Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Brad Paisley Announces "Beat This Summer Tour" Dates

Brad Paisley's mapping out his summer plans.  The country superstar just announced dates for his "Beat This Summer Tour" that will include special guests Chris Young and Lee Brice on the bill.  In addition to delivering good music, Brad is also delivering good deeds with the trek.  He's teaming up with the Nashville non profit Live Beyond to donate one-dollar from each ticket sale to go to medical care, clean water, and developmental activities to impoverished communities in Haiti.  The tour will kick off in St. Louis, Missouri on May 9th, one month after the release of Paisley's new album "Wheelhouse" on April 9th.  The album includes Paisley's current single "Southern Comfort Zone" and the upcoming single that shares the name of his tour - "Beat This Summer."


Here are the dates of the "Beat This Summer Tour":


May 9  --  St. Louis, MO  --  Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

May 10  --  Indianapolis, IN  --  Klipsch Music Center

May 11  --  Chicago, IL  --  First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

May 16  --  Holmdel, NJ  --  PNC Bank Arts Center

May 17  --  Boston, MA  --  Comcast Center

May 18  --  Hartford, CT  --  Comcast Theatre

May 31  --  Toronto, ONT  --  Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

June 1  --  Pittsburgh, PA  --  First Niagara Pavilion

June 2  --  Saratoga Springs, NY  --  Saratoga Performing  Arts Center

June 6  --  Cincinnati, OH  --  Riverbend Music Center

June 7  --  Charlotte, NC  --  Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

June 8  --  Raleigh, NC  --  Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

June 21  --  West Palm Beach, FL  --  Cruzan Amphitheatre *

June 22  --  Tampa, FL  --  Live Nation Amphitheatre *

June 23  --  Atlanta, GA  --  Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood *

June 28  --  Virginia Beach, VA  --  Farm Bureau Live

June 29  --  Washington, DC  --  Jiffy Lube Live

July 12  --  Darien Center, NY  --  Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

July 13  --  Ft. Loramie, OH  --  Country Concert at Hickory Hills Lake

July 20  --  Twin Lakes, WI  --  Country Thunder Festival Grounds

July 27  --  Dallas, TX  --  Gexa Energy Pavilion

July 28   --  Houston, TX  --  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 1  --  Denver, CO  --  Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre

August 2  --  Salt Lake City, UT  --  USANA Amphitheatre

August 16  --  Mission, BC  --  Rockin' River Festival-Mission Raceway Park*

August 17  --  Brownsville, OR  --  Williamette Country Music Festival *

August 22  --  Mountain View, CA  --  Shoreline Amphitheatre

August 23  --  Sacramento, CA  --  Sleep Train Amphitheatre

August 24  --  San Bernardino, CA   --  San Manuel Amphitheatre


Brett Eldredge Thrilled To Be One Of Taylor Swift's Openers


Brett Eldredge says he "can't wait" to hit the road with Taylor Swift.  Brett is one of four country artists who've been added as rotating openers on Swift's upcoming "Red" trek, and will be on hand for the tour launch in Omaha, Nebraska on March 13th.  Eldredge will play a total of 19 shows with Taylor, including one stadium date, and anticipates that it's "gonna be incredible."  Brett tells that while he's "played in front of some big audiences" before, Swift's trek is taking things to "a whole 'nother level."  He says Taylor stages "a spectacle unlike any other artist in music," and he feels "so lucky" to "be able to have a little part of that, a little tiny piece of that."  Brett adds that he's thrilled to get the chance to perform for Taylor's fans because they're "so passionate."


In addition to Eldredge, Taylor has added Florida Georgia Line, Casey James, and Joel Crouse to select shows.  Florida Georgia Line will play seven dates with Taylor, James is on board for 14 shows, and Crouse is set for eleven concerts.  British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran will be featured throughout the entire trek.


Carrie Underwood Concert Airing Live On TV This Weekend


Carrie Underwood fans who haven't been able to catch one of her concerts are now getting a chance to see her show.  The country star will be featured in the upcoming TV special "'The Blown Away Tour' Live 2013," airing on AXS TV this weekend.  The network will present Underwood's full show as she performs this Sunday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.  Carrie says she welcomes the opportunity to stage her show in front of the cameras.  She explains that she's "had the opportunity to play in so many wonderful cities and venues on this tour," and she's "so excited" that she's now getting the chance to "share the concert experience live with fans at home."  The singer adds that it's "going to be a great night."  The show will start at 11:45 p.m. Eastern time.


Opry Staging Special Show Marking Anniversary Of Patsy Cline's Death


The late Patsy Cline is receiving a special concert salute.  The Grand Ole Opry will mark the 50th anniversary of Cline's death with a tribute show in her honor.  The event will also honor Opry members Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, who were also killed in the plane crash that claimed Cline's life.  Terri Clark, John Conlee, and Mandy Barnett are among the performers for show, along with Hawkins' widow, Country Music Hall of Famer Jean Shepard.  Cline, Copas, Hawkins, and pilot Randy Hughes, who was also Patsy's manager, died when their small plane went down in a wooded area near Camden, Tennessee on March 5th, 1963.  The Opry tribute concert will take place next week on the March 5th anniversary, and will launch the new season of Tuesday night Opry shows.


Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton Plan To Contribute Ideas For ACM Awards


Luke Bryan admits the writers will be creating the final script for him and Blake Shelton when they host this spring's Academy of Country Music Awards.  But he says they're going to contribute as much as they can.


