• ALAN JACKSON IS ANNOUNCED AS ONE OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME.

    The Country Music Association announced today that Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed, and Don Schlitz will become the 2017 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

    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.

    “Thank you, CMA and Country Music Hall Of Fame, for recognizing all the years of love, dedication, and hard work that daddy put into his craft. He loved Country Music and would be so deeply humbled and appreciative if he was here. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Reed’s daughters, Seidina Hubbard and Lottie Zavala.

    Jackson 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!”

    Alan told us following up, “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.”

    “I live in the parentheses; I’m just a small part of a wonderful process of making music. This is overwhelming and humbling,” said Schlitz.

    Formal induction ceremonies for Reed, Jackson, and Schlitz will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in the CMA Theater in October. 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.

    “These three storytellers have added much to our lives, and to the story of Country Music,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “They stand as models of undeniable eloquence and empathy. Over many decades, they have brought laughter, joy, and tears to millions. The Hall of Fame Rotunda will be grander for the presence of Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed, and Don Schlitz.”

    Hosted by Country Music Hall of Fame member, President of the Board of Officers and Trustees of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 18-time CMA Award winner, and 12-time host of the CMA Awards, Vince Gill, the announcement was made today in the Rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and could be seen via live stream on CMAworld.com. Media assets are available for download at vistalive.net/CMAHOF and CMApress.com.

     

    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 World, Don’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 was at his local honkytonk, AJ’s Goodtime Bar, when he got the news he was going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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    Alan Jackson (where he was when they told him about the HOF) OC: …what to say. :52
    “When they first told me, we were actually standing in, I have this little bar on Broadway that we opened a while back and we were, the record label called and said they wanted to meet with me that morning for some kind of meeting, you know, and they never meet withg me. I figured they were gonna drop me off the label ‘cause I hadn’t turned in my album like they want me to. So, that’s where we were and then Sarah [Trahern] and everybody, all these people walked in. I thought it was some kind of intervention, you know? Anyway, when they told me what it was for, I mean it caught me off-guard and I was, I know I stumbled around and couldn’t even think of what to say, because I didn’t know what to say. It caught me off-guard. People have been telling me for years, ‘Aww, you’ll be in the Hall of Fame. You’ll be in the Hall of fame.’ But you just don’t think about it that way, and when it happened, I still didn’t know what to say.”

     

    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 his 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.”

  • NEWS & NOTES: LBT, Luke, Eric, Sam, Darius, Chris, Alan

    Little Big Town will perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday (March 1st), followed by The Talk on March 14th.

    Luke Bryan will perform on The Tonight  Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday (March 2nd).

    Eric Church and Sam Hunt, along with Jason Aldean, will headline the 4th Annual Route 91 Harvest Festival September 29th – October 1st at Nevada’s Las Vegas Village. Tickets go on sale Friday (March 3rd).

    Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton and Alan Jackson are scheduled to perform during this year’s Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The three-day concert event will take place April 7th – 9th and will also feature such artists as Brett Eldredge, Kenny Chesney, Maren Morris, Dustin Lynch, Brett Young, Chris Lane and many more.

  • VALENTINE’S DAY AUDIO 2017: AJ, Billy, Canaan, Dierks, Eric, Josh, Lauren, LBT, Luke

    Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special someone. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century.

    Over 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. (This total excludes packaged kids valentines for classroom exchanges.) (Source: Hallmark research)

    2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually, which breaks down to more than 6,000 a day.

    Tuesday is Valentine’s Day (February 14th), and we’ve got some thoughts and feelings more about love, romance and marriage from several of your favorite country artists. Some are new and some have become our favorites over the years. Which country stars are romantic? Which ones aren’t? Which ones have a good reason to celebrate the holiday that’s all about love?

    Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his love for wife, Denise, over the years.

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    AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24

    “We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hits was a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”

    Audio / Billy Currington recalls his first real Valentine’s Day.

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    Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day memory) OC: …took off running. :21
    “Yeah, I remember my first girlfriend. I was in first or second grade, but anyway, I remember it was Valentine’s Day and your mom going, ‘You’ve got to give your girlfriend something, and you’ve got to go give it to her.’ I’ll never forget — we got her a box of chocolates or whatever it was. I remember going down to her classroom and knocking on the door, getting her to come to the door. I remember handing it to her, and then I took off running.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith says he tries to show his wife how special she is every day.

