Sirius XM Holiday 2008 Lineup: No Country Music

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Well, we have arrived at that time of year. The Holiday Season. Thanksgiving Day is just a matter of hours away and that means its Christmas music season as well. There is so much great Christmas music out there from our country music stars. New music out each year, and I will be focusing some attention on those upcoming. However, in past years, my favorite way to enjoy Christmas music was on my XM Radio. This year, sadly, doesn't seem to be that way.

Here is this year's holiday lineup on satellite radio:

  • Holly-- contemporary/pop holiday hits. (XM 35/SR 81 now through 12/31)
  • Bing Crosby Christmas-- vintage holiday radio specials (XM 120 SR 113 12/13 - 12/25)
  • Holiday Traditions-- traditional holiday 1940-60's (XM 36 11/24 - 12/25)
  • Holiday Pops-- classical holiday (XM 37 and 77 /SR 79 11/27 - 12/25)
  • Radio Hanukkah-- Hanukkah music (XM 38/ SR 3 12/21 - 12/29)
(All channels begin/end at midnight EST of their designated dates. XM for the XM channel, SR for Sirius Channel.)
First and foremost... do you see what is missing? Look closely. Yes, Music City Christmas. No country music Christmas channel this year. Are they crazy? I just can't believe that channel is not apart of the lineup this year. I just don't get it. There is a problem here with their programming for this year, no doubt. This is a channel I look forward to every year, and I bet a great deal of XM listeners do as well.

A side note, Special Xmas isn't on the list either. Another channel I loved. It was full of parody/comical Christmas musical content. What a loss.

What gets me even more is that there plenty room, more channels they know what to do with. That can't be the issue. If it was, why exactly do we need 2 classical music channels? Why does Sirius listeners miss out on the traditional holiday channel. Clearly they made the decision not to include it this year.

The first sentence in the second paragraph mentions country music, but nowhere in the channel lineup does an artist even close to country music is mentioned. The channels don't reflect that claim either. So, possibly an oversight with a channel listing, but I doubt it. If I find it, I'll let you know.

Country music fans will be looking to their CD collection this year, rather to their XM or Sirius radio. Bad thing is, now that the two companies are one, you don't have much choice. If you want Christmas music, you''' have to depend on download/CDs. Don't worry, Country Music Alive will be featuring some great choices in the upcoming days.

If you do find a country music satellite channel, e-mail so I can let everyone know about it.

Review: Zac Brown Band "The Foundation"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

video

I have been waiting for this album to hit stores since the first day I heard their national debut top 5 single on the radio. The single had to be one of the most enjoyable songs I’d heard in many years. Yes, you read that right, years. The song is one of those special songs that you never get tired of hearing. It’s catchy as it can be and it gets stuck in your head immediately, but the difference is that you enjoy it being stuck in your head. The song is most definitely country, with a pinch of a southern rockish influence. Most of all, the lyrics make it a perfect sign-a-long bar song. The song I’m referring to begins…. “You know I like my chicken fried…” and now, I’m sure you are finishing the opening lines by now. “Chicken Fried” may be the best track on the Home Grown/Atlantic Records debut album titled “The Foundation” by The Zac Brown Band and produced by Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson and songwriter,) but that certainly doesn’t mean there are even more great songs on the album to really enjoy. This album is for the music lover.

Now, that I have played “Chicken Fried” a few times, I can now start exploring the eleven tracks that make up the album. The first track, simply titled “Toes” fuses a sound of island music, a lyrical vacation of a country song, and just plain fun. Again, like their debut single, it’s catchy and did I say fun? The song starts “I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand/ Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand/ Life is good today. Life is good today.” This is another must-hear song, without a doubt.


“Whatever It Is” again, lends lyrical power and fun to the album on a song about a beauty of a woman. I can’t say it enough. You will understand taking a listen to the
album. “Where The Boat Leave From” continues the rock-strong foundation of style. Zac Brown Band knows what sound works for them and has perfected it beyond imagine. Harmonizing A blend of deep country roots from their home state of Georgia, southern rock of the Southern United States, and sounds of the Caribbean together nicely make for some excellent music.

