• COUNTRY STARS REACT TO THE PASSING OF GLEN CAMPBELL.

    Glen Campbell passed away Tuesday afternoon (August 8th) after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The iconic singer, known for such classic songs as “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Southern Nights” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” was 81. The Country Music Hall of Famer was an inspiration and musical hero to many of today’s country stars.

     

     

     

     

     

    Keith Urban, who cites Glen as one of his musical idols, posted a heartfelt message about the legendary performer.
    “What a powerful artistic and personal journey Glen Campbell’s passage has been. As a role model, singing guitar player he was a big influence on me.

    His blend of genres created his own sound and style and his ability to entertain wasn’t limited to the stage. He blazed real trails through film (and especially television) where his charismatic southern charm and personality fit perfectly.

    The night I won my first country music award, I got back to my hotel room and there was a fax on the floor.

    “Welcome to the award winning world kid. You got it.” Glen Campbell.

    Universal music, universal stories, universal spirit. No wonder he was a global superstar. I love Glen for so many reasons – but above all, for his humanity. My thoughts and prayers are with Kim and all of his extended family today. May peace be with you all. Go rest high on that mountain, Glen.” – KU

     

    Keith performed at last year’s 10TH ANNUAL ACM HONORS™ for a special tribute to Glen Campbell, who was honored with the ACM Career Achievement Award. Dierks Bentley also performed during the tribute, who said “He just has a way of performing that I’ve always felt like he’s one of those guys that if all of the power went out and there was no PA system and no band behind you and it just had to be just you and a guitar, he could entertain that crowd just as well as if they had all of the lights and production, and it’s Glen. He’s such a great singer, great musician and so funny, and such a great storyteller. He really carved out his niche. There’s no one that’ll ever sound like him – a classic legend.”

    Audio / A couple of years ago, Keith Urban said Glen Campbell was one of his biggest influences.

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    Keith Urban (Glen Campbell) OC: …guitar player. :22
    “I’ve always been a fan of what I like to call Guitartists, you know those guitar artists like Glen Campbell who’s probably one of my biggest influences. Those guys who knew a good song, had a great voice and played great and you know, just the all-around guys with the guitar you know? ‘Cause when you think of Glen Campbell you think off, I think of ‘Galveston’ and ‘Wichita Lineman’ then I also think of him being a phenomenal guitar player.”

     

     

     

    Video / Keith Urban and Glen Campbell performing "Wichita Lineman" in Las Vegas during a stop on Keith's 2009 tour.

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  • ALAN JACKSON’S HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR ROLLS THROUGH THIS FALL.

    Alan Jackson’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour became a celebration with fans in every city after it was announced that he’s a 2017 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee – now the superstar is extending that celebration through the late summer and toward year’s end with still more stops and performances, including several just-added cities. Multi-platinum singer Lee Ann Womack, who has thrilled crowds all year long, remains his special guest.

    Alan Jackson’s concerts find the country icon performing hits that have gained him legions of longtime fans, 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 field of artists who cite Jackson as an influence. It’s these same songs – many of them written by Alan – that earned him his newfound place alongside country music’s greatest names and cemented his place in its history with his new membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Fans will hear the songs they love from the man who wrote them and made them famous, including his debut hit, “Here in The Real World”…signature songs such as “Chattahoochee,” “Drive” and “Gone Country”…party anthems “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “Good Time”…and many, many more.

    The tour began in January with sold out stops in Oklahoma and Florida…followed by massive crowds at the Houston Rodeo and Atlanta, mere miles from his hometown…and a capacity crowd at downtown Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater early this summer. “More than 25 years after Alan Jackson released his debut album, all he has to do to hype up fans is casually step up to the microphone,” The Tennessean reported. “He did that and so much more – throughout the set, as on his albums, Jackson’s voice was unwavering and strong. His affable attitude beamed brighter than his

    Lee Ann Womack joins Jackson on tour this year. 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. Lee Ann also honored Jackson at the 2014 CMT Music Awards when he received his Impact Award. On Alan’s Honky Tonk Highway Tour, fans are enjoying hits spanning Lee Ann’s career to date, as well as brand new and unreleased songs.

     

    Tickets and information for all shows are available by visiting www.alanjackson.com, where you can find information about Alan, his tour schedule, music and more. VIP tickets and packages are also available.


