Kenny Chesney Torn Over Digital Era

Kenny Chesney’s new CD, Hemingway’s Whiskey, got off to a great start — it’s at No. 1 on both the Billboard Country Albums chart and the all-genre Billboard 200. The top of the country list is a place Kenn’s very familiar with. It marks the tenth time he has had a No. 1 country album. But it’s also a bit of a different market than it once was. Kenny sold 183,000 copies of Hemingway in the album’s first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and those numbers are good enough to make it the fourth best-selling album of the entire third quarter, even though it was available for only the final week of that period. Still, there were other times in his career that Kenny sold more than half a million in his debut week. Read More

Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood Lead Country’s Weekend

Concerts, politics and awards were the order of the day. Country music kicked off the final quarter of 2010 with some pretty special moments this past weekend, including iconic live dates by Carrie Underwood and Willie Nelson, a public vote involving Sammy Kershaw and an NFL appearance by Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride. Country’s big moments included: Read More

Jamey Johnson Joins Willie, Kenny at Farm Aid

Jamey Johnson is headed to the home of the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, though he won’t be singing the national anthem or “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the final weekend of baseball’s regular season. Instead, he’s been announced at the last minute as an addition to the lineup for Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid 25: Growing Home For America at Miller Park. Board members John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Neil Young were already set for the concert, of course. And so were Norah Jones, Jeff Tweedy, Jason Mraz and the Randy Rogers Band, among others. And the event has an interesting connection to the top of the country album charts. Jamey’s new double-disc CD, The Guitar Song, came out Sept. 14 and went to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Kenny Chesney’s new project, Hemingway’s Whiskey, came out on Tuesday, and it’s already being forecast as the top-selling album in any genre for the week. Since Kenny’s scheduled to be at Miller Park, too, it means artists with No. 1 country albums two of the last three weeks will both appear on the same stage the same day. Read More

Johnny Cash Opposed U.S. War

The same day Natalie Maines took a public stance that criticized the president for leading the U.S. into the Iraq War in March 2003, Johnny Cash checked into Baptist Hospital in Nashville with pneumonia. The American public went crazy on the Dixie Chicks because of Natalie’s statement, and the incident cost the band its mainstream audience. As it turns out, the Man In Black might well have come out publicly against the Iraq War, too, if he weren’t in such poor health. Daughter Rosanne Cash had put her name on a full-page ad in The New York Times just two weeks prior, joining Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews and T Bone Burnett among a group of musicians who said, “War on Iraq is wrong and we know it.” Read More

Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride: CMA Nominations Trivia

When Miranda Lambert set a record for female acts by picking up nine awards nominations this week from the Country Music Association, no one was more surprised than her. But that wasn’t the only shock-a-roonie of the two-day nominations announcement. Lady Antebellum achieved something that’s never been done before, Steel Magnolia and The Band Perry each accomplished something that’s probably been done only once. And Miranda did something that’s only happened twice. Here’s a bevy of CMA trivia that you may not have seen anywhere else: Read More