Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Shelton Leads Country Nominees, Paisley Performing At People's Choice Awards


Blake Shelton is the top country nominee heading into the People's Choice Awards.  The singer has three chances to win, including bids in a couple of all-genre categories.  He's in the running for Favorite Male Artist along Justin Timberlake, Michael Bublé, Bruno Mars, and Avicii.  Blake's CD "Based on a True Story..." is facing discs by Timberlake, Bublé, Milley Cyrus, and Robin Thicke for Favorite Album honors.  Meanwhile, Blake is up against Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and Carrie Underwood for Favorite Country Artist.  The event also includes one other country category -- Favorite Country Music Icon.  Alan Jackson, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, and Willie Nelson are the nominees.


Brad Paisley will also be on hand for the fan-voted event.  He's among the stars slated to perform during the ceremony.  The 2014 People's Choice Awards, including various music, movie, and television categories, will be presented in a ceremony airing on CBS Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


Craig Morgan Unveils First Leg Of Upcoming Tour


Craig Morgan is getting ready to hit the road.  The country star is starting to roll out the dates for "The Journey Tour."  He'll launch the trek in Jacksonville, Florida on February 7th and weave his way across the country, wrapping up the tour's first leg in Anaheim, California on April 11th.   Morgan is touring in support of his latest album, "The Journey (Livin' Hits)."  The singer will perform material from the disc along with hits and fan favorites including "Bonfire," "Redneck Yacht Club," "That's What I Love About Sunday," and "International Harvester."   Select shows will also feature former Halfway To Hazard member Chad Warrix as the opener.


Craig Morgan's "The Journey Tour" Dates


February 7 - Jacksonville, Florida, at Mavericks - with Chad Warrix

February 8 - Bradenton, Florida, at the Joyland Nightclub IV - with Chad Warrix

February 13 - Mobile, Alabama, at the Saenger Theater

February 14 - Terrell, Texas. at the Silver Saloon - with Chad Warrix

February 15 - Ledbetter, Texas, at the Chicken Ranch Dance Hall - with Chad Warrix

February 28 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Mill City Nights - with Chad Warrix

March 6 - Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at The District - with Chad Warrix

March 8 - Vernal, Utah, at Western Park

March 15 - Sayreville, New Jersey, at the Starland Ballroom

March 16 - Meadville, Pennsylvania, at Allegheny College

March 20 - Columbus, Ohio, at Live at the Bluestone - with Chad Warrix

March 21 - Indianapolis, Indiana, at the 8 Seconds Saloon - with Chad Warrix

March 22 - Ft. Wayne, Indiana, at the Rusty Spur - with Chad Warrix

April 3 - Spokane, Washington, at the Knitting Factory - with Chad Warrix

April 4 - Boise, Idaho, at the Knitting Factory - with Chad Warrix

April 5 - Reno, Nevada, at the Knitting Factory - with Chad Warrix

April 8 - San Diego, California, at the House of Blues - with Chad Warrix

April 10 - Hollywood, California, at the House of Blues - with Chad Warrix

April 11 - Anaheim, California, at the House of Blues - with Chad Warrix


Eli Young Band Finally Set Release Date For Next Album


The upcoming album from the Eli Young Band now has a name and release date.  The country group's next studio project, "10,000 Towns," will be in stores on March 4th.  Frontman Mike Eli says their new disc "shows another chapter" in the band members' lives, and they're "really excited" to share their latest songs with their fans.  In addition to the standard, eleven-track disc, the band will also offer a special edition of "10,000 Towns" exclusively through Walmart that includes three bonus tracks.  Both versions of the disc will include Eli Young Band's chart-topping hit, "Drunk Last Night."  The album is Eli Young Band's long-awaited follow up to 2011's "Life At Best."


Kip Moore Calls Second Album "Gritty," "Intense"


Kip Moore says his sophomore CD isn't "going to be for everybody."  But the country star tells he believes his fans are "gonna love it."  The singer explains that his first studio set was full of "nostalgia and reminiscing" and "kinda moody and ambient," but his new material is "very, very intense" with "gritty guitar tones" and "speaks more to the present."  Moore adds that with the project he's paying tribute to "blue collar America," which are his own roots.  Kip explains that as one of six kids, growing up he saw his dad "work so hard" but still struggle to provide for his family.  The singer says he's written one song that's "really speaking to those people doing the daily grind, getting by, with big families."


