Image Courtesy Big MachineFans who flip through the liner notes of Tim McGraw‘s brand-new album, Sundown Heaven Town, will notice a seemingly random photo of a teenage girl from the 1960s wearing a mini-skirt and go-go boots is included on the back page. It’s a photograph of Tim’s mother, Betty, in the mid-’60s, around the time she got pregnant with her now-famous son.
When the photograph was taken, Betty was part of a dance troupe that backed up pop stars who played in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Betty was also working on fulfilling her dream of joining the dance team on the ABC music variety show Where the Action Is, when she started up a summer romance with Tim’s father, Tug McGraw, who was playing for a minor league team in Jacksonville at the time.
Tim explains, “She ended up getting pregnant. It was her senior year in high school. She found out she was pregnant with me, and she got a callback to audition for Where the Action Is, and she couldn’t do it because she found out she was pregnant with me.”
Betty had to drop out of school and go to Louisiana while she was pregnant with Tim so no one would know she was an unwed mother.
“To me, that was sort of the moment in time that my mom’s whole life changed,” Tim says of that picture of his mother. “To be on my album project and have a picture of her sort of is full circle in a lot of ways that maybe I helped her fulfill, at least vicariously maybe some of her dream.”
Appropriately enough, Tim’s latest hit is titled “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.” That song is included on Sundown Heaven Town along with Tim’s new single, “Shotgun Rider.”
Image Courtesy Red Light ManagementTimMcGraw and Faith Hill will receive the Nashville Symphony’s Harmony Award at the 2014 Symphony Ball on December 13. The honor recognizes individuals who represent the “harmonious spirit” of Nashville’s music community. In addition to receiving the award, Tim and Faith will perform with the symphony at the event, according to Nashville’s The Tennessean.
Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton and Trisha Yearwood are among the previous recipients of the Nashville Symphony’s Harmony Award. Vince Gill and Amy Grant will host the 2014 Symphony Ball patron party December 9.
Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKennyChesney is scheduled to be all over TV next week to celebrate the release of his brand-new album, The Big Revival. The project comes out Tuesday, and he’ll perform on NBC’s Today program that morning. Kenny will sing on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday before flying to Los Angeles for a September 25 performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The usually press-shy Kenny says, “Normally I don’t get geared up for this much television, but this record makes me wanna get out and talk about it.”
Look for Kenny to continue promoting The Big Revival with a performance on TBS’s Conan on September 29, followed by an appearance on CBS’s The Talk on October 2.
Image Courtesy Michael MonacoLuke Bryan is bringing Cole Swindell and top Nashville songwriters Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, collectively known as The Peach Pickers, along for his sixth annual Farm Tour. DJ Rock and female newcomer Chancie Neal are also on the bill for the trek, launching October 1 at Maple Lane Farms outside Knoxville, TN.
Luke’s Farm Tour will hit eight Southeastern cities, with a portion of the proceeds going to students from farming families in the areas surrounding the concerts. Tickets for all shows are now available at LukeBryan.com.
Here are Luke’s Farm Tour 2014 Dates:
10/1 — Knoxville, TN, Maple Lane Farms 10/2 — Auburn, AL, Ingram Farms 10/3 — Tallahassee, FL, Cross Creek Place 10/4 — Gainesville, FL, Whitehurst Cattle Farm 10/8 — Statesboro, GA, Meldon Farm 10/9 — Athens, GA, Meldon Farms 10/10 — Columbia, SC, Culler Farms 10/11 — Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton‘s new duet with Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight,” has already hit #1 on the iTunes Country Songs chart. Blake tweeted a screenshot of the chart Wednesday with the message, “Sooo…I’m guessing he word is out about my duet with Ashley Monroe…. Happy happy joy joy!!!”
“Lonely Tonight” and Blake’s current hit, “Neon Light,” are both included on his new album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, coming out September 30.
In other Blake news, he and fellow The Voice coach Gwen Stefani engaged in an epic lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Blake showed off his tap dancing skills while lip syncing to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco, but his gender-reversing performance with Gwen on Diana Ross and Lionel Richie‘s “Endless Love” convinced Fallon to throw in the towel and declare Blake and Gwen the winners.
Gwen and Blake join Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams as coaches on the new season of The Voice premiering Monday night at 8 ET on NBC.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr plans to include several songs about drinking beer, partying and driving trucks on his upcoming sophomore album because that’s what he does to have fun. Instead of living near downtown Nashville, Tyler lives south of town in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, which is home to the largest tractor pull in the South.
He tells the Arizona Republic, “There’s not a lot more that you do on the weekends than drink and party. And I write what I know about. So I am gonna have songs that have partying and hot girls and pickup trucks.”
“A Guy Walks Into a Bar” is the lead single from Tyler’s new album, due out next year. Fans can look forward to hearing a collaboration with his friend and tour mate Jason Aldean on the project, too.
Image Courtesy Sugar Hill RecordsLee Ann Womack teamed up with pop/R&B star John Legend to tape a new episode of CMT Crossroads Wednesday night in Franklin, TN.
The eight-song set included the two singers swapping vocals on their biggest hits, including Lee Ann’s “I Hope You Dance” and “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” as well as John’s pop hits “All of Me” and “Green Light.” Lee Ann’s new single, “The Way I’m Livin’,” also made the set list, as did John’s new offering, “You and I (Nobody in the World).”
CMT Crossroads: Lee Ann Womack and John Legend premieres Friday, September 26 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT. Lee Ann’s new album, The Way I’m Livin’, is due out this Tuesday.