Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Back to the news…

August 25, 2008

angela-hacker Since this is an “inbetween Fairs” week, I thought I’d get you caught up on what’s going on right now in country music.

First of all, how many of you remember Angela Hacker, winner of the fifth season of Nashville Star. I liked her, I liked her music. I often visit her MySpace page to listen to songs from her first album, The Winner is Angela Hacker.”  Sadly, Angela has joined the ranks of other Nashville Star winners, Buddy Jewell and Brad Cotter, who are currently without a major record label.

Miranda Our most famous Nashville Star contestant (she didn’t even win the show), is Miranda Lambert. She finished in third place, and shortly after her platinum-selling 2005 debut album, Kerosene, went to the top of the country charts. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend followed Kerosene, and also produced some chart-toppers for Miranda. On Saturday, Aug. 23, Miranda and one of the members of her band were on line in an Xbox Halo3 competition with her fans. She is also Xbox’s artist of the month.

Rascal Flatts fans will enjoy hearing that the group has put together Rascal Flatts Greatest Hits Volume 1. Some of the songs included in this great album include Prayin’ For Daylight; I’m Movin’ On; I Melt; and one of my favorites, Feels like Today. I got to see this group perform a few years back at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, and someone told me I should go again – the guys gets better every day.

 TaylorS I just got my Sept. 6 issue of Country Weekly magazine in the mail. Taylor Swift got the cover, and a story called Lessons I’ve Learned. In the exclusive interview, Taylor talks about family and friends, falling in love and being a role model. It’s a good article. Country Weekly writers always do a great job with their stories.

For fans of Tammy Wynette and Marty Robins, there are a few DVD’s you might want to pick up, or get on your Christmas list this year. They are the first two in a planned series of DVD’s, putting television performances from the entertainers careers on to DVD’s for us to enjoy. I’m definitely a fan of the old country music…and the new… and the stuff in the middle, too.

026_26 I want to thank Country Weekly magazine for seeing in Randy Houser what I saw nearly three months ago. In a brief in the new issue, titled “The Voice of Country’s Future,” CW said “He’s one of country’s newest and brightest!” I couldn’t agree more. His first single, Anything Goes,” is being played on radio stations all over the country.

Don’t forget that Randy will be making his national television debut on Thursday, Aug. 28, on Late Night with David Letterman. It airs on CBS at 11:30 p.m. here in East Tennessee, but please check your local listings for time and network, because you won’t want to miss this one.

That’s all for tonight. Thanks again for reading my chatter… and thank you all for the comments and e-mails you’ve been sending my way. Talk to you real soon!


Raising money for kids… concert info… and more

August 15, 2008

395580-R1-11-13A_012 LeeAnn Rimes, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, and other entertainers, have all donated personal items to an online auction. The proceeds form the auction will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In addition to one of Keith’s old T-shirts, bidders will get to make offers on autographed shirts, their favorite artists’ memorabilia, and even a pair of boots worn by Dwight Yoakam.

St. Jude is a charity that is very near and dear to my heart,” Keith said. “Our fans have always graciously offered their support in past fund raisers we have done for St. Jude, so I think this auction will be a great success”.

To find the online auction, go to and while you’re there, just about any of those items would make a great Christmas present … for me, perhaps. *smiling*

LadyAConcert 021 Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum did a few concerts together early this spring, including one in Bristol, TN, which I went to and it was great! They are now teaming up again to be part of “CMT On Tour.” The tour will begin at Western North Carolina University on Oct. 8, and finish up on Nov. 22 in Bangor, Maine.

And, Eric Durrance, who opened for Lady A in Bristol, will be opening for them again on the CMT Tour. The tour is scheduled to hit 20 different college towns (Hey! We’re a college town!)… For a complete tour schedule, go to  If these guys get anywhere near you , You will definitely want to go see them!

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We’re still waiting for to hear Eric Durrance on the radio, but anyone who has seen him in concert knows it provably won’t be long until we do. He put was a great opening act for Lady Antebellum back in May, and it seems the Country Music Television people think so, too.

DBently Our country favorites all seem to be doing their part in rising money for their favorite charity. Dierks Bently is again hosting Miles & Music for Kids, a celebrity motorcycle ride and concert in Nashville this October.