Moore says he hopes his new album will be released in the spring.  The still untitled disc includes his current single, "Young Love."  Kip will be hitting the road later this week.  He's an opener on Lady Antebellum's "Take Me Downtown" tour, which begins in Peoria, Illinois on Friday.


Country Stars Featured On "Grammy Nominees" Album


Country music is well represented on this year's "Grammy Nominees" album.  Taylor Swift is featured on two of the songs.  Her own hit "Begin Again" is part of the 18-track collection along with "Highway Don't Care," her collaboration with Tim McGraw.  Other country songs on the disc include Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go 'Round," Blake Shelton's "Mine Would Be You," and Jason Aldean's "Take A Little Ride."  The album also features Lorde's "Royals," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," and Katy Perry's "Roar," as well as nominated songs from Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and others.


The "2014 Grammy Nominees" album will be available on January 21st.  The 56th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in a ceremony airing on CBS on January 26th.


"2014 Grammy Nominees" Track List



"Locked Out Of Heaven"

Record Of The Year

Song Of The Year



"Blurred Lines" Feat. T.I. & Pharrell Williams

Record Of The Year




Record Of The Year

Song of The Year

Best Pop Solo Performance




Record Of The Year



"Get Lucky" Feat. Pharrell Williams

Record Of The Year

Album Of The Year




Song Of The Year

Best Pop Solo Performance




Best Pop Solo Performance




Album Of The Year

Best Pop Solo Performance



"Same Love" Feat. Mary Lambert

Album Of The Year

Song Of The Year

Best New Artist




Best New Artist



"Swimming Pools (Drank)"

Album Of The Year

Best New Artist



"Lego House"

Best New Artist


13. P!NK

"Just Give Me A Reason" Feat. Nate Ruess

Song Of The Year



"Begin Again"

Album Of The Year

Best Country Album



"Mine Would Be You"

Best Country Album



"Merry Go 'Round"

Best New Artist

Best Country Album



"Highway Don't Care" Feat. Taylor Swift & Keith Urban On Guitar

Best Country Album



"Take A Little Ride"

Best Country Album


Kix Brooks Explains Randy Houser's Involvement In New Western


Kix Brooks says a songwriting session led to Randy Houser appearing with him in the new movie "Ambush at Dark Canyon."  Brooks explains that they started talking about the film, and when Houser expressed an interest he encouraged Randy to visit Arizona while they were shooting.

Their songwriting session also generated some music.  Brooks and Houser wrote a song for the film.  "High in the Saddle" plays over the movie's opening credits.  Brooks stars in "Ambush at Dark Canyon," which will be available on DVD from Walmart on January 14th.


Lauren Alaina Helping Promote New Season Of "Idol"


Lauren Alaina is lending her time to the show that helped launch her career.  "The Hollywood Reporter" says "American Idol's" season ten runner-up is joining a number of former finalists as well as returning judge Jennifer Lopez in the "Idol Blitz" social media promotional campaign.  For the effort, the country singer will field questions from "Idol" fans via Twitter Wednesday afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.  "Idol" alums Pia Toscano, Angie Miller, and season 12 winner Candice Glover will tweet about the show today as well.  The campaign will continue Thursday with former finalist Colton Dixon on Twitter and season eleven runner-up Jessica Sanchez on Facebook.  The "Idol Blitz" will wrap up on Friday, with 2012 winner Phillip Phillips and Lopez answering questions on Facebook.  "American Idol" is launching its 13th season on January 15th.  Keith Urban is once again one of the judges on the Fox show.


"Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration" Begins In Memphis


Dedicated Elvis Presley fans will be braving the cold Wednesday to help celebrate The King's birthday.  The annual Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony is scheduled to take place Wednesday morning at Presley's Memphis mansion.  Knox Phillips, the son of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, is slated to join city and county officials and Graceland reps in cutting the birthday cake and proclaiming January 8th, 2014 Elvis Presley Day.  The event will also include an appearance from David Thibault, the Canadian teen who became a YouTube sensation with his cover of "Blue Christmas."  He'll lead the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to Elvis.  Fans who can't make it to Graceland for the ceremony can watch the activites as they happen on Graceland's LiveStream page starting at 10:15 a.m. Eastern.


