Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Toby Keith Surveying Damage Back Home, Benefits In The Works


Toby Keith is back home in Moore, Oklahoma, assessing the damage.  The country star says he'll be helping out his neighbors as the town recovers from Monday's devastating tornado.  He adds that it's too early to have any details, but tells CNN's Piers Morgan there'll likely be at least one all-star fundraiser for the community.


Keith adds that there's plenty of interest in helping out.  He says in just one day he's received "500 text messages from people all over the music world saying 'What are we doing?'," because stepping up in times of crisis is "just everybody's way."  But Toby explains that the best way for people to help right now is through donations to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  Keith will be back on CNN Wednesday with Anderson Cooper to give a tour of his tornado-ravaged hometown.


Blake Shelton, NBC Organizing Oklahoma Tornado Fundraiser


Blake Shelton expects to have more details today about the benefit concert he's organizing with NBC to raise money for victims of the Oklahoma tornado.  The country star tells the special show "will be televised and will happen really quickly."  He adds that he's "hoping it will raise a lot of money."  While Blake didn't mention any names that might be attached to the event, "Billboard" says the singer pointed to fellow "Voice" coach Usher as he said he can "call in some really big favors."


Shelton is an Oklahoma native, and still makes his home in the state.  He was born in Ada, which is approximately 75 miles away from the town of Moore, which was devastated by a massive and deadly tornado on Monday.  Shelton now makes his home with wife Miranda Lambert in Tishomingo, which is just over 100 miles south-southeast of Moore.  Blake and Miranda launched last night's edition of "The Voice" with a special performance of Miranda's hit "Over You" in tribute to the storm victims.


Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton Pay Tribute To Oklahoma Tornado Victims


Miranda Lambert is joining husband Blake Shelton in paying tribute to the residents of Oklahoma who are now starting the difficult task of rebuilding their lives following Monday's devastating tornado.  At the start of NBC's "The Voice" Tuesday, the Oklahoma-based country couple performed Miranda's hit "Over You."  Lambert altered the lyrics a bit to fit the situation.


"Over You," about the difficulties of dealing with loss, is from Lambert's album "Four The Record."  She and Blake originally wrote the song about Blake's brother, who was killed in a car crash when Shelton was 14 years old.  Lambert and Shelton have received a number of honors for the chart-topping track, which was named Song of the Year at the most recent CMA and ACM award ceremonies.  Blake and Miranda live in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, which is just over 100 miles south-southeast of Moore.


Trace Adkins Sending Words Of Encouragement To Oklahoma


Trace Adkins is reassuring Oklahoma residents that more help is on the way.  The country star, who's also an American Red Cross celebrity spokesman, tells E! News he has "close contacts" within the organization who are keeping him "updated and informed about what's going on."  He adds that they've told him "there are more trucks and volunteers on the way."  The singer adds that he understands some of what those who've lost their homes in Monday's tornado are going through -- and just how much the Red Cross can help.  He says the Red Cross was there after a fire destroyed his family's home.  Trace also admits the experience is "a traumatic milestone in your life," but promises "you will survive it."


In addition to being an American Red Cross spokesman, Adkins just recently raised a lot of money for the organization.  He was playing for the Red Cross on NBC's "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice."  As the show's winner he generated a one-point-five-million-dollar donation for the charity.


Kellie Pickler Credits Cheerleading Experience For Successful "Dancing" Run


"Dancing With the Stars" winner Kellie Pickler says her days as a cheerleader might have given her an edge on the show, because it left her very flexible.  But the country star jokes there were also some drawbacks to that particular high school experience.


Kellie earned the mirrorball trophy on the ABC reality show Tuesday night with professional partner Derek Hough -- the brother of country singer and former "Dancing" pro Julianne Hough.  When it comes to her own dancing abilities, Kellie admits she can "move around easy," but she's "no Julianne."  Kellie and Derek were thrilled to hear their names announced as the season 16 winner, which they dedicated to Kellie's Grandpa Ken.  Kellie has said she signed on for the show because of her grandfather, who told her she'd no longer be his "favorite granddaughter" if she turned it down.


