(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.)
Half asleep, Jimmy Wayne, wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sweatshirt, waited his turn at the airport in Oakland, Calif. Finally, he went through the metal detector -- and it buzzed. And buzzed. And buzzed repeatedly each time he went through. The TSA officer did not have a North Carolina accent like Jimmy -- and yours truly -- so he said something that sounded like "remove your shorts." Well, at least that's what Jimmy thought he said, so the obedient young man did just that -- removed his shorts and placed them on the conveyer belt.
That's when the TSA officer went ballistic and brought in some backup officers who were as big as king-sized pro wrestlers Kane and Undertaker. They grabbed Jimmy and handcuffed him for 25 minutes. Fortunately, Jimmy was still wearing his boxers while travelers walked by with cell phones snapping photos of the britches-less, scared to death singer. Eventually Jimmy was released, and no charges were filed. Don't know if he got his britches back or not, though.
He's a Good-Hearted Willie
Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson says the organization will donate $30,000 to groups that help family farmers in areas of Louisiana and Texas hit hardest by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Farm Aid officials say more money will be distributed as the extent of the damage becomes clearer.
"Is she or isn't she?" That is the question regarding Reba McEntire, and as of yet, there is no answer. Rumors are flying that Reba may be about to depart MCA Records. At this point, it's nothing more than a rumor. However, many of us are aware of Reba's rich history with Big Machine/Valory Music owner Scott Borchetta. They worked together many hits ago when he was head of MCA's radio promotion department. Also, Sandi Spika was Reba's personal stylist and makeup artist for years before she married Borchetta.
Jack Ingram Traveling Light
Jack Ingram travels light. When he's on the road, he carries his guitar, his computer and his writing bag. Toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant are available at the hotel desk, and soap and shampoo are in the room. If he has a television appearance on his agenda, he stops at a store and buys a pair of jeans and a pearl snap shirt. He keeps it simple on the road.
Dolly Reunited With 9 to 5 Castmates
Dolly Parton was in Los Angeles recently for the world premiere of the stage version of 9 to 5 at the Ahmanson Theatre. During the special evening, she was reunited with her castmates in the 9 to 5 movie -- Dabney Coleman, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Dolly wrote the music and lyrics for all of the songs in the show which will open on Broadway in April.
Carrie Underwood Continues Carnival Ride Tour
Carrie Underwood has begun the fall leg of her Carnival Ride tour which includes more than 50 concerts. So far this year, the award-winning Carrie has filled more than 700,000 seats. I'm speculating, but it appears to me she may sell a million tickets in 2008. Just a year ago I was bellyaching that female country artists weren't selling concert tickets. Thank goodness Carrie has proved me wrong -- and so has the ever-wonderful Martina McBride. Go girls!
Fresh from their wins at the recent Americana Music Awards, I hear that Alison Krauss and Robert Plant are set to record a second album together and that producer T Bone Burnett is again involved in the project.
Taylor Swift's song, "White Horse," was featured in last week's season premiere of Grey's Anatomy, her all-time favorite television show. Look for the song on Swift's upcoming CD, Fearless, set for a Nov. 11 release.
Capitol Nashville chief Mike Dungan counted them, so believe me when I say that 9,000 people turned out for this year's Capitol Pub Crawl on Demonbreun Street near Music Row.
Julianne Hough finally did it. She hightailed back to Hollywood for the new season of Dancing With the Stars, leaving that plumb cute Chuck Wicks here in Music Town for young women like me. She even left a new single, "My Hallelujah Song." I watched Julianne and her 18-year old partner, actor Cody Linley, and concluded that she is the finest dancer on the show. Besides, that red gown with the entire back missing was breathtaking. That big-butted Kim Kardashian is no competition for Julianne.
"15 Minutes of Shame" is former American Idol contestant Kristy Lee Cook's debut single on the Arista label. Allen Brown at Arista tells me she's really good, and he ain't never lied to me.
Hot as a firecracker Taylor Swift surpassed 58 million streams on her MySpace page last week.
Good guy Craig Morgan got what he'd prayed for when he was invited to become a member of the Grand Old Opry. His friend, Opry member John Conlee, extended the invitation during Craig's recent concert at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The induction is set for Oct. 25.
Dierks Bentley, Billy Dean and John Rich joined super-songwriter Craig Wiseman at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last week to benefit Feeding America, the food bank that was previously known as America's Second Harvest.
Josh Turner, Billy Dean and the Grascals entertained at the Music Town wedding of Kevin Haynie and Liesl Menning. Kevin, the brother of fiddler extraordinaire Aubrey Haynie, plays in Turner's band. His bride is Martha Stewart's assistant. (Yes, that Martha Stewart.)
I'm hearing nothing but good stuff about Darius Rucker. Radio loves him, the Opry loves him, and you love him. As a matter of fact, the Hootie & the Blowfish vocalist hit a two-bagger last week on the country charts with his first solo album, Learn to Live, and his single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," both topping the country charts. He's apparently the first solo artist in 21 years to top the country chart after gaining initial stardom outside the format.
Former Belmont University alum Trisha Yearwood is among the artists who will perform for media guests and dignitaries visiting the campus for the Oct. 7 presidential debate.
Toby Keith has been named one of the world's best-paid music stars by Forbes magazine. With $48 million in earnings between June 1, 2007, and June 1, 2008, Toby ranks No. 3 on the list behind the Police and Beyoncé. This makes Toby the top earner in country music. Rascal Flatts are at No. 7.
A Southern Fried Reminder
Sunday (Oct. 5) is a red-letter day for me. That's the date CMT's Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith features the greatest country singer who ever lived -- the inimitable George Jones. Hear him talk about his upcoming Kennedy Center Honors award in December and other wonderful happenings in his life. Joining George is his wife, Nancy, and his daughter with Tammy Wynette, Georgette Jones. It's a special show with very special people in my kitchen. It airs at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET/PT.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Potato Cheese Scallop.