Thursday, April 29, 2010

Show will kick-off months-long party featuring
special shows and events to last through December
Nashville, Tenn. (April 29, 2010)  Grand Ole Opry superstars Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner are picking up their guitars and hitting the Opry stage Tues., May 25 to officially launch a months-long celebration of the Opry’s 85th birthday with an all-star guitar jam. As a part of the night’s Tuesday Night Opry, each Opry member will take the stage individually followed by a guitar jam finale featuring the group’s take on some of the most popular songs in Opry history. The four artists-- each known as a million-selling recording artist as well as an impeccable musician-- have together amassed more than 75 Country Music Association and Grammy® Awards.
The night will light the fuse on a celebration to continue throughout the year as the show that made country music famous celebrates its 85th birthday with country music’s most popular artists and biggest fans. 
Among the highlights of the celebration launching May 25:
Guitar Greetings:  Two new 20-foot, 3,000-pound steel and aluminum Opry 85th guitars will be unveiled outside the Grand Ole Opry House, officially welcoming visitors to the Opry party. Both fans and superstars will also be invited to sign other oversized guitars on display throughout the landmark birthday year, and larger than life Opry 85th décor featuring Opry members including Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels,Loretta Lynn, and others will cover much of the front façade of the Grand Ole Opry House.
Star-Packed Shows:  Opry performances are scheduled for up to four days a week this summer (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) with upcoming performances by Lady Antebellum, Oak Ridge Boys, Charley Pride, Josh Turner, and more.  Opry Country Classics runs Thursdays through June 17 and again this fall at the historic Ryman Auditorium, and HEE HAW alum Mike Snider honors the Opry’s rich country comedy traditions in Pickin’ & Grinnin’:  A Grand Ole Comedy Revue on select dates June through October in Studio A at the Opry House. Meanwhile, the songs of one of the Opry’s most enduring legends, Patsy Cline, are set to take center stage at the Ryman this summer in the return of Always…Patsy Cline.
In Pictures:  A gallery showcasing some of the Opry’s most memorable moments captured by the Opry’s official photographer for over a decade, Chris Hollo, as well as past staff photographer Les Leverett is one of three new exhibits set to open in celebration of the Opry’s 85th in the Grand Ole Opry Museum, located steps away from the Opry House.  Other exhibits will spotlight the Opry in the first decade of the new millennium, including artifacts from Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, Carrie Underwood, and more; a third salutes late Opry icon Porter Wagoner.
Be Our Guest:  The Opry has for years welcomed famous fans from all walks of life to its stage, including every U.S. President from Richard Nixon through George W. Bush.  Recent guests including Garrison Keillor and Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and have played a part in the Opry by acting as Opry guest announcers. In celebration of the Opry’s 85th, a who’s-who of celebrities will appear as guest announcers while the show will also launch an “I’m With The Band” series. “I’m With The Band” will invite personalities from outside the country world who have an interest in music to sit in with the Opry band for a song on country music’s most revered stage.
Stars’ Guitars:  As country music devotees descend on Nashville for CMA Music Fest, a  June 11 Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction will give fans the unique opportunity to bid on acoustic guitars decorated by some of country music’s most popular stars including award-winners Luke Bryan, The Judds, and Darius Rucker.  Proceeds will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, which has for more than 40 years assisted members of the country music community in need.
Birthday Bash: The Opry’s 85th Birthday Bash weekend featuring Opry Birthday Shows and an Opry Plaza Birthday Party is scheduled for Oct. 8 – 9.
To plan an Opry visit or book an Opry 85th vacation package, call (800) SEE-OPRY or log on to Schedules of events, Opry 85th sweepstakes, and more will be continuously updated throughout the celebration at  The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®.
About the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week fromNashvilleTenn.  Celebrating 85 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and The syndicated weekly program, America’s Opry Weekend, airs on country radio stations across America and on the Armed Forces Radio Network. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels.  For more information, or

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mentor Shania Twain with her "Idols"....

Taylor Swift Jets to Auburn University for Fan Surprise

AUBURN – Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Taylor Swift made a special appearance in Auburn today to surprise two students, who have been on a quest to receive a hug from her, and to give a mini-concert for those involved in the venture.
  • Auburn students Michael Wekall and Ryan Leander had the idea in January, and started a website,, featuring videos detailing their mission to get a hug from Swift.
A Facebook group dedicated to the project has nearly 8,500 members.


