Ever Be Lonely" and "She's More" lost his home to a fire over the weekend. He and his family got out without injury, but the home is a total loss.

Yesterday we hooked you up with Dolly Parton's store, and today we unveil her brick and mortar store, Trinket & Treasures, in downtown Nashville. It opens today, right next to the Wildhorse Saloon.

Wynonna's on the Oprah show today.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Well, it was Taylor's night at the award show again last night. She won Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock, Country and Adult-Contemporary artist, plus took honors for the best country album. She beat the late Michael Jackson, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Kings of Leon for the Artist of the Year award. She wasn't there to accept her awards - she's in London - but accepted them via a live hook-up, saying that she has so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. At the end of the show, she tweeted: "It's 5:30 AM in London, where I still haven't slept and my feet haven't touched the ground. Thank you for the AMA's. Thank you."

In the country categories, Taylor's cd "Fearless" won Favorite Country Album, Rascal Flatts won Favorite Band, Duo or Group, Keith Urban won Favorite Male Artist and Breakthrough Artist of the Year went to Gloriana. Watch Keith Urban perform "Kiss a Girl" and Carrie Underwood, with her new, shorter hairdo, sing "Cowboy Casanova" from the awards show last night.

With all of the awards she's won, all of the cd's she's sold and all of the fans she has, it's no surprise that NBC has named Taylor Swift as one of their "People of the Year." Thanksgiving night, Matt Lauer will profile the most fascinating, most inspirational and most notorious people of 2009. Also being featured are the octo-mom, Susan Boyle, Kobe Bryant, Captain Sully Sullenberger and Captain Richard Phillips, the ship captain who fought off pirates in the middle east.

Tomorrow's Oprah show is going to feature the headline-making heroes of 2009, and Wynonna will be part of the show, performing for troops returning from Iraq. Tim McGraw has also taped a segment for the show, rumored to air in the same show as the previously-announced Sugarland segment, on November 30th.

Is there a Dolly Parton fan on your holiday shopping list? She's partnered with to help make your shopping easier.

Jimmy Wayne's new cd, "Sara Smile" is in stores today. Yes, the old Hall and Oates hit has been reborn in country clothes. When asked why that song, in particular, Jimmy answered: ""There was a foster mom named Sara who was special to me. The song is not about her, and I don't sing it and think about her particularly, but when I first heard the song it reminded me of her, and that initially got me wanting to listen."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Lots of weekend doins' involving country artists:

Tim McGraw's new film, "The Blind Side" releases nationwide tonight. Tim said he wouldn't do another football movie, until he read the script and found out that in addition to the great story, his leading lady would be Sandra Bullock. The rest is history, and Oscars are being mentioned in the same breath as this movie.

If you're in West Virginia, you might want to check out Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution food festival in Huntington. Rascal Flatts will be doing an acoustic set at about 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, and the whole event is being taped for a special to air early next year. Tickets to the show are free, and were handed out yesterday. Apparently, attendees of the food festival have a chance to win more during tomorrow's festivities.

Tomorrow, Wynonna will ride the 67th Annual Santa Train as it delivers 15 tons of toys to children in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. CSX, Food City & the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce sponsor the train's 14 stops. The ride begins in Shelby, KY and concludes in Kingsport, TN with Santa, Wynonna and her two children aboard as they return to the Appalachian area where she grew up near the train’s route in Ashland, KY.

Dierks Bentley’s Miles and Music for Kids charity motorcycle ride and jam session makes it’s move to Phoenix, AZ tomorrow.

And on Sunday night, The American Music Awards air on ABC, with Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban performing. Taylor Swift is up for 6 awards, and since these are fan-voted awards, expect her to take home her share. Rascal Flatts is up for 2 awards, and Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, Zac Brown Band and Gloriana are each up for one award.

Now the tale is told - when Kenny Chesney hugged Taylor Swift and congratulated her on her CMA Entertainer of the Year award, what did he say? "You have to earn being in that spot, and I know how hard she's worked, and I was very proud of her. I wanted her to know I was proud of her."

For the fourth year running, The Academy of Country Music and Wrangler are providing the entertainment for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, December 3rd through 12th. Entertaining the cowboys & their fans are Joe Nichols, David Nail, Heidi Newfield and many more. By the way, that's the same time that Garth Brooks will be opening at the Wynn Hotel.

