Friday, May 28, 2010

Rush to Remarry...


NASHVILLE, TN– After tens of thousands of miles, songs that were heard all over America on country radio, and years on the road together, members of The Lost Trailers will pursue their own projects by the end of the year. The band will continue to tour this year which includes the Country Throwdown tour.

"I'm thrilled to finish playing out the shows on the calendar for our fans; we've been blessed to have their unending support over the years," said lead singer Ryder Lee.  "I'm very much looking forward to the next phase of my career," he continued.

Songwriter and founding Lost Trailers member Stokes Nielson continues, “We started this band as a bunch of high school friends with a dream of making music, and we’ve taken that dream to incredible places that have opened a lot of doors for us. I look forward to thanking the fans on our tour dates throughout this year, they've always been there for us.  I’m excited for the future, continuing to create new music that becomes part of people’s lives.”

Look for further updates on band members in the near future and catch The Lost Trailers on The Country Throwdown Tour, and all over America through the end of the year.

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Cities and Towns Seeking Funds to Save 4th of July Events Can
TM Grants Totaling $100,000

Online Contest to Complement “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular”
Nationally Televised on July 4 on the CBS-TV Network

Facing stretched budgets, cities and towns across America are viewing local Fourth of July events with growing uncertainty, as many municipalities make the tough choice to curtail or cancel fireworks shows and parades. BRING BACK THE 4THTM is a web-based contest through which U.S. cities and towns can compete for one of ten $10,000 grants to continue cherished local traditions such as July 4th fireworks shows, parades, town cookouts, and ceremonies honoring veterans.
Residents from municipalities across America can visit to help earn $10,000 grants for their communities.  On the site, visitors are prompted to take a brief quiz on Responsible Moments in U.S. History, featuring questions about people and events that helped shape our nation.  Each completed quiz counts as one credit towards the site visitor’s town, and the 10 U.S. municipalities with the most quizzes completed on their behalf will win grants.  Website visitors may take the quiz once, and are encouraged to rally neighbors via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter to visit and take the quiz themselves.

     The contest will close on Flag Day, June 14, 2010, and then tally the quiz credits to determine winners and award grants to the 10 cities and towns that prompted the highest participation.  Bring Back the 4th grants will be awarded to cities and towns in three size-based categories: small (four grants), medium (three grants), and large (three grants).

     In addition to the Bring Back the 4th contest, leading home and auto insurer Liberty Mutual also helps America celebrate Independence Day by sponsoring The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, a nationally broadcast CBS Television special featuring conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops orchestra.  Set on Boston’s Charles River Esplanade, last year’s concert drew more than 500,000 concertgoers and over six million TV viewers.  Liberty Mutual – whose sponsorship brings the concert’s 21-minute fireworks finale commercial-free to U.S. households – announced last year it would continue its sponsorship of the event through 2012.  This year’s national broadcast will air on CBS-TV on July 4, 2010 from 10:00 to 11:00 PM EDT.  2010 marks the Pops’ 125th Anniversary.

For BRING BACK THE 4THTM contest rules, please visit 


The COUNTRY THROWDOWN TOUR is announcing the cancellation of four upcoming shows: Houston (6/9), Dallas (6/10), San Diego (6/17) and Phoenix (6/18). In addition, the Bakersfield date (originally set for 6/16) has now moved to Friday, 6/18. Tickets from the Houston, Dallas, San Diego and Phoenix shows will be honored at all other COUNTRY THROWDOWN tour dates (see full dates below) and refunds are also available at the point of purchase. 
Tour Producer, Kevin Lyman, says, “After many attempts to keep these shows, we’re regretfully unable to bring Throwdown to these four markets.” Lyman is citing the following reasons for the cancelations of shows: “Low tickets sales and too many shows competing with one another. We are trying to bring a festival style tour with 21 artists, at a reasonable and fair ticket price (average ticket cost $31), but because most markets are currently flooded with shows, we end up cannibalizing one another and someone ends up with lower ticket sales.”  Kevin adds, “As a result, we can’t afford to keep the show on the road for ALL of its intended dates. It’s a first year tour and we expected year one to be full of key lessons, so that next year-- and there will be a next year--is even better.” 
The COUNTRY THROWDOWN tour has seen crowds as large at 13,500 already. Fans and bands have expressed huge enthusiasm about the concept. Lyman asks fans in the above canceled markets to accept “our sincere apologies” and if they can’t make it to one of the remaining Throwdown shows, “expect to see us back in those markets next year. “ 
See the following video message from tour founder Kevin Lyman to the Throwdown fans regarding the canceled shows:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Willie Cuts His Hair!!!!!!!!!

