October Ceremony Will Also Bring Inductions For Three Other Hit Writers
Two country superstars, Alan Jackson (left) and Garth Brooks (below), have been elected into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with three other writers responsible for many country hits: John Bettis, Thom Schuyler (also a former artist and record label executive) and Allen Shamblin.
Jackson has written or co-written 24 of his 35 No. 1 hit singles, including “Chattahoochee” and “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning),” an achievement that places him second only to Merle Haggard in country music history among artists who have written No. 1 songs they have also recorded. Jackson is also in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that they’ve recorded and taken to the top of the charts.
Brooks, who is the top selling solo artist in U.S. history, popularized many of his own compositions such as “The Thunder Rolls” and “The River.” He has sold more than 128 million albums in his career. As a songwriter, his credits also include “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “Unanswered Prayers” and “We Shall Be Free.”
Bettis’ songwriting credits include such pop/country crossover hits such as “Top Of The World” (The Carpenters, Lynn Anderson) and “Slow Hand” (The Pointer Sisters, Conway Twitty). Schuyler is known for hits such as “Love Will Turn You Around” (Kenny Rogers) and “A Long Line Of Love” (Michael Martin Murphey). Schuyler’s recording career included both stints as a solo artist for Capitol Records and as a member of the trios S-K-O (Schuyler, Knobloch & Overstreet) and S-K-B (Schuyler, Knobloch & Bickhardt) on MTM Records. Shamblin is the writer behind “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (Bonnie Raitt) and “The House That Built Me” (Miranda Lambert).
The inductions will take place Oct. 16 in Nashville. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame currently has 179 members, including Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Don & Phil Everly, Vince Gill, Roger Miller, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Carl Perkins, Hank Williams, and Hank Williams, Jr.
State Fair Stage Collapse Claimed A Sixth Life This Morning
Sugarland resumed its tour last night following Saturday night’s tragedy at the Indiana State Fair, which has now claimed a sixth life. Before the official start of last night’s show in Albuquerque, N.M., Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush and their entire band and crew came on stage, where Jennifer spoke for a few minutes about last weekend’s deadly stage collapse and explained why the show was going on without its set, gear and original instruments, which were all destroyed in the collapse. She asked the audience to join them in a moment of silence in honor of the victims, after which the band performed an acoustic version of Sugarland’s song “Love,” while their emotional crew looked on. Nettles then promised the band would put on their “professional faces” and “celebrate the joy and the healing power of music.” Watch it here.
Oct. 4 Release Returns The Duo To The Sound Of Previous Hits
Montgomery Gentry has set Oct. 4 as the release date for its new album, “Rebels On The Run.” It will be the duo’s seventh studio album, and first for its new record label home, Average Joe’s Entertainment, a venture partly owned by fellow artist Colt Ford.
The 11-song set reflects some of the recent personal and professional changes in the lives of the duo’s Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry.
“In a lot of ways the past year has been has been nothing but hell,” said Eddie Montgomery in a press statement, referring to both his battle with prostate cancer and his divorce. The cancer is now in remission.
“Man, without T-Roy and my family, this music, our fans and the man upstairs, I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through it,” he adds.
Says Gentry, “I don’t know if we would have made the same album if we hadn't been through everything we’ve been through in the last year. We’ve always tried to record songs about things we’ve lived or seen, but the depth of all of those experiences really comes out in this album.”
While they were signed to previous label home, Columbia Records, Montgomery Gentry notched 15 top 10 hits, a third of which went to No. 1. With the help of producer Michael Knox, best known for his work with Jason Aldean, the new album returns Montgomery Gentry to the sound for which they are primarily known.
In addition to continuing tour dates, Montgomery Gentry are scheduled to headline the 28th annual Love Ride motorcycle rally with Jay Leno outside Los Angeles on October 23.
Paisley’s European Tour Rolls On This Weekend
Last night in London, Brad Paisley played for a full house at the O2 Arena and was joined during the encore by surprise guest Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones. The two artists performed “Let The Good Times Roll,” then were joined by Paisley’s tour-mate, Darius Rucker, for a version of Paisley’s hit “Alcohol.”
Paisley’s European tour continues this weekend with three shows in Ireland, followed by four shows next week in Norway, Sweden and Denmark next week.
Clip Includes Cameos From Sheryl Crow, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, Hoda Kotb
Martina McBride’s new single, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” is about surviving breast cancer with the help of a supportive partner, so in her new video for the song, she enlisted the participation of some real-life cancer survivors, and those with a connection to the disease. Some are celebrities, some not. Among those making cameos in the emotional clip, and offering testimonials about how cancer has affected their lives, are Sheryl Crow, and journalists Katie Couric, Robin Roberts and Hoda Kotb.
The video was shot just outside of Nashville last month and features dozens more cancer survivors and their supporters.
