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Jun 30

Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen’s Songs Headed for Off-Broadway

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen are headed to the off-Broadway stage – at least their music is. Their chart-topping songs will be featured in a new musical, Somewhere With You, which debuts July 8 at the Pershing Square Signature Center in the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre. Songwriter JT Harding, who co-wrote some of Kenny and Jake’s biggest hits, wrote the musical along with director Peter Zinn.

Somewhere With You is described as a “compellingly gritty, coming-of-age love story [that] centers around a new generation of Southerners growing up in the early 2000s, confronted by the methamphetamine epidemic, the war in Iraq, and other post-9/11 challenges in the rural South,” according to the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

JT Harding wrote the song the musical was named after, “Somewhere With You,” which Kenny Chesney took to No. 1 in 2011. He also penned Jake Owen’s “Alone With You” as well as Uncle Kracker’s “Smile.” The musical will run through July 13.


Posted at 6:32 pm | Permalink
May 23

Fan Fair X Announces Full Schedule of CMA Music Festival Events

X will mark the best daytime spot in Nashville during CMA Music FestivalJune 5-8 at AT&T U-verse’s Fan Fair X located at the new Music City Center. Fan Fair X will be open all four days of CMA Music Festival with doors opening at 9:00a each day. A full schedule of music, meet-and-greets and more is planned.

LeAnn Rimes will kick things off on Thursday, June 5, at the Artist of the Day. She will cut the ribbon, officially opening Fan Fair X. Following the ribbon cutting, she will perform and answer fan questions on the CMA Close Up Stage before heading over to sign autographs at CMA Central, CMA’s autograph hub in the heart of Fan Fair X.

CMA Close Up Stage

Each morning during the Festival, a different Artist of the Day will take to the CMA Close Up Stage to kick off the day’s events. Opening day features LeAnn Rimes discussing her new VH1 TV show that will be shown in the CMA Screening Room. Friday’s Artist of the Day will be Sara Evans, who will be joined by longtime video director Peter Zavadil to discuss her career and share an insider look at her video highlights. Craig Morgan will be Artist of the Day on Saturday, and Sunday’s Artist of the Day will be Lady Antebellum.

Kix Brooks will also make an appearance at CMA Close Up Stage. He will host his American Country Countdown radio program from Fan Fair X on Saturday, June 7 at 11:15a CT, where he will be joined by special guests. He will also donate a package from his Arrington Vineyards winery as part of the Keep the Music Playing Silent Auction in Fan Fair X, benefiting music education.

At noon on Thursday, June 5, Billy Ray Cyrus will preview his upcoming film, Like A Country Song, in the CMA Screening Room. Afterward, he and other cast members will head to the CMA Close Up Stage for a question and answer session. He will sign autographs on Saturday, June 7.   Continue Reading


Posted at 2:39 pm | Permalink
Apr 9

Kellie Pickler to Auction Off ACM Awards Jewelry


Kellie Pickler to Auction Off ACM Awards Jewelry

Kellie Pickler on the Red Carpet at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Sunday, Apr. 6, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty Images/courtesy the Academy of Country Music.

Kellie Pickler’s red carpet look at Sunday’s ACM Awards won her spots on a number of critics’ “Best Dressed” lists. She has decided to auction off the Pandora charm bracelets she wore to the event to raise funds for ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Fans can place their bids at through April 21 at 2/1c.

See photos from the ACM Awards >>

“ACM Lifting Lives supports great organizations that are making strides with music education and medical research, supporting our amazing military veterans and more,” Kellie said. “I’m excited to help raise money for such a wonderful charity. It makes me proud to be an ACM member.”  Continue Reading


Posted at 1:27 pm | Permalink
Mar 31

Academy of Country Music Announces Events for ACM Party for a Cause Festival

Academy of Country Music Announces Events for ACM Party for a Cause Festival

The Academy of Country Music has announced a number of activities and special events that will take place during the 2nd Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival, a two-day music festival headlined by Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban on Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5. The festival will feature multiple stages for live country music, interactive games, a country marketplace, and more including the ACM & Cabela’s Great Outdoors Archery Event, ACM Expo Marketplace presented by Roper, Coors Light Beer Garden, Diet Dr Pepper Red Carpet Experience, Firestone’s Destination Country Tour, RAM Ride and Drive and many more.

