Monday, October 31, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

It's Halloween, and what is Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry doing tonight? Hanging with his 8-year-old daugher Kaylee, and doing the trick-or-treat thing. According to T-Roy, “We will be home for Halloween. We usually try to block off that time to spend with our kids. And all the kids in my neighborhood are running around from door to door, so it’s great.” No word on what Troy will be dressed as, though it's pretty well-known that he's a Batman fan.

Luke Bryan loves Halloween - mostly for the candy. “We’re looking forward to trick-or-treating, and doing it in our neighborhood. You can find out a lot about your neighbors by what kind of candy they put out. Well, like, full bars of Snickers bars, that’s…Reese’s cups, ya know, stuff like that. The ole chocolate popcorn ball of stuff, that, that’s no good.”

Justin Moore doesn't like Halloween, not one dang bit - well, maybe a tiny bit, this year. “Well, maybe I’ll like it a little better this year, since Ella’s old enough to maybe trick-or-treat a little bit, but…I think she’s going to be a cat. We’ve been practicing with her the meow and that kinda stuff. I’ve just never liked Halloween. I can’t stand it. It’s like the one holiday that I just, I don’t know why, but I never got. As a kid, I never dressed up, I didn’t want my face painted or nothing. I was a strange kid. I was a stranger kid than I am adult, if you can imagine that.”

And Kellie Pickler likes Halloween for the decorating opportunities. “Kyle came home from work one day, and he looks up and I’m hanging off the roof. He’s like, “Baby, get down from there!” I’m like, hanging spider webs, draping it from one corner of the house to the next, and…yeah, we had big spiders, we had a big witch on our porch. We, yeah, we went all out last year. I don’t know what we’re gonna do this year, though.” Not much more time to plan it, Kellie!

A topless photo of Taylor Swift? Nah - but a tabloid website is claiming that they might have one. TMZ says Taylor's legal team has threatened to sue and is demanding a retraction and apology.

Congrats to Lady Antebellum, Justin Moore and Ricky Skaggs, who all won awards Friday night at the 17th Annual Inspiration CMA Faith, Family and Country Awards. Lady A won best video for "Hello World," Justin Moore won Mainstream Inspirational Song for "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away," and Ricky Skaggs took home the Entertainer of the Year award.

Miranda Lambert is in the latest issue of Us Magazine, and talks about how she and Blake Shelton chill out at home. “Nothing too fancy; no big date nights. We cook meat out on our smoker, then we watch TV. I’ve really gotten into ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ and he loves funny movies. One of our staples is ‘Bad Santa.’ It’s wack, but so good! Also, deer season is coming up, so I’ll be back and we can go out hunting a lot. Hanging out together helps us stay friends, which is the most important thing.” Her new album, "Four the Record," comes out tomorrow, and Miranda will be on the Today show, talking it up. Wednesday, she'll be on Live with Regis and Kelly.

It's a couples thing - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will both release new music cds in 2012. Tim's still all roiled up in a lawsuit with his previous record label, and Faith is still working on the music she'll offer, so release dates are TBA, but I'll keep you posted.

Gloriana is in the studio today, recording a Christmas song.

Happy birthday to Darryl Worley, who is 47.

The tweet of the day is from Chris Young: "That awkward moment when you think a girl is dressed up for Halloween, but really she just has bad make-up."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

This afternoon in Charleston, the Zac Brown Band Music and Food Festival hits it's stride, and Zac and the boys are performing a rare cover song set. No word on whose music they'll do, but they love "jam band" stuff, so bet there'll be some Dave Matthews in there somewhere. ZBB has worked with lots of big stars, but who would Zac love to work with?

Country Weekly is running their annual "Sexiest Man in Country Music" contest, and all the usual suspects made the list. Who's not on it? Colt Ford, who is campaigning for write-in votes. C'mon, help a cowboy out! Voting ends today, so hurry.

The Mavericks are reuniting. Raul Malo, bassist Robert Reynolds and drummer Paul Deakin will reunite and kick off a tour at the 2012 Stagecoach Festival in California. No details past that, but the guys are pumped to be getting back together.

JoDee Messina is expecting her second child in a few months. No further details, except that Noah is looking forward to being a big brother.

Lauren Alaina is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today, and Glen Campbell is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight. Ronnie Dunn sings the National Anthem at game three of the World Series tomorrow night, and Clay Walker is singing the National Anthem at the Saints/Colts game Sunday night on NBC.

Dwight Yoakam celebrates his birthday on Sunday.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "I hope they find a suitable piece of ground to bury Gadhafi, so he can finally do some good in this fertilization."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley is putting aside H2O and opting for cammo - "The Camobunga! 2012 World Tour" kicks off January 12th in Michigan with opening acts The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery. He promises a "mind blowing blend of country, fiery 60's surf guitar acrobatics, futuristic special effects, retro heart and soul, and mind altering liquid beverages. The spirit of the deep woods meets the breakneck excitement of the California coast." Here are the first cities announced for the Camobunga! tour:

January 12th – Grand Rapids, MI
January 13th – Milwaukee, WI
January 14th – St. Paul, MN
January 19th – Kansas City, MO
January 20th – Wichita, KS
January 21st – Denver, CO
January 26th – Boise, ID
January 27th – Salt Lake City, UT
January 28th – Las Vegas, NV
February 9th – Spokane, WA
February 10th – Eugene, OR
February 11th – Tacoma, WA
February 16th – Lubbock, TX
February 17th – Las Cruces, NM
February 23rd – Madison, WI
February 24th – Moline, IL
February 25th – Springfield, MO
March 1st – Baltimore, MD
March 2nd – Knoxville, TN
March 3rd – Lexington, KY

Taylor Swift's songs have been transformed into lullabies in the Cradle Rock series. The album with her songs on it comes out November 8th.

Congratulations to Dierks Bentley. His new song, "Home," has been named the official song of the Arizona Centennial Commission's 100-year celebration. Dierks will also be the honorary chairman of the Arizona Centennial Motorcycle Ride in February.