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    Canaan Smith (Valentine’s Day) OC: …get lucky. :25
    “I bet I’m just like 99.9% of the rest of the men in the world who could really care less about that holiday. I want my wife to feel special, so I’m gonna take part in it. I’m gonna do my part to make her feel special and loved, but is it necessary? Shouldn’t we do that every day? I mean, it kinda is just another way to get a bunch of money out of us, but oh well. We’ll go see a movie or something. Maybe I’ll get lucky.”

     

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains the realities of Valentine’s Day.

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    Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day realities) OC: …that’s awesome. :53
    “I’m gonna be the voice of truth and honesty for Valentine’s Day for a lot of the guys out there listening and for some of the girls listening, as well too. You may like this; you may not, but Valentine’s Day is a really difficult day for guys. When you’re single, it’s stressful for like a month leading up to it, and inevitably, you do something wrong. You don’t get the wrong thing or you say too much, and she’s wanting to get engaged faster than you want to get engaged. I don’t know. It’s just a very stressful holiday. I’m at a time in my life where I got a five-year-old, a three-year-old and a zero-year-old, and we’re just really trying to survive on a day-to-day basis. I mean, we get about four hours of sleep, and we’re literally in survival mode. So, I think there should be a hall pass for guys in that phase of their life. It doesn’t take much at this stage for us to get excited. A dinner alone is heaven. I mean, if we can just have a dinner and a glass of wine, that’s awesome.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley says so far his ultimate romantic gesture was when he proposed to his wife, Cassidy, and with three children in the house, it’s a little hard to get away together.

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    Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s peak) OC: …48-hour party, you know? [chuckles]
    “I kind of peaked when I dropped the engagement ring on her and surprised her with that and took her to Mexico and eloped. I spiked early. I peaked early. Now we’re in our eighth year. I need to find something special to do, but we keep having kids. It’s like, we can’t be away from them. We’re gonna find a week when they’re all in school and everything is set and we’ve got somebody. We have no family in town. We just have some folks that we really count on. When we get everyone locked in place, we’re gonna go somewhere for like two days and get away and have like a two-day, 48-hour party, you know?” [chuckles]

    Audio / Eric Church says his wife, Katherine, loves him in spite of everything.

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    Eric Church (Valentine’s) OC: …love song is. :18 “True love to me is when you love a person in spite of all their fallibilities, and for me, I have a lot of ‘em. I’m definitely at times hard to love, and that’s what’s great about Katherine and the way she loves me. She loves me in spite of those things and really for those things.”

    Audio / Josh Turner says his wife would call him a romantic, but now that they have four children, it takes a bit of work to make time for each other.

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    Josh Turner (Romantic) OC: …long time to come. :26
    “If you ask my wife Jennifer if I was a romantic, she would definitely say, ‘Yes,’ but she knows that sometimes my hectic schedule and our busy lifestyles can kind of interfere with the romantic side of things. But we do try to make efforts towards being together and having adult conversations and taking time away from the children and doing things that husbands and wives do, so we’ll definitely try to continue that for a long time to come.”

    Audio / Lauren Alaina recalls her first, and potentially disastrous, Valentine’s Day with her longtime boyfriend, Alex.

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    Lauren Alaina (Valentine’s Day) OC: …pretty embarrassing. 1:51
    “I think my first Valentine’s Day with Alex, I was trying to be super cute and cook him a Valentine’s Day dinner. I was 18 at the time, and I’d just moved into this brand new apartment in Chattanooga. I was trying to get used to not living with my parents before I moved to Nashville, so I did like six months in Chattanooga in an apartment. And [giggles] my mom makes these really great mashed potatoes, which I’ve modified the recipe, but they’re delicious and I wanted to make him these potatoes, because I knew I could make these potatoes. Well, I did not grow up with a very updated kitchen, so I didn’t have a [garbage] disposal, it was very new to me. So, I peeled the bag of potatoes and put the potato peels in to the sink and tried to use the disposal and it broke it before he got there. Annnd, I turned the water on, and I was baking chicken and I was cooking broccoli and mashed potatoes, and just turned the water on and then I forgot I had the water on, so I overflowed the kitchen sink with the potato peels, and it looked like something died in my sink and my sink was like spitting it up. It was horrible. I was panicking and trying to get it all cleaned up before he got there, and he knocked in the middle of it, like knocked on the door. He was early, of course. He’s always early, and he freaking knocked. I had like potato peels flying through the air, my potatoes were boiling over. I was still boiling the potatoes. I was running behind and he was running early, so it was just crazy. But, we’ve had some great Valentine’s. Last Valentine’s, he cooked for me and everything was smooth, so maybe he should be the cook. Uh, I’m a great cook, I just was trying to use a disposal for the first time, and that was pretty embarrassing.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook had a chemistry performing together, but it wasn’t until they each found themselves single…at the same time…that sparks flew romantically. The pair, who wed in 2006, have a son, Elijah.

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    Little Big Town (Jimi & Karen fell in love) OC: (Kimberly) …to be together. :48 JIMI: “We were in the band a long time before there was ever anything which is interesting. I think there was always something underlying there that we were kind of trying to ignore. And then when the opportunity came, when all of us, ended up single kind of at the same time, a very strange turn of events for the band in a lot of different ways. And those feelings, you were able to come out with them finally. It was like, we’re single. Let’s get together. And, you know, she has a beautiful heart and she’s absolutely gorgeous and I just love her dearly.”

    PHILLIP: “Get a room!” [laughs]

    KIMBERLY: “They’re a perfect match. They really are. They were meant to be together.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan says Valentine’s Day is for him and his wife, Caroline.

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    Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day) OC: …full day. :11
    “Well, I mean Valentine’s Day is, it’s kinda me and Caroline’s day just to go and just being with one another for a full day.”

     

  • Mrs. Ruth Musick “Mama Ruth” Jackson – Mother of Alan Jackson – Has Died Beloved Family Matriarch Was 86.

    IMG_5071 IMG_5072

    Mrs. Ruth Jackson – known to her family, friends and country music fans the world over simply as “Mama Ruth” – died Saturday morning, January 7, peacefully at her home in Newnan, Georgia. Mrs. Jackson became a celebrated part of son Alan Jackson’s career and life story as the inspiration behind some of his fans’ favorite music. Mama Ruth was 86.

    Born April 2, 1930 in Lowell, Georgia, Mama Ruth at the young age of 16 married the love of her life, Joseph Eugene “Daddy Gene” Jackson, in 1946. Their marriage was blessed by five children – daughters Diane, Cathy, Carol, Connie and son Alan. Mama Ruth is survived by all, as well as by 12 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Her beloved husband Eugene passed 17 years ago, in January of 2000.

    Childhood memories of his mother have factored into many of Alan Jackson’s songs over the years. It was Mama Ruth who inspired Jackson’s Precious Memories, a collection of gospel hymns that was originally created as a Mother’s Day gift to her with no intention of ever being made into a commercial release. Jackson’s second Christmas album, Let It Be Christmas, was also inspired by Mama Ruth’s desire and request to hear her son record some of the holiday’s traditional classics. Alan also told the story of his parents’ early years as a couple in “Home,” describing their house built around an old tool shed…the place Mama Ruth called home for 70 years until the day she died.

     

    “My mama raised five children – four girls, and there was me.
    She found her strength in faith in God and a love of family.
    She never had a social life; home was all she knew
    Except the time she took a job to pay a bill or two.”
    (Lyrics from “Home,” by Alan Jackson)

     

    More than 20 years later, those words still describe Mama Ruth as perfectly as they did the first time he shared them with us. Jackson’s frequent references to her and her occasional appearance at awards shows and events made Mama Ruth a beloved figure to Jackson’s fans. It was a role she embraced, greeting those who frequently sought out her son’s childhood home, inviting them to take a photo on the front porch or offering them a glass of iced tea as she would any guest in her home.

    To read more about the life of Mrs. Ruth Musick “Mama Ruth” Jackson, go to www.McKoon.com.

  • CHRISTMAS 2016: Alan Jackson

    Alan Jackson is the patriarch of a family of five, including his wife Denise and his three daughters Mattie, Ali and Dani. Even though his children are grown, his family still stick to their Christmas traditions.

