Thursday, September 26, 2013



Two-Hour Special Tapes Nov. 8 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Featuring Performances By Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Lucy Hale, Nettles, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, and Michael W. Smith
Nashville Audience Encouraged to Bring an Unwrapped Toy to the Taping to Make the Holidays Brighter for Children in Need

NASHVILLE – Some of the most powerful and emotionally moving voices in music come together to celebrate the holidays on “CMA Country Christmas,” which tapes in front of a live audience Friday, Nov. 8 (7:30 PM/CT), at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The special, which features Jennifer Nettles hosting for the fourth year, airs this holiday season on the ABC Television Network.
“It’s really a joy for me to get to host ‘CMA Country Christmas,’” Nettles said. “I have so much fun doing it! I love the holiday season, and for me to get to be a part of this show for the fourth year in a row is a really big honor. What I love about doing this gig is that it’s the closest I’ve gotten to the old classic television variety shows. It is entertainment that everybody in the family can find fun, and I hope it’s something that keeps happening for years and years and years.” 
Artists scheduled to perform and celebrate the season with songs and stories include Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Lucy Hale, Nettles, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, and Michael W. Smith.
“The taping for ‘CMA Country Christmas’ is a jump-start for the holiday season and has become a family tradition for many Nashville residents,” said CMA Board President Ed Hardy. “Adding to the celebration is our A Gift for All toy drive, which provides new toys for homeless children, shining a spotlight on a worthy endeavor in a way that reflects the values and heart of our artists, the industry, and this city.”
For the second year, audience members are being encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the taping to help make the holidays brighter for Nashville area children. The Nashville-based, non-profit group Generosity, will have volunteers on site with specially marked bins to collect the toys, which will be distributed to homeless families this holiday season. In 2012, the group collected more than 5,000 toys.
Volunteers from Generosity will start accepting toys Friday, Nov. 8 at 1:00 PM/CT at the Bridgestone Arena Plaza (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, Nashville). You do not have to have a ticket to the show to drop off a toy.
“Our artists are extremely generous and so are our fans,” Hardy said. “It is our goal to make sure no child goes without a present this Christmas and we are grateful to our partners at Generosity for helping to make this a dream come true for children in Nashville.”
Tickets for “CMA Country Christmas” are on sale now and can be purchased at; by calling (800) 745-3000; or in person at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office, located at 501 Broadway (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, Nashville). Tickets for “CMA Country Christmas” cost $50 for Lower and Club Level reserved seating; $25 for Upper Level reserved seating. Ticket prices include tax, but exclude applicable service fees.
For updates and information visit



National TV Debut Performance Of “Wake Up Lovin’ You”


NASHVILLE, TN...(September 26, 2013)... Country music star and award-winning TV host Craig Morgan is set to appear on an upcoming episode of Sing For Your Supper, a new TV series airing on PBS.   Sing For Your Supper with Bob Waggoner,” a new, interactive cooking series and webcast combining America’s love affair with food and music, is the first culinary series filmed at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Catch Craig Morgan on “Sing for your Supper with Bob Waggoner” on PBS affiliates around the country, starting September 26. Check local listings for show times.

Sportsman and entertainer Craig Morgan is joined by friend and chef Victor Lugo of Lugo’s Restaurant in Dickson, TN as well as Sommelier Elise Loehr for the taping that took place earlier this year. Waggoner and the evening’s guest chef, USA Today’s Brian Mansfield, prepare several dishes together for the assembled guests, including an elk loin entrée using protein harvested by the singer himself. During the broadcast Craig also performs his latest hit single, “Wake Up Lovin’ You,” marking the national TV debut of the song, which can be found on his recently released CD, The Journey (Livin’ Hits).

The series filmed earlier in the year in front of a live audience seated on the Ryman stage. “Sing For Your Supper” is hosted by Chef Bob Waggoner, executive chef of The Watermark Restaurant in the Gulch area of Nashville. Mike Kirk/Gilded Age Films is Executive Producer with Anastasia Brown serving as Producer and Music Supervisor. The series is produced in cooperation with WETA Washington, DC and will air on PBS affiliates around the nation beginning Fall of 2013.

