(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.)
She's probably best known as Mrs. Waylon Jennings, but she is still the beautiful Jessi Colter. Aside from being his wife, she was also Waylon's best friend. I was delighted when I learned she was coming to my house to talk about the next volume of The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings.
Of course, I was also excited that Jamey Johnson was coming along, too. Jamey never knew Waylon, but he loves his music and singing. Jamey had been to my kitchen before. When I say we had a marvelous time that day, please know I mean it. We just visited and laughed and enjoyed pork loin with plum sauce, veggie medley, Sunday potatoes and coconut pie. I was looking forward to seeing him again.
Jessi arrived with Witt Stewart, the producer and entrepreneur who proposed The Music Inside project. The first volume was released earlier this year and featured "Good Hearted Woman" by Jessi and Sunny Sweeney, along with Jamey's version of "This Time," the first song Waylon wrote after he and Jessi got together. It became Waylon's first No. 1 single. The first volume also included "Belle of the Ball" by Shooter Jennings, Waylon and Jessi's son, and other performances by Alabama, Trace Adkins, Kris Kristofferson and others.
Set for release on Jan. 24, the second volume includes Jessi's performance of "Mama." The rest of the album includes some other impressive names, too:
"Lonesome, Onry and Mean," Dierks Bentley
"Waymore's Blues," Hank Williams Jr.
"Theme From The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)," Montgomery Gentry
"Ain't Livin' Long Like This," Justin Moore
"Bob Wills Is Still the King," Jack Ingram
"Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line," Colt Ford
"Rainy Day Woman," Pat Green
"Love of the Common People," Josh Thompson
"Dreaming My Dreams," Jewel
"A Long Time Ago," Wyatt McCubbin
By the way, Jessi and Shooter have partnered with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to create the Waylon Fund for Diabetes Research. TGen is a nonprofit organization focusing on researching treatment and cures for various diseases. Waylon died in 2002 at age 64 from complications of diabetes.
Before Jessi, Jamey and Witt left my house, she asked me to call her, and I told her I didn't have her phone number.
"Give me a piece of paper, and I'll give it to you," she said.
I gave her my napkin and borrowed a pen, but that didn't work. Then Jamey reached into his pocket and pulled out some $20 bills. He handed one to Jessi, and she wrote her phone number to the left of Andrew Jackson. On the opposite side, she wrote, "Hazel, call Jessi." Don't worry about me spending that $20 bill. I'm gonna frame it!
There's a third volume in the Waylon tribute series in the works. A release date hasn't been set, and I don't have the track listing, but I'll bet it's going to be as great as the first two editions.
Hank Williams Jr. Sings Waylon, Raises Money for Hall of Fame
After leaving my house, Jessi and Jamey were off to the Sirius XM Theater at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville to meet Shooter and others who gathered to tape a special for the satellite radio service.
Hank Williams Jr. was there and sang "Waymore's Blues," Jamey did "This Time," Shooter sang "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand" and Jessi performed her wonderful self-penned "Storms Never Last." Billy Joe Shaver also sang, and radio personality Carl P. Mayfield told stories about Waylon.
But that's not all! Jessi and Jamey joined Hank Jr. and his family at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for a concert coinciding with the Family Tradition: The Williams Family Legacy exhibit that closes on Dec. 31. During a 90-minute solo acoustic set, Hank sang hits such as "A Country Boy Can Survive," "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound" and "The Blues Man" and previewed new songs from his upcoming album. Ticket sales from the charity show raised $75,000 for the museum.
Blake Shelton Setting Sail
The Blake Shelton and Friends cruise is set for Oct. 14-21, 2012. Joining him on the concert lineup are Trace Adkins, Lee Brice, Easton Corbin, Randy Houser, Neal McCoy, Justin Moore and Jerrod Niemann. What? No girls allowed to perform during the seven-day cruise to the Caribbean aboard the Norwegian Pearl?