NASHVILLETenn.  (April 26, 2010)  Brad Paisley’s new video for his current single, “Water,” can be viewed now on,, CMT and GAC.  The video is directed by Jim Shea, who also directed Paisley’s award winning videos “Waitin’ On A Woman,” “Start A Band,” “Online” and “When I Get Where I’m Going,” and most recently “Welcome to the Future.”  “Water” is from Paisley’s current album, American Saturday Night and the single is currently No. 14 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart and No. 18 on Mediabase Country Singles Chart.

The majority of the “Water” video was shot at Bluewater Scuba in FranklinTN.  Paisley and band spent the better part of one day submerged in water – instruments and all.

“We had a blast making this video.  The band and I were soaking wet for most of the day, but that was okay.  It reminded me of when I was five years old and mom and dad would take me to the pool,” laughs Paisley.

Hilarious and sometimes painful home videos are used throughout the video and were acquired through radio contests from across the country.

“Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D”  Opens w $1 Million+ --First 4 Showings Best ALL Major Adult Music Films Entire Runs Except U2 & the Stones

     Los Angeles, CA: After a star-studded Las Vegas premiere - that included friends Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Reba, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Dierks Bentley and Jewel -- “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D” arrived in 3D theatres nationwide. Aside from the confusion that the movie is not receiving continual showings and is ONLY being screened in 3D theatres, it's opening night screenings were strong enough to make it the #7 movie in the nation - and by Thursday, it had out-earned all the 3-D films by legitimate music acts except the Rolling Stones and U2.

     “This isn't the same kind of animal as a straight theatrical release,” Chesney said of the film that captured 6 NFL stadium shows on his million+ ticket-selling Sun City Carnival Tour. “And I hate that people didn't understand you had to find the time the film would be shown, and that all theatres are not capable of screening it… because this film is as much about those faces as it is about reliving last year's pretty amazing summer!

     “In spite of that, when the director called to tell us our first night we'd out-performed the entire theatrical showings of some very big acts, I was thrilled. Because it means that the people who came out last summer and over the last 8 years, they wanna remember how good it felt just as much as we do… and they figured out how to get out of the house at very specific times for an unconventional film.”

     Obviously, U2 and The Rolling Stones were in theatres for extended runs - and Chesney's film, which grossed just over 1 million dollars in its first four days. Is currently slated for only one more week in the theatre. With late additions last weekend of Friday night showings and midnight movies, word did not get out to the fans, but somehow people still managed to find the showings.

     “The biggest challenge is helping people understand: you need to see it now. You need to know it's not playing over and over, only at specific times. It is a finite run. But especially, all the fans are pretty amazing to see. As I've said in a bunch of interviews: so many times when I'm in the midst of a show, I'd stop and think, 'I wish they could see how this look and feel what I feel.' To me, the beauty of this movie is now you can - you 
truly can know how it feels on that stage with us.”

     As “Ain't Back Yet,” the end theme from “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D” makes its move towards the top of the charts, the second week of showings gears up to begin again this Wednesday. Locations and tickets for the film can be found at - or fans can go to, where a dollar from 
each ticket purchased will go to the National Parks Conservation Association, via Chesney's association with Nature Valley Granola Bars.

     “It's crazy… seeing how big these shows are, how loud the crowds are, how much this music means to the people,” says the high energy performer. “If someone had told me one day our shows would be a movie - let alone a 3D film - I'd've thought they'd lost their minds. But watching the faces and the band, it's the most natural thing in the world - and I'm so glad it's out there and rocking.”


Critics Buzzing with Early Praise Of The Bluegrass-Influenced Album

(Nashville, Tenn. – April 26, 2010) – Award winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will debut the lead and title track from his forthcoming bluegrass-influenced album UP ON THE RIDGE on the Tonight Show with Jay Lenoon Tues., April 27.   The track, written by Bentley and Angelo Petraglia, features Petraglia on acoustic guitar, Sam Bush on slide mandolin and background vocals by Alison Krauss.

“This is the most fun I’ve ever had making music,” says Bentley.  “The songs, the production, the collaborations...everything came together so organically and’s been a blast.   Now, we’ve got tv offers and a tour...I feel the same excitement and nervousness I felt when we were getting ready to release my first album 6 years ago!”

As anticipation builds for the artistically-daring collection, music critics are stirring with a first taste of the June 8, 2010 release.  CMT’s Chet Flippo predicts it will be a “career landmark” for Bentley, andMusicRow magazine is already calling it “the first masterpiece country album of 2010.”   