ABOUT CRAIG MORGAN: One of country music’s best-loved artists, Craig Morgan has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits:  “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” “International Harvester” and "This Ole Boy," the title track to his latest album. The project boasted a Top 5 album debut on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. He's recently released his new album The Journey (Livin’ Hits), featuring the soulful single "Wake Up Lovin’ You," on Black River Entertainment. Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Prior to becoming a country music and TV sensation, Craig Morgan spent over 10 years of active duty in the Army and an additional nine years in the Army Reserves.  He is an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award. In addition to a prolific country music career, he hosts the award-winning show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors," airing on Outdoor Channel. For more information on Craig Morgan, visit and engage with him on Facebook, Instragram and Twitter.

Country Music News International September 26. 2013

Country Music News International September 26. 2013

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International . Your Country Music News is supported by, Ray Scott , Courtyard Nashville Downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau , Tennessee Tourism, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , Lucy Malheur

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

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Bear Family adds 5 new cds to highly acclaimed series

Acclaimed as the finest country music compilation series ever, Bear Family Records has released five new volumes to its long running Country & Western Hit Parade series. A unique presentation of a small, hardcover book accompanying a cd (or should it be cd with a book?), the series was launched in 2008 with a compilation of country music recordings released in 1945. It was followed, on a regular basis with further compilations devoted to subsequent years, each cd comprising (approx.) 30 tracks with 72 pages in the books. The latest cd’s cover the years 1966-1970, bringing to an end a quarter of a century of changes, innovations and artists that helped make country music a major presence in the entertainment world.

The praise for the series is unanimous. The late Jack Clement said “this is the best country music series of all time. No doubt. No question” while Robert Hilburn (in the Los Angeles Times) wrote “an invaluable album project … enables fans to step back in time and listen to the radio just like Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan did”. Producer Allen Reynolds (Garth Brooks, Don Williams and others) stopped Bear Family’s Richard Weize at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame to congratulate him on the series.

Subtitled “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music”, the series reveals how the music had moved on from its post-war beginnings, widening audience appeal over the years and reaching over into near pop horizons with the development of the Nashville Sound in the late 1950s.  Now, with these latest releases, the period showed its greatest impact with the presence of some of the music’s foremost contemporary names – among them Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride and Tammy Wynette – while such already well established artists like Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Marty Robbins and Faron Young continued to turn out the hits. And, displaying the infusion of music genres, a new genre came into being with the arrival of country-rock via such as Gram Parsons, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers.

A total of 149 tracks are spread over these 5 uniquely designed, hardcover gatefold cds, with each full colour book presenting an introduction to the particular year followed by invaluable information on every track comprising the artist photograph and biography, song and recording details, the occasional reproduction of a record promo advert and other incidental facts, much not found in other reference sources. Country music author and historian Colin Escott is responsible for these remarkable releases, an obvious labour of love that has taken considerable research effort and resulting in an essential insight into the development of country music over the years – not necessarily by spotlighting the most successful recordings but, rather, the most influential and ground-breaking records, successful or not!

Jim Reeves: Distant Drums * Bobby Bare: The Streets Of Baltimore * Marty Robbins: The Shoe Goes On The Other Foot Tonight * Jeannie Sealy: Don‘t Touch Me * Mel Tillis: Stateside * David Houston: Almost Persuaded * Bill Anderson: I Get The Fever * Loretta Lynn: You Ain't Woman Enough * Roger Miller: Husbands And Wives * Merle Haggard: Swinging Doors * Don Gibson: Funny, Familiar Forgotten Feelings * Buck Owens: Waitin‘ in Your Welfare Line * Nat Stuckey: Sweet Thang * Jack Greene: There Goes My Everything * Dallas Frazier: Elvira * Merle Haggard: The Bottle Let Me Down * Roger Miller; I've Been A Long Time Leavin‘ (But l'll Be A Longtime Gone) * Wilma Burgess: Misty Blue * Faron Young: Unmitigated Gall * Eddy Amold: l Want To Go With You * Johnny Cash: The One On The Right is On The Left * Johnny Paycheck: (Pardon Me) I’ve Got Someone in Kill * Ray Price: Touch My Heart * The Browns: l‘ll Just Be Fool Enough * Merle Haggard: The Fugitive (aka I’m A Lonesome Fugitive) * Porter Wagoner: Skid Row Joe * Tammy Wynette: Apartment #9 * Buck Owens: Upen Up YourHeart * Waylon Jennings: Anita You’re Dreaming * Loretta Lynn: Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin‘ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)  * Jim Reeves: Distant Drums (undubbed)

