Nashville News and Notes for WEDNESDAY

Kenny Chesney The Top Country Touring Act Since 1990


Kenny Chesney's efforts on the road over the years are getting new recognition.  The singer is just one of three country artists making a new "Billboard" list of the Top 25 Live Artists of the past 25 years.  He's the only country star to make the top ten, ranking ninth.  Since 1990, Kenny has performed for more than 12-point-six-million fans at 755 shows, and earned over 752-million-706-thousand-dollars.  Meanwhile, George Strait is taking 19th place with earnings of just over 405-million.  Toby Keith made more than 361-million to take the number 22 spot.  The Rolling Stones lead the list with tour earnings over the past 25 years totaling more than one-billion-565-million-dollars.


Taylor Swift Cancels Concert In Thailand After Coup


Taylor Swift is pulling the plug on next week's concert in Thailand after a military takeover.  "The Hollywood Reporter" says the concert promoter has canceled the June 9th performance in Bangkok citing "recent events."  Swift tweeted her regrets to fans in Thailand today.  Along with sending her love, she said "I'm so sad about the concert being canceled."  It would have been Swift's first performance there.


Brantley Gilbert Moved, Nervous At Arlington Ceremony


Brantley Gilbert admits he was "a little nervous" about taking part in the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.  The country star tells "Billboard" that just prior to the event he learned the precision and attention to detail the military puts into formal ceremonies and procedures, so "you don't want to be pigeon toed out there."  At the event Brantley joined a woman in honoring her father by placing a wreath at his grave, which the singer says put things in perspective for him.  He explains that while his new album, "Just As I Am," is "a big thing" for him, doing something like this makes him "realize how small" releasing a record really is.  Brantley adds that "being able to show some light on these heroes is irreplaceable," and he's "proud to be a part of it."


Gilbert's participation in the Arlington Memorial Day ceremony capped off a six-day motorcycle trek to promote his album and the military charity Folds of Honor.  And Brantley says those buried at Arlington helped make the ride possible.  He explains that he likely "wouldn't be able to saddle up on a motorcycle" whenever he pleased "if it weren't for every war we've been in, and those who have sacrificed."


More Stars Sign On For CMT Music Awards


The performance lineup for the CMT Music Awards has nearly doubled.  Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, and Brantley Gilbert are among the ten new stars who've signed on for the event.  Kacey Musgraves, Dierks Bentley, and Hunter Hayes are now on board as well.  They're joining a roster that already boasts the event's top nominees, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line.  The 2014 CMT Music Awards will be presented in a ceremony in Nashville, and air on CMT on June 4th.


Luke Bryan Recalls His, WIfe Caroline's Dating Song


Luke Bryan's latest hit, "Play It Again," is about a song that plays a role in a budding couple's romance.  The country star says Lenny Kravitz's "Can't Get You Off My Mind" was that song for him and his wife, Caroline, back when they were dating.


"Can't Get You Off My Mind" was a single, but didn't become one of Kravitz's big hits.  It peaked at number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1996.  But "Play It Again" has become Luke's fourth consecutive chart-topper from his latest album, "Crash My Party," and the tenth number one hit of his career.  "Play It Again" is currently leading the Billboard Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, as well as the Country Aircheck/Mediabase list.  It's even topping the chart north of the border, holding the number one spot on the Canadian Country Songs rundown.


And Luke is leading another list that's coming out later this week.  He's on the cover of "People Country's" special "Sexiest Men" issue, which will arrive on newsstands Friday.


Dolly Parton Recalls Challenges Of Willie Nelson Duet


Dolly Parton says she loved the idea of making her song "From Here To The Moon and Back" a duet with Willie Nelson.  But she admits singing with him wasn't easy.


Dolly credits Willie with initiating the collaboration.  She says Nelson reached out to her, telling her he could "really play the hell out of that guitar" on the song, and wanted to record it with her it for his 2013 duets disc.  "From Here To The Moon and Back" is the lead-off track on Willie's album, "To All The Girls...,"  and is also featured on Dolly's latest studio effort, "Blue Smoke."