Opry Guitar Jammers..Steve,Brad,Ricky and Steve


Life Size and a Half Bronze Statue of LeDoux To Be Unveiled

NASHVILLE, TN – May 26, 2010 – A life size and a half bronze statue celebrating the life and legacy of the American music and rodeo legend Chris LeDoux, titled "Good Ride Cowboy," by sculptor D. Michael Thomas, will be unveiled on June 19th during the dedication of Chris LeDoux Park in Kaycee, WY. The statue, which sits atop a guitar shaped base, is of LeDoux riding the horse Stormy Weather, which earned the former rodeo cowboy a world championship. The event and activities surrounding the dedication is free and open to the public.

Official Word on Mindy McCready "Overdose)

NASHVILLE,  Tenn.  (May 26, 2010)--As of this morning, our offices do not have official verification of the medical diagnosis surrounding Mindy McCready's hospitalization.  Her attorney has asked to review the medical records.
We have not been given information to confirm the reports of an overdose or attempted suicide.
It should be noted that the relationship between Mindy and her mother, Gayle, is volatile and unhealthy.  They are currently in the midst of a custody battle for the guardianship of Mindy's son.
We will release accurate information as it becomes available to us.

Lady Antebellum
Nashville, TN – May 26, 2010 - ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum and their fans are joining together to help out Nashville flood recovery efforts.  The trio announced today that all proceeds from their sold out fan club event on June 10 will benefit Nashville flood relief.  In addition, a live stream of the intimate concert will be available on their web site for a minimum $5 donation.   The live stream of the show will be hosted on  After participating in GAC’s Music City Keep on Playin’ benefit at the Ryman, the trio is eager to keep the Nashville flood in the spotlight.

“It was great to be a part of the benefit at the Ryman…to see how everyone is coming together for Nashville and the surrounding areas is really inspiring,” says Dave Haywood.  “We want to keep doing our part because it isn’t over yet...Music City has a long way to go.   Streaming the event online is a cool way for us to include more of our fans in this event, and all the money goes to a great cause.”

To order tickets for the live stream concert please visit

Inaugural Sandestin Music Festival
Slated for August 13 & 14 
Steve Cropper, Jeffrey Steele, Delbert McClinton and More to Perform
NASHVILLE, May 25, 2010 -- The weekend of August 13-14, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort will be the place to be for music lovers of all ages when the first ever Sandestin Music Festival hits multiple stages throughout the resort. Co-sponsored by BMI, the event will feature legendary BMI musician and songwriter Steve Cropper, BMI contemporary country trendsetters Jeffrey Steele, Bob DiPiero, Marty Dodson and James Slater, ace guitarist and acclaimed singer/songwriter Lee Roy Parnell, Grammy-winning blues icon Delbert McClinton, powerhouse country vocalist and Broadway star Lari White, and promising up-and-comer Kree Harrison.
The weekend festival will begin with acclaimed singer/songwriters at Hammerhead’s Bar & Grill from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by a jam session at Rum Runner’s from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Finally, Graffiti & The Funky Blues Shack will take the evening home with a late-night concert from 10 p.m. to midnight.
On Saturday, Aug. 14, the popular Village Events Plaza in The Village of Baytowne Wharf will showcase the weekend’s main headline act.
“We invite everyone to gather their families and join us for a wonderful weekend of top-shelf entertainment,” says John Russell, Sandestin resort chief. “These talented artists represent the best in the industry. We are so fortunate to have such an incredible line up of award-winning performers. This is the perfect way for us to cap the summer season.”
“BMI constantly seeks out new ways for our songwriters to connect with new audiences, and the first annual Sandestin Music Festival is an ideal opportunity,” says Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville. “Live music ensconced in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s paradisiacal setting is a perfect way for fans to really get to know the masters behind the hits.”
About the Sandestin Music Festival
Tucked in one of the country's most inviting stretches of white sandy beaches, the first annual Sandestin Music Festival takes over Destin, Florida's unparalleled Sandestin Resort August 12-16, 2010. During the festival, live music from a collection of top-tier country and pop hit-makers complements the resort's already bustling activity menu, which ranges from golfing and biking to gourmet eats and sunny lounging. The Sandestin Music Festival is sponsored by BMI, the Sandestin Resort, and Southwest Airlines.
About BMI
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 400,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI reported $905 million for its 2009 fiscal year in performing right collections. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for 70 years. The U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

Willie Cuts His Hair!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fins Up Pensacola ... Jimmy Buffett's New Margaritaville Beach Hotel Set to Open This Summer in Pensacola Beach, FL.



