Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Country Music Year of 2012

The Country Music Year of 2012

Country Routes News Blog takes a look back on the year of 2012: Country news from around the world and the UK, Country Music Awards, The Billboard Hot Country Songs, Billboard Top Country Albums & noteable album releases, Baby joys and Deaths. 

2012 Country Collage (click to Enlarge)
January  2012

  • Glen Campbell played Nashville's Ryman Auditorium for two nights on his farewell tour.
  • Total country album sales dipped 1.8 percent in 2011 from their 2010 level, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a slide from 43.7 million albums to 42.9 million.
  • Garth Brooks won a breach-of-contract lawsuit against an Oklahoma hospital that failed to construct a women's health center in honor of his late mother, Coleen Brooks. The judgment calls for the hospital to return the singer's original $500,000 donation and pay an additional $500,000 in punitive damages.
  • Taylor Swift's album, SPEAK NOW was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 4 million units
  • Dolly Parton's new film, JOYFUL NOISE with Queen Latifah hit American theatres on January 13th. The country icon, turned 66 on Jan. 19.
Taylor Swift was in London reportedly to rehearse for the Les Miserables film, where she thought to be playing the role of Eponine It was later announced on Jan 31, 2012 that Samantha Barks will fill that spot

Country Music Awards
The winners of the 40th Country Music Awards of Australia were announced on Saturday Jan. 28, 2012 at the Tamworth. Keith Urban and Beccy Cole led the winner’s. Keith won  ‘Male Artist of the Year’ and ‘Sanity Top Selling Album of the Year’ for his album GET CLOSER. Beccy won a Golden Guitar for ‘Female Artist of the Year’ for Songs & Pictures, as well as Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Kasey Chambers for their duet ‘Millionaires’. Adam Harvey won 'Album of the Year’, Jetty Road took out ‘Group or Duo of the Year’and Catherine Britt scored a win for ‘Single of the Year’ for her song ‘Sweet Emmylou’.

On January 11, 2012 Jo Dee Messina welcomed son Jonah Christopher Deffenbaugh 6-pound, 13-ounce

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Keep Me in Mind" Zac Brown Band (2 weeks Jan 7, 14)
"Let It Rain" David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton (Jan 21, 2012)
"Drink in My Hand" Eric Church (Jan 28, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases  
** Note (Billboard's W/E issue date is approximately 7-10 days in advance)

OWN THE NIGHT by Lady Antebellum was #1 (For 4 weeks Jan 7 - 28, 2012)
Little Willies (featuring Norah Jones) THE GOOD TIMES (Blue Note Records) made their debut at #9 on the SoundScan Top Country Albums chart with their sophomore release it sold 7,690 copies in its debut week (W/E Jan 15, 2012)
Toby Keith’s CLANCY'S TAVERN returned to #1 on Jan 25 (W/E Feb 4, 2012) with sales of 17,153 copies. It become Keith's first album to spend more than one week at #1 on the Billboard Country album chart since HONKYTONK UNIVERSITY topped the chart for seven weeks back in 2005
Gretchen Peter’s HELLO CRUEL WORLD (Proper Records) was released 30 Jan 2012. It gave her a notable first-ever appearance on the Official U.K. Top 75 Album chart at No. 70, some 16 years into her recording career, selling around 2,500 copies. The album did not chart on Billboard.
Other releases:  Various Artists "This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark" (Icehouse Music)

February 2012

  • The CMA Foundation donated $1.4 million to benefit music education programs for Nashville's 78,000 public school students.
  • Taylor Swift, working in league with Scholastic Books, donated 14,000 books to the Nashville Public Library.
  • Keith Urban returned to the stage at the Grand Ole Opry for his first public appearance since undergoing vocal cord surgery in November 2011.
  • On Sunday 12 February 2012  The entertainment industry was in mourning after award-winning music legend Whitney Houston was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room on the eve of the Grammys.Dolly Parton, who wrote I Will Always Love You, one of Houston's biggest hits, said: "Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed."
  • Randy Travis was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication after being found with an open bottle of wine outside the First Baptist Church in Sanger, Texas.
  • Rodney Atkins was cleared of a domestic assault charge in connection with a dispute he had with his wife in November 2011.
  • Garth Brooks celebrated his 50th birthday on Tuesday February 7th by surprising his longtime producer Allen Reynolds, at a gathering in NASHVILLE with the news that he was renaming a recording studio in his honor.
  • Vince Gill left MCA Records. A spokesman for Gill confirmed the departure from MCA who he signed with in 1989.
  • Capitol Nashville and EMI Nashville president Mike Dungan was named to head Universal Music Group Nashville.

UK News
  • Promoter Mervyn Conn brought back the Wembley Festival (which ran for 23 years from 1969 to 1991) after a 20-year gap with The International Festival of Country Music, held at the Wembley Arena on Sunday February 26, 2012. Acts included Reba McEntire, Lonestar, Ricky Skaggs, George Ducas, Jo El Sonnier, Tim Mckay, Pig Earth, John McNicholl, Raymond Froggatt, Asleep at the Wheel, Will Banister and Ali Isabella. The event was very under sold (half empty) and did not appeal to younger fans. The over running of the show meant many missed headliner Reba McEntire. In December on BBC Radio Kent Maverick Magazine editor Alan Cackett described it as a "disaster". Read more Blog Post
  • The CMA Songwriters Series came to the U.K & Ireland it featured Country Music Hall of Fame Member Bill Anderson; CMA Award Winner Clint Black; and  Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Member Bob DiPiero

Country Music Awards
The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards took place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Alison Krauss & Union Station win Grammy Awards and Glen Campbell performed with The Band Perry on the Grammy broadcast. As well as presenting “Best New Artist" Carrie Underwood and Tony Bennett performed a duet.
Winners: Best Country Solo Performance (Taylor Swift, ‘Mean’), Best Country Duo/Group Performance (The Civil Wars, ‘Barton Hollow’), Best Country Song (Taylor Swift, ‘Mean’), Best Country Album (Lady Antebellum, ‘Own the Night’), Best Americana Album (Levon Helm, ‘Ramble at the Ryman’), Best Bluegrass Album (Alison Krauss and Union Station, ‘Paper Airplane’)

Country songwriter Danny Morrison died after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday Feb 14, 2012. He penned notable country songs including Kenny Rogers’ “Blaze of Glory” Youtube and Joe Diffie’s “Is It Cold In Here”.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"I Don't Want This Night to End" Luke Bryan (Feb 4, 2012)
"You" Chris Young (Feb 11, 2012)
"All Your Life" The Band Perry (For 2 weeks - Feb 18 & 25, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC by Tim McGraw was released on January 24, 2012. It sold 67,530 copies to go to No.1 on Feb 1 (W/E Feb 11) and remained at the top the following week. McGraw terming it “My best album ever”
100 PROOF by Kellie Picker, her third album, was released on January 24, 2012 and sold 27,448 copies in its first week to land at No.2 on the chart
Dierks Bentley with HOME (Capitol)  was released on February 7, 2012 and sold 54,708 in its debut week to land No.1 on Feb 15 (W/E Feb 25)

