HOT DISH: One of Garth’s Dreams Comes True

And There's More News About Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw and Others

(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

Some of you may recall when Garth Brooks came on the scene, he was recording songs for thinking-folks like us. Garth had it in his head that some of his songs read like a movie and thought they’d translate to the screen.

Doubters thought this would never come to pass. Garth believed it would, though, and now it has. His 1990 hit, “Unanswered Prayers,” is being made into a two-hour movie for Lifetime television. It will star Eric Close (Without a Trace), Samantha Mathis (Grey’s Anatomy) and Madchen Amick (Damages).

Garth and Lisa Sanderson are executive producers of the flick that’s scheduled to premiere in November.

Alan Jackson Gets ASCAP’s Big Award
ASCAP held its annual awards banquet last week in Nashville at the War Memorial Auditorium where the great Alan Jackson was presented the biggie — the performing rights organization’s Founders Award. Chris Young honored the Georgia native by singing Alan’s “Wanted,” and Steve Earle did “Here in the Real World.”

Josh Kear and the members of Lady Antebellum, co-writers of “Need You Now,” got a standing “O” for their performance of their hit that was named song of the year. Brett James, with five hits to his credit, was named songwriter of the year. Dierks Bentley was presented the songwriter-artist trophy. The Global Impact Award went to songwriter Jessi Alexander for the Miley Cyrus smash, “The Climb.”

Congratulations to Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois and Frank Rogers, whose indie publishing company, Sea Gayle Music, was named publisher of the year. With all the muscled publishing giants that line Music Row, it’s a pleasure to see this little company owned by three Belmont grads take home the award.

The Cowboy in Tim McGraw Leads Him to Texas
Tim McGraw played the XLV Countdown Live From Cowboys Stadium concert event as part of the Lone Star State’s buildup to the Super Bowl. McGraw was joined by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra.

From what I heard, the Cowboys didn’t perform nearly as well as Tim did that night.

Steel Magnolia Taking Notes From Brad Paisley
Steel Magnolia’s Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones continue to crisscross the nation on Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tour and say they’re taking notes from Brad on how to put on a great live show and how to treat opening acts.

“Brad is one of the nicest guys we’ve ever met,” says Megan.

“So are the people around him,” adds Joshua.

Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tour recently sold out the Gorge in Seattle with 20,000 fans in attendance. The tour, which also features Darius Rucker and Justin Moore, continues this week with stops in Idaho, Utah and Colorado.

In the News
Miley Cyrus was pulled over in Hollywood for talking on a cell phone while driving a Mercedes SUV. Police gave her a warning and allowed her to go on her way.

Is Martina McBride departing RCA, her longtime label home?

Taylor Swift beat up Kanye West with her song on the MTV Video Music Awards, and it appeared as though Kanye beat himself with his song that closed the show.

Billy Dean, Colt Ford, Craig Morgan, Confederate Railroad’s Danny Shirley and a bevy of others attended the grand opening of Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse near Harrodsburg, Ky. Oh, the restaurant owner’s brother, John Michael Montgomery, was there, too.

Miranda Lambert performed her first overseas concerts on Sept. 11 and 12 at the Gstaad Festival in Switzerland.

The Band Perry will join Chris Young as an opening act on Alan Jackson’s tour in November.

James Otto was out of the hospital in time for Tuesday’s (Sept. 14) release of his new album, Shake What God Gave Ya.

Attention all Jennette McCurdy fans. The star of iCarly has made you all a customizable video of “Not That Far Away.” You can check it out on her website.

Meet Brett Eldredge
Like Dierks Bentley, newcomer Brett Eldredge headed for the Station Inn when he arrived in Music Town. The difference is that 19-year-old Dierks had never heard bluegrass played when he showed up at the club that first Tuesday night. As long as the Sidemen performed, Dierks, a native of Phoenix, never missed a show. The Sidemen were a group of musicians who worked the road with stars.

Dierks lucked up finding the Station Inn on his own, but Brett knew about the world-renowned club and the bluegrass music played there. And it just so happens that Terry Eldredge, the man Dierks learned to sing from, is Brett’s cousin.

A native of Paris, Ill., 24-year-old Brett was proud his cousin spent 12 years performing with the Osborne Brothers on the Grand Ole Opry and on the road in concert. But he was over the moon that Terry was now lead singer with the Grascals. So he found himself a seat in the middle of the room, digging music he loved.

“I didn’t know Terry knew I was there,” Brett told me. “I scrunched down to be as inconspicuous as possible.”

The very thought of Brett scrunching to be inconspicuous caused me to giggle big time. After all, he’s over 6-foot-4 — the tallest guy in most any room.

On his first night in town, Terry called him onstage to sing.

“I was never so thrilled,” Brett says. “I could not believe that I was actually singing on the Station Inn stage. I sang a Merle Haggard song.”

All the Eldredge clan dig the Hag and the songs of the great George Jones. They are also mighty proud of Brett. He’s signed with the Atlantic label, and his first single is “Raymond,” a story song.

Brett was excited to tell me about opening for Blake Shelton at the Ryman Auditorium.

“Thinking of all the people who have performed on that stage is something else,” he said, shaking his head. “Then I was off to Bangor, Maine, where I opened a show for Tim McGraw. I can’t believe I opened a concert for the great Tim McGraw. And he was so nice to me.”

I have to add that Brett was out of breath when he arrived at my kitchen. He’d traveled all night from Oklahoma just so he could be my guest on CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks.

We wish Brett Eldredge the best. He’s one of the nicest people ever to enter my kitchen.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id=”1648111″]Sour Cream Cornbread.[/news]