“This is amazing! Oh, my God,” Kellie Pickler said right before hoisting her brand new Dancing With the Stars mirror ball trophy high in the air with dance partner Derek Hough. The big win was announced Tuesday (May 21) during the show’s season finale and was based on a combination of the judges’ scores and America’s votes. Earlier in the night, when co-host Brooke Burke Charvet talked to Pickler and Hough while they were rehearsing their instant dance, Pickler said she was a little nervous and added, “There ain’t nothing we can do about it, so we might as well enjoy it. It’s our last dance, y’all.” But then she said she wanted to get out there and nail the jive. And nail it she did. Pickler and Hough danced to Little Richard’s “Keep a-Knockin’” and earned a perfect score and high praise from all three judges. Among the judges’ comments: “You remind me of Julianne Hough,” “You guys are like the wonder twins” and “I’m telling you, Kellie, you’re the bees’ knees, my mama’s pajamas and my uncle’s carbuncle.”
As devastating as the tragic tornado in Oklahoma was, Moore is still home to Toby Keith. “It’s the reason I never moved to Nashville. It’s home. I tried to live other places and always just came back here,” Keith told NBC News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday (May 21). “I’m very proud to have my name on that water tower.” He also pointed out some of the highlights of the town — like the grocery store on the corner where he got his baseball cards and the bike run down Fourth Street — as he explained why Moore was so special and so resilient. “You see people pitching in and helping the second that it hit,” he said of the tornado. “My son-in-law went right in, turned his truck over getting in there, gets electrocuted climbing in the school, the EMT guys pull him out of there and tend to him, and then he goes right back in and helps with search and rescue. Everybody’s like that.”
Keith also talked with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and said that the Plaza Towers Elementary School did everything they could to protect the students. “Everyone here [in Nashville] was going, ‘How do you live there? How did they leave those kids in school?’ It’s coming right at us, and you can’t call the parents and say, ‘Come get them now,’” he said. “Oklahoma’s just so resilient, they did they best they could.”
- 2011, The Luke Bryan video for “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” premieres on CMT
- 1992, Sawyer Brown collects a #1 single in Billboard with “Some Girls Do”
- 1974, Singer-songwriter Jewel Kilcher is born in Payson, Utah. Known professionally as Jewel, she gets established as a pop star in 1996, segueing into the country charts with the 2008 single “Stronger Woman”
- 1925, Mac Wiseman is born in Crimora, Virginia. He works as a sideman for Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, and releases his own solo bluegrass records for the Dot label. Wiseman also serves as a founding member of the Country Music Association
- 2011, Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard and songwriter Bobby Braddock are inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
- 2002, Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson win three times each in the 37th Academy of Country Music awards at Los Angeles’ Universal Amphitheatre. Brooks & Dunn take Entertainer of the Year; Top Vocal Duo; and Video of the Year, for “Only In America”
- 1993, CBS airs “Willie Nelson The Big Six-0: An All-Star Birthday Celebration,” with Ray Charles, B.B. King, Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Travis Tritt, Lyle Lovett, Bob Dylan, Marty Stuart, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson
- 1961, Bass player Dana Williams is born in Dayton, Ohio. He joins Diamond Rio, a band that wins the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group award three times. Members of the Grand Ole Opry, the band thrives on tight instrumentation and strong harmonies
Taylor Swift won in eight categories to dominate the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. In addition to a win as top artist, she was also named top female artist, top Billboard 200 artist, top digital songs artist and top country artist during Sunday night’s (May 19) show. Swift’s Red also won the top country album and top Billboard 200 album prizes while top country song honors went to her “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Mumford & Sons’ Babel was voted top rock album. During the awards show, Swift performed “22.” Jennifer Nettles introduced The Band Perry’s performance of “Better Dig Two,” and Florida Georgia Line introduced Kacey Musgraves’ acoustic performance of “Merry Go ‘Round.” Other presenters included Shania Twain and Kid Rock.
Remember when that fan grabbed the really important part of Tim McGraw’s jeans and Faith Hill went crazy? Me, too. I remember it like it was yesterday, not 2007. And so does CBS This Morning. When McGraw was interviewed for a segment of the show that aired Friday (May 17), they had to ask. “The Mississippi came out in her,” he said. “I liked it. I thought it was great. I thought it was hilarious, for one thing. But I thought, you know, that’s my wife. And I expect that outta her. She’s a tough lady. I’m married to her. I think of her as losing her temper, for sure.” And who wouldn’t have? It cannot be easy being married to a sex symbol, and I thought when it happened, I would’ve done the exact same thing Hill did. When Hill told the handsy fan in Louisiana, “Someone needs to teach you some class, my friend,” I didn’t think it was the Mississippi coming out in her. I just thought it was the devoted wife coming out in her.
- 2008, Capitol releases Darius Rucker’s first country single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” to radio
- 1998, Garth Brooks’ “No Fences” becomes the first country album certified for shipments of 14 million copies
- 1991, Tracy Lawrence signs a recording contract with Atlantic Records
- 1985, Songwriter Craig Wiseman arrives in Nashville from Mississippi, sleeping in a van for his first week. He ultimately pens such hits as Kenny Chesney’s “The Good Stuff,” Brooks & Dunn’s “Believe” and Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying”
- 1977, Waylon Jennings’ “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)” begins a six-week run at #1 on the Billboard country chart
Randy Travis has taken legal action to prevent the release of a patrol car video of his 2012 drunken-driving arrest near his home in Tioga, Texas. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday (May 14) in Austin against the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas attorney general’s office. Police reports indicated Travis was found naked by the road after crashing his Pontiac Trans Am. He pleaded guilty in January to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to two years’ probation. A judge granted a request from Travis’ attorneys to block the video from being released. After media groups requested the video from law enforcement authorities, the attorney general’s office ruled this month that the judge did not have the authority to bar the video’s release.
GULF SHORES, Ala.. — When the bookers for the Hangout Music Festival were securing talent for this year’s lineup, they must’ve been asking, “How would this sound at the beach?”
From iconic artists like Tom Petty to rising bands like the Mowgli’s, many of the artists fit perfectly with the sunny vibes in this Southeastern vacation spot over the four-day festival, which concluded Sunday (May 19).
If you’re into urban music, there was plenty of that. (Kendrick Lamar enjoyed some of the biggest buzz of the long weekend.) Throbbing dance music was nearly inescapable. If you prefer rock, that was easy to find, from Kings of Leon to the Black Crowes to Imagine Dragons. For that loosened-up festival vibe, fans could check out Trey Anastasio Band, Galactic and … well, just about any band would do the trick.
The four-day festival is on a long stretch of white sand, so there was plenty of space for taking it easy during the day. One tent offered rum drinks and hammocks. The VIP area had a swimming pool. One of the top attractions was a gigantic water slide for adults. In fact, the whole thing was pretty much for adults. I didn’t see many children around at all. Bronzed college kids were definitely in abundance, though.
On Saturday, I started the day with Delta Rae, a band with so many musical influences (and lead singers), there’s something for everyone. After that, I walked back across the beach to hear Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, a San Francisco-based ensemble that keeps it low-key. If you go to the beach to mellow out, this easygoing group should be part of your soundtrack.
Then I shuffled back to see Shovels & Rope, a husband-and-wife team who commanded the big stage without a backing band. They looked like they were having a blast on the drums — and the crowd seemed like a mix of fans who already knew the music and others who were thrilled to discover it. Their dynamic performances are just loose enough that you might think, “Hey, cool party band.”
Then I drifted over to the BMI stage, pulled in by the upbeat, fun-loving music of the Mowgli’s. I had never heard of this San Francisco-based band, but their cheerful stage presence and bright melodies made me want to grab a drink and linger for a few tunes.
On Sunday, Alabama native Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit put some grit into the festival with smart songs about heavy topics, like on “Outfit,” yet the crowd was fully engaged. Although most of the music at Hangout was lighthearted, it’s heartening to see a crowd tune in when they needed to. And there’s no denying he can write a memorable melody, especially on “Alabama Pines.” With a solid band behind him, including new wife Amanda Shires on harmony vocals and fiddle, Isbell also introduced a couple of new songs from an album arriving June 11.
Isbell now lives in Nashville, a city that was well-represented in its musical diversity. For example, the band Space Capone played the set just before Isbell — and cranked up the funky party music, horns and all. Three outdoor bars and a foam machine certainly didn’t hurt the vibe.
Living in Nashville, there are plenty of pop bands I’ve heard about, but for some reason or another, I haven’t been out to see them. Fortunately for me, they were booked for Hangout, so I was finally able to catch Luella & the Sun (wonderfully weird), Wild Cub (enjoyable dance-pop, at least from what I heard at the soundcheck) and the Wild Feathers (classic rock with a Southern spin.)
This part of the world, known around the region as the Redneck Riviera, gets ridiculously busy after Memorial Day. But why wait? For music fans with eclectic tastes, the Hangout Music Festival was a fantastic reason to start the summer season early.
- 2009, Buddy Miller receives five nominations for the Americana Honors & Awards. Julie Miller and Justin Townes Earle pick up three apiece
- 2005, The Oak Ridge Boys perform the national anthem at Shea Stadium when the New York Mets host the cross-town Yankees. The Yanks win, 5-2
- 2000, Faith Hill’s “The Way You Love Me” begins a four-week ride at #1 on the Billboard country chart
- 1994, “Maverick” makes its theater debut, hitting #1 in its first week of release, with cameo appearances by Kathy Mattea, Hal Ketchum, Waylon Jennings, Vince Gill, Janis Gill, Carlene Carter, Reba McEntire and Clint Black
- 1957, Marty Robbins is in fashion: “A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)” takes the #1 spot on the Billboard country singles chart