Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Rascal Flatts Might Receive Official Recognition From Ohio


Rascal Flatts just might become Ohio's "official country music group."  Youngstown's says Senator Jim Hughes has made the proposal with Senate Bill 233.  In a committee meeting last week Hughes appealed for support for the bill, explaining that the group got their start in Columbus, which is the hometown of band members Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus.  He said the trio "has remained loyal to their roots" and demonstrated "their allegiance to the state" in many ways, including playing benefit concerts for Ohio charities.  Hughes added that he believes all three group members are "God-fearing, hardworking, honest men who positively represent" the state and "all Ohioans."


But the measure is seeing some opposition.  Other lawmakers agree that the guys in Rascal Flatts are worthy of the honor.  But they point out that other country stars -- such as Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Paycheck, and Roy Rogers -- are also from Ohio and are just as deserving of the recognition.


Eli Young Band To Host Special Super Bowl Party


The Eli Young Band has some special plans for Super Bowl Sunday.  The country group will be joining some of their fans for a Super Bowl party in the Dominican Republic.  Bassist Jon Jones says he's excited about the event.


The Eli Young Band's celebration, which includes a concert after the big game, will also serve as a pre-release event for their upcoming album, "10,000 Towns."  The disc features their chart-topping hit "Drunk Last Night."  Eli Young Band plans to officially release the album's second single, "Dust," on the day after the Super Bowl.


Shania Twain Might Write A Cookbook


Shania Twain says she believes there are benefits to being a vegetarian.  But the country star tells "The Las Vegas Review-Journal" she'd never try to push it on someone, explaining that it's "such a personal choice" that has to "be right for you emotionally, spiritually, and physically."  She adds that simply eliminating meat doesn't make a healthy diet.  Twain explains that she eats greens, nuts, and "food that's not processed," adding that "you're not necessarily benefiting yourself" by eating lots of bread, rice, and pasta.  And the singer just might do what she can to help vegetarians with their diet.  She's thinking about writing a cookbook. 


Shania explains that she's a good cook, and knows "it takes a lot of hours in the kitchen getting it right."  She adds that she's "spent a lot of time experimenting," and has come up with dishes that "would satisfy a meat eater."


Hunter Hayes Announces "We're Not Invisible" Tour


Hunter Hayes is making plans to hit the road.  The country star announced the upcoming trek in a short Facebook video.

The "We're Not Invisible" tour takes its name from Hunter's latest single, "Invisible," which he performed on the Grammys Sunday night.  The singer's trek runs 19 dates, starting in Pikeville, Kentucky on March 20th.  Danielle Bradbery and the duo Dan & Shay are on board as openers.


Hunter Hayes' "We're Not Invisible" Tour Dates (venues for most stops TBA)


March 20 - Pikeville, Kentucky, at the Eastern Expo Center

March 21 - Huntington, West Virginia, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena

March 22 - Youngstown, Ohio

March 27 - Peoria, Illinois

March 28 - Toledo, Ohio

April 10 - Southaven, Mississippi

April 11 - Cape Girardeau, Missouri

April 12 - Springfield, Missouri

April 17 - Huntsville, Alabama

April 18 - Roanoke, Virginia

April 19 - Asheville, North Carolina, at the U.S. Cellular Center

April 23 - Colorado Springs, Colorado

April 24 - Salt Lake City, Utah

May 1 - Bangor, Maine

May 2 - Boston, Massachusetts

May 3 - Uncasville, Connecticut

May 29 - Augusta, Georgia

May 30 - Pensacola, Florida

May 31 - Estero, Florida


Taylor Swift Wins Australian Country Music Award


Taylor Swift might not have another Grammy for her collection, but she still won an award over the weekend.  Her CD "Red" was named the Top Selling International Album of the Year by the Country Music Association of Australia.  The 42nd annual CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia took place in Tamworth, New South Wales Saturday night.  Swift has a strong fan base in Australia, where she wrapped up her 2013 "Red" tour in December.  With the trek Taylor became the first solo female artist in 20 years to stage a stadium tour in Australia.


Swift was up for four awards at Sunday's Grammy ceremony, but went home empty handed.  "Red" was up for Album of the Year, which went to Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories;" and Best Country Album, which went to Kacey Musgraves' "Same Trailer Different Park."  Taylor also fell to Kacey in the Song of the Year category, while her collaborative hit with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, "Highway Don't Care," lost for Best Country Duo/Group Performance to The Civil Wars' "From This Valley."


Barbara Mandrell Being Inducted Into Musicians Hall Of Fame


Barbara Mandrell is receiving a special honor.  The country star is among this year's inductees into the Musicians Hall of Fame.  She's joining veteran country performers Velma Smith and Jimmy Capps in the Hall's Class of 2014, which also includes Peter Frampton, Randy Bachman, Buddy Guy, and others.  Record executive Mike Curb will also be recognized at the event as the inaugural recipient of the Musicians Hall of Fame Industry Icon Award.  In addition, the late Roy Orbison will receive the 2014 Iconic Riff Award for his memorable guitar work on the song "Pretty Woman."  The Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Wariner, and Brenda Lee are some of the stars slated to take part in the Musicians Hall of Fame's 4th annual Awards Show and Induction Ceremony, which will take place in Nashville Tuesday night.


