Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country comedienne predicted Craig Morgan would be a star after hearing him sing the national anthem at age 10? ANSWER:  Sarah Cannon, a.k.a, Minnie Pearl.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Big Revival Paves the Way for “Another Ride” for Kenny Chesney Fans

Allister AnnWhen Kenny Chesney‘s new album comes out next month, it’ll be the end of a chapter the superstar devoted solely to recording new music. He admits not touring this summer did make him feel a little isolated.

 “I’ve felt like I’ve been a cocoon in the studio since last October,” he confesses. “I mean, I’ve traveled some, and I’ve gotten away from music for a little while, but my focus and my vision has been on making music that I think that we can go out there on the road next year and really put the pedal down to.”

With the album now finished, Kenny says it won’t be long until he turns his attention to next summer’s tour.

“I’ve been so busy in the studio really working hard on this music, that I haven’t had a lot of time. I can’t believe it’s this far into 2014, and it’s not gonna be that long until we start rehearsals, until we start dialing in what we’re gonna do and how we’re gonna present ourselves next summer.  But we had to get the music right first, ” he says.

When The Big Revival comes out September 23, Kenny promises it’s just the beginning of “another ride” he’s looking forward to taking his fans on.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWaylon Jennings‘ widow Jessi Colter will host an auction of more than two thousand pieces of memorabilia from the legendary country outlaw, ranging from a motorcycle that originally belonged to Buddy Holly to a pair of boots made by iconic designer Nudie for Hank Williams, Sr.  The auction will be held October 5 at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Dustin Lynch fans who pre-order his new CD on iTunes will be able to download three of the songs instantly: his hit “Where It’s At,” plus “Mind Reader” and “Your Daddy’s Boots.” The album, also titled Where It’s At, comes out September 9.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Chris Young Sees “Lonely Eyes” Play Out at His Favorite Bar

RCA NashvilleEven though Chris Young didn’t write his latest single, “Lonely Eyes,” he says the barroom scene he describes in the tune could’ve been inspired by one of his favorite hangouts in midtown Nashville, not far from Music Row.

“Yeah, I’ve spent my fair share of time at Losers [Bar & Grill],” he laughs. “I’ve seen moments like what I sing about in ‘Lonely Eyes’ go down all the time. I’ve always said the best song wins, and the soaring melody and smart lyrics of this song grabbed me from the first time I heard it.”

Written by Johnny Bulford, Jason Matthews and Laura Veltz, “Lonely Eyes” is the third single from Chris’s fourth album, A.M. His last release, “Who I Am with You,” went all the way to number one.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Darius Rucker, Little Big Town to Reveal CMA Nominees on Good Morning America

Capitol Nashville

We already knew Darius Rucker will unveil his new song, “Homegrown Honey,” next Wednesday on Good Morning America. Now there’s more news: after his performance, Little Big Town will join Darius to reveal the nominees in the five major CMA Awards categories, live on GMA during the 8:30 half-hour.

After the live announcement, Darius and LBT will travel to the Best Buy Theater in Times Square to announce the rest of the contenders. While it won’t be televised, you can stream it live at starting at 10 a.m. ET.

Darius co-wrote “Homegrown Honey,” the first single from his upcoming fourth solo album, with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and their producer, Nathan Chapman.  Look for that CD early next year.

The 48th Annual CMA Awards airs Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sam Hunt Says “Leave the Night On” Is What He’s All About

Image Courtesy David McClister/UMG

Newcomer Sam Hunt considers his first hit, “Leave the Night On” not only the centerpiece of his debut CD, but also a pretty good reflection of who he is musically.

“That was one of the first ones where I felt like, ‘OK, this could be a direction I could go as an artist’,” he says. “That song just hung around and stayed there, and in the end, when we finished the album, it was a song that we felt like would be a good first single, and it kind of represented all of what I wanted to do and kind of represents the record best in one song. And it’s fun. It’s a good uptempo introduction, I think.”

Producer Zach Crowell recorded the CD in the bedroom of his house in East Nashville, which afforded Sam the luxury of time.

“It allowed us to really dig in, and we’d just go over things over and over,” Sam says. “We weren’t confined to a three-hour slot in a studio. We’ve spent a lot of hours just tweaking and working and coming up with sounds and bringing our buddies in who play guitar and having them play on the record.”

Sam brought in members of his band, as well as some folks who’d never played on record before to help with his first CD. But he confesses there were some contributions he didn’t welcome.

“He’s got this little yappy dog that’s running around the house all the time. We have to stop recording all the time ’cause there’s barks coming in the background,” he laughs.

Sam’s EP X2C is available now, with his full-length CD Montevallo coming out October 27.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat’s the first song Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert ever sang together? ANSWER:  “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” during CMT’s 100 Greatest Duets special in 2005.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe one-hour special Backstory:  Dolly Parton promises “an insider’s look at the life and times of the most awarded female in county music.” It premieres August 29 at 5 p.m. ET on Great American Country.  

Tyler Farr, Jamey Johnson and John Michael Montgomery are just three of the stars who’ll play in Colt Ford‘s third annual Celebrity Golf Classic September 15 in Atlanta.

Dierks Bentley joins Blake Shelton as one of the headliners at next year’s Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, Iowa. This will be the second year for the four-day concert series that starts the Thursday before Memorial Day.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Says Commercial Success Never Crosses Miranda Lambert’s Mind

CMAEven though Miranda Lambert‘s latest CD Platinum has already sold half a million copies and spawned the hit singles “Automatic” and “Somethin’ Bad,” husband Blake Shelton says she’s much more focused on emotion and authenticity than on commercial success.

“That’s what I love about my wife is that she wears her heart on her sleeve,” he reflects. “She writes songs and records songs that mean something to her. The last thing that she thinks about when she makes a record is what could get played on the radio. I can honestly say it never, ever, ever, ever crosses her mind.”

Ultimately, Blake believes it’s Miranda’s honest approach that’s translated into such wide appeal.

“I think that’s why especially this community, we look forward to her albums so much because it’s always just a reinvention of herself and it’s always a breath of fresh air from what guys like me are doing, you know,” he jokes.

We’ll find out exactly what Blake himself is up to, when his latest CD Bringing Back the Sunshine comes out September 30.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kelly Clarkson Joins Trisha Yearwood in the Ring for “PrizeFighter”

Image Courtesy Mark Peterson/Food Network MagazineKelly Clarkson contributes vocals to Trisha Yearwood‘s new single, “PrizeFighter,” which also happens to be the title track of Trisha’s twelfth album, her first for RCA Nashville. She says the inspirational song gives her the feeling she can do anything, even when the odds are against her, adding that it “just plain rocks!”

This isn’t the first time Kelly and Trisha have sung together. Last year, Trisha joined Kelly onstage at CMA Music Festival to perform her husband’s hit “Ain’t Goin’ Down Til the Sun Comes Up,” before contributing vocals to a new version of “Away in a Manger” for Kelly’s Christmas album.

Trisha kicks off the Garth Brooks world tour September 4 in Chicago, with her new single set to hit airwaves September 15. It’s her first new music in 7 years.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio