HOT DISH: The Paisleys Are Expecting Again

Rascal Flatts Build Playground, Tim McGraw Apologizes for Album Release

(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 hosts CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her recipes at

Brad and Kimberly Williams-Paisley are expecting their second child in April. Their son, William Huckleberry “Huck” will be 2 years old in February and ready to potty train. Congratulations on the newest one that’s on the way.

I see where Brad and his pals Jewel and Chuck Wicks raked in about $500,000 a night for recent shows they performed in Washington, D.C., Uncasville, Conn., Virginia Beach, Va., and West Palm Beach, Fla.

Rascal Flatts Hammering on Playground
Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus, also known as Rascal Flatts, got a little dirt on their hands last week when they went to Birmingham, Ala., to drive nails and saw lumber to build a playground for the kids at Princeton Alternative Elementary School. The trio got plenty of help from local volunteers, along with the Academy of Country Music, The Home Depot and KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that builds playgrounds for children throughout the nation. The newest playground was built in Rascal Flatts’ name to recognize them as this year’s recipients of the ACM/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award.

The trio continued its humanitarian work during Friday’s (Oct. 17) concert at Nashville’s Sommet Center. All proceeds went to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. It was their fourth concert to benefit the hospital. Even before the latest show, they had already raised more than $2.2 million.

Tim McGraw’s Apology to Fans
Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to me that superstar Tim McGraw apologized to his fans because his record label, Curb Records, decided to release Greatest Hits 3, without McGraw’s knowledge or consent or involvement. Does that mean the label is right in this decision? Curb executives say they were involved in several discussions with McGraw’s representatives in planning the release of the new greatest hits collection.

The singer allows he’s been working on a new studio album for more than a year, and he debuted three new songs on his 2008 Live Your Voice tour. It was Tim’s intention to have his new music out this fall, but the label wanted to release a greatest hit package to extend the term of his recording contract. No smarter than I am, it seems to me the label owes Tim and his fans an apology — instead of Tim apologizing.

Eyeballing the shoddy packaging of the CD, most fans would know right off the bat that Tim had zilch to do with the creation of the package. It’s a shame. Tim McGraw is a class act who sees to it that his CDs have the info and photos necessary to make them competitive with any other CD in the bin.

Isn’t Tim McGraw the biggest superstar Curb has on their roster?

More News
Redbook magazine’s “Every Woman Counts” campaign has enlisted Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Taylor Swift to encourage women to vote.

The 13th annual Bikers for Babies Motorcycle Parade with some 3,000 riders raised more than $300,000 for the March of Dimes in St. Louis. After the ride, good guy Joe Nichols performed for the bikers.

During the recent ASCAP Awards, songwriter Liz Hengber said she co-wrote Reba McEntire’s “For My Broken Heart” while she was still a waitress at the Gerst Haus, a popular restaurant and bar in Nashville. When the song topped the chart, she burned her waitress uniform.

Martina and John McBride have signed songwriter Rachel Thibodeau to their publishing company, Little Champion Music. Thibodeau won song of the year honors at the ASCAP Awards for co-writing Billy Currington’s “Good Directions” with Luke Bryan.

I see where Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo broke his little finger. Reckon that means he can’t tune Jessica Simpson’s guitar, but neither can she.

Lisa Marie Presley named her newborn twin daughters Finley and Harper. The only child of the late Elvis Presley, Lisa gave birth to the twins by Caesarean section. The 40-year-old Lisa Marie has two teenage children.

Marty Stuart Exhibit Goes to Rock Hall
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland has announced its newest exhibit, Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey, representing 40 years of music from all genres. The exhibit opens Oct. 30 and will run until March 1.

I also see where Marty will join pal Travis Tritt in late October and most of November for an acoustic tour. Now, I’d pay to see that.

Democrats and Republicans Fiddling Around
During the International Bluegrass Music Awards fiddle contest here in Nashville, the Dr. Perry F. Harris Award was presented to old-time fiddler, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia for his work in preserving and promoting the art of fiddling. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee was on hand to honor Byrd. It didn’t matter to Byrd (a Democrat) that Alexander (a Republican) made the presentation — just as long as fiddles were playing. Maybe Obama and McCain will take a hint and start having fiddles played in the background during their speeches.

Thanks to the CMA and Kenny
Boy, was I ever thrilled that the CMA named WFMS radio in Indianapolis its large market station of the year for the sixth time. I’d returned from a few days vacation at the unbelievably beautiful Santa Rosa Beach in Florida and was checking messages when I heard the news.

The day before I returned from the beach, the WFMS morning show team — Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt and Kevin Freeman — interviewed Kenny Chesney. During their chat, they played a game where they’d choose a name at random and Kenny would use one word to describe the person. They said a whole passel of names and Kenny would reply with one word, until they said, “Hazel Smith.”

They tell me Kenny replied, “Oh! I love that woman. I really do!”

Wherever you are Kenny, I love you, too. You brought tears to my eyes.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Chocolate Pound Cake.