HOT DISH: Miranda Lambert Is Building a Sturdy House

Tim McGraw and Jimmy Wayne Are Making News

(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

The House That Built Miranda

As Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton were driving to their adjoining farms, Miranda slipped a tape of tunes into the slot and cut on the machine. She didn't hear a song she liked. "I've got a tape of songs. Wanna hear 'em?" asked Blake. She nodded yes, took the tape and slid it into the slot. The third song on Blake's tape was "The House That Built Me." Miranda cried. She cried all the way home. Somewhere along the way Miranda asked Blake if she could have the song. Blake is too much of a man to say no to the crying woman he loves. He just nodded, "Yes."

The No. 1 party for "The House That Built Me" was held at Nashville's Sambuca restaurant, and the place was mobbed. Smiling co-writers Allen Shamblin and Tom Douglas confessed that they'd written the tune many songs ago. When they pulled it out and looked it over, they realized it needed a rewrite. They re-wrote part of the first verse and the chorus and then pitched the song to Blake.

People are crazy about Miranda and it showed at her party. Blake and his record producer, Scott Hendricks, attended the party. Hendricks never heard the tape of the demo because Miranda heard it first and Blake wasn't about to say he wanted the song back, not after he saw her tears. After all, she is the woman he loves and besides Blake had "Hillbilly Bone"! Miranda's producer, Frank Liddell, who is married to Lee Ann Womack, proudly attended the party. Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood also was at the event. Gary Allan sent Miranda a huge bouquet of flowers.

Cowboy Dad

No doubt about it, Garth Brooks is retired (?) because he said he was. He is a cowboy who drives his three daughters to and from school daily. But he also is busy with his sold-out concert series at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. We have just learned that Garth has made his extensive catalog available for licensing with the Harry Fox Agency. Garth is the man who said he would never release a single to iTunes or any of those modern day what-cha-may-call-its. He'd only release albums. This is a new day. A day where a Garth hit may ring your phone or door bell. Like Bob Dylan sang, "The Times They Are a-Changin'." Is the change for good, better or bad?

Remembering Lyric Street

All the change closed the doors of the wonderful boutique label Lyric Street. I sure hated seeing Lyric Street shuttered. Their token superstar act, Rascal Flatts, found a home at Big Machine. I do hope Big Machine owner Scott Borchetta and his mob of merry music makers will push until Rascal Flatts is nominated for entertainer of the year, an honor that escaped the act for the past few years. The group sold out venues by placing a passel of paying butts in concert seats. Fans love them. 'Course, I realize the voting comes from paying members of CMA and ACM. But when that many fans turn out for the artists, you'd think the voters would respect the fans by voting on their favorites.

I haven't heard if former Lyric Street artist Bucky Covington has found a record label. If not, I suggest somebody raise their hand to sign Bucky. He's a star!

Mitch Jayne

An early member of the Dillards, Mitch Jayne, native of Hammond, Ind., was recently diagnosed with cancer. With Mitch on bass, Doug Dillard on banjo, his brother Rodney Dillard on guitar and Dean Webb playing mandolin, the foursome headed for California in 1962. Their car broke down in Oklahoma City where they found a week's worth of work for $300 at the Buddha Club. Given a $100 bonus, they headed west. Arriving in Los Angeles, they went to the Ash Grove where they jammed with the Greenbriar Boys and were spotted by Jim Dickson. By the end of their first week, the Dillards were signed with Elektra Records. Then they were signed to appear on the wonderfully entertaining The Andy Griffith Show. For three years they played music and acted as the Darlings, a mountain family a little slow on their feet. Sending prayers to Mitch



Farm Aid 25 is set for Oct. 2 at Miller Park in Milwaukee with Willie and the Boys, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and others.

That good singing Mrs. Fisher aka Carrie Underwood, is filling 6,000 to 7,000-seat venues.

Taylor Swift stops in Music Town whenever she gets a few minutes, but last week she headed back to Japan to perform at the Summer Sonic Festival. Miss Taylor is the only country artist nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards. Taylor showed up in the best female video category for "Fifteen." Don't know how grass grows under that girl's feet.

