Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Keith Urban Talks Touring, "Idol" On "Leno"


Keith Urban admits his concerts can sometimes be hazardous for him.  The country star is known for stepping out into the crowd during his shows, and he tells NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" that he doesn't always make it back to the stage unscathed.


Keith just announced more dates for his "Light the Fuse" trek, which will begin in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 18th.  While the tour runs through early December, the singer -- who's also an "American Idol" judge -- tells "USA Today" he's included breaks in his schedule to accommodate the Fox reality show if he's invited back for a second season.


While Urban won't name his favorite "Idol" finalist or make any predictions about a winner, he shares with Leno's audience that this year it's "certainly a female's season to lose."  He says Angie Miller and Kree Harrison are among the most popular singers right now, but adds that Lazaro Arbos is also "getting a lot of votes."  "American Idol" airs on Fox on Wednesday and Thursday night.


Crystal Bowersox To Play Patsy Cline On Broadway


Crystal Bowersox has landed a plum role on Broadway.  Producers of the musical "Always... Patsy Cline" have announced the season nine "American Idol" runner-up to play the country music legend in a summer production in New York.  The musical features 27 hits from Cline who died tragically, 50 years ago this year, in a 1963 plane crash at the age of 30.  Performances are expected to begin in July with an eye toward an official opening in August.  Bowersox landed the runnerup position behind "American Idol" winner Lee DeWyze on the singing competition's ninth season in 2010.  She is out promoting her new CD, "All That For This."


Vince Gill, Lorrie Morgan To Perform At Jack Greene Memorial Service


Vince Gill and Lorrie Morgan are two of the stars who'll be offering a musical salute to the late Jack Greene.  The Opry star is being remembered with a special memorial service, taking place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium today.  Ricky Skaggs, Gene Watson, and Mandy Barnett are also on board for the event, while The Whites, Penn Pennington, and Joe Rucker are also slated to perform.  Jeannie Seely, and Dallas Frazier are among those who'll speak at the ceremony.  Greene, who's best known for the 1966 chart topping hit "There Goes My Everything," passed away at his Nashville home on March 14th.  He was 83.  The legendary "Jolly Green Giant" had been battling Alzheimer's disease, and died from complications of the illness.


Blake Shelton OK With Recording In L.A.


Blake Shelton says he didn't mind recording the vocals for his new album, "Based on a True Story...," in Los Angeles.  The country star admits it actually took some of the pressure off.


Shelton had to be in L.A. as he was making the album because of his commitments to "The Voice."  And it's not the first time he's worked on a project outside Nashville.  Blake says he recorded his 2012 holiday disc, "Cheers, It's Christmas" using the same home studio setup.  "Based on a True Story..." arrived in stores this week.  Shelton has also just released "Boys 'Round Here," his second single from the album following the chart-topping hit "Sure Be Cool If You Did."


Alan Jackson Sees Many Similarities To Country, Gospel Songs


Alan Jackson says he believes many fans will be able to connect with the material on his new gospel album.  The country star explains that the tracks on "Precious Memories, Volume 2" -- like any song -- will trigger memories in the listener.


Alan adds that his album features a collection of well-written songs.  He explains that just like a good country song, many gospel standards have "memorable melodies" and cover "subjects that appeal to common people."  Jackson also admits that from a songwriter's perspective, he's "especially amazed at how good they are."  "Precious Memories, Volume 2" is in stores now.


The Band Perry's New Album A Collection Of Individual Songs


The Band Perry says "Pioneer" isn't a concept album.  The trio's Neil Perry explains that every track on the disc can stand up on its own.


"Pioneer" features The Band Perry's two most recent singles, "Better Dig Two" and "DONE."  Neil says he and his sibling bandmates are particularly excited about "DONE," which is about putting an end to an unbalanced friendship.  He explains that it's based on an actual situation with someone in which they found themselves continually giving and giving, while the other person was just taking and taking.  The Band Perry's "Pioneer" will be in stores on April 2nd.


Stagecoach Festival To Be Televised


Fans who can't make it to next month's Stagecoach Country Music Festival will still get a chance to see the stars perform.  AXS TV has announced plans to televise the three-day event.  The TV outlet is teaming up with StubHub to provide exclusive live coverage.  The six-hour daily broadcasts will include stage performances as well as backstage interviews and other behind-the-scenes features.  Dwight Yoakam, Lonestar, Rodney Atkins, and Tanya Tucker are among the stars slated to appear at Stagecoach, which will take place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from April 26th through the 28th.


