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Classic Country News

Dolly at 20 Years Old!

Have you seen the old photo of Dolly Parton flying around social media right now?  It's a photobooth shot she took in 1966 when she was 20.

 

 

Reba's Career To Come Full Circle At This Weekend's Super Bowl

The NFL apparently loves Country music. Last year, Chris Stapleton was invited to sing the National Anthem, and this Sunday at the Super Bowl, it’s gonna be Reba McEntire.

Reba is very seasoned at singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at sporting events. She's belted it out, seamlessly at several NFL games, as well as the World Series, at an Indy Car event, and celebrity softball games to name a few. 

Any of those events would be considered a lifetime achievement for most people, but the one that meant the most to her… happened 50 years ago:

“It’s absolutely amazing coming full circle, 50 years after being discovered by Red Steagall me singing the National Anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. That was in 1974. Little did I know, I had no idea 50 years I’d be singing (laughs) the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl. O-mi-gosh. I don’t even have the imagination to say that I would be doing something like this. I’m absolutely thrilled to pieces that they asked me.” 

 

FAST FACTS

  • Reba charted her first single two years later (in 1976) after that event in Oklahoma City with “I Don’t Want To Be A One Night Stand.” It peaked at #88.
  • Four years later, in 1980, she scored her first Top 10 with “You Liff Me Up.”

National Anthem Facts

  • The University of Arizona and University of Michigan Marching Bands performed the very first Super Bowl National Anthem in 1967.
  • It was Charley Pride in 1974
  • Garth Brooks 1993
  • Faith Hill 2000
  • Dixie Chicks 2003
  • Carrie Underwood 2010
  • Kelly Clarkson 2012
  • Luke Bryan 2017
  • Eric Church 2021
  • Mickey Guyton 2022

SIDE NOTES

  • On Super Bowl Sunday, the average household buys about 6,000 calories worth of snacks per person.
  • 1.3 billion chicken wings will be consumed. 
  • 3.8 million pounds of popcorn will be made.
  •  $2.37 million will be spent on soda

 

Great Toby Keith Stories

Toby Keith was affectionately known as Big Dog Daddy, so you know he's gonna have some cool stories from his past.  Well ever since his death, people keep sharing their favorite Toby Keith memories, and this man lived a very full life.

 

Here are the highlights:

 

1.  At a concert in Kentucky in 2009, a drunk fan flipped Toby the bird and threw his beer at him.  So, Toby jumped off the stage, fought his way through the crowd, berated the fan and then got him thrown out.  How many modern country stars would have just called for security instead?

 

2.  In 2010 in Iraq, in one of Toby's many USO tours, indirect fire started coming into the base while he was doing his set.  Everyone got down to take cover from the rockets . . . but those explosions didn't deter Toby.  He got back on stage and famously said into the mic, "Hey Al Qaeda, you missed."

 

3.  In 2022, at his first show back from his cancer diagnosis during his song, "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue", he fired up the crowd by saying, "Never apologize for being patriotic. [Eff] 'em."

 

4.  Did you know Toby Keith was responsible for signing the one and only Taylor Swift to her first record deal?  Pretty wild.  (You can read all about it, here.)

 

Toby Keith In His Own Words

Toby Keith died on February 5th, at the age of 62, following a lengthy battle with stomach cancer. According to a post on his social media accounts, the country star was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing. The note added, “He fought his fight with grace and courage.” The singer, well known for hits like “How Do You Like Me Now?” and “Beer For My Horses” previously told us: 

  • Keith explained, while he doesn't get to spend much time at home, the time spent there is quality: "First of all, they (his kids) are provided for a lot better than they would be if I was a cross-country truck driver. I'm gone a lot of the time, but when I'm home, I'm completely off. You know, it ain't like I'm coming home at five everyday and I've got that three hours before they've got to be in bed, so they can get up and go to school the next morning. I've got all of those days off, they're all day and all night. They are all mine."
     
  • Keith kept such a tight schedule and busy life because, as he explains, he knows how important it is to keep his fans happy: "They are the only reason we do this. I would probably make music for my own satisfaction if that's all there was to do. I love music that much, so I would probably write songs. But, the reason we do albums and the reason we go out on tour is because of the fans. You unplug all of that, you know... you can never forget them. You unplug that, then there's no place for any of us to go. That's how important the fans are."
     
