Honors Also Go To The Gatlin Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Hank Cochran
The Academy of Country Music has announced plans to honor a handful of country superstars with special awards.
Reba McEntire (left) has been chosen to receive the ACM’s Career Achievement Award, which is presented to an artist who has advanced the popularity and acceptance of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry.
Taylor Swift (right) will receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world. Past recipients of the award include Brooks, Dick Clark, Roy Clark, Merv Griffin, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton and Keith Urban, among others.
Garth Brooks (left) and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers have been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award honoring individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre.
Past recipients of the Pioneer Award include Alabama, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis, Randy Travis, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams, Sr., and Hank Williams Jr., among others.
Tom T. Hall and Hank Cochran have been selected to receive the Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in country music.
Hall has created an extraordinary body of work that includes Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and Alan Jackson’s “Little Bitty,” as well as 21 of his own top 10 hits, such as “I Love” and “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine.”
Cochran (right), who died last year, was a beloved Nashville songwriter for 50 years, with hits for Eddy Arnold (“Make the World Go Away”) and Patsy Cline (“She’s Got You,” “I Fall to Pieces”), among many others. Merle Haggard landed a No. 1 single with “It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)” while George Strait scored with “The Chair” and “Ocean Front Property.” Other favorites from his catalog include Vern Gosdin’s “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and Keith Whitley’s “Miami, My Amy.”
Finally, the film "Country Strong" has been chosen as the recipient of the Tex Ritter Award, which is given to a movie released and/or receiving major exposure during the preceding calendar year, featuring or utilizing country music. The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow as a country superstar staging a comeback, while two-time ACM male vocalist winner Tim McGraw plays her husband and manager.
Past recipients of the Tex Ritter Award include "Beer For My Horses," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Crazy Heart," "O Brother, Where Art Thou," "Sweet Dreams" and "Walk the Line," among others.
All of these special awards are voted on by the ACM board of directors and will be presented to recipients at ACM Honors, a special event held every fall at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
He’s Set To Star In And Produce ‘Fear No Evil’ For The Outdoor Channel
Zac Brown will co-host a new hunting show with the colorful title “Fear No Evil,” on The Outdoor Channel. Brown also serves as the program’s executive producer through his Georgia-based production company, Southern Reel.
His co-host is Chris Brackett, described on his own Web site as “one of the fastest rising stars in the outdoor industry today.”
Brackett says of Brown, “Zac has sold millions of records, plays to sold out arenas, has his own food products, leather and knife line, and record label. He does it all, including hunting—from rifles to bows and everything in-between. He loves to hunt.”
Darren Doane, best know for directing music videos from the Zac Brown Band, Jason Mraz and Van Morrison, is directing the show, and says its two hosts, “have pushed me not to make a hunting show but a mini feature film every episode. And, that’s what we have done.”
The show debuts April 3 at 11:30 p.m. (ET). Watch a quick preview here.
Chesney, Jackson, McGraw, Paisley, Underwood Among The Artists Collaborating With Travis
Randy Travis has enlisted an all-star cast to help him celebrate his 25th anniversary as a recording artist. He’ll release his “Anniversary Celebration” duets CD June 7, and it features collaborations with Zac Brown Band, Kristin Chenoweth, Kenny Chesney, Don Henley, Alan Jackson, Jamey Johnson, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. The album includes new songs in addition to re-makes of many of Travis’ hits.
Also included on the 16-song project are Josh Turner, James Otto, Shelby Lynne, John Anderson, Lorrie Morgan, Ray Price, Connie Smith and several others.
Since launching his career as one of country’s new traditionalists in the mid 1980s, Travis has gone on to sell more than 20 million records and earn seven Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music Awards, 10 American Music Awards, eight Dove Awards, five Country Music Assn. Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Fans can trace the history of his career on his Web site, which now features videos, photos and media clips of Travis through the years.
