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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 29, 2021
• 1992: DOUG STONE underwent quadruple bypass surgery in Nashville just three days after experiencing chest pains at a show in Oregon.
• 1996: KENNY ROGERS underwent gallbladder surgery in Athens, Georgia.
• 1998: LEANN RIMES kicked off a three day guest appearance on the NBC daytime series Days Of Our Lives, playing a teenage runaway.
• 2005: SARA EVANS was among those featured in People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People issue. TIM MCGRAW and FAITH HILL appeared among the Most Beautiful Couples.
• 2011: GARTH BROOKS sang Friends In Low Places at a Las Vegas wedding party for casino owner Steve Wynn. Also attending: Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, and Steven Spielberg.
• 2011: Just before he was to go on stage to perform for American soldiers, TOBY KEITH was forced to take cover in a bunker when four mortars explode nearby.
• 2017: BLAKE SHELTON, Florida State University alum JAKE OWEN and BIG & RICH deliver the first-ever full-stadium concert at FSU’s Doak Stadium in Tallahassee.
• 2020: HUNTER HAYES was revealed as the astronaut on the the FOX series The Masked Singer.
WILLIE NELSON is 88. Some show Willie’s birthday as the 30th of April, which is also true. Willie’s daughter Lana tells this story: “Dad celebrated his birthday on the 29th of April until he was 18 years old and went into the Air Force. He had to finally get a birth certificate and it said he was born on the 30th. Not to argue with the government we celebrated his birthday on the 30th for about 40 years. One day while visiting with his cousin, who was there the night he was born, Mildred said no, he WAS in fact born a few minutes before midnight on the 29th and Dr. Simms didn’t record the birth until after midnight. As it turns out we get TWO days to shower Dad with love and tell him how much he means to us.”
OAK RIDGE BOYS member Duane Allen is 78.
DWIGHT YOAKAM will be back on the big screen in the Clint Eastwood-directed film Cry Macho. Starring Eastwood as well, the film is based on a novel of the same name. Eastwood plays a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who in 1978 takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home and away from his alcoholic mom. Crossing rural Mexico on their back way to Texas, the pair face unexpected challenges during which the old horseman finds his a sense of redemption through teaching the young boy what it means to be a man. Dwight’s specific role in the film has yet to be revealed.
GARTH BROOKS was by TRISHA YEARDWOOD’s side every step of the way during her battle with COVID-19. Trisha shared with Kelly Clarkson, “He was really wonderful … He was really great.” However, she admits she didn’t think being by her side was necessarily a great idea. Trisha told Garth, “You have to get away from me. You have to quarantine in another room.” Garth never did contract it — and when he had the vaccine she says he “didn’t have any [side effects] — not even a sore arm.”
… Though Trisha was declared COVID-19-free in early March, she shared with Clarkson that she’s still unable to taste or smell anything; in fact, she remembers that thinking the coffee Garth made for her was weak — the first sign of a COVID symptom.
GARTH BROOKS just added a new July date to his record-breaking Garth Brooks Stadium Tour, announcing plans for a return to Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 17. The show will mark Garth’s first show there in 10 years, and only his second back after COVID-19 shut down concert touring.
… Tickets for Garth’s Utah concert will be on sale May 6.
LAUREN ALAINA and JON PARDI team up for a bluesy rebound anthem in the duet Getting Over Him. In the new video the singers play a modern day Bonnie & Clyde, fresh out of jail after a daring escape. Just like the song suggests, they’re only looking for a good time and want it fast, but they soon find out freedom isn’t free. • VIDEO
BLAKE SHELTON’s Austin went number one 20 years ago and the singer know where he was when he got word it was a chart-topper: at his mom’s house in Ada, Oklahoma. Blake had been sent by his label to his hometown Walmart for an appearance and autograph signing.
LUKE COMBS’ best interior decorating advice is he just doesn’t care. His says his wife Nicole does a great job with that and Luke says window treatments just aren’t worth fighting about.
JANA KRAMER hinted that husband Mike Caussin’s infidelity may have caused the end of their marriage. The divorce filing formally confirms it. Kramer says Caussin “has been guilty of inappropriate marital conduct … and that Husband has been guilty of Adultery.” People discovered the divorce filing, which came on April 20, in Williamson County, southwest of Nashville. Kramer is asking for primary custody of their two kids and wants Caussin to cover her legal fees.
COUNTRY DATEBOOK: MAY 3, 2021
• 1983: ALABAMA’s album The Closer You Get was certified platinum. Hits included the title track, Mountain Music and Why, Lady Why.
