Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Eli Young Band Bassist Ends 2012 With Fatherhood


One of the last accomplishments of 2012 for the Eli Young Band's Jon Jones was becoming a dad.  The country star and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first child into the world on New Year's Eve.  Little Hudson Lennon Jones was born Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in Forth Worth, Texas.  He tipped the scales at seven-pounds, eight-ounces, and measured 21 inches at birth.  Jon says he and Sarah are beyond thrilled with their new bundle of joy.  The bassist tells "People" they also "feel very fortunate" that Sarah was able to "have Hudson naturally," since he arrived a week late.  Jones says the delivery was "extremely smooth," and they only spent "a few short hours" in the birthing center before bringing their newborn home. 


Jon adds that his bandmates are "truly great friends" for letting him skip their scheduled New Year's Eve gig, explaining that it was only the second time he's missed an Eli Young Band performance.  He says it was "wonderful" to "celebrate New Year's Eve as a family," which he admits primarily consisted of "holding Hudson in amazement."


Services Set For Patti Page


Services will take place next week for the late Patti Page.  A private viewing is set for the El Camino Memorial - Sorrento Valley in San Diego, California on January 8th.  On January 9th, fans will have their chance to say goodbye at a public viewing at the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church in Solana Beach, California.  The family will hold a private burial.  But fans wanting to contribute flowers can send them to the El Camino Memorial.  In addition, those wanting to honor Page can make a memorial donation to the Society of Singers in Calabasas, California or to the Grammy Foundation in Santa Monica. 


Patti, who's perhaps best remembered for the classic "Tennessee Waltz," died on New Year's Day, Tuesday, in Encinitas, California.  She was 85.


Kenny Chesney Seen With New Woman On Hawaiian Vacation


There appears to be a new woman in Kenny Chesney's life. says the country superstar was vacationing last week in Hawaii with a woman named Mary.  They were seen on the beach together last Thursday, and photographs of the couple indicate they didn't need much personal space.  An unidentified source reportedly told "People" magazine that Kenny and Mary are "just getting to know each other."  The two have made a couple of public appearances together in recent months.  Mary was Chesney's date for the CMA Awards in November, and in early December she accompanied him to the CMT Artists of the Year event, where Kenny was among the honorees.


While Chesney has succeeded in maintaining a relatively private personal life, he has had some high profile relationships.  The singer made headlines in 2005 with his short-lived romance with actress Renee Zellweger.  The two tied the knot in a surprise wedding four months after they met, and the marriage was annulled four month later.  More recently Chesney was involved with the 2005 Miss Tennessee USA winner Amy Colley.


Chris Young Shares Plans To Annoy Sister By Spoiling Niece


Chris Young says he intends to dote on his niece -- once she's a little older.  The country star admits he's already warned his sister of his intentions.


Chris adds that his sister will "hate" him once her daughter gets a little older, because he's scheming to do things like "load her up on Milky Way bars and send her back to her mom."  The singer explains that he hasn't had the chance to put his plans in action yet, because his niece is still a baby.  Young became an uncle last May, when his sister Dot gave birth to her first child.


Taylor Swift Topping Billboard 200, Digital Songs Chart In Record Sales Week


Taylor Swift continues her reign on the Billboard 200.  "Red" remains at number one on the chart with 241-thousand albums sold. says sales were fueled by a December 24th Amazon MP3 sale -- which accounted for 30-percent of the purchases -- and post-Christmas gift card shopping.  Swift's album is now spending its seventh week at the top of the all-genre list.  It also brings the singer's career total to 24 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, and puts her in a tie with Adele as the female artist with the most weeks topping the chart in the Billboard SoundScan era which started in May 1991.


Meanwhile, Taylor's also at number one on the Digital Songs chart with her latest single, "I Knew You Were Trouble."  A record 55-point-74-million downloads were sold last week, and Swift's hit accounts for 582-thousand of them.  That figure also reflects a 163-percent increase in digital sales over the previous week, and gives "Trouble" the fourth-best-selling week ever.  Taylor also has the second-best digital sales week with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," which logged 623-thousand in sales following its release.  Rapper Flo Rida holds the record with "Right Round," which had sales of 636-thousand in its debut week.


