Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Last night, Brad Paisley thought he was innocently going to congratulate his friend Richard Blais. Brad and Richard have done some fund-raisers together, and so when Richard won America's Top Chef, Brad tweeted, "congrats @RichardBlais on being Top Chef! Glad I got to eat your grub when it was still affordable. You deserve all the best." Apparently much of Twitterland got upset because they had DVR'ed the show and he just ruined the ending. Brad, being Brad, let fly with a torrent of replies to the offended parties:

"So,I didn't post to @RichardBlais for like an HOUR after the show was over.Jeez,How long do U people think spoiler alert is necessary?A week?"

"And, um, just to give you the suspense back if you are waiting to watch it on DVR, Congrats Mike Isabella on being Top Chef!"

"& not to ruin more of the show for you,but how'bout that cameo from Chef Boyardee tonight on top chef?Boy was he drunk. And droppin F bombs"

"I gotta say the cage match between Boyardee & Uncle Ben was about as unexpected as the mud wrestling between Sara Lee and Mrs. Butterworth."

"Oh sorry, forgot, Spoiler alert."

If you're on Twitter and not following @BradPaisley, look at what you're missing!

Taylor Swift wrapped up her European tour in London with a surprise - she was handed a plaque celebrating 20 million albums sold worldwide. She was already wondering how she would get all of her souvenirs from this trip home, as she's been a shopping machine while overseas. Looking at the size of the plaque, she's got another big problem on her hands!

Leading up to Sunday's ACM Award Show, there's lots of online and interactive events planned. The red carpet event will be carried live on Livestream, and, with the hosts asking questions fans submit via Twitter at You can check out the ACM's Facebook page, where everything that's going on will be announced and/or carried there.

And pity poor Miranda Lambert - because Blake is co-hosting the show, that leaves her without a date for the night. She was very supportive about him taking the co-host job, but later said, “I didn’t think about I’m not going to have a date. It’s kind of sad. Um, I’ll probably just sit next to a random person. You know, whatever, a seat filler.” I bet Miranda could find a date if she really wanted to. Wonder what her Mom is doing Sunday night?

In more Miranda news, she covets Carrie Underwood's legs. She's asked by to spill 25 things we may not know about her, and one is that she wishes she had Carrie's shapely legs.

If you plan to be in Nashville for the CMA Music Fest, you need to get some Opry tickets for the Tuesday show right away. Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Jerrod Niemann and the Oak Ridge Boys will all be part of the Tuesday night show, with Jerrod also doing the free Opry Plaza Party that afternoon. There's also a chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to the CMA Music Fest on the website.

Trace Adkins is weighing in on the disaster in Japan, asking people to text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the relief efforts. Said Trace, “That was unbelievable to see that wall of water goin’ across there and just wiping out everything in its path it was just unbelievable. But, we’re gonna help them out of course.”

More details on Zac's Outdoor Channel show are out today. The show premiers this Sunday, highlights the art of hunting and cooking in a hunt camp, and is entitled "Fear No Evil." Zac Brown hosts, with an assist from Chris Brackett.

Did you miss Dierks Bentley on the Tonight Show? Here he is with his new song, "Am I the Only One."

That story yesterday about Willie Nelson being offered a plea bargain in his pot case - pay $100 and sing "Blue Eyes Cryin' In the Rain" - is not exactly the way things will play out. The judge in the case, Judge Becky Dean-Walker, says the prosecutor was joking and that the joke got out of hand. That is not an acceptable plea in her eyes, and Willie can plead guilty by mail, not by showing up and singing. No word as to whether the $100 fine is what he'll actually receive.

Country Weekly is on the hunt for country music's hottest performers. Vote early, vote often but vote now - the poll ends on April 10th.

Lee Brice is on The Price is Right today and Thompson Square is on Conan tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Taylor Swift: "Liz: "Life is hard when you leave your stuff behind..." I reply with "and by 'stuff', you mean your half eaten bag of candy?" "Yeah.."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Some of the ACM award winners have already been announced. Reba wins the 2011 Career Achievement Award, Taylor Swift wins the Jim Reeves International Award for her "outstanding contributions to the worldwide popularization of country music," and the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Awards go to Garth Brooks and Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers. The Poet's Award goes to Tom T. Hall and the late Hank Cochran, the Tex Ritter Award for a movie featuring country music goes to "Country Strong," The Ryman Auditorium is Venue of the Year and the general manager there, Sally Williams, is the Promoter of the year. The Mae Boren Axton Award goes to John Dorris, ACM Treasurer and Hallmark Direction Company founder for his years of dedication and service to the ACM. The Producer of the Year is Paul Worley. All winners will be celebrated during the ACM Honors event at the Ryman this coming fall.

Zac Brown is looking forward to Sunday's ACM Award show, but not mainly for the awards part of it. He's nominated for top vocal group, album, single and song of the year and has a good shot at bringing home a lot of bling, but it's the performance that Zac is focused on. Says Zac, “I asked James Taylor to come play with me and he said, ‘yes.’ So I’m get to play with my single biggest influence musically. We’ve gotten together, he and I, and spent a day and got to visit with each other. And work on the tune and how we’re going to be doing it. And, you know, it’s pretty magic stuff.” The awards air at 8 Eastern Sunday night on CBS.

Oh, to be Willie Nelson. He just caught a break in his pot posession case. The prosecuter has agreed to let Willie off with a $100 fine and community service. The community service? Performing "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" in a courtroom. A judge still has to approve the plea deal and Willie still has to agree to do it, but it's a great deal for him - he could face 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine if he doesn't cut a deal.

To celebrate a quarter-century of country hits, Randy Travis has put together a 16-track duets collection. "Anniversary Celebration" will be out June 7, and features Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson and Kristen Chenoweth.

An unofficial video is out for Jake Owen's "Barefoot Blue Jean Night." Looks like a party...!

Josh Thompson was on Fox & Friends yesterday, and had fun doing an after-show show for the web only. One of the topics covered was what it feels like to drive Roy Orbison's Cadillac...

The Price is Right goes all ACM on us tomorrow, and features Lee Brice as a special guest. He'll perform and present two prize packages. One contestant will have the chance to win tickets to Sunday night's ACM Awards. Here's a sneak-peek...

Thompson Square celebrated their first #1 song in Nashville Monday night. "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" tops the country charts, the ringtone chart and the digital download chart - nice hit! The song's co-writers, David Lee Murphy and Jim Collins, were on hand to celebrate their success, too.

Do you know your country couples? has a quiz for you. Warning - it's kida tough!

Speaking of People, they're giving away free country music from six artists - The Band Perry, Eric Church, Randy Houser, Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and the JaneDear Girls.