    •  pm EDT
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla.May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Margaritaville and Little Sabine, Inc. are pleased to announce the world's first Margaritaville Beach Hotel opening this summer on the pristine white sands ofPensacola Beach, Florida.  
As President of Little Sabine, Inc., Marilyn Hess was finalizing the details to open a gulf front hotel onPensacola Beach, when a phone call from a friend led to a meeting with Jimmy Buffett that turned her life around.  A few days later, Buffett came to tour the nearly completed hotel and invited Hess along on a road trip to his Margaritaville Cafe in Panama City Beach where he planned to stop in for an impromptu performance. After the road trip, Hess, whose ventures include American Fidelity Life Insurance Co. as well as hotels from Orange Beach to Destin, was smitten by Buffett and his associates. "He surrounds himself with fabulous people," she said. "We are so fortunate that he has such a love for our Gulf Coast."
"About a month ago, I had a meeting with Marilyn Hess in Gulf Shores to just look at possibilities of doing something on the Gulf Coast with the Sabine Company, but what happened next was beyond my wildest dreams," explains Jimmy Buffett.  "I guess you never quite know what is going to happen when you take a road trip east on Highway 98; sometimes things come together for a reason.  Having grown up in Mobile,Pensacola Beach was the first Florida I ever saw long before I headed to Key West.  It is great to be coming home and making a commitment to Pensacola and the Gulf Coast, especially at this time.  We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have a great bunch of people to do it.  Fins Up Pensacola, here we come."
The Margaritaville Beach Hotel is set on over 800 stunning feet of gulf front property, with an additional 800 feet overlooking the bay. This new beachfront hotel features 162 guest rooms and suites appointed with barefoot elegance as well as the high tech touches that guests expect and enjoy.  Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, the hotel's sense of place and attention to detail make it the perfect setting for guests who want to escape the everyday, engage their senses and make lasting memories. Anyone who has ever dreamed of escaping to a tropical island and sipping a margarita will enjoy being immersed in the Margaritaville experience at this hotel.
When guests walk through the doors of this Florida Vernacular-styled hotel they will be greeted by a panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico and a warm welcome. Visitors will be served fresh Florida orange juice upon arrival, calling to mind the hospitality of Florida's early years as a vacation destination. The island-inspired surroundings will feature spectacular art, teak and reclaimed oak furnishings, ceiling fans and breathtaking views. The gulf front restaurant will be a great addition to the local dining scene, serving fresh coastal cuisine with a southern accent. In addition to this restaurant a Margaritaville Restaurant will be opened in the next phase of the development giving guests even more entertainment choices.
The Margaritaville Beach Hotel will be more than a destination; it will be an entire change in latitude (and a change in attitude).  Vacationers have the option of enjoying beach activities or just kicking back and soaking in the sun and doing nothing at all (with a cool boat drink, of course). Other features include a business center, health/fitness room and group/meeting facilities for smaller corporate and social events.  A water park is planned for the future which will add to the hotel's high entertainment value.
As expected, music will play a starring role in the overall atmosphere of the hotel with island music on the pool deck and beach pavilion, the Margaritaville station on the in-room SIRIUS Radio and seasonal live music.
"The Pensacola Bay Area boasts 450 years of history, as well as premier museums, breathtaking white-sand beaches, a variety of adventure by land and sea, and now, the world's first Margaritaville Beach Hotel," saidEd Schroeder, director of the Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Community response has been exciting and overwhelming, and we know Margaritaville will have global appeal for visitors. We're thrilled to see the property open in paradise, Pensacola Beach."

First and foremost, the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum would like to extend our sincerest concern and condolences for the loss of life and property experienced by so many of our fellow Tennesseans from the recent floods.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragic event.
Although there is no way to compare our loss to what others are experiencing, we would like to inform those interested about our current situation.
As a result of the city’s decision to have us vacate the museum property in February 2010, through eminent domain, the museum was forced by Third Circuit Court Judge Barbara Haynes to remove everything including all exhibits with 7 days notice prior to the building being torn down.  Many of our artifacts were temporarily stored in the longtime revered performance and storage space of SoundCheck in Nashville.  Unfortunately, SoundCheck was yet another casualty of the floods and in turn so many treasured musical pieces including ours were affected.
Thank you to all of those who have emailed and called asking how they can assist.  If anyone wishes to make financial contributions to The Musicians Hall of Fame to assist in instrument restoration and flood recovery please make checks to The Musicians Hall of Fame P.O. Box 23655, Nashville, TN 37202.
The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum has remained in continued dialogue, when requested, with city representatives, about seeking an amicable solution to finding a new home for the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville, but to no avail at this point in time.
Check out our website later this week for a filmed tour of The Musicians Hall of Fame Museum just prior to demolition.
The Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Awards Show has been pushed back to Spring 2011 due to our current situation concerning our relocation with the city of Nashville compounded with the additional uncertainty of our flood-damaged artifacts.
The MHOF Awards Show has become a wonderful tradition and spectacular opportunity to honor those musicians who have made the music that plays as the soundtrack of our lives.  Today’s musicians are in the studios creating and carrying on the tradition that future generations will also revere and look back on as the soundtrack to this chapter in our cities history, with the knowledge that we will rise again and continue to move forward with the spirit that makes Nashville a special place to be.
Record label executive and philanthropist, Mike Curb, has provided office space for the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, due to the temporary museum closure by eminent domain.
The Musicians Hall of Fame is conducting day to day operations in our new offices that are located in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Business building at 34 Music Square East (formally CBS Records Nashville building. Home of CBS Studio A and the famous CBS Studio B better known as the Quonset Hut which was the first studio built on Music Row.)
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Curb and Don Cusic for their generosity and support as well as all of those who have provided their support during this time of change.  We encourage you to keep in touch with us as we begin planning one of the most spectacular music shows you'll ever see for Spring 2011!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Over 42,000 Fans Attend First Weekend’s Shows

