Friday, September 28, 2012

Reba McEntire Is Not Hosting Next Year's ACM Awards . . . Will Blake Shelton Go It Alone?

REBA MCENTIRE announced she is not going to host next year's ACM Awards. Reba and BLAKE SHELTON co-hosted the last two ACMs...and she's already anointed him as her successor.
Shetold "Country Weekly", quote, "I've passed the torch to Blake. I'm a huge Blake Shelton fan." Blake hasn't said anything about this yet . . . but he seems to have a plan. At least that's what the ACMs are saying. They released this statement, quote, "Reba has hosted the ACM Awards a record 14 times since 1986, and we fully understand and support her decision to focus her energies on her new television project.
 "We've known about this for a while and have something very special planned with Blake returning . . . he's got something big up his sleeve . . . that we’ll be announcing soon. Stay tuned!"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

George Strait Announces Final Tour Launching January 18 in Lubbock, Texas

George Strait will launch his final big tour January 18, 2013 in Lubbock, TX with special guest Martina McBride. The Cowboy Rides Away tour will run into 2014, but this doesn't mean George is retiring. He still plans to record new music and play select shows once the tour is finished. George made the big announcement Wednesday at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. He says, "This is going to be a very special, emotional tour for me. Everywhere we’re going holds fond memories and I’m looking forward to paying my respects.” The first 20 dates have been announced and more shows will be added. The initial dates include an April 17 show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo featuring opening act Randy Rogers Band and Martina. Here's the itinerary:

Click Here For The Tour Dates!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and More Join Celebs Singing ‘Hey Jude’ to Help the Children of St. Jude


Some of country music’s most beloved stars have joined their fellow celebrities from the world of entertainment in recording a new version of the Beatles classic ‘Hey Jude’ to help raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A new clip released online shows Alabama front man Randy Owen, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Big and Rich and Darius Rucker all contributing lines to the new track, which is encouraging fans to donate money to help fight childhood disease. The verses culminate with comic actor Robin Williams delivering the song’s climactic scream before the children of St. Jude and members of the staff are joined for the chorus by a host of stars from TV and film, including Betty White, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres and Marlo Thomas, whose father Danny Thomas founded St. Jude.
Thomas’s son Tony Thomas produced the ‘Hey St. Jude’ video, which was created to highlight September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. St. Jude is one of the most important children’s charities in the world, providing free treatment to children suffering from catastrophic disease and leading the scientific world in research into cures and prevention. For a donation of $35, you can not only support the needs of sick children, you will also receive a t-shirt like the one in the ‘Hey Jude’ clip. For more information, visit this link.

(Taste Of Country)

UPDATE: Jana Kramer Is Totally Playing Down Her Relationship with Brantley Gilbert.

BRANTLEY GILBERT was such a "happy man" when he opened up about dating JANA KRAMER.  Too bad Jana isn't experiencing the same kind of joy. She was at the ACM Honors Red Carpet on Monday and Country Music Tattle-Tale asked for her take on Brantley "outing" their relationship. She couldn't have played it down any further. She said, quote, "You know what, we're just having fun." ???? And there's more. They asked about Brantley saying the two of them will walk the CMA Red Carpet together. She shot that to hell and said, quote, "No, we're not going to be walking the carpet together."

Okay...something's fishy here. I'll keep you posted...

-Hammer

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TOBY KEITH ALERT! New Album Drops Sooner Than Expected!

TOBY KEITH has moved up the release of his album "Hope On The Rocks" to October 30th. Why?  Because everyone loves, just loves, his song "I Like Girls That Drink Beer".

(TobyKeith.com)

Thomas Rhett is Marrying His Childhood Sweetheart Next Month.

THOMAS RHETT is getting married next month and it's an interesting story. The girl's name is Lauren Gregory and they met in first grade. Dated when they were teenagers and then hooked back up last year.
Thomas says, quote, "We've know each other since we were in the first grade. We dated once when we were 15, and it didn't work out. We both dated other people for like five years. "When I heard that she had ended her other relationship I moved in for the kill. We kissed, and that was it."

