News And Notes
Jul 27

Taylor Swift Gives Young Fan Advice on Unrequited Love

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is known for her songs about love – falling in love, out of love, and everything in between. She has also been involved in some high-profile relationships with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer and Harry Styles. So, when a young fan reached out to her via Instagram for relationship advice, Swift offered her some sage words of wisdom.

“@taylorswift can you give me some advice maybe. I love you,” wrote Hannah, who went on to explain that she was in love with a guy who had a girlfriend and would never like her back. After complimenting Hannah’s eyes, Swift addressed Hannah’s heart.

“About this guy,” she wrote. “I think we grow up thinking the only love that counts as true love is the kind that lasts forever or is fully realized. When you have a broken heart, the first thing a stranger will ask is ‘how long were you two together?’ As if your pain can be determined by how long you were with someone. Or if you were with them at all. I don’t think that’s how it works. I think unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind. It’s just as crushing and just as thrilling. Continue Reading

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Posted at 6:00 am | Permalink
Jul 27

Randy Travis to Release Influences Vol. 2: The Man I Am on August 19

Randy Travis

Randy Travis photo courtesy of Webster & Associates.

Randy Travis will release Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am on August 19. The album follows last year’s Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am, which included songs by Travis’ musical heroes Merle Haggard, George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Lefty Frizzell, among others. Vol. 2 follows in the same vein.

“We had such a great time putting together Influence Vol. 1, but there were still so many musical heroes of yesteryear that I learned from and wanted to honor,” Travis said in a press release. “We had no choice but to release a second volume. The influence that the older, great ones had on me, and the influence that I may, somehow, have on the ones that come along after me, is God’s way of allowing us to pay it forward. It is my prayer answered — and, His will done — it is what makes me ‘the man I am.’” Continue Reading

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Posted at 4:00 am | Permalink
Jul 26

Dolly Parton’s Blue Smoke – The Best Of Certified Gold

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton photo courtesy of Dolly Records.

Dolly Parton has struck Gold once more. Her Blue Smoke – The Best Of collection has been certified Gold in the United Kingdom for sales of more than 500,000. The collection includes her latest album, Blue Smoke, as well as a second album of some of her biggest hits.

“Dolly could not be any happier,” her manager Danny Nozell said. “She has worked very hard over the past several years to create the momentum that we have going. Everyone at Dolly Records and Sony Music has done an outstanding job with making Dolly’s new music available, and the sales prove it.” Continue Reading

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Jul 25

Taylor Swift and Eric Church Set for iHeartRadio Music Festival

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift photo courtesy of Erickson Public.

Taylor Swift, Eric Church and Zac Brown Band are among the artists who will perform during the all-genre 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival. None of them are strangers to the festival. Swift performed at the 2012 event while Church was in the lineup of the first iHeartRadio Country Festival in March.

Additional artists scheduled to take part in the iHeartRadio Music Festival include Usher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Motley Crue, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Iggy Azalea, Train, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Bastille and Steve Aoki. Continue Reading

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Posted at 11:00 pm | Permalink
Jul 25

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood Remain at No. 1 on Top 20

Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert

Photo courtesy 2014 ACM Awards

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood have made it three weeks at No. 1 on Top 20 Country Countdown with “Somethin’ Bad!” Scotty McCreery made a big countdown debut, entering the chart at No. 2 with “Feelin’ It.” Kenny Chesney’s“American Kids” also debuted on the countdown, coming in at No. 19.

Top 20 Photo Gallery »

Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Head over to our Top 20 section for videos and photos. You can also catch Top 20 Extras, cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land. This Week’s Chart:

  1. Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood – “Somethin’ Bad”
  2. Scotty McCreery – “Feelin’ It”
  3. Tim McGraw w/Faith Hill – “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”
  4. Neal McCoy – “Can You Do This”
  5. Danielle Bradbery – “Young in America”
  6. Lady Antebellum – “Bartender”
  7. Little Big Town – “Day Drinking”
  8. Haley & Michaels – “Just Another Love Song”
  9. Brad Paisley – “River Bank”
  10. The Band Perry – “Chainsaw” Continue Reading

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Posted at 5:00 pm | Permalink
Jul 25

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Elvis Granola

krystal-keith-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-bars

Photo courtesy of Show Dog-Universal.