“Free” begins with a one-minute two-second violin solo leading into a slower song that allows the listener to get an even great appreciation for the group. Vocal delivery is showcased on this track very nicely, however, continues to display lyrical strength and great songs. If you have any doubt at all if this band knows
country music, take a listen to track 7, “Mary.” This high paced tune will further enhance your love of this group from a country music prospective. “Different Kind of Fine” is an all out driving song. Turn it on up. I can hear you already singing this one out loud… don’t worry, that’s what the Zac Brown Band wants you to be doing. “Highway 20 Ride” slows it down just a little bit, to again highlight the vocal delivery with excellence of the written word sung in this break-up song.

The pace picks way up again on “It’s Not Ok” that is another truckin’ song with spoken-word lyric delivery that again you just can’t help to learn the words to quickly, and oh yes, you can’t forget to recognize the instrumentation is dead on high-paced country filling the air. “Jolene” is a nice song, but I think it is not the best track on the album… but, even saying that, it’s a great song.

Finally, “Sic ‘Em On A Chicken.” Yes, you read that right. I’m not really sure what to say about this one. It’s country, that’s for sure. It’s comical… that’s for sure too. Wow, it’s a great song. Give it a listen and you will fall in love with it too.

Some may think this album is not consistent in sound. I can see that argument, however, I believe it is. Why? This band makes it music with a strong thought of what sounds good onstage and what the crowd will easily sing-a-long with I believe. They have many different sounds that can be heard (deep country roots, bluegrass, island music, rock, southern rocks, and funk,) however; their delivery has one common thread… fun. Distinct and different styles, yes, but I guarantee you that if you heard a new song from The Zac Brown Band, you will know exactly who it is, and not just by the voice you hear; that there is a key to consistency.

These guys are music lovers. I am a music lover. That is exactly why this album has caught my attention so very much. It will catch your attention too… instantly. I just may be pounding the keys on the keyboard with these words because I feel these thoughts so deeply.

“The Foundation” is one of the best albums of this year, by far. Vocal delivery that can’t be matched, strong lyrics, music that is enjoyable beyond belief, and instrumentation excellence make this album so great. I’m glad this is just the foundation, because this group has potential to build a very tall building.

Country Music Alive: Clickitticket.com's Top 50 Music Blogs

Saturday, November 22, 2008



I don't like to brag very much about this blog. I have been writing about country music since 1994 in some format... from the beginning e-mail newsletters to the last 10 years in a blog format. The website has been around since about 1995 or so. I love country music so very much, as you all know. Its more than apart of me. I love sharing my love for the music in some small way with all of my readers everyday. I don't get what would be considered a high-traffic blog or website, but a fair amount of traffic. Those of you that do visit this site or my website are some of the most loyal readers out there and it is so appreciated.



With that said, I was notified earlier this week that my blog was picked to be apart of Clickitticket.com's Top 50 Music Blogs. 10 blogs were picked from 5 different styles of music. Of course, this blog made the list in the country music category.



I ask you to take a moment and visit the site in support of their recognition of this blog. Take a look at the top 50, and then take a moment or two to visit the rest of the website:


http://www.clickitticket.com/articles/topmusicblogs.htm



There is a lot of exciting planning in the works to make this blog even more special in the upcoming year, so keep visiting and add it to your RSS feed or bookmark it. You can also "follow" this blog if you a member of Blogger. I also have a "subscribe" button on the top of the menu that will allow to get a daily email on days the blog is updated.

Anytime, especially as this year starts to come to an end, please, e-mail me with what you want to see here. Whether its a topic you want me to discuss, a standard feature, or anything at all.. let me know and I will see if I can incorporate it into the blog. An e-mail link is available on the right menu.

I thank you for your support and hope you keep visiting the site everyday. Tell a friend and share this blog every place you can think of in your daily Internet travels as well as in person.

Taylor Swift Sales: Why Doing So Well?

Friday, November 21, 2008


I was reading through a few news articles and came across an article on the sales numbers for Taylor Swift's new album "Fearless." I thought it may had been a mis-print or something.

Here we go, and these aren't mis-types...