To preview a short film on the background of UP ON THE RIDGE, click here:

Bentley kicked off his UP ON THE RIDGE tour of 24 shows in 30 days this past weekend with sold out crowds in Portland, OR; Boulder, CO; Colorado Springs, CO; and Austin, TX.  He continues on through May 22 with a final show at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.  For a full list of appearances and tour dates, as well as more info on the upcoming album, visit

StageCoach festival Indio,California 2010

New Single is First Release from Adkins' New Album with 
Show Dog-Universal Music
Trace AdkinsNashville, TN (April 26, 2010) - Country music superstar,Trace Adkins is gearing up to release his highly-anticipated new single, "This Ain't No Love Song" onMonday, May 17. Written by Tony Lane, Marcel and David Lee, the song is the lead single from Adkins' forthcoming album on Toby Keith's newly formed recordlabel with Universal Music Group, Show Dog - UniversalMusic. 
As the title states, it's not your typical love song from Adkins but a tune on the subject with a clever twist. Adkins' voice shines to the point where you wonder if the song was written especially for him. The platinum-selling singer pulls in equal parts of a melodious ballad mixed in with some backwoods country charm.
"We are so pumped to have Trace join our roster, and equally as excited that he has given us such a fantastic album," stated Mark Wright, President, Show Dog - Universal Music. "The first single is a great example of how Trace can take a lyric and put the listener right in the middle of the storyline. This is a perfect match of a brilliant communicator delivering an incredible piece of music."
"Toby has said this new music has a smile on it and maybe that's just a reflection of where I'm at right now," says Adkins.  "I have this new sense of invigoration and making this record was a lot of fun."
Throughout his stellar career, Adkins has charted nearly 30 singles to date, with 14 Top 10 and three #1 hits. His albums have been certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum and surpassed sales of 10 million.
Adkins will debut his new single at the 59th Annual Miss USA pageant that airs LIVE onNBC, Sunday, May 16 from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas (7:00 pm ET/PT). Adkins' new album, Cowboy's Back in Town hits stores nationwide August 24.
For more of the latest news and information, visit

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            
April 26, 2010
Jake Owen Plans Fan Club Party!
 First Annual Fan Event To Take Place During CMA Music Fest in Nashville
Nashville, TN – RCA Nashville recording artist Jake Owen is excited to celebrate with his fans – during his first-ever OFFICIAL fan club party this June! The event will take place on June 11th at 12th and Porter in Nashville, TN and is FREE to active fan club members. Tickets are limited, however, and will be awarded to the first 300 fan club members who sign up! Sign up begins on Owen’s website ( on April 28th. Winners will be announced in the weeks prior to the fan club event.
Currently Jake’s brand new single “Tell Me” from his sophomore effort Easy Does It is impacting radio now, and recently entered the billboard country singles chart where it sits at number 45 and is rapidly climbing. 
Later this month, Jake hits the road with newly-minted winner of the ACM’s “Top Female Vocalist” Miranda Lambert on her “Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars” tour with a stop in Bossier City, LA on April 30th.
In May, Owen will open Sugarland’s “The Incredible Machine” tour, with dates in the Northeast. This is not the first time Owen joins the award-winning duo on tour – a previous tour together produced a collaboration on the recording of “Life In A Northern Town” which earned him a GRAMMY nod.
For a complete list of upcoming concerts and more, visit Jake online at
Since releasing his debut album, Startin’ with Me, in 2006, RCA Nashville recording artist Jake Owen has celebrated five consecutive Top 15 singles.  Owen has appeared on such national programs as ABC’sGood Morning America and the primetime CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock, and has toured non-stop with the biggest names in country music.  Jake has received nominations for Country Music Association Awards, a GRAMMY Award, and was named Top New Male Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April of last year.  His sophomore album, Easy Does It, released on February 24, 2009.

