Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Scotty McCreery Made Informed Decision To Play SeaWorld


Scotty McCreery says he'll be giving fans "a show" this weekend at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.  While a number of country artists backed out of the "Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival," the singer tells Connecticut Country's "Electric Barnyard" he's "done his research" and feels like it's "a fine decision" to play the show.  Scotty says it was important to him that he "knew both sides of the story," so he watched "Blackfish" -- the documentary that prompted some of the cancellations.  He explains that after doing his research he had no problem keeping SeaWorld on his schedule.


McCreery will perform at SeaWorld on Saturday.  Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson, Kid Rock, and Bill Engvall are some of the other artists who kept their SeaWorld commitments.  Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, and Martina McBride are among the country stars who dropped out of the event.


Dierks Bentley-OneRepublic "Crossroads" Episode Gets Air Date


Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic fans will get to see the two artists perform together in a few weeks.  Their episode of "CMT Crossroads" is slated to debut on CMT on March 21st.  The series pairs country artists with performers from other musical genres to swap stories and songs and see where their musical influences intersect. says Bentley and OneRepublic recently taped their episode before an invited audience in Nashville.  Their set included the OneRepublic hits "Counting Stars" and "Good Life" as well as Bentley's "Up on the Ridge" and his current single, "I Hold On."


Bentley and OneRepublic had plenty of material to choose from for their hour-long show.  Dierks just released his seventh major label album, "Riser," this week.  OneRepublic has three albums to their credit.  The band's most recent release is 2013's "Native."


Martina McBride Previews New Song


Martina McBride is giving fans a sample of her upcoming covers album, "Everlasting."  She's previewing the song "Little Bit Of Rain" on


Martina admits "Little Bit Of Rain" is one of the more obscure songs on her album.  The track was written and recorded by singer-songwriter Fred Neil, while Martina says she discovered Linda Ronstadt and The Stone Poneys' version of the song when she was a teenager.  She says her version is "a very simple, acoustic-style arrangement" that's "a little more bluesy" than the original.  Martina also remakes Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," the Supremes' "Come See About Me" and other rock and soul classics for "Everlasting," which will be in stores on April 8th.


Joshua Scott Jones Unveils New Video


Joshua Scott Jones is demonstrating what he can do on his own.  The former Steel Magnolia singer unveiled the video to his debut solo single, "Honk (If You're Tonky)" on

Joshua says he drew inspiration from Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video for his clip, which starts off in black and white and features just him with two female dancers.  The country star explains that he "wanted to make a dance video, but a honky tonk style video."  He's also proud of the clip, which he describes as "edgy, cool, and upbeat."  And Joshua gives the credit to the women, saying they choreographed it and "brought the vision to life."


Jones is proud of the song as well.  He says "Honk" is a nice showcase for his vocals, and he thinks it will also appeal to Steel Magnolia fans.  The song is available now as a digital single.


Eric Church Explains Interdependence Of Songs On "The Outsiders"


Eric Church says with "The Outsiders," the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.  The country star explains that each track on the album enhances the other.


Eric adds that none of his other albums are such interdependent collections of songs.  He attributes that quality to "The Outsiders" to the time and attention he put into all aspects of the disc, including the sequencing..


"The Outsiders" is spending a second consecutive week at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart, with sales last week of 74-thousand.  But that's a 74-percent drop from its opening week figure of 288-thousand, and the album has fallen to the number two spot on the Billboard 200.  The soundtrack to the movie "Frozen" has returned to the top of the all-genre chart with another 89-thousand in sales.


Dierks Bentley Explains Title "Riser"


Dierks Bentley says there were a few reasons why he named his latest CD "Riser."  The country star explains that part of it simply has to do with the quality of the title track.


Dierks adds that he likes how the word encapsulates the time in which he made the record.  He explains that he was arising "from grief to gratitude," starting the project while mourning the death of his dad and releasing it just four months after the birth of his son.  "Riser" is in stores now.


Tim McGraw Believes Mystery, Emotion Keys To A Great Album


Tim McGraw says there are certain goals he has in mind whenever he's working on an album.


McGraw adds that the songs have to maintain a little bit of mystery in order to engage the listener.  The country star explains that great songs leave some questions unanswered, and compel fans to listen over and over again.  Tim is currently working on the follow up to his 2013 effort, "Two Lanes of Freedom."  His next studio project will include his current single, "Lookin' For That Girl."


Florida Georgia Line To Headline Second Harvest Benefit


Florida Georgia Line is helping to feed the hungry.  The duo has been tapped to headline the 10th annual Stars for Second Harvest benefit concert, marking their third time leading the lineup at the event.  Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley says he and Tyler Hubbard have "always wanted to make it bigger than the music," so they consider it an honor to be able to help those in their community who are going without.  Hubbard adds that he hopes their show will "raise a lot of money for such a great cause."  The fundraiser supports the Nashville-based Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.  The event will take place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on June 3rd.


Songwriter Craig Wiseman is behind the annual acoustic show.  Over the past decade the benefit has generated more than 600-thousand-dollars for Second Harvest.  Last year's event, which also included a live auction, brought in 100-thousand-dollars.


Country TV Today And Tonight


THE VIEW (ABC) Dierks Bentley is a guest.

HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) A look at this week's news and events in country music.

INTRODUCING (GAC) David Nail is featured.


Country Birthdays Include


Van Zant's Johnny Van Zant is 55.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1959, Jerry Lee Lewis became a father with the birth of his son -- named Steve Allen Lewis after the comedian Steve Allen.


Today in 1979, Kenny Rogers' album "The Gambler" was certified Platinum.


Today in 1990, the "Here In The Real World" album by Alan Jackson was released.


Today in 1995, Pam Tillis released the single "I Was Blown Away."


Today in 1996, Diamond Rio's "IV" album was released.


Today in 1996, Emmylou Harris was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award at the Orville H. Gibson Guitar Awards luncheon.


Today in 1999, SHeDAISY debuted on the charts with "Little Good-byes."


Today in 2001, Jessica Andrews' album "Who I Am" arrived in stores.


Today in 2002, Garth Brooks kicked off his cross-country jaunt as part of the National Education Association's Read Across America 2002 program.


Today in 2006, the Kenny Chesney Caribbean Cruise Getaway set sail.  Dierks Bentley, Julie Roberts, Big Kenny, Blue County, Little Big Town and Hot Apple Pie were among the artists who took part in the trip.


Today in 2006, Alan Jackson performed his album of gospel standards "Precious Memories" to an invited audience at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.


Today in 2007, Toby Keith was honored by the performance rights organization BMI with an event in Nashville to celebrate his music logging 50-million broadcasts.


Today in 2007, Kenny Rogers received the Career Achievement Award from the Country Radio Broadcaster's at the DJ and Radio Hall of Fame dinner.


Today in 2007, Sugarland and Craig Morgan were celebrating sales accomplishments at separate parties in Nashville.  Sugarland was toasting the chart-topping success of the single "Want To" as well as the Platinum certification of their album "Enjoy the Ride," while Morgan was marking the Gold certification of his CD "My Kind of Livin'."


Today in 2007, Little Big Town welcomed John Mellencamp at their concert in Nashville.  They performed three songs from Mellencamp's album "Freedom's Road," which features guest vocals from the group.


Today in 2008, Keith Urban was among the first inductees into Australia's Walk of Fame in Brisbane.


Today in 2008, Taylor Swift was a guest on the more typically pop, rock, and rap-oriented MTV series "TRL."


Today in 2011, Keith Urban accompanied wife Nicole Kidman to the Oscars, marking the first time he'd attended the prestigious event with her as a nominee.


Today in 2013, Kip Moore made his acting debut with his guest appearance on ABC's "Nashville."  Other stars, including Vince Gill and Pam Tillis, were also featured  on the show.  They all portrayed themselves as guests at a surprise birthday party for Charles Esten's character, Deacon.


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