• THANKSGIVING 2017

    The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in the state that’s now known as Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. People now celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for their blessings over the past year, as well as feasting on turkey and other festive goodies.

    Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 23rd, and most people will be enjoying time with their friends and families, including some of your favorite country stars, such as Alan Jackson, Brothers Osborne, Canaan Smith, Clare Dunn, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Mickey Guyton, Sam Hunt and more. They share their thoughts, memories and favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

    Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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    AJ (Thanksgiving) OC: …enjoy it. :19
    “My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade dressin’ that we, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a kind of a combination of my mama, and Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.”

    Audio / Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne talks about their annual Misfits Thanksgiving dinner.

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    Brothers Osborne (misfits Thanksgiving) OC: …going home. :45
    “What we’ve done the past several years is because it’s so hard to go home, we would have what we call the Misfit Thanksgiving dinner, and all the people in Nashville who aren’t able to go home to their families, we would just invite them over to our house and have a big potluck style Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll take like a couple of tables and throw them together and throw some sheets on it just to make it look nice. It’s a very redneck display of like tableware, because all the plates don’t match and the forks and knives don’t match, but we don’t care. People will bring wine, and at the end of the day, we’ll probably have 12-15 people all sitting at dinner together that weren’t able to go home with their families, and just enjoy it with friends. It’s been really fun. Definitely a lot less stress than going home.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith says his favorite Thanksgiving dish is pumpkin pie.

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    Canaan Smith (pumpkin pie) OC: …Thanksgiving. :14
    “Pumpkin pie is where it’s at. My mom makes the best. She got it from her mom, my Nanny. It’s so good. It’s made from scratch. Everything about it, it’s just mouthwatering. I love it. I can’t get enough. If I could get fat, it’d be from pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / Clare Dunn talks about her favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

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    Clare Dunn (Thanksgiving dish) OC: …like hers. :21
    “I think my favorite Thanksgiving dish [is] my mom makes the best mashed potatoes in the world. I mean, they’re crazy. They’re like garlic and butter and all the good stuff, so that’s probably my favorite Thanksgiving dish. Oh, and she makes great stuffing too, and I’m not a stuffing person, but I like hers.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker talks about his favorite part of Thanksgiving.

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    Darius Rucker (favorite part of Thanksgiving) OC: …my family. :17
    “My favorite part of Thanksgiving is easy – it’s food. It’s eating. It’s hanging out with family and getting some great food, ‘cause that’s really what Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all of the great things you’ve got, and I always give thanks for the greatest thing I’ve got and that’s my family.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley, who is thankful for his wife, two daughters and son, talks about his Thanksgiving must-have! It’s an oldie, but a goodie!

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    Dierks Bentley (Thanksgiving must-have) OC: …for Thanksgiving. :34
    “You gotta have a big turkey. Thanksgiving is not possible without a turkey. We cook it traditionally, but when we’re in, a couple of Thanksgivings ago, we were here in Nashville, we did the whole fry the turkey up, and it was great. It just tasted so good; all those juices get locked in there, and I love that too. You really can’t, to me, cook a turkey wrong. I’m gonna eat it any way, and I have over the years. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of county and state fairs, where I’ve seen gigantic turkey legs, you know, I’ve had the flat meat. I’ve done turkey every way you could do it. I’m pretty good any way you want to cook it up, but you’ve got to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / Easton Corbin talks about spending Thanksgiving with family.

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    Easton (Thanksgiving) OC: …my grandma’s. :33
    “Having family and being able to spend that quality time with them and obviously, the opportunity to do what I do. But absolutely during that time, being able to spend that time with family and your loved ones. We used to always go to my grandma’s, that’s Christmas and Thanksgiving. We’d go there for the big meal. I don’t get to go back much. A lot of times I’ll stay up [in Nashville] for Thanksgiving, and then go down during Christmas, but we’d always go to my grandma’s.”

    Audio / Eric Church says he’s thankful for his family as well as for his fans.

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    Eric Church (Thanksgiving) OC: …want to do it. :23
    “A couple of things. I’m thankful for my family and great health. And I’m thankful for from a career standpoint, I’m very thankful for the success we’ve had lately. I’m thankful for what the fans have done. I mean there’s a lot of stuff to be thankful for in that regard. And I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to do it my own way. I’m thankful that I’m going to get to keep doing this and do it the way that I want to do it.”

    Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his favorite Thanksgiving memories.

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    Eric Paslay (Thanksgiving) OC: …too much. :05
    “My best Thanksgiving memory, I think, is just hanging out with family, watching football and eating too much!”

    Audio / Josh Turner shares his favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

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    Josh Turner (fave side dish) OC: …’em myself. [laughs] :24
    “Uh, deviled eggs! [laughs] Where I’m from in South Carolina, I don’t think I’ve tasted a bad deviled egg. It’s like everybody has their own twist on it, but they’re all good, but I always loved it when my mama made ‘em. I’m learning as I get older, making deviled eggs is no easy task. It’s more complicated than it looks, and so that’s probably why I never made ‘em myself.” [laughs]

    Audio / Keith Urban will be celebrating Thanksgiving at home in Nashville, along with his wife, daughters and mother, who is flying in from Australia this weekend. He recalls the very first Thanksgiving he spent in the States.

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    Keith Urban (1st American Thanksgiving) OC: …immediately. [laughs] :44
    “The first Thanksgiving I ever had here, which was 25 years ago, ‘cause I’ve been here a long time now. But the first one I ever had, I remember going to this family’s home, they invited me to Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t believe the volume of food. It was insane. I’ve never seen so much food in my life. Then after the food, there was like 12 desserts. I was like, ‘Why are there so many desserts?’ They said, ‘Well, because every Aunt and every Grandma, everybody brought their thing, their special dessert, and you have to try every one of ‘em.’ I’m like, ‘There’s like THREE apple cobblers.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, but they’re made by different people and they’re all watching, so you have to make sure you try everything up there.’ [laughs] I was in love with Thanksgiving immediately.” [laughs]

    Audio / Kip Moore talks about his annual Thanksgiving plans to go home to visit with his family.

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    Kip Moore (Thanksgiving) OC: …with them. :11
    “I [usually] go home for Thanksgiving. I love going home to see all them. I have five brothers and sisters and it’s a blast to go home and just catch up on their lives. I get so wrapped up in all this that I lose touch sometimes, and it’s cool to hear everything going on with them.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott describes her favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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    Lady A (Hillary-Thanksgiving food) OC: …ever tasted. :12
    “So, my favorite Thanksgiving food would have to be my grandmother’s sweet potato casserole. There’s just something she puts in it — probably all the love – that makes it better than anything I’ve ever tasted.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley talks about one of his favorite Thanksgiving memories.

