Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Billy Currington Indicted For Threats Against Senior Citizen


Billy Currington has been indicted in Georgia for allegedly threatening an elderly man.  According to the "Savannah Morning News," the Chatham County Grand Jury rang Currington up Wednesday for making terroristic threats against Charles Harvey Ferrelle.  The country star was also indicted on a charge of abuse of an elder person.  The paper says he's accused of "inflicting mental anguish upon Ferrelle."  According to a police report, Ferrelle, who is apparently a boat captain, claims the country singer started screaming at him and threatened his life while he was carrying his customers on a boat tour near Tybee Island on April 15th.  The report also lists the name of three witnesses.  Currington tweeted to fans that he could not comment on the situation since it was an ongoing legal matter but thanked them for their support.


Billy Ray Cyrus, Randy Travis Shooting TV Pilot


Billy Ray Cyrus and Randy Travis are teaming up for a proposed TV project.  Cyrus tells it's "a great story."  He explains that he has the part of "a dysfunctional Elvis impersonator who becomes a preacher," while "Randy's the sheriff."  Billy Ray adds that they'll be shooting the pilot, titled "Still The King," in Nashville next month.  The show puts Travis in the opposite role from what he's experienced in real life.  The country star has had several up-close opportunities to observe police work with his three arrests last year.  But the singer has resolved all of those incidents, which were related to substance abuse issues he says are now a part of his past.


Gretchen Wilson Today's Guest Co-Host On "The View"


Gretchen Wilson will be spending time today with the ladies of "The View."  The country star is slated to take a seat alongside Whoopie Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, and Barbara Walters as their guest co-host.  Wilson admits it's an unusual pairing, and she's "not sure" if the producers "knew what they were getting themselves into" when they booked her for the appearance.  Gretchen adds that it will be "completely different" from how she typically spends her days.  But she says she's "really looking forward to hanging out with these strong women and maybe even stirring things up!"


"The View" airs on ABC at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.  Wilson just released her latest album, "Right On Time," earlier this month.


Glen Campbell, Daughter Testify Before Senate Aging Committee


Glen Campbell's family is urging lawmakers to do more to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.  The singer's daughter Ashley delivered emotional testimony before a special Senate Committee on Aging Wednesday.


Glen, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011, was also in attendance for the hearing but did not speak.  Ashley asked lawmakers to support the implementation of the National Alzheimer's Plan, which was passed by Congress two years ago.  She also asked them to support President Obama's budget request to fund the plan.  Campbell's publicist said earlier this week that the singer is "done touring," adding that his battle with Alzheimer's has been getting worse.  He said the singer, who turned 77 on Monday, often gets "confused," "can't do an interview" and is no longer "comfortable on live TV."  Campbell performed with Ashley and his sons on a farewell tour last year.  He reportedly has one more album on the way.  It's called "See You There" and is due in stores on July 30th.


Hunter Hayes Bringing Sensitivity To Texas Shows


Hunter Hayes admits some shows are more delicate than others.  The country star tells he knows he needs to bring a certain level of sensitivity to performances in areas recovering from recent tragedies.  Hunter will be playing shows in Texas this week, in communities not that far from West, which experienced a deadly fertilizer plant explosion last week.  The singer says he'll approach those shows the same way he did in Atlantic City, New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.  He recalls that at the start of that show he just told the crowd he knew they were going through a difficult time, he was glad he could be with them on that night, and he would keep them in his prayers.  Hayes will be performing with Underwood in San Antonio, Texas Thursday, which is 200 miles away from West, and in Cedar Park, Texas on Saturday, which is just over 100 miles from West.


In a couple of months Hayes will be returning to the Northeast for a special show.  He'll be performing at New York's Webster Hall as part of the MTV Artist to Watch series.  The June 18th concert will stream live on


Little Big Town's "Tornado" Tour Different From Previous Treks


The members of Little Big Town are really enjoying their "Tornado Tour."  The group is on the road supporting their most recent album, "Tornado," which they recorded with their touring band.  Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet and Kimberly Schlapman say playing the songs live with the same musicians they worked with in the studio has enhanced the shows.


Little Big Town's Jimi Westbrook adds that there's "a definite excitement," because they're "enjoying the success" of something they all made together.  The next stop on Little Big Town's "Tornado Tour" is coming up in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday.


Billy Dean Pleased With Success Of "Dean Acres"


Billy Dean is expanding his home-based performance business.  The country star began staging shows at his "Dean Acres" home last year, and he says the concerts as well as the property are getting quite popular.


