Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Blake Shelton, Shakira To Perform Together At ACM Awards


Blake Shelton will have a special guest with him when he performs at this weekend's Academy of Country Music Awards.  The country star will team up with Shakira to sing their duet, "Medicine."  The two "Voice" coaches recorded the song for the Colombian pop star's recently released self-titled album.  Shelton is also hosting the ceremony with Luke Bryan.  Blake and Shakira are joining an already packed lineup of performers that includes Bryan, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, The Band Perry, and many others.  The 49th annual ACM Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Las Vegas, and air on CBS this Sunday.


Darius Rucker Reflects On Pros, Cons Of Roulette


Darius Rucker says he enjoys occasionally trying his luck at the roulette wheel.  But the singer admits there's a downside to this particular game of chance that doesn't really appeal to him.


Rucker is hoping he'll be lucky with another "wheel" this weekend.  His hit "Wagon Wheel" is in the running in three categories at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, with bids for Song, Single Record, and Vocal Event of the Year.  The ceremony will take place in Las Vegas and air on CBS this Sunday.


Kellie Pickler Guest Hosting "The Chew"


Kellie Pickler is putting her culinary skills to the test on ABC's "The Chew."  The country star is slated to serve as a guest host on Tuesday's edition of the show, which is focusing on "delicious comfort food."  The singer says she "always look forward to learning a few new things in the kitchen" when she appears on the show.  She adds that it's "The Chew's" April Fool's Day episode, "so who knows what mischievousness" they'll "cook up."  Picker is promoting her latest album, "The Woman I Am."  She just released her third single from the disc, "Closer To Nowhere."


Merle Haggard Overwhelmed, Honored By Tribute Album


Merle Haggard admits he's very pleased with the new tribute album in his honor.  The country legend says it means a lot to him to be recognized in this way.


Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, and Randy Houser are some of the stars who contribute to "Working Man's Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard."  The 19-song disc features covers of such classics as "Mama Tried" and "The Fightin' Side of Me," while albums sold at Walmart also include Garth Brooks' cover of "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down."  Merle says the album is "really done well."  He also praises the performances, saying "some of it is better than the originals."  "Working Man's Poet" arrives in stores Tuesday.


"Working Man's Poet" Track Listing


1. "Misery And Gin" (performed by Randy Houser)

2. "Footlights" (performed by Joe Nichols)

3. "Going Where The Lonely Go" (performed by Jason Aldean)

4. "Today I Started Loving You Again" (performed by Kristy Lee Cook)

5. "Carolyn" (performed by Toby Keith)

6. "Pancho And Lefty" (performed by Luke Bryan & Dierks Bentley)

7. "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" (performed by Garth Brooks - Walmart exclusive track)

8. "You Take Me For Granted" (performed by Thompson Square)

9. "Mama Tried" (performed by Ben Haggard)

10. "That's The Way Love Goes"  (performed by Dustin Lynch)

11. "Make Up and Faded Blue Jeans" (performed by Jake Owen)

12. "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive"  (performed by James Wesley)

13. "Workin' Man Blues" (performed by Parmalee)

14. "Are The Good Times Really Over" (performed by Jason Aldean)

15. "Let's Chase Each Other Around The Room" (performed by Thompson Square)

16. "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink" (performed by Dustin Lynch)

17. "The Fightin' Side Of Me" (performed by James Wesley)

18. "My Favorite Memory" (performed by Joe Nichols)

19. "Ramblin' Fever" (performed by Randy Houser)

20. "Sing Me Back Home" (performed by Ben Haggard)


Martina McBride Previewing New Album Online


Martina McBride is giving fans the chance to check out her entire album before it arrives in stores.  She's previewing her upcoming set, "Everlasting," on  The 12-track disc features Martina's versions of some pop and R&B classics, including Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," and the Supremes' "Come See About Me."  Martina says a big difference between her new covers set and her 2005 country collection, "Timeless," is her approach to the material.  She explains that with "Timeless" she was "faithful to the originals...maybe to a fault," because she didn't have "the confidence" to do her "own thing with them."  But Martina says she's grown as an artist, and with "Everlasting" felt it "was important" to "be reverent" to the originals but "not recreate" them "so faithfully that it was a karaoke record."  McBride's "Everlasting" will be in stores on April 8th.