Oh, to be in Nashville when the Parrotheads flock there. The next CMT Crossroads will tape in December, to air in March of 2010. The pairing? Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett. Can't buy's invitation-only to be part of the studio audience.

Josh Kelly, brother of Lady A's Charles Kelly, could be Nashville's next big thing. He's got a record deal with Universal/Nashville, with his first project due out in the middle of next year.

On tv tonight, Lyle Lovett will be on the Late Show with David Letterman, and Billy Currington and the Zac Brown Band will be on Larry the Cable Guy's Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau on CMT.

Happy birthday today to Dierks Bentley and Josh Turner.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Oh, to have been in Nashville Tuesday night. Kix Brooks hit the town...well, actually, just Tootsie's Orchid Lounge...sang a couple of songs on both the front and back stages, then settled in to the front corner booth to make an evening of it.

Meanwhile, what was Rodney Atkins up to last night in Nashville? He went to the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Sommet Center. Gonna take a day or two to get his singing voice back after all that yelling of "Bruuuuuuuuce!"

Another day, another congrats to Lady Antebellum - they have the #1 downloaded song of all formats with "Need You Now."

Someone's been combing the records of CMA Award winners and has found that Jamey Johnson is only the 8th songwriter to win two CMA Song of the Year awards. The others? Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz, Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman and Max D. Barnes.

Sugarland takes their country Christmas music to the Oprah show on the 30th of this month. They're not spilling the beans, but will say that they are the surprise for a bunch of people who need a surprise. Hmmmm...

Another artist has been added to the George Strait/Reba McEntire tour - Lee Ann Womack will hitch her bus to the caravan when the tour heads out in early 2010. Lee Ann jokes, “I’m trying to figure out what to wear…cause you can’t out-starch George and you sure can’t out-spangle Reba!”

Didja miss Carrie Underwood on the Ellen show on Tuesday? Watch the interview here.

Happy birthday to Billy Currington today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Dierks Bentley has big plans for 2010: he's taking the first three months of next year off to write and produce not one but two new cds. One will be what we expect from Dierks - a follow-up to "Feel That Fire." The other will be a bluegrass project. Since there's a bluegrass song on each cd that he's done, it was only a matter of time until he did a cd with nothing but 'grass. Then in April, he'd like to resurrect the High Times and Hangovers tour, where he plays small venues, and he'd like Cross Canadian Ragweed to be part of that again. Summer, he expects to be playing fairs and festivals, then hopes to go out as a headliner in the fall. Hey, if you don't plan, you don't do!

Tim McGraw has a couple of secret passions: 70's rock and football. He's a fan of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Eagles and Led Zeppelin, but says he likes to listen to it, not sing it. As for football, everyone knows he loves it, but he says that a football coaching job at Louisiana State University would tempt him to leave the music business behind.

Instead of sugarplums, it'll be visions of Sugarland dancing in our heads on December 20th. That's the night "Christmas in Washington" airs on TNT, featuring Sugarland, the first family, Neil Diamond, George Lopez and lots more stars.

Taylor Swift is now in the greeting card business. She's partnered with American Greetings to create a line of cards and products sure to be glittery. Look for them in the spring of next year.

After retiring in 1991, the Judds may be working on a reunion for 2010. In Billboard Magazine, Wynonna is quoted as saying, "I just felt it in my spirit. A couple weeks ago I said, ‘It’s 2010. It’s been 25 years. It’s take-your-mother-to-work year."

Faith Hill and her long-time manager, Gary Borman, have parted ways. In a joint statement, Faith says "we love each other like a brother and a sister, but have made the difficult choice to dissolve our professional relationship." No word on who will handle Faith's management going forward. Gary's been part of her team since her first hit song, "Wild One."

Carrie Underwood is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today. has a photo of Keith Urban and daughter Sunday Rose here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Toby Keith was missing in Nashville for the CMAs last week - because he's in Europe, treating them to America's Toughest Tour. From the sold-out theatres to the fan reaction to the media reports, sounds like Toby is a huge hit across the pond. His tour wraps on Sunday the 22nd in Bergen, Norway. He'll head back to Norway for the December 11th Nobel Peace Prize concert, where he's been invited to perform.