Blake Shelton is settled into LA for the filming of The Voice, set to premier after the Super Bowl in February. How does he juggle the tv show, touring, songwriting and being married? Well, he clears up part of that for us: “My only priority is songs. I don’t think about touring or stuff, that’s why it’s a good thing I’ve got managers now that come from the touring world, and know how to handle that type of stuff, and they know how to handle television, and the record company handling how to get airplay and publicity and stuff, because all I really do and think about is songs.”

Do Garth Brooks fans still remember and love him? Apparently so - Ticketmaster just put out a list of the highest price paid for concert tickets, and Garth tops the list. On average, his fans spend $618 per transaction on Ticketmaster.

And could this guy be the next Garth? He sure has the work ethic - Hunter Hayes toured with Taylor Swift and loves the road experience: “Being on the road, that is my vacation. Like, I look forward to getting back on the bus every night, you know, getting back to my little room with my laptop and everything. Just kinda hanging with the band, you know what I mean? Like…the fact that I get to go to a new city everyday and, and hang out with a buncha, buncha guys and just make a bunch of music, and a bunch of noise and meet people that actually, you know, that know my name and the song, and have them singin’ along. There’s, there’s a freedom in that, that beats vacation.”

Didja miss The Band Perry on "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday night? Here you go...

Happy birthday to Jimi Westbrook of Little Big Town, who turns 41 today. And the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, is 74.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Aretha gave me a shout out from the stage of the Ryman. I promptly burst into tears. I couldn't believe I was hearing her say my name!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley celebrated two #1 songs, and he celebrated at the Opry, the first time a #1 party was ever held at the country music institution. The songs were "Old Alabama" and "Remind Me" and the celebration was yesterday afternoon, before Brad Paisley took the stage to perform at the Opry. Alabama was on hand for the celebration, but Carrie's schedule kept her from being able to attend.

If you went to my Facebook page yesterday, you saw Brad Paisley, Southpark style. Here's the scoop - through a friend of a family member, he was invited to tour the Southpark Studios in Culver City, California. They gave him the red-carpet treatment, he got to be the voice of one of the kids on the show, and according to Brad, “I went in and cut a couple voices of little kids. I’m just one of the kids in the background. But, my name is in the credits, you know? And, I’m floored. I can’t believe I got to do that.”

Blake Shelton is in LA as season two of The Voice begins taping. Hey Los out!

It's tour-announcing time, looks like, as another major winter tour rolls out its schedule. Miranda Lambert kicks off her "On Fire" tour January 12th in Illinois, taking Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann along for the ride. Here are the tour stops - dates still are being worked out.
Rockford, IL
La Crosse, WI
Fargo, ND
Charlotte, NC
Lexington, KY
Greensboro, NC
Baltimore, MD
Charlottesville, VA
East Rutherford, NJ
Huntsville, AL
Tallahassee, FL
Orlando, FL
Amherst, MA
Hershey, PA
Youngstown, OH
Macon, GA
North Charleston, SC
Fayetteville, NC
Sale Lake City, UT
Broomfield, CO
Kearney, NE
Toledo, OH
Saginaw, MI
Louisville, KY
Charleston, WV
Tulsa, OK
Little Rock, AR
Wichita, KS
Columbia, MO
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Green Bay, WI
Fresno, CA
Mountain View, CA

Monday night in Texas, the stars came out to raise over half a million dollars for the families who lost everything in the summer Texas wildfires. George Strait, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Dixie Chicks and Asleep at the Wheel all showed up to perform, with Willie and Lyle actually cancelling shows in order to do the benefit concert. The show was in Austin, and if you're like me, we're both hoping that someone taped it and will issue it on DVD.

Dierks Bentley trots out his patriotic side for the video to his new song, "Home." The song is a tribute to America and the visuals for the video support the tribute beautifully.

Dierks Bentley is proud that he's raised over $2 million for childrens hospitals with his Miles & Music for Kids, but says it's not all about the money. “I don’t want this thing to get out of control where it becomes all about money, money, money, money, money and, like, how can we make it be that? ‘Cause if that’s the case, we’ll just do a big live show and just give the money away. I want it to be about community, I want it to be about the families, and this day to be fun for everyone, at the same time we’re raising awareness and raising money for the children’s hospital. So, it’s a, it’s a bigger picture than just trying to, the numbers, you know?”

More performers have been announced for the 45th Annual CMA Award show on November 9th. New Artist nominees Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Eric Church and The Band Perry will all hit the stage.

Rapper Carlton Zeus is claiming that Toby Keith stole his song. In this video, he doesn't mince words:

If you want to see for yourself, check out Carlton's video for "Sharpie Solo." I'll help you out, though...the songs are nowhere near alike, and red Solo cups have starred at many, many parties, so I doubt Carlton has a legal leg to stand on.

Need Toby's video for comparison? Right after the ad runs is Toby's video for "Red Solo Cup."

And speaking of partying and adult fillers for red Solo cups, Colt Ford's "Goodtime Moonshine" and "Goodtime Vodka" hit stores in Georgia and Tennessee today. He had the release party last night in Buckhead.

Taylor Swift is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today and Scotty McCreery sings the National Anthem at the World Series game tonight.

Happy birthday to Jeannie C. Riley, who turns 66 today.

The tweet of the day is from Miranda Lambert: "I'm in the Deer stand and so is Blake. he keeps telling me he can see me from his and to b still. I can't see him tho. Creepy stalker :)"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Lady Antebellum has announced more dates for their "Own the Night" tour. They're planning nearly 60 shows between now and June of 2012, with Darius Rucker and Thompson Square on the road with them for the 2012 dates. The first leg of the "Own the Night" tour starts November 11th with Josh Kelly, Randy Montana and Edens Edge supporting the show.

