Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Country Report

For:  Thursday, November 29, 2012


Randy Travis Lawyer: Singer Sobering Up


Country star Randy Travis is making an effort to clean up his act.  Following three alcohol-involved arrests this year, Travis' attorney Larry Friedman now tells the singer is alcohol free.  Friedman says Travis now "works out three hours every day and is in the best shape of his life."  He says he maintains a high protein diet and takes a lot of vitamins.  Friedman also says Travis is working on new music.


Travis made headlines back in February when he was arrested for public intoxication while sitting in his car at a church in Sanger, Texas.  Months later in August he was arrested again for driving while intoxicated.  Police found the singer completely nude when they arrived on the scene and his car crashed into several barricades near Tioga, Texas.  About two weeks later he was cited again for getting into a fight with another man outside of a church in Plano, Texas.  He was again said to be "extremely intoxicated."


Marty Stuart Celebrating 20th Opry Anniversary Next Month


Marty Stuart is marking 20 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  Charley Pride, Old Crow Medicine Show, and his wife, Connie Smith, are among the stars who'll be on hand to help Marty celebrate the milestone next month, along with the Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and two Choctaw dancers.  Stuart is part Choctaw.  He'll be honored at both of the December 8th Opry shows, which will take place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  Marty first performed on the Opry from the Ryman stage in September 1972, when he was just 13 years old.  Yesterday was his actual Opry anniversary.  Stuart was inducted into the Opry on November 28th, 1992.


Swift, Aldean In Billboard 200 Top Ten With CD Sales Increases


Taylor Swift's new album just might end up under a number of trees this Christmas.  The country-pop star's latest studio effort, "Red," had a 28-percent increase in sales last week, and remains at number two on the Billboard 200 with 185-thousand copies sold.  The cumulative sales total for "Red," which arrived in stores on October 22nd, has now surpassed the two-million mark.  Meanwhile, Jason Aldean's current album saw a big sales spike to leap back into the Billboard 200 top ten.  "Night Train" is rebounding from number 13 to number eight this week with sales of 103-thousand -- a 157-percent increase over the previous week.  Leading the way on the new Billboard 200 is Rihanna, who's topping the chart for the first time with her latest studio effort, "Unapologetic."


Dolly Parton Talks Dreams, Overcoming Fears In New Book


Dolly Parton is getting the last laugh.  The country music legend recalls sharing her dreams of being a big star as a youngster and being laughed at by her classmates.


Dolly shares this and other anecdotes about her life in the new book "Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You."  It's a book she says was partly inspired by her commencement address at the University of Tennessee in 2009.  Dolly says she really had to work up the courage to deliver her speech, not feeling "smart enough" or "educated enough" to address a graduating class.  The singer told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" Wednesday she felt her speech went well, all things considered, and may have even gained a few more admirers when she kicked things off with a rendition of the University of Tennessee's unofficial fight song "Rocky Top."  Dolly's book also offers words of wisdom, hope and encouragement for others confronting their fears.  "Dream More: Celebrate The Dreamer In You" is available now.


Jerrod Niemann Supporting St. Jude With Online Concert Simulcast


Jerrod Niemann's planning to "free the music" while raising money for charity.  The country star will perform at Joe's Bar in Chicago Thursday night, and he's welcoming listeners across the globe to tune in to the show.  Jerrod says the idea for the webcast stems from the concept behind his latest album, "Free The Music," which is "celebrating where country music has been and where it's headed."  So he's decided to "use the internet to bring fans worldwide all together to one room" for the performance.  Jerrod also wants to know how far and wide his show is going, so he's asking fans to tweet their location to @jrodfromoz with the hashtag #jrodlive during the show.  The pay-per-view performance at will begin at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.  A portion of the money generated by the show will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Tickets and other details on the webcast are available at and


This isn't the only benefit for Jerrod this month.  The singer turned his recent show in Stamford, Connecticut into a fundraiser for the American Red Cross' Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  He also encouraged those concertgoers to bring non-perishable food items and toiletries, which went to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.


Jack Ingram Joining Matthew McConaughey, UT Football Coach For Charity


Jack Ingram is teaming up with a couple of other celebrities to launch a new charitable effort.  The country star is joining forces with fellow Texan Matthew McConaughey and The University of Texas Head Football Coach Mack Brown to create Mack, Jack, & McConaughey, through which they plan to "give back in a BIG way."  Ingram explains that a mutual desire to "create a true, lasting impact" inspired them to come together to establish MJ&M, which will focus on assisting and enriching the lives of children.  Money from their fundraising efforts will support various kids programs and charities throughout the U.S.  Ingram and company are currently planning the MJ&M kick-off, which is described on their website as a "celebration of celebrity-filled, one-of-a kind events."  They plan to host the fundraiser in Austin, Texas on April 11th and 12th.  Additional details are on the way.


