Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Dierks Bentley Admits "Crossroads" Show Took Effort


Dierks Bentley says it took a lot of effort to prepare for his "CMT Crossroads" performance with OneRepublic.  The country star explains that he knew the group's music but hadn't really examined it before.


Bentley explains that along with the vocal arrangements they faced a number of challenges musically, like finding a way to incorporate a banjo into OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" and a cello into his song "Home."  Dierks admits it took a lot of effort but it was also a lot of fun, and he's a bit disappointed to be finished with the project.


Bentley and OneRepublic recently taped their "CMT Crossroads" episode before an invited audience in Nashville.  Their set includes the OneRepublic hit "Good Life" as well as Bentley's "Up on the Ridge" and "I Hold On," while they also share stories from their lives and careers.  The show will debut on CMT Friday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Keith Urban Weighs In On "American Idol" Finalists


Keith Urban says he's enjoying this season of "American Idol."  The country star explains that he's seeing a lot of growth among the finalists.


Keith adds that the hopefuls are also gaining confidence, which he says is both good and dangerous.  He explains that it's important for them to believe in themselves. but overconfidence "can have its own detrimental result."  Nine singers are left after M.K. Nobilette's elimination Thursday night.  The competition will continue with the next episode of "American Idol," airing on Fox next Wednesday.


Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line Make Special "Idol" Appearances


Hunter Hayes and Florida Georgia Line are following the competition on "American Idol" -- and extending some encouragement to the finalists.  On Thursday's episode of the Fox show, Hunter made a surprise appearance to thank C.J. Harris for performing "Invisible" Wednesday night.


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard extended their best to Dexter Roberts, who sang "Cruise" on Wednesday's show.  The judges were less than impressed with his low-tempo version of the country duo's massive hit, and he ended up in the bottom three.  But Dexter received enough support from viewers to stay in the running, while M.K. Nobilette was cut from the competition.  Dexter and C.J. will join the other seven remaining finalists for another performance round on "American Idol" next Wednesday on Fox.


Merle Haggard To Be Honored At ACM Awards


Merle Haggard has been tapped as this year's Academy of Country Music Crystal Milestone recipient.  The prize is usually presented in an off-camera ceremony in Nashville each fall, but Hag will honored during next month's 49th annual ACM Awards.  The country legend is being recognized for his lengthy and influential career.  The ACM Awards will take place in Las Vegas, and air on CBS on April 6th.


Hag is also being honored with a new tribute album.  The star-packed project features Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley teaming up on "Pancho and Lefty," Toby Keith covering "Carolyn," and Jason Aldean singing "Are the Good Times Really Over."  Joe Nichols, Randy Houser, Thompson Square, and Jake Owen are some of the other stars on the project, while Merle's son Ben is featured on two tracks.  Garth Brooks' version of "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" is included on albums sold at Walmart.  "Working Man's Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard" will arrive in stores on April 1st.


"Working Man's Poet" Track Listing


1. "Misery And Gin" (performed by Randy Houser)

2. "Footlights" (performed by Joe Nichols)

3. "Going Where The Lonely Go" (performed by Jason Aldean)

4. "Today I Started Loving You Again" (performed by Kristy Lee Cook)

5. "Carolyn" (performed by Toby Keith)

6. "Pancho And Lefty" (performed by Luke Bryan & Dierks Bentley)

7. "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" (performed by Garth Brooks - Walmart exclusive track)

8. "You Take Me For Granted" (performed by Thompson Square)

9. "Mama Tried" (performed by Ben Haggard)

10. "That's The Way Love Goes"  (performed by Dustin Lynch)

11. "Make Up and Faded Blue Jeans" (performed by Jake Owen)

12. "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive"  (performed by James Wesley)

13. "Workin' Man Blues" (performed by Parmalee)

14. "Are The Good Times Really Over" (performed by Jason Aldean)

15. "Let's Chase Each Other Around The Room" (performed by Thompson Square)

16. "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink" (performed by Dustin Lynch)

17. "The Fightin' Side Of Me" (performed by James Wesley)

18. "My Favorite Memory" (performed by Joe Nichols)

19. "Ramblin' Fever" (performed by Randy Houser)

20. "Sing Me Back Home" (performed by Ben Haggard)


Darius Rucker To Host ACM Charity Golf Event


Darius Rucker is once again getting the chance to indulge one of his other passions while helping the Academy of Country Music raise money for charity.  For a third consecutive year, the singer and avid golfer is set to host the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic.  Jake Owen, Scotty McCreery, and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley are among the stars on board for the event.  Participants will hit the links at TPC Las Vegas on April 5th.


Money raised will go to the ACM Lifting Lives Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund, which provides immediate financial assistance to those in need the music industry.  The golf tournament is just one of many activities taking place in conjunction with the 49th annual ACM Awards, which will be presented in Las Vegas on April 6th.


