Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Kellie Pickler's Drummer Seriously Injured In Car Crash


Kellie Pickler is asking fans to join her in praying for a member of her band.  She explains in a Facebook post that drummer Gregg Lohman was "in a horrific car accident and is currently in ICU."  She adds that she believes "in miracles and the power of prayer," and it "would mean the world" to her, her band, and Gregg's family for people to "keep him in your prayers."  Nashville's Fox17 says Lohman suffered serious injuries in the crash, which occurred Saturday afternoon near Louisville, Kentucky, and he was admitted to a local hospital.


Lohman is the second country musician to be involved in a serious car accident in less than a week.  Last Wednesday Toby Keith's bassist and bandleader, Chuck Goff Jr., was killed in a two-car wreck in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.  Toby posted a message on his website saying he's "deeply saddened" by Chuck's sudden death, noting that in addition to being in his band Chuck had been "a close friend" for more than 25 years.


Taylor Swift Joins Florida Georgia Line At CRS New Faces Show


Taylor Swift is showing support to one of the opening acts on her upcoming tour.  She made a surprise appearance at the Country Radio Seminar's New Faces of Country Music Show, joining Florida Georgia Line in a performance of their breakthrough hit, "Cruise."  It was the last song of the duo's set, which closed out this year's show.  Florida Georgia Line was one of five acts to take the stage for the special concert, which took place in Nashville last Friday. says Easton Corbin launched the event, and sang a selection of hits including his current single, "All Over The Road."  Brantley Gilbert, Kip Moore, and Jana Kramer also performed at the New Faces show, which is the highlight to the Country Radio Broadcasters annual meeting.


Swift just announced last week that Florida Georgia Line would be joining her for select dates on her upcoming "Red" tour.  The duo is one of four country acts that will be featured on Swift's trek, which begins in Omaha, Nebraska on March 13th.


Casey James Excited To Be An Opener On Swift Tour


Casey James says he's thrilled to be opening shows on Taylor Swift's "Red" tour.  The singer says he learned that he'd been tapped for the trek in a phone call from his manager.


James is one of four country acts who have been added to Swift's upcoming trek.  Casey, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, and Joel Crouse are each slated to open select shows on the tour.  Eldredge is up first, and will be featured on the tour's launch in Omaha, Nebraska on March 13th.


Casey adds that the timing of Swift's tour couldn't be better.  His next single, "The Good Life," is due next month.  It's the third release from James' self-titled debut album, following the hits "Let's Don't Call It A Night" and "Crying on a Suitcase."


Luke Bryan Celebrating "Spring Break" This Week


Luke Bryan's latest "Spring Break" collection is on the way.  The country star says it's a project he really enjoys, because it's really liberating as a songwriter.


Bryan's upcoming effort, "Spring Break...Here To Party" is a little different from his previous "Spring Break" releases.  The 14-song set includes two new tunes along with tracks from his earlier "Spring Break" EPs.  The new album will be in stores on Tuesday, and Luke will mark the release with a performance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."  He'll also support the effort with an appearance Wednesday on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and next week he'll make his debut on TBS' "Conan."


Next week Luke will also play his annual "Spring Break" shows in Florida.  He'll give performances at Spinnaker Beach Club in Panama City Beach on March 12th and 13th.


>>Craig Morgan To Play St. Jude Marathon Post-Race Concert



Craig Morgan will be turning his attention back to music once he returns from the Arctic.  The country star is slated to headline the post-race concert following the St. Jude Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon, taking place in Nashville on April 27th.  More than 30-thousand people are expected to take part in the race.  Craig says he's "proud to represent Country Music and St. Jude" at the event.  He's also telling runners to "save up some energy for the end of the night" because he intends to "give all the runners a chance to let loose after the big race" and "leave Music City with a lot of great memories."  The event supports St.Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Sarah Darling is also on the bill.


A couple of weeks before Morgan sings for runners he'll be taking part in a race of his own.  He's on board to participate in an annual dogsled race in Scandinavia.  He'll drive a team of dogs through northern Norway and Sweden in the five-day event, which runs from April 9th through the 13th.


Shelton, Brice Make Quick Chart Climbs, McCready Returns To Chart


Blake Shelton and Lee Brice are making quick climbs up the charts. says Shelton's latest, "Sure Be Cool If You Did" is the new number one on the Hot Country Songs list.  The track has reached the top of the chart in just eight weeks, which is his fastest run to number one.  Blake's previous best was with 2011's "Honey Bee," which made it to number one in ten weeks.  Brice, meanwhile, has the number ten spot on the Country Airplay chart with "I Drive Your Truck."  His fourth song to reach the chart's top tier arrived in just 13 weeks.  By comparison, Lee's last hit, "Hard to Love," broke into the top ten in 19 weeks, and 2010's "A Woman Like You" took 23 weeks to make it to the top ten.  It took his first top ten hit, "Love Like Crazy," 46 weeks to log the accomplishment.


Meanwhile, Mindy McCready's death has sparked a renewed interest in her music.  Her debut single "Ten Thousand Angels," which originally peaked at number six in 1996, is taking the number 31 spot on the Country Digital Songs chart with 12-thousand downloads.  McCready's first chart-topper, 1996's "Guys Do It All The Time," is at number 39 with ten-thousand downloads sold.  In addition, Mindy's 2000 best-of collection, "Super Hits" is entering the Billboard 200 chart at number 156.


Ronnie Dunn Indicted Into Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall Of Fame


Ronnie Dunn is now officially a member of the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame.  The singer-songwriter was formally inducted with the organization's annual Hall of Fame Awards Show, which took place in Austin, Texas Sunday night.  Dunn's fellow honorees included the late Roger Miller and The Crickets' Sonny Curtis.  Other Texas stars were on hand to celebrate the new inductees.  Jack Ingram was slated to open the event, while Larry Gatln was expected to perform as well.  Toby Keith was on board to play a special tribute to Miller.  He also received some recognition -- in the form of a certificate officially naming him an Honorary Texan.


Kellie Pickler Inspired By Julianne Hough's Dancing Skills


Kellie Pickler has already put on her dancing shoes for her upcoming turn on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars."  Pickler and her partner Derek Hough have been hard at work in anticipation for the premiere of show's 16th season on March 18th.  During the rehearsals, Pickler says she's been surprised at how good she is. 


The former "American Idol" contestant also says Derek's sister, Julianne Hough, is constantly inspiring her.  While her first time ballroom dancing has been a challenge, Pickler has remained positive.  She says she refuses to take herself too serious in the competition because she's having a fun time learning how to dance.  Check out Kellie along with Andy Dick, Dorothy Hamil, Wynonna Judd and Aly Raisman on the upcoming season of "Dancing With Stars" on March 18th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. 


Since her stint on Fox's "American Idol" Pickler has gone on to release three albums.  Last year her third album "100 Proof" hit stores.  The record opened at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart, making it Pickler's highest charting album of her career.


No Romance Between Hunter Hayes, Taylor Swift


Hunter Hayes says he's never dated Taylor Swift.  While Hunter was an opener on Swift's 2011 "Speak Now" North American tour, he tells that nothing of a romantic nature ever happened between them over the course of the trek.  Hayes also seems to question whether that would have been appropriate, describing Taylor as his "boss" during the tour.  Hunter also acknowledges that there's a rather significant height discrepancy between the two of them, as Taylor is much taller than he is.  But he says he's not sure if that really matters.  Hayes explains that when it comes to women he doesn't know what his "type" is yet, and for him to say anything along those lines now "would be an unfair statement."


Hunter has a married "boss" on his current tour.  He's opening shows on Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" trek.  Their next show is coming up in Fresno, California on Tuesday.



Quick Bite


Trace Adkins is getting off to a good start on the all-star edition of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice."  Because the country singer made it to the finale during his first run on the show, Donald Trump made him a team leader.  As the leader Trace chose to be the project manager for their first task -- and won.  He and his team, which they named Plan B, got the nod by raising the most money by selling meatballs.  The challenge brought in a "Celebrity Apprentice" record of 600-thousand dollars, 419-thousand of which came from Trace's team.


Country Birthdays Include


Jason Sellers is 40.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1978, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson topped the charts with "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."  The song remained at number one for four weeks, which was the longest chart-topping streak that any song had that year.


Today in 1983, George Jones married Nancy Sepulveda in Woodville, Texas.


Today in 1994, Reba McEntire's "Greatest Hits" album was certified double Platinum, making her the first woman in country music history to have five multi-Platinum albums.


Today in 2000, Montgomery Gentry's debut album, "Tattoos and Scars," was certified Gold.


Today in 2001, Terri Clark was among the winners at The Junos, Canada's equivalent of the Grammys.


Today in 2002, plans were announced to make Rascal Flatts' hit single "I'm Movin' On" a book.


Today in 2003, Gary Allan snagged his very first number one song with "Man To Man."


Today in 2004, Lonestar presented an award during opening ceremonies of the 2004 Country Radio Seminar.


Today in 2008, Charlie Daniels was honored with the Career Achievement Award at the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame dinner and awards ceremony, while Joe Nichols, Phil Vassar, Shooter Jennings, Jennifer Hanson, and Randy Houser performed at the first annual Country Radio Broadcasters Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame post-induction party.  The events took place in Nashville during the annual Country Radio Seminar.


Today in 2008, Bill Anderson was honored by the University of Georgia in Athens and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame for his long and productive career in the entertainment industry.  The ceremony included the unveiling of a historical marker noting the recording of his first hit song, "City Lights," at the former WGTV studios in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.


Today in 2008, new releases included Alan Jackson's album "Good Time," Carlene Carter's CD "Stronger," and Ashton Shepherd's debut disc "Sounds So Good," while LeAnn Rimes released the video for her single "Good Friends and a Glass of Wine."


Today in 2009, Randy Owen received the Country Radio Broadcasters' artist humanitarian award at a Country Radio Seminar event.  He was recognized for his efforts to raise money to fight cancer and help children battling the disease through the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids.


Today in 2009, Tim McGraw was the host and headline performer at the Country Radio Seminar's Music City Jam, while Jimmy Wayne led the bill for the KCRS Live! event, which also featured Kelley Lovelace, Ashley Gorley and Jonathan Singleton.


Today in 2010, Rascal Flatts appeared as themselves in an episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."


Today in 2011, Alan Jackson made his performance debut in Australia with a performance in Melbourne to launch his first Australian tour.


Today in 2011, Thompson Square made their national TV debut with an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."


Today in 2011, The Band Perry, Lee Brice, and Easton Corbin were among the performers at the Country Radio Seminar's New Faces of Country Music Show, along with Jerrod Niemann, Steel Magnolia, and Josh Thompson.


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