Zac Brown is getting his own show on the Outdoor Channel.

Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and Wynton Marsalis team up on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Happy birthday to Justin Moore, who turns 27 today.

The tweet of the day is from Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts: "Love watching satellite in a thunderstorm... Nothin like tryin to make out the dialog in between the freezes!!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Blake Shelton is co-hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards this Sunday night with Reba, and apparently CBS is a little bit nervous. A network executive even called Blake to let him know that they're preparing for him. According to Blake, “He called and I answered and I said, ‘I take this serious it’s a big deal to me and, and I definitely wouldn’t bring Reba down with me you know, but…makin’ fun of…you know, Craig Morgan’s toupee or whatever.’ He goes, ‘Well the reason I was calling you was to tell you that they’re goin’ to implement a 5-second delay for the ACM’s.’ This is a true story!” In addition to his hosting duties, Blake's up for Top Male Vocalist and Video of the Year for "Hillbilly Bone." Blake's on Chelsea Lately tonight, The Talk on Thursday and The Early Show on Friday, talking up the award show.

Voting for the ACM Entertainer of the Year is going on and will continue through the second hour of the show on Sunday night. Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert are both offering up gifts in exchange for votes. Miranda is giving away a free live version of "Dead Flowers" along with a shot at a commemorative plaque, and Brad is giving up "Letter to Me" and a chance to win an iPod Touch loaded with his music library.

Darius Rucker will perform on the ACM Awards this Sunday night, and it will be for charity. He'll sing "Music From the Heart," co-written by Chris Young and Brett James, and will be joined by 25 member of the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp. The performance will benefit the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, with viewers being asked to donate $5 by texting DREAM to 27722, or to donate by phone at 888-9-LIFTING.

Alan Jackson will play an intimate concert at the Rogersville Middle School in Rogersville, TN on April 14th. It's a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Hawkins County, and tickets sold out immediately. Charlie Chase, veteran country music tv personality, is the host of the event and an alum of the middle school, and all he had to do was ask Alan to get the country superstar to appear.

Pretty soon, you can even smell like Taylor Swift. Out this fall is Taylor's own line of perfume. She's partnered with Elizabeth Arden to make the scent, and she's had her hands in nearly every aspect of the process, from the aromas to the packaging.

Taylor Swift has made Time magazine's list of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds, saying, "If her success story has played out in a string of Grammys and magazine covers, consider the songbird's 140-character updates as the CliffsNotes." Follow Taylor on Twitter @taylorswift13 to see if you agree.

Lady Antebellum is collecting fan pictures for a project. If you have a copy of their cd, tweet a photo of you holding it and standing next to something that represents "your country." Follow Lady A on Twitter @LadyAntebellum.

Talk about your unintended consequences...wonder if the pro football players thought this through before they voted to strike? NFL players can't go to see Kenny Chesney's stadium shows, because they're on strike. According to the terms of the strike, they can't talk to their coaches or go to any stadiums, even their own home stadium. According to Kenny, the lockout is "interesting."

Opry Country Classics returns to the Ryman, featuring the Charlie Daniels Band, Pam and Mel Tillis, the Oak Ridge Boys and the Time Jumpers all headlining different nights between March 31 and May 26. There's a buy-one-get-one-free deal going on now through tomorrow night at midnight if you use coupon code OCC48 and get your tickets at or by calling 800-SEE-OPRY (800-733-6779.)

Martina McBride officially has two teenage daughters. As of today, middle daughter Emma turns 13. Martina's new song is "Teenage Daughters," and she says of the experience, “I’ve got a sixteen year-old who just is starting to drive. And then I have a pre-teen. She’s been a pre-teen up until now. And then a five year-old which is just starting Kindergarten. It’s like there’s always something going on. And it really doesn’t allow you to stayed focused on yourself and your problems for very long.”

If you missed Keith Urban performing "Without You" on the Ellen DeGeneres show yesterday, here he is.

Congratulations to Thompson Square who have their first career #1 song with "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not." Not only are they topping that chart, the song is also the #1 digital download this week, and the #1 ringtone.

Little Big Town is on Conan and The Talk today, Dierks Bentley is on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, debuting his new song, "Am I the Only One," and Blake Shelton guests on Chelsea Lately again tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Trent Tomlinson: "Just had an amazing country fried steak with sawmill gravy, green beans, and mashed taters!! #whoneedssushi"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

George Strait, Reba and Lee Ann Womack all played a show in New Mexico Friday night, and the state's Governor, Susana Martinez, signed a proclamation officially declaring the day "George Strait and Reba McEntire Day." Poor Lee Ann...

It was the men winning again last night on "Celebrity Apprentice," and John Rich is safe for another week on the show, as Dionne Warwick ended up being the one who was fired last night. According to John, who hasn't gotten the chance to be the project leader yet, he's ok with that, but is ready when it's his turn. “I didn’t go on there ‘cause I’m sellin’ a book or anything else. I’m on there to wait for my chance to raise a ton of money for St. Jude. Matter of fact my goal is to raise a million dollars for St. Jude. When my time comes, I’m gonna call everybody I know and try to hit that mark.” It's the third week in a row that the men's team won the challenge.

Are you aching for a way to help the poor people of Japan rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquakes and tsunami? Singers from all genres of music have put together an album, available on iTunes, entitled "Songs for Japan." The 38-track download sells for $9.99, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross. Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum donated songs, as did Elton John, Cee Lo Green and many more.

Here's the track list:
1. John Lennon “Imagine” (Remastered)
2. U2 “Walk On” (Radio Edit)
3. Bob Dylan “Shelter From The Storm”
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Around The World” (Live)
5. Lady Gaga “Born This Way” (Starsmith Remix)
6. Beyonce “Irreplaceable”
7. Bruno Mars “Talking To The Moon” (Acoustic Piano Version)
8. Katy Perry “Firework”
9. Rihanna “Only Girl (In The World)”
10. Justin Timberlake “Like I Love You”
11. Madonna “Miles Away” (Live)
12. David Guetta “When Love Takes Over” (feat. Kelly Rowland)
13. Eminem “Love The Way You Lie” (feat. Rihanna) [Clean Version}
14. Bruce Springsteen "Human Touch"
15. Josh Groban "Awake" (Live)
16. Keith Urban "Better Life"
17. Black Eyed Peas "One Tribe"
18. Pink "Sober"
19. Cee Lo Green "It's Ok"
20. Lady Antebellum "I Run To You"
21. Bon Jovi "What Do You Got?"
22. Foo Fighters "My Hero"
23. R.E.M. "Man On The Moon"
24. Nicki Minaj "Save Me" (Clean Version)
25. Sade "By Your Side"
26. Michael Buble "Hold On" (Radio Mix)
27. Justin Bieber "Pray" (Acoustic)
28. Adele "Make You Feel My Love"
29. Enya "If I Could Be Where You Are"
30. Elton John "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
31. John Mayer "Waiting On The World To Change"
32. Queen "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)" [Remastered]
33. Kings Of Leon “Use Somebody”
34. Sting “Fragile” (Live In Berlin)
35. Leona Lewis “Better In Time”
36. Ne-Yo “One In A Million”
37. Shakira “Whenever, Wherever”
38. Norah Jones “Sunrise”

