New Randy Travis Album Due This Fall
New music is on the way from Randy Travis. "Influences Vol. 1: The Man I Am" features Travis' renditions of songs that inspired him in his country music career. Eight of the album's 13 tracks are Merle Haggard songs. The disc also includes covers of George Jones, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, and Waylon Jennings songs. Randy's tribute to Jones, "Tonight I’m Playing Possum," rounds out the set. "Influences Volume 2" is slated for an October 1st release.
Travis recorded "Possum" with Joe Nichols earlier this year. The album announcement doesn't say when he cut the rest of the material. Randy suffered a stroke in July. Neither his reps or his doctors have revealed how the stroke has affected the singer, but have said he'll need months of recovery time. Randy spent more than three weeks in the hospital, and is now continuing his rehab at a physical therapy center.
Shania Twain Making Progress On New Album
Shania Twain says she's "pretty much there" with the songs for a new album. The country superstar is working on her first studio project in more than a decade. She tells "Rolling Stone" she's "really just sitting on the fence in regards to a producer," and she's been "listening to a lot of records" to "determine who is the right match." But fans shouldn't expect to hear any of her new material in her Las Vegas show. Shania says she "probably could" incorporate fresh songs into her set, but she thinks it's "too soon" to do so. She adds that she doesn't want to "get locked into a performance mode with a song" until she's "taken it a little further down the line."
Twain's upcoming studio effort will be her first since 2002's "Up!" She'll launch her next slate of "Shania: Still The One" shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on October 15th.
Joe Nichols Sets Date For New CD Release
Joe Nichols will have a new album in stores this fall. CMT.com says the country star's next studio effort, "Crickets," will be in stores October 8th. The disc is Joe's first under a new label deal with Red Bow Records, and serves as his follow up to 2011's "It's All Good." The 16-track album will feature Nichols' current single, "Sunny and 75," as well as a cover of Merle Haggard's "Footlights."
Scotty McCreery Helps Launch New School Year With Packapalooza Performance
Scotty McCreery is helping his fellow students get into the school spirit. The country star performed at North Carolina State University's Packapalooza welcome back festival over the weekend. He teamed up with university Chancellor Randy Woodson and football coach Dave Doeren for a rendition of "Wagon Wheel," a song Scotty said he always hears at tailgate parties.
Scotty also shared how much he's enjoying attending NC State. He admitted it would have made sense for him to continue his education in Nashville, where he could learn more about the music business, and that he was encouraged to do so. But McCreery said if he'd done that he wouldn't be able to things like go to the local chicken joint at 3:00 a.m. or see the Tar Heels games at PNC Arena. The singer also thanked the appreciative crowd for accepting him as one of their own, adding that he's proud to represent North Carolina State when he's on the road. McCreery is starting his sophomore year at the school, pursuing a degree in communications with a focus on media.
Billboard.com says McCreery also gave back through his participation in the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic. The singer attended the V Gala Saturday night and hit the links with his dad on Monday morning. The event raises money for The V Foundation, named for the late Coach Jim Valvano and supports cancer research.
Tracy Lawrence Homeschooling His Children
Tracy Lawrence has found a way to spend more time with his children. The country star has started a homeschooling network. The singer tells TasteOfCountry.com he was initially "really terrified" about taking on the task, because he wasn't sure if he'd be able to give his kids the education they need. But he says it's "brought everyone closer together," and his kids are testing at least a grade level above their age. Tracy adds that homeschooling is giving him "better quality time" with his family, which is particularly important now while he's busy promoting his new album. Lawrence released his latest studio effort, "Headlights, Taillights and Radios," last week.
Band Perry Celebrate Chart-Topping Success Of "Done"
The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry says the trio's latest chart-topper is even more meaningful to them. At a party in honor of the song, the country star explained that the event was particularly special to her brothers, Neil and Reid Perry.
Neil and Reid teamed up with songwriters Jacob Bryant and John Davidson on "Done," which was the second single off The Band Perry's sophomore CD, "Pioneer." While Kimberly didn't have a hand in "Done," she's already experienced the thrill of seeing a song she's written go to number one. She penned The Band Perry's first chart-topping single, "If I Die Young," which ruled the Hot Country Songs chart in December 2010, and went to number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary singles chart in November 2011.
Kip Moore Recalls His Worst Job
Kip Moore hasn't always made a living with his music. The country star says the worst job he's ever had was laying sod in the summertime heat in South Georgia.
Kip explains that it's not just getting hit with the sod that's the problem. The singer says there's no way to clean up while on the job, so whenever that happened he'd have to spend the rest of his workday with dirt caked on his back, and "it doesn't get any worse than that."
But Kip is seeing success with his current, cleaner job. He recently celebrated the chart-topping success of his latest single, "Hey Pretty Girl."
Eli Young Band Doesn't Regret Taking Traditional Road To Fame
The Eli Young Band's Mike Eli says he sees nothing wrong with launching a career through "The Voice" or "American Idol." The country star explains that singers who take the reality TV route aren't bypassing any steps, but are just doing them in a different way.