  • Keith told us that credit for his success goes to his ability to diversify. "You know, you've got all these things -- I've got restaurants and bars and grills . . . I've got so many other things -- makin' movies and things -- that promotes my brand name and stuff that I'll never be bigger than country music, but I'll be bigger than the people that run country music. I'm so big that the people that do run country music can't stop me. You see what I'm sayin'? It's a beautiful position to be in. You'll never be their poster child but at the same time they can't do s**t about it."
     
  • The singer says live performance is one of the most important aspects of his career: "If we're into an audience that's completely over-the-top into us, it's real easy to do it every night, because you know what they are there to hear and you know you've got it in your rotation. And you just keep feeding the monster, you know, and you're trying to take them completely over the top where they're seeing the best show they've ever seen."
     
  • Keith talked about how hard it is to please everyone as he prepared to launch his own record label: "Well, I think you just move on and concentrate your energies on the things that will make you most successful, and you obviously can't please everybody. You think you've got to try to please 'em all and you just can't do it, so at some point, you back up and you go, 'You know what? Let's do an inventory of what works for you and what doesn't, and let's concentrate on your news goals and achievements that you're gonna do,' like the publishing company and possibly a label and things like that."

Fans Organize Petition To Rename State Park After Loretta Lynn

Fans of late country music star Loretta Lynn are petitioning to have a state park named after her. The petition is asking Kentucky's General Assembly to rename Paintsville Lake State Park to "Loretta Lynn State Park." 

 

The park, which is located in the Johnson County section of Kentucky, is also the county where Lynn grew up. Johnson County is about three hours east of Louisville, Kentucky. 

 

The petition was launched on Change.org and has already neared its goal of 25,000 signatures.

Willie Nelson 'Live At The Hollywood Bowl' Out Now

Last Friday, December 15th, is "Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90 Live at the Hollywood Bowl," an audio and video home release of Nelson's birthday concerts that took place December 29-30 at the Hollywood Bowl.

The who's-who guest list featured greats from the worlds of rock, country, folk, Americana and even rap, the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Sheryl Crow, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews Nathaniel Raitliff, Beck, Snoop Dogg, Nelson's songs Lukas and Micah and many others. Gov't Mule leader Warren Haynes was part of the shows as well and tells us that it was one of the most memorable nights of his career:

"That was fantastic. Y'know, being around all those people for three or four days -- we did rehearsals and the two nights at the show -- it was just an amazing lineup, and I feel like Willie's the only person that could've pulled that together, all those people together, egos checked at the door. It was just fantastic." SOUNDCUE :28

"Long Story Short..." features 39 performances from the concerts, including the full-cast renditions of "On the Road Again" and "Happy Birthday" at the end. 

The set is being released in a two-CD plus Blu-ray edition, and digitally. 

 

On Sunday, Dec. 17, CBS will air "Willie Nelson's 90th Birthday Celebration" airs at 8:30 p.m. EST/PST CBS. Guest performers include the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Nelson's fellow stoner Snoop Dogg, along with Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Sheryl Crow, Beck, Dave Matthews, Miranda Lambert, Norah Jones, and Nelson's son Lukas and Micah, among others. Jennifer Garner, Chelsea Handler, Woody Harrelson, Ethan Hawke, Helen Mirren and Owen Wilson serve as hosts. It will also stream via Paramount+. 

 

Image credit: 

Pamela Smith

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Wynonna Judd To Join Reba McEntire As A Mega Mentor On 'The Voice'

Two country icons will be joining forces on next week’s episode of The Voice next week.

Reba McEntire announced on social media Tuesday (October 31st) that Wynonna Judd will join her team as this season’s Mega Mentor. She wrote in the caption, “Wy is the perfect person for this and I can’t wait for you to see all the great advice she gives these talented artists.”

She’ll appear on next Tuesday’s (November 6th) episode on NBC.

Check It Out

Garth Brooks To Drop Boxed Set Including His 14th Studio Album

Garth Brooks’ first studio album of new material in three years will be available next month exclusively through Bass Pro Shops.

Time Traveler, Brooks’ 14th studio album, will be housed in a limited series, seven-disc boxed set that will include his three most recent releases, 2014’s Man Against Machine, 2016’s Gunslinger and 2020’s Fun, as well as the three-disc Triple Live concert set.

The “Friends In Low Places” singer wrote on Instagram that the collection has “something from every era of country music.”

It will be available on November 7th.

