Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

George Strait Extends Label Contract


George Strait might be wrapping up his touring career, but he's definitely not retiring completely.  The King of Country has inked a new deal with MCA Nashville to record five more albums for the label.  Strait and company president Mike Dungan made the announcement at an event honoring George last night in Nashville.  The singer was recognized at a special "60 for 60" reception for his chart-topping single "Give It All We Got Tonight," which in May became his 60th number one hit while he was 60 years old.  Strait has spent his entire career with MCA Records.


Earlier this year Strait launched his "Cowboy Rides Away" farewell tour.  The two-year trek will wrap up next year.  Dates for 2014 will be announced in the coming weeks.


Kip Moore To Be Featured On GAC Special This Weekend


Kip Moore will get the chance to learn more about the singer this weekend.  The country star is featured in the new GAC special "Introducing: Kip Moore."  The show takes viewers on the journey from Kip's early years through his recent success in country music.  In the feature, Kip acknowledges his late father for teaching him to love music, and he recalls how he was influenced by hearing the music of Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger play in the car.  The show also includes exclusive footage of Kip when he was a surfer in Hawaii, and backstage video from his recent concerts. "Introducing: Kip Moore" will debut on GAC Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.


Country Stars Taking Part In This Weekend's MDA Labor Day Telethon


Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, and Lee Ann Womack will be helping to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association this weekend.  They're among the stars appearing on the annual MDA Show of Strength telethon.  Rucker, who first performed at the event in 2011, says he's "honored to be back on the MDA telethon stage to help families affected by muscle disease."  He's slated to sing his current hit, "Radio."  Bryan pre-taped his appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, and plays one of his older hits.  Lee Ann delivers her signature hit, "I Hope You Dance" for the show.


Kenny Loggins and his group Blue Sky Riders will also appear, along with pop singers Enrique Iglesias and Austin Mahone, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest and former "Idol" judge Paula Abdul, "Glee" star Matthew Morrison, "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson, Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci, and others.  The MTA Show of Strength telethon will air on ABC Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


Dierks Bentley Combining Love Of Music, Motorcycles In Charity Event


Dierks Bentley is once again indulging in two loves -- music and motorcycles -- to help sick kids.  The country star has announced plans for his 8th annual Miles & Music For Kids motorcycle ride and concert.  Dierks says there's just something special about riding a motorcycle.

even after spending weeks on the road touring, when he gets home he wants to head out again on his motorcycle.  And Dierks will be raising money with his upcoming ride.  His event will begin with a trip from the Harley Davidson in Columbia, Tennessee to Nashville, ending up at Riverfront Park for a concert.  So far Jake Owen and Easton Corbin are on board for the show, while other artists are expected to sign on.  Bentley's 8th annual Miles & Music For Kids is set for November 3rd.  The fundraiser supports Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  Since launching Miles & Music for Kids back in 2006, Bentley has raised more than two-million-dollars for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.


Patsy Cline Featured In New Exhibit At Hometown Museum


The late country legend Patsy Cline is being remembered in her hometown with a local museum exhibit.  Winchester, Virginia's Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is presenting "Becoming Patsy Cline," which focuses on her life before she became famous.  Displays will feature clothing, rare photographs, and other objects that tell the story of Patsy's youth, including her family life, musical influences, and her efforts to develop a career as a singer.  Patsy grew up in poverty, and dropped out of high school to help support her younger siblings after her father abandoned the family.  But she also pursued her dream, competing in talent shows and taking opportunities to perform.  Details on the key people and moments that led to her breakthrough and stardom are also included in the exhibit.  "Becoming Patsy Cline" opens today.


Author and historian Douglas Gomery, who wrote the book "Patsy Cline: The Making of an Icon," served as guest curator for "Becoming Patsy Cline," which was developed with the support of Patsy's family.


Keith Urban Loves Playing Concerts


Keith Urban has a passion for performing live.  The country star says it feels great to watch an audience respond to his songs.


Urban is currently making those connections with the crowds on his "Light The Fuse" tour, which rolls into Denver for a show Friday night.  And fans who can't go to a show will still get the chance see him perform next month.  Keith will play a special Tuesday edition of the "Today" Summer Concert Series on September 10th -- the day his new album, "Fuse," hits stores.  The disc features Urban's latest hit single, "Little Bit Of Everything."


Bruce Hornsby, Ricky Skaggs Team Up On Live Album


Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs are working together once again.  The singer-songwriter and bluegrass great recently released the live album "Cluck Ol' Hen."  The set includes an extended, ten-and-half-minute version of Hornsby's hit "The Way It Is."


Hornsby says many tracks stem from a show he played with Skaggs in Omaha, Nebraska.  He tells they got lucky at that concert, and it was "just one of those nights where everything was clicking, and the sound of the recording was also good."  The album also includes Bruce and Ricky's between-song banter.  Hornsby says they decided to put that material in because it "helps the record feel more like a live show."  He adds that it's also entertaining.  Bruce says Ricky is "a very funny guy," and they "connect with each other very naturally."


Hornsby and Skaggs will hit the road in support of "Cluck Ol' Hen" this fall.  They have 14 dates scheduled in October and November, starting in Carmel, Indiana on October 3rd.


Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs Tour Dates


October 3 - Carmel, Indiana, at The Palladium

October 4 - Cincinnati, Ohio, at The Taft THeater

October 5 - Nashville, Tennessee, at the Ryman Auditorium

October 6 - Meridian, Mississippi, at Mississippi State University's Riley Center

October 18 - Los Angeles, California, at UCLA's Royce Hall

October 19 - Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

October 20 - Tucson, Arizona, at The Fox Theater

October 24 - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center

October 26 - Overland Park, Kansas, at the Yardley Hall in Carlsen Center

October 26 - Salina, Kansas, at the Stiefel Theater for the Performing Arts

November 1 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at Northern Lights Theater

November 2 - Burnsville, Minnesota, at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center

November 20 - Huntington, New York, at The Paramount

November 21 - Morristown, New Jersey, at the Mayo Performing Arts Center


Toby Keith's Success Stems From Lots Of Work


Toby Keith says his success is the result of a lot of effort on his part.  The country star tells Connecticut's "Hartford Courant" that he built his career by working hard and being productive every day.  Keith admits he knew he wasn't "guaranteed hits or selling records" by having a strong work ethic.  But the singer says that -- in general -- the harder he worked the "luckier" he got, so he applied this concept to his songwriting.  He explains that by putting in the time and effort, "you're going to get better at it," and "if you keep getting better, you produce 'I Love This Bar,' 'Beer For My Horses,' and 'Who's Your Daddy.'"  Toby adds that because those songs were "accepted by a base of fans," he's been able to maintain a music career that now dates back more than 20 years.


Keith is currently on his "Hammer Down Tour."  He'll be performing at The Great Allentown Fair in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Saturday.


Tim McGraw, Billy Currington Share Their Worst Jobs


Tim McGraw knows how tough it is to be a farm hand.  The country star once worked as a laborer in the fields of Louisiana, which says wasn't just hard work but also a bit dangerous.


Billy Currington used to pour concrete to make ends meet while he pursued a country music career in Nashville.  He says he was part of a crew that helped build Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.  But the singer admits that after six years he "couldn't take it anymore."  He adds that his decision to quit the concrete business was his "turning point," and he was going to "try to really focus on music and getting this record deal" or find another career altogether.


Country Music History


Today in 1988, K.T. Oslin's album "This Woman" was released.


Today in 1988, John Denver -- who wanted to ride on a Soviet spaceship -- underwent an astronaut-style physical at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  Denver chose to fly with Russians because NASA has refused to allow "civilians" on flights, saying it's too dangerous for amateurs.  Multi-millionaire Dennis Tito became the first "space tourist" in May 2001 when he shelled out 20-million-dollars to the Russians for a trip to the International Space Station.


Today in 1991, Dottie West was critically injured in a car accident while en route to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  It seems that due to problems with her own car, Dottie had asked a neighbor to drive her to her appearance.  The car crashed and reportedly went airborne for 165 feet and slammed into the center divide.  Both occupants were rushed to the Vanderbilt Medical Center in critical condition.  Dottie suffered severe internal injuries and through her course of treatment received 35 units of blood.


Today in 1991, Tanya Tucker's single "Down To My Last Teardrop" hit the top of the country music charts.


Today in 1997, one of the largest ever collections of Elvis Presley memorabilia went on sale.  Nearly 300 lots, including stage suits, record collections and jewelry, went for about 324-thousand-dollars in the one-day sale conducted simultaneously in London and Berlin.  The only items that didn't find buyers were a lock of hair snipped from Elvis' famous sideburns in 1972, his grand piano, his army uniform and two of his glitzy 1970s stage suits.  His 1960s Gretsch guitar was one of the biggest moneymakers, fetching over 66-thousand-dollars.


Today in 2000, Faith Hill joined Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Drew Barrymore and others on "Sophisticates Hairstyle Guide's" "Top 10 Best Styled Women of 2000" list.


Today in 2001, Blake Shelton celebrated his fifth week at the top of the country charts with his debut single, "Austin."  He was the first new artist to earn this distinction since Billy Ray Cyrus garnered it in 1992 with "Achy Breaky Heart."


Today in 2003, Alan Jackson's collaboration with Jimmy Buffett, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," topped the "Billboard" country singles chart for the fifth consecutive week.


Today in 2004, Alan Jackson received seven nominations to lead the list as nominees were announced for the 38th annual CMA Awards.  Alan's nomination brought his career total to 71 -- just two shy of George Strait's record of 73.


Today in 2005, Mindy McCready was due in an Arizona court to face several charges including identity theft.  However, she was in custody in Pinellas County, Florida being held without bond following an arrest four days earlier on allegations that in her apparent suicide attempt she violated her probation, which stemmed from a drug conviction in Tennessee.


Today in 2005, Brooks & Dunn's album "Hillbilly Deluxe" was among the new releases arriving in stores.


Today in 2006, Keech Rainwater of Lonestar and wife Elissa welcomed Amelie Elizabeth.


Today in 2006, Brooks and Dunn and Brad Paisley led the list of nominees for the 40th annual Country Music Association Awards, receiving six nods each when the finalists were announced.  Ronnie Dunn technically topped the list, earning an additional nod of his own as a songwriter.  Carrie Underwood had four bids, which were her first career CMA nominations.


Today in 2007, Steve Azar sang the national anthem at the final preseason game between the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers in Nashville.


Today in 2008, Garth Brooks took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Today in 2009, Shania Twain took part in the first of two days of auditions for "American Idol"  in Chicago.


Today in 2011, new releases included Glen Campbells final album, "Ghost on the Canvas."


Today in 2012, Taylor Swift debuted the video to her hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" with a media event that aired on CMT and MTV.


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