Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Mindy McCready's Ex Wins Custody Of Singer's Oldest Son


One of the late Mindy McCready's boys now has a permanent home. says the country star's seven-year-old son Zander has been officially placed with her ex, Billy McKnight, the boy's father.  McKnight says he's been working to help his son deal with the death of his mother, as well as both of his parents' tumultuous past.  He explains that he's telling Zander the boy was "made from love" and is "here for a reason."  He adds that he's focusing on the "good things" about Mindy.  McKnight admits it will take a long time for both of them to heal from Mindy's death.  McCready's mom, Gayle Inge, is among those voicing support for McKnight gaining custody of Zander, who arrived at his new Florida home on Sunday.


But "TasteOfCountry" says custody of McCready's other son, one-year-old Zayne, is "not clear."  Zayne's father was David Wilson, the Arkansas man Mindy fled to with Zander in 2011 during a custody dispute over the boy.   Wilson died in January, one month before McCready took her own life.


More Stars Join Benefit Concert For Arizona Firefighters' Families


The lineup is growing for the Dierks Bentley-led fundraiser for Arizona firefighters.  The Band Perry, Randy Houser, and David Nail have signed on for the "Country Cares Concert," taking place in Prescott Valley, Arizona on July 22nd.  The special show is supporting the families of the 19 firefighters who were killed battling the Yarnell Hill blaze last month.  Bentley, who was born and raised in Phoenix, says he still considers Arizona home, and he feels "a huge pull to go back" and help out however he can.  But he's not surprised the show's lineup is growing.  Bentley explains that "country fans are the best, and when their friends need help, they show up."  The concert is sold out.  Money raised through the event is going to the United Phoenix Firefighters Charities.


Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line Add Teen Choice Nominations


Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line are each getting more chances to win a Teen Choice award.  Swift has tacked on one more category to bring her nomination total to seven.  Her final bid is for Choice Summer Tour with her current "Red" trek.  Florida Georgia Line is getting two more bids, for a total of four nominations.  Their new categories include

Choice Summer Music Star: Group, while the remix of their hit "Cruise" is up for Choice Summer Song.  Other nominees, who were announced earlier, include Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, and Hunter Hayes, while Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, and Thompson Square are some of the other country stars in the running for awards.  Voting is under way now at, and closes on August 10th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.  "Teen Choice 2013" will air on Fox on August 11th.  The two-hour ceremony begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Keith Urban Inks Deal With Hallmark For Greeting Card Line


Fans can now let Keith Urban do the talking.  The country star has signed on with Hallmark, which is launching a new line of greeting cards featuring his music that are inspired by his lyrics.  The set of 12 cards include messages for birthdays, support, encouragement, love, friendship, and more.  They also play a 15-second clip of one of Keith's songs, such as "Long Hot Summer" and "Sweet Thing."  Urban says he's pleased with the deal, and loves knowing his music will "mark such meaningful moments in so many people's lives."  The Keith Urban cards are available now at select Hallmark Gold Crown stores.


Blake Shelton's Mom Debunking Singer's Drunken Image


Blake Shelton's reputation for drinking might reflect more image than reality.  At least that's what his mom is saying.  Dorothy Shackleford tells "Men's Journal" her son "likes to make people think he's drunk," but she's "never seen that boy drunk" ever in her life.  She adds that Blake has always enjoyed the great outdoors, and loves all sorts of animals -- even insects.  Dorothy recalls that as a child Blake cried when he saw her kill a fly.  She adds that her son had pet raccoons in junior high school, and she thought he was destined to become a veterinarian or forest ranger. 


Shelton says he briefly aspired to go into construction, because he was "always fascinated with backhoes and bulldozers."  But he admits by the time he was 17 there was no "Plan B," and he was determined to make it in music.  Blake is featured on the cover of the August issue of "Men's Journal," which is on newsstands now.


Kacey Musgraves Had Early Vision For "Blowin' Smoke" Video


Kacey Musgraves says music is a visual medium to her.  The country star explains that with her latest single, "Blowin' Smoke," she instantly knew what she wanted to do for the song's video.


Musgraves adds that she shared her vision for the song with co-writers Shane McAnally and Luke Laird, who were more than willing to accommodate her wishes.  She says Luke then went to a diner and recorded all the ambient sounds of the restaurant, which they included in the song.  "Blowin' Smoke" is from Musgraves' major label debut, "Same Trailer, Different Park."


Carrie Underwood Thankful For Her Positive Songs


Carrie Underwood says she's glad "See You Again" is her current single.  The country star explains that she loves songs "with attitude," but she likes more uplifting tunes as well.

          "See You Again" is the fourth single from Underwood's latest album, "Blown Away."  It follows "Two Black Cadillacs" and the disc's title track, which are both much darker songs.


Willie Nelson's "CMT Crossroads" Getting Exclusive, Limited Edition Vinyl Release


Willie Nelson's recent birthday concert salute is getting a special release. says unreleased material from the "CMT Crossroads: Willie Nelson & Friends From Third Man Records" episode will be available as part of the label's subscription series.  The concert recording will be issued as a two-disc vinyl set, with bonuses including a fold-out poster and a new six-inch vinyl recording of Nelson's "Red Headed Stranger" featuring Third Man founder Jack White.  Tracks on "Willie Nelson & Friends Live at Third Man Records" include Willie and Ashley Monroe's "Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground," Willie and Leon Russell performing "Heartbreak Hotel," and Willie with Neil Young singing "Sail Away."  Duets with Jamey Johnson and Sheryl Crow are also part of the mix.  Additional details on the album and the subscription series are available at


Tim McGraw Says Music A Mainstay In His Life


Tim McGraw says music has given him more than just a way to make a living.  The country star explains that it's been a driving force, and is linked the majority of his experiences.

          McGraw adds that during bad times he could always "count on" music, and it's given him his family that he can now "fall back on" as well.  The singer helped share the power of music with the spring concert special "ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night," which premiered in May.  The show, featuring performances from a variety of stars including Faith Hill, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, and others, will be rebroadcast on CBS on July 26th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Quick Bites


Court Yard Hounds are hitting the small screen to promote their second album, "Amelita."  The album arrived in stores this week.  The duo, featuring Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, will perform today on ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman."  They'll be guests on ABC's "The View" and CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" on Thursday, and next week make a stop at NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."


Keith Urban and Vince Gill are among those featured in the upcoming film presentation of this past spring's Crossroads Guitar Festival.  The country stars were two of the guitarists who took part in Eric Clapton's charity event, which was staged at New York's Madison Square Garden back in April.  Highlights from the two-day benefit concert will be shown at select cinemas across the country on August 13th.  Other details on the special screening of "Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013" are available at


Country Birthdays Include


Craig Morgan is 49.

Luke Bryan is 37.

Susan Ashton 46.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1992, Garth Brooks' hit single "The River" remained at number one on the country music chart for a second week.


Today in 1993, Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee" hit number one on the charts.  The song kept the top spot on the tally for an entire month.


Today in 1997, Clay Walker's "Rumor Has It" album was certified Gold.


Today in 1998, Terri Clark scored her first number one single with "Now That I Found You."


Today in 2000, Brad Paisley received the "Distinguished West Virginian Award" from the state's governor during a performance at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition.  The honor recognizes native West Virginians who have shown a lifetime commitment to community service and excellence in their career fields.  It was also "Brad Paisley Day" in his home state.


Today in 2000, Billy Gilman's "One Voice" album was certified Gold.


Today in 2000, Trisha Yearwood's "Intimate Portrait" premiered on Lifetime Television.


Today in 2001, Travis Tritt sold out his September 21st show at the Great Frederick Fair in Fredericksburg, Maryland.  All the tickets for the venue, which seats more than 46-hundred, were snatched up in mail-order pre-sales.


Today in 2002, Andy Griggs' long-awaited sophomore album, "Freedom," debuted at number seven on "Billboard's" Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2002, the Dixie Chicks appeared in the "Nancy" comic strip for the sixth time.  Creator Guy Gilchrist has been a long-time supporter of the group and an avid country music fan.  The ladies also appeared on the cover of a magazine titled "New Music."


Today in 2003, recorded messages by Wynonna, Lonestar, Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, Terri Clark, and and Sherrie Austin began airing throughout Tennessee's Nashville International Airport, reminding visitors of some of the rules of the airport, and drawing attention to other aspects of the facility.


Today in 2004, Tim McGraw's concert at The Gorge in George, Washington, set an attendance record for the amphitheater, as close to 23-thousand fans took in the show.


Today in 2004, Trace Adkins sang the national anthem before the Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway in Gladeville, Tennessee.


Today in 2006, Mindy McCready was charged with contempt of court after she was ten minutes late to a hearing regarding her DUI arrest.  The charge was later dropped.


Today in 2006, it was announced that former "American Idol" finalist Kellie Pickler had been signed to a major label deal with BNA Records.  She released her debut single, "Red High Heels," a couple months later and her debut album, "Small Town Girl," in October of that year.


Today in 2007, Craig Morgan, Lonestar, Joe Diffie, Collin Raye, and Charlie Daniels were among the country stars who took part in the "Home for a Hero" benefit concert, a fundraiser in Nashville to help a disabled Iraq war veteran to return to his hometown and lead an independent life in a specially constructed house that matches his needs and abilities.


Today in 2008, Julianne Hough received an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Choreography category for a mambo routine she choreographed on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."  However, at the event two months later the award went to Wade Robeson for his work on "So You Think You Cna Dance."


Today in 2010, Deana Carter's dad, noted session musician Fred Carter, Jr., died of complications from a stroke at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.  He was 76.  Carter served as the staff guitarist on the famed "Louisiana Hayride" before settling in Nashville and becoming an in-demand session player.  He worked with such stars as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Dolly Parton.


Today in 2011, Keith Urban's hit "Days Go By" was used for the wake up music for astronauts on Atlantis during the space shuttle's final mission.


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