Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Keith Urban To Perform On Thursday's "Idol"


Keith Urban won't just be on "American Idol" Thursday night as a judge -- he's set to perform as well.  While the country star will be playing on his own, he says he'd like to collaborate with his fellow judges.  But he recalls learning that Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj didn't share his enthusiasm for the idea when they were asked to team up on a song.


But Keith would still like to see it happen.  He says he's "gonna keep coaxing Randy" to see if they can "put a little band together."  Urban says he thinks it would be a fun, and it feels like a "natural" thing for them to do.


Urban revealed Wednesday via Twitter that he'd be performing on "Idol."  He tweeted that he was "psyched to play" on the show, and added that he hopes "Randy and the girls put me through!!!"  "American Idol" will air on Fox Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Carrie Underwood To Appear On "Idol" Next Month


Carrie Underwood is once again returning to the show that launched her career.  The country star is slated to perform her new single, "See You Again," on "American Idol" next month.  Her appearance on the Fox reality series is scheduled for April 4th.  "See You Again" is the fourth single from Underwood's latest album, "Blown Away," following "Two Black Cadillacs," "Good Girl," and the disc's title track.  All three songs topped the charts.  Carrie is currently in Canada on her "Blown Away" tour.  The singer -- and season four "Idol" winner -- will be performing in Hamilton, Ontario Thursday night.


Wynonna Judd Building Relationship With "Dancing" Partner


Wynonna Judd says she asked to work with Tony Dovolani on "Dancing With the Stars."  She tells "Country Weekly" she wouldn't have signed on if she wasn't going to be paired with him, but the show was more than happy to accommodate her request.  And the partnership appears to be meeting Tony's approval as well.  Wy admits that they've had their disagreements during their rehearsals, but even their confrontations are helpful.  She explains that Tony is "the most positive teacher" she's ever had, which was important to her.  The country star says she "didn't want a dictatorship," and to have "someone saying, 'Come on. Come on,'" because she doesn't "thrive that way."  Wy says that she wanted to work with someone with whom she could build a relationship, and she's doing that with Tony.


Dovolani adds that he's even agreed to match Wy's risk.  The dancer admits that he's not a very good singer or musician, but Wy wants him to play guitar and sing at one of her upcoming shows.  Tony explains that Wy "accepted the challenge" to compete on "Dancing," so he's "going to accept a challenge well."  But they don't say just when they're hoping to team up together in concert.  Catch Wy and Tony on an all-new episode of "Dancing With The Stars" next Monday on ABC.


Hunter Hayes Denying Selena Gomez Relationship Rumors


Hunter Hayes says he's not dating Justin Bieber's ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez.  The country star adds that he doesn't even know how those relationship rumors got started.  Hunter tells CMT Radio he's only ever met Selena once, and that was a very brief encounter.  He recalls that they "literally just shook hands and said hello."  While Hayes knows that being famous means his personal life will become tabloid fodder he says it's still "strange," and it's "the one part" of the business "that nobody kinda can tell you about or prepare you for."  He adds that once the rumors got started he "kinda felt bad for Selena" because "she was awesome."


Hunter does admit he has a celebrity crush.  But he's not willing to divulge who she is, because he doesn't want her to know.  The singer explains that if they do ever meet and she knows how he feels, that "could be awkward."


Kacey Musgraves Worked To Make Emotionally Diverse Album


Kacey Musgraves admits she's inspired by emotions, which she demonstrates on her debut CD, "Same Trailer, Different Park."  The country newcomer says her goal was to create a disc that spans the spectrum of feelings.


Kacey is seeing strong returns for her effort.  "Same Trailer, Different Park," which features her hit "Merry Go 'Round," is debuting on the Billboard Country Albums chart at number one with sales of just under 43-thousand-500.  That figure is also good enough for her to open on the all-genre Billboard 200 at a rather distant number two.  The number one album belongs to Justin Timberlake, whose latest studio effort "The 20/20 Experience" leads the way with sales of 968-thousand.


Phil Vassar Making Strong Chart Debut With Latest Single


Phil Vassar is seeing one of the best chart debuts of his career with his new single.  "Love Is Alive" is opening on on the Billboard Country Airplay list at number 49, and has been named the "Hot Shot Debut" of the week.  The placement matches Phil's previous best chart entry, which came in June 2007 when "This Is My Life" bowed onto the Country Songs list at number 49.  "Love Is Alive" is available now as a digital single.  Vassar is currently working on a new album, which is expected to be released this summer.  But he hasn't said whether "Love Is Alive" is one of the tracks he plans to include on his upcoming disc.