I made sure I included the dates for the voyage -- just in case Miranda Lambert wants to know where her hubby is that week.
Kenny Chesney Sells Tickets and Albums
Kenny Chesney's 2012 Brothers of the Sun tour with Tim McGraw is already breaking records. Selling nearly 275,000 tickets, it's a blockbuster event. This is the first time in 10 years the two friends have toured together.
In related news, Kenny's latest album, Hemingway's Whiskey, has gone platinum for shipments of 1 million copies. It's the superstar's 10th platinum album.
Scotty McCreery Becomes Golden Boy
Have you heard the news? Scotty McCreery's debut album, Clear as Day is certified gold for shipments of 500,000 copies. The album parked itself at No. 1 and has remained there for almost the nine weeks it's been for sale.
"It's huge!" Scotty says. "Every artist dreams of a gold album. This is incredible. I want to thank the fans."
He's smart to thank the fans. They're the ones watched and voted for him on American Idol and then bought his album.
Scotty's first single, "I Love You This Big," has also been certified gold. He'll be a part of Brad Paisley's 2012 tour that begins Jan. 12 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
John Rich Deals With a Travel Delay
According to the report I got, John Rich was recently booted from a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Nashville. It seems John got into a disagreement with another passenger before getting on the plane and continued to demonstrate what was described as "drunken behavior" after boarding the aircraft. Southwest crew members approached John, told him he was unfit to make the trip and escorted him off the plane. To his credit, John reportedly left peacefully and booked another flight back home.
The flight was set to depart at 10:50 a.m. I wonder if John got up early and started drinking or if he drank all night.
Proud for Big Vinny
Trailer Choir's Big Vinny Hickerson did not claim the $250,000 grand prize on NBC's The Biggest Loser, but he still became a winner by being a loser. Big Vinny entered the marathon weighing 426 pounds. When he was eliminated from the weight loss competition, he was down to 286 -- losing 140 pounds in a few short weeks.
Congratulations Vinny. I hope you enjoy being home. All of us in Music Town wish you and your fiancée, Lori Diaz, much happiness.
Five-time CMA Award winner Carrie Underwood was the first star to announce she would perform during the 2012 CMA Music Festival that takes place June 7-10 in Nashville, but I knew there would be more. Both Jason Aldean and The Band Perry raised their hands saying they will be there, too.
Speaking of The Band Perry, the trio will join Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on Dec. 31 in New York City. The event will be broadcast on ABC.
Jason Aldean is on an indie label, but that boy is doing everything right. Everywhere I look, there's Jason kissing his wife and heading onstage to accept another award. Is it songs about dirt roads or party time that keeps him ahead of most? Or is he just so darn great, fans love him? Lauren Alaina and Luke Bryan will join Jason on his 2012 tour.
I got a call from Michael, my hairdressing and makeup pal, who recently spent three weeks working in Las Vegas. While there, Garth Brooks invited Michael and four friends to attend one of his shows at the Wynn. "Best I've ever seen," said Michael. "Besides, he is the nicest guy I've ever met." Me, too, Michael!
An hour before show time, Glen Campbell's Dec. 5 appearance at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium was postponed because he had laryngitis. The show, which will apparently be his last full concert in Nashville, has been rescheduled for Jan. 3.
Music Community Mourns Death of Barbara Orbison
Barbara Orbison died Tuesday (Dec. 6) at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Germany, the 60-year-old wife of the late Roy Orbison served as his manager and rejuvenated his career in the '80s with projects including the Traveling Wilburys (a band that also featured Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne), solo recordings and TV specials. Following his death in 1988, she administered his estate and continued to call attention to his music legacy with a series of music reissues and videos. She also founded and operated a successful music publishing company in Nashville.
She is survived by two sons, Roy Kelton Orbison Jr. and Alexander Orbison, who were by her side when she passed away. She is also survived by a stepson, Wesley Kelton Orbison.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Roast Pork With Plum Sauce.