Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Country Stars Among Those Criticizing "Rolling Stone" Bombing Suspect Cover


Brad Paisley and John Rich are among the artists weighing in on "Rolling Stone" magazine's controversial cover story of Boston bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev .  Paisley tweeted that he thought the cover was "in poor taste" and that "we shouldn't make rock stars out of murderers."  Rich said shame on anyone who ever buys a copy of "Rolling Stone" again.  A number of others, including other artists, politicians, and ordinary people, have spoken out against the latest edition of the magazine.  "Rolling Stone" editors have defended their cover story, saying it quote, "falls within the traditions of journalism."  However, many outlets, including CVS pharmacies, Walgreens, Kmart, Rite Aid and Tedeschi Foods, have all announced that they won't make the August 1st issue available in their stores.


Big & Rich's John Rich Getting His Own TV Show


John Rich is turning his talents once again to TV. says the country star is developing a new series for the TVGuide Network.  The still-untitled project will be taped at the singer's home in Nashville, and feature performances, interviews, and audience interaction in "a loose party atmosphere."  "The Biggest Loser's" David Broome is among those on board as executive producers.  Rich's show is expected to debut on TVGN this fall.


Rich is no stranger to TV.  The country star is a former "Celebrity Apprentice" winner.  He has also hosted CMT's competition reality series "Gone Country."


"Nashville's" Connie Britton, "The Voice, Earn Emmy Nominations


"Nashville" has an Emmy nomination.  Connie Britton, who stars as Rayna Jaymes in the country music-based ABC drama, has earned a bid for Lead Actress in a Drama Series.  She's one of seven women vying for the award.  Her competition includes Claire Danes in "Homeland," Kerry Washington in "Scandal," and Elisabeth Moss in "Made Men," as well as Vera Farmiga in "Bates Motel," Michelle Dockery in "Downton Abbey," and Robin Wright in "House Of Cards."  Meanwhile, NBC's "The Voice" -- which includes Blake Shelton as a coach -- is once again in the running for Reality-Competition Program.  The NBC series is facing the same contenders as last year, which includes "Dancing With The Stars," "Project Runway," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Top Chef," and the 2012 winner, "The Amazing Race."


Nominees for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Thursday.  The ceremony will take place at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, and air on CBS on September 22nd.


Carrie Underwood Continues Run Of Top Ten Hits


Carrie Underwood is seeing the top ten again with her latest hit, "See You Again." says the country star's latest single has climbed to number eight on the Country Airplay chart to become her 18th top ten song.  Underwood holds the record among female country artists for the most consecutive top ten singles since launching a career.  Every official, non-holiday single she's released to country radio since 2005's "Jesus, Take The Wheel" has reached the top ten.  Only Tracy Lawrence has done better.  His first 19 singles -- from 1991's "Sticks and Stones" to 1997's "How a Cowgirl Says Goodbye" -- all hit the top ten, with just two songs failing to peak in the top five.


Florida Georgia Line Really Connect With Current Single


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley says it doesn't matter to him and Tyler Hubbard that they didn't write their current single, "Round Here."  The singer explains that they choose material based on how they relate to it, not who wrote it.


Brian adds that "Round Here" is a song he wanted to record the moment he heard it -- which was two years ago.  He recalls that when their manager brought the song to them, they immediately said if it was available they wanted it.  "Round Here" is the third single from Florida Georgia Line's debut album, "Here's To The Good Times," following the chart-topping hits "Get Your Shine On" and "Cruise."


Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan Collaborate In Spirit Of Cooperation


Lorrie Morgan admits she and Pam Tillis didn't always agree with each other as they were working on their new album, "Dos Divas."  But the country star explains that they were open to cooperating with each other, which made their collaboration a success.


Tillis adds that there was some give and take and they each had to compromise on certain things, but that's the nature of a collaboration.  She explains the important thing was neither of them personally "felt compromised" in the process.  "Dos Divas" marks the first time Pam and Lorrie -- both the daughters of country legends and stars in their own right -- have teamed up for an album.  The 14-track set features four songs each from the singers along with their current single "I Know What You Did Last Night" -- one of the album's six collaborative tracks.  "Dos Divas" will be in stores on July 23rd.