    “Christmas is pretty traditional. We don’t let anybody open any presents until Christmas morning,” says Alan. “We don’t let them get up on their own and take off, you know, everybody has to wait and kind of get situated, and maybe have a cup of coffee, and then we start all of the regular Christmas morning activities, opening presents, taking pictures and video. We have music going, you know, I try to keep Christmas music going in the background. I like to turn that on before I let them come down to the tree and everything.”

    Alan released his second holiday album, Let It Go, in 2002.

    Audio / Alan Jackson talks about the holiday traditions of the Jackson house.

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    Alan Jackson (Christmas traditions) OC: …everything. :30
    “Christmas is pretty traditional. We don’t let anybody open any presents until Christmas morning, after Santa Claus comes. We don’t let them get up on their own and take off, you know, everybody has to wait and kind of get situated, and maybe have a cup of coffee, and then we start all of the regular Christmas morning activities, opening presents, taking pictures and video. We have music going, you know, I try to keep Christmas music going in the background. I like to turn that on before I let them come down to the tree and everything.”

    Audio / Even with all the celebrating, Alan Jackson doesn’t lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas.

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    Alan Jackson (meaning of Christmas) OC: …lovely Christmas. :20
    “Always try to remember Jesus’ birthday, and just the whole thing, and have a wonderful, big meal, almost like Thanksgiving four weeks later. We have the same, pretty much – turkey, dressing, all the same kind of things. Sometimes we have family members in Tennessee, and sometimes just us or friends, and we always go home to Georgia prior to that, you know…pretty standard, lovely Christmas.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson talks about the Christmas music he likes.

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    AJ (Christmas music) OC: …at Christmas. :15
    “I love the, you know, when we listen to Christmas songs, we put on the old ones that you grew up with, and the classic recordin’s and…from Gene Autry to Nat King [Cole], and you know, all the guys and Bing Crosby and everybody. But songs that we like to listen to at Christmas.”

  • ALAN JACKSON WILL ROLL DOWN THE HONKY TONK HIGHWAY IN 2017.

    Alan Jackson is taking his 25-plus years of hits and fan-favorites on the road in the new year, as he embarks on his 2017 HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR. Lee Ann Womack will be the special guest on select shows.

    Alan’s HONKY TONK HIGHWWAY TOUR will find the country music icon “keepin’ it country” as he always has…performing hits that have gained him legions of longtime fans, as well as songs that continue to draw new crowds as a younger generation discovers his music. Jackson’s repertoire withstands the test of time; it has impacted a host of artists who cite Jackson as an influence. It’s a night a real country music when Jackson comes to town – fans will hear the songs they love from the man who wrote them and made them famous, from his debut hit, “Here in The Real World” through signature songs such as “Chattahoochee,” “Drive” and “Gone Country”…the career-defining “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” and poignant “Remember When”… party anthems “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “Good Time”…and many more.

    Jackson’s 2017 tour will find the superstar playing arenas and amphitheaters, as well as some of the biggest annual festivals and multi-day events on the country music calendar. Special guest Lee Ann Womack joins Jackson on select dates (with several more to be announced). As a Jackson duet partner of long-standing, Lee Ann has appeared on several of Alan’s albums, and the two have shared a number of stages, including the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. Lee Ann also honored Jackson at the 2014 CMT Music Awards when he received his Impact Award. Fans will hear hits spanning Lee Ann’s career to date, as well as brand new and unreleased songs.

    Tickets and information for all of Jackson’s HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR dates are available at alanjackson.com, where you can find information about Alan, his tour schedule, music and more. VIP tickets and packages are also available for most shows.

    Jackson’s most-recent studio album, Angels and Alcohol, topped the charts when it was released…and he’s the subject of a best-selling, three-disc box set, Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story.

    Alan Jackson’s touring history has taken him across America and to places far beyond as his music gained him fans around the globe. In 2017, he’ll continue the tradition of playing that music for people far and wide as he travels the HONKY TONK HIGHWAY to a city near you. 

