The iconic George Strait
stepped out last month to announce The Cowboy Rides Away Tour
featuring special guest Martina McBride
. Strait will take 2013-2014 to tour the country and celebrate his last years of touring with his legions of fans. Concert-goers can anticipate hearing a range of Strait’s staggering 59 No. 1 career hits in addition to some brand new tunes due out next year. The tour kicks off Jan. 18, 2013 in Lubbock, TX. Strait fan club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets now at GeorgeStrait.com
. General public ticketing opens Oct. 12. Limited VIP packages also available. Strait will also be auctioning off two pairs of front row seats, as well as meet and greet passes, to each tour stop. Proceeds from the auction will benefit The Jenifer Strait Foundation
, a foundation that focuses its donations on various children’s charities including Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio
and St. Jude’s Ranch
Toby Keith and SDU Music President Mark Wright, along with Mike Dungan, Chairman & CEO Universal Music Group Nashville, announced that Show Dog and Universal Records South have renewed their joint venture agreement for Show Dog-Universal Music, LLC. “We are committed to expanding our creative investment in all areas of country music,” stated Mr. Dungan. “Show Dog-Universal Music is on solid ground, and is uniquely situated as one of the premier custom-shop labels in Nashville. With Toby and Mark at the helm, I’m confident that they will be able to expand the label even further.” “We are extremely proud to be part of the Universal family and their commitment and belief speaks volumes at this time in the music business,” added SDU Music President, Mark Wright. Since forming Show Dog-Universal Music in 2009, Keith and Wright have expanded the label’s roster to include Trace Adkins, Josh Thompson, JT Hodges, Joel Crouse, Rose Falcon, Jessie James, and Krystal Keith. Fans are anxiously awaiting Keith’s new album Hope On The Rocks, set for release Nov. 13.
has pulled out of a plan to build a $50 million snow and water park in Nashville, citing concerns about Gaylord Entertainment’s
recent move to sell management rights for its several properties to Marriott International
. “Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company,”
said Parton. “Governor Haslam, Mayor Dean, and all the folks in government have been great to work with. I really appreciate their support through this process.”
News Briefs: Darius Rucker will be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 16. Watch live on GAC’s Noteworthy at the Opry. ••• This year’s FREE Capitol Street Party is set for Oct. 17 on Lower Broadway in Nashville. Luke Bryan will headline. Additional Capitol artists will also perform. ••• The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame inducted six new members at Dollywood Oct. 3rd and presented the James D. Vaughan Impact Award to the Oak Ridge Boys. The 2012 SGMA Hall of Fame class of inductees: Charlie Burke, Stuart Hamblen, Jim Hill, Geraldine Morrison, Buck Rambo, and Ace Richman. ••• As part of Country Music Month’s promotions, events, and activities spotlighting the genre and leading up to the annual CMA Awards on Thursday, Nov. 1, the CMA Songwriters Series will return to Nashville on Oct. 31 at Marathon Music Works. Featuring Kristian Bush, Brantley Gilbert, and host Bob DiPiero, the CMA Songwriters Series allows music fans insight into the stories behind some of their favorite songs. ••• Attention all Hank Williams’ fans/music buffs who are making plans for a winter vacation. You may want to think about Montgomery, AL, where big plans are in the works on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to celebrate the man and his music on the 60th anniversary of his death.
Info available from the Hank Williams Museum.
has been chosen as the NRA Country Artist Of The Month
for October. Heidi’s voice and presence in country music first established her as the center stage star of Trick Pony’s
emergence in 2001. She recently released the debut single “Why’d You Have To Be So Good”
from her sophomore solo project expected to launch in 2013. She joins some of country music’s biggest artists in teaming up with NRA Country to celebrate her support of our brave men and women in uniform, appreciation for the great outdoors, and love of family. “Country is much more than the place you were born and raised. To me, it’s about having a love for our beautiful land and a respect for this great nation’s founding principles. I’ve been lucky enough to travel across the U.S., and I think it’s the best place on earth. I’m Heidi Newfield and I am NRA Country.”
Taylor Swift’s new album Red will hit stores Oct. 22 and she will be in New York City for a live Q&A session as part of SiriusXM’s Town Hall Series. The show will air live on The Highway, channel 59, Oct. 22 at 2 pm/ET. The intimate gathering will be hosted in front of listeners by SiriusXM’s Al Skop, and Swift will answer questions from the audience. “There are few artists today who have reached such a large audience around the world and across multiple genres. Taylor Swift has a personality that her fans love and some lucky few are now getting the chance to share the same room with her and ask her questions,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.