“We are thrilled to partner with some of America’s most recognized brands in order to create a dynamic, interactive experience for our fans,” Teresa George, Senior Vice President, Brand Integration and Strategic Partnerships for the Academy of Country Music, said. “Each brand’s participation is pivotal in making The Week Vegas Goes Country® one of the most exciting weeks in Las Vegas!”

The 2nd Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival is part of The Week Vegas Goes Country leading up to the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8/7c on CBS. Headlined by Rascal Flatts on Friday and Keith Urban on Saturday, Danielle Bradbery, Justin Moore, Cassadee Pope, Thomas RhettFlorida Georgia Line and The Cadillac Three will also perform on Friday with Will HogeChase Rice and Charlie Worsham on the Party Stage. Lee BriceBrett EldredgeTyler FarrKip MooreJoe NicholsJerrod NiemannChris YoungLove and Theft and Parmalee. Joel Crouse, Jon Pardi, Leah Turner, Austin Webb, Dan + Shay, and Max Impact, the premier rock band of the United States Air Force, will perform on the Party Stage on Saturday. Continue Reading


Posted at 12:42 pm | Permalink
Mar 26

John Carter Cash Honors His Family Name

John Carter Cash

John Carter Cash at Cash Cabin Studio. Photo courtesy of John Carter Cash.

By Crystal Caviness

© 2014 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Welcome to the Cash Cabin Studio, nestled among tall, strong trees on a 40-acre property in Hendersonville, Tenn. Up three steps, across a wooden porch and inside the nondescript door is where John Carter Cash does his work while also maintaining the legacy of his parents, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

Johnny and June recorded prolifically inside these walls, particularly in their later years. As head of the House of Cash, John Carter Cash weaves the business of his father’s music publishing and recording catalog with recording, producing, songwriting and occasional book-writing via another company he leads, Cash Productions.

“I have to have a balance,” he explained. “The House of Cash is about furthering the legacy. I’m vibrantly excited about the legacy — my parents’ and the Carter Family’s. I embrace it, but I have aspects of my life that are outside of that.”

Within the House of Cash, John Carter Cash has the final word on administering and licensing his father’s deep catalog. While much is handled by BMG Publishing, Cash generally tackles the harder issues, along with his father’s longtime manager, Lou Robin. “I handle the things that are gray,” Cash noted. “We try to make decisions the same way as if my dad were in the room.” Continue Reading


Posted at 3:35 pm | Permalink
Mar 20

New Season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern Premieres on Great American Country April 7

New Season of Kimberly's Simply Southern Premieres on Great American Country April 7

Kimberly Schlapman photo courtesy of Sandbox Entertainment.

Kimberly’s Simply Southern, the sizzling one-of-a-kind cooking show featuring TASTE Award-winning host Kimberly Schlapman–a founding member of Grammy-winning band Little Big Town–heats up this spring with a third season featuring 13 new episodes from Kimberly’s newly-renovated kitchen. Kimberly’s Simply Southern premieres Monday, April 7, 2014 at 4p ET/PT on Great American Country.

The new season spotlights Kimberly’s lifelong passion for making sumptuous yet simple homecooked recipes with her family and friends back home, using local culinary finds from all corners of the country. In each episode of the hit series, Kimberly hops off the tour bus while on the road with her platinum-selling, award-winning country band to discover America’s best local foods, ingredients, culinary customs and treasures.

Photos from Kimberly’s Simply Southern >>

Once back in her Nashville kitchen, Kimberly is joined by family and celebrity guests to create authentic Southern cuisine combining her traditional family recipes with the ingredients and cooking techniques she has learned during her travels. Among Kimberly’s friends who stop by to chat, chop and chow down in season three are Amy Grant, Jewel, Wynonna Judd, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Billy Currington, Kix Brooks and Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square. Kimberly’s closest family and friends return in season three, as well, including her husband, Steve, their daughter, Daisy Pearl, and her fellow bandmates from Little Big Town: Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.

