Singer Penned Many Of Its Songs In A Newly-Built Cabin On His Property
Josh Turner has set a June 12 release date for his fifth album, “Punching Bag.” The album’s first single, “Time Is Love,” is in the top 20 and climbing on the national radio airplay charts.
The singer co-wrote eight of the 11 tracks on “Punching Bag,” including the title cut. Many were penned in a cabin he recently built on his property, behind his home, to serve as a songwriter’s den and personal getaway. The cabin is inspired by his home state of South Carolina and is stocked with some of his most prized possessions.
“I spent two years building my writer’s cottage,” he says in a press statement. “Once it was finished I was immediately in there writing songs. In total, I’ve written 27 songs in there and eight of those ended up on the record. My hero and friend, John Anderson, was sitting across the table from me one day when we were writing and said, ‘What will really be a great day is when the songs you write here end up paying for this place!’”
Turner is best known for the four No. 1 hits he’s notched since 2006: “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” and “All Over Me.”
In support of the forthcoming album release, Turner is currently headlining tour dates sponsored by his 2012 tour sponsor, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
Pregnancy Was Not Twins, As She’d Previously Announced
Onetime country star Mindy McCready and her boyfriend, David Wilson, welcomed baby boy Zayne on Monday morning. He joins McCready’s son, Zander, from a previously relationship.
Said McCready in a press statement, “Zayne is truly a blessing and a joy. It was a long and trying pregnancy. We’re so happy he’s here. There are no words to convey how happy we are.”
McCready had previously announced that she was expecting twins with this pregnancy. Her spokesperson tells One Country, “At the time of the initial announcement surrounding Mindy’s pregnancy, in consideration of her size, Mindy was certain she was carrying twins. A misinterpreted sonogram seemed to support her feelings.”
McCready landed three top 10 hits in the mid-1990s, including No. 1 single “Guys Do It All The Time.”
Here’s What You Will—And Won’t—See On Friday Night’s CBS Show
Lionel Richie’s first dedicated foray into the country music genre has been a successful one, with first week sales of his country duets album, “Tuskegee,” totaling nearly 200,000 copies. That success will be celebrated Friday night (April 13) with a two-hour special on CBS, “ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends—In Concert,” which features many of the country stars who performed with Richie on the album, and quite a few that didn’t.
Taped April 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the show went off nearly without a hitch. While a couple of smaller moments had to be re-shot, none of the performances required a re-take, unusual for a television special taping.
The night’s three standout performances were Richie’s high-energy duets with Tim McGraw (“Sail On”), Rascal Flatts (“Dancin’ On The Ceiling”) and a vocally stunning Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland (“Hello”). All three artists had great chemistry with Richie, although Nettles was the only female performer to share one of Richie’s love songs, a circumstance that made for some slightly awkward moments with male stars throughout the show. Performing “My Love” with Kenny Chesney, Richie changed the “my friend, my lover” lyric to “my friend, my friend,” adding a little chuckle as he did so.
After the teleprompter briefly went down at the top of the show, a loose and funny McGraw—stranded on stage—did a little jig for the audience then sang a snippet of “All Night Long” to entertain the crowd. Richie stepped into the wings for a moment, and when he returned McGraw (pictured above with Richie) quipped, “Now we know where the beer section is.”
The show’s other performers (some with Richie, some without) are: Jason Aldean (“Say You Say Me”); Luke Bryan (“Running with the Night”); Sara Evans and Marc Anthony (“Endless Love”); Martina McBride (“Still”); The Band Perry (“Penny Lover”); Lady Antebellum (“Truly”); Kenny Rogers (“Lady”); and Darius Rucker (on a beautifully harmonized “Stuck On You”). The show’s finale is the Commodores song “Brick House,” performed by Big & Rich with Richie. The duo threw in a few lines of their own “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy,” perhaps feeling the audience may need to be reminded of who they are, five years after their last hit.
The show’s star also performed several of his hits solo, including the show opener, “All Night Long.” Later, his solo take on “Three Times A Lady” had couples throughout the venue slow dancing in the aisles.
Some of the funnier moments at the taping happened when a couple of the country stars—Bryan and Rogers—went completely off-script to tell stories about Richie and sing his praises, although much of that will likely be edited out of the special due to time constrains. In both cases, the teleprompter operator struggled to keep up, and then finally shut it off as the stars continued their extemporaneous salutes to Richie. Bryan spoke about those moments when artists get to meet their heroes, and said in Richie’s case, his hero was “everything you dreamed he’d ever be.” Rogers, meanwhile, joked that Richie was due for this career resurgence because he needed the money. That good-natured shot was part Rogers’ long, funny intro for his close friend. Rogers and Richie then performed with their arms around each other, as they tried to one-up each other on the song’s vibrato.
At one point, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley—dressed more for rehearsals than a television taping in a t-shirt and glasses—flubbed a line, then admitted, “I’m nervous . . . Lionel Richie is looking at us.”
Nicole Richie (above right) served as a presenter on the show, and later joined her dad at the piano to perform a snippet of a song called “Climbing” they'd played together when she was a child. The rest of Richie’s family was seated in the front row.
