Nashville News and Notes

Country Report

For:  Friday, December 7, 2012


Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Launching Vegas Engagement Tonight


Shania Twain isn't the only country star with a new Vegas show.  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are launching their five-month engagement at The Venetian this weekend.  The singers have said that their "Soul2Soul" show is a true collaboration, and is different from anything either of them have ever done before, together or separately.  The residency also marks the first time in six years that the country couple has performed together in the United States.  Over the course of their Venetian residency, which runs through April, McGraw and Hill will play a total of 40 shows.  They'll kick off the engagement with two shows Friday night.


Tim and Faith are also honoring those who serve our country with tonight's shows.  The "Las Vegas Sun" says the couple is dedicating the performances to members of the military as part of the Venetian's "Salute Our Troops" event.  Wounded veterans from Washington, DC's Walter Reed Hospital and Fort Belvoir Military Medical Center will be in the audience for Tim and Faith's show.


All-Star CMT Artists Of The Year Special Premieres Saturday


Fans will soon learn this year's CMT Artists of the Year.  The all-star concert salute is set to debut over the weekend.  Rascal Flatts and "Nashville" star Hayden Panettiere hosted the gala event, which was taped Monday night.  Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, and Eric Church are among the many artists who took part in the celebration.  Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, and Miranda Lambert also make appearances, along with Chris Young, Thompson Square, Merle Haggard, the Eli Young Band, and others.  And it's not just country stars who turned out for the event.  Metallica's James Hetfield, rocker Sammy Hagar, rapper Ludacris, and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder are also part of the lineup.  Baseball greats Chipper Jones and Roger Clemens, the "Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson, and Carrie Underwood's hockey player husband, Mike Fisher, also showed up.


The 2012 CMT Artists of the Year pays tribute to this year's top country music stars.  This marks the first time that honorees have not been announced in advance of the broadcast.  They were  determined on a number of factors including music and concert ticket sales, radio airplay, and Internet searches.  The 90-minute special will premiere on CMT Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Randy Travis, Darius Rucker Among "American Giving Awards" Performers


Randy Travis is a late addition to the lineup for this weekend's "American Giving Awards."  Darius Rucker is also on board for the event, which will honor a number of charitable organizations.  They're among a host of stars slated for the show.  Natasha Bedingfield, Colbie Caillat, and Lifehouse are also slated to perform.  Presenters include "CSI: NY" star Gary Sinise, actors Anthony Anderson, Jenna Elfman, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo.  Other celebrities set to appear include actress Glenn Close, "Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland, and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix.  "Community's" Joel McHale is on board to host the show, which will air on NBC Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


For the event the public took part in an online vote to determine the five winning charities, which will split two-million-dollars in grant money from Chase Bank.  The top organization will receive one-million-dollars, and the runner up will get 500-thousand-dollars.  The third place prize is 250-thousand-dollars.  Two other charities will get 125-thousand dollars each.


Keith Urban Receiving Nashville Symphony's Harmony Award This Weekend


Keith Urban is set to be honored by the Nashville Symphony.  The country star is this year's recipient of the orchestra's Harmony Award.  He'll be recognized with a special presentation during the Symphony Ball, taking place at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville on Saturday.  The annual prize makes note of individuals who show ongoing interest and support for the Nashville music community, and who have been a significant addition to its development.  Previous Harmony Award winners include Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, and Vince Gill.  Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart, The Judds, and Carrie Underwood have also earned the award, while Taylor Swift was last year's honoree.


Marty Stuart Celebrating 20th Opry Anniversary This Weekend


Marty Stuart is celebrating 20 years with the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.  He'll receive two salutes, with tributes set for both the early and late show Saturday night.  Charley Pride, Old Crow Medicine Show, and his wife, Connie Smith, are among the stars who'll join Marty for the special segment, which will also feature an appearance from the Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and two Choctaw dancers.  Stuart is part Choctaw.  Stuart's anniversary shows will take place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium -- the same venue where Marty made his Opry debut 40 years ago.  Stuart first performed on the Opry in September 1972, at the age of 13.  He officially became an Opry member with his induction on November 28th, 1992.


Taylor Swift Sets New Chart Record With "Never"


Taylor Swift is breaking a chart record that has stood for nearly a 50 years.  The singer-songwriter's Grammy-nominated hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is holding on to the top spot on the Billboard Country Songs for a ninth week, and becomes the longest run at number one for a solo female country artist.  Taylor's hit breaks the record Connie Smith set back in 1964, when her hit "Once A Day" topped the chart for eight weeks.  Taylor also joins the late Buck Owens and the late David Houston as the only artists since 1964 to occupy the chart's top spot for nine or more weeks.  Houston was at number one for nine weeks in 1966 with "Almost Persuaded."  Owens' "Love's Gonna Live Here" reached number one on October 19th, 1963, and ruled the chart for the next 16 weeks.