Trace Adkins is no stranger to pain and is now the spokesperson for BC Headache Powder. They'll be his tour sponsor next year, and he'll be the face of BC Powders. "My relationship with BC Headache Powder is personal and runs deep," Adkins says. "I still remember when my grandfather gave me my first BC."

Congrats to Lady Antebellum on another #1 country song. "Need You Now" tops the charts this week, knocking Carrie Underwood's "Cowboy Cassanova" down to second place. That's two #1s in a row - "I Run to You" went to the top of the charts earlier this year. Meanwhile, Luke Bryan's song "Do I" is headed for the top, and if it knocks off Lady A, they won't mind too much. Why? Because Charles Kelly and Dave Haywood wrote it, and Hillary Scott sings back-up vocals on it.

Tim McGraw is on The View today.

Bucky Covington's 5-song live EP is out today. It includes live versions of "A Different World," "It's Good to be Us," "I'll Walk," his new single "Gotta Be Somebody" and a sneak listen of a cut from his sophomore cd, due out this spring. That song is "Mexicoma." Gotta believe it has something to do with beer, tequila or both!

Nichole Kidman is in the upcoming issue of Ladies' Home Journal, talking about her career and why it needs to take a back seat to hubby Keith Urban's at this time. She also talks about their ambitions to have another baby soon.

Reba has just been added to the line-up for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She joins Billy Currington, who'll be floating down the parade route, toois no stranger.

Luke Bryan's on tour, and is playing new music to gauge audience reaction. Here he is, playing an acoustic version of "A Little Bit of You" for the very first time publicly.

Gretchen Wilson’s song “Work Hard, Play Harder” will be part of an ABC special called “The Art of the Burnout” during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22nd.

Justin Moore and his wife Kate are moving out to the country, just in time to welcome their first child in January. They've bought a house south of Nashville, and are looking forward to the space, both inside and outside. Justin said, "We're very excited! The 1100 square feet house we were in was just gonna get too crowded. And, moving out in the country is gonna help me stay grounded. My back porch looks out over a pasture full of cows instead of another house. It makes me feel more at home.”

Wynonna will publish a novel, “The Restless Heart,” that basically tells her own story about getting into the music biz through the fictional heroine. The book is written for young adults and is intended to help guide them through the process of believing in their dreams, living their dreams well and helping others achieve their own dreams, too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check out People magazine's special country issue - Alan and Denise Jackson are on the cover, and in the cover story they're joined by Carrie Underwood, Joe Nichols, Zac Brown and others, talking about the biggest blessings in their lives. There's also a free 10- track music download.

News from Down Under that Keith Urban is up for four Country Music Association of Australia awards: Best Album, Best Single, Best Song and Best Male Artist. The awards will be handed out January 23, 2010.

Maybe it was all that money Keith Urban helped to raise that made this possible: The Country Music Hall of Fame's website has been completely updated, with tons of new videos and features.

Kellie Pickler did an acoustic set at the Country Music Hall of Fame performance hall last week. The whole thing was very casual, from Kellie's conductor cap to the audience interaction to the whole vibe. She talks about the day and her life here, and there are clips of performances, too.

Reba's been making hits for three decades. So far, she has 33 #1 songs, and "Consider Me Gone" is looking like it could be her 34th. It's in the top 5 and still climbing.

Catch Carrie Underwood on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

If you need one more glimpse of CMA night, has a video of country stars finishing the same sentence - You know you've made it in country music when... The answers are great!

Country boys celebrating birthdays this week - Billy Currington, Dierks Bentley and Josh Turner.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Tim McGraw's movie, "The Blind Side," had its Nashville debut last night. He and Faith hosted the preview, and Nashville royalty turned out to the screening. Kix Brooks, Martina McBride, Randy Travis, Taylor Swift, Rodney Atkins, Clint Black, the Lady Antebellum trio, Barbara Mandrell and loads more country stars populated the audience. In the movie, Sandra Bullock plays Tim's wife, and when Faith Hill was asked how it felt to watch her husband kissing Sandra Bullock on screen, Faith replied, “She’s gorgeous. I wish I was kissing Sandra Bullock.”

