News And Notes
Dec 12

Luke Bryan Is 2014′s Most Played Artist on TouchTunes

Luke Bryan

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/lukebryan

If you were in a venue with a jukebox in 2014, chances are, you heard a Luke Bryan song. According to TouchTunes, the largest in-venue interactive entertainment platform in North America, Bryan was the Top Played Artist in 2014, based on songs played across its network of over 60,000 jukeboxes.

“Since I started my career playing bars across this country, it makes me proud to be TouchTunes’ Top Played Artist this year,” Bryan said. “I hope I can continue to make music that makes people want to have fun.”

AC/DC came in at No. 2 on the list, followed by Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Kid Rock, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, George Strait, and Metallica round out the top 10.

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Posted at 7:00 am | Permalink
Dec 11

8 Artisan Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Our 2014 holiday gift guide features unique, handcrafted items made right here in America. So, instead of shopping at crowded chain stores for cheaply made products, why not order quality goods, from a handbag fashioned in durable leather and canvas to a hand-stitched necktie inspired by 1950s and ’60s styles. Take a look!

american-made-artisan-christmas-gifts

Photo courtesy of R.Riveter

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Posted at 5:00 pm | Permalink
Dec 11

Craig Morgan Partners With MoonPie to Thank Troops

Craig Morgan Partners With MoonPie

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/craigmorganmusic

Craig Morgan has come up with yet another way to say “thank you” to the members of our Armed Services. This time, he has partnered with MoonPie to send a treat to remind them of home. Together, Morgan and MoonPie will distribute more than 35,000 MoonPies to military personnel who will be spending the holidays away from home.

“Chattanooga Bakery has demonstrated its ongoing support for our troops since World War II,“  Tory Johnston, VP of Marketing at MoonPie, said. “Partnering with Craig Morgan and the USO was really perfect for this ‘thank you’ campaign for our servicemen and -women.”

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Dec 10

The White Stag of Portland, Oregon

The White Stag Sign - Portland, Oregon

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The iconic White Stag sign in Portland, Oregon, looks a little different during the holidays. Thanks to a tradition begun in 1959, ever year the Stag’s nose glows bright red during the holidays, resembling Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Designated a City of Portland Historic Landmark in 1977, the neon-and-incandescent-bulb sign sits atop the White Stag Building in downtown Portland, near the Burnside Bridge. So, if you’re in the area checking out this festive display, stop by some other area attractions and make a day of it.

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Dec 10

Top 10 Country Christmas Songs

Christmas music sets the tone for the holiday season, and everyone has a favorite song, whether it’s an old classic or new original. In no particular order, here are our picks for the Top 10 Country Christmas Songs.

“Let It Be Christmas” – Alan Jackson

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Released in 2002, Alan’s Jackson’s “Let It Be Christmas” became an instant holiday classic with its nostalgic lyrics and acoustic guitar background.

“All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan” – Kenny Chesney

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While some dream of a white Christmas, Kenny Chesney longs for sun and sand in “All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan.” He continues the trend in his newest holiday tune, “Christmas In Blue Chair Bay.”


“Where Are You Christmas?” – Faith Hill

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Faith Hill’s rendition of “Where Are You Christmas” was featured in the 2000 film re-make of Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The song was originally set to be performed by Mariah Carey, but legal issues caused her to back out, opening the door for Hill.


“Merry Christmas From The Family” – Montgomery Gentry

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The holidays are about family, but sometimes getting everyone together can be an ordeal. Montgomery Gentry covers all those dysfunctional family gatherings with his “Merry Christmas From The Family.”


“Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood has recorded a number of Christmas standards over the years, including beautiful renditions of “O Holy Night” and “The First Noel.” Her version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a standout, however.

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Posted at 1:15 pm | Permalink
Dec 9

Taylor Swift Won’t Record Songs Written by Other People

Taylor Swift - Bilboard's Woman of the Year

Songwriters looking to have Taylor Swift cut one of their songs should look elsewhere. Swift, who wrote or cowrote all 33 of her singles, plans to keep her name attached to everything she records.

