HOT DISH: Martina and Gretchen in South Dakota

Kenny Plays Sorority House and George Turns Up in Another Movie

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by former Country Music magazine columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel's Hot Dish: Cookin' With Country Stars, she also shares her recipes at

Were Martina and Gretchen Wilson Stuck-Up?

Are the beautiful female vocalist of the year Martina McBride and the equally beautiful "Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson stuck-up? No ... but they were.

It seems that Martina and Gretchen's bus drivers parked both of their buses on the dirt track provided for entertainers while the girls were performing at the State Fair in Huron, S.D. This was all fine and good during Gretchen's set. Twenty minutes into Martina's set, however, the heavens opened and rain poured by the buckets -- and kept pouring several inches of rain. Needless to say, once the rain slowed, the drivers tried to turn the buses around, and the big tires went deeper and deeper into that South Dakota mud. Finally, someone showed up with some huge tractors. They hitched those boogers to the back of the buses and pulled them out backwards. Ain't show biz grand!

If you think that's all, it isn't. Gretchen, back in Music Town, was on her way to rehearse for the CMT Outlaws concert at the Gaylord Entertainment Center when, lo and behold, the car ran out of gas. Rumor has it that red-faced Gretchen, with the help of an unknown male, was seen pushing the car uphill toward a gas station on Spence Lane.

God does keep us humble, huh, Gretchen?

Kenny News

Hillbilly hot boy, Kenny Chesney and his Band of Romeos had a night off in Syracuse, N.Y., a city of over 200,000 with apparently only one space large enough to park a bus -- the University of Syracuse parking lot!

Suddenly, everybody got thirsty. "Let's find a watering hole," they said in unison as they clamored off the bus, checking the campus for the eye-lined and perfumed.

"Are you Kenny Chesney? Are you Kenny Chesney?" screeched the babes in waiting as

the hunters ogled hungrily at the possible prey.

"No, he's taller," lied the singing star.

Boys will be boys, so K.C. and the gang were hanging with the sisters of Delta Delta Delta, playing piano in the Tri-Delt house until 1:30 a.m., trying to convince the

pretty ones that he is who he is.

King George the Cowboy

The cowboy rides again. King George Strait, who has not appeared on the silver screen

since his debut hit Pure Country in 1992, is giving another glimpse of himself in the just-released film titled Grand Champion. It began playing in Texas last week and opens all across the country this week. At the premiere, the cowboy allowed that his favorite part of the movie was when he did the hokey-pokey. With that last bit of info, I must say, this is a movie I must see.

I understand Dixie Chick Natalie Maines also has a part in the movie and that Willie Nelson plays a cameo role.

Frizzell Falls in the River

David Frizzell, younger brother of the legendary Lefty Frizzell and a good singer in his own right, is lucky to be alive. Mowing his yard, David drove the machine down to cut the grass on the bank of the river that runs through his property. The riding mower lost traction, sliding 10 feet into the river with David onboard. He was pinned at the chest by the handles of the mower which was submerged in water, and his head barely missed a huge rock. David ripped off his shirt and somehow managed to get out without serious injury.

Miss California Judging Miss America

A former Miss California, Capitol Records beauty Jennifer Hanson was chosen to serve as a judge for the 2004 Miss America Pageant this Saturday (Sept. 18) in Atlantic City, N.J. Capitol Nashville exec Fletcher Foster, who served as a judge for the 2003 pageant, will accompany Hanson to the event.

Ralph Stanley Museum to Open

On October 16, bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley will be joined by musicians and family, along with national, state and local leaders, to celebrate the grand opening of the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center in the country town of Clintwood, Va. Ralph describes the museum as one of the greatest honors he has ever received. "I am proud that my work and this wonderful music will be here for future generations to enjoy," he said. Fans from around the world know of Ralph Stanley's emotional and forlorn vocals and will no doubt be drawn to his hometown in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia for this historic occasion.

