Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Garth Brooks' Live TV Special Airs Friday, Box Set Released


Garth Brooks is bringing his Las Vegas show to his fans.  The country star will give the final performance of his run at The Encore Theater Friday night, which will air live on CBS at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.  The singer has said he'll be showcasing his influences during "Garth Brooks, Live From Las Vegas," which will feature a mix of his own hits along with an array of cover songs to honor and highlight those who have inspired him throughout his career.


The TV special coincides with the release of the box set "Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences."  The eight-disc collection features four CDs of country, pop, rock, and R&B covers, two CDs of "The Ultimate Hits," a DVD of videos to each of the songs on "The Ultimate Hits," and a DVD of Brooks' Vegas show.  The box set is a Walmart exclusive Black Friday release, and is available now.


Band Perry, Fall Out Boy "Crossroads" Premiering Friday


The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry says things "really jelled" between her group and Fall Out Boy during their final rehearsal for "CMT Crossroads."  But members of the country trio and the rock band both admit it took an effort to get to that point.  The Band Perry's Neil Perry tells Nashville's "Tennessean" they found Fall Out Boy's material tough to pick up, because the rockers' songs are structured differently.  Fall Out Boy also had some difficulties with The Band Perry's music.  Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump says The Band Perry's current hit, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely," was particularly tough for him.  But he adds that overall it was "a cool challenge" to learn each other's songs.


The Band Perry and Fall Out Boy's "CMT Crossroads" set features four songs from each group as well as a cover tune.  The hour-long show will have its premiere on CMT Friday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.


Gary Allan Debuting New Video


Gary Allan has a post-Thanksgiving gift for his fans.  The country star is debuting the video to his latest single, "It Ain't The Whiskey."  Gary says he's really happy with the clip.


"It Ain't The Whiskey" is the third single from Gary's album "Set You Free," following "Pieces" and the chart-topper "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)."  Fans can find details on the video premiere at


Kenny Rogers Launches Annual Holiday Tour


Kenny Rogers is back on the road.  The country star kicked off his annual holiday tour this week with a couple of shows in Canada.  He's now back on this side of the border, and will play his first U.S. show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Friday night.  Rogers is marking his 32nd year staging his "Christmas & Hits" show, which features a mix of seasonal classics with his own songs.  This time around Rogers is bringing Linda Davis as a special guest performer, while he's also welcoming local children's choirs to join him at each stop.


Shows feature Kenny performing such holiday tunes as "Joy To The World," "White Christmas," and "The Christmas Song," along with fan favorites including "Lucille," "Lady," "Daytime Friends," and his signature song "The Gambler."  Rogers will wrap up his tour just before Christmas with a show in Champaign, Illinois on December 22nd.


Dates for Kenny Rogers' "Christmas & Hits Through The Years With Special Guest Linda Davis"


November 29 - Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, at the Kirby Center for The Performing Arts

November 30 - Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Resorts Casino Hotel

December 1 - Concord, New Hampshire, at The Capitol Center for the Arts

December 2 - Verona, New York, at the Turning Stone Resort Casino - Event Center

December 3 - Englewood, New Jersey, at the Bergen Performing Arts Center

December 4 - Westbury, New York, at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

December 5  -Newark, New Jersey, at Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

December 6 - Uncasville, Connecticut, at the Mohegan Sun Arena

December 7 - Newport News, Virginia, at Christopher Newport University's Ferguson Center for the Arts

December 8 - Morgantown, West Virginia, at the West Virginia University - Creative Arts Center

December 9 - Highland Heights, Kentucky, at the Bank of Kentucky Center

December 10 - Warren, Ohio, at Packard Music Hall

December 11 - Saint Charles, Missouri, at the Family Arena

December 12 - Paducah, Kentucky, at the Carson Center

December 14 - Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, at the Kewadin Casino - DreamMakers Theater

December 15 - Windsor, Ontario, Canada, at Caesars Windsor - The Colosseum

December 16 - New Philadelphia, Ohio, at the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas

December 18 - Bemidji, Minnesota, at the Sanford Center

December 19 - Mitchell, South Dakota, at the Corn Palace

December 20 - Ottumwa, Iowa, at the Bridge View Center

December 21 - Naperville, Illinois, at Pfeiffer Hall - North Central College

December 22 - Champaign, Illinois, at the State Farm Center at University of Illinois


Taylor Swift Launching Australian/New Zealand Tour


Taylor Swift is spending this weekend in New Zealand.  The country-pop superstar is currently "down under" for the Australian-New Zealand portion of her "Red" tour.  She's kicking off the trek with a three-night stand in Auckland, with performances at the Vector Arena on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.  Taylor will then spend the next two weeks in Australia.  She's slated to play shows in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth before closing out the tour in Melbourne on December 14th -- a day after her 24th birthday.