George Jones Biography To Be Published In April


George Jones' story is being put in print.  Songwriter Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery and his wife Charlene are sharing their memories of the late country great in the upcoming book "The Legend of George Jones."  A release from the publisher says the Montgomerys drew on their own experiences with Jones to compile a collection of stories that "set the record straight," and "document the real heart and soul of George Jones."  In the book they shed new light on a number of incidents and issues from the storied singer's life, including the time George tried to kill Peanutt.  The book, has received approval from all four of Jones' children, comes with a 12-track CD including two previously unreleased George Jones songs.  "The Legend of George Jones" will be in stores on April 15th.


"New" Roy Orbison Song To Be Included On "Mystery Girl" Reissue


Roy Orbison's "Mystery Girl" is getting a makeover to include some never-before released recordings from the late singer.  "Mystery Girl - Deluxe" includes the album's original ten tracks, along with eight previously unreleased demos and a "new" Roy Orbison song.  "The Way Is Love" was created from a restored Orbison vocal track.  The legendary performer's sons Roy Jr., Alex, and Wesley completed the song, adding the instrumentation and background vocals.  They add that recording the song was a dream come true.  Roy Jr. explains that the primary reason he and his brothers became musicians was to "play in dad's band" when they grew up.  At the time of Roy's death, Wesley was 23, Roy Jr. was 18, and Alex was 13.


Another bonus track on "Mystery Girl - Deluxe" is a studio demo of "She's A Mystery To Me" featuring U2's Bono.  The set is also packaged with a DVD including a number of music videos and the documentary "Mystery Girl: Unraveled," featuring Bono, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and others who were involved in the making of the album.  An audio-only version will be released under the title "Mystery Girl - Expanded."  The "Mystery Girl" reissues, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the original album's release, will be in stores on May 20th.  A vinyl version will arrive on June 10th.


Love And Theft Singer Hoping Son Becomes Athlete


Love And Theft's Stephen Barker Liles isn't necessarily looking for his son to follow in his musical footsteps.  The country singer admits he's going to encourage his boy to be athletic.


But Stephen has time to figure out just where his son's interest lie.  The singer became a dad late last year with the birth of his first child, Jett Barker Liles, who's now three-and-a-half-months old.


Johnny Cash's Great-Niece Murdered


Authorities in Tennessee say a woman found stabbed to death Wednesday is the great-niece of Johnny Cash.  Courtney Cash was the granddaughter of Johnny's brother, Tommy Cash.  Courtney's body was found stuffed inside a large wooden box in her home in Baxter.  Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews says the woman's boyfriend was also stabbed, and was hospitalized in Nashville.   Police have a suspect in custody, who has been charged with first-degree murder.


Country TV Tonight


CMT CROSSROADS (CMT) Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic team up in concert.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1955, Johnny Cash auditioned for Sun Records owner and producer Sam Phillips.  Phillips liked Johnny's "Hey Porter," and brought him back the next day to record the song.


Today in 1970, Elvis Presley's "Kentucky Rain" peaked at number 16 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1975, Jessi Colter's single "I'm Not Lisa" entered the charts.


Today in 1988, Hank Williams Jr. and Randy Travis were the big winners at the Academy of Country Music Awards.  Hank Jr. was named Entertainer of the Year.  Travis took the title of Top Male Vocalist, while his hit "Forever and Ever, Amen" earned Single and Song of the Year honors.  Reba McEntire, The Judds, and K.T. Oslin also took home awards.


Today in 1992, pop met country when the single "Justified & Ancient," by The KLF featuring Tammy Wynette peaked at number eleven on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1992, Alan Jackson's "Dallas" topped the "Billboard" country chart.


Today in 1993, Billy Ray Cyrus was among the winners at the Juno Awards, Canada's version of the Grammys, and Anne Murray was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1994, the video for John Michael Montgomery's song "Kickin' It Up" was released.


Today in 2000, it was announced that Faith Hill and Tim McGraw would participate in a July fundraiser for the Jackson Zoo in Jackson, Mississippi.


Today in 2000, new releases included Nickel Creek's self-titled album.


Today in 2002, Lonestar received three awards in the 13th annual American Songwriter Magazine awards,  The band took Country Artist of the Year, the hit "I'm Already There" earned Country Song of the Year honors, and lead singer Richie McDonald and co-writers Gary Baker and Frank Myers were named Country Songwriters of the Year.


Today in 2003, Tim McGraw joined rap-rocker Kid Rock to play a surprise benefit concert for the Red Cross in Detroit.


Today in 2004, Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox and his wife, Tara, welcomed their daughter, Brooklyn Leigh.


Today in 2006, Gretchen Wilson made a guest appearance on "Nashville Star."


Today in 2006, new releases included Kenny Rogers' first studio album in three years, "Water & Bridges," and Chicago's "Chicago XXX," which was produced by Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus.  Jay also co-wrote six songs for the project, and Rascal Flatts contributes vocals to one song.


Today in 2008, Carrie Underwood met hockey player Mike Fisher backstage at her concert in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  The two eventually became a couple, and were married in 2010.


Today in 2011, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood were among the performers at the "All Together Now - A Celebration Of Service" concert in Washington, DC honoring former President George H.W. Bush.


Today in 2011, Chris Young celebrated the chart-topping success of "Voices" and Luke Bryan had a party for his number one hit "Someone Else Calling You Baby" in separate events in Nashville.


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