Jerrod Niemann and His Fiancée Are Asking for Charitable Donations Instead of Wedding Presents

Image Courtesy CMAJerrod Niemann and his fiancée, Morgan Petek, will be married next month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but they’re not looking for traditional gifts from their friends and family to celebrate the wedding.  Instead, Jerrod and Morgan are asking for donations to his charity, Free the Music USA, to benefit music education programs.

The couple tells People, “We can’t think of a better way to honor our upcoming nuptials than to combine the two things that we love the most: music and helping others.”

Jerrod and Morgan have been dating since 2005.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIt looks like fans of ABC’s Nashville will be getting a holiday album from the cast this Christmas season. Rascal FlattsJay DeMarcus posted a photo with the show’s star, Connie Britton, and vocal coach, Valerie Morehouse, on Instagram with the caption, “Wrapping up the Nashville cast Christmas record…Gonna be a great record!!!” The new season of Nashville premieres Wednesday, September 24.

Dierks Bentley suggests you pick up Tim McGraw‘s latest album, Sundown Heaven Town. Dierks tweeted, “Love that he is always trying to take the music to new places.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Will Have Played All 50 States After Her Saturday-Night Show in Hawaii

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is taking her Platinum tour to Honolulu, Hawaii, this weekend in order to reach a big milestone.

She says, “I’ve never played Hawaii. It’s my 50th state to play. My whole career, I’ve played in 49 states. I think I finished off the 49th in Rhode Island a couple years ago.”

Miranda has never even been to Hawaii before this weekend, and she plans to spend some time on the beach after she’s finished entertaining her fans.

“Might as well kill two birds with one stone,” Miranda says with a laugh. “We’ll work and go on vacation.”

Taking her band and crew to The Aloha State is a way of saying thank you for their loyalty throughout Miranda’s career.

She says, “My newest of my core group of crew and band has been there seven years, and I take a lot of pride in that. I really believe if you treat your people well, they treat you well.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Includes Tribute to His Mother’s Sacrifice in Sundown Heaven Town Liner Notes

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.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to Receive Nashville Symphony Harmony Award This December

Image Courtesy Red Light ManagementTim McGraw 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.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Will Be All Over TV Next Week to Promote “The Big Revival”

Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney 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.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Luke Bryan Taking Cole Swindell and a Few Other Friends Out on His Farm Tour 2014

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

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

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Blake Shelton Tweets Excitement About New Duet with Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”

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.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLee Ann Womack sang her signature hit, “I Hope You Dance,” at the recent funeral of which major literary figure? ANSWER: Maya Angelou.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tyler Farr Plans to Keep Singing About What He Knows on Upcoming Sophomore Album

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.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio