Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CMA New Artist of the Year Nominees Look Forward to Thursday Night's Ceremony.

The CMA New Artist of the Year category is of the biggest indicators of which country stars are going to be around for the long haul, and the nominees don't take that recognition lightly. Though he's just 21 years old, Hunter Hayes has been dreaming of getting this nomination for a long time now. It finally happened thanks in large part to his #1 hit "Wanted." "It's such an honor to be recognized by the family of musicians that I've grown up listening to and all these artists that I respect so much," Hunter says of his New Artist nomination. "This whole industry sort of looks at you and says, 'Yeah, here's your nomination for an award you've been wanting to achieve for a long time.'" Lee Brice is honored to be nominated for New Artist of the Year, but he won't be worried about winning the trophy on his way to the show Thursday night. Lee is taking his fiancé Sarah with him to the CMA Awards this year, and the day of the event is all about getting her ready and out the door. It all starts with Sarah getting her outfit on and fixing her makeup throughout the day. Lee is there every step of the way answering every time Sarah asks him how she looks.  It continues as they make their way to the CMA Awards in the car. Lee says when they finally get out of the car on the carpet, "She's worried about getting out and tripping over her feet. So really, it's more about me just making sure Sarah's all right." Love and Theft will be attending Thursday night's CMA Awards as first-time nominees in two categories -- New Artist of the Year and Duo of the Year. They know the competition is pretty stiff in both categories, and the duo's Eric Gunderson says, "We're just excited to be in good company, and we'll see what happens." Love and Theft's nominations come after they scored their first #1 hit, "Angel Eyes," earlier this year. They've also been on the road opening for Brad Paisley and Jake Owen. "We've just worked as hard as we can this year," Eric says. "I know everybody else has too.  So, hopefully people recognize that." Brantley Gilbert and Thompson Square round out the New Artist of the Year category.

(ABC Country)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sugarland Could Nab Sixth Duo of the Year Win at Thursday's CMA Awards.

Sugarland has won the CMA Duo of the Year trophy for the last five years, and they could get their sixth consecutive win in that category Thursday night. Back when they picked up their first CMA Award, Sugarland's Kristian Bush kept it proudly on his desk. He had to keep an eye out when his son Tucker, who was quite young at the time, wanted to play with the bullet-shaped trophy. Kristian tells the story to ABC News Radio: "Tucker was like, 'That's a rocket dad! Can I play with your rocket?' And I saw crayon stuff on it, and I was just trying to like wipe it off, 'cause those things are kind of like plexiglass, glass-molded things." Kristian had to lay down the law with Tucker about playing with the CMA trophy, saying, "Oh geez, Tucker. Do not. If you hit a Sharpie on that thing, I'm gonna get you my little one." As Kristian's awards collection grew, he moved them to his studio to display them beside things like his favorite Chewbacca mug and his beloved Ripley's Believe It or Not book. Putting them out like that gives his friends a chance to actually pick the awards up. "They want to see what it's like, which is interesting 'cause I had no idea," Kristian says. "Those things are heavy!" Kristian will take part in the CMA Songwriters Series show with Brantley Gilbert Wednesday night in Nashville. He'll also present a trophy with his Sugarland duo partner Jennifer Nettles at Thursday night's CMA Awards. Going to the CMAs is a lot of fun for Jennifer, who looks forward to reconnecting with some of her fellow artist friends backstage. She's also excited to see how the Duo of the Year category has expanded in the last few years. Sugarland is up against Thompson Square, Big & Rich, Love and Theft and the Civil Wars Thursday night, and Jennifer says of that lineup, "It's so interesting to me because it is also very broad and eclectic, and I love that about it." Though Sugarland didn't release a new album this year, Jennifer thinks they still have a good shot at taking their sixth Duo of the Year trophy home Thursday night. She says, "The In Your Hands tour went super-well with the fans, and then I did Duets, so we've been doing a lot even though we didn't have a new album this year to promote. So, it'll be interesting to see how it all unfolds."  Jennifer will also host the CMA Country Christmas special taping Saturday night, and it will air later this Christmas season on ABC. The 46th Annual CMA Awards broadcast live from Nashville Thursday night at 8 ET on ABC. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley return for a fifth turn as hosts.

(ABC Country)

Lead Nominee Eric Church Will Feel at Home at This Thursday's CMA Awards.