Taylor Swift in the first week of the release of "Fearless" sold 592,304 copies. Her debut self-titled album sold 27,800 copies last week. That album was released October 24, 2006 and still remains in the top 5 this week, making it the 108th week for the album being on Billboard's Top Country Album Chart.

According to All About Country, 55.8% of all country music albums bought last week had Taylor Swift's name on the cover.

Rascal Flatts is ranked #2 last week in country sales with 38,812 copies. That makes them 553,492 copies less than Swift.

Looking at all album sales, David Archuleta came in at number 2. He sold 183,000 copies. Doesn't even come close to Taylor Swift.

CMA Week always helps out the sales, this year was no different, sales were up 26.7%... not bad at all. Over 1.1 million albums were sold, again, 592,000 of those were Taylor Swift's new album.

Debut album is over 3x Platinum. Her new release is gold in 1 week!

Now, this is excellent sales, by far, by don't believe it is any major record breaking event. My question is why is Taylor Swift so very popular? I've asked this question before in my writings, but it still comes up in my head every time I heard about her sales and chart positioning. I mean demographics of her target audience is one thing, but, to begin a new album with over 592,000 sold and her first CD out over 2 years ago is still selling like it just came out there is something more going on that has her selling so well.

The answer to it all is... well, I don't know what exactly it is. It must be a combination of so many things. Some of them in the control of her management, record label, publicity, her talent and skill, but, some of it I think has to do with so many things out of her direct control. Timing, demographical interest, and I'm sure many other factors.

Here are some of the reasons I think she is doing so well. 

1) Her vocals and music itself are common and pop-music influenced country music.  She is country, but I wouldn't go as far as saying traditional country.  Its pop-country, just like so very many of our "country" artists of the current days.  The sound of Taylor Swift's songs appeal to the pop-music style of music as well as our country fans, for the most part.  Her talent in itself is enough to make her a very successful artist.

2) Taylor Swift has had a strong Internet presence.  Her MySpace page has been up since August 0f 2005.  That's a year before even her debut album was released. As of this afternoon, Taylor has 978,387 "friends" on MySpace.  That page is kept updated and keeps the younger generation hooked on her music, but also her life and what she is really like.  Everyone these days have Myspace, but Swift came in on the ground floor and uses that page perfectly.  Its not just MySpace of course.  Her official web page is updated nicely as well.  It is designed in a way to keep the younger ones wanting to come back, but as well is informative for those they are there for information.

3) I think this third point is the biggest reason she does so well.  Her age, her looks, and her life style makes her so marketable.  Younger females are always looking for a role-model.  Taylor Swift is a role-model that the parent's of the children wanting to look up to her can approve of. She carries her self very well in public, very down-to-Earth, she dresses appropriate, she is beautiful, yet not a over-the-top concentration on the way she looks.  Always I feel a "be yourself" message from Taylor Swift. 

Why do you think Taylor Swift sales are so high?  Leave a comment and I'll share it here...

Photo Credit: Taylor Swift on the CMA Awards Red Carpet at “The 42nd Annual CMA Awards,” on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008, broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville on the ABC Television Network.  Photographer: Jim Hagans / CMA

Reba McEntire Moves to Valory Records

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reba McEntire is moving to Valory Music Group. This label is a small start-up independent label that has been around about a year and has Jewel, Emerson Drive, Jimmy Wayne, and Justin Moore signed. It is a sister label to Big Machine Records, the home of Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jack Ingram, Danielle Peck, Adam Gregory, Sunny Sweeney, and Kate & Kacey.


Reba McEntire was with MCA Nashville, one of the largest labels in country music and has been with them since day one of her career. Why in the world would she leave MCA-Nashville...


First, Valory Music has an agreement with Universal Music Group Distribution... the owners of MCA-Nashville. So, not entirely is it a full separation from MCA. Her music will make its way to stores using the same path as they had in the past... basically no change there.


Second, The president and CEO of Valory Music Group is Scott Borchetta. McEntire and Borchetta worked together while he was at MCA-Nashville. In fact, 14 #1 singles and 22 million albums were sold under the readership of Borchetta. So, she is getting to work with someone she has worked for in the past.