The event has raised more than $250,000 in the past two years, with all the proceeds going to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. The hour-long ride through Nashville begins at 2 p.m. at the Harley Davidson of Cool Springs, and ends at Riverfront Park. Following the ride, a concert is held at the park featuring Dierks, Tim McGraw, John Rich, and many other performers.

Concert tickets are $20, and the donation to participate in the ride is $50 – which not only gets you into the ride, and the concert, but also gets you a commemorative T-shirt.

Tracy Lawrence 1 Everyone in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia ready for the Appalachian Fair? Monday is the night! Tracey Lawrence will be there, and so will I! I hope to see you there, too.

Thanks for reading! Remember to drop me a line whenever you have the chance. It’s nice to get mail from nice people like you.


Put a Redneck in the White House?

August 12, 2008

Chad Brock Chad Brock, who had a few country hits about 5 years ago, thinks it is the right time to put a redneck in the White House. I’m not sure how serious he is about the whole thing, but it’s pretty obvious he plans on having some fun with it.

Chad is currently working as the morning DJ for a radio station near Tampa, Fla.  He just released a single called “Put A Redneck in the White House,” and you can hear it by going to his MySpace page.

“People think rednecks are folks who drive big trucks, drink beer and hunt all day long,” Brock explained. “But that’s not rednecks. You have rednecks in every state in this wonderful country—they get up every morning, and they go to work in factories or on farms or at desks, and they struggle every day to make ends meet. They’re paying four dollars a gallon for gas, and trying to keep food on the table for their families. They’re having a hard time, and I think they’re ready for a redneck in the Oval Office.”

He was quick to admit that he knows his chances of winning are slim (I’d say VERY slim), but he hopes speaking out will bring some positive change. Good for you, Chad!

chad-brock-artist-photos During the “She Said Yes” and “Lightning Does the Work,” Brock days, I had the pleasure of meeting Chad at the Fair in Gray. And I will say one thing for him. He certainly didn’t let any of his success make him a stranger to the fans. In fact, one of WXBQ’s DJ’s at the time, Gunner Jackson, was setting up to broadcast from the fair, and Chad was throwing a football around. Gunner went over to toss a few with the entertainer, and asked him, “Are you with Chad Brock’s road crew,” to which Chad replied, “No, I’m Chad Brock – let’s pass this thing for a while.” A true story about a great country entertainer – who just might one day be the leader of the free world….. (I don’t think so, Brock).

Brock’s single “Put a Redneck in the White House” should hit radio air waves this week. It’s his first single in more than four years. By the way, his campaign slogan is “A Common Man for the Common Man.” Ok, Brock – It’s catchy.

I’ll talk to you guys soon. Thanks for the e-mails! Keep writing, and keep letting me know what you want to see in Country’s Chatter!


Back in the Saddle

August 11, 2008

GeorgeStrait George Strait’s 27th Annual Team Roping Classic has been set March 13 and 14, 2009, in San Antonio, Texas. The event will feature ropers from 500 teams who competed earlier this year for $660,000 in cash and prizes. 

Anyone interested in buying tickets, or registering to compete, can get all the details at (George Strait Team Roping Competition). Even if you can’t rope, ride, or even attend the March event, I know you will enjoy visiting the web site. It’s filled with event into; photos from previous events; news; results; and general information. And of course, it lets you know how you can get your tickets for March.

Johnny Cash A few days ago, I told you about the Christmas album coming out, which will team today’s top female country singers with the late, great Elvis Presley. Now, we have another new release coming out in October. This album is Johnny Cash Remixed. The album, which has the approval of the Cash family, even has rapper Snoop Dogg on the remix of “I Walk The Line.”

Country Music definitely keeps getting more interesting.


Keith Anderson, who appeared at the Appalachian Fair a few years back, took a little time away from touring to take Country Weekly Magazine with him on a bike tour of the Rockies.

Keith sports a “No Fear” tattoo, and he obviously takes it seriously.

I had told you all a while back that Keith’s first career choice was baseball, and he was in fact signed by the Kansas City Royals until that career got put aside due to an injury.  But, he’s still very much a sportsman. Be sure to check out the great article in Country Weekly (week of Aug. 25, 2008). It’s the one with Alan and Denise Jackson on the cover.

Jake copied All of Jake Owen’s fans are gearing up for his Wednesday, Aug. 20, appearance at the Appalachian Fair. And, they probably already know this – but, I’m going to share it with the rest of you. Jake will celebrate his birthday on Aug. 28, just a week after he is in Gray. So, I think the Gray show would be a great time for all of us to get our cards and little gifts ready and deliver them to Jake at the Fair. Or at least we could all join in together for a loud (probably off-key) East Tennessee version of “Happy Birthday.”