Charlie Daniels Band Releases Dylan Cover Video


The Charlie Daniels Band have a new video to go along with their Dylan covers album.  The group has released a clip to their version of "Tangled Up In Blue."  The video features Charlie and his bandmates in the studio recording the song, mixed with current and vintage performance footage and still photos.  The track is from CDB's latest album, "Off The Grid - Doin' It Dylan."  Daniels recently told it was a project he'd wanted to do for a long time, and was finally able to make it a priority.  He added that it isn't a collection of their favorite Dylan songs but of songs that best match the group's style.  Charlie explained that the band didn't want simply copy Dylan's arrangements, but make the songs their own.  "Off The Grid" is available now.


Ray Stevens Featured In New Film


Ray Stevens has a new film on the way.  The veteran country star tells Nashville's "Tennessean" he's been in Shreveport, Louisiana shooting "Campin' Buddies," a film he describes as "'Dumb and Dumber' go camping."  Ray says he plays the part of a "hillbilly" who enters a contest to win a luxury tour bus.  The plot surrounds a competition that involves catching -- but not killing -- a bird, a fish, and another varmint, and whoever brings in the collection of animals with the highest combined weight wins.


The film also stars "Saturday Night Live" alum Victoria Jackson, whom Ray praises as a "funny" and "very talented lady."  Other cast members include actor Tom Lester, who's perhaps best known for the role of Eb on the 1960s TV series "Green Acres," and former "Happy Days" star Donnie Most.  "Campin' Buddies" is slated for a summer release.


Brantley Gilbert Not Really Ready For Babies Yet


Brantley Gilbert is currently sharing his home with friends who've just had a baby.  The country star says he has no problem living with an infant, and even enjoys helping out from time to time.  But Brantley reluctantly confesses that there's a limit to what he's willing to do.


Brantley adds that there's another aspect to babies he's not ready for -- childbirth.  The singer explains that he's seen a child make its arrival into the world, and it's something he never wants to experience ever again -- unless the baby is his.  Gilbert is currently celebrating a different new arrival.  He's promoting his latest album, "Just As I Am," which features his chart-topping hit "Bottoms Up" and his current single, "Small Town Throwdown."


Country Birthdays Include


Phil Vassar is 50.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1967, Barbara Mandrell married Ken Dudney.  Barbara met Ken when he was hired by her family's band, The Mandrells, as a drummer.  They were married shortly after Ken received his wings as a Navy pilot.


Today in 1988, Kathy Mattea's single "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" was number one for the second consecutive week.


Today in 1991, Travis Tritt's "It's All About To Change" album was released.


Today in 1993, Toby Keith's debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," topped the charts.


Today in 1994, the single "Don't Take The Girl" by Tim McGraw hit number one.


Today in 1996, new album releases included Vince Gill's "High Lonesome Sound" and Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign."


Today in 1999, Brad Paisley made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 2000, Trisha Yearwood and John Schneider performed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC as part of the National Memorial Day Concert.


Today in 2003, Emerson Drive announced that keyboardist Chris Hartman had left the group.


Today in 2005, Keith Urban's "Making Memories Of Us" hit number one on the Billboard country singles chart.  The song kept the top spot for five weeks.


Today in 2006, Lee Ann Womack and Big & Rich were among the performers at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC.


Today in 2006, Montgomery Gentry's hit "Gone" was featured on an episode of HBO's "The Sopranos."


Today in 2009, Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson performed at "The Traler Park Revival Show" at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  The charity event supported the Opry Trust Fund, which helps those in the country music industry who are in financial need.


Today in 2009, George Strait released the single "Living For The Night."


Today in 2010, the Lost Trailers announced that the group was splitting up.


Today in 2011, Kellie Pickler took part in the Indianapolis 500 parade, debuting her single "Tough" at the event.


Today in 2012, Luke Bryan performed his hits "Drunk On You" and "Do I" on "The Bachelorette."  Dolly Parton was also featured on the episode.


Today in 2013, Love And Theft's Stephen Barker Liles became engaged with a beachfront proposal to girlfriend Jenna Kennedy in Fort Myers, Florida.


Today in 2013, new releases included Gretchen Wilson's album "Under The Covers" and John Fogerty's "Wrote A Song For Everyone," featuring collaborations with a number of country stars including Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, and Alan Jackson.


Copyright © 2014

Metro Networks Inc.