Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

More Stars Join Toby Keith's "Oklahoma Twister Relief"


Willie Nelson and John Anderson are among the latest stars to sign on for Toby Keith's upcoming "Oklahoma Twister Relief" concert.  Mel TIllis and Sammy Hagar are also new additions to the lineup, which also boasts Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Ronnie Dunn.  Keith will perform as well.  The event is slated to take place at the Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.  Tickets cost 25 dollars, and go on sale Friday.  Money raised through the show is going to The United Way Of Central Oklahoma May Tornado Relief Fund.


Willie Nelson's "CMT Crossroads" Birthday Celebration Debuting This Weekend


A musical salute to Willie Nelson airs this weekend.  Neil Young is part of the special "CMT Crossroads" show in honor of the country legend's 80th birthday, and performs his classic "Long May You Run" for Willie.


The special installment of the CMT series was taped at Jack White's Third Man Records studio in Nashville in April, a couple of weeks before Nelson's birthday.  Jamey Johnson and Ashley Monroe also share the stage with Willie at the event.  Sheryl Crow, Leon Russell, and Norah Jones perform as well, while White serves as the show's host.  The "CMT Crossroads" episode "Willie Nelson & Friends From Third Man Records" will debut on CMT Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


T Bone Burnett Stepping Down As "Nashville's" Executive Music Producer


The man behind the music on ABC's "Nashville" is leaving the series.  T Bone Burnett's manager tells "The Hollywood Reporter" the in-demand musician, songwriter, and producer has a "slate of other film, television, and recording projects," which "would have made it impossible for him to return for a second season."  The rep adds that T Bone only intended to take part in one season of the show.  "Nashville" creator Callie Khouri -- who's also Burnett's wife -- confirms that "T Bone's schedule this year is so overwhelming."  She says Burnett "set the gold standard for the show" through his "commitment to the quality of the music" and "the sound for the characters," and they were "very lucky to get him" to launch the series. 


Khouri adds that country singer, songwriter, and producer Buddy Miller, who worked closely with T Bone on season one, has been named as Burnett's replacement.  The second season of "Nashville" will launch on ABC in the fall.


Clay Walker, Wife Celebrate Birth Of Third Child


Clay Walker has a new son.  The country star announced the birth via Twitter, calling Elijah Craig Walker "a blessing" to him and "mama" Jessica.  He adds that his son's arrival just added to his Father's Day.  Elijah entered the world on Father's Day eve -- June 15th.  The Walkers only revealed that they were expecting another child a couple of months ago.  They broke the news visually, posing on the red carpet at April's Academy of Country Music Awards with both of them holding Jessica's belly.  Elijah is the third child for Clay and Jessica.  Their other kids include four-year-old song William and three-year-old Mary.  Clay also has two teenage children from a previous marriage.


Thompson Square's Keifer Thompson Discusses Vocal Problem


Thompson Square's Keifer Thompson says he's doing much better as he recovers from his voice problems.  He tells "Country Weekly" he had "a really bad hemorrhage," which is now "completely healed," as well as a polyp that's "about 70-percent down" -- and sparing him from having it surgically removed.  The singer adds that he's been consulting doctors and vocal coaches who are teaching him ways to sing that will be less damaging to his vocal cords.  But Keifer admits it's been a scary ordeal for him.  He says he sought out Keith Urban, Gary Allan, and other country stars who've faced similar issues, and they were able to talk him "off a ledge" and reassure him that "it was OK."


Keifer's doctor-ordered vocal rest has forced Thompson Square to cancel a number of concerts in recent weeks, including tonight's planned appearance at the Butler County Fair in Allison, Iowa.  Katie Armiger and Gwen Sebastian are filling in.  The duo hasn't said just when they'll be returning to the road and resuming their run on Luke Bryan's tour, but they hope to be back in action soon.


Abercrombie & Fitch Pulls Shirt With Reference To Taylor Swift


Abercrombie & Fitch is discontinuing a shirt line after upsetting Taylor Swift fans.  According to "E News," the fashion retailers decided to pull a t-shirt that supposedly referenced the country star and her much-talked-about love life.  The phrase on the shirts in question read "#more boyfriends than t.s."  Many fans were reportedly offended by the phrase and started voicing their complaints to the store, even launching a petition to kick start a fan campaign.  On Tuesday, Abercrombie announced on their official Twitter page that they were no longer selling the product, saying they love "Taylor's music and think she's awesome." 


Apparently the campaign became so popular among the singer's fans that the company had to put a special message on their corporate phone system to let those "calling regarding the Taylor Swift t-shirt," know about the discontinuation.


Miranda Lambert Identifies With New Single


Miranda Lambert has picked her next single.  The singer says she can relate to "All Kinds of Kinds," because even with all of her success she knows she's not a typical country star.


"All Kinds of Kinds" is the fifth single from Miranda's most recent album, "Four The Record."  And fans just might hear it at her upcoming shows.  She's tonight's co-headliner along with Gary Allan at the Country Jam festival in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Lambert will be performing in Great Falls, Montana on Sunday.


Trace Adkins Reunites With Producer Frank Rogers On Latest CD


Trace Adkins says he's glad he was able to work with producer Frank Rogers again.  The country star recalls that their latest collaboration happened a bit by chance.