Rascal Flatts announced their 2012 tour plans, and the "Thaw Out 2012" tour kicks off January 12th. So far, more than a dozen dates have been announced and there'll be more to follow. This is the indoor version of their summer tour - they'll launch a new show next summer. Sara Evans and Hunter Hayes are along for the opening act ride. Here are the show dates:
January 12th – Charleston, WV
January 13th – Roanoke, VA
January 14th – Hershey, PA
January 19th – Columbia, MO
January 20th – Peoria, IL
January 21st – Columbus, OH
January 26th – Albany, NY
January 27th – Providence, RI
January 28th – Atlantic City, NJ
February 9th – Jacksonville, FL
February 10th – Birmingham, AL
February 11th – Little Rock, AR
February 17th – Wilkes-Barre, PA
February 18th – E. Rutherford, NJ

Dierks Bentley likes his motorcycle rides, likes to party and likes life on the road. For his two kids, though, he envisions something quite different: “Total double standard. Totally fine for me to ride motorcycles and do the things I do. But, yeah, they’re not gonna be allowed to ride motorcycles, they’re not gonna be allowed to date, they’re not gonna be allowed to be in cars…no. I know it’s going to be really tough as they get older ‘cause I’m, I’m very protective. I have a feeling Evie’s going to be a little bit of a wild child, she’s been on the back of a motorcycle, she’s been on the bus a lot, she likes hanging out with the crew. She’s a fun girl.” Evie is three and baby Jordan turns 1 on Christmas day. We can only hope Dad mellows a bit with his rules by the time they're old enough to drive.

Sara Evans sang the National Anthem before last Saturday night's NASCAR race. Miss it? Here you go...

Montgomery Gentry's new cd, "Rebels on the Run," is out today. What's it about? Eddie Montgomery answers that: “You know we hear a lot of stories out there, man, over the years playing the night clubs. And nowadays when we go out and hang out, we hear a lot of stories coming through when we play shows and stuff like that, and you know—I reckon the easiest way to put it is we sing about the good, the bad, the ugly, and the party on the weekend, man! That’s it, we want to sing about everyday people.” Eddie and Troy Gentry hit the road this weekend and join Jay Leno for the 28th Annual Love Ride Motorcycle Rally on Sunday.

Congratulations to Blake Shelton on his 10th #1 song with "God Gave Me You." That's the #1 song on the Billboard Country Chart. On the Country Aircheck chart, George Strait holds down the top spot for his 58th career #1 song, with Blake in second place. How has George managed to snag 58 #1 songs? “It’s tough to get a #1 record. But, I’ve been fortunate through the years to be able to find some good songs and…got a great promotions department and everybody at MCA records has been behind me for all these years and it’s been a good team.”

The Band Perry performs on Dancing With the Stars tonight.

Happy birthdy to Josh Gracin who is 31 today.

Check out the Sandy Weaver Country Facebook page for a picture that Brad Paisley's Brad, Southpark style, and it's great.

The tweet of the day is from David Nail: "CMA dress shopping with my wife today, and let's just say, she's gonna have to find a second job!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame over the weekend. Only to Merle Haggard has written and recorded more #1 country songs than Alan Jackson. According to Alan, “It’s one of the coolest honors for me because I’ve always been more about the music, and I’ve always been especially proud to be able to be a writer and to have songs that affect people that they enjoy. And, you know, to be included in the writers here in Nashville, that’s uh…some of the best music in the world comes out of this town.”

Yesterday, Dierks Bentley's Miles & Music for Kids event rolled into Nashville. Charles Kelly of Lady Antebellum hit the stage with Dierks to sing "Long Trip Alone" and "How Am I Doin'." Colt Ford, Eli Young Band and Josh Thompson also performed for the crowd at Riverfront Park. The day of bikes and country music raised over $200,000 for the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Over the weekend, Taylor Swift covered The Dixie Chicks and Rascal Flatts in concert. Check it out here...

Miranda Lambert tweeted a country girl solution to forgetting to pack eyeliner - use a Sharpie. She played a private show in Denver last night. It was her 9th show in 11 days, and she didn't pack well for it, apparently. After the show, she tweeted that the Sharpie eyeliner stayed put, and she wondered if Blake Shelton would like her new smokey eye trick.

On Friday, Carrie Underwood helped build a playground at Marshall Elementary School in Checotah, Oklahoma, her hometown. She assembled playground components, planted flowers and helped paint the playground's mural. More than 200 volunteers showed up to lend a hand, and the project was completed in less than 8 hours.

Keith Urban is headed to Australia early next year to be part of the Australian version of the hit tv show, "The Voice." Keith will be one of the coaches on the show, just like Blake Shelton is on the American version.

Easton Corbin is on vocal rest and is just sick about having to cancel shows. He issued a statement to his fans and tickholders: "I wanted to let all my fans know I am truly sorry I have had to cancel shows this month." The next scheduled show date is October 27th.

Tomorrow, Montgomery Gentry's first studio album since 2008 comes out, and Troy Gentry is really pleased with the way "Rebels on the Run" turned out. “Eddie and I try to find songs that people can identify with. You know, things that, you know, whether it be up or down…just the different knocks of life that people are going through that we think they can associate with.”

Martina McBride's "Invitation Only" premiers on CMT.

Happy birthday to Alan Jackson, who turns 53 today, and Earl Thomas Conley who is 70.