Eric Church is the lead nominee going into Thursday night's CMA Awards with five nominations, including Album of the Year for Chief. That project spawned his first two #1 country hits with "Drink in My Hand" and "Springsteen," and these nods are further proof Eric has finally found a place the country genre.  Looking back a few years ago, Eric remembers playing clubs and not feeling like his music belonged anywhere. He tells ABC News Radio, "I felt at times like we were too rock for country and too country for rock, and we really just didn't have a home at times." Eric adds, "So, to go from there to having five nominations is really something that I had a hard time, and still do have a hard time, getting my head around. It's pretty incredible." Eric built his career playing countless shows and working tirelessly on his three albums. These CMA nods are a nice pat on the back for him, but Eric doesn't live or die by whether or not his name is called at awards shows. "I can't control how many nominations we get or how many we win," Eric says.  "I can only control the kind of record we make and the kind of show we put on. And I think if I keep it that simple, and I keep it that small of what I can control then the rest of the stuff will take care of itself." All that said, Eric is extremely proud to be recognized for his platinum album Chief in a time when the music industry is focused more and more on selling individual tracks. Of all his nominations, Eric has his eyes locked on the CMA Album of the Year category, saying, "If there's one that would mean the most to me, it's that." Eric is also slated to perform on the CMA Awards Thursday night, and he's been putting a lot of thought into how to use that three minutes of airtime. He and his band are on the road right now, so they're primed and ready to entertain. Says Eric of the performance, "It's also about maybe trying to do something a little bit different than what people see every night. Now, that's the challenge."  Eric is also nominated for Male Vocalist and Single, Song and Video of the Year for "Springsteen." The 46th Annual CMA Awards broadcast live from Nashville on ABC Thursday night at 8 ET.

(ABC Country)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Luke Bryan Keeps Things Spontaneous on All Access Nashville with Katie Couric Airing Friday Night.

Luke Bryan is one of the country stars profiled on ABC's All Access Nashville with Katie Couric Friday night. Though some celebrity interviews may come off as heavily scripted, Luke wants fans to know he's totally off the cuff and spontaneous with interviews like this one. "I don't get briefed on questions," Luke says. "I want people to understand, or whoever's interviewing or whoever's talking to me or whoever's watching me be interviewed, that you're getting a true person that's telling you what's on their brain."
Luke hopes his fans learn more about him through this appearance, and he tries to stay relaxed to provide the best interview possible. Says Luke, "It's just having fun in the situation and being yourself and hopefully people love that type of personality that they're watching." Look for Taylor Swift to make a big announcement during her portion of All Access Nashville too. Carrie Underwood, Reba, Miranda Lambert and her group Pistol Annies and Martina McBride are also featured on Katie's primetime special along with Luke's pal Jason Aldean. ABC's All Access with Katie Couric airs TONIGHT night at 9 ET.

(insert "Screaming Girls Here!)  :)

Is Taylor Swift Never, Ever Going to See Conor Kennedy Again?

Looks like another TAYLOR SWIFT fairytale romance has bit the dust. According to "Us Weekly", Taylor and CONOR KENNEDY broke up about a month ago. Although it may not be nasty enough for her to trash him in a song. A source said, quote, "They quietly parted ways a while ago. It was a distance thing. No hard feelings. They're fine. It's been over a month since they've seen each other. With her promoting her album 'Red', she has no time off [at all]." Of course, a Taylor Swift breakup is always big news, so a couple of other sources jumped on the bandwagon with their take on the breakup. Radar Online claims it's because Conor's too young. An insider said, quote, "Conor's just an 18-year-old kid and wasn't ready for anything super serious, but Taylor's looking for her soul mate and it kind of freaked him out with how strong she came on." They added that Taylor was, quote, "More obsessed with the idea of dating a Kennedy, than the actual Kennedy she was dating." Meanwhile, claims the relationship is NOT officially over. They have a "source" close to Conor who said, quote, "It's more of a break than a breakup. I would not be surprised at all if they get back together. "They are just very busy with what they are doing in their own lives. The distance really got to Taylor, and she wanted to slow things down before ruining any potential future they have together. She is still good with the family and Conor. "Chances are good they'll be back as an item maybe as soon as the holidays when Conor has more free time."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Christina Aguilera Says Blake Shelton is "A Good Country Boy"

Is CHRISTINA AGUILERA saying wonderful things about BLAKE SHELTON because they're super tight or because she's promoting their new duet "Just A Fool"? Yeah, probably both. She told CHELSEA HANDLER, quote, "I adore Blake. All the guys on 'The Voice' and I are close but Blake in particular. We used to have a seat next to each other, we banter a lot, we make jokes, we make fun of the other guys. "He's just a good time, he's a good country boy. We have a song called 'Just A Fool' on the record and it's my first approach at trying a little country."  (BTW--Christina's new album "Lotus" drops November 13th.)

