Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJournalist Dan Rather will guest announce the Grand Ole Opry Friday night.

Chris Young‘s new video for “Who I Am with You” is now airing exclusively on CMT.

Lady Antebellum has been welcoming their opening acts Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore on stage during the Take Me Downtown tour for a group performance of Fleetwood Mac‘s “Landslide.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cassadee Pope Reveals the Secret to Winning Singing Competitions

Photo Credit: Sarah MontgomeryA lot of kids hit the beach during their spring break, but Cassadee Pope actually grew up in West Palm Beach, FL. That’s why she spent her time out of school competing in singing competitions.

Cassadee tells ABC News Radio, “I started performing live at about four years old, and I would go to local competitions — get my experience in there. Yeah, that’s really where most of my spare time went.”

Cassadee often tried to perform towards the beginning of the talent competitions so the judges would be fresh when giving her scores.

“Sometimes towards the end they’re tired and they’re over it,” Cassadee explains. “So, they might be like, ‘Ugh, zero.’ You know, ’cause they just want to get out of there.”

That experience obviously paid off since Cassadee went on to win The Voice.

Of note, Cassadee was presented with a platinum plaque for her debut single, “Wasting All These Tears,” while performing on the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night in Nashville.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thompson Square Spending This Month Overseas Entertaining Sailors

Thompson Sqaure via InstagramThompson Square is spending this month overseas entertaining servicemen and women in the U.S. Navy. They’ve already performed in Japan, but the rest of their trek is being kept under wraps due to security concerns. Having their own headlining tour meant the duo’s Keifer and Shawna Thompson could take the time to really support the troops. They both have very personal connections to the military.

Shawna tells ABC News Radio, “My dad was in Vietnam. Through the years, through his having bad health and stuff, I would go down to the VA with him and meet all the other vets and all that stuff. So, it’s really important to us to give back.”

Keifer’s father was in the army, too, and Shawna’s cousin is currently serving in Afghanistan.

Says Keifer, “We got a yellow ribbon around the tree.”

You can see photos of Thompson Square’s overseas tour on their Instagram account.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dwight Yoakam Lands Role on “Under the Dome”

Warner Bros. RecordsDwight Yoakam has landed a recurring role in season two of CBS’ summer hit, Under the Dome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’ll play a barbershop owner named Lyle Chumley, who has a mysterious connection to the Dome.

Lyle also has a complicated history with Dean Norris‘ Big Jim, because he was once romantically linked to Big Jim’s late wife, Pauline.

Under the Dome will begin its second season on June 30.

Dwight’s most recent TV credit is the FX comedy Wilfred. He had a recurring role on that show last year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Makes Extremely Brief Appearance in New Trailer for “The Giver”

The Weinstein CompanyTaylor Swift makes a very brief appearance in the new trailer for the film The Giver, hitting theaters August 15. Fans looking for a glimpse of Taylor as Rosemary, the Giver’s daughter, should fast-forward to the 44-second mark on the trailer and hit pause immediately.

Taylor filmed her part in South Africa last year. Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Brenton Thwaites star in The Giver, based on the futuristic, young-adult novel by Lois Lowry.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Superstar Lineup Announced for CMA Music Festival Nightly Concerts

Greenroom PRThe nightly concerts at this year’s CMA Music Festival were sold out before any artist was announced, but the fans who scored tickets are in for a stellar show.

Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Hunter Hayes are set to perform during the four-day festival, June 5 through 8 at LP Field in Nashville.

Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, The Band Perry, Chris Young, and Zac Brown Band are also on the bill.

The CMA Music Festival will once again be filmed for an ABC concert special, airing later this year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Luke Bryan‘s youngest son’s name? ANSWER: Tate.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kip Moore Writings Songs with Lady Antebellum’s Charles and Dave on Take Me Downtown Tour

MCA NashvilleKip Moore‘s gig opening Lady Antebellum‘s Take Me Downtown tour has led to some backstage writing sessions with the group’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. He’s not sure if any of those songs will be included on future projects, though.

Kip tells the Phoenix New Times, “We’re going to write a little more out here so we’ll see if any of them end up making it out at some point.”

As for being on the road with Lady A, Kip has nothing but great things to say about their touring organization.  “Lady A are really gracious hosts and they’ve been super kind to us,” he says. ” It’s a very different fan base than our fan base so that’s a good thing. It’s been great to get in front of fans I might not get the chance to get in front of.”

Kip’s new single, “Young Love,” will be included on his upcoming sophomore album, due out later this year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCole Swindell taped a performance for ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday. Look for it to air on March 27.

Jerrod Niemann is set to perform his top 10 hit, “Drink to That All Night,” on NBC’s Today on Monday, March 24, the day before his new album, High Noon, hits stores. He’ll perform on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on the actual release date, Tuesday, March 25. 

Kip Moore is offering a $4,000 shopping spree and a chance to meet him at an upcoming concert to the fraternity or sorority house with the most votes at Voting is open through April.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Frankie Ballard Enjoying a “Helluva Life” with Concert Dates Booked Through September

Warner Music NashvilleFrankie Ballard‘s breakthrough hit, “Helluva Life,” has struck a chord with country fans everywhere, and now those fans are checking out the other songs on his latest album, Sunshine & Whiskey.

Frankie tells ABC News Radio, “I’m so thankful for that that it’s such a powerful, moving, emotional tune that it’s naturally created so much interest in the rest of the project. So, that’s really cool.”

Frankie will be performing songs from Sunshine & Whiskey on the road all year long.

“I’m always touring,” Frankie says. “I told my agent a long time ago to keep me out there working, ’cause I get in trouble if I’ve got too many days off. Idle hands, you know, that old saying.”

Go to to see where he’s playing next.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio