Merle Haggard Named Kennedy Center Honoree; Alan Jackson Celebrates Career with Release of ’34 Number Ones’
- Stop the presses: Merle Haggard is one of the five 2010 Kennedy Center honorees for his “lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.” The annual Honors Gala is scheduled to take place Dec. 5 and later broadcast on CBS on Dec. 28.
- Joey+Rory‘s Album Number Two can be streamed a week early on Rhapsody.
- Come November 23, Alan Jackson will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of his debut album with the release of 34 Number Ones, a double-disc collection of his hits plus two rare tracks and the new Zac Brown Band single that he sang on, “As She’s Walking Away.”
- Trailer Choir‘s Mark “Butter” Fortney married Emily Robertson from Carter’s Chord in a secret wedding on Monday.
- The Bluegrass Blog introduced Josh Wilson and his debut album Last Man In the County. (MySpace)
- Bobby Bare Jr. doesn’t feel the pressure of living up to his father’s name:
It’s not like I’m Jakob Dylan. Most people have no idea who my dad is, which I’m fine with. It’s so much of a distraction and frustration for Hank Williams III [son of Hank Williams Jr.] or Shooter Jennings [Waylon’s son], even though those guys embrace it in a big way. I’ve never played my dad’s songs on stage. Justin Townes Earle is the same way. He has never really played any of his dad [Steve Earle]’s songs, because it’s just not his thing. There are different ways to do it.
- When fans attend a Zac Brown Band show, lead singer Zac Brown wants them to tear their clothes off and start eating each other like zombies.
- Last year’s We’re All for the Hall benefit concert turned out well enough that Keith Urban — the event’s organizer — invited friends to throw another one this year. Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, John Mayer, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Alison Krauss and Billy Currington will join Urban at the Oct. 5 fundraiser for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and to add a special touch, Urban asked each artist to play one of their favorite songs from one of their country heroes.
- NashvilleGab has a picture of Ronnie Dunn‘s giant cowboy tattoo.
- The new face of Olay: Carrie Underwood appeared at a special press conference this morning where she was named the first-ever North American celebrity ambassador for Olay Skin Care.
- Registration for the Americana Music Festival and Conference is set to kick off at noon today (about the time this is published) with panels beginning a couple of hours later. Can’t make it? Then snag a free sampler of some of the artists at Amazon.
- Billy Currington scored his sixth No. 1 with “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer.” (Read Karlie’s review here.)
- On Friday, state tourism officials will dedicate the third marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail to Elsie McWilliams, the sister of Jimmie Rodgers‘ second wife. (via That Nashville Sound)
Officials say McWilliams wrote or contributed to music and lyrics for 39 of the songs that Rodgers performed or recorded, although she never received full credit for her work.
However, she became the first woman to sustain a successful career as a country songwriter and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979.
- Aussie sister trio The McClymonts stopped by the American Songwriter office to answer a couple of questions and perform the song “Save Yourself.”
- The title to Sammy Kershaw‘s new album, Better Than I Used To Be, is a bit of a misnomer as far as the album’s content goes, but My Kind of Country’s Occasional Hope still calls it a solid return.
- Nobody toots Jerry Lee Lewis‘ horn like Jerry Lee Lewis:
Out on the driveway, Phoebe Lewis, 47, Mr. Lewis’s daughter with Myra and his manager, shouted for me to wait. “My daddy wanted me to tell you that when John Lennon met him in Hollywood in the early 1970s, he got down and kissed his feet,” she said. “He just wanted you to know that.”
- The HearYa blog recommends you pick up The SteelDrivers‘ new album Reckless.
- Now that Hannah Montana is no more, Billy Ray Cyrus is heading to the SyFy channel to investigate conspiracy theories with his son Trace for a new show: UFO: Unbelievably Freakin’ Obvious.
- Rosanne Cash is teaming up with English rocker Billy Bragg and producer/guitarist Joe Henry to record a new album this fall.
- Dierks Bentley plans to hit up New York City this October for a four night concert series:
Bentley will kick off his New York City residency playing all his chart-topping country hits at the Bowery Ballroom. He will spend the next evening with bluegrass legends the Del McCoury Band at City Winery. The week will progress with an intimate singer/songwriter night at Joe’s Pub where Bentley will be joined by award-winning songwriters Jessi Alexander, Jim Beavers and Jon Randall Stewart. The run will conclude in Brooklyn with acoustic virtuosos the Punch Brothers.
- Corb Lund‘s take on being nominated for new and emerging artist at this year’s Americana Music Awards: “It’s always fun to get called an emerging artist 18 years into your career.”
- Watch Lady Antebellum‘s performance of “These Jeans Are Mighty Tight,” a spoof of the Blake Shelton song “All About Tonight.”
Songwriter Chris Gantry took name-checking to the extreme in his new video for the song “Lee Ann Womack Truck.” (via MusicRow)
- 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.