• 1993: BILLY RAY CYRUS’ album Some Gave All was certified multi-platinum for sales of 7 million copies. Hits included Achy Breaky Heart, Could’ve Been Me and She’s Not Cryin’ Anymore.
• 1994: GARTH BROOKS and ALAN JACKSON were the big winners at the 30th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Garth wasn’t at the show because he was home with then wife Sandy, who was expecting their second daughter.
• 1997: TRAVIS TRITT, BILL ANDERSON and STONEWALL JACKSON were among the stars who attended the 50th Anniversary party for Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop in Nashville.
• 2003: BUDDY JEWELL was named the first Nashville Star.
• 2010: TAYLOR SWIFT announced a partnership with Cover Girl.
• 2015: TOBY KEITH’s I Love This Bar & Grill closed in Oxnard, California, less than a year after it opened.
• 2019: The Country Music Hall of Fame opened a KEITH WHITLEY exhibit.
• 2019: The movie Ugly Dolls debuted in theaters. BLAKE SHELTON’s Wallflowers & Weeds was on the soundtrack.
Drummer Cactus Moser of HIGHWAY 101 is 64.
SHANE MINOR is 53.
Bassist John Driskell Hopkins of ZAC BROWN BAND is 50.
BRAD MARTIN is 48.
ERIC CHURCH is 44.
TRISHA YEARWOOD has received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, weeks after recovering from the potentially deadly virus. Trisha turned to social media on Friday (April 30) to share a picture of herself receiving the vaccine, saying she was “grateful.”
… BRAD PAISLEY’s wife, actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley, was among those who reacted to Trisha’s news, writing, “Congratulations and well-done!”
THOMAS RHETT watched the video of MIRANDA LAMBERT breaking down on stage in Texas and understood why. He’s hungry for that feeling, too, and he’s traveled long distances for nourishment. Late last year, Thomas says he went on a couple of duck hunting trips but found himself searching for a guitar —any guitar — to play for friends. Then, in January, he found a guitar on a trip to Kansas and thought he’d sit down and play a song or two. Three hours later he was still playing. Thomas says standard concerts have set lengths, but when he returns to the stage it’s “gonna be heard for me to stick to that … there’s stuff I wanna sing.”
… And when he watched Miranda breaking down at her small Texas shows Thomas admits he “got emotional watching her be emotional.”
… Thomas’ Center Point Road Tour begins in August and continue through early October.
THOMAS RHETT says for the first two months of the pandemic he didn’t write any news songs — the longest he’s gone without songwriting. Instead, encouraged by his wife, Thomas leaned in to what the pandemic was forcing nearly everyone to do: slow down. He spent time with his family, and used all of that unexpected free time on some favorite activities: fishing, hunting, and hiking.
KACEY MUSGRAVES’ music career is going great, but the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter got to step outside of that and into another job that she calls a “lifelong dream” recently — by spending a day working at a snowcone stand. Kacey posted a series of pictures to Instagram early Saturday morning (May 1), showing herself dressed in a colorful outfit, a mask and gloves as she spent time serving free snowcones to Nashvillians from a food truck called Blue Monkey Gourmet Shaved Ice. • IMAGE
… Kacey shared an initial run of photos showing how the opportunity came about after she posted to Instagram, asking if any snowcone stands were hiring. Blue Monkey replied to her with a direct message asking if she wanted to work for a day giving out free shaved ice in Nashville. She followed up with another series of photos of herself playfully posing with some rainbow-colored shaved ice.
JUSTIN MOORE love to fish, and he cares about public fishing access and sustainably conserving fish populations for future generations. That’s why he’s reminding people to make sure they purchase their fishing license before hitting the water to cast some lines. In a public service video Justin asks viewers to visit GoOutdoorsTennessee.com to buy a Tennessee fishing license. • VIDEO
CHRIS LANE’s new song, Summer Job Money, one of the first scenes features a brief shot of a work truck door emblazoned with the logo Lane’s Lawn Service — an tribute to the singer/songwriter’s own years spent earning extra spending cash by working in his father’s landscaping business. • VIDEO
… The North Carolina native says, “I worked a landscaping job up until the very moment I signed my record deal, so I related to the song and knew I wanted to record it.”
MIRANDA LAMBERT shared on social media that her side project, PISTOL ANNIES, has something “up our sleeve.”
LUKE BRYAN is looking out for families in need this year, partnering with Cornerstone Building Brands to become their 2021 Home for Good ambassador, and support the great work of Habitat for Humanity. Luke will be the public face of Cornerstone’s Home for Good initiative. The program has donated $2 million since 2016 in exterior building products — things like windows, siding and accessories — helping to build or remodel over 550 Habitat for Humanity homes in more than 90 communities.