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    Lady A (Charles-Thanksgiving eating contest) OC: …five pounds! :25
    “One of my most memorable Thanksgiving memories was probably the first year that me and my two brothers (John and Josh) decided to start our annual eating contest where we ate throughout the whole day. We started that morning and weighed ourselves and at the very end of the night, we weighed ourselves out and all three of us equally gained five pounds. I wish we had a more accurate scale to decide the winner, but we all tied. Five pounds!”

    Audio / The members of Little Big Town love Thanksgiving since they get time off to be with their families.

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    LBT (Thanksgiving) 2 OC: (Kimberly) …and eat. :31
    KIMBERLY: “Thanksgiving—we love Thanksgiving, ‘cause we get to be with our families and we don’t often get to spend time with our families, our extended families, until the holidays. I love being around the table with my family and talking and laughing and cooking and eating…” JIMI: “And eating and eating and eating and eating…” PHILLIP: “The laughter around the eating, the good cheer, the celebration, the music…” JIMI: “The eating, going taking a nap, then coming back and eating.” KIMBERLY: “Go to bed with a full belly, take a nap, and then get up and eat.”

    Audio / Mickey Guyton talks about one of her favorite Thanksgiving traditions.

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    Mickey Guyton (Thanksgiving traditions) OC: …Thanksgiving traditions. :17
    “One of my Thanksgiving traditions is playing charades after Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not the most competitive person in the world, but as soon as you put some Charades in the picture, I am crazy, and you will definitely want to be on my team if we’re playing Charades. I’m just saying. So, that’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about his favorite Thanksgiving meal.

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    Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …glass of milk. :34
    “When I pile my plate up, it’s mostly turkey and then I’ll put a little dressing on the side, and I’ll usually go ahead and grab my dessert on the first run [laughs] and have it ready before it all disappears. Those are the really the three things. It’s strange, but since I was very young, I’ve always loved drinking milk, my brothers too, we drank lots of milk. My cousins, who grew up down the road, they always looked at us funny when we wanted to drink milk with our Thanksgiving meal. They would have coke or whatever else. So, I still get turkey, dressing, a piece of pecan pie and a big ole glass of milk.”

  • THANKSGIVING LINERS 2017

    Audio / LINER AJ (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hi! This is Alan Jackson. I hope y’all have a very happy Thanksgiving out there.”

    Audio / LINER Billy Currington (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey Guys, I’m Billy Currington. Have a great Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Brandon Lay (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey y’all! This is Brandon Lay. Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! This is TJ, and this is John, and we’re wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! What’s up, guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Carrie Underwood (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Clare Dunn (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Tyminski (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey everybody, I’m Dan Tyminski, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!” “

    Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! It’s Dierks Bentley! Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Easton Corbin (Thanksgiving)

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    “It’s Easton Corbin here, and I want to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Eric Church (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey folks! It’s Eric Church, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! This is Eric Paslay, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Gary Allan (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey guys! Gary Allan here. I just want to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving, and have a Happy Holidays and make sure you’re safe out there. Drive safe. Party your butts off, but do it safe.”

    Audio / LINER George Strait (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hi! This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! It’s Jon Pardi, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Jordan Davis (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! I’m Jordan Davis. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.”

    Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Thanksgiving)

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    “Happy Thanksgiving everybody. It’s Keith Urban here. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all of you listening for your incredible love and support that I’ve received over the last year, and to wish you and all of your family all the very best for this holiday.”

    Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey what’s up guys, this is Kip Moore wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Lady A (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey everybody! We are Lady Antebellum, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Lauren Alaina (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER LBT (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey, we’re Little Big Town. Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Audio / LINER Mickey Guyton (Happy Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey! It’s Mickey Guyton here, and I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving)

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    “Hey everybody! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”

     

     

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Luke, Lady A, LBT, Alan, Darius, Shania

    Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, CB30 will all perform during this year’s CMA Country Christmas. The show, hosted by Reba McEntire for the first time, will air November 27th at 8pm ET on ABC. Dustin Lynch, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young, Dustin Lynch, CeCe Winans and Dan + Shay will also perform during the show, which will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

    Darius Rucker will perform “Winter Wonderland” during ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration this year. The show will premiere November 30th at 9pm ET, as well as “Home for the Holidays” during Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration on Christmas Day.

    The new revamp of American Idol, starring Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as judges, will premiere Sunday, March 11th on ABC.

    Shania Twain is featured in the new free mobile game Home Street, as an in-game character throughout the month of November. The international superstar, who recently released her new album NOW, is the first guest character to appear in the game.

  • ALAN JACKSON IS INDUCTED INTO THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME.

    Alan Jackson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (October 22nd), alongside the late Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz.

    The iconic Loretta Lynn inducted the Georgia native into the Hall of Fame in what she said was her first outing after she suffered a stroke in May. “I love you and I am so proud of you,” she said. “You deserve to be here.”  “Loretta Lynn said I should be here,” Alan said. “That’s all I needed to hear.”

    Alan began his career as the lead singer of local Newnan band Dixie Steel, holding down numerous odd jobs while touring and writing songs. His wife, Denise, a flight attendant at the time, had a chance meeting with Glen Campbell. Campbell suggested Alan get in touch with his music publishing company. Within two weeks of the meeting, the Jacksons packed up and moved to Nashville to follow his dreams and Alan eventually signed with the worldwide star’s publishing company.

    “I wrote what I knew about, and that was cars,” he says. “My daddy was a mechanic. I grew up in a garage. That’s all I cared about. That’s the reason I came to Nashville to be a singer because I loved cars, and I couldn’t really buy any. [crowd laughs] So, I didn’t have much going on, and I didn’t see much of a future of any direction that would help me buy a lot of cars, and being a singing star looked like the only shot I had.”