The introduction to this set spotlights the growing number of award shows with Billboard magazine, the Country Music Association and Music City News all presenting their own while, on the West Coast, the CMA’s rival Academy of Country Music launched its first. There were also accolades given out from BMI and the Nashville Songwriters Association. Further proof of the expanding popularity of country music came with the growing numbers attending Nashville’s annual Disc Jockey Convention (soon to be renamed Country Music Week) and Billboard increasing the number of positions in its Hot Country Singles chart from 50 to 75.

The cd kicks off with Jim Reeves’ posthumous Distant Drums (and concludes with his undubbed demo) while You Ain’t Woman Enough, Unmitigated Gall, Open Up Your Heart and Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings were among the songs that kept the hits rolling for Messrs. Lynn, Young, Owens and Gibson among other seasoned hitmakers. The chart newcomers included Tammy Wynette (Apartment #9), Nat Stuckey (Sweet Thang) and Jeanne Seely (who picked up a Grammy as Country Female Vocal for Don’t Touch Me) while former Texas Troubadour Jack Greene went to number with his second single There Goes My Everything. Singer/songwriters were also present, with Bill Anderson and Roger Miller charting I Get The Fever and Husbands And Wives respectively, and non-charters included Dallas Frazier’s original Elvira, destined to become a massive hit for the Oak Ridge Boys 15 years later, and Johnny Paycheck’s sparse sound with (Pardon Me) I’ve Got Someone To Kill on Little Darlin’ Records.

Bobbie Gentry: Ode To Billie Joe * Johnny Darrell: Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town) * Waylon Jennings: Mental Revenge * Jim Reeves: l Won‘t Came in While He‘s There * George Hamilton IV: Break My Mind *  Leon Ashley: Laura {What‘s He Got That l Ain't Got) * Merle Haggard: Branded Man * Loretta Lynn: What Kind 0f Girl (Do You Think I Am)? * Jim Ed Brown: Pop A Top 1* Ray Price: Danny Boy * Robert Mitchum: Little Ole Wine Drinker Me * John Hartford: Gentle On My Mind * Glen Campbell: By The Time I Get To Phoenix * Marty Robbins: Tonight Carmen * Mel Tillis: Life Turned Her That Way * Buck 0wens: Where Does The Good Times Go * Skeeter Davis: What Does It Take (To Keep A Man Like You Satisfied) * Waylon Jennings: The Chokin‘ Kind * Johnny Cash & June Carter: Jackson * Merle Haggard: Sing Me Back Home  * Wanda Jackson: Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine * Jerry Reed: Guitar Man * Norma Jean: Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town * George Jones: Walk Through This World With Me * David Houston & Tammy Wynette: My Elusive Dreams * Wynn Stewart: It's Such A Pretty World Today * Buck Owens: Sam‘s Place  * Tammy Wynette: I Don’t Wanna Play House * Country Charlie Pride: Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger? * Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts Of Life * The Lovin' Spoonful: Nashville Cats

This was the year that Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame opened its doors to the public (admission $1.00) while major changes happened within the ranks of the record industry. Don Law retired from Columbia, and Bob Johnston took over (“resulting in some of the worst country records ever made” writes author Escott); Chet Atkins cut back on producing sessions at RCA, with Bob Ferguson and Felton Jarvis taking over some duties; Shelby Singleton left Mercury to create SSS International, leaving Jerry Kennedy at his former label; and Ken Nelson became the industry’s longest reigning A&R chief at Capitol.