March 2012
  • A news tip revealed that Tammy Wynette's name has been removed from her tomb at Nashville's Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum and replaced with "Virginia W. Richardson," her married name at the time of her death in 1998.
  • Garth Brooks, Connie Smith and session musician Hargus "Pig" Robbins were named as the 2012 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Vince Gill, Bruce Hornsby, Ronnie Dunn, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, Charlie Daniels and K.T. Oslin performed at the T. J. Martell Foundation's honors gala fundraiser in Nashville.
  • Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill’s whirlwind Australian tour ended performing to sold-out crowds and helped set an attendance record at the CMC Rocks the Hunter festival
The Band Perry played a London showcase and permformed at Kings College London on March 20th and in Dublin at the Workmans Club March 24

Randy Houser's wife Jessica gave birth a “beautiful son” in early March to: West Yantz Houser Weighing in at 6 lbs., 11 oz

Earl Scruggs, Country Music Hall of Famer and bluegrass innovator, died at age 88, on Wednesday morning (March 28, 2012) at a Nashville hospital of natural causes. A memorial service was held on Sunday, April 1, at the Ryman Auditorium. - Blog Post 
John McCane front man of UK band Last of the Breed died aged 53. Last of the Breed’s keyboard player Pete McDonald also passed away a few weeks previously. A sad time for British Country music.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"You Gonna Fly" Keith Urban (For 2 weeks - March 3 & 10, 2012)
"Reality" Kenny Chesney (March 17, 2012) Chesney's 23rd # 1 single
"Home" Dierks Bentley (March 24, 2012)
"Ours" Taylor Swift (March 31, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
ACT OF VALOR: THE ALBUM (Relativity Media), the soundtrack to the 2012 film Act of Valor was released on February 24, 2012. It sold 10,343 copies to chart at No.8 consisting of ten songs, all performed by various country music singers.
Lady Antebellum with OWN THE NIGHT topped the chart for another 4 weeks (W/E March 3 to March 24) On one of the weeks it sold 108,033 (a 437% sales gain) when it was selling for a mere 25 cents for a couple of days in a price war between Amazon and Google’s new digital service
Lyle Lovett, released RELEASE ME (Lost Highway) on Feb 28, 2012 selling 10,244 copies to chart at No.9 on March 7, 2012
TAILGATES & TANLINES by Luke Bryan returned to the top of the chart for 2 weeks (W/E March 31 & April 7) with sales of between 17,341 and 18K
Other releases: Jerry Kilgore "Telephone, Tx" (Nic Nic Neer Records)

April 2012
Keith Urban headlines the third annual We're All for the Hall concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The event raises $465,000 for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. On April 10, Urban becomes an official member of the Grand Ole Opry, inducted by Opry members Trace Adkins and Josh Turner.
Jennifer Nettles, Sugarland’s lead singer answered some of the questions posed to her in her deposition about the Indiana State Fair stage collapse. Seven people were killed and dozens more were hurt in the August 13, 2011 incident.
Willie Nelson helped unveil a statue honouring him in downtown Austin by singing his new song "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”
Eric Church appeared in Rolling Stone magazine and took a not-so-veiled shot at reality singing shows and the stars made from the competitions. “Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green f—ing turn around in a red chair, you got a deal?” he said, referring to how ‘The Voice’ winners get their start in the business. “That’s crazy. I don’t know what would make an artist do that. You’re not an artist.”
Taylor Swift found out On Fact she is a 15th cousin once removed to Reba McEntire.
It’s no wonder Taylor Swift has found success – country music runs in her veins, also:.
Willie Nelson is Taylor’s 9th cousin once removed! Garth Brooks is Taylor’s 12th cousin once removed! &
Loretta Lynn is Taylor's 14th cousin
 Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum Tied the Knot – Groom Dave, 29, & his now wife Kelli Cashiola were married on Saturday, April 14th, right outside of Nashville.

After years of trying, Joe Nichols and his wife Heather gave birth to a little girl in April to: Dylan River Nichols
Former ‘American Idol’ singer Bo Bice welcomed his fourth child in late April. His wife Caroline gave birth to their first daughter: Merrin Elizabeth Joy Bice.

Country Music Awards
Taylor Swift scooped up the Entertainer of the Year prize at the Academy of Country Music awards show in Las Vegas on April 1st, 2012. For Miranda Lambert scooped her third consecutive win as Female Vocalist of the Year and her hubby Blake Shelton landed his first win as Male Vocalist of the Year. For the third consecutive year, Lady Antebellum won Vocal Group of the Year.  Blog Post
Miranda also took the prize for Album of the Year. Thompson Square won Vocal Duo of the Year

Mindy McCready and her boyfriend music producer David Wilson welcomed her second son Zayne into the world on Monday April 9th
Joe Nichol’s wife Heather gave birth to little girl Dylan River Nichols on April 17 (7 pounds, 5 ounces -photo)

Dr. Jim Marshall OBE, founder of amplification company Marshall, has died. He was 88.
"Banjo" Barney McKenna, 72, the last original member of the Irish folk band The Dubliners, died Thursday (5 April) while having a morning cup of tea with a friend. He had just marked his 50th year with the troupe.
Levon Helm, legendary drummer and singer of the immensely influential group The Band, passed away, aged 71. He died Thursday afternoon of complications from throat cancer, which he had been battling since the late 1990’s, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, said Lucy Sabini of Vanguard Records. He was buried Friday 27th April at the Woodstock Cemetery.
Famed country yodeler Kenny Roberts has died at age 85. His death was reported on Sunday, April 29. He was known as “Yodeling Kenny Roberts” and as “America’s King of the Yodelers.”

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Alone with You" Jake Owen (For 2 weeks - April 7 & 14, 2012)
"A Woman Like You" Lee Brice (April 21, 2012)
"Drink on It" Blake Shelton (For 2 weeks - April 28 & May 5, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Lionel Richie's TUSKEGEE (Mercury Nashville) was released on March 27, 2012 and had impressive debut sales of 198,892 to earn him the #1 Billboard Country Album ( W/E April 14, 2012) and #2 on the Billboard Top 200.
Justin Townes Earle's Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot Records) was released on March 27, 2012 and with sales of 8,000 copies made its debut at #11 on the Billboard Country Album.
Rascal Flatts with CHANGED (Big Machine) was released on April 3, 2012 and sold 129,569 copies in their debut week to wrestle the Country Album No.1 from Lionel Richie on April 12 (W/E April 21)
Lacs with 190 PROOF debuted at No.16 on with slaes of 6,745 copies
With sales of 128,553, 114,110 and 78,345 Richie's "Tuskegee" held the Country #1 for 3 further weeks (W/E April 28 - W/E May 12)
Other Releases:
Kate Campbell "1000 Pound Machine" (Large River Music) / Nanci Griffith "Intersection" (Thirty Tigers) /Loudon Wainwright III "Older Than My Old Man Now" (Story Sound) / Bonnie Raitt "SLIPSTREAM" (Redwing Records) / Marty Stuart Nashville, Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down (Sugar Hill Records) / Various Artists "Mercyland: Hymns For the Rest of Us"/ Carrie Hassler "The Distance" (Rural Rhythm Records)

May 2012
  • The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced it will relocate its annual World of Bluegrass Week (including the awards show) to Raleigh, N.C., for three years starting Sept. 23-29, 2013.
  • Taylor Swift ranks No. 11 on Forbes magazine's list of the 100 most influential celebrities. Toby Keith placed No. 49, Kenny Chesney No. 53 and Brad Paisley No. 68..
  • Taylor Swift has taught a generation of kids to appreciate country music over the last five years. She donated $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to make sure that education continues. The gift is the largest given to the museum by an artist and is the second largest from an individual. 
  • Tim McGraw signed to Big Machine Records, label home to Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts, following his court-sanctioned separation from Curb Records.
  • Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors" and Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" are added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
  • Joe Nichols left his label, Show Dog-Universal.
  • Jake Owen had a rollercoaster first weekend of May was a rollercoaster for. He was briefly detained on May 5 after his hometown’s police force found it suspicious that he was wearing an old man mask at a Steak ‘N Shake restaurant. Needless to say, the singer wasn’t pleased. “You give a guy a gun and a badge and he thinks he’s John Wayne,” Owen tweeted. Two days later, he was on a beach with his fiancee Lacey Buchanan, pledging his long-lasting love. On May 7, Owen surprised his fans by getting married, with in a barefoot (but no blue jeans) ceremony in Vero Beach, Fla. They were engaged just weeks earlier, so it’s possible his Cinco De Mayo fun was part of a bachelor party.