Today is Reba's 56th birthday and her fans showed her some birthday love with a 4-part video appreciation posted on YouTube:

Lee Brice and Chris Young stopped by Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt last week, bearing 30 Zune mp3 players. The donation is for teens who have to spend their birthday in the hospital, to make their special day a bit brighter. According to the hospital's CEO Luke Gregory, “The Zune media players are perfect birthday gifts for our teenaged patients, who, like many of our patients, celebrate life’s milestones while facing difficult medical treatments.”

Lady Gaga did a "country road" version of her hit, "Born This Way." This version adds a new line to the song: “If I wanna make it country baby it’s okay ‘cause I was born, I was born, I was born this way! From London, Paris, Japan back to U.S.A. Yeah, I was born on the road, I was born to be brave.” has a poll up, asking if she is on to something with this version or if she should just stick to pop music.

Shania Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame last night. Bryan Adams was the person who got to give her the honor, calling her "a Canadian treasure."

Planning on getting married soon and want to win a dream honeymoon? Thompson Square is hosting the "Crash My Wedding" dream honeymoon contest. Oh, and even better than the honeymoon - Thompson Square will be the entertainment at your wedding! Gotta write an essay...good luck!

Happy birthday to Reba and to Rodney Atkins, who turns 42 today. And she's not country - yet! - but Lady Gaga celebrates her 25th birthday today, too.

Keith Urban is on the Ellen DeGeneres show today and tonight is the airing of last Monday's country-star-studded gala, "All Together Now: A Celebration of Service" on NBC. Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Reba, Brad Paisley, Kid Rock, Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood all perform.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "Today I'm thankful for mending fences with an old friend."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Hot off their performance on American Idol last night, Sugarland is making more waves. Jennifer Nettles will duet with Rihanna on her song, "California King Bed" on the ACM Awards show a week from Sunday. Other Hollywood types taking part in the country award show include Julianne Hough, pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, "Soul Surfer's" AnnaSophia Robb and "Water for Elephants" actors Reese Whitherspoon and Robert Patterson. And a reminder - voting for Entertainer of the Year and Top New Artist is currently going on. Get your votes in now!

Eric Church is up for Top New Artist at the ACMs and he'd be delighted to win that award on April 3rd, but he's gotten much more personal news that's put him over the moon. Eric and his wife Katherine are expecting their first child this fall. Says Eric, "This year has gotten off to an amazing start for us, and this news has made it so much better than we could have ever anticipated."

As Taylor Swift takes Europe by storm, here in the US, more dates are being added to her world tour. Sixteen more, to be exact - check them out and see if she just got closer to you.

Willie Nelson & the Nelson Family have covered the Rolling Stone classic, "Wild Horses." You can buy the song on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby, with all proceeds benefitting the Animal Welfare Institute's campaign to end horse slaughter.

Vince Gill and Amy Grant grace the cover of AARP's magazine, and inside, they talk about how they met, became a couple, and their secrets to making a marriage last. According to Vince, “We were both married, and though we were crazy about each other, we thought, ‘Well that’s not our life.’” “The hard truth was that we never thought for a minute that we would end up together.” Never say never!

Tony Bennett will turn 85 on August 3rd, and will celebrate by releasing "Tony Bennett: Duets II." Who are some of his duet partners? Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and other non-country singers.

In case you missed Keith Urban on the Tonight Show this week, here he is...

Sunday night, catch John Rich on "Celebrity Apprentice." He is seeing the edited version of the shows for the first time, too, as we watch them. What happens this Sunday night? According to John, “We have to shoot a sixty second commercial and then we have to do this big presentation. And, honestly, I can’t tell you a lot about it. But I can tell you that Jose Conseco winds up in women’s clothing…again.”

Keith will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show on Monday, and Monday night on NBC, catch the country-star-studded tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, featuring performances by Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Reba, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.

Toby Keith will perform two songs on the April 19th episode of "Dancing With the Stars."

Happy birthday to Kenny Chesney and Ronnie McDowell tomorrow. Kenny turns 43 and Ronnie will be 61.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "I have no restraint when it comes to Target."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney threw a party in Nashville yesterday, celebrating the success of "Somewhere With You." It's his 21st #1 song, but he says the #1 parties never get old. Songwriters J.T. Harding and Shane McAnally were there, celebrating the success of their song. Said a tearful Shane McAnally, remembering a tough time in his life, “If I could get a song to Kenny Chesney, everything would change. It took a lot longer than I wanted it to,” he said, laughing as he looked at Kenny, who replied "I’m awfully glad that I’m the guy who gets to sing this song for the rest of his life, I’ll tell you that.”

Alan Jackson has a new home in Nashville. After a couple of decades with Arista, he's signed with Capitol/EMI Records Nashville. This reunites him with Mike Dugan, who worked with Alan in the early Arista days. Alan's working on new music now, so expect a cd in the not-too-distant future. Here's their mutual-admiration-society quotes from the press release: "Mike Dungan and I go way back," Jackson says. "He was right there during my early days at Arista, and it’s going to be great to work with him and his team there at Capitol. I’m happy to be joining the hottest label in Nashville." Dungan adds, "Everyone here at Capitol/EMI is beyond thrilled to represent Alan Jackson. A true American original, a future Hall of Famer, and an artist whose work to date is not only commercially successful, but is of historical cultural significance. We are honored, and we are jacked!"

Good news for Reba...her Dad is doing better after the stroke he had in late February. According to a statement she made, her Dad is "responding and awake. So he’s doing a lot better.”

Got Talladega? Then you'll see Gretchen Wilson performing the infield concert on Saturday April 16th. All infield guests and anyone with a ticket for the Sunday race will get into the concert area. To get tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, go to or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.

This weekend, the women come out to play the Grand Ole Opry. Carrie Underwood, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan and Sarah Darling star, and are joined by Diamond Rio, Craig Campbell and Styx front-man Tommy Shaw making his Opry debut, bluegrass-style.