LeAnn Rimes Says She Was "Hurting Badly" Before She Went to Rehab.

You have TWO chances to hear LEANN RIMES talk about what made her decide to go into rehab. She opens up on today's episode of "Katie" and tomorrow night's "All Access Nashville with Katie Couric". One of the things she talked about is how there's no way the public can comprehend what she was going through. She said, quote, "People look at you and go 'why are you struggling?' No one can quite understand why you hurt so badly." It doesn't sound like the interview is a total downer, though. At one point LeAnn declared, quote, "I feel like I am starting over even though I've had all these years behind me.  How many people get to (start) over again in this day and age?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eli Young Band Performs for Wounded Warriors in Nashville; Looking Ahead to CMA Performance.

The Eli Young Band performed for patients at Nashville's VA Hospital last Friday in association with Musicians on Call, an organization that provides live music to people in healthcare facilities. And playing music for those veterans was a real honor for the group, as lead singer Mike Eli said, "It was pretty incredible. I think it was really nice to see the optimism in a lot of these patients' eyes." The group had cameras following them for that first performance as part of a promotion with Nokia Music, so they're now looking forward to going back at some point to sing for the patients unannounced. The group's Jon Jones says, "It feels like we got a lot out of being there, and I know some of them appreciated it. It'll be fun to kind of do more of this." The Eli Young Band has another big performance coming up on November 1 at the CMA Awards. This is their first time performing on the big show, which will air on ABC. "That night's gonna be full of anxiety, and probably a whole lot of nervousness," Mike admits. "It's gonna be hopefully a fun night. Hopefully the nerves don't get to us too bad. " The Eli Young Band is up for CMA's Vocal Group of the Year trophy, while their hit "Even if It Breaks Your Heart" is nominated for Song of the Year.

Don't Be Surprised if Garth Brooks Starts Touring Again

GARTH BROOKS is talking about touring again. He quit the road 10 years ago to stay home with his three daughters. Well, two are away at college and the third sounds like she'd like a little less "hovering", if you know what I mean. Garth told the "Huffington Post", quote, "We've got our youngest baby, this is her junior year, and she's really in touch. She knows all the decisions and she's ready for us to go on the road because she'll be home by herself."

Don't Believe the Rumors . . . Sara Evans Was Not Involved in a Car Wreck

SARA EVANS had to take to her Twitter page yesterday to assure her fans that she was NOT involved in a car crash. She Tweeted, quote, "There's a rumor that I was in a car wreck. It's not true, thank God!"
Turns out it was a 16-year-old from Ohio named Sarah (with an "h") Evans . . . who had the accident last week. Fortunately, she's okay . . . but people got confused. So, to clear things up, our favorite country singer named Sara Evans sent out the previously mentioned Tweet. And for good measure, she posted another Tweet with a photo (above) of her looking fine and doing a promotional tour. Sara wrote, quote, "Doing a satellite TV tour for the AXS TV airing of my show in Naperville, Illinois this Sunday.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Taylor Swift.

TAYLOR SWIFT is permeating the media this week promoting her album"Red" . . . so why not test your Taylor trivia with the "10 Things You Didn't Know About Taylor Swift". A couple of them actually surprised me.

#1.) She's an award-winning poet.
       In the fourth grade, Taylor's poem "Monster In My Closet" placed first in a national poetry contest. Here's the poem: "There's a monster in my closet and I don't know what to do / Have you ever seen him? / Has he ever pounced on you?"

#2.)  Taylor's dad owns 3% of her record label.
        He was an early investor in Big Machine Records.

#3.)  Taylor's brother Austin is a student at Vanderbilt University.
        He transferred from Notre Dame.

#4.) The DIXIE CHICKS were a major influence.
       There are others . . . but she ranks the Chicks way up there.

#5.)  She wrote a novel when she was 12.
        It's 350 pages and it's DONE.

#6.)  Taylor's grandmother on her mom's side was an opera singer.
        Taylor's grandma Marjorie Finlay was an "accomplished opera singer".

#7.)   Her first job involved tons of bugs.
         She knocked praying mantis pods out of trees on her family's Christmas tree farm.

#8.)  Taylor Swift was the first "Saturday Night Live" host to ever write their own monologue.
         It was song she wrote called "My Monologue Song".

#9.) The thought of a real tattoo actually terrifies her.