Third, I expect McEntire is ready to take her career in a new direction... opening a new door in her musical career. A smaller label allows the artist to be a little more flexible on when to record an album. Also, a freedom comes along with it too. Independent labels also seem to allow a little more room to records what she wants, not necessarily what the label wants and what they think is marketable. Now, that is still a part of the decisions, but not as much as a large label such as Universal Music Group.

I think this deal has been in the works for sometime. The release of her new boxset is a nice closing to her career at MCA. Now looking back on it, it certainly was some foreshadowing going on for sure.

I think this move is very interesting. We will find out if it affects her sales, her musical style and expression of country music. Time will only tell if it was the right move...

The first single from Reba McEntire on Valory Music will be released in the Spring of 2009. The debut album will arrive in stores in late Summer.

Her final MCA-Nashville project, Reba: 50 Greatest Hits 3-disc boxset was released October 28.

CMA Awards: The Commentary

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Wow, what a night! The CMA Awards are now in the history books. Indeed this year was historical. George Strait has now become the most awarded CMA artist. At the end of the night, Strait has 22 of the trophies. Pretty darn cool.
The special guest for the night was Shania Twain that presented Entertainer of the Year to Kenny Chesney. It was a nice surprise, though it was found out who exactly was the mystery presenter earlier that afternoon when she arrived in Nashville.
The show itself to me was one of the best in quiet sometime. It was just plain fun to watch. Our co-hosts for the evening, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood did a great job I thought. However, I believe Brad Paisley could have done the job by himself. Carrie Underwood did a good job, but I found Paisley's skills a couple notches better.
Now, in the moment, watching the show, I really enjoyed what I was seeing. It's country music's night to shine as bright as it can. Its done through honoring the award winners and showcasing the talent from the past year. Now, after a few hours of the show sinking in to my mind, I begin to think about many different things. Mostly, what was missing.
What was missing? Well, country music for one. You may be saying, what? Yes, I said it. The show was missing country music. What was performed last night, with few exceptions, was pop music dressed up in a country music though process. Think about it. Kid Rock? Sure, it was a good performance, but he isn't country. The Eagles... not country. The Wailers...not country. That doesn't even scratch the surface of the songs performed by "country artists" that really weren't country music songs either. George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Brad Paisley's 2nd performance should have been examples of what country music is all about. Darius Rucker's performance also can be added in there. But, the real country music artists were missing. We didn't hear from the real country artists or their songs. The show was all about branding country music rather than the tradition of the song, the written true-to-life lyrical journey, and traditional country music performed in a contemporary form like someone like Alan Jackson can do. There many of those artists, even sitting in the audience, that deserved to be spotlighted for their creative work from the past year that didn't get seen or heard in the pursuit of making country music popular.
Something else that was missing was the Hall of Fame Induction portion. If you sat up in your seat or looked out the window at a passing car, you would have missed it. Those artists deserve much more than that. They are apart of the deep roots of country music and has had the deepest impact on the music. Pop Stoneman, Tom T. Hall, The Statler Brothers, and Emmylou Harris deserved so much more than just a few words from Vince Gill. Each should have showcased. That really made me disappointed.
Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the show. It did its purpose I guess. The show was full of today's greatest stars and events. The ratings are very high and it was fun. Next year, CMA please, pay attention more to tradition and real country music.

2008 CMA Award Performances And Winners

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 CMA Award Winners:


Single of The Year

" I Saw God Today"

George Strait


Song of The Year

"Stay"

Jennifer Nettles


Vocal Group of the Year

Rascal Flatts


New Country Music Artist of the Year

Lady Antebellum


Vocal Duo of the Year

Sugarland


Album of the Year

Troubador

George Strait


Female Vocalist of the Year

Carrie Underwood


Male Vocalist of the Year

Brad Paisley


Video of the Year

Waitin' On A Woman

Brad Paisley


Vocal Event of The Year

Gone,Gone,Gone

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant


Musician of the Year

Mac McAnally


Entertainer of the Year

Kenny Chesney





2008 CMA Award Performances:


  1. Start A Band-- Brad Paisley and Keith Urban

  2. Best Days of Your Life--Kellie Pickler

  3. Good Time--Alan Jackson

  4. More Like Her--Miranda Lambert

  5. Love Don't Live Here--Lady Antebellum

  6. Ride--Martina McBride

  7. Its America--Rodney Atkins

  8. Love Story--Taylor Swift

  9. All Summer Long--Kid Rock

  10. River of Love--George Strait

  11. She's Country--Jason Aldean

  12. Cowgirls Don't Cry--Brooks & Dunn (joined onstage by Reba McEntire)

  13. Don't Think I Don't Think About It--Darius Rucker

  14. Waitin On A Woman--Brad Paisley

  15. Just A Dream--Carrie Underwood

  16. Love--Sugarland

  17. Just Got Started Loving You--James Otto

  18. Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven--Kenny Chesney and The Wailers

  19. You're Gonna Miss This--Trace Adkins

  20. Busy Being Fabulous--The Eagles

CMA Awards Tonight!

Follow along on Twitter for tonight's events on http://www.twitter.com/cntryalive

Country Music Alive CMA Predictions

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I get asked each year to share who exactly I would want to win, predict to win, or who I voted for in the CMA Awards. Well, I won't share my vote nor who I want to win, but I will predict the winners.

Well, first, I will make the prediction that this year's shows ratings will be high. Second, the performances will be enjoyable, yet nothing that will have people talking for days to come. Maybe just the day after. Whomever the secret guest is will be pretty cool, yet again, no one that deserves too much hype. It will be a solid show, as is every year, with a great look at the past year's country music. We are in for a real enjoyable evening. It is worth getting excited about.

As far as the actual performances... I think the highlights will be Kenny Chesney with The Wailers and Brad Paisley with Keith Urban. We already know what songs those two will do, but it will be great to see these performers do their songs together on stage. A nice treat that fans may never see again... The others will be great performances, but just may not be able to top these duets.

You can make your own predictions by using the Download Prediction Form!

Now who will win? Good question, we will know the answer tomorrow night, but here is who I predict will win.....

Entertainer: Kenny Chesney. He has had another strong tour and stays in the forefront of the mind of country music all year long. Brad Paisley is also a good choice here, but just have a feeling Chesney will take it again this year.

Female: Taylor Swift. It's such a close call between Swift and Carrie Underwood. However, something just tells me that its Swift's year to take this one home.

Male: Brad Paisley. Great hit singles, the instrumental album announcement, and just all around great choice here. Even though the album would have not been released at the time of voting, there was enough talk about it to help him here.

New Artist: Lady Antebellum. This is the toughest category to pick. Each and every artist deserves it and are strong. I tell you, this prediction was almost random.

Group: Rascal Flatts. They own the category and will take it home this year as well. They have won it since 2003...

Duo: Sugarland. They have had a great year, so much of a good year to edge out the others.

Single: "Stay." A powerhouse song that most likely will take it over "You're Gonna Miss This" due to a cross over success.

Album: "Troubador." A solid country album, and what can I say... its a George Strait album.

Song: "Stay." Just think this song was so well written it will carry its own weight to winning the award. A tough category, all these songs are so well written.

Event: "Shiftwork" A song that has been on radio for a long time and brings together 2 styles of country music very nicely.

Video: "Waitin' On A Woman." Andy Griffith is in it, need I say more.

Musician: Brent Mason.

Well there you go! Those are my predictions... make your own predictions and we will see how well we do tomorrow night! Download Prediction Form!

42nd Annual CMA Awards Nominations, Performers, and Presenters


The time has finally arrived! Here is a round-up of all the information you may be in need of for tomorrow night....

Country Music Alive will provide several days of coverage through out the rest of the week, also follow me on Twitter for immediate updates live during the show. Also, the special feature website will be updated after the show. My Twitter name is cntryalive.

You can also download a prediction form from here to have a little fun during the broadcast!

The 42nd Annual CMA Awards will air Wednesday November 12 in Nashville, TN. The show will air live from 8pm to 11pm EST on ABC Television Network and the audio will be aired live as well on XM Radio channel 11.

From the Sommet Center Plaza in downtown Nashville, the kickoff to the 42nd Annual CMA Awards Concert can be heard live exclusively on XM's Highway 16, Scheduled To Appear (All Times EASTERN):5-5:30 PM - Heidi Newfield5:45-6:30 PM - Rodney Atkins6:45-7:15 PM - Eli Young Band7:30-8:00 PM - Kevin Costner & Modern West.

