- 2001, Alan Jackson’s “Where I Come From” tops the Billboard country chart
– 1984, Ricky Skaggs’ version of Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen” tops the Billboard country chart
– 1975, Presenter Charlie Rich lights fire to the envelope when John Denver wins Entertainer of the Year during the ninth annual Country Music Association awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Denver also takes Song of the Year with “Back Home Again”
– 1946, Lacy J. Dalton is born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The husky-throated singer wins the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female award in 1980 on the way to such hits as “Takin’ It Easy,” “Black Coffee” and the songwriter anthem “16th Avenue”
- 2012, Thomas Rhett marries Lauren Gregory
– 1993, Giant Records releases “Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles,” with some of the royalties to benefit the Walden Woods Project. Among the artists contributing: Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood
– 1987, Randy Travis takes home three honors during the 21st annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House: Male Vocalist of the Year; Album, for “Always And Forever”; and Single, for “Forever And Ever, Amen,” also named Song of the Year
– 1981, Barbara Mandrell becomes the first act to win consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards from the Country Music Association during its 15th annual show at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. Mandrell, who co-hosts with Mac Davis, also wins Female Vocalist of the Year
- 2005, MCA releases Gary Allan’s “Tough All Over” album
– 2002, The Dixie Chicks’ “Home” album goes triple-platinum
– 1981, The Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame inducts Bobby Braddock and Ray Whitley. Braddock is noted for George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.” Whitley wrote Gene Autry’s theme song, “Back In The Saddle Again”
– 1953, Paulette Carlson is born in Northfield, Minnesota. She becomes the sassy lead vocalist for Highway 101, essential on such hits as “The Bed You Made For Me,” “Somewhere Tonight” and “Cry, Cry, Cry”
- 2012, The Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” plays as ABC debuts the country-music soap opera “Nashville.” Also heard in the episode: John Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses,” Greg Bates’ “Did It For The Girl” and Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man”
– 2001, Lonestar’s “With Me” video debuts on CMT’s “Most Wanted Live.” The piece represents the directorial debut of drummer Keech Rainwater
– 1988, Hank Williams Jr. wins his second Entertainer of the Year trophy and claims Album of the Year, for “Born To Boogie,” during the 22nd annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. K.T. Oslin joins him as a double-winner
– 1981, T.G. Sheppard’s “Party Time” hits the top of the Billboard country chart
Featuring 14 tracks that stretch from the group’s 2008 breakthrough “Chicken Fried” to 2013’s “Sweet Annie,” the collection will also include hits like “Toes,” “Free,” “As She’s Walking Away” (featuring Alan Jackson), “Goodbye in Her Eyes” and more.
The songs are sourced from the band’s major label album debut, The Foundation, as well as its follow-ups You Get What You Give and Uncaged.
The band’s latest release is the concept EP The Grohl Sessions: Volume 1. Featuring the single “All Alright” and three other songs, the project was produced by Dave Grohl, lead singer of the rock group Foo Fighters and former drummer of the iconic grunge band Nirvana.
As previously reported, Brown and his Southern Ground Artists collective have signed a strategic partnership with Universal’s John Varvatos Records, Big Machine Label Group and Republic Records. The new label team with oversee Brown’s future album releases, with the first one tentatively scheduled for spring of 2015.
The group currently has performances scheduled through the month of October, including the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival — an event Brown created and curates — in Charleston, South Carolina, on Oct. 11-12.
