Nashville NEws and Notes for THURSDAY

Jason Aldean Earns First Number One On All-Genre Album Chart


Jason Aldean is riding high atop the album charts.  The country star's fifth studio album, "Night Train," debuts at number one on the Billboard 200 after selling 409-thousand-copies in its first week.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, it's the second-biggest debut of the year behind Mumford & Son's "Babel," which sold 600-thousand copies earlier this month.  "Babel" slips to number two this week after three weeks at the top of the chart.  "Night Train" marks Aldean's first time to top the all-genre chart, but he'll probably only hold the top spot for one week.  Taylor Swift's "Red" is on track to top the chart next week with first-week sales that could surpass the one-million mark.


But Aldean's disc is just one of four country albums in the Billboard 200's top ten.  Scotty McCreery's holiday set "Christmas With Scotty" is entering the chart at number four, while Jamey Johnson's tribute to Hank Cochran, "Living For A Song," is debuting at number five.  Meanwhile, Little Big Town's "Tornado" is returning to the Billboard 200 top ten, rebounding into the number eight spot after falling to number 14 last week.


LeAnn Rimes Discusses Her Time In Treatment With Katie Couric


LeAnn Rimes is opening up about her recent stint at a treatment facility.  In an interview with ABC's Katie Couric, the country star fought back tears as she said those around her couldn't really grasp the pain she was experiencing.


Rimes says the anguish that ultimately led her to get help had been building her entire life.  She explains that starting her career at the age of 13 meant she never really had a childhood.  She adds that she also needed to find her identity as a person, not just a singer.  Rimes says her life has always revolved around her voice, and she wanted to know who she was "outside of that."  But she's also using her voice to help her heal.  LeAnn says she's her music has become an outlet for her emotions, and her next album will include songs expressing anger, guilt, and other feelings she's carried for a long time.  Rimes' upcoming CD, "Spitfire," is expected to be released in the spring.  Her interview with Couric will air Thursday on ABC's "Katie."  It will also be included on the ABC "20/20" special "All Access Nashville with Katie Couric," airing Friday night.


McGraw, Hill, Shelton, Urban, Gill, McBride Join CMA Awards Lineup


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are on board for next week's Country Music Association Awards.  The country couple is slated to make two appearances on the show.  They've been tapped to join Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum in a tribute to Willie Nelson, and they'll also perform on their own.  Faith will sing her latest single, "American Heart," while Tim is expected to debut a new song at the event.  In addition, Keith Urban, Vince Gill, and Hunter Hayes have also signed on to perform.  Meanwhile, Martina McBride, Sugarland, and Kellie Pickler are the show's first announced presenters.   The Band Perry will do double duty, presenting and performing during the ceremony.


The hefty roster participating stars also includes top nominee Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, and Zac Brown Band.  Entertainer of the Year nominees Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, and Brad Paisley -- who's also hosting -- will perform as well.  The list also boasts Paisley's co-host Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, and the Eli Young Band.  The 46th annual CMA Awards will be presented in Nashville and air on ABC on November 1st.


Taylor Swift To Perform At American Music Awards


Taylor Swift is slated to take part in next month's American Music Awards.  The country-pop superstar is adding to a performance lineup that also includes Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, and Linkin Park.  Swift is also a nominee heading into the event.  She's in the running for Favorite Female Artist - Country along with Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.  The fan-voted American Music Awards features categories spanning a variety of musical genres, including Pop/Rock, Soul/R&B, Rap/Hip-Hop, and Alternative Rock, as well as Adult Contemporary, Latin, Contemporary Inspirational, and Electronic Dance Music. 


Online balloting is under way now at  The 40th annual American Music Awards will take place at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles in L.A., and air on ABC on November 18th.


