Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Tracy Lawrence Making Film Score Debut With "L.A. Dirt"


Tracy Lawrence isn't just making his acting debut in the upcoming film "L.A. Dirt."  The movie also marks the country star's first effort at writing a film score.  Tracy admits it was a learn-as-you-go type of project, but he's confident in what he's produced.


"L.A. Dirt" tells the story of a young man who's trying to make a name for himself in the field of dirt track racing.  Lawrence plays the part of the man's uncle.  The film was shot last year in Alabama.  A release date hasn't been announced yet.


Lady A To Premiere "Downtown" Video On E!


Lady Antebellum is getting ready to unveil the video to their latest single.  The trio's Hillary Scott says they really enjoyed making the clip to "Downtown," calling it "definitely the most fun" they've ever had with a video shoot.  The video features a guest appearance from "2 Broke Girls" star Beth Behrs, who teams up with Scott to tear up the town.  Hillary tells E! she plays the part of a reluctantly rowdy girl who's "getting pulled" out of her shell by a friend.  The pregnant singer also assures fans that she's not smoking or drinking in the clip.  Lady A's Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood play the part of police officers.  Kelley admits that putting on the uniform really was transformative.  He says he was amazed at how confident and important he felt while wearing it.  Lady A is offering fans a sneak peek of the clip via E!, which will give the "Downtown" video its online premiere Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.


Ashley Monroe's "Like A Rose" Arrives In Stores Today


Ashley Monroe says she "can't wait" for fans to hear her solo album, "Like A Rose."  The Pistol Annies singer tweets that she hopes listeners enjoy the record as much as she does.  She's also looking for some word of mouth promotion, asking people to "please spread the word" about her disc.  Monroe is even letting the public hear the songs before they buy.  She's posted an album preview via  Monroe worked on "Like A Rose" with Vince Gill, who produced the disc.  She and Vince also teamed up to write "You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter)" -- a duet Ashley sings with Blake Shelton.  "Rolling Stone" describes "Like A Rose" as a disc "full of backroad debauchery and heartbreak."  Monroe's album arrives in stores today.  She'll be supporting the project with an appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on March 11th.


Blake Shelton's New Album Reflects His Current Upbeat Mood


Blake Shelton admits he felt obligated to include some ballads on his new album, "Based on a True Story..."  The country star explains that he wasn't really interested in recording somber songs, because his life is great right now.


Blake says overall "Based on a True Story..." matches his mood, and is an upbeat album.  The disc features Shelton's latest single, "Sure Be Cool If You Did," which is currently topping Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.  "Based on a True Story..." will be in stores on March 26th.


Trace Adkins To Release Love Songs Album This Spring


Trace Adkins has a new album on the way.  On "Love Will..." Trace explores all aspects of the subject, and tackles the topic in a variety of styles.  He cautions fans that while he's releasing a collection of love songs, he says people shouldn't "start thinking these are all 'I'll love you 'til the end of time' ballads."  Adkins admits he's "got those, too," but says he considers such hits as "Hot Mama" and "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" love songs as well.  Trace is also getting some help with the project.  He says there will be a number of collaborations on the disc, but he's not ready to name the guests who contribute to the album.  Adkins' current single, "Them Lips (On Mine)" is the lead-off release from "Love Will..." which is expected in stores this spring.


Brantley Gilbert Calls "More Than Miles" An Unexpected Single


Brantley GIlbert says the song "More Than Miles" is special to him.  But the country singer admits he never expected it to become a single.


Gilbert says "More Than Miles" is based on an incident early in his career, when he was splitting his time between Nashville and his home in Georgia, and how he bailed on a trip to Nashville to return home after a fight with his girlfriend.  Brantley adds that "More Than Miles" isn't unique, and all of his material is based on his experiences.  He explains that he'll only sing songs he writes, and he'll only write about things he's been through.  "More Than Miles" is from Brantley's sophomore album, "Halfway To Heaven."


CMA Music Fest Nightly Concerts Lineup Grows


Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, and Blake Shelton are just a few of the new additions to this summer's CMA Music Festival.  The lineup for the Nightly Concerts at LP Field has grown significantly, with more than a dozen stars signing on for the four-day event.  Keith Urban, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, and The Band Perry are also slated to perform, along with Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Hunter Hayes, and Kelly Clarkson.  Gary Allan will be returning to the event's main stage for the first time since 2005, while Florida Georgia Line is set to make their Nightly Concerts debut this year.  Previously announced performers include Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, and Lady Antebellum.  The 2013 CMA Music Fest brings together country music fans from around the world for a host of concerts, fan club parties, charity fundraisers, and other activities.  The action will take place across downtown Nashville from June 6th through the 9th.


Today Marks 50th Anniversary Of Patsy Cline's Plane Crash


Fifty years ago today the country music world lost three prominent stars with the deaths of Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Cowboy Copas.  The three were among a host of performers who played a benefit show in Kansas City, Kansas on March 3rd, 1963.  Fog forced them to scrap their plans to leave town the next day, but they were able to fly out on March 5th.  After a refueling stop in Dyersburg, Tennessee, they took off at 6:07 p.m. -- despite warnings of inclement weather.  Their Piper Comanche went down 13 minutes later in a wooded area near Camden, Tennessee, 90 miles away from Nashville.  The singers and their pilot Randy Hughes -- who was also Cline's manager and Copas' son-in-law -- were all killed on impact.