Waylon's Boy

As Adriana on the The Sopranos, she got killed off. Currently Drea de Matteo has the role of Gina, the tough-talking hairdresser on the new TV comedy Joey. No, I haven't seen Joey. However, everywhere I look, I see an article on the 32-year-old actress. She never fails to mention her live-in boyfriend, 24-year-old musician Shooter Jennings, the son of Jessi Colter and the late Waylon Jennings.

Referring to the title of Jennings' forthcoming debut CD on Universal South, de Matteo says Shooter is gonna "put the 'o' back in country." This brings to mind an incident that happened in a New York City club 20 years ago when Carlene Carter promised to take the "o" out of country, but she did not know her mama, June Carter Cash, was in the audience. "Poor Mama!" Carlene said later. "Maybe Mama didn't know what I talking about."

Jessi sorta introduced me to de Matteo last year in Nashville at the Johnny Cash tribute concert at the Ryman Auditorium.

"You might recognize Shooter's girlfriend from The Sopranos," allowed lovely Jessi.

"Not with clothes on," I replied.

Here 'n' Yonder

More Tammy Wynette stuff for sale by her daughter Jackie Daly on eBay. Currently, she has a silk Richard Tyler designer shirt with a starting bid of $300.

The mother-daughters trio of the Jenkins performed in Washington, D.C., for Capitol Hill VIPs and members of Congress before heading for Edmonton, Ontario, to take part in the Canadian Country Music Awards.

For the first time, the legendary Ernest Tubb's historic set of duet recordings from the '70s are being released in one complete compilation. Aptly titled Ernest Tubb & Friends, it's a virtual "who's who" of the era's music scene with guests including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Marty Robbins and others.

Entertainment attorney and fiddle player David Crow and his wife Wendy invited a bevy of friends to a pickin' party at the Crow's nest on Labor Day. It was bluegrass music at its best. Even the legendary Mac Wiseman, who never fails to give me chills, did a few numbers. Envy me Chet Flippo, Dierks Bentley, Jim Denny at WFMS Indy, Travis Tritt, et al. Sorry you missed it.

Belmont University's School of Music presented Josh Turner with its annual Curtain Call Award recognizing his achievements in the field of music. One of country's brightest new stars, Josh's first single "Long Black Train" was a hit, and his debut album of the same title is certified gold.

Gretchen Wilson was surprised to see Olympic gymnast Terin Humphrey in her meet and greet line in Kansas City over the weekend. She'd just returned from Athens.

Mountain Heart is taking bluegrass music to South America. The popular group performed in both Uruguay and Paraguay last week.

Faith Hill joined Rod Stewart, Usher, Avril Lavigne, Beyoncé and others at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Wednesday (Sept. 8) for a performance on Fashion Rocks concert.

Music Row seems to think 20-year-old Katrina Elam is the next big star from Oklahoma. Her debut album on Universal South Records will be released Oct. 5.

Rachel Proctor performs "Me and Emily" for the U.S. Department of Justice this week during the closing banquet of the Violence Against Women symposium in Washington.

Curly Seckler leaned over the pew at church whispering, "The biggest thing that ever happened to me in my life!" The 82-year old native of China Grove, N.C., was referring to his upcoming induction into the Bluegrass Hall of Honor in October during the International Bluegrass Music Association awards show in Louisville, Ky. Curly is best known for his tenor singing and mandolin playing with the legendary Flatt & Scruggs.

The incredible Del McCoury Band have an unprecedented 12 IBMA nominations. This brings to mind an incident that happened mid-'90s when every major record label on Music Row was chasing Alison Krauss, trying to sign her, but she chose to stay with

Rounder. A label head asked her what would have to happen in the biz of music that would make her happy. Without batting an eye Alison replied, "Hear Del McCoury on radio."

Wonderful ones, to let you know: I am once again heading west for another appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show which will air next Monday (Sept. 20). Me and Charlie Sheen -- ain't that hot!?

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Fried Corn.

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