HOT DISH: Kellie Pickler and a Fly on the Wall

More News About Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton

(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

Did you ever wish you were a fly on a wall? I do.

Being a fly on the wall when Dolly Parton and Kellie Pickler first met had to have been one of Music City’s cups runneth over moments as the two country girls flew into a chat regarding their blessed endowments.

I understand Dolly greeted Kellie with, “Damn, you’ve got big boobs.” (Well, to be perfectly truthful, that’s not the exact word Dolly used.)

“Look at yours. And, God, they’re real, too,” Kellie responded.

I would have paid to witness this — just as a fly on the wall.

Speaking of Kellie
Let me tell you what happened when she appeared a few weeks back on the Grand Ole Opry. Wearing her ever-present red high heels, she walked onstage singing Dolly’s “9 to 5.” The crowd went wild. Then Kellie stood in the wings where the soft light glows to sing her single, “I Wonder,” with honest tears streaming down her face. Country fans know real from fake, and they gave the girl from Albemarle, N.C., a standing ovation. Several people in the audience were weeping, too.

Kellie, Bucky and Chris
Kellie and Bucky Covington became fast friends when they auditioned for American Idol in Greensboro, N.C., and have remained pals. When another Idol friend, Chris Daughtry, was appearing with his band, Daughtry, at Nashville’s Exit/In nightclub, not only did Kellie and Bucky attend Chris’ show, they took him out to dinner.

Bucky Sells
The Miami Herald called Bucky’s self-titled debut album “the most cohesive album to come out of the [American Idol] franchise yet.” Tell me, how could you say anything less about this wonderful and gritty singer from Rockingham, N.C., with the exact height and swagger of Hank Williams himself?

Bucky has sold more than 100,000 copies of his CD in just three weeks. Don’t you dare try and tell me music won’t sell. Country music will sell — and does.

Martina’s Husband Identifies Stalker
According to The Tennessean newspaper, Martina McBride was in court last week to get an order of protection against Ricky D. Fissel, 42, who is charged with stalking her at her Nashville home. Fissel allegedly made two visits to the singer’s house in April.

According to Martina’s husband John McBride, the nervy stalker knocked on their door around 10 p.m. and asked if Martina was home. John chased him away. A week later, he showed up again around 9:15 p.m. and asked, “Who lives here?” John told the man to get off the property.

John later identified Fissel in a photo lineup. A search of his house revealed a newspaper photo of the singer with hearts drawn around it.

What upsets me so much about this character is that he went uninvited to the front door of their home. Martina and John’s children reside there where this wonderful woman has established a normal life for their family. The mere fact that he would show up there to bother them really burns me up.

Miranda and Blake Compete for No. 1
Are Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton still an item? Miranda’s wonderful second CD, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart while Blake’s marvelous new release, Pure BS, debuted right behind hers at No. 2. Is that enough to cause a rift?

What I am puzzled about is that they tell me Miranda lives in Texas. And they also tell me Blake has moved back to Oklahoma. Does absence make the heart grow fonder for each other or somebody else?

They’re truly a cute couple. I hope it works out.

I Dream of Toby
Somebody please tell Toby Keith that I had the weirdest dream about him a couple of days after my recent release from the hospital. Toby and other men of honor (that I did not recognize) were dressed in the clothing of Moses’ time while they hovered high over my bed.

They seemed to be floating, since their feet never touched the earth. Toby’s eyes, red like fire, were flashing as I could hear a message. But I couldn’t translate it because I couldn’t decide if he was saying, “I didn’t know you were sick” or “No one told me you were sick.”

Whatever the dream meant, I may never know, but I do know I need to thank Toby as he sets himself up again to entertain troops in Germany and the Persian Gulf. This is the big man’s fifth trip to harm’s way.

Bits and Pieces
Joe Nichols sang the national anthem at the Aaron’s 500 in Talladega, Ala.

When Carrie Underwood’s version of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You” debuted at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, it marked the first time a recording exclusively distributed by iTunes has debuted in the Top 10.

Gretchen Wilson is hitting the road to launch the release of her newest CD, One of the Boys.

The Nashville music industry raised more than $205,000 for the T. J. Martell Foundation during the eighth annual Best Cellars dinner at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel. The money will be used to fund research in the fight against leukemia, cancer and AIDS.

Porter Wagoner is set to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member this Saturday (May 19). Special guests during the celebration include Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless and Marty Stuart.

See one of Hazel’s favorite Hot Dish recipes: Chicken Parmigiana.