Dailey & Vincent Give New Single Online Premiere


Dailey & Vincent are giving fans a preview of their upcoming album.  The bluegrass group is debuting their new single "Steel Drivin' Man" on


Jamie Dailey says he wrote "Steel Drivin' Man" specifically for "Brothers of the Highway."  He describes the track as "uptempo" and "fun," adding that it "embodies a lot of the energy and drive" that the group likes to put into their live shows.  Darrin Vincent also thinks the song provides a great introduction to the disc.  He explains that they picked "Steel Drivin' Man" as the CD's lead-off single because it "defined the powerful overall dynamic and integrity of this body of music," and "sets the tone" for the album.  Dailey & Vincent's "Brothers of the Highway" will be in stores on May 7th.


Change Of Ownership Considered For Hank Williams' Cemetery


Hank Williams' final resting place might soon have a new caretaker.  The "Montgomery Advertiser" says the Alabama State Legislature is considering a bill that would transfer ownership of the Oakwood Cemetery Annex to the city of Montgomery.  Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says his city began maintaining the facility which is where the late country legend is buried in 2009, after a photo surfaced showing the cemetery looking rundown and overgrown, and his city was blamed.  But Strange says a legal snafu is the real culprit.  He explains that officially the annex is run by the Department of Insurance, which by law cannot pay to maintain the cemetery but has to depend on donations and volunteers.  The new bill would officially transfer ownership of the property to the city, along with a one-time payment of 125-thousand-dollars.  The money would serve as a reimbursement for work done over the past four years and also fund future maintenance.


Strange says the city currently spends between five-and-seven-thousand-dollars a year on the cemetery's upkeep.  He says they took on the responsibility because they "couldn't allow it to be all overgrown" given the large number of visitors.  Oakwood Cemetery's Phillip Taunton says the facility carries a lot of history.  In addition to Williams, four former Alabama governors, three Confederate Army generals, and dozens of World War Two veterans are buried there.


Quick Bites


Both Kellie Pickler and Wynonna Judd will be back to dance again next week.  They made it through the first "Dancing With the Stars" elimination episode Tuesday night.  But this time around nobody was oted out, because a back injury forced Dorothy Hamill to drop out of the competition.  However, neither Kellie nor Wy were even in jeopardy.  The ABC show still revealed this week's Bottom Three, which didn't include either country star.


Team Blake remains at three members on "The Voice."  While there were a couple of singers on Tuesday's show that Blake Shelton tried to win over, he had no takers on the second night of the blind auditions.  But the country star will get more chances to build his team.  The blind auditions continue on next week's episodes, airing on NBC on Monday and Tuesday night.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1957, 12-year-old Brenda Lee made her debut on the country charts with "One Step At A Time."


Today in 1965, Roger Miller's single "King Of The Road" hit number one on the country charts. It also made it to number four on the Top 40 charts.


Today in 1971, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn have the first of many hits together as their duet, "After The Fire Is Gone," reached number one on the charts.


Today in 1992, Wynonna earned her first number one single as a solo artist with "She Is His Only Need."


Today in 2000, Lonestar traveled overseas for the group's first trip to the UK.


Today in 2002, Shania Twain's "Come On Over" was certified 19-times-Platinum.


Today in 2004, LeAnn Rimes was named as a celebrity spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network.


Today in 2006, Rhett Akins kicked off his annual three-day Country Goes Hunting charity event in Dothan, Alabama.


Today in 2006, the funeral for noted songwriter Cindy Walker took place in her hometown of Mexia, Texas.


Today in 2007, Wynonna Judd filed for divorce from estranged husband D.R. Roach.  She filed five days after Roach was arrested in Abilene, Texas and charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a minor.  However, the couple had separated six-weeks earlier.


Today in 2007,  Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet married wardrobe stylist Rebecca Arthur in a small ceremony at Cedarvine Manor, a bed and breakfast in Lebanon, Tennessee. 


Today in 2007, Trace Adkins was recognized for his dedication to charity and his support for the troops, receiving the 2007 USO-Merit Award at the 25th annual USO-Metro awards dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.


Today in 2007, new CD releases included Tim McGraw's "Let It Go," Jack Ingram's "This Is It," Alabama's "Songs of Inspiration 2," and David Ball's "Heartaches By the Number."


Today in 2008, Trace Adkins came in second place on "The Celebrity Apprentice."  While he was praised for his demeanor and he received a great deal of respect and admiration for the way he conducted himself, both in the final challenge and throughout the competition, Donald Trump picked Piers Morgan as the winner.  Morgan was selected for his business savvy and ability to use his contacts for fundraising.  In the final challenge Morgan brought in significantly more money than Adkins.


Today in 2008, Phil Vassar was in New York today to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.  It was part of his promotion for the album "Prayer of a Common Man."


Today in 2008, Vince Gill played a benefit for Cleveland Elementary Arts and Sciences Specialty School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  The school is across the street from where the mother was still living, and was the elementary school Gill attended as a child.


Today in 2009, Jack Ingram launched his first USO tour, which included five days at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Today in 2011, Shania Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2011 Juno Awards.


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