    ALAN JACKSON’S 2017 “HONKY TONK HIGHWAY TOUR”

    (All dates feature Lee Ann Womack unless noted. All dates already on-sale unless noted.)

     

    Thursday, August 3 – Detroit Lakes, MI (WE Fest) ++

    Friday, August 4 – Brookings, SD (Swiftel Center)

    Saturday, August 12 – Sedalia, MO (Missouri State Fair)

    Sunday, August 13 – West Allis (Milwaukee area), WI (Wisconsin State Fair)

    Friday, August 25 – Evansville, IN (Ford Center)

    Saturday, August 26 – Champaign, IL (State Farm Center)

    Friday, September 8 – St. Charles (St. Louis area), MO (The Family Arena)

    Saturday, September 9 – Cedar Rapids, IA (US Cellular Center)

    Friday, September 22 – Charleston, WV (Charleston Civic Center)

    Saturday, September 23 – Erie, PA (Erie Insurance Arena)

    Friday, October 27 – Green Bay, WI (Resch Center)

    Saturday, October 28 – Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)

    Friday, November 3 – Lafayette, LA (CajunDome) **

    Saturday, November 4 – Belton, TX (Bell County Expo Center) **

     

    **Tickets on sale Friday, August 4th
    ++Festival event; Lee Ann does not perform at this show.

  • FOURTH OF JULY 2017: AJ, BILLY, CANAAN, DARIUS, DIERKS, EASTON, ERIC, JORDAN, JOSH, KEITH, KIP, LADY A, LBT, LUKE, SAM

    Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.

    Audio / Alan Jackson recalls one of the coolest Fourth of July memories he’s ever enjoyed.

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    AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
    Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”

    Audio / Billy Currington talks about his favorite Fourth of July memories.

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    Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
    “My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith talks about his Fourth of July memories growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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    Canaan Smith (Fireworks July Fourth) OC: …kinds of stuff. :39
    “Williamsburg, Virginia has a great fireworks display. It’s one of the best in the nation, they say or something like that. We’d go to the Governor’s Palace. They have a big lawn, and we’d sit out there and lay a blanket down. This was before I was old enough to drink, but we probably tried to sneak some in anyhow. And we’d just watch the [show], you know they’d have the grand finale, which always blew my mind ‘cause just when you thought it was over, they’d start bringing out all of the tricks and it just gets crazy. We did that on a regular basis. Other times, we’d do stuff in our own yard. We had a big yard when we were growing up with a dirt track in the back, and our neighbor’s yard was equally as big, so when you put ‘em together, we had a massive area to be destructive and do whatever we wanted. So, we blew up all kinds of stuff.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker talks about what the Fourth of July means to him.

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    Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24
    “The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know?  [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”

    Audio / Darius Rucker enjoys setting off fireworks.

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    Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
    “Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains why he is so patriotic.

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    Dierks Bentley (4th of July-patriotic) OC: …all the time. :17
    “I’m extremely patriotic. I love this country, and I love the history of this country. I read books on this country. I spend my time on the road traveling physically throughout the country. The soldiers and their families are constantly on my mind. We work closely with the Wounded Warriors Project. We think about this stuff all the time.”

    Audio / Easton Corbin recalls his family’s tradition on the Fourth of July.

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    Easton Corbin (Fourth of July) OC: …clown around. :28
    “Fourth of July, I remember growing up and having cookouts, and course we did the whole fireworks thing. I remember my uncle, he’d always get fireworks and bring down like from Alabama, because in Florida, you couldn’t get the bottle rockets and stuff, so he’d always go up to Alabama, ‘cause they live in Tallahassee, which was close to the [state] line. So, he would go over the line and get the good fireworks and bring ‘em down to my Grandma’s for me and my cousin, and we’d just hang out all day and shoot off fireworks and clown around.”

    Audio / Eric Church recalls his family activities on the Fourth of July holiday.

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    Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
    “The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”

    Audio / Jordan Davis says the Fourth of July is a great time to appreciate the rights and freedoms we have as a nation.

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    Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 1 OC: …an American. :18
    “I think Fourth of July weekend is a special time to really sit back and be thankful for what we have – thankful to our military, thankful for family and for friends, just a time to really sit back and appreciate how great it is to be an American.”

     

    Audio / Jordan Davis talks about some of his favorite childhood Fourth of July memories.

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    Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
    “Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”

    Audio / Josh Turner, who will perform in Baytown, Texas on Independence Day, talks about the fireworks “wars” his family would have when he was growing up.