Trace Adkins, Scotty McCreery Add To "Christmas In Rockefeller Center"


Trace Adkins and Scotty McCreery are using their voices to help people get into the holiday spirit.  The country stars were among the performers on NBC's "Christmas in Rockefeller Center."  Adkins contributed "We Three Kings" to the show.


McCreery added his version of "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas."  The festive special also featured performances from Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, "The Voice" coach Cee Lo Green, Tony Bennett, and others.  In addition, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to help flip the switch to illuminate Rockefeller Center's 80-foot tall Christmas tree.  "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" aired on NBC Wednesday night.


Chris Young Recalls Writing Latest Single


Chris Young admits he didn't labor over his latest single.  The country singer says it didn't take long for him and co-writers Ben Hayslip and Rhett Akins to come up with "I Can Take It From There."


Chris adds that he's really glad "I Can Take It From There" was picked to become a single.  It's the fourth release from Young's 2011 album "Neon," following "Tomorrow," "You," and the CD's title track.


Pistol Annies Working On Second Album


A new album is on the way from Pistol Annies.  Miranda Lambert says via Twitter that the trio started working on "record number 2" this week.  She adds that she's excited about the project, and "can't wait till y'all hear this stuff."  Ashley Monroe tells Nashville's "Tennessean" that folks who enjoyed the Annies' 2011 debut, "Hell On Heels," won't be disappointed with their upcoming disc.  She says their new material is "very much" them, and they aren't "going to come out as a different group" with their sophomore effort.  Ashley adds that she, Miranda, and Angaleena Presley have been spending a lot of time together, and have "written some intense songs."  However, the Annies don't say when they expect to have the album ready for release.


But Monroe has an album of her own on the way.  Her solo effort "Like A Rose" will arrive digitally on December 18th, and be available on CD on January 22nd.


“Nashville" Star Calls Performing At The Ryman "Incredible," "Dreamy"


"Nashville" fans are finally seeing Rayna and Juliette sing together.  On last night's episode, the fictional country music rivals teamed up for their first duet on the show.  Their performance of "Wrong Song" was filmed at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, which Connie Britton says was "incredible."  The actress, who portrays Rayna Jaymes, tells ABC's "Nashville: On The Record" that those types of opportunities are "the reason this show is such an amazing experience."  She adds that it was "just dreamy" to perform with "a great band" on the Ryman stage.  "Nashville" also stars Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes.  The show airs on ABC on Wednesday nights.


Casey James Surprises Mom With Performance Invite


Casey James says he enjoys performing with his mother.  He'll even make opportunities to sing with her.  Casey explains that he flew his mom out to see his recent show in Georgia, and at the end of his set surprised her with a spontaneous invitation to join him.


Casey's mom is a performer in her own right.  She goes by the name Bybee D. James, and in 2006 released the CD "Cross That Line."  Casey has several more shows coming up.  His next performances are in Louisiana.  He'll be in Lafayette on Thursday and in Shreveport on Friday.  The singer's full schedule is posted at


Easton Corbin, Brantley Gilbert Among CRS New Faces Performers


Easton Corbin, Florida Georgia Line, and Brantley Gilbert are among the emerging acts that have been tapped to perform on the annual New Faces of Country Music Show at Country Radio Seminar.  Kip Moore and Jana Kramer round out the list of performers for the 2013 event.  The show is one of the highlights of the country radio executives' convention, and is already sold out.  The 2013 Country Radio Seminar gets under way in Nashville on February 26th.  The New Faces Show will close the convention on March 1st.


Previous New Faces performers have included Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, and Kellie Pickler, while last year's show featured Hunter Hayes, David Nail, and the Eli Young Band.  Corbin will be making his second appearance at the event.  He was also on the New Faces lineup for 2011.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1976, Elvis Presley recorded his last hit record, "Way Down," at his studio in the Graceland Mansion.  The raw, unedited version can be found on the album "Our Memories of Elvis, Volume 2."


Today in 1983, the single "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers became the first country song ever to simultaneously top the country, pop, and adult contemporary charts.


Today in 1993, the "Honky Tonk Angels" album by Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn was released.


Today in 1993, Brooks & Dunn hit number one with "She Used to Be Mine."


Today in 1996, Alan Jackson released the "Everything I Love" album.


Today in 2000, Keith Urban performed at the closing ceremonies for the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.


Today in 2002, Rascal Flatts' album "Melt" was released, along with a number of holiday discs including Patty Loveless' "Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas," Jo Dee Messina's Christmas CD, "A Joyful Noise," and Lee Ann Womack's "A Season for Romance," while  Kenny Rogers' CD "The Gift" was reissued.


Today in 2004, Phil Vassar topped "Radio & Records'" country chart with "In a Real Love."


Today in 2007, Luke Bryan performed for the loved ones of fallen soldiers at Nashville's airport, before the families left for the two-day event, Snowball Express, which honor the relatives of U.S. troops killed in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Today in 2007, The Statler Brothers were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Nashville.


Today in 2011, Jake Owen celebrated his first chart-topping hit "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" with an event in Nashville.


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