On record George Hamilton IV had a change of pace with John D. Loudermilk’s Break My Mind; Leon Ashley became the first artist to write, record and produce a #1 record on his own recordlabel (Ashley) with Laura (What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got); Ray Price moved into lounge music territory with Danny Boy; Jerry Reed wrote and recorded the quasi-autobiographical Guitar Man, soon to be adopted by Elvis Presley; and John Hartford created one of the most recorded songs ever, Gentle On My Mind. Charley Pride entered the country music scene (as “Country Charlie Pride”) with Does My Ring Hurt My Finger, produced by Jack Clement, and among the duettings were Johnny Cash & June Carter (Jackson) and David Houston & Tammy Wynette (My Elusive Dreams).  Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard moved further up the ladder of success, and George Jones and Porter Wagoner showed no signs of theirs slowing down. Then, away from the country norm but all perfectly fitting it, were Bobbie Gentry, Robert Mitchum and The Lovin’ Spoonful.

Waylon Jennings: Only Daddy That’ll Walk The line * Tammy Wynette: D-I-V-O-R-C-E * Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues * International Submarine Band: Luxury Liner * Henson Cargill: Skip A Rope * Merle Haggard: Mama Tried * George Jones: Beneath Still Waters * Glen Campbell: l Wanna Live * Jeannie C. Riley: Harper Valley PTA. * Dillard & Clark: Train Leaves Here This Morning * Porter Wagoner: The Carroll County Accident * Jerry Lee Lewis: Another Place, Another Time * Merle Haggard: l Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am  * Loretta Lynn: Fist City * Charlie Louvin: Will You Visit Me On Sundays? * Johnny Darrell: The Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp * Roger Miller: Little Green Apples * Tom T. Hall: Ballad Of Forty Dollars * The Byrds: Hickory Wind * Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top * Jerry Lee Lewis: What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me) * Glen Campbell: Wichita Lineman * Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Holding On To Nothin’ * Johnny Cash: Daddy Sang Bass * Merle Haggard: I Started Loving You Again * Buck Owens: How Long Will My Baby Be Gone? * George Jones: When The Grass Grows Over Me * Marty Robbins: I Walk Alone * Conway Twitty: Next in Line * Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Man * Jim Alley: Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line

Colin Escott’s introduction to the year notes the publication of Bill C. Malone’s “Country Music USA”, a very readable academic work, opening up the pathways to such equally recommended tomes as John Grissim’s “Country Music – A White Man’s Blues” and Paul Hemphill’s “The Nashville Sound”. RCA’s Steve Shoals (who signed Elvis Presley, built the first major label studio in Nashville and installed Chet Atkins to run the Nashville operation) died, with Red Foley and the Grand Ole Opry’s George D. Hay among other major passings. And 1968 probably marked the birth of country-rock, a somewhat different sound from rockabilly.

Several landmark recordings during the year included Waylon’s Only Daddy (and reprieved by hardluck musician Jim Alley, the song’s writer) Tammy’s twosome D-I-V-O-R-C-E and Stand By Your Man, Cash’s Fulsom Prison Blues and Hag’s Mama Tried, while equally memorable was songwriter turned singer Tom T. Hall’s Ballad of Forty Dollars and secretary turned singer Jeannie C. Riley’s Harper Valley PTA which put Shelby Singleton’s Plantation label on the map. Dolly Parton was moving into the chart big time as Porter Wagoner’s duet partner and roadshow attraction. Other new acts making impressions were Henson Cargill (Skip A Rope) and Johnny Darrell (Son of Hickory Holler’s Tramp). Glen Campbell kept up his smooth ballad work with Wichita Lineman, Jerry Lee made a highly successful transition from rock ‘n’ roller to country star with such titles Another Time, Another Place and bluegrass had a showing as the Osborne Brothers became the first to record Boudleaux & Felice Bryant’s Rocky Top (which became a Tennessee State song in 1982). Infusing country with rock, the highly influential Gram Parsons pioneered in two different groups, first the International Submarine Band and then The Byrds.