Eli Young Band Members Typically On "Same Page" Musically


The Eli Young Band's Mike Eli says he and his bandmates are all headed in the same musical direction -- for the most part.  The country singer admits conflicts still crop up occasionally.


Mike says things didn't roll quite as smoothly for the band earlier in their career, when they were working through most of their musical disagreements, and he's glad that's now behind them.  The Eli Young Band has been together for more than a decade.  They marked their breakthrough with 2008's "Always the Love Songs," and truly established themselves with the more recent chart-toppers "Crazy Girl" and "Even If It Breaks Your Heart."  The Eli Young Band's current single is the hit "Drunk Last Night," the lead-off release from their upcoming album.


Blake Shelton Launching "Ten Times Crazier" Tour Tonight


Blake Shelton is getting back to performing for his fans -- something he believes he's "supposed to do."  The country star is launching his "Ten Times Crazier" tour with a show in Virginia Beach, Virginia Friday night.  The 30-date trek also features Easton Corbin and Jana Kramer as openers.  Blake says he's glad to be back on the road, telling "Rolling Stone" it's what he's "supposed to do."  He adds that he's particularly excited about this year's trek.  Shelton explains that going out on a "big tour" and connecting with fans is what he "dreamed about" when he was a kid, and this time around he's "doing it on a scale" that he's "never done before."  He says he'll be headlining venues he's only performed in previously as an opener for such stars as George Strait or Rascal Flatts, and he "never dreamed" he'd actually be taking these stages as the top billed act.


Shelton is touring behind his latest studio effort, "Based on a True Story..."  The album features the hits "Sure Be Cool If You Did" and "Boys 'Round Here."


Blake Shelton Tour Dates


7/19 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

7/20 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live

7/21 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

7/26 St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

7/27 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center

7/28 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center

8/1 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center

8/2 - Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion

8/3 - Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

8/9 - Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

8/10 - Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center

8/11 - Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

8/29 - Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood

8/30 - Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK GARY Amphitheatre

8/31 - West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

9/5 - Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center

9/6 - Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre

9/7 - Mansfield, MA Comcast Center

9/12 - St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center

9/13 - Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center

9/14 - Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena

9/19 - Charleston, WV Charleston Civic Center

9/20 - Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena

9/21 - Lexington, KY Rupp Arena

9/26 - Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena

9/27 - Knoxville, TN Thompson-Boling Arena

9/28 - Auburn Hills, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills

10/3 - Kansas City, MO Sprint Center

10/4 - Tulsa, OK BOK Arena

10/5 - Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena


Country Stars, Fans Coming Together For New Country Festival


Dierks Bentley is the opening night headliner for the new Faster Horses Festival.  The new, three-day two-stage country music event is taking place this weekend in Brooklyn, Michigan.  Jukebox Mafia, which Miranda Lambert discovered in a Nashville bar, will officially launch the festival's inaugural run with their main stage set this afternoon.  Jon Pardi, David Nail, and Kix Brooks will follow, with Jake Owen and Chris Young leading up to Bentley's performance.  Luke Bryan leads Saturday's lineup, which also features Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, and others.  Jason Aldean will close out the event on Sunday, following performance from Thomas Rhett, Jerrod Niemann, Greg Bates, and others.  Meanwhile, Will Hoge, Frankie Ballard, and Cole Swindell are just a few of the acts who'll be entertaining on the event's festival stage over the course of the weekend.  The full schedule is posted at


Fans Sign Digital Get Well Card For Randy Travis


Fans are sending recovering country singer Randy Travis the equivalent of a virtual hug.  A digital "Get Well" card at, is encouraging fans to send Randy well wishes as he works his way back to health.  The 54-year-old singer remains in critical condition for a debilitating heart condition, which triggered a stroke last week.  Doctors say Travis is now stabilized and showing signs of improvement, though they anticipate a long road to full recovery.  The Country Music Association is behind the group card, which has already amassed more than 75-hundred digital signatures.