On A side note...I Met Thomas at Eisenhower Hall. He's a great guy AND put on a great show! Best of luck to you both!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan Look Forward to Tonight's ACM Honors

Dierks Bentley steps into the role of emcee for tonight's ACM Honors at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  He took the gig because some of his musical heroes, including Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam are being recognized at the event. Says Dierks, "When I saw that, I was like, I'm in 'cause all of those people have had influences on me one way or the other." Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Vince Gill are among the other stars being recognized at the ACM Honors, so Dierks can count on a music industry-heavy audience."I don't know what I've gotten myself into, but we'll see," Dierks says with a laugh. "Hopefully I don't screw it up too bad." Don't expect Dierks to expand this hosting gig into other roles similar to Blake Shelton on The Voice or Keith Urban on American Idol though. Dierks was actually approached to compete on Dancing with the Stars a few years ago and turned it down. It isn't just his complete lack of dancing skills, Dierks simply doesn't have time to focus on anything but his music.
He says, "I love writing songs. I love being in a band and being on the road. I don't know where the time would come from. You'd have to create more time." Luke Bryan will perform at the ACM Honors with his pal Dallas Davidson, who is this year's ACM Songwriter of the Year. They've penned some of Luke's biggest hits together including "I Don't Want This Night to End," "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)" and "Rain Is a Good Thing." Luke says, "The history between he and I is just so deep. It’s amazing, I mean, that I can have the opportunity to honor him on that night and do some of our songs." Luke and Dallas have written a few new songs that Luke is putting on his next studio album too. Hunter Hayes, Kellie Pickler, Jana Kramer, Randy Houser, Love and Theft, Big Kenny and Clint Black are among the other stars participating in ACM Honors as either performers or presenters. Catch itt tonight at 7 on ABC!

Brantley Gilbert And Jana Kramer Are Dating


It's good to be BRANTLEY GILBERT and I'm not saying that because he's selling records and touring and silly stuff like that. No, it's because he is dating the smoking hot JANA KRAMER. Sources were tipped off that something was going on between the two of them so they asked Brantley straight up. He came clean. He said, "That's right, brother. Yes, I am with Jana Kramer. I am a very happy man."
Brantley's been very happy for a while. They hooked up at the CMT Music awards back in June and they're planning to do the "couple thing" at the CMA Awards, which is November 1st. Brantley said, quote, "We're going to sit together, yeah. We're gonna walk the red carpet."

Jake Owen Likes To Keep In Touch With His Fans On Twitter!

JAKE OWEN likes to stay actively connected to his fans on Twitter and Facebook. And every so often he'll reward one of them with free tickets to a show. So, obviously, Jake sees the social networks as a valuable resource. He says, quote, "I try to reach out to as many people as possible, whether it be Twitter or through my fan club or at shows. "On a daily basis I am constantly trying to figure out another way to connect to another person, in order for them to say, 'You know, he's a good guy. We believe in what he’s saying, we believe in what he's doing.'" And he believes that connection with his fans is responsible for his success. He says, quote, "Whether you have a record deal or not, there's a million and one people way more talented than I am. "And why I have the things going for me right now that I do, I don't know, other than I know that I work hard and I appreciate it."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Keith Urban Was On a Singing Competition As a Nine-Year-Old...And One of the Judges "Crucified" Him

KEITH URBAN is NOT going to be a hard-a** judge on "American Idol". The reason is because he competed on a singing show in Australia as a kid and one of the judges brutalized him. Keith said, quote, "I did a show when I was 9. I actually did a show in Australia, one of these kinds of shows with three judges, and one of them just completely crucified me. "He also said to me, 'I encourage you to get out of country music, just get rid of that nonsense [and] get into some real music.' I obviously took it to heart." As for what Keith DID learn from that judge,  he says, quote, "I know that I'll never be THAT guy."

What's Your Favorite Country Song with "Beer" In The Title?


It's been a great year for beer songs, so Taste of Country decided to do a poll. They asked fans to vote for their favorite song of 2012 that has the word beer in the title. They came up with five. Here they are, in no particular order . . .

1.)  "I Like Girls That Drink Beer", Toby Keith

2.)  "Save Water, Drink Beer", Chris Young

3.)  "Beer Money", Kip Moore

4.)  "Beer With Jesus", Thomas Rhett

5.)  "Beers Ago", Toby Keith

Toby Keith Reunited a Soldier and His Wife at One of His Concerts.