The tweet of the day is from Dierks Bentley: "wide awake thinking about today. over 200k raised by our fans and motorcycle riders for Miles and Music for Kids. unreal. good good stuff."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The second annual American Country Awards nominees were announced yesterday. Jason Aldean and Zac Brown Band have eight nominations each, Thompson Square has seven and The Band Perry and Taylor Swift each have six. The awards will be handed out December 5th, and the show will air live from Las Vegas on FOX. Fans can vote for their favorites now, with voting ending for all categories except Artist of the Year, ending on November 11th. Fans have until December 2nd to vote for Artist of the Year. Here's the list of nominees:

Artist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Lady Antebellum
Taylor Swift
Zac Brown Band

Artist of the Year: Male
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton

Artist of the Year: Female
Sara Evans
Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Artist of the Year: Duo or Group
The Band Perry
Lady Antebellum
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist
Eric Church
Eli Young Band
Justin Moore
Jake Owen
Chris Young

Artist of the Year: New Artist
The Band Perry
Scotty McCreery
Jerrod Niemann
Pistol Annies
Thompson Square

Album of the Year
Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party”
Kenny Chesney, “Hemingway’s Whiskey”
Brad Paisley, “This Is Country Music”
Taylor Swift, “Speak Now”
Keith Urban, “Get Closer”
Zac Brown Band, “You Get What You Give”

Single of the Year
Billy Currington, “Let Me Down Easy”
Tim McGraw, “Felt Good On My Lips”
Thompson Square, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”
Chris Young, “Voices”
Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

Single of the Year: Male
Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party”
Luke Bryan, “Someone Else Calling You Baby”
Billy Currington, “Let Me Down Easy”
Tim McGraw, “Felt Good On My Lips”
Chris Young, “Voices”

Single of the Year: Female
Sara Evans, “A Little Bit Stronger”
Miranda Lambert, “Heart Like Mine”
Reba, “Turn On The Radio”
Taylor Swift, “Mean”
Carrie Underwood, “Mama’s Song”

Single of the Year: Duo or Group
The Band Perry, “You Lie”
Rascal Flatts, “Why Wait”
Sugarland, “Stuck Like Glue”
Thompson Square, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”
Zac Brown Band, “Colder Weather”

Single of the Year: New Artist
The Band Perry, “You Lie”
Craig Campbell, “Family Man”
The JaneDear Girls, “Wildflower”
Jerrod Niemann, “What Do You Want”
Thompson Square, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”

Single of the Year: Vocal Collaboration
Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”
Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter, “You and Tequila”
Brad Paisley with Alabama, “Old Alabama”
Zac Brown Band with Jimmy Buffet, “Knee Deep”
Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

Touring Headline Act of the Year
Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Toby Keith
Tim McGraw
Brad Paisley
Rascal Flatts
George Strait
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

Music Video of the Year
Sara Evans, “A Little Bit Stronger”
Jerrod Niemann, “What Do You Want”
Blake Shelton, “Who Are you When I’m Not Looking”
Thompson Square, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”
Josh Turner, “I Wouldn’t Be A Man”

Music Video: Male
Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party”
Jerrod Niemann, “What Do You Want”
Blake Shelton, “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking”
Josh Turner, “I Wouldn’t Be A Man”
Keith Urban, “Put You In A Song”

Music Video: Female
Sara Evans, “A Little Bit Stronger”
Reba, “Turn On The Radio”
Ashton Shepherd, “Look It Up”
Taylor Swift, “Back To December”
Carrie Underwood, “Mama’s Song”

Music Video: Duo, Group or Collaboration
Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”
The Band Perry, “You Lie”
Lady Antebellum, “Hello World”
Thompson Square, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”
Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

Music Video: New Artist
The Band Perry, “You Lie”
Craig Campbell, “Family Man”
Brett Eldredge, “Raymond”
Jerrod Niemann, “What Do You Want”
Thompson Square, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”

Rascal Flatts is releasing a live cd on November 8th. "The Best of Rascal Flatts Live" will include ten tracks recorded at venues all over the US. Songs include "What Hurts the Most," "Life is a Highway" and "Bob that Head." The encore includes a cover of Edgar Winter's "Free Ride."

Taylor Swift wants to help struggling libraries and also to encourage kids to read, so she donated 6,000 books to the library system in Reading, Pennsylvania, a struggling little city about 50 miles outside of Philadelphia. Taylor didn't personally make the donation, but everyone will know when they check out one of the books she donated - they're marked with a white star on the spine and a sticker inside.

Don't know when she finds time to do it, but Taylor Swift has recorded 25 songs for her next album. Will it be a double-disc? No word on how many of those songs will make the cut, or when the project will be released. It'll probably be at least a year.

Taylor was on ABC's Good Morning America yesterday morning, and a 14-year-old version of her was featured in the segment. Enjoy!

Sad news in the Charlie Daniels Band - longtime member, musician and songwriter, Joel "Taz" DiGregorio was killed in a single-car crash outside of Nashville while on the way to a show in Georgia. Taz played keyboards and sang harmonies for over 40 years and was co-writer with Charlie Daniels on some of their biggest hits, including "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Concerts yesterday and tomorrow night have been canceled. Taz was 67.

Dierks Bentley's 6th Annual Miles & Music for Kids event hits Nashville this weekend, and Dierks might need to do a little shopping before the ride. “I have like, the ‘I’m too cool for a helmet’ helmet, like the kinda like fake helmet thing, you know? But, I think I’m gonna invest in the like the real, real deal, get the face…maybe not the face mask but just a little bit more protection.” The ride starts in Columbia, Tennessee tomorrow and ends with a concert featuring Dierks, Colt Ford, Josh Thompson and the Eli Young Band. Dierks has raised over a million and a half dollars for children's hospitals around the country with these day-long events.

Martina McBride is on Good Morning America this morning. Sara Evans sings the National Anthem at tomorrow's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on ABC.

The tweet of the day is from Colt Ford: "Waffle House in Ala lord have mercy this Patty Melt is not Fat Free I don't think. Oh well don't wanna hurt cooks feelings so I will eat it!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Rodney Atkins dropped a bombshell in an interview with the Associated Press. Rodney, who was adopted as an infant, finally met his birth mother and her family in 2008. He won't reveal her name, for privacy purposes, but did say that she got pregnant when she was 19 on what she described as a traumatic first date. She hid the pregnancy and gave her son up for adoption. Rodney was raised by Allan and Margaret Atkins, who were supportive of the meeting and have become close with Rodney's birth mom. He's the spokesperson for the National Council for Adoption.