NASHVILLETenn.  (May 24, 2010)  Brad Paisley’s much anticipated H2O World Tour kicked-off this past weekend in Virginia Beach and a sold-out show in WashingtonDC.  Over 42,000 fans came out to the debut weekend of a tour that promises to continue giving fans more for their entertainment value.  Special guests on the tour are Darius Rucker and Justin Moore.

As Paisley took the stage in Virginia Beach on Friday evening it was obvious that it was an emotional time as he looked out to the sea of fans and shouted, “You have no idea what we went through to get here tonight!” as he burst into his current single and show opener, “Water.” 

Later in the show, referring to the struggles of the past few weeks after the devastating Nashville flood, Paisley shared -  “It was emotional, it was heartache, and it took perseverance to get here tonight.  Every member of my team made this a reality and I am so proud of them.  Thanks to you guys for making this difficult time that much more rewarding for all of us out here on the road.”

Water World Plaza, sponsored by Skinny Water and Sea Ray Boats, was a huge success at both tour stops with fans lining up to participate in the free, fun events – slip and slide, dunking booth, Chevy H2O FLW fishing simulator, Chevy ZR1 Racing simulator, and other water related activities.  Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson played to thousands of fans from the Water World Plazastage.

The H2O Tour continues this weekend with shows in Kansas CityMO on Friday and St. Louis on Saturday.

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■ JUST IN: Jimmy Wayne, who kicked off his 1700-mile Meet Me Halfway journey on January 1st, is narrowing in on his destination of Phoenix, AZ.  Jimmy, who is walking to bring awareness to youth homelessness, took a brief break from the road last week to visit Washington DC and speak with lawmakers about his mission, as well as update them on Nashville’s flood relief issues.  Currently, Jimmy is battling extreme heat in the New Mexico desert on Highway 60, approximately 450 miles from his destination.  To track Jimmy’s location status, and for more information on the campaign, click here.

■ JEWEL KICKS OFF ALBUM LAUNCH CAMPAIGN WITH MAJOR TV & RADIO APPEARANCES THIS WEEK: Jewel’s new album SWEET AND WILD [featuring both a regular version and a deluxe version with acoustic tracks of every song on the album under the banner of SWEET AND MILD], doesn’t land in stores until June 8th, but to coincide with the album’s pre-sale [live now hereand live this Tuesday on iTunes with an exclusive live track “Angel Needs A Ride”], the superstar will be making several key media appearances this week.  Monday morning May 24th Jewel kicks off the week with a live appearance on Sirius-XM’s #1-rated Howard Stern program.  Jewel’s segment, which will appear in the 8AM ET hour, can also be viewed online on HOWARD-TV here.  On Tuesday May 25th, Jewel will perform new music on CBS’ The Early Show and also on LIVE! With Regis & Kelly.  While in New York City, Jewel will also pre-tape appearances on multiple Sirius-XM channels to air street week, record an exclusive performance forBillboard LIVE on, and do an exclusive interview for Yahoo!’s fashion portal The Thread.  Following her Tuesday television appearances, the superstar will jet to Tampa to appear live during two different programs on the popular Home Shopping Network (HSN).  Jewel will perform live on the channel Tuesday evening in the 6PM ET hour and again Wednesday 5/26 in the 12PM ET hour.  Then on Sunday, May 30th Jewel will perform the National Anthem at the Indianapolis 500 race broadcast live on ABC.

