Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Montgomery Gentry Honoring Local Heroes With "Thank You" Campaign


Montgomery Gentry is looking for some local heroes.  The duo's Troy Gentry tells that they're always proud to support the troops.  But he explains that with 'everything that's been going on in America" -- such as the Oklahoma tornadoes and the fires in Houston -- there are "so many more heroes that go without being thanked."  Troy says in addition to local police, firefighters, and other first responders, "it could be a mom, it could be a dad, it could be a teacher," and he and Eddie Montgomery want to "celebrate them as well."  As a result they've launched a "Thank You" campaign that allows people to submit names of people who've made a difference, and at every Montgomery Gentry show this year he and Eddie will give that person "a taste of backstage and honor them in their community."  Details are available at


Darius Rucker Criticized For Anthem Performance At NBA Finals


Darius Rucker is now taking his turn on the NBA stage.  The singer performed the national anthem at the start of Game Five of the basketball championship series, which aired Sunday on ABC. His performance was quickly posted to YouTube, and he's drawn some criticism online for missing a few notes.


Rucker was originally slated to sing the anthem before Game Three of the San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat series, but had to back out of the performance at the last minute.  Former "America's Got Talent" contender Sebastien de la Cruz was tapped to fill in, which created a stir of its own.  The young American-born boy received a rash of racist comments on social media because he wore a mariachi outfit for the performance.


Trisha Yearwood, Little Big Town Win Daytime Emmys


Trisha Yearwood and Little Big Town both have new honors.  The country stars are among the winners at the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Trisha got the nod for Outstanding Culinary Program with her Food Network series "Trisha's Southern Kitchen."  But there was a tie in the category, and she's sharing the honor with "The Best Thing I Ever Made."  Little Big Town, meanwhile, captured the prize for Outstanding Original Song with their theme to ABC's "Good Afternoon America."  There was only one other nominee in the category.  The group was up against "This Day," Sheryl Crow's theme for Katie Couric's ABC talk show, "Katie."  The 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards were presented in a ceremony Sunday night in Beverly Hills.


Billy Ray Cyrus Gets Father's Day Message From Miley


Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley appear to be on good terms again, just a few days after her mother Tish filed for divorce.  On Sunday, Miley took to Twitter to wish him a "Happy Daddy Day."  It seemed to be a change from the tweet she reportedly fired his way last Thursday, when news of the divorce became public.  The singer apparently wrote, then deleted, a message to her father that day saying, "since your text and email obviously aren't working would you like to talk like this?" 


Over the weekend, Miley also tweeted several photos with her mother Tish and little sister Noah.  Tish and Billy Ray, the couple of 19 years, were unsuccessful in mending their marriage after a brief separation in 2010.


Scotty McCreery Finds Blending College, Career Tough


Scotty McCreery admits it was "fun but tough" being a full-time university student while maintaining his career.  The former "American Idol" winner tells it was "one thing" to study and work while he was in high school, but "college is a whole different story."  He says it was particularly tough earlier this month, when he was trying to study and take his finals while preparing for the CMA Music Festival and the CMT Music Awards.  But Scotty remains committed to his studies.  He jokes that he "could be on the 50-year plan," since he "might be dropping a few hours next year."  But McCreery explains that taking a lighter load will allow him to "still get the experience and the education" he's seeking.


McCreery just completed his freshman year at North Carolina State University.  In addition to school, Scotty's busy schedule over the past ten months has included releasing and promoting his holiday album, "Christmas with Scotty McCreery," and participating in several holiday TV specials -- including his own "Christmas With Scotty McCreery & Friends."  He also appeared at at awards events, worked on his second studio album, and went on his "Weekend Roadtrip" tour.


Dierks Bentley Changing His Ways On Next Album


Dierks Bentley says he's doing things a little differently with his next album, "Riser."  The country star explains that one change is relying less on his own compositions.


The lead-off single from "Riser" is one of those "outside songs."  Jeff Terich wrote "Bourbon In Kentucky," which Dierks recorded as a duet with Kacey Musgraves.  "Riser" is Bentley's follow up to his 2012 effort, "Home."  The new album is slated for release later this year.


Tyler Farr Getting Strong Response From "Redneck Crazy" Video


Tyler Farr says he's been attracting a lot of attention with his star-packed video to his single "Redneck Crazy."  The country newcomer admits won't have trouble casting future clips, because he's getting requests from others who want to join him on a project.


Farr adds that his fans really seem to like his "Redneck Crazy" video, which features guest appearances from Lee Brice, Colt Ford, and "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson.  Tyler say he's received a lot of positive feedback on the clip, and people are telling him "how funny they thought it was."  The singer also admits it feels good to get praised for his work.  He explains that when the fans like a song or video he releases, he feels like he's done his job.


Peter Asher Praises Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee J.D. Souther


There's one person who thinks singer-songwriter J.D. Souther is more than deserving of his recent Songwriters Hall of Fame induction.  Peter Asher says Souther is an incredibly talented artist.


Asher came to fame as half of the British pop duo Peter and Gordon, and following their split in 1968 continued his music career as a manager and producer.  One of his two Producer of the Year Grammys is for Linda Ronstadt's "Simple Dreams," which features one of Souther's songs.  Souther is best known for the chart-topping 1979 hit "You're Only Lonely."  But he's also worked with such stars as the Eagles, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, and many others.  And a new crop of fans are now getting to know him as an actor -- in a role that isn't a huge stretch for him.  Souther is featured as songwriter and producer Watty White on ABC's country music drama "Nashville."