Country Birthdays Include


George Hamilton the Fourth is 76.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1960, Loretta Lynn made her debut on the charts with her first single, "Honky Tonk Girl."


Today in 1962, Ray Charles' album "Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music" and his single "I Can't Stop Loving You" were certified Gold.


Today in 1969, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition appeared on the U.S. country charts for the first time with "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town."


Today in 1975, Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" broke into the Top 40.


Today in 1989, Tanya Tucker's "Greatest Hits" album was released.


Today in 1991, the "Don't Rock The Jukebox" album by Alan Jackson was certified Gold.


Today in 1991, on her way to a performance at the Grand Ole Opry, Dottie West was involved in a motor vehicle accident when her brakes failed.  She hit a wall, but sustained only minor injuries.  Just weeks later, she was involved in another car crash that took her life.


Today in 1992, Diamond Rio topped the charts with "Norma Jean Riley."


Today in 1993, Patty Loveless hit number one with the single "Blame It On Your Heart."


Today in 1993, both the Judds' "Love Can Build A Bridge" album and Aaron Tippin's "Read Between The Lines" project were certified Platinum.


Today In 1994, Mary Chapin Carpenter hit the charts with "I Take My Chances."


Today in 1994, Diamond Rio's "Love A Little Stronger" album was released.


Today in 1994, George Strait's "Greatest Hits Volume 2" album was certified double Platinum.


Today in 1998, Loretta Lynn made a special appearance on the Friday Night Opry, opening with her first number one hit, "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin'," from 1966 and followed with "We've Come a Long Way Baby" from 1978.  To round out the night, Loretta performed "How Great Thou Art" without accompaniment -- for which she received a standing ovation -- and finished with her signature tune, " Coal Miner's Daughter."


Today in 2000, Reba McEntire was tapped to host "The 2nd Annual Family Television Awards." The awards show recognizes outstanding programming for family viewing.  Awards are given to television shows and actors who best represent family programming and values.


Today in 2001, one of Brooks & Dunn's summer tour shirt designs was the only country item included in "Entertainment Weekly's" concert merchandise wrap-up.  The shirt was emblazoned with the duo's album artwork from "Steers & Stripes." with them in full rodeo clown make-up.


Today in 2004, Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney, and Alan Jackson and Martina McBride had the top country tours of the first half of the year according to the mid-year "Pollstar" figures.


Today in 2005, the "Dukes of Hazzard" movie soundtrack arrived in stores.  Montgomery Gentry's "Hillbilly Shoes," Willie Nelson's "Good 'Ol Boys," and the Charlie Daniels Band's "The South's Gonna Do It Again" are included on the disc.


Today in 2006, Mindy McCready was found not guilty of driving while intoxicated, but was found guilty of driving on a suspended license.  In addition, the judge in her case threw out a contempt of court charge.


Today in 2006, Lee Ann Womack performed the national anthem before the Chicago Cubs hosted the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field.  She also led the crowd in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.  The Cubs beat the Astros by a score of 4-to-2.


Today in 2009, Sammy Kershaw's 2000 single "Louisiana Hot Sauce" was among the most downloaded songs from iTunes, a day after it was featured in the HBO series "True Blood."  In addition, Sammy's website received so many hits it crashed several times.


Today in 2010, Eric Church, who a few weeks earlier made an appeal to fans to find a home for two stray cats he'd found, announced that "a wonderful woman" in North Carolina had agreed to adopt the felines.  Church came across the cats -- whom he named June Carter and Jesse Colter -- while he was out jogging, but couldn't keep them himself because he's alergic to cats.


Today in 2011, Gene Autry, an original owner of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team, was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame.


Today in 2011, new releases included Ricky Skaggs' album "Country Hits Bluegrass Style."


Today in 2012, Jennifer Nettles' discovery, J Rome, was the winner in the inaugural season of ABC's "Duets."


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