(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.)
The ever-wonderful Trace Adkins' new album, Cowboy's Back in Town, his first for Show Dog-Universal Music, is now is in the marketplace in two versions. Both contain his current single, "This Ain't No Love Song," but the deluxe edition features four additional tracks, including "Hillbilly Bone," the marvelous No. 1 single that features Trace with Blake Shelton.
Trace, who has one of the surefire, standout voices in any genre, is making the media rounds beginning with appearances last week in New York City on Today The O'Reilly Factor and Fox & Friends. He'll be heading west for upcoming visits to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and Chelsea Lately.
Blake Shelton Has Surprise Guest at Opry
The Grand Ole Opry audience got a real treat Tuesday (Aug. 17) when Blake Shelton was onstage. While he was singing "Home," he was joined by his fianceé, Miranda Lambert. Needless to say, the crowd went ballistic, and Miranda sang like a saint. You just never know who might show up at the Opry.
I really like Blake and his music a bunch. He's the only solo male country artist so far in 2010 to log more than one chart-topping single. After he and Trace Adkins hit No. 1 with "Hillbilly Bone," Blake's latest single, "All About Tonight," is now in the chart's penthouse slot.
Rascal Flatts Keep Selling Out
While acts from other genres are canceling concerts due to lack of ticket sales, I see where Rascal Flatts sold out two shows in Lake Tahoe, Nev., and one show in Cincinnati.
"Why Wait," Rascal Flatts' new single, was recorded at a "hole in the wall" studio in Santa Barbara, Calif., according to the guys. While recording it, they stayed together in a small house. Said lead singer Gary LeVox, "That close, we got to create."
Celebrities in the Limelight
Rumor has it that Carrie Underwood and her Ottawa Senator hubby Mike Fisher are building a dream home in Ottawa. I see where Carrie says she wants to spend as much time there as she can. Let me ask, "Has Carrie looked at her own itinerary? And does she like below-zero temperatures with snow up to one's backside?"
Reba now has more than 1 million Facebook friends to become one of only 10 country artists who have achieved this milestone. She joins Taylor Swift, Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw and the Zac Brown Band and is gaining more than 11,000 new friends each day.
Dierks Bentley's fifth annual Miles & Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle ride and concert is set for Oct. 17 in Nashville. In five years, the event has attracted more than 30,000 fans and raised an impressive $1.2 million for children's hospitals in Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta. The Nashville event starts in Columbia, Tenn., and ends at Riverfront Park in Nashville. Special guests at this year's concert will include Miranda Lambert and Jerrod Niemann.
Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn is set for a Nov. 9 release on Columbia Records. A galaxy of stars will celebrate the legacy of the Country Music Hall of Fame member and Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner. Her best-selling autobiography from 1976, Loretta Lynn: Coal Miners Daughter, is being reissued in paperback. The book led to the 1980 Academy Award-winning film starring Sissy Spacek.
Sharon and Cheryl White of the Whites and their former Dobro player from 30 years ago will co-host the 21st annual International Bluegrass Music Awards on Sept. 30 at the Ryman Auditorium. Nominees for this year's awards were announced Wednesday (Aug. 18) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The Dobro player? It's Jerry Douglas, who has done pretty well for himself through the years with session work, a successful solo career and his involvement with Alison Krauss & Union Station.
The great George Jones will be inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame on Aug. 21 in Carthage, Texas. George is a native of Beaumont. Ralph Emery will host the event which will also feature entertainment by Mel Tillis & the Statesiders and George's daughter, Georgette Jones.
Brad Paisley, joined by his dad Doug Paisley, manager Bill Simmons and a few more "big boys who still love toys," were at the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Ky., where the finishing touches were made on Brad's brand new ZR1. Wouldn't you know, the West Virginia hillbilly that he is, Brad cranked up that 'Vette and drove it off the assembly line.
CMA Award Nominations Coming Up
Justin Moore and Chris Young (two fine guys who have visited my kitchen) will announce the finalists in seven CMA award categories from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 31. The same day, the wonderful Steel Magnolia (who have also visited my kitchen) will announce the finalists in the radio categories. Lastly, Dierks Bentley (who has visited my kitchen) and Miranda Lambert (who needs to visit my kitchen) will be in the Big Apple on Sept. 1 to announce the finalists in five categories on Good Morning America. The CMA Awards show takes place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 10.
Steve Azar Takes Pleasure in Family Life
I cannot recall a husband who is a country music star making a statement so kind as Steve Azar did when he said, "That's the one thing that's tried and true -- my wife, Gwen, our two sons and our daughter. I love my family. My marriage is the best thing in my life. I'm proud to say I am a good Catholic husband and a good Catholic daddy." Wow!
Now that's a mouthful right there, and it makes somebody like me so proud to report that we have men in the music business who speed up and down the highway picking and singing their music and playing a little golf on the side for fun between stages. But what really and truly matters to their heart of hearts is family. Give me a whole bunch of these men who boast of their family as well as their music.
Steve's from Greenville, Miss., raised where the big river keeps on flowing and music keeps on playing. There's a rich history of music among Mississippi natives, including Jimmie Rodgers, the Meridian native who was called the Singing Brakeman because of his work on the railroad. It was Rodgers who convinced Ralph Peer to make some records in Bristol, Tenn., in 1927. Were it not for Rodgers, where would country music be today? Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, Hank Snow and others fashioned their careers after Rodgers' singing, songwriting and yodeling.
Besides Jimmie Rodgers, Mississippi gave us the First Lady of Country Music, the incredible Tammy Wynette, along with the marvelous Faith Hill, the great Charley Pride, comedian Jerry Clower, multi-talented Marty Stuart and a slew of others. Hank Cochran, the legendary songwriter who passed away recently, is also a native of Greenville. Is it any wonder Steve is proud of the music from his home state? I'm proud of it, too.
Appearing at the Nashville Airport
There's a new exhibit at Nashville International Airport featuring photos of those who have been honored by SOURCE, a nonprofit organization supporting women who work in the Nashville music industry. The SOURCE Foundation Awards were established a few years back to honor women who helped establish the foundation of the country music industry. I was humbled when they honored me with the award in 2008, and I was absolutely blown away when Garth Brooks showed up at the ceremony to present it to me. I just found out that a photo of the two of us is featured in the exhibit.
Thanks to Kay Smith, Judy Harrison and all those saintly gals who slaved and made men on Music Row look real smart! Guys, you know they did.
All of us at CMT send love and sympathy to Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys on the death of his 15-year-old grandson, Zac Sterban, following a recent automobile accident near Nashville.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Cheeseburger Pie.