This happened a little over a week ago, but it's just getting around. It's a video of TOBY KEITH surprising a military wife who thought her husband was still on duty in Afghanistan. Toby pulled the woman out of the audience and asked her to hang around and help him sing "American Soldier". When the song ended her husband, Major Pete Cruz, came walking from the back of the stage and totally surprised her. It's beyond moving to see how much they missed each other. Have the box of tissues ready. Way to go Toby!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blake Shelton's Success on The Voice Influencing Direction of His Next Album.

Blake Shelton's latest #1 hit, "Over," leans a bit more in the pop direction, and he might not have released the song to radio had it not been for his increased exposure on NBC's The Voice.  Blake sees that song, which is included on his album Red River Blue, as a kind of bridge from country to the pop and rock fans he's picked up as a TV star. It's not that Blake is catering to the pop audience just because of The Voice. He says, "I made Red River Blue album before The Voice even happened.  We were done with that record, and it just kind of happened that way." Now that Blake is back in the studio working on a new album, he finds himself reeling in the pop sound in favor of a return to more country-oriented styles. "I don't want to ever lose my core out there, you know what I mean," Blake explains.  "I don't want them to feel like, 'Oh, you know, he's Hollywood now.'" Don't expect Blake to put out a hardcore country album though.  He's determined to keep up his streak of seven consecutive #1 hits that started back in 2009 with "Hillbilly Bone." Says Blake, "The most important thing that I have going in my life right now is this momentum at radio. It's just so exciting. That's way more important to me than The Voice or any other things that I may have going on."

Taylor Swift is the Country Artist with the Most Twitter Followers. But You Probably Can't Guess Who's Number Two.


The website MusicRow.com keeps track of how many Twitter followers each country star has. It's an exhaustive list that goes all the way to 100. It's no surprise that TAYLOR SWIFT is #1 with over 18 million followers. No one else is even close. But I was blown away when I saw DOLLY PARTON coming in second with a little over two million followers. Not disappointed, just surprised. I thought it would be Twitter addict BLAKE SHELTON  . . . who is third with a little under than two million. But I AM calling foul on #4, JENNETTE MCCURDY. Yes, she released a country album . . . but she's only ranked that high because she plays Sam on Nickelodeon's "iCarly", starring MIRANDA COSGROVE. Anyway, here is your Top 10:

#1.)  Taylor Swift . . . 18,703,353
#2.)  Dolly Parton . . . 2,155,012
#3.)  Blake Shelton . . . 1,947,246
#4.)  Jennette McCurdy . . . 1,498,817
#5.)  Miranda Lambert . . . 1,361,744
#6.)  Kenny Chesney . . . 1,006,647
#7.)  Billy Ray Cyrus . . . 998,333
#8.)  Brad Paisley . . . 929,711
#9.)  Lady Antebellum . . . 863,201
#10.)  Carrie Underwood . . . 769,764

A couple of this year's biggest stars just missed the Top 10. LUKE BRYAN was 11th with over 748,000 followers and JASON ALDEAN was right behind at #12, with close to 695,000.

By the way...you can follow the Wolf on Facebook & Twitter by simply visiting our website!

www.hudsonvalleycountry.com

- Hammer

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kelly Clarkson Will Record More Country Music. But Don't Expect Her to Abandon Pop

KELLY CLARKSON is always getting asked if she plans to switch from pop to country. And it picked up steam earlier this month when she was nominated for a CMA Best Female Vocalist award. Well, Kelly's answer is that she's sticking with both. She says, quote, "I think we're going to try and do (some) songs just for country music, and keep doing stuff for pop, as well. For me, if it's a great song, let's just cut it, and not worry about where it lands. Whatever it ends up sounding like, that's great. "As long as it's a natural thing, and it's something I love, I'm totally cool with doing it." Kelly's been getting a lot of love from country fans lately, but that won't change her course. She says, quote, "I have a great career. I never want to compromise my career just to get more fans. I think that's cheesy, and I think it's transparent, as well."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Luke Bryan Almost Choked To Death On a Piece of Flatbread Pizza!