UK News
Digital format sales accounted for 55.5% of U.K. trade revenues in the first quarter of 2012, surpassing income generated from physical product sales for the first time.

Jessica Simpson gave birth to a daughter named Maxwell Drew Johnson in Los Angeles. Lauren Auslander. Maxwell weighed 9 lbs 13 ounces It was the first child for 31-year-old Simpson and her 32-year-old fiance Eric Johnson, a former NFL player.
Josh Kelley and wife Katherine Heigl adopted a new baby daughter: Adalaide Marie Hope Kelley. She joined big sister Naleigh, 3½, whom Heigl, 33, and Kelley adopted from South Korea in 2009.

Doug Dillard, whose explosive banjo style made him a force in bluegrass and country music for 50 years, died Wednesday, May 16 in a Nashville hospital at age 75, after a lengthy illness
Doc Watson, the blind folk musician whose mountain-rooted sound was embraced by generations and whose lightning-fast flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world, died Tuesday (May 29, 2012) at a North Carolina hospital. He was 89.- Blog Post

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Banjo" Rascal Flatts (May 12, 2012)
"Over You" Miranda Lambert (May 19, 2012)
"Fly Over States" Jason Aldean (May 26, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Lee Brice's "HARD 2 LOVE" (Curb) released on April 24, 2012 made its debut on Country chart at No.2 on May 2nd with sales of 46,066. It was the country singer's second album and first top 10, following 2010's release LOVE LIKE CRAZY
Kip Moore with UP ALL NIGHT (MCA) released on April 24, 2012 made his debut on Country chart at No.3 selling 36,666 copies.
The Josh Abbott Band with "Small Town Family Dream"(PDT) released on April 24, 2012 sold 21,334 copies to land at No.5 on Country chart
Carrie Underwood with BLOWN AWAY (Arista Nashville) released her fourth album on May 1, 2012. It sold 267,338 copies to Top both the Billboard Top 200 and Country Chart on May 9 (W/E May 19). It was the best sales week for a country album since the chart dated Oct. 1, 2011, when Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" bowed in at the Top of the chart with 347,000. In the following 4 weeks Carrie remained at #1 with sales of 119,524, 53,779, 44,729 and 31,530 respectively
Turnpike Troubadours with "Goodbye Normal Street" (Bossier City Records/Thirty Tigers) sold 7,831 copies and charted at No.14 in their debut week on May 16, 2012
Pat Green with SONGS WE WISHED WE'D WRITTEN (Sugar Hill Records) released on May 8, 2012 debutted at No. 16 on the Country chart selling 6,537 copies
Willie Nelson's HEROES bowed at #4 on May 23, 2012 on the Country Chart selling 16,898 copies
Other releases:
Dala "Best Day" (Compass) released on May 29 / Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions "Alive At Brushy Mountain" (Wilbanks Ent.)

June 2012
  • CMA Music Festival is held June 7-10 in Nashville.
  • Carrie Underwood, in an interview with a British newspaper, declares she supports gay marriage.
  • Wynonna Judd marries drummer Cactus Moser, formerly of Highway 101, on June 10.
  • Ronnie Dunn left Arista records. The singer apparently made the announcement via Facebook. Dunn, who released an album last year on the label, said, "Deal with Sony is over. Next chapter. Moving on,"
  • Nashville hit 105 degrees on Thursday June 28, breaking the previous record set in 1952
  • Carrie Underwood spent a week in the UK on a promotional tour and performed at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday June 21, 2012. The show sold out in just 90 minutes.
  • Gretchen Peters played the Isle of Wight Festival on June 22.
  • Maverick Festival 2012 was held at Easton Park Farm, Suffolk on June 29 - July 1, it featured The Eve Selis Band, Cara Luft, Buddy Mondlock, The Haley Sisters, Sadie & the Hotheads featuring Elizabeth McGovern, BROOKS WILLIAMS and The Toy Hearts took place at Easton Park Farm, Suffolk
  • At the 2012 CMA Music Festival in Nashville no less than 22 artists represented five different countries and territories during June 4-5. UK representation for the “Chevrolet Presents The CMA Global Artist Party” were Lisa McHugh (Ireland) and Gary Quinn (UK). At the “CMA Presents The Aristo Global Show” held at The Second Fiddle. Performers included Pete Kennedy (Ireland), Colm Kirwan (Ireland), Raintown (Scotland) and Travellin Rose (UK).
  • Gary Barlow & Cheryl Cole performed a delightful cover of the famed Lady Antebellums’s “Need You Now” at the Diamond Jubilee Concert.
  • Daniel O’Donnell, one of Donegal’s greatest ambassadors, received the Freedom of Donegal.
  • PHILOMENA Begley celebrated 50 years as a country music singer marking the occasion with a big outing to Spain with her fans and big lineup of entertainers
Country Music Awards
Carrie Underwood takes two trophies at the fan-voted 2012 CMT Music Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena -- collaborative video for "Remind Me" (with Brad Paisley) and video of the year for "Good Girl."

Roy J. Ayres , guitar legend died June 9 at his Riverview home surrounded by family. Ayres was 82 years old. He was best known as Pee Wee King’s lead steel guitarist on the original recording of the "Tennessee Waltz," which was widely considered the most successful record of its era
Donna Hilley, who spent 31 years at Sony/ATV Nashville, eventually becoming the company's president and CEO and was one of the most prominent female publishing executives in country music, died Wednesday [June 20] of an extended illness. She was 65. 