John Wesley Ryles: Kay * Buck Owens: Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass? * Bobby Bare: (Margie’s At) AT) The Lincoln Park Inn; The Byrds: Drug Store Truck Drivin‘ Man * Merle Haggard: Workin‘ Man Blues * Loretta Lynn: Woman Of The World (Leave My World Alone) * Charley Pride: All I Have To Offer You (Is Me) * Glen Campbell: Galveston * Jerry Lee Lewis: To Make Lave Sweeter For You * Johnny Cash: A Boy Named Sue * Dottie West & Don Gibson: Rings Of Gold * Jack Greene: Statue Of  A Fool * Roger Miller: Me And Bobbie McGee * Flying Burrito Brothers: Sin City * Tom T. Hall: Homecoming * George Jones: I’ll Share My World With You * Bobby Bare: God Bless America Again * Faron Young: Wine Me Up * Johnny Bush: You Gave Me A Mountain * Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Just Someone l Used To Knew * Glen Campbell: Try A Little Kindness * Jerry Lee Lewis: She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye * Merle Haggard: Okie From Muskogee * Conway Twitty: To See My Angel Cry * Willie Nelson: Bloody Merry Morning * Charlie Rich: Life’s Little Ups and Downs * Kenny Rogers & The First Edition: Ruben James * Billy Lee Riley: Kay

1969 was the year that country music came to television, with the Glen Campbell Goodtime Time presenting a smooth, easy show; the Johnny Cash Show began a three year run with an eclectic guest list; and the far longer running Hee-Haw, headed up by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, reflected the rural humour of already proven tv winners like “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Petticoat Junction”. Sun Records was set to begin a major revival when founder Sam Phillips sold the catalogue to Shelby Singleton.

This cd kicks off with Kay, the song that launched John Wesley Ryles’ career (and reprised at the disc’s end with an ill-fated, rare version by Billy Lee Riley, an artist who went through several musical changes). Willie Nelson and Charlie Rich, a couple of artists looking for the right breaks, received attention with Bloody Merry Morning and Life’s Little Ups And Downs, and pre-Lucille Kenny Rogers scored in the pop-country crossover market with Reuben James. The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers continued to put West Coast country-rock on the map while Johnny Bush waved the flag for Texas (on Nashville’s short-lived Stop label) with the Marty Robbins penned You Gave Me A Mountain. Johnny Cash scored another career song with A Boy Named Sue and Roger Miller helped build Kris Kristofferson’s name by recording Me And Bobbie McGee. Meanwhile Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride, Conway Twitty, Bobby Bare, Faron Young and other stalwarts made regular appearances in the Billboard charts.

Conway Twitty: Hells Darlin’ * Lynn Anderson: Rose Garden * Jerry Lee Lewis: Once More With Feeling * Merle Haggard: The Fightin‘ Side Of Me * Johnny Cash: What is Truth * Bobby Bare: How l Got To Memphis: Roy Clark: Thank God And Greyhound * Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter * Tompall & The Glaser Brothers: Gone Girl * Dolly Parton: Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) * Guy Drake: Welfare Cadillac * Jerry Reed: Amos Moses * Sammi Smith: Help Me Make it Through The Night * Tom T. Hall: A Week in A Country Jail * Flying Burrito Brothers: Wild Horses * Charley Pride: ls Anybody Goin‘ To San Antone *  Ray Price: For The Good Times * Tammy Wynette: Run, Woman, Run * George Jones: A Good Year For The Roses * Waylon Jennings: The Taker * Dolly Parton: Joshua * Jerry Lee Lewis: There Must Be More To Love Than This * Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty: After The Fire ls Gone * Johnny Cash: Sunday Morning Coming Down * Billy Joe Shaver: Chicken On The Ground * Conway Twitty: Fifteen Years Ago; Marty Robbins: My Woman, My Woman, My Wife * Mickey Newbury: How I Love Them Old Songs

Colin Escott begins his notes with an appraisal of the 25 years covered by this series with a reflection on how the music had been sold, as 78s were supplanted by LPs, 45s, 8-tracks and cassettes, noting that country music (along with R&B) was still single driven and most albums comprised one hit and nine fillers. Initially country music was recorded nearly everywhere but in Nashville; the Grand Ole Opry remained the magnet that drew the industry to the city; country hopefuls could still make the rounds of the record labels in the chance of an “on the spot” audition; and a mainstream sound evolved, known as the Nashville Sound. And RIP one of the industry’s foremost executives, Paul Cohen.