New CD will benefit Wounded Warrior Project 
Wynonna Judd - Love Heals - www.wynonna.comLEBANON, TENN (April 26, 2010) – Multi-platinum Curb Records recording artist and five-time GRAMMY® Award winner Wynonna Judd has joined Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® in its support of Wounded Warrior Project with the release of Love Heals, a collection of Wynonna’s top singles and three other tracks not available for sale until now.  The new CD can be pre-ordered beginning today and will arrive in all Cracker Barrel locations on May 24th.
In addition to sharing new music with her fans, Wynonna is honored and humbled to support Wounded Warrior Project and its efforts to assist wounded service men and women and their families.  Cracker Barrel will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every Love Heals CD to Wounded Warrior Project.  In 2008, Wounded Warrior Project started coordinating retreats for caregivers who help their wounded loved ones facing a range of physical and mental challenges.  The retreats provide the caregivers with rest, rejuvenation and a place to connect with other caregivers.
“I am deeply moved by the caregivers who take on the responsibility of caring for our wounded warriors,” said Wynonna. “I appreciate Cracker Barrel for their continued support of Wounded Warrior Project and its mission tohonor and empower wounded warriors as they continue life beyond the injury.”
Beginning today, fans can pre-order the Love Heals CD by visiting the Cracker Barrel website ( The exclusive CD features many of Wynonna’s biggest hits (No One Else On Earth, Only Love and She Is His Only Need) along with three tracks that have not been available for sale, including Let Your Light Shine, a new song never before released.
“We’re very excited to provide our guests with this collection of Wynonna’s most popular songs,” said Peter Keiser, Vice President of Marketing at Cracker Barrel. “Wynonna welcomed the idea of producing a project that would benefit our nation’s service men and women.  Her appreciation of veterans is very sincere, and we’re honored to have Wynonna by our side as Cracker Barrel continues its support of Wounded Warrior Project.”
During the pre-order process, fans can also register to win Weekend with Wynonna in Music City Sweepstakes.  The grand prize package includes a trip to Nashville to meet Wynonna and see her perform at the Grand Ole Opry®.  The lucky winner will also get to visit many of Nashville’s top attractions.  Other prizes including autographed WynonnaLove Heals CDs and complimentary meals at Cracker Barrel.  Pre-order and contest information can be found on the Cracker Barrel website (

Lady Antebellum

Tune In April 28 for the Trio’s
 Performance on American Idol
Lady A Sells Out First Headlining Show
 in NYC at The Nokia Theatre

NASHVILLE, TENN – April 26, 2010 – ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum’s sophomore album NEED YOU NOW was certified DOUBLE PLATINUM last week, while the title track was simultaneously certified TRIPLE PLATINUM.  The album is now spending its 12th week at No. one on the Billboard Country albums chart.
“We’ve dreamed about these types of milestones, but when it starts to become a reality, it takes a while for it to really settle in,” says Dave Haywood.  “We are just trying to take it all in and enjoy the moment and hopefully make our incredible fans really proud.”
Before collecting five ACM awards as both artists and songwriters, the group taped a performance of the title track on Fox’s American Idol that will air on April 28, 2010.
The trio hit another milestone last week selling out their first headlining show in New York City planned for May 10 at the Nokia Theatre.  
For a full list of Lady A’s headlining tour dates, visit