#10.) She's sort of blind.
         When she's not wearing glasses, she's wearing contact lenses.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jason Aldean Hopes to Someday Put an Entertainer of the Year Trophy on His Shelf

Every country artist wants to win an Entertainer of the Year award, right?  Of course they do. But not all of them will come right out and admit it. So I like it when JASON ALDEAN simply lays his cards on the table. Jason told the "Tennessean", quote, "That award is something that I hope that I can look back and say, 'You know what? I got one of those, even if it is just one.' "For me, I put everything I've had into our live shows and tried to build my career around that. If there's one award to me that means anything else, it's that one." Professionally, Jason had the kind of year that could bring home the big trophy, that is if the CMA voters are willing to ignore his adulterous indiscretion with that former "American Idol" chick Brittany Kerr. If they can't, Jason understands. He says, quote, "I said at SOME point in my career. It doesn't have to be this year. I mean, as much as I think the timing of this could affect that, that's kind of the last thing on my mind right now, too."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jason Aldean's Song "1994" Is a Salute to Joe Diffie . . . and Jason is Doing a Stadium Tour Next Summer

JASON ALDEAN'S new album "Night Train" has a song called "1994" . . . but it's NOT about that particular year. It's actually a salute to one of Jason's musical heroes, JOE DIFFIE. The song name checks a bunch of Joe's hits . . . and even calls out his name repeatedly. CMT asked Joe for his take.  He said, quote, "It's really an honor. When I heard it, I was stunned. "I was like. 'You gotta be kidding me.'  It's pretty flattering they went that far with it. It's one thing to hear a song title or your name mentioned, but when it started into the 'Joe.  Joe.  Joe Diffie' part, that's cool right there." Speaking of Jason Aldean:  He's doing a huge stadium tour next summer . . . and has already announced two big dates. One is Chicago's Wrigley Field . . . and the other is Fenway Park in Boston (Pictured Above). Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett will open.

You can check for updates at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blake Shelton: Country Music vs Today Pop & Rock.

BLAKE SHELTON did an interview with "Cowboys & Indians" magazine . . . and they asked if he agrees that what's coming out of Nashville is today's version of pop music. He does. He said, quote, "Yes, I would say in some ways it is. "You see, with country music, there's two things about it. And I hear CEE LO [GREEN] say this a lot, too, which is interesting because I would consider him a pop/R&B artist. Lyrically, country music is so in-depth. "There are writers who spend days, weeks, months, sometimes a year on one song. And making sure they're writing something special. "Sure, sometimes it might only take 15 minutes.  But they're always making sure they're writing something that connects with people. It's not about a gimmick." He went on to say "It's not over anybody's head. It's easy to sing along to, and it's easy to understand. "When you're in your car and you're driving from work back home, or vice versa, you don't want to think too hard about what you're listening to on the radio. "You want to smile or have a moment when you go back to something in your life that you like to remember. "I think with pop and rock these days the music gets away from that a little bit. Don't get me wrong: I think there's some great pop music overall. But I think there's so much emphasis on the writing in country music. That's the difference."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Miranda Lambert Is Still Not Ready To Be Pregnant and Blake Recorded a Song with Christina Aguilera

Some Country critics say "Oh, how we wish MIRANDA LAMBERT and BLAKE SHELTON would stop with the excuses and start popping out some sassy little offspring." Actually, their excuse is a solid answer . . . they're way too busy to give kids the attention they need. Miranda tells "Good Housekeeping", quote, "We've been married almost a year and a half, but have only been in the same place together for about five months. I don't want to raise a child on a bus or in L.A. I want to be a little more settled." Miranda does leave the door open a little bit, though. She adds, quote, "Part of me thinks I should try to plan it, and part of me thinks God has a plan for my life, so why would I ever try to maneuver that?" -By the way . . . Blake Shelton recorded a song with his "Voice" co-star CHRISTINA AGUILERA. It's called "Just A Fool", and it'll be on Christina's new album "Lotus", which is due out November 13th.

Jennifer Nettles Announces Lineup and Charity Component for This Year's CMA Country Christmas.

