Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Country Report

For:  Thursday, November 8, 2012


Rascal Flatts, Hayden Panettiere Hosting "CMT Artist Of The Year"


Rascal Flatts will help CMT recognize some of the top stars in country music.  The trio has been tapped to host next month's "CMT Artists of the Year" special.  The group will oversee the event with "Nashville" star Hayden Panettiere.  A variety of factors, including music and concert ticket sales, radio airplay, and Internet searches, determine the honorees who will receive a star-packed concert salute.  But unlike the last two years, the celebrated stars of 2012 won't be announced in advance of the show.  The 2012 "CMT Artists of the Year" will air on CMT on December 8th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, and Jason Aldean were among the five CMT Artist of the Year recipients in both 2010 and 2011.  Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley were the other 2011 honorees, while Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band were recognized at the inaugural event.


Country Stars Share Reactions To Presidential Election Via Twitter


Billy Ray Cyrus is among the many Americans who are pleased with the outcome of Tuesday's presidential election.  The country singer and actor had voiced his support for President Obama, and following the results tweeted "Congratulations Mr President ! Congratulations America."  He added, "the process worked...and freedom rings."  In contrast, Sara Evans is expressing her disappointment over the outcome.  She tweeted that she was "completely in shock," and added in all caps that it "SUCKS!"  The country star also questioned, "Where is this country heading?"  The Oak Ridge Boys have also said they typically lean more toward the Republican side, and back in August the group performed at the Republican National Convention.  But the band is more accepting of the results, tweeting "Congratulations to President @BarackObama ... We move on... God Bless America... The greatest country on earth!! Let's SING!!!"


Martina McBride, meanwhile, is sharing her dismay at the amount of money the candidates spent in their effort to win the election.  She tweets her hope that when the 2016 race rolls around "they find a way to campaign without spending roughly 5 BILLION $!," adding, "That money could help a lot of kids.Just sayin."


Taylor Swift Tops Charts; Has Year's Second-Best Seller


Taylor Swift is once again leading the way on both the Billboard 200 and the Country Albums chart with her new album, "Red." says the singer-songwriter's most recent studio effort saw a 72-percent drop in sales in its second week, but that still amounts to 344-thousand copies.  The two-week sales total for "Red" now stands at one-million-553-thousand, and surpasses One Direction's "Up All Night" to become the second-best selling album of 2012.  Only Adele's "21" has done better.  But with only seven-and-a-half-weeks left to the year, it might be tough for "Red" to top the "21's" 2012 sales total of more than four-point-one-million.


Toby Keith is making a top ten debut on the charts.  "Hope on the Rocks" is opening at number six on the Billboard 200 with sales of 48-thousand.  Meanwhile, Jason Aldean's "Night Train" is still in the top five on the all-genre list, dropping one spot to number four with 71-thousand copies sold.


Country Stars See CMA Awards Sales Boost


Little Big Town is one of several country stars reaping immediate benefits from last week's CMA Awards. says the group's September release, "Tornado," is seeing a 43-percent sales bump courtesy of the event.  The album's 29-thousand in sales was enough for "Tornado" to blow back into the top ten on Billboard 200, taking the number ten spot on the all-genre chart.  The most recent CDs from Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Eric Church also received a CMA sales boost.  Underwood's "Blown Away" sales were up 59-percent, Bryan's "Tailgates & Tanlines" sales improved by 87-percent, and sale of Eric Church's "Chief" rose by 121-percent over the previous week.


Meanwhile, new CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton has three albums benefiting from his success at the event.  His 2011 album "Red River Blue" saw the biggest improvement, rising 179-percent.  But sales of his new holiday disc, "Cheers, It's Christmas," rose 47-percent, and his hits collection "Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton" increased by 49-percent.


Jamey Johnson Mapping Out "Living For A Song Tour"


Jamey Johnson is hitting the road in support of his latest album.  The singer-songwriter recently released the Hank Cochran tribute disc "Living For A Song."  Johnson admits he greatly admires the songwriting legend.  He says if he "had to dream up somebody like Hank to influence songwriters," he "couldn't have done a better job."  Jamey explains that Hank wasn't just an enormously talented songwriter, but also "a helpful friend."  He adds that he aspires to be like Cochran, saying Hank has inspired him "not only as an artist and songwriter, but also as a person."  Johnson will kick off the "Living For A Song Tour" with a show in Knoxville, Tennessee Thursday night.


Cochran wrote numerous hits for many artists.  His credits include Eddy Arnold's "Make The World Go Away," Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces," and George Strait's "Ocean Front Property."  Brad Paisley, Ray Price, Mickey Gilley, Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack, and Loretta Lynn are just some of the many other stars who've also recorded Hank's songs.


Jamey Johnson Tour Dates


November 8 - Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Tennessee Theater

November 9 - Huntsville, Alabama, at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall

November 15 - Paducah, Kentucky, at the Carson Center

November 16 - Columbus, Ohio, at the Palace Theater

November 17 - Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Egyptian Room

November 18 - Chattanooga, Tennessee, at Tivoli Theater

November 24 - Winnie, Texas, at the Thank God For Texas Festival at Nutty Jerry's

November 29 - Red Rock, Oklahoma, at the 7 Clans Paradise Casino

November 30 - Miami, Oklahoma, at the Buffalo Run Casino

December 1 - Concho, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, at the Lucky Star Casino

December 8 - Jackson, Mississippi, at Club Magoo's

December 14 - Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Riviera Royale Pavilion

December 15 - Wendover, Nevada, at the Peppermill Casino

December 19 - Boston, Massachusetts, at the Royale Nightclub

December 22 - Norfolk, Virginia, at the NorVA

December 31 - Montgomery, Alabama, at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center

January 12 - Biloxi, Mississippi, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

January 18 - Robinsonville, Mississippi, at the Horseshoe Bluesville

January 19 - Bossier City, Louisiana, at the Horseshoe Casino & Hotel

March 23 - Silver Springs, Florida, at the Silver Sprints - World Water


George Strait Shares How He's Choosing Stops For Final Tour


George Strait says he's keeping certain things in mind as he chooses the stops for his final tour.  The singer explains that he wants to make sure his longtime fans have one more chance to see him perform.