“I knew it was a song I wanted to record because of the strong message of hope that it sends,” said McBride in a press statement. “I’ve heard so many stories about how music can change lives from songs I have recorded like ‘A Broken Wing,’ ‘Independence Day,’ and ‘Concrete Angel.’ I believe ‘I'm Gonna Love You Through It’ will offer hope and inspiration to so many people who are going through or have been through cancer and the people who love them through it. It takes a lot of strength and a lot of love to get through something like that. I think this song says what so many people want to express to their loved ones.”
The song is included on McBride’s upcoming album, “Eleven,” due out Oct 11. Watch the video here.
His 9/11 Song Proves Fitting In The Wake Of Norway Tragedies
Proving that music can be universal, Alan Jackson took a song he wrote in response to a national tragedy here in the United States and used it to offer comfort to fans in Norway, which recently experienced a national tragedy of its own.
Jackson just returned from a Scandinavian tour, which included three shows in Sweden and Norway. During the run, Jackson played to more than 30,000 fans.
In Norway, crowds were especially moved, as Jackson paid tribute to victims of recent bombing and shooting tragedies in the country during his performance of “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning),” a song he wrote in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks here at home. At both Norway shows, the names of those who lost their lives in the attacks were shown on the video screens against a backdrop of roses and the Norwegian flag.
Band To Resume Touring Thursday, Despite Total Loss Of Set, Gear, Instruments
In the wake of Saturday night’s tragedy at the Indiana State Fair in which five people were killed, Sugarland has released the following letter to its fans.
Dear Fans, Family and Friends,
We have taken a couple of days to try and even begin to emotionally process the magnitude and gravity of the tragedy in Indiana on Saturday. While the path to healing from this type of trauma and loss is long and winding, we wanted to reach out and update you on where we are and how we are.
We are in the process of planning a private memorial in Indiana, to honor those fans who died. We would first like to hold space so that their families can have time to go through their own services and memorials. Until that time we are holding vigil for them. We join them on their mourning benches. And we stand in the gap asking God to offer them peace and healing. For those suffering from injury we hold you up with prayers for complete healing of your own.
We are also addressing our own specific healing. Our road family experienced its traumas together. While we all scattered to our given families for their comfort, the trauma we experienced together binds us in a unique way that we share only with each other, and those who were there. There is healing in our being together. There is healing in our working together. For this reason we are planning to get back on the road this weekend, beginning with our scheduled show in Albuquerque this Thursday, August 18th. The emotions have us yearning to be close to each other immediately. The logistics have us needing to replace all of our instruments and equipment. (The set is a loss that is insignificant in light of the tragedy.)
This Incredible Machine is more than a tour and more than a set. We have always celebrated music as a healer. While music cannot change the events and losses at the Indiana State Fair, it can hopefully serve as a ritual and a balm to provide comfort and facilitate healing in this time of great sorrow. We hope to see you all soon.
Several Top Country Touring Draws To Hit The Road This Fall; Lady A Cancels Indiana Show
Lady Antebellum (right) will launch the first leg of its Own The Night 2011 Tour Nov. 11 in Knoxville, Tenn., with dates scheduled through Dec. 18. The first leg of the 21-city arena tour will feature special guest Josh Kelley (the brother of Lady A’s Charles Kelley) and an alternating combination of newcomers Edens Edge and Randy Montana in the opening slot.
In related news, Lady A has cancelled its Aug. 19 show at the Indiana State Fair, where the band had been scheduled to play the now destroyed Hoosier Lottery Grandstand, the scene of last Saturday's Sugarland show tragedy where five people lost their lives.
In other news, Dierks Bentley (below) will kick off the first leg of his Country & Cold Cans Tour Oct. 6 in Lacrosse, Wis. Special guests Jerrod Niemann and Eli Young Band will open for Bentley on the 22-city run that wraps in Denver on Nov. 19. Additional tour dates will be announced over the coming weeks. Bentley is currently in the studio finishing up his sixth Capitol Nashville studio album.
Toby Keith is returning to Europe for a string of fall Locked & Loaded Tour dates. Keith’s upcoming album, “Clancy’s Tavern” will be released globally Oct. 25, and five days later he’ll open a 12-date European tour in Edinburgh. The tour will continue through Manchester, London, Amsterdam, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and wrap in Berlin Nov 19.
In addition to his previously announced fall CMT On Tour dates as a headliner, Luke Bryan will also stage his outdoor Farm Tour for the third consecutive year with six shows kicking off in Clemson, S.C., on Sept. 29 and wrapping October 7 in Carrollton, Ga. Proceeds from the Farm Tour dates are made available as a scholarship for a student from a farming family attending a local college in each community where the shows are taking place.
“We have such a blast at these shows,” says Bryan. “We look forward to bringing music into some of these areas where concert tours can’t get to. There’s nothing like building a tour set in the middle of a crop field!”
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