■ REBA’S ‘UNPLUGGED’ SESSION PREMIERES THIS WEEK ON CMT WITH CROSS-PROMOTION ON MTV & VH1: If you think you’d never see Reba on MTV, think again!  Beginning this Monday, May 24th, Reba joins the list of superstar artists—including John Mayer, Nirvana, Tony Bennett and Rod Stewart—who have appeared on MTV Networks’ landmark series UNPLUGGED.  Re-launched this year with the help of Starburst, the franchise is putting a new twist on things, by cross-promoting the series on its three music-centric networks: CMT, MTV and VH1.  The series will also be spotlighted on each of the channel’s online, mobile and radio platforms, plus on CMT Pure.  In addition to performing her recent hits “Strange,” “Consider Me Gone,” her current single “I Keep On Loving You”, and album tracks “Eight Crazy Hours (In The Story Of Love),” and “I Want A Cowboy”, Reba tried her hand at an unlikely cover song: Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy”.  While it’s not the first time Reba’s covered powerful pop anthems [i.e. “Because Of You”; “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia”; “On My Own”, etc.], it is the first time she’s tackled Beyonce’s catalog.  We asked the superstar what led her to choose that particular song.  “I love the idea of her saying if she was a boy, she’d treat the girlfriend a lot better,” notes Reba.  “I think she’s trying to open his eyes to being more respectful and caring but then she realizes, ‘you’re just a boy...’  Cool song.”  To coincide with the launch of UNPLUGGED, CMT will be spotlighting the performance version of Reba’s current single “I Keep On Loving You” in power video rotation this week.  For more info, visit

■ JUSTIN MOORE TAUGHT HIMSELF HOW TO PLAY AND WRITE AFTER MOVING TO NASHVILLE: Although Justin Moorebuilt a following performing in his hometown of Poyen, Arkansas prior to setting foot in Nashville seven years ago, unlike many artists who move to town, Justin didn’t begin crafting his songwriting and didn’t pick up a guitar until he got to Music City.  We recently asked the rising star how he went about teaching himself, and how he knew what he wanted to say in his songs.  “At first I really didn’t know what I wanted to say,” Justin states bluntly.  “I was just an idiot kid who didn’t know any better to be scared of what I was doing.  We were looking for songs trying to cut to get a record deal, and we weren’t getting anybody’s good material, and now I understand.  They were trying to get it to people that were having hits at the time, and now I totally understand and agree with that philosophy.  But I thought, ‘Well, gosh, I guess I’ll write ‘em myself.’  And I met my producer, Jeremy Stover, and we started writing together.  And ‘Small Town U.S.A.’ was the second song we wrote when I moved here.  The first song we wrote is possibly going to be on the next album.  It was crazy.  I started playing guitar, very badly,” Justin continues, laughing.  “My manager helped me a lot too, helping me learn how to put songs together and play guitar.  I’m still no guitar god, but I can beat on it enough to write a song, which is about all that matters.”  And all that matters is a lot these days.  This week Justin kicked off his run on Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tour in Virginia Beach, VA, and released his brand new single “How I Got To Be This Way,” which follows up two consecutive top 5 hits, “Backwoods” and the #1 breakthrough “Small Town USA”.

■ RANDOM NOTES: Jewel’s brand new music video for her current single “Satisfied” is live now, and airing in Turbo Track rotation onGAC and spinning on CMT, where on the network’s dot com, it was the #1 most-streamed video the first two days of release!  Clickhere to watch the video…Justin Moore received a nomination this week for Music Row Magazine’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year.  Justin joins Zac Brown Band, Chris Young, Randy Houser and Gloriana in the running for the award…This week Reba joined Brooks & Dunn on CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman to perform their hit “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”, promoting the duo’s CBS-TV special airing tonight.  Click here to watch the performance from Friday’s show…Jewel will premiere her new album as part of VELOCITY Broadcasting’s First Spin program on June 7th, the evening before SWEET AND WILD hits stores.  Fans will have the chance to see the live HD broadcast in theaters, Maggiano’s, Morton’s and private clubs via Club Corp in select cities nationwide and internationally in Australia.  Click here to access tickets to the event and click here to watch a special sneak peek of the event with Jewel.