A couple of days ago Toby Keith's video for "Red Solo Cup" showed up on this blog. If you saw it, you saw a lot of heavy-hitters having fun with Toby's song. How did he talk them all into it? “I called all my friends and said, ‘Everybody do something stupid with a red Solo cup with your phone cam and send it to me.’ And, so I’ve got Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, Craig Ferguson, Larry Bird and Carrot Top. I actually talked a bunch of people I feel are important into doing something really dumb, and I love it.” In case you missed it, here it is again, complete with a language alert.

The Bayou Country Superfest is back for the third year, and it's bigger than ever. Who's there? Might be easier to say who's not going to be performing. The Superfest will include Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Sara Evans, Little Big Town, Joe Nichols, and Jerrod Niemann. The event happens at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA on May 26th and 27th, 2012.

Tim McGraw will headline the Tour for the Troops concert at Camp Pendleton in California. The November 13th show is free for military and Department of Defense ID holders. Civilians can see the show for $55 each.

It could be called the Bluest Eyes Tour, but instead it's George Strait with Martina McBride. The tour starts January 27th and so far, 11 stops have been announced. How does Martina feel about touring with George? “I love George Strait and, you know, I’ve made no secret of that. We all love George and have grown up with his music, and I’ve been fortunate enough to tour with him before and to, um, even sing on stage with him. And it’s just, he’s just, one of those artists that is just so consistent and so great.”

1/27 – Lafayette, LA
1/28 – Bossier City, LA
2/3 – Phoenix, AZ
2/4 – Las Vegas, NV
2/10 – Atlanta, GA
2/11 – Orlando, FL
2/16 – Tulsa, OK
2/17 – St. Louis, MO
2/18 – Wichita, KS
2/24 – Des Moines, IA
2/25 – Kansas City, MO

More performances have been announced for the CMA Award Show. Rascal Flatts & Natasha Bedingfield will sing their duet, "Easy," and Kenny Chesney will duet with Grace Potter on "You and Tequila." Show hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will perform their song, "Remind Me," for the first time in front of an audience that night, too. The show airs November 9th on ABC, and tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Jewel's been a mom for three months, and was asked by Perez Hilton to share some parenting tips...and she shared some good ones, plus gives insight into the way she and rodeo hubby Ty Murray are raising their son Kase.

Congratulations to Scotty McCreery. The American Idol winner has the #1 album on the Billboard Top 200 and the Billboard Country charts. He's the youngest male artist to debut at the top of the all-genre 200.

Martina McBride is on the Late Show with David Letterman, Taylor Swift s on Good Morning America and Live with Regis and Kelly and Lauren Alaina is also on Live with Regis and Kelly.

Happy birthday to Rhett Akins, who is 42, and Marie Osmond, who turns 52.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "Feeling motivated to change some bad habits lately. Sometimes my biggest obstacle is me. Good to have that knowledge."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The American Music Awards nominees have been announced, and Taylor Swift and The Band Perry lead the country nominees with three each. Jason Aldean is nominated in two categories, and Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum and Thompson Square are also nominated. The show airs live on Sunday, November the 20th, but you can vote now.

2011 American Music Awards Country Nominees

Artist of the Year

Taylor Swift
Lady Gaga
Lil Wayne
Katy Perry

Country Male Artist

Jason Aldean
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton

Country Female Artist

Sara Evans
Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift

Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group

The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Lady Antebellum

Country Album

Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party
Taylor Swift’s Speak Now
The Band Perry’s self-titled debut

Sprint New Artist Award

The Band Perry
Thompson Square
Foster the People
Hot Chelle Rae
Wiz Khalifa
Marsha Ambrosius

The Billboard Women in Music event happens on December 3rd in New York, but we already know who wins the top award of "Woman of the Year"...Taylor Swift. She's the youngest woman ever to be given the honor, which is awarded for songwriting, performance and sales excellence.

In the "better late than never" file, the third annual "We're All for the Hall" benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is on for January 18th at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Keith Urban is organizing and headlining the show, and Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town and the Oak Ridge Boys are all signed up for the show at this point. There'll probably be more artists confirmed between now and then.

What does Alan Jackson like to do on a crisp fall day? With a collection of dozens of classic cars, bet you can guess! “At certain times of year, ya know, like, up here in the fall, when it’s really pretty, and the, the temperature’s come up, I’ll, I’ll get out just about any day as I can and take a little drive, and run a old car or something out in the country. And, that, that’s some of the most relaxing time for me.”

Jake Owen and tennis star Serena item? According to Serena, no, it was just a dinner with friends. The two were spotted having dinner together in Los Angeles. Jake's great buddies with another tennis great - Mardy Fish - and the two host a charity event together annually. Serena tweeted, “I am not dating [Jake Owen],” she posted on her Twitter feed. “He is a great guy with a super amazing girlfriend.”

Toby Keith rounded up a bunch of stars - Eric Church, Joe Nichols, Craig Ferguson, Ted Nugent, Larry Bird, Roger Clemens and Carrot Top - and did a video for a very fun song, "Red Solo Cup." It's on his new "Clancy's Tavern" cd, but you can see and hear it here...

Did you miss Keith Urban on Ellen? The two got together and produced a commercial for his new fragrance...and it's hot!

Happy birthday to Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks - she turns 42 today.

Jewel is on Live with Regis & Kelly and Glen Campbell is on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

The tweet of the day is from Danny Gokey: "Just watched the movie "Courageous". Call me sensitive but I dropped some tears at least 4 or 5 different times. Go see it! Especially men!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Rascal Flatts spent yesterday in Dallas, performing at the invitation of President Bush. The show was a benefit for the Wounded Warriors fund and was a private concert. As Joe Don put it, "so blessed to be an American."

The town of Mineral, Virginia, near the epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the east coast on August 23rd, rallied and won a free Alan Jackson concert. More than 31,000 votes were cast by the town with a population of 478, and they're looking at putting the show in their high school football stadium. The date is to be announced, but Alan himself is delighted with their win.

Dierks Bentley's Chicago "Miles & Music for Kids" event brought in nearly $150,000 for the local children's hosptal. The concert included Dierks, Eli Young Band, Jerrod Niemann, Tyler Reeve and Matt Mason.