Adkins says Rogers came back with three songs -- Trace's current single, "Watch the World End," "Say No To A Woman," and the title track to "Love Will..." -- and he recorded all of them.  Trace last worked with Frank on his 2008 album "X" .  Rogers is one of several producers Adkins tapped for "Love Will..."


Justin Moore Applying Lessons Learned As An Opener To Headlining


Justin Moore says he has a good sense of how to treat an opening act -- courtesy of the stars who took him on the road with them.  The country singer explains that he's "subconsciously taken different things from different people" -- such as Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, and Eric Church.


Moore also praises the headliners who've taken a chance with him, saying they were all "great" to him.  He explains that everyone gave him "the utmost respect" and treated him as if he "deserved" to be there -- "whether or not" that really was the case.  Justin went out on his first headlining tour earlier this year, and brought Dustin Lynch and Jon Pardi as his openers.


Quick Bites


Miranda Lambert is falling short at this year's O Music Awards.  The country star was in the running for Best Interactive Music Video with her hit "Fastest Girl in Town," but the prize went to Linkin Park's "Lost in the Echo."  Winners in the annual fan-voted event were named during a 24-hour live-streaming party that began Wednesday night, featuring more than 50 bands performing throughout the country.


Trace Adkins is involved in a new film project. says the country singer is part of a cast that also features Sean Astin, "Grey's Anatomy" star Sarah Drew, and Patricia Heaton from "Everybody Loves Raymond."  The movie has the working title of "Mom's Night Out," and is reportedly being shot in Birmingham, Alabama.


Country Birthdays Include


Kathy Mattea is 54.

Little Texas guitarist Porter Howell is 49.

Allison Moorer is 41.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1955, Johnny Cash released his first single, "Hey Porter."  It sold 100-thousand copies.


Today in 1975, Don Williams topped the country charts with "You're My Best Friend," while Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1988, Hank Williams Jr.'s "Wild Streak" album was released.


Today in 1991, Juice Newton's "Juice Newton - Greatest Hits" album was certified Gold.


Today in 1994, the video "Livin', Lovin', And Rockin' That Jukebox" by Alan Jackson was certified Platinum.


Today in 1995, John Berry's daughter Caelan was born.


Today in 1996, Tracy Lawrence hit number one with the single "Time Marches On."


Today in 1996, Wynonna's daughter Grace Pauline Kelly was born.


Today in 2000, Jo Dee Messina's video "That's The Way" premiered on CMT.


Today in 2000, Patty Loveless kicked off her first major tour in two years.


Today in 2001, Alan Jackson was chosen for induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 2003, Johnny Cash made an appearance at an event honoring his late wife, June Carter Cash, in Hiltons, Virginia.  June had died six weeks earlier.  Johnny acknowledged that he was still in deep mourning, saying, quote, "The pain is so severe there is no way of describing it."


Today in 2004, Lonestar made a guest appearance on the NBC soap "Days of Our Lives," performing the song "T.G.I.F" at the opening of the fictitious country bar and restaurant Alice's.


Today in 2004, Montgomery Gentry's "If You Ever Stop Loving Me" hit number one on the "Billboard" and "Radio & Records" charts, becoming the duo's first single to take the top spot on the charts.


Today in 2004, Gretchen Wilson's album "Here For The Party" was certified Gold and Platinum.


Today in 2005, The box sets "Chronicles: Toby Keith" and "Chronicles: George Strait," as well as Kentucky Headhunters' "Big Boss Man," John Hiatt's "Master Of Disaster," and Gene Watson's "Then And Now" were among the new releases.


Today in 2006, George Strait released the single "Give It Away."


Today in 2007, Billy Currington celebrated the success of his first Platinum CD, "Doin' Somethin' Right," with a party in Nashville.


Today in 2008, John Anderson, Collin Raye, Diamond Rio, and Emerson Drive were among the performers at a day-long country music festival in North Little Rock benefiting the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial.


Today in 2010, Tim McGraw and Trace Adkins were among the stars who took part in CNN's "Larry King Live" telethon "Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help."  More than one-million-300-thousand dollars was donated during the two-hour broadcast, while the fundraiser reportedly brought in a total of nearly three-million-dollars.  The money went to the United Way, The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy to help the people and animals affected by the BP oil spill.


Today in 2010, Dierks Bentley was a guest on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."  But a blackout forced the country star to adapt his plans for the show, and he ended up giving an acoustic performance of his then-current single "Up On The Ridge."


Today in 2010, Hank Williams Jr. shot the opening for ESPN's "Monday Night Football," marking his 22nd consecutive year to provide the theme music for the weekly game.


Today in 2010, the late Jimmy Dean's funeral took place in Richmond, Virginia.  The Statler Brothers' Don Reid and George Hamilton the Fourth were among those who spoke at the service.  In addition, the Country Music Hall of Famer was laid to rest in Varnia, Virginia, on a bluff overlooking the James River.  But instead of a coffin, Dean's final resting place was a nine-and-a-half-foot long, grand piano-shaped granite mausoleum.


Today in 2012, Carrie Underwood made her UK concert debut with a sold-out show at London's Royal Albert Hall.


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