This fall Strait announced that he would be retiring from the road after one last trek.  However, he explained that he's not going to give up performing live -- he just won't go out on extended, produced tours anymore.  And his last trek will keep him on the road for a while.  "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour is expected to run two years.  George will launch the trek in Lubbock, Texas on January 18th.


Toby Keith Planning To Commemorate A Career Milestone


Toby Keith has a special anniversary on the horizon.  Next year will mark 20 years since the release of the country star's self-titled debut album.  In addition, the 1993 disc's lead-off single, "Should've Been A Cowboy," also became Toby's first number one hit.  Keith tells "CMT Insider" he can still recall the first show he played when he had a hit single to his credit and saw his name posted on the marquee.  He says he's trying to think of a "real cool" way to commemorate the occasion.  Toby admits he hasn't "come up with quite the right thing yet," but he's confident that he will.


Jerrod Niemann Describes His Nontraditional Instrumentation On New Album


Jerrod Niemann admits he went a nontraditional route with the instrumentation he used on his new album.  The singer explains that "Free The Music" includes instruments more typically associated with a symphony than a country song.


Niemann adds that he never imagined that he'd be incorporating a French horn into one of his songs.  But he says it was perfect for his current single, "Only God Could Love You More," because it gives the track a more dramatic feel.  Other instruments Jerrod uses on "Free The Music" that are less common in country include the tuba, trombone, and saxophone, while Niemann also manufactured some of the sounds.  He says he created a loop using a tambourine, a shaker, and muted guitar strings.  Jerrod adds that it's a sound he likely won't ever be able to recreate.


Miranda Lambert Discusses Blake Shelton's Love Of Thanksgiving


Miranda Lambert says husband Blake Shelton really enjoys autumn -- for a number of reasons.


Lambert adds that when it comes to the Thanksgiving dinner, Blake likes all the dishes she prepares for the meal.  But she says Shelton really loves her mom's peanut butter pie.  The recipe for the dessert is included in the November issue of "Good Housekeeping," which features Miranda on the cover.



Country Birthdays Include


Patti Page is 85.

Bucky Covington is 35.

Lauren Alaina is 18.



Today in Country Music History


Today in 1978, Willie Nelson's "Willie & Family Live" album was released.


Today in 1980, the single "On The Road Again" by Willie Nelson peaked at number 20 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1994, the "Lead On" album by George Strait was released.


Today in 2004, a rep for Chris LeDoux revealed that the singer and one-time rodeo champ had a malignancy in his bile duct, noting it was a slow-growing form of the disease and his prognosis, quote, "looks good."  However, LeDoux passed away from the disease four months later.


Today in 2004, Phil Vassar was elected to the Academy of Country Music's Board of Directors


Today in 2005,  new releases included Kenny Chesney's album "The Road and the Radio," the Charlie Daniels Band's DVD "CDB Live," and the "Smallville" soundtrack, which includes Rascal Flatts' "Feels Like Today."


Today in 2007, Toby Keith was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, but he almost didn't make it in time for ceremony.  Earlier in the day the singer was in Norman, Oklahoma coaching his son's football team, which won in five overtimes.  Keith was able to get to the Hall of Fame event in Oklahoma City by chartering a helicopter, which he said was worth it since it allowed him see his son's team qualify for the league Super Bowl.


Today in 2007,  Big & Rich's John Rich hosted a fundraiser in Dickson County, Tennessee for Republican Fred Thompson to support his run for the White House.


Today in 2007, Eric Church's video for the song "Lightning" had its debut on CMT.


Today in 2008, Jake Owen's English bulldog, Vern, was born.  Eight weeks later Vern had a home when Jake adopted him.


Today in 2009, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, and Kid Rock were added to the Music City Walk of Fame, along with the late Ernest Tubb and the late Tootsie Bess, owner of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville.  Honorees received new markers on the Walk with a ceremony in Nashville.


Today in 2009, Vince Gill received the Will Rogers Spirit Award from Tulsa, Oklahoma's Rotary Club of Will Rogers.  With the award, the organization honors people whose lives meet the standards of the late American folk hero.


Today in 2010, Lady Antebellum was the big winner at the 2010 Nashville Music Awards.  The trio's Hillary Scott was named Songwriter of the Year at the event, while Lady A's hit "Need You Now" took Song of the Year honors.  The group's hits "American Honey," "Our Kind of Love," and "I Run To You" were also recognized.


Today in 2011, Josh Turner's "All Over Me" was named the BMI Song of the Year while Bobby Braddock was honored with the BMI Songwriting Icon Award at the 59th annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville.


Today in 2011, new country music releases included Joe Nichols' "It's All Good," "The Best Of Rascal Flatts Live," Neal McCoy and Les Brown's "Music of Your Life With Les Brown Jr. and His Band,"

Josh Gracin's "Redemption," and George Strait's "Icon."


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