Dolly Parton is kicking off a 3-month-long world tour June 7th in Knoxville. The tour will include stops in Belfast, Dublin, London, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Glasgow and is in support of her upcoming "Better Day" album.

Congratulations to Sara Evans, whose "Stronger" cd sits atop the Billboard Country Album chart again this week.

Happy anniversary to Toby and Tricia Keith. They've been married 27 years today.

American Idol gets sweet tonight as Sugarland performs on the results show.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Designing the new tour set today. Cocoons? Stonehenge? Jazz odyssey? Check."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Oh, those wacky ACM people! They've paired country stars with YouTube sensations for a series of webisodes to promote the ACM Awards show. Sugarland, Eric Church, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan and Easton Corbin are all paired with different "unknown" acts that are popular on YouTube. Luke was paired with Boyce Avenue for his song, "Is Someone Else Calling You Baby" and he enjoyed the experience. “So what’s funny is I went and they gave me a c.d. Heck, I’ve been listening to their c.d. It’s been in my truck. But yea, it’s fun to kind of see those guys. They’re really talented and had a neat little sound. It was fun to sing one of my songs with them.” Sugarland was teamed with Savannah Berry, Eric Church was paired up with Mitch Rossell, The Band Perry were matched with Tyler Ward and Easton Corbin's duet isn't uploaded as of this writing. None of the embed codes will work, but if you search on YouTube, you can find the videos easily.

The ASO show just before the Academy of Country Music Awards show will be star-studded again this year. Held at Nellis Air Force Base, just outside of Las Vegas, the show will include Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Sunny Sweeny and Brett Edlredge. The show is free to anyone with a military ID and will be on Saturday April 2nd starting at 2pm.

Darius Rucker is planning his second annual Darius Rucker and Friends benefit concert for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It'll happen June 6th at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, during CMA week. Tickets go on sale Friday with all of the proceeds going to St. Jude. Who would Darius love to see on his benefit stage? The Beatles and James Brown.

They're setting some records at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Last week, Miranda Lambert set the record for most people at a weeknight concert (73,811) and Saturday night Brad Paisley set the record for most people at a weekend show this year (73,825.) Tejano performers hold down the #1 and 2 spots in overall attendance records, but Brad and Miranda aren't far behind. One thing's sure - this event rakes in the people!

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are sweetening the spring air with special fragrance sets. Partnering with Wal-Mart, they'll each release two special fragrance sets, for a total of four, that include live performance DVDs. Faith Hill "Parfums" and "True" will both include a "Stronger" live performance disc and "McGraw Silver" and "McGraw by Tim McGraw" will both include "Southern Voice" live performances. A portion of the proceeds will go to the ongoing flood relief efforts in Nashville.

Josh Kelley's not-quite-three-year-old daughter, Naleigh, is apparently musically gifted. According to daddy Josh, she will strum the guitar and sing on key, and when he's playing piano, she'll go over and sing with him. But does she love his music best of all? Nope. Given the choice, she prefers The Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba! over Dad's music. She and her Mom, Katherine Heigl, will join Josh on tour with Miranda Lambert in the spring and Taylor Swift during the summer. It'll be Katherine's first time out with Josh since Naleigh's birth.

Are you watching John Rich on "The Celebrity Apprentice?" You might have noticed John and Lil John hanging together a lot. They've struck up a friendship, and are even talking about co-hosting a remake of the old Buck Owens & Roy Clark classic, "Hee Haw." In John's vision, “We talked about resurrected Hee Haw. And instead of Buck and Roy it’s the Johns. Have us sitting on hay bales. And put a little country with some urban. Slam that together. Who wouldn’t watch that show?”

Keith Urban is on the Tonight Show, and Billy Ray Cyrus is on Good Morning America this morning.

The tweet of the day is from Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts: "Playing w Arnie at The Bay Hill Invitational Pro/Am! I'm so pumped...gonna be incredible! Oh, how blessed I am!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The name of Ronnie Dunn's first solo album in the post-Brooks & Dunn era is "Ronnie Dunn." The release date is June 7th, and according to Ronnie, it's a very autobiographal body of work. "There is something in each song that I've lived or that I'm living. I'm hoping that you'll find something to take with you as you listen, as well. We all bleed red, ya know." Ronnie will sing the first single from the album, "Bleed Red," on the ACM awards.

In addition to Ronnie Dunn, ACM performers just announced include Martina McBride, Reba, Zac Brown Band with James Taylor, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Alabama, Sara Evans and Dierks Bentley. All of the Entertainer of the Year nominees will also perform - Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban. The show airs live from Las Vegas April 3rd at 8pm Eastern on CBS.

Sara Evans would love to welcome child #8 into her life with husband Jay Barker. He has four children from a previous marriage and she has three from her earlier union, and she wants a baby with Jay. The sticking point - she wants a surrogate to carry the baby and Jay says "no way." They rarely disagree, according to Sara, but when they do, she wants a lot of conversation. Said Sara, “I’m like, no. I have to like get it out, and then work it all the way around back to why it happened, how I feel about it, how do you feel about it, are we good? I’m just really that way.” The baby stale-mate continues, apparently.

Shania Twain's show will debut on May 8th on the Oprah Winfrey Network. "Why Not? With Shania Twain" will air at 11pm Eastern, following the season finale of "The Judds."

Remember a few weeks ago when Craig Morgan was returning home, saw a house fire and stopped to put it out, saving at least two people from the burning home? His efforts have been recognized by the Tennessee City Volunteer Fire Department. They've made him an honorary lifetime member, giving him a custom helmet, complete with his department ID, number 565. Said Craig, "I'm humbled by this kind of recognition. They are the real hometown heroes."

Congratulations to Luke Bryan for his 3rd #1 song in a row. He held a #1 party yesterday in Nashville, and talked about his vision for "Someone Else Calling You Baby." According to Luke, “I thought it was going to be the lead single so the fact that ‘Someone Else Calling You Baby’ became a number one kind of validates me internally. At least I knew it was good enough to be a number one, so, I was happy about that.”

Congratulations to Billy Currington, who scores his 6th #1 song with "Let Me Down Easy." It's his 4th #1 song in a row, following "People Are Crazy," "That's How Country Boys Roll" and "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer."

Jerrod Niemann was on stage, singing his latest song, "What Do You Want." Carrie Underwood sidled up and lent a hand, making an already haunting song magical.

Up for a country cover of a Madonna song? Check out Sugarland and Little Big Town's version of Madonna's "Like a Prayer."