“It’s so hard to believe that this will be the third season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern,” exclaimed Schlapman. “It seems like just yesterday that we kicked it all off with some lobster fishing and a celebration with Little Big Town! I’ve had so much fun these last two years! Season three is even more exciting for me because I got to film it in my new kitchen, and I was able to cook with people I’ve admired for a long time. I learned a ton along the way and can’t wait to share my latest adventures and new recipes with everybody.”

“Kimberly’s passion for exploring and celebrating everything America has to offer makes her a natural fit for Great American Country,” said Suzanne Gordon, vice president of programming for Great American Country. “Our audiences love the opportunity to see her in the field hunting for ingredients, learning about regional foods, then cooking in the kitchen. This series combines the best of both worlds.”

In the new season premiering April 7, Kimberly gets hands on with some bees at a world-famous honey farm in Georgia; learns the secrets behind one of Nashville’s signature dishes, the spicy hot chicken, while also competing in a fiery eat-off; sets sail to fish Miami’s blue waters; goes shrimping in the Louisiana bayou; churns an apple cider in a Connecticut forest; learns the art of making sheep cheese, and much more.

Kimberly’s varied and authentic experiences inspire new twists and flavors in her dishes, including honey baked ham, Georgia caviar, blackened Mahi Mahi, cornbread muffins with Cajun butter, apple cider cake with apple cider caramel sauce, biscuit-topped beef stew, jerk chicken, homemade salted caramel ice cream, hot cheese bread, and fried green tomatoes with barbecue buttermilk.

Critics and fans alike adore the Great American Country series and its charming host. Following the successful second season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern, host Kimberly Schlapman was named “Best Home Chef in a Series” by the TASTE AWARDS (also known as the TASTY Awards), which recognizes excellence in culinary and lifestyle programs, series and films across platforms including television, mobile, theaters, radio and the internet.

Kimberly’s Simply Southern is produced by Al Roker Entertainment for Great American Country. For recipes and more information, log on to


Posted at 10:12 am | Permalink
Mar 6

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley’s Recipe for Chai Tea Cookies

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley Shares Her Recipes with Great American Country

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

Every week on Top 20 Country Countdown our host Nan Kelley counts down your favorite videos — but when she’s away from the studio she’s likely to be found in her kitchen, creating healthy, delicious meals! Nan likes to keep it simple, cooking entire meals using only one pan. Her husband Charlie lovingly gave her the nickname “One Pan Nan” — and now that’s also the name of her new cookbook [get it HERE!]. We asked Nan to share some of her recipes with us. This week, Nan shares her recipe for Chai Tea Cookies. Check back every other week for a new one!

For there to be true harmony in the Kelley house, there must be cookies,” says Nan. “My husband Charlie is addicted to them–any kind. It’s a fact. One cold night not too long ago, he was digging through the pantry, looking for something to go with his hot tea & complaining that we had nothing. So again harmony=cookies. I jumped to the web to see what I could whip up and I found this little jewel. It met all the criteria: it’s a cookie, made with chai tea (he loves that too) & it’s a cookie. You’re no doubt getting the importance of them at my house, right?

“Thankfully, these were a hit!” she adds. “I’ve made 3 batches in the last several weeks! Part cookie, part shortbread, part biscuit — they’re special and perfect for your afternoon tea or coffee. It met all of my one pan criteria too. Heck, you don’t even need a pan/bowl at all — just a food processor and a cookie sheet! That’s it. And don’t worry if you don’t have a big food processor; I worked this one up in my little mini food processor. If there are chai tea drinkers in your family, then you’ve got the tea on hand and the rest of the ingredients are staples. You can also make up the dough — which literally takes about 10 minutes to do — and keep it in the freezer until warm, homemade, spiced cookies are what you’re craving. Enjoy!

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley's Recipe for Chai Tea Cookies

Photo by Nan Kelley.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon chai tea mix (from 2 chai tea bags)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, sliced into pats

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley's Recipe for Chai Tea Cookies

Photo by Nan Kelley.