When Keith Urban hit the stage at the Staples Center in LA, Jack Black ended up on stage with him. Check out the magic on "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

When Hank Williams Jr. is irritated, grass doesn't grow under his feet. He has a new song out, written last Friday morning and recorded Friday afternoon, and it's available for free at his website. The song is reaction to his Fox Morning News appearance, plus his and ESPN's parting of the ways. It's called "Keep the Change," and in true Bocephus form, it pulls no punches. Hear it here now...

A bit of heavy metal was handed out over the weekend - The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" has achieved triple platinum status, and Scotty McCreery's "I Love You This Big" has gone gold.

Congrats to Keith Urban - his "Long Hot Summer" is the #1 country song in America this week. Co-written by Keith and his friend Richard Marx, the song is one that came from a fairly rushed writing session. According to Keith, “We hadn’t written together for a while, and I love writing with Richard. He came to Nashville and we had just a few hours to try and come up with something, and lo and behold this song came out of the session…fairly easily, thank goodness!”

Catch Toby Keith on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Blake Shelton on Dancing With the Stars, Hank Williams Jr. on The View, Hunter Hayes on David Letterman, Vince Gill on QVC and Lauren Alaina on Good Morning America.

New music out today includes Martina McBride's "Elevens," Hunter Hayes' self-titled debut and Taylor Swift's concert DVD, "Taylor Swift's Journey to Fearless."

Happy birthday to Gene Watson, who is 68, and to Paulette Carlson of Highway 101, who turns 59.

The tweet of the day is from Jewel: "I kinda feel like a exotic animal in a fish bowl here at the dentist. Every single person in the office has come by to peek at me"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Rascal Flatts had a great night on Saturday - they were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry during the 86th birthday bash, aired live on GAC. Little Jimmy Dickens did the honors, and the band was surprised by a video message from President George W. Bush. He recognized their charity work and shared that he and Laura are big fans of the trio. Joe Gary LeVox waxed philosophical about the induction, saying “You have witnessed the greatest night of our lives!” Here's how it looked, in case you missed it:

Dierks Bentley had a great day yesterday, invading Chicago with another "Miles and Music For Kids" motorcycle ride and concert.

The remake of "Footloose" is opening this week, and the official video for the title song performed by Blake Shelton is out...wanna see?

At the "Footloose" premier in Nashville, Blake was asked about the baby rumors that are swirling around he and Miranda. Blake's response? “It’s not that—she’s not pregnant. You would actually have to touch each other once in a while for that to happen.”

Martina McBride is on a train trip across America, celebrating the release of "Elevens" tomorrow. Why a train? According to Martina, “I’ve always wanted to take a train trip. John and I have talked about it for years, taking a train trip, because I just think it’s…I don’t know, it’s just a cool kind of, um, old fashioned, romantic, you know, way to travel. And, so, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” The trip started in Los Angeles yesterday and arrives in New York Thursday, where Martina will turn the Empire State Building pink for the rest of October.

The lawsuits flying between Tim McGraw and his label, Curb Records, will have a hearing on November 29th. Tim wants to be able to record for another label while the details of his split with Curb are ironed out, and Curb doesn't want Tim to record anywhere but with them. A trial date of July 9, 2012 has been set for the breach of contract suit by Curb and countersuit by Tim seeking release from the label. Sounds like a really nasty divorce, doesn't it?

Sugarland is venturing back to Indiana, site of the deadly stage collapse this summer. Anyone holding a ticket from that show will get into the October 28th show at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse for free, and any seats remaining will be sold. This will be the final stop on the 2011 Incredible Machine tour.

Craig Morgan will host a gala in Washington DC tomorrow night. Field & Stream hosts an annual Heroes of Conservation recognition event, and the 2011 heroes will each receive a $5,000 conservation grant. One of those honorees will be named the Conservation Hero of the Year and be awarded a new Toyota Tundra.

We know Steve Azar can have a hit every now and then, but he's apparently even better at golf. While playing the Beacon School for Children Charity Celebrity Golf Tournament in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands, he aced the 305-yard par 4 seventh hole. It was his 7th career hole in one.

Congrats to Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who have earned platinum status with "Remind Me."

Happy birthday to Tanya Tucker, who turns 53 today.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Cashier:I'm a big fan. Me:thanks! Cashier:I love your music. Me: Thank ya. Cashier:Credit or Debit? Me: Credit card. Cashier: ID Please."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Well, it's sadly official - Hank Williams Jr. and ESPN have ended their association. Bocephus has been part of Monday Night Football for over two decades, but parted ways after Hank's comments about the president on Fox Morning News this past Monday morning. Hank posted a message on his website yesterday, saying, “After reading hundreds of emails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It's been a great run."

Welcome baby alert for Eric Church and his wife Katherine. Their first child was born Monday of this week. Boon McCoy Church is doing well and daddy Eric says, "Everybody always tells you what an awesome and unique experience being a parent is. Words can never do the feeling justice. I am very thankful and blessed to have a healthy and happy baby boy and baby mama." Tour mate and father Toby Keith weighed in on how Eric would feel: “You can give him all the advice on how they’re gonna feel and all that stuff. But, most advice you can give them is gonna ring like a church bell loud and clear as soon as they lay that baby in your hands. So, he’s gonna definitely know the meaning of real love the second that happens. It’ll change his life.”

If you see Keith Urban in October of this year, you'll notice that he's playing a custom Fender guitar, embellished with a pink ribbon. The guitar will be auctioned off at the end of the month, with proceeds going to the Komen Fundation.

Jason Aldean, has extended his 2011 tour into 2012. The Nashville show sold out in minutes, a tribute to how high his star is rising. Luke Bryan is the opening act for the tour.

Taylor Swift will show up at Macy's Herald Square in New York City on the 13th, Sephora in Glendale California on the 18th and Belk in Franklin, TN on the 28th of this month to introduce her new fragrance, "Wonderstruck."

