HOT DISH: Larry the Cable Guy Celebrates Christmas

Alan Jackson Does Work for Red Cross, Toby Keith to Be Honored by Veterans

Yes, some of Larry the Cable Guy’s dialog is a bit risqué for tithing Christians, but it makes me laugh. I laugh hardest when Larry goes through his redneck dissertation about people who do not believe in Christmas. He advises those people to stay out of the major discount stores to give room for Christians who believe in Christmas — so they can get to all the sales.

His CD, A Very Larry Christmas, takes a twisted view of the holiday for sure, but it is entertainment for country fans raised in the country and who love country music, NASCAR, rednecks and laughing. Don’t turn up your attitude and get too snobbish over this guy. Word is that Larry the Cable Guy has raked in $17 million this year for standing up and telling stories at 100 shows.

Well, in the middle of writing this, I learn the Billboard Music Awards named Larry the Cable Guy its comedy artist of the year and selected his The Right to Bare Arms the comedy album of the year. And now he has a hot Grammy nod, too. The man is funny.

More Billboard Awards
Toby Keith boycotted the CMA Awards in New York but did a fine job performing at Billboard Music Awards show where he picked up trophies for country artist and country album artist of the year. Newcomer Carrie Underwood took home a trophy for country single sales artist of the year, and her crossover hit, “Inside Your Heaven/Independence Day,” was named top-selling Hot 100 song of the year and top-selling country single of the year.

Alan Jackson Speaks for American Red Cross
The Nashville area chapter of the American Red Cross launched a series of “Thanks, Nashville” ads featuring Alan Jackson. This is sort of out of character for big Alan, who usually keeps his doing and giving quiet. This time, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed so much of the area that helped give Alan his start in country music, he was the first to pick up the phone and call the American Red Cross to ask, “What can I do to help?” Alan is the face and voice for the campaign that includes 52 billboards, print ads and radio announcements. He has also voiced a public service announcement for the organization.

Country Radio Seminar
The Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) Career Achievement Award will be presented to Ronnie Milsap on Feb. 14 at the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame dinner in Nashville. A number of other events are set to take place during the Country Radio Seminar scheduled for Feb. 15-17. R. James Nicholson, secretary of the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will present Toby Keith the Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Service to American Veterans on Feb. 16. Kenny Rogers will take part in a panel focusing on ways to build and maintain a long career. The talent for the 2006 New Faces show was announced recently by pretty boy Joe Nichols. The performers at the Feb. 17 dinner include Jason Aldean, Keith Anderson, Jeff Bates, Little Big Town and Van Zant.

Just So You Know
CMA is taking Dierks Bentley and Jace Everett to the U.K. in January for showcases in London, Dublin and Glasgow.

Trace Adkins kicks off his 2006 Honky Tonk Badonkadonk tour in Burlington, Iowa, on Jan. 19.

Kenny Rogers is trying for another hit. His new video, “I Can’t Unlove You,” stars Rogers’ son, Christopher, who has acting aspirations. The debut single is from the upcoming album, Water and Bridges.

The amazing Willie Nelson has 57 dates confirmed between Jan. 20 and May 15. I see where Willie performed a fundraiser for Kinky Friedman’s gubernatorial race in Texas. Lord knows, Texas needs Kinky to put Merry Christmas back into the holiday season.

Joe Nichols scored a No. 1 with “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” the first single from his current CD. Come Jan. 20, Joe will be on the road with big Toby Keith. Toby’s fans are gonna love Joe.

Rascal Flatts’ Here’s to You tour recently ended in Champaign, Ill., after playing for a total of 750,000 fans in 2005. Only Kenny Chesney sold more tickets this year. And Rascal Flatts plan to hit the road again in January.

The first night of Tim McGraw’s sold-out shows at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., worked like a charm, but the second one was a different story. Fighting a case of food poisoning or something like it, Tim was late to take the stage and had to leave midway through his performance, but he returned to finish the show. I cannot think of anything worse than singing “Live Like You Were Dying” and feeling like you’re gonna die if you don’t throw up! Tim proved he stands by his fans — in sickness or in health.

Expect a tear to follow a smile when you see Brad Paisley’s video for “When I Get Where I’m Going.” Again, Brad, the great videomaker, uses his creative input and has celebrity friends hold photographs of loved ones who have gone on before. Dolly Parton holds a photo of her grandfather, Michael Reagan holds a photo of his dad, President Ronald Reagan, and Brad holds a photo of his mom’s sister who lived next door to the family in West Virginia.

Brooks & Dunn will be welcoming the New Year at Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center with special guests Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, the Warren Brothers and the Grascals. Guess where I’m going!

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Mexican Style Chicken and Rice.