Faith Hill Celebrates Post-Katrina Rebuild; Country Music Hall Expected to Double in Size; James Otto Welcomes Daughter
- Faith Hill performed a free concert in New Orleans last night to support and celebrate how far the Gulf Coast has come since hurricane Katrina flooded the area. Chevel Johnson has a recap for The Associated Press.
- Coinciding with the construction of a downtown Nashville Omni Hotel, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is expected to double in size. (via CMT)
- Country singer Bill Phillips passed away on Monday at the age of 74.
Two duets with Florida-reared Mel Tillis reached the Top 30 of Billboard’s country singles chart in 1959 and 1960, but it was not until 1966, when Mr. Phillips recorded a song by then-unknown Dolly Parton, that he experienced major success.
Parton was living in something akin to poverty when Mr. Phillips heard her demo of “Put It Off Until Tomorrow,” a song she wrote with her uncle, Bill Owens. Impressed with the composition and also with the “girl singer” on the tape, Mr. Phillips recorded the song with Parton singing prominent harmony vocals.
The song became Mr. Phillips’ first Top 10 hit, and it launched Parton’s career.
- Backup singer Julie Downs is soliciting prank ideas to use on Brooks & Dunn, who are nearing the end of their Last Rodeo Farewell tour.
- James Otto and his wife Amy welcomed their first child, daughter Ava Katherine, yesterday evening.
- Randy Rogers — whose voice, Tom Roland notes, is like a male version of Tammy Wynette — hopes his band’s new record, Burning the Day, will make audiences outside of Texas take notice:
“I feel like it’s time for us to move up a little bit. And that’s just really natural. It’s not ‘cause we want some kind of accolades or big money or anything like that. It’s just natural. We’re gettin’ so big in Texas that we have to have lights and more production, but then we get outside of the state and we could do without five of us on the road to make the show work [financially]. It’s a little bit weird spot to be in, where in Texas we probably need a couple big rigs and we get outside the state, we would be wasting money if we had [them].”
- Shania Twain is the first client signed to the new full-service management and entertainment company Sandbox Entertainment.
- It might have taken 10 years, but yesterday Jerrod Niemann was finally able to celebrate his arrival with a party for the chart-topping single “Lover, Lover.” Whitney Self recapped the event for CMT.
- Ricky Skaggs on the personal nature of his new album, Mosaic: “I thought I was going to come in and start working on a record and two weeks into this project I realized I ain’t working on a record, this record is working on me. Every song we were doing was working on my heart.”
- Back in April, former CEO of the Country Music Association Tammy Genovese joined The Country Network, which now has an agreement to launch star-hosted music video programming to 17 percent of the country through the Sinclair Broadcast group on Oct. 28.
- If Reba McEntire hits the top of Billboard‘s Hot Country chart with her new single”Turn On the Radio,” she’ll be in a tie with Dolly Parton for the most No. 1s by a female country singer.
- Country California Fake News is on a roll: Willie Nelson Records EP on Coffee Break.
- Celebrating it’s 25th anniversary, the Texas Folklife organization will present its first-ever “Star of Texas Folklife” Awards to three icons of Texas music on Sept. 30: Santiago Jimenez, Jr. (Tejano accordionist from San Antonio), Johnny Gimble (Western swing fiddle player from east Texas), and Barbara Lynn (R&B guitarist, “The Empress of Gulf Coast Soul”). (via Austin Music Source)
- Country Haiku:
Ruby, don’t go out
Or I will take this wheelchair
And run you over
- My Kind of Country’s Occasional Hope gave The Box, the new album from Brennen Leigh, a high mark.
- Awaiting the Flood is giving away two autographed copies of Marty Stuart‘s new album Ghost Train.
- From that same Marty Stuart record, Sounds Country extols the song “Branded” as a having a “Waylon-worthy groove” and echoing classics from Haggard and Cash.
- Ryan Bingham posted a video about the making of his new album, Junky Star.
- On Sept. 10, Martina McBride will join a lineup for the Stand Up to Cancer television event that will be broadcast live and commercial-free on all four major networks. Parade.com has a brief Q&A with her about being a mom, country music, and an upcoming duet with Kid Rock and rapper T.I.
- After listening to The Guitar Song, The Gobblers Knob Kelly Dearmore believes Jamey Johnson exists on a level superior to the rest of mainstream country music.
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.