    ALAN JACKSON’S 2017 “HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR”
    (partial listing – more dates to be announced/added) 
    Friday, January 20 – Tulsa, OK (Paradise Cove) **
    Friday, January 27 – Pensacola, FL (Pensacola Bay Center) **++
    Saturday, January 28 – Atlanta (Duluth), GA (Infinite Energy Center) **++
    Saturday, February 25 – Laughlin, NV (Laughlin Events Center) ^^
    Friday, March 10 – Durant, OK (Choctaw Casino Resort) **
    Friday/Saturday, March 24/25 – Rancho Mirage, CA (Aqua Caliente Casino) **
    Saturday, April 8 – St. Augustine, FL (St. Augustine Amphitheatre) ~~++
    Sunday, April 9 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Tortuga Music Festival) **
    Saturday, May 27 – Forest City, IA (Tree Town Country Music Festival) **
    Friday, June 23 – North Platte, NE (Nebraskaland Days) **
    Saturday, June 24 – Manhattan, KS (Country Stampede) **
    Saturday, October 28 – Minneapolis, MN (Target Center) **
    **Date is already onsale
    ^^Tickets onsale Friday, December 9
    ~~Tickets onsale Friday, December 16
    ++with special guest Lee Ann Womack
     
    ABOUT ALAN JACKSON:
    The man from rural Newnan, GA, who claims he is just a “singer of simple songs,” has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide, ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time in all genres, and was recently listed as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time by Billboard. He has released more than 60 singles – registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard chart-toppers). He has earned more than 150 music industry awards – including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards. Jackson received the first-ever ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014 having earned the title of most-performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.
    Alan Jackson is one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music. He is in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that they’ve recorded and taken to the top of the charts. Jackson is one of the best-selling artists since the inception of SoundScan, ranking alongside the likes of Eminem and Metallica. Jackson’s current album, Angels and Alcohol, topped the country album charts when it was released last summer. He is also the subject of a new box set, Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story, available now. 
  • CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY LINERS 2017: AJ, Billy, Brothers O, Canaan, Clare, Darius, David, Dierks, Easton, Church, Paslay, Gary, Strait, Pardi, Josh, Kacey, Keith, Kip, Lady A, Lauren, LBT Luke, Sam, Shania, TBP, Toby, etc.

    Holiday liners from UMG Nashville artists, including Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, Brothers Osborne, Canaan Smith, Clare Dunn, Darius Rucker, David Nail, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, George Strait, Jon Pardi, Josh Turner, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Shania Twain, The Band Perry, Toby Keith and many more!

     

    Audio / LINER AJ (Christmas)

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    “Hi! This is Alan Jackson, and I’m wishing y’all a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Billy Currington (Happy Holiday Season)

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    “Hi! Billy Currington here, wishing you and your family a safe and Happy Holiday Season.”

    Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is T.J., and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Christmas)

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    “Hey! What’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Clare Dunn (Christmas)

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    “Hey! What’s up? This is Clare Dunn, hoping you have a Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Christmas)

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    “Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER David Nail (Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is David Nail, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is Dierks Bentley, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey everybody! It’s Dierks Bentley, wishing you a very Happy Holiday season.”

    Audio / LINER Easton Corbin (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey everybody! This is Easton Corbin, wishing you and your family a Happy Holidays.”

     

    Audio / LINER Easton Corbin (Merry Christmas)

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    “Hey everybody! This is Easton Corbin, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Eric Church (Christmas)

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    “Hey everybody! It’s Eric Church, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (Christmas)

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    “Hi! I’m Eric Paslay. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Gary Allan (Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is Gary Allan. Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER George Strait (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey everybody! This is George Strait, wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season.”

    Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Merry Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is Jon Pardi, wishing you a Merry Christmas!”

    Audio / LINER Josh Turner (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey! I’m Josh Turner, wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.”

    Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is Kacey Musgraves, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Christmas)

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    “Hi folks, this is Keith Urban, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Holiday season)

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    “Hi everyone, this is Keith Urban, wishing you and all your family the very best this holiday season.”

    [[audio-player- 21]]

    Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey y’all, it’s Kip Moore. Happy Holidays!”

    Audio / LINER Lady A (Christmas)

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    “Hey everybody! We’re Lady Antebellum, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Lady A (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey everybody! We are Lady Antebellum. Happy Holidays.”

