Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Services Coming Up For Late Country Legend Ray Price


Services are in the works for the late Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price.  Veteran disc jockey Bill Mack says in a Facebook post that a tribute to Ray will take place Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, the Northeast Texas community that Ray called home.  Mack -- who is serving as the Price family's spokesman -- adds that Ray's funeral will take place in Dallas on December 28th.  He says he'll have more details on the service soon.  Price died Monday following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 87.


Dwight Yoakam's Plane Makes Emergency Landing


After celebrating a Canadian woman's good fortune, Dwight Yoakam was celebrating his own. says the country star was returning to the U.S. over the weekend following a private concert in the Northwest Territories -- just north of the province of Alberta -- when his plane was thought to have caught fire.  After the pilot radioed in a distress call, the twin-engine Hawker 800 made a safe landing at California's Van Nuys Airport.  While a lot of smoke billowed from the plane, there was no fire.  Yoakam was in Canada to perform at the 50th birthday party of a woman who had just become a seven-point-six-million-dollar lottery winner.


Craig Morgan To Perform On Fox News' Holiday Special


Craig Morgan is helping to brighten up the holiday season for some U.S. troops.  The country star is slated to take part in Fox News Channel's annual Christmas special.  For the show, the singer and Army veteran will perform before a studio audience filled with military families.  Craig is slated to sing two songs including "If Not Me," one of the new songs from his latest album "The Journey (Livin' Hits)."  The Fox News Christmas special will debut on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24th, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.  Additional airings are also expected to be scheduled.


A&E Suspends "Duck Dynasty" Star Over Anti-Gay Comments


A&E is putting "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus.  The move follows Robertson's graphic anti-gay comments in an interview with "GQ" magazine.  In a statement released Wednesday, the cable network said it was "extremely disappointed to have read" Robertson's comments in the magazine. A&E says his remarks are based on his own personal beliefs and in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, which it says "has always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community."  The network also said Robertson's views are not reflected in its hit series "Duck Dynasty." 


In the interview with "GQ," Robertson equates same sex relationships to bestiality, calling it one of society's greatest sins and paraphrased quotes from the Bible to support his remarks.  The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation quickly called on A&E to condemn Robertson's statements.


Taylor Swift Tops "Glamour" Style "Do" List


Taylor Swift is getting new attention for her sense of style.  The country-pop superstar is taking the top spot on "Glamour" magazine's "Do" list for her overall look, including fashion, hair, and makeup.  The publication praises her as a member of the "next generation of style icons," saying she's "traded in her boing-y curls and matchy cardigan-dress sets for Bardot waves and metallic minis."  "Glamour" says her look when she launched her career was charming and appropriate for a 16-year-old girl.  But now -- at 24 -- as Taylor has matured, and she now has the look of an "influencer."


The "Do" list is in the January issue of "Glamour."  Taylor is also on "Glamour's" list of "The Six Sexiest Cat-Eye Makeup Moments of 2013," taking fourth place.  The list is posted on


Jennifer Nettles Says Upcoming Album Has "Carole King Vibe"


Jennifer Nettles admits her upcoming solo debut reflects her early musical influences.  The country star says there's one artist in particular who has really inspired her work.


Nettles adds that one track on the album, "This Song Is For You" has an undeniable "Carole King vibe" to it.  The Sugarland frontwoman will release her first solo album next month.  "That Girl" will arrive in stores on January 14th.


Garth Brooks Drops A Notch On Billboard 200


Sales of Garth Brooks' new box set are on the rise.  But last week's increase wasn't enough to keep the top spot on the Billboard 200 for another week.  Beyonce's surprise self-titled release last Friday is storming onto the new chart, with 617-thousand copies sold in just three days.  Brooks' "Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences," meanwhile, saw a 17-percent bump in sales, moving 172-thousand last week.  It's the best week yet for the eight disc set, which opened with 164-thousand in sales and last week sold 146-thousand.  And with Beyonce, Brooks is part of a unique chart occurrence.  Beyonce's album arrived as a digital-only iTunes exclusive, while Brooks' collection can only be found Walmart as a physical release, marking the first time the top two albums on the Billboard 200 are available from just one retailer.


Country-related holiday albums are also seeing higher sales.  Purchases of Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red," featuring collaborations with Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, and Ronnie Dunn, rose 21-percent.  With 136-thousand copies sold, the Christmas album has climbed to number three on the chart.  And "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas," with contributions from Luke Bryan, George Strait, Josh Turner, and Alison Krauss, had sales last week of 108-thousand.  That's up three-percent from the previous week, but it still dropped from number five to the number six spot on the all-genre chart.


Bartender Charged In Country Singer's Death Released On Bond


The Nashville bar owner accused in the shooting death of country singer Wayne Mills is out of jail.  "The Tennessean" says a judge reduced Chris Ferrell's bond from 300-thousand to 150-thousand-dollars on Monday in light of new evidence, including a bullet embedded into a wall in the bar that police missed in their initial investigation.  Ferrell's attorney David Raybin also argued that his client "could have run for tall weeds," but instead called 911 after the shooting.  Raybin had asked for Ferrell's bond to be reduced to 25-thousand, but prosecutors brought up Ferrell's arrest record and argued that he was a flight risk.  While Judge Steve Dozier cut Ferrell's bond in half, he is requiring Ferrell to surrender all his firearms and has set a schedule for him to check in with a bail bondsman.


Ferrell has been charged with second-degree murder.  In his testimony, Ferrell said he has received numerous death threats since the incident, and prior to his December 6th arrest had been wearing a bulletproof vest.  Ferrell has admitted to fatally shooting Mills at his Nashville bar in the early morning hours of November 23rd.  An officer testified that Ferrell told police at the scene that he "had to do it," because Mills had tried to rob and kill him.  When police arrived they saw a blood trail extending from the parking lot to Mills who was unconscious and surrounded by broken glass just inside the bar's front door.  Two guns were also on the tables.  Mills later died of his injuries.  He was 44.  Mills and Ferrell are said to have been friends.


Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood Share Christmas Memories


Brad Paisley admits that as a child he had doubts about Santa Claus.  The country star says he began questioning the identity of jolly old St. Nick, so he devised a way to definitively settle the matter.  But he explains that his plan was foiled by electricity.


Carrie Underwood, meanwhile, says as she was growing up there wasn't a lot of mystery surrounding Christmas -- at least not when it came to the gifts.  The singer explains that her mom is horrible at keeping secrets, and would always tell her what was waiting for her under the tree.


Taylor Swift Hasn't Let Fame Interfere With Daily Activities


Taylor Swift admits she's had to make a mental adjustment to her fame.  But the country-pop superstar says in a lot of ways her life hasn't really changed all that much.


But Swift adds that she's not doing all the same things that a typical 24-year-old does.  The singer admits she has "an amazing life," which she feels she owes entirely to her fans.


Country TV Today And Tonight


REBA (CMT) Six back-to-back episodes of Reba McEntire's sitcom air in a three-hour block.



Country Birthdays Include


"Little" Jimmy Dickens is 93.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's John McEuen is 68.

Janie Fricke is 66.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1947, "Here Comes Santa Claus" by Gene Autry entered the Top 40 chart.


Today in 1980, Dolly Parton's first movie, "9 to 5," premiered.  It was a huge hit and the title song went on to hit number one on the country charts and pop charts.  Dolly also won two Grammy Awards for the song.


Today in 1985, Johnny Paycheck was convicted of shooting a man in a barroom brawl in Hillsboro, Ohio.  He was released from prison in 1991.


Today in 1988, Johnny Cash and friend Waylon Jennings were in the same hospital recovery room.  Both had undergone heart bypass surgery, though six days apart.


Today in 1991, Collin Raye was enjoying his first number one hit, "Love, Me."


Today in 1996, Garth Brooks was number one on the charts with "That Ol' Wind."


Today in 1997, Shenadoah's lead singer and founding member, Marty Raybon, made his last appearance with the group at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon.


Today in 2000, Faith Hill was among the picks for "Entertainment Weekly" magazine's "Best of 2000" list.


Today in 2001, Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" became the fastest-rising single in four years to reach the number one spot on both the "Radio & Records" and "Billboard" country charts.  The song, which Jackson first performed a month earlier on the 2001 Country Music Association Awards, climbed to the peak position in only six weeks.  The last tune to hit number one that fast was Garth Brooks' 1997 single "Longneck Bottle."


Today in 2002, Lonestar joined Jo Dee Messina and Brenda Lee to distribute gifts and perform for patients at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.


Today in 2004, "Billboard's" year-end chart issue ranked Sara Evans' "Suds in the Bucket" as the biggest hit of the year by a female artist.  The song came in at number eight overall for the year.


Today in 2006, Bob Wills was named as a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award recipient for the 2007 ceremony.


Today in 2011, Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood became engaged.  The country star surprised girlfriend Kelli Cashiola with an elaborately-staged marriage proposal, in which he led her blindfolded to a winter wonderland scene he created at her home that included the question "Will you marry me?" spelled out in Christmas lights.  The couple tied the knot four months later.


Today in 2011, Taylor Swift took fifth place on the National League of Junior Cotillions' list of the "Ten Best-Mannered People of 2011" for "inspiring young people with her music and her manners."  It was the third year in a row that Taylor was recognized by the NLJC.  She ranked seventh in 2010 and topped the list in 2009.


Today in 2011, Taylor Swift's CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara print ad was pulled by Proctor & Gamble after the National Advertising Division questioned whether the picture of the singer had been "enhanced in post production."  The watchdog organization was also skeptical of some of the product claims in the ad's text.


Today in 2012., LeAnn Rimes and Little Big Town performed with finalists on the first night of the two-night "X Factor" finale.  Rimes sang her hit "How Do I Live" with 13-year-old hopeful Carly Rose Sonenclar, while Little Big Town sang "Pontoon" with Tate Stevens, who was named the winner a day later.


Today in 2012, Rascal Flatts served as host and performed on the annual TV special "A Home for the Holidays," which highlights adoption.


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