    He honed his craft and was eventually signed by executive Tim DuBois as the flagship artist at Arista Nashville in 1989. Jackson saw almost immediate success with his first album, Here in the Real World. It yielded his first Billboard No. 1 single, “I’d Love You All Over Again,” and made Jackson an instant — and instantly recognizable — star. He was nominated for four awards at the 1990 CMA Awards and, over the course of his career, would become the second most-nominated artist in CMA Awards history with 81 nominations, following only close friend and fellow Hall of Fame member George Strait. He still owns the record for most nominations in a single year with 10, set in 2002, the year he swept Song and Single of the Year with his poignant 9/11 tribute “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” The track also was nominated for all-genre Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards and won the Best Country Song Award, his first golden gramophone.

    Jackson released four studio albums in the first five years of his recording career. Here in the Real WorldDon’t Rock the Jukebox, his best-selling A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘Bout Love), and Who I Am sold more than 20 million albums during that period and included some of his most memorable and important tracks, including “Midnight in Montgomery” and “Chattahoochee,” a winner of CMA Single and Song of the Year in 1993-94, respectively.

    Jackson has released more than 20 albums and collections — including forays into gospel and bluegrass — nine of which went multiplatinum with 2 million or more in sales. Those albums have led to one of Country Music’s most decorated careers with three CMA Entertainer of the Year Awards (1995, 2002, 2003); two Grammy Awards; and membership in the Grand Ole Opry, the esteemed Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. He was given the first ASCAP Heritage Award (2014) by the performance rights organization, recognizing him as the most performed Country Music songwriter-artist of the last 100 years. Jackson has charted more than 30 No. 1 hits, sold nearly 60 million albums, and is among the genre’s most decorated and respected figures, with more than 150 awards.

    During the ceremony, Lee Ann Womack performed his first Top 10 hit “Here in the Real World,” Alison Krauss sang “Someday,” while friend George Strait performed his hit “Remember When.”

    As a finale to the entire evening, Alan, Loretta and George, along with Connie Smith sang “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which is performed at the end of every Hall of Fame Medallion ceremony.

    Late last week before this weekend’s induction, Alan released a new song, “The Older I Get.”

    Audio / During his Country Music Hall of Fame induction, Alan Jackson says he wrote songs about what he knew and experienced.

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    AJ (Hall of Fame induction) 1 OC: …only shot I had. :33
    “I wrote what I knew about, and that was cars. My daddy was a mechanic. I grew up in a garage. That’s all I cared about. That’s the reason I came to Nashville to be a singer because I loved cars, and I couldn’t really buy any. [crowd laughs] So, I didn’t have much going on, and I didn’t see much of a future of any direction that would help me buy a lot of cars, and being a singing star looked like the only shot I had.” [crowd laughs]

    Audio / During his Country Music Hall of Fame induction, Alan Jackson explained he really didn’t know what he was doing when he first came to Nashville to pursue his dream.

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    AJ (Hall of Fame induction) 2 OC: …tell you that. :58
    “I came here, I was so ignorant. I didn’t know anything about the business. I thought people you hear on the radio, I thought everybody wrote their own songs. I didn’t know there were songwriters that wrote ‘em for ‘em, so I came here. I didn’t know what producers were or anything, just blind ignorance, came up here and I guess for some reason God gave me a little big of talent to throw some words together and some melodies that have worked over these years. But, I do have some happy songs. [crowd laughs] ‘Chattahoochie,’ ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere,’ ‘Pop a Top,’ I mean I’ve had a lot of ‘em. It makes me so sad and serious, and I’m not that kind of person, not really. But I’ve always said I’ve loved, my favorite songs are the heartbreak songs. I’ve loved writin’ ‘em. I love singin’ ‘em. There’s more emotion in ‘em, and they’re easier to write. I think most songwriters’ll tell you that.”

  • ALAN JACKSON SHARES NEW MUSIC AS HE PREPARES TO ENTER THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME.

    AJ

    As he prepares for his formal induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame (on Sunday, October 22), Alan Jackson is releasing new music for fans. “The Older I Get” – a first taste of what’s to come on Jackson’s next album – is his first new studio recording since 2015.

    “This song reflects a lot of how I feel these days,” he says of the song, written by Adam Wright, Hailey Whitters and Sarah Allison Turner. “It’s a good song; I really liked it, but the message was a little different when I first heard it. I thought maybe it could be a little more positive about being older and wiser and more content, so they rewrote a few things, and this is how it ended up.”

    “The older I get / The more I think / You only get a minute / Better live while you’re in it / ‘Cause it’s gone in a blink,” Jackson sings in the opening lines of the song. The reflective ballad is filled with the revelations and realizations that can only come from a life well-lived, and the words and melody create an instant image of Jackson’s own place in life and country music. “The older I get / The more thankful I feel / For the life I’ve had / And all the life I’m living still.”

    ***This weekend, Jackson will cement his place in Country Music history as he formally becomes a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame at the Museum’s annual Medallion Ceremony. He’ll join the echelon of 130 of Country Music’s greatest names as this year’s Modern Era Artist inductee. “It’s an honor,” a humble Jackson said after his name was revealed in April. “For a man who loves country music there is no higher honor. This is the mountain top!”

    In selecting Jackson for membership alongside the greatest names in the genre, the Country Music Association noted, “With dozens of chart-topping singles, tens of millions of albums sold, and an un paralleled reputation as a singer and songwriter, he ranks with The Beatles, Elvis Presley and a very small handful of other transcendent artists who stand out like signposts in pop music history. He has blended the old and new in a musical style that is urban and rural, rugged and raw. He took the sounds of Country Music in his youth, and blended them with modern production in a way that made him an immediate star.”

    In recent years, Jackson’s often found himself asked in interviews if there’s any unrealized dream or goal he has yet to attain. “I’d never say the Country Music Hall of Fame because I just felt like that was kind of pretentious to think that I deserve to be in there. But now I can say this is about the last dream on the list – it’s just unbelievable.”

    Jackson’s membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame is the latest in a long line of career-defining accolades that include three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, more than 25 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, a 2016 Billboard ranking as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time, induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years. Check out a Country Music Hall of Fame-themed Alan Jackson playlist HERE.

    “The Older I Get” will be featured on Jackson’s next studio album, planned for a 2018 release. The newly-minted Hall of Famer will perform on this year’s CMA Awards telecast November 8, and he’ll soon announce tour plans for the coming year.

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  • ALAN JACKSON BECOMES A MEMBER OF THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20TH.

    On Sunday (October 22nd), Alan Jackson will become one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with the late Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz.

    Reed will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category, while Jackson will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category. Schlitz will be inducted in the “Songwriter” category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980” and “Non-Performer” categories. Reed, Jackson, and Schlitz will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 130 to 133 members.

