HOT DISH: Hollywood, Nashville and Footloose

More News About CMT's Artists of the Year and Your Favorite Country Stars

(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 CMT.com.)

Anytime Hollywood folks start piddling around in whatever we are doing in Nashville, I get fidgety. Like, they can write an entire article about the upcoming movie, Footloose, as they did in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, all about actor Kenny Wormald with only a small mention about his co-star, Julianne Hough. Photos — four, to be exact — show his muscles through his T-shirt. An inset in the story shows a shot of Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer from the original Footloose in the ’80s.

Hough does say in the story, “People know I can sing and do the dancing thing. … I need to show them that I can act.” Smart girl.

Blake Shelton sings the remake of the title song, and the soundtrack also includes new versions of “Almost Paradise” by Victoria Justice and young Hunter Hayes, “Holding Out for a Hero” by South Carolina girl Ella Mae Bowen and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by singer-actress Jana Kramer. Also on the soundtrack are new songs contributed by Zac Brown Band, Big & Rich (featuring Gretchen Wilson) and Whitney Duncan.

For years, Hollywood has mixed with Music City. In the film, Father of the Bride, Steve Martin was dad to actress Kimberly Williams, who is now Mrs. Brad Paisley in real life. During Martin’s stand-up comedy days, he’d play banjo and twist balloons into an arrow he’d place on his head. He and Dan Aykroyd played “wild and crazy guys” as Czechoslovakian brothers on Saturday Night Live.

This leads us back to Nashville and the recent International Bluegrass Music Association Awards at the Ryman Auditorium where Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers took home the entertainer of the year prize. During his acceptance speech, Martin joked by thanking the other nominees for losing. The actor, musician and author did not win the banjo player of the year award, though. That ended in a tie between Kristen Scott Benson of the Grascals and Ron Stewart of the Boxcars.

CMT Artists of the Year Taps Country’s Finest
On Dec. 13, CMT will honor their Artists of the Year with some top-of-the- line A-team names — Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift. Country artists and stars from other musical genres will be paying tribute to the five superstars. If you saw Kenny’s surprise appearance during Taylor’s recent concert in Nashville to perform “Big Star,” then you know he nearly blew the roof off the place.

There’s more Kenny news, too. He’ll join Lady Gaga, Bono and Usher on Saturday (Oct. 15) at the Hollywood Bowl for a concert celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the William J. Clinton Foundation and its charitable work.

Blake Shelton Promises to Be Well Lit & Amplified
Blake Shelton is promising his fans will be able to see and hear really well during his arena headlining arena tour in 2012. His Well Lit & Amplified tour kicks off in January in Toledo, Ohio, and ends in March at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Opening acts are Justin Moore and NBC’s The Voice finalist Dia Frampton. Blake was her coach and mentor on the hit television show.

New Additions to the Country Music Nursery
Eric Church and wife Katherine’s first child, Boone McCoy Church, was born Oct. 3 at a Nashville hospital. He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

Colt Daniel Rich, born Sept. 29 and weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces, is a real “son of a gun,” says his dad, John Rich. John and his wife, Joan, married in 2008. Their first son, Cash Rich, was born in 2010.

Yeah, Toby
Toby Keith, never at a loss for words, is a man who doesn’t lie. He told CMT Insider that gay marriage doesn’t bother him and trying to stop it is a waste of time and money. Toby also said he doesn’t see the reason for getting into people’s personal lives.

“Refusing a marriage license to people because they are gay won’t stop them from living together, so it accomplishes nothing,” he said.

Weighing in on the military’s recently-repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” about gays serving in the military, Toby said, “Anyone with training or passion should have the right to defend the country. Somebody’s sexual preference is, like, who cares?”

Bobby Braddock Is the Man!
Songwriting great Bobby Braddock will be honored as a BMI Icon on Nov. 8 at the performing rights organization’s offices on Nashville’s Music Row. All of us who love Braddock and his songwriting are thrilled to learn he’s getting such recognition for his career. A recent inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Braddock has had a hand in writing hits such as “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Golden Ring,” “I Wanna Talk About Me” and “People Are Crazy.”

Spending Time With CMT’s Evan Farmer
I hope you caught CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks with yours truly and my special guest, CMT’s Evan Farmer. Born in 1972, Evan is an actor, musician, songwriter and television personality who began hosting CMT’s Top 20 Countdown in 2010 when he replaced Lance Smith, who’s now a host on the Weather Channel.

A graduate of Tulane University, Evan is named for his dermatologist father, Dr. Evan Ragland Farmer. His mother, Jamison Farmer, died in 2007. Following her illness and passing, Evan was inspired to do charity work, most notably with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its efforts to promote awareness of breast cancer.

Married since 2006, Evan and his wife, Andrea, have a 2-year old son, Garrison, and are happily expecting again.

He’s a pilot who built his own single engine plane and flew it across the country. Of great importance, Evan is as nice as he is cute. Plus, he’s a really good friend of mine.

Keep your TV tuned to CMT. You do not want to miss Evan on Top 20 Countdown.

More News
American Idol winner Scotty McCreery will sing the national anthem on Oct. 19 at the first game of the World Series. By the way, Scotty celebrated his 18th birthday Sunday (Oct. 9).

It was so good to see a photo of Dierks Bentley with his ball cap bill moved to the front of his head. And it was even better, still, to see the name “Stubbs” emblazoned on the front of the cap. That, of course, was in honor of the great Eddie Stubbs, a music historian who’s best known for his work as a Grand Ole Opry announcer and his wonderful radio show on WSM-AM in Nashville.

Thinking of Trisha Yearwood and Her Family
Sending love, sympathy and prayers to my friend Trisha Yearwood, whose sweet and precious mama, Gwen Yearwood, went home on Oct. 1 to be with Jesus. I will never forget the day Trisha and Gwen came to my kitchen. It remains one of my very favorite episodes of CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks. I feel so blessed to represent CMT, and when special people like Gwen and Trisha come by for food and laughter … well, there’s just nothing better. God bless Trisha, her sister and the entire family.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id="1672178"]Scalloped Tomatoes.[/news]