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    Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
    “Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]

    Audio / Keith Urban recalls coming over to America for the first time.

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    Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
    “1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I was shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”

    Audio / Kip Moore says he’s very proud of the U.S. military and can’t imagine having to do what they do to protect the United States.

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    Kip Moore (Fourth of July-soldiers) OC: …every day. :32
    “I’m a very, very patriotic person, proud of the country that I live in, and I’m very proud of what those guys do for us each and every day, and I don’t take it for granted one bit. My grandparents were in the military, fought wars, and I’ve seen the battle that they go through, just the horror of remember things. When I start to think that I’m half-way tough, I realize how I’m not one bit when I talk to soldiers when I’m out and realize the things that they go through. I can’t imagine facing what those guys face every day.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott talks about her favorite Fourth of July memories.

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    Lady A (4th of July-Hillary) OC: …on my hand. :29
    “For many, many years in a row, we would be up at the lake for Fourth of July, and having those memories of being on the boat and going tubing and skiing and enjoying being out in the summertime, great weather on the water. But, then for me, Fourth of July was when [husband] Chris [Tyrell] proposed. So, I got proposed to on July 2nd up at the lake, the same lake I grew up going to, and so that’s probably the biggest highlight of Fourth of July to me – getting a rock on my hand.”

    Audio / Every year, Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood celebrates his birthday along with America’s big day.

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    Lady A (Fourth of July-Dave) OC: …and America. :45
    “July fourth is always, for me, my birthday week. My birthday is July 5th so we grew up going on family trips to the beach. We would d always go to Hilton Head, South Carolina and always take trips for my birthday, so that’s always a fun time of the year…watch fireworks. I think my best memory would be my birthday party when I was 9 or 10 years old. We went to the batting cages and I remember I was swinging so hard, it was 100 degrees outside, I was swinging in the batting cage and ended up passing out right there in the batting cage. You’re trying so hard to hit the ball, you’re a kid and you really don’t realize how much water you should be drinking and [CHARLES: “Dave was that kid.”] I was that kid who was on the ground in the batting cage, people fanning and pouring water all over my face. Happy Birthday to me and America.”

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild talks about the big sacrifices the military AND their families make to keep this country free.

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    LBT (military) OC: (Karen) …whenever we can. (Kimberly: “Yeah.”) :22
    “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, and not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.” (Kimberly: “Yeah.”)

    Audio / Luke Bryan recalls one of his favorite Fourth of July memories.

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    Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
    “Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt talks about what he and his family did over the Fourth of July holiday when he was growing up in Georgia.

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    Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
    “My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a  big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”

     

     

  • FOURTH OF JULY LINERS 2017

    Audio / LINER AJ (4th of July)

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    “Hey! This is Alan Jackson, wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Billy Currington (4th of July)

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    “Hey guys! I’m Billy Currington, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”

     

    Audio / LINER Bros Osborne (Fourth of July)

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    “Hey y’all! I’m John, and I’m TJ, and we are Brothers Osborne, wish you a very Happy Fourth of July.”

     

    Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Fourth of July)

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    “Hey! What’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July!”

     

    Audio / LINER Clare Dunn (Fourth of July)

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    “Hey! This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a very Happy Fourth of July.”

     

    Audio / LINER Darius (4th of July)

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    “Hey y’all, what’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a very, very happy Fourth of July!”

    Audio / LINER Darius (Happy Birthday, America)

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    “Happy Birthday, America!”

    Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (4th of July)

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    Hey everybody! This is Dierks Bentley, wishing you a Happy and safe Fourth of July.

    Audio / LINER Easton Corbin (4th of July)

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    “Hey! This is Easton Corbin. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Eric Church (4th of July)

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    “Hey this is Eric Church, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (4th of July)

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    “Hey! This is Eric Paslay, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Gary Allan (4th of July)

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    “Hey! This is Gary Allan. Happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (4th of July)

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    “Hi, it’s Jon Pardi, wishing you a happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Jordan Davis (Fourth of July)

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    “Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Keith Urban (summer)

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    Hey everybody, Keith Urban here, wanting to wish you all a fantastic and safe summer. Enjoy the sunshine. Hopefully, you’ll get to spend some time with the ones you love, and hopefully, we’ll also get to see you out on the road.”

    Audio / LINER Lady A (4th of July)

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    “Hi! This is Charles, Hillary and Dave of Lady Antebellum, wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.”