    Alan said, “For me to say I’m honored sounds like the standard old response, but for a man who loves Country Music there is no higher honor. This is the mountain top!”

    “I don’t think I was even that overwhelmed about it until I had the office get me a list of all the members, ’cause I wanted to see,” says Alan. “And then when I started reading down through there, even though I knew pretty much who it was, but still when you see it the whole list is like, ‘Oh my gosh, man, everybody you ever loved is in there.’ So, to be in there with ’em, it’s just amazing. It’s an American dream right there.”

     

    Formal induction ceremonies for Reed, Jackson, and Schlitz will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in the CMA Theater. Since 2007, the Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.

    CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country Music’s highest honor.

    Modern Era Artist – Alan Jackson
    When music historians recount Alan Jackson’s staggering accomplishments, they don’t just limit the comparisons to his Country Music contemporaries. With dozens of chart-topping singles, tens of millions of albums sold, and an unparalleled reputation as a singer and songwriter, he ranks with The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and a very small handful of other transcendent artists who stand out like signposts in pop music history.

    By deeply tipping his hat to the honky-tonk legends of his youth and unflinchingly remaining true to himself for more than 25 years, Jackson earned an unparalleled reputation as a singer and songwriter. He blended the old and new in a musical style that is urban and rural, rugged and raw, and appeals to the large sector of the Country Music audience that looks to the past for its musical influences.

    Born Alan Eugene Jackson on Oct. 17, 1958, in Newnan, Ga., the 58-year-old singer-songwriter came to personify the neotraditional movement that emerged in opposition to the “Urban Cowboy” trend of the 1980s. Jackson took the sounds of Country Music in his youth and blended them with modern production and band structures in a way that made him an immediate star, one who straddled the divide between pop sensibilities and hard-line affection for classic Country.

    Jackson began his career as the lead singer of local Newnan band Dixie Steel, holding down numerous odd jobs while touring and writing songs. His wife, Denise, a flight attendant at the time, had a chance meeting with Glen Campbell. Campbell suggested Alan get in touch with his music publishing company. Within two weeks of the meeting, the Jacksons packed up and moved to Nashville to follow his dreams and Alan eventually signed with the worldwide star’s publishing company.

    He honed his craft and was eventually signed by executive Tim DuBois as the flagship artist at Arista Nashville in 1989. Jackson saw almost immediate success with his first album, Here in the Real World. It yielded his first Billboard No. 1 single, “I’d Love You All Over Again,” and made Jackson an instant — and instantly recognizable — star. He was nominated for four awards at the 1990 CMA Awards and, over the course of his career, would become the second most-nominated artist in CMA Awards history with 81 nominations, following only close friend and fellow Hall of Fame member George Strait. He still owns the record for most nominations in a single year with 10, set in 2002, the year he swept Song and Single of the Year with his poignant 9/11 tribute “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” The track also was nominated for all-genre Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards and won the Best Country Song Award, his first golden gramophone.

    Jackson released four studio albums in the first five years of his recording career. Here in the Real WorldDon’t Rock the Jukebox, his best-selling A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘Bout Love), and Who I Am sold more than 20 million albums during that period and included some of his most memorable and important tracks, including “Midnight in Montgomery” and “Chattahoochee,” a winner of CMA Single and Song of the Year in 1993-94, respectively.

    Jackson has released more than 20 albums and collections — including forays into gospel and bluegrass — nine of which went multiplatinum with 2 million or more in sales. Those albums have led to one of Country Music’s most decorated careers with three CMA Entertainer of the Year Awards (1995, 2002, 2003); two Grammy Awards; and membership in the Grand Ole Opry, the esteemed Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. He was given the first ASCAP Heritage Award (2014) by the performance rights organization, recognizing him as the most performed Country Music songwriter-artist of the last 100 years. Jackson has charted more than 30 No. 1 hits, sold nearly 60 million albums, and is among the genre’s most decorated and respected figures, with more than 150 awards.

    Veterans Era Artist – Jerry Reed
    There was a time when Jerry Reed was the fast-picking, wisecracking face of Country Music for most Americans. Though Reed found himself participating in some key music history moments as a session player and scored his share of chart hits as a performer, it was his good-natured wit and ability to transform into an outsized personality as an actor without losing his authenticity that made him one of the genre’s most well-known ambassadors of the 1970s and ’80s.

    It’s that ability as an all-around entertainer that brings Reed to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

    Reed’s active career stretched from the 1950s into the 1990s, though he still toured and made public appearances well into the 2000s. His career was so long, he received CMA Awards nominations over the course of four decades — from 1969 to 1999. He was a two-time nominee for CMA Entertainer of the Year and a three-time Grammy winner.

    Born Jerry Reed Hubbard on March 20, 1937, in Atlanta, the singer-guitarist had already scored a few minor hits and spent years in the recording studio and onstage by the time he made it to Nashville in 1962 to get into session work after a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. He’d drawn the attention of the industry when two of his songs covered by popular artists became hits: Gene Vincent released his version of “Crazy Legs” in 1958 and Brenda Lee recorded “That’s All You Got to Do” in 1960.

    It was Reed’s fiery guitar playing that really turned the heads of some of Nashville’s most important figures as he made the rounds in the early 1960s. A fingerstyle picker with few rivals, Reed was dubbed a “Certified Guitar Player” by Hall of Fame member Chet Atkins, perhaps the most prestigious honorary title given in Country Music. Atkins bestowed the award just four times personally. Earning the CGP status meant Country Music’s acknowledged best guitarist thought you were great in every way. Nashville felt much the same, naming Reed CMA Instrumentalist of the Year twice (1970 and ’71), and giving him a straightforward nickname: “The Guitar Man.” Atkins and Reed were nominated together for CMA Instrumental Group of the Year in the following two years (1972 and ’73).

    Reed’s best-known hits included “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” which won a Grammy Award (Reed would win two more for instrumental recordings “Me & Jerry” and “Sneakin’ Around,” both made with Atkins), “Guitar Man,” “Amos Moses,” “Alabama Wild Man,” “U.S. Male,” “A Thing Called Love,” and “She Got the Gold Mine (I Got the Shaft).” He got a career boost from Elvis Presley, who not only recorded a few of Reed’s songs, including “Guitar Man,” but also hired him to be his guitar man in the studio as well.