The "Dancing With the Stars" finale also included a guest appearance from Wynonna -- who had a significantly shorter run on the show this season.  But this time Wy took the stage to sing.  And as the country star received a standing ovation for her vocal performance of "I Want To Know What Love Is," she told the crowd, "That's what I do."  Wy was the second celebrity to leave and the first to be voted off this season of "Dancing With the Stars."  Her departure came in the third week of the competition, following Dorothy Hamill's withdrawl due to an injury.


Brad Paisley A Guest On Tonight's "Nashville" Finale


Brad Paisley's turn on "Nashville" is airing tonight.  But the guest appearance on the ABC drama might not require a whole lot of acting on Brad's part. says the country star is portraying himself at an awards show.  He joins Connie Britton's character Rayna Jaymes and Charles Esten's character Deacon Claybourne in performing at a fictional country music event.  Brad's wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who has the recurring role of Peggy Kenter on the show, is also in the episode, which is the season one finale.


More Performers Sign On For CMT Music Awards


Jason Aldean will be pulling double duty at next month's CMT Music Awards.  In addition to hosting the event with Kristen Bell, the country star is among the new additions to the show's performance lineup.  Carrie Underwood, George Strait, and Florida Georgia Line are some of the others who have signed on for the show, along with Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, and Darius Rucker.  They're joining previously announced performers Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, and Pistol Annies.  Balloting is under way now at for the fan-voted event, and will remain open through June 2nd.  The 2013 CMT Music Awards will be presented in a ceremony at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, and air on CMT on June 5th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Brad Paisley Inspired By Fogerty Collaboration


Brad Paisley calls it "a dream come true" to record a song with John Fogerty.  The country star tells the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman "stands for all the things that are important" to him on a musical level, and he considers Fogerty an inspiration.  For Fogerty's new album, "Wrote A Song For Everyone," Brad and John team up on the track "Hot Rod Heart."


Fogerty originally wrote and recorded "Hot Rod Heart" for his 1997 album "Blue Moon Swamp."  Paisley says he picked the tune even though it's not one of John's better known songs because it's about "a couple of things" he really loves: "guitars and souped up machines."  Brad adds that the song gave them the chance to "really let loose" on the solo.


"Wrote A Song For Everyone" features collaborative remakes of selections from Fogerty's vast catalog.  A number of country stars contribute to the project.  In addition to Paisley, the album includes Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, and others.  The entire disc is currently streaming on Pandora.  "Wrote A Song For Everyone" will be in stores on May 28th.


Kenny Chesney Debuts New Song In Concert


Kenny Chesney has added a new song to his show.  The country superstar debuted "When I See This Bar" at his concert last weekend in Milwaukee.  Chesney says it's an "incredibly personal" and "autobiographical" song about returning to a location that was of great significance in the past.


Chesney adds that while he drew on his own life for "When I See This Bar," he believes it tells a story most people can relate to.  He says he knows fellow country star Eric Church identifies with the song.  Kenny tapped Eric to perform it with with him at the show.  "When I See This Bar" is on Kenny's most recent album, "Life on a Rock."  The next stop on Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" tour is coming up in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday.


Easton Corbin Avoids Cliches In Latest Video


Easton Corbin says he enjoyed making the clip to his single "All Over The Road."  The country star explains that they avoided some perhaps expected cliches in the clip, like having him driving around in a truck.  Easton says he got to cruise in a vintage Plymouth Fury instead.  He adds that there are other surprising components to the clip as well.


"All Over The Road" is the title track to Easton's most recent studio album.  The singer has been on the road this spring supporting the disc.  His next shows are in Texas.  Corbin will be in Pflugerville on Thursday, Odessa on Friday, and Farmers Branch on Saturday.  His full schedule is posted on his website,


Country TV Today And Tonight


ANDERSON COOPER 360 (CNN) Toby Keith is a guest.

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) Darius Rucker is a guest.

NASHVILLE (ABC) Brad Paisley makes a guest appearance.


Country Birthdays Include


Diamond Rio's Dana Williams is 52.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis announced his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin, Myra when he was met by reporters getting off a plane in London.  The resulting furor caused Lewis to be booed off stage and forced the cancellation of all but three of his concerts in his British tour.  The ensuing controversy caused serious damage to his career.


Today in 1976, "I.O.U." by Jimmy Dean peaked at number 35 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1982, the single, "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me," by Juice Newton entered the top 40 chart.


Today in 1982, Willie Nelson's first television movie, "Coming Out Of The Ice," debuted on CBS.