“I wouldn’t be a singer if I weren’t a songwriter,” she told Billboard. “I have no interest in singing someone else’s words. When I’m in a room with a writer for the first time, and I bring in 10-15 nearly finished songs as my ideas, I think they know that I’m not expecting anyone to do the work for me. I’m not going to be one of those artists who walks in and says, ‘I don’t know, what do you want to write about?’ or one of those things where they say, ‘So what’s going on in your life?,’ and I tell them, and then they have to write a song about it.”

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Dec 9

Little Big Town Share Their Christmas Traditions

Little Big Town
Christmas is a time full of family traditions. For Little Big Town, some are passed through generations and some are brand-new, now that band members have families of their own.

Kimberly Schlapman’s favorite tradition involves sleepwear and has happened every year she can remember.

“We would go over to my grandmother’s house and have Christmas over there, and everybody would come home to Mama and Daddy’s house,” she said. “We’d sit down and Mama hands out everybody a gift, and we act like we don’t what it is, but we do ’cause it’s always Christmas pajamas. Everybody opens their Christmas pajamas and goes and puts ‘em on, and we come back to the living room and we sit around Daddy and he reads The Christmas Story.”

Get Little Big Town’s Georgia Crackers & Lemon Bars recipes »

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Dec 8

Watch Eric Church’s “Talladega” Music Video

Eric Church

Eric Church photo by John Peets, courtesy of EMI Records Nashville.

Eric Church gets nostalgic in his new video, “Talladega.” Directed by Peter Zavadil, the video begins with an old man in a hospital bed at the end of his life, reminiscing about days gone by. The clip then cuts to archived Super 8mm footage of family videos, as well as footage of Church and his band performing “Talladega” at the Nashville Speedway.

“It’s really about life, says Church. “NASCAR was as hot as any sport back in the ’90s, and it was a thing where a group of your buddies go take stuff, tents, camp out, stay a few days, walk back and forth to the track….I can’t tell you who won the race, but I could tell you all the experiences we had in a two- or three-day period.”

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Dec 8

Scotty McCreery Raises $60,000 for 12.14 Foundation

Scotty McCreery

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/scottymccreery

Scotty McCreery raised $60,000 for the 12.14 Foundation during a benefit concert in Wallingford, Conn., over the weekend. McCreery serves as a national Goodwill Ambassador for the foundation, whose mission is to develop programs that help children gain confidence, inspiration and skills to rise above traumatic events. The organization was founded after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

“Music has always been a positive force in my life, whether as a fan or now as an entertainer,” McCreery said. “It feels great to bring people together with my music and help such a worthwhile cause as the 12.14 Foundation.”

“Scotty’s benefit concert last night was nothing short of incredible,” Michael Baroody, M.D., Founder of the 12.14 Foundation, said. “He showed his strong support of the 12.14 Foundation and love for his country, and honored the sacrifices of our troops. Even at such a young age, he serves as an example for all of us. In addition to his obvious musical talents, Scotty is genuine, kind and has unshakable conviction. His generosity from last night helps further our efforts to utilize the performing arts in helping children understand their strengths, passions and capabilities, preparing them with tools for tomorrow.” Continue Reading

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Dec 7

6 Spectacular Christmas-Themed Train Rides

We highlighted the eight most scenic train rides in America, but how about the most festive, holiday-centric train rides? Take the kids on a locomotive with Santa, or hop aboard the Christmas Tree Train to pick your own fresh-cut tree. Check out these cozy holiday train rides, and create new Christmas memories.

1. Mount Hood Railroad – The Polar Express Train

christmas-train-rides-mount-hood

Photo courtesy of mthoodrr.com

Oregon’s Mount Hood Railroad brings the beloved children’s story to life on the Polar Express train. Take the little ones on this exciting adventure to the North Pole, as they meet live storybook characters, enjoy hot cocoa and sing Christmas carols along the way.

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Posted at 8:02 pm | Permalink