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" Kip Moore (For 2 weeks June 2 & 9,2012)
"Good Girl" Carrie Underwood (June 16,2012)
"Springsteen" Eric Church (For 2 weeks June 23 & 30,2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
The Johnny Cash "Opus Collection:The 80th Anniversary" landed at No.6 on the Country Chart on June 6, 2012 selling some 11K copies 
Wade Bowen with GIVEN sold some 9,000 copies and made his Country chart debut at No.9
Kevin Costner & Modern West with "Hatfields & McCoys: Famous For Killing Each Other (Soundtrack)" charted at No.14
Country king Alan Jackson with THIRTY MILES WEST (West/ACR-EMI Nashville) released on June 5, 2012 debuted at No.1 (No. 2 Billboard Top 200) with sales of 72,848 copies
Jana Kramer with her self titled debut album "Jana Kramer" (Elektra Nashville/WAR) released on June 5, 2012 bowed at #5 on May 14 selling just over 16,000 copies for the “Why Ya Wanna” singer 
Josh Turner with "Punching Bag" (MCA) released on June 12, 2012 sold 44,907 copies to land at No. 1 on the Country chart (W/E June 30)
The latest edition of the Now That's What I Call Country Music series (Volume 5) made a debut at #4 (25,000 copies sold)
Edens Edge released their self-tiled debut album "Edens Edge" (Republic Nashville) on June 12, 2012 to land at No.9 on the Country chart on June 20.
Mary Chapin Carpenter 13 track album ASHES AND ROSES (Rounder Records/ Zoe Records) was released on June 12 posted No. 15 on the Country chart (#68 Top 200) selling 7,000 copies. In the UK in July her debut week sales were 5,259 copies, debuted at #26 on the UK Album Chart and #1 on UK Country Album Chart.
Kenny Chesney with WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL (BNA), released on June 19, 2012 bowed at #1 on Country chart (#2 Top 200) on June 27 (W/E July 7) selling 193,938 copies. It was Chesney's best sales week since 2007's "JUST WHO I AM: POETS & PIRATES" started with 387,000. “Welcome To The Fishbowl” remained the Number one country album for the following 2 weeks (61,084 then 42,616 sales)
Don Williams with AND SO IT GOES (Sugar Hill) released on June 19,. 2012 sold 4,751 copies to land at No.20 on the country chart
The Rodney Crowell and Mary Karr collaboration KIN (Vanguard Records) debuted at No.32 selling 3,000 copies sold.
Other releases: Mindy Smith "Mindy Smith" (Giant Leap/TVX Records) / Shawn Colvin "ALL FALL DOWN"  (Nonesuch Records) / Jerry Douglas "TRAVELER" / Elizabeth Cook "GOSPEL PLOW" EP / Marlee Scott "Beautiful Maybe" (Big Ride Entertainment) /

Country album sales for the first half of 2012 increased by approximately 1 million units over those for the same period the previous year, according to Nielsen SoundScan..

JULY 2012
  • Taylor Swift was the highest-paid celebrity under the age of 30, according to Forbes magazine, which estimates the singer-songwriter reaped $57 million between May 2011 and May 2012. Athletes were not included in the roundup.
  • Taylor Swift won five Teen Choice Awards on Sunday July 22 at the ceremony held at Los Angeles' Gibson Amphitheatre
  • CMT reported that Country album sales for the first half of 2012 increased by approximately 1 million units over those for the same period last year. The period covered by this survey was from Jan. 2 to July 1, 2012. The top sellers were Lionel Richie’s TUSKEGEE (912,000 sales) followed by Carrie Underwood BLOWN AWAY which had sold 602,000 copies to date. Country's jump was from 18.4 million to 19.4 million copies, a 5.6 percent rise, higher than that of any other genre.
  • Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl” music video has made history holding the No. 1 spot on CMT’s Top 20 Countdown for a record breaking 14 weeks.
  • Luke Bryan's "Rain Is A Good Thing" became the 100th country song to sell 1 million digital copies. Taylor Swift comes out on top with 15 million-sellers, Carrie Underwood with 10 is second place followed by Zac Brown Band with seven. The #1 seller was Lady Antebellum "Need You Now" (5,861,000) All but five of the top 100 digital hits are songs from the past 10 years. Each decade since the 1950s was represented with a million-seller except the 1980s
  • Glen Campbell cancelled his tour of Australia and New Zealand with Kenny Rogers for health reasons.The 76-year-old was battling Alzheimer's disease.
  • Josh Thompson exited the RCA roste.r
  • Kellie Pickler was the leading lady in the special newsstand issue, Maxim Salutes the Military. Her show-stopping cover and centerfold images were reminiscent of the 1940s-50s era with a modern flar.
 UK News
  • Country Music Festival WOLVESTOCK 18 took place on Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July 2012 at East Park, Hickman Avenue, Wolverhampton. Of note apppearing: Toy Hearts Band, Brian Hughes & The LoneSharks, Diablos, Pig Earth and Travellin Rose. 
  • Glasgow band Raintown, won a competition on Real Radio to open for Wet Wet Wet when the band play their 25th Anniversary Gig at Glasgow Green on Friday 20th July (in front of 25,000 fans).
  • With sales of 5,259 copies, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s new album ASHES AND ROSES debuted at No.26 on the UK Album Chart and #1 on UK Country Album Chart.
  • Lady Antebellum took a break from the European leg of their headlining OWN THE NIGHT 2012 WORLD TOUR on Saturday (July 14) to open for Bruce Springsteen in London’s Hyde Park- Image
  • The 2012 Cambridge Folk Festival took place July 26 - 29, among those appearing were Nanci Griffith and Gretchen Peters
  • The Grand Ole Opry announced that The Bee Gees pop icon Barry Gibb would make his Opry debut on Fri., July 27. Just two months previously, his brother Robin died, and their brother Maurice passed away at the age of 53 back on January 12, 2003.
  • Hot UK duo Talia Smith and Kelly Lee aka Travellin Rose made it into a UK National newspaper appearing in the Daily Star Sunday (29 July) !! The article read: "Trailer Blazers".
Singer-Songwriter, Rachel Proctor gave birth to a new baby.
Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and his wife Allison welcomed a baby boy, Dylan Jay DeMarcus, on Friday (July 20) weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces
Eli Young Band frontman Mike Eli and his wife Kacey were proud parents of a baby girl! reported that the couple welcomed Kline Olivia Diaz on Monday, July 30. She weighed in at 6 lbs., 15 oz 

Andy Griffith, beloved 'The Andy Griffith Show' star who  excelled on film, died at 86. A family statement said Griffith passed away at his home in Manteo, North Carolina on Tuesday morning. As per his wishes he was buried on his property on Roanoke Island within five hours of his death.
Kitty Wells, legendary "Queen of Country Music", passed away on July 16th, at the age of 92. In 1952 she was the first female singer to reach No. 1 in the country charts with her song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels."
Harry Frost, the artist who helped create Australia's famous Golden Guitar trophy died, aged 91.  Founding Chief Executive of the Country Music Awards (or Golden Guitar Awards)

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Drunk on You" Luke Bryan (For 2 weeks July 7 & 14, 2012)
"You Don't Know Her Like I Do" Brantley Gilbert (July 21, 2012)
"Even If It Breaks Your Heart" Eli Young Band (July 28, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Chris Cagle with BACK IN THE SADDLE (Bigger Picture Music Group) was released on June 26, 2012 and sold 14,719 copies to debut at No.6 on the Country chart on July 5, 2012.
Skylar Laine "American Idol:Season 11: Highlights sold around 8,000 copies to secure a No.12 on the Country album chart on July 11, 2012
The Zac Brown Band released UNCAGED (Atlantic/RPM) on July 10, 2012. With larger-than-expected sales of 234,289 it topped both The Country chart and Billboard Top 200 trumping the 153,000 that YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE sold in its debut frame in 2010. The album held the country number one album for 4 chart weeks (W/E July 28 to W/E August 18) with further sales of 78,260, 48,278 and 39,469.
Hank Williams, Jr. with OLD SCHOOL NEW RULES (Bocephus Records) was released on July 10, 2012 and sold 25,008 copies in its first retail week to secure a No. 4 Country Album slot on July 18
Old Crow Medicine Show’s CARRY ME BACK (ATO Records) dropped on July 17, 2012 and sold 17,020 in its first week to give the Americana string band a debut at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart and at #4 on the Country Chart on July 25. 
Other releases: Teea Goans "That's Just Me" (Crosswind) / Will Banister "Turned Her On To Country" (Clovisite Records)