Martina McBride tweeted, after seeing the movie: "Blind Side.I'm telling U and U know I wouldn't lie.GO SEE IT. Tim was gr8.F It was funny,moving inspirational."

Just how big is Taylor Swift's Entertainer of the Year win at the CMAs? International media has likened her to Tiger Woods, saying she is to country music right now what he is to golf.

Piling on the media attention for her, InStyle magazine has Taylor on the cover of the issue coming out next week. Put on your 3-D's a 3-D cover shot.

His first country cd went platinum, so now it's time for Best New Artist Darius Rucker to hit the studio and do it again. He's going to start recording his next cd in December, for a release "some time next year." Darius and Brad Paisley have been writing together, and have a song they've decided to cut as a guy-duet.

Enjoy Friday the 13th, and may all of your dreams come true today, just like Taylor's did this week.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here's today's country tidbits...

It was a good night to be new-Nashville last night. Taylor Swift cleaned up, winning four awards including Entertainer of the Year. She's the youngest to ever win that honor. Lady Antebellum was up for two awards and snagged them both - Single of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year. And Darius Rucker won Best New Artist, though he's only new to country music. It was a good night to be a rocker playing to a country crowd, as the audience seemed to really enjoy the contributions of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Dave Matthews, Kid Rock and Daughtry. It was also a good night to be vintage Nashville, as Barbara Mandrell was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the show. Martina McBride hinted yesterday that she had a surprise - it was that George Strait joined her onstage for a duet of Barbara's classic song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool."

What do the CMA voters take into consideration when voting for Entertainer of the Year? Album sales, radio hits, successful tours, and representing country music well in the media. While all of the nominees had most of the elements, Taylor Swift was clearly the dominant player where album sales and radio hits are concerned.

Random notes from the show: the "crown" over the stage looked like the base of the Statue of Liberty's crown. I'm sure that wasn't an accident.

Wonder which came first - Taylor Swift's "Monologue Song" for Saturday Night Live or Carrie and Brad's monologue songs last night? All very funny!

Taylor Swift: youngest winner of Entertainer of the Year, second time nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and her first win. When accepting for Album of the Year, she said, "This album is my diary - thanks for saying you like my diary. That's the nicest compliment." Taylor's Dad was her date and he cried when she won Entertainer of the Year. Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban both jumped to their feet when her name was announced, starting the standing ovation for her. During her acceptance speech, she mentioned that she had been an opening act for each of the other nominees in the category, and thanked them for the opportunity. About the women who've won the award before her, she said, "It’s such an honor to know that Reba McEntire even knows my name, and Barbara Mandrell, and the people I’ve looked up to for so long. Reba has been so wonderful to me, as well as Faith Hill, who has been my idol. You spend your whole life looking up to these women who stand on a stage and know how to wow a crowd ... and you meet them and realize they’re as awesome as you thought they were. It’s a really wonderful thing."

Darius Rucker: "To the fans - thank y'all for accepting me."

Sugarland: genuinely surprised to win Vocal Duo of the Year - they invited Brooks & Dunn up to speak, but the boys declined. Then they thanked them for their contribution to country music.

Kellie Pickler and Miranda Lambert BOTH decided to be redheads. Kellie went all-out, and Miranda is sporting red highlights in her blond mane, but wants to go all the way, too.

The Nashville Tennesean has posted a great photo gallery from last night.

And if you just can't get enough of last night's magical moments, seems to have captured them all in one place.

What are Brad Paisley's plans, now that his tour has wrapped for the year and his hosting duties at the CMAs are behind him? He's taking the rest of the year off to be home with his family. The American Saturday Night tour kicks back up again in January.

Get one awards show behind us and another starts revvin' up! Sugarland has been announced as one of the performances on the television special "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night." The show airs December 2nd on CBS.

Some not-award-show-news: apparently Carrie Underwood has cleaned out some space in boyfriend Mike Fisher's closet, has stocked his kitchen with some of her favorite things and is set to move in. The couple have talked marriage, and Carrie's family just loves her hockey-player boyfriend. Oh, and Biography on A&E features Carrie Underwood tonight.

