Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

New Photos Of Randy Travis Surfacing Online


Randy Travis fans are getting their first glimpse of the country star since he suffered a stroke last July. says the singer's friend Anthony Maurizio posted two pictures of Travis to Twitter.  A black and white indoor group shot includes Randy seated with his fiancee Mary and others standing around him.  Anthony tweeted with the picture that he's glad to see Randy "healing nicely."  A second, color photo Anthony says was just taken Sunday shows Randy in a golf cart.  Maurizio says he got both pictures from Randy's stepson.


Travis' medical drama unfolded last summer.  A few days after the singer was admitted to the hospital with a heart condition he suffered a stroke, and underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.  Doctors said the operation was successful, but Randy would still need several months to recover.  Travis remained hospitalized for nearly a month before he was transfered to a physical therapy center.  There haven't been any official updates on his condition since he left the center in October.


More Country Stars Sign On For Grammy Awards


Hunter Hayes, Zac Brown, and Martina McBride are among the latest additions to the Grammy lineup.  Hayes is slated to perform during the televised ceremony, while Brown and McBride are among the many newly announced presenters for the event.  A number of other country stars are also on board as performers.  Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Kacey Musgraves will take the stage, while Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Blake Shelton have been tapped to team up for a special performance.


Other new performers for the ceremony include Guy Clark Jr., Nine Inch Nails, and Queens of the Stone Age with Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham.  Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Black Sabbath, Yoko Ono, Smokey Robinson, and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler are just some of the other presenters slated for the ceremony.  The 56th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, and air on CBS Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Ashley Monroe Won't Appear On "Nashville"


Ashley Monroe says she's fine with contributing music to ABC's "Nashville," but the country star has no interest in actually appearing on the show.  She tells "For The Country Record" she's just "not good at acting," and freezes up whenever she's in front of a camera.  Ashley recalls that years ago she auditioned for a part in a movie, and "it was so ridiculously bad."  Ashley says that's when she decided she was "never doing this again," but was "just gonna sing."  She adds that the "closest thing" to acting she'll do these days is a music video.  Monroe's songs that have cropped on "Nashville" include "Consider Me," "You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter)," "Shine," and "A Life That's Good."


A number of country stars have turned up on "Nashville."  Vince Gill, Chris Young, and Kip Moore have been featured on the show, along with Brantley Gilbert, Pam Tillis, and The Cadillac Three.  Zac Brown and Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus have cameos on this week's episode, while Brad Paisley's second "Nashville" appearance is coming up next week.  "Nashville" airs on ABC on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.


Carrie Underwood Inks Deal With Almay


Carrie Underwood has another beauty product deal.  The country star has been named the Global Brand Ambassador for Almay cosmetics.  Carrie will be featured in the company's upcoming ad campaigns, representing the full Almay line.  The singer says it's a natural fit.  She explains that she's "really impressed by their products," and uses them in her "daily life" and when she's working.  Underwood adds that she "could never be associated with a company" she "didn't believe in."  Ads featuring Carrie are expected to launch this week.


Carrie recently announced a nail polish line through Nicole by OPI.  Those products are in stores now.


Parmalee Excited About Next Single


Parmalee frontman Matt Thomas says he was instantly drawn to the song "Close Your Eyes."  The singer tells that the first time he heard the song something about it caught his ear, and he "immediately went back and listened to it again."  He says it's just "an amazing song" that not only "fits" the band but also his vocal range.  Guitarist Josh McSwain adds that the track "paints such a vivid picture, and you can see the story."  He also admits that it's one of those songs they wish they'd written.  "Close Your Eyes" is Parmalee's next single from their album "Feels Like Carolina," and the follow up to their chart-topping hit, "Carolina."


Vince Gill Plays "Bakersfield" In Bakersfield


Vince Gill says it was really special performing his latest album "Bakersfield" for fans in the city of Bakersfield, California.


Gill recently played the show with steel guitarist Paul Franklin, his collaborator on the album.  With the disc they're honoring country music's Bakersfield sound and its two most prominent artists, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.  The expanded "Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition," featuring four additional tracks, will be available exclusively from Cracker Barrel on January 27th.  The set will be released digitally through and iTunes on January 28th.


Travis Tritt Reflects On Advice He'd Give His Younger Self


Travis Tritt is looking back as he celebrates his 25th anniversary in music.  The country star says if he could go back in time and speak with himself when he was just starting out, he'd have a few words of wisdom to share.