But Mike adds that he and his bandmates are glad they took the more traditional road to fame. He admits the Eli Young Band didn't become known to millions overnight -- the group had been around for eight years before they had their first hit. But Mike says they believe that by slowly building their audience they've created a strong bond with their core followers, and their fan base just continues to grow. The Eli Young Band's latest hit is "Drunk Last Night," which is the lead-off single from their next studio album.
Larry Gatlin Stresses Need To Be "Open" To Modern Country
Larry Gatlin might be more of a traditionalist with his own music but the country star says people need to have open "hearts and ears" to today's young country stars. Using Keith Urban as an example, Larry tells Billboard.com the Australian-born singer grew up listening to country music and "he loves it. He honors it." He adds that people shouldn't "criticize because he rocks it up a little" because "that's the way he feels it." Gatlin points out that country music has been evolving for decades, explaining that "Ernest Tubb was different from Roy Acuff. Marty Robbins was different than Ernest Tubb. Ronnie Milsap was different from Marty. It doesn't have to be exactly the same."
Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers have been on the road celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first charting single, 1973's "Sweet Becky Walker." The group's next show will be in Johnstown, Colorado on Wednesday.
"Alabama and Friends" is among today's new releases. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line are among the stars featured on the special tribute album. The CD also includes two new Alabama tunes, "That's How I Was Raised" and "All American," which mark the first original studio tracks from the group in more than ten years.
Country Birthdays Include
Alabama's Jeff Cook is 64.
Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele is 52.
Today In Country Music History
Today in 1977, Crystal Gayle's "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" topped the country singles charts. The tune was from her album "We Must Believe in Magic," which was the first Platinum album for a female country singer. The song also went on to be a Top 40 smash.
Today in 1987, Randy Travis was hospitalized for complications from food poisoning in Wytheville, Virginia.
Today in 1988, the Judds performed at a private luncheon for then-President Ronald Reagan and his wife.
Today in 1990, Garth Brooks' "No Fences" album was released. It's since gone on to become one of the best-selling country albums of all time.
Today in 1991, the "High Lonesome" album by Randy Travis was released.
Today in 1991, George Strait's "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" album was certified Platinum.
Today in 1993, Mark Chesnutt's song "Almost Goodbye" debuted on the country charts.
Today in 1993, John Michael Montgomery's debut album "Life's A Dance" was certified Platinum.
Today in 1996, new album releases included Trisha Yearwood's "Everybody Knows," Travis Tritt's "The Restless Kind," and Jeff Foxworthy's "Crank It Up - The Music Album."
Today in 1996, John Michael Montgomery and his wife, Crystal, welcomed their daughter, Madison Caroline, at a Lexington, Kentucky hospital at 4:11 a.m. The baby weighed eight-pounds, seven-ounces. Madison's middle name honors her grandmothers, who are both named Carol.
Today in 2001, Reba McEntire began production on the first episode of her WB sitcom, "Reba."
Today in 2002, the Dixie Chicks' album "Home" arrived in stores. The project was the trio's first major label release since coming to an agreement with their record company following a money dispute. Other new CD releases included Montgomery Gentry's "My Town;" BlackHawk's "Spirit Dancer;" Elizabeth Cook's major-label debut, "Hey Y'All;" and Sixwire's self-titled first disc.
Today in 2002, Marty Stuart was acquitted of a drunken driving charge. As punishment for the April 2nd incident, Marty had to surrender his driver's license for a year and attend alcohol and drug safety school.
Today in 2003, Darryl Worley received the 2003 Veterans of Foreign Wars Americanism Award at the organization's 104th National Convention in San Antonio. The VFW acknowledged Darryl's contribution to the music industry and his recording of the song "Have You Forgotten?"
Today in 2004, Toby Keith unveiled plans for his "I Love This Bar & Grill" restaurant inside Harrah's Las Vegas.
Today in 2004, Wynonna appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in a follow up on her episode about her efforts to lose weight.
Today in 2006, the PBS "Great Performances" presentation of "South Pacific: In Concert from Carnegie Hall," featuring Reba McEntire, was among the winners at the 58 annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Today in 2007, Alabama's Jeff Cook was honored in his home state on his 58th birthday, as Alabama's governor proclaimed it "Jeff Cook Day" across the state.
Today in 2008, confirmation surfaced that Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers' Joe Jonas were dating. The pair have since split up.
Today in 2008, Chuck Wicks and James Otto took part in the Nashville episode of The Food Network's "Dinner: Impossible."
Today in 2010, Taylor Swift's video for the song "Mine" had a multi-media premiere with a 30-minute CMT special followed by the clip's online debut on CMT.com, MTV.com, VH1.com, and the international MTV websites.
Today in 2010, Josh Turner served as the guest co-host with Hoda Kotb for the final hour of NBC's "Today."
Today in 2012, The Oak Ridge Boys were scheduled to open the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida by singing the national anthem, but their performance was postponed when the event was scaled back due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
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