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!!"