Travis adds that he'd tell his younger self to always remember why he wanted a career in the music business, and how much he loves entertaining fans.  And Tritt will be out entertaining fans this week.  He's launching a series of solo acoustic shows throughout Texas, starting in The Woodlands Wednesday night.  The singer will also make stops in Midland and Muenster, and wrap up the run in Linden on Saturday.


Justin Moore Enjoying Watching His Children Grow Up


Justin Moore says he's really enjoying being a dad, and plays an active role in his children's lives.  The country star explains that his oldest daughter Ella, who'll turn four next month, joins him on the road even when his wife and younger daughter stay home.


Moore adds that he loves watching the girls' personalities emerge.  The singer says Ella and her two-year-old sister Kennedy "couldn't be more polar opposite of each other."  Justin also admits being a dad is "more fun" now that his daughters are walking and talking, and it's "awesome" to see them become more self-sufficient.  And Moore will soon have the chance to witness another baby develop into a walking, talking, individual.  He and his wife, Kate, are expecting their third child this summer.


ACM Partners With Beats Music On New Streaming Service


The Academy of Country Music has found a new way to bring country music's top artists to listeners.  The ACM is teaming with Dr. Dre's Beats Music, and is curating playlists for the new streaming service that launched Tuesday.  In addition to the hottest artists of today, the ACM's playlists also feature country music classics.  The ACM is the latest to sign on with Beats Music to curate playlists, and joins a roster that also includes Target, "Rolling Stone," Ellen DeGeneres and "Country Weekly."


Beats Music is offering listeners a free trial of their services, after which they will be charged a nine-dollars-and-99-cents subscription fee. AT&T customers on a family plan can receive discounted subscription fees, as well as an extended trial period. Beats Music is available on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone operating systems.


Quick Bite


Shania Twain is launching her next run of Las Vegas dates.  The country star is playing her first "Shania: Still The One" show of 2014 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Wednesday night.  The performance will be her first of 15 shows over the next three-and-a-half weeks.


Country TV Tonight


NASHVILLE (ABC) Zac Brown and Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus make guest appearances.


Country Birthdays Include


Alabama's Teddy Gentry is 62.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1955, Porter Wagoner debuted on the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1969, Glen Campbell received his first Gold certification for the single, "Wichita Lineman."


Today in 1990, Randy Travis took home three trophies at the American Music Awards.


Today in 1991, an unknown Tracy Lawrence played his first showcase at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe, which led to a management contract, and eventually a record deal.


Today in 1991, Marty Stuart's "Tempted" album was released.


Today in 1991, Shenandoah earned their first Gold album for "The Road Not Taken."


Today in 1993, Doug Stone topped the charts with "Too Busy Being In Love."


Today in 1994, Hal Ketchum became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 2001, the antique Farmall tractor used as a prop during Kenny Chesney's CMT "All Access" sold for 59-hundred-dollars in a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Today in 2002, Collin Raye's "Can't Back Down" album arrived in stores.


Today in 2003, Sara Evans and her husband, Craig Schelske, welcomed their daughter, Olivia Margaret in Franklin, Missouri.  Olivia joined her big brother Avery Jack.


Today in 2004, Terri Clark made her Australian concert debut with a show in Tamworth.  She was originally slated to make her first trip to Australia in 2001, but the September 11th terrorist attacks forced her to scrap those plans.


Today in 2005, Keith Urban hosted the 3nd annual "Max It Out for Meningitis" benefit at Rocketown in downtown Nashville.  Proceeds went to the Edwards Pediatric Meningitis Research Fund via Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.


Today in 2007, Gretchen Wilson attended a reception in Nashville for nominees for the 49th annual Grammy Awards, for which she was in the running for Best Female Country Vocal Performance with "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today."


Today in 2007, Keith Urban addressed his stint in rehab in a video message on his website, thanking his fans for their support and noting that he had various reasons for seeking treatment.


Today in 2007, Trisha Yearwood performed a concert benefiting her husband Garth Brooks' charity Teammates for Kids.  Brooks hosted the event, which was part of the  National Hockey League's All-Star Weekend at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas.


Today in 2008, new CD releases included Chuck Wicks' "Starting Now" and Laura Bryna's "Trying to be Me."


Today in 2010, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift were among the performers at the George Clooney-led "Hope For Haiti Telethon," a multi-network international fundraiser in support of earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.


Today in 2013, new country releases included Lady Antebellum's single "Downtown," Darius Rucker's album "True Believers," and the collection "Tim McGraw & Friends."  The "2013 Grammy Nominations" compilation album, including songs from Taylor Swift and Hunter Hayes, also arrived in stores.


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