Garth Brooks to Sun Valley for Benefit

On Sunday, August 1, 2010 country music legend Garth Brooks joins the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for this year’s annual Benefit Concert.  This is a special engagement for which there will be only one show at 6:30pm.
Long-time Sun Valley resident and supporter of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Steve Wynn assisted in arranging for Garth Brooks’ appearance in Sun Valley.  About this event, Brooks says, "I have never done anything like this, but Wynn says, ‘it's the best!’ so I am very excited about the evening!"
Certified by the RIAA as the #1 selling solo artist in US history, Garth Brooks has sold in excess of 128 million albums.  He is the only solo artist in RIAA history to have 6 albums top the 10 million mark. His most recent release The Ultimate Hits has been certified 5 x platinum. In 2007 Garth became the first artist to put out a simultaneous edition of his latest collection for a charitable cause. The “pink edition” of The Ultimate Hits was and is available only at the Susan G  Komen website. His body of work – including the groundbreaking , and  – propelled country music as a genre to the front pages of newspapers worldwide and the covers of magazines, to the point where Forbes declared on its cover, “Country Conquers Rock” and featured Garth in a major music piece. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Garth Brooks is the top-selling solo artist of the 20th century.
The key to his record-setting success lies within the personality and talent of Garth Brooks.  It has been said that through the 1990s, Garth’s only real competition was himself. He brought daring individualism and a love of music to the table.  His wide range encompasses a variety of styles which include working class blues, honky tonk, bluegrass, and arena rock.  His easy-going, approachable charisma was matched only by his fearless willingness to take chances and step outside the lines. He has had an unprecedented run so far, and opened the doors for many more country artists to follow.
Garth has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist, including:  2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 5 World Music Awards, 12 People’s Choice Awards, and 36 Billboard Music Awards.  He was named Artist of the ‘90s at the 1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, received the Artist Achievement Award at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards in 2000 and the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1999.
In the midst of one of the most successful careers in music history, Garth retired in 2001, delivered his last record for Capitol Records and moved back to Oklahoma to raise his children.  While in retirement when called upon by events greater than his own self-interest, he returned to the stage. The latest of these was when the President himself requested that Garth headline President Obama's Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. He performed as Barack and Michelle Obama, their girls, Joe and Jill Biden and a crowd of over 300,000 lined the mall from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the Washington Monument. It was a moment in history when all did the "wave" to Garth's performance of "Shout" while the President sang along. Once again, Garth was called upon by the network to perform for President Obama’s very first late night TV appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay. When the Governor of California asked for Garth's help he responded by performing five concerts in two days where proceeds from 83,000 tickets sold were donated to efforts to prevent fire catastrophes from happening again. Portions of the live concerts were shown as a TV special titled, "Garth Brooks: Live in L.A.” where viewers donated to the organization Fire Intervention Relief Effort (FIRE).
Oct. 15th, 2009 Brooks announced that he was out of retirement.  "I am naturally nervous, but it feels good to be out from under the low ceiling of "retirement" I put on myself."  Brooks has entered a 5 year "relationship" with Las Vegas resort developer, Steve Wynn.
In Sun Valley, Garth Brooks will perform solo and together with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony orchestra.  The Benefit Concert is the only fundraiser the Symphony does each year which supports its free concerts and music educational programs for the Wood River Valley community.
Public ticketing information and the procedure for purchasing tickets for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony Benefit Concert will be available in June.  Parking, ticketing and general concert information will be available at and in June.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

■ JEWEL ANNOUNCES COMPANION ACOUSTIC TRACKS TO ‘SWEET AND WILD’…’SWEET AND MILD’: Jewel’s second release on Valory,SWEET AND WILD (in stores June 8th), will offer fans not one, but two versions of the songs on the album.  The alternate versions of the studio tracks will be acoustic in nature and will represent the songs in their original state.  “The only other difference is how I color my songs. My fundamental songwriting has not changed one bit,” Jewel says of presenting two different snapshots of the same song on her second Country project.  “How I produce the music does change.  Now I can add weeping steel to emphasize a poignant lyrics…or I can use a rolling picked banjo to bring an uplifting forward movement to a chorus, instead of layering another electric guitar to get some lift for a chorus. To drive this point home - I decided to release a double album called ‘Sweet And Mild’.  It's the exact same record and the exact same sequence, but it's all solo acoustic.  Zero production.  It's just me and my guitar.  These are the tracks I cut at my home studio by myself, and these are the tracks I took to Nashville that Nathan [Chapman] and I created the album around.  Here they exist in their most pure state, as they were written.  They are blank canvases that can still go any which way.  Naked songs, waiting to be dressed and told what they are.  Sometimes we really changed the song when we dressed them up, [while] others stayed very similar to what was already there.”  For a full explanation of the recording process for this album and details on the songs included, click here to read Jewel’s latest blog from her website.

■ REBA SAYS SHE’S HAVING MORE FUN IN HER CAREER NOW THAN SHE EVER HAS: It’s no secret that Reba loves what she does.  She always approaches each chapter in her career with her signature drive and dedication, but what may come as a surprise to some is that she says she’s never enjoyed her career more than now.  “I think I’m having more fun now that I did 10, 15 years ago,” Reba tells ACM Tempo in a recent interview.  “There are so many new people.  To get to see and meet the new people, that’s the fun part!  It’s so exciting in country music right now.  The veterans are still there, but the newcomers are coming on.  It’s just so much fun to see the newcomers coming on, and still be part of it – and I’m grateful that they’re still letting me be part of it.”  And part of it is she ever!  With “I Keep On Loving You”, the follow-up single to the longest-running #1 of her career “Consider Me Gone”, quickly headed for the chart’s pinnacle, her latest album being certified Gold, and a wildly successful co-headlining tour with George Strait poised to unveil a fall leg, Reba’s career has never been hotter.  This week, Reba will tape an edition of CMT Unplugged at Studio 330.  Reba was selected to represent Country music as part of MTV Networks’ multi-genre re-launch of their Unplugged series, which will be featured across CMT, MTV and VH1’s multi-media platforms when it premieres in May.

