Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

Jason Aldean To Make "Big Announcement" This Week


Jason Aldean has something special in the works.  The country star says via Twitter that he has a "big announcement" on the way.  He's also dropping hints about what it's going to be.  His first "clue" was a picture of a box of matches.  Images that have followed include a pirate flag, flames, and a bonfire.  Jason is promising to end the mystery this week.  The singer says he'll be making his announcement on Thursday.


Everly Brothers' Don Everly Reflects On Brother Phil's Death


The Everly Brothers' Don Everly says that while "the world might be mourning an Everly Brother" with the passing of Phil Everly, he's grieving the loss of his actual brother.  In a statement to "People" magazine, the older half of the legendary sibling duo says he always thought he'd be "the one to go first."  He adds that on Friday, just before he got the news, he'd been listening to one of his favorite songs that Phil wrote.  Don says he "had an extreme emotional moment," which he took as "a special spiritual message from Phil saying goodbye."  He adds that while their relationship had some friction, their love for one another "was and will always be deeper than any Earthly differences" they might have had.


Don also says his family is "touched by all the tributes" they're seeing for Phil, and he's extending his thanks for allowing them "to grieve in private at this incredibly difficult time."  Phil Everly died on Friday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.  He was 74.


Vince Gill Among Stars Mourning Everly Brothers' Phil Everly


Vince Gill says it's hard to underestimate the influence the Everly Brothers have had on his career.  The country star tells "The Los Angeles Times" that with every guest collaboration he's been a part of over the past 40 years, he was "trying to be an Everly."  He explains that he "was trying to make it as seamless as Phil did when he sang with Don."  Vince says Phil and Don Everly had "an unfair advantage" in creating such a compatible sound, since they were brothers, but that never stopped him from "chasing that beautiful, beautiful blend."


Gill's efforts included a duet with Phil himself. says one of Phil's last recordings was a guest appearance on Vince's 2006 album "These Days."  They teamed up for the Everly Brothers-sounding track "Sweet Little Corrina."  A number of country stars have covered Everly Brothers hits.  Willie Nelson has recorded "Let It Be Me," Connie Smith has her own rendition of "'Till I Kissed You," and Reba McEntire's version of "Cathy's Clown" topped the charts in 1989.  The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.


LeAnn Rimes Saw Colorado Plane Crash


LeAnn Rimes is among those who witnessed the fatal plane crash in Aspen, Colorado over the weekend.  The country singer shared word of the tragic accident via Twitter, tweeting it's "so sad," and calling the crash "horrible."  The Bombardier Challenger 600 went down Sunday afternoon at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.  Comedian Kevin Nealon also saw the accident, and tweeted that the plane burst into flames on impact.  Of the three people on board, one was killed and the other two were injured.


Zac Brown Band Currently Focusing On Concerts


Zac Brown Band's Clay Cook says the group has plenty of new material.  The country star tells Billboard they have "enough songs to make a record tomorrow," but right now the group is focusing on playing shows.  He explains that fans like seeing the band in concert and they know they'll be taking time off the road in the spring, so until then they're "trying to tour, tour, tour."  Zac Brown Band has planned a performing break for the birth of their frontman's baby.  Zac Brown announced a couple of months ago that he and his wife Shelly are expecting their fifth child, who'll be their first son.  Zac Brown Band has dates scheduled through the end of March.  Their next shows are set for The Joint in Las Vegas on January 11th and 12th.


Dierks Bentley Sees Pros, Cons To Album Delay


Dierks Bentley says he'd like to get his new album, "Riser," in stores.  But the country star admits there are benefits to delaying the disc's arrival.  He tells "Country Weekly" the biggest advantage is that he gets more time to work on it.  Dierks explains that when he hits the road in support of the album, he wants to be sure he has "the right songs in place to support the fun."  The singer says he's set with "the heavier songs," like his current single "I Hold On" and the album's title track.  But he adds that he's known for "putting on a little bit of a party and having a good time" in concert, so he wants to make sure he has "that part of the record covered" as well.  Bentley's "Riser" was originally expected to hit stores late last year.  A 2014 release date hasn't been announced yet.


Easton Corbin Has Healthy Respect For Alligators


Easton Corbin says he has a healthy respect for alligators.  The country star explains that while he enjoys the TV series "Gator Boys," he's not interested in an encounter with the animal.


Corbin is hitting the road later this week.  The singer is opening shows on The Band Perry's "We Are Pioneers Tour."  The 2014 edition of the trek begins in Canada, with a show in Penticton, British Columbia on Thursday.


Tim McGraw Sees Wife As Quintessential Southern Woman


Tim McGraw attributes his strong relationship with wife Faith Hill in part to their similar backgrounds.  The country star explains that he instantly recognized they had a lot in common, including certain values that he believes stem from being raised in the South.


McGraw adds that he knows kind and caring people live in every part of the country and all throughout the world.  But the singer admits that because of his upbringing it's a quality he tends to associate with Southerners.  Tim adds that he hopes his daughters are developing those same character traits as they grow up in Nashville.


Jonathan Jackson Likes Combining Acting, Singing On "Nashville"


"Nashville" star Jonathan Jackson says in some ways he's not all that different from his character on the show.  The actor, who plays the part of singer-songwriter Avery Barkley, says he made his concert debut at the age of nine.


Jackson adds that it's been "incredible" to be part of the "Nashville" cast.  He calls it "a dream come true" to be able to combine his love of acting and music on the show.  New episodes of "Nashville" will begin airing on ABC on January 15th.


Country TV Tonight


THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) Brandy Clark is the musical guest.


Country Birthdays Include


Jett Williams is 61.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1957, Elvis Presley made the last of three appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."  He performed seven songs, but was only shown from the waist up during the uptempo numbers.


Today in 1987, Alabama earned a Platinum certification for their album "The Touch."


Today in 1990, Mark Miller of Sawyer Brown married Lisa Knight, the sister of Christopher Knight, who played Peter Brady on "The Brady Bunch."


Today in 1992, Alan Jackson released the single "Dallas"


Today in 1993, Dwight Yoakam's album "If There Was A Way" went Platinum.


Today in 1995, Mark Chesnutt hit number one with his single "Going Through The Big D."


Today in 1997, Tim McGraw made his TV acting debut on "The Jeff Foxworthy Show."


Today in 1997, LeAnn Rimes' album "Blue" went Gold, Platinum, and triple Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1997, Alan Jackson released the single "I'd Love You All over Again."


Today in 1998, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood were both nominated for Grammys for Best Country Female Vocal Performance for their versions of "How Do I Live," marking the first time in Grammy history that two different versions of the same song were nominated in the same category.  Trisha ended up winning when the awards were handed out the following month.


Today in 2000, Tracy Lawrence married his wife, Becca, in the Cayman Islands while on vacation with two other couples.  Tracy Byrd and his wife, Michelle, served as witnesses to the event.


Today in 2004, Toby Keith scored a first for "Radio & Records," having two songs -- "I Love This Bar" and "American Soldier" -- in the top ten of the publication's Country Top 50 chart.


Today in 2005, the Alison Krauss + Union Station album "Lonely Runs Both Ways" was certified Gold.


Today in 2005, rapper Nelly and Tim McGraw were awarded a Gold single for their pop release "Over And Over," which had been legally downloaded more than 100-thousand times.


Today in 2007, Lonestar played a 45-minute concert following the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.  Lonestar's performance was also included in the American Forces Radio and Television Service rebroadcast of the game, which was aired in 177 countries across the globe.


Today in 2007, Clay Walker performed during intermission at the Professional Bull Riders' Versus Invitational at New York's Madison Square Garden.


Today in 2007, Steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow at a nursing home in Petaluma, California.  He was a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers.


Today in 2009, James Otto, Big & Rich's Big Kenny, and Buddy Jewell were among the country stars who took part in the No Veteran Left Behind concert at Nashville's Cannery Ballroom.


Today in 2010, Keith Urban captured his first People's Choice Award.  Other country winners at the 36th annual event included Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.  Meanwhile, Rascal Flatts took part in the ceremony, which was held in Los Angeles.


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift's CD "Fearless" was named the best-selling album of 2009, based on SoundScan figures.


Today in 2011, Keith Urban's album "Get Closer" was proclaimed Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.


Today in 2012, The Band Perry sang the national anthem at the start of the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas.


Today in 2012, Jake Owen had his wisdom teeth removed.


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