Bleve Records has released "My First Ride," a benefit CD for the Fraternal Order Of Police and the International Association Of Firefighters Disaster Relief Funds. Lending their voices on the CD are Ronnie Milsap with Trace Adkins, George Strait, Vince Gill, Jenny Gill, John Michael Montgomery, James Otto, The Bacon Brothers and Mike Reid. You can pick it up at selected stores, or download it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Today isn't just a big day for country music, it's a big day for America. Today, Veteran's Day, is a day to turn our thoughts and prayers to the men and women who are on the battlefront or have been. They don't make government policy, but they carry out their duties to implement that policy with honor, courage and commitment. Today is a reminder that we shouldn't take those real human beings who are willing to put their bodies and lives in the line of fire for granted. America's military veterans are the finest example of walking the talk: they honor their commitments, responsibilities and also honor us with their service. Today, honor them. And tomorrow, and every tomorrow after that, honor them, too. It's because of our veterans and their fallen brothers and sisters that we are a free nation. Happy Veteran's Day, and if you're a Veteran, like my Dad, thank you and God bless you!

Records could be set when Entertainer of the Year is announced at the CMA's tonight. Taylor Swift will be the youngest winner if she gets the award. If Kenny Chesney wins, then he'll set the record for most times won with five, breaking Garth Brooks' four-win record.

And the Nashville Tennesean has another CMA feature that's worth a look: photographic evidence of the contributions they've made to country music for each of the Entertainer of the Year nominees. Check out their amazing photo gallery.

Martina McBride is promising a big surprise for her performance on the CMA show tonight. Hmmmmm....

Look for Kellie Pickler to be wearing the dress of the night - she describes it as looking like liquid - and check out her new red hair, if it's still red! She went brownish, then a beautiful auburn, but has caught a lot of flack from fans. She loves it...let's see what you think tonight. She's presenting the award for Song of the Year, so will get some good tv time.

Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley have been writing songs together, and have come up with one that they'll duet on. Darius describes it as a two-guy duet, very fun. They'll record it next month and it'll be part of his next cd, due out some time next spring.

When Darius was just a kid, he remembers his views on music: "I think I just said to myself, 'I'm never going to let anybody tell me what I can listen to.' And I never did. When I was sitting there watching 'Hee Haw,' my brother didn't want to watch it. He was older than me but there was going to be a friggin' fight if they didn't let me watch 'Hee Haw.'"

Been waiting for news of Faith Hill's annual Christmas tv special? Wait no more - here's the scoop: December 23 on CBS, catch Faith with Reba, Carrie Underwood, Shakira, Mary J. Blige and more guests to be named later. It's the "11th Annual A Home for the Holidays with Faith Hill" show and it's not only entertaining, it aims to raise awareness on the importance of adoption.

Yesterday morning in Nashville, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley put on a free concert for Good Morning America. In case you missed it, here's Brad Paisley's performance of "American Saturday Night" and Carrie Underwood singing "Temporary Home."

More than 18 million votes were cast for the 2010 People's Choice awards, and Country is well-represented in the final slate: Keith Urban and Tim McGraw are both up for Favorite Male Artist, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are both up for Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Country Artist nominees are Taylor, Carrie, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts. Taylor Swift is also nominated in the Favorite Pop Artist category. Miley Cyrus is up for Favorite Web Celeb and Favorite Breakout Movie Actress, and Taylor Swift's recent escort, Taylor Lautner, is up for Breakout Movie Actor. You can cast your vote for the winners here. has a slide show of country stars best Twitter pictures.

A country-music-couple-breakup: Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough have split up. Sources say it's "mutual" and that they just need time away from each other.

Happy birthday to Reba's hubby, Narvel Felts, today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Kenny Chesney made a 3-D movie of his Sun City Carnival Tour, and it comes to a theatre near you starting in April of 2010. Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3-D was captured by 22 3-D cameras over six nights of his 2009 tour. The five locations for the shoot were Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle, Foxboro, and Indianapolis.

The world's longest-running Radio show is making the move to the internet. The Grand Ole Opry will begin streaming the live show, complete with video, Saturday nights at 9 eastern on The first show is this Saturday night, and features Carrie Underwood and Jake Owen.

