Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Brad Paisley, Eric Church Albums Make Top Ten Chart Debuts


Brad Paisley's new CD is starting his run at the top of the Country Albums chart. says "Wheelhouse" logged first-week sales of 100-thousand to lead the genre-specific list, while the disc is debuting at number two on the all-genre Billboard 200.  Another Nashville-based act -- the rock band Paramore -- edged Brad out of the number one spot with their new self-titled effort, which sold 106-thousand copies in its first week.  Paisley's album received a lot of media coverage following its release, courtesy of the controversial LL Cool J collaboration "Accidental Racist."  But "Wheelhouse," also featuring the hits "Southern Comfort Zone" and "Beat This Summer," is giving Paisley his lowest first-week sales in a decade for a vocal album.  His 2003 effort, "Mud on the Tires," opened with sales of 86-thousand, while initial sales of his 2008 mostly-instrumental disc "Play" were just under 54-thousand.  But those albums also topped the country chart and opened in the top ten on the Billboard 200.


Eric Church is making a top ten chart debut as well with his new concert disc.  Fans picked up 61-thousand copies of "Caught in the Act: Live" to put it at number three on the Country Albums list, and at number five on the Billboard 200.  Blake Shelton's "Based on a True Story..." has the number two spot on the country chart, and is at number four on the all-genre list behind Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience."


Luke Bryan Pleased With Latest Single


Luke Bryan says the title to his new single is a bit misleading.  The country star admits that a name like "Crash My Party" gives the impression that it's a rowdy, good-time track, but it's actually a love song.


Bryan seems to have an instant hit with "Crash My Party."  He released the song on April 7th, after performing it at the Academy of Country Music Awards. says that in the first full week it's been available, "Crash My Party" logged 164-thousand downloads -- and gives Luke his best sales week yet.  The track is debuting on the Digital Songs chart this week at number seven.  "Crash My Party" will be on Luke's next album, which is due later this year.  The still untitled disc is Bryan's follow up to 2011's "Tailgates & Tanlines."


Lady Antebellum Supporting The George Strait "60 For 60" Campaign


Lady Antebellum is supporting the George Strait "60 For 60" campaign by sharing their favorite memories of the country legend.  Lady A's Charles Kelley says he'll never forget the time Strait called him his "BFF" backstage at a Brooks & Dunn tribute concert.  He admits that he'd "had a couple drinks" when he he told Strait that they "need to be best friends," and "everybody laughed" when George agreed.  But Charles says a half-hour later, as he was leaving the room, "everybody just died out laughing" when Strait called out to him saying, "see ya later, BFF!"  Kelley admits that he and George haven't become close friends --  although he still wishes it would happen.  But he says he "thought it was the coolest thing in the world, George Strait saying 'BFF.'"  Charles explains that even though Strait is "such an icon" and a "legend," the moment shows "just how down to Earth he is."


The "60 For 60" campaign was launched in an effort to propel Strait's single "Give It All We Got Tonight," to the top of the chart this spring.  The goal is to make the song Strait's 60th number one hit while he's 60 years old.  George will turn 61 on May 18th.


Sara Evans Working On New Album


Sara Evans knows her fans are "getting a little antsy for new songs" -- because she is, too.  The singer admits to "Country Weekly" that since she now lives in Alabama it's taking her longer to complete a new album, but she's "definitely working on it."  Evans says she has four songs tracked for the upcoming project, and she's hoping to finish that process next month.  She adds that fans won't be disappointed with the disc.  Sara explains that each of her records reflect "all sides" of her "musical personality," and "this one is shaping up the same way."  The country star adds that she'll have "a huge collaboration" on the disc, but she can't reveal who she's working with just yet.  She also doesn't say just when she expects to have the album in stores.  Evans' upcoming disc will be the follow up to her 2011 effort, "Stronger."


Trisha Yearwood Leaner Following Own Weight-Loss Plan


Trisha Yearwood is showing off her new slim figure.  The country star tells "People" she's shed 30 pounds over the past four months by following her own weight-loss plan.  The singer explains that she's tried every diet out there, and is "that girl who buys every magazine where somebody's lost 30 pounds."  She also admits that she was looking for that magic trick, because there's a part of her "didn't want to hear" that the way to lose weight is "just really hard work."  Trisha says she devised a low-fat, low-sugar plan that she follows "90-percent of the time."  In that other ten-percent she allows herself to indulge -- in moderation -- because with any diet "there's no way you never fall off the wagon."


Yearwood is also exercising regularly.  She says she "fell in love" with Zumba, and attends at least three classes a week.  Trisha adds that she's feeling great.  The 48-year-old singer says she has "a strength" she's never had before, and feels like she "can do anything."  In addition to the pounds Yearwood has also dropped inches.  She says she was a "tight size 14" and is now a ten.  Trisha provides the cover story for the next issue of "People," which will hit newsstands on Friday.


Tate Stevens Honored To Have Hometown Water Tower Inscription


Country newcomer Tate Stevens is being honored by his hometown in a very special way.  Belton, Missouri is paying tribute to the "X Factor" winner by putting his name on the town's water tower.  Tate says the recognition means a great deal to him.


Belton, Missouri's 160-foot water tower now features the phrase "Home of Tate Stevens, Live the Dream!"  Tate says he was there when the tower inscription was finished last December -- and he wasn't alone.  He says a crowd of roughly 50 people had gathered to see it, and the local news was also on hand to cover the unveiling.  Tate adds that he's moved to know that these people thought enough of him to honor him in this way.


Tim McGraw Loves NASCAR, Would Enjoy Doing NASCAR Film


Tim McGraw says he's a NASCAR fan, and is guilty of having a lead foot of his own.  The country star adds that while he doesn't seek out film projects, he'd welcome the chance to portray a driver on the big screen.


Tim describes himself as "a big Dale Earnhardt fan," and says it was "a tragic day" when the racing legend was killed in an accident during the 2001 Daytona 500.  The singer adds that he now follows Earnhardt's son, Dale Jr., "because of the legacy."  McGraw will soon be hitting the road -- but not to race.  He'll be heading out on his "Two Lanes of Freedom" tour next month.  Tim will kick off the trek in Birmingham, Alabama on May 2nd -- one day after his 46th birthday.


Miss Willie Brown Split; Watkins Continuing As Solo Artist


Miss Willie Brown is splitting up.  The duo's Amanda Watkins explains in a website post that her musical partner Kacey Buckley "have decided to part ways as a band."  She says Kacey has chosen to "take a break from the world of music," but she will continue on as a solo artist.  Amanda adds that she's excited to be stepping out on her own, and predicts that "it's going to be a great year with lots to come!"  She also says she's not abandoning Miss Willie Brown music, and those songs will remain part of her catalog.  Watkins also holds no animosity towards Kacey.  She says there's "nothing that will ever come" between them, and she supports Kacey in pursuing her new path.


Miss Willie Brown got their big break in 2010, becoming the first unsigned act ever to appear on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."  A recording contract followed.  The duo released their self-titled EP in March 2011, and supported the effort touring with Dierks Bentley.  Miss Willie Brown spent last fall on the road with Jon Pardi.


Remembering Dick Clark On First Anniversary Of His Death


One year ago today "America's oldest teenager" passed away.  TV legend Dick Clark died on the morning of April18th, 2012 after suffering a heart attack.  He was 82.  Clark's many accomplishments over the course of his lengthy and influential career included the successful integration of pop music through his long running music TV series "American Bandstand.  During an era of segregation his show featured both black and white artists -- along with black and white teens dancing together to the music.  Clark was also key in bringing the new year's holiday to a younger generation, launching "New Year's Rockin' Eve" at a time when Guy Lombardo's broadcast dominated the holiday.  In addition, he gave the public a say in honoring their favorite songs and artists in creating the American Music Awards, which served as an alternative to the Recording Academy's Grammy Awards.  And Clark wasn't just focused on rock and pop music.  His production company has been staging the Acacemy of Country Music Awards since the late '70s,


Those who knew Clark praise him not only for his groundbreaking efforts in music television, but for the way he championed the artists.  Numerous stars have said that Clark would go out of his way, not just for his friends but for everyone he had on his shows.