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland returns as host of the CMA Country Christmas special again this year.  The show will tape November 3 in Nashville and air this holiday season on ABC. Along with performances from Jennifer, the show lineup also includes Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry and Keith Urban. Pop star Colbie Caillat, R&B singer John Legend and Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins are also on the bill. Fans attending the show taping are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys for underprivileged children in the Nashville area this holiday season too. Jennifer says, "It is such a joy to watch this holiday special grow -- in not only its talent roster, but moreover in its charitable celebration of the season." Jennifer will also be very pregnant when the show tapes November. She's expecting her first child later that month, so don't expect her to dance like she did on last year's CMA Country Christmas. "It will be slower this year," Jennifer says with a laugh, "but you know what, it will be just as celebratory and just as fun for me." Jennifer's also thinking about her on camera wardrobe for the show. "You think, 'Alright, what am I going to be able to move in?' What's going to look halfway flattering, you hope, especially on television." If anything, this year's CMA Country Christmas will give Jennifer a chance to really document the time she was pregnant as part of a highly-produced TV special. She says, "When else is the timing, who knows if it will ever coincide in the same way again, and I think that's obviously, personally, I'm saying that's very special." We'll let you know once ABC announces an airdate for the CMA Country Christmas special.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Women Are More Likely to Go Out With a Guy If He's Wearing a Purple Shirt?

According to a survey by a detergent company, if you want to pull chicks, wear a purple shirt. Women are twice as likely as guys to reject a possible date because of what they're wearing . . . and women are more likely to say yes to a guy if he's wearing a purple shirt when he asks her out. The next most successful color is black, followed by white. Guys are LEAST likely to get a girl to say yes if they wear blue or pink.
Just ask Justin Beiber! Or....NOT!!! LOL! Good Luck Guys!

Darius Rucker's Grand Ole Opry Induction Airing Live on GAC TONIGHT!

Darius Rucker will be inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry tonight, and GAC is airing it live. The special edition of Noteworthy at the Opry airs at 9 p.m. ET. Vince Gill and Martina McBride are also slated to perform on the show. A pre-taped look back at Darius's career and well wishes from the likes of Brad Paisley will also be part of GAC program. As a new member of the Opry, Darius promises to keep up his end of the bargain performing at the Opry on a regular basis. He says, "I’m dedicated to this.  I’m not the kind of guy who becomes a member and then gets lost. That’s not how I live.” When Darius stands on that Opry stage for his induction, he'll be thinking about the long line of country legends that have gone before him too. He says actually being a member now is "pretty damn awesome."

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'll Have One Large Pie with Cheese...and Taylor Swift, Please.

What's better than fresh, hot pizza, delivered to your door?  Eating the pizza while listening to Taylor Swift's new album, Red.  The singer is teaming with Papa John's pizza to offer fans some special deals on her music and merchandise. Right now at PapaJohns/TaylorSwift, fans can check out Taylor's latest video, shop for Taylor merchandise, and get 25% off of menu items using a special promo code, 25RED.  In addition, starting on October 22, you'll be able to buy a large one-topping pizza and Taylor's album for 22 bucks in-store or online. The artwork for Red will also appear on Papa John's pizza boxes. In a statement, Taylor says, "I’m excited to be partnering with Papa John’s for the launch of my album, Red. I love the idea that fans can order my CD with their pizzas.”

George Strait Sells Out Six Shows on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour!

Six shows on George Strait's The Cowboy Rides Away tour sold out in just a few hours when tickets went on sale Friday. The first concert on January 18 in Lubbock, TX sold out in just 15 minutes. George says, "I never expected the fans would react like this. It’s just incredible. I really do have the best fans in the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the road very soon.” Martina McBride is the opening act for George's last major tour, which will run through 2014.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Luke Bryan Launching Dirt Road Diaries Tour in January

Luke Bryan is set to launch his Dirt Road Diaries tour January 17 in Evansville, IN with special guests Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line. Tickets for the first 20 dates go on sale beginning Friday, October 26. This is Luke's first major headlining tour, and he says, "I have dreamed about this day for a very long time. We are having the best time putting together all the bells & whistles for the tour." Luke wraps up his time opening for Jason Aldean on the My Kinda Party October 27 in Dallas, TX.

Keep Updated On Tour Dates! Click Here!

Don't Bring a Sign to a Carrie Underwood Concert Asking Her To Kiss You . . . Because It's Not Going to Happen

It was kind of cute when CARRIE UNDERWOOD kissed that 12-year-old boy who held up a homemade sign at her show last month in Louisville, Kentucky.  But don't go making up your own goofy sign thinking it's going to happen to you. Carrie told the "Orange County Register" that she will NOT be kissing any other fans regardless of how creative they get. And that goes for signs asking to her sing happy birthday to you, or go to the prom . . . or whatever. However, if you'd like some action from Carrie's opening act HUNTER HAYES, well, she actually encourages you to pursue that one. Carrie says, quote, "He's young, he should have fun."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alex Karras, Actor, Ex-NFL Star, Dead at 77