■ JUSTIN MOORE TALKS ABOUT STAYING FLEXIBLE TO ‘BACK THAT THING UP’: Female fans attending Justin Moore’s concerts certainly know the rising star moves a lot, with hip-swivels and a stage persona reminiscent of Dwight Yoakam and Trace Adkins.  With all the moves he pulls on stage, we asked Justin if it takes a lot of warming up to perform like that each night.  “You know, I’m an idiot, ‘cause I don’t stretch or nothin’,” Justin notes with a sigh.  “I just take a couple shots of whiskey and that seems to do the trick.  I get out there and feel fearless.  I just let the music lead me and, man, I do get into it.”  The music has been leading Justin into a lot of great places lately, including the radio top 10, where just this week the Arkansas native picks up his second consecutive Top 10 record.  “To be serious though, about the warming up, I should definitely start doing that, or I’m bound to hurt myself.  I have been working out a lot lately.  I still look scrawny, but I feel better than ever.”  Fans will be able to check out Justin’s signature stage moves this week when his solo tour picks up in Manhattan, KS.  Justin will also begin his run on Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tournext month.

■ JIMMY WAYNE EARNS PRAISE FROM ‘LADIES HOME JOURNAL’ FOR HIS ‘CRAZY IDEA’: Jimmy Wayne is currently featured on Ladies Home Journal’s popular website, where he is praised for his Meet Me Halfway initiative. Written by managing editor Ron Kelly, the piece can be found in the ‘Do Good” section of the website here. The feature applauds Wayne for his work on behalf of homeless teens, particularly foster children who ‘age out’ of the foster care system.  Meet Me Halfway began as what Wayne himself called “a crazy idea.” That idea was to walk halfway across America in order to generate awareness of homeless teens, especially foster children.  Wayne himself was in and out of the foster care system throughout his childhood, and even homeless at one point as a teenager.  So on January 1, 2010, Wayne began his approximately 1700-mile walk from Nashville to Phoenix, departing from Monroe Harding Group Home, with the ultimate destination, HomeBase Youth Services in Phoenix, AZ. Both facilities serve foster children.  Now closing in on nearly 1,000 miles of walking, Wayne is expected to reach Phoenix by mid-June, a longer amount of time than originally expected, but according to Wayne, well worth the journey.  “I have met some incredibly kind and generous people along the way,” Wayne said “I have been able to talk to them and tell them about these foster kids who, when they reach  the age of 18, often end up homeless because they have no support system and nowhere to go.  We need to do something about that.  We need to make changes.”  To keep up with Wayne’s journey, click here.

■ RANDOM NOTES: With the intriguing title ‘Jewel Really Can See Russia From Her House’, fans of the superstar will want to check out the latest in her series of exclusive AOL blogs hereJustin Moore performed a high-energy version of “Backwoods” last weekend in Seattle at the Puyallup County Fair.  Click here to watch it courtesy of KMPS…In case you haven’t checked out Valory artist iPhone Apps, be sure to discover Reba’s hereand Jimmy Wayne’s hereReba performed “I Keep On Loving You”, from her #1-selling album KEEP ON LOVING YOU, on last weekend’sAcademy of Country Music Awards.  Click here to watch the performance.