Country Birthdays Include


The Tractors' Walt Richmond 66.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1939, Gene Autry recorded "Back In The Saddle Again."


Today in 1981, Alabama topped "Billboard's" country chart with "Old Flame."


Today in 1988, the "Reba" album by Reba McEntire was released.


Today in 1990, the Judds' "Great Video Hits" video was released.


Today in 1996, Lee Roy Parnell's single "Heart's Desire" hit number one on "Radio & Records'" country chart.


Today in 1997, Tim McGraw's single "It's Your Love," which features his wife Faith Hill, was released.


Today in 1998, Diamond Rio was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.  The band opened their performance with their first chart-topping hit, "Meet in the Middle."


Today in 1998, Jo Dee Messina scored her first number one single with "Baby, Bye Bye."


Today in 2000, Eric Heatherly's debut album, "Swimming in Champagne," was released.


Today in 2002, it was revealed that Tammy Wynette's four daughters dropped their suit against the Pennsylvania physician who they claimed had mismanaged their mother's care.  The women instead came to an out-of-court settlement with the doctor, and agreed to keep the details confidential.


Today in 2003, Kenny Rogers was at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where he met with members of the 436th Airlift Wing and visited the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs.


Today in 2005, Josh Gracin was honored at a party in Nashville to mark the success of his single "Nothin' To Lose."


Today in 2005, Kenny Chesney's "Anything But Mine" hit number one on "Radio & Records" Country Top 50 Chart.


Today in 2007, The Wilkinsons filmed the video for the song "Nobody Died," which dealt with a deadly school shooting.  The group's Steve Wilkinson noted that the timing of the project -- just two days after the Virginia Tech University tragedy -- was unfortunate, but that the song, inspired in part by the 1999 shooting at Colorado's Columbine High School, would perhaps bring more attention to the issue of youth violence.


Today in 2007, "Nashville Star" runner-up Zac Hacker took part in a benefit concert to help singer-songwriter Scott Boyer with medical bills.  He was battling peripheral artery disease, and had no health insurance.


Today in 2007, Martina McBride performed on Fox's "American Idol."


Today in 2008, Diamond Rio marked their 10th anniversary as members of the Grand Ole Opry with a special backstage ceremony.


Today in 2008, Taylor Swift was on the cover of "Rolling Stone."


Today in 2009, Lee Ann Womack and Tracy Bird attended the Southeastern debut of the movie "Noble Things" at the Nashville Film Festival.  Lee Ann stars in the movie, while Tracy contributes to the soundtrack.


Today in 2010, Carrie Underwood became the first female performer to be named the ACM Entertainer of the Year two years in a row.  Other winners included Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, and Blake Shelton, who earned his first ACM Award.  Brooks & Dunn took an award as well, and also gave their last ACM Awards performance as a duo.


Today in 2010, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, and Emily West were special guests on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice."  Bryan and West were part of the assignment, which involved giving the country stars image makeovers.  Adkins served as a Boardroom Advisor to Donald Trump.


Today in 2010, Dierks Bentley performed at the Dow Live Earth Run for Water, an international initiative that includes six-K runs and walks as well as concerts.  Events were staged in 100 cities in 50 countries throughout the world.  Dierks took part in the show in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Money raised went to Global Water Challenge, a coalition of organizations helping to provide clean and safe water to people all across the globe.


Today in 2011, Darius Rucker's "This" topped the country singles charts.


Copyright © 2013

Metro Networks Inc.