Taylor Swift will be the first performer on the CMA Award show tomorrow night. She's been heard rehearsing two songs, so it's possible she'll have two performances on the show. Other leaks from the closed set include Brooks & Dunn performing "Honky Tonk Stomp" with Billy Gibbons, Keith Urban singing his next single, "Til Summer Comes Around," Tim McGraw in full voice for "Southern Voice," Sugarland singing "Keep You," Jamey Johnson and Kid Rock duetting on "Between Jennings and Jones" and Vince Gill with Daughtry singing Daughtry's "Tennessee Line."

A blast from the past, Jerry Lee Lewis, has decided to make a collaborative country album. He does songs with Merle Haggard, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Kid Rock, Slash, Eric Clapton and James Burton. A free download of a sampler is allegedly available today at Amazon dot com and the whole cd will be available next Tuesday.

And Steve Wariner has put together a tribute to Chet Atkins. That cd comes out next Thursday, the 19th. You can get it at his website.

New cd's out today: Big Kenny with "The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy" and "Dolly: Live from London."

It's good to be Carrie Underwood. She has the #1 song in the country with "Cowboy Cassanova,"
and "Play On," her new cd, is expected to top both the Billboard country chart and the Billboard 200 chart this week when chart results are announced tomorrow.

On tv today, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley on Good Morning America, and the Robin Roberts country music special tonight features Carrie, Martina McBride, Loretta Lynn, Roseanne Cash, Vince Gill and Tim McGraw.

Happy birthday today to Chris Cagle and Miranda Lambert.

There's a Twitter party tomorrow night, before, during and after the CMA Awards show. Follow it on for tweets from stars, producers, the red carpet & tons of Twitter-Pix.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Taylor Swift knocked it out of the park Saturday night as host of SNL. From her "Monologue Song" which touched on ex-boyfriends, current maybe boyfriend and of course, Kanye West, to her dark-haired look in the fake movie trailer, to her brace-wearing turn as Samantha Samuels in a fake television commercial, she showed that her acting and comedy skills are as well-developed as her singing and songwriting skills. Country Music Tattle Tale links to all of the show's skits, in case you missed the show or want to see parts of it again.

Nashville's newspaper, The Tennessean, has a very lively on-line presence. They set out to get on-camera interviews with each of the CMA Entertainer of the Year nominees, talking about what it would mean to them to win the award on Wednesday night. See the results here.

George Strait made big-screen history in the 1992 movie, "Pure Country." Next week in Nashville, "A Pure Country Gift" is filming, including a concert scene at the Municipal Auditorium. The movie stars Katrina Elam and features George Strait. If you'll be in Nashville next Wednesday, show up at the auditorium in your best country duds to be part of the concert crowd. Get there before noon...before 9 is probably better advice, if you want to get in.

Dierks Bentley rubbed shoulders - literally - with the hero who's credited with saving so many lives at the horrible massacre at Ft. Hood in Texas. Sgt. Kimberly Munley is a big Dierks Bentley fan and went to his Freedom Fest concert at Ft. Hood on July 4th. Photos of the two of them at his meet & greet have been on the news over the weekend, and he tweeted that he was able to speak with her on the phone and pass along his prayers for her speedy recovery. She's in stable condition.

Keith Urban has just been announced as one of the performers on the American Music Awards, airing on ABC November 22nd. Carrie Underwood is also performing.

Jo Dee Messina will be performing a benefit concert in Nashville on December 5th at the Brentwood United Methodist Church. Tickets are free and you can get them from Jo Dee's website, but the plate will be passed for Harvest Hands Community Development Corporation, an organization taking Nashville's blighted inner-city and refurbishing it, one life at a time.

The flamboyant Hollywood reporter, Perez Hilton, snagged the John Mayer/Taylor Swift duet that's part of John's upcoming cd. Hear Half of My Heart here.

Rascal Flatts loves Wendy's - here's video proof!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

The new People Magazine hits newsstands today and you'll see the familiar face of Tim McGraw on the cover. In big yellow text across the cover, there's a quote from Tim: "My wife makes me a better man." In the story, Tim talks about life, love and family, and confirms that Faith Hill motivates him and lifts his spirits when he gets down.