■ WITH THE HELP OF DIERKS BENTLEY, JACK INGRAM BRINGS HIS SELF-DESCRIBED BIGGEST HIT EVER TO 12.5 MILLION PEOPLE: Although it has never yet charted on any national tally, Jack Ingram names “Barbie Doll” the biggest hit of his career.  And with the help of Dierks Bentley, Jack brought his live anthem to the 12.5 million people watching last weekend’s Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas with a raucous performance.  [Click here to watch it.]  “You know, that song has always been a ‘buddy’ song to me,” proclaims Jack.  “I wrote that song with my friend Todd Snider, and originally recorded it ten years ago.  Then, through the years, the song has taken on a life of its own, becoming our biggest live hit.  So when I was putting finishing touches on the ‘Big Dreams & High Hopes’ album, I thought it would make perfect sense to record this with Dierks.  I knew he was a fan of the song and, I knew he, like me, had spent plenty of nights playing clubs where he saw the scene in the song play out over and over again.  We had such a great time recording this song, and you know, that’s really what it should be about anyway.”  Jack has just launched a solo version of the song on Play MPE this week that features “The Little Big Lost Beat Up Ford Funky Times Freedom Choir”, otherwise known as Little Big Town, The Lost Trailers, Randy Houser, James Otto, Jedd Hughes, Blu Sanders, and of course Dierks, on background vocals.  
■ AMERICAN GREETINGS BRINGS MORE TAYLOR TO FANS AND SHOPPERS: As the sponsor of Taylor Swift’s sold-out FEARLESS 2010 concert tour, American Greetings this week announced a concert ticket giveaway in 10 select US cities. Fans and greeting card enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to enter by becoming a fan of American Greetings on Facebook. A random drawing of concert tickets and weekly prizes will be given away to support the exclusive partnership between American Greetings and Taylor Swift. The contest ends on May 31, 2010.  Taylor’s cards for your life stories and love stories arrived in retail stores earlier this year. The eclectic line of cards is a true reflection of the singer/songwriter’s creative style, and the authenticity of her writing immediately resonated with consumers of all ages. Now, the unique features that have made her paper cards such a success are being brought to life online through new e-cards from  Featuring the music of hits like “Love Story” and “Fearless,” the designers at American Greetings Interactive have created e-cards to celebrate the love shared between friends or that special someone, along with a reminder to be fearless on your next birthday. Currently, five e-cards are available with more cards being added to the collection in the coming months.  The new e-cards can be found online at

■ MELISSA PETERMAN TO STAR IN NEW CMT SCRIPTED SITCOM; ANCHORS THIRD SEASON OF ‘THE SINGING BEE’ PREMIERING THIS SUMMER: As first tipped to Deadline Hollywood this week, CMT has ordered pilot presentations for three new scripted comedy series this year, one starring the host of the network’s #1-rated original program The Singing Bee, Actress Melissa Peterman.  Melissa, who just inked a comedy deal with Big Machine Records in February, will star in Working Class, written and executive produced by Jill Cargeman (Gary Unmarried) and produced by Melissa Peterman and her manager Darris Hatch.  The multi-camera project stars Peterman as a blue collar, single mom moves into a home she can barely afford in an affluent neighborhood in order to provide the best life possible for her kids.  In addition to taping the pilot season for Working Class, Melissa will be extremely busy this summer.  Not only does she return for a third season of The Singing Bee on CMT this summer, the multi-media entertainer will also be hitting the road on a solo stand-up tour this summer, record her debut comedy album for Big Machine, and prep to return to arenas in the fall as part of the second leg of George Strait and Reba’s co-headlining arena tour.  Stay connected with Melissa via Twitter here.

■ STEEL MAGNOLIA THINKS ‘KEEP ON LOVIN’ YOU” HAS BEEN PERFECT SONG TO LAUNCH THEIR CAREER: Steel Magnolia’s Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones have a passion for songwriting, but they know a great song when they hear one regardless of who wrote it, and that keen ear led them to record their debut top 10 single “Keep On Lovin’ You”.  This week the duo told us just what it was about the song that they connected with.  “I think a big part of it was the demo, actually. Chris Stapleton and Trent Willmon wrote the song, and Chris sang the demo,” recalls Josh.  “And if you’ve ever heard Chris Stapleton sing, he has the most amazing voice I think I’ve ever heard in my life. The way he sang it with so much soul.  He just brought it to life.  As soon as we heard it, it fit our style totally.”  “I have a lot of soul influence being from New Orleans and growing up in southern Louisiana. It just felt good,” Meghan chimes in.  “It felt like one of those songs that you hear on the radio, and you would turn it up and you’re jamming in your car to it.  If we were going to put out a song, I think that was a great first single choice.”  The single continues its chart climb this week, as it propels from #10-#8 on Billboard and #9-#7 on Mediabase!

■ TAYLOR SWIFT STARS IN SONY ELECTRONICS COMMERCIAL PREMIERING MONDAY; REVEALS MORE INFO ON NEW MUSIC: Taylor Swift will be in a Sony Electronics commercial featuring the Sony TX7 Cyber-shot camera, set to premiere on Monday. In a Sony Electronics videoTaylor filmed to promote the ad, she shares, "It's really cool to partner up with Sony for this commercial. I'm so excited about it." The superstar claims the panorama mode she demonstrates is "really cool" because you can sweep it along and get a panorama shot of what's around you. She adds, "I'm still really pretty amazed by it."  In the clip, as documented by Dial Global Prep, Swift says she is really excited about her upcoming new album that she has been working on for the past two years. She reveals, "It's already really very far along in the process and I'm so excited about taking a lot of time to finish it up this summer. Taylor also discusses if she will continue to pursue acting opportunities. She reveals, "Music had always been my number one priority, so touring is always going to take precedence - and making my album and writing it and recording it is always going to come first. But, if I read a script that really knocked me over, I would, of course, have to go for it. Because I've always been about telling a great story, and whether that happens with music or whether that happens on screen, that's always something that I'm always going to jump at the opportunity to do."