Luke explains that his "Dirt Road Diaries" trek, which ends just two weeks before the ACMs, will likely keep him and Blake from actually meeting up anytime soon to discuss the event.  But he expects that they'll spend a lot of time on the phone in the coming weeks brainstorming ideas and "talking stuff out."  Bryan's next show is in Green Bay, Wisconsin Thursday night.  His last concert before the ACMs will be in Morgantown, West Virginia on March 24th.  The 48th annual ACM Awards will take place in Las Vegas on April 7th, airing on CBS at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Kellie Pickler's Grandfather Behind Singer's "DWTS" Run


Kellie Pickler says she really didn't have a choice about competing on "Dancing With the Stars."  The country star tells "Country Weekly" she had to say yes to the ABC reality series if she wanted to stay in the good graces of her grandfather.  She says he "was eavesdropping" on a phone conversation she had about participating in the show, and told her if she didn't sign on she'd no longer be his "favorite granddaughter."  Kellie also points out that she's not just his only granddaughter, but his only grandchild.  Pickler adds that her granddad is "more excited than anybody about it," because "Dancing With the Stars" is his favorite show.


Earlier this week Kellie was confirmed as one of the celebrities for "Dancing's" upcoming 16th season.  She'll be competing against ten other stars -- including Wynonna Judd.  The new season of "Dancing With the Stars" begins on ABC on March 18th.


Keith Urban Is Unaffected By Fox's Live Audience


Keith Urban isn't changing up his judging technique now that the contestants on Fox's "American Idol" are competing in front of a live audience.  He says the only aspect that has changed is that the judges' critiques now get reaction from the crowd. 


Despite the jeers the audience sometimes gives his appraisals, the "Idol" judge says he continues to dish out his opinion honestly.  "Idol" is currently in the semi-final rounds with the judges narrowing the search to the top 20.  With the top ten male contestants already locked in, another ten female contestants will take the stage tonight to see who has what it takes for final five spots.  Check out "American Idol" tonight on Fox at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. 


Kip Moore Says "Nashville" Critics Should "Lighten Up"


Kip Moore is weighing in on whether or not ABC musical drama "Nashville," is a realistic portrayal of the city.


The country singer made his acting debut as a guest star on the show last night.  On the episode, he played himself attending a surprise birthday party for Charles Esten's character, Deacon.  Fellow country star Vince Gill and The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach also made appearances.  Moore says that while the show isn't "100 percent by any means" when it comes to showing what the city is really like, he understands that it's television and meant to entertain people.   


Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift Songs Get Goat Remakes


Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are both giving a thumbs up to the new unconventional remakes of their songs.  Carrie has tweeted a link to the goat remix of her hit "Blown Away," adding, "'Blown Away' Goat Edition Laughing so hard, I'm crying! I love these vids! Goats. Are. Awesome!"


Taylor also tweeted a link to the goat remix video of her hit "I Knew You Were Trouble" to celebrate the original version's sixth week topping the "Billboard" Pop Songs chart.


Quick Bites


An effort is under way to help George Strait log a special accomplishment.  The "60 For 60" campaign is striving to propel the country star's latest hit, "Give It All We Got Tonight," to the top of the chart.  But those behind the project have a very specific deadline for their goal.  They want to see the song become Strait's 60th career number one while he's 60 years old.  The singer will turn 61 on May 18th.


The Oak Ridge Boys are making waves -- literally.  The group is setting out from Miami today on their "Rally-at-Sea" cruise, which will make stops at Key West and Cozumel, Mexico before returning to the U.S. on March 4th.  Those on board will be treated to special performances from the band every night of the trek.  The cruise is part of the Oak Ridge Boys' 40th anniversary celebration.


Country Birthdays Include


Jason Aldean is 36.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1981, Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love A Rainy Night hit number one on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1982, Willie Nelson released the album "Always On My Mind."


Today in 1984, Alabama, Anne Murray and Lee Greenwood took top honors at the 26th annual Grammy Awards.


Today in 1996, Vince Gill won Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song with "Go Rest High On That Mountain."


Today in 1997, Brooks and Dunn kicked off the first of two co-headlining tours with Reba McEntire.


Today in 2000, Mark Wills' "Permanently" was certified Gold.


Today in 2002, Brooks & Dunn received the Artist Humanitarian of the Year Award at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.  The duo supports a number of charities, including the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Nashville's Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and the T.J. Martell Foundation.


Today in 2005, an effort began to rename a stretch of State Highway 130 after Willie Nelson.  State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos introduced the legislation, arguing that the singer, quote, "has become an indelible part of Central Texas' cultural landscape."  Ultimately, however, the measure never passed.


Today in 2006, Sara Evans was named an official ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association.


Today in 2006, Tim McGraw visited a Nashville radio station and previewed two new songs -- "I've Got Friends That Do" and "When the Stars Go Blue" -- from his then-upcoming album "Tim McGraw Reflected: Hits Volume 2."


Today in 2006, George Strait kicked off the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.


Today in 2006, new releases included Alan Jackson's album "Precious Memories, Hank Williams the Third's CD "Straight to Hell," and the DVD of the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line."


Today in 2011, Reba McEntire debuted the video to her single "If I Were a Boy" on Oprah Winfrey's website,


Today in 2011, Jason Aldean's collaboration with Kelly Clarkson, "Don't You Wanna Stay," hit number one on the Billboard Country Songs chart -- on the day he turned 34.  The singer called it "a pretty killer birthday present" that his family and friends would have a hard time topping.


Today in 2012, Alabama played the opening concert at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which marked the group's return to the event after an eight-year absence.


Today in 2012, Carrie Underwood performed at the Nordstrom Symphony Fashion Show in Nashville, featuring the work of designer Oscar de la Renta.


Today in 2012, new country releases included Craig Morgan's "This Ole Boy," his first new album in four years, and The Oak Ridge Boys' "When Country Meets Dixie," their collaborative effort with the Dukes of Dixieland.


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