    Audio / LINER Lauren Alaina (Christmas)

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    “Hey! This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER LBT (Christmas)

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    “Hey! We’re Little Big Town, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER LBT (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Holidays!”

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Christmas)

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    “Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey! It’s Luke Bryan. Happy Holidays!”

    Audio / LINER Mickey Guyton (Christmas)

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    “Hey! It’s Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

    [[audio-player- 31]]

    Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Happy Holidays)

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    “Hey everybody! I’m Sam Hunt. Happy Holidays!”

    Audio / LINER Shania Twain (Christmas)

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    “Hi, this is Shania Twain, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

    [[audio-player- 34]]

    Audio / LINER Toby Keith (politically correct holiday liner)

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    “Hey! It’s Toby Keith with the gift of politically correctness. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah, or Bah Humbug. Whatever way you celebrate, I hope it’s a good one.”

  • THANKSGIVING 2016

    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 24th, 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, David Nail, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, 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 / Darius Rucker talks about what he's most thankful for.

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    Darius Rucker (Thanksgiving) OC: …alive. :17
    “The main thing I’m thankful for is my family, no doubt about that. Thanksgiving is about family first, you know either getting together going to New Jersey and getting together with family or in Charleston and getting together with my family and just cooking and eating and sitting around talking and remembering and being thankful for where we are and that we’re all still alive.”


    Audio / David Nail talks about his favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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    David Nail (Thanksgiving dish) OC: …spoonful. :33
    “My favorite Thanksgiving dish was my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese. There probably wasn’t anything elaborate about it. It was probably the cheapest macaroni and cheese that money can buy, but for some reason it was always extra special, and she would also add extra cheese to it for me. My cousin Matt and I would have many, many fights about who would get the last spoonful.”

    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 gives thanks for many things, including his wife and two daughters.

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    Keith (Thanksgiving) OC: …for me. :21
    “Thankful that, well, my marriage is just, it’s life-giving, not just life-changing, it’s been life-giving for me. And from there, we created life, and that’s just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And the effect that all of that has had in my work, has given life to it too, given it a sense of purpose and really deepened the experience for me.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley talks about the annual eating contest he and his two brothers – Josh and John -- have over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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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 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 / 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 / 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 / Mickey Guyton reveals her favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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    Mickey Guyton (favorite Thanksgiving dish) OC: …both so much! :39
    “My favorite Thanksgiving dish that has to, has to, has to be at Thanksgiving dinner is dessert. Dessert is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. I mean, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s sweet. My mom actually makes an Italian cream cake that’s absolutely awesome. It’s homemade, and the entire family, that’s the first thing to go at Thanksgiving dinner. And my Grandma D, she makes a pecan pie that is awesome. She taught me how to make them when I was little, and I just love them, and that’s the other thing that I look forward to at Thanksgiving dinner, and I love them both so much!”

    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.”

     

     

  • GEORGE STRAIT AND ALAN JACKSON WILL PERFORM ON THE CMA AWARDS…TOGETHER.

    George Strait and Alan Jackson will perform together on tonight’s CMA Awards to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. The two have been friends for more than 20 years and have collaborated on the CMA Awards previously. The two teamed up in 1999 to perform “Murder on Music Row,” which happened to win an award for Vocal Event of the Year in 2000. And again in 2013 to pay tribute to the late George Jones by performing his song “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

    Audio / George Strait talks about performing with his friend Alan Jackson on the CMA Awards.

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    George Strait (CMA AJ performance) OC: …came out of it. :32
    “Well Alan has been one of my favorite people that I’ve met in the business since I’ve been in it.  I’ve met a lot of great people and Alan and I have become friends.  We just have.  I love his writing, his singing and we cut some things together before.  And so when all of this came about I called him and we talked about it and had our little heart to heart about everything.  And so this is kind of what came out of it.”

     

  • CMA AWARDS 50: Alan Jackson

    He’s been making music for just over 25 years…but in that time span, Alan Jackson has become one of the most-nominated and most-awarded artists in the 50-year history of the CMA Awards – while also providing country music fans with some of the annual event’s most memorable moments.

    Alan is a 16-time CMA Award winner…he’s been nominated 81 times, a record second only to his friend George Strait…and he’s one of only five artists to be named CMA Entertainer of the Year three or more times (the others are Strait, AlabamaGarth Brooks and Kenny Chesney). He earned his first CMA nominations – for Album, Single, Song of the Year and the Horizon Award – in 1990. Four years later, in 1995, he was crowned Entertainer of the Year for the first time. And, in 2002, he broke a record previously held by Merle Haggard (since 1970) when he made history by scoring 10 nominations – he would go on to win five, including his second Entertainer of the Year honor…and repeated in that category for a third time a year later.

    Along the way, Alan’s become a perennial favorite performer for fans, creating two of what are arguably the most memorable moments in the show’s history. In 1999, when friend and mentor George Jones was invited to perform but told he could only do an abbreviated version of his nominated hit, “Choices,” the legend refused to appear. Alan picked up the protest single-handedly, gesturing to his band moments into his own scheduled performance of “Pop-a-Top” and shifting directly into Jones’ hit song. A couple years later, as the nation was still reeling from the fresh wounds left by the terrorist attacks of 9-11 just two months earlier, Alan unveiled a never-before-heard song that had come to him in the middle of the night just days earlier. A healing nation found solace in the simple question, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”…turning it into a defining moment in country and American music history.

    Alan will perform again as part of this year’s 50th Annual CMA Awards, and he’s one of the artists featured in the all-star “Forever Country” single created specifically to celebrate the CMAs 50th anniversary.

    The 50th Annual CMA Awards will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Wednesday (November 2nd) at 8pm ET on ABC.

    Audio / Alan Jackson recalls the first time he was named CMA Entertainer of the Year (in 1995).

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    AJ CMA-50 01 OC: …for me. :32
    “Obviously, I was very proud and excited about it. But, at the same time, I almost felt like I wasn’t hardly qualified yet or something. I remember watching that show when I was still in Georgia, before I even hardly thought about being a singer, I guess. But, I don’t know – I just never thought about the Entertainer award up to that point that much. But I was in some good company and…I guess the first time was kind of a surprise for me.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson says it was an honor to be named CMA Entertainer of the Year…and it impacted his life and career.

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    AJ CMMA-50 02 OC: …to wear.  :28
    “Within the industry and people that book concerts and, you know, the TV shows and all the thigs that go with the rest of your career, I think it does make a difference to have that title for a while. And it really – that’s…that’s pretty good to be in that small of company, and I definitely feel like it’s a…you know, it’s a badge that not a lot of people have had the opportunity to wear.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson recalls his decision to perform “Choices” for George Jones at the 1999 CMA Awards.

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    AJ CMA-50  03 OC: …out there. :26
    “I hadn’t told anybody. Not even my manager…the band…anybody. When we walked out there, before we walked out to do – I was doing an old song ‘Pop-a-Top’ I had out – I told the band, ‘If I stop the song – if I raise my hand and stop the song in the middle of that song, y’all stop.’ I said, ‘I may do something different.’ That’s all I told ‘em. ‘Cause I didn’t want them to know. What I was worried about was if word got out, the CMA’d probably shut me down [and] wouldn’t let me go out there. And so, I had to sneak out there.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson still finds it hard to comprehend the impact his song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” has 15 years after he unveiled it on the 2001 CMA Awards.

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    AJ CMA-50 04 OC: …like they did. :24
    “Even after it was a big hit and everybody was talking about it, I thought, ‘Well, I’ll perform this onstage for a few years in my show, and it’ll probably just go away after, you know, the memory of 9-11 gets less and less [fresh], and I think people won’t want to hear that.’ And I was completely wrong. ‘Cause it just seems like now I couldn’t do a show without  putting it in there. And people, they respond just like they did.”

    Audio / Alan Jackson reflects on 50 years of CMA Awards and country music.

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    AJ CMA-50 05 OC: …in the world. :26
    “The interesting thing about country music to me is – just like this 50 year span we’re talking about – you’ve got artists that have been around forever and new artists. And even though the music’s changed…and gone back and forth and up and down over the years, there’s still a similar thread that runs through all of it about what they’re trying to write about and sing about. And the sounds have changed, but, you know, we’ve always had a devotion to our fans just the same as they have to us, you know. The best fans in the world.”

    Video / Alan Jackson CMA 50/50

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