    Audio / LINER Lauren Alaina (4th of July)

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    “Hey! It’s Lauren Alaina. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER LBT (4th of July)

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    “Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Fourth of July!”

    Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (4th of July)

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    “Hey! This is Luke Bryan, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Mickey Guyton (4th of July)

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    “Hey! This is Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Fourth of July)

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    “Hey everybody! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July.”

    Audio / LINER Toby Keith (Fourth of July)

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    “Hi! It’s Toby Keith, wishing you a safe Fourth of July.”

  • FATHER’S DAY 2017: AJ, CANAAN, DARIUS, DIERKS, CHURCH, PASLAY, KEITH, LADY A, LBT, LUKE BRYAN, SAM

    Father’s Day is on Sunday (June 18th), and many of your favorite country artists will be celebrating.

    Audio / Alan Jackson allows his three daughters to live and learn.

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    AJ (parenting style) OC: …what they did.  :19
    “We try to be just not pushy hands-on parents. We let them live and be their own way. I’m not stern with them. You know, I’m funny and light, and try to give them guidance and let them live and learn their own ways. And that’s something, I think, my parents did. It was accidental, but that’s what they did.”

    Audio / Canaan Smith says his father is a big inspiration.

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    Canaan Smith (Father’s Day) OC: …I love him. :35
    “My dad, I think is just the greatest man. He’s always provided for us. He was always there. He was always a great dad. He worked his butt off, you know, and showed me what it was like to work hard and provide for a family, and I just hope I can do that one day too. We’ve always had a special bond. He’s been a songwriter and a singer too for a long, long time, and so I got to grow up listening to him do his thing, sitting in the other room while they do band rehearsal. I’d be sitting on the couch in the other room just taking it all in, dreaming one day to be behind that microphone, so he’s definitely been an inspiration. I love him.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley says his dad is a great role model for him as he enjoys being a father to son Ward.

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    Charles Kelley (qualities as a father) OC: …tolerance. :24
    “I hope I’m a great father. My dad, I’ve always looked up to. He’s such a hard worker and an amazing man. He’s always showed me and the rest of my siblings a lot of love, and so yeah, I hope to instill a strong work ethic into Ward, but also a lot of love and a lot of tolerance.”

     

    Audio / Darius Rucker says his kids would say he was a fun dad, unless they did something wrong.

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    Darius Rucker (Father’s Day) OC: …loving dad. :41
    “I think if you asked my kids what kind of Dad I was they would probably say…Dani would say that I was a fun Dad. My little daughter would say that I was a fun dad; she thinks I’m a lot of fun. I think if you caught them at the right moment they would say I was mean [laughs] because when I’m home I’m not afraid to discipline them. I’m all fun until it’s not fun anymore and then daddy’s not the fun guy. I think that they’d say that I was a fun Dad, I’m a loving Dad and I think they would say that. I’m gone so much that when I’m home, I just shower love upon my kids. I say ‘I love you’ probably fifty times a day. We hug, we kiss all the time. I’m always wanting them to know how much I love them. So I’d hope they’d say that I was a loving dad.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley enjoys being both dad – to daughters Evie and Jordan and son Knox – and country music performer.

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    Dierks Bentley (dad & performer) OC: …to do both. :28
    “When I get home, it’s a totally different reality that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Just hanging with my girls and doing the things we do and seeing life through their eyes, it’s incredible. It takes a man to do it. It’s not a boys’ game. It takes a man to do it. I love the juxtaposition to be able to be that man and to also go on the road and act like I’m 13 years old and play video games all afternoon waiting for the fans to show up. So, it’s really a blessing to be able to do both.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley explains how being a father (to three children) has changed him.

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    Dierks Bentley (how fatherhood has changed him) OC: …different. :07
    “There’s a whole kind of different universe that has opened up that I never knew existed, and I’m not the center of it, which is really cool. It just makes you look at things totally different.”

    Audio / Eric Church admires his father, and will pass along some of those qualities he’s learned to his own children, sons Boone and Hawk.

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    Eric Church (his father’s influence) OC: …same thing. :32
    “My daddy’s always preached, and it’s something that rung true, he’s always preached authenticity. He’s always preached being honest and being true. My daddy’s from a small town, you know it’s a blue collar town, and he’s just always been pretty even-keeled; never too high and never too low. He’s always been honest and authentic. I think it’s a good template. It has been for me thus far, especially with this industry, ‘cause it’s really easy to get high and low. So, I think just keeping everything in perspective and trying to be real, and I think people can sense that, and I certainly will tell my kids the same thing.”

