Opry Star Jesse McReynolds Has Irregular Heartbeat
Bluegrass Legend Jesse McReynolds is being treated for an irregular heartbeat. BluegrassToday.com says the Grand Ole Opry star recently received his diagnosis, and is currently wearing a heart monitor to help doctors keep track of his condition and determine if he needs a pacemaker. Jesse's wife Joy says he's been instructed to take it easy, which is "the hardest part" of the process "for an active guy like him." She adds that Jesse is "trying not to overdo it," but is still "playing his mandolin and taking advantage of this time to practice and write new songs."
McReynolds launched his music career in the 1940s with his older brother, Jim, as the bluegrass duo Jim and Jesse. Their partnership ended in 2002 with Jim's death, after more than 50 years together. Jesse, who turned 84 last month, has maintained a solo career over the past eleven years.
Dierks Bentley's "Miles & Music For Kids" ACM's August Charity
Dierks Bentley's charity is getting a little help from the Academy of Country Music. The singer's "Miles & Music For Kids" is the ACM Lifting Lives August "My Cause." Bentley says he's proud his annual event makes a difference.
Each fall Bentley hosts "Miles & Music For Kids," which features a motorcycle ride and all-star concert. Bentley adds that he's grateful for all the support he's received for the event, from the stars who take part in the ride and concert as well as from the fans. Bentley launched "Miles & Music For Kids" in Nashville in 2006, and in recent years has also staged the event in seven other cities. To date Bentley's charitable effort has brought in more than two-point-five-million-dollars for the Children's Miracle Networks Hospitals.
Alabama Premieres New Song Online
Alabama is unveiling one of their new songs. The group responds to the divisions in society with a call for unity in the track "All American," which made its debut online Monday via Billboard.com.
"All American" is one of two new songs Alabama recorded for the upcoming tribute disc "Alabama & Friends." Frontman Randy Owen says the other new tune, "That's How I Was Raised," is "like a pure Alabama song." The tracks are Alabama's first new songs in more than a decade. "Alabama & Friends" also features Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and others performing Alabama's hits. "Alabama & Friends" will be in stores on August 27th.
Luke Bryan Hoping New Album A Success On Many Levels
Luke Bryan says he's hoping his new album, "Crash My Party," is a success. But the country star defines the term beyond numbers. The singer admits he'd love for the disc to be a multi-million seller. But Luke explains he also wants the album to clearly reflect his development as an artist, which will ideally translate into career longevity.
Bryan adds that he's thinking globally. He says he's hoping "Crash My Party" will appeal to people outside the U.S., and he'll gain an international following with the album. Bryan's "Crash My Party" will be in stores on August 13th. The album features the chart-topping title track as well as Luke's current single, "That's My Kind of Night."
Civil Wars Release New Album, Still Not On Speaking Terms
The Civil Wars are back with a new album this week, but it's still unclear whether the duo will ever be back in any other form. The folk-rockers' self-titled sophomore effort hits stores on Tuesday, but singer Joy Williams tells "Rolling Stone" she and bandmate John Paul White haven't spoken to each other since they recorded the album back in September. Williams says she wouldn't go so far as to say the Civil Wars will never play together again, but she doesn't see them kicking off a new tour anytime soon. She adds that she believes there could be a future for the band, explaining that she's open to trying to "mend the bridges" they "both burned." White, meanwhile, has yet to offer any comment on the situation other than his brief statement thanking fans for their patience after they announced the album back in May.
The Civil Wars new album is the follow-up to their 2011 debut, "Barton Hollow." That record earned the band a pair of Grammy awards, including the trophy for Best Folk Album.
Justin Moore Excited About Upcoming Tour
Justin Moore says he's looking forward to his upcoming tour. He'll be marking his second run as a headliner on this fall's "Off The Beaten Path Tour." The country star says he's thrilled that he'll be the reason people are at the venue each night.
Justin adds that it feels great to have had enough success in his career that promoters are willing to take a chance on him as a headliner. Dates for the "Off The Beaten Path Tour" haven't been announced yet, but the trek is expected to begin in Springfield, Missouri on November 1st. Randy Houser and Josh Thompson are on board as openers. With the tour Moore will be supporting his new album, "Off the Beaten Path," which is due in stores on September 17th. The disc features Justin's current hit single, "Point At You."
Joe Diffie's Audience Getting Younger Because Of Jason Aldean
Joe Diffie says Jason Aldean has done more than just honor him with the single "1994." The veteran country star says Aldean has changed the demographics of his audience.
Diffie says he learned of "1994" before Aldean recorded it. He explains that Thomas Rhett co-wrote the track and cut the demo, which was the first time he heard it. Joe says he contacted Thomas to thank him and Rhett returned the appreciation. He adds that neither he nor Thomas ever thought "1994" would get picked up by another artist -- much less become a top ten hit from one of country's top stars. Aldean released "1994" earlier this year as the third single from his latest album, "Night Train."
Taylor Swift's Opener Defends Her Over Westboro Baptist Church Protesters
Taylor Swift is getting support from her opening act in another way. Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is taking to Twitter to express his opinion about the Westboro Baptist Church protesters, who showed up at Taylor's "Red" concert in Kansas City over the weekend. The protest had been long-planned by the controversial group, that's known for targeting celebrities. Demonstrators who showed up outside the Sprint Center on Saturday had accused the 23-year-old country star of "strutting across the world like a proud whore" and encouraging "fornicating." But Sheeran had Swift's back, telling Westboro Baptist to "keep your homophobic views to yourself," reminding them that "it's 2013."
Swift hasn't been the only country star targeted by the controversial group. Earlier this year Westboro Baptist Church threatened to demonstrate at George Jones' funeral, citing his history of substance abuse, but ultimately called off the protest. Jones had been sober for more than a decade when he died this past April.
New Country Singer Jay Jolley Meets Charlie Daniels
Country newcomer Jay Jolley says it was "simply amazing" to meet Charlie Daniels. Jay's current single is a cover of Daniels' song "God Save Us All From Religion." He says it was a thrill to meet "the man behind the larger-than-life legend" who penned the song. Jay adds that Charlie "was so gracious and offered up some interesting insights into the tune." Daniels wrote the song with Kim Williams and Doug Johnson, and recorded it for the Charlie Daniels Band's 2007 album "Deuces." But Jolley says even though the track is six years old, "the message resonates now more than ever with all of the unrest in the world today."
Jay is also getting an endorsement from the man himself. Charlie says he believes Jay "gave the song a good, honest country reading."
Country Birthdays Include
The Lynns' Peggy and Patsy Lynn are 49. Peggy and Patsy are Loretta Lynn's twin daughters.
Today In Country Music History
Today in 1979, Kenny Rogers single "She Believes In Me" was certified Gold.
Today in 1988, George Strait topped the charts with the single "Baby Blue."
Today in 1993, Wynonna's self-titled album was certified triple Platinum.
Today in 1993, Mark Chesnutt hit number one on the charts with the single "It Sure Is Monday."
Today in 1999, the soundtrack album for "The Runaway Bride" debuted at number one on the "Billboard" soundtrack chart. The CD features material from the Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride.
Today in 1999, Lonestar set a new chart record when the single "Amazed" began its fifth week at the top of "Radio & Records'" country chart. Alabama previous had the longest run at number one with "Jukebox on My Mind," which ruled the chart for four weeks.
Today in 2002, Cledus T. Judd's album "I Stoled This Record" was certified Gold.
Today in 2002, Phil Vassar's "American Child" album arrived in stores.
Today in 2002, Kenny Chesney was recognized by ASCAP at an event in Nashville for his hit "The Good Stuff."
Today in 2003, Kenny Chesney and John Mellencamp taped an episode of "CMT Crossroads" in Nashville. Their set included Chesney's hit "Young" and Mellencamp's classic "Jack and Diane."
Today in 2003, Aaron Tippin became the first national spokesperson for the Paralyzed Veterans of America's Outdoor Sports Program.
Today in 2003, Brad Paisley's "Mud on the Fire" was marking its second consecutive week at the top of the country album chart.
Today in 2004, Brooks & Dunn entertained 30-thousand Marines and their families on the beach near Camp Pendleton, just outside San Diego, California. A special stage, which took the better part of a week to assemble, had to be constructed for the performance. Rascal Flatts and Steve Holy also took part in the special show.
Today in 2005, Brooks & Dunn kicked off their "Deuces Wild" tour featuring Big and Rich and the Warren Brothers.
Today in 2006, Keith Urban, Big & Rich, and Shooter Jennings were among the performers at the Rockin' The Rally Music Fest in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Today in 2007, Brad Paisley gave what he said was the most important concert he would play all year, as he, Kellie Pickler, and Taylor Swift performed before roughly 35-thousand soldiers, their families, and the staff at Fort Campbell. During the show the facility's officials presented Paisley with a special plaque commemorating the occasion, noting it was biggest event the installation had hosted.
Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood's "So Small" entered the "Radio & Records" country chart at number 20, marking the highest debut by a female performer ever in the Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems-era, which began in January 1990.
Today in 2008, Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman took their four-week-old daughter, Sunday Rose, to Australia for the first time so she could meet the rest of her family.
Today in 2008, Dixie Chick Emily Robison's divorce from husband Charlie Robison was finalized. Charlie had initially filed for divorce seven months earlier. They had been married for nine years, and had three children together.
Today in 2009, Kenny Chesney launched www.NoShoesRadio.com with a live broadcast from the parking lot of his concert in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Today in 2009, Kellie Pickler set a new attendance record at the Freeborn County Fair in Albert Lea, Minnesota. More than ten-thousand people packed the grandstand for her performance, while some fans had to be turned away at the gate. Her appearance was also the highest grossing in box office receipts in the fair's 126-year history.
Today in 2012, Dierks Bentley released the single "Tip It On Back."
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