The Jordanaires' Gordon Stoker Dies At 88


A member of Elvis Presley's famed backing group, The Jordanaires, has died. says Gordon Stoker passed away Wednesday morning at a hospice in Nashville.  He was 88.  Stoker was a first tenor with the legendary vocal quartet, who are featured on some of Elvis' biggest hits including "Don't Be Cruel," "Are You Lonesome Tonight," and "It's Now or Never."  Gordon enjoyed the longest tenure with the group.  He spent more than 60 years with The Jordanaires, becoming a member back in 1951.


The Jordanaires' roots are in gospel and country, and first met Elvis following a performance with country legend Eddy Arnold.  The ensemble is credited with helping to develop the "Nashville Sound," and they also worked with numerous country greats.  The group sang on such country classics as Patsy Cline's "Crazy," Don Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me," Ferlin Husky's "Gone," and George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today."  Gordon also contributed his voice to hits by Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers, Rick Nelson, and Gene Vincent.  The Jordanaires' honors include inductions into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.


Pistol Annies Write Songs Organically


Pistol Annies' Angaleena Presley says they don't try to control their songwriting.  The country singer explains that when they're working on new material, they just let things develop organically.


Presley adds they occasionally surprise themselves with what they've written.  She admits that sometimes when they listen back to one of their songs, they "get chills," and "can't believe" it's something they've done.  Angaleena says they even have a hard time taking the credit, explaining that they simply feel like "the messengers."  Pistol Annies are prepping for the release of their sophomore album.  "Annie Up," which features their current single "Hush Hush," will be in stores on May 7th.


Jake Owen Envisioning Daughter's Life, Credits Her For Attitude Shift


Jake Owen's little girl is only four-months old, but that hasn't kept the country star from envisioning daughter Olive Pearl's future.  The singer tells "People" that he's "already thinking about where she'll go to school" and "what color her backpack will be," as well as "who her friends are gonna be" and "what she wants to be when she grows up."  But Jake says he's also trying to "slow it down" and enjoy each milestone as she reaches them.  He adds that his daughter is changing his morning disposition.  Owen admits that he tends to be "a bit disgruntled or moody" when he first gets up, while Pearl is "always happy in the morning."  He says that starting his days with Pearl has given him "a happier outlook on life in the mornings," and he's "not so grumpy" when he sees her "cackling or cooing or whatever it is that babies do."


Quick Bites


Gretchen Wilson will mark the release of her next album with a TV appearance.  She'll perform her new single "Still Rollin'" on NBC's "Today" show on April 2nd, the same day her new CD "Right On Time" hits stores.  The 13-track disc is Gretchen's first studio release in three years.


Opry Country Classics is back.  The Time Jumpers are the Spotlight Artist for the first Thursday show of the season at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  Larry Gatlin will be on hand as the host, while Sunny Sweeney, Gene Watson, The Whites, and Chris Janson are also slated to perform.


Country Birthdays Include


Reba McEntire is 58.

Rodney Atkins is 44.

Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy is 72.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1975, Dolly Parton scored her fifth number one hit with "The Bargain Store."  The song's success was considered a surprise because some stations refused to play it.  They felt the lyrics -- "the bargain store is open, come inside"-- were too "dirty."


Today in 1980, Tom T. Hall rejoined the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1993, Willie Nelson performed a benefit concert in Hillsboro, Texas to raise money for the restoration of Hill County Courthouse, which had been destroyed by fire.


Today in 1995, John Michael Montgomery released his self-titled third album.


Today in 1997, Clay Walker released the album "Rumor Has It."


Today in 1997, Wynonna appeared on Sesame Street.


Today in 2000, Trisha Yearwood's "Real Live Woman" album was released.


Today in 2002, Martina McBride was named as a spokesperson and judge for "Make A Difference Day."


Today in 2002, the movie "Panic Room," featuring a Dwight Yoakam, opened in theaters nationwide.


Today in 2002, Sons of the Desert's Tim Womack and his wife, Brita, welcomed their second child into the world.


Today in 2005, Reba McEntire received a surprise 50th birthday party at a club inside Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center.  She was serenaded by Ronnie Dunn, Steve Wariner, Vince Gill and Terri Clark.


Today in 2006, Tim McGraw released a greatest hits package titled "Tim McGraw Reflected: Hits Vol. 2. It was his tenth album and included four new songs -- "My Little Girl" from his movie "Flicka,"  "Beautiful People," "I've Got Friends That Do" and "When The Stars Go Blue."


Today in 2010, Taylor Swift was named Favorite Female Singer and her hit "You Belong With Me" earned recognition as Favorite Song at the 23rd annual Kids' Choice Awards in Hollywood.


Today in 2011, Thompson Square's debut single, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not," hit number one on both the Billboard Country Songs chart and the Country Aircheck chart.


Today in 2012, bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs died at a Nashville hospital.  He was 88.

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