Today in 1988, the city of Los Angeles declared it "Buck Owens Day."


Today in 1988, NBC cancelled Dolly Parton's television show "Dolly" just 16 days after it aired its last segment.


Today in 1991, The IRS auctioned off Willie Nelson's nine-hole Pedernales golf course outside of Austin for 230-thousand-dollars.


Today in 1992, Ricky Van Shelton's album "Backroads" topped the charts.


Today in 1993, Kenny Rogers made a guest appearance on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," in the role of a Civil War photographer.


Today in 1995, new releases included Alan Jackson's single "I Don't Even Know Your Name" and Dwight Yoakam's album "Dwight Live."


Today in 1997, George Strait's "Carrying Your Love With Me" album was released.


Today in 1998, The Kendalls' Royce Kendall died in LaCrosse, Wisconsin after he suffered a stroke.  The duo, featuring Royce and his daughter Jeannie, were known for the hits including "Heaven's Just A Sin Away" and "Pittsburgh Stealers."


Today in 2001, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney took the stand in their trial in Orchard Park, New York over an incident in June with a horse after their concert. McGraw told the judge that he was hit twice with a nightstick by policemen at the scene.


Today in 2002, Alan Jackson was named Entertainer of the Year at the 37th Academy of Country Music Awards.  Brooks and Dunn and Martina McBride were also winners.  In addition, Alabama made the stunning announcement that the group would embark on a Farewell Tour the next year.


Today in 2003, the governor of Colorado presented Darryl Worley with a proclamation declaring it "Darryl Worley Day."  The singer received the honor because of his hard work and passionate support of the United States military.


Today in 2003, Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks were among the performers at "VH1 Divas Live" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The show also featured Lisa Marie Presley, Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder.


Today in 2004, Gretchen Wilson topped Billboard's country chart with her debut hit and signature song, "Redneck Woman."


Today in 2005, Dierks Bentley played a concert for Marines at Twentynine Palms, California.


Today in 2005, Clint Black became an honorary member of the 101st Airborne Division after giving a free concert in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.


Today in 2006, a number of country stars made late night TV appearances.  The Dixie Chicks were on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," The Wreckers were on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and Reba McEntire and Toby Keith were on CBS' "The Late Late show with Craig Ferguson." 


Today in 2006,  festivities surrounding the 41st annual Academy of Country Music Awards included Vince Gill hosting the Celebrity Golf Classic at Cascata Golf Course in Las Vegas; Big & Rich, Craig Morgan, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Little Big Town, and Julie Roberts performing at the third annual New Artists show in conjunction with ACM Awards; and Kenny Chesney taping a version of "Summertime" on the beach at Mandalay Bay for inclusion on the awards show the next night.


Today in 2006, Toby Keith wrapped up his third annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in support of Ally's House.


Today in 2006, Brooks & Dunn announced that they had signed a two-year contract with the Las Vegas Hilton that would begin in March 2007.


Today in 2007, Billy Ray Cyrus returned to "Dancing With the Stars," joining the season's other former contenders for the show's finale.


Today in 2007, Michael Martin Murphey appeared on CBS' "The Late Show With David Letterman" to explain what a "sodbuster" is.  The term is used in Murphey's song "Wildfire," which he also sang on the show.


Today in 2007, LeAnn Rimes' video "Nothing Better To Do" made its debut on


Today in 2008, Toby Keith led "Forbes" magazine's list of the top money makers in country music.  Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and Brooks & Dunn made the top five, while Brad Paisley, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, George Strait, and Alan Jackson complete the top ten.


Today in 2010, Alan Jackson performed in Charleston, West Virginia, and donated profits from the show to the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund to assist families who lost loved ones in the Upper Branch Mining explosion several weeks earlier.  Twenty-nine miners were killed and two others injured in the tragedy.  Jackson was honored at the show, and received the title of "Honorary West Virginian."


Today in 2011, John Rich was the winner on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice."


Today in 2012, Luke Bryan was the guest of honor at a party in Nashville celebrating the platinum certification of his album "Tailgates & Tanlines," Luke's first album to reach the sales milestone.


Today in 2012, Rascal Flatts, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, and Mark Wills were among the stars taking part in the Grand Ole Opry's special salute to the troops show.


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