In a food processor, put the flour, sugar, powdered sugar, chai tea mix, salt, cardamom & cinnamon and pulse to blend all together. To that, add vanilla and Continue Reading


Posted at 7:36 am | Permalink
Feb 19

Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood & More Stars Honor Radio Legend Bob Kingsley

Bob Kingsley

Wade Jessen- Billboard, Teddy Gentry, Blair Garner-America’s Morning Show, Bob Kingsley, Randy Owen, Steve Wariner, Lon Helton-Country Aircheck, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Pete Fisher- vp & general manager Grand Ole Opry. Photo courtesy of Schmidt Relations, taken by Chris Holo.

Country Radio Hall of Famer Bob Kingsley was honored at the Grand Ole Opry Monday night for his 40 years in national radio syndication as part of American Country Countdown and as host and owner of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40.  The surprise event, which benefited the Opry Trust Fund, included performances, appearances and taped messages from industry friends. Bob believed he was there to celebrate the Opry’s 89th birthday when the evening was actually designed to honor him.

“I could not have been more surprised and I could not feel more honored,” said Bob. “I have made a career of country music radio because I love it, and to have my friends in the business, from artists and songwriters to industry executives, tell me my work has made a difference–well it means the world to me. And to have the people I work with day in and day out here to celebrate with me makes it all the more special.”   Continue Reading


Posted at 4:49 pm | Permalink
Dec 10

Justin Moore, LeAnn Rimes & More Added to American Country Awards

Justin Moore, LeAnn Rimes & More Added to American Country Awards

Justin Moore photo by Kristin Barlowe, courtesy of BMLG.

LeAnn Rimes, Justin Moore, Randy Houser and Thomas Rhett have been added to the list of artists will perform during the American Country Awards. Co-hosted by Trace Adkins and NASCAR’s Danica Patrick, the ACAs will air live on FOX from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas tonight, December 10, at 8/7c.

Check out our special American Country Awards section for photos, backstage interviews and the latest news >>

Additionally, Taylor Swift will make a special appearance via video from Australia to accept the first-ever ACA World Wide Artist Award, which goes to an artist that has established themselves as a “global force in music.” Brad Paisley will also be on hand to accept the Video Visionary Award. Continue Reading


Posted at 10:29 am | Permalink
Nov 13

George Strait Sells His Boots & Helps Raise Over $425,000 for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation

George Strait Sells His Boots & Helps Raise Over $425,000 for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation

Caption: (L-R) Tom Cusick, Silvia Cusick, Jewel and George Strait at the Vaqueros del Mar Invitational Golf Tournament and Auction. Photo by Terry Calonge, courtesy of Richards and Southern Inc.

George Strait and Texas businessman Tom Cusick hosted the third annual Vaqueros del Mar Invitational Golf Tournament and Auction at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort & Spa in Boerne, Texas on November 2-3. The pair, who are joint owners of the resort, created the event in November 2011 to support wounded troops. This year’s event benefited Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, an organization that assists military members wounded while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The event kicked off with a roping competition at Tom Cusick’s Texas hill country community Estancia at Thunder Valley, just minutes from the resort. George participated in the roping event while his wife, Norma Strait and Tom’s wife, Silvia Cusick, made a grand entrance by riding into the arena on a pair of Texas Longhorn bulls.

More than 450 guests participated in a live auction, which raised $425,000 within a half-hour. George even removed his boots and offered them as part of a package deal which went for $130,000. Rick Kell, co-founder of Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, presented both George and Tom with an American flag that was used during operations Enduring Freedom and Proper Exit in Afghanistan to thank them for their support.

The weekend wrapped with George leading a jam session that included special guests Asleep At The Wheel, Ray Benson, Dean Dillon, Keith Gattis, Jamey Johnson, Jewel, Kyle Park and Randy Rogers. From there, George headed to Nashville for the CMA Awards where he was named Entertainer of the Year.

See photos from the 2013 CMA Awards >>

Watch highlights from the event below, including the all-star jam session led by George Strait: Continue Reading


Posted at 5:16 pm | Permalink