Stars Of "Nashville" To Tour This Spring


Some of the stars from the ABC drama "Nashville" are taking their music on the road.  Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, who portray Scarlett and Gunnar on the show, are on board for the trek along with Jonathan Jackson, who plays the part of Avery.  The lineup also features Charles Esten who plays "Nashville's" Deacon Claybourne, and Chris Carmack, who's Will Lexington on the show.  The three-date run will begin in Chicago on April 25th.  They'll visit Washington, DC on May 4th and wrap up the tour in New York City on May 6th.  Will Chase -- Luke Wheeler on the show -- will also perform at the New York show.  Tickets for all three dates go on sale this Friday.


Details on the "Nashville" Concert Tour follow


April 25 - Chicago, Illinois, at Joe's Bar; tickets available at 10:00 a.m. Central Time at

May 4 - Washington, DC, at the Lincoln Theater; tickets available at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time at

May 6 - New York, New York, at the Best Buy Theater; tickets available at noon Eastern Time at


Jerrod Niemann Launches New Charity


Jerrod Niemann is taking an active step in supporting music education.  The country star has launched the new charity Free The Music USA, which will work to collect used instruments to give to children who otherwise wouldn't have access to them.  FTMUSA board member Shannon Shryne says Niemann's "passion for helping people is just as strong as his passion for creating great music," and his new the charity will "truly make a difference in so many ways."  Jerrod is also using his new charity to help those who can't hear.  FTMUSA has teamed up with Songs For Sound, an organization that helps deaf people who want to restore their hearing with cochlear implants and rehabilitation.


Jerrod is also using his new association with the bull ownership program Back Seat Buckers to raise money for his charity.  He's chosen a bull -- which he's named after his new album, "High Noon" -- and the animal's winnings will go to FTMUSA.


New Lee Brice Single Becomes A Wedding Favorite


Lee Brice's new single is catching on quick among wedding planners. includes the country singer's latest release, "I Don't Dance," on its list of the "12 Hottest Wedding Songs for 2014."  The website adds that while the lyrics are "about a shy groom's first dance," the song is "actually perfect for dancing."  The list features a mix of fun and romantic songs, such as John Legend's "All Of Me" and Karen O's "The Moon Song" along with Bruno Mars' "Treasure" and Pharrell Williams' "Happy."  Beyonce's "XO," Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors," Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound," and Tegan and Sara's "Closer" are some of the other songs in the rundown.


Craig Morgan Believes Latest Single Showcases Growth


Craig Morgan says he's really pleased with his current single.  The country star explains that "Wake Up Lovin' You" is not only a great song, but it gives him a chance to demonstrate how he's developed as a singer.


Morgan explains that "Wake Up Lovin' You" was precisely the type of song he was searching for as he was putting together his latest album.  The track is on Craig's most recent release, "The Journey (Livin' Hits)," which is in stores now.


Quick Bites


Carrie Underwood will be taking part in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. says the country star has been tapped to take part in "a unique tribute" to inductee Linda Ronstadt, who's battling Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing.  Carrie will join Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, and Bonnie Raitt in honoring Ronstadt.  The Eagles' Glenn Frey will handle Linda's induction.  The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in Brooklyn, New York on April 10th.


Josh Thompson and the Charlie Daniels Band have new albums arriving in stores today.  Thompson's "Turn It Up" is his long-awaited follow up to his 2010 debut effort, "Way Out Here."  The disc features his current single, "Cold Beer With Your Name On it."  The Charlie Daniels Band is honoring a folk-rock legend with their new album, "Off The Grid - Doin' It Dylan."  The ten-track set features the group's renditions of Bob Dylan classics, including "Mr. Tambourine Man," "You Gotta Serve Somebody," and "The Times They Are A-Changin'."


