Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Ray Price Remains Hospitalized, Condition Improving


Ray Price's wife says she's watching the country legend recover from "the worst health crisis" they've "ever had."  Janie Price is now sharing details of the singer's ordeal via Facebook.  She says the 87-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer was in critical condition last Tuesday night when he entered the hospital's intensive care unit with sepsis -- a potentially fatal bacterial infection of the bloodstream.  Janie explains that Ray was "in acute kidney failure," and "his lungs had filled with water."  But she says Price is starting to show signs of improvement.  Janie explains that tests run Saturday showed that the antibiotics were working against the infection, and Ray was "much better" Saturday night.  She adds that Price will stay in the hospital's Isolation Critical Care Unit until he's "completely out of danger."


Janie also says she's been sharing the messages fans have been posting, and they mean a great deal to him.  She explains that they've made Ray smile, and that he's also shed many tears because he's been "so moved by the love and prayers being sent up for him."


Naomi Judd Added To Kentucky Walk Of Legends


Naomi Judd is now in the Kentucky Walk of Legends.  Louisville's "Courier-Journal" says the country singer and actress was officially added Saturday with a ceremony in which she left her hand prints and signature in cement.  Naomi says she's pleased to see Kentucky embracing the film industry.  Her Walk of Legends induction took place in conjunction with the Louisville International Festival of Film, during which her latest film, "The Nearlyweds" was screened.


Judd says "The Nearlyweds" is one of several films she's recently shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She admits her experiences working in Canada have been great, but she'd love to see movies made in Kentucky.  Naomi explains that the Bluegrass State has "such gorgeous visuals, and the people here are so friendly."  Naomi adds that she was thrilled to learn that some of the schools in the area are starting to develop film and visual arts programs.


Taylor Swift Opens Education Center At Country Music Hall


The Taylor Swift Education Center is now officially open.  Nashville's "Tennessean" says the country-pop superstar was on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new facility at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum -- which she funded.  The Hall was able to develop the 75-hundred-square-foot learning area with the four-million-dollar donation Swift made last year.  At the event Taylor recalled that much of her own music education took place outside of school, and she's "so pleased" that she's been able to help create a space where both children and adults can learn about music.


The Taylor Swift Education Center includes classrooms, a learning lab, and a student gallery.  The facility will also house an interactive exhibit gallery, which isn't open yet.  Director Kyle Young says through the Swift Center the museum can expand its current educational programs and develop new ones.


Kenny Rogers Glad Country Hall Of Fame Induction Happening Now


Kenny Rogers admits he wasn't sure if he'd ever get inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The singer tells he'd been hoping to receive the honor for a while, and at times thought he "wasn't going to make it."  But he adds that the timing of his induction has turned out to be just right.  Kenny says he's "much happier" that he's being recognized now than if he'd "gotten it at the height" of his career.  He explains that back then "there was so much going on" that he's not sure he "would have appreciated it" as much as he does now.  Rogers is a 2013 inductee along with Bobby Bare and the late "Cowboy" Jack Clement.  The three will receive their official welcome with the annual Medallion Ceremony, which is set for Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 27th.


Miranda Lambert Opens Boutique In Hometown


Miranda Lambert now has a Pink Pistol store in her hometown.  East Texas' KLTV says hundreds of fans turned out Saturday for the start of the two-day grand opening event launching the boutique in Lindale, Texas.  And the country star's parents say Miranda was very active in preparing for the big weekend.  Dad Rick Lambert says the singer "had a huge hand" in putting the store together.  Mom Beverly Lambert adds that Miranda helped design the decor, and "even painted some of the decorations in the store herself."  She adds that The Pink Pistol is something Miranda is doing outside her music career.  Beverly explains that Miranda "doesn't want to be a celebrity in this," but simply "wants to be the owner of The Pink Pistol Texas."


The Lindale location is Miranda's second store.  She launched The Pink Pistol last fall in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, where she now makes her home with husband Blake Shelton.


Carrie Underwood Reflects On Singing With Willie Nelson


Carrie Underwood says it was an honor to work with Willie Nelson.  She teams up with the country legend on a remake of the classic "Always On My Mind" for Willie's new album, "To All The Girls..."   But Carrie also admits it wasn't easy to sing with him.


But Carrie says she figured it out, and she's pleased with the results.  She adds that she's looking forward to hearing their collaboration alongside the other duets.  "To All The Girls..." features Nelson teaming up with a variety of female vocalists, including Miranda Lambert, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Mavis Staples, and others.  The album will be in stores Tuesday.


Eli Young Band Pleased With Current Single


The Eli Young Band is glad they got the chance to record their single "Drunk Last Night."  Frontman Mike Eli says there were a lot of things that attracted the country group to the song.


Mike adds that "Drunk Last Night" is "a really well-written song."  He explains that it "said something different and new," but is also a song that "everybody could relate to."  "Drunk Last Night" is the lead-off single to the Eli Young Band's next album.