August 2012

  • Randy Travis, after being found naked and threatening to kill police officers, was charged with driving while intoxicated near his home in Tioga, Texas.
  • 80-year-old George Jones announces he will retire from touring in 2013.
  • Wynonna Judd's husband, Cactus Moser, has leg amputated following Aug. 18 motorcycle accident in South Dakota. Two weeks after the accident, she announces she will resume touring.
  • Police cite Randy Travis with assault following his altercation with a man in a church parking lot in Plano, Texas.
  • Randy Travis was in the news again! This time, a Chevrolet truck registered to Travis was found tipped over, wrecked and abandoned in a field behind a Walmart in Frisco, Texas 
  • London Olympics a “Beach Volleyball Dream Team”: Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Laura Bell Bundy, LeAnn Rimes, Grace Potter and Dolly Parton sadly never materlized! However Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban did attend the opening ceremony.
  • Lee Ann Womack parted ways with long-time label Universal Music Group’s MCA Nashville division.
  • Ashton Shepherd, who celebrated her 26th birthday on Aug 16th, also left MCA Nashville.
  • Taylor Swift hosted a Live Webchat on Monday August 13 to reveal details of  new single and album RED - Blog Link
  • Taylor Swift set the record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman as "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" sold 623,000 in the week ending Aug. 19,
  • Mel Tillis on Wednesday, August 8, marked a lifetime milestone for Country Music Hall of Famer, as he celebrated his 80th birthday.
  • Lisa Marie Presley  made her Grand Ole Opry debut on August 21.
  • Jana Kramer also made her Grand Ole Opry debut in August. 
  • Curb Records celebrated its 50th anniversary in the business
  • Mark Chesnutt became the first in the country music genre to introduce an innovative, one-of-a-kind Blu-Ray 3D disc.
  • 30th Birthday followed by 30 days of rehab! LeAnn Rimes sought help to address emotional issues
Emma King and the Heartsets came back to the UK from America in August to do a radio tour

Stealing Angels member Tayla Lynn and her new husband, Jon Finger became parents to new son, Tru on August 3.

"Truck Stop" veteran Burkhard "Lucius" Reichling died. Born in Berlin in March 1947, the singer and violinist in the Hamburg country band died on the evening of 14 August 2012 at the age of 65. The cause of death was a result of pneumonia and a late cancer.
Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, died at age 82 on August 25. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. Reba McEntire tweted: My thoughts and prayers go out to the Neil Armstrong family. He was a super guy. 82 years old. Thanks for all you did for us, Neil!!! Listen to David Pack who wrote a song " Reachin' Up To The Moon on the 3CD Project THIS IS MY AMERICA which chronologically spans more than 500 years of American history Audio Link
Stuart Swanlund, Southern rock bassist was a mainstay onstage for the Marshall Tucker Band from 1985, and was with the group when they recorded ‘Hangin’ Out in Smoky Places’ — their only song to chart on country radio charts. Swanlund was remembered as having never-ending enthusiasm and for being a great friend. MTB founding member Doug Gray said in the days after his August 2012 death that “Stubie” was the heart of the band onstage. Last winter, he was able to perform at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, which was a career highlight for the 54-year-old.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"5-1-5-0" Dierks Bentley (August 4, 2012)
"Come Over" Kenny Chesney (2 weeks - August 11 & 18, 2012)
"Angel Eyes" Love and Theft (August 25, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Love And Theft released their second album "Love And Theft"(RCA) on July 24, 2012. It sold 14,271 copies in its first week to score a No.4 Country album place on August 1.
Gloriana, the now country music trio released their second studio album A THOUSAND MILES LEFT BEHIND (Emblem Music Group/Warner Bros) on July 31, 2012. They sold 22,869 copies to land a No.2 Country album on August 8.
Joey + Rory’s third album titled HIS and HERS (Sugar Hill Records), released on July 31, sold 3,971 copies in its first week debutting at No.24 on the Country chart.
Colt Ford's DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (Average Joe’s) released August 7, 2012 sold 31,130 copies to top the country chart on August 15 (W/E August 25)
Zac Brown Band's UNCAGED returned to No.1 selling 24,879 copies sold (W/E Sept 1)
Blackberry Smoke album THE WHIPPOORWILL gave the Atlanta, Georgia Southern Country Rockers a No.8 Country place selling 9,363 copies in their first week
Dustin Lynch self titled debut "Dustin Lynch" (Broken Bow Records) made its bow at No.1 on August 29, 2012 selling 23,077 copies. It became the first debut album to enter the country chart at #1 since Scotty McCreery's CLEAR AS DAY in October 2011.  
Dierks Bentley four-song EP COUNTRY & COLD CANS (Capitol), released Aug 21, 2012, sold around 8,000 copies to gain the iTunes only digital release a No.12 Country place
JT Hodges self titled album "JT Hodges" (Show Dog-Universal), released Aug 21, 2012 sold around 4,000 copies to land at No.23 on the Country chart.
Other releases: Tim Culpepper "Pourin' Whiskey On Pain" (Honkytone Records) / Dale Ann Bradley "Somewhere South Of Crazy" (Compass) /Caroline Herring "Camilla2 (Signature Sounds) / The Flatlanders "The Odessa Tapes2 (New West)

September 2012

  • Vince Gill is honoured with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Bonnie Raitt receives the Americana Music Association's lifetime achievement award.
  • The Academy of Country Music honors Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, producer Billy Sherrill, songwriters Bobby Braddock and Dallas Davidson and the late singer-songwriter Roger Miller in ceremonies at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
  • George Strait announced he was embarking on his final two-year the Cowboy Rides Away tour that will end in 2014.
  • Loretta Lynn celebrated her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, musically assisted by sister Crystal Gayle, Miranda Lambert and Lee Ann Womack.
  • Taylor Swift paid tribute to a young cancer victim with a special song on a "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon. "Ronan" was dedicated to a 3-year-old boy who died in 2011 of neuroblastoma > Video
  • Taylor Swift dived into the crowd during her performance of her new single "We Are Never Getting Back Together" at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sept 6.
  • It was announced Keith Urban will be joining "American Idol" for its next season.
  • Reba McEntire announced she not be hosting the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards. The 57-year-old country star has decided to end her run as a host for the prestigious awarding show after tackling it for 14 times so she can focus on her TV show "Malibu Country”.
  • Jason Aldean was photographed in Hollywood flirting, caressing, snuggling and kissing with former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Brittany Kerr on Sept 26, 2012.
  • Toby Keith attended the Ryder Cup and had the privildge to watch inside the roped off areas. He performed ‘Red Solo Cup’ for the U.S. Golf Team = YIPPEE it worked, EUROPE WON in the biggest comeback ever!
  • Kellie Pickler, in early September, shared one of the most heartwarming stories of 2012. Appearing on ‘Good Morning America,’ the singer walked viewers and country fans through why she had shaved off her long, beautiful blonde hair. It was done to show support and solidarity to her good friend Summer Holt Miller, who was fighting breast cancer and was preparing to begin chemotherapy the very next day.
Teea Goans is the cover feature in the September issue of UK magazine Country Music People
A pair of Elvis Presley's stained underpants went up for auction in Manchester.

