Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Authorities Reportedly Still Investigating Mindy McCready's Boyfriend's Death


There are apparently still some unanswered questions regarding the recent death of Mindy McCready's boyfriend, David Wilson.  "The National Enquirer" is reporting that authorities are still looking into the matter.  The magazine quotes Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss as saying it's "a very high-profile case," so they "need to make sure it's investigated as thoroughly as possible."  Moss explains that while the singer's rep issued a statement saying Wilson took his own life, nobody involved in the investigation has ruled that the death "was due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound."  He adds that it "could take weeks for the state crime lab to complete their tests" and determine exactly what happened.  The "Enquirer" adds that Mindy is not a suspect, and there have been no allegations claiming she was involved in Wilson's death.


Wilson was the father of Mindy's nine-month old son Zayne.  He died of a gunshot wound to the head at the Arkansas home he shared with Zayne, Mindy, and six-year-old Zander, Mindy's son from a previous relationship.  McCready was recently awarded custody of Zander following a lengthy legal battle over the boy.


Ray Price, Ray Stevens Respond To Shelton's Critical Remarks


A couple of country music's elder statesmen are taking exception -- and laying claim -- to the new title bestowed upon them and their fans by Blake Shelton.  In his GAC "Backstory" profile Shelton defends the genre's current stars against the argument that their music isn't "country," saying "nobody wants to listen to their grandpa's music."  Blake adds that he doesn't "care how many of these old farts around Nashville" are complaining because they don't buy records anymore but the kids do.  Calling himself in a Facebook post the "Chief 'Old Fart & Jackass,'" Ray Price says Blake "sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him," adding, "Stupidity Reigns Supreme!!!!!!!"  Price also makes note of his own lengthy and successful career, suggesting that Shelton "check back in 63 years ( the year 2075)" to see how his name and music are remembered.


Ray Stevens takes a more humorous approach to Shelton's remarks.  He questions how Blake "found out the title" to his next single, because it's "been a closely guarded secret here at the 'Home.'"  Stevens adds that fans will soon be able to find the song "on vinyl or 8-track at your nearest Tower Records store."  Tower's chain of retail outlets closed in 2006.


Blake Shelton Apologizes To Ray Price


Blake Shelton is apologizing for the way he referenced older country stars and fans, and claimed that nobody wanted to listen to "their grandpa's music."  The singer tweeted Thursday that he hated to hear that he'd offended one of his "all time favorite artists Ray Price."  Blake admits that he "could have worded it better(as always ha!)," and he apologizes "to Mr. Price and any other heroes" of his that he offended.


However, Shelton stands behind his sentiment, and adds that today's country stars are doing the same thing Price and others did back in their day.  Blake explains that Price's "For The Good Times" is "a perfect example" of "pushing the boundaries" with "the introduction of a bigger orchestrated sound in country music."  Shelton says the current generation of country stars "have to keep re-inventing country music to keep it popular.  Just EXACTLY the way Mr. Price did" as a mainstream country artist in his day.


Dierks Bentley Added To Grammy Lineup


When Miranda Lambert takes the stage at next month's Grammy Awards, she won't be alone.  She'll be teaming up with Dierks Bentley for what's being calling "a special performance."  Both Miranda and Dierks are also nominees heading into the event.  Miranda's "Four The Record" is up for Best Country Album, while Dierks' hit "Home" is in the running for Best Country Solo Performance.  Other new additions to the Grammy lineup include the Lumineers, Elton John with Ed Sheeran, and Jack White.  They're bolstering a performers list that already includes Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Mumford And Sons, as well as The Black Keys, fun., and Rihanna.  The 55th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Los Angeles, and air on CBS on February 10th.


Ronnie Dunn Surprised, Pleased By Grammy Nominations


Ronnie Dunn says getting a pair of Grammy nominations for the song "Cost Of Livin'" is "beyond cool."  He explains that the nods are special to him in part because the track wasn't uniformly embraced.


"Cost Of Livin'" has given Dunn a bid for Best Country Solo Performance, while Ronnie and Phillip Coleman are sharing the nomination for Best Country Song -- a songwriters category.  The 55th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles next month.  The ceremony will air on CBS on February 10th.


Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox Shares Origins Of "Changed"


Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox says the group's current single, "Changed," was inspired by a very personal, spiritual experience.  The singer explains that it stems from a story co-writer Neil Thrasher told him about his oldest daughter's baptism, which took place on the beach at sunset.


LeVox adds that Neil then sang the first lines of the song, and he "just fell apart."  The two teamed up with co-writer Wendell Mobley to complete the song, which became the title track to Rascal Flatts' album "Changed."


Rascal Flatts is currently on their "Changed Tour 2013"  They resumed the trek Thursday night after postponing a few dates last weekend due to illness.  The trio will be performing in Missoula, Montana Friday night.


George Jones Reminisces About Touring Prior Top Launching Final Tour


George Jones admits that wrapping up his career is "a little bittersweet" for him.  The country music legend tells that returning to places he's performed for one final show makes him "a little nostalgic and sad," because he'll miss his fans and "the good people" he's "met along this journey."  Looking back over his lengthy performing career, Jones points to his 1995 trek with ex-wife Tammy Wynette as a touring highlight.  He recalls that "the fans loved it, and just about every show was sold out."  George adds that the audience "especially liked it" when he and Tammy would sing a duet, and each of their current spouses would join them on stage.  Jones will launch is farewell tour in Tunica, Mississippi on February 2nd.


