Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

Jerrod Niemann, Amazed, Thankful For Multi-Week Number One Hit


Jerrod Niemann's current single, "Drink To That All Night," isn't just the country star's second number one hit.  It's become his first song to spend more than one week at the top of the chart.  And Jerrod admits he's having a tough time comprehending the accomplishment.


Jerrod adds that he's truly humbled by the feat, which he knows he didn't achieve on his own.  He says he's grateful to his fans and friends at country radio for all their support.


The song is also putting Niemann at the top of more than one chart  In addition to marking its second week at number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, this week "Drink To That All Night" became the new leader on the "Country Aircheck" chart.   "Drink To That All Night" is Niemann's lead-off single from his new album, "High Noon."


Carrie Underwood Included In "Time's" Most Influential List


Carrie Underwood is getting a nod from "Time."  The magazine includes the country star on it's latest "100 Most Influential People" list, in the Icons category.  And Brad Paisley provides the write-up on her.  He praises the former "American Idol" winner as "a prolific songwriter, a trend-setter and an Opry member," but says it's "her decency as a person" that he finds "so impressive."  Brad adds that Underwood has great deal of courage, using her starring role in last December's "The Sound of Music" live TV special to make his point.  Brad explains that most singers make their Broadway show debut "in front of a thousand people," but Carrie "did it in front of 20 million."  Paisley adds that he sees "hope for the world" when he hears young girls say they "want to be just like" Carrie.


Dolly Parton also contributes to the "Time" rundown, writing about her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus.  The country legend admits the young pop star, who's in the Artists category, broke away from her "Hannah Montana" past in a "drastic" way.  But Dolly says decades ago she forged her own path, so she respects that Miley is also doing things her own way.


Willie Nelson Set For Two Texas Events This Weekend


Willie Nelson is receiving a special honor this weekend.  He's slated to be inducted into the newly established "Austin City Limits" Hall of Fame.  The long-running PBS series is launching what will become an annual tribute event to help mark the show's 40th anniversary.  And Nelson is an appropriate choice for an inaugural honoree.  The country legend has performed many times on "Austin City Limits," starting with the pilot episode.  The late Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble are also among the "ACL" Hall's first inductees, who'll be honored with a special event in Austin, Texas Saturday night.  Highlights from the ceremony will be included in a PBS "Austin City Limits" special that will air in October.


Nelson will follow his "ACL" honor with another special event in his home state.  The singer is showing his support for Texas gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis by performing at a barbeque fundraiser for the state senator.  The political gathering is scheduled to take place in Houston on Sunday.


Ceremony This Weekend Marks First Anniversary Of George Jones' Death


The late George Jones is being remembered with a special ceremony this weekend.  His widow, Nancy Jones, will host the memorial event Saturday afternoon at Nashville's Woodlawn Cemetery.  The ceremony, marking the first anniversary of the singer's death, will include the planting of two dogwood trees at the Country Music Hall of Famer's monument.  Nancy is encouraging George's friends and fans to attend the event, which is open to the public.  She admits it's "going to be bittersweet," but is hoping people will turn out to help her keep her husband's legacy alive.  Country music's legendary Possum died at a Nashville hospital on April 26th, 2013.  He was 81.


George Strait Adds Show To Final Tour


George Strait will be saying farewell to fans in an extra city as the end of his "Cowboy Rides Away" tour approaches.  The country star has announced a new show in Hidalgo, Texas on June 5th.  Tickets for his performance at the State Farm Arena will be available to the public on May 2nd at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.  Fan club ticket sales begin on April 29th, also at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.  Guests for the new date haven't been announced as yet.


Different stars have been joining George for shows throughout the trek, which the singer says is his last formal tour.  Just a few more dates are left.  Strait's May 31st concert in Foxboro, Massachusetts will also feature Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.  Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Miranda Lambert are among the many guests on board for the June 7th tour finale in Arlington, Texas.  Strait's next performance will be at the Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 23rd.


Brantley Gilbert Shares Mutual Loyalty, Respect With Fans


Brantley Gilbert admits he feels the same loyalty and respect for his fans that they have for him.  Thomas Rhett, who's currently touring with Gilbert, recently said Brantley's fans would "literally take a bullet" for him -- and Brantley says that "goes both ways."


Gilbert says he doesn't consider his followers "fans," but "friends," because "a friend is somebody that knows you and supports you."  The country star explains that his audience members are "spending all kinds of money" on his albums, concert tickets, and other merchandise, which is the definition of support for a musician.  And Brantley will have more for his supportive friends soon.  His new album, "Just As I Am," will be in stores on May 19th.  He'll be performing at the Stagecoach festival in Indio, California on Friday.


"Nashville" Stars Launching Tour This Weekend


"Nashville" star Clare Bowen admits she "still can't believe" she's going on tour.  The actress and singer, who portrays Scarlett O'Connor on the ABC drama, tells "The Chicago Sun-Times" she's thrilled to "be this accessible" to the show's fans, adding that they're "the whole reason" for the trek.  Bowen is one of several cast members taking part in the "Nashville" Concert Tour, which begins in Chicago on Friday.


Sam Palladio -- Gunnar Scott on the show -- is also on board for the four-date run, along with Charles Esten, "Nashville's" Deacon Claybourne, and Chris Carmack, "Nashville's" Will Lexington.  They'll follow their Chicago concert with performances in Washington, DC and Philadelphia.  Will Chase, "Nashville's" Luke Wheeler, will join his cast mates in New York City for the tour's final show.