That’s all for tonight. I hope I get to meet a lot of you at the fairs! Talk to you soon!

Happenings in country music…

August 8, 2008

Anyone who ever wondered what Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans or LeeAnn Rimes would sound like singing a duet with Elvis Presely won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

A new album, called Elvis Presley Christmas Duets will include many of his greatest hits turned into collaborations with several of today’s stars. “Ill Be Home for Christmas,” is a duet with Carrie, and LeeAnn will add her voice to “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

352391R1032A_32A_111 Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Amy Grant, and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapaman will also have recordings on the new CD.

According to a news report form 1290 CJBK, Priscilla Presley praised the project, saying “We are so pleased that these accomplished artists are collaborating with Elvis in this unique way to make exciting new versions of his Christmas Songs. I am sure Elvis would be proud to have worked with them.

MerleH Merle Haggard, a legend in country music, has found a way to promote living a green lifestyle, backing it up with a little star power in the spring of 2009. The Green Train, a team coined by Merle and musician Bob Wolfe, will be traveling to 28 states this year displaying different ways to help the environment.

They plan on touring the country in six weeks, starting in Portland, Oregon and ending in Washington, D.C.  During the trip they will put on nine concerts in large venues, and put on 21 smaller acoustic performances in smaller cities. The tour will also include organizations with booths that show sustainable products.

I’m going out of town for the weekend, but I’ll be back with something new early next week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Drop me a line and let me know how you spent your time away from work!


Bus accident, cookbook… and more

July 30, 2008

MarkC1 Mark Chestnut and his band were involved in an accident in their tour bus, while driving back to Nashville this past Sunday morning. They were headed home following a performance in Ft. Worth, Texas, when the bus was rear-ended. Police cars at the scene said a young male driver was driving 100 mph, without a license Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the young driver did total his car.

Best known for songs like “Bubba Shot the Jukebox,” “Too Cold at Home,” “Blame it on Texas,” “Gonna Get a Life,” and “Goin’ Through the Big D,” Mark said he really prefers the bus to flying, and of course added, “I’m really, really glad all the boys are all right.”

Trisha1 Trisha Yearwood has added “author” to her list of “things I’ve done.” She’s compiled a cookbook called “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen. The cookbook is being called wonderful, and is full of down-home style cooking, using recipes form her family.

I’m not sure if “She’s in Love with the Boy” was Trisha’s biggest hit, but it’s the first one that comes to mind when I think of her music.

LadyAConcert 008 

Lady Antebellum has their second single in the Top 40, “Lookin’ For a Good Time.” Early in August, you’ll be able to catch the group in Uniontown, Pa., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Marion, Ill; Des Moines, Iowa, and Troy, Ohio. Be sure to check out their web page for a complete listing of their fair and concert dates.

Copy of LadyAConcert 005

That’s it for now. Again, thanks so much for reading. An d remember to write – that’s the only way I know what you want to see here, and whether or not you have any news and photos for me!

Little reminder… maybe nightly reminder for a few weeks — mark your calendars for Aug. 28, and remember to watch David Letterman to see Randy Houser’s first national television appearance!


Time for News….

July 28, 2008

Toby            PRZ-007876 Could there possibly be anyone who has forgotten the feud between Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks? I didn’t think so. Well, it seems the Alliance for Climate Protection’s “We Campaign,” wanted to use Toby and the Chicks in one of their commercials. You’ve seen them – they put a Democrat up against a Republican (or two other people who don’t particularly get along) and start off with “We don’t always agree on everything, but….” You would think that would be a perfect television ad for Toby and the Chicks; but apparently it isn’t going to happen. Toby told the San Jose Mercury News that they had set up three dates for the shoot, but every time, the trio wasn’t available. Toby also said that he has never spoken to the Dixie Chicks, “We’ve never met, officially,” he said.

George Jones Country Hound is reporting that this fall’s participants in the George Jones University program will have a unique opportunity afforded them through a brand new Country Music competition. George is giving registrants the chance to be the opening act at one of his upcoming concerts. Music industry executives and entrepreneurs will judge the competitors on their artistry, vocal ability and stage presence. Competitors must be registered for the Fall session of GJU. The best performer will open for George.

chris-cagle Chris Cagle was found not guilty of domestic violence charges brought against him from a domestic dispute that took place in May 2008 at his Nashville home.

Chris and his girlfriend, Jennifer Tant, were both arrested at his home after a fight in which Jen struck Chris with an umbrella, and Chris hit Tant with her purse.

The case came to a quick end when Jennifer took the stand and refused to testify against Chris. Bill Ramsey, Chris’s attorney, released the following statement: “It’s a shame these charges were ever brought, period! Chris was not, and never was, guilty of domestic violence, abuse or assault, and the Judge properly found him “Not Guilty”. Chris is relieved the accuracy of the matter has been revealed and the ordeal is over.”

At least this ordeal is over. Last I heard, Chris is still due in court in Arizona on Sept. 23 over an incident that took place there in December.

We haven’t done birthdays for a while … so here’s a few for you; David Ball turned 55 on July 9. Haven’t heard much from him since “Private Andrew Malone.” David Ball

Duncan Cameron, guitarist for Sawyer Brown, turned 52 on July 27; Bobbie Gentry is 64, also celebrating on the 27th; Martina McBride is celebrating her 42nd birthday July 29; Dwight O’Brien, guitarist for Little Texas will be 44 on July 30.

chad-brock-artist-photos Chad Brock, remember him? I wonder where he’s been since the “She said, Yes”. He will be 45 on July 31.

And, if you are planning on taking your favorite star a little birthday gift during the Appalachian Fair … the only one with a birthday close to the Fair run is Jake Owen, his is Aug. 28. The other Gray Fair performers will celebrate their birthdays like this: Tracy Lawrence, Jan. 27; Josh Gracin, Oct. 18; Heidi Newfield, May 22; and Chris Young, June 12. As for Lillie Mae, Frank, Scarlett and Amber-Dawn (Jypsi) … I have no idea. I just might have to ask them when I go to their concert on Aug. 23. 

That’s all for now. Hope to hear from you all soon! And I’ll see you at the Fair.

Congratulations to…..

July 7, 2008

keith-nicole Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman on the birth of their first child, a girl! Sunday Rose Kidman Urban was born on Monday morning, in Nashville, and weighs slightly over 6 pounds.

In a posting on his website earlier today, Urban said, “Earlier this morning, Nic gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban.  We want to thank everybody that has kept us in their thoughts and prayers. We feel very blessed and grateful that we can share this joy with all of you today.”

The Associated Press reports, a spokesman for Urban said mother and baby are well, and Urban is happily at their side. Stay tuned to for more updates.

kenny1 And, to Kenny Chesney, who will soon have his own XM radio station. It was recently announced that the three-time and reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year will have his own XM Radio station entitled “No Shoes Radio,” which will feature all of his hits, never-before-heard studio cuts and other songs that portray the carefree lifestyle that have made his career so successful.

“There’s a lot of hits, but there are also a lot of album tracks, songs from the early part of my career, stuff from our Keg in the Closet shows and obscurities that you had to be there to hear,” says Chesney with a laugh. “Anyone who knows anything about me knows how passionate I am about music, and this is a way to bring people into everything I love about songs and playing music.”

“No Shoes Radio” will be available July 26th through October 25th on XM channel 18.

sarafashion Congrats, Sara Evans, on your recent television exposure. Sara will make a celebrity appearance on the HGTV show Design Sar this Sunday night. The six finalists will be involved in a challenge, which featres Sarah as the celebrity client. The show is hosted by Clive Pearson.

She appeared on the CBS show Million Dollar Password on June 29 and married former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker earlier in June.

Evans co-wrote “Love You With All My Heart,” which is her follow-up single to “As If,” which she also co-wrote.

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow night. Keep reading — and keep in touch!

Toby’s Movie … and country news

July 1, 2008

toby concert 2 Last night I mentioned Toby Keith’s movie, “Beer For My Horses,” which is due to open in theaters on Aug. 8. And today, I got a very nice e-mail from Barbara R., who has a Toby Keith Fan Forum cite. She told me there is a web site for the movie, it is And you will find trailers, photos, cast bios, and other interesting things there. She told me the list of cities where the movie will open is still being updated – so I’ll definitely be checking back often. So far, the closest city to me is Nashville, and that’s 4 hours away!