Another Dixie Chick arrived! Emily Robison gave birth to her fourth child, on Sept 4th. The singer delivered new baby girl Violet Isabel Strayer weighing 8.5 lbs
Reese Witherspoon the 36-year-old actress and Country music Awards presenter has given birth to a baby boy. She and her husband Jim Toth welcomed Tennessee James into the world on Sept 27, 2012

Joe South died on September 5, 2012 of heart failure. He was 72.Singer-songwriter Joe South, who performed hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s such as "Games People Play" and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" ,” (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden”.
Hal David, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member died at age 91.Due to a series of strokes, he had been in ill health for several months. But David’s catalog included a string of country successes in Nashville, including the evergreen “Sea of Heartbreak.”
Debbie Pierce, who was a member of the 1980s female country group Chantilly, died at age 58.
Homer Joy, country singer and songwriter who is best remembered for penning “Streets of Bakersfield” for Buck Owens has died.
Andy Williams died after battling bladder cancer for over a year. The “Moon River” singer, who owns a theater in Missouri bearing his name, was 84 at the time of his death. Williams was also a business man, acquiring not only his own master tapes from Cadence but also those of artists like the Everly Brothers, Lenny Welch, the Chordettes and Johnny Tillotson. He formed Barnaby Records, releasing the Cadence material along with hits from Ray Stevens and the debut album from Jimmy Buffett. Reba McEntire paid tribute: "So sad to hear the news of Andy Williams' passing this morning. His brother, Don, was my manager in the 80's. My prayers are with) the family.
Raylene Rankin, member of The Rankin Family. It is with great sadness that The Rankin Family announced the passing of Raylene Rankin—sister, wife, mother and friend. Raylene died on Sunday, September 30th of cancer. In 2001 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It returned in 2009 and again in 2011. She was 52.

Country Music Awards
The Gibson Brothers win the International Bluegrass Music Association's entertainer of the year award.
Wayne Jacobs, was the winner of UK Listeners' Club Award with his original song "Kentucky Whiskey".
Winners of 2012 British Country Music Awards (BCMAwards) included: Pete Kennedy (Album of the Year), Travellin Rose (UK Horizon Act of the Year), Nancy Ann Lee (UK Female Vocalist of the Year), Gary Perkins (Male Vocalist of the Year UK), Toby Keith (International Act of the Year), C’est La Vie (Band of the Year UK) , My Darling Clementine (Americana Act of the Year UK),  Brian Hughes “Damascus Rd” (Original Song of the Year UK), Big Tom (Irish Country Act of Year),  British Country Music Hall of Fame inductees were:  Jon Derek, Bob Harris (OBE) , Tony Byworth
Glasgow Country/Pop duo Raintown were winners of FOLK TRADITIONAL RECORDING of the YEAR, for their album HOPE IN TROUBLED TIMES at The Scottish New Music Awards held on 2nd Sept 2012.
At the 2012 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA’s) Awards held at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday, September 9, 2012 there were wins for Johnny Reid (Fan’s Choice),
Carolyn Dawn Johnson (Female Artist of the Year) , Dean Brody (Album of the Year: DIRT) & (Male Artist of the Year),  Hey Romeo (Group of the Year),  In This House: The Stellas (CMT Video of the Year),  Kira Isabella (Rising Star).  Taylor Swift was a gracious recipient of the first-ever Generation Award, given to an artist who has pushed country music into new territory - Blog Link
At The Americana Music Association’s 11th Americana Honors & Awards on September 12, 2012 awards went to Dave Rawlings (Instrumentalist of the Year), Album of the Year: This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark,  Alabama Pines” written by Jason Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Song Of The Year Award), Alabama Shakes (Emerging Artist of the Year), Gillian Welch (Artist of the Yea),  The Civil Wars (Duo/group of the Year) and Bonnie Raitt (Lifetime Achievement for Performance)

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Over" Blake Shelton (For 2 weeks - Sept 1 & 8, 2012)
"Pontoon" Little Big Town (For 2 weeks - Sept 15 & 22, 2012)
"Wanted" Hunter Hayes (Sept 29, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Carrie Underwood's "BLOWN AWAY" returned to No. 1 on Sept 5 and Sept 12 (W/E Sept 15 & 22)selling 27,611 then 29K in her 18th/19th retail week,  thanks to a $6.99 sale on iTunes.
Josh Turner with his new album LIVE ACROSS AMERICA (Cracker Barrel) debuted at #9 on Sept 5, 2012 with sales of 8,188. 
Thomas Rhett with his self-titled EP (Big Machine/Valory Music) made his bow at No.24 selling 3,323 copies.
The Roys with NEW DAY DAWNING (Rural Rhythm) saw their seven-song EP,released Aug 28, 2012, debut at No.2 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Albums Chart.
Little Big Town's TORNADO" (Capitol Nashville), released on Sept 11, 2012 made its debut at No. 1 on Sep 19, 2012 on the Country chart (#2 Billboard Top 200) selling 112,758 copies. Their fifth studio album more than doubled the first week sales of previous release THE REASON WHY.They held the Number one for 5 consecutive weeks (W/E Sept 29 to Oct 27) selling 50,321, 33,647 , 31K, then 23,232 copies
Kix Brooks with NEW TO THIS TOWN (Arista) ,his first album since the break-up of Brooks & Dunn, debuted at No.10 selling around 7,000 copies
Easton Corbin's sophomore album ALL OVER THE ROAD (Mercury) debuts at No.2 on Sept 26, 2012 selling 28,664 copies.
Dwight Yoakam with 3 Pears (Warner Bros. Records) debuted at No.3 on Sept 26, 2012 selling 18,807 copies.
Big & Rich's HILLBILLY JEDI (Warner Bros.) debuted at No.4 on Sept 26, 2012 selling 16,457 copies.
Ryan Bingham's TOMORROWLAND debuted at No.7 on Sept 26, 2012 selling 11,776 copies.
Bucky Covington’s sophomore album GOOD GUYS (E1 Music) charted at #30 selling some 2,000 copies.  
Kathy Mattea with CALLING ME HOME" (Sugar Hill Records) charted at No.54 (No.2  Billboard Bluegrass) selling around 1,000 copies on its debut week,
The Time Jumpers "Time Jumpers" (Rounder Records) was released on September 11, 2012 and charted at No.49 on the Country chart.
Other releases included: Billy Dean "A MAN OF GOOD FORTUNE" / Jim Lauderdale "CAROLINA MOONRISE" (Sky Crunch Records)

October 2012

  • Punch Brothers mandolinist and vocalist Chris Thile (earlier with Nickel Creek) wins $500,000 "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter, Larry Henley, Kim Williams and Tony Arata are inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • Darius Rucker is inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by Opry veteran Vince Gill.
  • Garth Brooks, Connie Smith and Hargus "Pig" Robbins are officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Catt Gravitt is named SESAC's songwriter of the year.
  • ASCAP declares Ben Hayslip and Brad Paisley its top songwriters of 2012.
  • Dallas Davidson and Luke Laird win BMI's top country songwriters award. Tom T. Hall is cited with BMI's Icon award.
  • Randy Travis, after experiencing personal problems earlier in the year, teams with the Avett Brothers to tape a CMT Crossroads special in Nashville.
  • Kenny Rogers released his autobiography, Luck or Something Like It, on October 2 via William Morrow.
  • Taylor Swift made numerous made numerous media appearances starting Monday 22nd (ABC's "Good Morning America) to Friday 26th (ABC's "Katie" with Katie Couric) to promote her newly released album RED .
  • Taylor Swift sells more than 1.2 million copies of her album RED its first week out.
  • Taylor Swift has made Billboard chart history again. She has joined the elite group of women who’ve had over fifty (50) songs chart on Billboards Hot 100! Taylor scored her fiftieth single with “I Knew You Were Trouble”.
Irish singer songwriter Pete Kennedy opened for Neil Sedaka's UK Shows Oct 6 - Oct 24, 2012.
Dolly Parton's musical “9 to 5” came to the UK. The musical, which ran on Broadway in 2009, opened in Manchester in October (Fri 12th - Sat 20 Oct 2012 Manchester Opera House)
Taylor Swift joined One Direction, Conor Maynard and Little Mix at BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards on Sunday 7th October 2012 at Wembley Arena.
The CMA presented Northern Ireland’s Brian D’arcy with CMA International Broadcaster Award.
Taylor Swift finally conquers the UK albums market as fourth time lucky offering RED went all the way to the top of the Official Albums Chart (Published Oct 28, 2012) first week sales of 61,779 copies.

Country Music Awards
The 18th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards rolled out the red carpet at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony for Inspirational Country artists on Oct. 17, 2012 last night. Vince Gill was a big winner of the night, taking home two awards—Mainstream Inspirational Country Song and Mainstream Country Artist. Other winners included Chuck Day for Entertainer of the Year and The Roys for Inspirational Bluegrass Artist.

Richard Farrell Morris a percussionist, who appeared on albums including Kris Kristofferson’s The Silver Tongued Devil and I, passed away October 4 after a battle with lung cancer at the age of 74.
Tim Johnson, singer-songwriter, the man  behind the lyrics to some of the most powerful country music songs died Sunday morning (Oct. 21) following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 52. - Blog Post
Bill Dees, songwriter for Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn in addition to penning the classic Roy Orbison song ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ in 1964 died on Oct. 26 at the age of 73 after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor earlier in the year. Among the songs in his catalog are Lynn’s ‘Me and Ole Crazy Bill’ and Lynn Anderson’s ‘My Friend.’
Connie Gately, bluegrass headliner was laid to rest in Hermitage Memorial Gardens. The lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Connie & Babe and The Backwoods Boys died on Monday, October 15. He was 83 years old.
Perhaps the most tragic death of 2012 was the shooting of Jerry Lee Lewis bassist B.B. Cunningham. The 70-year-old was killed in October when — as a Memphis apartment complex security guard — he went to investigate gunshots he’d heard. Cunningham and a 16-year-old boy were found shot dead. In addition to playing with Lewis, Cunningham worked with Elton John and Lou Rawls during his lengthy career.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Take A Little Ride" Jason Aldean (For 2 weeks - Oct 6 & 13, 2012)
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Taylor Swift (For 9 weeks Oct 20 - Dec 15, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Jake Owen’s four track EP ENDLESS SUMMER (RCA Nashville) debuted at No.2 on the chart on Oct 3, 2012 selling 16,985.
Waylon Jenning’s titled GOIN’ DOWN ROCKIN’: The Last Recordings OF WAYLON JENNINGS (Saguaro Road Records) bowed at No.14.
Ricky Skaggs MUSIC TO MY EARS debuts with just 1,000 sold. It charted at No.52 Country and No.2 spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart.
Blake Shelton’s first full-length Christmas album CHEERS, IT’S CHRISTMAS (Warner Bros.WMN) debuted at No.6 on Oct 10, 2012 selling 8,906 copies.
Jerrod Niemann’s FREE THE MUSIC (Sea Gayle-Arista) debuted No.10 with sales of around 7,000 to earn him a No.9 Country place on Oct 10, 2012.
Aaron Watson with his 18 track release REAL GOOD TIME (HTK Records) sold 5,703 copies to give him a No.9 Country debut slot in its first retail week.
Jason Aldean’s fifth studio album NIGHT TRAIN (Broken Bow Records) made its debut at No.1 on both the Country and Billboard Top 200 charts, on October 24, 2012, selling 409,303 copies in its first week
Scotty McCreery entered the Country chart at No. 2 with "CHRISTMAS WITH SCOTTY McCREERY" selling around 41,000 copies.
Jamey Johnson's LIVIN’ FOR A SONG: A Tribute To Hank Cochran debuted on October 24, 2012 at No.3 selling around 32,000 copies.
Taylor Swift's 'RED' sold a whopping 1,208,290 copies to debut at No. 1 on Oct 31, 2012, on the Country & Billboard Top 200 albums chart. This was Taylor's second consecutive million-plus album selling debut. One out of nearly every 5 CDs or downloads sold in this chart week was a “RED” one! It remained at No. 1 for the remaining 8 weeks of the year (W/E November 10 to W/E Dec 29)
Lady Antebellum with their 2012 Holiday collection ON THIS WINTER'S NIGHT sold 24,584 copies to make their debut at No.3
Iris DeMent released "SING THE DELTA" (Flariella) after a 16-year gap since it gained a #8 slot on The Billboard Folk Album chart selling 3-4k copies.
Selling less than 1,000 copies but making a Country album placement were Kenny Rogers' "AMAZING GRACE" (No. 57), Wanda Jackson's "UNFINISHED BUSINESS" (Sugar Hill Records) (No. 61), Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott's "LIVE: WE'RE USUALLY A LOT BETTER THAN THIS" (No. 64) and Hank Williams' "The Lost Concert" (No. 66)
Other releases included: Tift Meritts "TRAVELLING ALONE"/ Mary Gauthier "Live At Blue Rock" / Lucy Kaplansky "Reunion" (Proper Records) / Sweethearts of the Rodeo "RESTLESS" / Mindy Smith "The Essential"/ Matraca Berg "Love's Truck Stop" (Proper Records) / James Hand "Mighty Lonesome Man" (Hillgrass Bluebilly Records) / Billy Ray Cyrus "Change My Mind" / Donna Ulisse "All the Way to Bethlehem"(Hadley Music Group) /My Darling Clementine "How Do You Plead?" (Drumfire Records)

November 2012

  • The Civil Wars cancel their concert dates in the midst of a European tour, citing as its reasons "internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition."
  • Carrie Underwood donates the proceeds from her Atlantic City, N.J., concert to that city's hurricane relief fund.
  • Taylor Swift, Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney ranked as eighth, 10th and 17th on Forbes magazine's list of highest paid musicians.
  • Brad Paisley and The Band Perry toured in Sweden and Norway in early November.
  • Dolly Parton released DREAM MORE, her new book of inspirational wisdom by Putnam in November 2012.
Taylor Swift came to the UK to switch on the Christmas lights at the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London. The switch-on took place on Tuesday November 6. More than 10,000 fans turned out to watch a Taylor Swift mini-concert.
Bob Harris was presented with a Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award by Little Big Town at the CMA Awards
Nashville Cinderella”,  the story of an aspiring country singer dreaming of love and fame while working as a waitress in the country music capital of Nashville, Tennessee was released by debutante romantic novelist Julia Douglas who is actually a fella! The Wicklewood-based UK journalist Douglas McPherson writes for Country Music People.