It was another year of classic country music. Former rocker Conway Twitty, in his fourth year as top country hit maker, recorded a landmark song with Hello Darlin’, as did Lynn Anderson, George Jones and Charley Pride with Rose Garden, A Good Year For The Roses and Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone respectively. Loretta Lynn came up with the autobiographical Coal Miner’s Daughter (later spawning a bestselling book and hit movie) and Jerry Reed caused attention with his funky Amos Moses. Songwriter Kris Kristofferson made the breakthrough as newcomer Sammi Smith’s sultry rendition of Help Me Make It Through The Night topped the charts, as did Ray Price’s For The Good Times, but Johnny Cash made it triple success as his version of Sunday Morning Coming Down scored Song of the Year status at the 1970 CMA Awards. Other songwriters turned recording artists included Tom T. Hall (A Week In A County Jail), Billy Joe Shaver (Chicken On The Ground) and Mickey Newbury (How I Love Them Old Songs) while 65 year old former funeral home worker Guy Drake reflected upon the state of the nation with Welfare Cadillac.

Jay Jolley's "God Save Us All From Religion" Video

Jay Jolley's "God Save Us All From Religion" Video Premieres Worldwide Today On Roughstock

Nashville, TN (September 25, 2013) - Jay Jolley's thought-provoking video, "God Save Us All From Religion ," premieres worldwide today on Roughstock.  To view, click HERE.
JAY JOLLEY video shot In an unexpected twist, the video treatment takes the viewer outside the song's barroom setting.  Instead, the opening shots feature apocalyptic skies massing above ancient gravestones.  The shadow-infused scenes ably set the tone for the song's compelling lyrics.  The mood-altering clip, produced by Sean Babas (Monster Energy Drink, Doritos, Chevrolet's Camaro, Dallas Lovato, Big Sean) was shot on location in Michigan at Rochester's Bigler Cemetery and areas of Auburn Hills and Troy.

For Jay, conveying the importance of the song's message was critical. "Sean really came through for us," Jolley notes.  "He brought a gravitas to the piece that it deserves - and visually took it outside the box."

The song is resonating with Country audiences, and its timely message has sparked dialogue among deejays and listeners alike.  Talk radio is also showing interest and Jolley recently guested on The Sex, Politics and Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila radio show (New York, D.C., Miami, Chicago).  Jay also spent some time with Charlie Daniels, one of the writers, discussing the song's relevance and impact. 

"God Save Us All From Religion" is Jay's current single, produced by nationally-recognized producer/songwriter Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound studio for Double-J Records

A pianist with a soulful touch and a singer with incredible range and passion, Jay Jolley has risen from the ranks of the regionally-successful to become an up-and-coming contender on the national Country scene.  Jolley has opened shows (with his own band, as lead singer for The Notorious Johnnys or as frontman and keyboardist for the band 2XL) for top-tier acts like The Black Crowes, Sass Jordan, Rick Springfield, Burton Cummings, John Alec Entwistle and UFO.  Currently based in Rochester, Michigan, the singer/songwriter enjoyed previous chart success with his last single, the still radio-active "It's a Friday Thing (A Little More Country)."  Jay finds joy in fishing, 'fixing things,' flip-flops, ice hockey, NASCAR and spending time around the fire pit with his family.  A giving heart, he supports Michigan-based Grace Centers of Hope and Operation Injured Soldiers in honor of his late father who served in the Coast Guard. 

Get social with Jay and join the discussion at, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Myspace.


12 Dates Kick Off November 29
(Nashville, Tennessee...) - Superstar singer/songwriter Martina McBride will share her favorite time of the year with music lovers across the country once again, as she announces the 2013 Pandora Jewelry Presents Martina McBride: "The Joy of Christmas" Tour. The 12-city tour will kick off in Huntington, WV on Friday, November 29 and wrap up in Chicago on Saturday, December 21.

"This is such a fun and special tour to do," said Martina. "I love bringing Christmas to life on stage and putting everyone in the Christmas spirit. My favorite part of the show is the Q&A where I go into the audience. You never know what is going to happen, and the spontaneity is something I really enjoy."

This year's tour will include everything from pop classics like "Let it Snow" and 'I'll Be Home For Christmas" to beautiful hymns such as "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "O Holy Night." Martina's multiple wardrobe changes will enhance the entertainment.

