Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Swift, Urban Set For Friday's Grammy Nominations Special


Taylor Swift and Keith Urban will help unveil some of the hopefuls for next year's Grammy Awards.  The country stars are among those on board for "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night."  Keith was one of the first confirmed performers for the show, while Taylor will make a long-distance appearance from Australia.  LL Cool J will host the hour-long special, which will also feature performances from Robin Thicke, Katy Perry, Lorde, and others.  In addition to the music, the contenders in nine Grammy categories will be announced. "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!" will take place in Los Angeles on Friday, airing on CBS at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.  The 56th annual Grammy Awards are set for the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will air on CBS on January 26th.


"Sound Of Music Live!" An Expensive Broadcast


Carrie Underwood fans might have the chance to see the country star in "The Sound of Music" year after year after year.  That's what NBC executives would like to see happen.  "The Hollywood Reporter" says Thursday's live presentation of the musical cost the network nearly nine-million-dollars, and the company is taking a loss on the initial broadcast.  But NBC reportedly plans to air the three-hour special at least one more time this month.  In addition, the network has already released a soundtrack album featuring Underwood and her castmates, while a "Sound of Music Live!" DVD will be released on December 17th.  And the production could join the collection of shows NBC rolls out every year during the holiday season.


Little Big Town Singer's Cooking Show Renewed


Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman will continue to cook up more than music.  Great American Country has renewed the country star's cooking show, "Kimberly's Simply Southern."  Episodes feature Schlapman exploring different foods and culinary customs throughout the U.S. while on tour with Little Big Town.  She then brings those ideas to her kitchen to blend with her own Southern cuisine. Kimberly says having her own cooking show was one of her childhood dreams, and she loves sharing her "passion for cooking and hunting down treasures across the country" with her GAC audience.  New episodes debut on GAC on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.  The third season of "Kimberly's Simply Southern" will launch in the spring.


Danielle Bradbery Inks Deal With Skechers


Danielle Bradbery is the new face of Skechers.  The shoe brand has tapped the 17-year-old season four winner of "The Voice" for their upcoming ad campaigns, include their charitable BOBS from Skechers line.  Danielle's deal with the company will run through 2015.  The country singer will make her first Skechers ad appearances to promote the Spring 2014 products.  Danielle says she's thrilled to be associated with the shoe brand, and especially BOBS.  She explains that Skechers has "helped so many children in need," and she loves how the company is providing a "simple way for anyone to give back."


Billy Currington Brings Grandmother To Number One Party


Billy Currington is using his success to surprise someone special.  The country star tapped his 84-year-old grandmother to accompany him to his party for his chart-topping hit, "Hey Girl."  Only Billy says when he brought her to Nashville, he didn't tell her where he planned to take her.


Currington explains that his grandmother loves Nashville, and she really enjoyed seeing the holiday lighting display at the Opryland Hotel during a visit a few years ago.  He says Opryland's lights a big impression on her, and she's "been talking about it" ever since.  And now she has a new story to take back home.  Billy and his grandma joined the song's writers to celebrate the success of "Hey Girl" at an event in Nashville on Tuesday.  "Hey Girl" is the lead-off single from Currington's most recent album, "We Are Tonight."


Jake Owen Pays Close Attention To Song Order On CDs


Jake Owen says his albums aren't just a bunch of songs randomly thrown together.  The country star explains that a lot of though goes into the track order on his CD -- especially the lead-off song -- because he knows how important it is to make a strong first impression.


Owen adds that when he buys albums he doesn't skip around the disc and check out songs haphazardly, and it's only natural to listen to the first song first.  Jake just released his latest CD, "Days Of Gold," which he says quite intentionally begins with the title track.


Sammy Kershaw Remakes Hits For Latest Collection


Sammy Kershaw fans might notice something a little different about the songs on "Big Hits: Volume One."  The country star's new best-of collection features remakes of some of his hits.  Sammy says he's glad he's had the chance to recut the songs.  The singer tells that when he's listened to some of his records over the years he's heard things he wishes he'd done differently, and he's glad he's finally been able to make those adjustments to the songs.  Kershaw admits some of the changes are subtle.  But he explains that the songs now have "a little more edge to them."   Sammy adds that because of advances in technology, the re-recordings sound "fresh" and "a little more up to date."


"She Don't Know She's Beautiful," "Third Rate Romance," and "Louisiana Hot Sauce" are some of the songs on the 12-track set.  Kershaw's "Big Hits: Volume One" is in stores now.


Lionel Richie Not Finished With Country Music Yet


Lionel Richie says he'd like to record more country duets.  And he says country star Luke Bryan deserves the credit.  The R&B great tells "Country Weekly" that he'd been considering a "Tuskegee" follow up, and Bryan "put the final nail in the idea."  Lionel teamed up with Luke to perform at the "CMT Artists of the Year" event earlier this week.  Richie says when he walked on stage with Bryan he "realized the magic of performing," and "country has it down pat."  He adds that he loves the current crop of country stars, along with the idea of recording more songs "with Luke and a couple of the other crazy guys.”