Before the show, a listing of nominations, the prediction form and after the show, full winners list, performance lists, and more can be found at http://cmaawards.countrymusicalive.com

The show will be co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Scheduled to perform:


* Trace Adkins
* Jason Aldean
* Rodney Atkins
* Brooks & Dunn
* Kenny Chesney with The Wailers
* The Eagles
* Alan Jackson
* Kid Rock
* Lady Antebellum
* Miranda Lambert
* Martina McBride
* James Otto
* Brad Paisley
* Kellie Pickler
* Darius Rucker
* George Strait
* Sugarland
* Taylor Swift
* Carrie Underwood
* Keith Urban

Scheduled to present:

* Vince Gill
* Julianne Hough
* Jake Owen
* John Rich
* Jimmy Wayne
* Billy Ray Cyrus
* Miley Cyrus
* Heidi Newfield
* Taylot Swift
* Josh Turner
* Lee Ann Womack
* Reese Witherspoon

The Nominations:


Entertainer of the Year


* Kenny Chesney
* Brad Paisley
* George Strait
* Sugarland
* Keith Urban


Female Vocalist of the Year


* Alison Krauss
* Miranda Lambert
* Martina McBride
* Taylor Swift
* Carrie Underwood


Male Vocalist of the Year


* Kenny Chesney
* Alan Jackson
* Brad Paisley
* George Strait
* Keith Urban


New Artist of the Year


* Jason Aldean
* Rodney Atkins
* Lady Antebellum
* James Otto
* Kellie Pickler


Vocal Group of the Year


* Eagles
* Emerson Drive
* Lady Antebellum
* Little Big Town
* Rascal Flatts


Vocal Duo of the Year


* Big & Rich
* Brooks & Dunn
* Montgomery Gentry
* Sugarland
* The Wreckers


Single of the Year
(Award goes to Artist and Producer)


* "Don't Blink"
Kenny Chesney
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records
* "Gunpowder & Lead"
Miranda Lambert
Produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke
Columbia Records
* "I Saw God Today"
George Strait
Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait
MCA Nashville
* "Stay"
Sugarland
Produced by Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
Mercury Nashville
* "You're Gonna Miss This"
Trace Adkins
Produced by Frank Rogers
Capitol Records Nashville


Album of the Year
(Award goes to Artist and Producer)


* Carnival Ride
Carrie Underwood
Produced by Mark Bright
19 Records Limited/Arista Nashville
* Cowboy Town
Brooks & Dunn
Produced by Kix Brooks, Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn and Bob DiPiero
Arista Nashville
* Good Time
Alan Jackson
Produced by Keith Stegall
Arista Nashville
* Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Kenny Chesney
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records
* Troubadour
George Strait
Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait
MCA Nashville


Song of the Year
(Award goes to Songwriter and Primary Publisher)


* "Good Time"
Alan Jackson
EMI-April Music/Tri-Angels Music
* "I Saw God Today"
Rodney Clawson/Monty Criswell/Wade Kirby
Big Red Toe/Extremely Loud Music/Steel Wheels Music/Blind Mule Music
* "Letter To Me"
Brad Paisley
EMI-April Music/Sea Gayle Music
* "Stay"
Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles Publishing
* "You're Gonna Miss This"
Ashley Gorley/Lee Thomas Miller
EMI Blackwood Music/Songs of Combustion/Sea Gayle Music


Musical Event of the Year
(Award to each Artist)


* Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood
"Another Try"
MCA Nashville
* Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney
"Every Other Weekend"
MCA Nashville
* Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
"Gone Gone Gone"
Rounder Records
* Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen
"Life In A Northern Town"
Mercury Nashville
* Kenny Chesney (duet with George Strait)
"Shiftwork"
BNA Records


Music Video of the Year
(Award goes to Artist and Director)


* "Don't Blink"
Kenny Chesney
Directed by Shaun Silva
* "Good Time"
Alan Jackson
Directed by Trey Fanjoy
* "Stay"
Sugarland
Directed by Shaun Silva
* "Waitin' On A Woman"
Brad Paisley featuring Andy Griffith
Directed by Jim Shea & Peter Tilden
* "You're Gonna Miss This"
Trace Adkins
Directed by Peter Zavadil


