(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 shares her recipes at CMT.com.)
Music Row's first outdoor event of the year was the No. 1 celebration for Rivers Rutherford and George Teren, who wrote "When I Get Where I'm Going," Brad Paisley's collaboration with Dolly Parton.
Before the song topped the chart, it was already being sung at funerals, and it may be the first current hit ever performed at a superstar's funeral. Just two days before the two songwriters were honored in Nashville, Brad sang the song at Buck Owens' service in Bakersfield, Calif. The song continues to touch people across the country. They send notes of thanks to both songwriters -- and to Brad.
By the way, Dolly was taping commercials at her Dollywood theme park when the No. 1 party took place, but she wasn't too busy to send e-mails congratulating both writers and Brad. She told Brad, "I am as proud to have been a part of that as anything I've ever done in my life." The look on Brad's face was priceless.
There was a mob at Owen Bradley Park outside the ASCAP office building for the party co-hosted by BMI. Always cute, Brad wore his usual hat, jeans and boots with a Hee Haw T-shirt (obviously in remembrance of Buck). His lovely jean-wearing wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, accompanied him to the party, as did bandmember Kendell Marcy. Also attending were RCA Label Group chief Joe Galante, Arista Records bigwigs Butch Waugh, Allen Brown and Jim Catino, managers Larry Fitzgerald and Sonny Simmons, record producers Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois. Music publishers, songwriters and working stiffs rounded out the crowd.
Road to Music Town Has Many Turns
This story apparently started a few years ago when the White Stripes, the rock duo, paid their respects to the legendary Loretta Lynn in the liner notes for one of their CDs. Eventually, band leader Jack White visited Loretta at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Loretta cooked chicken and dumplings, and Jack later produced her critically-acclaimed album, Van Lear Rose.
Loretta later told someone with a pen, "Renee was with Jack." At the time, none of us knew who Loretta was talking about. While channel surfing this week, I learned that it was Renee Zellweger, who had been secretly seeing Jack, according to sources on the report I happened to see.
Maybe she is a secretive person, and that's why we knew so little about Renee and Kenny Chesney before their marriage and after their annulment. Then again, is it possible that Meg White, the White Stripes' drummer who originally posed as his sister but was actually his wife, did not need to know about Zellweger's first road trip to Tennessee?
Back to Jack White, he is now married to a British model. White says they've moved to Music Town on the same street where both Hank Williams and George Jones once lived. Me and God and everybody else knows that has to be Franklin Road.
Are Keith and Nicole Heading to the Altar?
I had been informed that Nicole Kidman had "returned" to her Catholic faith. However, MSNBC describes her as a devout Catholic and reports that she has had her marriage to Tom Cruise annulled so she can marry Keith Urban in a religious ceremony.
According to Australia's Sunday Mail newspaper, "It is believed Kidman has been told she would be granted an annulment of marriage to Cruise because that marriage did not conform to the requirements of the church." Another annulment?
A source told the newspaper that a wedding date has not been set, but June or July would be possibilities. Kidman's Aussie spokewoman reportedly told the paper she has not been told by Nicole that she is actually engaged, adding, "If and when she marries, Nicole will announce it."
They may get married next week or next month. However, at last report, they were holding hands while munching matching burgers with bleu cheese at Serendipity 3, a restaurant in New York. Boring.
Garth's Ex Kidnapped
Sandy Brooks, ex-wife of Garth Brooks, was kidnapped at gunpoint on April 3 but managed to escape her captor, a farmhand who worked for her. Sandy cooperated with a bail bondsman who wanted to arrest Quintine Cornelius Harper on an outstanding warrant. When the bondsman attempted to apprehend him, Harper allegedly pulled a gun on Sandy and ordered her to drive him away. After driving several miles, she stopped and fled into a convenience store. The worker was arrested and charged with kidnapping and weapons offenses.
Scene: A Music City Club on Fourth Avenue.
"Hey dude, where did you get that cool shirt?" asked the sweaty lead singer of River City High, the rock band that had just stepped off the stage.
The shirt worn by grandson, Adam Smith, was vintage 1976 and may be the only original T-shirt remaining that displays the legendary cover of Wanted: The Outlaws with the photos of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser. Adam found it in a box of T-shirts he'd seen his dad -- my son, Billy Smith -- wearing in old photos. The collection also represents Bill Monroe, Dr. Hook, J.D. Crowe and others.
Adam told the singer, "My grandma coined the phrase, 'Outlaw music.'"
"You must have a cool grandma," allowed the singer who comped Adam one of the band's CD.
Adam says the shirt is not for sale.
Kenny Chesney sold out Madison Square Garden in New York in one hour. Wonder what took so long? That's good stuff, Kenny!
Goodhearted, plumb perfect Vince Gill will be presented the 2006 Academy of Country Music/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award during the May 23 award show in Las Vegas. Every day of his life, Vince does acts of kindness for others.
Wildfires in Oklahoma have destroyed homes, cattle and acreage near Blake Shelton's hometown, and he's set to help out. Taking place May 14-16, the event he's calling Raindance will be held in Ada, Okla., with some celebrities (he ain't telling who!), team roping, silent auction and a concert to benefit families who lost everything to these fires.
A 1975 black Cadillac Fleetwood that once belonged to Johnny Cash sold for $23,220 during a car auction in West Palm Beach, Fla.
On the second lap of a 10-mile motorcycle race, Craig Morgan hit a root and flew headfirst off his bike and hit a tree. He got up and finished third in the race with a broken wrist and a concussion. Hardheaded boy!
Gary Allan is tapped as opening act for the second leg of Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang tour set to launch May 26 in Holmdel, N.J.
In international news, Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander, the Greencards and Rachael Warwick will be featured at the upcoming Country Rendez-Vous Festival in France. Clay Walker, Rhett Akins and the Cornell Hurd Band will perform at the Gstaad Festival in Switzerland.
The thieves in Fort Worth, Texas, who stole the new trailer Deryl Dodd was using to haul his band equipment and merchandise ought to be ashamed of themselves for stealing from a poor country singer. Go steal from somebody with money -- like Enron's former chairman, Kenneth Lay -- and leave my people alone.
Is Chris Cagle making house calls these days? Of course he is when the house belongs to NASCAR driver Mike Wallace. Mike's daughter Lindsey was turning 21, so he hired her favorite country star to hold a concert at his estate in Charlotte, N.C.
It's good to see Sammy Kershaw out and about. He performs at the Nashville Superspeedway for the Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on April 15.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Strawberry Pudding.