"Nashville" Concert Tour dates


April 25 - Chicago, Illinois, at Joe's Bar

May 4 - Washington, DC, at the Lincoln Theater

May 5 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Tower Theater

May 6 - New York, New York, at the Best Buy Theater


Eric Church Headlines Opening Night At This Weekend's Stagecoach Festival


Eric Church is helping to launch this weekend's Stagecoach Festival.  The country star is the opening night headliner for the multi-day, multi-stage event, which begins Friday in Indio, California.  He'll perform after sets from Brantley Gilbert, Easton Corbin, Thomas Rhett, and others.  Jason Aldean will cap off day two, while Luke Bryan will play the closing set Sunday night.  Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, and Jennifer Nettles are also among the two-dozen "Mane" stage performers.  John Conlee, Asleep at the Wheel, and Crystal Gayle are just a few of the many acts slated for the event's other stages.


And fans who cant attend the festival in person are still getting a chance to see some of the performances.  AXS TV will provide coverage of all three days of the event, with broadcasts starting each night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.


Band Perry Attribute Success To Ambition, Determination


The Band Perry's Reid Perry says the group's determination is paying off.  The country star explains that well before they had achieved any success they were persistent in pursuing their goals.


Reid adds that The Band Perry has always been its own biggest competition.  He explains that with everything they do they strive to make it better than what they've done before.  And the singer says they're enjoying every minute of it, because there's nothing they love more than perform for their fans.  The Band Perry will be entertaining audiences in Cherokee, North Carolina on Friday and in Dothan, Alabama on Saturday.


Kenny Rogers Exhibit Opening In Nashville This Summer


Kenny Rogers is the subject of an upcoming exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Museum Director Kyle Young says "Kenny Rogers: Through the Years" will provide a "detailed presentation" of the singer's incredible career, which began with an R&B doo-wop  group nearly 60 years ago.  Young explains that over the course of Rogers' lengthy, successful, and diverse career he "redefined and elevated country music superstardom in every sense," while remaining "true to his unique artistic vision."  He adds that the museum is thrilled to be sharing Rogers' story with its visitors.  "Kenny Rogers: Through The Years" will launch a ten-month run at the Nashville museum on August 15th.


Quick Bites


Wynonna Judd is performing for a cause this weekend.  She's slated to entertain at William Shatner's Hollywood Charity Horse Show.  The event is set for the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California on Saturday.  Money raise will go to AHEAD With Horses, the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and other Los Angeles-area children's charities.


While the Stagecoach festival is under way in California, country stars are also performing at other music events this weekend.  The Mavericks are among the many artists who'll take the stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  Meanwhile, The Band Perry, Brett Eldredge, Clay Walker, and Billy Currington are just a few of the artists on board for the Toad Lick Music Festival in Dothan, Alabama.


Country TV Tonight


2014 STAGECOACH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL (AXS) The special broadcast will feature live performances and behind-the-scenes coverage of the three-day country music festival in Indio, California.  Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, and Thomas Rhett are among the performers.

TOP 20 COUNTRY COUNTDOWN (GAC) Clips from Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, and Carrie Underwood are included in the rundown of the week's most popular country music videos.


Country Birthdays Include


Rob Crosby is 60.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1978, Willie Nelson performed for President Jimmy Carter in the White House.


Today in 1985, Roger Miller's musical "Big River" opened on Broadway.  It was based on Mark Twain's novel "Huckleberry Finn."  The songwriter actually played the part of "Pap" in several performances of the musical, among them the ones held in Nashville.


Today in 1994, Tim McGraw released the single "Don't Take The Girl."


Today in 2000, Trisha Yearwood kicked off her "Real Live Woman Tour" in St. Louis, Missouri. She was joined by Kim Richey and Jessica Andrews.


Today in 2000, Faith Hill's "Breathe" took over the number one spot on the "Billboard" Adult Contemporary chart.  The achievement made her the first American female to top the publication's AC chart since LeAnn Rimes, who'd done so back in November of 1997.  Faith's previous pop smash, "This Kiss," had gone to number three.


Today in 2000, the Academy of Country Music has announced that Tammy Wynette had been named as the first posthumous recipient of the Pioneer Award.


Today in 2003, Travis Tritt was presented with Public Service award from the Department of Veterans Affairs in a ceremony at the Washington VA Medical Center.


Today in 2005, Lonestar guitarist Michael Britt and his wife, Rene, had daughter Hillary Quinn.


Today in 2006, The DVD "Reba: The Complete Third Season," featuring Reba McEntire, arrived in stores.


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts were among the participants in the "American Idol" charity special "Idol Gives Back."


Today in 2007, Big Kenny of Big & Rich sponsored the screening of "The Devil Came on Horseback" at the Nashville Film Festival.  The film was about the genocide in Darfur.


Today in 2007, Alan Jackson's "Precious Memories" was named Country Album of the Year at the 38th annual GMA Dove Awards.  The Oak Ridge Boys and Amy Grant were also winners.


Today in 2010, Dierks Bentley hosted his "Miles & Music For Kids" charity motorcycle ride and concert in Dallas.


Today in 2010, Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith were the headliners for the second day of the Stagecoach festival in Indio, California.  Jason Aldean, Heidi Newfield, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Bill Anderson were some of the other performers at the event.


Today in 2012, Brad Paisley made an animated appearance on Comedy Central's "South Park."


Today in 2013, Billy Currington went to Georgia's Chatham County Jail to surrender to police a day after he was indicted on charges of making terroristic threats and abuse of an elder person.  The case stemmed from an incident that occurred a week earlier between the singer and the 70-year-old tour boat captain when the captain took his boat past Currington's Tybee Island property.


Today in 2013, reps for Jason Aldean wouldn't confirm that the singer and his wife had separated, but admitted they were "having problems."  Aldean filed for divorce the next day.


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