    He became a regular presence on “The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour” variety show in 1970. His affable onscreen presence was attractive to Hollywood. He made the first of several appearances with friend Burt Reynolds in a string of movies that started with 1975’s “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings” and included the three wildly popular “Smokey and the Bandit” films, which launched in 1977 and featured Reed as Reynolds’ straight man. Reed scored a hit with the film’s theme song, “East Bound and Down.” Reed made an unforgettable return to film in 1998 when he played angry Coach Red Beaulieu in Adam Sandler’s “The Waterboy.”

    The following year he received his final CMA nomination, for Vocal Event of the Year, for his “Old Dogs” supergroup collaboration with Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, and Bobby Bare.

    Reed passed away from complications related to emphysema in 2008 at the age of 71.

    Songwriter – Don Schlitz
    Don Schlitz is among the most influential and beloved songwriters in the history of Country Music. His chart-topping songs – among them “The Gambler,” “On the Other Hand,” “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” “The Greatest,” and “When You Say Nothing At All” – are touchstones and inspirations that continue to influence songwriters and singers decades after they were written.

    His 50 Top 10 singles performed by iconic acts Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kenny Rogers, The Judds, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Keith Whitley, and many others include 24 No. 1 Country hits. He has won three CMA Song of the Year Awards, two Grammy Awards, and four consecutive ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year trophies (1988-91).

    Schlitz was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.

    Born Donald Alan Schlitz Jr. on Aug. 29, 1952, and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Schlitz briefly attended Duke University before coming to Nashville at age 20. His talent was recognized and fostered early on by greats, including Bob McDill and Bobby Bare, and he emerged as an empathetic and intelligent chronicler of the human spirit.

    When Rogers recorded “The Gambler” – the songwriter’s first recorded song – Schlitz’s ascent was assured, and the success of that enduring story-song allowed him the freedom to spend a lifetime writing words and music that articulated the extraordinary emotions inherent in common experience.

    Having written hits across five decades, he will join an exclusive circle in the Country Music Hall of Fame that includes Bobby Braddock, Hank Cochran, Harlan Howard, Cindy Walker, and Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, all inducted primarily as songwriters.

    Schlitz and his cowriters penned “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain,” “Forty Hour Week (for a Livin’), “Houston Solution,” “Deeper Than the Holler,” “One Promise Too Late,” “I Feel Lucky,” “Old School,” “Give Me Wings,” “Strong Enough To Bend” and dozens of others that underscore the depth and breadth of modern era Country Music.

    One of the first performers at Amy Kurland’s iconic songwriter club The Bluebird Café, Schlitz and friends Thom Schuyler, J. Fred Knobloch, and Paul Overstreet originated the Café’s songwriter in the round format in 1985. He continues to regularly perform his hits and new material at The Bluebird, interspersed with his wry wit and unique comic timing.

    The Don Schlitz songbook even includes the 2001 Broadway musical “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

    Kenny Rogers encapsulated the sentiments of many when inducting Schlitz into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with the statement, “Don doesn’t just write songs, he writes careers.”

    Audio / ALAN JACKSON WASN’T TRULY OVERWHELMED ABOUT HIS MEMBERSHIP INTO THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME UNTIL HE RECEIVED A LIST OF EVERY MEMBER.

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    Alan Jackson (overwhelmed about HOF)  OC: …right there. :19
    “Yeah, I don’t think I was even that overwhelmed about it until I had the office get me a list of all the members ’cause I wanted to see. And then when I started reading down through there, even though I knew pretty much who it was, but still when you see it the whole list is like, ‘Oh my gosh, man, everybody you ever loved is in there.’ So, to be in there with ’em, it’s just amazing. It’s an American dream right there.”

    Audio / ALAN JACKSON RECALLS SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN HIS CAREER.

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    Alan Jackson (moments in his career) OC: …write it. :39
    “I’ve had such a fantastic life and career, it’s hard for me to even list them all. I mean, I’ve done so much. I’ve played for four presidents, I have played in some of the worst honkytonks you’ve ever seen, I stood on the Grand Ole Opry stage with Roy Acuff looking up at me when I sang ‘Here in the Real World’ for the first time. I sang at George Jones’ funeral – ‘He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today.’ I mean, you can’t imagine that all that could happen to you and all the other stuff that I can’t remember right at this moment. My career has just been hard to, you couldn’t write it. You couldn’t write it.”

  • THE FIRST ROUND OF CMA PERFORMERS HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED.

    The first round of performers has been announced for this year’s CMA Awards. Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Jon Pardi and new Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson will perform, as well as Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett.

    Luke is a two-time consecutive CMA Entertainer of the Year (2014, 2015), returning to compete for his fifth nomination in the category. He has garnered 15 CMA Awards nominations since 2010.

    Up for three nominations this year, Eric is a three-time CMA Awards winner with 25 total career nods. He returns this year with recognition in the Entertainer of the Year category, in addition to Musical Event and his sixth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist.

    Little Big Town claims four nominations this year including Vocal Group, Album for The Breaker, and Single and Music Video for “Better Man.” They are seven-time CMA Awards winners with a career total of 26 CMA Awards nominations.

    Stapleton is a five-time CMA Awards winner nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, and Album for From A Room: Volume 1. He receives one nomination for Album, but can receive an additional trophy as producer. This is his third consecutive nomination for Male, which he’s won the past two years. He was also nominated for Entertainer last year and won Album for Traveller in 2015. He is an 11-time CMA Awards nominee.

    The reigning CMA Vocal Duo Brothers Osborne received their first Music Video nod for “It Ain’t My Fault” and will once again vie for Vocal Duo, their third nomination in the category.

    First-time nominee, Jon Pardi, vies for two categories with nominations for New Artist of the Year and Single for “Dirt On My Boots,” which he co-produced. He receives one nomination for Single of the Year, but can receive an additional trophy as producer.

    With six CMA Awards to her name, Carrie, who is also co-hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley, returns to vie for Female Vocalist, a category she’s won four times (2006-2008, 2016) and nominated for consecutively since 2006.

    With 81 career nominations, Alan is the second most nominated artist in CMA Awards history. This year marks Jackson’s 24th CMA Awards performance since debuting in 1990 with “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.” He will receive Country Music’s Highest Honor, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, on Sunday, Oct. 22 during the official Medallion Ceremony at the CMA Theater.

    The 51st Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 8th at 8pm ET on ABC.

  • COUNTRY STARS REACT TO THE HORRIFIC TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS.