Alex Karras, the Detroit Lions football star-turned-actor, has died, ABC News Radio has confirmed. He was 77. Karras was reported to be ill and near death just a few days ago.  His lawyer, Craig Mitnik, tells ABC News Radio, "He was an amazing man in everything he did.  He fought really, really hard through his dementia and cancer.” Karras was with the Lions from 1958–1962 and from 1964-1970, and was part of the 1962 Lions' vaunted "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line. In 1968, he played himself in the movie Paper Lion, which kick-started his acting career. After Karras was released by the Lions in 1971, he turned to acting full-time. Among Karras' most memorable roles are Mongo, the loveable bully who punched out a horse in the 1974 Mel Brooks classic Blazing Saddles, and George, the adoptive father of Emmanuel Lewis' title character on the sitcom Webster.  His real-life wife, Susan Clark, played his wife in that series. Karras also had a notable role in the film Victor/Victoria, playing a closeted gay bodyguard.
Karras also appeared in the movies Against All Odds and Porky's. His TV work also included roles in M*A*S*H, Centennial, Arlis$$ and The Odd Couple.

The 2012 ACA Nominations Have Been Announced

The nominations are out for the "2012 American Country Awards" . . . and LUKE BRYAN is your top dog with seven nominations . . . mostly thanks to his song "I Don't Want this Night to End", which picked up four nods on its own. Right behind Luke with six nominations apiece are LADY ANTEBELLUM and the ZAC BROWN BAND . . . and then ERIC CHURCH and TAYLOR SWIFT each have five nominations. This is a fan-voted awards show, so they're asking you to pick the winners. You can vote once a day from now until November 12th . . . except in the Artist of the Year category. You can vote on that one until December 7th. You can cast your vote at You will have to give up your email.(--Check out the nominations here.) The very tall TRACE ADKINS and very tiny KRISTIN CHENOWETH are returning as your hosts. The show airs December 10th at 8:00 P.M. on Fox.

Toby Keith Wants His Opening Acts to "Beg" For the Slot!

Next time you see a TOBY KEITH concert, you can be sure of one thing . . . the opening act really, and I mean REALLY wanted that slot . . . because Toby wouldn't have it any other way. Toby hired BRANTLEY GILBERT to open his "Live In Overdrive Tour" because the guy literally begged for it.
Toby said, quote, "I always want somebody on the tour that wants to be there. That's the guy that you want because it's gonna be a long tour if somebody don't want to be there. "If they're just there to help their career then you've got a bunch of people walking around like zombies backstage. "You want somebody that you can mingle with, hang out with, maybe write a song with and that camaraderie and stuff, it has to be there and it makes the tour a wonderful thing if you can do that."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brad Paisley Will Fulfill the Wish of a Dying Man . . . By Playing the Guy's Custom-Made Guitar on His Next Album.

It's pretty cool when entertainers take the time to bring light into someone's life. This is one of those times.  A Pennsylvania man suffering from terminal cancer had a dying wish to have BRAD PAISLEY play his prized custom-made guitar. The man's name is Lee Feldman and he told York, Pennsylvania's WPMT-TV, quote, "I had this dream. And I said, 'Who can I find that can play the frets off a guitar?' And the voice came out and it said, 'Brad Paisley.'" Word got back to Brad and they met before his concert last Saturday. Brad agreed to play the guitar in a song on his next album. Feldman is very pleased. He said, quote, "That's the greatest thing I wanted to hear. I don't want that guitar to be a trophy. I didn't want it to sit and collect dust. I want somebody to play it and that's why I gave it to him."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Price Of Playing Football...

Alex Karras, the former NFL All-Pro defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions who went on to a successful acting career with memorable roles as Mongo in Blazing Saddles and Emmanuel Lewis’s dad in the TV sitcom Webster, is near death, the Detroit News reports. Tom McInerney Sr. a longtime friend, told the newspaper Monday night that Karras suffered kidney failure recently and only has a few days to live.  Karras is married to actress Susan Clark, his co-star from Webster. The newspaper reports Karras suffers from dementia and is part of a players' lawsuit against the NFL over concussion-related illnesses.
Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand released a statement Monday, saying, “The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras. Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.” Lewand’s statement continued, “We know Alex first and foremost as one of the cornerstones to our Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s and also as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL. Many others across the country came to know Alex as an accomplished actor and as an announcer during the early years of Monday Night Football.”
“We join his legions of fans from both sports and entertainment in prayer and support for Alex, his wife Susan, and his entire family during this most difficult time,” the statement concluded.

Neil Young Almost Made the Pistol Annies "Pee Their Pants"! LOL!!

