(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.)
Why hasn't Taylor Swift been in the news lately? The girl who wins everything, appears on everything and is loved by almost everyone seems to be ignored recently. I've talked to several people, but nobody seems to have seen Taylor around Music Town. She apparently hasn't been frequenting any of the trendy coffee shops near her condo.
Nosy as I can be, I began to question a know-it-all by very carefully asking, "How is Taylor?" I usually add, "You know, I ran into her mom at the Academy Sporting Goods store not too long ago. Haven't seen her recently, however."
The truth of the matter, I saw her mom once in February rushing into Academy with a bag in her hand. Since I don't know her mom -- and her mom does not know me -- we just nodded at each other.
I called someone at Taylor's label -- not Big Machine Records owner Scott Borchetta, his wife Sandy Spika Borchetta or anyone that close to the bank account. But I did ask someone fairly close to the mouths and ears of the company, "How is Taylor?"
"We are staying sorta quiet about Taylor these days," I was told.
Remember when Taylor returned from one of her overseas jaunts and attended a basketball game with Chord Overstreet, son of songwriting great Paul Overstreet? I was all over that. When asked, Paul actually said, "They're hanging out."
These days, Chord is a cast member of the popular television show, Glee. Maybe Taylor has been spending time with Chord -- and maybe not. Whether they are an item or not, I see where Taylor has been hanging with Glee actress Dianna Agron, so Taylor's songs may end up where? There! Where's there? There at Glee!
Ryan Murphy, the show's co-creator, has revealed Taylor's smash hit "Mean" will be performed in an upcoming episode as a duet between football coach Shannon Beiste (played by Dot Jones) and bad-boy senior Noah "Puck" Puckerman (played by Mark Salling).
Carrie Underwood Goes International
Carrie Underwood is spreading her international wings as she sets her sights on Europe, Australia and Canada. Her latest album, Blown Away, debuted at the top of Billboard's country chart and the all-genre Billboard 200.
Her next concert is set for May 26 at the Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge, La. A special edition release of Blown Away hits the stores in the United Kingdom on June 18 followed by a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. With concerts in Australia at Melbourne, Tamworth, Brisbane and Sydney, Carrie will return to North America with a stop in Toronto and then tour New England before heading home to Nashville for a Sept. 23 concert. During the following three months, she'll be on the road in the U.S. and Canada.
With the Nashville Predators out of the NHL playoffs, Carrie's hockey-playing husband, Mike Fisher, will be off the road for a while. I'm for these two spending as much time as they can together.
Miranda's No. 1
Miranda Lambert has done it again! She's topped the country charts with her latest single, "Over You," a song she co-wrote with husband Blake Shelton about his brother who passed away when he was a teenager. "Over You" is certified gold, and so is her Four the Record album that contains the single.
And congratulations to Team Blake on Jermaine Paul's win on The Voice. We're very proud of you.
Lady Antebellum Sharing Their Success
Lady Antebellum have released "Wanted You More" as the new single from their Grammy-winning album, Own the Night. The song was co-written by the trio plus three band members and a friend.
I am so impressed Lady A have given band members an opportunity to co-write with them. It means more money for those who don't earn as much as the big stars. Who else does that? Nobody!
CMA Music Festival
With the CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair) right around the corner, Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox says he looks forward to seeing the fans and hearing what they have to say about the group's latest hit, "Banjo."
In a recent interview, the three band members discussed the festival and the fans' lack of sleep as they stand in line for a prime spot in the autograph lines and at concerts.
"They can't bathe," Jay DeMarcus noted. "They really can't bathe."
"They don't have time," Joe Don Rooney added.
While we're talking about the festival, let me tell you a story from years ago when Fan Fair was still held at the Tennessee Fairgrounds.
A couple of fans -- sweaty and tired -- returned to their car parked by the cattle barn at the entrance. It was nearly sundown, so all the buildings were closing down for the day. They realized their keys were locked inside the car. Not only that, the keys were in the ignition -- and the car was still running.
"It's been sitting here, running all day long," said the elderly gent in charge of the parking lot, adding no pleasure to their pain.
Two of Nashville's finest drove up in their police cars. One of the policemen had one of those things you poke down the side of a window. With a quick click, the door was opened.
I may have seen happier and more grateful country music fans in my four decades of walking, riding and hanging on the streets I've loved and called home for many, many songs. But I can't remember anybody happier than those fans who'd spent the day listening to country music and mingling with their favorite stars.
Jake Owen Weds
Barefoot and wearing a white linen Armani shirt and Tommy Bahama drawstring britches, Jake Owen said "I do" to Lacey Buchanan during a sunrise ceremony in his hometown of Vero Beach, Fla. Also barefoot, his bride was dressed in an Amsale gown and veil when they exchanged vows on May 7.
Judging by the photos, it was a lovely event.
However, two days before, Owen was all over Twitter with a photo of himself wearing a sombrero and guzzling a beer as he celebrated Cinco de Mayo. A few hours later, he posted another Twitter photo that showed him handcuffed and being led to a police car. No formal arrest was made, and Owen explained in another tweet he was wearing an old man mask outside a Shake and Steak restaurant when sheriff's deputies hauled him away. He later apologized for his behavior.
Jake is 30 -- old enough to know better.
Lee Ann Womack in Washington
Busy working on her next album, Lee Ann Womack took time out for a trip to Washington, D.C., to perform when the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Award was presented to famed songwriters Hal David and Burt Bacharach.
"Looking at all the songs David and Bacharach have written -- pop songs, movie themes, musicals -- they make us want to hum along with their melodies. I was honored when they asked me to participate," Lee Ann said. "And it's my personal mission to see Willie Nelson receives this award."
Airing May 21 on PBS, the Gershwin Prize ceremony will also include performances by Lyle Lovett, Diane Krall, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow and others.
Don Williams' New Album
Don Williams' And So It Goes, his first album since 2004, will be released June 19 and includes a duet with Alison Krauss on "I Just Come Here for the Music." In addition, the ever-wonderful Keith Urban and Vince Gill will also lend their talents to the album.
Remembering George "Goober" Lindsey
George "Goober" Lindsey made a many person laugh. The 83-year-old comic died May 6 in Nashville. A native of Fairfield, Ala., he used to hang around his Aunt Ethel's gas station where mechanics wore felt caps to keep grease and oil out of their hair. That was the reason for the felt beanie he wore on The Andy Griffith Show and his 20-plus years on Hee Haw.
One of the last people Lindsey spoke with was Griffith, who had phoned his ailing friend.
"I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit," Griffith said from his home in North Carolina. "We were not afraid to say, 'I love you.' That was the last thing George and I said to each other."
A funeral service was held Friday (May 11) in Nashville.
Sending sympathy and love to Bobby and Sonny Osborne and their sister Louise Williams on the passing of their mother, Daisy Osborne. She was 102.
Throughout the years, the Osborne Brothers would dedicate a song -- usually a gospel song -- to her during their performances on the Grand Ole Opry.
Bluegrass mandolinist Everett Lilly, the only surviving member of the Lilly Brothers, died May 9 in West Virginia.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Baked Orange Roughy.