    Words are still hard to come by, emotions and unfamiliar feelings are flooding our hearts and souls and trying to process the horrific tragedy at the Rt. 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night (October 1st) is still something that we can’t quite do and which will affect us the rest of our lives. The Country Music family, community, fans and friends around the world have been shaken to the core by the devastating carnage from Sunday night.

    It has taken days for me to post the following:

     

    Eric Church performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Wednesday night (October 4th) and spoke eloquently and passionately about Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas. He was one of the headliners at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and painted the picture of the fans who attended the festival. He dedicated “Why Not Me,” a song he wrote this week, to Sonny Melton, the Paris, Tennessee man who died protecting his wife from the bullets that were being sprayed into the crowd of festivalgoers. Check out the videos below.

     

    While he performed “Here On Earth” the other morning for a national radio show, he’s also healing folks by talking to them and really listening to them, as well as giving much needed blood to the American Red Cross.

    Heartbroken for all the victims and families involved in #LasVegas. Still in disbelief. I love you all

    A post shared by Eric Paslay (@ericpaslay) on

    #prayforlasvegas

    A post shared by Luke Bryan Official (@lukebryan) on

    There are no words. Praying for all the victims and their families affected by the tragedy in Vegas.

    A post shared by Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) on

    Our hearts are so heavy this morning… sick to our stomachs.

    A post shared by Maddie & Tae (@maddieandtae) on

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BZw4F-PA725/?taken-by=canaansmith

    Psalm 91/Route 91

    A post shared by Sam Hunt (@samhuntmusic) on

    Lord be near (Route 91) Psalm 91

    A post shared by Sam Hunt (@samhuntmusic) on

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BZroEAlFpFr/?taken-by=karenfairchild

    …And the greatest of these is LOVE. ❤️ 1 Corinthians 13 #prayersforvegas

    A post shared by Kimberly Schlapman (@ohgussie) on

    On the worst day ever. It got even worse. #nowords #prayforvegas #musicisawesome #tompettyandtheheartbreakers

    A post shared by jonpardipics (@jonpardipics) on

    At a loss for words over what happened in Vegas last night…My prayers are with everyone involved.

    A post shared by J O R D A N D A V I S (@jordandavisofficial) on

     

    Audio / Before performing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” at Monday night’s Candlelight Vigil at Nashville’s Ascend Theater, Keith Urban offered hope and prayers from his family to everyone who was affected by Sunday night’s horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.

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    Keith Urban (Candlelight Vigil) OC: …in the world. 1:23
    “I I want to firstly offer the prayers and love of my whole family to everybody affected by last night’s horrific tragedy. I started this morning by finding out about it, and being shell-shocked all morning getting my kids ready for school. And our nine-year-old, as I was driving her to school this morning, said to, ‘Dad, you seem quiet.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it was a lot of people killed last night.’ She said, ‘Did you know any of them?’ I said, ‘Not that I know of.’ Then she said, ‘Well, why are you so sad?’ I said, ‘Well, first of all, these were innocent people horrifically taken. Secondly, they’re like family.’ It’s the one thing about country music that’s always been at the center of it. It is community. It’s about community. So, I did know those people in that way, and it just really hit me. I feel very grateful for this moment tonight to be able to put some light in the world.”

     

    Audio / Before performing "Go Rest High On That Mountain" at Monday night's Candlelight Vigil in Nashville, Vince Gill gave his thoughts to the horrific events of Sunday night.

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    Vince Gill (Candlelight Vigil) OC: …innocent people. :17
    Thank you for the opportunity to come and lift up 58 families who lost somebody last night. An honor to be here as a voice for the innocent. May we never lose our voice for innocent people.”

     

    Audio / Vince Gill's wife, Amy Grant, led a prayer at Monday night's Candlelight Vigil in Nashville to honor those who lost and risked their lives Sunday night in Las Vegas.

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    Amy Grant (Candlight Vigil) OC: …each other. Amen. 2:21
    Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of each other. Thank you that none of us is born alone or dies alone. But you go before us and beneath us and beside us and within us. Thank you for loving arms that were there to catch every fallen child, man and woman. Thank you for your presence that never leaves us. Thank you for word said over and over again, ‘Fear not.’ ‘Fear not.’ Father, in silence, we lift up, we just imagine all of the people rebuilding their lives. Broken. Grieving. And as a group, I don’t even know how to imagine lifting them all up, but I’m just picturing us almost like slinging them on our backs, lifting them up in our arms to the light of your love. We lift them up now, God, in silence. We lift up grieving spouses, God. We lift up moms and dads grieving the loss of a child, a son and a daughter. We lift up the doctors and nursing attending to the hundreds of people recovering. Give us the grace, God, every day, to see each other. To see each other. To see our differences. To see our similarities. To observe. To learn rather than judge. Fill our hearts with courage to not be afraid. To love, love, love. Thank you that you began this story that we’re all a part of, and you will finish it. And it began in love, and it will end in love. Thank you for the gift of each other. Amen.”

    Video / Eric Church performs "Why Not Me" on the Grand Ole Opry.

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    Video / Eric Church honors the victims and heroes and fans at Sunday night's horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.

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  • REMEMBERING 9/11: Alan, Darius, Eric, Lady A

    On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever with the devastating attacks on both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the events that took place 16 years ago.

    There is audio from country superstar Alan Jackson sharing memories and thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001 and discussing his song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” as well as remembrances from Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Eric Church.

    The chorus and melody of “Where Were You…” came to Jackson in the middle of the night several weeks after the 9/11 tragedies. He awoke…sang the words into a recorder and wrote down key elements of the chorus…and completed the lyrics and verses later that same day. Initially reluctant to record the song, he was convinced by family and friends to share it with the world and debuted “Where Were You…” live on national television in early November at the 35th annual CMA Awards.

    Audio / Alan Jackson describes how the events of September 11, 2001 impacted him…and talks about writing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” a few weeks later.

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    AJ (Where Were You) 2 OC: …same feelings. 1:33
    “Well, I don’t know – I think I was probably like most people that were impacted with that day and the months that followed. You know, everybody was glued to the news and television and I think it really affected a lot of people – their perspective on their lives and their jobs and their families and where they were and what they were wanting to do and how they looked at things. And I guess…I mean, that’s what I was thinking, too. And I just pretty much visualized a lot of those scenes and stories I’d heard and seen on television or heard people talk about. The song came out of nowhere in the middle of the night – the chorus did. Just a gift. And I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it, and then the next day I started piecing all those verses together that were the thoughts I’d had or visuals I’d had, and…that was about it. I think it was just really…I had so many people tell me that there’s always a line or something in there that they did, whether it was go to church or pick up their Bible or go see their mother or watch a sunset – I mean, just a lot of things in there people told me that they had actually done those things, so…I guess I was like everybody else, just feeling those same feelings.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson revealed the performance of 'Where Were You [When the World Stopped Turning]' on the CMA Awards was "tough."

