(HOT TALK is a weekly column by longtime CMT.com contributing writer and former Billboard country music editor Edward Morris.)
Tim McGraw “Carpool Dad”
So what do you do after you’ve completed a zillion-dollar concert tour and then gone on location to watch your beautiful wife shoot her first movie? Well, if you’re Tim McGraw, you hurry back home to Nashville and get the kids ready for school. McGraw’s able publicist, Jessie Schmidt, tells Hot Talk that the singer had been in Connecticut until last week, where wife Faith Hill was emoting for a remake of The Stepford Wives. “Two of the girls started school,” she explains, “so he’s the carpool dad now — the whole thing. Gracie, who is 6, started first grade, and Maggie started kindergarten. Audrey is too little [for school]. She’s not even 2 yet. I think people realize that Tim had some time off once he finished his tour to be in Connecticut. They were there through the summer. They try to balance their lives that way. When he’s working, she’s off to be there so they can keep the family unit together. After his tour finished, he took the main parenting role. He takes [the girls] in the morning and picks them up. He won’t let anyone else do it.”
Faith Hill Still to Pick Producer
Faith Hill’s spokesman, Paul Freundlich, advises Hot Talk that the filming in Connecticut has already wrapped up. He won’t reveal anything about the role Hill is playing in The Stepford Wives. Nor will he speculate on who she will tap to produce her next album. “It’s way too early for that,” he says. In a news release sent out earlier, Freundlich stressed that Hill has not “put her singing career on hold,” as some have speculated, but rather is busy screening songs for the album when she’s not in front of the camera.
Kenny Chesney Returns to Studio in October
Kenny Chesney has recorded most of his next album and will return to the recording studio in October to begin the final phase, according a spokeswoman for his co-producers, Norro Wilson and Buddy Cannon. No release date has been set. In the meantime, Chesney’s holiday album — All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan — arrives Oct. 7.
Library Event Spotlights Roy Acuff’s Music, Influence
The Nashville Public Library will celebrate the 100th birthday of Roy Acuff, the “king of country music,” with a discussion of his life and works Sept. 7 in the library’s auditorium in downtown Nashville. The event, which will run from 2:30 to 4 p.m., is free and open to the public. Speakers will be WSM-AM disc jockey and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs, country music historian Charles Wolfe and radio personality Kyle Cantrell, who worked with Acuff for years. Noted country music historian and author Ronnie Pugh is coordinating it all.
Until his death in 1992, Acuff was the Grand Ole Opry’s kingpin, a role he ascended to soon after joining the Opry in 1938. From 1939 to 1946, he hosted the NBC radio network portion of the Opry. With composer Fred Rose, he founded the Acuff-Rose music publishing company in 1942. The company gave Hank Williams his first songwriting contract and published most of his hits. In 1962, Acuff became the first living member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Carter Stanley’s Daughter Records Tribute to Him
Carter Stanley’s daughter, Jeannie, is recording a tribute album to her late father at Maggard Sound Studio in Big Stone Gap, Va. Backing her musically on the project is her famous uncle and his band, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Carter and Ralph performed and recorded as the Stanley Brothers from 1946 until Carter’s death in 1966. During that time, Carter became one of the most eloquent voices and songwriters in bluegrass music, penning and recording such soon-to-be standards as “Who Will Sing for Me,” “Could You Love Me One More Time” and “The Fields Have Turned Brown.” I’ll let you know when the album becomes available.
Big News! Virginia Station Proudly Identifies Its Music
Returning to Nashville from a vacation spent largely indoors, I tuned into radio station WYYD in Lynchburg, Va., and was delighted to hear the DJ identify it as “the station that tells you the name of the song and the singer.” How cool is that? Just like the old days. Oddly enough, WYYD belongs to the Clear Channel megachain, proving, I guess, that even a monster can occasionally take a step without crushing something.
Bill Anderson to Host Georgia Music Awards
Grand Ole Opry star Bill Anderson will host the 25th annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards show Sept. 13 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. This year’s inductees include singers Kenny Rogers and the Indigo Girls, record producer Alan Walden and music executive, producer and philanthropist Mike Curb. In addition to hosting, Anderson will also perform, as will Rogers, the Indigo Girls, Third Day, William Bell, Ray Stevens, Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb, Chips Moman and Jerry Reed. Anderson is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame The show, which is ticketed but open to the public, will be broadcast in Georgia on PBS stations.
Not gifts or intemperate fawning, please. Just send me news and your best perception of the nature of truth to Hottalk@cmt.com.