With her tour Swift is accomplishing something that hasn't been done in 20 years.  Taylor is the first solo female artist to stage an Australian stadium tour since Madonna brought her "Girlie Show" tour to Australia in 1993.


Keith Urban, Taylor Swift Up For ARIA Awards


Keith Urban and Taylor Swift are up for more awards -- this time in Australia.  The country stars are among the nominees for the 27th annual ARIA Awards, which are Australia's equivalent to the Grammys.  Urban has bids in two categories -- Best Live Act and Best Male Artist.  Swift is one of ten acts vying for Best International Artist.  Her competition includes her "Red" tour opening act, Ed Sheeran, as well as Mumford And Sons, Bruno Mars, Pink, and One Direction.  The 27th annual ARIA Awards will take place at the Event Centre at The Star in Sydney, Australia on Sunday.


Chris Young Disappointed With Black Friday


Chris Young says he's always enjoyed going out and battling the crowds on Black Friday.


But the country star admits he's lost some of his enthusiasm for the annual post-Thanksgiving shopping event.  Chris explains that since so many stores started their Black Friday sales event Thursday, it's just not the same this year.


Mindy McCready's Birthday Would Have Been Saturday


Saturday marks what would have been the late Mindy McCready's 38th birthday.  The troubled country died earlier this year in an apparent suicide.  She launched her music career in the 1990s, and had a hit with her debut album, "Ten Thousand Angels" and the chart-topper "Guys Do It All The Time."  But subsequent releases never matched the success of her first studio effort, and as the years progressed she began making more headlines for her turbulent personal life than for her music.  She was jailed multiple times for probation violations stemming from a 2004 drug arrest, and in 2005 was brutally attacked by her ex-boyfriend, who is also the father of her oldest son, Zander.  McCready attempted suicide twice in the months that followed.


More drama came in 2008, when Mindy came forward with allegations that she'd had an affair with baseball great Roger Clemens when she was just 15 years old.  Clemens denied McCready's claims.  Her substance abuse issues led to her losing custody of her son -- and years of legal battles in an attempt to get him back.  She eventually won custody of Zander in late 2011, after taking the boy from her father's home and hiding out with him at boyfriend David Wilson's Arkansas home.  At the time, McCready was pregnant with Wilson's son, Zayne, who was born in April 2012.  Wilson died this past January of a gunshot wound.  His death was still being investigated when Mindy took her own life a few weeks later, on February 17th.  Her sons were already in foster care when McCready died.  The boys are now living with other family members.


Country TV Today And Tonight


GARTH BROOKS, LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS (CBS) Garth Brooks is featured in his final Las Vegas concert.

CMT CROSSROADS (CMT) The Band Perry is featured with Fall Out Boy.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1976, Elvis Presley recorded his last hit record, "Way Down," at his studio in the Graceland Mansion.  The raw, unedited version can be found on the album "Our Memories of Elvis, Volume 2."


Today in 1983, the single "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers became the first country song ever to simultaneously top the country, pop, and adult contemporary charts.


Today in 1993, the "Honky Tonk Angels" album by Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn was released.


Today in 1993, Brooks & Dunn hit number one with "She Used to Be Mine."


Today in 1996, Alan Jackson released the "Everything I Love" album.


Today in 2000, Keith Urban performed at the closing ceremonies for the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.


Today in 2002, Rascal Flatts' album "Melt" was released, along with a number of holiday discs including Patty Loveless' "Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas," Jo Dee Messina's Christmas CD, "A Joyful Noise," and Lee Ann Womack's "A Season for Romance," while  Kenny Rogers' CD "The Gift" was reissued.


Today in 2004, Phil Vassar topped "Radio & Records'" country chart with "In a Real Love."


Today in 2007, Luke Bryan performed for the loved ones of fallen soldiers at Nashville's airport, before the families left for the two-day event, Snowball Express, which honor the relatives of U.S. troops killed in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Today in 2007, The Statler Brothers were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Nashville.


Today in 2011, Jake Owen celebrated his first chart-topping hit "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" with an event in Nashville.


Today in 2012, Taylor Swift and Toby Keith made the top ten on "Forbes" magazine's list of the 25 Highest Paid Musicians of 2012.


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