HOT DISH: Reese Witherspoon Visits Cash Property

Nashville Native and Walk the Line Star Does Vogue Photo Shoot

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

There was a commotion last week at Johnny and June Carter Cash’s house in Hendersonville, Tenn., but it had nothing to do with the fact that the historic property on Old Hickory Lake is still up for sale at an asking price of $2.9 million. As it turns out, the frenzy was caused when famed photographer Annie Leibovitz met up with actress Reese Witherspoon for a Vogue magazine photo shoot.

Reese, a proud Nashville native, has the role of June in the upcoming movie, Walk the Line, that also stars Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny. With a dress and makeup to increase her resemblance to June, Reese posed for the photos at the house the couple shared for 35 years. Prior to Wednesday’s (July 20) photo shoot, Reese had been spotted having lunch in Nashville with her husband and children at her old stomping grounds, the Sylvan Park Restaurant.

Leibovitz became famous in the ’70s for her photos of celebrities featured in Rolling Stone magazine. She’s taken photos of everybody from Richard Nixon to John Lennon, and folks who know about such things say she’s the greatest photographer in the world.

The photos and feature story in Vogue will run in time to promote Walk the Line before the film hits theaters on Nov. 18. A preview takes place in September at the Toronto International Film Festival before making its way to theaters on Nov. 18.

Others who have a role in the film include Shooter Jennings (who portrays his father, Waylon) and Shelby Lynne (cast as Johnny’s mother, Carrie). But with none of the other cast members present for the photo shoot at Johnny and June’s house, maybe somebody can explain why Dolly Parton was there to visit with Reese and Annie.

Since You Asked …
The great George Jones and cute Dierks Bentley were in the studio last week — putting the finishing touches on “Murder on Music Row” for a Starbucks CD. Killer stuff, I heard.

I saw Sammy Kershaw at, the eatery he owns with wife Lorrie Morgan. Sammy, one of the best country singers on earth, tells me he’s just completed an album with Buddy Cannon producing. Of course, I got a kiss from Sammy. All pretty boys kiss me.

A line of fans a city block long showed up to get an autograph from the great Earl Scruggs at the Walton Park Bluegrass Festival in Mineral, Va.

“Where We Both Say Goodbye” by Catherine Britt and Elton John is one of the finest single records I’ve heard in the three and a-half decades I’ve been in this hillbilly town. A chill-giving performance.

The Tennessee Titans’ team physician says Troy Gentry’s knee injury is one of the worst he’s seen. Somebody better watch Montgomery Gentry. First, it was Eddie’s broken wrist. Now it’s Troy’s knee. Boys, when you are not singing, sit down!

Billy Ray Cyrus has the starring male role in Annie Get Your Gun at Toronto’s Massey Hall. Glad it’s summer. BRC does not like Canadian winters.

Dualtone Records is set to release a CD titled The Moon Was Blue by one of country’s all-time great singers, Bobby Bare. It features his first new recordings in more than two decades.

Congrats to the Special Olympics for snatching up Jo Dee Messina as ambassador. When she’s not singing, that girl will be talking.

I’m eating chocolate while Carrie Underwood sings, “Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t” for Almond Joy/Mounds, “Give me a break” for Kit Kat and “Hershey’s is the great American chocolate bar.” And they give a free Hershey at the BP station when I fill up my car.

If Kenny Chesney keeps on, I’ll be forced to call him the great K.C. He sold out three shows in a row at Philips Arena in Atlanta. It was a great time for Kenny with island pals on hand. In eight years, it was Kenny’s first time ever to see Island Ivan wearing shoes. Ivan said he wears shoes for important stuff.

Brad Paisley’s fans are wild for the song “Alcohol.” A line in the song goes, “And I’ll bet you a drink or two that I can make you put that lampshade on your head.” When he sings it, young people rush the stage wearing lampshades

Lonestar Meet the Press
Eight albums ago, a band of skinny, redneck Texans called Lonestar released its first record with two lead singers — Richie McDonald and John Rich. John later dropped out, and the band had hits. Last year, Big & Rich surfaced as a major league duo. Lo and behold, Rich is John Rich.

On the verge of releasing their new CD, Coming Home, the band members celebrated with some of their media friends during a luncheon in the Chet Atkins room of the Sony/RCA building on Nashville’s Music Row. Richie and the guys performed five songs, including the single, “You’re Like Comin’ Home.” When Lonestar recently shot a video of the song in 98-degree Texas sun, a helicopter camera barely missed McDonald’s head.

“Felt like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible,” allowed McDonald. (Richie, you’re cute, but Tom’s cuter.)

In changing the instrumentation during the performance, Richie said, “The Dobro and guitar player may leave but will come back — like the utility guy and bass player left but came back.”

“Everybody comes back that leaves,” said Lonestar keyboardist Dean Sams.

“What about John Rich?” I yelled. (I couldn’t help it.)

“John Rich?” said Sams, and the place roared with laughter.

“I’ll bet John Rich is laughing at us,” said Richie.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Grated Apple Pie.