It's always nice to get props . . . but it means a hell of a lot more when it comes from someone you respect!
That happened to the PISTOL ANNIES when they found out NEIL YOUNG wrote about them in his book "Waging Heavy Peace:  A Hippie Dream".  In one passage, Neil quoted the lyrics to their song "Hell On Heels". He wrote, quote, "I heard the Pistol Annies sing about reasons why they're broke and so who would invest in their future? One's drinkin', one's smokin', one's taking pills. Well, they are writing their asses off. I know that." ANGALEENA PRESLEY fired off a big thank you to Neil on her Twitter page. She wrote, quote, "@Neil Young. You are one of the greats who taught me how to 'write my ass off.'  I kindly and humbly thank you." The rest of the Annies added this Tweet, quote, "Thank You @neilyoung for publicly appreciating our lyrics. We about peed our pants when we read your compliment. Your art inspires our art."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stupid New Photo Trend: "Splitting" is Like Planking, But While Doing a Full Split!

As part of our responsibility to tell you about all the latest stupid online PHOTO TRENDS, we have to report the latest. This one comes out of China and it's called SPLITTING. litting is basically like planking, but instead of lying flat and face down, you take photos of yourself in interesting places while doing a FULL SPLIT. So you could say it's like planking but with more pulled groins. Right now the trend is huge in China, but it could start popping up over here now too. Yes, China now dictates OUR pop culture instead of the other way around.

UPDATE: Tanya Tucker Postpones NY Shows

This may be why TANYA TUCKER canceled her December 9th show in Oneonta, New York. found out that Tanya's mom passed away. Click the link for the full story.

Eric Church Is Not Afraid to Admit That His Biggest Influences Are Rock Stars Like Bob Seger, AC/DC and Black Sabbath.

I get a little annoyed when old school artists complain that country music isn't what it used to be. Of course it's not. That would be boring. So props to ERIC CHURCH for pushing the idea that change in country music is a good thing. Eric told the "Detroit News", quote, "I've always felt like evolution was a great part of the growth of country music. Yeah, I grew up on country, but I also grew up on AC/DC, Metallica, Pantera and Black Sabbath." And even though Eric has opened for a lot of big name country acts . . . like Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean, he's not afraid to admit his biggest influence as a performer was touring with BOB SEGER. Eric said, quote, "Bob came out there with sound and lights, that's it; and when he walked out there the place went (super) crazy. "It was about the music, it was about the energy in the room. Those were the loudest shows I played that year, and I played with everybody."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dreams REALLY DO come true...

There aren't many professional singers who can hold their own with MARTINA MCBRIDE. So how awesome was it when Martina let a 13-year-old join her on stage for a song. AND the girl totally nailed it!!
Her name is Kate Falcon and she was at Martina's show last Friday in Nashville. Martina invited her up to the stage and they did Martina's song "Anyway". They trade verses early on and then Martina was so impressed she turned it over to the girl and actually took a seat.

Only in Country Music can this kind of magical moment happen for a 13 year old girl!

Jerrod Niemann Donated Musical Instruments to New York City's PS 22!

A lot of famous people visit the "kid chorus" at New York City's PS22. And I mean famous. The kids have hung with Oprah,Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood and Gym Class Heroes to name a few. And yet, NONE of them came through like JERROD NIEMANNJerrod stopped in to perform with the "kid chorus". He also came bearing gifts. Jerrod DONATED a brand new set of drums and a new piano to the school's music program . . . and it was a total surprise!

Country Music comes though in a BIG way THANKS To Jerrod Neimann! Jerrod, you are a class act!
No pun intended! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tanya Tucker postpones New York show...

Due to some undisclosed illness, TANYA TUCKER is postponing her December 9th show in Oneonta, New York.  I know, it's two months away, which would suggest it's something serious.  But remember, it's postponed, not canceled.  It's been moved to August 17th of next year.  I suspect we'll hear more, eventually. 


Taylor Swift Wants to Have Four Kids . . . And She Donated $10,000 to a School for the Deaf.

Part of TAYLOR SWIFT'S plans to rule the world include passing her DNA onto future generations.  "Marie Claire" asked for her take on "Forbes" magazine's report earlier this year that she was highest paid celebrities under 30. She said, quote, "That money will be really good for sending my kids to college some day . . . or maybe I'll have a few more kids than I thought. I want a bunch of them running around, minimum four." Unfortunately, the world is going to have to be patient. She adds, quote, "I want to wait a while, but the idea of pouring everything you are into another person when you become a parent has always been amazing to me." By the way . . . you may have heard how some goofs tried to sabotage a contest where a school would win a Taylor Swift concert. They got people to cast tons of Facebook votes for the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. The bad joke being it's live music for the hearing impaired. Yeah, not funny. But Taylor made it backfire by donating an extra $10,000 to the school . . . and each student gets a ticket to her next concert.  (--You can read more about it here.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Darius Rucker Accepts Invitation to Join Grand Ole Opry.

