Friday, November 18, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift is on the American Music Awards Sunday night, and is also on 60 Minutes, where Leslie Stahl asks her about her status as a role model. Taylor responds, "It would be really easy to say, 'I'm 21 now. I do what I want. You raise your kids. But that's not the truth of it ... every singer out there with songs on the radio is raising the next generation. So, make your words count." Taylor's "Speak Now World Tour - Live" cd/dvd set comes out Monday.

Rascal Flatts has been in the studio, working on new music for a 2012 album release. Jay DeMarcus is pumped about the music that their favorite Nashville songwriters have pitched them for the project: “There are a few writers and a few people in town that we feel like just get what we do and always come with A-list material and we’re so grateful for them for capturing our vision and sort of getting what Rascal Flatts is all about. I’m just thrilled. I’m really excited about the new music we’ve been making.” The guys will be on the Today Show Monday morning.

Also Monday, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, The Band Perry, Alison Krauss, Lauren Alaina, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor all perform during "Country Music: In Performance at the White House." The PBS special finds the Obamas in the East Room of the White House being serenaded by country's best. The show will air at 8pm on PBS and will stream live at

Toby Keith is getting an AARP Inspire Award this year. Why? Check this out - when he agreed to do a two-week USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour of the Middle East in 2002, he thought it was a one-shot deal in honor of his late father, an Army veteran. He's been back eight more times. During a 2007 trip to Afghanistan, Keith saw how troops in remote areas lived between "sandbag" walls, without the comforts of home. That inspired him to sponsor the USO2GO program, which has distributed more than 400 care packages to remote U.S. bases abroad. In 2009, Keith received the Distinguished Service Award from the Military Officers Association of America — an honor he says dwarfs any music award he's ever won.

Normally, the CMA Music Festival performers aren't announced for several months, but when you have a firm commitment from Carrie Underwood, you let that cat out of the bag. Carrie will be part of the June 7-10, 2012 event, which will air on ABC. Tickets are on sale now, by the way.

The CMT Artists of the Year are Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift, and performers include Miranda Lambert, Hank Williams Jr., and tons of non-country-music celebrities. The show airs December 13th at 9pm Eastern on CMT and

As Blake Shelton gets season 2 of The Voice ready to air, he's still working to promote Dia Frampton, the runner-up on season 1. About Dia, Blake says “You can see something in somebody that’s special. And you do everything you can to get it in front of people, and then you see that response back. It’s like…it’s the coolest feeling ever, know what I mean? Because I do believe in her, and Miranda believes in her.” So much so that she's one of the opening acts on Blake's 2012 Well Lit and Amplified Tour.

As the Penn State scandal was unfolding, Vince Gill was remembering an incident when he was 12 and a gym teacher made advances at him. According to Vince, he jumped up and ran, so nothing happened. He says, “There are a lot of people unfortunately preying on kids, and it doesn't get any sicker than that.”

Brad Paisley is on the New York Times Best-Seller list for the second week with his thank-you note to his guitar heroes. "Diary of a Player" was released on 11/1/11 and hit the best-seller list right away.

Thompson Square is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tomorrow night. Sunday nght, Taylor Swift is on 60 Minutes and the 2011 American Music Awards as is The Band Perry. Monday, Rascal Flatts is on the Today Show and Lady Antebellum is on Jimmy Kimmel Live..

Happy birthday tomorrow to Billy Currington, and Sunday to Dierks Bentley

The tweet of the day is from John Rich: "My Dad worked FOUR jobs to keep our heads above water. Met a guy asking for money as he was texting away on his cell phone. Really? AWFUL"