Foster & Lloyd will release their first studio album in 21 years on April 19th. According to Radney Foster, "We decided to start getting together once a month to write. Soon the songs were pouring out and we knew we needed to get back in the studio." "It's Already Tomorrow" is available for pre-order now.

Josh Kelley's first country album, "Georgia Clay," is out today.

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers are on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight, and Billy Ray Cyrus is on Good MOrning America tomorrow morning.

The tweet of the day is from Jewel: "Windy day, so I'm doing what any sensitive chic-singer would do...Stay inside & clean my hand gun"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney did the first of 11 stadium shows on Saturday night in Tampa. He'd been missing something in his life: “I missed the connection and the energy of the stage last year and me and the guys are excited. There’s a lot of … you know, we’re really anxious to feel that energy again.” On Thursday night, Kenny's idol, Joe Namath, was in the audience, cameras found him while Kenny was singing "The Boys of Fall" and Joe's face ended up on the huge screen behind Kenny for part of the song. Touching...

Trace Adkins' movie, "The Lincoln Lawyer," came in at #4 in the box office over the weekend, behind Limitless, Rango, and Battle: Los Angeles. How did Trace and the movie's star, Matthew McConaughey, get along on the set? Apparently really well, according to Trace: “I just hung out with Matthew. You know, we come from the same part of the country, same oil patch. His father worked in the same oil field I worked in. You know, we just sat around and talked about a bunch of the old bars we used to go to around there. It was weird that we’d been to the same places but never run into each other.”

Sugarland fan? American Idol fan? You won't need an app for that - Jennifer and Kristian are performing on American Idol during this Thursday's results show.

Eric Church and The Band Perry are vying for Top New Artist at the ACM awards on April 3rd. They're also co-hosting a "road to the ACM's" vlog online.

Jimmy Wayne was the featured speaker at the 30th annual National CASA (court appointed special advocate) conference yesterday in Chicago. He's the national spokesperson for the group.

When you think of Cher, you think of long, dark hair and over-the-top, revealing outfits at awards shows. Do you also think of country music? You will - Cher's working on her first recording project in a decade, and the album will be country. Apparently she has a lot of fans who listen to country music, so that's the impetus behind this decision. No word on when to expect the cd.

Steve Martin is about to hit the road with the bluegrass band, Steep Canyon Rangers, to promote his second bluegrass album, "Rare Bird Alert." Catch them tonight on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride, home from a week of spring break at the beach: "Back home sweet home. I see lots of laundry in my future."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney kicked off his "Goin' Coastal" tour last night in West Palm Beach. On stage is his stuffed marlin, "Marley," and Kenny occasionally enjoys the view from a life guard chair. After so long off the road, was he nervous about last night's show? Says Kenny, "I got butterflies, but it's a different butterflies. It's not ... 'Oh my God, what are we gonna do?' It's an anxiousness to get out there and really try to blow people's hair back with our music and try to show them the best time ever." And you know he did, and you know he will when you go see him.

Miranda Lambert played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wednesday, and the stats are in. It was the third-largest crowd in the history of that concert and the largest crowd ever on a weeknight. That's saying something - the show has been going on annually for the last 79 years. Miranda started her performing career when she was 17, playing Houston's "Firehouse Saloon." "I think there were about seven people at that first concert," she joked. She's doing a bit better at drawing a crowd these days!

The Flatts Fest details are out, and it's going to be quite a show. Rascal Flatts on tour with Sara Evans, Easton Corbin and Justin Moore. The schedule right now calls for 24 shows from June 18th through September 18th. Along with main-stage fun, there'll be an interactive pre-show festival, with a mobile karaoke vehicle, carnival games, photo booths, putt putt golf, food vendors and lots of contests. Check to see if the show is headed your way.

Big and Rich are getting the band back together and hitting the road for "Xtreme Muzik: The Tour" along with Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and Two Foot Fred this summer. So far, only five dates are scheduled, but if fun is had by all, watch that tour grow.

Country artists are teaming up with the NRA for NRACountry, a celebration of lifestyle, freedom and an outdoor way of life. Shouldering their weapons so far are Troy Gentry, Blake Shelton, Gretchen Wilson, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Josh Thompson, Justin Moore, Chuck Wicks, James Crady and Mickie James.

The ACM Fan Jam just got bigger, with the addition of The Band Perry, Eric Church, Randy Houser, Little Big Town, Steel Magnolia, Laura Bell Bundy, Sarah Darling, Bradley Gaskin and Casey James. That show will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center during and after the ACM Awards on April 3rd, and the broadcast of the awards will cut away to the concert periodically. Sugarland headlines that stage.

Haven't voted for the ACM Top New Artist yet? The two contenders have issued campaign videos which couldn't be more different. Here's Eric Church's video, and be warned - the content is suggestive, but doesn't go where you think it's going.

And here's The Band Perry video, which just might make you tear up.

Voting closes on April 3rd for this award, so get your vote in!

Taylor Swift will be part of the animated movie, "The Lorax," derived from the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. Taylor will voice the character of Audrey, the dream girl who's coveted by the main character, Ted, who will be played by Zac Efron. Danny DeVito and Betty White are also part of the project.

Shania Twain will probably take over for Celine Dion for a while this year, performing in Las Vegas while Celine takes time off to enjoy her new twins. By the way, if you're a huge Shania fan, Oprah is looking for you.

Wynonna has been in a relationship for the past year and a half, but wouldn't say who she was dating. The details are out - it's Cactus Moser, Highway 101 member and drummer for Julianne Hough. Guess it's going well since she's willing to talk about it now. Lucky her - he's a good guy!

"The Lincoln Lawyer" opens today, and features Trace Adkins in a small part.

Happy birthday today to Charley Pride, Jaron Lowenstein of Jaron and the Long Road to Love, and Philip Sweet of Little Big Town, and Sunday to "Ranger" Doug Green of Riders in the Sky.

Billy Ray Cyrus is on The View today, talking about how he's called off the divorce and is working hard to put his family back together. Carter's Chord will perform on the NASCAR Nationwide Series tomorrow.

Condolences to the family of Ferlin Husky, who passed away yesterday afternoon. He was 85 and had suffered from congestive heart failure. He was a long-time member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and of the Grand Ole Opry.

