Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Blake Shelton Returns On "The Voice"


Blake Shelton is back as NBC's "The Voice" launches its new season.  The country star tells "The Columbus Dispatch" it's "crazy how much power that show has."  He adds that it doesn't just alter the lives of those who compete.  Shelton admits he "never thought it would have this effect" on his own career.  Along with giving him a much higher profile, Blake says it's actually made him "more nervous" about playing concerts.  He explains that the stage is "where it really matters" to him, and he now strives to "live up to the standard" he sets for the singers he coaches on the show.


The new season of "The Voice" reunites the show's original coaches, with Shelton joining Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Maroon 5's Adam Levine to lead up the teams.  Blake will also work with pop legend Cher as his advisor once the teams are set.  "The Voice," which earned the Reality Competition Emmy on Sunday, is beginning its fifth season on NBC Monday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Carrie Underwood Performs Special Emmy Tribute


Carrie Underwood is helping the Emmy Awards honor TV's past along with its present.  The country star took part in Sunday's ceremony on CBS, singing The Beatles' classic "Yesterday" in a salute to TV milestones from 50 years ago.


In introducing the performance, actor Don Cheadle reflected on how back in November 1963, TV enabled the country to mourn together following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and how The Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" just a few months later helped bring the entire nation out of its grief.


Farm Aid Features Music, Message, And Surprises


Farm Aid continues its mission of supporting the family farm.  And this year's event in Saratoga Springs, New York was bolstered by a surprise appearance from folk legend Pete Seeger.  Schenectady, New York's "Sunday Gazette" says the 94-year-old music icon teamed up with Farm Aid headliners Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, and Jack Johnson for a special rendition of the classic "This Land Is Your Land."  And Seeger introduced a new verse that addressed another related issue, closing with, "New York was made to be frack-free."  Mellencamp, Matthews, and country star Jamey Johnson delivered stand-out sets at the event while Young focused much of his time on the message.  He at times abandoned his guitar to lecture the audience on the need to protect the land from the chemical companies and support family farms.


A crowd of more than 25-thousand turned out for the annual event, which launched back in 1985.  Other performers this year included Toad the Wet Sprocket, Amos Lee, Kacey Musgraves, Pegi Young, and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real.  And along with the music, the event included activities for concertgoers including a variety of classes such as home cheese making, bacon curing, and Pancakes 101.


Taylor Swift Caps Off North American "Red" Tour With Special Guests


Taylor Swift is wrapping up her "Red" tour with a bang.  The country-pop superstar played the last show of her North American trek Saturday night in Nashville.  The concert featured a special guest appearance from Hunter Hayes.  They were captured on YouTube performing Hunter's hit "I Want Crazy."


Taylor introduced Hunter by saying she was "really excited about one."  She added she "could not be happier" that just a few years ago he was an opening act on her "Speak Now Tour," and now he's "one of the biggest stars in America."


But Hayes wasn't the only special guest over the course of Swift's three-night stand in Nashville.  Luke Bryan joined Taylor for the first show Thursday night, and Rascal Flatts appeared during Friday's concert.


Alan Jackson's Daughter Due In Court Monday


Alan Jackson's daughter is scheduled to appear in court Monday in connection with her arrest last month.  Alexandra Jackson was picked up by police following her dad's special concert in Nashville, in which he debuted his new bluegrass album.  A police affidavit says Ali was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for tailgating and speeding.  She's said to have left the car during the traffic stop and started making demands.  She also allegedly hit an officer twice.  Police determined that the 20-year-old had been drinking.  She's facing charges of underage consumption, assault and resisting arrest.


Keith Urban Loves Being Dad, But Not Planning More Kids


Keith Urban calls being a dad "beautiful."  The country star tells Australia's "60 Minutes" his life has changed so much since having kids, and he loves "everything" about fatherhood.  The singer says he enjoys all aspects of raising daughters Sunday and Faith, from "piggybacking them down the stairs" to "watching them blossom and become these two extraordinary, beautiful creatures."  But Urban says two is enough.  He explains that he and wife Nicole have "no babies" in their future, and it'll be "a shock" to them if that changes.


Luke Bryan Recalls Meeting His Wife


Luke Bryan says he was instantly in love when he met his wife, Caroline, in a Statesboro, Georgia bar.  But the country star admits that didn't make approaching her easy.


Bryan adds that while it took him "eight seconds" to realize how he felt about Caroline, it took her "eight years to figure it out."  Luke and Caroline were married in 2006.  Their family also includes sons Bo and Tate.


Neal McCoy Proud Of Charley Pride Tribute Disc

Neal McCoy says he's pleased to be honoring a country legend and his mentor his new album.  The singer adds that he felt it was the right time for "Pride: A Tribute to Charley Pride."


McCoy's "Pride: A Tribute To Charley Pride" features covers of such hits as "You're My Jamaica," "Someone Loves You Honey," and "Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone."  The set also includes a few guests.  The Mavericks' Raul Malo joins Neal in on the song "It's Just Me," and McCoy teams up with Trace Adkins on the classic "Roll On Mississippi."  Darius Rucker adds vocals to Neal's rendition of Pride's signature song, "Kiss An Angel Good Morning."  "Pride: A Tribute To Charley Pride" will be in stores Tuesday.