You may know Krystal Keith as the singer of the sweet father/daughter wedding dance song, “Daddy Dance With Me,” which she wrote for her own wedding as a surprise for dad Toby Keith. Or maybe you know her from her official debut single, “Get Your Redneck On.” [Get it here!] But did you know she’s also super talented in the kitchen? Krystal’s been creating delicious meals from family recipes for years and featuring them in her blog, The Barnyard Bistro. Every week she shares her favorites exclusively with Great American Country!

“Everybody knows The King loved his peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He is one of the most notable musical figures of all time and has undoubtedly been an inspiration to the many musicians that followed him, including me. Elvis also inspired the cook in me to create this little concoction in his honor. I’m channeling The King and shakin’ things up in my blue suede shoes.”

Krystal Keith's recipe for Elvis Granola

Ingredients:
1 cup banana chips, roughly chopped
1 1/4 cup raw rolled oats (whole, not instant)
2 Tbsp PB2 Powder
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp oil (something light in flavor: pecan, canola, coconut)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Set banana chips aside. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. There will be some chunks but try to work the oats well into the mixture. Bake for 15 minutes at 250 degrees, then increase to 375 degrees and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until granola is golden- to medium-brown. Let cool completely and toss in banana chips. Serve with honey or vanilla yogurt or eat alone as a snack. Store in airtight container. Makes 4-6 servings.

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Posted at 12:55 pm | Permalink
Jul 25

The Secret Sisters to Release New Album Through Cracker Barrel

The Secret Sisters will release their new album, Put Your Needle Down: Deluxe Edition, exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. The project, out August 4, will include two brand-new tracks that were not available on the regular edition of the album, which was released in April.

“We grew up eating homegrown, Southern comfort food made mostly by our grandmothers,” the duo said. “Cracker Barrel has always been a top choice for us, because eating there reminds us of home and the meals we shared so often with our family. We both have a soft spot for meals at Cracker Barrel, which is what makes us excited about this exclusive music program and being able to release Put Your Needle Down in a Deluxe Edition format. We always want to give more to our fans, so being able to offer two additional songs on the Deluxe Edition CD is something that makes us very happy.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 12:00 pm | Permalink
Jul 25

Scotty McCreery and Kenny Chesney Debut on Top 20

Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery photo by Russ Harrington, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

It’s finally Friday, which means a new episode of Top 20 Country Countdown! On tonight’s episode, Kenny Chesney and Scotty McCreery make their countdown debuts with their latest videos. Host Nan Kelley is taking fans from No. 20, all the way to No. 1.

Top 20 Photo Gallery »

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood’s “Somethin’ Bad” has spent the last two weeks at the top of the charts? Can the duo it again? Tune in tonight at 6/5c to find out who tops the chart this week.

Check this weekend’s Full Schedule » Continue Reading

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Posted at 11:30 am | Permalink
Jul 25

Miranda Lambert Helps an Animal Shelter in Need

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

Miranda Lambert’s love of animals is well-known, especially her passion for rescuing dogs. She recently shared her emotional story of helping a pet shelter in Tishomingo, Okla. where she lives with husband Blake Shelton. The yellow lab her parents had when she was born started it all.

“He slept under my crib and I think he was the one who started my love of dogs,” she said. “I feel like they love you for you, you know. That’s why I have six.”

Watch Miranda Lambert’s story below: Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:31 am | Permalink
Jul 24

The Willis Clan Moves on to Next Round of America’s Got Talent

The Willis Clan

The Willis Clan on Great American Country

The Willis Clan is headed to Radio City Music Hall. The family band made it through the latest round of NBC’s America’s Got Talent Wednesday night, receiving word that they will be among the acts to perform at Radio City Music Hall in the next round.

Members of The Willis Clan do more than sing, including songwriting, dancing, wrestling and horseback riding. Almost everything the family is involved in links back to their Irish roots. Parents Brenda and Toby homeschool and coach their 12 children, ranging in ages from 3 to 21. They auditioned for America’s Got Talent with an Appalachian-inspired rendition of The Sound of Music‘s “My Favorite Things.” Watch their audition >>

Tour the Willis’ home >>

Photos of The Willis Clan >>

The Willis Clan already has two albums, Roots and Boots, and they are in the middle of producing their third album, Heaven. The Clan will also perform at the Grand Ole Opry on August 23 and October 21.

 

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Posted at 8:29 am | Permalink