News And Notes
Dec 14

Country Stars Support Charities in 2014

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Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/santatrain

Whether they were volunteering, fundraising or otherwise supporting charitable causes, country stars were generous in 2014. As a reminder that this is the season of giving, here are a few stories Great American Country featured this year.

Scotty McCreery recently raised $60,000 at a benefit concert for the 12.14 Foundation, which was established in memory of lives lost in the 2012 Newton, Conn., school shooting.

Over Thanksgiving, Miranda Lambert and her MuttNation Foundation opened a no-kill animal shelter called Redemption Ranch.

Keith Urban filmed a PSA for November’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in support of the Nikki Mitchell Foundation.

As part of his involvement in and support of the USO’s Every Moment Counts campaign, Hunter Hayes played a free concert in downtown Nashville at the 2014 CMA Festival. Continue Reading

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Dec 14

Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow Holiday Duet Inspiration

Darius Rucker

Photo courtesy of DariusRucker.com.

Darius Rucker found inspiration for his new Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, in a blockbuster film. The project features a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Sheryl Crow, and while most duets are recorded separately, Rucker and Crow recorded the song together in the studio.

“When we got Sheryl to come and do it, and after sitting there with her in the studio right next to each other singing it over and over and laughing and having a great time, I knew it was a great choice,” Rucker said.

Rucker chose to record the song thanks to the holiday comedy Elf, starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. Continue Reading

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Dec 13

Kenny Chesney Reflects on GRAMMY Nomination

Kenny Chesney: American Kids

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/kennychesney.

Kenny Chesney’s latest hit, “American Kids,” has earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Song. The track, featured on his new album, The Big Revival, was cowritten by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Rodney Clawson. Chesney knew it was a special tune, but wasn’t prepared for the impact the song would have.

“I knew the second I heard it that I was going to cut ‘American Kids,’” he said. “With two hooks, three rhythm scans and some of the most ingenious wordplay I’ve ever heard, this song’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. It feels good. It says something about the heart and the passion people in small towns have — and it makes you smile every time you hear it.

“The fact that the GRAMMY voters heard it, too, that they recognized how truly special and innovative this song is, makes me so proud for Shane, Luke and Rodney,” he continued. “This really is a song that breaks a lot of rules, does things you don’t expect and offers a picture of how it is that isn’t cliché or expected. What a cool thing to have happen to some very talented guys! I’m just glad I got to be the one who cut it.”

See which Kenny Chesney tune made our list of
Top 10 Country Christmas Songs » 

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Dec 12

Brett Eldredge Stops By Top 20, Carrie Underwood Remains At No. 1

Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge’s “Mean to Me” comes in at No. 16 on this week’s chart. Photo courtesy of twitter.com/bretteldredge.

It was a jam-packed Top 20 Country Countdown this week! Host Nan Kelley sat down with Brett Eldredge to talk about the big year he has had as one of country’s hottest new stars.

Top 20 Photo Gallery»

On the countdown, Carrie Underwood makes it three weeks at No. 1 with her new video, “Something In the Water,” while Blake Shelton, with Ashley Monroe, and Brad Paisley round out the top 3. New videos from Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, Sara Evans, Josh Turner and Toby Keith also debut on the Top 20 Country Countdown.

Favorite Holiday Recipes from Country Stars »

Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Get Top 20 online extrasincluding videos and photos. You can also cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land.

This Week’s Chart

  1. Carrie Underwood – “Something In the Water”
  2. Blake Shelton w/Ashley Monroe – “Lonely Tonight”
  3. Brad Paisley – “Perfect Storm”
  4. Blake Shelton – “Neon Light”
  5. Tim McGraw – “Shotgun Rider”
  6. Lady Antebellum – “Freestyle”
  7. Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do”
  8. Jason Aldean – “Burnin’ It Down”
  9. Jake Owen – “What We Ain’t Got”
  10. Rascal Flatts – “Payback”
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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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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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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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