Tragedy at Sugarland Concert; Vince Gill Celebrates 20 Years with the Opry; New Music Videos
- At least five people were killed and over 40 were injured—some critically—when the entire concert rigging blew over in a storm during the Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday night. Sara Bareilles had just finished her opening number and Sugarland had yet to take the stage. Witnesses tell of a wall of dirt, dust, rain and wind that came up the main thoroughfare of the fairgrounds that struck the stage area, toppling it over onto the VIP section. Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers confirmed the deaths and number of injured and said the injuries ranged from “slight to very critical.” The forty-plus confirmed in hospitals include fans and stagehands. Three children are being treated at Riley Hospital for Children. Both performing acts were okay in the tragedy. Sugarland made this statement: “We are stunned and heartbroken for the fans and their families in Indiana,” Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles said in a statement. “We hold those injured in our prayers at this very sad time. There are no words. It is tragic.”
4:45 p.m. Saturday: The National Weather Service issues a warning for Marion and other counties: “Thunderstorms may be severe with damaging winds and large hail as the main threats.”
8:15 p.m.: Sara Bareilles, opening act of the concert at the Grandstand, finishes her set by noting it’s a beautiful night.
8:43 p.m.: The storm is looming. State Police special operations commander Brad Weaver and executive fair director Cindy Hoye decide it’s time to evacuate the crowd to shelter. But WLHK program director Bob Richards announces that main act Sugarland will begin as planned, at 8:45 p.m. He advises that if the storm gets bad, fairgoers should seek shelter at the Pepsi Coliseum and the Swine Barn.
8:44 p.m.: A gust of the wind topples the rigging above the Grandstand stage.
- The Grand Ole Opry celebrated Vince Gill’s 20th year as a member on Saturday night and played this video highlighting some of his biggest moments on country music’s biggest stage. He honored the recently departed Billy Grammer in song and performed with Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Dickens and wife Amy Grant to numerous standing ovations. Gill’s also got a new song on the radio for the first time in four years. Listen to “Threaten Me with Heaven.”
- Guy Clark’s new live album Songs and Stories is available for $3.99 on Amazon today only.
- Jimmy Wayne is going to have a busy second-half of 2011. He has a book, a new CD and a documentary of his walk across America all coming in and around November. He tweeted this weekend, “4th CD coming soon. -Currently filming a documentary with i25productions. -My first book titled Paper Angels is coming Nov.01, 2011.”
- OklahomaRock.com continues their top 100 Oklahoma country songs countdown.
- American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina will be releasing her debut album Wildflower on October 11th. From the press release: “Lauren’s Wildflower takes its name from her favorite song on the record. ‘I like to have a lot of fun and I’m really sassy, so I feel like a wildflower would be a good description of who I am as a person.’ When describing fans can expect from the album, Lauren explains, ‘I feel like it has a flavor for everybody. It’s a mixture of all different songs, so I hope it will appeal to all different kinds of people. There are fast songs for people who like up-tempos that you can dance to, and there are also tearjerkers for people who like slower ballads. I tried to get songs that are all a little different so that we could bring a fresh feel to each and every song.’”
- Bruce Hornsby is really enjoying touring and getting his bluegrass groove on with Bela Fleck.
- Songwriter and XM/Sirius country music host Fred Imus passed away. Imus co-wrote “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You,” a No. 1 country hit for Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius back in 1976.
- Trace Adkins had a funny interview with Chelsea Handler on the Chelsea Lately show last week.
- The unique Cooter Country series by Laura Bell Bundy has a new installment and music video from her alter-ego Shocantelle Brown.
- Although he’s now resting comfortably at home, Dave Evans from the bluegrass band Dave Evans and River Bend flatlined on the operating table undergoing heart bypass surgery.
- I’m not kidding when I say that Jewel’s album release this week will be on the Fisher Price label. The Merry Goes Round is Jewel’s second collection of children’s music which follows her 2009 release, Lullaby.
- Recent country crossover artist Kristin Chenoweth is one of eight new inductees into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
- Walmart is giving up on selling music downloads.
- Melbourne alt-country artist Jordie Lane immersed himself in the ghost of Gram Parsons for his new album Blood Thinner.
- Matt King is busy building a new album with Ray Wylie Hubbard and is posting some early song creations.
- Most country fans will remember Clay Davidson. He had a string of hits including “I Can’t Lie to Me” and “Unconditional” back in 2000 and 2001. He’s been touring with a new band called Caution that you can listen to here.
- The eclectic sibling act Jypsi is no longer.
- Eddie Bush, who has had some chart success independently with “Thin Blue Line” and with the band One Flew South with “My Kind of Beautiful,” has a new solo song out. Eddie’s brother was killed by a drunk driver at the end of 2010 and “We Shared Time” is written in his honor.
- After two short years on the charts and a number one hit in “What I Really Meant to Say,” Cyndi Thomson walked away from her recording career. She’s recently picked it back up again and according to her website, has a new song called “Slow Me Down.” (Warning: autoplay.)
- Rumors are floating around that Kellie Pickler will be making her acting debut on 90210.
- Great American Country TV will be unveiling a new special on Chris Young next week called Origins: Chris Young.
- Kenny Chesney, Craig Morgan, Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson are among the artists named in the fan-voted Discover Boating Top 10 Boating Songs.
- New (or new to you) music videos with a couple of cool live performances for good measure:
- Ken Morton, Jr.: The inferiority complex of the CMA never ceases to amaze me.
- Barry Mazor: Thanks for explaining that to me, Luckyol.
- luckyoldsun: Barry, I think you're taking it a bit too seriously. CMT has to keep coming up with new lists to make. …
- Barry Mazor: Thi is a world in which the "top 40 most influential country artists of all time" do not include, for …
- luckyoldsun: I just noticed that Garth and King George are still to come. So unless I'm missing something else, the remaining seven …
- Leeann Ward: I hate it when people pronounce the days of the week with a "dy" ending instead of "day." It's like …
- luckyoldsun: Looking at that bizarre CMT Artists' list with Johnny Cash coming in at #8, it raises the question--Who are the …
- Leeann Ward: I'd have to agree with LOS here. The song was fair game to be released. It's no surprised that it …
- luckyoldsun: "'Brotherly Love,' IS a Keith Whitley song. Trying to take advantage of the impact sales, and the tragedy of Keith’s …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, we know that it's technically a Keith Whitley song, as Juli noted above.