The 30-year-old Cline was at the height of her career at the time of the crash.  She'd built a following performing on the radio and at local clubs in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia.  In 1954 she was discovered by Jimmy Dean, and got her first recording contract a year later.  In August 1957 she released her self-titled debut album, featuring her first hit "Walkin' After Midnight."  Subsequent singles failed to match her previous success, and her career began to falter.  But Cline made a comeback with the 1961 chart-topper "I Fall To Pieces," which she followed with the Willie Nelson-penned "Crazy" and "She's Got You."  In the months prior to the crash Patsy had premonitions about her death.  She'd begun giving away her possessions, and and had told people -- including June Carter Cash, Dottie West, and Loretta Lynn -- that she didn't expect to be around much longer.


Hawkshaw Hawkins began his career in 1945, after serving in the Army during World War Two.  He spent nearly ten years as a regular on the "WWVA Jamboree" in Wheeling, West Virginia.  In 1954 he signed on with the "Ozark Jubilee" TV and radio show out of Springfield, Missouri.  He met singer Jean Shepard on the show, and the two were married in 1960.  She was pregnant with their second child at the time of the crash.  The 41-year-old Hawkins was 15 years into his recording career when he died.  While he had several top ten hits to his credit, his only number one single came posthumously with "Lonesome 7-7203, which had just been released three days before the crash.


At 49, Cowboy Copas was the oldest of the three.  Like Cline and Hawkins, Copas -- born Lloyd Estel Copas -- also got his start as a radio performer.  His big break came in 1943, when he was tapped to replace Eddy Arnold in the Pee Wee King band, and started making regular appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.  Copas had his first top ten hit with "Filipino Baby," which peaked at number four on the chart in 1946.  Other hits included 1958's "Signed, Sealed, and Delivered," 1949's "Candy Kisses," and 1951's "The Strange Little Girl."  His biggest hit was "Alabam," which spent 12 weeks at number one in 1960.


Cline, Hawkins, and Copas will be remembered with a special Grand Ole Opry show tonight.  Jean Shepard will perform at the event, along with Terri Clark, John Conlee, and Mandy Barnett, who as a teenager had the title role in the musical "Always...Patsy Cline."  Florida Georgia Line, Darryl Worley, and Riders in the Sky are also on the bill for the special concert, which will launch a new season of Tuesday Night Opry shows.


CMT To Air Mindy McCready Special This Weekend


Fans will get the chance to learn more about the life and death of Mindy McCready with an upcoming CMT special.  "CMT News Presents: Mindy McCready Fallen Angel" will explore the life and career of the country singer, and shed light on the events that occurred in the days just prior to her passing.  The special will include archived video footage and interviews, along with remarks from a number of other stars including Lonestar's Richie McDonald, Lorrie Morgan, Ty Herndon, and Jimmy Wayne.  Attorney Eric Hughes, who was representing Mindy in her child custody battle, will also also be featured in his first interview since the singer's death.  McCready died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas on February 17th.  She was 37.  "Mindy McCready Fallen Angel" will air on CMT on March 10th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1960, Elvis Presley was released from the army.


Today in 1963, Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins were killed when their small plane went down in a wooded area near Camden, Tennesse.


Today in 1973, Alabama appeared for the first time as performers at the Bowery Club in Myrtle  Beach, South Carolina.


Today in 1983, Ronnie Dunn debuted on the country charts as a solo act. Eight years later he returned to the charts as one half of the duo Brooks and Dunn with singing partner Kix Brooks.


Today in 1988, Alabama scored a number-one hit as "Face to Face," the band's duet with K.T. Oslin. topped "Billboard's" country chart.


Today in 1991, the "Pocket Full Of Gold" album by Vince Gill was released.


Today in 2001, Montgomery Gentry were named national spokesmen for Jim Beam and the company's "Country Band Search."  As part of the deal, the duo hit the road in a bus emblazoned with their name and the company's logo during a club tour sponsored by the distillery.


Today in 2003, Shania Twain was named as one of eleven inductees for Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto's Theatre District.  She attended the induction ceremonies that occurred in June.


Today in 2004, Brad Paisley was named the 2004 Artist Humanitarian of the Year by the Country Radio Broadcasters at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.


Today in 2005, Pat Green made his Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 2006, Dolly Parton, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her song "Travelin' Thru" in the Original Song category, lost to "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" by Three 6 Mafia. When Dolly walked the red carpet for the 78th annual awards, she was wearing diamond jewelry worth more than two-million dollars.


Today in 2006, Billy Ray Cyrus laid his father, Ron, to rest at a funeral in Wellington, Kentucky.  The elder Cyrus had recently died of lung cancer.


Today in 2007, Kenny Chesney and Sugarland announced the nominees for the Academy of Country Music Awards.  George Strait was the top contender for the event with eight nominations.


Today in 2008, Trace Adkins, Garth Brooks, and Clay Walker were among the participants at the annual Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.  Trace performed an invitation-only concert, and brought his "Celebrity Apprentice" co-stars Omarosa, Marilu Henner, Nely Galan, and Tiffany Fallon with him, quote, "just to show them a little about the music business here."  Garth performed as well, and discussed his life and career with the crowd.  Meanwhile, Walker received the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his efforts in the fight against multiple sclerosis.


Today in 2010, Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook became parents with the birth of their first child, son Elijah Dylan Westbrook.


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