Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Chris Young Still Hospitalized With Leg Infection


Chris Young remains hospitalized as he battles a leg infection.  The 28-year-old country star said in a Facebook post Thursday morning that he was "still in the ICU," but "wanted to says thanks for all the well wishes."  He added his apologies for having to cancel his upcoming shows.  Young was admitted to a Denver-area hospital Wednesday, and listed in stable condition.  He was traveling to Montana for a concert Wednesday night when he began experiencing symptoms, and was sent by ambulance to the hospital.  On Wednesday, Young said he "didn't even know" he was sick, explaining that he felt "fine" one minute and the next he was "being rushed to the hospital." 


Young's reps say they don't know the origins of the infection.  Chris had to cancel Wednesday's performance along with the rest of this week's tour dates.  He's expected to return to the road next week, and resume his tour with a show in Redding, California on Wednesday.


Engaged Country Couple Brantley Gilbert, Jana Kramer Break Up


Engaged country stars Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer won't be getting married after all.  An insider tells "People" the split is amicable and "there was no foul play involved," but their careers simply got in the way.  The source explains that Brantley and Jana are "both so busy right now" and "have to spend a lot of time apart" which "isn't ideal for any couple," and is especially hard on "a couple trying to plan a wedding."  The two began dating last year.  Gilbert popped the question in January on his 28th birthday.  He's also spent much of this year on the road, headlining his own tour earlier this year and opening shows over the summer for Tim McGraw.  Kramer is currently an opener on Blake Shelton's tour.  Gilbert and Kramer were named the Academy of Country Music's New Male and Female Artist of the Year back in February.


Brett Eldredge Earns First Chart-Topper With "Don't Ya"


Brett Eldredge has his first number one single. says the country star's current hit "Don't Ya" has finally captured the top spot on the Country Airplay chart.  The song's accomplishment ends a 43-week climb, and is the third-longest run to number one since the chart was established in 1990.  Meanwhile, Brett's debut disc, "Bring You Back," is debuting at number two on the Country Albums chart with sales of 21-thousand.  That's the best chart premiere and sales week for a new male country artist since Dustin Lynch, whose self-titled album debuted at number one in September 2012 with 23-thousand in sales.  Kacey Musgraves has the best returns for a new artist over the past 12 months.  Her first album, "Same Trailer Different Park," took the top spot on the chart with sales of 44-thousand following its release back in March.


In addition, Brett's hit has cracked the top ten on the Country Digital Songs chart.  "Don't Ya" has jumped up five spaces, and now sits in the number six spot.  The song remains perched at number five on the Hot Country Songs list.


Alabama's Randy Owen Among Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductees


Randy Owen is being recognized for his talents as a tunesmith.  The Alabama frontman is among this year's inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and will be added in the Songwriter/Artist category.  Owen is sharing the honor with Jeffrey Steele and Will Jennings, who are joining the Songwriter category, and Layng Martine Jr., who's entering the Veteran Songwriter category.  The new inductees will receive their formal welcome at the 43rd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony, which will take place at the Music City Center in Nashville on October 13th.


Owen has penned a number of Alabama's hits, including the chart-topping singles "Feels So Right," "Mountain Music," "Lay Down on Love," and the group's first number one, "Tennessee River."  Steele's credits include Tim McGraw's "The Cowboy in Me" and Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts the Most, while Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Pam Tillis, Billy "Crash" Craddock, and Jerry Lee Lewis have recorded Martine's songs.  Jennings co-wrote Tim McGraw's "Please Remember Me" and Rodney Crowell's "Many a Long and Lonesome Highway," as well as Eric Clapton's Grammy-winning hit "Tears in Heaven," Whitney Houston's chart-topper "Didn't We Almost Have It All," and Celine Dion's "Titanic" tune, "My Heart Will Go On."


Alabama Enjoyed Making New Tribute Album


Alabama's Teddy Gentry says the group took an active role in making the upcoming tribute album "Alabama & Friends."  He explains that they went beyond the superficial exchange of pleasantries with the "friends" on the disc.


Teddy recalls learning just how much Alabama means to Toby Keith during his session.  Gentry says Keith told the group he performed Alabama covers with a band he had in high school, and they didn't just play the hits but learned entire Alabama albums.  Toby contributes his version of "She and I" to "Alabama & Friends," but that's not the end of his involvement with the disc.  Keith's Show Dog-Universal Music will release album.  "Alabama & Friends" also features Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, and others performing Alabama songs, while Alabama adds two new tracks to the mix.  The album will be in stores on August 27th.


Third Annual Johnny Cash Music Festival Taking Place This Weekend


Country stars and fans will be turning out this weekend to honor a legend.  Vince Gill leads the lineup for the third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, which will also feature performances from Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, the Statler Brothers' Jimmy Fortune, and Johnny's sister Joanne Cash Yates.  Johnny's brother Tommy Cash is slated to host the show.  The Johnny Cash Music Festival honors the late Man In Black while raising money for the restoration of Cash's childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas, which Arkansas State University now owns.  The 2013 Johnny Cash Music Festival will take place at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro on Saturday.