Here’s the full track listing for “Anniversary Celebration”:
1. “Everything and All” featuring Brad Paisley
2. “A Few Ole Country Boys” featuring Jamey Johnson
3. “Forever and Ever, Amen” featuring Zac Brown Band
4. “He Walked On Water” featuring Kenny Chesney
5. “T.I.M.E.” featuring Josh Turner
6. “Love Looks Good On You” featuring Kristin Chenoweth
7. “Better Class of Losers/She’s Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues)” medley featuring Alan Jackson
8. “More Life” featuring Don Henley
9. “Can’t Hurt A Man” featuring Tim McGraw
10. “Promises” featuring Shelby Lynne
11. “Is it Still Over?” featuring Carrie Underwood
12. “Road To Surrender” featuring Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson
13. “Diggin’ Up Bones” featuring John Anderson
14. “Someone You Never Knew” featuring Eamonn McCrystal
15. “Too Much” featuring James Otto
16. “Didn’t We Shine” featuring George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, Ray Price, Connie Smith, Joe Stampley & Gene Watson
Bride Reveals State, Date, But Few Other Details
Miranda Lambert previously revealed that May 14 would be the date of her wedding to Blake Shelton. Now, we also know where the wedding will take place . . . kind of.
In an interview today on Oklahoma City radio station KJKE (Jake FM), Lambert was asked where they would tie the knot. Her response? “We decided we’re gettin’ married in Texas, and that’s all I can say as far as that goes, obviously [laughs]. But um, you know, it’s . . . I’m from there and it’s not too far from Oklahoma, so we thought it’d be a good place.”
Lambert was raised in Lindale, Texas, where her parents still reside. Shelton is from Ada, Okla., and the couple currently resides in the groom’s home state.
‘Paper Airplane’ Is The Title Cut From Group’s Forthcoming Album
Alison Krauss & Union Station are readying the April 12 release of their new album, “Paper Airplane,” but you can hear the title song, written by longtime Krauss collaborator Robert Lee Castleman, right here.
The 11-song set is the band’s first release together since 2004’s “Lonely Runs Both Ways,” and Krauss’ first since her 2007 album with Robert Plant, “Raising Sand,” which won six Grammy Awards.
The re-formed band includes longtime members Jerry Douglas (Dobro, lap steel, vocals), Dan Tyminski (guitar, mandolin, lead vocal), Ron Block (banjo, guitar) and Barry Bales (bass, vocals), with Krauss on lead vocal and fiddle. The group co-produced “Paper Airplane” together.
The album includes two well-chosen cover songs, Jackson Browne’s “My Opening Farewell” (from his self-titled 1972 debut album, but which Krauss learned from Michael Johnson’s cover version), and Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of the Day” (originally sung by his then-wife Linda on the couple’s 1975 album “Pour Down Like Silver.”)
Fans who pre-order “Paper Airplane” on iTunes get an instant download of the title track, as well as an iTunes exclusive bonus song, “These Days,” on release day.
Funny Clip Shows Off The Artists’ Comedy And Chemistry
Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton were clearly having a good time when they shot promos for the April 3 Academy of Country Music Awards, which they will co-host. As you can see in this behind-the-scenes video, the two artists are close friends with an obvious chemistry, which bodes well for this year’s show.
In the clip, Shelton seems to indicate that not cursing might be his biggest show day challenge, while McEntire calls her co-host “a mess” and admits to being “terrified” to share the stage with him. Shelton counters, “Reba’s the one we need to be worried about.”
McEntire has previously hosted the ACM show 12 times since 1986, four times with a co-host and the rest solo. Shelton had never before hosted an awards show.
The 46th annual ACM Awards show will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. (ET).
New Mini-Album Features Songs From The Iconic Series
Hot bluegrass group The Grascals are honoring iconic TV series “The Andy Griffith Show” with the release of a seven-song EP titled “Dance ’Til Your Stockings Are Hot And Ravelin’ (A Tribute To The Music of the Andy Griffith Show).”
It includes tunes that were an integral part of the show during its eight year run, plus one original song, “Boy, Giraffes Are Selfish,” recorded by the group in the spirit of the series. Also included are “Dooley,” “Boil Them Cabbage Down,” “Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer),” “Ol’ Joe Clark,” “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” and “Mayberry’s Finest Theme.”
Grascals guitarist Terry Eldredge is a longtime fan of the program he calls “the best TV show ever made” and says it offered “a moral lesson that every human should live by.”
The EP will be available at digital music retailers on March 29 and via CD on June 7. The disc’s release coincides with the 50th anniversary of “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Singer Expecting New Baby, And New Album This Year
Congratulations to Eric Church and his wife of three years, music publishing executive Katherine Church, who are expecting their first child this fall.
“Katherine and I are very excited and are looking forward to becoming parents,” Church said in a media statement. “This year has gotten off to an amazing start for us, and this news has made it so much better than we could have ever anticipated.”
Church is also readying his third album for release later this year and recently won the Academy of Country Music’s new solo vocalist of the year award.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.