Taylor Swift-Harry Styles Reunion Could Be Affecting One Direction Ticket Sales


Taylor Swift is being blamed for sudden increase in One Direction tickets going up for resale.  As the British boy band gears up for its first world tour, some fans appear to be upset over speculation that singer Harry Styles could be getting back together with the country star.  Rumors started earlier this week when Taylor flew to London for a few days while both had a few days off.  Ticket resale marketplace Viagogo has revealed that the site has seen a 32 percent rise in listings for One Direction's upcoming tour since the news of a possible reconciliation broke.  The site says it's an abnormal increase in numbers, which suggests that heartbroken fans may be trying to sell off their tickets as a result of the news.  One Direction kicks off their tour in London in February, and will arrive in the U.S. in June. 


Kacey Musgraves Comes From Creative But Not Musical Family


Kacey Musgraves admits she's the only musician in her family, but all of her loved ones are creative.  The country newcomer explains that it spans the generations, starting with her grandmother.


Kacey says her mom is also a visual artist, and recently made a life-sized horse out of driftwood that "was beautiful."  She adds that she learned how to sing harmony from her mom.  Musgraves is starting to make her mark in music with the hit single "Merry Go 'Round."  The song will be on Kacey's debut album, "Same Trailer, Different Park," which will be available on March 19th.



Quick Bites


Kenny Chesney has a new single on the way.  The country superstar plans to release "Pirate Flag" on January 30th.  The track is from Chesney's upcoming album, which will be in stores on April 30th.


LeAnn Rimes, Rodney Crowell, and Emmylou Harris are among the stars set for the 15th annual Grammy Foundation Music Preservation Project concert.  This year's show, "Play It Forward: A Celebration of Music's Evolution And Influencers," pays tribute to music legends, highlighting their legacy, influence, and impact on American culture.  The multi-artist event will take place in Beverly Hills on February 7th in conjunction with the 55th annual Grammy Awards.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1989, Kathy Mattea was in the top ten with "Life As We Knew It."


Today in 1991, Emmylou Harris became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1992, Sawyer Brown was number one on the charts with "The Dirt Road."


Today in 1993, Brooks & Dunn released their single "Hard Workin' Man."


Today in 1994, John Michael Montgomery's album "Kickin' It Up" was released.


Today in 2001, nominations for the 14th annual Kid's Choice Awards were announced and for the second consecutive year, the Dixie Chicks received a nod in the Favorite Band category. They were the only country act to be nominated.


Today in 2005, Kenny Chesney's album, "Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair," was released, as were Blaine Larsen's "Off to Join the World" and LeAnn Rimes' "This Woman."


Today in 2006, Tim McGraw and his family held the funeral for Tim's stepfather, Horace "Hoss" Smith, in West Monroe, Louisiana.


Today in 2007, Crystal Gayle learned that her bus had been stolen after her husband, Bill, received a call from the Lakeland, Florida police, who wanted to know whether he'd sent the vehicle to a NASCAR race to pick up driver Tony Stewart.  Turned out an escaped fugitive had the bus.  He was arrested without incident the following night after dropping off a hooker in an area where police were conducting an undercover prostitution sting.


Today in 2007, Tracy Byrd received the Dr. Richard Shorkey Award from the Shorkey Center for his dedication and service to kids with disabilities at an event in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas.


Today in 2007, LeAnn Rimes hosted the 25th Annual Colgate Country Showdown National Final at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.


Today in 2007, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were on Forbes' Top 10 list of money-making musicians. The two brought in a combined total of 132-million-dollars. Other country stars on the magazine's list included Rascal Flatts, with 110-point-five-million-dollars, and Kenny Chesney, with just over 90-point-one-million-dollars.


Today in 2008, Garth Brooks played the first two of five sold-out concerts in a two-day fundraiser at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  The first performance was broadcast as a TV special, while Trisha Yearwood joined him for the second show.  The shows supported the Fire Intervention Relief Effort to help those who were affected by the southern California fires in 2007.


Today in 2008, Montgomery Gentry, Daryl Worley, Blue County, and Gary Morris performed at the Country in the Rockies benefit in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, supporting the T.J. Martell Foundation.  The performers also took part in the event's fundraising auction, and  Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry agreed to shave off his beard for the cause, bringing in 20-thousand-dollars with his whisker removal.


Today in 2008, Arizona State University entomologist Quentin Wheeler announced that he was naming his recently discovered new species of whirligig beetle Orectochilus orbisonorum as a way of paying homage to Roy Orbison.


Today in 2008, "Gone Country" began its run on CMT.


Today in 2010, Miranda Lambert had her first number one single, as "White Liar" topped the chart.


Today in 2010, Reba McEntire celebrated the chart-topping success of her hit "Consider Me Gone" with a party in Nashville.


Today in 2011, Wynonna Judd's book "Restless Heart" arrived in stores.  Music releases included Joe Nichols' "Greatest Hits" and Wanda Jackson's "The Party Ain't Over," along with a limited edition vinyl version of the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack and the "2011 GRAMMY Nominees" album featuring tracks from Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert.


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