A 12-piece band complete with a string section will back Martina, as she brings her love of the holidays to a variety of venues. A video screen depicting scenes of the season will complement Martina's versions of traditional and contemporary holiday classics, which are sure to put concert goers in the Christmas spirit.

At each stop last year, an athlete, popular radio personality or local celebrity read "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" story, while Martina sang "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson, Pittsburgh Steeler Brett Keisel, tv personality Storme Warren, hockey great Jim Dowd and others shared the fun segment with the Grammy winner. Plans are to again highlight celebrities during the reading of "The Grinch" again this year.

The Chicago Tribune last year reviewed: "Only a true Grinch would have been unmoved by this show, a dream of Christmas as so many wish it could really be. "It was touching. It was funny. It was fun. McBride is a sincere cheerleader for high hopes and better times ahead. She's earned her place in the Christmas pantheon, parked by the fireplace next to Bing and Andy."

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote about the concert: "Inside the Milwaukee Theatre, a multigenerational audience of revelers was greeted with all the trappings of the Christmas season as Martina McBride crafted a classic holiday extravaganza. Performing a two-hour set of yuletide tunes in front of 12 formally dressed musicians, this was purely a holly jolly affair."

A three-time Academy of Country Music "Top Female Vocalist" award winner, four-time Country Music Association "Female Vocalist of the Year" and GRAMMY®-winning recording artist, Martina McBride has sold more than 18 million albums and garnered numerous #1 hits throughout her career.  She was the special guest on George Strait's final tour, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, earlier this year, and she continues her headline tour through early November.

Her nationwide volunteer group, "Team Martina," recently donated over $40,000.00 to Nashville's Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, and last week her fans surpassed their goal to raise $20,000 for the Chastain Park Conservancy Playground, "Play Chastain." The campaign culminates with Martina's September 28, 2013 performance at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

For more news, tour dates, ticket information and more, visit
or Twitter @MartinaMcBride.

Pandora Jewelry Presents Martina McBride Joy of Christmas 2013 Tour Dates: (Venues to be announced later.)
11/29 - Huntington, WV
11/30 - Louisville, KY
12/4 - Nashville, TN
12/6 - Minneapolis, MN
12/7 - La Crosse, WI
12/8 - Sioux City, IA
12/11 - Knoxville, TN
12/12 - Muncie, IN
12/13 - St. Louis, MO
12/19 - Green Bay, WI
12/20 - Bloomington, IL
12/21 - Chicago (Rosemont), IL 



Nashville, TN – Raptor Records and Attic Entertainment are proud to announce the release of the 2nd installment in their Vintage Collection Series. The Live At Dollywood CD/DVD set contains footage of a 1988 concert at Dollywood pulled from the Attic Entertainment archives.

This very special appearance at the Celebrity Theatre is Stella’s only public performance at Dollywood and includes many of her hits like “I Want To Hold You In My Dreams,” “Danger Of A Stranger,” “Undercover Lovers,” “Standard Lie Number One,” and “Room At The Top Of The Stairs.” 

After the release of the Live In Nashville DVD, the 1st featured event, the response to the Vintage Collection Series has been amazing.  Stella comments, “I am thankful and thrilled that everyone is enjoying this musical walk down memory lane as much as I am.  And I’m excited that there is still more to come!” 

Stella’s entertainment career is filled with awards, accolades and credits from film and television to the music industry including writing, producing and releasing her first hit record, “I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight.”  Currently promoting her inspirational memoir, Tell It Sister, Tell It and cookbook, State Fairs & Church Bazaars at book signings, speaking engagements and concerts, Stella works diligently to raise money for local domestic violence shelters in those communities by donating a portion of the proceeds from book sales.  Stella’s work continues to receive acclaim with current award nominations this year by the Inspirational Country Music Association (ICM Awards – October 24, 2013) and the Artists Music Guild (AMG Heritage Awards – November 9, 2013).

Live At Dollywood highlights Stella Parton’s signature sound – an Appalachian blend of gospel, country, and blues which is pure musical gold!

Will Hoge Never Gives In

Will Hoge Never Gives In

by Chuck Schultz for Country Music News International

When you stare death in the face, fit in in the Texas Music scene, write a song that Taylor Swift never sees, have a Number 1 song on the Country charts, have a major automaker from Detroit want your song, and are about to release a new album(Never Give In/Thirty Tigers) you are not only busy but also also a breath of fresh air in the singer/songwriter world. That’s Will Hoge.