The Birthday Proclamation Ceremony is launching the 2014 Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration.  The four-day event includes special Elvis-related tours, an "Elvis Insiders Reception," Elvis movie screenings and more.  The Memphis Grizzlies will host "Elvis Birthday Night" on Friday, and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra will present "Elvis Birthday Pops" on Saturday.  Additional information is available at  Wednesday marks what would have been Presley's 79th birthday.


Eric Close Enjoys Seeing Others In Spotlight On "Nashville"


"Nashville" star Eric Close says some of his favorite moments on the show don't directly involve his character.  The actor, who plays the part of Teddy Conrad, says he particularly enjoys scenes in which Lennon and Maisy Stella are singing.


Lennon, who's 14, and Maisy, who just turned ten last month, portray Teddy and Rayna's daughters Maddie and Daphne on the show.  The Stellas also have songs on each of the three "Nashville" soundtrack albums.  "Nashville" airs on ABC on Wednesday nights.  New episodes will begin on January 15th.


Country TV Tonight


THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS (CBS) Blake Shelton is the top country nominee, while Brad Paisley is among the performers.


Country Birthdays Include


Tift Merritt is 39.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1957, on his 22nd birthday, Elvis Presley took the army pre-induction exam in Memphis and passed.


Today in 1981, "Elvis Presley Day" was declared in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.


Today in 1982, Johnny Cash became the first living inhabitant of Hendersonville, Tennessee, to have a road named after him.  It's also the day the Johnny Cash Parkway was opened.


Today in 1983, Reba had her first number one hit with "Can't Even Get The Blues."


Today in 1993, Garth Brooks topped the country singles charts with "Somewhere Other Than the Night."


Today in 1993, Elvis Presley stamps went on sale at post offices around the U.S., commemorating the King's 58th birthday. 


Today in 1994, James Bonamy married his wife, Amy Jane.


Today in 1995, a bronze sculpture of Elvis Presley by Felix de Weldon -- who did the Iwo Jima flag-raising memorial at Arlington National Cemetery -- was dedicated at Graceland.


Today in 1996, John Michael Montgomery married his wife, Crystal, on a cruise ship docked in Miami.


Today in 1997, Fruit Of The Loom announced that Vince Gill, Hank Williams Jr., Wynonna, Travis Tritt, Randy Travis, the Charlie Daniels Band, Bryan White and Jo Dee Messina were joining the 1997 Fruit of the Loom Country Comfort Music Series.


Today in 2000, Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus celebrated the birth of their daughter, Noah Lindsey.


Today in 2001, it was confirmed that Billy Gilman's Grammy nominations in the Best Country Male and Best Country Song categories for his hit "One Voice" made him the youngest nominee in the event's history.


Today in 2002, Crystal Gayle's "Collection" project and the "Almeria Club" album from Hank Williams Jr. were released.


Today in 2006, Martina McBride made an appearance on ABC's  "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."


Today in 2007, Alan Jackson released the single "A Woman's Love."


Today in 2007, Little Big Town performed its single "Good As Gone" on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."


Today in 2008, Rascal Flatts was a two-time winner at the People's Choice Awards, earning the title of Favorite Group and getting the nod for Favorite Country Song with the hit "Stand."


Today in 2008, Eric Church and his girlfriend, music publisher Katherine Blasingame, were married in a private ceremony at Westglow Spa & Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.


Today in 2008, new CD releases included Rhonda Vincent's "Good Thing Going."


Today in 2010, Danny Gokey made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 2011, Mark Wills performed at the "Days of Service" concert, honoring those who took part in Georgia's statewide day of volunteering.  The event also launched the festivities surrounding the upcoming inauguration of the state's new governor.


Today in 2011, Marty Stuart launched the third season of his RFD-TV series "The Marty Stuart Show."  Willie Nelson was his guest.


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