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    Alan Jackson (Where Were You) 3 OC: …meant something. :56
    “It was a tough performance for me just the whole idea of releasing that song was a little big tough. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to put that out, but everybody convinced it was a good thing to do. In retrospect, I agree with that. But, I hadn’t sung the song much, first of all. It was just in the studio basically, you know, I wrote it. So, it was hard enough to go out there and sing something new anyway and then just the topic made it nerve-wracking to do. I didn’t think about what was gonna happen or anything. We just sang it, and I just remember other than being relieved that I got through it, I just felt very proud that it seemed to cause a reaction in people. I was proud that we got to do it, and it seemed like it meant something.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley – whose birthday is September 11th – recalls where he was on September 11, 2001.

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    Lady A (9-11 Charles) OC: …everybody. :30
    “It was my birthday believe it or not. Yeah. 9/11. So, I was in college, and yeah, it was wild. I mean, woke up, was getting ready to go to class. And I had a roommate come in and say, ‘Man, turn on the TV. Classes are canceled. You won’t believe…’ He had had an earlier class, and he comes in and says, ‘Turn on the TV.’ And we all got up and watched it. It was just wild. So, it’s hard to put into words. But it is funny, that it’s still and I can remember it and everybody can. It had such a huge Effect on everybody.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott explains she was in high school when she and her fellow classmates heard about the tragic events of 9-11.

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    Lady A (9-11 Hillary) OC: …we’re protected. 1:19

    “I was in 10th grade, which is weird to think that I was in 10th grade and Charles and Dave were in college. But I was actually on my way to history class, interestingly enough, and so we got to that class and turned the TV on, and we’re just watching the footage and then our, we ended up having an assembly that day where the whole school went into the gym and our headmaster got up and explained kind of everything that was going on and what happened. And it is. It’s one of those things that’s forever ingrained in your memory. And I actually had a close friend of mine, it’s actually my God sister’s dad has been in the military and he’s retired now. But he was on his way to the Pentagon and didn’t get there. But so luckily before everything happened but it’s just, I think everyone has that personal connection to it no matter if you knew someone there or not. It’s just … and I think too not only is it a time to reflect on those lost in that tragedy, I think it’s a time to really celebrate our military. And just another way of bringing praise to them and thanking them for what they do, which is protect us and protect our freedom on a daily basis. And thankfully nothing like that has happened since. And I think that that’s a testament to how well we’re protected.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker recalls where he was on September 11th, 2001.

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    Darius Rucker (9-11) OC: …vicious day. :24
    “[On] 9-11, I was playing golf with a friend early in the morning. Had an apartment in New York, and I lived in New York kind of at the time. If you looked out my bedroom window, we saw the World Trade Center. I was on my way back home. I was playing a 7 o’clock round of golf, and then I was catching a noon flight, and when I was finishing up, we stopped in to get a drink and I looked and we saw the second tower come down. It was a vicious day.”

    Audio / Eric Church was on his way to work when he heard the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2011.

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    Eric Church (9-11) OC: …that feeling. :23
    “I was driving into work — the Shop-At-Home Network — I was listening to Gerry House, I remember that, and the news broke. [I] really couldn’t grasp what had happened until I got to work and saw it for myself on television. I remember I watched the second plane hit the tower in real time. I had just moved to Nashville earlier that year, and all I remember is wanting to go home and be with those I loved. I’ll never, I’ll never forget that feeling.”

  • LABOR DAY 2017: AJ, Billy, Canaan, Darius, Dierks, Keith, Kip, Lady A, Luke and many more

    For many decades, Labor Day was seen as a day for workers to voice their complaints and discuss better working conditions and pay.

    U.S. Congress declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, and on Monday, September 4th, we will once again celebrate the people in every occupation whose work and dedication make this nation great. Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

    Labor Day weekend also signals the unofficial end to summer, and many of the hottest country stars are taking a look back at some of the toughest jobs they had prior to making their mark in music or talking about their dream job now.

    Audio / Alan Jackson says that working man values have always been a part of his music.

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    AJ (working people songs) OC: … appreciate that. :28
    “I’ve always written songs and recorded songs, other people’s songs, about workin’ people, and workin’, the workin’ life ’cause I mean, that’s where I’m from. I mean, I worked…I’d already had jobs and worked as a grown person before I ever even thought about bein’ in the music business, so I come from that background, and…although I hadn’t had a job in a long time (laughs), I still remember a lot about it, you know, and I remember what the lifestyle is, and I still appreciate that.”

    Audio / Billy Currington recalls some of the jobs he had before landing his record deal in 2003.

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    Billy Currington (Labor Day) OC: …record deal. :40
    “I started working like at [age] 12, landscaping. This was summer, every summers, and roofing. I started when I was about 16 roofing houses, and that was probably one of my toughest jobs because down there in South Georgia, it gets hot, so doing that every day all summer long. The pawn shop when I moved to Nashville was one of my favorites, even though it was one of my least favorites. The concrete job was my least favorite of all – six years of that, and I couldn’t take it no more. After that job, that was my turning point. Either I’m going to do something else for a living [laughs] or quit and try to really focus on music and get this record deal.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith talks about the bad jobs he had before signing a publishing deal and later a record deal.

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    Canaan Smith (worst jobs) OC: …of that. [laughs] :54
    “I’ve had some terrible jobs. I was a janitor for a while, and I mopped floors, vacuums all kinds of, picking up dog poop, taking out trash, just basically somebody’s beyatch [laughs], that was my job. I did that for two-and-a-half years before I signed a publishing deal. Before that, actually my very first job, I got fired from. It was some sort of candy/chocolate store. My mom dropped me off one time, and I went to work and I was like I think I can do this, and then two shifts later I just didn’t show up because I didn’t understand the concept of having to look at a schedule to see when you come in. I just didn’t show. I just thought they’d call me, ‘Hey, we need you to come in.’ I didn’t know. I was 15 years old, and never worked and that kind of stuff. I always cut grass when I was a kid and cleaned golf clubs – whatever I could do to make some money. But, yeah, I got fired from my first job. I’m pretty proud of that.” [laughs]

    Audio / Darius Rucker recalls one of his worst jobs before turning to music.