“Strong,” written by Will, Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley speaks to the hard working salt of the earth types who get up everyday, work their tails off and don’t expect anything in return. Chevrolet found the song for it’s new Silverado campaign and the song found yet another meaning.

“Zach and Ashley and I wrote “Strong,” and a couple days later GM was in Nashville sniffing around for a song. Everybody in town was trying to write and sing for it. All I try to do is write a great song. We cut a scratch demo of it. Chevy said they wanted the song. So a bunch of big time singers sang it, But Chevy goes “we want who sang it,” well that was the demo, so we sold the song solely on the demo and that really is amazing feeling.”

Breaking into the Texas music scene when you are from Nashville isn’t the easiest, nor the most efficient way to get your music heard. But when you treat Texas as it’s own country, buy into it fully, you find out that you can do things nobody thinks you should be doing.

“It’s a truly unique thing. I really wanted to approach Texas like another country. They’ve got their own music stores, radio stations, music charts. Though most people from Texas think what we do in Nashville sucks but they’ve bought into what we do. We released a single “Another Song Nobody Will Hear,” only to Texas and it went Number 1. So to treat Texas as it’s own country, musically was the one stroke of genius I’ve had in my career(laughs).”

Going back into 12 years worth of music you find progressions in sound, lyrics, melodies. Hoge’s new album Never Give In (out October 15th on Thirty Tigers) shows such richness in it’s songs, equal parts Detroit Soul and Southern Rock n Roll.

“There is a fortunate thing and an unfortunate thing when it came to writing the songs on this record and the two weeks leading up to recording them. “This Time Around” I wrote with Dylan
Altman who I’ve written with quite a bit. We’ve been in bands together, and writing with him isn’t like a co-write where you go in trying to write a hit song, Dylan and I get together to write ‘a song.’ With “This Time Around,” I told Dylan I wanted to write something simple as I had half the song written already. I had just gotten the Ray Charles box-set The Complete Country & Western Recordings. Dylan being from Jersey hadn’t a clue what country music was and me being from Nashville realized that an Otis Redding song and a Hank Williams song are the same song other than melody or chord progression. Dylan’s dad had this piano which we used on this song and it was just out of tune enough to be funky and threw the song down in short order and it’s one of my favorites.”
”Thirty Tigers felt like the right fit for Never Give In, they were willing to take a song to country radio if it was a country type song and to rock radio if it was more of a greasy rockin’ song. I am a country artist, a rock artist a soul artist and I’m unapologetic about it. The people at Thirty Tigers were with me on that.”

Each story of how a Number 1 song comes to be are different and funny. “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” co-written with Eric Paslay is just that song story.

“We got put together by another friend of mine. I’d just come off of some downtime and had never really done a co-write so I’m like ok cool. We we went in and wrote a song called “Highway Wings,” which made it on the Wreckage album and the song was great and the next time we got together we got together was for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” We wrote the song in 25 minutes. For the first 10 minutes we were just talking about growing up. I was talking about a transistor radio that my folks used to put me to sleep with. Eric comes up with way back on the radio dial.. We played the first chords and it was done 15 minutes later. We argued a little. Eric is a very positive guy, he comes up with keep on dreaming.. Then I came in with even if it breaks your heart. He says “man that is so sad,” it was awesome dealing with that me being the sad guy and Eric being the happy guy. I really am happy we’ll always be connected because of that song, Eric is one of my favorite people.”

When a new artist is looking for songs, all the songwriters get pitched or asked to write a song for said artist. But when it’s for a 16 year old girl’s debut album, well that is just strange.

“CAA contacted me looking for some songs for this girl’s debut album. I had written “Silver & Gold, wasn’t sure it was for this girl or not. Well thing is she never got the song, but it seems she (Taylor Swift), has done pretty good for herself(laughs).”

Will Hoge has come through the other side after his scooter accident in 2008 and his new release Never Give In shows all those scars, all the triumphs and all the ways life is one surprise after another.

Photo (c) Kelly Schultz

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