HOT DISH: Reba’s Famous Red Dress Resurfaces

More News About Kellie Pickler, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and John Rich

(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

Her rancher daddy thought Reba had her gown on backwards when she walked on the stage of the CMA Awards in 1993. Designed by her stylist, Sandi Spika, the neckline of the silk and jersey gown plunged to Reba’s navel! She wore it when she and Linda Davis sang “Does He Love You,” a song Reba still sings. Reba says she got more press attention after wearing the dress than she would have received if she had won the entertainer of the year award.

Where is that dress? It’s on display now at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville in a new spotlight exhibit they’re calling Reba McEntire: Put on Your Red Dress, Baby. Go take a look at the most daring outfit McEntire ever wore. These days, with dresses hemmed plumb up to the hips and push-up bras poking body parts completely out of low cut blouses, shoot, Reba’s dress looks pretty dadgum tame in 2009.

Kellie Pickler Leaves Nashville Mayor Speechless
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was left agape and amazed when Kellie Pickler presented a check in the amount of $1,066,632 from the Country Music Association to the Nashville public school system for music education. The mayor is quite the talker, but he was struck stone-silent when the event happened. The money was a gift from the stars who waived their pay for performing at this year’s CMA Music Festival. They say the mayor’s mouth is still open, and not a word has passed his lips since Kellie presented the check.

Fire Destroys Director’s Home at Carter Family Fold
Rita Forrester woke up during the early morning hours of Dec. 6 and found her living room engulfed in flames. Her 61-year-old husband, Bob, died in the fire in Hiltons, Va., and Rita also lost her home, clothes, furniture and the family’s cat.

Rita is the director of the Carter Family Fold, a music venue which promotes and preserves bluegrass and old-time music on the property where the original Carter Family lived and raised their families. She’s the granddaughter of the late A.P. Carter, who earned induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame as a member of the original Carter Family, and the daughter of the late Janette Carter, who founded the Carter Family Fold in the ’70s. Rita is a first cousin of June Carter Cash and her sisters, Helen and Anita Carter.

Built in 1997, the Forresters’ house was next door to Janette’s home. Rita doesn’t know what caused the fire, only that she and her husband had earlier experienced some problems with the gas logs in the fireplace.

For now, Rita is staying at her mother’s home, but friends and supporters have established an account for those wishing to make donations to help her out in this very difficult time. Those donations may be sent to:

The Rita Janette Forrester Fund
c/o BB&T Bank
110 Gateway Plaza
Gate City, VA 24251

A fundraising concert is also in the works. Keep the family in your prayers.

A Rich Baby
The John and Joan Rich baby boy is due around New Year’s Day, so I hear. They plan to name their son Cash — for Johnny. They are not the first couple to name their son Cash. Larry Gatlin was the first person I knew who chose that name. I hear that Cash Gatlin was on the White House security staff for former President George W. Bush.

CMT Radio’s Cody Alan Pays a Visit
What does CMT Radio’s Cody Alan and renown chef Emeril Lagasse have in common? Both men have eaten collards at my kitchen table. Ain’t that hot!

Oh, yes, the Cody man came out to my kitchen. Poor thing hadn’t eaten in a while, so we dug into a pasta dish with beef, green pepper, tomatoes, cheese and onions. It wasn’t steak, but it wasn’t bad. The collards and black-eyed peas were perfect and fixed to honor the upcoming New Year. Sweet potatoes to die for and brownies with pecans and coconut ended the meal.

My son, Billy, fixed Cody a plate to go. He got extra sweet potatoes. I never saw a Carolina boy who didn’t like sweet potatoes, especially if they’re prepared with plenty of sugar, butter and marshmallows.

Yep, Cody hails from South Carolina. After gigs in his home state — and Georgia and Florida — Cody made it to the major leagues at age 23 when he headed to Texas to land at one of the big country stations in Dallas-Fort Worth. He spent 10 years in Dallas and then a year in Salt Lake City.

Cody loves Nashville. What’s so great about his syndicated radio show, CMT Radio Live With Cody Alan, is that it airs weeknights, and you never know who will drop by and say howdy. Fans dig being surprised by a star dropping by.

CMT sure made a good decision when they hired Cody. We will be friends forever. His TV show airs movies too. You can also see him on TV as host of CMT #1 Music & a Movie.

Carrie Underwood Has a Tattoo?
Guess what? Carrie Underwood has a tattoo! Pictures of Carrie vacationing in the Bahamas and wearing a bikini revealed a tattoo on the inside of her lower right hip. I could not tell what the tattoo was. All I could tell was this: It’s a tattoo.

Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser Play Nashville
Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser performed for a full house at the Wildhorse Saloon on Tuesday night (Dec. 8) at the annual Parade of Pennies charity concert. The show was a rip-roaring success, collecting several thousand dollars for the Nashville Rescue Mission. Kellie Pickler even made a surprise appearance to join the guys onstage.

Randy and Jamey, who have been packing clubs and theaters during this year’s CMT on Tour, sang a lot of Willie and Merle because there’s a whole lot of Willie and Merle they can sing. Randy, Jamey and Kellie are just tuning up so they can be ready to sing for the troops in Iraq. Let’s each of us send prayers with these great entertainers.

A Final Note
If you don’t like Chris Young’s latest single, “The Man I Want to Be,” then you don’t like country music.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Quick, Easy and Good Meatloaf.