(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.)
“Grandma, wait until you see who is on the cover of the pizza box!” said Trevor in his not-at-all soft voice. Yes, it is Taylor Swift on the cover of Papa John pizza boxes.
Taylor’s new album, Red, arrives in stores Monday (Oct. 22). Paid song downloads from the album already top 3.8 million in advance of its release. Her single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” is certified double platinum for 2 million downloads.
She has more than 19.7 million Twitter followers and 34.9 million Facebook “likes,” and all of her friends will be following her as she embarks on a heavy media schedule to promote the new album.
On Monday and Tuesday, she’ll be in New York’s Times Square for appearances on Good Morning America. She’ll perform Tuesday on The Late Show With David Letterman. Her Wednesday schedule includes a visit to ABC’s The View for a performance and chat, and she will appear Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
And if that’s not enough, she will guest Friday on ABC’s Katie with Katie Couric and will be featured that night on ABC’s All Access Nashville With Katie Couric — A Special Edition of 20/20. Also this week, look for Taylor on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E! News and Extra.
She’s on the cover of the current issues of Rolling Stone, Glamour and the UK edition of Marie Claire.
Jamey Johnson Celebrates Arrival of Hank Cochran Tribute Album
A week of super entertainment — that’s what it was. Before we could catch our breath from watching The Late Show With David Letterman, where Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss blew America away with their performance of the Hank Cochran-penned “Make the World Go Away,” there was more Jamey and Alison.
Celebrating Tuesday’s (Oct. 16) release of his excellent new album, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, Jamey booked a concert for that night at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Several of his pals came onboard to appear with him at the show, including Alison. They reprised their Letterman performance by opening the concert with “Make the World Go Away,” following it up with “I Fall to Pieces,” the masterpiece Hank and the late Harlan Howard co-wrote for Patsy Cline.
WSM/Nashville radio personality Eddie Stubbs kept the party mood going with guests like Willie Nelson, Ronnie Dunn and Emmylou Harris. The show was short, but when it ended, Jamey took a seat on the back steps of the Ryman to sign autographs, pose for photos and talk to fans for as long as they wanted.
When the music stopped at the Ryman, my friends Gina and Eugene traipsed off down Broadway to Robert’s Western Wear, where Marty Stuart‘s incredible guitarist Kenny Vaughn was showing the friends and neighbors “how we pick guitar in Music City.”
I love watching Vaughn play his guitar on Marty Stuart’s TV show. He is so much like Luther Perkins, the guitar player showcased during Johnny Cash‘s early career. I’m sure Marty noticed that, but maybe young Marty never saw Luther play in person.
Kenny Chesney, Emeril Lagasse Party Across the Border
Did I tell you about Kenny Chesney going to Mexico another time for Sammy Hagar’s birthday? A four-day party kept Kenny on hold down there recently. Of course, this was the first year they had an international chef on the premises.
Would you believe? It was Chef Emeril Lagasse, my longtime friend. We first met when he came to my kitchen and chowed down on North Carolina Thanksgiving rations — chicken and dressing casserole, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, stewed tomatoes, sweet potato casserole, collard greens, Hazel’s chutney, deviled eggs, fried cornbread and, for dessert, banana pudding.
That started a brand new life for me. Here’s the story:
When Lagasse did his “Crossing America” journey for his television show, his producer called a friend of mine simply inquiring, “Where is the best place in Nashville to eat?” The producer was looking for a restaurant, but my friend answered, “Hazel Smith’s kitchen.”
It was a Friday afternoon when two of Emeril’s producers showed up at my house. I sat in my rocking chair while we chatted. I explained to the ladies that I’d never seen Emeril’s show on the Food Network. I called my son, Billy, who helps me in all these endeavors. Fortunately, Billy had seen the show and suggested I cook for Emeril.
On Monday morning, Emeril stepped in my kitchen for what turned out to be the beginning of a long and wonderful friendship. He smacked his mouth when he ate my cooking — a sure sign the food is tasty. Eventually, Emeril flew me to New York City (first class!) and put me up in a mighty fine hotel and had me come to his kitchen where he had 87 employees doing Billy’s job!
Of great importance — and don’t you ever forget — this is where Brad Paisley comes in. Brad was the very first country music artist to perform on Food Network. I always tell Brad, “Me and you took country music to the Food Network in New York City.” And we did. Brad struck a home run for Emeril and his people and for himself.
Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show debuted shortly after my appearance on Emeril’s series, and someone who worked for her show saw me. The next thing I know, Ellen is flying me to Los Angeles to appear on her show.
Meanwhile, tapes were made of me with Emeril and Ellen, and CMT looked at them and hired me for CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith . That was seven years ago, and we’ve shot every month since that time, except for one when I was recovering from surgery.
I have been richly blessed. We shoot the CMT show in my kitchen — once we move dining room furniture to the living room!
Darius Rucker Inducted as Opry Member
Vince Gill did the honor last week when Darius Rucker was inducted as an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. It was Brad Paisley who asked Darius a couple of weeks back if he wanted to become an Opry member. The always-smiling Darius had to dry some tears that night. We are so proud of him.
Prediction About Luke Bryan Coming True
Two years ago, I predicted Luke Bryan was looking to take over where Kenny Chesney left off. How right was I? 100 percent.
You fans go out and see what a fine singer, songwriter and entertainer the farm boy from Georgia has turned out to be. His first headlining tour kicks off in January with openers Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line. His fourth annual Farm tour more attracted more than 100,000 — doubled the attendance for last year’s shows.
And he and his label, Capitol Nashville, treated fans to a free concert Wednesday night (Oct. 17) during the annual Capitol Street Party in downtown Nashville. Dierks Bentley made a surprise appearance, joining Luke on Brooks & Dunn‘s “My Next Broken Heart” during the concert that also featured labelmates Kelleigh Bannen and Jon Pardi.
Keith Urban to Receive Harmony Award
Keith Urban will receive the Nashville Symphony’s 2012 Harmony Award at the Symphony Ball on Dec. 8 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Each year, the award goes to an individual who exemplifies the harmonious spirit of Nashville’s thriving musical community.
Keith has been a vital force in this community. What he brings to the table includes his passion for the music and his involvement in the symphony’s activities. He also provides support to a number of charities, including his own We’re All for the Hall concerts, an annual event that has raised millions of dollars for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He has donated to many other causes and continues to help wherever he’s needed.
Trace Adkins Returns to Bite the Big Apple
Trace Adkins is set to go to New York City for another try at winning Donald Trump’s favor on Celebrity Apprentice. Trace chose the American Red Cross as his charity. Of course he did! They were first on the scene when the Adkins’ home was burned to the ground.
Omarosa will be back on the show, too.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id=”1695903″]Hot Fruit Tea.[/news]