Darryl Worley Giving Ronnie Milsap Top Billing At Hometown Charity Event


Darryl Worley won't be headlining his own fundraiser this year.  The country star tells he's decided to give guest performer Ronnie Milsap top billing for the concert, which will cap off his three-day Tennessee River Run charity event.  Worley says Milsap is just the second artist to make a repeat appearance since he launched the benefit in 2002, and he's honored to have him on board again.  Darryl adds that at the concert he plans to "help introduce Ronnie," then sit with his wife "in a real comfortable spot and hear all those number one hits."  Worley says it will be the first time he hasn't closed the show.  He also expects it will be "a special night."


Worley will launch his 12th annual Tennessee River Run on September 12th with the Darryl Worley and Friends Songwriters in the Round Gala, which will be staged on the lawn of the home of Savannah, Tennessee Mayor Bob Shutt.  The event will continue on September 13th with the TRR Golf Tournament at Shiloh Golf Course in Adamsville, Tennessee.  Participants can take part in a five-K run, a motorcycle poker run, and an arts and crafts fair prior to the concert in Savannah, Tennessee on September 14th.  Money raised will go to the Darryl Worley Foundation.


Tracy Lawrence Open To Some Reality TV


racy Lawrence says he'd agree to competing on a reality TV series, but it'd have to be the right show.  The country star believes he'd fare well on 'The Celebrity Apprentice."


But Tracy says he has "old legs that have been beat down a little bit too much," so "Dancing With the Stars" is out.  The singer explains that he's had "too many knee surgeries" and "too much balance problems" to be any good on that show.  Lawrence has a new album on the way.  His new studio effort, "Headlights, Taillights and Radios," features the song "Stop, Drop, and Roll" along with his current single "Footprints on the Moon."  The disc will be in stores August 20th.


Taylor Swift Enjoys Japanese Food, Hiking During Time Off


Taylor Swift says she tends to prefer solo pursuits in her downtime.  The country-pop superstar explains that she spends much of her time surrounded by others, so it's a treat for her to simply be on her own.


Swift adds that she also likes to relax with a tasty Japanese stir fry.  The singer recently added a hibachi grill to the kitchen of her Nashville home so she can prepare her own Japanese dishes.


Country Birthdays Include


Billy Joe Shaver is 74.

The Dixie Chicks and Court Yard Hounds' Emily Robison is 41.



Today in Country Music History


Today in 1977, the world mourned as "The King," Elvis Presley, was found dead at age 42 in the bathroom of Graceland.  His body was discovered by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, and despite attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead of "natural causes" at a Memphis hospital.


Today in 1979, Kenny Rogers released the "Kenny" album.


Today in 1980, Alabama scored the group's first number one hit with the single "Tennessee River."


Today in 1991, Hal Ketchum's debut single, "Small Town Saturday Night," topped the charts.


Today in 1996, Brooks & Dunn's single "I Am That Man" topped the charts.


Today in 1997, Trisha Yearwood's version of "How Do I Live" was on top of the country singles charts.


Today in 2000, Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like A Woman" video was among the "MuchMoreMusic" Award nominees at Canada's MuchMusic Video Awards 2000.


Today in 2003, the music video for Martina McBride's "This One's For the Girls" premiered on CMT.


Today in 2005, legendary fiddle player Vassar Clemments died following a five-month battle with lung cancer.  He was 77.


Today in 2005, Reba McEntire began taping episodes for the new season of her sitcom "Reba."


Today in 2005, Brad Paisley released the CD "Time Well Wasted."  The album features the hits "Alcohol," "When I Get Where I'm Going," and "The World."


Today in 2006, Darryl Worley and his wife of five years, Beverly, filed for divorce.


In 2006, Keith Urban's concert at the Erie County Fair in Buffalo, New York drew a crowd of more than eight-thousand, which set a new attendance record for the grandstand event.


Today in 2007, Jack Ingram sang the national anthem at the Kansas City Chiefs-Miami Dolphins pre-season football game in Kansas City.


Today in 2008, Sugarland's "All I Want To Do" hit number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.


Today in 2008, The late Buck Owens, the Whites, and the late singer-songwriter Mickey Newbury, whose credits include the Kenny Rogers and the First Edition hit "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," were among the inductees welcomed into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame with a show in Carthage, Texas.


Today in 2008, new "Nashville Star" winner Melissa Lawson made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 2009, Jack Ingram appeared on the Lifetime TV series "Army Wives."


Today in 2011, Kix Brooks was the featured speaker at Louisiana Tech University's Happening XXX alumni event.  The country star graduated from Louisiana Tech with a degree in communications in 1978.


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