Sweethearts Of The Rodeo End 16-Year Hiatus With New Album


Sweethearts of the Rodeo are back.  The duo's new album, "Restless" arrived in stores this week.  The disc is Kristine Arnold and Janis Oliver's first studio effort in 16 years.  Kristine says they didn't really intend to have such a large gap between albums, but tells that "life just got in the way."  Janis says she and Kristine have stayed in touch over the years, and have always played their annual day after Thanksgiving show at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe.  She explains that each year they'd talk about playing more shows and working on a new album, but then "get totally distracted" by their family lives.  But she says finally "the timing was right," and after last year's show she and Kristine began meeting up every Friday night.


Kristine adds that the Sweethearts plan to tour behind the album.  But so far they only have two shows set -- both in Nashville.  In addition to their Bluebird show on November 23rd, Sweethearts of the Rodeo will perform at 3rd & Lindsley on November 29th.


Taylor Swift Finds Place For Extra Songs On Deluxe "Red"


Taylor Swift had no problem filling up her latest CD, "Red."  With 16 tracks, the album already goes beyond the standard eleven to 12 song set.  But Taylor says she still had to make some tough choices about what to exclude -- until she came up with an alternate plan.


The deluxe edition of "Red" includes six additional tracks.  Taylor says one of the songs, "The Moment I Knew," was inspired by her "awful" 21st birthday, and is "really special" to her.  There are also two other original tunes on the bonus disc, along with an acoustic version of the album cut "State Of Grace" and the demo versions of the songs "Red" and "Treacherous."  The deluxe edition of "Red" is available only from Target stores.


Kacey Musgraves Recalls First Time Hearing Debut Single On Radio


Country newcomer Kacey Musgraves is gaining attention with her single, "Merry Go 'Round."  The song is now a country top 40 hit.  Kacey says she was overwhelmed the first time she heard it on the radio.


Musgraves says "Merry Go 'Round" was inspired by her experiences growing up in a small, conservative Texas town.  But she believes it's a song many people can relate to.  "Merry Go 'Round" has been getting rave reviews.  "Billboard" says Kacey "knocks it out of the ballpark" with her debut single, while "Rolling Stone" gave the track four stars.  The "Minneapolis Star Tribune" praises Kacey as "a non-Barbie Doll starlet-in-waiting."  "Merry Go 'Round" will be on Musgraves' upcoming debut album.


Chris Young, Hunter Hayes, Luke Bryan Hit Sales Milestones


Chris Young and Hunter Hayes are logging career firsts.  The country stars have each earned their first-ever Platinum singles.  Chris has arrived at the milestone with his chart-topper "Tomorrow," while Hunter reached the one-million mark in downloads with his number one hit "Wanted."  Meanwhile, Luke Bryan has two new double-Platinum singles to his credit.  This week his hits "I Don't Want This Night To End" and "Drunk On You" -- which were also chart-toppers -- earned certifications for two-million paid downloads.  Luke just recently celebrated his first double-Platinum single.  "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" reached the sales plateau in August.


Jason Aldean Planning "Completely Different" Show For 2013 Tour


Jason Aldean hasn't quite finished his "My Kinda Party Tour," but he's already started mapping out a new show for his 2013 tour.  The country star tells that he's revamping the sets as well as the production, and he'll have "whole new look, a whole new everything" when he hits the stage next year.  The singer explains that he's currently in the designing phase of the process, but when everything is finished "it'll be a completely different deal."  So far Aldean has announced three stadium shows for his 2013 "Night Train" tour.  He'll perform at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia on April 13th, at Boston's Fenway Park on July 13th, and at Chicago's Wrigley Field on July 20th.


Aldean will be wrapping up his "My Kinda Party Tour" this weekend in Texas.  He's performing in San Antonio Thursday night and in The Woodlands on Friday, while the finale is set for Dallas on Saturday.


Justin Moore Describes His Non-Musical Talents


Justin Moore says he can do more than just sing.  While he's not sure he'd call them "hidden talents," the singer admits he has some abilities that some people might not expect.