■ BIG WEEK FOR TAYLOR SWIFT: WINS BMI POP SONG OF THE YEAR & NARM AWARD; ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY AT COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME: Taylor Swift won top honors at this week’s BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles, taking home the prestigious Song of the Year award for her multi-genre international #1 smash “Love Story.”  20-year old Taylor is the youngest songwriter in history to win this honor, and the first country winner in more than a decade. The most recent country songwriters honored with this award were Stephanie Bentley for “Breathe” in 2000, Shania Twain for “You’re Still The One” in 1998, and Dolly Parton in 1993 for “I Will Always Love You.”  “Love Story,” which Taylor wrote by herself, was honored for receiving more radio airplay in the past year than any other song played on pop radio. “Love Story” earned BMI’s Country Song of the Year honors in 2009, and Taylor also won BMI’s Country Song of the Year in 2008, for “Teardrops On My Guitar.” That year she became the youngest songwriter in any genre to win the honor, and Taylor is the first female songwriter in history to win back-to-back BMI Song of the Year awards, in any genre.  “Love Story,” from Taylor’s 6x-Platinum FEARLESS album, topped Billboard’s Country, Pop and A/C charts in the US, and became a global sensation, reaching #1 in countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.  “Love Story” is also the most downloaded country single in US history.  Also this week, Taylor was in Chicago to accept the Artist of the Year award from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM).  The award recognized Taylor’s “extraordinary creative and commercial achievements” and her “brilliant and stellar contribution to the music industry in just a few years.”  In Nashville the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum unveiled their update to the Sing Me Back Home exhibition, and Taylor has made several contributions to the new gallery.  Now on display is her first Taylor guitar (a custom-made K-65-CE model twelve-string), and the Reem Acra gown she wore to the 2009 Country Music Association Awards, where she took home four awards, including Entertainer of The Year.  Her Entertainer of the Year Award statue is also included in the exhibit.  In addition, Taylor is featured in her own one-of-a-kind multimedia display in the Sing Me Back Home narrative.  Entitled Taylor Swift: I’m Only Me, the mini-exhibit focuses on Taylor’s innovative use of social networking to communicate directly with her fans and features her own Apple ibook G4 laptop computer.  On the road, Taylor continues her sold-out FEARLESS tour, which spends back-to-back nights in Houston this week.  The tour will then head to Baton Rouge this weekend for the first of two stadium dates, and on to two sellout nights in Washington DC before concluding its 14 month run with a sold-out show at Boston’s Gillette Stadium on June 5th.

■ JACK INGRAM’S “BARBIE DOLL” SINGLE COMES TO LIFE ON COUNTRY THROWDOWN TOUR: “There’s no better place to play ‘Barbie Doll’ that during a hot afternoon festival, with the beer flowing, the girls singing along, and the guys commiserating with me!” observes Jack Ingram from his bus at Saturday’s Country THROWDOWN Tour stop in Chicago, referring to his fan-favorite anthem and current single.  “You know, I love to write a deep ballad like ‘Seeing Stars’, and that is really powerful on many levels, but as far as defining the vibe me and the guys try to create out on the road every night, ‘Barbie Doll’ represents that.”  The tongue-in-cheek song chronicles the back-and-forth courting that happens between a man and a woman, and from Jack’s view on stage, he has seen the situation play out time after time.  “Man, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this song through the years.  It’s pretty funny actually.  Most people who know me know that I can be a smart ass, and this song is certainly written with that slant.  But the crowd is in on the joke with me.  Whether it is ‘Barbie Doll’ or ‘Love You’, which are both very sarcastic songs, it gets people on their feet every time.  I’m having so much fun out here on this tour.  It’s the perfect fit for me and my music.”  Fans can preview highlights from the opening weekend of the tour here and view photos from the tour here.

■ JARON’S TONGUE-IN-CHEEK SINGLE RESONATING WITH FANS & PASTORS ALIKE ON FACEBOOK: While many might expect Jaron’s Facebook wall to be filled with posts of support from fans across the country who have fallen in love with "Pray For You," they might not expect some of those fans to be pastors and priests! Yet, they continue to show their support of the song with dozens of posts weekly. Jaron of Jaron And The Long Road To Love, whose breakout solo single “Pray For You” is this week’s top 20 AIRPOWER title at Billboard, is pleased to see spiritual leaders receive the song as it was intended.  “I hear frequently from pastors who have used the song in their sermon. They seem to be championing the song's cathartic message." Jaron notes.  “It’s ironic to sometimes take phone calls [while conducting radio interviews] from a fan who finds the message 'blasphemous' only to have the call followed by a pastor who defends the song's humorous take.  I've started telling naysayers to ask their preacher what he thinks about the song and inevitably they come back with a different take.  I can honestly tell you that I didn't see that support coming, but I wholeheartedly welcome it."  Jaron’s debut solo album Getting Dressed In The Dark will be released on June 22 nationwide.

■ STEEL MAGNOLIA’S JOSH & MEGAN THANKFUL FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS: Steel Magnolia’s Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones have received their first four major award nominations this year, two nods from the Academy of Country Music earlier in the spring and two nominations for the upcoming CMT Music Awards just announced.  Since the duo got their start last summer on CMT, we asked the rising stars how it feels to have come so far in one year’s time.  “CMT’s just been great to us!” exclaims Meghan.  “It was a great platform to be on that show and expose us to fans.  We’ve had a great partnership with them.  They’ve been playing our video, and it’s just been really great.  So, to have these nominations is incredible.  Last year at this time, we were on the show, and then now to be going to the awards show and have a nomination for Breakthrough Artist and Duo Video of the Year, it’s really cool.”  “It’s getting more and more exciting, as this stuff keeping building for us,” Josh chimes in.  “All this stuff that we’re talking about, I get this grin on my face.  I’m gonna need a grinectomy.  It’s great!”

