COUNTRY October 7, 2014

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• 1977: WAYLON JENNINGS’ album Ol’ Waylon was certified platinum.

• 1978: MERLE HAGGARD and LEONA WILLIAMS were married.

• 1984: The movie Songwriters, starring KRIS KRISTOFFERSON and WILLIE NELSON, opened in theaters.

• 1988: TANYA TUCKER topped the country charts with Strong Enough To Bend.

• 1999: For the first time since 1995 a GARTH BROOKS album failed to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 all formats albums chart when In The Life Of Chris Gaines, an album by a fictional Australian pop star, came in second to Creed’s Human Clay.

• 2000: CHRIS LEDOUX underwent a successful liver transplant, which would enable him to live another four and a half years.

• 2004: SHANIA TWAIN’s Up! was certified multi-platinum for shipments of 11 million copies.

• 2004: RASCAL FLATTS’ album Feels Like Today debuted at the top of both the Billboard Country Albums chart and the Billboard Top 200 chart with sales of 200,000 copies. It was the trio’s first number one debut on the Top 200 albums chart.

• 2010: KENNY CHESNEY’s album Hemingway’s Whiskey debuted at the top of both the Country Albums chart and the Top 200 chart. It marked his tenth number one country album and sixth consecutive number one debut.

Kieran Kane of THE O’KANES is 65.


The performance lineup continues to grow for the upcoming 2014 CMA Awards. JASON ALDEAN, DIERKS BENTLEY, KENNY CHESNEY and TIM MCGRAW will all hit the stage during the show, airing November 5 on ABC. Previously announced performers include LUKE BRYAN, THE BAND PERRY, LADY ANTEBELLUM, MIRANDA LAMBERT, LITTLE BIG TOWN, BLAKE SHELTON and KEITH URBAN. BRAD PAISLEY and CARRIE UNDERWOOD return as hosts, and they will also perform.

In one week CARRIE UNDERWOOD sold 124,000 digital downloads of her song Something in the Water — earning the highest first-week sales tally of her career.

When he’s not on the road VINCE GILL can often be found at a Nashville Predators hockey game, where he and his wife, Amy Grant, have been longtime season ticket holders. Now, Vince is taking his love of the sport to a new level. In addition to being named to the Nashville Predator Foundation’s Board of Directors, he will also serve on the broadcast team for select home games.

SHANIA TWAIN is putting a lot of money to good use, taking care of children in her native Ontario, Canada. Shania recently launched a new $400,000 program called Shania Kids Can Clubhouse. Her program helps at-risk children.

LUKE BRYAN will perform at Mardi Gras in New Orleans next February.

REBA MCENTIRE, RODNEY ATKINS, SUZY BOGGUSS and BIG KENNY are among the artists taking part in the If Trees Could Sing campaign, talking about their favorite tree as part of a smartphone app.

TIM MCGRAW, MIRANDA LAMBERT and BLAKE SHELTON will headline the 2015 Stage Coach Music Festival next April in California.

DIERKS BENTLEY recalls the first time he met some of his musical heroes:

• GEORGE STRAIT: Dierks met George while on tour in 2004 opening for the country icon. George walked by Dierks and had his ear plugs in to go on stage, so when Dierks approached him, George said he’d talk to Dierks later because he was going onstage.

• ALISON KRAUSS: Alison sang in the studio with Dierks on his debut album and he says it was one of his biggest musical thrills.

• WILLIE NELSON: Dierks got to play Willie’s Fourth of July Picnic one year and even got Willie to sign a guitar for him.

• GEORGE JONES: Dierks is still in awe of the fact he became friends with the legend.

• MICHAEL JORDAN: Dierks met Jordan on the golf course one day.


JASON ALDEAN’s Old Dirt, New Boots. The set has 15 tracks including Burnin’ It Down.

… Jason says the album is about starting with a clean slate, yet fans will still find his signature country-rock sound. He’s embraced new technologies, like drum loops. Jason says “edgy” is a good word to describe many of the tracks.