Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Randy Travis To Be Released From Rehabilitation Facility


Randy Travis is making progress in his recovery from a stroke.  A rep for the country star tells "Entertainment Tonight" that Randy has been "in Texas in physical therapy and doing great."  The spokesperson adds that the singer is expected to leave the rehab facility and return to his Texas ranch on Friday.  Travis suffered his stroke back in July, a few days after he was hospitalized with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure.  He was transferred to a physical therapy center a few weeks later to continue his recovery.


Ray Price Hospitalized, Being Treated For Sepsis


Ray Price continues to battle health issues.  The 87-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer was admitted to the cardiac care unit Tuesday night after developing sepsis -- a bacterial infection that travels through the bloodstream, and can be fatal.  Ray's wife Janie says in a Facebook post that Ray's "blood pressure dropped too low and his heart rate too high," and they were "in watchful crisis all night long and throughout early morning hours before he stabilized."  Janie’s sister Virgie Phillips adds that Ray is "a very strong fighter" and that he's "fighting this very hard right now."


Virgie also says that Ray "has been at the hospital for a month now."  The Price camp never says when Ray was admitted to the hospital.  However, Ray posted on September 11th that he was going in for follow up exams to monitor his cancer.  The singer is battling pancreatic cancer, which he said had gone into remission back in February.  But Price was hospitalized in May for severe dehydration.  He underwent surgery a month later for kidney stones, which were attributed to the dehydration.


Dierks Bentley, Wife Welcome Son Knox


Dierks Bentley and his wife Cassidy Black are making room for a new addition to the family.  The couple welcomed their third child, a son they named Knox, on Wednesday night.  The country star took to Twitter to announce the arrival of his baby boy, adding that he was about to have the best tasting cold beer of his life and that he was proud of his wife.  Bentley also said he had "mad respect for doctors, nurses and everyone at hospitals" and thanked fans for their support.


At home, little Knox joins big sisters Evelyn Day, who is four years old, and Jordan Catherine who is two.


Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line Leading Country AMA Nominees


Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line could be among the big winners at this year's American Music Awards.  Swift is heading into the event with five chances to win, while the country duo has four bids.  And they aren't just nominated in country-specific categories.  Taylor's nods include Artist of the Year, where she's facing the event's top nominee Macklemore & Ryan Lewis as well as Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna.  She's also up for both the Country and Pop/Rock Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Album awards.  Florida Georgia Line is vying Single of the Year with their "Cruise" remake featuring Nelly and New Artist of the Year -- which are both all-genre categories.  Their other bids are for Favorite Band, Duo, or Group - Country and Favorite Album - Country.


Other country stars could be honored as well.  Luke Bryan has a pair of nominations, for Favorite Male Artist - Country and Favorite Album - Country.  Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, and Hunter Hayes are also nominees, along with Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry, and Mumford & Sons.  The fan-voted American Music Awards will be presented at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles.  Balloting is under way now at  The ceremony will air on ABC on November 24th.


Country-related nominees for the 2013 American Music Awards




Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Bruno Mars


Taylor Swift

Justin Timberlake




Florida Georgia Line

Ariana Grande

Imagine Dragons

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Phillip Phillps




Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly, "Cruise"

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, "Thrift Shop"

Robin Thicke Featuring Pharrell & T.I., "Blurred Lines"






Taylor Swift




One Direction, "Take Me Home"

Taylor Swift, "Red"

Justin Timberlake, "The 20/20 Experience"




Luke Bryan

Hunter Hayes

Blake Shelton




Miranda Lambert

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood




The Band Perry

Florida Georgia Line

Lady Antebellum




Luke Bryan, "Crash My Party"

Florida Georgia Line, "Here's To The Good Times"

Taylor Swift, "Red"




Imagine Dragons

The Lumineers

Mumford & Sons


Randy Owen, Taylor Swift Being Honored At Nashville Songwriters Event


Randy Owen and Taylor Swift are being honored this weekend.  Owen is among those being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  The Alabama frontman will officially be added to the Songwriter/Artist category during the 43rd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony on Sunday.  Owen is sharing the honor with Jeffrey Steele and Will Jennings, who are being included in the Songwriter category, and Layng Martine Jr., who's entering the Veteran Songwriter category.


Along with welcoming the new inductees, the Nashville Songwriters Association International will also salute their selections for Song, Songwriter, and Songwriter-Artist of the Year.  Taylor Swift has already been announced as this year's Songwriter-Artist.  This year marks a record sixth time Taylor has earned the title, and her fifth consecutive year to be honored.  She was first recognized in 2007 -- when she was 17 -- and she became the youngest person ever to take the award.