Here is the complete track listing for Zac Brown Band’s Greatest Hits So Far …:
“Whatever It Is”
“Highway 20 Ride”
“As She’s Walking Away” (Featuring Alan Jackson)
“Knee Deep” (Featuring Jimmy Buffett)
“Keep Me in Mind”
“Jump Right In”
“Goodbye in Her Eyes”
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- 2009, Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen” video premieres on CMT
– 1993, Scotty McCreery is born in Garner, North Carolina. He wins “American Idol” in 2011, leading to the release of his first album, “Clear As Day,” within months. He earns his first Top 10 country single with 2013’s “See You Tonight”
– 1989, Hank Williams Jr.’s duet with Hank Sr. on “There’s A Tear In My Beer” wins two honors during the 23rd annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House: Vocal Event and Music Video of the Year, directed by Ethan Russell
– 1978, Dolly Parton’s dress splits as she walks off with the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award during the 12th annual ceremony at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House
- 2011, Rascal Flatts joins the Grand Ole Opry, performing three songs in the process: “Why Wait,” “I Won’t Let Go” and “Life Is A Highway.” Former Brooks & Dunn member Ronnie Dunn also makes his solo Opry debut
- 2003, Dolly Parton and Melissa Etheridge tape an episode of “CMT Crossroads,” hosted by Radney Foster, at the Sony Television Studios in Los Angeles. The women join voices on “9 To 5,” “I Will Always Love You” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”
- 1994, Toby Keith takes up residence at #1 on the Billboard chart with “Who’s That Man”
- 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis records “Great Balls Of Fire” at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis
Jason Aldean Moves on With Old Boots, New Dirt
On “Old Boots, New Dirt,” the title track of Jason Aldean‘s sixth album, the country superstar addresses the aftermath of the cheating scandal that took over his life in 2012.
Photographed kissing former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr at an L.A. club while still married, Aldean instantly became the face of every tabloid in the country.
“It’s a guy getting out of a situation that he had been in and looking for a place to start over, looking for a chance at a clean slate,” Aldean told CMT.com about the song. “He just picks a town and says, ‘I don’t know where I’m going or what’s going on. I’m a little worn down, but it’s me, and I’m looking for a place to hang my hat now and escape the past a little bit and put some things behind me.'”
In real life, the singer is eager to move on as well. He and Kerr are now engaged, and the album’s first single “Burnin’ It Down” has reached the Top 10 on Billboard‘s country airplay chart.
In an interview at CMT’s offices in Nashville, Aldean comes clean about his evolving sound, defends his new single’s most controversial line and acknowledges the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
CMT.com: When you came out with “Hicktown” in 2005, it was unlike anything else at the time. Do you feel like the rest of country music has caught up to that style now?
Aldean: I think when we hit the scene, this country/rock/edge thing we were doing, nobody else was doing it. It was something we brought in. And I think over the years — like anything in Nashville — if anything works, every label in town tries to go out and find something that mimics that. So eventually anything that was cool at one point, everybody’s gonna start doing it and it’s not gonna be cool anymore.
That, for us, is the thing. Instead of falling behind and following suit with what everybody else does, I’m always looking for ways to go out and try something else. If everybody is — for lack of a better term — copping your style, let’s go do something else.
I tell people all the time, it’s like having a shiny new red truck. If you get a shiny new red truck, it’s really cool until all your friends get the same truck, and then it’s not really that cool anymore, so you need to go trade it in and get another one.
The new songs sounded influenced by ’90s R&B to me. Did you listen to Boyz II Men and stuff like that?
Yeah, of course. I think all of that stuff was really big at the time I was a teenager.
The reason I ask is because it seems like synthesizers and drum machines are coming back, even on your music.
I think a lot of times what people do is look to the pop world and whatever is going on in pop music. They take that and try to incorporate it into whatever they’re doing, whether it’s a drum loop or vocal effects or whatever it is.
But it’s also like country music is scared to be the innovators of that stuff. They want to make sure it’s cool and that it works for everybody else, and then they go, “OK, I’ll try that. Maybe I’ll ease that in here.”
I never want to be scared to try new things. I want to be the first to do stuff and not feel like I’m just following in whatever everybody else is doing. And I’ve always been that way. I draw from a lot of influences, whether it be blues or hip-hop or R&B, ’90s country, ’70s country and even stuff that’s going on today. I got an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old that play music I’ve never heard of, and I hear stuff all the time that I’m like, “Who is that?” It gives me ideas, too.