It might be time for you to brush up on your Heimlich maneuver skills, because you never know when a famous country star may be choking on some pizza at the table next to you. That's what happened recently to LUKE BRYAN. He tells "People Country", quote, "I had a friend do the Heimlich on me last Monday in a pizza restaurant.  It was pretty freaky there for about 30 seconds. "A piece of flatbread pizza flaked off and got lodged in my airway, and I went down. He picked me up and got it out of there."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Justin Moore is NOT going to court.

JUSTIN MOORE says he has NOT been served legal papers on that lawsuit from a songwriter claiming he co-wrote Justin's hit "Backwoods". He's also pretty confident the whole thing is frivolous. He says, quote, "I know and the good Lord knows that we wrote that song and didn't steal it from anybody." 
(Taste of Country)

Hunter Hayes' Hit "Wanted" Has Turned Into a Wedding Song Favorite.


I once heard ROBERT PLANT refer to LED ZEPPELIN'S "Stairway to Heaven" as "the wedding song". Meaning that it went from being something hip . . . to the silly song your drunk Uncle Tony dances to at your cousin's reception. Well, HUNTER HAYES says his song "Wanted" has become a wedding favorite . . . but he isn't the least bit disappointed about it. He says, quote, "This one girl actually sent me a Facebook message at the time and she said, 'I just want you to know, my fiancĂ©e and I have been looking for our first dance, the perfect first dance, fighting over it the whole time.' "And she said, 'For the first time ever we looked at each other halfway through this song and we both knew what we were thinking and we both want this to be our first dance at our wedding.'"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jerry Lawler Is In Stable Condition, But Hasn't Spoken Since His Heart Attack Monday Night


WWE Announcer JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER had three stents placed in blocked arteries yesterday and remains heavily sedated at a Montreal hospital since suffering a heart attack during "Monday Night Raw". He remains in critical but stable condition. There was some good news yesterday, though.  Lawler's ex-wife Stacy Carter (--A former WWE Diva who wrestled under the name of "The Kat") posted a message on Facebook. She said doctors removed his ventilation and took him out of sedation, and he was RESPONSIVE . . . which is obviously a good thing. But she added that it took a while for paramedics to revive him Monday night, so there's concern about possible BRAIN DAMAGE. She said, quote, "He had some tests done which will show how much if any damage there is due to the lack of oxygen to his brain. Unfortunately, the results won't be in until in the morning (9/12/12)." If Lawler does survive this, it's probably because he had his heart attack at work. WWE events are stocked with medical personnel, who were able to start treating Lawler immediately. Lawler is 62 years old, and still wrestles occasionally, both for WWE and on smaller, independent shows. He'd just had a match on "Raw" about 45 minutes before he collapsed.

Personal Note: I have been fortunate enough to have met Jerry Lawler a few times over the past few years. Jerry is a genuinely nice man and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Scientists Have Figured Out a Way to Make Cockroaches Search for Disaster Victims!


Scientists at North Carolina State University have come up with a new way to search for disaster victims.
Since it's dangerous to send people into collapsed buildings . . . and it would take too long to clear the debris away to look for survivors . . . researchers have found a way to send in remote-controlled cockroaches to find victims. These aren't drones or tiny robots that look like bugs . . . they're ACTUAL COCKROACHES! The scientists attach a tiny circuit board to the roach, which allows them to control it with wireless signals. And the cockroach receives the signals through its antennae. One of the scientists said controlling the roach was, quote, "similar to riding a horse."

Taylor Swift Releasing Deluxe Edition of Red at Target.