Just when you thought they couldn't stuff even one more performance into the CMA Awards show next Wednesday night, they have managed to add two: Martina McBride will sing, and Jamey Johnson will do a duet with Kid Rock. They join Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Reba, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Billy Currington, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, the Zac Brown Band, Vince Gill duetting with Daughtry, and Kenny Chesney duetting with Dave Matthews. That's twenty separate performances...wonder when they'll find time to hand out awards? Oh, yes...and Carrie Underwood says she has 9 different outfits to wear on awards night. Just how many hours long will this show be?

What do you get for the Hollywood star who has everything? Well, how about his favorite singer to perform at his birthday party? That's what friends of actor Matthew McConaughey did for his 40th birthday bash. They surprised him with Jamey Johnson, who did a show just for the party. The actor has posted on his MySpace page that Jamey Johnson is one of his favorite artists, and reported that the party and the concert were a huge success.

Road trip alert: The World's Greatest Country Music Festival, the Craven Country Jamboree, has a stellar line-up for 2010. July 15, 16, 17 and 18, Saskatchewan Canada will be the place to be, with Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, David Nail, Charley Pride, Neal McCoy, Diamond Rio, Collin Raye, Crystal Shawanda and Williams & Ree all scheduled to perform. Tickets are $179 and are available at Craven Country Jamboree's website or by calling 866-388-0007.

Martina McBride could be in a bit of hot water with her hubby, John. She was playing with her youngest daughter, Ava, and slipped her wedding ring on her daughter's finger. It quickly slipped off and rolled under the stove. One more thing on John's "honey do" list!

Just in time for holiday fun, Ray Stevens has put together a new Christmas album. It's his first in a decade, and features traditional Christmas songs with a Ray Stevens twist. For instance, he does a version of "Blue Christmas" in a Mel Blanc voice. Ray says it made him laugh when he sang it and makes him laugh each time he hears it.

Didja miss Keith Urban on the Today show yesterday? See it here.

And Carrie Underwood was on Regis and Kelly - here's the interview and here's the performance of Cowboy Cassanova.

Zac Brown gives great advice about finances and life management. (If you are offended by four-letter words, know that there's one in this video.)

Stars on tv today - Reba is on the Rachael Ray show and Ralph Stanley is on the Late Show With David Letterman.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

This is how you know you've made it - Toyota designs a truck for you. Brooks & Dunn's long-time tour sponsor, Toyota Tundra Trucks, have come out with a special-edition truck, just in time for Kix & Ronnie's Last Rodeo tour. Called the Midnight Rider Tailgater truck, it features a cooking space with countertops and an infrared grill, beverage tap and built-in ice chest. Also built into the truck bed is a 42 inch flat screen tv and surround sound system. You can get it in any color you want, so long as it's metallic black, and it comes with Western-motif door handles, the Brooks & Dunn logo steer skull on the grille and a saddle horn shift knob. Sorry I can't tell you the price...that seems to be the only secret there is about this Brooks & Dunn party-truck!

The week before the CMAs is always a country artist blitz on tv, and this week is no different. Catch Carrie Underwood on Live with Regis and Kelly today, Keith Urban on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight, and Taylor Swift's Dateline NBC special airs on CMT tomorrow night, giving you the behind-the-scenes scoop on her 2009 Fearless tour. Then Taylor is hosting and performing on Saturday Night Live on Saturday, and Kellie Pickler is part of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday.

Faith Hill stopped by the Ellen show, talking about her new house, new workout routine and new perfume. See the segment here.

Alan Jackson had so much fun doing his Cracker Barrel appearance on Monday that he'll do another one this coming Tuesday. This will be at a temporary Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, set up just for CMA week. Alan will be there Tuesday from 9 to 11am Central time, and in order to get into the autograph line, you have to make a purchase of something from his lifestyle collection, sold only at Cracker Barrel. No don't have to buy a rocking chair, you could plunk down a couple of bucks for some breath mints.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Toby Keith's new song, "Cryin' For Me (Wayman's Song)" was written for close friend Wayman Tisdale, who passed away after treatment for cancer. Toby intended to sing it at the funeral, but couldn't get through it, so he sang Willie Nelson's "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" instead. He says it was weeks before he could get through the whole song without breaking down. Now, with it's release as a single, Toby had to make a video for it, too. Check out the finished product here.