     

    Audio / Eric Paslay says his father taught him how to work hard and to do a lot of things himself, such as electrical work and other handyman tasks.

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    Eric Paslay (Father’s Day) OC: …ceiling fan. :23
    “He just taught me that working hard and sticking it out, even when you know things aren’t right, that if you stick it out, it’s worth it in the end. And he just taught me to work hard, and there’s a lot of things that you don’t have to pay someone else to do, and it feels more rewarding when you’re able to put in new light fixtures or paint your own walls or put in a new ceiling fan.”

     

    Audio / Keith Urban – father to daughters Sunday and Faith -- says there are a number of things that are at the top of the list of being a dad.

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    Keith Urban (Father’s Day) OC: …experience that. :36
    “The first thing is probably just having someone call you dad. I’m like, ‘Omigosh! I’m her dad! That’s amazing.’ That’s probably the first thing to me. I don’t know, I mean, the different personalities that our two daughters have, that’s amazing. It’s such a long list I think. I always say…I think for the people that haven’t had kids – which I hadn’t for a long, long time. I didn’t have kids ‘til later on, and being around it is not the same as having them, you know? I realize that it’s not something that can be explained until you actually sort of have it, so I’m glad I got to experience that.”

     

    Audio / Kip Moore talks about his LATE father’s influence on his music career, and how he’d play classics on their fishing trips.

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    Kip Moore (Father’s Day-dad’s influence) OC: …of us singin’ ‘em. :29
    “He would just play all those classic records – Little River Band, Jackson Brown, Springsteen, Seeger, Willie Nelson, the Red-Headed Stranger, Kristofferson, Sam Cook – like classic music. He’d be singing the songs and telling us why it was such good music. And I looked up to him so much, that’s the music I gravitated towards and that’s what I continue to listen to. Whenever I think about those old fishing trips, that’s what I think about is on the way down there, him singing those songs and all of us singin’ ‘em.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott says her father is a great communicator.

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    Lady A (Father’s Day-Hillary) OC: …my children. :33
    “I definitely got my Type-A personality from my dad. He’s the same way, but one thing I’m so appreciative of – especially from a father-daughter relationship – my dad always, always talked to me, even when I didn’t want to talk to him. He would force me to communicate and talk through things, and not always the easy stuff, which is such a rare quality in a man, truthfully. And so, I am very, very thankful for that. I think it helped me find the right husband for me, and I also know that it will help me be that much of a better communicator to my children.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood says his father was a big influence both personally and musically, and he wants to pass along those qualities to his own children.

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    Lady A (Father’s Day-Dave) OC: …like that. :39
    “My dad was a really hard worker growing up and was always great, however hard he worked, he’d always make important time for family, important time to be home for dinner and be there for a lot of special moments for us growing up. For all the money he would make, he would always give a portion of it back to charity or to the church, and so that was always important for me to watch. We had a great relationship growing up. My dad plays guitar; he’s very musical. I learned how to play acoustic guitar with him playing ‘Day Tripper’ by the Beatles and all these old songs we’d play together when he’d show me how to play these James Taylor songs and things like that. So, definitely want to pass along music, of course, to my children, as well, like that.”

     

    Audio / Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook says fatherhood is absolutely beautiful. He and wife Karen Fairchild became parents to Elijah Dylan on March 5, 2010.

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    Little Big Town (Jimi-Father’s Day) OC: …beautiful. :32
    “It’s still such a new experience for us, and man, I’m telling you, people can tell you all day long how great it’s going to be, but it still never touches it. That little man looking back at me, it’s the most unbelievable feeling. And every day, for me who hates mornings [laughs], waking up to a slap in the face; he’s like pounding on me, then he’s like kissing on me and stuff. It’s unbelievable. It’s absolutely beautiful.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan says he likes to spend Father’s Day fishing with his boys.

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    Luke Bryan (Father’s Day) OC: …for me. :34
    “Father’s Day is certainly always really, really special. With the boys, just the simple things with boys. Caroline’s like, ‘Hey! Pick who you want to go fishing with and y’all just go fishing and have a little morning.’ It’s stuff like that and half the time I load the boat up with all the boys and it’s Father’s Day and I’m untangling fishing line all day. So, Father’s Day is really, really special, and Caroline’s always great about creating some fun stuff…she’s always really proactive in making days like that really special for me.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt says his father taught him a lot about being a man and knowing how to do the right thing.

