HOT DISH: A Country Boy Can Survive

Hank Jr. Gets Burglarized, Stars Hitting the Road

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by former Country Music magazine columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also shares her recipes at CMT.com.)

“Run a trot line … shoot a shotgun … a country boy can survive,” Hank’s sung for 23 years.

It takes more nerve than sense to enter the house of a man who sings about how good he can shoot his mega stash of g-u-n-s … not to mention that he has a bazooka and knows how to use it. But when you’re 22 … .

Ryan Daniel Binkley allegedly burglarized Hank Williams Jr.’s Paris, Tenn., estate recently while the owner and family were fast asleep. Binkley is lucky he’s alive. Had he rousted sure-shot Junior, the 22-year-old would not be left to tell the tale. And there’d be no a blood soaked trail ’cause Hank would’ve stopped him in his tracks.

For some reason, Williams’ burglar alarm was off, so Binkley walked right in and stole a 60-pound safe containing over a half-million dollars in jewelry. Binkley, who’d just moved in a half-mile down the road, reportedly stashed the jewels in his cabin in the woods nearby. Meanwhile, he needed money to pay his defense lawyer 100 miles away in Dyersburg, Tenn., where he was jailed after being picked up by bounty hunters on a drug charge. Binkley called his mom, instructing her to go to his cabin and sell some of the stashed jewelry. His mother became suspicious when she saw the large amount of jewelry and a Country Music Association Award ring with Williams’ name inscribed on it. She told her friend, and her friend called the law officers in Henry County.

Hank got his bling-bling, etc., back and is now hunting whatever there is to aim at in Alabama this time of year. Binkley is blessed: Hank ain’t aiming at him.

Country Girl Did Survive
LeAnn Rimes survived the Big Apple snowstorm. She made her scheduled appearances before departing for a Mexican vacation with her hubby.

Having dealt with eczema all her life, LeAnn is using her celebrity to urge fans with the disease to log on to www.treateczemanow.com for info on treating the skin disease that used to force the singer to wear two pairs of pantyhose to conceal scaling and bleeding.

Take a Look at Who Is Hitting the Road Again
The Two Hats and a Redhead tour, with Reba and Brad Paisley headlining and special guest Terri Clark, kicks off in Virginia Beach. Va., on IRS day — April 15. … Rascal Flatts’ Here’s to You tour continues with the “Some Beach” man, Blake Shelton, opening shows. Kicking off in St. Louis last week, the tour sponsor is Coors Light. … Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins and Cledus T. Judd begin their tour Feb. 3 in Madison, Wis., a real hot bed of country music. … Alison Krauss & Union Station are already out there picking and singing and smiling. Good reason to smile, too. Their new album, Lonely Runs Both Ways, is certified gold.

Toby Keith started off in his hometown of Tulsa with rocker Ted Nugent and Scotty Emerick. They played sold out shows Thursday and Friday (Jan. 27-28) in Green Bay, Wis. … Kenny Chesney’s Somewhere in the Sun tour with Gretchen Wilson and Uncle Kracker will hit the road March 10-11 in Green Bay. Are they filming this show like Kenny’s best pal, Tim McGraw, did last year for a network TV special? Just wondering.

Cute hottie Keith Urban will be thrilling fans again in Australia and Canada in the months to come. The boy’s gonna be an international star. By the way, Keith’s recent Max It Out benefit in Nashville generated more than $300,000 for meningitis research. He was joined at the event by friends Lee Ann Womack, Wynonna, Montgomery Gentry, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, LeAnn Rimes and Kenny Chesney.

More Road News

Just as soon as Brad Paisley, Sara Evans and Andy Griggs complete their Mud & Suds sold-out jaunt in March, Sara heads out with Alan Jackson in April. Like I said earlier, Brad joins Reba and Terri Clark for a two-month outing. … Crystal Gayle and Lee Greenwood are set to tour together. … Rhett Akins, Daryle Singletary, David Kersh and Chad Brock are serving up honky-tonk music here, yonder and everywhere on the Honky-Tonk Tailgate tour.

My longtime hero, George Strait, is heading to a series of sold-out venues with opening acts Amber Dotson and Dierks Bentley. I expect Dierks to break loose and become a huge star. I’ve always wanted to open shows for George Strait — or close ‘em. Whew!

In a Few Words
Roy Clark had hip replacement surgery in Tulsa, Okla.

Brenda Lee was in Nashville’s St. Thomas Hospital for shoulder rotator repair.

Kenny Chesney’s old house in Brentwood, Tenn., has four bedrooms, four and a-half baths and sits on 10 acres. It’s for sale at $3.1 million, so I may take my pocket change and buy it.

Wouldn’t you like to know why Andy Griggs and Jeff Bates are coming to my house next week? Stay tuned!

Newcomer — and 18-year old — Blaine Larsen’s debut album, Off to Join the World, is in stores.

Tim McGraw and Nelly, whose “Over and Over” duet spent 13 weeks atop the Top 40 chart, shot a TV commercial for Bud Light that may run during Super Bowl, if they’re lucky.

Big guns Brooks & Dunn, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Big & Rich, Blake Shelton, Darryl Worley and Chris Cagle are among the acts set to perform April 14-17 in Florence, Ariz., at the Country Thunder Festival.

ABC-TV’s Good Morning America “Good to Go” ad campaign features the vocals of our own Julie Roberts — which no doubt will titillate cash registers to keep ringing up sales for her self-titled, already-gold debut CD.

I see where plumb perfect Vince Gill will not host the 2005 CMA Awards. Like yours truly, Vince disagrees with the trek up to New York City.

Reba McEntire joins Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathy Bates and a cast of others on an upcoming animated adaptation of Charlotte’s Web. The remake of the children’s story features Reba voicing a cow, Julia a spider and Oprah a pig.

Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash movie initially set for an April release, has been postponed until November due to box office success and awards for the movie Ray. Execs at Fox think the Cash movie and its stars, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, may generate box office numbers and trophies when Oscar comes calling next winter.

Radio, what do “U” plan to do with Toby Keith’s new single, “Honky Tonk U”?

Jamie O’Neal is off to New York and L.A. for a media blitz before going to Colorado this week for the annual T.J. Martell benefit, Country in the Rockies.

If I were a music director, I’d program Dierks Bentley’s new single, “Lots of Leaving Left to Do.”

Lonestar fans will want to know their first home DVD contains the wonderful animated “Mr. Mom” video and five others.

The family of the late Webb Pierce has donated his 1962 Pontiac convertible — with silver dollars on the dash and guns on the fenders — to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where it has been displayed for 10 years. Webb used to let the top down on that car, drive it up and down Broadway in downtown Nashville late Saturday afternoons and park it in front of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, where the stools fit his backside.

Grammy winner for “Rose Garden” in 1970 and the CMA’s female vocalist of the year in 1971, Lynn Anderson was arrested in Texas a month ago for DUI. She was arrested again last week in Taos, N.M., for shoplifting a Harry Potter DVD and then punching the policeman who arrested her.

Ricky Skaggs appeared on Garrison Keillor’s wonderful A Prairie Home Companion.

I heard on the radio that imprisoned Martha Stewart is taking line-dancing lessons to the tune of “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by our own Brooks & Dunn.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Lemon Pie