Please help the people of Japan, who are suffering and will continue to suffer for years as they struggle to rebuild broken lives and a broken country. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross' Japanese relief efforts. If you can give more, please go to the donation page for the Red Cross. Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Josh Thompson, Phil Vassar, Randy Houser, Randy Montana, Heidi Newfield and Katie Armiger have all filmed public service announcements urging country fans to lend a hand.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "The quiet dignity & grace of the Japanese people throughout this tragedy has been so remarkable.My heart is simultaneously proud and broken."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

On this St. Patrick's Day, how do the artists celebrate? Billy Currington was in Savannah, GA on Tuesday, a town that goes big for St. Pats, and Billy was shopping for a new green shirt to wear for tonight's concert with Kenny Chesney. According to Billy, “There was green everywhere. I went to grab me a green shirt or whatever. And I couldn’t find anything that I liked better than the same green shirt I have been wearing for about ten years. It still don’t beat that one original, first shirt I ever got. You know?” He'll look great no matter what he wears on stage tonight, and there are lots of women who probably won't be wearing green, in the hopes he'll pinch them!

Kenny Chesney's "Goin' Coastal" tour kicks off in West Palm Beach tonight, and he's excited about the show fans will see. “It’s gettin’ really exciting for me and the band. And Zac’s guys are so great. I mean, they are really a great band, and to be able to collaborate like this together that way…we’ve never done this in our show in 17 years I’ve been on the road. We’ve never done this. And it’s a lot of fun, you know, and we’ve done it a little bit, but we’ve never made it a part of our show. And to be able to do this for the fans and to be able to have them experience it, you know, it’s just gonna be—I think I speak for everybody that I think it’s gonna be a really special night of music, you know, especially with what they’re doin’, too.” The tour includes 52 dates through the US and Canada this spring and summer.

Blake Shelton will be profiled in Parade magazine, and they asked him about his bachelor party: “I think me and my buddies are going to take a camping trip somewhere. Maybe try to find something to go hunt. Turkey or bears or something like that. Something country. The last ten years of my life has been a bachelor party, so I don’t need an extra one night to add to my life. I’ve had plenty of that stuff.” And the honeymoon? “I tell you what: when you are getting married to Miranda Lambert, you’re going to make time for whatever she wants. So that’s also a no-brainer. She’ll have the wedding and the time with me she wants, whether I like it or not.” I'm thinking he'll like it, aren't you?

Remember the rock group Styx? You'd never expect to see them at the Grand Ole Opry, but frontman Tommy Shaw will be there on March 26th, making his debut as a solo bluegrass picker. Carrie Underwood, Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis are also on the bill for that Saturday show. Tickets are still available.

Congratulations to Sara Evans, who has the top-selling country album in America this week with "Stronger." It's her first new music in six years. Look for a profile on her in the next issue of People magazine.

Congratulations to Eric Church on gold certification for "Love Your Love the Most."

Happy birthday to Paul Overstreet, who turns 56 today. He's written hit songs for Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis and had his own hits back in the day.

The tweet of the day is from Danny Gokey: "If women ruled the world there would be no wars. Just a bunch of jealous countries not talking to each other. ;)"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

How is Zac Brown Band preparing for their tour with Kenny Chesney? Well, Zac is the chef of the bunch, so he keeps them well-fed, in spite of guitarist Clay Cook's love of junk food. According to Zac, “He has a bit of an addiction. Like he’ll jump on some Oreo Cakesters. He’ll jump in to a whole box of those, it’s kind of like an addict, every once in a while. And he has to find the most horrible thing in the world for him and gorge it down.” But fiddle player Jimmy Dimartini is a certified trainer, so he gets the guys up on the day of the show and takes them through a good workout. Zac Brown Band joins Kenny Chesney on the Goin' Coastal tour starting this Saturday night in Tampa.

Toby Keith has a soft spot for Oklahoma families facing a diagnosis of childhood cancer. His eighth annual Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic is on May 20 & 21st, and is a benefit for the OK Kids Korral. Toby is proud of how the money is used: “We’ve never ever turned away an Oklahoma family and it’s a beautiful thing, because if you have a kid—if you’re a working family, and you have a kid get a disease, one of the parents usually has to quit and go take care of the kids. Now your bills are doubling and the income’s in half. We provide not only financial support, but meds—everything that a mother couldn’t think that she would need to travel and get to the city to take care of their kid. We provide all that stuff.” The denim and diamond-themed event will feature live and silent auctions, a dinner, live music and a day of golf and is put on by the Toby Keith Foundation.

Trace Adkins' movie, "The Lincoln Lawyer," opens on Friday, and according to Trace, things were not always "quiet on the set!" “A lot more producers on this movie. There were like five or six producers on this movie and they were always yelling at the director at the same time usually. I guess the more dollars at stake, the more yelling there is.” Trace is in the beginning and the ending of the movie, with Matthew McConaughey starring as the Lincoln Lawyer himself. Matthew is a fan of Trace's and made a point of rehearsing Trace's scenes with him a lot, to make him feel comfortable on the set.

CMT is making some movies, and country stars will be part of them. The two made-for-tv movies will premier in August and September, the first being "To the Mat" with Laura Bell Bundy and Ricky Schroder and the second is "Reel Love" starring LeAnn Rimes. Speaking of the engaged one, Us Online has decided that LeAnn is scary-skinny, with photos to prove it. What do you think?

Michelle Branch had an album ready to release but it was scrapped, but her duet with Dwight Yoakam, "Long Goodbye," is available as a free download.

Did you miss it, or maybe just want to see it again? The Rascal Flatts tv special, "Nothing Like This" is online in it's entirety. has a "making of" video for Keith Urban's "Without You."

Today is the 20th anniversary of the plane crash that killed most of Reba's band. She's posted a tribute video on her website.

Condolences to Clay Walker, whose father passed away.

Happy birthday to Jerry Jeff Walker, who is 69, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, who is 60, and Patty Griffin who turns 47 today.

The tweet of the day is from Sarah Buxton: "In case you forgot...text "REDCROSS" to 90999. It's $10. Pack a lunch and do it once a day. We can help more than we can imagine!!!!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band have been rehearsing over the last few days, working up the songs they'll do together when the "Goin' Coastal" tour hits stadiums. The tour kicks off Thursday in West Palm Beach and the first stadium show is in Tampa this weekend. Says Kenny, "Zac and I are working through the things we're going to do together. We'll catch each other grinning because we know this is going to be really fun for us, the fans and everybody involved."

Love Kenny Chesney? Love Hooters? There's not an app for that - yet! - but there is a tie-in that allows fans to win cool prizes in each city of Kenny Chesney's tour, along with giving one fan and a guest a VIP trip to the final stop on the "Goin' Coastal" tour - Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachussetts.

And in more Kenny news, he's designed a line of sunglasses, just in time for the "Goin' Coastal" tour. Pick up Caballito, Hammerhead, Little Harbor, Howler or Rincon at the Costa Del Mar website or at one of Kenny's shows. $10 from each pair sold goes to the Coastal Conservation Association.