Luke was an honoree at the "CMT Artists of the Year" event, but he and Richie didn't sing any of Bryan's songs.  They closed the ceremony with The Commodores' "Oh No" and Richie's "All Night Long."  Lionel says that was all Luke's doing -- he insisted they perform Lionel's music -- which left Lionel feeling "really honored."


Brenda Lee A Leader On Billboard Holiday Charts


Brenda Lee's classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is among the leaders as "Billboard" revives its holiday charts.  The veteran pop-country singer's 1960 hit is at number one on the Holiday Airplay chart, and follows Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" on the Holiday 100. Lee's "Christmas Tree" is also in the top five on the Holiday Digital Songs chart, and has the number six spot on Holiday Streaming Songs.  Burl Ives' "A Holly Christmas" follows Brenda on the Holiday Airplay list, with Bobby Helm's "Jingle Bell Rock" at number three on both the Airplay and Holiday 100 lists.  Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad" and John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" are also in the top ten on both charts.


Danielle Bradbery Still In Contact With Blake Shelton


Danielle Bradbery is staying in touch with Blake Shelton, her coach on NBC's "The Voice."  The young country singer, who was the season four winner, says she gave Blake a preview of her debut album.


Danielle adds that Shelton invited her to appear at shows on his tour this year, and sharing the stage with him was "amazing."  Bradbery will be performing for a hometown crowd this weekend.  The Houston native is slated to take part in the Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting event on Friday.


Quick Bites


Shania Twain will be hanging out with Santa this weekend -- a lot of Santas.  The country star has been tapped to serve as the grand marshal of the "Las Vegas Great Santa Run."  The charity event supports Opportunity Village, an organization that assists people with disabilities.  Last year just under ten-thousand participants dressed as Santa for the event.  This year's race will take place in downtown Las Vegas on Saturday.


The late Buck Owens is being celebrated this weekend at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  A series of programs exploring Buck's life and music are scheduled for Saturday.  The country legend's backing band, the Buckaroos, will cap off the event with a performance at the CMA Theater.  Pistol Annies' Angaleena Presley, Sunny Sweeney, and Jim Lauderdale are some of the other stars also slated to take part in the show.


Country Birthdays Include


Helen Cornelius is 72.

Foster & Lloyd's Bill Lloyd is 58.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1968, aides to President Richard Nixon send out 66-thousand letters personally signed by Nixon to potential administrative office holders.  Among those receiving one was Elvis Presley.


Today in 1980, the single "I Love A Rainy Night" by Eddie Rabbitt entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1988, Roy Orbison died of a heart attack while on a visit to his mother near Nashville.  He was 52.


Today in 1998, Faith Hill was number one on the singles charts with "Let Me Let Go."


Today in 2001, Faith Hill gave birth to daughter Audrey Caroline McGraw.  While she arrived a month earlier than expected and suffered some complications initially, the littlest McGraw is just fine.


Today in 2001, Travis Tritt took part in the 78th annual Christmas Pageant of Peace in Washington, DC, which included the annual ceremony to light the National Christmas Tree.


Today in 2005, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood were married.


Today in 2005, Toby Keith and Carrie Underwood were the big country winners at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards.


Today in 2005, Wynonna and Cowboy Troy were named as the new hosts for the next season of USA's "Nashville Star."


Today in 2006, Josh Gracin filled in for Richie McDonald at Lonestar's concert in Corpus Christi, Texas, which was a benefit for the South Texas Academic Rising Stars.  Richie couldn't make the show because he was still recovering from back surgery.


Today in 2007, Vince Gill and Taylor Swift were among those who took part in revealing the nominees for the 50th annual Grammy Awards.  Tim McGraw and Direks Bentley were the top country contenders, with four bids apiece.


Today in 2007, Sara Evans performed at the 84th annual Lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington, DC.


Today in 2007, Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney announced that he and his wife were expecting their first child. 


Today in 2007, Emerson Drive sang the American and Canadian national anthems at the Nashville Predators-Vancouver Cannucks hockey game in Nashville.


Today in 2008, Big & Rich's John Rich married girlfriend Joan Bush in Nashville.  While only family members attended the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds hosted a larger reception for friends at the Fontanel Mansion.  Rich and Bush had been a couple for five years prior to their wedding, but had never publicly acknowledged that they were dating.


Today in 2008, George Jones attended a White House Reception in his honor in conjunction with his Kennedy Center Honors award.


Today in 2010, Carrie Underwood was the big winner at the inaugural American Country Awards.  Lady Antebellum and Easton Corbin were also among those recognized at the event.


Today in 2010, Aaron Lewis' video for the song "Country Boy," featuring Charlie Daniels, George Jones, and Chris Young, had its TV premiere on CMT.


Today in 2011, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles became a mom with the birth of her son, Magnus.


Today in 2011, the late Roy Orbison's widow, Barbara Orbison, died on the 23rd anniversary of Roy's death.  Barbara passed away in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer.  She was 60.


Today in 2011, new albums releases included "This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark" featuring Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, and others.


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