Taylor Swift will release an exclusive deluxe edition of her fourth album Red at Target on October 22. The expanded version includes three new songs and three remixes of songs from Red. Taylor says, "One of the toughest things about putting together an album is having to make the final song choices. I love that putting out a Deluxe Edition at Target lets me give the fans even more music." The deluxe edition of Red will be available for pre-order on September 16. E! has posted a photo of Taylor appearing to fly in an upcoming Target commercial for the album too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th...2012


Sometimes feelings of pain and sadness seem to never fade. But believe me, they do. Sometimes it's a good day and sometimes it's not. That's normal. I have never fully moved on from the passing of my parents. I miss them as much today as I did the day after they were gone from my life. With 9/11, so many people lost their life and so many families lost their loved ones. Their pain has not gone away yet either. But, the one thing that we have, is each other. Help comfort those who need comforting. Be strong for those who feel weak. On this day, put aside petty differences and help those who need help. Be strong for the weak and comfort those who mourn. If you can do that today, why not do it tomorrow and all the days after that. We will never forget those who lost their life on September 11, 2001. To all those who may feel weak, we are all here to be your strenght. To all those who stiil mourn, we are all here to comfort you. May God Bless you and your families and may God Bless America.

-Hammer

Carrie Underwood is the Sexiest Female In Country Music And Chris Young is the Sexiest Male . . . According to the Readers of Taste of Country.


TasteofCountry.com asked their readers to vote for the sexiest country stars. There were 10 female choices and 10 males. CARRIE UNDERWOOD smoked her competition . . . while CHRIS YOUNG nudged out his.

Here is the percentage of the total votes each FEMALE received . . .
1.)  Carrie Underwood . . . 41.81%
2.)  Miranda Lambert . . . 15.89%
3.)  Kellie Pickler . . . 9.59%
4.)  Hillary Scott . . . 8.85%
5.)  Jessie James . . . 7.5%
6.)  Sara Evans . . . 5.79%
7.)  Jana Kramer . . . 4.85%
8.)  Julianne Hough . . . 3.58%
9.)  LeAnn Rimes . . . 1.74%
10.)  Ashley Monroe . . . 0.4%

The race was a little closer on the male side. Here is the percentage of the total votes each MALE received:
1.)  Chris Young . . . 25.92%
2.)  Trace Adkins . . . 22.02%
3.)  Luke Bryan . . . 20.36%
4.)  Tim McGraw . . . 10.18%
5.)  Keith Urban . . . 6.43%
6.)  Blake Shelton . . . 5.45%
7.)  George Strait . . . 3.97%
8.)  Jake Owen . . . 3.85%
9.)  Kip Moore . . . 1.21%
10.)  Charles Kelley . . . 0.62%

Jason Aldean Takes Fans Inside His Tennessee Home.


Jason Aldean opens the doors of his 5,000-square foot, 18-acre Tennessee retreat for the latest issue of People Country. "I had a good time doing the shoot and having everybody come out to the house," he says. "It gives the fans an inside look at my place and my life offstage, which I thought was great." A day with the Aldeans might include riding four-wheelers with daughters 9-year-old Keeley and 5-year-old Kendyl, or teaching the girls to fish. Jason says he and his wife Jessica often sneak away for daytime dates to grab a burger or a sandwich while the kids are at school. Evenings focus on family dinners, with favorites like Jessica’s mac and cheese, and bedtime tickle fights with his girls. “It’s one of my favorite parts of the day,” he says of tucking in his daughters. The October issue of People Country is available now.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taylor Swift Debuts "Ronan" on Stand Up to Cancer Telethon.


Taylor Swift premiered a new song Friday night during the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, which aired on several networks.The ballad "Ronan" was inspired by a boy named Ronan Thompson, a 3-year-old who died last year from neuroblastoma, which is cancer of the nerve tissue. Taylor wrote the song after reading his mother's blog, and even gives her a co-writing credit on the song. Following the telethon, the song was released on iTunes, with proceeds benefiting cancer charities.

Just an FYI, make sure you have the tissues handy.

If LeAnn Rimes Wins Her Cyber-Bullying Lawsuit, She'll Donate the Proceeds to Charity. And Her Therapy is Going "Extremely Well".


If LEANN RIMES wins her lawsuit against the two women she's suing for invasion of privacy, then she's going to donate the proceeds to charity. A rep said, quote, "LeAnn had always planned on giving any proceeds from the pending lawsuits to The Trevor Project. This is a cause she has always been passionate about." By the way . . . in case you're wondering how she's handling therapy, a friend told Celebuzz, quote, "LeAnn is doing extremely well and very positive about the therapy she is receiving. She will definitely come out of this a better person."