And while you're watching videos, here's something completely different - the new video for Blake Shelton's "Hillbilly Bone," featuring Trace Adkins.

A week from tonight, the CMA Awards will be handed out. Two women are tied for the most CMA Female Vocalist honors - that's Reba and Martina McBride with four each. Martina quips, "Yeah, it's me and Reba in a fist fight. We're going to box each other!" Also in the running this year are Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. If Carrie wins, then it becomes a three-way tie, as Carrie has already won the award three years straight.

Wanna put your toes in the water with the Zac Brown Band? You can...Labor Day weekend of 2010, spend a few days with Zac and the boys on the Sailing Southern Ground floating festival. The cruise starts and ends in Tampa, and heads to Grand Cayman. All the details are here.

This might surprise you, but apparently Tim McGraw isn't perfectly comfortable with stardom. He recalls being a kid, nervous and scared because he struggled in school and got beat up a lot. Fast-forward to where he is in life now, and he says he still struggles. "At times you think, 'I'm a 42-year-old man jumping around, with 16-year-old girls screaming at me. There are times when you think that you look like a clown," proclaims Tim. He's gearing up for the release of his latest film, "The Blind Side" later this month, so will probably have a few more of those "feeling like a clown" moments.

Taylor Swift is breaking all sorts of music sales records, so it's no surprise that she's been tapped for the newest video game, too. Band Hero, like Guitar Hero but with more instruments, includes a couple of Taylor tunes, plus she's part of the marketing campaign. Check out her commercial for the game here.

Rascal Flatts will be part of the new Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways marketing campaign. They'll be featured in TV commercials encouraging visitors to see the state's major landmarks.

On November 26th, Billy Currington will be part of the 83rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade procession.

In Nashville on Sunday, the 7th class of Music City Walk of Fame inductees will get their sidewalk markers. The inductees are Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Tootsie Bess, Kid Rock and Ernest Tubb. The ceremony takes place at 2pm in the Hall of Fame Park, and it's free and open to the public.

Fun artist tweet, this one from Brad Paisley: Walked in a restaurant, the maitr'd said-"Sir,I must ask you remove that hat." me-"cuz it's Dodgers?" him-"Yes sir. And I'm serious sir."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

In the oh-wow category, George Strait and Reba will head out on an arena tour beginning January 22nd in Baltimore. The tour is currently booked through April.

Chart stat: Reba moves into the top 10 on the Billboard Country Chart with "Consider Me Gone." That's her 57th career top ten single, two better that Dolly Parton, who's the runner-up.

A traveling festival is planned for next year - it's the Country Throwdown Tour 2010. The show will have three main stages as well as the Bluebird Cafe tent for up and coming singer-songwriters. The tour runs from May 13 through June 20 and features Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town, Jack Ingram, Eric Church, Eli Young Band, The Lost Trailers, Emily West, Jonathan Singleton & the Grove and Ryan Bingham. All the details, including new bands and artists as they're announced, are here.

They love their country music in France, and at the French Country Music Awards, Brad Paisley took home two awards, Alan Jackson, Sara Evans, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney & Mac McAnally and John Rich each won one award. Congrats, all!

Albums released today include Carrie Underwood's "Play On." Vince Gill appears on the cd, singing with Carrie on “Look At Me.”

Stars on tv today: Carrie Underwood is on Good Morning America, Brad Paisley stops by the Late Show With David Letterman, Reba pulls a two-fer, appearing on Live With Regis And Kelly early and then the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon show tonight, and Martina McBride is on the Oprah show today, reliving her first job.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are sharing a romantic...hunting trip together. They're in Kansas this week, camping and hunting.

Couldn't make it to Nashville to see Keith Urban at the Verizon Wireless store? Part of the event ended up on YouTube.

What did Kellie Pickler do for Halloween? Watch here.

Wynonna is working on plans for a Christmas tour, and her 13-year-old daughter Grace is going to be part of the show. Wynonna is so excited to be singing with her daughter. Now she knows how her Momma, Naomi, felt.

And a reminder...loads of country music artists are on tv this week. Today, catch Charlie Daniels on The Early Show on CBS, Faith Hill on the Ellen Show, Jack Ingram on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Carrie Underwood on the Late Show with David Letterman.

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