Brad Paisley Proud To Be Raising Sons In Nashville


Brad Paisley says he feels he's doing at least one thing right when it comes to raising his kids.  The country superstar believes that -- geographically -- he's giving his sons the best possible upbringing.


Paisley admits he's not sure he'd be comfortable raising his sons exclusively in California.  He explains that he'd feel like his kids were growing up in "some sort of strange fantasy land where there is no winter."  The singer adds that California is "just a different kind of place."  But Brad says he's glad his boys -- six-year-old Huck and four-year-old Jasper -- are able to experience both lifestyles.


Quick Bites


Taylor Swift is once again a winner.  The country-pop crossover star got the nod for Favorite Artist or Group at Canada's MuchMusic Video Awards.  She was on hand to accept the award in person, and made her debut at the event as a presenter.  The MuchMusic Video Awards were presented in a ceremony in Toronto on Sunday.


The inaugural Taste Of Country Music Festival just ended, and plans are already under way for next year. say Brad Paisley is the first confirmed headliner for the 2014 event, which will take place at Hunter Mountain, New York from June 13th through the 15th.  Willie Nelson, Trace Adkins, and Lady Antebellum led this year's lineup, which just wrapped up on Saturday.  Billy Currington, Hunter Hayes, Montgomery Gentry, and Justin Moore were also among those who performed at the event.


Craig Morgan will be launching a new season of "All Access Outdoors" next month.  Upcoming episodes will include his recent trip to the Arctic to take part in an epid dog sledding race.  The fourth season of Morgan's show will debut on the Outdoor Channel on July 7th.


Country TV Tonight


THE VOICE (NBC) Blake Shelton and the last two members of his team are heading into the show's finale.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1963, the "Patsy Cline Story" album by Patsy Cline was released.


Today in 1988, Garth Brooks signed with Capitol Records.


Today in 1992, Garth Brooks' album "No Fences" was certified for multi-Platinum sales of eight-million.


Today in 1995, Martie Erwin of the Dixie Chicks married Ted Seidel in Dallas, Texas.


Today in 1997, new releases included Lonestar's "Crazy Nights" album, Ricochet's released "Blink of An Eye," and Lila McCann's debut effort, "Lila."


Today in 1997, Lee Roy Parnell was inducted into the Walkway of Stars at the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1998, Doug Stone and his wife Beth welcomed a daughter Baily Rebecca.


Today in 1999, ground was broken at what is now the site of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.


Today in 2000, webcasts began of the Grand Ole Opry radio show, which had been carried on a local Nashville station since 1925.


Today in 2002, Brad Martin's debut album, "Wings Of A Honky Tonk Angel," arrived in stores.


Today in 2002, Elvis Presley was back at number one on the UK singles chart for the first time in 25 years, breaking the quarter-century-long stalemate with the Beatles for the most chart-topping singles in British history.  The remix of his 1968 song "A Little Less Conversation," which was sanctioned by the Presley estate, was also the first remix of any Elvis recording.


Today in 2003, the Willie Nelson albums "To Lefty From Willie," "Willie and Family Live," "San Antonio Rose," and the "Honeysuckle Rose" soundtrack were reissued.  In addition, Willie's hit with Toby Keith, "Beer For My Horses," returned to number one on the "Radio & Records" Country Top 50 Chart after spending a week at number two.


Today in 2004, Hal Ketchum and his wife Gina announced the birth of their daughter, Sophia Grace.  She became the third child for the couple, who also have daughter Ruby Joy and adopted daughter Fana Rose, and the fifth child for Ketchum, who has a son and daughter from a previous marriage.

Today in 2004, Gretchen Wilson's "Here For The Party" marked its fifth consecutive week at the top of the "Billboard" Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2005, John Michael Montgomery became a restaurant owner with the opening of John Michael's Hometown Bar & Grill in Nicholasville, Kentucky.


Today in 2005, some members of Tracy Lawrence's road team were taken to the hospital for treatment after their truck was hit by an 18-wheeler, but nobody suffered serious injuries in the accident.


Today in 2005, the Ronnie Milsap-Los Lonely Boys "CMT Crossroads" episode made its debut on CMT.


Today in 2006, Kenny Chesney welcomed Van Halen's Eddie and Alex Van Halen as surprise guests during his performance at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The rockers backed Chesney on the Van Halen hit "Jump" and The Kinks' "You Really Got Me," which Van Halen covered for the group's debut single.   It was the first time the Van Halen brothers had been seen on stage together since their group's 2004 tour ended.


Today in 2008, Heidi Newfield and Luke Bryan chaired the 12th annual "Ultimate Country Golf Classic" at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Nashville.  T. Graham Brown and Aaron Tippin also took part in the event, which supported the Middle Tennessee Branch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift received the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization's annual awards dinner in New York.  The prize salutes songwriters whose ability and influence are evident early in their career.


Today in 2011, Trace Adkins was the opening night headliner for the inaugural Show Me Music and Arts Festival in Springfield, Missouri.


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