Congratulations to Darius Rucker, who accepted an invitation to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night. Opry member Brad Paisley surprised Darius with the invite during Tuesday night's show as part of a fake question and answer session. Brad stood up in the audience and popped the question to Darius, and he said yes to the Opry invite. Darius shed tears at the good news. He said backstage after the invite, "I was totally, totally taken by surprise today, and I’m amazed that everybody in my life knew, and they’re all here. I didn’t know any of them were here until I walked off the stage."
As for getting the invitation from his pal Brad, Darius says, "There is nobody in the business that I would have wanted to do that more than Brad Paisley. If I was to choose the person to ask me to join, it would’ve been Brad." Brad later tweeted that inviting Darius to join the Opry was one of the greatest honors of his life. He told his friend, "Welcome to your new home pal." Darius's Opry induction will air live on GAC's Noteworthy at the Opry on the night of October 16. Darius is the first African American artist to join the Opry since Charley Pride became a member in 1993.

Check Out The Video!

Toby Keith Reveals Why He Passed on American Idol Judge Gig.

Toby Keith was one of the country stars rumored to be in the running for a spot on the American Idol judges panel next season, and he now confirms those rumors were true. The spot ultimately went to Keith Urban, but Toby didn't take long to pass on the opportunity. It's not that Toby was unhappy with the financial aspect of the deal. He says, "It's a great big TV show.  Lucrative deal.  Lot of money, but it's a lot of time." The American Idol judges panel has been working for a few weeks now, and they won't be done until the next season wraps in May 2013. That was just too much for Toby, who will release his new album, Hope on the Rocks, on October 30. "I know three weeks in that I'd be going, 'I can't believe I did this.  I am so mad at myself.  I knew better,'" Toby says. "And so, instead of even thinking about it or letting somebody down, allow them to move on and get who they want." The new season of American Idol premieres in January with Keith Urban sitting next to new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey and returning judge Randy Jackson.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blake Shelton's Cheers, It's Christmas Features Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Reba, Michael Buble and Blake's Mother.

Blake Shelton's new holiday album, Cheers, It's Christmas, is in stores this week featuring guest appearances from his wife Miranda Lambert and her group Pistol Annies as well as from Kelly Clarkson and his mother Dorothy.  Blake also wanted to record a song with Reba on the album about their shared home state of Oklahoma at Christmastime.  The only problem with that was Blake didn't know any songs about an Oklahoma holiday.That's when his bass player Rob, his fiddle player Jenee and another songwriter friend Trent set out to write one. Blake says, "The three of 'em sat down, and a couple of weeks later I got an email from Rob that said, 'Listen to this.' And they had written this song called 'Oklahoma Christmas.'" Blake loved the song, which includes a lot of inside references for his fellow Oklahomans.
"Being born and raised in Oklahoma, I could not have written that song any better myself," Blake says.  "I mean, there's a lot of inside jokes and things that you'd have to be from Oklahoma to even understand."
Blake also includes a duet version of "Home" with Michael Buble on Cheers, It's Christmas.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Big & Rich Premiering Four New Videos in Hillbilly Hijack Special October 5 on CMT!

Big & Rich will unveil four new videos from their latest album, Hillbilly Jedi, during a CMT special coming up Friday, October 5. The duo gave four directors a limited budget and a small window of time to come up with videos for the album tracks "Party Like Cowboys," "Born Again," "Lay It All on Me" and "Cheat on You." Other Big & Rich videos will be featured on their Hillbilly Hijack special. Check your local listings for air time.

Jerrod Niemann Launching New Album, Free the Music, with New York City Performances!

Jerrod Niemann is headed to New York City to launch his new album, Free the Music, hitting stores Tuesday. Look for Jerrod to appear on CBS This Morning...This Morning!. That night, Jerrod is set to perform a show at New York's Housing Works Bookstore Café to raise funds to fight AIDS and homelessness in the city. On Tuesday, Jerrod will head over to Staten Island to sing with the kids at PS 22. The students there have performed with the likes of Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Stevie Nicks and Katy Perry in the past. They've also been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Oscars and more. Free the Music features Jerrod's latest hit, "Shinin' on Me."

ALSO! Don't forget! Jerrod is going to be at The Chance in Poughkeepsie on November 16th! Get your tickets today at The Cance box office or at!!