LifeNotes: Rollin “Oscar” Sullivan (born Jan. 9, 1919), who starred on the Grand Ole Opry with the duo Lonzo & Oscar for 38 years, died in hospice care in Madison, TN on Sept. 7, 2012. Sullivan leaves a legacy of music and humor, bound together in some of country music’s most smile-provoking songs, including “Did You Have To Bring That Up (While I Was Eatin’),” “Hole in the Bottom of the Sea” and signature tune, “I’m My Own Grandpa.” Visitation and funeral services were held at the Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, with burial at Forest Lawn cemetery, in Goodlettsville, TN. ••• Singer/songwriter Joe South (born Joseph Alfred Souther on Feb. 28, 1940) died Sept. 5, 2012, at his home in Flowery Branch, GA of an apparent heart attack. Among South’s award-winning songs are “Games People Play”, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”, “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden”, “Chain of Fools”, “Down In The Boondocks” and more.
Who would have thought, 52 years after his death, that we would be seeing Johnny Horton
perform some of his great hit songs especially, when Bear Family
began work on the artist’s LP box sets back in the 1980s, only two videos were trading hands among collectors. Now comes Johnny Horton: I’m A Fishin’ Man
(BCD 20120 AT), a set that comprises TV performances, a live show in Detroit, movie trailers, bonus audio tracks and more.
A remarkable collection of clips that, for the first time, allows Horton to be seen as a performer and, apart from as few technical glitches (not too surprising considering the age of the film and all being non-professionally recorded), are remarkable good quality. And, accompanying Colin Escott’s informative notes, the set’s 24 page booklet features some stage shots, reproduction of album covers, and 13 full color photographs taken on a 1959 Louisiana fishing trip with buddy Johnny Cash.
News Briefs: The Roys and Team RealTree Outdoor Energy Drink are going pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The brand launched their new Pink Lemonade Energy Drink in tandem with October’s global month-long Awareness effort, and The Roys are thrilled to be sponsored by such a socially-conscious company. A portion of the proceeds for every Pink Lemonade sold throughout the month will go to fund breast cancer research. ••• Kellie Pickler has signed a recording contract with Black River Entertainment in Nashville. ••• Billy Ray Cyrus will release Change My Mind, his 13th studio album, Oct. 23 on Blue Cadillac Music. The title track and first single is now available at iTunes and other digital retail sites. ••• Eileen Sisk, author of Buck Owens: The Biography (Chicago Review Press, 2010) and Honky-Tonks: Guide to Country Dancin’ and Romancin (HarperCollinsWest, 1995), editor at “The Washington Post” (1982-1992) and writer for newspapers including the “Los Angeles Times,” “Las Vegas Review-Journal” and magazines, including “CMA CloseUp,” “American Cowboy” and “Nevada” wed Chris Fenner in Las Vegas on Sept. 30. The couple resides in Nashville.
Country artist and songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter
and songwriters Tony Arata, Larry Henley
and Kim Williams
were iwelcomed into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Fame
during the organization’s 42nd Anniversary Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony,
held Oct. 7th. The event celebrated the musical contributions of the newest inductees through star-studded performances of some of their biggest hits. •••
In a special tribute alongside the hall of fame inductions, Kix Brooks, Don Cook
and Paul Worley
announced that the 2012 recipient of the Frances Williams Preston Mentor Award
was the late Donna Hilley
, former president and chief executive officer of Sony/ATV Nashville
. Accepting on behalf of Ms. Hilley were her daughters Vickie Arney, Debbie Tenpenny
and Whitney Stewart
In addition to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductions, NaSHOF’s sister organization, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), presented its annual Songwriter Achievement Awards.
The organization’s professional songwriter members voted “I Will Always Love You”
by Dolly Parton
as their Song of the Year
. The song was a mainstay at radio this year following the untimely death of superstar Whitney Houston
in February. •••
The Songwriter/Artist of the Year
was presented for the fifth time in six years to Taylor Swift
, who scored self-penned hits of her own, such as “Sparks Fly,” “Ours,” “If This Was A Movie,” “The Story Of Us,” “Superman,”
and “Eyes Open.” •••
The Songwriter of the Year
prize went to Dallas Davidson
, co-writer of hits such as “We Owned The Night”
and “Just A Kiss”
by Lady Antebellum
, “I Don’t Want This Night To End
” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”
by Luke Bryan
, “Take It Off”
by Joe Nichols
EVENTS Calendar 2012:
• Oct. 15 – Music With A Mission Concert, Nashville, TN
• Oct. 18 – ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards, Nashville, TN
• Oct. 30- BMI Country Awards, Nashville, TN
• Nov. 1 – CMA Awards, Nashville, TN