Moore says his athletic skills also extend to golf, and he's trying to improve his game.  The country star adds that he's pretty handy in the kitchen.  He says he loves to cook, and can whip up some pretty tasty dishes.  But over the next few days fans in Virginia will get to see Justin demonstrate the skills that have made him famous.  He'll be performing in Roanoke on Thursday, in Fairfax on Friday, and in Charlottesville on Saturday.



Country Birthdays Include


Sawyer Brown's Mark Miller is 54.

Chely Wright is 42.



Today in Country Music History


Today in 1993, Elvis Presley fans unveiled a plaque at an airport near Glasgow, Scotland. It marked the only visit Elvis ever made to the United Kingdom -- a one-hour stopover in 1960 on his way home from Germany.


Today in 2001, Reba McEntire got word that her WB sitcom, "Reba," had been picked up for a full slate of 22 episodes.


Today in 2001, Brad Paisley revealed that his chart-topping tune, "He Didn't Have To Be," was being developed as a TV movie by TBS.


Today in 2003, Mark Collie and Coley McCabe were married in Savannah, Tennessee.  The couple exchanged vows in front of 20 relatives and friends on the front lawn of their 300-acre estate near Savannah, Tennessee.  Coley reportedly looked fabulous in an antique gown and bare feet.


Today in 2004, Gary Allan's 36-year-old wife, Angela, took her own life.


Today in 2004 Tim McGraw was among the winners at the 2004 Radio Music Awards.


Today in 2004, Buddy Jewell was named the new celebrity spokesman for the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation.


Today in 2005, Brooks & Dunn, Kris Kristofferson, Martina McBride, and Dwight Yoakam were among the country stars participating in the taping of "I Walk The Line: A Night For Johnny Cash" in Hollywood.  Dave Matthews, Kid Rock, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Sheryl Crow also took part in the tribute concert, which aired a few weeks later as a CBS TV special.


Today in 2006, Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley sang the national anthem at game four of the World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, while Sugarland sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch.


Today in 2006, Sugarland sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch of Game Four of the World Series in St. Louis.


Today in 2006, Martina McBride made a guest appearance on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" results show, performing "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" to promote her CD "Timeless."


Today in 2006, Dierks Bentley's CD "Long Trip Alone" debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2007, Hank Williams Jr. was honored with the CMT Giants concert, which was taped in Los Angeles.  Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Gretchen Wilson were among the stars who turned out for the event, along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Buddy Guy, and football star Terry Bradshaw.


Today in 2007, Big & Rich's Big Kenny Alphin returned from a five-day trip to Sudan to bring clothing, medical supplies, school supplies, and musical instruments to facilities in the war-torn African nation.


Today in 2007, Lonestar was part of the "Holiday Notes From Home" Christmas concert taped at the Grand Ole Opry House. The gospel group Take 6, R&B singer Aaron Neville, and the Band of the Air Force Reserve and the Air Force Strings also participated in the show.


Today in 2008, Craig Morgan officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  John Conlee took part in Morgan's induction, while Rodney Atkins, Larry Gatlin, Chuck Wicks, Hal Ketchum, and Kristy Lee Cook also performed.


Today in 2008, Tim McGraw paid tribute to his late father, former Philadelphia Phillies star reliever Tug McGraw, and wore the team's gear to bring the baseball to the mound for the ceremonial first pitch before Game Three of the World Series.  Taylor Swift also took part in the game, singing the national anthem at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.  The Phillies, who were facing the Tampa Bay Rays, went on to win the game, and eventually the baseball championship.


Today in 2008, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, and James Otto were among the performers at the "American Freedom Festival" concert in Fairfax, Virginia.  The show honored veterans of America's armed forces and raised money and awareness for various veterans' organizations.


Today in 2009, Craig Morgan and Chris Young began a Stars for Stripes tour, making stops at U.S. military bases as well as hospitals in Germany and Iraq.  It was Morgan's sixth trip overseas to perform for the troops, and Young's first.


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift's album "Speak Now" arrived in stores.