Toby concert I had a Toby CD on a while ago, It was the Blue Moon CD – One of my favorites. And, just for something to fill a little space next to this great shot of Toby … my favorite song from that CD is “Me, Too”. You guys remember that one? I love that song.

Kristy Lee Everyone remember Kristy Lee Cook, from American Idol? It looks like we’re going to be hearing a lot more form Kristy. She has signed a deal with 19Recordings/Atrtisa Nashville, a label under the Sony BMG Nashville umbrella. Her first sing,e “15 Minutes of Shame,” is supposed to be released in August. Her album, produced by songwriter Brett James, will be released in the Fall. Fellow Idol contestants Kellie Pickler and Carrie Underwood also record for Sony BMG, in conjunction with 19 Recordings.

Kellie PIckler And, speaking of Kellie, she will be going out on tour with Sugarland this fall. The tour will kick off in Asheville, N.C. on Sept. 13. It will be a 25-city tour that will conclude on Nov. 16 in Bossier City. La. Ashton Shepherd will also take the stage for this 25 city tour.  She’s going to be a busy young lady – we’ll be able to catch Kellie at the Washington County Fair in Abingdon, Va. on Sept. 10.

Billy and Miley Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus are keeping busy, as always. On June 29, they performed at a Nashville area skate festival to honor Alex LaVasseur, the late son of songwriter Jeffrey Steele. LaVasseur, 13, was killed in an ATV accident last year. Billy Ray also stays busy with his hosting of the NBC television show, Nashville Star.

Randy Owen Alabama’s lead singer, Randy Owen, is writing his autobiography. He calls the book “Born Country,” and it is scheduled to be in bookstores on Nov. 11, which is also the release date of his first solo album, “One On One.” Randy is co-writing the book with Allen Rucker. It will be published by HarperOne. Randy said in a press release that the book is something really important for him and his family. “We touched on every segment of my life, it’s relaly a microcosm of my life,” Randy said. I like the fact that the book will be here in time for Christmas.

Dierks2 Back in February, in a little post I did called “Did You Know…” I mentioned Dierks Bentley not only sings, but he also plays Hockey. Well, it looks as though he plays something else, too. Dierks was the first country artist to participate in the Xbox 360 promotion, Game With Fame, where he played Halo 3 with online fans and gamers. Xbox Live has 12 million members. Pretty cool, huh?

That’s all for now. Be sure to check out the Beer for My Horses web site – thanks again, Barbara for passing that information on to me. And check out some of the other links in this post. They go to the entertainers home pages or My Space page.

You guys take care – keep writing! I love hearing form you.

A bit of country music news

June 30, 2008

607482R12423A_23A_242 I’m going to use tonight’s post to give you a little news about some of your favorite country singers – we’ll start with Josh Gracin, one of our scheduled Appalachian Fair performers. Josh and his wife, Ann Marie, are expecting their fourth child. They are already parents to Briana, age 6, Landon, age 2, and Gabriella, age 1. When will the new baby arrive? All the press release said was “later this year.”

Copy of 034_34 Chris Cagle has apologized for the May 28 incident, when he and his girlfriend were arrested at his Nashville home. The couple apparently had been drinking and fighting when the police were called to the scene. Chris said the whole thing was “exaggerated.” And he also said that the incident was not induced or elevated by his intoxication. Chris is scheduled to appear at the Tennessee Valley Fair in Knoxville in September. In his public apology he said, “I take full responsibility for my actions, and I was wrong, and I am embarrassed…I am sorry.”

tracylawrence Fans at Tracy Lawrence’s party at the CMA Music Festival got a special treat when Tracy’s buddy Trent Tomlinson joined the festivities. Tracy is one of the country stars scheduled for our Appalachian Fair in August. Trent is on tap for the Washington County Fair in Abingdon, Va. in September.





Check around the Internet for trailers from Toby Keith’s movie “Beer for My Horses.” They aren’t showing us too much, but it might give you some idea what is in store for all of us when Toby’s movie hits theaters in August.

toby-keith-with-guitar The soundtrack for Toby’s movie is available at And don’t forget to check out his My Space page to keep up with the latest Toby news, tour dates, and CD info.

That’s all for now. Whoever is first in line on Aug. 8 to see Toby’s new movie… let me know what you think of it.

And any of you who get some pictures from a concert or festival that you’d like posted here, just send them to my e-mail, and I’d be more than happy to get them up for you.

See you all soon.