Reba McEntire Marks 20th Anniversary of Plane Crash

Today Reba McEntire is marking the 20th anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of seven of her band members, her road manager, and the plane’s pilot and co-pilot by posting a special landing page on her website. On March 16, 1991, the jet carrying guitarist Chris Austin, 27, backup singer Paula Kaye [...] Read More

Rascal Flatts Leads Walk of Fame Event

The members of Rascal Flatts got the biggest cheers from the thousand or so people on hand, but they did not get the only applause during a Music City Walk of Fame installation event Sunday in downtown Nashville that knitted together several generations of performers. Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney were joined by Kris Kristofferson, Mel Tillis, Little Jimmy Dickens and late singers Bobby Hebb and Eddy Arnold in receiving their sidewalk plaques, extending a row of markers that included Michael McDonald, Elvis Presley and Trace Adkins. Emceed by GAC’s Bill Cody, the class of performers represented a swatch of Nashville music history. Beyond the contemporary Flatts crew, Kris and Mel hit their strides in the 1970s as artists, songwriters and actors. Bobby accrued a landmark 1960s pop hit with the effervescent “Sunny,” and Eddy and Little Jimmy were among the first artists to have hits with songs recorded in Nashville during the 1940s, when the town hadn’t yet earned its Music City moniker. Read More

Gretchen Wilson: I Got Your Freedom

When Gretchen Wilson parted ways with her record company in 2009, it was the kind of moment that looked — from the outside, anyway — a bit scary. What would that mean to her career? How would she keep a profile? As it turned out, leaving her label might have been the best thing that could have happened to Gretchen. She found another record company by asserting her independence: She founded her own. Owing to her first hit, “Redneck Woman,” Gretchen called the label Redneck Records, and she released her own album, I Got Your Country Right Here, in March. Being turned loose allows her to… turn loose. Read More

Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins Among ACM Honorees

Martina McBride, Randy Travis, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kenny Rogers were among the artists who showed up to perform on their behalf. Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and Barbara Mandrell were among the acts who sent their support via video. But even more can be said by taking an inventory of the artists who were not on hand that were affected by the people who graced the stage Monday at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium: George Strait, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain… The real task would be to find artists who did not benefit from the raft of people — musicians, producers, concert executives, songwriters and pioneering artists #151; who were honored at the fourth annual ACM Honors. The event allowed the Academy of Country Music to give a more detailed account of the behind-the-scenes people and the pioneers of the genre than it could provide during its fast-moving televised awards. Read More

Elvis Presley Celebrated In Memphis…And Elsewhere

The King is gone, but he’s certainly not forgotten — especially in Memphis, where the city is gearing up for Elvis Week, the annual pilgrimage of fans marking the loss of a cultural icon. This year’s Elvis Presley activities kick off Tuesday, Aug. 10, when an Elvis tribute artist (that’s a euphemism for Elvis impersonator) re-creates one of Presley’s first noteworthy concerts at a venue formerly known as the Overton Park Shell. It all wraps up Aug. 16 — the anniversary of Elvis’ 1977 death — with a concert at Graceland Mansion. In between those bookends is a wealth of panel discussions, movie screenings and even a 5k run and walk. Naomi Judd’s husband, Larry Strickland, will take part in a performance during one event as a member of the Stamps Quartet. He was a part of the vocal group when it toured with Elvis during the 1970s. Read More