Mumford & Sons Have No Plans For "Foreseeable Future"


Mumford and Sons are taking a little time off.  The British folk-rockers made the last tour stop behind their Grammy-winning album "Babel" this past Friday in Kansas, and now keyboardist Ben Lovett tells "Rolling Stone" there are no Mumford & Sons activities scheduled "for the foreseeable future."  Lovett says they have no idea how long the break might be, adding that he and his bandmates are just excited to be "free of schedules."  The past year has been a dramatic one for the Mumfords.  It began with their Grammy win for Album of the Year back in February, and reached a scary point after bassist Ted Dwane had emergency brain surgery that left him on the sidelines for a few weeks.  Dwane made a full recovery, but he says the band could definitely use a "little rest."


Cassadee Pope Enjoys Having Time To Relax


Cassadee Pope is a fan of the medium that launched her career.  The country singer, who came to fame through "The Voice," admits she likes having lots of downtime in her schedule.


But Cassadee says she doesn't just plant herself in front of the TV all day long.  She explains that she lives in Los Angeles, where it's "absolutely gorgeous" every day, and she takes advantage of the nice weather.  She says she also likes to get out onto a balcony or patio to read or sunbathe or have her "alone time."  But Cassadee doesn't have much downtime these days.  She's busy promoting her hit single, "Wasted All These Tears."  The song is from Pope's upcoming debut album "Frame By Frame," which will arrive October 8th.


Country TV Tonight


THE VOICE (NBC) Blake Shelton is a coach as the singing competition launches its new season.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1972, the single "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" by Mac Davis was at number one on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1974, the Mac Davis album "Stop and Smell The Roses" was certified Gold.


Today in 1989, Rodney Crowell's "Above and Beyond" hit number one on the Billboard country singles chart.


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


Today in 1993, Garth Brooks opened the first of his three sold-out concerts at Texas Stadium near Dallas.


Today in 1994, Joe Diffie topped the charts with "Third Rock From The Sun."


Today in 1997, Shania Twain's "Love Gets Me Every Time" single was released.


Today in 1998, Garth Brooks' album "Ropin' The Wind" was certified for multi-Platinum sales of 14-million.


Today in 1998, nearly 36-million viewers tuned in for the 32nd annual Country Music Association Awards live on TV.  The Dixie Chicks and Steve Wariner were the only multiple award-winners at the event, taking home two trophies each.  Garth Brooks was named Entertainer of the Year for the second straight year, and fourth time overall.


Today in 2000, Tim McGraw was on the cover of "TV Guide."


Today in 2002, the taped appearance of Reba McEntire and "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, who has said Reba is her favorite country performer and overall idol, aired on the Fox-TV special "American Idol in Vegas."  The two performed Reba's 1993 hit, "Does He Love You."


Today in 2002, Reba McEntire and Charlie Daniels were among the 25 inaugural inductees into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame. 


Today in 2003, Suzy Bogguss, Chalee Tennison and Pam Tillis performed alongside dozens of Girl Scouts in a display of "sisterhood" at the Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley's 6th annual Gold Award Luncheon at Nashville's Renaissance Hotel.


Today in 2003, Buddy Jewell was in New York with his wife, Tené (ten-AY), to celebrate her birthday.  Their plans were to have dinner and catch the Tony Award-winning Broadway show "Thoroughly Modern Millie."  But Buddy was also working.  He was being followed by an ABC camera crew which was filming him for an installment of the network's "Prime Time Monday."


Today in 2003, new album releases included John Michael Montgomery's "Mr. Snowman," Kenny Rogers' "Back To The Well," The Mavericks' self-titled effort, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's "Live Recordings from the Louisiana Hayride," Emmylou Harris' "Stumble Into Grace," and the reissue of Reba McEntire's "Secret of Giving."


Today in 2005, Mindy McCready checked into Nashville's St. Thomas Hospital after swallowing about 30 anti-depressant pills, her second overdose in two months.  This one came after a phone argument with boyfriend William McKnight over finances for their unborn child.


Today in 2006, Big & Rich made their Grand Ole Opry debut, performing the songs "8th of November" and "Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)."


Today in 2006, Steve Holy's "Brand New Girlfriend" hit number one on the Billboard country singles chart.  It took the song 36 weeks to reach the top spot on the list, which at the time was the slowest climb to number one since 1990, when such statistics started being tabulated.


Today in 2007, the late Buck Owens was among the new inductees into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Phoenix.


Today in 2008, Charlie Daniels hosted a benefit for St. Jude Children's Hospital.  Billy Dean was among the participants.


Today in 2008, new releases included the Randy Rogers Band's self-titled album.


Today in 2009, Joe Nichols performed for the Dalai Lama at an event in Memphis celebrating His Holiness as the recipient of The Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum.


Today in 2009, Justin Moore's "Small Town U.S.A." hit number one on the Billboard and USA Today/Country Aircheck country singles charts.


Today in 2010, Vince Gill, Taylor Swift, Kris Kristofferson, and Emmylou Harris played the 2nd annual "All for the Hall" West Coast benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Los Angeles.


Today in 2011, Carrie Underwood was among the performers on the first night of the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.


Today in 2011, John Michael Montgomery launched his John Michael Montgomery Country-Fest 2011 in Winchester, Kentucky.  Montgomery Gentry was the headliner, while Jake Owen, Jamey Johnson, Exile, and Colt Ford were also among the performers at the two-day event.


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