Nicole said of her father, “As he crooned at me with his bad ’80s sweat suits, mighty mustache and combed-out afro, I was just a toddler, not realizing I was being serenaded with some of the best songs of all time.”
The special airs from 9-11 p.m. (ET) on Friday night.
Vince Gill And Other Opry Members Catch Urban Off Guard During Benefit Concert
Thanks to some crafty planning, a concert organized by Keith Urban as a benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum turned into the perfect setting for a surprise invitation for Urban to join the legendary cast of the Grand Ole Opry.
The invitation happened on stage tonight at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena during the multi-act “All For The Hall” benefit concert. Fellow artist and Hall of Fame board member Vince Gill, pictured with Urban, did the honors, but first invited fellow Opry members (and “All For The Hall" performers) Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio and the Oak Ridge Boys back on stage to share in the surprise. They filed in under the pretense of presenting a gift to Urban, but when he opened the large black duffel bag, it contained the Opry’s signature microphone stand.
Gill said, “We would like to invite Keith Urban to be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry!” Urban covered his face in surprise and replied, “I don’t know what to say—but first, YES! Thank you very much to everybody at the Grand Ole Opry who made this possible. I’m shocked. How beautiful for this to happen tonight of all nights.
“I will always remember the first time I played the Opry,” Urban continued. “Seeing this stand, and standing in the circle was an extraordinarily surreal moment. So this right here is just a whole other stratosphere! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
When he is formally inducted on the Opry stage April 21, Urban will become the first artist from outside North America to ever become an Opry member. Urban was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia.
His Opry induction will be televised live on GAC April 21 at 8 p.m. (CT).
Elizabeth Travis Claims Singer Breached Their Management Contract
Randy Travis is being sued by his ex-wife and former manager, Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher Travis, according to the Nashville Business Journal. Elizabeth reportedly filed the suit last Thursday claiming the singer breached their post-divorce management contract.
Citing documents filed in Davidson County Chancery Court, the newspaper reports that the Nashville-based Elizabeth Travis Management inked a management contract with Randy Travis five months after the couple’s 2010 divorce. But in those court documents, Elizabeth alleged that Randy (pictured together in happier times) “intentionally interfered with” the ability to do her job and undermined the “effectiveness of [his] career in the entertainment industry.” She also charged that Randy and his attorneys terminated the agreement without written notice.
In the suit’s blockbuster revelation, Elizabeth claims that her ex sent a large truck, an armed guard and several other men to her Nashville office, where they reportedly proceeded to haul off “practically all of the property and business records,” including computers and framed record plaques.
Elizabeth Travis is seeking a judgment in her favor, but did not specify a dollar amount.
Set Will Be His First Since Changing Record Labels
Alan Jackson will release a new album, “Thirty Miles West,” on June 5. It will be his first project since moving from his longtime record label home, Arista Nashville, to EMI Records Nashville last year. The project will be released in conjunction with his own imprint, ACR (Alan’s Country Records). His longtime producer Keith Stegall remains at the helm.
Two singles have been released from the album so far, “Long Way To Go” and current single “So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore.”
Explaining the album title, Jackson says, “There’s this highway that’s been in existence for forever now. It’s called the Dixie Highway and it runs from north of Michigan all the way down to South Florida, and I wrote a song about it that’s on the album. I grew up on Highway 34 outside of Newnan, Ga., and that’s where we came up with ‘Thirty Miles West.’ I think we were about 30 miles west of the official part of the Dixie Highway that runs through Georgia.”
Singer Pops The Question During A Florida Concert
Sorry ladies, Jake Owen is off the market. The singer spontaneously proposed to girlfriend Lacey Buchanan on Saturday night onstage at a show in his hometown of Vero Beach, Fla., in front of a crowd of 5,500 that included fans, family, friends and fans. Owen, who did not have a ring, brought Buchanan out on stage and popped the question while performing his hit, “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You.”
“Lacey is the answer to all of my prayers,” says Owen in a press release announcing the engagement. “She is an amazing person and I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
“When I was on stage, it just hit me how many of our family members and friends were at the show,” he adds, noting that Buchanan is also a Florida native. “So, I thought sharing that moment would mean a lot to everyone.”
Buchanan has appeared in Owen’s music videos for “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Eight Second Ride.”
Singer To Release Her First New Album In Four Years
We haven’t heard much from Kathy Mattea in a while, but the Grammy-winning singer has just signed with Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records. The label plans to release “Calling Me Home,” which Mattea describes as a love letter to her home state of West Virginia, later this year. He last album, “Coal,” was released in 2008 and was a tribute to the mining traditions of Appalachia.
“Signing at Sugar Hill is like coming home,” Mattea says in a press statement. “It’s a wonderful fit for the music I am making these days, and I’m so excited to be there.”
A reliable hit maker in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mattea charted a total 37 songs on Billboard’s country singles chart between 1983 and 2000 while signed to Mercury Records. Her hit streak included 16 top 10 singles, four of which went to No. 1: “Goin’ Gone,” “Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses,” “Come From The Heart,” and “Burnin’ Old Memories.” Another of her best-remembered songs, Grammy-winner “Where’ve You Been,” peaked at No. 10 in 1989.
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