The actual Country Quickies file is updated weekly and has over 300 items.
|ALABAMA frontman RANDY OWEN admits when the group first started, he didn’t want to sing lead because of his shyness. One trick to keep his voice sounding so good: he doesn’t talk for 36 hours leading up to a performance.
|ALAN JACKSON and his wife Denise have sold their lavish Nashville-area estate for $19 million. The Jacksons listed the 5-bedroom, 8-bathroom, 22,012-square-foot mansion in the high-dollar Nashville suburb of Franklin in October of 2020, asking $23 million for the property. The sale went through on March 10 for $19 million.
|ALAN JACKSON is on the side of a building in his hometown of Newnan, Georgia. The mural is 20 by 40.
|ALAN JACKSON returns with his first album of all-new music in six years with his upcoming album, Where Have You Gone, on May 14. Alan wrote 15 of the album’s 21 songs, including the title track. What can fans expect? Alan says the album is “a little harder country than even I’ve done in the past.”
|ALAN JACKSON says the songs he writes are simply about things he’s lived or seen. As a new member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Alan says it was a friend who told him before he moved to Nashville in his 20s that he should start writing his own songs.
|BLAKE SHELTON and Gwen Stefani will be getting married one of these days and at last one question still remains: will Adam Levine sing at the wedding? Adam recently joked, “They can’t afford me!” But then, more seriously, Adam added, “Yeah…they haven’t asked me yet.”
|BLAKE SHELTON and Gwen Stefani’s love story dates back to their time together as coaches on NBC’s The Voice. The happy couple were in a relationship for five years before Blake finally popped the question in 2020. But long before they fell in love, Blake remembers that Gwen was simply the new coach on the set of The Voice in 2014. At the time, Blake was still married to Miranda Lambert. Gwen was also still married to Gavin Rossdale, and she’d recently given birth to their son, Apollo. Back then, Blake recalls, “the thing I remember saying about her when people would ask was, ‘Oh my God, that girl is unbelievable. She drives a minivan to work!I thought rock stars drove Rolls-Royces, and Gwen was driving a black minivan.”
|BLAKE SHELTON doesn’t load his calendar with long stretches on tour. That’s because he enjoys performing too much to risk getting burned out.
|BLAKE SHELTON hopes to start filming The Voice in August, but in a recent interview he sounded less than confident that it will happen as planned. Blake says the filming of blind auditions begins in two weeks and he knows producers “created a safe situation for us, but we will see what happens.”
|BLAKE SHELTON is all about Body Language this spring. That’s the name of the new album Blake’s releasing May 21. Created over the course of two years, Blake’s 12th studio project features a dozen songs, including his chart-topping duet with fiancée Gwen Stefani on Happy Anywhere and his current top-20 tune, Minimum Wage. Blake also teams up with former The Voice contestants The Swon Brothers, whom he mentored on his team during season four, on the title track.
|BLAKE SHELTON says he can be content and happy in Los Angeles so long as girlfriend GWEN STEFANI is there with him. But the minute she has to leave he feels miserable, almost to the point of feeling trapped. Blake says it’s nothing to do with the people, but rather city life in general since he’s too much of a country boy. Blake says it wouldn’t matter what city it was, he would feel the same way.
|BLAKE SHELTON says he’s been getting socially distanced music for a decade now. Blake says finding music “is no different during this pandemic, and the shutdown and quarantine phase… it’s no different than it’s been the last ten years, because I don’t live in Nashville, I live in Oklahoma, and then when I’m not there, I’m traveling, or I’m in LA filming The Voice. So, most of the music is either emailed to me, or sent to me on a disc, that I just listen to on my own time. So, that part of it hasn’t been much different.”
|BLAKE SHELTON says the only thing his girlfriend Gwen Stefani rarely does with him is hang out on his bass boat. She’s not into fishing and it has to be the perfect day to even get Gwen out on the water.
|BLAKE SHELTON snagged a monster paddlefish while fishing in his home state of Oklahoma recently, saying “I’ll bet some of y’all have never heard of a paddlefish. We got them here in my home state! Y’all come to Oklahoma where the outdoors are always open!” Paddlefish are prized for their roe (that’s caviar) which can set you back a pretty penny.
|BLAKE SHELTON would like to tell his younger self: that mullet wasn’t as cool as you thought. We’re approaching the 20th anniversary of Blake’s 2001 debut single, Austin, and his mullet. In an interview with People, Blake says he’s not necessarily proud of that mullet. When asked what he would tell his younger self, he said: “I would have told that kid, ‘Hey man, the mullet’s not as cool as you think it is… and I would have told myself to get more rest back then. When I started I was 24 and lived life to the max back then. It’s probably why I ran out of battery so soon.”