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    Sam Hunt (Father’s Day) OC: …he’s great. :27
    “I’m obviously biased about my parents, but I’ve been around a lot of great men of integrity, but he is by far the best man that I know. He’s just taught me so much about being a man, doing the right thing, knowing the difference between right and wrong. And even though I don’t always follow his lead, I definitely know better because of him, and that means a whole lot to me. I was just really fortunate to have him as a dad, and he’s great.”

     

     

  • ALAN JACKSON WILL PLAY A FREE STANLEY CUP FINAL PARTY BEFORE GAME 3.

    Alan Jackson will play a free concert on Lower Broadway on Saturday, June 3rd in advance of the Nashville Predators’ first home game in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Broadway Smash: Preds Party with a Purpose will open at 3:30 p.m. with Jackson taking the stage at 4:45 pm. in advance of the 7 p.m. game, which will be shown on large screens as the Predators take to the ice in Bridgestone Arena.

     

    The concert stage will be at Fifth and Broadway, facing the Cumberland River. Broadway will be closed between Fifth Avenue and Third Avenue and large screens will be placed on stage and around the event site.

     

    “This is an exciting time for the Predators and the city of Nashville,” Jackson said. “As a fan, I’m proud to be included in their road to the Stanley Cup.”

     

    “Alan Jackson is a world-renowned star and a world-class Predators fan who is going to get the crowd revved up for an exciting Game 3 match against the Penguins,” Mayor Megan Barry said. “The excitement will be palpable throughout Nashville and I know it will help carry the Preds onto victory in the game and take us one step closer to bringing the Stanley Cup to Music City.”

     

    “Alan Jackson is a staple in the Smashville community and we know he’ll bring the excitement of our great city’s first ever Stanley Cup Final game to the stage on Saturday,” Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said.

     

    “The Stanley Cup Final is the NHL’s biggest event, Nashville is country music’s biggest stage, and from Alan Jackson to the game itself, it doesn’t get bigger or better than having this type of first-class entertainment experience on Lower Broadway – one of the most iconic streets in the entertainment world,” said NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Mayer.

     

    Thousands of fans have turned out at the Music City Walk of Fame Park to view home and away games throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Lower Broadway will accommodate the thousands more expected to turn out for the home games of the Stanley Cup Final. Broadway Smash will also take place prior to the Game 4 home game on Monday, June 5.

     

    Predators mascot GNASH and the Predators Energy Team are scheduled to make appearances. Food trucks will be on site, and sodas and beer will be on sale. Bottled water and hot dogs will be available at low, family-friendly prices.

     

    Folding chairs and small bags (no larger than 12”x12”) will be permitted, but for public safety coolers, backpacks and large bags will not be allowed. For a complete list of house rules, please go to visitmusiccity.com/nashvillepredators.

     

    Among transportation options available to fans, the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA) in partnership with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is offering free rides on the Music City Star for Game 3 and Game 4. An allotment of 700 tickets will be available to the public on the #SmashvilleExpress train. Tickets must be acquired in advance by going online to ticketsnashville.com and printing a ticket.

     

    Additionally, the Predators want all of Nashville to get to where they are watching the game safely. Whether downtown with us or at any of our official watch parties, count on Uber for a reliable ride. Never taken an Uber? Use code GOPREDS to get your first ride free!

     

    The parties are co-hosted by the City of Nashville and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp with the assistance of MooTV in support of the Nashville Predators and in partnership with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Sports Council. They are produced by the NCVC and NHL Original Productions.

     

    Portions of the performance will be televised on NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada.

     

    Nashville Predators

    The Nashville Predators became the National Hockey League’s 27th team on May 4, 1998 and have evolved from a young expansion franchise into a staple of the Middle Tennessee community in the 19 years since. The team strives each season to reach its One Goal: becoming a Stanley Cup Champion hockey team while making Bridgestone Arena the number one sports and entertainment venue in the United States. With One Goal in mind, the team is seeing its greatest success in team history as they play in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

    Alan Jackson

    Just announced as an inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson’s membership among country music’s all-time greats 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. The man from rural Newnan, Ga., has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide, ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time in all genres. 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 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.

  • 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.

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    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.