When Jimmy Wayne tried to put his best foot forward to cross the finish line while walking from Nashville to Phoenix in seven months, his left foot refused. An X-ray showed he'd been walking on a heel broken in two. Rough, treacherous mountain terrain was blamed. He was fitted with a boot for the remaining miles.

Congratulations to Tim McGraw, who was presented a plaque commemorating 7,965,000 radio spins, the most of any artist in any music genre from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2009.

I see where Reba McEntire braved a tornado while filming a video for her hit single, "Turn On the Radio." During the same storm, our electric power went out as loud thunder and flashing lightning went on and on. My son Terry called from his cell in his car saying he saw a green-colored cloud that went behind the trees as he was driving. Minutes later as he drove up a ramp, he called back. "I think it's a tornado behind your house," he warned. It was on Bellshire behind my house. Three tornadoes hit Davidson County that day. Roofs were lifted, but no one was injured seriously or killed.

It doesn't seem like it's been a year since Steel Magnolia took home the CMT show Can You Duet win. Yep, 12 months have passed since Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones were declared the winner, and they haven't slowed down yet. Their debut single "Keep On Lovin' You" went Top 10, and their second single, "Just by Being You (Halo and Wings)," is climbing Billboard's country chart. And Joshua, your necklace still hangs in my office!

Faith Hill is the new ambassador for the Tide Loads of Hope program launched in 2005 during the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The program is a mobile laundry that provides clean clothes to families affected by disaster. Since Katrina, Faith has committed herself to the needs of those affected by the storm to help provide a basic necessity -- clean clothes. Faith continued her help during Nashville's flood in May. Tide will host a free live concert on Aug. 24 in New Orleans featuring Hill. Thanks, Faith, for doing what so many of us cannot do. All this caring comes from a good Christian raising.

CMA Festival

Tim McGraw takes the stage Sept. 1 when he hosts CMA Festival: Country's Night to Rock on ABC-TV. The special will feature Taylor Swift's new single "Mine." On slate to perform America's music: Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Justin Moore, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton with Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band. And from Nashville's Fuel Bar & Nightclub, Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson join Miranda Lambert to sing "Bad Angel" from Bentley's CD Up on the Ridge. Look for other surprises including Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker performing "Good to Be Me."

Footloose & Fancy Free

Julianne Hough, once the steady of dark and handsome Chuck Wicks, is steadily seeing American Idol's Ryan Seacrest. I see where Ryan and Julianne vacationed in Italy, and I read where she has a role in the movie Footloose. Julianne said Ryan had been vying for her attention since she was 18. Since she'll be spending more time in Los Angeles with the movie, I reckon that gives her more time with Ryan. I'll tell you one thing, Chuck is much cuter than Seacrest will ever be, but the way Seacrest has been dropping tips at Hollywood eateries, there's no way a not-yet-established country singer like Chuck can compete in a big-time money category.

CMT Entertains

CMT's Southern Fried Flicks with Jaron and the Long Road to Love and the movie Crocodile Dundee airs Aug. 21, followed by America's Got Talent winner, Kevin Skinner and Steve Azar, both coming up in September. As usual, you can expect the best from my people. On Aug. 23, Miranda Lambert's Invitation Only will premiere. Invitation Only continues on Sept. 27 and you'll want to watch the great Kenny Chesney, who does know how to entertain. On Oct. 8, it's Toby Keith only on CMT, entertaining fans who love true country music. Finally, the Rascal Flatts Invitation Only will be aired Nov. 15.

Hit's Alive

Way back in the hollow, folks who think they've slain a snake or a wolf or a wildcat and realize they didn't will scream, "Hit's alive!" Always an "h" before "it's."

When I read the press release headline saying that Brad Paisley's double-disc Hits Alive would be released Nov. 2, I thought they were setting a mountain lion free in his home state of West Virginia. Just kidding! This is Brad's very first greatest hits project and, like each and every CD he releases, he tries for a new approach for his fans. Wait until you see what he did this time.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Apple Crunch.

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