■ RANDOM NOTES: Jaron of Jaron And The Long Road To Love appeared this week on CMT Top 20 Countdown, where his video “Pray For You” is #18 this week.  Elsewhere in video countdown news, Jack Ingram stops by this week’s GAC Top 20 Countdown, as broadcast from the Country THROWDOWN Tour…Last week we told you about Jack Ingram’s partnership withAmerican Songwriter magazine to spotlight a new song every other week for the next 14 weeks, and this week we can reveal the story behind the first track, “America”.  "I was on tour and went for a walk along the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois,” recalls Jack.  “I saw some folks fishing the banks and passed a VFW hall.  Most songs with references to America always seem to have such grand messages and huge themes.  I was trying to paint a more subtle picture of what it looked like was going on during a normal day in one of the ‘fly over’ states.  I don't fly over these places. I stop and play shows here; a lot of them.  I've never written a song about 'em.  I have now."  Fans can check out "America" here…This week (Tuesday 5/18), VALENTINE’S DAY was released on DVD.  The DVD features music included on the Big Machine-released soundtrack, in stores now.

Tippin Takes Host On Turkey Hunt And Private Flight

Nashville, Tenn. (May 24, 2010)—Country superstar and avid hunter Aaron Tippin welcomed Kristy Lee Cook (American Idol alum) to the neighborhood in Tippin-style. Attending to a CALL OF THE WILD, Tippin showed Kristy Lee the ropes in the woods and in flight. 

Shooting an episode for Cook’s new “Goin’ Country” television show, Kristy tagged along with Aaron in a hunt to tag a turkey on his 400+-acre farm and took flight aboard his 1941 Stearman biplane. The pair headed to the woods decked-out in camouflage and although they returned empty-handed, Aaron taught Cook how to perfect her turkey call.

“The conditions weren’t optimum for a successful turkey hunt—we talked too much!” Tippin explained. “I also wanted to introduce her and the audience to another one of my loves—flying. She was a bit nervous, but she’s a trooper.  She’s a sweet girl; Thea and I really enjoyed having her.”

Flying is second nature to Tippin who became a commercial pilot at the age of 17. He nurtures his love of aviation with his personal private collection of aircrafts, all in ready-to-fly condition.

The new program, which premiered on Saturday, May 22, 2010, will showcase American Idol finalist Kristy Lee Cook and her extraordinary journey through her career in music and her down-to-earth, country girl lifestyle (her love of the outdoors, horses, and the thrill of the hunt). During the weekly program, Cook will visit with celebrity friends who share similar interests. A finalist on American Idol (Season 7), Kristy Lee Cook released WHY WAIT via 19 Recordings and Arista Nashville in 2008; the album featured the single "15 Minutes of Shame," a Top 30 hit on the Billboard country charts. The fall episode of “Goin’ Countrywith Kristy Lee Cook” with guest star Aaron Tippin is set to air in September 2010 on the Versus Network.

For up-to-date information on “Goin’ Country…with Kristy Lee Cook,” visit:
For more information about Aaron Tippin please visit

Purchase of any Cracker Barrel Wynonna product provides donation to Wounded Warrior Project

LEBANON, TENN (May 24, 2010) – As the nation appreciates American service men and women this Memorial Day weekend, Cracker Barrel Old CountryStore is honored to have five-time GRAMMY® Award winner Wynonna Judd share in its efforts to support Wounded Warrior Project. Wynonna’s new CD and exclusive line of retail products have arrived at Cracker Barrel, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each item will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project. Additionally, from now until May 31stCracker Barrel will doublethe portion of proceeds donation for every Wynonna and Wounded Warrior Project retail item sold, including the CD.

“For several years, Cracker Barrel has supported Wounded Warrior Project and the organization’s efforts to honor and empower injured service men and women who have returned to the United States,” said Peter Keiser, Vice President of Marketing at Cracker Barrel. “Given Wynonna’s long history of philanthropy, we were confident that she would share our commitment to support wounded warriors who are making the transition back to civilian life.”

On sale now at all Cracker Barrel locations, Wynonna’s new Love Heals CD features a collection of her top singles and three other tracks that had not been available for sale until now.  One of the new tracks, Let Your Light Shine, is a song that Wynonna and her young daughter would sing every day before school, and it speaks to the importance of being true to oneself.  

Let Your Light Shine is a real affirmation song for men and women,” said Wynonna, a multi-platinum Curb Records recording artist and best-selling author. “So much of what we see in the world is not very life-giving.  This is a very life-giving song.  The message is be who you were meant to be.”

