Merle Haggard Praised at Kennedy Center Honors; Songs From Hank, Willie, & Bob Wills Added to GRAMMY Hall of Fame
- Merle Haggard was among the honorees praised during Sunday night’s Kennedy Center Honors gala.
- The Recording Academy announced inductees for the 2011 GRAMMY Hall of Fame, an institution set up to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old. Songs in the country category include: “Lovesick Blues” by Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys, “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson, and “Steel Guitar Rag” by Bob Willis & His Texas Playboys featuring Leon McAuliffe.
- American Country Awards co-producer Fletcher Foster’s goal for last night’s show was to break an artist.
- Producer Bob Bain shared his own thoughts on the show:
“I call these things variety events masquerading as awards shows,” he says. “The egos of country stars are no greater or less than the other stars I work with. We use the awards as a magnet to get them to the show. Then it’s up to us to do something interesting with them.”
- Even more thoughts and insight from The Tennessean and Our Country.
- That’s enough of the why — the real question is, how did it turn out? Find out in Juli and Karlie’s live blog. As for winners, Carrie Underwood‘s fans helped her spank the competition with six awards, but newcomers like Easton Corbin, who won three awards, had their chance to shine, too.
- What Keith Urban‘s recent duet partner lacks in vocal prowess he makes up for in charisma.
- Country California: Quotable Country – 12/05/10 Edition
- American Songwriter posted a brief Q&A with Chris Stapleton.
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, who’s the one artist you’d want to get a cut with first?
If I get to hear it, Willie Nelson.
- Cracker Barrel plans to release The Grascals & Friends – Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin — an album featuring guests Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, and Dolly Parton — on Jan. 10. Check out the tracklist on MusicRow.
- The Band Perry on their next single, “You Lie,” and the song’s writers, The Henningtons:
They’re a fifth generation farm family from Illinois. We’ve written about one third of the album with them. They came to Bob Doyle’s office one day. They didn’t even have demos for the songs. They had to come personally and sit down and play all their songs. “You Lie” was the first song that they played for us. One of our favorite lines off the whole album is “I never liked the taste of crow, but baby, I ate it.” It was like, we have to have that song.
- Lyle Lovett scored a musical role in the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing.
- Each year, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Kristian Bush returns to Eddie’s Attic for an acoustic solo show. That’s where Paste magazine first discovered Bush as part of Billy Pilgrim, and they were there this year to capture his mash up of Sugarland‘s “Incredible Machine” and a Billy Pilgrim fan favorite, “Insomniac.”
- Juli Thanki recapped Saturday night’s CMA Songwriter Series concert at the Library of Congress, which saw performances from Bob DiPiero, Little Big Town, Brett James, and Lori McKenna.
- If you like recitations, Rodney Crowell‘s “Highway 17″ is a good ‘un.
- At $50,000, a Johnny Cash jumpsuit brought in nearly 10 times was was expected when it was auctioned on Sunday. Cash wore the suit during a rehearsal for his 1969 San Quentin concert and is the same suit he was wearing for the famous “The Finger” photograph. Several other Cash items also went for more than $20,000 each.
- Country California: This Week in Country Music History
1980 – Moved to tears by a chance encounter with a preternaturally furry-faced five-year-old Jamey Johnson, Oak Ridge Boy William Lee Golden decides to stop trimming his beard.
- Ashton Shepherd has new music!
- A debate over Conway Twitty‘s sexual orientation left one man with a pair of broken glasses and a bloodied left eye.
- The Boot: Top Country Songs of 2010 | Top Country Albums of 2010
- Scott Miller has a Christmas EP out titled Christmas Gift. Grab a free download of “Joyful, Joyful,” a song Miller describes as “Dueling Banjos” meets Ludwig van Beethoven, at No Depression. As for the title of the EP, Miller explains:
Why the title, Christmas Gift? We don’t do this in my family, but my wife’s family has a tradition of being the first to say “Christmas Gift” as early on Christmas Day as they can. It’s like a contest. I mean, they call each other on December 25, 12:00:01 AM to yell it in the phone! I have met some other families from Appalachia that do the same thing. I don’t know if it comes from harder times when all they could afford to give each other was a Christmas “greeting” or what, but by titling the EP, Christmas Gift, I get mine in first. Take that, Lane Family of Athens, WV!
- Carrie Rodriguez on Mountain Stage
- Bear Family Records plans to release a five-disc Bill Anderson box set in late 2011.
- Here’s videos of Sara Watkins performing “All This Time,” “Miss My Kisses,” and the fiddle-tastic instrumental “Jefferson” for Folk Alley.
- Applejack: It's not just you, Andrew L. I just listened to the clips on Amazon, and the autotune effect is terrible.
- Andrew L.: Is it just me or does Strait sound horribly autotuned on the clips for the new live album? I can't …
- Juli Thanki: You'll get to hear it pretty soon: The Wall Street Journal is going to stream the album on their website …
- Leeann Ward: Way to go to David Cantwell for getting a name drop! Great interview, Juli! Womack's new album is awesome! I've not always …
- Jonathan Pappalardo: Great interview as always, Juli! The new album is fantastic. "Same Kind of Different" is my favorite cut although "Fly" is …
- Dave D.: Good interview. Looking forward to the new record, and particularly interested in hearing her version of Brennen Leigh's "Sleeping with …
- nm: I guess it's not surprising that a singer who gets her songs all over the place, the way Womack does, …
- SunsetPark: As a Pennsylvanian to this day, thanks for the list. I haven't heard the Quecreek song and so can't …
- Paul W Dennis: I would urge readers to check out the Billy Edd Wheeler salute on October 18, 2014. Billy Edd Wheeler is …
- Leeann Ward: I'm really liking Pink's folk duo song! I'm looking forward to the album!