Nelson, Kristofferson, Haggard Working On Collaborative Album


Sunday night's Grammy performance isn't the last we'll hear from Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Merle Haggard.  Nelson tells the three of them are working on an album together.  But he doesn't indicate when they'll be presenting it to the public.  Willie says it "could be" a 2014 release, but adds that they'll issue the disc once they "get it together."  On the Grammys Nelson, Kristofferson, and Haggard teamed up for a tribute to "outlaw" country.  Blake Shelton also took part in the segment, which featured performances of "Highwayman," "Okie From Muskogee," and "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."  The set marked the first time Haggard had ever performed on the Grammys.


And the upcoming album is thought to be the first collaborative studio project for Kristofferson and Haggard.  They've both worked with Nelson before.  Willie and Kris were in The Highwaymen together, while Willie and Hag teamed up on the 1983 album "Pancho & Lefty."


Dierks Bentley Explains Thunderbird Symbol On "Riser"


Dierks Bentley is using a Thunderbird logo to represent his upcoming album, "Riser."  The country star says it's a symbol he's drawn to, but the reason is a mystery even to him.


Bentley has said "Riser" is a very personal album, and the connections to his dad are important since this is his first record since his dad's death.  "Riser" features the singles "Bourbon in Kentucky" and "I Hold On."  The album will be in stores on February 25th.


Jerrod Niemann Appreciates All His Fans' Support


Jerrod Niemann has a top 20 hit with his latest single, "Drink To That All Night," but he's not taking credit for the success.  The country star says it's because of his fans that his song is doing so well.


Niemann adds that he couldn't be more grateful for the support he's received from his fans over the past few years.  The singer says he'd like to thank each of his fans personally with "a high-five or a hug -- whatever they want" when he's on tour this year.  Jerrod explains that he doesn't take their support for granted, and he intends to do everything he can to "never let 'em down."  "Drink To That All Night" is the first single from Niemann's next album, "High Noon," which will be in stores on March 25th.


Country TV Today And Tonight


KATIE (SYN) Naomi Judd is a guest.

THE TALK (CBS) Jennifer Nettles is a guest.

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO (NBC) Dwight Yoakam is a guest.


Country Birthdays Include


Ricochet bassist Greg Cook is 49.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1956, Elvis Presley made his first TV appearance on "The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show."  Elvis sang "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Heartbreak Hotel" and caused a sensation while swinging his hips.


Today in 1985, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers were among the 46 stars who assembled in a Hollywood studio after the American Music Awards to record the African famine relief single, "We Are the World."  Sales of the single raised millions for starving people in Ethiopia.


Today in 1985, the album "40 Hour Week" by Alabama was released.


Today in 1994, John Michael Montgomery hit number one with "I Swear."


Today in 1995, Alan Jackson hit number one with "Gone Country."


Today in 1998, Tracy Lawrence was convicted of battery stemming from a quarrel in September with his then-wife, Stacie.  As a result of the conviction, he was sentenced to pay 500-dollars to a Las Vegas shelter for battered women.


Today in 2002, Alan Jackson's album "Drive" made "Billboard" Internet chart history with the highest unit sales debut for a country album.  The project not only topped the "Billboard" 200 and Top Country Albums charts, but it was also at number one on the "Top Internet Albums Sales" chart.  "Drive's" accomplishments gave Alan his highest week of album sales ever.


Today in 2004, Alan Jackson's single "Remember When" became his 31st number one hit.


Today in 2007, Diamond Rio's Team Rio met at Nashville's Crockett Park to train for the Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon.


Today in 2008, Phil Stacey began writing for the weekly blog "Idol Chatter" on, in which the singer shared personal stories about recording his album, life on the road, and his family.


Today in 2008, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and their daughters went on a shopping spree in Los Angeles.  Hill and the girls shopped at the women's boutique at the Lisa Kline store, while McGraw was on a quest for denim and purchased a pair of William Rast pants.


Today in 2008, country stars were well represented on TV, with Dierks Bentley on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Joe Nichols visiting "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," and Deana Carter on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."


Today in 2009, Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery had to miss the party in honor of the duo's chart-topping success with the hit "Roll With Me."  Montgomery was snowed in at his home in Lexington, Kentucky, and couldn't get to Nashville for the celebration.


Today in 2012, Keith Urban was a two-time winner at the Country Music Association of Australia's 40th annual Jayco CMAA Country Music Awards.  He was named Top Male Artist, and got the nod for Top Selling Album with "Get Closer."


Today in 2013, Taylor Swift inked a long-term endorsement deal with Diet Coke.


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