(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.)
It's not every day one of the top stars in country music visits your house, but Brad Paisley stopped by mine recently when I was taping the second episode of CMT's Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith. Brad is so cute and smart, he claimed he was just passing by, smelled food cooking and stopped in. Of course, he helped himself to meatloaf, green beans, sweet potatoes, sliced tomatoes, rolls and banana pudding.
Do yourself a favor and watch Brad and me Sunday (Oct. 15) at 8 p.m. ET and see the fun we had while Brad dodged sweet potatoes flying from the bowl as I beat them. If you have a hankering to learn why Brad wears skin tight britches, tune in. If you want to hear about the time Brad's band wore nothing but boots and towels and pushed me onstage on a gurney, tune in. If you want to see why Brad needs to add comedy to his resume, tune in. I've never laughed so much.
The movie we are showing is The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!. Brad recalled that he was in the second grade when The Dukes of Hazzard was so popular on TV. Every day, no matter how hot it was, he had to wear a flannel shirt to school to look like those Duke boys.
Before he left my house, Brad took home a plate of food for himself and one for his lovely wife Kim, who had a week off following three weeks of filming the ABC sitcom, According to Jim. And don't forget the upcoming holiday CD, Brad Paisley Christmas, where Brad will introduce the young and young at heart to "Penguin, James Penguin." Sounds like a gift kids will love and can keep forever.
A.J. Still Standing Tall
I'm not at all surprised that Alan Jackson's new CD, Like Red on a Rose, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's country charts and at No. 4 on the all-genre Billboard 200. For more than 15 years now, he's given fans some of country music's finest music with plenty of fiddle and steel guitar.
Produced by bluegrass diva Alison Krauss, Alan's new CD has stirred up tons of glowing reviews from noncountry publications such as Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek and Reader's Digest. With Alison producing it, all of us know-it-alls expected a bluegrass album, but that wasn't the case.
Alan will perform Thursday (Oct. 12) on The Late Show With David Letterman and Friday (Oct. 13) on Today.
Remembering Uncle Josh
The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) was winding down its annual Bluegrass Fan Fest when word swept through that "Uncle Josh" Graves had died on Sept. 30. The Dobro virtuoso's health had been declining, so no one was really surprised at his passing -- although he had performed during the recent Labor Day weekend at the J.D. Crowe & New South Bluegrass Festival in Wilmore, Ky.
Born in Tellico Springs, Tenn., Burkett K. Graves was to the Dobro what Bill Monroe was to the mandolin and what Earl Scruggs is to the banjo. He was a longtime member of Flatt & Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys band. When they split up, Josh joined Lester Flatt for a couple years and later went to work with the Earl Scruggs Revue. In recent years, Josh and fiddler Kenny Baker teamed up and played at bluegrass festivals.
WSM-AM disc jockey Eddie Stubbs eulogized Graves during a service in Madison, Tenn., at a chapel near the home the musician shared with his wife, Evelyn. He's survived by four children and several grandkids and great grandkids. By family request, the Whites sang "Come Walk With Me," a song Graves co-wrote with Wilma Lee Cooper. Ricky Skaggs joined the Whites with "Farther Along." Marty Stuart played "Flatt Lonesome," an instrumental composed by Graves.
Frank Rogers began his career writing songs and producing Brad Paisley. He has also produced Trace Adkins, Josh Turner and others, but even that's not as fascinating as this story:
Frank Mandeville Rogers IV is 89, and his son, Frank Mandeville "Buzz" Rogers V, is 59. Frank Mandeville Rogers VI -- the songwriter and record producer -- is 34, and his son, Frank Mandeville "Manny" Rogers VII, is 6. On Aug. 26, they were at Emerald Lake, S.C., where all four generations simultaneously went water-skiing behind the same boat. Surely this is an unprecedented record by a record-making man and his family.
Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young were joined by Dave Mathews, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steel Pulse, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Shelby Lynne, Los Lonely Boys, Gov't Mule and others at the Tweeter Center in Camden, N.J., for the annual Farm Aid concert on Sept. 30. More than $1 million was raised to assist family farmers and call attention to their plight.
The Academy of Country Music posthumously honored Bill Monroe with its Pioneer Award during the recent Bill Monroe Bluegrass Celebration at the Grand Ole Opry. The presentation was made by ACM board president Rod Essig to Monroe's son, James Monroe.
Big-hearted Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy were in Omaha, Neb., for the River City Roundup when they stopped by the Horseshoe Casino to play a few hands of blackjack. At the end of the night, the boys had $5,700 winnings, which they donated to Disabled American Veterans.
Gibson Guitars supported plumb perfect Vince Gill as he traveled to New Orleans by donating five guitars. Vince was in New Orleans to help build a playground at the International School as part of the honor for being named the ACM/The Home Depot's humanitarian of the year earlier this year at the ACM Awards show. Vince surprised the children with the guitars.
Congratulations, Trace Adkins! He scored his first double-platinum album for Songs About Me on the heels of his current CD, Dangerous Man, going gold and his Greatest Hits Collection, Vol. 1 going platinum.
The four major highways entering Perryville, Ky., now have road signs proclaiming, "Welcome to Perryville: Home of Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry -- This Is My Town."
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: See this week's Hot Dish Recipe of the Week: Cornmeal Muffins.