Jake Owen Shares Story Behind Special Necklace


Jake Owen is prepping for the release of his new album, "Days of Gold."  But the country star says he got a special piece of gold last year.  The singer admits he was stunned when he received the gold chain his dad had worn for decades.


Jake explains that the piece of jewelry has great personal meaning to him.  The singer says his father bought the necklace in the Cayman Islands 30 years ago, when his dad proposed to his mom.  Owen's album "Days of Gold" will be in stores December 3rd.


Last Day Of Austin City Limits Music Festival Cancelled


Eric Church didn't perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival Sunday as planned.  The country star was among the many performers slated to take part in the final day of the event, which was cancelled due to the weather.  Heavy rains have led to flash flood warnings throughout the Austin, Texas area, and event organizers say their "first priority is always the safety" of the fans, performers, and staff.  Ticket refund information is available at  Lionel Richie and the rock band Atoms For Peace were slated to close the event with headlining sets.  The National and Phoenix were also among the many other acts that were scheduled to perform.


Country Birthdays Include


The Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines is 39.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1946, Grandpa Jones married Ramona Riggins.


Today in 1967, Tammy Wynette had her first solo number one country hit with "I Don't Wanna Play House."


Today in 1969, the "Galveston" single by Glen Campbell was certified Gold.


Today in 1977, Elvis Presley's "In Concert" album was certified Gold and Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1985, Ricky Skaggs was named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, the Judds won first of three straight CMA Vocal Duo of the Year Awards, and bluegrass legends Flatt and Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1985, Lee Greenwood's single "God Bless the USA" was the Country Music Association's Song of the Year.


Today in 1989, Roy Orbison's name was added to the West Texas Walk of Fame.


Today in 1992, John Denver launched a concert tour of China.  It was the most extensive tour by a Western artist ever approved by the Beijing government.


Today in 1997, federal aviation officials said John Denver didn't have a valid pilot's license when his plane crashed off the California coast two days earlier.


Today in 1999, Vince Gill was inducted into Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 1999, Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood were among the famous folks on hand at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden for a tribute concert honoring Carole King.


Today in 2000, the Grand Ole Opry's 75th birthday celebration included a red carpet walk of stars, special weekend performances and the cutting of a large birthday cake.


Today in 2000, Bryan White and wife, Erika Page, were married.


Today in 2003, the Dixie Chicks were named the winners of the Defenders of Democracy Award by the People for the American Way Foundation.  The Chicks were unable to accept their award personally at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.  Comedian/political commentator Bill Maher accepted on their behalf.


Toady in 2005, a bronze statue of Hank Williams was revealed at the Willie Nelson & Friends Museum in Nashville.


Today in 2006, Freddy Fender died of cancer at his home in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He was 69.


Today in 2007, Taylor Swift became the youngest person to take the title of Songwriter/Artist of the Year at the Nashville Songwriters Association International Awards.  The NSAI vote for the event's top prize ended in a tie, with Swift and Alan Jackson each being honored.  Also at the event, Hank Williams Jr., Flatt & Scruggs, Mac McAnally, songwriter Bob DiPiero, and gospel great Dottie Rambo were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Today in 2007, Big & Rich's "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" mini movie had its world premier on CMT.  The western-themed clip showcases the classic battle between good and evil, with the duo's John Rich as a gunslinger and Big Kenny portraying a preacher with a drinking habit.


Today in 2007, Diamond Rio launched their annual two-day event in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee.  The fundraiser included a concert, silent auction, and golf tournament.


Today in 2007, Deana Carter hosted Fashion for EveryBody 2007 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in support of the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee.


Today in 2007, Van Zant performed a special acoustic concert for troops at Ft. Hood, Texas.


Today in 2008, Tim McGraw issued a statement apologizing for his new "Greatest Hits 3" collection, calling it, quote, "an embarrassment to me as an artist."  He said he was upset that his label released the new set since he'd only put out one studio album since his previous best-of CD.


Today in 2008, new releases included Kenny Chesney's album "Lucky Old Sun," Billy Currington's Little Bit Of Everything," the reissue of Little Big Town's "A Place to Land," The CD/DVD set "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition," and "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets," featuring posthumously created collaborations with many country stars including Martina McBride, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood, Wynonna Judd, and Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman.


Today in 2010, Craig Morgan was named Mainstream Country Artist of the Year, while his hit "This Ain't Nothin'" got the nod for Mainstream Inspirational Song of the Year at the 16th annual Inspirational Country Music Awards Show.  Carrie Underwood, Ricky Skaggs, and the film "The Blind Side," featuring Tim McGraw, were also winners.


Today in 2011, Martina McBride became the first person to perform at the top of New York's Empire State Building, singing at a private reception at the famed building.  Prior to her concert, McBride also flicked the switch to turn the Empire State Building pink for the "Light Up The Sky" breast cancer awareness event.


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