Country Music Awards
The 46th Annual CMA Awards 2012:  Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert made it a Family Affair on Nov 1st: Blake Shelton received the Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year Awards and Miranda Lambert was named Female Vocalist of the Year. Eric Church, Little Big Town and Thompson Square won their first CMA Awards; Willie Nelson received the First CMA Lifetime Achievement Award, - Blog Report
Taylor Swift took home three awards at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday night (Nov 11) she was named Best Female Act and Best Live Act and also won Best Look out of five nominated categories.
The 40th Anniversary American Music Awards were broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on Sunday Night Nov 18, 2012 shown on ABC. Carrie Underwood won Best Favorite Country Album for BLOWN AWAY. Taylor Swift won her fifth consecutive award for favorite Country Female Artist. Lady Antebellum won their third-ever American Music Award taking home the statue for Favorite Country Duo or Group and Luke Bryan won favorite Country Male Artist - Blog Link

Jake Owen had an extra special reason to be thankful this year. His wife, Lacey, gave birth to their first child, daughter Olive Pearl Owen — on Thanksgiving (Nov. 22). The pink bundle of joy was born in Nashville, and weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces.

Frank Peppiatt, the co-creator of "Hee Haw," a landmark variety show mixing country music with "corny" humor that became one of  TV's most unlikely and longest-running hits, has died. He was 85. Peppiatt died Wednesday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., of bladder cancer, according to family spokeswoman Jenna Illies.
Rosa Lee Watson passed away on Thursday (Nov 22), just six months after Doc Watson, her husband of more than 60 years.
George Strait's longtime songwriter Frank Dycus died at the age of 72. Dycus died Friday (Nov 23) after a long illness. The “Hillbilly poet" wrote more than 500 songs, many for leading artists. Mr Dycus had twice been voted SESAC’s “Songwriter Of The Year.
Rick Blackburn the veteran record executive, who played a key role in the careers of Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs and John Michael Montgomery, died Nov. 30 in Franklin, Tenn., following a kidney ailment.

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Toby Keith roped his lucky 13th top 10 album when HOPE ON THE ROCKS (Show Dog-Universal Music), released Oct 30, 2012  made its bow at No. 3 on Nov 7, 2012 with sales of 49,710. This made it Keith’s 20th top 10 album.
Scotty McCreery’s QVC BUNDLE PACKAGE landed a #20 place on the Country chart selling 4,728 copies of his holiday, debut album and other stuff from QVC.
The Departed’sADVENTUS” (self-released) made their bow on the Country Album chart at No. 19 selling 4,328 copies. 
Aaron Lewis "THE ROAD" (Blaster Records) sold 20,680 copies for the Staind frontman to post a No.7 Country Chart place.
Other releases: Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller "BUDDY & JIM" / Terri Clark "CLASSIC" / Eve Selis "Family Tree" (Hippie Chick Twang Records)

December 2012

  • Shania Twain opened her two-year Shania: Still the One run Dec. 1 in Las Vegas.
  • Tim McGraw and Faith Hill open their Soul2Soul concert series in Las Vegas on Dec 7, 2012
  • The Recording Academy broadcasts The Grammy Nominations Concert Live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
  • Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are honored in the CMT Artists of the Year special.
  • Marty Stuart celebrated a 20-Year Anniversary as Grand Ole Opry member on December 9, 2012.
  • Lady Antebellum were surprised during a press conference to announce their new global charity initiative LadyAID, when CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore presented the group with the CMA International Artist Achievement Award.
  • In December, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott announced that she and husband Chris Tyrrell were expecting their first baby. Few details are known about the pregnancy, but it seems like an early summer 2013, delivery is probable as the trio cancelled shows after mid-June.
  • Jo Dee Messina and her longtime label Curb Records parted ways.
  • Taylor Swift was one of the acts on ABC's iconic Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve show, which was being hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Fergie and dedicated to the iconic presenter who passed away in April. Cassadee Pope and Jason Aldean also performed.
C2C: Country to Country, a new major festival was announced with some of the biggest names in the business heading across the Atlantic for a huge Two-Day music Festival extravaganza at The O2 London in March 16 - 17, 2013:  Tim McGraw, Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Kristian Bush, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, LeAnn Rimes and Brantley Gilbert are named in the line up.
Ken Macleod, of Radio Tay in Scotland, was presented with the CMA International Broadcaster Award by CMA Director of International Relations Bobbi Boyce.
Allan Watkiss’ "Your Country" on BBC Radio Sheffield came off air at the end of December after nearly a 12 year run. The 3 hour show is sadly NOT included in the January 2013 schedule.

Jennifer Nettles gave birth to a baby. Jennifer and her husband, Justin Miller, shared the exciting news of their “little baby Nettles” with the birth of their son (who was a little late), Magnus Hamilton Miller, on Dec. 6.The baby is a first for Nettles and new husband Justin Miller
Sarah Buxton and her husband, musician Tom Bukovac, welcomed their first baby into the world. Buxton gave birth to Marshall, a baby boy, on December 4.

Martha Hume, noted music journalist and author died in her sleep at home in Nashville on Monday night, December 17. Hume was the wife of CMT columnist Chet Flippo.
Frank Christian, a virtuoso guitarist and songwriter who made critically acclaimed albums and contributed to Nanci Griffith’s Grammy-winning “Other Voices, Other Rooms” project, died Dec. 24 in New York after battling pneumonia.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
"Cruise" Florida Georgia Line (For 2 weeks Dec 22 & 29, 2012)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
Florida Georgia Line's HERE'S TO THE GOOD TIMES (Republic Nashville) was released Dec 4, 2012 and debuted at No.3 on the Country Album placings selling 62,758 copies, the group's first top 10 album.
"The Music of 'Nashville'": The soundtrack to the ABC TV series "Nashville" soundtrack, landed a No.4 place, on Dec 19, Selling 55,896 copies
Other releases: Craig Campbell’s five-song EP "OUTTA MY HEAD" 

As of Dec 27, 2012 three Country albums released in 2012 had sold over 1-million copies:
Taylor Swift "Red" 2,866,047, Carrie Underwood "Blown Away" 1,166,000 and Lionel Richie "TUSKEGEE" 1,06 million. Jason Aldean's "Night Train" just fell short at 983,000.
The other Album biggest sellers in 2012 included:
Luke Bryan with “Tailgates & Tanlines” first released August 9, 2011 has sold 1,727,000 (approx 1.14 Million sold in 2012)
Lady Antebellum’s “Own The Night” first released on September 13, 2011 has now sold 1,780,000 (approx 740,000 sold in 2012)
Eric Church Chief first released on July 26, 2011 has now sold 1,284,000 (approx 704,000 sold in 2012)
Jason Aldean "My Kinda Party" first released on November 2, 2010 has 2,827,673 (approx 665,000 sold in 2012)
Zac Brown Band "Uncaged" 699,000 / Kenny Chesney "Welcome To The Fishbowl" 581,000 / Little Big Town  "Tornado" 575,000 / Lady Antebellum "On This Winter’s Night" 417,000 / Blake Shelton "Cheers.It's Christmas" 410,000 /Scotty McCreery "Christmas With Scotty McCreery"  337,000/
Some of the biggest Digital Country tracks sales figured posted in late 2012 includes:
Taylor Swift "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" 2,730,000 /
Luke Bryan "Drunk On You" 2,098,000 / Eric Church "Springsteen" 1,905,000 /Hunter Hayes "Wanted" 1,946,000 /  Little Big Town "Pontoon" 1,659,000 / Carrie Underwood "Blown Away" 1,437,000 / Florida Georgia "Cruise" 1,281,000 / Miranda Lambert "Over You" 1,082,000 / Lee Brice "Hard To Love" 1,037,000 & Dustin Lynch "Cowboys And Angels" 790,000

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