Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Fan voting is open for two of the ACM Awards. The fan voted awards are Entertainer of the Year and New Artist of the Year. In the running for EOY are Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift. Up for New Artist of the Year are Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert and Scotty McCreery, and you can vote for your favorite in each category right up to the beginning of the show.

George Strait continues to raise the bar for the rest of country music. With "Love's Gonna Make it Alright" he has a second #1 song from the album, "Here for a Good Time," and has now racked up 59 #1 songs in a career spanning 31 years. What's his secret for success? “You know I’ve always thought that, whether I’m writing or not, you know, I’ve gotta pick the best songs. I’m not just gonna sing them because I wrote them. You know—I’ve gotta find the best songs to make the best record I can make.” His first charted single was "Unwound" in 1981 and his first #1 song was "Fool Hearted Memory" in 1982.

Jason Aldean knows how to treat his fans. Four Nashville fans drove to Illinois and camped out at the Civic Center box office, waiting to buy tickets for his May 10th concert. When Jason found out about it, he had some pizzas delivered to them. The camping paid off, too - the fans are in the front row for the show.

There's been football fever in Tennessee, and the stars aren't immune. Martina McBride offered Peyton a record deal and some free voice lessons. The Grand Ole Opry offered Peyton an open invitation to perform on the Opry, plus a VIP parking space. Carrie Underwood was hoping that Peyton would choose Tennessee, but now that it looks like Denver will be his town, Carrie said: "I like Tebow! I mean, obviously it was Manning fever for a couple days around here. But yeah, I just really want the Titans to be all that they can be!"

Speaking of Carrie Underwood, her new cd, "Blown Away," is out May first, and she's talkin' tour: “It’s going to be a lot of fun. It will be this fall and then potentially – we’ll see how that goes and then hopefully be able to add more dates in the spring next year. I’m just really looking forward to it it’s going to be really good and we have plenty of time to put it all together and make it really big.”

Garth Brooks is downsizing a bit. He unloaded 142 acres of raw land he owned in Oklahoma, raking in $2.7 million in the process. The land will become a community near Edmond, OK.

Day after tomorrow, country stars will gather with guns and guitars in Dothan, Alabama for the 11th Annual Country Goes Huntin' event hosted by Rhett Akins. Billy Currington, Eddie Montgomery, T-Roy Gentry, Rodney Atkins and more country stars will be part of the fun - Rhett Akins explains: “We pair up artists with hunting pros and we turkey hunt for two or three days. At the end of the event we have an acoustic jam where we raise money for different charities.” The Wounded Warriors Foundation is the biggest recipient.

Blake Shelton is working on a Christmas album for release this fall.

Lee Brice co-hosts the 4th hour of the Today show this morning.

Happy birthday to Ranger Doug, the frontman for Riders in the Sky, who is 66 today.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "So completely awesome that people mouth off to me but can't comprehend the fact that I actually have the NERVE to defend myself..."