Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

At the CMA Awards last night, the show kicked off with Blake Shelton and Kenny Loggins dueting on "Footloose."

Brad Paisley started to sing "Are You Ready for Some Country Awards," sung to the tune of Bocephus’ classic Monday Night Football theme. Hank Jr. took the first ribbing for his behavior during a Fox News interview. Then Hank Williams Jr. showed up behind Carrie and Brad, prompting a standing ovation from the audience. He didn't have much to say, but did revise his football song for the CMA Awards show.

The two hosts gave each other gifts of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw Barbies, and proceeded to play with them on stage, having them flirt and make out, then turning their backs on the audience to see if they were anatomically correct. When Brad checked out his Tim doll, he said, “Poor Faith” and she laughed and said “it’s true!” The real Tim and Faith ate up the bit, laughing and hugging each other.

The Band Perry had a great night, taking Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. After the show, Brad Paisley tweeted, “I’m changing my name to the Band Paisley tomorrow.”

One of the stand-out performances on a night of great live music was Zac Brown Band performing "Georgia On My Mind" with Greg Allman. A couple of great singers, a couple of keyboards and a couple of saxophones made the song really special. The audience enjoyed it - a standing ovation followed the performance.

Are Sugarland the next Brooks & Dunn? Maybe – they won the award for Vocal Duo of the Year for the 5th time.

Lionel Ritchie, Little Big Town and Darius Rucker teamed up for a medley of Lionel's classic hits. When Lionel hit the stage, the 17,000 people at Bridgestone Arena stood up in appreciation. The segment was a preview of a duets cd Lionel has in the works that includes several country artists.

Vocal Group of the Year was handed out next, and it went to Lady Antebellum, who seemed genuinely surprised by the award.

Reese Witherspoon took the stage to award Male Vocalist of the Year, and Blake Shelton took the honors. First hug from him went to co-nominee Keith Urban, and the second went to his wife, Miranda Lambert. A short while later, the award for Female Vocalist went to Miranda Lambert, who promised Blake during her acceptance speech, "It's gonna be a good night, baby!" The couple repeated the awards they first won last year.

The tribute to Glen Campbell came next, starting with the memory that he was the Entertainer of the Year in 1968. Fast-forward to 2011 and Vince Gill, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley teamed up to say "God bless Glen Campbell" in his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. The tribute include Glen's best-loved songs, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston." Glen sat next to his radiant wife Kim, and he softly sang along to his songs. When he took the stage, the audience gave him a standing ovation, but the live coverage cut away before he could say anything.

At the end of the show, it was Taylor Swift who took home Entertainer of the Year, in segment 13 of the show, right after the 13th commercial break. She's in love with the number 13, and it seems to like her a lot, too. Brad Paisley was EOY last year, and the year before that, Taylor won it. Did she expect to get it again this year? “I just didn’t want to think about it ‘cause it’s like, you don’t want to have high hopes about something that big and that cool. To win it twice is like the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, happening twice. I’m freaking out right now.” During her acceptance speech, she used notes she had made on her arm to acknowledge all of the artists who joined her on stage during "Speak Now" tour stops. They included Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and many more music luminaries. Good thing Taylor has long arms!

For those who lost count, Carrie Underwood had 11 wardrobe changes last night. I'm pretty sure that tops any of Reba's appearances as host.

During the show, there was a Muppet segment. I don't believe the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, but watched Brad Paisley inappropriately touch Miss Piggy. Hopefully she won't press charges...she did hit him with a right cross, decking Brad. Carrie told Miss Piggy that she'd always wanted to do that.

Before the show, awards were handed out. Music Video of the year went to Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter for "You and Tequila. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson won Musical Event of the year with "Don't You Wanna Stay." It was Jason's first-ever CMA Award. Musician of the Year went to singer/songwriter/guitar player Mac McAnally. "You and Tequila" won Music Video of the Year.

Justin Moore had to go to the CMA Award show stag - his wife is expecting their second daughter in the next two weeks so watched the show from home in Arkansas.

Congratulations to Miranda Lambert, who is the first artist to ever have their first four albums debut at #1 on the Billboard Country chart. "Four the Record" is the #1 country album this week. Last year, Miranda made history, becoming the first artist ever to earn 9 nominations for CMA awards.

Some insider information - there's a high-stakes bidding war going on for Big Machine Records, home of Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and Martina McBride. Music guru Scott Borchetta, the current owner of the label, would still be in charge. Scuttlebutt is that the bidding is over $200 million, and Sony and UMG are in a battle to see who can take the prize.

Hunter Hayes is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Luke Bryan is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Happy birthday to Miranda Lambert, who turns 28 today and is sporting diamond earrings from hubby Blake Shelton, and to Chris Cagle, who is 43. Donna Fargo turns 66 today.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "If y'all are watching the CMAs tonight I'll be the loud drunk guy on the front row cheering for Carrie Underwoods legs."