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    Darius Rucker (Labor Day) OC: …pizza. :15
    “I was fifteen, and I worked at a pizza place, and the guy decided that at fifteen, that I could not only clean the floors and wash the dishes, but I also had to make pizza. So, for two months, he taught me how to make pizza.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley makes a living performing for his fans, and he can’t say enough about them.

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    Dierks Bentley (Labor Day) OC: …generosity. :26
    “Personally, the fans give me amazement. That’s the only word to really sum it up. I look out in the crowd, you know, usually see a lot of faces and fans are cheering. I know each one of these like from the road-the signs are from California…Michelle and Kayla live up in the Ohio area. They’re all, I just see them, and I’m like, ‘Wow!,’ they’re all from different regions. You know when you’re in a different region of the country and you just see certain fans. These people are way more hard core than I am, and I’m just amazed by their generosity.”

    Audio / Eric Church talks about one of his worst job.

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    Eric Church (Labor Day-odd jobs) OC: …bought at 2am. 1:27
    “I had an awful job. I’ve had a lot of awful jobs…my worst one was when I first came to Nashville. I got a job at the Shop at Home Network. I worked midnight, graveyard, midnight to eight. That was bad enough but then I would work all night, go home, shower and then I had writing appointments all day because I was trying to get a career started. I’d go write songs and get meetings just trying to get signed. And end up getting done at 3 of 4 with all of that, I’d go home, take a shower or sleep for a little bit and then I had to be at work again at midnight. So the schedule was bad enough, however, what I had to do at the job…I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8am. And, anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4am and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. And I just, I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this…I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ So the reason the job didn’t last long for me is that I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it, I’d say, ‘I’ll tell you what man, go to bed, call me, I’ll be here in the morning. If you get up in the morning and want these knives you call me back.’ Because I knew what was going to happen, you know. They bought 200 knives for $19.95…first of all some of these people you didn’t know whether you should call the cops. What do you need 200 knives for? Even though I’m selling them…what do you need them for? So, it was awful doing that job. And then they got rid of me because, they were like, ‘You’re the worst. I can’t believe you’re talking people out of it.’ I was like, ‘Man I know…I’ve been there.’ [laughs] I’d want some to talk me out of buying some of the stuff I’ve bought at 2am.”

    Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his first job…printing logos on fanny packs.

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    Eric Paslay (Labor Day) OC: …could print. :34
    “My first official job was working at a screen printing place in Texas during the summer in a metal building that had no AC. We printed on fanny packs – really cool — and these other little bags. And it was eye doctors that, some company if you bought supplies through them, they’d put your logo on fanny packs for your customers to put in a drawer somewhere. Fanny packs are cool, if you like ‘em. You know, we’d like time ourselves to see how many fanny packs you could print.”

    Audio / Jon Pardi talks about his worst job, which was at a grocery store.

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    Jon Pardi (Labor Day) OC: …so bored! :17
    “The worst job I ever had was at Hometown Grocery Store. I didn’t want to work. I was 15, and I did not want to work at the grocery store. Bagging was fun, but they sent me down the aisles to pull up cans and turn ‘em around and face ‘em, and I would just get so bored!”

    Audio / Jordan Davis, whose debut single is making its way up the country charts, talks about his worst job.

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    Jordan Davis (Labor Day) OC: …worst job. :41
    “[My] worst job was probably whenever I got out of school I started working for an environmental group in Baton Rouge, and I was doing actual environmental work at first. I went to my boss probably about four months in and told him that I was going to move to Nashville and write songs. Luckily enough, he let me stay on, but I became the weedeater guy for the landscaping side of the business. I seriously weedeated eight hours a day. The only break I would get would be in-between yard to yard. So, like we would be in the car and I would try to doze off for like 10 minutes. I was covered in grass in the middle of the summer in Baton Rouge. It was awful. That was definitely the worst job.”

    Audio / Kip Moore recalls his worst job...ever.

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    Kip Moore (Labor Day-worst job) OC: …than that. :21
    “I’d have to say my worst job ever was laying sod in the south Georgia heat. There’s nothing than that, especially when somebody would think that you’re waiting for the next sod patch to be thrown to you and you got your back turned, and all of a sudden, that big ole piece of sod hits you right on the back. You got nowhere to clean up, and you’re just stuck with dirt on your back for the rest of the day. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”

    Audio / Keith Urban talks about performing for fans.

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    Keith Urban (Labor Day) OC: …amazing. :22
    “Seeing people connect to the music is absolutely, hands-down the biggest reward for me, especially when you go to a place you’ve never been to before and it’s all these people, I mean lots of people out there. You’ve never met a single one of ‘em and they’re singing every word, and you realize that it’s not just a pretty melody and everything, but they get the songs. It’s amazing.”

    Audio / Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum tells us what he used to do to make a buck before finding success as a musician.

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    Lady A (Labor Day) OC: …I had a lot of crummy jobs. :31
    CK “I used to…” HS: “… knock out asbestos walls.” CK: “I did that for a long time. But even before that, I used to do lawn care every summer. Oh, man, I do not miss that. Just glad those days are over. I get out here and play music for a living. It’s a lot more fun. But yeah, I used to do that, and I used to work as a bag boy at a golf course once. I did that for a couple of summers. I had a lot of crummy jobs.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about the different jobs he worked in and around Leesburg, Georgia, before heading to Nashville to pursue a career in music.

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    Luke Bryan (Labor Day-jobs) OC: …Nashville… 1:07
    “At age 12 thru 13, I worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, GA. I worked during the summers on Monday and Tuesday. I stocked and cleaned up the produce.  They paid me under the table…I peeled off all of the brown lettuce. Let’s see, when I was 15, I was a cashier at K-Mart for two months. I worked at K-Mart for two months, and then I reverted back to Rubos because it didn’t really make sense for me to drive all the way into Albany and work for K-Mart. The benefits were great though-you’d get an hour-long on the blue light special. So I started back at Rubos, and then I quit Rubos and worked for my Dad-just awful just driving tractors through cotton all day, and spraying pesticides that eventually would turn your hair green. And then at some point, I started playing guitar. And well, after college I went back and worked for my dad and continued to spray and haul fertilizer around. And then I moved to Nashville…”