Naomi Judd Joining Kentucky Walk Of Legends


Naomi Judd is receiving special recognition from her home state.  Ashland, Kentucky's "The Independent" says the country star is being added to the Kentucky Walk of Legends.  The Walk, which is described as the Bluegrass State's equivalent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrates entertainers with ties to Kentucky.  Judd was born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky.  For her induction, Naomi will have her handprints, footprints, and signature cast in cement, which will then be displayed at the Down One Bourbon Bar and Restaurant in Louisville.  The restaurant will also host the induction ceremony, which will take place Saturday afternoon.


Naomi is just the fourth person to be added to the Walk, which also features actors Lily Tomlin, the late Warren Oates, and Conrad Bachmann.  The induction ceremony is taking place in conjunction with the Louisville International Festival of Film, which opened Thursday and runs through Sunday.


Taylor Swift Education Center Opening This Weekend


The Taylor Swift Education Center is getting off to an early start.  The facility at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which was originally slated to open next year, will officially begin welcoming visitors on Saturday.  The Taylor Swift Education Center occupies portions of two floors, and includes three classrooms, a learning lab, and a state-of-the-art children's exhibit gallery.  The gallery area isn't ready just yet, and won't be open until March, but the classrooms and lab will be accessible this weekend.  The Hall was able to develop the Swift Center courtesy of the singer's four-million-dollar donation in 2012, which is the largest gift the Hall has ever received from a single artist.


Rascal Flatts Has New Music On The Way


Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus says the trio is "getting close" to completing their next album.  The country star tells they're "getting some of the first mixes back" that they recorded with producer Howard Benson, and says it's "really exciting stuff."  Jay adds that he's also producing some of the songs, and he's "very thrilled about that opportunity."  The singer says the group is hoping to release a new single before the month is over, and have the album in stores by March.  The new Rascal Flatts disc will be their follow up to 2012's "Changed," which features the top ten hit "Come Wake Me Up" and the chart-topper "Banjo."


Scotty McCreery Feels Most Creative In The Studio


Scotty McCreery says he likes making records.  The country star explains that being in the studio really allows him to express his creativity.


Scotty says he also enjoys playing concerts, where he gets to be with his fans and get "the instant gratification" for his work.  But the singer says it's "another cool thing" to be in the studio knowing he's creating something his fans will hear six month later, and he's striving to "make this special for 'em."  McCreery will release his second album, "See You Tonight," next Tuesday.


Thomas Rhett Loves Getting Attention


Thomas Rhett believes he's definitely following his calling.  The country newcomer says he feels he was born to be an entertainer.  He admits he's learned a lot about performing from his father -- country star Rhett Akins -- but Thomas says even as a child he thrived on knowing all eyes were on him.


The 23-year-old also admits that when it comes to wanting attention not much has changed since he was five.  But now he satisfies his need by playing concerts.  Rhett says he'll just "soak it up" when he's on stage, and he loves "every single second" that he's performing in front of a crowd.  He adds that he gets "very nervous" before every show, but it's not stage fright.  The singer explains that he just gets "too excited" and he "can't contain it."  Thomas is currently on the road opening shows for Jason Aldean.  They'll be in Sacramento, California on Friday.


Tyler Farr Surprised To Be Getting Recognized In Public


Tyler Farr says as "Redneck Crazy" gets higher on the charts he's getting a higher profile.  The country singer admits it always surprises him to learn somebody has recognized him in public.


Farr adds that when he's asked people how they noticed him, they just tell him, "you're the 'Redneck Crazy' guy."  The single "Redneck Crazy" is in the top five on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, and still rising.  The song is the title track to Tyler's first CD, which is debuting on the Country Albums chart at number two behind Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party."


Rhode Island Farmer Welcomes Taylor Swift With Corn Maze


One of Taylor Swift's new neighbors is extending an eight-acre greeting to the singer.  Providence, Rhode Island's ABC6 says when Richard Manfredi learned that the country star had a home near his farm in Westerly, Rhode Island, he decided to use one of his fields as a giant greeting card.  He worked with three assistants to create a corn maze that reads "Welcome Taylor," punctuated with a silhouette of a guitar.  Manfredi says they put a lot of time and attention into the project, and are proud of their work.  The farmer adds that his maze is simply a friendly gesture.  He explains that he's just being a "good neighbor" who's trying to help Swift feel welcomed in the community.


