Thursday, September 1, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

An unidentified stage hand has made his feelings clear - he says the stage collapse at the Sugarland concert in Indiana was "criminal" and avoidable. According to the man, who asked for anonymity, the stage wasn't designed to stand up to stormy weather. The Indiana State Fair Commission has hired an engineering firm to investigate, and says their findings will be "based on fact." Seven people lost their lives and over 40 are still nursing injuries, some very serious, after the August 13th disaster.

Most country artists have Twitter accounts, but most of them are managed by a staffer, with the artist rarely or never actually tweeting. Notable exceptions are Blake Shelton, Martina McBride and Reba, who all tweet with their fans regularly. Reba explains it this way: “A long time ago you were like 'Oh, let's not get over-saturated. Let's not over-saturate the public with all the stuff that's going on. Be a little mysterious.' And now, I mean, you're telling people when you're going to brush your teeth. I don't think the fans can get enough information.”

Alan Jackson is being featured on A & E's "Biography" on a show called "When Pop Culture Saved America." The two-hour documentary honors the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and looks at how the media pitched in to help bring the nation together. Alan was asked to be part of the show because of his wonderful song, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," a song he says he didn't write, but channeled. He said the words tumbled out of his brain, through his pen and onto the paper with no effort at all, and credits the song as a gift from God. The special will air on Labor Day Monday at 9pm Eastern on A & E Biography network.

Chris Young just celebrated his first gold records with "Tomorrow" and "The Man I Want to Be." The gold party included plaque presentations to two of his biggest fans, his business manager (who's also his mom) Becky Harris, and fan club president Terri Thompson. Chris is quick to acknowledge that he had some help with album sales - Blake Shelton. According to Chris, “You know, Blake Shelton, we launched our records the same week and he was tweeting back and forth with me, and it’s never gonna hurt if you have somebody with the kind of following of an artist like that directing people to the fact that I have a record out the same day. So, that makes you feel really good. Plus, I tell him all the time, I was like, ‘Man, I used to go watch you when I was a little kid,’ which he loves.”

The Inspirational Country Music Association's nominees for Mainstream Country Artist category are out and Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Joey+Rory, Buddy Jewell and Jeff Bates are facing off for the award. Other nominees in other categories include The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Justin Moore, the Oak Ridge Boys and Randy Travis. The winners wll be revealed on October 28th in Nashville.

Artists are lining up to work with the ultra-hot Miranda Lambert. The latest to toss her hat in the ring is Kelly Clarkson, who has made her desire to duet with Miranda public. That should be an amazing match-up!

Performers are lining up to be part of the MDA Labor Day telethon. Grand Ole Opry performances by Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Martina McBride will air during the special, which kicks off Sunday at 6pm Eastern.

And the rumored performer line-up for the NFL season opener turns out to be right - Lady Antebellum and Kid Rock will be part of the NFL Kickoff 2011 Concert a week from today. Pregame festivities start at 7:30pm Eastern.

Kellie Pickler is spending the week in LA, shooting scenes for 90210. Tuesday, she was at Redondo Beach, performing a concert in the sand for her part of the episode.

The top selling country album this week is Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels." It's also #5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Congrats, ladies!

Lady Antebellum are on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Jack Ingram: "Heard "Dark End Of The Street" done by Linda Ronstadt this morning! Damn, she can sing. And 1 of the best '70s chick looks there was!!!"