Dierks Bentley Honored To Salute Johnny Cash At Grammy Concert


Dierks Bentley says he's glad he was tapped to join The Band Perry to honor the late Johnny Cash on Wednesday night's "Grammy Nominations Concert," which aired live from Nashville.  Dierks says it meant a lot to them to perform Johnny and June Carter Cash's classic duet "Jackson" for the special TV event.


The Cash tribute wasn't the only memorable part of the night for Dierks.  He also learned he's a Grammy nominee.  The singer got a nod for Best Country Solo Performance for his hit "Home."  Bentley's song is up against five other country hits, including Eric Church's "Springsteen," Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away," Hunter Hayes' "Wanted," Blake Shelton's "Over," and Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Livin'."  The 55th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, and air on CBS on February 10th.


Hunter Hayes Surprised, Proud To Be Grammy Nominee


Hunter Hayes admits he's really surprised by his Grammy nomination for Best New Artist -- one of the few non-genre-specific awards at the event.   Hunter adds that he's proud to be up for the honor with Alabama Shakes, Fun., The Lumineers, and Frank Ocean.

          {HunterHayesGrammyNoms1}          Q...included is awesome.          :08.6

Best New Artist is just one of Hunter's three Grammy nominations.  He's also in the running for Best Country Album with his self-titled debut effort, and his hit "Wanted" is among the tracks vying for Best Country Solo Performance.  In addition to being a part of Hayes' first slate of Grammy nominations, "Wanted" was also Hunter's first chart-topping single and his first record to be certified Platinum.


Grammy nominees were unveiled during a concert event in Nashville this week.  Hayes was among the stars who took part in the announcement.  The 55th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Los Angeles airing on CBS on February 10th.


Alan Jackson's Nephew Among Grammy Nominees


Alan Jackson is celebrating the Grammy recognition another member of his family is receiving.  The singer's nephew Adam Wright teamed up with Jay Knowles to write Jackson's hit "So You Don't Have To Love Me Anymore," which has been nominated for Best Country Song.  Alan says after his first listen he knew the song was special -- and he's not the only one who felt that way.


The Best Country Song category honors the writers.  Other nominated tracks include Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" and the Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart."  Ronnie Dunn, who co-wrote his single "Cost of Livin'," and Eric Church, who helped pen the hit "Springsteen,"  are also up for the prize.  Grammy nominees were announced this week.  The 55th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Los Angeles airing on CBS on February 10th.


Country Birthdays Include


Gary Morris is 64.

The Osborne Brothers' Bobby Osborne is 81.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1959, "Danny Boy" by Conway Twitty peaked at number ten on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1985, Patty Loveless made her chart debut with the single "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights."


Today in 1998, Garth Brooks was named Country Artist of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards.


Today in 2003, Loretta Lynn was among the living legends saluted at the annual Kennedy Center Honors, which were held in Washington D.C.  Other honorees included comedienne Carol Burnett, who was saluted by Reba McEntire, R&B legend James Brown, director Mike Nichols and violinist Itzhak Perlman. 


Today in 2006, Rascal Flatts were among those taking part in announcing the nominees for the 49th annual Grammy Awards.  The Dixie Chicks was the top country contender, with bids in five categories.  Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, and Dierks Bentley were also among the country stars with bids in multiple categories.


Today in 2006, John Conlee was in Washington, DC for the 83rd lighting of the national Christmas Tree.  He performed before President Bush pulled the switch to light up the tree.


Today in 2006, Josh Gracin stood in for Richie McDonald at a concert in Hidalgo, Texas. Richie was in Nashville recovering from a back injury.


Today in 2007, Tanya Tucker and her partner, national bull riding champion Guilherme Marchi rode their way to victory at the Careity Foundation's Annual Celebrity Cutting Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.


Today in 2007, Dolly Parton made a guest appearance on the Disney show "Hannah Montana."


Today in 2008, George Jones was formally recognized as the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors recipients with the all-star Honors Gala concert in Washington, DC.


Today in 2008, Rosanne Cash was the headliner for the 28th annual John Lennon Tribute Concert at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City, which raised money for World Hunger Year.


Today in 2009, Carrie Underwood's first TV special, "Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special," aired on Fox.


Today in 2010, The Band Perry's hit "If I Die Young" became the trio's first platinum record.


Today in 2010, Christian Kane released his debut country album, "The House Rules."


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