Billy says he's been able to create a truly intimate performance space at "Dean Acres."  He explains that the audience gets an "up close and personal" view of the performers, and can see the details of the musicians' fingerwork and the expressions on the singers' faces.  Dean will be hosting his "Birthday Bash and Barbecue" at "Dean Acres" this weekend.  James Otto is also on board for the show, which will take place on Saturday.  Billy celebrated his 51st birthday earlier this month.


Charlie Daniels Band Helping Launch MerleFest


The Charlie Daniels Band will be taking the stage as the 2013 edition of MerleFest gets under way.  The band is among the opening day performers for the four-day event.  Rhonda Vincent and The Rage and Leon Russell are also among the 17 acts slated to perform on Thursday.  Jim Lauderdale, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Del McCoury and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are some of the artists on board for Friday.  Lauderdale will be back to perform again on Saturday, along with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Martin Murphey, Jerry Douglas, and others.  Murphey is also part of Sunday's lineup, which also features Tift Merritt, the Avett Brothers, and others.  MerleFest, which began in 1988 in honor Doc Watson's late son Eddy Merle Watson, is taking place this weekend on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.


Clay Walker Shares Lessons Learned During Wife's Pregnancy


Clay Walker admits his wife's pregnancy is sometimes tough on him as well.  The country star tells he recently had a bag of Thin Mints hurled at him -- simply for requesting one.  He says Jessica was a bit territorial over the Thin Mints because they're what she's been craving, and -- while he didn't know this -- it was their last bag.  Clay adds that the incident taught him to "never ask a pregnant woman for one of her cookies."  The Walker baby is due this summer.  Clay says he and Jessica don't plan on learning whether they're having a boy or a girl in advance of the child's arrival, because "that's an exciting thing to look forward to."


Clay and Jessica's new bundle of joy will be their third child.  Their other children include a three-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.  Clay also has two teenage girls from a previous marriage.


Darius Rucker Wants To Go Duck Hunting With "Duck Dynasty" Stars


Darius Rucker isn't ready to end his relationship with the guys on "Duck Dynasty."  The singer says he wants them to take him duck hunting.  While "Duck Dynasty" star Jase Robertson explains that it's an involved task, Darius isn't deterred.


Jase adds that Darius will have to undergo a physical transformation as well.  He says Rucker will have to lose his "psychiatrist look" and "rough it up a little bit."  But he believes that after they "put all that face paint on," Darius will be "good to go."  Jase is among the "Duck Dynasty" stars featured in Darius' video to his current single, "Wagon Wheel."  The song is from Rucker's upcoming album, "True Believers," which will be in stores on May 21st.


Country Birthdays Include


Rob Crosby is 59.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1978, Willie Nelson performed for President Jimmy Carter in the White House.


Today in 1985, Roger Miller's musical "Big River" opened on Broadway.  It was based on Mark Twain's novel "Huckleberry Finn."  The songwriter actually played the part of "Pap" in several performances of the musical, among them the ones held in Nashville.


Today in 1994, Tim McGraw released the single "Don't Take The Girl."


Today in 2000, Trisha Yearwood kicked off her "Real Live Woman Tour" in St. Louis, Missouri. She was joined by Kim Richey and Jessica Andrews.


Today in 2000, Faith Hill's "Breathe" took over the number one spot on the "Billboard" Adult Contemporary chart.  The achievement made her the first American female to top the publication's AC chart since LeAnn Rimes, who'd done so back in November of 1997.  Faith's previous pop smash, "This Kiss," had gone to number three.


Today in 2000, the Academy of Country Music has announced that Tammy Wynette had been named as the first posthumous recipient of the Pioneer Award.


Today in 2003, Travis Tritt was presented with Public Service award from the Department of Veterans Affairs in a ceremony at the Washington VA Medical Center.


Today in 2005, Lonestar guitarist Michael Britt and his wife, Rene, had daughter Hillary Quinn.


Today in 2006, The DVD "Reba: The Complete Third Season," featuring Reba McEntire, arrived in stores.


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts were among the participants in the "American Idol" charity special "Idol Gives Back."


Today in 2007, Big Kenny of Big & Rich sponsored the screening of "The Devil Came on Horseback" at the Nashville Film Festival.  The film was about the genocide in Darfur.


Today in 2007, Alan Jackson's "Precious Memories" was named Country Album of the Year at the 38th annual GMA Dove Awards.  The Oak Ridge Boys and Amy Grant were also winners.


Today in 2010, Dierks Bentley hosted his "Miles & Music For Kids" charity motorcycle ride and concert in Dallas.


Today in 2010, Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith were the headliners for the second day of the Stagecoach festival in Indio, California.  Jason Aldean, Heidi Newfield, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Bill Anderson were some of the other performers at the event.


Today in 2012, Brad Paisley made an animated appearance on Comedy Central's "South Park."


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