Little bits of country music news

by Sue Guynn. 0 Comments

The Country Music Association announced on March 27 the 2018 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame — Johnny Gimble, Ricky Skaggs and Dottie West. Gimble will be inducted in the Recording and/or Touring Musician category; Skaggs will be in the Modern Era Artist; and West will be inducted in the Veterans Era Artist category. That will bring the Country Music Hall of Fame membership to 136. The CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. You can read more about these artists at www.cmaworld.com.

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Former “Voice” contestant and Grammy nominee and recently engaged Cassadee Pope will join Team (Kelly) Clarkson for the Knockout Round beginning April 2 on “The Voice.” She will work with and mentor the remaining artists on Team Clarkson. Pope will be on “The Voice” April 2, 3 and 9.

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The Academy of Country Music Awards don’t take place until April 15, but host Reba McEntire surprised a couple of early winners: Lauren Alaina, Best New Female Artist; Brett Young, Best New Male Artist; and Midland, New Vocal Group of the Year.

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The Texas Legislative Conference named George Strait as Texan of the Year at a statewide forum on March 23. “King George” was recognized for his contributions to the state throughout the years, particularly in the last year for his role leading recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey. He set out organizing relief efforts beginning with the “Hand in Hand” Texas benefit concert and telethon. Calling on Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen for the concert which raised more than $22 million for hurricane recovery.

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Scotty McCreery’s new album, “Seasons Change,” arrived at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart, marking his fourth full album to enter at No. 1 on a Billboard album chart, selling more than 40,000 unites in its release week of March 16. McCreery co-wrote all 11 songs on this album, with song themes ranging from losing loved ones and moving out on his own to falling in love and coming of age. The 24-year-old will marry his high school sweetheart this spring.

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It’s NASCAR weekend Sept, 8 and 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Big Machine Vodka 400. On Sept. 9, Florida Georgia Line will perform for race fans. The race weekend will serve as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale for the first time, as teams gear up for the playoffs.

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Ole Red … it’s been a good deal for Blake Shelton. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Shelton and Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. have announced plans to open a third Ole Red entertainment venue in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The venue will feature a two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space, dance floor and exterior terrace and Shelton-inspired menu with a few Nashville classics like hot chicken and waffles, barbecue, burgers and other Southern favorites.  Ole Red Nashville is expected to open in May 2018; Ole Red Gatlinburg is slated to open in spring 2019.

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Chris Janson became a Grand Ole Opry member on March 20, with the distinction of being the youngest living member of the Opry. He was officially inducted by Garth Brooks.

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CMA Fest is June 7 to 10 in Nashville, and set to take the stage at Nissan Stadium are Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bently, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Charles Esten and friends, Florida Georgia Line, Dustin Lynch, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Lee Ann Womack and Brett Young, with special appearances from Lauren Alaina and Bebe Rexha.

The Riverfront Stage will feature Cam, Jordan Davis, Devin Dawson, Lindsay Ell and others. Abby Anderson, Trent Harmon and Jillian Jacqueline are among the artists to perform at the Breakout Stage. Joe Diffie, Lonestar and many others are slated to perform on the Budweiser Forever Country Stage.

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The Johnny Cash Museum was planning to host the re-enlistment ceremony of Senior Intelligence Sergeant for the First Brigade Combat Team Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Christopher Davis on March 16, but Davis was assigned to a mission before the re-enlistment ceremony was held.

But here’s a bit of Johnny Cash history from the museum: JR Cash enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950. According to a press release from the museum, JR had to have a first name, so he chose the name John. Cash completed basic training in San Antonio and was deployed to Germany. He served as a Morse Code Intercept Operator and was actually the first American to hear of an report Stalin’s death. Germany is also where he purchased his first guitar (for $5) and joined his first band, The Landsberg Barbarians, a group of fellow servicemen. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant on July 3, 1954. The museum is in Nashville.

And now you know.

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Naomi Judd and The Scott Brothers, Drew and Jonathan, are the first celebrities to sign up for the City of Hope 28th annual Celebrity Softball Game on June 9 in Tennessee. Naomi will serve as play-by-play guest announcer. For more information on this event, visit www.cityofhope.org/softball.

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