Five Country Albums Among 2012's Top Ten Best Sellers


Taylor Swift's "Red" is the one of the best-selling albums of 2012. says the country-pop superstar's fourth studio effort racked up a total of just over three-point-one-million in sales in just over two months, arriving in stores on October 22nd.  The figure puts Swift's disc at number two on the list behind Adele's 2011 album "21," which in 2012 logged more than four-point-four-million in sales.  Meanwhile, four other country discs are also on the list.  Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away," with one-point-two-million in total sales, ranks seventh, followed by Luke Bryan's "Tailgates & Tanlines" with one-point-one-million sold.  Lionel Richie's country duets disc "Tuskegee" has the number nine spot, and Jason Aldean's "Night Train" rounds out the top ten.  Last year also marks the first time that five country albums have been among any year's ten best sellers.


Easton Corbin's New Single Arriving At Radio This Month



Easton Corbin has a new single on the way.  The country singer will release "All Over The Road" to radio on January 14th.  Easton calls it "a feel-good song," explaining that it's "one of those songs that on a great day you want to roll down the windows, crank it up and have a good time."  "All Over The Road" is the title track to Easton's most recent album, which hit stores in September.  It's the second single from the disc, following the top ten hit "Lovin' You Is Fun."


Darius Rucker Recalls Decision To Cover "Wagon Wheel"


Darius Rucker says his decision to cover Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel" came to him somewhat spontaneously.  The singer explains that he was inspired to record the song while attending his daughter's school play.


Rucker's cover then led to a special on-stage collaboration.  He says that after recording the song he received an e-mail from Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor, who invited him to sing "Wagon Wheel" with the group at the Opry.  "Wagon Wheel," which features backing vocals from Lady Antebellum, will be on Rucker's next album.  The CD "True Believers" will be in stores January 22nd.


Thomas Rhett Waiting For Summer To Return


This is decidedly not Thomas Rhett's favorite time of year.  The country singer admits he really doesn't like cold weather.


But Thomas has things to occupy his time until the warm weather returns.  He has shows booked through mid-March, along with dates peppered in throughout the spring and summer.  Rhett will start his winter road work opening shows on Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley's co-headlining "Locked & Reloaded Tour" later this month.  He'll join the trek in Baltimore, Maryland on January 24th.  Fans can find the rest of his touring schedule at


Country Birthdays Include


The Desert Rose Band's Jay Dee Maness is 68.

Kathy Forester of The Forester Sisters is 58.

Patty Loveless is 56.

Deana Carter is 47.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1923, the first "barn dance" was broadcast on a radio station in Fort Worth, Texas.


Today in 1953, Hank Williams Sr.'s funeral took place in Montgomery, Alabama, attracting three-thousand mourners.


Today in 1955, Tennessee Ernie Ford's daytime variety show debuted on TV.


Today in 1969, Dolly Parton and George Jones both joined the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1969, Johnny Cash's "Daddy Sang Bass" started a six-week run at the top of the country singles chart.


Today in 1990, the Oak Ridge Boys' William Lee Golden married girlfriend Brenda Kaye Hall.


Today in 1991, Merle Haggard was named the 18th winner of the American Music Awards "Award of Merit."


Today in 1991, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service held the first of several auctions selling Willie Nelson's property to raise the nearly 17-million-dollars in taxes and penalties the singer owed.


Today in 1992, Collin Raye's "Love, Me" hit number one on the country charts, becoming his first chart-topping hit.


Today in 2003, Hank Williams Jr. and his son, Hank Williams the Third, gave their first performance together, at the Grand Ole Opry at a show commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hank Williams Sr.'s death.


Today in 2005, Trace Adkins performed "Songs About Me" as part of the halftime entertainment during the FedEx Orange Bowl, which aired on ABC.  Meanwhile, Toby Keith roamed the Oklahoma Sooners sidelines. Toby, incidentally, was on the losing side -- the USC Trojans slaughtered Oklahoma, 55-to-19.


Today in 2006, LeAnn Rimes performed the national anthem in advance of the Rose Bowl game while Big & Rich gave a six-song concert in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, part of which was included in the TV coverage of the event


Today in 2006, a rep for the Johnny Cash estate confirmed that former Bee Gee Barry Gibb purchased the Nashville-area home of the late country music legend.  Gibb reportedly paid two-point-three-million-dollars for the 13-thousand-880-square-foot house.


Today in 2010, Sara Evans' first novel, "The Sweet By And By," was published.  She co-authored the book with Rachel Hauck.


Today in 2010, Lady Antebellum's single "I Run To You" was declared Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.


Today in 2011, Lee Greenwood performed his hit song "God Bless The U.S.A." during the inaugural ceremony for Florida governor Rick Scott.


Today in 2011, Darius Rucker sang the national anthem at the start of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.


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