Lee Ann Womack to Sing at Maya Angelou’s Funeral; Alan Jackson Plans 25th Anniversary Tour; Nobel Prize Nominee Writes Country Songs

Juli Thanki | June 5th, 2014

  • Last night’s CMT Music Awards winners:

Group Video of the Year: The Band Perry – “Done”

Breakthrough Video of the Year: Cassadee Pope – “Wasting All These Tears”

Male Video of the Year: Blake Shelton – “Doin’ What She Likes”

CMT Performance of the Year: Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie – “Oh No/All Night Long”

Collaborative Video of the Year: Florida Georgia Line with Luke Bryan – “This is How We Roll”

Female Video of the Year: Miranda Lambert – “Automatic”

Duo Video of the Year: Florida Georgia Line – “Round Here”

Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood – “See You Again”

CMT Impact Award: Alan Jackson (he was saluted by Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves who delivered a duet version of “Livin’ on Love”)

  • Lee Ann Womack will sing “I Hope You Dance” at Maya Angelou’s funeral on Saturday. Womack’s biggest hit was one of Angelou’s favorite songs.
  • Jean Shepard is going to hold a book signing on Friday afternoon from 1-2 p.m. at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her new autobiography, Down Through the Years, can be found here.
  • The lineup for The Green River Festival (July 12-13 in Greenfield, Mass.) looks mighty fine: Paul Burch, The Deadly Gentlemen, and Trombone Shorty are among the acts scheduled to perform.
  • Alan Jackson played a surprise show last night. This morning a press conference was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to announce he’ll be embarking on a 25th anniversary tour. The Hall of Fame will also open an Alan Jackson exhibit on August 29; this fall, Jackson will be the HoF’s new Artist-in-Residence and will play two shows on October 8 and 22. More details will be announced shortly.
  • Brian Mansfield of USA Today wrote a piece on Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam.
  • Curly Seckler had another stroke on June 1. The 94-year-old bluegrasser now has partial paralysis on his left side and is currently in a rehabilitation center.
  • Riverfront Park in Beacon, NY has been renamed in honor of Pete and Toshi Seeger.
  • Hank Williams III told The Charleston Gazette that he’s written and recorded a new album that’ll probably be released in 2015.
  • Justin Townes Earle will release an album on Vagrant Records in the fall.
  • CMT Edge posted Jake London’s “Somewhere Down the Road” video.
  • Poet Joy Rainey King, who’s been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times, is also a country songwriter.
  • Billboard reports that Miranda Lambert’s Platinum could sell up to 175,000 copies in its first week. Lambert also had a mighty entertaining conversation with our buddy Jewly Hight.
  • Jeff Tweedy’s next record, Sukierae, will be released September 16.
  1. Dave D.
    June 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Excellent interview with Vince Gill, even if it sucked me into watching the “Go Rest High On That Mountain” video (and getting choked up) again.

  2. Leeann Ward
    June 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I love every inch of that Vince Gill interview! He’s honest without wanting to hurt people, but right on with his assessments of country music and its history. The fact that Brett Eldridge didn’t trust Vince and Keith to play guitar on his song is ridiculous. And what he said about the big stars of the nineties not necessarily hanging out and being good friends is interesting and something I didn’t realize before. Again, the whole interview was wonderful and I could make a bulleted list of responses, but time will prevent me from crossing that line of crazy.:)

    The Miranda Lambert article was excellent too. Jewly Hight sure knows how to write Rolling Stone worty music articles!

  3. Leeann Ward
    June 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Also, I totally hope Vince will record that dark album he talked about in that article! There’s just something about his silky voice singing dark songs like “Molly Brown” and “Billy Paul” that is pure gold!

  4. Leeann Ward
    June 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Also, I think it’s pretty cool that Lee Ann will sing at Maya Angelou’s service. I appreciated Angelou’s enjoyment of country music.

  5. Barry Mazor
    June 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Before “someone” raises the “Alan Jackson is the Artist-in-Residence so next year he’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame” proposition, let me toss in, this time–I hope so. It’s time.

  6. luckyoldsun
    June 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Well, if the rule is that only one “modern” artist gets in per year, then I’ll bet on Skaggs in 2015 and then A.J. in ’16. Both are certainly deserving. The one-time savior of country music who seems likely to be frozen out for awhile is Travis. His string of bizarre personal incidents can’t help.

    Btw, I bet Clint Black’s management is sending out feelers to the H-o-F and letting them know how he has always held the Artist-in-Residence gig in high esteem and that he would never turn down such an invitation.

  7. Ken Morton, Jr.
    June 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    LeeAnn, just a quick correction. It was Brantley Gilbert that didn’t use the house band with Vince Gill and Keith Urban, not Brett Eldredge. The little bit I’ve gotten to know Brett through Golf & Guitars, the more I’ve learned he has a pretty good soft spot for those that blazed a trail ahead of him.

  8. Leeann Ward
    June 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry. That makes a lot more sense! I’ve gotten the impression that Eldridge is a less intense guy than Gilbert. I haven’t been impressed with Gilbert’s swagger in interviews, so I’m not so surprised that he’d be like that…but how jerky of him!

  9. Jack
    June 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Vince was too nice to modern country.

  10. Leeann Ward
    June 7, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Yes, he was a gentleman about it, but his feelings about it were still clear.

  11. luckyoldsun
    June 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

    The Gill interview is great.

    Some of the best parts: As far as Bro Country, Vince notes that today’s artists grew up on Tim McGraw and Toby Keith. The super-sensitive Keith will probably take that as a rip.(lol)

    And we know that George Jones was rather insular when it comes to music. It has been noted that he had never heard of Elvis Costello back in the ’80’s when Costello came to Nashville and started bringing Jones and his songs to a new audience. But now Vince reports that even in the ’90s, Jones still didn’t really get who Keith Richards was–or how big the Rolling Stones are. Too much!

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