Hot off his Australian tour, Alan Jackson will play the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this Friday night. While there, he'll be inducted into the Star Trail of Fame. That honor is reserved for artists who've played to more than a million fans at the Houston Rodeo.

Fan voting is going on now for the ACM New Artist and Entertainer of the Year awards. For New Artist, your choices are The Band Perry and Eric Church. Voting in that category goes on through 5pm April 3rd, the day of the awards. Up for Entertainer of the Year are Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith and Jason Aldean. Voting in that category will go on up until the 3rd hour of the awards show.

Taylor Swift is out with a new song today. "Mean" is the third single from her "Speak Now" cd, and she says that fame has brought her not just some wonderful perks, but also some pretty mean criticism. Says Taylor, “There are different kinds of ways to criticize someone. There’s constructive criticism, there’s professional criticism and then there’s just being mean. And there’s a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person. No matter how old you are, no matter what your job is, no matter what your place is in life, there’s always going to be someone who’s just mean to you. And dealing with that is all that you can control.”

There's good news for Reba and her family - her Dad is awake and doing well after suffering a stroke. According to Reba's sister Susie, he is pain-free, suffered no paralysis and is alert and responsive. The family set up a Facebook page for fans and friends to follow along in his progress.

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the darkest day in Reba's life - the day that a plane crash near San Diego claimed the lives of most of her band. She was supposed to be on the flight, but husband Narvel Blackstock convinced her to stay behind and get a good night's sleep. Lost in the crash were road manager Jim Hammon, guitarist Chris Austin, backup singer Paula Kaye Evans, bassist Terry Jackson, bandleader Kirk Cappello, guitarist Michael Thomas, drummer Tony Saputo and keyboardist Joey Cigainero. All of the airplane's crew perished in the crash, too. People Magazine did a story about the incident 20 years ago, and interviewed Reba for it.

Told you via Twitter about Jewel's car accident just after it happened on Friday.
Photograpic evidence of just how lucky she is to be alive and ok after the crash is here. She tweeted that the Cadillac she was in save her life, along with the life of her unborn baby, and she was going to buy another one. She's sore and bruised, but otherwise unhurt.

Little Big Town was part of the unveiling of the newest CMA initiative: CMA EDU is a program that gives college students the opportunity to meet and learn from music industry professionals. Said Kimberly Schlapman, “If someone grows up lovin’ country music then they want to be more of a part of it whether they’re an artist, a songwriter, a manager, a record label president, you know. Probably, the love of the music is where it all starts, that’s where it started for us. We grew up on country music and we always wanted to be a part of it.” The project is underway at Belmont University in Nashville and will be rolled out at campuses across the country later this year.

Congratulations to Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, who sit atop the country charts again this week with "Don't You Wanna Stay."

And congratulations to Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Paisley, who are celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary today.

Condolences to the family and friends of songwriter Todd Cerney, responsible for many beautiful songs, including "Good Morning Beautiful" and "I'll Still be Loving You." Todd lost his battle with melanoma in the early hours of Monday morning.

New music today from David St. Romain, a finalist in season 7 of "Nashville Star." His cd is "All I Really Wanted to Say." Also out is the 10th anniversary American Idol Greatest Hits album, featuring 12 songs from some of the best contestants on the show. Of course Carrie Underwood is on it - "Before He Cheats" is her contribution to the collection.

Kenny Rogers is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum: "Watching the news this morning in tears praying for Japan. I encourage you all over the world to please do what you can to help! ~hills"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Oh, to be in Vegas when the town goes country. The free concerts leading up to the ACM Awards on April 3rd are star-studded. April 1st features Sara Evans, Lee Brice, Chris Young, Brett Edlredge, Casey James and Sarah Darling. April 2nd showcases Ronnie Dunn, Easton Corbin, Randy Houser, Steel Magnolia, JaneDear Girls and Thompson Square.

Are you watching Celebrity Apprentice? If you missed last night's episode, the men won the story book challenge, earning $20,000 for team leader Meat Loaf's charity, "Painted Turtle." Wanna know a little behind-the-scenes dirt? Check out John Rich's video blog...

Dierks Bentley's "Miles and Music for Kids" hits Columbus, OH on May 22nd. Part motorcycle ride, part jam session, the event features special guests Joe Nichols, Josh Thompson, Uncle Kracker and Miss Willie Brown. Tickets go on sale this Friday with proceeds benefiting Nationwide Childrens Hospital.

Josh Turner is on the cover of the latest Country Weekly, showing off his three boys and talking about reading aloud to them. "Fox in Socks" anyone?

Happy birthday today to Kristian Bush of Sugarland, who is 41, Jan Browne of Asleep at the Wheel is 57 and to Michael Martin Murphey, who turns 66 today.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Ok, can we just keep the time change like this now? I like it.Enuff of this spring forward fall back crap. Why do we still do this?"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney let a handful of Nashville music executives and media in on his Goin' Coastal Tour Wednesday afternoon. He showed off his set and the set list, taking his band through all the songs that will be part of his tour this year. One surprise - the never-before-heard third verse to "Young." Kenny says he thought that verse dated him when he first recorded the song, so he left it out. Says Kenny, "Ten years later, it's funny how a song catches up with you." The tour kicks off next Thursday in West Palm Beach, FL and includes Billy Currington, Uncle Kracker and Zac Brown Band. Kenny will be part of March Madness' Final Four celebration, putting on a free concert in Houston. His "Summer in 3D" special airs on GAC tonight.

Luke Bryan rocked the beach in Panama City, FL this week so hard that an additional show had to be added. His "Spring Break 3: It's a Shore Thing" featured Luke and his band playing his own music, plus covers of Cee Lo Green, Eminem, David Allan Coe, Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, Alabama and Nelly. Said Luke onstage, "This is the funnest thing I get to do all year."

Craig Campbell watched a YouTube video posted by Vince and Amy Spicocchi, who live in Ohio. The video was made by Vince, who is a fireman, about his family. Amy, who is a registered nurse, gave birth to quintuplets on August 3rd, 2010 but the five babies were so small that they were hospitalized and the medical bills mounted up. This week, when Craig was playing a concert in Akron, Ohio, he sent a limo to the couple's home and treated them to dinner, his concert and a meet and greet after the show, where he presented them with identical onesies for the babies and a check to help offset the medical expenses. Craig, who has two daughters of his own, said, “It was beautiful. All of us were crying by the end of the night, it was so special.” Here's the video that inspired Craig.

An Australian family got a little larger on the first night of Alan Jackson's tour there. A couple had tickets for the show, even though it was the woman's due date. They drove seven hours to attend the show, and near the end of Alan's set, her water broke. Their daughter Olivia Joyce was born a couple of hours later.

Blake Shelton is the host for the first ever NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot on April 2nd. It's part of the fun surrounding the ACM Awards, and will be held at Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas. Celebrities will captain teams of 5 shooters in this clays competition.

Congratulations to Eric Church, whose "Smoke a Little Smoke" has been certified gold.

Country goes to town on March 21st, as Brad Paisley, Reba, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and others perform at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC. The event is a celebration of former President George H.W. Bush's leadership in promoting volunteerism and will be taped to air on March 28th on NBC.

Rascal Flatts' concert special airs on ABC tomorrow night and they're also part of Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops on CMT. John Rich is on Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night.

The tweet of the day is from Jake Owen: "Do yourself a favor and make someones day today. It will make you both feel good."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

A California family had a bittersweet day on Monday. Allison Greene was 31 years old, with a loving husband and a three year old daughter. As she battled cancer, she kept an upbeat, "I'm going to beat this" attitude which lifted everyone around her. When she lost the battle last week, friends made a tribute video and posted it on YouTube. One of the things Allison and her husband Brian planned to do after she beat cancer was to go to a Brad Paisley concert, and that wish was part of the video. Who showed up at Allison's celebration of life? You guessed it...

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It was a rough afternoon for Randy Houser yesterday - his tour bus caught fire while he and the band were prepping for a show in Charleston, SC. Everyone got off the bus safely, but all of their personal belongings and gear were destroyed in the fire. Would be nice to know what Randy was about to say as this video ends...

Jake Owen has been chosen to do the pre-race concert at NASCAR's Kansas 400 at the Kansas Speedway on June 5th.

Darius Rucker will headline Nashville's July 4th celebration at Riverfront Park.

Sara Evans was on GMA yesterday, promoting her new cd, "Stronger" and performing...

The show name gets longer and the artist line-up gets bigger. The Academy of Country Music's "Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country - The Concert of the Year" has added the Judds and Loretta Lynn to the line-up. Other honorees include Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Reba and Carrie Underwood. The show will tape April 4th, the night after the ACM Awards are handed out, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Each woman will perform during the special, and some guys will be included, too. Ronnie Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill, Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton will be part of the fun. You can, too...The Grand Ole Opry is giving away a trip for two to the taping of the show...and to the ACM Awards the night before. Good luck!

The Show Me Music and Arts Festival 2011 will be June 17-19 in Springfield, MO, and it has a star-studded lineup, too. Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy and 2 Foot Fred, Kellie Pickler, Joe Nichols, Gloriana, Steve Holy, David Nail, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Love and Theft, Jessie James, the McClymonts and Matt Kennon will all perform.

And no other details yet, but Willie Nelson's annual 4th of July Picnic will be in Luckenbach, TX this year.

Sara Evans is on Hannity today, Jerrod Niemann is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Rascal Flatts is on Good Morning America this morning. Their "Nothing Like This" special airs Saturday night on ABC.

Happy birthday to Carrie Underwood, who turns 28 today, and to Daryl Singletary, who is 40.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: Awe.... The view from my downtown L.A. suite. Sunshine, beautiful women, the Hollywood hills and oh yes two dudes making out...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

When Kenny Chesney finished recording his current single, "Live a Little," he knew he had a special song on his hands. “I knew when we were done with this song, I knew where it was gonna fit in my show. I knew...cause this defines our show. This is classic, the two hours summertime time of the year when we strap on our guitars and go out there and let ‘em have it. And this song is gonna fit very well.” His "Going Coastal" tour kicks off next week in West Palm Beach. Kenny will take a minute off the road on April 3rd to attend the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, where he's up for Album of the Year, Video of the Year and Single of the Year.

More entertainers have been announced for the CMA Music Festival June 9-12. Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Easton Corbin, Sara Evans, Josh Turner, Little Big Town, Chris Young, JaneDear Girls and Ashton Shepherd will all play LP Field, along with the previously announced Jason Aldean, Martina McBride, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Trace Adkins, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum. Tickets are on sale now, and you might as well plan to get there early because the CMT Music Awards will be handed out June 8th. More details on that soon.

Miranda Lambert graces the cover of Redbook magazine, on shelves now. There's a bit of the story online, along with some of the photos. When asked how she felt about being called the "Lady Gaga of Nashville," Miranda replied, "I'm not near as brave as her, but I take it as a compliment. She's awesome. I guess it's the fact that I don't give a crap what people think. I just am who I am."

Meanwhile, Miranda's intended, Blake Shelton, is desiring another a duet partner. He's just worked with Lionel Richie and Brad Paisley on duets for their upcoming albums, and was asked who else he'd like to sing duets with. Said Blake, “Katy Perry…Mostly just like, you know, a video with her… You know, I’ve got a lot of heroes, and several of them I’ve had a chance to record with. I’ve already had the chance to record with the Bellamy Brothers. And of course Trace, I mean believe it or not, he is one of my heroes. I'd love to record with George Strait. Earl Thomas Conlee would be awesome. I named a bunch of guys just then. That’s weird…”

Zac Brown Band is headed across the Atlantic for some shows this summer. The first to be announced are June 22 and 23 in London. They'll play an outdoor show in Hyde Park with the Kings of Leon. Road..., er, airplane trip!

Danny Gokey is auctioning off a pair of glasses he wore on American Idol, with the proceeds going to Sophia's Heart, a Nashville-based charity that helps families re-build after personal tragedies. The glasses are blue and white Gucci frames, and aren't autographed, but you do get a photo of Danny wearing them on Season 8, when he made it into the top 13 on American Idol. As of 6:30 this morning, the top bid was $600.

Trace Adkins has been in three movies in four years, and the latest opens next week. He screened "Lincoln Lawyer" starring Matthew McConaughey Monday in Nashville, telling the audience, “I’m not in this movie very much. I’m in about 45 seconds at the beginning and at the end and then there’s a bunch of crap that happens in the middle that’s not very important. McConaughey takes his shirt off, so there’s that.” The movie opens March 18th.

Well, it happened. Gwyneth Paltrow signed a $900,000 record deal with Atlantic yesterday. Look for more country music from the movie star in the coming months.

The Randy Rogers Band is on the Tonight Show, Garth Brooks is on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Sara Evans is on Good Morning America, Trace Adkins is on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Charley Pride is on Daytime TV.

Happy birthday to Mickey Gilley, who turns 75 today, and Jimmy Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who is 63.

The tweet of the day is from Sara Evans: "Audrey just told the waitress at flip burger that "she lost her school at tooth today"!!!"