|BLAKE SHELTON, listen up: your fiancee would love to write more songs with you. In an interview (with The First One podcast) Gwen Stefani reveals that Blake “doesn’t really write anymore. … We’ve actually written three songs together — we wrote a Christmas song together, and then we wrote two other songs. But he just doesn’t like writing that much. It makes me so mad.”
|BLAKE SHELTON’s first job as a 15-year-old was roofing houses in his hometown of Ada, Oklahoma, with his stepfather as his boss. Blake said, “I did it for two summers. It made me want to be a country singer.”
|BRAD PAISLEY admits the one moment each night that gets to him is just before going on stage and worrying maybe the fans will be tired of him. Brad says after more than a decade of headlining, he’s nowhere tired of it and continues to reinvent ways to play his songs to make them sound new.
|BRAD PAISLEY and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary last month. Almost two decades into their marriage, the couple is still finding a lot to love about each other, and they shared some of the specifics in a new cover story for People. Brad tells Kimberly: “You keep our house afloat. Seeing you give birth to two kids and raise a third is amazing. And you try to do the right thing all the time.”
… Kimberly replies to Brad, “You care about all creatures, great and small,” and shared a recent example: He ran out to check on a nest of goose eggs during a particularly powerful rainstorm.
… Most of all, the couple says they’re proud of how much they enjoy spending time together, even after years of marriage.
|BRAD PAISLEY reveals the most bizarre place he’s ever performed was singing for toddlers at a library one day. Brad says, “You realize quickly there’s nothing in your arsenal that will work and I think I was booed off stage by five-year-olds.”
|BRAD PAISLEY will headline a free concert on Independence Day in downtown Nashville. If crowds return to record 2019 levels, well over 300,000 people will be on hand to see the fireworks and live music. After a year off because of the pandemic, the city is promising the largest fireworks show in Nashville history.
… In 2019, BRETT ELDREDGE headlined the day’s performances.
|BRANDON LAY (Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers) and his wife, Nicole, are expecting a baby.
|BRETT ELDREDGE does meditation before taking the stage, using a special place on his bus.
|BRETT YOUNG and his wife Taylor are expecting their second child this summer. The new baby will join the couple’s one-year-old daughter, Presley Elizabeth, born in October 2019. Brett reveals that Taylor is experiencing morning sickness, which she didn’t while pregnant with Presley, and hopes it will pass after the first trimester.
|BRETT YOUNG and wife Taylor shared their California wedding with the public in November of 2018, but it turns out the couple was officially married three months earlier. In a lengthy post on Instagram (on September 9, 2019) Taylor said August 10, 2018 was “one of the happiest and most special days of my life” as that’s when she says she and Brett became legally married. She explains how they ventured to Rhinestone Wedding Chapel on Music Row in Nashville when he was home for one day while in the middle of touring. They didn’t tell anyone about the big news except for Taylor’s sister.
|BRETT YOUNG and wife Taylor will be having another girl.
|BROTHERS OSBORNE found themselves with unexpected downtime during the pandemic, and the sibling duo have found creative ways to keep busy while stuck at home. Early on during quarantine TJ Osborne spent some time perfecting his skills in the kitchen, learning to cook the perfect steak. Now, he says, he’s moved on to other — perhaps less sophisticated — pursuits: “I like to online game at night. It’s very helpful for my mental health.” TJ says he prefers multi-player games like Call of Duty, but he’s selective about who he teams up with, typically preferring to game with friends instead of strangers.
… John Osborne has spent quarantine digging deeper into painting, a hobby he’s long enjoyed but hasn’t always had time to get into.
|BROTHERS OSBORNE will headline the We’re Not For Everyone Tour this summer. The duo will hit almost 50 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Boston. TRAVIS DENNING and TENILLE TOWNES will serve as alternating opening acts.
|CARLY PEARCE has always had strong determination. In fact, in 2012 after being dropped from her first record deal, she got a tattoo on her left forearm that reads: “She believed she could, so she did.” The ink also includes a feather and a butterfly in honor of her late grandparents to whom her album is dedicated. Carly says she chose that spot for the tattoo since it’s the arm she plays guitar with and she can look down and see it to remind her she moved to Nashville for music and to never give up on that dream.
|CARLY PEARCE has been on a few dates since her divorce from MICHAEL RAY last September but says she won’t be as public with her relationships.