■ FROM CMT.COM: JARON OF JARON AND THE LONG ROAD TO LOVE GIVES BACK STORY OF NEW ‘PRAY FOR YOU’ VIDEO: So why exactly is Jaron of Jaron And The Long Road To Love so pissed off in his "Pray for You" video?  The one where he's wishing all kinds of evil things will happen to his ex?  Well, enter the prequel.  His brand new video for the song may be coming "after," but it gives you a look at how bad the relationship was "before."  "This second-version idea?  Not mine.  I wish it was my idea.  But Monte Lipman and Scott Borchetta came up with it," Jaron told’s Alison Bonaguro.  "I wasn't so sure about it.  I was skeptical and hesitant.  But they wanted to justify why a seemingly nice guy like me would sing a song like this.  They wanted a video that answered questions like what happened to this guy, and why's he so angry, and show it in a dark comedic way."  As for casting Jamie Pressly (who plays Joy on My Name Is Earl) as the root of all evil, that was pretty brilliant.  "Another idea that wasn't mine.  Someone brought her up and we were all like 'yes!'  Originally I wanted my real ex (Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco) to do it.  I think she would've really tried to kill me in the video, and that could have been really funny too," he said.  Fans can view the original clip here and the new version of the video here.

■ RANDOM NOTES: In case you haven’t checked out Big Machine artist iPhone Apps, be sure to discover Taylor Swift’s here and Jack Ingram’shereSteel Magnolia’s Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey were named the best-dressed couple by AOL at last weekend’s ACM Awards.  Click here to see the photo from the red carpet…Taylor Swift performed “Change”, from her 6X platinum album FEARLESS, on last weekend’sAcademy of Country Music Awards.  Click here to watch the performance.

A full day of celebration. And surprises. - 9th Annual Dale Earnhardt Day Celebration - April 29, 2010

This year’s Dale Earnhardt Day Celebration is bigger than ever. This can’t miss event is headlined by a very special “Tribute To Dale” unveiling for the fans by DEI, Richard Childress Racing, and JR Motorsports along with special announcements from the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet and Club E, the Official Fan Club of Dale Earnhardt. This year’s full schedule:

(All on the campus of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. unless noted)

5:45am – 8:45amCharlotte’s Fox News Rising Remote Broadcast with Wilson!
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. opens to fans
  • Showroom and retail
12:00noon – 2:30pm
Mac’s Speed Shop BBQ lunch is available for purchase
  • Special complimentary cake presentation at 1:00pm
12:30pmThe Chris Marks Band   - Great Live Country Music
2:30pm – 3:30pmSpecial Presentations – WEBCAST LIVE
  • Dale Earnhardt Foundation Announcement:  Hosted by Winston Kelley
  • Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Hall of Fame Camaro Unveiling – Hosted By Winston Kelley
  • “Salute To Dale” announcement (Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Jr. Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing), car unveiling, “Talkin’ About Dale” Q&A with Earnhardt Family Members hosted by Chocolate Myers
3:30pm – 4:00pm Fan meet and greet, photos & autographs with more music from the Chris Marks Band
5:00pmDale Earnhardt Inc. Campus Closes – Celebration moves to Kannapolis, NC
5:45pmKannapolis Intimidators Tribute Car Unveiling at Fieldcrest Stadium in Kannapolis, NC
6:00pmGates Open – All fans wearing Dale Earnhardt gear get reserved seats for $5
7:00pmKerry Earnhardt and a lucky Club E fan throw the 1st pitch – Play Ball
Click here to learn more.
Note: Please bring a new or slightly used children’s book to Dale Earnhardt Day to support the Dale Earnhardt Foundation and the Salvation Army Book Drive.

Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
1675 Dale Earnhardt Hwy #3
Mooresville, North Carolina 28115
Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

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Dale Earnhardt, Inc. | 1675 Dale Earnhardt Hwy #3 | Mooresville | NC | 28115