Country TV Tonight


LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS (NBC) Brett Eldredge is a guest.


Country Birthdays Include


Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott is 28.

Grand Ole Opry star Jim Ed Brown is 80.


Today in Country Music History


Today in 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened for business.


Today in 1978, Crystal Gayle's "Ready For The Times To Get Better" hit number one on the country charts.


Today in 1979, drummer Mark Herndon joined Alabama.


Today in 1985, the "40 Hour Week" album by Alabama was certified Gold and Platinum simultaneously.


Today in 1991, Reba McEntire's album "Rumor Has It" was certified Platinum.


Today in 1996, Alabama's "Greatest Hits" album was certified for multi-Platinum sales of five million.  At the time, it was the best-selling project by a country group ever.


Today in 1999, the Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces" album was certified for multi-Platinum sales of five million.


Today in 2000, TNN premiered the animated movie "Tom Sawyer."  Rhett Akins, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Wills, Waylon Jennings, and Marty Stuart were among those who provided voices for the project.


Today in 2002, Chris Cagle scored his first number one hit with his single "I Breathe In, I Breathe Out."


Today in 2003, Johnny Cash was released from a hospital after a bout of pneumonia.


Today in 2003, Chris Cagle's self-titled album arrived in stores.


Today in 2003, Darryl Worley enjoyed a second week at the top of the singles charts with "Have You Forgotten?"


Today in 2004, Carlene Carter's bond was revoked after she failed a drug test.  The bond was in conjunction with an earlier arrest, in which she had been charged with stealing a dead man's identity to get prescription drugs.


Today in 2004, Rachel Proctor performed at the Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee's annual Taste of Spring fundraiser in Nashville.


Today in 2006, Willie Nelson held a press conference and broke ground on the new Pacific BioDiesel Texas, on a two-acre parcel adjacent to Carl's Corner Truck Stop in Carl's Corner, Texas. 


Today in 2006, Eric Church made his Grand Ole Opry debut.


Today in 2006, Craig Morgan was in a cross country motorcycle accident in Bucksnort, Tennessee, where he sustained a broken left wrist and a mild concussion.  The singer finished the race, placing third, before going to the hospital.  He also performed that night.


Today in 2006, Tim McGraw stepped in for Sheryl Crow at the 18th annual Bob Costas Benefit for SSM Cardinal Glenn on Children's Medical Center show in St. Louis, Missouri


Today in 2006, More than six thousand mourners filed past an open casket on the dance floor of Buck Owens' Crystal Palace nightclub to pay their last respects to the country music icon. 


Today in 2007, the Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2007 Juno Awards.  Emerson Drive, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and George Canyon were also nominees. 


Today in 2007, Sugarland performed at MyCokeFest at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, which was a free music event held in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four.


Today in 2008, Dolly Parton was the guest mentor on "American Idol."


Today in 2008, new album releases included George Strait's "Troubadour," Kathy Mattea's "Coal," Josh Gracin's "We Weren't Crazy," and Willie Nelson's "One Hell of a Ride."


Today in 2008, Vince Gill and Larry Gatlin helped launch the 16th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriter Festival in Nashville.


Today in 2012, Taylor Swift was named the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year for a second consecutive year at the 47th annual ACM Awards.  Meanwhile, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert took home multiple awards, while Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Thompson Square, Eli Young Band, Toby Keith, and Scotty McCreery were also honored.


Today in 2012, Terri Clark got the nod for Country Album of the Year for "Roots and Wings" at the 2012 Juno Awards, which are the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys.


Today in 2012, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Charlie Daniels, Emmylou Harris and Patty Loveless were some of the stars who participated in a special memorial service for bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, who had died four days earlier.


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