In addition to the Love Heals CD, Cracker Barrel has introduced a collection of retail products inspired by Wynonna’s creativity and spirit.  Wynonna helped design the products that she believes will help women who balance the responsibilities of family, career and their own personal enrichment. The Wynonna retail products include shirts, mugs, writing journals, wallets and other accessories. 

Cracker Barrel is also proud to feature a new collection of Wounded Warrior Project retail products including hats, bandanas, t-shirts and mugs.  Similar to the Wynonna line of products, Cracker Barrel will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of any of these items to Wounded Warrior Project. In fact, from now until May 31stCracker Barrel will double the portion of proceeds donation for every Wynonna and Wounded Warrior Project retail item sold, including the CD.

 “Wounded Warrior Project is deeply grateful to Wynonna and Cracker Barrel for their ongoing support,” said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project. “The funds raised through this partnership will support our injured warriors who have given so much for our country and help us ensure this generation of veterans is the most successful and well-adjusted in our nation’s history.”


Over the weekend, country music superstar Alan Jackson honored the fallen miners and rescue workers from April’s Upper Big Branch mining disaster with a benefit concert performance at the Charleston WV Civic Center.   The 31 families affected and 230 rescue workers who were on site at the nation’s biggest mining disaster in four decades were offered free tickets to the show.  27 families who lost loved ones and the two whose family members survived met with Jackson before the show, including the family of Cory Davis who would have been 21 on Saturday.  His family presented Jackson with a bracelet with David’s birthday on it, and Jackson wore it throughout the show.   
Jackson kicked off his FREIGHT TRAIN tour date with the rousing #1 hit “Gone Country”, and told the packed auditorium that, “We're here to honor the ones that we lost or were injured and we're gonna celebrate their lives with some music."  The show featured some of his biggest hits and tracks from his newest hit album Freight Train.  During the show, Jackson’s long time pedal steel player Robbie Flint, originally from Sylvester, WV, played the haunting ballad “Coalwood”  as the faces of the miners flashed on two large screens on either side of the stage. As each name and face appeared, cheers reverberated through the crowd. Jackson followed the heart-felt tribute with his post 9/11 anthem, "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning.
Profits from the benefit go to the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund, administrated by the West Virginia Council of Churches.  Rev. Dennis Sparks, Exec Director of the Fund said, “Alan Jackson was the right music star for the moment to come to West Virginia and honor the memories of the miners lost at the Upper Big Branch and to all miners who go into the mines each day; his music and performance offers a genuine expression of the hearts of our people. We offer a heartfelt thank you to Alan Jackson, his band and his entire team. The Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund will be enormously enhanced through his concert.”  To make a donation:

Governor Joe Manchin’s office named Jackson an “Honorary West Virginian” for his efforts on behalf of the community.

A native of small town Newnan, GA, Alan Jackson is one of country music’s most respected and honored recording artists and songwriters.  In songs like “Small Town Southern Man”, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” and “Hard Hat and a Hammer” from his newest album Freight Train, the special grace of Jackson’s words and music have made him an eloquent spokesman for the pride and struggles of working families everywhere.   Photos of Alan Jackson:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vince GillBrad PaisleyRicky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner to raise funds
for flood relief, launch Opry’s 85th Anniversary Celebration
NASHVILLETenn.  (May 21, 2010)  When Grand Ole Opry superstars Vince Gill,Brad PaisleyRicky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner pick up their guitars and hit the Opry stage next Tuesday, the world will be able to watch them live. The show will be available via live stream, powered by iClips, at beginning at 8 p.m. Central. The show will also be available on as well as other various web destinations and broadcast live on 650 WSM-AM and The night is set to both raise funds for Middle Tennessee flood relief and kick off the Opry’s months-long 85thBirthday Celebration.
As a part of the night’s show, 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 the Opry’s 85-year history. The four artists-- each known as a multi-million-selling recording artist as well as an impeccable musician-- have together amassed more than 75 Country Music Association and Grammy® Awards.
Throughout the show, fans will be invited to contribute to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and its flood relief efforts. The show will emanate from the historic Ryman Auditorium, as the Opry has been temporarily displaced from its permanent home  --the Grand Ole Opry House-- by this month’s flood.
The night will officially kick off the Opry’s 85th birthday celebration to continue throughout the year as the show that made country music famous celebrates with country music’s most popular artists and biggest fans. Among artists coming this summer to the Opry stage are Luke Bryan, Emmylou Harris, Lady Antebellum, Oak Ridge Boys, Charley Pride, Josh Turner, Wynonna, and Trisha Yearwood.
To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or log on to 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