Musician of the Year


* Jerry Douglas - Dobro
* Paul Franklin - Steel Guitar
* Dann Huff - Guitar
* Brent Mason - Guitar
* Mac McAnally - Guitar

Merle Haggard Has Successful Surgery

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The following statement was released on Merle Haggard's website today:

November 5, 2008 - News Update
Dear Fans, Friends, Family,and Acquaintances:
Merle has undergone the removal of a cancerous growth in his right lung. Merle is recuperating from the surgery and doing better and better each day. I would like to personally thank all of you who took the time to send your love, support, care, concern, and most of all, all of your prayers! Merle and I both believe strongly in our Lord Jesus Christ and His healing powers. After all He is the greatest physician of all. Believing in our prayers to be answered is the key. Faith!
Sincerely with the upmost gratitude,
Theresa Haggard


My most sincere prayers and thoughts go out to Merle Haggard and his family tonight in that he will continue to recover and will be back in good health very soon. I hope you will join me in the same prayer.

For any updates, you can of course check by this website, or his official website:

http://www.merlehaggard.com/


New Book From Randy Owen

Monday, November 03, 2008



We country music fans know of Randy Owen. Yes, the lead singer of Alabama and proud founder of Country Cares For St. Jude's Kids. On November 4, 2008, fans of Randy Owen will be able to get the deepest insight ever into the lead singer of the a group that has sold over 73 million albums by reading his new book "Born Country: How Faith, Family, and Music Brought Me Home."

Through the 275-pages, you are taken through the earliest years of Owen's life and all the up to the most present day with the release of his first solo album, "One on One" from Broken Bow Records on the same day as the book release. The book is written by Randy Owen with Allen Rucker through Harper One Publishers.


Imagine getting the opportunity to sit down with Owen and listening to him tell the story of his family, the beginnings of Alabama, the farewell tour, and what Owen is doing now. That is exactly how it feels when reading the book. In these pages, country music fans get to feel a special bond with Owen.


It is truly something special to get such insight into topics such as how he grew up, his family and specifically his deep love of his father. You detailed look at the beginning of Alabama at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach, the fast paced life of being a successful country music band, the rise and fall of June Jam. A great introduction to his wife and how they met, his children, and a story of coping with the loss of his father and dealing with panic attacks. Also, he also shares insight to fans on how Owen became involved with St. Jude Children's Hospital. Yes, its all discussed in the book that I found extremely enjoyable to read. It really came across to me as Owen talking directly to me in telling the stories of his entire life.


Curious why there hasn't been officially a member of Alabama as a drummer? (page 104) There is an explanation. NASCAR fans will find the discussion about his friendship with Dale Earnhardt very special as well. (page 223)


This is a book that every country music fan should read. It really brings home the point of how country music evolves out of true life stories and experiences. Those songs you hear from Alabama didn't just come out of creative writing... those songs are apart of the lives of Randy Owen and his two cousins Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry lived.


Take the time, have a seat in a comfortable chair and enjoy reading this excellent book.


Day 5: Toby Keith Week!

Saturday, November 01, 2008



Want to win a copy of Toby Keith's newest CD "That Don't Make Me A Bad Guy" and an autographed picture from the "Biggest and Baddest Tour?" Its easy. Just e-mail the name of the song you see in the video below, your name and city/state. Include "Day 5" in the subject line. The e-mail address is:
contest@countrymusicalive.com.




Each of the 5 days, you will be entered into the random drawing for the prize pack. Entries for each day are due by 11:59pm EST. You can only win once, and one entry person. No advanced entries are allowed, because you need the name of the video below....









Today's video is "Get Drunk And Be Somebody" from the 2006 album "White Trash With Money."

Today's Toby Keith Fact: Toby Keith released "35 Greatest Hits" album in 2008.

The newest album from Toby Keith is available now for download and in stores!

Hope you had good luck during Toby Keith Week! A special thanks to Universal Music Group for their support of making Toby Keith week happen!