Nashville News and Notes for MONDAY

"Idol" Alum Scotty McCreery Victim Of Home Invasion


Singer Scotty McCreery is safe but may be missing a few valuables after a home invasion robbery in Raleigh, North Carolina Monday morning. says the country crooner and "American Idol" alum was visiting friends at an apartment near the North Carolina State University campus when the robbery occurred.  Police say three men forced their way into the apartment at around 2 a.m. and made off with cash, wallets and other items.  No one was injured.


Mel Tillis Making Progress Following Setback After Heart Surgery


Mel Tillis says he's "on the road to recovery now."  But the legendary singer tells "Country Weekly" things haven't progressed as planned.  Tillis underwent quadruple bypass surgery back in March.  He admits he was still pretty weak after leaving the hospital, and consequently he injured himself in a fall at his Nashville home that landed him back in the hospital for a few more days.  Mel says he's doing better now, and is staying at his ranch in Ocala, Florida to complete his recuperation.  The singer adds that he's been moved by the outpouring of support he's received from fans across the globe.  Tillis says he's eager to return to the road so he can thank everybody in person for all their prayers and well-wishes.


Brantley Gilbert To Support New Album With Special Motorcycle Event


Brantley Gilbert will be marking the arrival of his new album in a special way.  The country star will head out on a six-day motorcycle trek during the first week "Just As I Am" is in stores.  Gilbert will launch the ride on May 21st in Athens, Georgia, and wrap up the journey at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on May 26th, which is Memorial Day.  The military charity Folds of Honor and Harley-Davidson are sponsoring the ride.  Brantley will make several stops along the way, in Georgia as well as North and South Carolina, to sign autographs and perform for the fans.  Details on the trip are expected next week.  Gilbert will also play a special kick-off concert in Athens on May 20th.  His album "Just As I Am," featuring the hit single "Bottoms Up," will arrive on May 19th.


Kenny Chesney To Play Charity Show In New Orleans This Month


Kenny Chesney says he's eager to perform live again.  The country star tells Nashville's "Tennessean" that's one of the reasons he's excited about playing a special charity show later this month.  He explains that he's spent the past several months in the studio working on his next album, which just isn't the same as performing live.  Chesney adds that he "can't wait to be in a room with the energy of the people," and "getting all that coming back" at him.  Kenny says another reason he's looking forward to the show has to do with the organizers.  The fundraiser supports actor Matthew McConaughey and NFL star Drew Brees' charities, which the singer says "just makes something so fun worth so much more."


Chesney's concert is set for the House of Blues in New Orleans on May 17th.  The event benefits McConaughey's Just Keep Livin' Foundation and The Brees Dream Foundation.


Dierks Bentley Excited About First Headlining Amphitheater Tour


Dierks Bentley says he's really excited about his upcoming "Riser" trek.  The country star explains that it's his first headlining run at amphitheaters, and he wants to be included in the tradition that comes with that type of tour.

Bentley says he's been rehearsing for the trek at an abandoned steel mill just north of Nashville.  He adds that he's making his show as big of a production as he can, to celebrate the milestone he's reached in his touring career.  Dierks will launch his "Riser" tour in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday.  Chris Young, Chase Rice, and Jon Pardi are on board as openers.  The singer is also giving concertgoers a chance to upgrade their tickets.  Details are available at Bentley's website and Facebook page.


Hunter Hayes Thrilled Paul Franklin Played On New Album


Hunter Hayes says it was great to have noted steel guitarist Paul Franklin contribute to his new album, "Storyline."  The country star admits he has a great deal of admiration for Franklin.


Hayes adds that it was easier for him to tell Franklin what he was looking for on each track.  He explains that typically he lets a guitarist know the sound he wants by mentioning another guitar player's work.  But Hunter says Paul played on every song he'd use as a reference point, so he just had to mention specific titles.  Hayes' "Storyline" arrives in stores Tuesday.


Joshua Scott Jones Reveals Title, Release Date To Upcoming Album


Joshua Scott Jones is calling his debut solo album "The Healing."  And the country star will have his record in stores on June 3rd.  He tells his CD is a concept album that "has a lot to do" with what he's experienced over the past few years.  He explains that the album is "about being yourself, experiencing heartbreak and loss, and ultimately redemption."  Joshua adds that the disc's lead-off single, "Honk If You're Tonky," ties into the theme, calling it "an anthem" to "being who you are and not being ashamed to be that person."  The singer says he also thought it would be a good first single, because it's "an upbeat, dance-able song."  "The Healing" will be Jones' first album since Steel Magnolia split up.


Joe Bachman Waited Years For His Current Single


Country newcomer Joe Bachman admits he had to wait a while for his current single, "Lookatchu."  But the singer says he's glad he eventually got the chance to record the song.


Joe explains that he originally wanted to record "Lookatchu" a few years ago, for his debut album.  But he says when he called the publisher he learned that Dierks Bentley had just placed a hold on it.  However, while Dierks recorded the track he didn't include it on his album, freeing up the song for Joe.  Bachman's "Lookatchu" is available now.  It's the lead-off single from his upcoming album.


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley Introduces New Dog Via Twitter


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley is following through on his family plans.  After the country star got married last December, he said he and his new wife Brittney wanted kids but would start their family with a dog.  Late last week Brian posted a photo on Twitter of Brittney holding their new German Shepherd pup, Smoke.  And Smoke already has her own Instagram account -- which quickly gained more than five-thousand followers.  Posted photos also seem to show that Smoke is making fast friends with Tyler Hubbard's dog, Harley.


Old Willie Nelson Tour Bus Sells On Craigslist


One of Willie Nelson's old tour buses has a new owner.  The seller, Tom O'Leary, tells "Rolling Stone" he bought the 1983 Eagle "on a whim" four years ago on eBay.  He explains that he's "not especially a Willie Nelson fan," but "mainly just thought it looked cool."  O'Leary says he only used the vehicle to go to NASCAR races and on hunting trips, and decided to sell because it was "just time for someone else to enjoy it."  He doesn't say what he paid for the bus, but he reportedly got more than 80-thousand dollars for it.


The country star's rep confirms that the vehicle was once part of Nelson's fleet, and served as drummer Paul English's home on wheels.  But one of Nelson's former tour bus drivers, Johnny Temples, tells the "Dallas Morning News" Willie occasionally rode in this particular bus when he played dominoes.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1965, Willie Nelson was among those who took part in a salute to Elvis Presley on the TV show "Shindig!"


Today in 1987, Randy Travis released his second album, "Always and Forever."


Today in 1988, the "George Strait Live" compilation video was released.


Today in 1989, Rodney Crowell topped the charts with the single "After All This Time."


Today in 1995, Mark Chesnutt hit number one on the singles charts with "Gonna Get A Life."


Today in 1997, Tim McGraw and Faith welcomed their daughter Gracie Katherine.


Today in 1998, Garth Brooks released his box set, "The Limited Series."  In addition, LeAnn Rimes' album "Sittin' On Top of the World," John Michael Montgomery's "Leave A Mark," and Mark Wills' CD "Wish You Were Here" arrived in stores.


Today in 2000, Vince Gill and Amy Grant made their first national television appearance together as newlyweds today on CBS's "Early Show."  The couple was plugging the Electrolux USA Championship women's golf tournament, which they were hosting.


Today in 2000, in "In Style" magazine's annual "Makeover Edition," Faith Hill was named one of the "most improved" stars while LeAnn Rimes' fashion sense was deemed "coming of age."  Faith was also featured in the "Hall of Fame" section that focused on "celebrities for whom change is the only constant."


Today in 2002, Brad Paisley and his then-girlfriend Kimberly Williams, as well as SHeDAISY's Kelsi and Kassidy, were among the passengers on an American Airlines plane that lost an engine and had to make an emergency landing in Nashville.  The pilot successfully brought the plane in, and everyone on board was returned to the ground safely.


Today in 2003, a funeral for Kathy Mattea's father was held in Poca, West Virginia.  John Joseph Mattea died of cancer five days earlier.  He was 82.


Today in 2004, The show "Willie Nelson & Friends: Outlaws & Angels" was taped in Los Angeles.  Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Lee Ann Womack, and Shelby Lynn were among the country stars who took part in the event, which also featured such rockers as Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Kid Rock, and Los Lonely Boys.  The show made its debut on the USA Network over the Memorial Day holiday weekend later in the month.


Today in 2005, Alison Krauss and Union Station performed with The Count on the PBS series "Sesame Street."


Today in 2005, Craig Morgan performed at the Pentagon in a show of appreciation for America's military.


Today in 2006, the members of Hot Apple Pie made their Grand Ole Opry debut as a group.  While those in the band had performed at the Opry previously, it had been with other artists or as members of other groups.


Today in 2006, George Strait, Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery, and Brooks & Dunn were among the celebrities at the Kentucky Derby-related charity event Derby Eve Barnstable Brown Gala in Louisville.


Today in 2006, Chely Wright appeared at the Nashville Sounds baseball game to meet fans and raise money for her Reading, Writing & Rhythm Foundation.


Today in 2006, the season five finale of Reba McEntire's sitcom "Reba" aired on the WB.  It was a cliff hanger with McEntire's character rushed to the hospital for surgery in the final scene.


Today in 2007, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Sara Evans, Willie Nelson, Jason Aldean, and Eric Church were some of the country stars who performed on the first day of the inaugural Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.


Today in 2009, Gretchen Wilson was in Washington, DC to meet with members of Congress to discuss federal funding for adult ed programs.


Today in 2009, new releases included Jewel's "Lullaby."


Today in 2010, Tim McGraw performed at the Players Championship golf tournament in Jacksonville, Florida in conjunction with the PGA Tour's Military Appreciation Day.


Today in 2011, Lady Antebellum debuted their single "Just A Kiss" with a performance on "American Idol."


Today in 2012, Jake Owen was arrested in his hometown of Vero Beach, Florida after he attempted to enter a restaurant wearing a mask.  He later attributed the incident to having "too good of a time on Cinco de Mayo."


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