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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: MAY 17, 2023

• 1980: The MERLE HAGGARD-CLINT EASTWOOD duet Barroom Buddies began its chart run. It would become Clint’s first and only number one and Merle’s 25th.

• 1991: DIAMOND RIO scored its first number one with Meet In The Middle.

• 1993: The U.S. Supreme court refused to re-consider a prior ruling by a lower court that granted JETT WILLIAMS, the illegitimate daughter of Hank Williams, partial rights to his songs.

• 2001: The new Country Music Hall of Fame opened in downtown Nashville. Several artists, including VINCE GILL, MARTINA MCBRIDE and GEORGE JONES, were on hand for the opening ceremony.

• 2005: As the final three is pared down to two, CARRIE UNDERWOOD held her own on American Idol with performances of ROY ORBISON’s Crying and SHANIA TWAIN’s Man! I Feel Like A Woman!

• 2005: KENNY CHESNEY was named Entertainer of the Year for what would be the first of three straight years by the Academy of Country Music Awards.

• 2006: People magazine reported on the engagement of KEITH URBAN and Nicole Kidman. The couple would marry in June at a private ceremony in Australia.

• 2017: CARRIE UNDERWOOD made a surprise appearance on stage during a New Kids On The Block concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to lead the crowd in a round of Happy Birthday for Jordan Knight.

• 2020: American Idol alums SCOTTY MCCREERY, LAUREN ALAINA, LAINE HARDY and GABBY BARRETT joined Lionel Richie and others for We Are The World during the season finale.


COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

WILLIE NELSON’s 90th birthday celebration is coming to theaters June 11. Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90 will include performances by MIRANDA LAMBERT, CHRIS STAPLETON, GEORGE STRAIT, THE CHICKS, RODNEY CROWELL, EMMYLOU HARRIS, ROSANNE CASH, LUKAS NELSON, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON and many others. WillieNelson90Experience.com has more info.

COREY KENT scored his first number-one this week with his debut single, Wild As Her. The song comes from his debut album, Blacktop, due out June 2.

… COREY KENT says he’s proof there’s always hope for aspiring artists. After being dropped from his first record deal, he moved to Texas, worked for motorcycle and paving companies, sang in a band at a Mexican restaurant, and continued touring heavily before landing his deal in Nashville.​​

LUKE BRYAN and Peyton Manning will host the Country Music Association Awards for the second time in a row. The CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Wednesday November 8 on ABC. Nominees will be announced in September.

During KENNY CHESNEY and KELSEA BALLERINI’s recent tour stop in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kelsea took on the challenge of her first ice bath the other day. But, before stepping into the tub, she said Kenny would have to drink tequila with her on stage during his hit, You And Tequila. Sure enough, when Kenny got ready to do the song, Kelsea brought two cups out and took a shot together.

RANDY TRAVIS was a guest on a recent Southwest Airlines flight and as crew members recognized him, his music was played while passengers boarded the plane.

BRIAN KELLEY will release a new single, See You Next Summer, on May 26. This will be his first new single in nearly a year, his last release coming in July of 2022 with American Spirit.

Singer/songwriter LORI MCKENNA will release a new album, titled 1988, on July 21. The title reflects the year of her marriage with the tracks being a love letter to her family. Lori has penned hits for TIM MCGRAW (Humble And Kind), LITTLE BIG TOWN (Girl Crush), and others.

T.G. SHEPPARD was honored on May 12 by The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development with the unveiling of the Tennessee Music Pathways marker in his hometown of Humboldt, Tennessee. That morning, T.G. served as Grand Marshall in the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival. After the events it was announced that a road in Humboldt would be named T.G. Sheppard Way.

CHAPEL HART, THE ISAACS and WORTH THE WAIT have been added to the lineup for ALABAMA’s June Jam, June 3 in Fort Payne, Alabama. Previously announced performers for the event include JAKE OWEN, JAMEY JOHNSON, MARK WILLS, NEAL MCCOY, THE OAK RIDGE BOYS and EXILE.

THE CADILLAC THREE are planning a special show June 9 to celebrate CMA Music Festival with special guests ELVIE SHANE, TENILLE TOWNS, BOY NAMED BANJO, RANDY ROGERS BSAND and more. Tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster.

23-years ago today, 61-year-old KENNY ROGERS hit number one on the country charts with Buy Me A Rose, making him, at that time, the oldest country artist to score a chart-topping hit.