Rascal Flatts will be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night during the Opry's 86th birthday celebration. Jay DeMarcus is a bit overwhelmed by it all: “The first thought that was in my mind was, ‘I cannot believe that I used to come here on family vacations and watch the Opry with my mom at the very top. And then to be on the stage and then to be asked to be a member of the Opry, it had all come full circle, and I just think it hit me, the flood of emotions all at once, and it was tough to keep it together.”

Faith Hill will perform the first single from her upcoming album during the CMA Awards show on November 9th on ABC.

Congratulations to Luke Bryan on the platinum certification for "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" and "Tailgates and Tanlines." Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood also received platinum certification for "Remind Me."

Catch Scotty McCreery on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today. Brad and Kimberly Paisley will be on a Sesame Street special Sunday night on PBS.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Tryin 2 look good 4 album launch.Things I'm denying myself? Had them all 2night..steak,bread,butter,wine,champagne,cheese,crackers"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift is tied with Giselle Bundchen, Ellen DeGeneres and Judge Judy Sheindlin on Forbes' "Entertainment's Highest-Earning Women" list. The list takes into account gross income, less manager fees and taxes, from May 2010 to May 2011. The four made $45 million each. Topping the list is Oprah Winfrey, who made $290 million.

Speaking of Taylor, she's featured in New Yorker magazine, and the reporter says there were times during the interview she thought Taylor was close to "bursting into tears." Talking about her next album, Taylor revealed she's written about 10 songs so far, and the theme is loss and moving on. Look for the project sometime in 2012.

Luke Bryan's Farm Tour 2011 wraps up tomorrow in Carrollton, Georgia and he's not just entertaining fans, he's providing college scholarships at each tour stop. Luke says, “The main thing that I hope that the kids that receive the scholarship’s, what I hope they get out of this, is, ya know, an opportunity to go to, heck, to even just have some money for them to help them out on school; I mean, to think, to allow them to dream bigger; and having, ya know, an opportunity at a great education.”

Congratulations to the CMT Artists of the Year - Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift. Criteria for the award include sales, radio airplay, concert ticket sales and traffic. There'll be a 90 minute special on December 13th, honoring the award winners.

Miranda Lambert wants you to hear her new song, "Mama's Broken Heart," and wants to give you some prizes, too. It's as easy as uploading a photo and sharing the link - good luck, and check out the song while you're there.

In the November issue of Ladies' Home Journal, Miranda Lambert graces the cover and covers her upcoming album, her career and her marriage to Blake Shelton. Says Miranda, "When I see Blake playing with his wedding ring, it reminds me that somebody has my back forever." Here re some more fun tidbits:

HOW THEY STAY SANE: “We live in Oklahoma, two hours from any city, and it's a haven. Just being in the woods, sitting around a fire being normal, keeps us sane.”

HOW SHE COMMENTS ON THE VOICE: “Some days I was like, ‘Why did you pick that song? Why did you make her sing that?’ He'd say, ‘Why don't you just go be the coach?’ It's funny. He listens, though.”

THEY MAY BE MOVING: “We actually want to build a house but we have to find the time to do it. As long as there's somewhere for him to hang his deer heads, I can do what I want.”

The continuing war between Sara Evans and her ex-husband Craig Schelske has come to this: she's gotten a restraining order to keep him from publicly discussing their relationship, divorce and custody battle over their three children. An unnamed source has told reporters that this is a violation of Craig's First Amendment rights and he won't take it lying down.

Congratulations to Ella Mae Bowen, who's the newest addition to the Big Machine Label Group, home of Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Rebe. Ella Mae sings "Holding Out for a Hero" on the "Footloose" remake sountrack.

The tweet of the day is from Chuck Wicks: "Who the "F" passes a Waffle House when they're're fired."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Jason Aldean's 6th annual benefit concert raised $315,000 for breast cancer charities. The show was in Roanoke, VA and Jason says, "This is one of my favorite things we do all year, and taking it on the road to other cities has been huge in helping us bring in more money for Komen. We'll pick a different spot next year and try to beat it, and I have to thank my fans for doing their part."

The Nashville premier of the movie "Footloose" is tomorrow night, and soundtrack contributors Blake Shelton, Big & Rich, Hunter Hayes, Ella Mae Bowen and others are expected to be in the audience, as will be the movie's star, Julianne Hough. ET was behind the scenes when Blake Shelton filmed the music video for the title song, "Footloose."

Miranda Lambert's next cd, "Four the Record," comes out November 1st, and there's a song on it that's very close to her heart - and Blake's. It's "Over You," a song they wrote as Blake was telling Miranda about how he felt when his older brother was killed instantly in a car accident. Richie was 24 and Blake was 14, and as he was telling Miranda about the event, he was picking a melody on the guitar. "Over You" came out of that session, and Blake asked Miranda to record it instead of him, saying, “I don’t think I can get through singing it every night onstage, so what’s the point?”

More performers for the CMA Awards show on November 9th have been announced - Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry are all going to be part of the show.

Dierks Bentley is teaming up with the Wounded Warrior Project to host some pre-show parties during his Country and Cold Cans tour through Veterans Day. On tour stops, attendees can win ticket upgrades, merchandise and handwritten lyrics.

Rascal Flatts is hosting the Behind the Music benefit on November 2nd at a secluded Nashville venue. Only 100 tickets are for sale, and all proceeds benefit the Childrens Hospital at Vanderbilt. There's an auction, passes to the groups rehearsal and a chance to win tickets & airfare to a Rascal Flatts show. If you want to go, get set to pony up - tickets are $500 each.

Hank Williams Jr. posted a note on his Facebook page yesterday, apologizing for his statements Monday morning on Fox Morning News. "The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin' and high fiven' on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement," Williams said. "I am very sorry if it offended anyone." No word from the Monday Night Football people if all is forgiven and Bocephus will be back to opening the show next week.

Trace Adkins keeps an ear on what his daughters listen to, and doesn't always approve of the message in some of the music their friends like, and they can't have it in the house if Daddy doesn't approve. However, he's not just a strict dad - he's a pretty cool one. According to Trace, “Now I’ve been backstage at the Jonas Brothers, and the Cheetah Girls, and hell, everybody else. I’ve met all the rest—Jonas Brothers, did I say Jonas Brothers? Yeah. And Miley, of course, and they got to meet Taylor Swift, so I’m a hero in their world.” How about his music? “I don't let them listen to my music, either. But I don't make music for kids.”

Sunday night Brad Paisley and wife Kimberly Williams Paisley will be part of a special on PBS. "Growing Hope Against Hunger" features the Sesame Street Muppets and is a one-hour program shining the light on hunger, or as the show calls it, food insecurity. The program airs at 7pm Eastern.

Scotty McCreery is on the Tonight Show tonight.

The tweet of the day is from David Nail: "Nothing like your own shower, and nothing like washing clothes and putting them right back into a bag! Home for about 22 hours!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Hank Williams Jr. kicked up a firestorm when he showed up on Fox Morning News yesterday talking politics. Discussing the president, Bocephus compared Obama to Hitler. After doing that, he was cut out of last night's Monday Night Football opener, a gig he's had for two decades. Here's the footage:

Hank issued a statement late in the day yesterday - here's what he had to say:

"Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme - but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me - how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the President. Every time the media brings up the tea party it's painted as racist and extremists - but there's never a backlash - no outrage to those comparisons… Working class people are hurting - and it doesn't seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job - it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change." - Hank Williams, Jr.

Martina McBride is celebrating her album release next week in New York. "Eleven" comes out on October 11th, and on the 14th she'll be atop the Empire State Building flipping the switch to turn it pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Martina explains, “Later that night, we’re doing a concert on top of the Empire State Building. It’s just going to be a really powerful moment, I think, to perform at the Empire State Building surrounded by breast cancer survivors, and their loved ones, and people that are doing things to further research and awareness. And especially performing “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” I think that’s gonna be a powerful moment.”

An apparently drunk driver plowed into the decorative fencing around LeAnn Rimes' California home. She wasn't there, and the driver wasn't hurt. The 20-year-old also hit a light pole, and was driving on a suspended license. Oops...!

Congratulations to Toby Keith, who has the #1 song this week with "Made In America." It's another "America" song for him, and was almost left off the new album, "Clancy's Tavern," which streets October 24th. Toby explains, “You gotta keep in mind that I get hit with a lot of ideas about writing songs about America, and I pass on 999 of them. But, once in a while, something comes along that is a different take on it then I’ve done, and it’s smart…and it’s a good idea.”

New music in stores today includes Rodney Atkins' "Take a Back Road" and Scotty McCreery's "Clear As Day."

Scotty McCreery is on Live with Regis & Kelly, Kellie Pickler is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and LeAnn Rimes is on the Tonight Show with ay Leno.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "If the first step is admitting I have problem then here goes.... My drink is empty!!!!!!!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Toby Keith was doing an interview with Allison DeMarcus for CMT Insider, and the topic of gays, gay weddings and gays in the military came up. Toby's take? "That whole gay issue thing, that's never bothered me. I've never seen what that affects and why anybody should care, and they never do affect me." He went on to say, "First of all, we're going to stop somebody from getting a marriage license because they're gay? You won't stop them from living together, so what have you accomplished? ... Wasting a lot of money here and a lot of time that could be spent working on this deficit that we're under ... I never saw the reasoning behind getting in people's personal lives." About "don't ask, don't tell," Toby said, "The military is a tough thing. I don't worry as much about the heterosexual people fighting as I do about the gays. In the military or any class in life, you have people who have problems with it, and I'm wondering how that's going to be compatible on the battlefield. That's the only question I have, other than that, I don't care. It's just such a big issue that people make such a big stink about 'don't ask, don't tell.' And that sounds like our government: 'We'll fix it by saying, "Don't ask, don't tell." Everybody agree, raise your hands. All right, let's go get a snack!"

In other Toby news, he's part of "The Wayman Tisdale Story," a documentary about the life of the late NBA star and jazz musician. Toby and Wayman were close friends, and Toby's song "Cryin' for Me" was written as a eulogy for Wayman. The DVD will be out November 22nd.

Rodney Atkins' new album, "Take a Back Road," streets tomorrow, and he's excited to share a new sound with his fans. He's got a goal for the project - “To sell one million copies. It’s just, I’m really proud of this album. We’ve tried some different things and production wise, I mean ‘Take a Back Road,’ when we first played it for people it sounded different. Some of the stuff is simplified, but it’s meant to not just lightly tap on the door, you know, it’s to shake you up a little bit.”

Trace Adkins is in North Carolina, filming his part in the upcoming movie, "The Healer." How did he learn to act? “Movies are just like music videos. You sit around and wait for ‘em to set up the next shot, and light it, and all that kind of stuff. You’re there a long time but you don’t really work that much.”

Lady Antebellum performed on Saturday Night Live - didja miss it? Here you go!

Blake Shelton tweeted his tour announcement yesterday, saying that his "Well Lit and Amplified" tour kicks off in January. He'll be taking along Justin Moore and Dia Frampton, a finalist on "The Voice." It'll hit 27 cities, with those locations being rolled out on Blake's website as they get closer.

Congratulations are in order for John Rich and his wife Joan. Their second son was born last Thursday, and the official birth announcement happened on Twitter early yesterday morning. Here's what John tweeted: “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the world.. ‘Colt Daniel Rich!’ 7lbs14ozs, born 9-29-11....He's a real ‘Son of a Gun!’ VERY Proud!!”

Condolences to Trisha Yearwood, who lost her mom over the weekend. Gwen Yearwood had been battling breast cancer for several years. Both of her daughters were at her side when she died.

Tm McGraw is on the Today Show and LIVE! with Regis and Kelly this morning. Scotty McCreery is on the Today show this morning.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Standing with all those courageous cancer survivors while I sang the anthem was amazing. Powerful way to kick off BCA month. Way to go @nfl."