“Burnin’ It Down” is one of those steamy, R&B-flavored songs, and one of the things people seem to remember is the “nekkid in my bed” line. Did you have any idea that would be so noteworthy?
I had a feeling. I had a feeling just because when “Hicktown” came out, it was the “butt crack” line. That was the one line that everybody was like, “Oh, that’s the butt crack song.” If that’s how you gotta remember it, then that’s exactly what it is. It’s the butt crack song. But sometimes all it takes is that one word or one phrase that makes people go, “Oh, yeah, that’s the song that talks about being nekkid in bed.” Yup, that’s the one.
The title track seems really relevant to your personal life at the moment. Is that part of why you liked it?
Absolutely. That’s the main reason I liked it, honestly. You know, over the last couple of years, my personal life has just been on blast and out there for everybody to have an opinion on, and it’s been the focus of everything for me. No matter what I did in my career, my personal life was the focus of everything. And it’s just a drag, man. It’s really annoying to me.
The fact is, you know, shit happens. It’s life, and things happen. And you deal with it, and you move on and you don’t sit there and dwell on it. And we’re trying to move past all this stuff, but you can’t because people are always bringing it up. And, for me, this album was a way to escape and get away from that … channel my energy into something that was positive.
I put everything I had into the record, and now coming on the other side of it, I’ve got a lot of the things that were weighing me down in the rearview mirror, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds both personally and professionally. And I hope that the focus now will shift to my music and things like that, which it should be on. To me, that’s the metaphor that sums it all up and is a way of me saying, “All right. This shit is over. I’m tired of talking about it. Quit bringing it up. Let’s move on.”
- 2012, Mary Chapin Carpenter is inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame along with Tony Arata (“The Dance”), Kim Williams (“Three Wooden Crosses”) and Larry Henley (“The Wind Beneath My Wings”) at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel
– 2006, Big & Rich and Lynyrd Skynyrd perform a benefit concert at the HiFi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta to raise funds for a memorial to the 173rd Airborne, the division commemorated in “8th Of November.” Also appearing: John Anderson, The Lost TrailersÂ and Cowboy Troy
– 2000, Chris LeDoux has a liver transplant in Omaha, Nebraska, after discovering he has primary sclerosing cholangitis
– 1940, Bill Monroe has his first recording session with the Blue Grass Boys, at the Kimball Hotel in Atlanta, for RCA Records. Among the day’s tracks: “Mule Skinner Blues”
Hallelujah! Kenny Chesney’s The Big Revival makes its rapturous debut this week at the top of Billboard’s country albums chart. It was borne aloft by first-week sales of 120,670 copies, Nielsen SoundScan testifies.
Cole Swindell’s prayers are answered, too, as his “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” arrives at No. 1 in country airplay heaven after devilishly slow 30-week ascension.
OK, enough with the ecclesiastic effluvium.
Three other new albums break the tape — stop me before I metaphor again: Big & Rich’s Gravity (No. 8), the Josh Abbott Band’s Tuesday Night EP (No. 12) and Lee Ann Womack’s The Way I’m Livin’ (No. 18).
Returning CDs include Joey + Rory’s Joey + Rory Inspired: Songs of Faith & Family (No. 32), the TV series soundtrack Nashville: Season 2: Volume 2 (No. 46), David Nail’s I’m a Fire (No. 47) and Johnny Cash’s Out Among the Stars (No. 50).
There are three new songs, as well: Chesney’s “Til It’s Gone” (bowing at No. 40), Jon Pardi’s “When I’ve Been Drinkin'” (No. 58) and Chris Lane’s “Broken Windshield View” (No. 60).
Kelleigh Bannen’s “You Are What You Love” comes back on at No. 59.
The No. 2 through No. 1 albums, in that order, are Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town (last week’s No. 1), George Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium, Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party and Lee Brice’s I Don’t Dance.
Rounding out the Top 5 songs are Bryan’s “Roller Coaster,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt,” Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” and Dustin Lynch’s “Where It’s At (Yep, Yep)” (last week’s No. 1).
It’s October. So where are the Christmas albums?