Swift purchased the 17-million-dollar Rhode Island beachfront mansion in April, and has not been as warmly received by others in the area.  Back in May a fan was arrested when he tried to swim over to her home to meet her.  A few weeks later some area residents were complaining that Swift's security guards were blocking their access to the beach.  However, local authorities supported the singer, explaining that the public portion of the beach is only accessible when the tide is out.


Quick Bites


Miranda Lambert is taking her Pink Pistol back home.  The country star will officially open her Pink Pistol boutique in her hometown of Lindale, Texas this weekend.  Festivities are planned for Saturday and Sunday.  The Lindale location will become Miranda's second store.  She launched The Pink Pistol last fall in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, where she now makes her home with husband Blake Shelton.


Plans are in the works for next year's Stagecoach Country Music Festival.  Eric Church, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan are on board as headliners.  The lengthy list of performers for the three-day event also includes Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line, Loretta Lynn, Brantley Gilbert, Jennifer Nettles, and many others.  The show is set for the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California on April 25th through the 27th.  Additional details are available online at


Country Birthdays Include


Gene Watson is 70.

Paulette Carlson is 61.

Jewel's husband, rodeo star Ty Murray, is 44.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1973, Elvis and Priscilla Presley's divorce became final.


Today in 1975, the Eagles made their first appearance on the country music charts with the single "Lyin' Eyes."  It peaked at number ten.


Today in 1976, Mel Tillis took Entertainer of the Year, Ronnie Milsap earned Male Vocalist of the Year, and Dolly Parton captured Female Vocalist of the Year at the 10th annual Country Music Association Awards.  Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson were named the Vocal Duo of the Year, their collaboration "Good Hearted Woman" received Single of the Year honors at the event, and their album "Wanted - The Outlaws," which also features Tompall Glaser and Jessi Colter, took the Album of the Year award.  In addition Kitty Wells and Paul Cohen were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1982, Alabama was named Entertainer of the Year and Janie Fricke earned Female Vocalist of the Year at the 16th annual Country Music Association Awards.  Ricky Skaggs took two trophies -- Male Vocalist of the Year and the Horizon Award.  Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind" captured Album of the Year honors at the event, while the title track received the Single of the Year award.


Today in 1982, the "Biggest Hits" album by Marty Robbins was released.


Today in 1990, Mark Chesnutt was number one on the charts with his debut single, "Too Cold At Home."


Today in 1996, Paul Brandt scored his first number one hit with "I Do."


Today in 1997, Tim McGraw's song "Everywhere" was number one on the charts.


Today in 2000, Mark Collie's annual "Celebrity Race for a Diabetes Cure" took place at the Nashville Speedway.  Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, Deana Carter, and Lonestar's Dean Sams were among the country artists who participated by getting behind the wheel for the event.


Today in 2000, Toby Keith's video for the single "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This" debuted on CMT.


Today in 2005, Keith Urban's single "Better Life" hit number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.


Today in 2005, new releases included Gary Allan's "Tough All Over," Dolly Parton's "Those Were The Days," Billy Dean's "The Christ (A Song For Joseph)" and Hank Williams' three-CD set "Turn Back The Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection."


Today in 2006, Gretchen Wilson held a a one night only exclusive concert from her first headlining experience on the "Redneck Revolution" tour. The show aired in select movie theatres nationwide.


Today in 2006, Alabama hosted an hour-long live special on home shopping network QVC to promote the album "Alabama - Songs of Inspiration"


Today in 2008, Lorrie Morgan played an afternoon concert, Barbara Mandrell took part in a special Q&A session, and Hal Ketchum greeted fans in the Opry Shop as part of the Grand Ole Opry's 83rd birthday bash.  Stars performing for the Grand Ole Opry show included Darryl Worley, Kenny Rogers, and Ricky Skaggs, while Stonewall Jackson, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely, and Jim Ed Brown also took the stage.


Today in 2009, Dierks Bentley hosted his 4th annual "Miles & Music for Kids" in Nashville.  Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry, Wynonna Judd, Heidi Newfield, and Michelle Branch were among those who participated in the event.


Today in 2009, Love And Theft sang the national anthem at the start of the Kansas City Chiefs-Dallas Cowboys football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.


Today in 2011, Taylor Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year, and at 21-years old became the youngest recipient of the honor..


Today in 2011, new releases included Martina McBride's "Eleven," Hunter Hayes' self-titled debut, Lauren Alaina's "Wildflower," Joey + Rory's "A Farmhouse Christmas," and Taylor Swifts' DVD "Journey To Fearless."


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