Dolly Parton To Headline Dallas Cowboys' Halftime Show On Thanksgiving Day

Dolly Parton will be the halftime show performer during the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game next month.

The country star wrote on social media Monday (October 16th), “Can’t wait to see everyone at the @SalvationArmyUS Red Kettle Kickoff Halftime Show during the @DallasCowboys game.”

The game will air Thursday, November 23rd on CBS at 3:30 p.m. CST.

Parton promised “a performance that will rock,” suggesting that she’ll be choosing selections from her upcoming Rockstar album.

 

Reba Drops New Book, 'Not That Fancy'

Reba McEntire’s new book, “Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots,” dropped Tuesday (October 10th).

The country star appeared on Today where she revealed that she keeps her partner Rex Linn saved in her phone as “long distance boyfriend.”

She told the outlet that although the couple met in 1991, they didn’t reconnect until they appeared on Young Sheldon in 2002. After that they were “inseparable” until the pandemic hit. She says she and Linn texted and called every day. She added that he is saved as “Rex linn, long-distance boyfriend. I haven’t changed it since 2020.”

 

ARTICLE PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Gage Skidmore

Garth Wishes Trisha Happy Birthday

Garth Brooks honored his wife, Trisha Yearwood, with a special birthday message on social media Tuesday (September 19th).

Brooks wrote, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY @TrishaYearwood!!!! To the woman who brings inspiration, comfort, kindness & love into our hearts every day, today we celebrate YOU! The world is a better place with you in it - country music and what’s on our tables wouldn’t be the same without you!!! love, TeamG.” 

The couple has been married since 2005.

 

 

TheĀ Oak Ridge Boys Farewell Tour

The Oak Ridge Boys will say goodbye to their fans this fall.

The group announced Tuesday (September 19th) that they will embark on the American Made: Farewell Tour in honor of their 50th anniversary.

William Lee Golden said in a statement, "We are doing a farewell tour because we owe it to our fans to say goodbye. They have always been there for us through the good times and the bad. I will always be thankful to every person who came out to a show, bought a t-shirt, played our music, and overall, loved us enough to spend their hard-earned money whenever they could. This tour is for you!"

The trek will kick off in Branson, Missouri on September 20th and hit both The Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, among other stops, before wrapping up in Dekalb, Illinois on December 13th.

 

ARTICLE PHOTO CREDIT: Republic Country Club

Hank Williams Jr. Is Engaged

Hank Williams Jr. is engaged 18 months after the death of his wife Mary.  The 74-year-old country singer announced his engagement to fiancée Brandi in an announcement shared to the Facebook page of The Pure Hank Radio Show last week.  The post showed a photo of the happy couple and read, “The newly engaged outlaw country music and southern rock legend Hank Williams, Jr. alongside is beautiful and lovely fiancée Brandi.” 

 

Martina McBride Hints That A 'Really Personal' Album Is On The Horizon

Martina McBride is ready to get creative again.  The “Independence Day” singer told People in an interview published Thursday (August 31st) that she’s still working to get back to normal after the slowdown of the pandemic. 

McBride said, “I think there were two kinds of people — people that used the time to create and people that used the time to recharge, and I was the recharge type. I'm just getting back into thinking about it really and trying to come up with what I want to do next.”

The country star is “compiling and testing recipes” for a possible new cookbook and thinking about new music. 

She told the outlet, “I think what I’m leaning toward is a really personal album. I've always done songs that talk about life and tell stories and really maybe help other people and tell their stories, but maybe it's time for me to do an album that's maybe more personal.”

 

ARTICLE PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS (BRUCE COMER JR)

Patty Loveless Talks Hall Of Fame Exhibit

Patty Loveless recently opened up to People about seeing her career celebrated at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

She said of the new exhibit, “Patty Loveless: No Trouble With The Truth,” “It’s still hard for me to believe. It still feels like a dream that’s come true.”

She added, “It’s just uplifting for me, It’s uplifting for my soul, and my family is just so proud. I’ve been blessed."

Loveless will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Tanya Tucker and songwriter Bob McDill, during a ceremony in October

ARTICLE PHOTO CREDIT

 

Shania Twain Dedicates 'You're Still The One' To Her Fans On Her Birthday

Shania Twain dedicated “You’re Still the One” to her fans in celebration of her 58th birthday Monday (August 28th).

She captioned a video montage of live performances with, “Today I’m celebrating another trip around the sun ???? I’m so grateful for a wonderful year and excited for what’s ahead. This song becomes more and more about me and you guys - still together and still going strong! Happy Birthday to me and lots of good health and happiness to you all (and thank you for all the birthday messages already). I love you.”

The 1998 track was written with and about her then-husband and collaborator, Robert "Mutt" Lange.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shania Twain (@shaniatwain)

Dolly Parton Doesn't Lose Her Temper, She Uses It

Dolly Parton recently told Nancy O’Dell that she seems sweet and bubbly because she doesn’t lose her temper, she uses it.

She said on TalkShopLive, "I’m just a regular person. I’m not one where I’m one person out here and another [in private]. I’m a businessperson. Sometimes you’ve just kind of gotta pitch a fit to get it done or get it done right."

The 77-year-old “Jolene” singer added, “I don’t lose my temper, but I use my temper. Of course, I’ve lost it a few times but it’s not that I’m losing my temper, I’m trying to use it because sometimes there are just some people you have to speak up to."

Wynonna Judd to Tour This October

Wynonna Judd will hit the road for her Back to Wy theater tour, starting on October 26th.

People reports that the country star will be performing songs from her first two solo albums. She told the outlet, "I've been on the road since 19 and '83. So you do the math — and touring is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Coming out of The Judds tribute tour, for me, it was time to get back to the intimacy again. It's years celebrating not only being in country music for 40 years, but me as a soloist — I have so much to celebrate."

Pre-sale tickets will be available for purchase for her fan club on Aug. 22, while general sale will begin on Aug. 25.

Reba McEntire To Host One-Night-Only Event At Ryman Auditorium

Reba McEntire will celebrate the release of her upcoming lifestyle book with a one-night-only special event, “Not That Fancy: An Evening with Reba & Friends,” set for November 5th at Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium.

The singer’s former Reba co-star Melissa Peterman will host the event, which will be an evening of stories with McEntire at the Mother Church.

Tickets go on sale Friday (July 14th) and include a complimentary copy of Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots.

 

Article Photo Credit: wikimedia commons

 

Dolly Parton Has No Plans to Retire

Dolly Parton has no plans to slow down any time soon.

The 77-year-old country music legend told Greatest Hits Radio host Ken Bruce Thursday (July 13th), “I would never retire. I'll just hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song onstage someday, hopefully one I've written. But anyway, that’s how I hope to go because we don't have much of a choice in that.”

The “Jolene” singer added that she’ll continue working as long as she and her husband stay healthy.

 

ARTICLE PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Travis Tritt To Drop Gospel Project In September

Travis Tritt has announced highly anticipated debut Gospel project, Country Chapel, will be released on September 15th.

The album's pre-sale begins Friday (July 21st) along with the release of lead single, "When God Dips His Love in My Heart."

The second track, "Like the Father Loves His Son," will be released on August 18th, 2023.

 

 

Johnny Cash's Valentine

On this Valentines’ Day, there are few relationships that are more celebrated than the marriage of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.  The two met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry back in 1956, but were both married to different people at the time. It was 11 years before they would get together, marrying in 1968. In 1987 Johnny cut a paper heart and penned this poem for June for Valentines Day:

 

(SCREEN GRAB FROM JUNECARTERCASH.COM)

Wynonna Has Dizzy Spell on Stage

Wynonna Judd gave her fans quite a scare during a performance this past weekend in Dayton.  She was in the midst of her headlining "The Judds' Final Tour" on Saturday when she became dizzy.  The 58-year-old was eventually escorted off the stage by Martina McBride and Karen Fairchild, who were on tour with her.  This is not the first time Wynonna has suffered from dizziness in recent weeks.  She was forced to cancel her New Year's Eve show in Nashville with Kelsey Ballerini due to extreme vertigo.   

 

PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Reba McEntire's Performance Livestreamed From Reba's Place Grand Opening

Reba McEntire is set to perform live from the grand opening of Reba’s Place in Atoka, OK tonight (Thursday, January 26th). The event is closed to the public, but fans across the country can join in via a live stream from Reba’s socials at 6:45 p.m. CT at Facebook.com/Reba. 

Reba’s Place is a combination restaurant, bar, live music venue and retail store which was constructed in an old Masonic Temple. It features two stories of dining space and a stage for regular live music. The menu includes popular regional dishes including the “Fancy” steak dinner, and Reba’s personal favorite, pinto beans and corn bread. 

 

PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS